Andrew Rowland has a new podcast and the extreme misfortune to have me as his first guest.
Writing isn’t work at all… And when people tell me how painful it is to write I don t understand it because it’s just like rolling down the mountain you know. It’s freeing. It’s enjoyable. It’s a gift and you get paid for what you want to do.
I write because it comes out — and then to get paid for it afterwards? I told somebody, at some time, that writing is like going to bed with a beautiful woman and afterwards she gets up, goes to her purse and gives me a handful of money. I’ll take it.
“My darling, before I shuffle off this mortal coil, there is something I must confess: I have been unfaithful to you countless times with prostitutes, the wives of friends, even your own sister.” “I know, dear. That’s why I poisoned you.”
joke stolen from the
late great Moms Mabley
The way I see it, we’ve got at least three different groups of people sharing several different points of view talking at cross purposes to one another on matters ethical / moral / spiritual / theological / religious,
Most of the time, they’re all in agreement on the same thing, but don’t want to admit this. Call it fear / pride / sheer ol’ stupidity, they generate heat and smoke while carefully obscuring their light.
The truth is everybody, including — no, especially – the most cynical / jaded evangelical materialist atheist possesses a religious belief.
Here is the religious belief of the current crop of evangelical atheists:
- Biological life arose from inorganic matter.
- Consciousness arose from biological life.
- Different conscious entities (call them minds, beings, humans, whatever) can compare notes on what they have observed happening around them.
- These notes, when compared and evaluated, present an objective view of reality.
You see the huge leap of faith expressed there, don’t you?
Hardly surprised. This is another one of those “fish in water” moments where the folks possessing a certain mindset are completely obvious to the mindset they possess and so make assumptions based on presumptions that they can not objectively prove, and thus fail to realize: “Hey! We’re wet!!!”
Let’s stipulate for the purpose of this argument that yes indeedy, conscious independent entities we refer to as “human minds” exist; and that these human minds reflect back an accurate view of what they know of the world around them.
Well, these minds have observed and documented on numerous occasions that it is possible for a human mind to be deluded, psychotic, and hallucinating to the point where it can not distinguish between what the brain imagines and what is real.
There exists a very real possibility — certainly too real to ignore — that everything you experience is simply to product of your imagination and not a reflection of reality.
I don’t care how many rocks you pound with your walking stick; you still could be imagining it. And as to the logic of asking why you would imagine something that would harm you, psychotic and paranoid people fantasize things harming them all the time.
A maniac’s logic is logical to the maniac.
You materialists out there are taking, out of necessity, the biggest leap of faith imaginable, the leap that you can with any degree of certainty believe other conscious entities (i.e., minds, i.e., human beings) exist, much less interact with you in a way that represents reality.
I’m not saying you’re wrong…
I’m just pointing out it’s impossible to prove…
…and if you live your life as if it is true,
that’s no different than any other religious belief.
art by R. Crumb
“The white people in Gone with the Wind aren’t necessarily good people, but their badness as it is understood in the film has nothing to do with the lives of black people. Their dramas float over the suffering of the slaves and then over the suffering of the free black people indifferently.
“This is the underlying reality of the racism in Gone with the Wind: its abstractness. The War is an external force outside of the personal dramas of the players. Slavery, hatred, prejudice — all may well exist but not in any personal way. The crimes of Gone with the Wind all spring from that original sin: the failure to recognize that there’s a problem at all.” — Stephen Marche, The Racism Of Gone With The Wind Is Still With Us
There are a lot of games out there that tout themselves as “fun for the whole family” or “for ages seven to seventy” but holy shamolley, Big Picture Apples To Apples actually delivers!
Based on the popular 12+ version, Big Picture Apples To Apples is a great way to stretch your imagination and improve your vocabulary while having tons o’fun.
Basic game play is this:
A judge deals out five red apple picture cards each to the players (stock photos of people & places, animals & activities) then turns up a green apple word card; the word is defined with three synonyms for younger players or those for whom English is a second language.
Players then select a red apple picture card from their hand that they feel best depicts the word on the green apple word card. The judge decides which is best and hands that player a token. The played cards go into their respective discard piles (picture or word), a new word card is dealt, and the next hand is played.
Play continues until one player has accumulated 5 tokens. If no one accumulates 5 tokens in five hands, the judge deals out five more picture cards to each player (or, alternately, refreshes each player’s hand with a new picture card every turn) and play continues until someone wins.
The great thing about the game is it’s a fast play (30 minutes for a game with 4 – 6 players) that allows even the youngest players to compete on an equal basis with older ones by combining random distribution with visual playing pieces.
And while one can argue that it requires subjective judgment, in truth there’s usually an obvious best choice winner for every hand.
But wait! There’s more!
Creative minds can hack this game like nobody’s business, playing variants of Five Card Nancy or Creation Myth* with the stock photos. One can play a game where each player creates their own five card narrative or one where a group narrative is created by alternating images with story points.
If playing with an even number of players, deal each player five picture cards, then turn a card face up. The first player adds a story point then plays one of their picture cards; the opposing player responds in kind. Game continues until one player uses all five cards; if stuck, they draw from the picture card deck.
If playing with an odd number, Player One lays down a card, Player Two provides a story point, Player Three then lays down a card, Player One then provides a story point, Player Two then lays down a card, etc., etc., and of course, etc.
Game play continues until you run out of cards or the story reaches a satisfactory conclusion. Game story can be free form or assigned a specific genre.
* Creation Myth was described many years ago in the Whole Earth Review. Using images culled from magazines and glued to index cards, the deck is shuffled and five cards are dealt out to each player who must then construct a creation myth based on all five cards arranged in however sequence they desire; the players then vote on who came up with the best myth. Once again, it sounds (and technically is) very subjective but in actual play the winner is typically obvious to everyone.