The Anti-Abortionist Credo

by Buzz on 30/06/2014

anti-abortionist credo

I forbid you to have sex without MY permission.

I forbid you to know anything about birth control.

I certainly won’t pay for your sex education.

If you defy ME and have sex anyway,
then I want you to get pregnant / catch the clap (or better yet, AIDS!).

I forbid you to have an abortion.

I will judge you and call you a murderer if you do.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term
even if the child will be born with a fatal condition.

I demand you bring the pregnancy to full term
even if you already have a house full of children and
you are stretched to the breaking point.

I demand you spend 18 years of
your life (minimum!) taking care of this child.

I will not help you.

I will not offer any financial subsistence.

I will not lift a finger or spend a dime of MY money to help you provide
food / lodging / medical care / education for the child.

I demand you suffer for your sins.

However, you may not judge ME.

Because just by saying I oppose abortion,
just by condemning you for your choices,
I am pure and holy.

(Did I miss anything?
Did I not summarize our
position accurately?)

 

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Fictoid: One Day In Ancient Greece…

by Buzz on 29/06/2014

Frank Frazetta - trojans1art by Frank Frazetta

 

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Guest Fictoid by Jack Feister

by Buzz on 27/06/2014

Jack Feister short-short story

“Dad, I’ve figured out something about time-travel, but I’m not sure how to explain it to you. It’s complicated.” – Jack Feister, age 10, unemployed

 [courtesy of his father Tom Feister]

(c) Jack Feister

 

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John Steinbeck’s 6 Tips For Writers

by Buzz on 26/06/2014

steinbeck_john by david levine

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find the reason it gave trouble is it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of the scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

– found at
Dangerous Minds

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A Delight To The Eye, A Treat For The Soul

by Buzz on 24/06/2014

1:87 is one of the most delightful websites I’ve encountered in ages.  There’s a wealth of charming / witty / delightful photos there, but this one in particular appealed to me:

1-87 site word planters

Check it out:
You can also find
them on Instagram

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The Words Of The Prophets…

by Buzz on 22/06/2014

…are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls

WotP Aldous Huxley

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Go Read What A Really Smart Guy Wrote

by Buzz on 19/06/2014

Jim Wright is a former US Navy Chief Warrant Officer with a really smart and insightful blog called Stonekettle Station; you are all encouraged to visit it and delve among the various posts.

One post you’ll no longer find there is this one.  You’ll notice he’s taken it down from his blog and his Facebook page though he’s allowed other sites that asked reprint permission to keep it online.

A lot of people agree with Jim on that post, and unfortunately from Jim’s POV, a lot of them liked it enough to copy & paste it without asking his permission first.

It would be safe to say that on the matter of copyright, fair usage, the practicalities of the Internet, etc., Jim and I have differing philosophies.  However, while I might see the matter from a different angle, I do not for one nanosecond say Jim isn’t 100% right in his desire to protect the dissemination of his own material and to expect compensation for same.

And absolutely the testicle head who read his essay on the air then pissed him off by refusing to either apologize or pay for it deserves all the shame and approbation Jim has unleashed on him.

Sitting in my files is the first rough draft of a post on creativity, copyright, fair use, plagiarism, swipes, and public domain.  As much as I’m annoyed by the greed of certain corporations that lobby to extend copyright to ridiculous lengths in order to keep properties they acquired but never created from reaching the public domain, Jim’s case is neither defensible as fair usage nor a matter of a non-copyrightable public utterance.  There are a lot of conflicting rights playing off one another in the issue of copyright / fair usage / public domain, but hosing over a creator and then being an anusoid about it is never right.

Book Illustration Depicting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a Train Cabin

Two guys recently confirmed
as being public domain.  
Original art by Sidney Paget.

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Fictoid: Al’s History Repair

by Buzz on 15/06/2014

Malcolm Smith 1951

I’ve heard you can correct mistakes.

You heard right.

I want to go back, change a decision I made.

I can send you back,
but I can’t guarantee
you’ll change the decision.
There are a lot of wild
card factors involved.
But I do offer this guarantee:
Your money back if
you’re not satisfied.

Have you ever had an unsatisfied customer?

All of them.
Until I send
them back.

But after they return…?

Let’s put it this way:
I have never ended a
transaction with an
unsatisfied customer.

a pause / then:
Do you accept checks?

No.
And no credit cards,
sealed bank accounts,
nothing like that.
Cash on the barrelhead.
You were told that before
I agreed to meet with you.

I…I only have a few hundred dollars.

smile
Luckily I’m not
in this for the money.

resigned nod
When do we start?
Do I give you the money now?

Let me see it.

an envelope emerges from a purse
thick fingers count it / hand it back

Aren’t you going to keep it?

No.  You hold onto it
until you return,
until you’re satisfied.
Then you pay me.

Oh…

One thing:
We’ll need a contract,
make this all official
and business-like.
such a contract is produced from a drawer
Now, just give me
all the pertinent details:
Where and when do you
wish to be sent back,
who are you attempting to contact,
what is your reason for
changing the past…?

Is all that necessary?

Sadly, yes.
When you come back,
you will be synching up with
a new time line you’ve created.
You’ll remember this trip,
this conversation, but in a matter
of days, sometimes only hours,
it will fade away like a dream.
I need the contract for my protection,
to prove I did what I said I’d do.

Aren’t you afraid I’ll forget to pay you?

taps contract
Not with this.
Now, details:
Who, what,
where, why,
and most importantly,
when?

hesitation, then a torrent of details:
handsome guy / turned him down / married another / marriage failed / handsome guy married another / happily ever after for him / wonder what would have happened if for her

Al inks all the details in neatly / carefully notes time & date / pushes multi-page contract across desk

Read it carefully.
Make sure all the
details are correct.

she does / they are / she signs

Al gestures to a large door.

On the other side:
A chamber densely lined with blinking electronic devices;
a simple wooden chair sits in the middle.

When I activate the time machine,
you’ll experience a brief period of
intense vertigo and a blinding flash of light.
As soon as that happens, you’ll be back
at your college and will have fifteen minutes
to explain to your former self the mistake
you made and why it’s important she
make the right choice.  As soon as you
convince her, you’ll be automatically
yanked back into the chamber in
the present time — or should I say,
the now altered present time.
Now, sit down and wait for
the countdown clock to begin,
and best of luck.

she goes in / sits down / moment of apprehension as door closes / countdown clock begins:

10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3

Suddenly the door flings open!
Al lunges in / yanks her out!

Are you okay?
Are you okay?

Yes – wait – what happened?
Did something go wrong?

With the machine?
No.  With you?  Yes.
You managed to convince
your college self not to
dump the guy. But that
turned out to be the
biggest mistake of your life.
You dated for six months,
then he dumped you for
your best friend.  You fell
for a creep on the rebound,
and he turned your life into
a living hell.  I’m going to spare
you the ugly details, but you
ended up with no degree,
no career, a criminal record,
and more medical problems
than I’d care to recount.
You were literally reduced to this
or suicide or death in a charity ward
when you came back.

What?  No!
I don’t believe you!

Read ‘em and weep.

presents contract / she reads it / all the details are wrong / different

I didn’t sign this!

Oh?
Check the last page.

her signature sits on the page / none of the details are the same

But…what?

Your alternate timeline self
begged me to send her back
so she could warn you.
Can’t do that; something about
doubling back too close on
your own time stream.
But she could come back
after I closed the door and
tell me not to send you back.
She brought this contract
with her to prove she’d talked
to me in her alternate timeline.
I yanked you out of the chamber
just in time.

But…where is she?
Where is this alternate me?

Gone.
Vanished back
into the time stream
the instant
we undid
your mistake.

confusion / perplexed / hesitant

Al speaks to her
not unkindly
Look, you just had
a narrow call.
A real narrow call.
But you’re safe now.
Yeah, you didn’t get
the guy you wanted,
but you weren’t going
to get him anyway:
Just wasn’t meant to be.
But you do have a degree,
you do have a career.
Build on that, do something with this.
Forget about your disappointments.
Forget about the guy you turned down,
the guy you divorced, hey, forget about
ever even trying to change things.
Just look to the future
and move forward.

pensive look / slow nod / sigh

You’re right.
You’re right.
No more
wallowing in the past.
Just…just the future from now on.
Thank you, Al.

You’re welcome.
…uh, aren’t you
forgetting something?

Pardon?

My fee.
You had no money
to pay for your second trip back,
but you said I could keep
the money you promised for this trip.
See, I do honor my satisfaction guarantee;
I’m not charging you for the first trip since
it provided a very unsatisfactory result.
But your second trip was successful,
the tragedy was undone,
so for that trip,
I’m due.

thick fingered hand extends palm up

she blinks / reaches into purse / withdraws money

Al counts it (again) / salutes her with it / holds open the door that leads to the stairs that lead up to the sidewalk

al time travel1e

that evening / as every evening / Al practices the signature transposition trick before a phalanx of mirrors in his apartment

he’s good — damned good — but practice makes perfect

the signature transposition trick:
an old magician’s sleight of hand / get the mark to sign their name to a playing card / tear the card up before their eyes / produced the signed card in a brand new deck another mark has been holding for the entire trick

really quite simple…when you know the trick

and when you do know the trick
switching the last page of one contract for another
is child’s play
the time machine is just window dressing
no more real than the bogus science degrees lining his office

still…even child’s play takes practice

Another day, another dollar
thinks Al to himself
as he runs through the trick for
the tenth twentieth thirtieth time that night
honing his skills until the switch is
seamless / invisible / perfect

Luckily for me
there really is
a sucker born
every minute.
And thanks to them,
time is money…

.

.

.

© Buzz Dixon
based on an idea by &
with the gracious permission
of Jim MacQuarrie
illustration by Malcolm Smith

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Thinkage

by Buzz on 12/06/2014

“When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.” — Bob Herbert, “Losing Our Way”

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So What Does Jesus Have To Say About Sex?

by Buzz on 11/06/2014

love is

…cuz nuthin’ sez
“Christian Sexual Ethics”
better than little people
porn on a shot glass…

Well, let’s start with the point he considered most important: 
Asexuals are lucky that their ability to love God and to love their fellow human beings selflessly and compassionately is not hindered or distracted by sexual urges or a need for romantic love.

If you weren’t born asexual, 
try to cultivate that lifestyle.[1]

If you can’t, get married so you’ll have a loving companion with whom you can mutually satisfy your needs and urges.

When you get married, stay married.  The only legitimate reason to end a marriage is if one’s spouse betrays one (though forgiving at least enough to continue the marriage is always an option).

Otherwise, only death will release you.
No widow or widower is obligated
to remain unmarried.

The betrayal of a spouse (adultery) is a big deal and not to be regarded lightly.
Mucking around with another person’s spouse (ditto adultery) is just as big a deal and not to be regarded lightly.

In fact, if you are married and look at another person and wonder how you can get them in the sack, or if you look at another person’s spouse and wonder how you can get them in the sack, you are committing adultery for all intents and purposes.[2]

That being said, it is not an automatic exclusion from the kingdom of God.  Jesus famously took a frequently divorced woman living with her boy friend and used her to successfully spread the gospel just the way she was, without requiring any atonement on her part first.

Jesus was compassionate and forgiving to persons with spotty personal histories.  He urged us not to judge lest we get clobbered by the same judgment we dish out, and to love one another as we love ourselves.

Oh, and don’t harm kids, which while ambiguous certainly includes a prohibition against pedophilia and statutory rape.

There, that pretty much covers it…

.

.

.

[1]  Meaning Jesus recognized some people are indeed “born that way” whatever “that way” may be.

[2]  Jesus seems to think that doing a good thing for any reason is ultimately a good thing, but not doing a bad thing simply because the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet is still a bad thing.

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