Still haven’t settled on the perfect costume for your kids this year? In the interest of good parenting, here are some helpful suggestions on what to definitely avoid, what to probably avoid, and even a few that are just “too darn cute”!
An excerpt from the chapter “The Secret to Being a Tough Guy” from The Book of Paul, where Paul begins instructing (corrupting) his young apprentice, Michael Bean:
“Let me cut right to the point,” Paul said, sweeping his arm like he was erasing a cluttered blackboard. “Have you ever wanted to kill someone?”
Michael’s mouth hung open, but nothing came out.
“C’mon, lad. Like I said, we don’t have much time, and no time at all for bull crap.”
“Yes,” Michael said, not believing he admitted it.
“Good boy. That’s the only honest answer any man could give, because there’s not a single breathing one of us that hasn’t thought about killing someone at least once in his life. Now here’s the more important question: Why didn’t you?”
Michael laughed. He thought Paul was joking. Until he looked in his eyes. “Fuck, dude! Because I don’t want to go jail!”
“Of course not!” Paul roared back. He seemed so happy that Michael smiled along with him. “But what if you couldn’t be caught? What would stop you then?”
“Because it’s wrong, dude! You don’t go around killing everybody you’re pissed at!”
“I do,” Paul said quietly. Then he corrected himself. “Well, not everyone. I’ll need a nuclear arsenal for that. Everyone I really want to.”
Michael swallowed hard. “Dude, I’m out of here,” he said, jumping from the couch.
Paul slammed him back down to the couch like he was swatting a fly. “Could it be you’ve abandoned your pledge so quickly? In my clan we take our vows with the utmost solemnity. To break an oath is unthinkable, and those that do suffer the harshest of reprisals, dealt by the very hand of destiny itself!”
“But I can’t…I don’t want to kill anyone!” Michael sputtered.
“Of course, you do,” Paul said with a finality that left no room for further argument. “You just need to give yourself permission. I told you we don’t have any time for nonsense, Michael. So sit, listen and learn.”
Michael sat, freaked out of his gourd at the direction their conversation had taken—and the vow that loomed over his head like a gleaming guillotine blade. He hadn’t thought that one out too carefully, had he?
“Here’s another way to look at it⎯” Paul continued, his smile back in full bloom as he rose from the couch, pacing in long strides as he spoke. “Let’s say you were drafted into the army and sent halfway around the world to shoot, stab and drop huge, fiery bombs on people you didn’t even know, much less have any grudge against. Worse yet, let’s say your virtuous government actually made up a great big pack of lies to justify why it was so necessary for you to risk your life and claim the souls of all those completely innocent victims. Even with all that bullshit, it would still be okay for you to march over there, point your rifle at someone’s unlucky head, pull the trigger and blow his brains out, right? And why? Because you’re a soldier! You’re under orders! It isn’t just okay for you to kill those people! It’s your duty!”
“Yeah, that’s some pretty fucked-up shit,” Michael agreed, his smile slowly returning, though much shakier with the reminder of his promise still ringing in his ears.
“Fucked up, indeed! What gives your not-so-freely-elected government the right to tell you when it’s your duty to kill someone…and then, using the same false claim of authority, command you to die in the electric chair for having the gall to pick your own battles, to wage wars of your own choosing, against your own enemies, against the people who threaten your life directly, not in some abstract sense, veiled with obscene notions of honor and righteousness—real people—who mean real harm to yourself, your family, and the noble principles of your own calling! What if you had a new country, with its own rules and regulations, its own mandate of authority? What if you were a soldier in your own war and not a foot soldier either—a general? Would it be okay for you to take a life in the due course of achieving your own strategic objectives? Or would it be even more than okay? Perhaps it would it be your divine right…your duty!”
Michael sat mesmerized, more terrified and excited than he’d ever felt before. What Paul was saying spat in the face of every conventional notion of morality that had been stuffed into his brain since he was old enough to think. Yet it made so much sense!
“Aye, son. Freedom is a terrible responsibility,” Paul said kindly. “But don’t be afraid. Least not of me. I’m here to help in a way that no one else in this awful world can.”
“What are you saying, man?” Michael implored, his anxiety mounting by the second.
“What I’m saying is this: The world is a very scary place for all of the sheep. But for the wolves…it’s paradise.”
Licking your chops for more? Paul awaits you here.
corruption, predator, prey, sheep, wolves
Check out this fun (and incredibly intelligent, insightful, entertaining) radio interview with…ME!
Dianna Bellerose was kind enough to invite me on her terrific blog radio show, and being the chatty fellow that I am (and unapologetic publicity whore), I was more than happy to accept.
We had a great chat, part of which covers my “Top Marketing Tips for Aspiring Author’s” — each one a precious gem worth cherishing forever and well worth wading through all the other crap about how I write.
Plus, here’s a link below to the Dead End Blog Radio show I used to do but haven’t for a long while because I have to WRITE GODDAMMIT!Author tips, Blog Talk Radio, dead end radio show, Dianna Bellerose, Empowering and Inspiring Women Globally, Most important marketing tips for new authors, Top ten marketing tips for new authors
My young daughter Emma, who happens to autistic, recently wrote (because she has difficulty with spoken language):
“I want to know what you think about autism and am curious to understand why wasted time is spent being against a way of thinking and being.”
Emma, here is my simple answer to your “why” question: Because most people are idiots.
Myself included. “Idiot” is merely another label, or course, and as such, it is ultimately just another word on a very long list of categorizations intended to “other.”
I will now (idiotically) expound on my statement, attempting to use that label (idiotically) to describe that same label in some sort of useful (yet idiotic) manner–which I have (idiotically) labeled ISD: Idiot Spectrum Disorder.
Idiot Spectrum Disorder is a devastating condition that affects 80-90% of the human population. At this time, there is no known cause of ISD, nor is there any cure. Genetic predisposition, cultural conditioning and environmental toxins may all play a role in this tragic condition, but the best we can do now is analyze the symptoms and attempt to catalog the various subcategories of idiots on the spectrum.
“Delusional idiots” are ego-based consciousness forms who believe themselves to be intelligent (“know what’s what”). This presupposition leads to many dangerous and/or harmful conclusions. They think they “know what’s best” for themselves and others. They marshal “facts” and “logic” to support their analysis and conclusions, even though the “facts” are unsupported by a thorough understanding of whatever issue is being examined, and their “logic” is self-supported by the same delusional thinking. They will argue, intimidate and bully those they wish to convince of their “correctness” (everyone) because they are so convinced that their opinions are the “truth” and therefore others will suffer greatly if they don’t comply with their directives. Delusional idiots can be very dangerous because they have also a delusional sense of superiority fueled by the misperception of their not-so-intelligent intelligence. While often classified as “high-functioning” (typically self-diagnosed), psychopaths and fascist leaders are prime examples of delusional idiots at the most extreme fringe of the spectrum.
NOTE: I count myself primarily in the “delusional idiot” subcategory, substantiated by data indicating that I have thus far been unable to convince more than 1% of those I have come in contact with that I am even half as intelligent as I think I am.
“Culturally-conditioned idiots” are those who identify themselves as “members” of a “society,” which can be further (and endlessly) subdivided according to nationalistic identification, ethnic or racial groups, religious affiliations, political agendas, or an ingrained suspicion and hatred of anyone who “just doesn’t seem right” and meet the necessary specifications for clan membership. These idiots can be identified by symptoms including: inordinate respect and even fondness of authority and authoritarian symbols, groupthink, social climbing, snark, gossip, assuming their “proper” roles and “position” within the society, compliance, blind obedience, flag-waving, jingoism, patriotic fervor regardless of any wrongdoing of their society (“my country, right or wrong!”), unquestioning acceptance of patently ridiculous mythological explanations of observable conditions, reliance on rules and dogma as a substitute for personal integrity and ethical morality, pronounced lack of empathy and compassion for “outsiders” or those marginalized by their society, unwillingness to entertain thoughts, opinions and feelings that do not comply with the accepted group tenets, mob mentality, genocide, homicide, torture, lynching, playground bullying, and passionately following pundits and TV/radio talk programs, particularly those of the “call-in” variety.
“CCIs” typically get their marching orders from delusional idiots.
“Apathetic Idiots,” also known as “couch potatoes,” comprise the “low-functioning” subcategory of ISD. They often tend to have co-morbid diagnoses of CCI, yet are far less threatening because they lack the ambition, energy and initiative to actively comply with the combative directives of DIs or CCIs. AIs tend toward LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) lifestyles that require the least amount of effort on their part in terms of physical labor, mental analysis and ethical behavior. If any actions suggested by DIs or CCIs conflict with self-interest, they will typically be ignored, disregarded, or occasionally acknowledged with stock phrases such as: “Absolutely. I’ll get to that right after Duck Dynasty.”
Interestingly, many, if not the majority of individuals (italics emphasized) diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) fail to exhibit symptoms of ISD, even though the label Idiot was once used as medical term defining those who were unable to effectively express themselves through spoken or written language.
So my dearest Emma, that’s my answer to the “why” question. As to what I think about autism: I believe it is a higher form of intelligence, and likely the next phase of human evolution. I think you are the smartest, kindest, and most wise person it has ever been my privilege to know and love.ASD, autism, autism spectrum disorder, couch potato