echo chamber

There’s one in my head, and it rings with hopelessness. It sees the march of fascism, the flagrant entitlement of the world’s insipid victim mentality, and it knows the end of us is near.

There’s an external echo chamber as well, harming right and left, cutting off the ability to see any other perspective at all, let alone try to truly understand the other, which is the only method of finding resolution and peace.

I try to limit my external echo chamber. I don’t wish to be like my stepson’s friend who was heavily radicalized during the pandemic, to the point of losing a very good teaching position at an Ontario college because he bought into all the “vaccines are poison” nonsense.

Yesterday, he was posting about how a woman in Tennessee won her case and received three quarters of a million dollars for being fired for not getting one, making it sound as though a litany of similar lawsuits were about to bring the corporate world and government to their knees.

Of course, for a guy that I used to think was fairly smart, he sure didn’t much think it through. I’m not even sure he read the article he posted.

First, the woman won in deep red Tennessee. That has jack to do with Canadian law, and second, in the ruling, it specifically noted that the award was given not because the woman didn’t take the vaccine, because she’d had other vaccines, but rather, her religion opposed abortion and there were rumours (that at the time apparently had yet to be debunked) that the vaccine was made using fetus cells, and she felt, on religious grounds, she couldn’t inject that into her body.

Regardless of where I fall on the abortion issue (pro-choice), I can see why she’d be opposed to it.

It was noted in the article that the case was different than most other cases wending their way through the system, because the documentation proved without a doubt that the woman was doing it on religious grounds, not political or ideological ones. The vast majority of vaccine deniers can’t say that. All they can say is they were being selfish and stupid and would rather endanger other people’s lives than do something a liberal might support.

This was a one-off. Hardly the landslide this young man was celebrating.

It’s a weird thing to me, that prior to Trump and the Putin-pushed (and social media and mainstream media endorsed) disinformation pandemic, that perfectly intelligent, otherwise logical individuals could have gotten so locked into their echo chambers that the ability to reason, think or even want to question the information being presented to them has completely disappeared.

I understand the celebrities that do this; they’d been irrelevant before, and this buys them a fan base. It’s a grift.

But the average individual? Even the ones that had previously shown no hate in their hearts?

It’s terrifying to know how quickly someone can abdicate their own mind.

Garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes.

Unfortunately, their willful myopia is likely to kill us all.

birds fall down upon / weighted wings they choose to fall / blindly into night

Target: 700 words
Written: 254 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Living Dead In Dallas
Comics: Think Tank 8-11
Music: Ultimate Air Supply, Air Supply (why would I do this to myself?  Must be a masochism day.)

of long walks

I’ve walked probably about fifty New York City blocks of varying lengths and my dogs are barking.

Still. I appreciate what the city has to offer and all, but damn.

I am peopled the fuck out.

There are too many people on this planet. I’m not calling for a plague or anything, but like, people, stop breeding.

Republicans claim to be pro-life, but man, abortion is one of the many ways we can help this planet by not contributing to overpopulation, unhappiness, children and parents in poverty or abuse, because they weren’t ready and didn’t want kids… you’re contributing to fucking misery and death, the death of us all, with your anti-environmental, anti-woman, anti-life stances.

Like fucking vegans, you’ve taken a high-minded principle (don’t abort fetuses or eat animals), and missed the actual real world impact of such a stance, both from a moral, and historical standpoint.

The most “noble” of intentions based on completely flawed premises (of course, I’d also argue that vegans may actually have noble intentions, but Republicans, given their pro-gun, pro-capital punishment and pro-who-gives-a-fuck-what-happens-to-the-kid-after-they’re-born stance, are entirely disin-fucking-genuous).

Anyway, people. Keep fucking, but stop breeding, for Pete’s sake, whoever Pete is.

Target: 700 words
Written: 962 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Assholes Finish First, Tucker Max
Comics: Danger Girl: Renegade 3-4
Music: Other Pirate Material, The Streets


Oh, God, it sounds so horrible, like some kind of Tolle/Robbins platitude, meant to sound deep and meaningful, but actually being somewhat of a scam.

I mean, I don’t want to go too deep into it, because I’ve got a whole idea percolating that I don’t want to spoil the punchline on, but you know how we often try to teach the things we most need to learn?

Next to the dictionary entry beside ego, I suspect there’s a picture of Eckhart Tolle. The Power Of Now and A New Earth practically drip with his ego, his unhinged desire to be a messiah, don’t they?

I’m not sure stealing a bunch of ideas that have been around for thousands of years, or basic common sense ideas, and drenching them in an insipid slurry of rancid toss to pretend you’ve found some special knowledge, is messiah material.

Honestly, it sounds exactly like the kind of bullshit I was writing in my late teens and early twenties, when I was also trying to be a messiah, but was actually a schmuck who didn’t live any of the platitudes he was spouting.

I guess I was too busy with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to make the millions he did.

Anyway, my point is: The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner is the better option if you want to learn about presence. If you strip all of the bullshit and pomp from The Power Of Now, and replaced it with humility and practicality, there you go. And Mr. Sterner isn’t trying to sell you on being Jesus.

Or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, whom Tolle seems to only mention in passing, despite having ripped off the Tao Te Ching extensively (though not anywhere near as well, and with added layers of unnecessary drivel). I guess he doesn’t want anyone to realize he hasn’t actually generated an original understanding, but rather, stole everything he purports to have discovered from luminaries long dead?

Anyway, my thought was: I’m such an insignificant, microscopic piece of the universe, why am I carrying its weight?

I know, right?

Target: 600 words
Written: 576 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest 3-4, American Vampire 19-20
Music: Old Plaid Shirt, Mudmen

long, fast, weekend

Another whirlwind weekend.

My life is ending so quickly. I have a thousand lifetimes of things I want to do, to make, to experience and find connection with, and it’s going so fast.

I’ve wasted so much time.

It’s all too much. Other people are too much.

One minute, you’re running and laughing; the next, disemboweled on a tree stump caught at too sharp an angle.

Strangely, that doesn’t begin the downfall. That would happen four years later, when preparing for confirmation, I made the mistake of reading the Bible, and the realization that I was being lied to, that the philosophy I’ve been presented, that was supposed to represent good and true in the world, was a steaming pile of bullshit?

I’ve been spiraling ever since.

Target: 600 words
Written: 224 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest 1-2, American Vampire 17-18
Music: OK Go, OK Go

good friday

I’m not a Christian, because, well, religion is mostly bullshit. I don’t necessarily discount the idea of divinity or spirituality, but I always think of it like this:

If this being/entity/force/thing is omnipotent, all-encompassing and all-powerful (pervasive), then our ability to understand it is probably on par with an amoeba’s ability to comprehend particle physics.

Times a billion.

So anyone on earth claiming to know the mind of God, or whatever you want to call it, is utterly and completely full of shit. They are trying to either take your money or control your mind, or likely, both.

Let’s keep in mind that a primary driver in many of the most horrific acts of humanity are rooted in religion.

As I think maybe Penn Gillette said (or at least, my recollection is that I heard him make the sentiment), a person is not a good person because they are doing what they are told.

They are a good person because they choose to do good things, and that has nothing to do with gods.

So, be good on this Friday, and all Fridays, because you’re choosing to do so, not because you’re scared of some boogeyman in the sky, or the afterlife, or whatever.

I guarantee the upper moral hand belongs with those who choose kindness, not those who have it foisted upon them.

Target: 500 words
Written: 595 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Gregor The Overland, Suzanne Collins
Comics: Rat Queens v2 10-12, Rat Queens: Neon Static 1
Music: The Very Best Of Chicago: Only The Beginning, Chicago (narrator: it was, in fact, not just a beginning, but rather, the sum total of everything they ever did before becoming little more than nostalgia.)


It’s hot here. There is sun and sand and the water is a velvet blue that’s almost unreal.

Naturally, I’m thinking about death.

Well, an afterlife. I don’t believe in religion or God or any of that, though I won’t entirely rule out the possibility of a divine intelligence. I just don’t subscribe to anything specific. For me, anyone who claims to know the mind of God is full of shit; if it’s truly an omnipotent, all-powerful being, then our ability to understand it is equivalent to that of an amoeba grokking cutting edge physics.

Times a million.

Anyone who claims to know otherwise is trying to take your money or control you; that’s it, that’s all.

I know, logically, we decay and separate into atoms which then float out into the world and become part of the fabric of the universe around it (stardust!).

I would like to think our consciousness goes to another place, a new “heaven”, where I get to live out an entire life at each crossroads. Every decision that could have been, how would that have been. Every potential friend, potential lover. Every potential job. What if I took the time to become a botanist, a doctor, a sculptor, a mechanic, a ditch digger, a porn star?

What would it all be like?

Imagine getting to know, really, really know, the people that passed through your life, no matter how minutely. How that girl you saw crying on a bench from the bus window’s life went. What was she crying about? What if you had taken that chance? What if you had made that mistake? What if you did everything right?

You could live an infinite number of lifetimes; the joy isn’t in exploring what would have been different, but in really digging and discovering what was going on around you when it was the same, and how your perspective was coloured by or ignored it. It’s not about the sex you’d have with all those random hot passersby, but taking the time to really understand who they are, what they want, what their past was like, how they think, how they feel and how to connect so completely with them that growing together into something wonderful is inevitable.

It’s about opening up the entire world; in infinity forever. And once you know all you want to know, when you’re done learning, when there’s no more curiosity, then, you can step out the door.

Target: 400 words
Written: 602 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: The Power Of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Comics: Nailbiter 16-19
Music: The Karate Kid (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various (don't ask)