Posted in Journey to Sanity, Neural Spasm

Journey to Sanity – derailed

My journey to sanity has been derailed after I was side-swiped by some news from my home county in the UK. Essentially, the police force decided it was reasonable to make a sexist addition to the hate crimes laws. For those few remaining developed countries where this doesn’t exist, a hate crime is when the government or police decide you’ve said something you shouldn’t have. It’s framed with respect to protecting vulnerable peoples, but essentially it’s as I described. Because, if the government can regulate your right to say something, they can also regulate what it is you say. So the specifics of the hate crime law don’t matter except to demonstrate who’s currently in ascension, who’s being ignored, and what the government doesn’t want you to talk about.

As an example, as a white man, anyone can say pretty much anything they want to me and it won’t be a hate crime. However, if I criticize a woman, an ethnic minority or a religion and that person decides to take offense, I can be charged. Really, the featured image above says it all. That images is the header from the North Yorkshire police website. Note that there’s not a single male in the image, yet this is supposed to be a force that protects everyone.

We’re living in very interesting times indeed. I find it informative to watch how such laws play out in practice and what it means regarding our cultural and social empathies. Many argue that we should all be nice to each other and these laws are just there to ensure uncomfortable situations don’t occur. I would agree with the first idea, but argue that these are laws ripe for abuse by the government and police and their focus will change with the political wind. Furthermore, government doesn’t have the right or authority to police name-calling.

An example of some craziness – there was recently a case in southern England where a father was accused of being a pedophile by a hotel clerk because he was staying there with his 13-year old daughter. The hotel had no more rooms so he had to book one with only a double bed. They were the ones that forced the room situation and they refused to believe him or his daughter, even when shown photographic evidence. Fortunately, the police understood the truth.

Contrast that with a court ruling only a few days ago where a young woman stabbed her boyfriend with a knife in the leg, punched him in the face, and smashed a jam pot into his head. She got off free because the judge didn’t want to damage her potential career as a surgeon.

But I digress. Because the issue isn’t really injustice or social insanity. That’s existed in various forms throughout the ages. The issue is what to do about it. The people holding the potentially harmful views have made for themselves a new religion and as a life-long atheist I’ve had plenty of debates about religion. However, the one thing I eventually learned, is that you can’t reason with such people using logic. When you do, they only double down on their ideas. You end up strengthening their resolve and achieving the opposition of what you were intending (you create a supervillain where there was only a petty crook before).

So I’m going to take a new approach. I’m not completely sure what form that will take, but I’m a fiction writer so that should probably be some kind of clue.

Meanwhile, we all have to stay strong. It’s still too soon to know how this goes. Whether we slide into totalitarianism via the insane leftists, whether we die by a thousand cuts as we give away all the best parts of our culture, whether we weaken ourselves to the point where our enemies can’t help but attack, or the eternal hope, that we finally accept responsibility for our own actions, we come to accept that no culture’s perfect but that we’ve done a pretty good job despite our mistakes, and we defend what we know to be the most free, most developed, most civilized society the world has ever known.

Posted in Journey to Sanity, Neural Spasm, Uncategorized

Journey to Sanity: Day 4

In the last two days I’ve had some peaceful days of avoiding media and political discussions. However, last night I had an interesting dream that I can’t help think relates to this project.

One of the issues I’m most bothered by is that of the university protests and the seemingly large number of young people so willing to give up their rights to freedom of speech and expression. Or rather, they’d want to take away those rights from others, but don’t realize it will also me the loss of their own rights.

Anyway, in my dream I was on a university campus. No particular one, although I’ve lived and worked on a number of them in my life. But I had the distinct impression this was just ‘a university campus’. Albeit a well-funded one. The dream began with me wandering around campus, attending lectures, etc. A regular student life. But around the mid-point, the entire university began collapsing. It was like a meteor-strike meets an earthquak, with huge chunks of building falling, and asphalt fro the roadways being thrust into the air. Suspended causeways crumpled, turning into a rain of death for those below. it was a hellish scenario and those of us not killed, were desperately trying to weave our way through the maze of death.

That’s it. There was no ending. No resolution. It just left off with me and a few others running through raining chunks of street and building larger than our bodies as we desperately tried to find a way out of the horror.

The meaning of the dream seems self-evident enough. It’s a metaphor of my fear for the fate of the modern western university, which is being destroyed by a variety of forces, many of which are within. This bothers me not only because I think universities should be bastions of freedom and centres for the quest for truth and enlightenment, but also because I will, at some point in the not-so-distant future, have to consider whether to send my child to one.

While I had an amazing time at the universities I attended, their nature has changed dramatically in the last five years. Safespaces, trigger warnings, and the injustice of ‘social justice’ all prevents students from growing and exploring new ideas. Instead, most get locked into echo chambers and force-fed ill-conceived ideologies until they come to believe 2 + 2 = 5. Only then does Big Sister let them out spread the word to the rest of their Western world (ironically, in a twist of the soft racism of low expectations, such social justic warriors rarely turn their new-found zeolotry on parts of the world that could actually benefit from them).

But I digress.

With luck, such dreams represent my subconscious processing the thoughts and emotions as part of my purge, so that, when I return to fuller immersion in the crazy world we live in, I can do so with a more level head.

Be the change we seek to see. That is all any of us can, or should, reasonably do.

Posted in Neural Spasm, Writing

What Superpower Would You Choose?

Destiny City, from my new Altered Destiny serial, features superheroes and supervillians with a lot of different powers. Starshyne has flight and energy projection, Black Pariah has heightened reflexes and an alien computer sidekick, Virtue Maroni is an expert marksman and tech genius, Dreadlock is superstrong with limited teleportation, Thixotrope is a futuristic nanite swarm, Neverland Nuance is a fairy, and Rembrad has a cosmic paintbrush that can paint reality, and that’s not even including the heroes that dies in the plague.

With all the vast different types of superpowers that have, and have yet to be, created, which would you choose? And why?

As a kid, my favourite superheroes were The Atom and The Flash. Even now I’d still love to have superspeed. Of course, it’s important to realize that each power is not a single power, but rather a host of powers. Superspeed is an excellent example. What good would superspeed movement be if you couldn’t think fast enough to process what was coming at you? Or if your reflexes weren’t good enough to dodge it? What about surviving the tremendous wind ripping against your body, bluring your vision? And that’s even ignoring the metabolic issues required with generating that much energy (from this, you can easily see the genious in creating the ‘speedforce’ in the flash comics, which solves all these problems).

And there are other issues.

In literature, superpowers fall under the category of magic. And all magic that is interesting to read about has a cost. If it didn’t the user would be a god and could solve all their problems instantly. That would be boring (although it would lead to a discussion of the character’s own flaws, as in Marvel’s Infinity Guantlet series). The most interesting heroes are the ones were forced to give up something important on their path to greatness.

So, considering that, would you still choose that power, and all the good it could do, even if you had to give up what was most important to you?

Starshyne gained cosmic powerbeams and flight, but lost her parents. Adam Johnson has amazing reflexes and an alien computer as a friend, but lost his wife. Even Dr. GrimLaw, supergenious, lost something. It’s easy to say ‘I’d love to have superspeed’, but much harder to accept the power if it comes with loss. So, would you still choose your power, if it came with great loss, or even a Faustian deal?

Would you?