Author Archive

The Horror of Lovecraft

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2018 by Drogo

The thing about writing horror is that you basically admit you are really sick and twisted. His racist writing describes accurately how people like him would think as they narrate the events. For me it shows how the concept of evil is a human perspective, based on what we fear; from fish people to aliens. To write about your fears shows your weakness and vulnerabilities, in my opinion. Lovecraft shows how fear is a scary illness from hating ethnic differences to being petrified of anything resembling fish or squids. Another aspect of Lovecraft is that his “heroes” do not ever really “win” against the demonic powers that spread, as migrants in NY did while he was living there, and they were thriving while he was failing. Clearly Lovecraft shows how conservative culture always dies of entropy as progressive immigrants take over, for better or worse, depending on who you are. That he describes the changes in culture as evil in fictional demonic terms exaggerates his own feelings to an absurd level of parody, which i feel he must have been conscious about to marry a Jew.

RIP H.P. Lovecraft  1890-1937

Advertisements

Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

**

Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

**

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

***

Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Samhain (Halloween) Ritual

Posted in Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2018 by Drogo

Sowin, End of Fall, Annual End of the Celtic Year, Celtic New Year, Start of Winter,

Ancestor Night, Feast of the Dead, Devil Night (Friday or night before), All Souls Night & Day, Time of Scorpio / circa Oct. 31 – November 1

The significance of this night is great, for it is the Celtic New Year and Ancestor Night. On November’s Eve the Celts celebrated Samhain (now pronounced Sowin). The veil between worlds is thinnest at midnight when the Dark Lady Crone and Dark Lord Wizard work their magic. Test your bravery, and rid yourself of fears by confronting them. Sacrifice that which no longer serves you, but will scare you from living the fullness of your potential. We must find the light within us with the aid of Hecate and Herne, to make it through Winter. We must find ways to cooperate together.

Samhain Poem   [ AUDIO Reading & Music ]

Leaves have turned brown, and fallen down; or will soon.

Silhouettes of trees lean creepily against the Moon.

Smells of smoke and spice, feel very nice.

Pumpkins become Jack-o-lanterns to ward off vice.

Wearing costumes to dance with the dead.

Thin Veil Time, our spirits full of dread.

Fire burn bright, in the dark of night!

Trick or Treat, let us eat; despite our fright.

Another growing year is done,

Now let the new year bring more fun!

*

Samhain Sabbat Spell

Components: Candles (white, black, red, yellow, orange, brown, blue), orange cloth, cauldron or plate, horns and skulls, staves, wands, daggers, fire, water, incense, salt. Fire pit optional.

(Darlock)

“Be it known our power is here. There are spirits with us, ours and those of others. The circle is about to be cast, let those who desire attendance gather here within, so long as they wish us no ill will. Lesser spirits of evil or selfish purposes should stay away from this place and these strong souls. For if they come near seeking to harm us, they will find us difficult to possess and they will be the one’s hurt this night, by their own anger. For we are the guardians of light and darkness, and tonight we welcome visits, but support only positive intention towards catharsis and healing at the end of the growing year.”

(Drogo)

“We must not fight each other, and so must communicate loving reassurances to those that we want within our circle. If one of us becomes possessed by evil, those with enough strength to see the good should wish them life and seek to save them this night. For the path is perilous. We should remind ourselves why we are here, and what must be done, as one. We must guard against ill intent from spirits that distract us from our duties to the circle and our goals that we set for the new year. We can fight them in the ethereal spirit world, and banish them from us. If a kindred spirit becomes confused, it is our duty to keep them safe by reminding them that they are loved and important to us. Even if they cannot control themselves due to madness, fear, or anger we must not give into those selfish dark emotions. Defend yourselves, but do not leave the safety of the circle unless retreat is needed, or brothers and sisters will watch your back, and let you back in by protecting you in a bubble that does not dispel the circle. Our path is perilous, but we are one.

(Drako)

“The dead are with us this night, more than usual. Be strong for our ancestors, and smart enough not to harm a brother or sister, even if you feel them attacking you in any way. Ask them their intent if you are confused. If their dark side answers in a way that seems to conform they wish us ill, then with the brightness of love and life, defend the circle. Seek to remind, subdue, and release any level of threats. Remind any enemies of their positive worth. Subdue with minimal harm. Release those unwilling to participate from obligations. Hold no one against their will if they will leave peacefully. Even when faced with the most destructive force, the goal of the circle is to keep our loving light lit in our hearts and minds. May Hecate light our way and shine through our actions. Great darkness and cold will come this Winter, and we must be together in our readiness to survive, despite death and sickness around us.”

Place salt, water and candles around the circle. Set altar and prepare to light the candles. Light incense. Wear masks, costumes, or paint as appropriate. Music.

Ollumh the high priestess leads coveners along the procession and into the circle area.

(Priestess)

“For all the Ancestors and relations, in acknowledgment of all who have gone before, we honor you with offerings. We bow to your memory within us, and the lives you led as part of our legacy. We are the living and you are the dead. Some are living dead, and others are dead living. Be here only of your free will and sympathy. Let us cast the Circle!”

Elements – casting Circle

Visualize light drawing a circle perimeter deasil.

East – Air

(Emma)

“Here I do bring light to Air in the East. To illuminate breath of life. Listen to the Spirit Winds that herald the voices of the ancients. From the realm of Gorias and Paralda, come forth clarity, truth, sunlight, starlight, moonlight, and shine bright! Thoet se! We call upon you powers of Air to witness this rite and guard this circle. So mote it be, blessed be.” Light the Air candle.

South – Fire

(Drogo)

“The flame of Life reaches us, climbing up and surrounding us. We are within it dancing. The flame can destroy life, burning it like a wick. From death comes life reborn from ashes. We can sprout from devastation, with fiery passion, like the phoenix. On this night we honor the dead year, and the new year to come! We honor the ancestors and spirits and our sacred selves in this circle of Albred. So mote it be, blessed be.” Light the Fire candle.

West – Water

“Here I do illuminate Water in the West, to wash and clean. From the realms of Murias and Niksa, come forth fertility of plenty. Ocean circles the Earth, seas flowing and ebbing, rivers running. Thoet se! Taste tranquility and baptism to rest and be born again. Witness this rite and guard this circle. Blessed be, so mote it be.” Light the Water candle.

North – Earth

(Avalock)

“Here I do bring the light to Earth in the North. We illuminate and give you strength Mother Earth! From the realm of Falias and Gob, come forth earth elementals. La Falia, La Fail (Stone of Destiny), solid strong! Foundation below thoet se, shelter and food (throw salt). We call upon you powers of Earth, to witness this rite and guard this circle. Tuath, North, Earth, so mote it be. Blessed be.” Light the Earth candle.

(Priestess)

“Flames leap high, inside life! Flames rise forth, outside death! Flames burn bright, inside eternal day! Flames keep us warm, outside everlasting Night! I consecrate this circle with power all around, to the ancient ones. Here may they manifest and bless their children.”

Lights white, red, and black candles at the altar.

“White candle, glorious Maiden we honor your joy. Red candle, Great Mother we honor your love. Black candle, Dark Crone we honor your wisdom. We welcome the Triple Goddess in all her forms. Also let the Triple God be with us too, through her.

*

Offerings and spell work

*

Closing

“By the powers of light and dark, so closes the fullness of our energy in this circle, here this night, yet this circle will be open to all spirits who linger or remain. Depart in peace, all those visiting. So mote it be, thank you gods, goddesses, ancestors, and elements. Blessed be, so mote it be.”

*

Napoleonic Complex Bigotry

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Psychology, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Sizeism is a real thing, more so than the Napoleonic Complex; because for clarification Napoleon was actually 5 feet 7 inches tall, which is basically the average height of our time. Therefore Napoleon was being bullied by a foreign leader for being shorter, while not actually being shorter than average. This is typical of society to bully shorter people, which can result in reactionary competition against the larger assholes. All kinds of people can be bullied, but it is built into the fabric of society to be prejudice more against shorter people probably about as much as shy or weak people. When a person is short, shy, and weak their suffering can be terrible. Most artificial objects are made for average height or taller. Adult short people are made to shop in the children’s section, and not taken seriously because they are less intimidating in stature. Women often say they prefer ‘Tall, dark, and handsome” men, but will often just simply say they like ‘tall’ men more than any other feature (including personality traits or wealth). It should also be noted that women are often discounted from equal rights based on body size and strength issues related to their general muscle size.

Sizeism – prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s size.

There are studies in favor of saying that short people are more violent and angry, but it is more probable that short people compensate to compete with larger assholes which may be simply more commonly accepted by society, despite clear bullying.

[to be continued]

Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

The Inklings

Posted in Fictional Stories, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by Drogo

The Inklings (1930-1949)

The Inklings were an informal literary discussion pub group, led by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and other friends associated with Oxford University in England. The Inklings valued fantasy narratives in fiction. Lewis loved listening to other authors who were reading, and he memorized their passages easily.

Lewis and Tolkien invited and met fellow writers to talk and listen at pubs. Regular Inkling meetings were on tuesday mornings at the ‘Eagle & Child’ (aka “Bird and Baby”). Meetings were also held in Lewis’s Magdalen rooms, thursday evenings with tea served.

The third main member of the Inklings was Oxford University Press editor Charles Williams. Other Inkling members included Lewis’s brother Warren Lewis, Victor “Hugo” Dyson, Adam Fox, Lord David Cecil, Neville Coghill, Owen Barfield, Robert “Humphrey” Havard, Gervase Mathew, and Commander Dundas-Grant. Associate Inklings that visited were Colin Hardie, Christopher Tolkien (JRR Tolkien’s son), Roger Green, Percy Bates, Ronald McCallum, Charles Wrenn, E.R. Eddison, Roy Campbell, and other friends of regular members. There were no officers, agendas, or minutes taken at meetings. Most of these did not write fiction, but were scholars of non-fiction.

The whimsical group name “Inklings” was borrowed from an Oxford under-graduate literary club circa 1930. Tolkien described his Inkling meetings as “a feast of reason and flow of soul”, which basically meant lively listening and responses. Lewis said “What I owe them all is incalculable.” And to emphasize their enjoyment, he asked, “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” Lewis said that friends made a difference in his life.

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.