Skydiving without Parachutes

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Adrift in a sea of change….

About those Scenes

Many of us, not all, taste our first sip of love from our mother’s heart. Depending upon the woman and her emotional circumstances this is a first glimpse into the unconditioned embrace of being alive we’ll later seek in our grand search across the universe for connection. Seeking love is narrative, finding it is finale, writing beyond the heart struck sweet bliss is pure fantasy. Not all of us have the same capacities, some of us find little love in the world while others find too much, each comes with its own set of awkward circumstances and fates. What a character does with their heart helps us cheer them on or if they fail, the painful demise helps us feel the same human anxiety haunting us all. And we haven’t even talked about the hot sex yet!

Women of the Oak Savannahs… A Fragment

Jessica and Tyler ceased moving, stopped speaking, her cheek set on her pillow, his cheek on his, she searched one eye then his other. Tyler did the same, dialing in, finding they were on the same wavelength, the two had been a tight fit from the first. Every minute or so one or the other would take in a deeper breath and then exhale. With each tick of the clock Jessica’s confidence increased. Pulling her arm out of one sleeve and then the other, she threw Tyler’s t-shirt off the bed, feeling more sure, coming in closer, skin to skin, pregnant, filled with expectation, Jessica left no room for doubt, the time for second guessing was over.

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Looking for Love

 

 

Velocity of our Change

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Jacaranda Petals Healing the Velocity of Life

Out Loud…

Long fiction, scene by scene, attempts to decode the workings of our ever smaller world. Politics, culture and commerce bombard our nervous system from the mundane to the uninvited digitized global events we view on our media devices. Individual freedoms in this interconnected phenomenal life are proving to be illusory and failing that within just an instant forgotten then  irrelevant. The long fiction writer is scrubbing the temporal landscape, we depict neural networks, free associating matrices that flicker-light through the shadows of our daily lives. Pace of time, velocity of attention, the sense that our ability to think through the circumstances we are folded into becomes scattershot and piecemeal. Neither at the beginning or end of this technological revolution, we are lost in the chaotic Dadaist like midst of a world disrupted. Because the event horizon has accelerated the long fiction writer has to work quick to speak to the moment or have the next moment overtake what he has spent so much time preparing his readers for.

Dialogue from the new novel

“See that, try to sign me up and you end up getting picked for an inside job.”

Like Piper, Jessica filled her jeans full to temptations brim, the activist felt safe enough with Piper’s companionship, looking at Jo she said, “You’re going to be the best. The big boys are going to be pleading for mercy once they find out what kind of woman they’ve run up against.”

Tyler, Ronnie, Piper and Jessica were gangling guiltlessness, mercurial mischief makers. Jo knew among her three friends that, “none had had their chests cracked in two, hearts half eaten, left for dead on the side of the road, none had found that kind of love, not yet.”

“Come on, Dudes, lets go have a swim party…” Tyler said.

“Go on, go, all of you…” Jo could smell the hijinks. “Running around a swimming pool in my underwear with you two? That would just piss me off. Go on, get,” she clapped her hands, “you don’t need any adult supervision.”

Women of the Oak Savannahs Opener

Burned Out Four

Scene from remains of the Valley Fire, Lake County, California

September 16, 2015 Napa Valley

High aloft the aerialist gripped the climbing rope. Beyond a brownish orange sun went lost in a smoke filled sky. Helicopters, Super-Huey’s thump-thump-thumped eastward to the front. In the tumult of the still out of control wildfire the aerialist startled the audience with a swift descent back to the ground. The rhinestone bejeweled woman slipped one foot then the other into her glittering silver clogs. Each knee-high-stride was accent, twirling her palms face up, she tickled the ovation with her fingertips. The incessant droning of the Grumman Air-tankers crisscrossing the sky mixed with the audience’s anxious murmurs. Within the respite of the struggle to survive a showgirl’s smile simmered across her lips. The heavy oppression of the air reeking of acrid smoke pressed a sorrowful reality down upon the fairground. Jo assumed a dancer’s first position, her concentration slipping away, mind wandering, locking eyes with the motorcycle racer for one part of one instant, then in the next breath the performing artist vanished out of the light away into the night.

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Long fiction takes like what seems forever. I plotted for much of a year and began composing my fourth novel on November 1, 2015. You are looking at 171 of 72,000 words. My editor and I are nearing the end of our fixing the manuscript. Fatigue sets in during the late editing process. I have been back to the first paragraph on many days all along the last seventeen months. The opener has been through hundreds if not thousands of rewrites. We’ll see if it stands up and carries the day, the previous version measuring 123 words.  I had sought to keep the paragraph compact, but the shorter opener lacked the visceral imagery to do with the fire.  I like this version. If you wonder whether you have what it takes to write long fiction you might ask whether you have the constancy required to read, reread and revise your prose until they are all arranged to the best that you can stand to do.

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Billionaires Know Everything

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Our Common Humanity Rising Up Against Power

Science historian Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University speaking at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on January 6, 2017 when asked what can we do about climate change said this. “Don’t build any more pipelines, keep the oil and coal in the ground, and end Federal tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.”

We know that solar is the cheapest way to make a watt of electricity now. We know that the electrification of our transportation system is irreversible. We know that regenerative farming techniques can capture more carbon and rebuild depleted soils. We know that agriculture hasn’t even started to deploy laser leveling of fields and drip water irrigation systems on a large scale.

The problems mankind faces is that we can’t quite organize ourselves in a market based system that rewards the producers and consumers to choose the best long term technologies, to earn less now but to save our one earth so that future generations may have a healthy and sustainable planet to further humanities quest to thrive over the coming  millions of millennia.

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Los Angeles Public Library  Light Fixture

Big time is about thinking in terms beyond our current generations lifespans. In eighty plus years we can only begin to imagine what a thousand years from now might mean. But, that is our task. We owe our brothers and sisters of the future a chance at coming here and advancing our experiment with intelligent life.

I am not unique. To express ourselves to the challenge we need to advance those technologies that give our future a chance. This isn’t difficult. We all know what to do. Our current social, economic, and political system is out of date. The formula that got us here isn’t the set of ideas and systems that is going to get us to the future.

I’ll close with a bit from my latest novel, Women of the Oak Savannahs

“You want your country to be like you, you want us all to be losers… fat, short, educated, liberal losers. I’ll never be a loser. Never! I don’t know how to lose. Put that on your front page. Make that your headline. Tell them the goddamn truth for once. Spare your readers stories of my prowess in bed, why bore your readers by stating the obvious. How it is that a young, beautiful South American woman who asked to spend time with me, to dine, to dance and drink the finest wines with me, took me into her heart, fell in love, and surrendered her life to me. Tell your readers the truth, and the truth is, you know nothing about life, and a billionaire knows everything.”

Grayson Gale, Gale Vineyards

Napa Valley

 

 

 

Fairer Trade… Looks Like This

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Where the Ploys Are…

“Income distribution characteristics” is a term to describe how a free trade agreement alters how and where money flows in an economy.

It may be true that a new trade deal increases the total amount of money being exchanged between two trade partners, but it may also be true that more of that money ends up distributed to fewer people not more.

During negotiations there are rules and agreements written into the trade deals. What has happened is that regardless of what is promised the profits of free trade have not been distributed back down to the workers. Most of the profits have been diverted to the executives and shareholders.

So we are smeared with terms like protectionists, anti-free trade etc.… when that isn’t true. What is true is this. A trade deal should be good for workers too. They have to distribute the profits accordingly. Then, we have fair trade and a reason to support such agreements.

Our democracy thrives with a healthy middle class. It is in all of our interests to do what it takes to make that middle class as big and as robust and as prosperous as is possible. Enlightened fair trade agreements that have provably enlightened income distribution characteristics good for our country would go a long way toward that goal.

The Great Tony Benn Hits it Out of the Park

 

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Click Right Here and Enter into the Truth of the Matter

Tony Benn gives a stem winder from over on the other side of the pond. Now 83 in ten minutes time he crushes it. The British lilt in the voice and the humanity of his cause ooze from this talk.

Our work is never done. Every generation the implacable foe escapes from the cage we put them in to regroup and once more launch their attack. It arrives as fear of other, of the fraud and abuse in social welfare programs, in the accusation that there are fat, lazy bastards driving luxury automobiles, and promiscuous Trollip’s licking the ears of the underserved unemployed horndogs.

The elite send bankers to the political hearings. They bemoan regulation and thunder on in mock earnestness about how unprofitable their circumstances are. They pocket bonuses of multiple millions and gripe bitterly about a school teacher’s pension. Unions are broken and wages are suppressed. And they do this by simply making the uneducated and uninformed jealous.

Tony Benn is about the business of the common man or woman who struggles to make a decent wage and something of a happy life for their children. It is about good schools, health care, public transportation, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and a government dedicated to protecting the rights of all its citizens.

The extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of those few hundred individuals? It turns out that they can be a hazard to democracy. Those gigantic entities and enterprises known as multinational corporations need to be leashed and the supervision and regulatory apparatus of our government ought to apply a firm jerk on their chain to bring them to heel.

As it was for generations before us it is the same now. We allowed the elite to rewrite the rules to their advantage and they have taken it. Citizens United, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, raising taxes on labor while reducing taxes on capital… all of this has been done by the well paid lobbyists and politicians. It has been nothing less than a self inflicted error.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy Tony Benn’s pointed speech. He is clear. He is honest. He stands up for all of humanity.  He is in his late years living a purposeful life. We have climate change, inequality and a worldwide family planning project to implement.

 

Workers are in sum the majority. It has come time for us to once again act like one.

 

 

 

The Empty Vessel

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Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars…

Democracy is an empty vessel. The blanks must be filled in. Want to slow or stop immigration? Do you want low taxes, less regulation and globalize manufacturing and trade? Perhaps more home schooling and charter schools and scrap universities altogether and simply ramp up vocational career schooling.

The stock markets of the world are a huge casino. Headlines are once again frightening the public. Some say buy, some say sell, others say hold. Nobody can explain exactly why the market moves one way or another. Technical analysts give their explanations, brokers offer their services and all the while the stench of something reeks. What are we doing to ourselves?

Technology has ramped up the speed of something while the details of this something it has speeded up remain beyond comprehension to all of us. You want to talk about morality? How about voting rights? Let’s debate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Does anyone know anything about this secret trade deal that the President strenuously defends as not secret?

I don’t like my oppositional party in politics as being described as an automobile filled with clowns. I don’t like billionaires polluting the electoral process with their ill-gotten gains. But, am I right to hold this view? The Supreme Court has found my opinion to run counter to the rights enshrined in the constitution. We are not in a free for all we are in a free fall.

We have precious little time to act on matters important to every single human being on this planet. We need to get focused. We need banks to get boring. We need government to fix roads, build bridges and enable communities the means to access to clean air and water. We need capitalism to submit to surgery whereby we cut out its mindless greed and install a heart that helps manufacture a simpler more cautious use of our finite resources.

If democracy is an empty vessel, a void waiting to be filled, then capitalism if allowed to dominate it will arrange matters to its own advantage. This arranging thing that it does is not some sort of invisible hand of the marketplace. It is a heavy hand.

Our access to information has drowned the informed voter in a sea of counterfactuals that boggle the mind and shudder our spine. We’ve harvested a collective chaos of misguided gumption. We briefly get it together and send a man to the moon and now we tear ourselves apart debating whether to deploy high speed trains. Nothing is more pathetic than to watch people who have put their faith in science to include everything but vaccinations.

A majority of citizens polled want to disregard the consensus of nuclear experts who virtually unanimously agree that we ought to take the deal we just cooked up with Iran. The rest of the world agrees but we won’t. I can assure you that the vast majority of the people objecting to this deal haven’t taken the time to read it. They didn’t pick up their smartphone and call their local nuclear scientist for a discussion on the merits. Who has time for that crap? In our current democracy opinion is manufactured. Who is making this crap up because it has to stop. Our sewers are there for a reason.

So, let’s get out of this rut now. We defang Wall Street for starters. A transaction tax would be a good place to begin. Break up the big banks and make finance boring again. We go to Washington and kick the criminal racket known as the Washington lobbyists out. We get some ordinary plain normal human beings in congress to focus on climate change and fix this wretched income inequality problem.

Once we get ourselves heading in the right direction we can get together and do some good old family planning and by that I mean we need to figure out how we can live on this planet in balance and harmony within the constraints of her natural bounty.

And that my friends is how to fill this empty vessel known as democracy up with ideas worthy of our free will.