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The Garden of Words: A Mis-step

With the highly anticipated digital and DVD release of writer-director Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering with You just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to check out another of his anime films, The Garden of Words. Although on the one hand Garden can be considered a great story, it’s also a giant mis-step in storytelling and knowing one’s audience. Spoilers and much negativity ahead.

As with Weathering with You and also, Shinkai’s previously popular Your Name, the artistry in Garden is amazing. Rain, storms, any sort of weather, really, gives the illustrators the chance to really show off what they can do. It is a feast for the eyes. The trouble here is the story, or rather the ages of the people in the story, or rather that it involves a high school student and an older woman…who works at his school.

Let me explain, and I’m by no means the final opinion on this, but sometimes one has to know the waters into which they are dipping their toes. Maybe Japan embraced this storyline and didn’t think anything of it, but for American audiences, this story is a turn off due to not only the age gap, but to the fact that the 27-year-old woman works at the teenager’s high school. Why does she end up leaving her job? Accusations–wrong, but still–accusations of inappropriate behavior with the students. Talk about a storyline in which you are all but assured you’ll be misunderstood.

People are often uncomfortable with relatively harmless stories like Big starring Tom Hanks, a comedy where a kid gets to experience being grown up for a time. Despite the funny, rather endearing story, there’s a serious creep factor involved in having any sort of relationship that’s not a family relationship between a child or teenager and an older person. It’s a truth that cannot be avoided. In the past, sometimes teenagers were thought of as adults, but for many countries they are now considered children, no matter how mature they may be for their age. Artists today continually pick at this boundary, trying to make something palatable in the main stream which should not be. Quite a lot is at stake regarding this. Great harm can come to children and teenagers because of it. Monsters prey on teenagers and children precisely because they are too young to truly understand how they are being manipulated.

Even one of my favorite dramas, High School King of Savvy starring Seo In Guk, weirds people out, though in that he’s the American equivalent of 18, pretends to be ten years older for much of the story, and great pains are taken to show how mature and responsible he his. It would just be a more comfortable story if the character was, say, in college, but then it wouldn’t be as funny. Although the romance was done well, it’s just an uncomfortable story all around.

In the teenage world, even a year can be a big difference. When dealing with teenagers having any sort of relationship with an older stranger, one must consider first that this will be a turn off to the audience, and rightly so. Making the character as young as 15 is not a wise choice. It’s a mis-step, because the likelihood that you and your story will be misunderstood is very high. Again, I don’t know a whole lot about Japan or Japanese culture, but the director here doesn’t help himself in the slightest. He very much makes their relationship romantic–a beautiful rainy garden, facing a storm together, quoting poetry, him tracing her feet, the boy mistaking what they have for romantic love, and so on.

It’s a story meant to show a connection between two strangers. Sometimes when one is extremely lonely, it is a complete stranger who fills that void and becomes a badly needed companion, but due to the age gap of the characters and the fact that she works at his school–I think she’s a counselor or something–it’s just, again, a great mis-step. To his credit, the young man gets rightly angry when he finds out she works at his school and didn’t tell him. Shinkai may think that what he’s asking of his audience is to appreciate a connection of companionship between strangers, but in reality, that’s just not what he presented. A lonely, alienated from both friends and family teenager is exactly who adult pedophiles pray on, and women commit this sin just as men do. I talk about this more a bit further on.

Let me take a break to give some background involving a newer phenomenon surrounding pedophilia and what the media calls conspiracy theory. To me, the term conspiracy theory is a made up term created to stop people questioning certain things. One of those things that people really need to start questioning, is what the rich and powerful do with all that money and time. Because many are involved in human trafficking and the sex slave trade.

Have you heard of Q-anon? That whole Q thing is entirely about good people battling the pedophiles. Supposedly President Trump and certain people in military intelligence are breaking up pedophile networks around the world. This is something you can actually look up. Since Trump took office, there have indeed been a very high number of people caught doing these things and there have been many, many children saved, all around the world.

Believe that’s Trump’s aim or not, I thought it pertinent to mention, because the other aspect of this is the still-under-the-radar slow push to make pedophilia ok in the mainstream. This follows on the transgender push for teens–these people know exactly what they are doing. The slow push manifests itself not only in films like this, but continual pedophilia jokes from celebrities and comedians on Twitter, the demanding that young children have the right to choose their gender (and thus consent to sex, right?), and the growing number of articles about the poor pedophiles and their plight. The crimes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell are only the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on here.

For those who followed Pizza Gate, which was actually not debunked, and now for those who follow Q, there is evidence that those in power, politicians, celebrities, a staggering amount of people, are all involved in human trafficking of minors–and using our money to do it. You don’t have to take my word on that, but if you’re curious, there’s plenty of research to find online–well, the stuff that the “masters of the universe” tech companies haven’t censored yet. I warn you, though, it’s not a happy place to go. The only comfort in the knowledge of the bad going on is the knowledge that whether it’s Trump or the Q team or not, some people with the power to do it have been slowly bringing these monsters to justice.

Back to the film: All that above is probably something that the director wasn’t aware of, but it’s just another angle to the whole age gap that reveals what a poor choice making the main character a teenager, and even a young teenager at that, was, at least for an American audience. Again, I am not sure how the film was received in Japan, but I do know that the director’s other films are wildly popular.

The creepiest part of the story is the fact that the woman works at the boy’s school and the accusations against her. At least in America, we have a very real problem with teachers and school workers preying on their students in a sexual way, specifically female teachers. In the past ten years there’s been way too many new stories about yet another 30+ year old woman teacher having sexual relations with her male students. These true incidents are why a story of this sort is a really difficult sell for Americans specifically: The audience is being bated to some degree to say this is ok. In a story like this, we are being asked to agree that it’s ok for a teenager and older adult to have a friendship like this.

But in reality even a friendship is not ok, because even if the adult sets appropriate boundaries, the teenager is likely to confuse things, just like he did in this story. Teenagers are just figuring out love and the opposite sex, and it’s up to the adults to not put them in situations in which we confuse them more, something the female character absolutely did in this story. She withheld information from him and it speaks volumes for her character that instead of facing her troubles, she goes to the park to drink beer, eat chocolate, and spend time with a student, eerily close to what she’s being accused of. I’m not sure any audience should be feeling sympathetic towards this woman. She’s completely clueless to a degree in which one has to question if she actually is clueless.

I’m sure I’ve now overstated my case twenty times over, but the choices made in this film, visual amazingness aside, were such a mis-step that it begs incredulity. Again, what exactly is the audience being asked to condone and why? It’s hard to believe that the creators of the movie are actually that naive. For those who love the film, perhaps just as I love High School King of Savvy, these stories are really flawed, and maybe it would be better not to admire them–for the children’s sake.

How Much Is Freedom Worth?

How much is freedom worth to you personally? That’s the question we have to start asking ourselves as locations across the country starting putting even more draconian laws in place for a virus not much worse than the average flu. This week, my city council voted on an ordinance requiring everyone to wear masks whenever they are indoors in a public place. This in a month when tons and tons of people have been exposed to COVID and are getting tested. If anyone still thinks this is about health, your health, or your neighbors health, I have a bridge to sell you. This is purely about power and money, and by and large the supposedly freedom loving Americans are letting their freedom of expression and even breathing freely to be taken away without even a single shot being fired.

How did we get here? Complacency and also fear, not fear of the virus, no, no. I know any number of people including myself who vehemently disagree with what’s been happening regarding the response to this virus. Why don’t we take a stand and stage our own protests? Freedom doesn’t come cheap, and winning it for oneself and others costs even more. We could lose our jobs, our incomes, and thus our places of living, our cars, and the list goes on and on. What is happening in our country and the world is truly frightening. And we wonder about those people in the past who were “just following orders.” We’re finding out we’re really not much different than them when it comes down to it. Not even my church dares stand up against this, though I guess when it comes down to it they won’t deny Jesus…right?

Right? I ask this as a Christian for myself, especially. Is that the only line drawn that matters? That everything that comes before them asking us to deny Christ are not lines that we should hold, lines also of truth and freedom? Jesus didn’t come to overthrow society in a political revolution, that’s true, but I wonder if he’s really happy with us allowing the crazy people and also simply the afraid people to rule us. If all we value is absolute safety, we’ll never have any freedom ever again. C.S. Lewis showed it best when he portrayed Aslan (representing Jesus) as a Lion, a loving yet dangerous Lion. God is ok with danger, he experienced the worst danger one possibly can to save the world by sacrificing himself on the cross. Really hard to see Jesus hiding behind a mask, and he told the leaders of his day to stop hanging more and more laws around people’s necks so they could barely stand up under the weight of them.

It’s just sad that no one seems to understand that this forced mask wearing is directly against our God-given right to express ourselves freely. It’s also against the First Amendment of our Constitution. COVID is not nearly bad enough to warrant such drastic measures, but even if it was, say, Ebola, this would still be against our right to freedom of speech. And they’ve notably left out a date as to which this will all end.

We have a God-given right to live with danger. In fact, God asks us to live dangerously, to befriend those we normally wouldn’t, to go to places we normally wouldn’t, all for the sake of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am disappointed in myself because all I can do is write. There’s no other job I can go now where they won’t require a mask that restricts breathing and will likely give a large number of people lung issues for the rest of their lives. It’s no choice. C.S. Lewis was right, the moral busybodies are the worst, they give you no choice, when even God gives us choices!

But I am more disappointed in my church. I always thought, even if I was scared or weak, that my church would stand strong. Not so, and it disappoints me greatly to see it. But the leaders of our churches are only human, and sadly, many, many of our men today are weak and just want to go along to get along. As far as Gospel sharing, I can see why this is a good approach, but I don’t think it’s a good way to live, not standing up for anything else. How can we stress to people we care about their eternal well being if we don’t care about them being able to live well in this life? And wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from everyone, and living in constant fear of sickness is not living well.

I am being dramatic, but doesn’t drama and emotion fit somewhere? Is there no time that we’re allowed to get upset about having to go along with a lie? Multiple lies? Lies about COVID, lies about masks, lies about social distancing, and on and on? We are being asked to live a lie and even our fellow Christians are sadly asking us to do so, making it even harder to take a stand against it. I mean, who wants to be all alone standing for freedom? Is God really asking us to go along with this lie? At some point, shouldn’t we stand against these busybody bullies who think wearing a mask bestows virtue, and in some cases, power on themselves? Sure, we don’t want granny to die of COV, but if her life up until her death is worse than prison, that’s ok, is it?

This is all a power play and getting us ready to be forced to take the vaccine, whenever it’s ready, and no matter how unsafe it may be to take. So I have to decide: How much is my freedom worth to me? Is it worth losing my job? Is it worth not be able to find a job or likely even work, as every single company will likely require a vaccine? Is it worth losing friends and family? Is it worth even, possibly, not being welcome at my church or any church? Is it worth losing everything in this life? Live free or die?

I can tell you I don’t want to take a vaccine. I no longer think they’re safe and I no longer trust anyone in science or healthcare–neither science or caring for health is what’s going on with those industries today. I don’t want to take it, but I am weak, and although I’m excited to go to heaven someday, I’ve no desire to artificially hasten that time along by stepping into homelessness and starvation. If all this isn’t a mass psychological torture, I don’t know what is. As long as I don’t deny Christ, nothing else matters, right? Is that true? Doesn’t ring true in my heart, not today. How I wish this post could be more hopeful. Can’t the good guys in power who are able to do something see that they are giving the average person no way out? If this isn’t evil, I don’t know what is. Not sure anyone’s coming to save us from this, not even our great president, so, again, ask yourself: How much is freedom worth to you? You may have to seriously decide in the very near future.

This month I’m trying to sit down and reassess a story I wrote about vaccines. A story set in the future. It’s a satire and harsh look on our blind devotion to what we call science. But what we are living through right now is crazier than this story!

Remembering Outbreak

Sadly, I don’t own the movie anymore, but for awhile Outbreak (1995) starring Dustin Hoffmann, Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman, was my favorite disaster movie. Contagion, made in 2011 I thought kind of meh in comparison. Hoffmann’s really not much of a leading man, in my opinion, but I think he shines in the role, especially as it’s not so much a story about a worrisome viral outbreak, as it is a tale about corruption.

I think with the current Coronavirus outbreak going on, we can all see just how many of our politicians use situations like this to gain more power and money, often with little care for their citizens. With their mouths they say they care, but their actions often go against that.

In the film, a deadly virus escapes from Africa in the form of a cute monkey being sold on the black market. The monkey ends up in California, escapes, and subsequently starts infecting the people he comes across. One of the best scenes in the movie, comes with Patrick Dempsey, clearly sick, on an airplane with other passengers. Germaphobes everywhere will have nightmares, as they also will from a movie theater scene where they show how the droplets from coughs and sneezes spread everywhere.

Offhand, I don’t remember how deadly the disease in the movie is, but am pretty sure it is many orders of magnitude higher than the current virus we are dealing with. In Outbreak, panic is truly justified, both from the CDC and from the average person. Despite that, though, the fictional Americans in this movie would hardly recognize the Americans of today. I think they would be baffled at putting the whole country–whole countries–on lockdown for something with symptoms not much different than the yearly flu. For the town that gets put in military lockdown and quarantine, those who are still healthy would be scratching their heads at how quickly we current Americans all acquiesced to a much wider quarantine. These days are strange days, and I wonder if all flu seasons hereafter will be different. If people will now actually stay home when they are sick and if employers will mandate them to do so. Hey, maybe we’ll all get more sick days to use. Maybe, though, it will be a mandated yearly loss of freedom of movement, gathering together, and the like. Many people are worried this will be the end result.

The best thing about the movie is that they find a cure, not a vaccine, which oddly people seem to equate to a cure, but an actual cure. Here we all are being encouraged to wait on a vaccine that will be ready well after we’ve all been exposed, when the virus has multiplied into many different strains, and, well, you get the idea. For many, this seems like a fear psy-op initiated by the media. I tend to agree. The numbers just don’t seem to justify the response, and there’s almost no analyzing of the data: For example for Italy, how many were and are older and already had compromised immune systems and underlying health issues? This matters because these are people who should already be self-quarantining almost all the time, but especially during times of the year when sickness tends to go around. Does it really make sense to restrict the movements of everyone who has a healthy immune system? Our current “science” will tell us it makes sense, just like they tell us the only way to protect these people from other diseases like measles is to vaccinate everyone, no matter any adverse effects of immunization on otherwise healthy people. Another thing I’m curious about from Italy: How many infected and/or dead are actually Chinese workers from Wuhan? I have heard they imported quite a lot of workers from there in the past year or so.

I have been waiting for the numbers of infected to rise, for hospitals to be overwhelmed and the like, because I don’t want this to be a psy-op, I would rather it be real. Awful as it sounds, it’s far more frightening to me if it’s fear pushed on us to get more power. I would much rather deal with a truly deadly virus than a hoax fomented by people salivating to bring the world to its knees. Real or not, the panicked reaction is almost impossible to go against. This is peer pressure at its finest, a real-life Stanford Experiment playing out right in front of us.

At the end of the movie, Dustin Hoffmann saves the quarantined town from getting annihilated off the face of the earth. Thankfully, we are nowhere near calling for the deaths of sick people, yet we are almost callously sentencing quite a few of our fellow citizens–healthy and sick–to very dire straights should we let this forced economic collapse continue. Every year there’s a dangerous disease out there, spread like a cold or flu–sometimes it just is a bad cold or flu. Are we really going to stop our lives every time flu season hits? With something like Ebola that has a very high death rate, to stop everything would be justified, but this… We didn’t do this for Ebola. We didn’t do this for SARS or Zika, or swine flu, or any other outbreak from recent memory.

Whatever the truth is, I know God’s in control, but sometimes I’m not sure what to pray for: An end to disease or that we wake up from this spell we’ve been put under? Probably, it should be both.

For a different perspective on this whole outbreak–I am not the only skeptic–checkout Del Bigtree’s Highwire show and Amazing Polly, both on Youtube. Del, especially, in his most recent show from yesterday goes through quotes from many doctors who also think the freakout just isn’t warranted. Also weird that the freakout continues despite clear forms of treatment showing quick results. If this is a bioweapon, as some claim, it’s not a super effective one, but that wouldn’t be the point, would it? No, if it were a bioweapon, manufactured by the evil people of the world, it’s just enough, just enough to keep that fear going, for the next time. A next time that may never happen, but now will always be a collective fear until it fades and a new fear trends.

This all reminds me of a couple of short stories I wrote considering Totalitarianism. They are below. Happy reading.

A Society of Health (written in 2010)

“Aaachoooiee!!”  Alyssa Taylor sneezed mightily into a tissue from the box on her desk.

“Bless you.”  Raymond Bins, her coworker said as he tapped away on a computer spreadsheet.  “Coming down with something?”

“I think it’s allergies.  Ever since we moved here––”

“Who sneezed?”  Ariana Blight stepped ferociously around the office partition.  She looked a bit like a crow with her tiny, birdlike frame, black sweater and pants.  Her dull gray hair was pulled tightly back into a bun that rested heavily on top of her little, wobbling head.  

Alyssa raised her hand.  “Guilty,”  She smiled sheepishly.  “Sorry, I know my sneezes are so loud.  My daughter always says I sound like a firecracker.”  She drew back into her chair as the older woman stepped up to her, the woman’s beady eyes bright with anticipation.  

“Do you have a cold?”

“It’s…just allergies.”  Alyssa exchanged a glance with Raymond who had stopped typing.  “This building is so full of dust…”  Ariana continued to inspect her, bending low enough to look up her nostrils.  “Is everything all right, Ariana?”

“You have mucus,”  She pointed to the left nostril.  “There.  It appears yellow, not clear.  Blow into this.”  The small woman brought forth a crisp handkerchief from the bowels of her sweater.  Laughing a little, Alyssa obliged.  Raymond rolled his eyes and made crazy signs that the old woman couldn’t see.  It had never been clear to them what exactly Ariana’s job at the company was, but she always seemed to know everything about everyone.  Ariana fearlessly opened the handkerchief and proceeded to inspect the leavings.  “As I thought. Yellow, going on green.  You, Ms. Alyssa Taylor, have the beginnings of a very bad cold, an infection.”

Alyssa shrugged.  “You know, I did feel a bit off yesterday, but I thought it was the weather.  And my allergies get so bad this time of year…”  She trailed off when she saw the glinting triumph in the older woman’s eyes.  “Is there a problem?”

Ariana Blight pulled a small flip-top notebook out of a sweater pocket.  She proceeded to read:  “United States Code, Title Forty-Two, Chapter Two, Section Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Nineteen:  All persons shall take precautions to prevent the spreading of the common cold.  Subsection D, Four:  Any person expectorating or sneezing in a public place shall be examined for infection.  If infection is found, said persons are duty-bound to report to the nearest Health Center and receive treatment.  Upon refusal to do so within one hour of infection report, said person may be subjected to a fine of One Hundred Dollars or up to Thirty days in the local quarantine cell.  Subsection D, Twenty:  Any and all persons failing to comply with this Chapter shall be labeled as a Spreader of Disease and a criminal under this Title Forty-Two.”  

“What?”  Alyssa blinked up at her.  “I don’t…I’ve never heard…”

“They didn’t publish it, you see,”  Ariana whispered softly, leaning over her.  “Only passed it, our wonderful…New Congress.  Now, let’s come along down to the office Health Center, shall we?”  Alyssa sat there blankly.  “Ah, and Raymond…”  The crow-like woman filled out a yellow slip from her pad of paper, ripped it off, and handed it to him.  “The citation number, should you wish to pursue legal action in the near future.  Being around her nine hours out of the day, you are the likeliest to suffer from her…negligence.”  Raymond took the paper and paled at its contents.  “Of course, should you also come down with said infection and fail to address it immediately, you will be issued a citation as well.”

Mottle Knows Best (from 2010)

Mrs. Mottle scurried after her neighbor, Rose.  Rose stopped abruptly on the sidewalk and turned around with a grimace.  “Following me again, Mrs. Mottle?”  She put one hand on her hip.  “Let me guess, block party meeting this evening?”

“We are a social group.”  Mrs. Mottle said, taken aback at Rose’s fierceness.  “We get together and talk about the happenings in the neighborhood.”

“Gossips, the lot of you.”  Rose tapped her heels impatiently.  “I’m due at the office in twenty minutes.  If I arrive late and someone else grabs up the spot, I’m blaming you.”

“Me?”  Mrs. Mottle’s heart fluttered.  “Rose, you are so irritated at me when I’m only trying to help you…for your own good!  They may take you away!”

“What?”  Rose’s eyes narrowed and she stepped forward.  “What did you say?  What have you been telling the block party, Mrs. Mottle?  Only too happy to ‘report,’ aren’t you?”

Mrs. Mottle realized she’d said too much.  “N-no, of course not, dear.  We’re only here to help!  I would never get you…in trouble, but for your own good, it––”

“Then what is it?  What did I do this time?”

“Rose, you must understand that I have your best interests at heart.  This morning,”  She sighed, “Now prepare yourself…this morning your shower was seven minutes.”  Mrs. Mottle looked up hopefully only to find Rose staring down at her open-mouthed.  

Rose crossed her arms.  “And?  I’m waiting for the punch line…”

The younger woman laughed shortly.  “Oh, Rose, why, you’ve forgotten!  The new edict!  Now let me see if I remember it straight, ‘all citizens are responsible for their water use.  To go beyond the recommended five minutes for a shower is shameful and a waste.’ So you see––”

“Oh, shut up!”  Rose pulled her handbag up higher on her shoulder.  “What does it matter if I take a seven-minute shower?  What does it matter if I take a twenty-minute shower? I’m paying for it!  We have entire oceans at our disposal, and, apparently you haven’t noticed because you’ve been too busy spying on people, it has rained cats and dogs every evening for the last eight days!  Oh, and another thing!  You think the Higher-Ups really care about these things?  You think the block party does?  Damn it, Mrs. Mottle!  Can’t you see what they’re doing?”

“Of course, Rose, but Practical Science states––”

“Ha!  As if PS is ever practical!  Or right!  One day eggs are good for you, the next they’re bad!  Why, I saw an article just the other day on the evils of fruit!  Fruit!  You know what it is, don’t you?  They want us to eat only that dog food for humans they keep manufacturing, while the Higher-Ups feed on steak and wine!  Oh, I can’t believe I let you rile me up this early in the morning!  Good day, Mrs.  Mottle!”  Rose tromped off in her heels.

Her neighbor looked sorrowfully after her.  Little did Rose know the danger she was in.  Two more strikes and she would have to be put in rehabilitation…for the common good, of course.  Mrs. Mottle didn’t like her task, but the important thing was that the laws be kept.  Rose was always going off about the “stupid, ridiculous, impractical laws that made real living impossible!”  Mrs.  Mottle didn’t think that was for them to judge.  That was for the Higher-Ups, the people who knew better.  She wasn’t sure at that moment why they did know better, but surely they must, as they were in charge.  She must inform the party of Rose’s seven-minute shower.  The young lady puffed out her chest.  They would talk it through.  They would come up with a solution and show Rose how her thinking was wrong.  It was only a matter of time.  

Life as a Story Addict (part 1)

Ever had the experience of spending half of your day running around town, trying rental place after rental place, or library after bookstore looking for a certain movie or book that you just HAD to see or read now? How about skipping work or school to catch the latest release? How about being so lost in a good book, you don’t hear the doorbell or the pot on the stove boiling over? Stories are addicting, more so for some than others, and it is an addiction I have struggled with my whole life.

Stories are generally how humanity operates. It’s part of our basic operating system as people and how we get from point A to point B. Story telling is involved in cooking and recipes, project planning, package delivery, budgeting, insurance, and so on and so forth. Not only that, though, storytelling is a part our souls, a way we express our thoughts, and a way we relate to the people around and also to our Creator.

There is a big difference, however, between the everyday stories we need to hear and tell, and those that come out of our imagination, the fictions we make up. Modern life is awash in fictional stories to become immersed in, from TV shows to movies to novels to manga, and to even headline news. These days we also have near-instant access to any piece we want to read or show we want to watch, as long as we’re able to pay. For an addict like myself, these stories are too often instant fixes that I have to employ a lot of willpower to resist or I may not be able to pay my bills or put food on my table.

I’ll get to the good stuff later on, but I wanted to contemplate the bad first, or the dark side of story addiction. For a good story, I’ll do a lot. For even the promise of a good story, i.e., the blurb on the back of cover, I will plunk down my hard-earned money to end up all to often being disappointed. Sometimes, and I shudder, it is the opposite, where the story is great and there are five more seasons or twelve more books to go and I am tempted to buy and watch or read all of them in one fell swoop.

Spending money on addiction is child’s play. We’ve all done it, whether it’s on coffee, alcohol, new bags, new clothes, cars, and what have you. It’s a very basic part of an addiction, but it’s not really what makes an addiction so, so awful. The awful part about a story addiction is that one begins to replace one’s real life for a fictional one. Not true! You may say. Maybe not for you, but I have done ridiculous and despicable things all under the sway of a compelling story.

How did this addiction begin? I learned to read early and quickly started tearing through books of dubious moral quality. As I got older, this only increased and was a continual push and pull between and my parents. We like to think that books or movies don’t really affect us that much, but they can affect us in ways we barely understand. Let me explain the spell at work here:

A basic example can easily be found in the news, which is so often exaggerated from any side, political or not, to be considered if not outright fiction, very close to it. The people reading and watching stories from say, the Left side of politics have a world view drawn from what they consume. Same for the Right. It’s one of those “plank in the eye” examples, because everyone on one side just knows that the other side has been somewhat brainwashed in what they believe to be true. And that is often true. What the accusers fail to see, though, is how they themselves are under a similar spell, how they themselves are not thinking for themselves or questioning either. We are all to some degree seeing clothes on an emperor that he’s just not wearing. Some people see purple spandex, some a business suit, but it’s all a spell woven together by the media.

How did and does the spell work for me? As a teenager I not only had my nose in a book constantly, which was bad enough, but got seriously–seriously–addicted to watching movies, where I just had to watch them all the time. Where I would offer to walk on foot the ten blocks to the convenience store to rent a movie I just had to see and that I thought my family just had to see. During an ice storm. By the end of college, I was so enamored with Hollywood, their stories, and the actors, that I often considered what they had to say as people as vitally important. They were authorities to me, and a definite idol in my life. A common view they all shared was negativity and disdain towards God, his son Jesus, and his followers. A constant drum beat that I did not agree with, but nevertheless continued consuming at breakneck speed. I am old enough now that Hollywood’s stories have little hold on me anymore as I have developed a lot more discernment in what I watch. They are once again just stories or movies, but I’m sorry now that I spent so much time watching them and giving so, so much of my money away to those people.

It gets worse. There were times in the past that movies had such a hold on me that I would pick the movie over the people in my life. A good friend traveled from out of town to see me, but when she came to my house, she found out that instead of waiting to see her and catch up with her, I had instead gone to a movie. A stupid movie. And I knew full well she was coming over. Another time I was with friends and felt such a compulsion to see this superhero movie one more time in the theater, that I left the bar we were at, borrowed my friend’s car, went to see the movie all by myself, and then came back later to return the car, and only to return the car. When I say that stories, and in particular, movies cast a spell on me, I’m not kidding. Nowadays it’s easy to see the signs, but still a struggle for me to resist the pull to watch, watch, watch.

An exciting story–not necessarily a good story–can be a drug. Take the Twilight series, for example. It was impossible for me to put that book down, it was that interesting to me to find out what happens next. And it’s a story I barely think about now and will never read again, but while reading it, I just had to keep reading, I couldn’t stop. There were plenty of other things I wanted to do, daresay needed to do, in my life at the time, but I could not stop reading. If you are a reader, you’ve probably read a book at some point that is like playing an arcade game–you just can’t stop turning pages, just like you can’t stop putting more coins into the machine. And while that’s a credit to the storyteller, for the addict replacing their actual life by living in this story, it’s just one more day lost. One more day they could have spent with family or friends, or outside enjoying the weather, or planning for the future. Or even finally getting that story that they wanted to write written. The cool thing is, often with really good quality stories, they actually send you back into reality. You want to take a break from them, to contemplate the themes and concepts and consider how they match up to real life. I’m finding this while reading Crime and Punishment again. I can’t sit and read it all day, though it is great writing and a great story. The Classics are all like this, good stories and writing, but you don’t feel like you’re on crack or something while reading, and there’s a life in them, for lack of a better word, that stories like my own Trolls for Dust or Twilight cannot hold a candle to.

It is my belief that fiction story addiction is actually worse than being a dreamer. Dreamers may have their heads in the clouds half the time, but at least they are dreaming up their own dreams and their own stories. Fiction story addicts are spending their time in someone else’s world, someone else’s viewpoint. And if that someone else is a devil, while you’ve just given him a foothold, a great foothold into your life.

Really, I thought this article would be funnier, but I’ve finding it very sobering. So addicted to a story am I, that I will listen to the worst gossip, the most ridiculous conspiracy theories (you’re thinking of Q, but Q is actually far from ridiculous), and the most blatant liars, just to find out the ending of the story. Met this guy once who had every form of vileness spilling out of his mouth about ninety percent of the time, but he told good stories, and I would sit and listen to him while the people around me blanched from the terrible things he was saying. And all the time I knew that, but I just couldn’t let the story go. I didn’t believe his stories were true, but others may have thought that I did believe them. Nowadays I know to back away if I become so enthralled in another’s story telling that I am listening to things that gouge my conscience.

So, what’s the good side of all of this? The good side, in my opinion, is that story addicts, and in particular fiction story addicts, will listen. They’ll give you a listen, they’ll hear and consider your side. They’ll read your story. It may be all crap, but they will at least give you a chance. Right now I’m reading a story that I like, but the writing, although not terrible, is just not my style. But the story is good, so I’ll continue reading it.

To put this in an even more positive perspective, there are quite often times when the truth really is stranger than fiction, and someone, someone needs to believe you, or at the very least hear you out. That person might very well be a story addict. In an age where a media spell covers the land in lies, it may be story addicts that actually latch onto the truth and share it. But it’s not as if they are thinking outside of the box; no, they are following their story addiction. Like the Kennedy Assassination, for example. Every few years, I just want to read and watch stuff by Jim Garrison, the attorney who investigated the events, and watch movies like Oliver Stone’s JFK and just really wallow in the whole conspiracy. Over the years I’ve read and watched so many different theories about what happened, and the biggest take from it all is simply that the official story must not and cannot be true. That’s kind of as far as a story addict can go. The addiction is about consuming stories, not using them as a benefit for oneself or other people.

Next week I’ll consider more the actual workings of story addiction and some of the ways in which it does spur people to action in a positive way and also how the love of story connects to my faith as a Christian. As pathetic as some of my memories above are, a love of story tempered and put in its proper place can actually be quite a jewel in one’s life, just like an exquisite wine adds flavor to the meals of those not enslaved to alcohol addiction.

Dante, Health, Freedom of Political Speech

A lot of thoughts swirling around my head today. Some of you may have heard of the concept of being “red pilled.” Basically that’s just a quick way of saying a person has heard and/or researched and become to believe that the unofficial, other side, of the story is true. Many, many people are having this experience today in all aspects of life, and, honestly, I’m not sure where it’s going to end. It’s an exciting time to be alive. My thoughts today circle around this idea of waking up to the truth. It’s hard to talk to people about these things, and there’s still a lot of resistance to truly examining things in life: It’s tiring, you don’t know who to believe after awhile, and there’s always a little worry that you’re being fooled…again.

The Dante Chamber. I enjoy Matthew Pearl’s writing, though it is often quite gruesome. Due to gruesomeness, it wasn’t so easy to read his popular The Dante Club, but I got through it, as the murder mystery was interesting, the detectives were well known literary figures of the 1800s, and it was information on Dante Aligheri’s works, specifically his Divine Comedy, in which the poet travels through hell, purgatory, and then paradise. I was unaware just how obsessed some artists and writers are with Dante’s works, maybe not so much today, but in years past. The Dante Club dips a bit into that obsession, but The Dante Chamber really gives one the full concept, and…it’s tedious.

Christina Rossetti is one of my favorite poets, so I was excited to learn that she’s one of the lead detectives in The Dante Chamber. Despite liking her works, though, I really don’t know much about her or her life, just that she was a very religious person. I didn’t know that her father was so obsessed with Dante that it drove him crazy, and that her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, had a similar obsession. That’s where my interest in the story ends, though, because, on a mystery level, The Dante Chamber fails to deliver. Much time is spent in mulling over Dante, his works, obsessions with Dante, etc., but there’s little progress towards actual detective work, even from the very interesting police detective. Christina escaped from the obsession, that’s the key point, and I am glad for her. And although I’m sorry that both Robert Browning and Dante Rossetti lost the women they loved, I don’t really want to read a whole book about them dealing with their grief. I want to read a riveting and insightful murder mystery.

Read The Dante Chamber only if you’re really interested in Dante’s works and the obsession around it. The Dante Club was a lot better, in my opinion, as were Pearl’s other works, The Poe Shadow (my favorite), and The Last Dickens. Pearl is one of my favorite contemporary writers, but some of his stories are interesting, and some just not.

Health. Talk about an aspect of life in which it’s hard to trust! Health and what makes us healthy, from how much sleep we need, to the food we eat, is a topic that will we debated until the end of time. Every body has a different idea or opinion, and that makes sense, because every body is different. My body is not like your body, your body is not like your neighbor’s body, and so on. Red pills on this topic aren’t so much about learning new information as learning information that’s been purposely hidden over time, for various reasons, but many of them, strangely political.

My own red pill journey on this subject started with looking into vaccines. Much of true information on vaccines has been obscured or lost, or more alarmingly, deliberately pushed out of the proverbial town square by corporations with other interests in mind, namely money. Some would say it is vaccines making us so sick these days, along with other toxins in our foods and environment. After looking into people’s objections to the jabs, it has been difficult for me to say they are good for us, or at least as good for us as they are promoted to be. In trying to talk about vaccines with others, I realized quite quickly that many people don’t want to question them and prefer that what they have been told about them is the truth. It was the anger that surprised me the most, and I still don’t know what to make of it. My conclusion is that, generally, looking at the other side of the vaccine debate is something people must do individually. I can’t convince them one way or another. At most, I can point them to where to start if they do have questions and decide to start a journey that can turn one’s way of thinking upside down.

It was only natural that my next interest was looking into diet, and here, the truth, or at least the other side, has found some headway. Due to gluten and diary intolerance, people have become increasingly skeptical of the nutritional guidelines put upon us by the government, the medical industry, and others. After so long of not feeling well, many are trying out alternative medicine and alternative diets, and many of them are having success. Enter the carnivore diet, basically eating only meat and animal products, probably the opposite of the enshrined food pyramid and guidelines, as well as even the opposite of what people have previously done to say, alternatively beat cancer. It’s like a red pill for a red pill, and oh, so fascinating. I have been trying this diet–not full force–and I have felt better, had more energy, etc., but still there’s doubt with it, and ultimately it’s hard to know who or even what studies to trust.

Maybe vegans are right, for example. Or, maybe it’s better to eat everything in moderation? But, what does that even mean? Having equal parts of water, salt, and apples? It’s kind of a meaningless saying when it comes down to it. Eating animals products only, isn’t easy, either, because the goal is to have the best quality of these things, which aren’t often found at the grocery store, but that I hope someday will be. Anyway, it’s truly a brave new world that people like Frank Tufano on Youtube or Nina Teicholz with her The Big Fat Surprise book are opening up. They are only part of this next step in our nutritional awakening. Now, it’s generally agreed on by most that too much sugar is bad for you! That’s amazing, considering it was once promoted as being so much better than red meat or anything with fat in it. We are increasingly becoming skeptical of manmade, cheap food products that we now realized have little nutritional value and are often making us sick. With carbohydrates and/or grains, I’m seeing the same consensus, people are starting to acknowledge we eat too much of these things, and they are not, in fact, very good for us. A few years ago, the Adkins diet was popular, then shamed seemingly out of existence, and now many people are finding health success on little or no-carb diets like the ketogenic diet and the carnivore diet.

Because of the success of these alternatives, for me and others, it is increasingly difficult to trust that especially the medical establishment has the truth. We are now aware of how much money they stand to lose if their pill-based care should flounder, even if they are not yet aware of it. Here and there, the truth, or an least alternative views on healing and nutrition are being suppressed by what we can call Big Pharma, but I think it’s a losing battle for them. The more one tries to stamp something out, the more curious people are likely to be about it. Better would be to get ahead of the trends and present new research on the topics. Recently, there was an article about meat, vaguely indicating that we don’t really know if it’s good or bad for one to eat on a regular basis. While not exactly a white flag on the issue, it’s a warning cry to everyone that things may soon be changing. I don’t think people will be so upset at being lied to in the past as much as they’ll be eager to have the foods that will give them true health. This is where capitalism can be at its best: If the consumer demands high quality foods, even animals foods, unless we have a complete totalitarian government, things will change. We will find the quality foods coming back to the stores eventually. It may take a lot longer, however, for the idea of a pill fix or even vaccine fix to die out.

Still, I have to wonder what the next fad diet will be. Will that diet upturn everything that came before it? Sometimes it seems like nutritional and health red pills will never end. But every body is different, and I think that’s the trick, finding ways that people can really find out what works best for their own bodies. Should we eat for our blood type, for example? Or should we focus on foods grown where we live? There’s so possibilities that sometimes it makes my head spin. The awesome reality is, though, that largely our bodies do have the capabilities to heal themselves of many things, only they need the proper fuel to do so.

Freedom of Political Speech. This is getting long, but I really must continue, because it’s relevant for today. Even as a kid, I vaguely understood that America’s commitment to free speech wasn’t about allowing rude language or pornography. I knew it had a lot to do with politics and government. After watching the likes of Stephan Molyneux, moving on to reading Vox Day, getting clued in to Qanon, and in short order following and reading Neon Revolt, it has become clear to me that free speech is about politics more than anything else. People aren’t going to die on the field of battle in order to use the F word, but plenty might if it means they can question the rulers and authorities over them without, perhaps ironically, a death sentence.

Is free speech actually a myth? Perhaps. I can think of many things that I wouldn’t support freedom in, and I’m sure you can, too. I now think that freedom to speak one’s mind is tied to authority and how that authority behaves. Our first amendment was always about censoring the government’s behavior towards its citizens, but we often forget that. The difference in my view today, is that if we do indeed have the truth, it’s ok to insist on that and speak freely about it. We have as much right to insist on that as do those who would force, say, diversity upon us. It’s a change in thinking after being told for many, many years that the more conservative side of the spectrum must continually tolerate and give way to all manner of degeneracy. This doesn’t mean that the degenerate can’t speak their minds, but it doesn’t mean that we are allowed to say and stick up for the truth. Speaking the truth is vital, more important that trying to be “nice.” Allowing lies to prosper is not at all nice, nor loving. The truth hurts, but can also be the very best news in the world, as believers in Jesus Christ know.

If this sounds all very muddled, I’m sorry. I’m still thinking these things through, and I am by no means a genius. It has been alarming to see how those who proclaim inclusivity allow for everything except the truth, allow every view except the Christian one, and how especially online censorship against the “right” views, if you will, has skyrocketed. The truth will always be persecuted by a fallen world, but I think young people are confused by how quickly the Church as a whole is caving to worldly views and how much the “go along to get along” attitude is entrenched in, say, the Republican party. It has come to light that many of these seemingly “nice” organizations are merely in it for the money. Red pills, disillusionment. These people may not swear or use porn, but they are selling lies, which might be ultimately worse.

Enter, the chans, the wild west boards of the internet. They are places where people flock to talk about things they can’t talk about anywhere else. But at 4chan, and now 8chan, it’s a strange dichotomy, with free political speech in one part, and freedom of mudslinging, vulgarity, pornography, and the like, in other parts. On these boards is where Qanon, anon meaning anonymous, for everyone’s anonymous on the chans, first appeared, laying out question after question, getting people to research the history they thought they already knew. Q was reaching people already disillusioned by the “official story” of things. They saw that, for example, Donald Trump, was speaking truth during his campaign for 2016 and they saw how those elites in authority did their level best to make sure he wouldn’t win the presidency, even going so far as to promote physical violence against his supporters.

Q, whether real or someone playing a role, has hope as the goal. Is Q merely a rallying point for Trump’s supporters and his 2020 run? I don’t know, and I largely don’t care, because he or they, whoever they may be have incited many in the best way: to seek the truth, not just sometimes, but all the time. It is admirable in an age when we’re encouraged to question nothing and rely only on so-called experts and official stories. Now Q is certainly human and has faults, but if he, she, or they is bent on hoodwinking people, they are going about it in the worst possible way, as they continue to tell people to question and to research everything. Q also says to “trust the plan,” but I think few Q followers are putting absolute faith in Q. Mostly, they just want the criminals to be prosecuted and for all their crimes to see the light of day. They see Trump working on that, and those same criminals feverishly trying to stop him and the Q movement.

Because the mainstream media and powers that be have failed miserably at cutting off either Trump or Q, their fight now is focused on stamping out alternative views on the internet. This shows how weak their position is, and they, too, struggle with the freedom of speech aspect. They must be panicking, knowing their movement is rapidly becoming something Robespierre would approve, with little ability to stop it. And so, we have the very odd circumstance of 8chan possibly being set up with programmed characters posting there about shooting certain groups of people and then going and doing just that, all in order to get 8chan shut down. Odd, because manifestos and proclamations like that can be found all over the internet, but only the sites that speak political truth, or, rather, anti-progressive truth, are targeted to be shut down: 8chan, Gab, and the like.

So, 8chan got shut down for a time, and the owner, Jim Watkins, had to testify in front of Congress, and anons have been waiting and waiting for the site to be back online because that’s the only place that Q posts. Not only that, the original founder of 8chan has been trying to shut the whole thing down, using nefarious tactics. “Hot wheels” as he’s called, proclaims a cross in his twitter, but, like many who do that, is acting not befitting to that cross. In contrast, Watkins, who has been doing everything to his site get up and running again, has been singing Christian songs on his Youtube channel. Neon Revolt has the non-mainstream take on all of this, and you can read his article here. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe it.

I don’t what actually to think about all of this, but it’s very entertaining and important today, as 8chan, or now 8kun is supposed to be up and running if not yet, within the hour. Will Q post? All the Q followers are wondering, me included. Not sure where this red pill ride will end, but it’s a lot of fun, even though it’ll make your head spin. For a Christian, all of the questioning and not knowing who to trust, only leads back to one absolute truth: The Almighty God, our Creator, and the good news of His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior from sin, death, and the devil, is the only thing we can truly trust in this dark, messed up world. It is the truth that matters most, and many people are waking up to this, the biggest red pill of all time. We cannot save ourselves, no matter how much we might want to.

Reading This Week

What am I reading this week? Q and Neon Revolt. Flynn, Planned Parenthood, Epstein: It’s all going down as Q says we are now moving things at 10x speed as the Mueller report is out of the way. Interestingly enough, Mueller will testify before the House on the seventeenth. 17=Q. Coincidence? Maybe.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I highly, highly encourage you to read up on Q aka Qanon. The mainstream media dismisses it as a “conspiracy theory.” Oh, those scary words meant to shame anyone looking for the actual truth. Truth is, there are conspiracies, many bad, some good, and it’s better to know about them than not. Q has a lot of followers, many called “anons,” and Neon Revolt is one of those. He’s got a great introduction to Q on his website neonrevolt.com as well as a number of articles detailing the research that comes from what the Q team shares. Q is ultimately about research, the research the MSM will never do as they have given up on anything resembling journalism.

So, why am I reading a lot of Q and Neon this week? Well, Q is back to posting regularly, which is exciting, and the fact that Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested again brings the hope that Q’s vow to bring bad actors to justice might actually become reality. Epstein is the lynchpin, and Neon’s recent article explains why: As if being a pedophile with a creepy island sporting a weird temple isn’t enough, Epstein is likely a spy for a government agency acting in very bad faith. His job is to capture people of power, especially government power, in compromising circumstances, saving video documentation of their bad deeds so these people can be blackmailed, forcing them to act against the best interests of the countries in which they are elected or in which they have power. What government, what country would do this? How exactly did Epstein get all that money? I leave that for you to speculate on. Or you can just read Neon’s article.

If this all does go down and Epstein is looking at actual punishment for his crimes, he will likely sing like bird and start naming names, perhaps all of the names, including the names of his handlers and the country they work for. As for the Planned Parenthood stuff, it’s only a matter of time before they lose their government funding and are raked across the coals. The pendulum of public sentiment is swinging back to children and family being positive states, not burdens, and such a public display of baby killing and selling off their body parts to the highest bidder may soon no longer be tolerated. Interestingly enough, one of the biggest aspects of Trump’s Presidency has been the take down of human and child traffickers all around the world including his executive order allowing the assets of anyone connected with trafficking to be seized. That’s big right there, because trafficking is where the big money comes from, money stolen from tax payers through fraud and lies. Taking down the shady characters who hurt children will be Trump’s legacy. As for General Flynn, many think he’s in on the Q team and was involved or is still involved in a gamble of a sting operation. It’s possible, just like it’s possible that when Q+ posts it’s actually 4, 10, 20, or Donald J. Trump.

Q is fun and interesting, more interesting than most of the other news out there. It seems that by now (Q has been posting since fall of 2017) that if Q was not somehow connected to the White House, that Trump would have said so. For some reason the journalists who are so against him haven’t asked him about it. Are they scared it’s real? Well, the information the anons or researchers have found is certainly real, and that’s the part that really matters, that actual real news and truth be out there for people to find. For once, in for what’s been a very long time, the hold of power that certain groups have on our world is beginning to falter. Many can feel it, and many around the world are starting to question many of the big lies they’ve been fed. As the bad actors lose their power, they will try and force the world into a one world government, globalism instead of nationalism, and like the people who built the Tower of Babel before them, they are doomed to fail. There is only one God, and He made the nations with all of their lovely and strange varieties. It’s interesting isn’t it, that for all the calls for “diversity” today what the powers that be really want is for everyone to be the same, to believe the same things, to think the same things, and to do the same things. These bad actors really think that the differences in the nations run only skin deep. As Q says: These people are stupid.

You can find Q posts at qmap.pub and other sites.

This Is for All the Marbles

This week’s been a bit tiring, so I didn’t get in as much reading and/or watching as I wanted to in order to post a review. After 2+ years I am still reading War & Peace, but I am still reading! It’s a sad story so far, and so…human. People are awful to themselves and to each other, and this causes so much unnecessary conflict and heartache in the world. I am also almost halfway through Silence by Shusaku Endo. The missionary life is so unique no matter what country you’re in. It’s at once so much easier to witness to the truth of Christ, but so much harder. Anyway, more on that when I finish reading it. As for Kdramas: I am almost done with Devilish Joy (odd title) and hope to have a review up soon.

On to some fun stuff, if one considers politics fun: If one is winning, politics can be very, very fun. A few times I have mention Q or Q-anon. If you search for this person/team/phenomenon, you will find many, almost too many articles writing it off as a “conspiracy theory.” The older I get the more I realize that things are lumped into a category of conspiracy theory in order to get the questions to stop. Since the dawn of time those in power have been lying to those not in power, mostly to keep their power, but for various other reasons, and sometimes just because they can. Conspiracy theories actually have a lot of truth at the heart of them, one just has to get past the idea that the government or the media or whoever has been telling the truth this whole time. In many, many instances they have not been telling the truth. Sometimes it’s staggeringly because they don’t know, especially when it comes to truths about the natural world or what we call “science.” I don’t know what science actually is. I know what we’re taught it is, but what it actually is has nothing to do with the truth or seeking it out.

But I digress. Back to Q. Q, who says he/they are “military planning at his finest,” is starting to have a very, very good year. Q has been posting on 4-chan, and now 8-chan since the fall of 2017. The other anons or anonymous posters on the chans have been doing research on the information that Q drops. It’s a lot of info that is often expressed vaguely. This is understandable: Q is supposedly working in conjunction with President Trump to bring bad actors to justice, bad criminals whose only intent is harm to others and enrichment to ourselves. The information relayed has a lot to do with American national security and the security of other nations around the globe. Q isn’t a conspiracy theory at all, it’s one group of, probably military, people cryptically bringing information to light to those whom the media has failed (that would be all of us). It’s also a great way to reach people who would rarely watch the evening news even if it was truthful. Researching things for oneself can be very rewarding and eye opening. It can also be a joy to share the info one has found. Q is really training a whole lotta of people to be real journalists in pursuit of the truth.

I’ve been following Q since last summer. I’d heard about it from a controversial writer named Vox Day. He would mention in passing about something “Q” had posted and I always thought that it must be just some political insider. Eventually something sparked me to looking further into Q, but I can’t recall what. I think I thought that if someone as smart as Vox was following this person, maybe I should too. It was amazing to find out what a huge following Q has and that it was actually a plan to subvert the lying, mockingbird media. Since following Q posts, drops, and the anons, some not so anonymous, who decode them, my view of the world has been, well, turned upside down. Not so much in the sense that evil is always trying to dominate (aka the cabal behind the scenes), but that those on the side of good are fighting back in a spy vs. spy alternate reality that rivals any movie. I don’t know for sure if the Q team’s (essentially President Trump’s plan?) to save the world from criminality run rampant will ultimately succeed, but it appears that it just might. At least for a time. We can’t expect to keep evil in check permanently. Only God can do that.

Q has long indicated that President Trump will be using the Army Corp of Engineers (clues being Red Castle/Green Castle) to build the wall. This week it appears as if that will indeed be happening, although the president was careful to have exhausted every other effort first. Optics are important. Q has also long been saying that criminals like the Clintons will be brought to justice and that they can’t escape the pain that is coming. Q has said that the fake “Russia, Russia, Russia” investigation into Trump will soon be ending. As if on cue (Q?) the mockingbird media has begun squawking about not being disappointed if Mueller’s investigation doesn’t reveal collusion like they’d hoped. The media is setting the stage so they won’t look either stupid or like liars once all of the information about the true, treasonous collusion against the American people and their duly elected president, Donald J. Trump, comes to light. Q is being proved right faster and faster and it is clear, if one truly looks around, that thousands of people who were in power a couple of years ago are not now. They have either been arrested, fired, or stepped down from their positions. It is mostly the new, alternative media that has been reporting on these things, especially the staggering amount of human trafficking and pedophile rings that have been busted worldwide since Trump took office. Check that. It’s probably been since he started campaigning.

Why are Q and Trump succeeding? They know how to play the long game and they are playing for all the marbles. They are not in this halfway; they are all in because their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of their fellow countrymen depend on this plan working. This wasn’t just another four year election. This was about bringing back power truly to the people. By the grace of God, their plan is working, and both Q and Trump do acknowledge God, asking us to pray, pray, pray! There’s a Christian saying: Pray as if everything depends on God, and then act as if everything depends on you. This is exactly what Q and President Trump appear to be doing. And if they ultimately succeed, so do we, the American people, and also the nations of the world. It is an amazing time to be alive. This, this takedown of criminal power, is WW3 happening right before our eyes. Pray for good to win, and keep an eye on Q to find out what the media’s not telling you. Q drops are posted on various sites like qmap.pub

Agatha Christie and Qanon

Agatha Christie is one of my go-to authors. Her mysteries are often second to none and great adventures to boot, as her characters often travel to exotic places. Most of her stories can be read in one sitting, and most are more than mysteries: they give us her insights into human nature as well as quiet, no frills love stories.

That being said, she has a few misses, at least in my opinion. I don’t care for her Harley Quin stories and some of her stories that are political spy thrillers. However The Man in the Brown Suit is my absolute favorite by her, and as I’m going to read that again soon, I’ll be sure to do a review later on. This week I read Passenger to Frankfurt and though I enjoy politics and spies, I found this story tedious and difficult to follow.

When this happens with an author I like, I often try to finish the book anyway and find something to enjoy about it. Strangely enough, the violent, anarchic world revolution happening in the book has similarities to the violence and anarchy happening in our world today. Christie refers to certain people of wealth being behind violent youth movements that think they are going to change the world, but really are only puppets for those with power who want more of it.

This has a lot to do with what the elusive Q or Qanon shares with followers on the 8-Chan boards. If you don’t know about Q, I highly recommend at least brushing up on it, as for good or bad, this Qanon is influencing a lot of people. We are all hoping the Q team is on the side of good and he/they appear to be working in conjunction with President Trump in order to get information out by bypassing the media. Q posts questions, phrases, codes, essentially, and asks anons (the anonymous users of 8-chan) to research people and their connections to power, trafficking, crime, and the like.

Despite the Q phenomenon being painted like a cult, the point of it seems largely to get people to think for themselves, to do their own research, and really to realize how much they are lied to and how much is purposefully kept hidden from them by the media. It is also has been a great boost for Trump and MAGA supporters, especially those who find following politics via legal moves and C-Span rather tedious and boring. Researching death and sex cults will always be more interesting. In recent weeks, some Q followers have gotten frustrated that there’s been no fantastic arrests of all the evildoers yet or that we aren’t fighting a physical war yet, or something. People are bored again, because politics, research, and the like, it’s not glamorous or exciting. It’s tedious, dogged work, and one often has to take the longer route when the shorter would be far more exciting.

In consequence the Q team, too, seems a bit down. No one’s seeing the amazing things that have already happened–the true exchanges of power happening in the USA and the world–and are only focusing on what hasn’t happened yet, and frankly, what may never happen. The “wheels of justice are slow,” Q says, and they understand the followers’ frustration.

So how does this connect with Passenger to Frankfurt and Agatha Christie? Well, the story is essentially about a group of people, spies, trying to stop a violent world movement. It is the same thing, old rich people stirring up the young. The young think they are fighting for good and that their violent overthrowing of everything will eventually bring about some kind of utopia. We have seen this in countless revolutions throughout the ages, but it is only the rich and powerful who win in these movements, for they are safe from the violence and get away with instigating crimes while the young get batoned, tear gassed, and arrested. And the utopia never comes, because it’s all about more power or new power for certain people.

At one point in the story, someone draws a diagram showing how so many things are connected or controlled by the same rich people, the same 13 families or Illuminati of conspiracy yore: finance, armament, art, the drug trade, the sex trade, slavery etc. Q research has shown many that the same groups of people (think George Soros) are pulling the strings behind, well, almost everything. It’s unsettling to find that certain people have so much power. Who do they think they are? That’s the question. Do they think they are gods or what?

Christie envisions one such person as a very old, fat woman who has every indulgence and only surrounds herself with beautiful young people all eager for the revolution. This revolution is connected largely to Hitler of WW2 fame, and its hinted that these people are yet again trying to create a “pure” human race using a supposed descendant of Adolf. Today, where anyone who doesn’t agree with anyone else is labeled as a “Nazi” or the next “Hitler,” placing him on a pedestal as the ultimate evil yet again is, well, tedious. Hitler wasn’t the first to start this kind of thing or try to rule the world, and he wasn’t even the most successful. Yet, Christie uses him, because he’s an easily identifiable evil, or was, to most people in 1970.

I saw this revolution stuff, too, in my college years. I graduated in 2000 and I can tell you my classmates were as much in love with Mao and Che Guevara as students probably are today. No eyes were batted at these people being violent mass murderers; it was enough they were not American, or against America, or against being just boring vanilla or something. That was the thing, then, and probably still is today. The young are taught that being peaceful and having a happy family, that these things are all lies of some kind because of course some families and some people are unhappy, so therefore it’s wrong for anyone else to be happy or normal or something. We see this in the LGBTQ movement, where the normal romantic loves between a man and woman are pushed aside in pursuit of being unique or troubled in some way. Why is youth so tempted by this stuff? It’s first of all a desire to fit in with one’s peers, the exact opposite of what’s professed, and also the wanting to do something special. And it is a desire for a world with no bad outcomes, no bad choices, and no bad consequences. (But it’s a lie, and as a result so many of these young people commit suicide because they know it’s a lie and they’re just waiting for someone to chastise them with the truth and no one does. It’s like seeing a brother hit his sister and the child knows he’s doing wrong, but the parents always say it’s good, what he’s doing is good. Nothing wrong, no wrong choices, and after awhile the child can’t take it anymore because he knows it’s wrong what he’s doing. It’s written on his heart. It’s written on all of our hearts.)

The trouble with the “heaven on earth” idea is that we are all humans who have only lived on earth. We don’t know what heaven is, not really, and if we are marching to another’s drum, we are trying to implement their version of a heaven, not actually Heaven. Human nature also can’t be controlled completely by other humans, and if it can, the loss of freedom would be great. We’ll stab you in the back as much as we’ll love you, and so utopian movements fail as people start to grab power only for themselves or lose faith in the movement.

Near the end of the story, Christie brings up this Benvo project or benevolence project, basically a scientific experiment to make people stop being violent and desire only other people’s good. Normal benevolence is a great thing, this would be a nightmare. By this point in the story, I honestly wasn’t sure if these people were the good guys or the bad guys at this point. They wanted to stop the violent movements by drugging people into being good, no, not being good, making them have no desires but to please others. Ella Enchanted, anyone? It would be the worst kind of slavery! Basically, the conclusion is that people who want to rule the world for whatever reason are ultimately not be trusted. They come to see themselves as gods and other people as ants. Like Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment, they think of themselves all as great Napoleons, too smart to be chained by any laws whatsoever. And they will eagerly commit murder or lobotomies for the sake of their future “heaven on earth.”

What does that have to do with Q? Well, we want to believe the Q team is the good guys, and I do hope they are, but the reality is that they may be, too, envisioning a world that can only succeed with careful control over everyone and everything. If the “swamp” is drained, if all corruption stamped out, and all the criminals brought to justice, even then, even then, new people will be waiting at the gates to seize power. The peace and prosperity will only be until the corruption and revolutions start again. Q says to “trust the plan” and says the followers are watching things unfold almost like a movie. It’s mostly good and it’s mostly exciting, but the truth is that it’s not a movie, it’s real life. And the truth is, all the new information people have unearthed can be just as useless as it can be useful. The strides made are largely political moves that bore the young to tears. Talk about FISA and people’s eyes glaze over (as one example).

This is not to dampen the efforts of Q, Trump, or MAGA, but this all is about exchanging the old guard of power into a new guard, hopefully better than the last, but still never quite the “power for the people” that’s always promised. We can have anarchy or we can have rulers, and anarchy only leads to stricter rulers. Peace, prosperity, freedom. These are the goals, and can only be reached for the average person by having a good strong man in power, and good, strong men are rare, rarer still if they don’t get corrupted by being in power.

The real good in the world is found in everyday life, in normalcy, in living in the truth. And so Christie’s book ends with the promise of a wedding, the man has gotten his girl, their naughty little bridesmaid says her prayers and seems back on the straight and narrow, and the world is whole again, for a time. As a Christian I know without God, we are nothing, that a world without Him would be hell. Still, it’s tempting to look to other people, like Trump, as someone who can save us from ourselves, but he’s not a savior, he’s breaking the media’s hold on us, and that’s no small thing. He’s showing us how hollow the promises of our congressmen are, and that’s no small thing. He’s showing us that good has to be fought for, and that’s a big thing, perhaps the biggest thing. We can’t have utopia, but we may be able to live in peace for a time, and this may mean embracing nationalism and discarding the globalism that is only putting the poorest of us in stricter chains.

The world is bad enough already, Q says, but there are those rich and powerful who are only fostering more hurt, manufacturing more war, and they should be relieved of their power for the sake of everyone. The Clinton’s should be in jail, shouldn’t they? It’s best to think of things in those terms, I think: Crimes and punishments for them. It does no good to dream on about utopias, Libertarian or otherwise. There may be no mass arrests or martial law, but why would we want either, really? It’s enough if there’s one significant arrest and we avoid martial law and the good strong man becoming the bad strong man. It’s good enough if we avoid being experimented on and made to love being good or love the state, like in 1984. Even God doesn’t force us to be good, even God doesn’t force us to believe in Him.

Sigh. One tries to be an insightful writer, telling truths no one else seems to get or something, but it’s all like a lecture and tedious and I got sort of bored writing it all out, just as I got bored with whatever dear Agatha was trying to say in her story. The truly profound is elusive. Politics are politics. Power is power. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Passenger to Frankfurt like Qanon, is only remarkable because today we have been so very, very steeped in lies. In a climate where the truth is mostly apparent, i.e. common sense, these kinds of stories and devices wouldn’t be needed. But humans tend to lie and be illogical, so we’ll see these stories pop up time and again to remind us we are being manipulated. We are being manipulated, but aside from knowing the truth, there’s not much the average person can do. That’s the lesson. At most one can share the truth with other people. As a Christian, this makes sense to me, for Christianity is much the same: Here is the way things are. Here is Jesus, the way to salvation. You can believe in Him or not. That’s about it. But that’s everything! Because believing in Jesus gives us the confidence to go out and do good and have that power of positive thinking that Trump was raised on. So in Christ’s name, we can have the grand plans, the grand stories, and also the everyday ones. We can have all the cake and eat it too, but that Heaven will not be on this broken earth.

Ok, there I go again. One tries to say something wise and it just ends up sounding like a lecture. Anyway, Passenger to Frankfurt strangely connects with the Q movement, if only in the sense that it tries to pull back the curtain, so show the people pulling the strings. Things are more interconnected than we’d like to believe. People have a staggering amount of power and wealth and hide it well. These are things to be aware of. Conspiracy theories should be researched, not scoffed at. Great wrongs are often righted in the world behind the scenes, sometimes with spies and crazy plans and people who will forever have to be anonymous. They are not important, but what they are doing is.