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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Writing, Riots ... oh my!

My goal for this week is to write 21,000 words and I am starting off with a bang. I have actually been able to write with everything going on in the world and it hasn't been this exciting in awhile. The news is having a virtual orgasm on all the carnage and bloodshed which is going on at the moment: soldiers killed in Afghanistan, the S&P downgrade of U.S. credit worthiness (AA+ isn't that bad... rather have our AA+ and relative peace than Britain's AAA... look what happens when austerity measures are imposed too severely), the world stock market exchanges going schizo on us, Italy and Spain on the verge of default and now the riots in the UK which started in London but have also filtered to other cities (including reports of riots in Bristol, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Liverpool). The lack of police control and government leadership can't be expressed clearly enough but 25% of the police budget had to be cut and up to 40,000 police officers had to be laid off!*

My blog is usually not political. I am a progressive: there I said it. I don't necessarily think ultra conservative but I am not a tree loving, peace-for-all liberal hippie either. I have lived long enough in the world to weigh the pros and cons of both sides of the coin. Extreme liberalism brought us communism (Karl Marx had some great ideas but what resulted was a bad experiment gone wrong) and extreme conservatism brought us fascism and capitalism (they might not seem so similar but believe me, they are . . . just one brings race/ethnicity into the mix while the other believes in the survival of the fittest as long as you were fit to begin with).

My point is that neither is fair and neither is sustainable. We've witnessed the fall of communism and looks like we'll be witnessing the fall of extreme capitalism too. We are re-living the 20s all over again but most of us just don't know it. All the wealth is centered at the top of the sphere and none at the middle or the bottom. Western countries seem to be cutting salaries and making people work for less and less money to compete with China, India and all the other emerging nations and the world as we have known it seems to be no more.

So, what does this have to do with my book? Well, for one, it takes place in 2020 and the perfect storm we are witnessing has brought about some havoc in the world by then. If you think this is bad, you haven't seen anything yet. Now you are wondering if my book takes place in some sort of apocalyptic nightmare (relax, people, it doesn't). Everything is the same as it is now . . . just a bit different. "If you want the world to stay the same, everything must change". That's all you need to know and that's the only cryptic message I will give you.

It's not so hard to see where the world is going if you know what to look for and I was born and raised in a political household so I always know how to find the clues. Is it a weakness of mine if I admit I am a tad bit frightened and can understand why my sister chose not to have children although I have two? Perhaps she is the one who is the bravest of us two. I admit, I want progeny here to see what happens once I'm gone but they might not want their progeny to witness the destruction and thus, our family line might still end, just a generation later than it should have.

All I can say is it's tough being human; we can wish to be born in a better time but what time was better than now? Really, when you think about it? The idyllic 50s (oh that would have been during the years when my grandfather was chased off his land in Mississippi by the KKK and the reason why my sister and I were born in California instead of the southern part of the United States); the 20s (oh wow, until you realized half the world was in recession, Germany was a mess from World War I and would drag the world into yet another battle and a greater war which would be World War II). There is no better time but the time we are given on this earth and all we can do is make the most with what we have.

I know this post is all over the place but really, when it all comes down to the nitty gritty, all I can really say is that we are blessed to be alive. Love your family and cherish your friends. We are all in this together. We have all been thrown onto this small planet in this small galaxy and we must live here. Why do some of us feel the need to destroy? There is a flip side of course. From destruction comes creation. It's happened many, many times in the history of our planet. I'm sorry to get so sentimental but I have to take a page out of a speech given by a man who was beaten by four police officers in Semi Valley which caused riots in the state of California and the city of Los Angeles, April 29, 1992. Rodney King sobbed at a press conference: "Can't we all just get along?"

How poetic he was and the question begs to be asked: why can't we all just get along? Of course I know the answer: human beings are built for conflict, warfare and aggression. It's in our very nature and at the heart of all civilizations. We weren't meant to be peace-loving humanists (but we try). Which of course brings up another saying, "To secure peace is to prepare for war".

Now, that's more like it.

Or what about Josef Stalin, didn't he have a lovely saying? Oh yes, "The death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions is just a statistic." Rest in peace, Mark Duggan . . . look how much destruction and havoc your death has wreaked upon the UK.


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