note: if you don't care for Kindle, my books are available in PDF. If you order three or more at a time I'll waive the $1 CD fee ( it is just homemade, not professional-the point is to deliver the books to you, not to look pretty doing so ). The order info is at the end of each article every day. I'm including this note on waiving the fee which won't be posted at my contact info until starting next week. I pre-post a weeks worth of articles and I feel no need to manually change them for this new info, mostly because I doubt many of you will buy through a CD. It is really just a courtesy to my Kindle hating readers ( hey, I understand, they suck at reading PDF even if you install the computer software and avoid the equipment cost ).
I’ve never been all that impressed with Amazon Prime insofar as the free TV shows and movies. If I used it for its other features than the added bonus of the TV would be sweet, but I don’t so it isn’t. Compared to Netflix it is sad and pathetic. After watching “Soprano’s” we don’t really use it but perhaps once or twice a week for a movie that is decent ( I‘m waiting to watch the “Man In The High Castle“ series, there are simply too many better ones on Netflix such as our current ones “Mad Men“ and “Shameless“ ). I’ve tried a lot of other movies that were NOT all that decent, one of which was “Monsters And Mazes”. I tried to like it since I used to be a D&D nerd and who doesn’t like Tom Hanks, but the thing was so atrociously foul I couldn’t get past fifteen minutes. Hey, I LOVE cheesy ‘80’s movies. “Toxic Avenger” ( another good one on Amazon ) and the Stephen King low budget early book-based. American Ninja, RoboCop’s. But low budget and cheesy is not the same as poorly made and Monsters was just poorly made.
But it got me interested in the movie itself and its history I lived through. I don’t know how much is common knowledge and how much is just interesting to role playing geeks such as myself, but the book “Monsters and Mazes” was a quick hack job by a once popular author to sensationalize a “true life mystery” where a D&D player disappeared, supposedly mentally disturbed by his need to escape from the real world. It all seemed rather silly, as D&D was of course escapism indeed and a lot of its most rabid fans were the complete social rejects and outcasts that needed to avoid the real world ( I was one, but luckily joined the military and joined society, once socialized quickly realizing the limitations of the game I had once lived and breathed-not that I came to dislike role playing, just the fantasy element ). And the whole “religious nut jobs who thought the game was Satanism” thing was simple overreaction by a bunch of hypocrites. Your pantheon is more valid than other cultures, why? Why is your God “real” but all the other depicted in the game not? How are deities worshiped BEFORE Christ now an instrument of the devil? We dweebs and dorks had many a question of our detractors, but of course they were not interested in a dialog. They merely wished to smear an unapproved industry from their bully pulpits.
I think that early exposure to irrationality and the further gentle nagging from my mother to embrace the Baptists my stepfather belonged to ( she was a non-practicing Papist prior ) really got my teeth itching at an early age about religion. And while I’ll always be grateful to the Catholics for a first rate middle school education, their block of instruction included enough religion that I was set for life on the afterlife, as it were. I respect other peoples need for a higher purpose but I don’t share in it. But I also think I witnessed the end of religion in America and didn’t even realize it at the time ( as a guiding moral and cultural force, not as a hobby most engaged in, if you’ll excuse that sounding like frivolity ). Reagan and his cavalier use of the nuclear threat guided by his belief in the End Times and the fundamentalist Christians at the time seemingly more popular than ever, TV evangelicals along with the seemingly mainstream rejection of The Devil’s Game aforementioned, all turned out to be the apex of religious influence as a principle cultural and political force.
If you’ll remember the early ‘90’s, religion was suddenly backhanded by the Klinton Klan when a separatist ( NOT a supremist, a far uglier animal, but the words sounded close enough for the public educated. Just like niggardly, a word that should be closer in definition to Jews than Blacks ) was ambushed and sniped and then a church building full of children was set aflame. Now, I’m not against law enforcement and order. I’m not crazy enough to think I’d still be alive otherwise if the institution wasn’t present ( you can be all concealed carry ninja that you want, but the reason you’ll fight so many fewer criminals is due to the general presence and threat of LEO’s. They aren’t there to suppress crime as it occurs, they are there to discourage more people from becoming criminals ). But I can also see a False Flag Attack when it happens, unlike so many patriotic lemmings. And the fact that there was so much less of an outcry than there should have been ( you get impeached for lying about a blowjob but not for killing kids? How humped up is that? ) tells me that religion by that point was politically powerless. Not that you’d expect the “respectable” churches to stick up for the fringe ones, they can be very unchristian-like when it comes to competition. Whenever there is a hint of polygamy, every established religion out there joins forces to try to electrocute the guilty.
But that is the thing. They still reserve the same amount of moral superiority and On High judgment for those they don’t care for, but now they have no sway in matters political. I think that is what Ruby Ridge, Waco and the Dravidians symbolized. The demise of religious power. Government has attacked religious cults before, as in when the early Mormons were slaughtered in Indiana/Illinois, one of the I states, and decided to found a nation where they alone could be the intolerant ones. That attack was either led or at least sanctioned by the authorities. But the early ’90’s seemed to have a feeling of finality about it. As in, that was the last attack we needed to conduct. You can certainly agree that since then the larger culture in general has had less religious influence. Hedonism has been gaining ground since the end of WWII ( as how else to fuel consumerism? ) but there had always been an element of push/pull with religiously motivated restraint. That is gone, again, culturally ( more individuals might be religious but they hold no sway outside their small powerless tribe ). Continued and concluded tomorrow.
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