Let’s Answer 33 Questions White People (of BuzzFeed) Have for White People

How did I not see this?!  I am in love with BuzzFeed Yellow.  Doing responses to these videos is among the most fun I get to have.  This channel is basically taking the worst stereotypes about white people and having questions gears toward making those stereotypes defensive.  This channel is aptly named, as it is as yellow as “journalism” (or as close as BuzzFeed will ever get) gets without going over the edge.  Now we have one where we have some white people asking the white people stereotypes that BuzzFeed has some questions.  Let’s get some popcorn and break this sucker down!  Here’s a link to the original video, so you can’t say I’m taking things out of context.  Let’s do this.

Why do you assume only other races like fried chicken?

I don’t.  I happen to enjoy it quite much.  As do you, based on what you say after that dumb questions.  But there are lots of people in the black community who like it too.  Something that they have no problem joking about.  Watch Chappelle Show or The Boondocks sometime.  You might learn something.

Why do we make it so we only have pumpkin in the fall?

At least we start off with some mildly-amusing stereotypes about white people.  I can honestly dig this.  It’s still dumb, but it’s fun.  To answer your question – because it’s a fall thing.  It’s a harvest thing.  Blame Mother Nature for that.

Why can’t most white people dance?  Like, is it genetic or something?  Do we have stiff knees?

Fuck if I know.  The only white person I think of when it comes to dancing is a former buddy of mine from college who is a giant teddy bear and used being able to dance to assist in his absolute drowning in pussy.  Not even kidding, this guy who has all the qualities that should get a dude friendzoned into oblivion is able to avoid it and get into all the pants he wants.  It’s weird.

Why do you get so annoyed when other people don’t speak English?

I don’t.  Though, if I am trying to do business with someone and English isn’t their first language, that can be difficult.  However, I have had tons of jobs in customer service, so I realize that sometimes you have to be very patient with people.  I’m better at that than most.  Got this racist uncle who is among those whose better angels do not appear.

Why do we get so excited to brag on Instagram that we went to this really cool authentic cultural festival even though we went with all of our white friends?

Groj forbid that white people should want to go and be at an event where we can learn about other cultures.  How awful!  Because if we go and learn something about another group of people, that could only help us grow as individuals (situation).  Can’t have that.

Why do white people spray-tan until they turn orange?

I have no idea…

Why can’t you be comfortable in your own body?

The thing is, this criticism can be applied to any group.  This isn’t a race thing.  It’s an individual (situation) thing.  People get self-conscious.  People want to change how they look.  It’s the way people do.  What’s the problem with that?

Why do you think because you’ve seen five seasons of The Wire, you’re a cultural expert?

I don’t think that at all.  Why do you think because you have these interactions that you never really have with white people and BuzzFeed tells you are true, that this is endemic within all white people?

Why do you believe everything you see on TV when it comes to other races?

I don’t.  Assume, much?

Why do we get so upset when a show becomes “diverse” even though “diverse” usually means just two or three people of color?

I could give two shits about how many “people of color” (this term needs to go.  It’s an “of” and an “ed” away from “colored people”) there are in a show.  So long as it’s good, I couldn’t possibly care less what the ethnicities of characters are.

Why do you assume that movies with white stars are more relatable than movies with people of color?

The films tied at the top spot on my top 20 favorite films list are Japanese films.  There’s that.  I want good characters.  If a character is good, their ethnicity literally means nothing to me.  My favorite anti-hero is Omar Little.  Here’s one for you – why do you think that the Asian markets that Hollywood wants to appeal to want to see white people in action movies more than “people of color?” (how is this term not seen as racist?)

Why is Viola Davis the first black woman to win an Emmy for Best Actress?

Man, I’m the wrong guy to ask.  I don’t even pay attention to that aware show nonsense.  I see it the way Ice Cube does – it’s just a statue.  You don’t do movies for that.  You do it for love of the craft.

Why aren’t we complaining that the Oscars and other award shows are all white?

Here’s a link to a video where someone debunks this point pretty handily.  Watch it.

Why don’t we know the difference between appropriation and appreciation?

Because the moment you hipster losers see anyone doing anything even vaguely able to be construed as the former, you will get all over that?  Do you know the difference?

Why can’t we figure out how to make our own pop culture?  Our own slang?  Our own cool clothes, instead of stealing other people’s cool clothes?

Citation on that last one, please.  I guess you have never seen Abercrombie and Fitch.  Or any of those overpriced brand-name labels.  But the way I see it, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  it’s the reason that I have no problem seeing cute little Asian girls fronting death metal bands.  You also have this weird idea about white people and our “own pop culture.”  Did you know that there are cultures of white people that aren’t American?  There’s British, German, French, Swedish, Russian.  All of those different groups have different cultural identities.  I had a friend who went around Europe recently, and she said that the culture shock was pretty significant because of how different things are.  Like how tipping is viewed as an insult or the nature of toilets there.  Fatty Americans aren’t made for Europe.

Why are white people obsessed with Wes Anderson?

So far as I know, his movies have never had mainstream appeal.  I’m rather interested in them because I like his movies..  He makes quality stuff and it’s nice to see comedy movies be made that aren’t the typical American shit like the stuff that Paul Feig makes is.  No disrespect, Edgar Wright.  You’re amazing.

Why would you ever say “thug life?”

I don’t.  But meme culture isn’t just a white person thing, dumb-dumb.  Racist, much?

What do you have against seasoning and spicyness?

Nothing.  Not a huge fan of hot, but delicious spice can be fun.  Your assumptions are amusing.

Why are casseroles our thing?

They are?  Since when?

Why do you try and avoid confrontation at all costs?

I don’t go looking for it, but I honestly prefer when people who have an issue with me bring it to my attention.  I’m pretty good at finding a resolution with those that I like.  White people in general tend to be more passive.  No idea why.  I’m sure there’s a science-y answer to it.

Why is it crazy that I’m white and I have a big butt?

There’s some hyperbole.  It’s not crazy, but it is abnormal.  White people tend not to.

Why is it such a big deal when somebody doesn’t want to hike?

Where did this question come from?

Why do you keep talking about reverse racism?

I don’t.  You do.  I see it as not a real thing.  It’s just racism.  SJWs are the ones who coined this term.

Why are you too afraid to speak up when somebody says something racist?

I’m assuming that you only mean that in connection to white people.  I speak up all the time when I see racist things, like some of the rhetoric from the more dead-cops inclined members of Black Lives Matter.  Or the rhetoric of the likes of Uhuru.  But I guess that doesn’t count, because they aren’t white.  It’s only bad when white people do it.  Racist, much?

Why do we think that having one friend of color (I can’t be the only person who sees how bad this term is!) means that nothing we say can be racist?

Anyone who makes that argument is dumb.  I argue that I’m not a racist because I don’t look down on people because of their race.  Well, I hate all people, but not because of race.  I just hate humanity.  It’s called misanthropy.

Why does being half-white only make my commentary on white culture a half-truth?

Um…what?  I…I don’t get it.  Who says this?  Who has ever said this?  At any point in time?

Why do you believe that Black Lives Matter means that your life doesn’t matter?

When you look at some of the rhetoric that its members spew, like the lady who said that it would just tickle her pink if the baby of the white couple died, it becomes pretty clear that there are plenty of people associated with that movement who are just using it a vehicle to promote their bigoted ideas.

Why do you get offended when you see a table full of black people, but not a lunchroom full of white people?

This question is so unrealistic to anything I have ever thought that I honestly have no response.

Why do you ask to have a “white people club?”

I don’t.  When has this ever happened?  Citatiion, please.

Why do you see the success of people of color as a threat to you?

I don’t.  Worked with this cute little half-black, half-asian girl.  She’s gone on to be very successful after college.  Happy for her.  She was a nice sort.  Made working at the job much better.

You know that a two-minute video about whiteness isn’t reverse racism, right?

True.  There’s no such thing.  There’s just racism.  Though you all have some pretty racist ideas about white people.  Just putting that out there.

Why are we upset about immigrant, even though we are immigrants?

Who is this we that you’re talking to?  I don’t give two shits.

Well, that was some fun low-hanging fruit.  This page is enjoyable.  Been busy posting today.

Until next time, a quote,

“We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people.  And, you know, if the industry gives you a trophy or not, pats you on the back or not, it’s nice and all, but it’s not something you should dwell on.” – Ice Cube

Peace out,

Maverick

This Needs to Stop, Dude (A response to Steve Shives)

I’ve talked about this guy in the past, and I was thinking that that would end there, but I honestly wanted to make this post responding to his latest video where he basically does everything but name names in an effort to express how angry and butthurt he is about how little he is regarded in the community that he believed he would have a prominent place in.  Where once he was liked and respected by the atheist YouTube community, now he is a laughingstock and is destroying his channel one video at a time.  After years of getting more and more upset, I guess the pressure got to him and he couldn’t take it anymore.  In what will be his magnum opus of butthurt anger, we have Steve Shives talking about “5 Toxic Things About YouTube Atheism.”  Let the salt flow…

This was painful.  But not just painful.  It was also just sad to watch.  It’s been made abundantly clear with this video that Shives is not bothered on some professional level or just a little confused or anything that could approach objectivity.  He’s angry.  He’s so angry.  All over this video is rage at the people who have finally taken off the gloves with him and destroyed him quite thoroughly.  Now that his channel is hemorrhaging subs, it’s clear that his time in any kind of spotlight is about to end.  And given how personal it has all been made, it’s pretty clear that he’s angry beyond a point that’s healthy.  Let’s list his points that he makes and go through ow each is bullshit.

It has a sexism problem

No, Steve.  It has a feminism problem.  A mistake that you make throughout this entire video is that you equate attacking feminism with attacking women.  Those things are not connected.  When people in the YouTube atheist sphere attack videos made by feminists, they are attacking the points that they make.  These aren’t people coming on video and saying, “Fuck you, you stupid cunts!  You should go back to the kitchen!”  While The Drunken Peasants Podcast is a humorous show, they do talk about the videos that they’re watching and the content within them.  TJ, Thunderf00t, The Armoured Skeptic (it’s so clear who he’s talking about.  He’s doing everything but naming names) have all made videos attacking the ideas of content creators that they don’t like, but it’s just that – the ideas that they espouse.  While some of them are indeed bad people, such as that black chick who hates all white people because we’re all terrible in her eyes or the con artist Anita Sarkeesian, we talk about the things they have to say.  That’s the point.  Steve is equating what everyone says with a grand statement about women and a hatred of them.

It’s telling that he never uses evidence.  Like video clips, for example?  That would be a good place to start.  Show some video evidence of all these people that you hate (because they are more liked and successful than you) hating women.  Could it be that you can’t?  Could it be that your attempts to do so would lead people to maybe seeing through your narrative?  There’s a reason that TJ and all the rest use video clips to prove their points.  That way people can’t say they are taking things out of context.  Funny how you can’t do the same.

It also has a racism problem

The level of transparency about who he is talking about is unbelievable.  I just wish he would come out and say it.  This has EVERYTHING to do with the recent video and the follow-ups to that video that TJ made about the questions that black people not of BuzzFeed had for white people.  That video blew up with people all over saying that it’s a sure sign that TJ is racist.  Why?  A couple of reasons.  First, because TJ said that gentrification isn’t a bad thing.  He said that he would much rather see nice buildings as opposed to a slum that is likely to have a higher crime rate than a not slum.  Never mind that that is what happens with gentrification.  They do actual good.  And it isn’t just black people displaced by it.  There have been plenty of trailer parks that get that treatment too.  As TJ rightly pointed out in a follow-up video, the problem isn’t gentrification, it’s the poverty that leads to that.  Groj forbid that we might want to do something about that.

Then there is the point that TJ made about how a large portion of the black community who is all about the BLM kind of activism are part of a victim cult.  He’s right, Steve!  The response that Martin Hughes made to him proved him absolutely right.  You have black people in wealthy universities telling people in trailer parks that they have power and privilege over them.  You have people trading on whatever victim points they possibly can in order to capitalize on victimhood points.  It’s a currency in the First World now, and that is complete bullshit.  Pointing out that these people in-particular have a victim complex is not making a statement against all black people.  You keep extrapolating between a group and the whole.  It can’t just be TJ talking about certain people.  No, he has to be hating on all black people.  The implication of all of this is that TJ would feel just at home palling around with skinheads and white nationalists.  A notion so stupid and insulting that you might as well just call him a Nazi and get it over with.

It has a religious bigotry problem, too

When Martin Hughes did his first diatribe in Patheos, he came out and said that he wished that he could just turn in his atheism card and go back to church.  Someone I held among kindred intellects recently went the distance and did it.  I wish Steve would just come out with the same.  Here he again makes the logical fallacy that anytime we insult one element of a religion, we are insulting all of it.  Taking the talking points that Islam is a race or a culture.  It’s not.  It’s a religion, Steve.  We are attacking that religion for the stupid things that it espouses.

He then goes back in time to when the YouTube atheism sphere was starting out and how we had made attack videos on some of the more low-hanging fruit of the day.  The likes of Venom Fang X or ShockofGod.  Yeah, Steve.  We did that.  It was good times.  Back before all of this SJW bullshit when we could come together and stand as one.  Remember those days?  Oh, right, you weren’t around.  In fact, most who were around aren’t anymore.  There are so many names that are gone from that list.  Names like Rational Warrior, King Heathen, Mr. Filthy Rags, and countless others.  Again, the argument is made that it was nothing but just horrendous attack without any regard for the feelings of those we were just insulting.  Because it’s nothing but bigotry.  Let’s forget that users like Venom Fang X truly did ask for it when they went out of their way to bait people.  Kind of like what you’re doing now, Steve!  Baiting people!  It’s all you can do to keep your channel afloat.  You know that a video like this will get people to make responses, which in turn will get people watching your videos.  It’s all so blunt, but you won’t admit it.  You’re dick-riding, Steve.  So pathetic.

It’s addicted to drama and conflict

Well, yeah.  Sure.  There is a lot of talk of drama in the YouTube atheism sphere.  Why?  Because it gets clicks.  I guarantee, the pwnage videos of Venom Fang X got a lot of clicks.  Debunking videos were always fun to watch.  People wanted to be entertained.  Seeing personalities we like attacking the ideas of people that we do not like is enjoyable.  But again, they weren’t going after the people just because they were there.  It was also about attacking their ideas.  We wanted to make mockery of what they believe, which in turn would make one of them.  That was an incidental result of the mockery, Steve, not the cause of it.  I don’t make posts attacking Anita Sarkeesian just because.  I do it because something that that con artist has said is stupid enough for me to make sport of.  I didn’t go after Milo Stewart because she’s a transtrender punk who feels the need to tell me how I feel.  I went after her because I think her ideas are stupid and I think the way she sees the world is telling in respect to her personality.

Response videos are as old as YouTube itself.  The biggest irony is that you are currently engaged in piggy-backing off the drama culture in order to prop yourself up!  You’re hemorrhaging subs, Steve!  People don’t like you anymore.  This is all you can do to bring in those all-important clicks.  The whole reason I am doing this post is connected to that, but we’ll get to that when we get there.

It reflects poorly on the atheist movement

There is no such thing, Steve!  That does not exist!  For a time, it did.  There was a while there that YouTube atheism was coalescing into a larger movement.  Then Atheism + had to stick their ugly head into things and the community that could have been was torn right down the middle.  Those days are gone, Steve. Take a look at the last Reason Rally and tell me that it’s not.  People who were there said that they got 1,000 people to attend.  If that.  There is no atheist community anymore.  It’s gone.  You and yours have a good part of that because we were too busy fighting with each other and it got to the point that everything that was built up died.  The irony is that then Atheism + died, and now the community hasn’t come back.  People moved on.  Because it’s no longer about atheism.  Now the battle is against a larger enemy who has also moved on – the SJWs.  Your ilk has redrawn battle lines that existed since the early days of YouTube and now have conservative Christians allying with atheist liberals to attack a perceived greater threat.  In a way, Steve, you and yours should feel proud.  You took something with potential and destroyed it.  Nice work.

Then we get to the end, and the truth of all this is fully revealed.  It’s all in that last diatribe about how much YouTube atheists are “assholes” and you getting so angry about it.  In that last sentence, the look on your face is such pure, white-hot rage.  Which brings me to my point in this post – it’s time to stop this, Steve.  You need to calm your tits and walk away from this mess.  Your channel is doing terribly, and the whole reason it’s gotten here is because TJ had finally had enough and did a video that was hugely successful and where he used your own words to utterly destroy you.  Did it feel good, seeing TJ on the screen showing you for a would-be censor who would silence opposing points of view if you had the power?  I can already see you, sitting in that chair, fuming as TJ ripped apart how your channel is dying while he is on the cusp of getting over 1,000,000 subs.  I know for a fact that you hated that moment and it still burns you.  Even now.  But you need to stop this.

You did everything but name names in this video, because you know that if you had, it would have been slander.  You’ve defended Jenny McDermott in the past, and I’m just waiting until you get to the point that you are taking her method of keeping herself relevant and just making inflammatory statements about other content creators.  I see it coming, and you need to walk away, Steve.  Just step off and walk from this.  Go back into your echo-chamber and make more videos about SJW bullshit.  Because if you keep on this path, you will be at the levels of Jonathan McIntosh when it comes to pathetic.  Take a look at his Patreon and tell me I’m wrong.

Until next time, a quote,

“All art is knowing when to stop.” – Toni Morrison

Peace out,

Maverick

Your Beliefs About the Ten Commandments Are Ridiculous! (A response to Prager University)

As I said in a previous post, I don’t talk about religion too much these days.  After all, the arguments are all made.  But since I have gotten pissed off at a person I was quite friendly with, I have been more inspired to go after religion.  What can I say, gotta make sure that my blade is still sharp when it comes to religion and the dumb stuff it espouses.  I will admit that today’s target is one that makes at least a novel argument.  I hadn’t heard this one before today.  Well, I guess I’ve heard variations of it, but not this argument specifically.  We’re going to listen to someone who thinks that the Ten Commandments are more relevant now than ever.  I’ll share the video with all of you, and then we’ll talk about it.

He begins by saying that no document has done more for humanity than the Ten Commandments.  How laughable.  Hammurabi’s Code did more for humanity than the Ten Commandments.  It was what is believed to be the first set of laws that were transcribed.  If we’re going to argue about what document has done more for our species than a bunch of tablets that not one person knows where they are, I can bring up all kinds of examples.  The first documentation of the scientific method (which began in the Middle East.  Fun fact) have done more for our species.  The Magna Carta, the first document that limited the power of a monarch, did more for the evolution of our species than the Ten Commandments.  There are endless documents that one could use for this.  I hate this argument so much.

There is then the argument that all of western values have their origins traced back to the Ten Commandments.  Including women’s rights and the end of slavery.  Um…you do realize that the Bible is very clear about its support of slavery, are you not?  Jesus even says that a slave should obey their master, and there are passages talking about how to punish a slave who disobeys.  The Bible is also very clear about how women are second-class citizens and should obey their husband and not speak unless spoken to.  This is a REALLY weird argument.  He also says that democracy came from the Ten Commandments.  Are you fucking kidding me?!  How?  The concept of voting was alien to EVERYONE who is a character in the Bible.  Every single one.  Jesus said, “give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.  Give unto God that which is God’s.” (Mark 12:17) The most gross hyperbole of them all.

We then get to hear how the Ten Commandments are all that’s needed to make a world that is free of all evil things..  Yeah, that’s why only three of them are laws.  Funny how that works.  His first example is a world free of murder.  Yes, because all murderers would totally care if Gawd says that it’s bad.  Never mind that a plethora of serial killers believe they’re doing God’s work.  Then he claims that there would be a world where no one covets what their neighbor has.  I’m going to let the Master, George Carlin, spell out how stupid this is.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.  This one is just plain stupid! Coveting your neighbor’s good is what keeps the economy going.  Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays ‘oh come all ye faithful,’ you want one too!

So there’s that.  He says that this imaginary, totally unrealistic world, has all the children honoring their mother and father.  So I guess single or gay parents are out.  This guy is a conservative Christian.  This makes sense.

Turns out, there’s a catch to all this.  Okay, I’m listening.  What is it?  Apparently the whole deal with these Commandments is the fact that they were supposed to have come from God.  Well, I guess I could end this there.  After all, since the Christian God doesn’t exist, then how does this have any impact?  We know that the Bible is riddled with factual inaccuracies and outright lies.  It contradicts itself (see the two creation stories.  That’s right, there are two.  Or look up the only two stories in the Gospels about how Jesus was born.  They contradict one-another) and has no basis in reality.  Which means that nothing inside of it means anything.  Why am I listening?  Let’s see if the other shoe drops here.

It does get dropped.  This guy actually says that if God isn’t there to declare murder wrong, then it isn’t wrong.  Wow.  That’s incredible.  So if this guy didn’t have his non-existent deity, he would have no compunction against murdering people?  That’s kind of scary.  I’ve heard this argument before.  Ray Comfort and Eric Hovind have both been quoted saying that if it weren’t for God telling them that murder is wrong, they would have killed all kinds of people.  That’s really scary.  Makes one wonder if all Christians are just a realization that their belief structure of bullshit away from grabbing their guns and going on a rampage.  Mind-boggling.

He saw my rebuttal coming, I guess, and says that my atheism is wrong about not needing God to see murder as wrong.  The reason?  You’re gonna love this – because the Ten Commandments act as proof that it’s wrong.  Stone tablets that do not currently exist, and our knowledge of them comes from a book that was translated from a dead language into English.  A translation that many people have shown is not especially good.  With the Ten Commandments, we don’t need to believe that murder is wrong.  This “document” that no one has current access to is proof, because a book that says that they exist tells us so.  A book says that Joseph Smith has gold tablets and “seer stones.”  Should I take that as the truth?  Has just as much proof.

Following this, this guy argues that without God, our beliefs about right and wrong are just that – beliefs.  Well, yeah.  The thing is, this idea of objective morality has never been proven.  It’s one of the great debates that’s happening in the world right now.  I tend to believe that the closest thing we have toward objective morality is our ability to empathize.  With empathy, we can feel what someone else is feeling, and thus are compelled not to engage in destructive acts.  It’s not perfect, but since there is NO evidence of your God’s existence, my belief structure has just as much, if not more credence.  He argues that every atheist philosopher has acknowledged this.  Citation, please.  Richard Dawkins believes that morality is based on this idea that behaviors should be for the good of the tribe or the community.  Sam Harris believes that through neurology, we can come to a kind of objective morality.  Both have interesting arguments, but they spit in the face of this idiot who apparently is incapable of fact-checking.  He’s a conservative Christian, after all.  No surprise.

We then get the typical arguments about how Hitler and Stalin killed people, with the implication being that that was because God’s rules weren’t followed.  Maybe no one told this guy that Hitler was a devout Roman Catholic.  Just putting that out there.

Then he makes this argument that people do the wrong thing because they believe that there is no God watching them.  All the Catholic priests who’ve diddled little boys and girls?  They believed that they knew for a fact that someone was watching.  Didn’t stop them.  The Branch Davidians in Waco?  They were stock-piling weapons in preparation to overthrow the government.  They also believed that they knew someone was watching.  What terrible arguments.  He wraps up saying that us atheists would all see that their non-existent deity that we have no reason to believe in still is good because he made these laws that are totally flawed.  This man’s backwards thinking is the stuff of legend.

Finally, he concludes that not one person has or ever will make a system for behaving that rivals the Ten Commandments.  Challenge accepted.  Here it is – act with empathy.  That was easy.  Do I get a prize?

Until next time, a quote,

“When you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder.  Not really.  More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.  All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Cashmere, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’  The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable” – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

A Content Creator is NOT Responsible for their Audience

I will say that this is in direct response to our favorite little uninformed kid who thinks that she knows how the world works, Milo Stewart, but the reality is that I’ve heard this talking point all around the SJW watercooler of videos, and it’s time that somebody made a response that isn’t full of emotional rhetoric.  For you see, that’s what the SJW videos on the subject are – emotional conjecture that leads them to think that they’re right.  There’s a flaw in that thinking that I honestly want to address, to my audience of nobody in the SJW circlejerk.  However, if some of you maybe think there’s something to the point that a content creator is responsible for the actions of their fans, this is for you.

The origins of this concept have come from the fact that there are now a plethora of anti-SJW YouTube personalities who make what they call “roasting videos” (they’re not.  They’re response videos.  And this isn’t a new thing.  These videos have been around for as long as I’ve been watching YouTube) toward people that they disagree with.  These videos take clips of what people say and reply to them.  Overall, these are very negative responses.  After all, there was that wonderful quote by Milo Stewart that put her on the radars of everyone who has replied to her –

All white people are racist, all men are misogynistic, all cis people are transphobic. The majority is always biased against the minority.

People will call it “victim-blaming,” but the reality is that a statement like that is going to understandably get some negative responses.  Maybe Milo doesn’t get why people find this a problem.  Her two biggest influences are a two YouTubers, on a racist bitch and the other a black nationalist called Uhuru.  It’s obvious that a level-headed examination of the culture she lives in not what she’s getting.  But when you make declarative statements about people’s prejudices and say that everyone has them, regardless of personality or upbringing, it’s going to understandably get some people riled up.

SJWs who end up becoming very well-known in a negative way often do not react well to this.  Milo is but one.  There are plenty of SJW responses that they make to being responded to where the first thing they do is blame the person who made that response for the reaction that their fans have, going to the person’s channel and then going after their videos.  While there are plenty of trolls in the bunch, I refuse to believe that there aren’t people who would like nothing better than to have a civil discourse about their disagreement.  For as much as I find Milo Stewart an ignorant little pup, I would love to sit down with her and hash out her problem with all these people who she clearly has taken no time to get to know.  But all of this insane digression has a point.

Those who create content are not responsible for what people do with that content.  If I write a post where I say that Anita Sarkeesian is really dumb and her views are unrepentantly ignorant of gaming and those who consume it, does that make me responsible for when one of my fans says something negative to her?  No.  I put the content out there.  I have never and will never encourage violence against anyone or even harassment.  When I say that someone is dumb, that’s a personal opinion.  I don’t go on to their channel and rail on every video.  I troll people on Twitter, but it’s usually just little jabs poking fun.  I’m not the kind of person who gets mad easily.  Granted, if I ever was face-to-face with Uhuru, I would have some words for that little effeminate piece of shit that are most unkind.  He is a terrible person, and his views on the world are morally disgusting.  Not to mention his actions are juvenile, such as when he want to a convenience store and made a giant ass of himself just so he could bait the cops into attacking him.  That was just pathetic, and it’s a testament to the cops involved that they just tried to talk to the little whelpand learn what his problem is.

Milo, I know that you’ll never read this.  Your echo chamber is so firmly closed that you probably have me one a block-list.  But no one who makes a response video to you is responsible for the actions of their fans.  Unless they are telling their fans to hunt you down and murder you, it’s not their fault if their fans troll you.  I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.  If you don’t like what people have to say to you in the Comments, then you can mod.  Or you can close your comments and ratings down entirely.  Or you can do what I do and let whoever comment and don’t even pay attention.  I don’t read the comments my YouTube channel gets.  I don’t have a cancer fetish.  To the other SJWs who want to make this argument, think long and hard about that.  After all, plenty of SJW supporters have doxxed, harassed, or in the case of Zoe Quinn, instigated trolling of those who they disagreed with (Google the incident with Candace Owens).  It’s a slippery slope to start going down, which is why I don’t do that.

Until next time, a quote,

“Being a victim is totally in vogue right now.” – TJ Kirk

Peace out,

Maverick

The Infinite Space

There’s something that you should know about me – I don’t believe in free will.  I think that all the decisions that people claim that they have the power to make are illusions.  Everything that could happen already has happened, and we are powerless to change the nature of our fate.  It’s not because of some divine being.  In fact, when one truly thinks about this idea that I have, the existence of a divine being becomes even more ridiculous.  Because it makes the idea of lording over this one universe that much less impressive.  I know what you’re thinking – how can you possibly believe that?  How can all choices just be an illusion?  Simple – the Infinite Space.

Let me explain.  I believe that the universe that we exist in is but one of the infinite number of possibilities that exist in an endless ocean of possibilities..  These possibilities are connected through forces unknown.  It sounds like a bold declaration.  But let me give you something to chew on.  Here’s a video from Minute Physics about the Schrodinger’s Cat paradox.

This video got me to thinking about so much stuff.  Why?  Because the concept is interesting..  We don’t know what the truth is until we look to see if the cat is dead or alive.  It truly is both.  How can that be?  The answer seemed pretty obvious to me – both possibilities have to exist.  It can’t be one or the other.  But where is that other possibility?  Easy – the Infinite Space.  In that place, there is a reality where the cat is dead, if we look and kitty is alive (we love kitty!).  There is no other way.  Quantum physics is trying to figure out the answer, but I think that this makes a lot of sense.

Many of my favorite works of fiction have toyed with the concept.  In Bioshock Infinite, there is a kind of particle that can break the bounds between the spaces.  The Lutece’s figure out how to harness it and use it to break the bonds between worlds in the Infinite Space.  Elizabeth has the ability to open doors between the spaces between worlds, but there was a time when she was able to create them on her own.  She called it a form of wish fulfillment.  Whatever she wanted, she just had to concentrate and she could open a door to that thing.  It’s crazy stuff.  While that was interesting, it all ended on a note of disbelief, where Booker is killed and that someone closes the door to all possibilities.  Yet you hear in the end that there is still a universe where he is alive and everything happens as it is supposed to.  So I guess she still failed.

Next up is Rick and Morty.  In this series, they have repeated instances where they go into alternate universes in order to do things.  But the one that really got me was the episode where Morty wants Rick to create a love potion for him to get his girl, and it spirals out of control until they reach a point where Rick had destroyed all of reality and there seems to be no way to put it right.  So he doesn’t.  Instead, he finds a universe that exists where he manages to solve the entire problem, and then both him and Morty die.  The two then bury themselves and carry on.  It is implicated that this strategy is one that Rick has used before, as he says that they won’t get too many opportunities to do this again.  I love the grim undertones of that show.  It really takes all the hijinks in the series and makes them out to have horrific, ongoing consequences.

Finally, there is my favorite game of last year – Life is Strange.  This series did something similar to Bioshock Infinite, but it took the concept a little further.  See, it has Max be given the ability to control time.  But is she truly controlling time?  I did a post about this (link here), but I’ll give my main points here.  When Max uses her talent, you see something interesting.  She remains in a given place, but time moves around her.  It’s how you are able to use it to sneak past guards or get into places without other people knowing it.  But what happens to those timelines that she leaves?  The implication is that they keep going.  So the timeline that Max and Chloe blow up the door to the Principal’s office still happened.  As is the one where (if you are really dumb and couldn’t resist trying everything) Chloe accidentally shoots herself when you’re messing with David’s gun.  Worse still, there is the one where Max saved William and ended up paralyzing and potentially killing Chloe.  That reality continues with Chloe’s parents being destroyed and Max being solely to blame.  But the end of the game fucks that up and makes it just like the Bioshock Infinite ending where you can just go back in time and stop it from happening by stopping the catalyst.  But that wouldn’t have stopped the tornado.  I talked in another post about how dumb the ending to this game was (please don’t make another season.  It can only get worse).  I still love it, but like Mass Effect 3, the ending crashes and burns.

What a digression all of this was.  My point in all of this is that I believe that all possibilities exist in the Infinite Space.  An endless space where every outcome exists in its own reality.  I don’t think there is a way that one could possibly see this, but I like the one in Cosmos, where it’s like this huge area of interconnecting lights that stretch out for forever, with each light being a possibility.  Within the Infinite Space, there are endless possibilities.  There is a universe where the first girl I ever loved and I are together.  There’s a nice thought.  There’s a universe where I chose to turn down the PR company that ended up being a disaster for me.  There’s a universe where I didn’t lost my first apartment.  It is an endless sea of possibility.

But there’s an interesting idea that a girly-mate of mine posed to me – what if there were realities that touched one-another?  I got to thinking about that.  If we are to believe the Infinite Space is a real thing, and all of these universes are connected through a larger tapestry of existence, then I don’t see why universes couldn’t touch one-another.  There are likely points, countless in number, that our universes have touched one-another and even interacted.  I can hear the counter-point –

Then why wouldn’t we know about it?  Wouldn’t there have been like people or something coming through?

It’s hubris on our part to think that only our world or our species could be affected.  There are endless possibilities for how our universes would interact when making contact.  It could also affect anything.  There are countless instances of unexplained things happening.  Any number of those could be our universe interacting with another in an unforeseen way.

The goal of sciences like quantum physics is to understand stuff like this, and I acknowledge that my perception is simply conjecture that is based on what I have taken in and conclusions I have reached.  Could totally be wrong.  Part of the fun with science is finding out.  What do you think about my hypothesis (yes, hypothesis.  It cannot be a theory because there is currently no evidence for it.  For all those who say that evolution is “just a theory”)?  Let me know in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

Peace out,

Maverick

Where Memories Go to Die

I’ve talked about my atheism at length on this site.  When I was a kid, I never really believed in God.  Never will.  It always seemed so silly.  Like, there’s a magical man in the sky who has magical powers and can magically shape the world and could magically make all the things in the world right, but magically doesn’t.  Yeah, you try figuring that one out.  All my life, it was just silly.  I said that I believed, and perhaps there was some small part of me that would at least be open to the idea of a god.  Just now the Christian one.  I went through Confirmation at my church, but it was all a lie.  To this day, I wish I’d just told the folks about it.  Would have saved me some annoying trips that the youth group went on.

Around the time that I realized that I was an atheist, I had no one to talk to.  It was annoying.  Then, one day, I found a friend in the most unlikely of places.  Finally, I had someone that I could talk to about atheism, philosophy, and the nature of the world!  And we did.  There are so many nights that I remember the two of us absolutely ruining the filter of my mother’s hot tub by having our long and thoughtful conversations about such things.  Those are some amazing memories.  I saw this man as a kindred intellect.  All of the simple people in my life that I couldn’t talk to about the really deep stuff, and now I had someone that I could.

I lost that tonight.  In what was one of the most stunning displays of frustration I have ever seen, my ability to respect someone that I looked up to is gone.  See, him and I had this movie night.  It was supposed to be where the two of us made fun of a terrible Christian film.  And the film was terrible, don’t get me wrong.  But not in the way that you could make fun of it.  Just in a way where your time feels like it’s being tested.  Then it ends with one of the stupidest third acts that I’ve ever seen.  It was beyond insipid.  I still feel like my time was wasted.  But it seems that I am alone in this view.  For you see, something religious reawakened inside of hi.  He found his spiritual side again, and he found it in a big way.

There were no words.  I couldn’t believe it.  This man, who I had talked long into the night with about the nature of the world and philosophy, with whom we had discussed apologetics and debunked them.  Now, when I brought up some of this stuff, he was throwing those same tired old lines back at me.  I couldn’t believe it.  Not for a second did I think that it would come to this.  Someone who I saw as a kindred intellect was using old arguments that the two of us debunked together against me.  It still doesn’t feel real.  I feel so lost.

How can I put this?  It’s like those memories are now a mute point.  They are part of some other life that existed.  Some life where this person whom I had respected so much is no longer connected to.  It’s gone.  Vanished without a trace.  With all the memories that I have been keeping with me, this feels like a little something has been taken away from me.  Something I won’t get back.  It hurts.  How did this happen?  What got me here?  I wish I knew.  I truly do.

I argued with this guy for over half an hour with arguments the two of us have sussed out about how dumb they are.  Those nights of us laughing, looking at points of view and the way we saw through it, it’s all being thrown right back in my face.  It was beyond frustrating.  Downright annoying.  And the worst part is that now, my ability to see this man as a kindred intellect is gone.  In one annoying conversation, it vanished.  I see him as just another person who uses arguments and doesn’t listen to rebuttals.  An apologist who just wants to keep his belief structure intact for the purpose of having some connection to faith.  Because apparently faith is so much better than not faith.  Accepting something that has ZERO evidence, for the express purpose of feeling good.  Religion in a nutshell.  I feel like such a fool.  How did it come to this?  If one of you can tell me, I’d love to know.

A girly-mate that I’ve reconnected with said that it was likely some spiritual experience.  It can happen to anyone.  That makes some sense.  Doesn’t make it easier, and I’ll never see him as a kindred intellect ever again.  Still, at least I get that.  Plenty of smart people accept stupid things based on random experiences.  Hell, one of the smartest women I know is hardcore Catholic.  She was raised with religion her whole life.  Come to think of it, so has he.  There are dots clicking together.  But the damage is done.  Now I get to keep moving forward.  Wonderful…

Until next time, a quote,

“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.”  – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

What it Takes to be a “Good Atheist” (A response to Kirk Cameron)

Ah, Kirk.  I haven’t had a laugh at your expense since that time that I made fun of your Christmas movie.  Did a review of that.  It was terrible.  It was the most boring 70 minutes of my life.  Couldn’t even laugh at that movie’s expense.  It was just bad.  Now our old buddy has another film coming out that he is promoting.  And he’s doing this by making a video where he is going to tell us what atheists have to believe in order to be “good.”  Oh, I’m sure that this won’t be the biggest strawman.  Nope, not at all.  I’ll share the video with all of you, and then we can talk about it.

Can we all just marvel at the title of this movie.  Unstoppable is NOT a word that I would associate with Kirk Cameron.  His last movie was stopped dead in its tracks by Rotten Tomatoes.  He had to do some vote-rigging, and the film still has a rating of 0%.  So this title is horribly inefficient.

Kirky comes right and says that he is a “recovering atheist.”  Yeah, because atheism is like alcoholism.  Once you find religion, you have to “recover.”  It’s statements like these that make me think that Kirk is full of shit.  Why?  Because no atheist talks like this.  None.  He says that there are two things that you must “cling to” if you are to be considered an atheist.  Apparently these things are matters of faith.  Let’s talk about each one.  This should be good.

There is no god

Why, it’s Strawman Atheist!  Hi there, old buddy!  I’ve missed you.  Kirk says that these things he is listing is what is required to be a “good atheist.”  Do you see why I think he’s full of shit.  Atheism makes no claim on the existence of God, Kirk.  Atheism means that you do not believe that god exists.  I have no way of proving one way or the other.  I merely have taken in the information from other religions and have come to the conclusion that God is a fairytale.  Your God, anyway.  Along with every God/gods I have heard about from other religions.  No religion has given me a reason to believe that a divine being exists.

There are atheists who say that God does not exist, but the large portion of us simply do not believe that god exists based on the evidence that you have given us.  It really is that simple.  Did Ray Comfort give you this talking point before you made this video?  It feels like that is your source for this information, given that you and him have been together an eerie amount over the years.

I hate him!

Wow, Strawman Atheist!  I didn’t know that you and Kirk Cameron were friends!  I don’t hate God.  I hate many of the religions associated with divine beings.  But hating something requires you to believe that it exists.  I don’t.  Time was, before my faith disappeared, I had a lot of anger towards God.  I was suffering in the hospital and life was Hell.  But I got out of that and moved forward.  Now, I feel nothing toward an entity that I don’t believe I exists.  I do, however, feel more than a little anger toward some of the horrible things that I have seen done lately in the name of various religions.  One in-particular comes to mind.  I’ll give you a hint – they’ve been fucking up Europe for months, and they shot up a nightclub in Florida not long ago.

This idea that all of us atheists just hate this entity that we don’t believe exists is silly.  I get why you think this way.  When you see the negative things we post about religion, it’s easy to just assume that we have a problem with the entity you worship, rather than your religion.  After all, if you see it as us being angry at your religion, you assume that we hate you.  No one wants to feel hated, and atheists have said many times that they don’t hate religious people as a whole.  But you can’t differentiate those two things in your head, so here we are.

He goes on to validate my beliefs about where he was coming from when he asks why people hate God anyway.  You just can’t understand.  You’re not smart enough, Kirk.  We then get more Strawman Atheist points of view when he says that we don’t want people talking about religion in public or having it in the schools.  These points have been debunked over and over and over again.  But I’ll do it once again.  I could give two fucks if you worship god, or if you want to pray about it when you are at school.  It’s just that I don’t want religion being led by teachers.  There was a bible study group in the school I went to.  There was also one in the college.  They were just extra-curricular activities.  That’s fine with me.  It’s when you start mandating that the bible be taught in schools that get their budget from public money that I take umbrage.

Now he has two reasons why us mean ol’ atheists want to shut him down.  Let’s have some fun with this.

1. They hate his moral standard

We’re talking about your god, right?  The one who says that unruly children should be stoned to death?  The one who says that gay men should be stoned to death?  The one who says that if you rape a girl, you should pay the father 15 silver shekels and marry her?  The one who says that murder is okay, so long as you are doing it in God’s name?  No joke, there are so many stories where God commands the armies serving him to commit genocide.  Like when he tells his army to slash open the bellies of pregnant women and dash the heads of babies against rocks.  His moral standard?  Oh, and don’t tell me that Jesus negates all that.  Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law of the Old Testament.  He came to fulfill it.  So there’s that.

2. They hate the way he’s transforming the world

We still talking about your god?  Because that’s a weird thing to say.  Christianity is on the downgrade faster than any other religion.  There’s an argument to be made that I’m not a fan of the effect that Islam is having in the world.  Just look at the Middle East.  Look at the territories that ISIS controls.  In those places, women can be taken and sold into sexual slavery.  If a Kurdish woman who has been fighting them is taken captive, it’s understood that she will likely be raped and murdered.  Yeah, I got a real problem with the effect that element of Islam is having on the world.

These perspectives are all dumb as dirt.  It makes no fucking sense.  He says that we have a problem with God even in “the midst of tragedy and suffering.”  Like when Islamic radical plowed a car into people in Nice and then jumped out and started shooting more people?  Is that something we should credit God for?  Maybe the people in that airport in Brussels who were blown up by bombs?  How about that?  Oh, maybe we can talk about God in respect to tragedy and suffering in respect to the people who were shot and killed in the Pulse nightclub.  How about that?  If you are going to say that God has an effect on the world even then, then you are basically saying that God has a hand in this.  And that’s fucking sick.  That’s morally reprehensible.  But when you look at the things that your God has done in the Bible, and all the amoral genocide he’s committed, it starts to make sense.

The video ends with us seeing a promotion for his movie.  Great, another Kirk Cameron movie that I guarantee will suck.  Will do a review, if someone sends it my way.  Something to think about, my loyal audience.

Until next time, a quote,

“But in the bullshit department, a businessman can’t hold a candle to a clergyman.” – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

Old War Stories: They Just Fade Away…

When I was coming back home, I knew the person that would be hardest to see.  I had seen her family’s home in the town when the train arrived.  How does one revisit the past when they know that it’s going to hurt?  For the last two days, I had been wrestling with it.  Still settling in to being back home.  The hardest thing has been the bed.  Every time I wake up, I feel like this isn’t real.  Like I’m going to wake up again and it’s back in the field.  I’m with my regiment on the march, or with my squad on recon, with my head resting on the most comfortable patch of moss I could find.  Or rock, if we were out in the Badlands.  This is so strange.
Helping the old man with chores was kind of nice too.  Turns out, the old timer had invested in some motor vehicles to help out around the farm.  He’s simply too old, and he wants to make things easier for the big sis when he leaves the farm to her.  Everyone knows that’s what’s going to happen.  That girl is born to be a farming girl.  Will have to find herself a man who likes to work in the kitchen, because she’s going to be out leading the cows out to pasture when she’s just about to have her kids.  Goddess help that poor bastard.  There’s been a guy who fits the bill that she has been making nice with.  The two are getting close.  Little sis says that the only reason they aren’t officially dating is because they don’t know who is supposed to ask who out.  I might do something about that, one of these days.  Give the boy a kick in the pants.  Unlike my younger sister, Big Sis can take care of herself.
I got some questions from the old man when we were out working and I took off my shirt.  He saw some of my tats, from the battalion I served with.  There were also the tats from the places I visited.  One for each city.  It was a good reminder of where I’d been.  Lily came over to borrow something from the old man.  At least, that’s what she said.  Her and I ended up talking for about an hour.  The old guy just smiled, because he knew that she was there to see me.  When she saw how built I had become, I could see her blushing.  So cute.
But then the day came, for me to bite the bullet and go see her.  To see my regiment’s commander.  The youngest ever to serve.  Girl was on her way to becoming Battalion Commander.  She had told me once that when she got that position, I would be coming with her.  Said she needed someone that she could trust, to give her counsel.  But I knew the real reason – so I wasn’t busy fighting in the front lines anymore.  I was a Squad Leader, but I didn’t lead from the back.  There was a reason I was given a sword – so I could put down the enemy.  This idea that I could lead troops into battle from the back was so ridiculous.  However, she did just that.  Anyone who called her a coward for it was getting the beating of their life.  Today was the day that I would see her, and maybe get some closure.  So many memories.

My blade struck right into the neck of the warhound that was charging at me.  Took the mutt’s head clean off.  It’s armor wasn’t gong to do much to stop my blade.  It was chaos.  The shells were impacting everywhere.  On the lines were the riflemen.  Our trenches were good, and we had strong interior lines.  Patrolling the perimeter were the machina.  They were supposed to keep hounds like this off our flank.  We had such a good position.  Behind us was a large ridge that had the command tent.  Lining that were our artillery cannons.  It was a perfect defensive position.  The enemy had to come through a valley to reach us, and our cannon and rifles saw them every step of the way.  Once they got to the lines, it was a hailstorm of bullets and channeling attacks.  Our channelers were being used as artillery, save for those who were back at the ridge, which also doubled as a field hospital.  We didn’t have to worry about the enemy coming in from the north, because that was a cliff, and beyond that was the sea.  To the south was mountains that were rocky, tall, and impossible to traverse in large numbers.  This valley was the only way in or out of the Vale Woods.  By far, this was the best ground a person could ask for to fight.
We had been holding out like this for weeks.  The enemy had been pounding us.  Despite how good this ground was, the simple reality was that our supplies were running low, and reinforcements had yet to arrive.  We were running out of everything.  Bullets, shells, channeling stones, machina, and even swords.  Hell, even our armor was starting to get worn beyond repair.  There was no way we could last much longer.  But where would we fall back to?  The only way we could go is back.  The valley chokes the enemy in, but it also keeps us rather trapped.  The Vale Wood was the only direction, and that was risk.  The Nether runs deep in that place.  We already have enough Mist to deal with due to the near-endless fighting that had happened for the last three days.  If we went too deep into those woods, it would react with the Nether, and that is dangerous.  There are beasts that only show up in your nightmares who can be summoned with the Nether and Mist mix too heavily.  It’s like a drug.
A shell slams into one of the lines.  A hole that had existed for almost an hour was now widening.  The enemy would have a way through.
“Plug that fucking hole!” I shouted.  Why hadn’t reinforcements arrived?  Some riflemen and channelers came in and did something that I hated to see – using the bodies of the dead to plug the gap in the trenches.  We were forced to use the bodies of dead men and women that we cared for as a method of defense.  This meant that impacts in those bodies sent streaks of blood onto the men and women fighting.  If I ever got my hands on the person in command who had fucked up with our reinforcements, I was going to break their necks.
Just then, a runner came bounding over the line and into the trench.
“Sir, your presence is requested at the Command Center!”
I look at the girl like she’s stupid.  “Are you fucking kidding me?!  Have you seen this mess?!  I can’t afford to leave now!”
Shaking her head, “I have my orders directly from Regiment Commander Arietta, sir!  You must come right away!”  She ducked down as a channeling blast impacted not far away.
Slamming my fist into the wall, I look over at my squad.  I motion for a slim man with glasses to come over.  You wouldn’t think much of him, but there’s no one with better aim.
“I gotta go to the Command Center!  Jibes, you’re in charge until I get back!  Have your men be more selective about their targets.  Keep your heads down, and watch our right flank!  There are too many hounds coming in.”
“Damn machina!  Undependable machines can’t do anything right!”
“I hear ya.  Hold the lines.  Have our channelers save their strength.  Have as many riflemen as you can spare get some rations and water.  Alternate firing lines, so we can give people a chance to rest.”
“Yes sir!”
“Good hunting.”  Turning to the runner.  “Alright, let’s get up there.”

Strolling through town was nice.  Got a few looks from people who hadn’t known that I’m back yet.  Others who saw the cap I wore and the insignia on it.  My old regiment and battalions’ insignias were on it.  Along with my body, of course.  This was such a peaceful place.  Horses and carts still exist here, and a few motor vehicles.  It’s just farmers out here, and they aren’t the wealthiest lot.  Motor vehicles that they get are the big kind, so they can haul crops.  No point having something to joy-ride in.  That’s a city luxury.  Memories of the days when Lily’s dad would drive us into town and I would be sitting with my legs hanging off the back.  Good times.
But the good feeling fizzles out when I see it.  Stepping through the adorable little fence around the place, I head up the cobblestone steps.  This is a really nice house.  Arya’s family is among the few truly wealthy in this town.  Strange that she became a soldier.  Girl didn’t have to.  Her family is patriotic, though.  An admirable quality.  One that was proved by her, in more ways than one.  And what does she get for it?  As I knock on the door, I can already tell what it will be. But I have to do this.
It opens and there is her mother.  Her face brightens up immediately.  “Luger!  I had heard that you are back home.  I’m sure that Arya would love to see you.  Come on in!”
“Thank you.”  I step inside and see the flag that was given to Arya when she was discharged framed, hanging on the wall.  Beneath it is her blade.  Would she really be happy too see me?  Thinking back to our last encounter, I’m not so sure.

This was one of the nicest hospitals I’ve ever seen.  You forget how a proper medical healing center is supposed to be, serving out on the front.  The white stone and the gentle white paint color.  I’m carrying a bottle of gara rum.  It’s in a bag, of course.  Don’t want them to see it.  But I figured that this is a good gift for a commanding officer.  Given Arya’s injuries, a strong drink might just be what the doctor ordered.
I reach the desk and see a pleasant-looking young man at it.
“Hi there.  I’m looking for Regiment Commander Arietta Purdue.  Is she here?”
The guy looks at some paperwork.  “Ah, yes.  Battalion Commander Arietta is in room 225.”
Battalion Commander?  When did she get a promotion?
“I see.  Thank you.”
Walking up the stairs, my stomach is turning.  I had heard so many things about the nature of her injuries.  Now I would have to see it for myself.  I get up the stairs and I see her room’s number just down the hall.  A deep breath.  I walk in.
The first thing I notice is the flowers.  They are sitting in a vase in the table by her bed.  The colors call out to me in this drab room.
“Ugly, aren’t they?” a voice asks.  I look over, and there she is.  Nothing like I remember.  Her obsidian-colored hair is as short as ever, but you’d hardly notice over the bandages.  Half of her face is covered in them.  I look down, and see my worst fears confirmed.  One of the healing channelers had told me that she was going to be losing an arm and a leg.  Both on the same side.  I see her now, and her right arm is missing.  Looking down, I see her right leg is gone as well.
“I ask them to take the damn things out, but the fucking nurse doesn’t listen to me.  No one does.  Guess that’s what my new rank is worth.”
Closing the door, I walk inside.  The window is open, and a soft breeze is coming in.  The sounds of the people outside, it’s such a far-cry from where the two of us were not five days ago.  The screaming and death.  The shells.  How did we get here?
“I brought you something,” I say quietly.
Her one eye looks at me.  From the bag, I unwrap the rum.  Even though she doesn’t want to, I can see her smile growing.
“How’d you know that this is what I’d want?”
“I always could read you like a book, Ari.”
Sitting down in a chair beside the bed, I crack open the bottle with my knife.
“Got any cups?”
She looks right at me.  “Really?  Like we need them.  We’ve shared canteens and even silverware out in the field.  Let’s get to chugging!”
A snort.  “Careful, babe.  Don’t want to drink yourself to death.”
“I honestly don’t care,” she whispers.  The cold look is back.  Best not to push it.
“Okay.”  I take a swig, and then am about to pass the bottle to her.  Then I realize that I’m sitting on the side with the missing arm.
“Oh shit.  Sorry, Ari.”
Once on the right side, I pass the bottle to her.  She takes it and starts to gulp it down.  After a couple seconds, I grab the bottle and tilt it back down.
“Goddess!  Slow it down, babe!”  Deciding not to bring up the potential death part.  “Leave some for me!  This shit was expensive!”
There’s this brief moment of a smile.  “Whatever.  I’m the one on the hospital.  Patient’s privilege.”
In an instant, I realize what I have to do.  I can’t go easy on her.  I can’t be overly nice.  What she needs is to feel like her life isn’t changed forever.
“Yeah, well, I can do this.”  I grab the bottle and pull it from her grip.  Take another drink.  This stuff is so smooth!
“Asshole!”
“You know it, sugar tits!”
“If I had both my arms, I’d beat your ass for that!”
A quick wink, and that’s when I realize how far the game had gone.  Tears start running down her face.
“If I had both my arms…I’d…I’d…”  Then the sobbing started.  She puts her head in her hand.
“I’m a freak, Lu!  I’m a fucking freak!”
Quietly, I get up and sit on the edge of her bed.  She shuffles over, and I lie down beside her.  My arm goes around her.  The healers have repaired all the surface damage when they did the surgery.  I sit there, just holding the girl as she cries.  Words should come to me, but they don’t.  There’s just the noise from outside, and her crying.  This was a woman who had never once shed tears.  Growing up, I’ve seen her get some really ugly scrapes, and she was just fine.  Now she’s crying in my arms.

“We had to move her room downstairs.  She couldn’t go up and down the stairs without help.  We remodeled the old powder room.”  Her voice trailed off.  Didn’t want to talk about it.  Understandable.  We come to the door, and it’s shut.
Her mother knocks.  “Arya?  You awake?”
“Yeah, mom.  What do you want?”  The gruffness of the voice.  That doesn’t bode well.
“Someone’s here to see you, sweetie.”
I could hear her whispering, “probably another person from the Temple.  Great.”
“The door’s open.”
I looked over.  “I got it from here.  Thanks.”
“No problem.  I know that she’ll be happy to see you.”  With that, she shuffled away.  Poor lady.  I just knew that Ari had been not the best company since she got back home.
Opening the door, I stepped inside.  It was so dark in here.  The only light was from an open window.  In front of it sat a luxurious chair that looked so pleasant to sit in.  On the far wall was the bed, unkempt.  In the chair, I saw very familiar black hair.  I could tell that it was infinitely longer than when I had last seen her.  Bet that drove her nuts.
“So, which person from the Temple are you?”  She didn’t even turn to look.
“The kind who brings booze.”
In a flash, she looked up.
“Lu!”  The girl tried to stand.  Prosthetic leg?  Not bad.  The arm was gone at the shoulder.  Nothing to be done about that.  Still, at least the girl wasn’t totally ruined.  Her attempts to stand ended in her collapsing into the chair.
“Dammit!  Fucking leg!”
I hurry over, putting my hand on her shoulder, sitting in a chair opposite her.  “It’s alright, Ari.  I don’t actually have booze today.  Sorry.”
Settling back into the chair, she smiles up at me.  The patch on her right eye makes her look very distinguished.  It’s bigger than a normal one, so it can cover the rather noticeable scar on her face from the explosion.  It really is a miracle she survived.
“Screw you!  They won’t get me booze anymore.  I’d walk to the store, but this damn leg never works right.  Every time I get to walking with it for more than a few feet, it kinks on me and then I either fall over or have to be helped to a chair.  It sucks!  Stuck in this damn house all the time.”
Looking down at the leg, I think I see the problem.  “Give me your leg.”
She cocks an eyebrow.  “Why…?”
“I think I see the problem.  The axis where the leg moves isn’t lined up properly.  I can see where it’s grating against the edge.  It can be straightened, with a little elbow grease.  So yeah, give me your leg.”
Grabbing the base, she props it up on my knee.  Feels so weird, messing with a girl’s leg like this.  I grab on to the top half, then the bottom, right at the joining axis.  I pull as hard as I can, until I hear a click.  Looking at it, it’s lined up.
“Alright.  Try it now.”
She makes like she will try, but then looks over at me, holding up her arm.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Taking her hand, I help her up.  The girl trembles a little, trying to find her balance.  I pull her against me, so as to be a crutch to lean on.  We take a few steps, until she finds her footing and realizes that it is alright.  Her lean on me gets less and less tight as she gets more sure of her footing, until she then moves away entirely.  The girl is walking on her own!  Something that I could tell had been there very little was her smile.  It came back very soon.  Just then, she stumbled a bit.
“Well, I got my ability to walk a little back.  That’s something.”  Sitting back down in her chair, the girl motions for me to sit as well.  “Why did it come undone?”
“One of the screws is probably loose.  If you got some tools, I can take a look at it.”
“Thank you.”
“Anytime, boss.”
Shaking her head.  “No need to call me that.”
With complete seriousness.  “No matter what happened, you’re still my Commander, Ari.  Always will be.”
“Then get me some booze!  Something strong.  That’s an order.”
I give her a halfhearted salute.  “Yes ma’am!”

“So, the war’s over,” she groaned, taking another shot.  “Who won?”
“We did.  Remember the battle that mangled you?  Well, turns out that we had been holding off a major front by the enemy.  They were supposed to link up with the forces coming in from the southeast.  Never got there.  The 4th Battalion crushed their front, because their artillery couldn’t get to them.  Our navy never showed because they were busy engaging the fleet that was also moving to attack.  It was sheer luck that our Battalion ended up holding off a major enemy front.  And good that we retreated when we did.  The enemy battalion that we were fighting was just one of three.  The other two were being held up by the battle, but were moving reinforcements in to crush us and push forward.  If we hadn’t have retreated when we did, it would have been a slow attrition until we had nothing left, and then we would have been destroyed.”
“Well, at least I lost my eye and my limbs for something.  What happened to you after the battle?”
“Our Battalion was virtually destroyed by the end of our slog back through the Vale Woods.  There was some ugly fighting in the Nether.  Monsters you wouldn’t believe.  When we finally got back to friendly lines, less than an eighth of our forces had survived.  Those of us who were still able to fight were folded in to the Fifth Battalion and then were part of the final push into the Republic’s territory.  I was given command of the 16th Regiment, but it was all for nothing.  We never saw any action during the final battle.  They had us guarding the supply lines.  Guess someone at command figured that we’d seen enough.  Little mercies, right?”
She nodded, taking another shot.
“I found out about two weeks later, when our Regiment was just sitting around, guarding trains that were going nowhere.  The war was over.  The Republic sued for peace, and the Empire accepted their surrender.  Yay us.”
A groan.  “I hear that.  I didn’t bother following the news.  Heard some stuff about it being over, and that we had won, but I didn’t care enough to look into it.  What did I care?  The war took away my entire life.  Fuck it.”
“You still got your life, Ari.  And now you can walk again.  That’s something.”
She gives me a look that tells me that that was the wrong thing to say.
“I can’t walk without help.  Even if my leg works right again, I can’t go places by myself.  If something goes wrong, someone has to be there to help.  I can hardly see where I’m going thanks to having no depth perception.  Whenever I do walk, my leg hurts.  Oh, and eating is a giant pain in the ass because I can barely see my food and you have no idea how hard it is to eat with one hand.  I’ll never be able to live my own life, Lu.  I’ll be depending on people forever.  Once my parents are gone, who will it be?  Who will look after me?  What will I do?  No brothers or sisters to fall back on.  What will I do?”
Staring at the floor, I feel ashamed.  Then I look up.  “I’ll be here.  If it comes to that, I’ll look after you.”
Can’t meet my eyes.  “Yeah, and what are you going to tell Lily?  I bet she’s all over you now that you’re back home.  What will she think when you tell her that you are taking in another woman to look after?  I bet that will go down great.”
“I’ll tell her that the woman who saved my ass in the war, and my Commander, needs my help.  So that’s what I’m going to do.  If she doesn’t like it, that’s on her.  Not me.”
She tries to look strong.  Tremor in her hand.  “Thanks, Lulu.”  Looking over at her bed.  “Can you help me back to my bed.  I’m kinda sleepy now.”
“Of course.”
I lay her down, and then cover her up.  I’m headed out the door, when I hear something.
“I got a promotion.”
Turning to face her, I nod.  “I know.  Congratulations, Battalion Commander.”
“Dismissed, Regiment Commander.”
I snap to attention, and salute.  “Sleep well, ma’am.”  The greatest woman I have ever known, still a soldier.  Even now, with her all mangled, I know that I’m her lesser.  That’s fine.  It was paid for in blood.

Until next time, a quote,

“Old soldiers never die.  They just fade away.”  – Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Miracles From Heaven

Miracles From HeavenI feel very foolish right about now.  Why?  Because when I first saw ads for this movie, I thought that it was another wonderful abomination from Pure Flix.  They are a film company that brought us such wonderful treasures as God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2, and Do You Believe.  Christian propaganda films that are all SO terrible, but so much fun to watch.  Terrible, but fun.  I like that.  Christian propaganda films are never good, but when they are bad, it is the most fun you’ll ever have.  I haven’t had a good bad movie night in forever, and then I saw the preview.  Terrible Christian movie?  Check.  Washed-up actress (Jennifer Garner) as the lead?  Check.  I didn’t stop to check who the production company was who made it.  Just assumed.  I really should have.  I REALLY should have.  This was painful.  I am so eager to rip this movie a new one, so let’s get down to it.

The plot goes that this is based off a true story.  Its one of THOSE movies.  There is a Christian family who is wholesome as apple pie, and one of them gets sick.  The film follows the mother and her journey of faith as her daughter goes from sick to insultingly-magical wellness through the power of Jeebus.  Of course.  And along the way, we get to see every last person who has any part in this have their own arc.  Endless, endless arcs.  I hate this movie.  The plot is paint-by-numbers of Christian movies.  Let’s talk about the specifics.

What you need to understand first is that this movie is supposed to be about Jennifer Garner’s character and her story going through this.  And the second thing you need to know is that the worst thing in this movie is Jennifer Garner.  I’m not even kidding.  There is not a frame that she’s in where I don’t stop to think that this movie would be so much better without her in it.

Every one of the other characters is someone that I almost grow to like.  You have the kid who is really sick, and I feel for that kid.  Part of that is my own history of being in the hospital when I was young, and how I see a lot of myself in her.  Then you have the doctor, who is really likeable and fun.  Wish my neurosurgeon had been as much fun as that guy.  You have the father, who starts out kinda douche-y, but over the course of the movie steps up and really becomes a good parents.  He even has some subtle moments of showing how hard it is for him, working so hard and having so much struggle as the medical bills for their daughter keep piling up.

We then have Queen Latifah, who was in this movie for not nearly long enough.  She brought some levity into this film!  Given how depressing everything is, it’s nice to see someone who can actually make things fun.  And funny.  The lady is giving some really good lines that put a smile on my face.

There is also the fact that this film was able to bend some of the expectations I have.  You have this guy who is supposed to be the strawman atheist.  When I saw that character, I was groaning.  Lemme guess, he’s going to confront her about her religion.  And he does.  But just when you think it’s going to give you some inspirational message of hope, the film actually does something unexpected – you have Jennifer Garner’s character being understanding.  She’s having a crisis of faith.  The two are connecting over a shared belief that faith isn’t what they or their families need.

For a while, about an hour of the film’s runtime, this movie was setting itself up to actually be pretty good.  And then, in an instant, it all falls apart.  You have this girl, who has an incurable condition that will one day kill her.  She has this accident, that I won’t spoil…fuck it, I will spoil it.  She falls three stories down!  And lives!  Not only that, but there is no broken bones.  No concussion.  No internal injuries.  Hell, the doctors even say that there’s no bruising!  It’s a miracle!  No, really, that’s what it is.  Why?  Because her incurable condition is magically gone too!  How amazing!

I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming.  Maybe it was because this film felt so grounded in reality for so long that I got used to it being pretty normal.  However, the last act of the film goes form pretty okay to a complete pile of shit in a millisecond.  The film jumps off a cliff in the realm of unbelievable stupidity.  But that’s not the worst!  This film beats you over the head with reincorporation.  Every single tiny detail of every little thing that is in these movies gets reincorporated later.  No matter how superfluous, it all has to get wrapped up.  The end of this movie is like the end of Return of the King in how many endings there are, just so we can have the movie bring every little point to a conclusion.  This movie took me hostage!

This could go on for hours.  The point is that there was a potentially good movie that could have been a really good study into the idea of faith and trial, ending in the little girl dying, but the mother coming to terms with her faith.  Instead, it ends with a retarded-ass speech, and it still keeps going!  This movie didn’t end!  It was an hour and forty-nine minutes long, but it felt so much longer.  There are no words.  I hate this movie so much.  It wasn’t so bad that it’s good.  It’s just bad.  And that’s all I can stand to say about this pile of shit.

Final Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Old War Stories: Coming Home

They never tell you what it’s like, when you leave the battlefield and return to civilian life.  I’ve had so many comrades going home, and I honestly wonder if they are doing well.  They said that they would be sending letters to me, so I suppose I’ll be able to see for myself if what they said is true.  However, as I got off the train and headed down that dusty pavement path, I couldn’t help but wonder if they had the same feeling as I did.  My hand sat on the hilt of my blade.  It looked so regal on me now, but that wasn’t its purpose.  That wasn’t the purpose it had served for me, during my days as a soldier.  This weapon has blood on it.  So much blood.  It’s stained my hands, my dreams, my memories.  Everything is stained, now.
The first thing I notice is the wind.  There is never, and I do mean never, not a breeze running through this place.  In the summer, it is warm winds from the south, bringing rain and sunshine to the crops that grow.  During the winter, it is bitter and terrible winds from the east and the north, biting cold and making you appreciate your hot garva that much more.  It feels so good.  The trees lining the road shake and I feel that hot air on me.  It’s such a good feeling.  Summer is coming to an end.  The harvest will be happening soon.  That means the Harvest Festival.  Not a bad time to come home.  Sheer chance, though.  I was bound by my oath until the war ended.
A motor vehicle passes by.  The driver is some rowdy kid, clearly having just been given this new toy.  Its not uncommon to see vehicles, even out here.  We’re about 20 years behind the times of every place you’ll ever go.  I pull the duffle across my back in tighter.  It was slipping.  Hearing my feet on the pavement, the wind on my face, my thoughts drift back to old memories.  I come out past the trees, and see the wheat fields of several families.  This brought something back.

“Give it back!” she shouted.
I kept running.  The girl was gaining on me, but I wasn’t about to let her have her way.
“Gotta ask real nice, Lily!”
“I’ll ask when I hit you really hard!”  Her pace is quickening.  It’s only a matter of time until she gets me.  Dressed in her overalls, and her blue shirt, the indignant look on her face is adorable.  I’m running through the fields.  Were I far enough ahead of her, I’d lose her in it.  It’s high enough now to hide.  But I can’t stop.  She’s too close, and the distance is getting slimmer.  This might be bad.
“When I get you, you’re gonna be sorry!”
Perhaps.  I have her book in my hand.  It’s her favorite.  Not my fault that the girl was reading it while I was talking.  It was something really cool!  Not every day you see a traveling show!  But she just couldn’t tear herself away.  She reads that book all the time!  It could wait.  Said she was listening.  I tested that.  She failed.  So I decided to make sure I had her attention.
Just then, my feet contacted something.  It was a rock.  What was a rock doing out here in the field?!  This was bad.  I was falling, very quickly.  However, there was a bright side.  Turns out, she had been right behind me.  So she was caught up in my falling.  As I went down, she was right behind me.  I landed on my stomach, with the book still in my hand.  She was on her side.  In a flash, she was up and on me.  Her hand grabbed her book, and the two of us rolled around, neither wanting to let go.
“Give me my book!”
“No!  You’ll just go back to ignoring me!”
“You were being boring!  Not my fault if the book is more interesting!”
We grappled through the field, until neither of us could move.  Both of us were breathing hard, still holding on to the book.  I was now the one on top, smirking down on her.  That’s when things got ugly.  She threw dirt on my face.  It  got in my eyes.  Hurt really bad.  I fell back, crying out in pain.
“Well next time, give me my book back!”  The girl took off running, while I sat there, crying.

It was later that evening.  I had gone home and was in my room for the rest of the day.  That night, I was sitting on my bed, still hurt and eyes all puffy.  That’s when I heard something hitting my window.  It was a soft sound.  I got up and walked over to see what it was.  When I look down, I see her there.  She’s shuffling her feet and looking at the ground.
“What do you want?!” I call out, as softly as I can, so as not to wake up the parents.
“Can I come up?”
“No!  Go home, jerk!”
She looks up, and I can see a pained look on her face.  “Please?  Just for a minute?”
I don’t want to let her in, but there’s this little voice that says that it is the right thing to do.
“Fine, but I don’t want you here long.”
The girl climbs up the side of the wall.  It has these little pathways for the ivy to grow that make for great hand and footholds.
Coming in, I keep my distance.  Got a book of my own, as a weapon.  Her feet go back to shuffling and she looks down.
“I’m sorry, about today.  I didn’t mean to throw dirt in your face.  I was just so mad about the book, and how you weren’t giving it back.”  Finally, she looks up at me.  “Do you forgive me?”
I don’t like her enough right now for that, but I don’t want to hurt her anymore.
“No.  But I will later.”
A tiny smile comes onto her face.  Her blonde hair is such a golden mess.  She walks over and kisses me on the cheek.
“What was that for?!  I don’t want any of that love-y junk on me!”
She’s already at the window.  “See you tomorrow?”
“No,” I reply.  Still mad at her.  “But maybe the next day.”
She looks bummed, but bounces back.  “Okay.  See you.”  And just like that, she’s gone.

I wonder if she’s still in this town.  Probably not.  The girl wanted to be a machinist.  For as long as I knew her, she was tinkering with things.  Her mom said it wasn’t ladylike, but I always knew that her father liked it.  He always had a little helper for when he was busy with stuff.  Those two were so close.  When he died, she was so torn up.  Way I see it, she must have moved on from this little town years ago.  Perhaps I could find her mom and figure out where she went.  It would mean more travel, and I already got done with a series of train rides, but it was worth it.  To see those who are important to you.  The reason that we live, as an old war-buddy said.  Another girl who I wondered how she is.  I’d get to see her soon.  So far as I knew, she was still here.  The other of a group of friends who went to fight, and only the two of us came back.  Those are the bad memories that are with me.

About an hour later, I’m past the wheat fields, and now there is something new to greet me – the smell of citrus.  The fields of fruit trees in front of me, it’s so beautiful.  Would it be bad if I went and stole one of those fruits?  This close to the harvest, they have to be done.  Didn’t care.  I am going to take it.  Hopping the fence, I walk into the rows of trees.  I hear the workers not too far away.  Reaching up, I grab one of the delicious red fruits.  Hopping back onto the road, I peel the skin off and take a bite.  It’s heaven!  After four years of military rations, I finally had fresh fruit again!  What bliss.  What absolute bliss.  This is better than sex.  Of that, I am certain.  Did I appreciate this enough when I was growing up?  If not, I was going to make up for that by gaining 50 pounds eating the stuff.  Memories of the soup made from this fruit filled me with inexpressible joy.  Or the desserts made with it.  So much eating to catch up on!
This is where I see the big red farmhouse at the top of the hill.  I’d recognize it anywhere.  In a town that you know everyone’s name, you learn all the landmarks.  Growing up, I never lost my way because I always had that giant structure to welcome me home.  When the sun goes down, you go back to your house.  That was the rule.  When the lot of us had been together.  It was hard to resist the urge to take of running.  The sun wasn’t going down, but it was getting pretty late.  Every part of me just wants to take off running and hope that there’s a warm dinner waiting for me.  All those feelings of childhood.  Had it really been so long ago?  Felt like yesterday.
Going past the hill, I see it there.  The white fence of our home.  The fields that my family tended to.  We raised cows and pigs.  I smile when I think about how much shit I’ve ended up shifting out of the barn or the pens during the winter, when the animals can’t roam free.  Looking out on to the vast ocean of green, the cows are all there, chewing or just lounging around.  Such memories.  I remember my little sister and big sister out with the dogs, herding them.  Those girls were born to be farmers.  I would wonder where they are now, but then I hear the sound of horses coming up the field.  Moving quickly, I make behind a tree.  Don’t want them to spoil the surprise for mom and dad.  As I look out, I can tell who is who.  Big sister, broad-shouldered and having a few extra pounds.  Don’t let her looks fool you.  That girl could probably damn-near lift that horse.  The first child, and never far from the old man when work had to be done.  I was the middle kid, so I got away with not being around.  Being the middle child means you get ignored.
Little sister is lithe, small, and has that bubbly smile on her face.  I see her, and I’m in awe.  I leave and she’s this little kid who follows you around like a puppy.  I come back, and she’s damn-near a woman!  I get the feeling that she is fighting boys off with a stick.  Unless she digs the attention.  Don’t like to speak ill of family, but it’s never enough attention for her.  Girl was spoiled silly, growing up.  Thankfully, she liked to do a lot of thinking.  Girl wanted to go into Vernard City and study to become a Counselor.  One day come back and run for Mayor of our town.  That girl was going places.  Not one person who met her didn’t like her.  It was impossible.
The two girls are giving each other shit about their riding, showing off.  The cows look up and I can tell that even they are rolling their eyes.  Once the two speed off, I decide to keep moving.  It’s time to go home and give my parents a heart attack.  This is going to be good.

When I get to the front door, I don’t bother knocking.  Using the “stealthy tactics” I learned in the military, I go inside and put down my duffle bag.  There’s a smell coming from the kitchen, and I know that something amazing is happening.  There is the sound of the old man snoring in his chair.  He’s turning into his mother.  She used to fall asleep in her chair, either reading a book or listening to the radio.  In this case, I hear a metal game on the radio, with our home team up by ten points.  There’s a little pride there, not that I ever cared about metal discus.  One of the channelers in my unit had been a player.  He talked about going back to that, when he got home.  He actually has gotten the chance, since he walked away with all of his faculties intact.
Moving into the kitchen, I hear a couple of voices.  One is clearly my mother.  The other is a young woman.  Who could it be?  They are swapping rhunar pie recipes.  Another thing that sounds pretty great.  I peek in to see a girl with long, flowing blonde hair sitting in the chair.  I can’t tell who it is.  Then there’s my mother.  She’s got her back to me, over the stove.  It’s time!  I move in, not making a sound.  Make sure the uniform is nice and gallant on me.  Now I just wait.  Don’t have to wait long.  She turns around, with a spatula in her hand.  It falls out of her hand.
“Goddess!” she whispers.
The girl looks back, and then I see it.  The face of a girl that I had left behind, so long ago.  My oldest friend.
“Lily?!”  I’m in shock.
There is this beautiful smile that come to her face.  “Welcome home, Luger.”

Until next time, a quote,

“Every parting is a kind of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven.” – Tryon Edwards

Peace out,

Maverick