Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Few Words on Belief


We call something a “faith” or a “belief” because we DON’T know. If I say that I “believe” something, it simply means that I have made a choice, and that I have to live with the consequences of that decision. It would be a bit kinder world if we could simply and without bias share our experiences, about beliefs that did or did not happen to work out for us.

Beliefs are a conceptual bridge between the known and the unknown – and some are more stable or useful than others. I suppose it’s an odd glitch in human nature, that the more stridently and intractably one expresses a belief, the more the public tends to accept it – leadership must not hesitate, or pause to consider complexity, probability, ambiguity, guile or even justice, least it be condemned as unsure or dishonest. Every cop, politician, doctor, clergyman, boss, huckster and con man knows this.

As an example – my wife used to run a mainframe computer. Whenever the power went out to the building, coworkers immediately asked her what happened – and when she didn’t magically know, they treated her with disrespect. They were all standing in the middle of the same building, surrounded by darkness. Just as an experiment, once when that happened, she answered that a drunk had taken out a light pole a couple of blocks away – something she couldn’t possibly have known – and that absurdity was accepted without question, because it was delivered with authority. My point is, all theological debate aside, most beliefs are pinioned to our unconscious responses to adamancy and hierarchy. Little progress and less peace will be made until we consider how we are wired psychologically and socially, before we cross swords over belief.

 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Not One of Us Issue #57

Contents:

Don’t Look Back, by Gwynne Garfinkle
Wednesday’s Mail (poem), by Holly Day
Andromache (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Scott and Lara Go to the Woods, by Gillian Daniels
Voice from the Tree (poem), by K.S. Hardy
Back to the Wall (poem), by Neal Wilgus
The Magic Touch (poem), by Malcolm Morris
One-Soldier Army of Ghosts, by Robert N. Stephenson
A Letter to the Dead (poem), by Josh Pearce
Trauma Tattoo, by Billie Hinton
Superdrug, by Bentley Allen Reese
Twelfth Night: Joan in the Quarter (poem), by Diane Unterweger
Art: John Stanton (cover), Allen Koszowski, Sonya Taaffe

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Care

Contents:

Nice and Tuesday, by Patricia Russo
The Conversation (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Old Tom Bedloe (poem), by Herb Kauderer
Did You Pack Your Own Case?, by Dan Crawford
Spider on the Ceiling (poem), by Kent Kruse
Repast (poem), by Davian Aw
Joyride, by Matthew Brockmeyer
Chalk Outline (poem), by Neal Wilgus
Doctor Stone, by Francesca Forrest
Free Universe (poem), by Gene Twaronite
Art: John Stanton

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Déjà vu, Mr. Trump

(Click on image for a larger version)



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not One of Us Issue #56

Contents:

The Drowned Carnival, by Mat Joiner
Ghost Ships of the Middlesex Canal (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Now That Sarah Is Gone, by Tim L. Williams
The Vigilant (poem), by Lynette Mejía
Eat, Pray, Wait, by David Stevens
God’s Bones, by Jennifer Crow
Wraith (poem), by Erik Amundsen
Lamp Beside the Golden Door (poem), by Beth Cato
Rusalka (poem), by Sandi Leibowitz
In a Room, by Nicole Tanquary
Playing the Reds (poem), by Herb Kauderer
Team Orderly Mars, by David Ebenbach
The Monster in the Maze (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
When the Stones Hungered for Kin, by Patricia Russo
The Box (poem), by Holly Day
Art: John Stanton*

From Wikipedia:

Not One Of Us is a small press horror and science fiction magazine published in Massachusetts, USA, four times a year. The first issue appeared in October 1986. The theme is "people or things out of place in their surroundings": outsiders, social misfits, aliens in the science-fictional sense—anyone excluded from society for whatever the reason. The magazine publishes stories and poems that explore otherness from every possible angle.

* Two more shots snaked from one of my go-to places for nature photography.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Soal Man


Soal Man
by Murphy Edwards
 
The justice system in the city of Sachter is broken.  Teenage punks with big guns, small minds, and no ambition roam about the darkest neighborhoods in search of prey.  They fuel their anger with codeine-soaked joints and cheap liquor and finance their habits through theft, extortion, arson, and murder. Enter Romeo Soal, a loner who has vowed to give his ravaged city a jump-start.  Working just outside the crumbling edges of the legal system, Soal takes on child molesters, dope dealers, deadbeat dads, and repeat offenders who have slithered through the cracks in the courthouse steps.  Soal does his best to help those in need, but when P. Anderton Hillis, a wealthy businessman, asks him to murder his wife, Soal flatly refuses.  Hillis is not accustomed to being told “no,” and is determined to do anything to get his way, including kidnapping Soal’s best friend, Nick Finch.  While trying to rescue Finch, Soal must endure beatings, avoid police, and stop an arsonist who has turned pyromania into an art form, all while struggling with his infatuation for Hillis’ personal secretary.


Cover art/design by John Stanton

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