Sunday, February 28, 2016

HAPPIER TIMES






















1

I write underground.

We did it. We just got back from vacation, a trip to the folks down south. I sit now on the floor of the office of our new house. We bought a house. We own a house. I have eaten meat and cheese and started on a beer. A large fan is on. I am here to sweep the basement. My office down here has one small window. I can see flowers growing outside. Tomorrow we begin loading in the big stuff. It will be our first night in the new house. Zoe, our daughter, just turned one year old.

I’ve got a lot to do, including proofread a new story I finished about a week ago called “The Hour of Xaratarax.” It’s a sword-and-sorcery-type novella about a guy in a long-ago age, in a land that would eventually become this county, a heroic quest where he rides the subterranean rivers in a sort of floating room. As a few examples from my List of Million Things To Do, I’ve got to WD40 the garage door chain, and put socket fillers in the plugs, plus set up the Take-N-Go portable folding playpen for Zoe’s nap tomorrow while we’re back cleaning, plus get clips for the gutters from the hardware store, and put the block of wood and old carving tools Dad gave me in the shop. My new shop. 

Now I’m Dad. Hard to believe it’s been a whole year already. Watching the birth of our daughter was the most intense experience of my life. I had seen “E.T.-The Extraterrestrial” the night before. We weren’t expecting her for another three weeks. When she came out, right away I thought she looked like a being from another world. It was so incredibly amazing. A somehow sudden, totally life-changing experience. She looked to me like E.T. with those benign alien eyes first taking in the world. I was the first person she saw. I was the first person who held her. I was so overcome with intense joy, I could scarcely hold back the tears.

These days Zoe stands up and says words, with her big blue perfect eyes and her lovely little laugh and her strawberry blonde curls. She’s my buddy. That’s all there is to it.

I walked around the property, checking the condition of the fence, looking for spots that a cat could get through. It looks pretty good, and it’s hard to imagine either one of our cats being able to jump the fence, but I don’t think it’s totally safe for them at all. Already I’m seeing where the barbecue will go. We sure do have ourselves a mighty fine big yard. One apple tree, one elm, two maples. Quite a few bushes all along the fence, and the house. Wild honeysuckle thick along our driveway fence. I cut down a few old laundry lines with my knife in the dark. I could hear the neighbors on the porch. 

The leaping salmon chainsaw carving I did with the little chainsaw one night working for the Tribes. Would look good in front of the shop. 


Ah: Zoe can hold her own sippy cup high enough so that the juice will go down. A big achievement!

2

Zoe took her first steps. 

Yesterday we moved in most of the bigger items—bed, bureaus, hi-fi—in the 17-foot U-Haul I drove. We were in the living room last night surrounded by boxes on the floor watching “Cold Mountain” on the DVD I rented. She had taken a step or two once or twice before, but here she was strolling along a good half dozen steps. It was so weird to see this little mobile unit step around by herself. Then she looked back, saw me watching, and plopped right down. The little sweetheart. She knew she had done good.

Today we went to the pool for Zoe’s Water Babies swim class. It was hot again. The heat is fully oppressive. I look forward to autumn’s cooler weather, and can’t wait to see the turning of the leaves through Zoe’s eyes. Last year, she was a little baby witch. This year, I’ll take her trick-or-treating. Joy!


She had missed her morning nap, for no particular reason I could discern. Even so—and I say this completely objectively—at swim class she was the best baby by far. Winner, Best Water Baby. Totally well-behaved, comfortable in the water with me, just like back in the Best Western’s indoor heated pool where I took her in the water and showed her how we swim. 

The other kids in the class of seven or so one year-olds were mostly not nearly as comfortable. Some were outright bawling. The four foot-deep pool has a large slide, with water spraying the inside of the spiraling tube. Well of course right away Zoe wanted to do this, as evinced by her tiny outstretched finger and smiling grunts, so I took her down the slide, first of the bunch. I held her up facing forward, myself in an upright seated position, making sure I would remain that way throughout the slide down. This I did, and Zoe was delighted. I heard some of the young women remarking how easy I made it look.

Soon thereafter, a young mother going down lost control of her upright seated position and her baby’s head hit the side of the slide. They slid into the water completely submerged, and the baby came up screaming. It was horrible to see. Fortunately the kid seemed fine. It looked worse than it was. But it was strange to me that none of the lifeguards on duty did anything. Said nothing, did nothing. Yet at the reverberating thunk had come a palpable hush throughout the large indoor pool facility, and people spoke of it afterwards.

3
  
Second time at swim class today. Zoe sat between my legs on the water slide, while I held her underneath her arms. What a ride for the kid! Water jets shoot overhead—twisting, turning—suddenly she’s hoisted up while I flounder in the water! And today she went underwater, too. The instructor, a female lifeguard, slightly olderish and so far the only capable one of the hirelings I’ve seen, held Zoe and blew into her face just before fully dunking herself and Zoe. To be sure, Zoe did swallow a bit of pool water, and I could see she would have evinced the full range of her displeasure had I not then taken her, held her, and told her what a good job she did and how proud we were of her, and then she was her normal smiling self again. 

In that pool, I’m Johnny Weissmuller.

Tonight I’ll stay up late and put in another hour of writing. 

4

This morning I cuddled with Zoe while she woke up at 6:30, then diapered her (twice), dressed her, fed her, fed the cats, did a load of laundry, washed the dishes, read to Zoe, and played with her before diapering her and putting her down to her nap at 9:00, quietly exiting the room with her asleep half an hour later. (Note: Remember to add teaspoon of wheat germ to Zoe’s cereal before adding milk.)

I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea for us to drive out to the mountains and hike the trails. We need to log in some serious nature. I’ll backpack Zoe around the pines and boulders over the river and find a nice spot with a view of the snow-capped peaks to bust out a book and read to her while we eat.

She’s so funny. She’s sitting in her play pen with her sippy cup and looking right at me. When I told her my idea she must have burped when she excitedly replied, “Yes!” because the sound came out all deep and distorted. You little weirdo! The mountains it is, then. I’ll take lots of pictures. Plus I think I’ll bring the voice recorder. We’ll see how well it picks up the sounds of the river and the wind, maybe catch some of the funny things the wee bairn has to say…





MORE 
SOON



Monday, February 22, 2016

"STATE OF MIND" SPELLBINDING

























 
STATE OF MIND – THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONTROL
Starring Lisa Arbercheski (narrator),
Richard Andrew Grove,
Jon Rappoport,
G. Edward Griffin,
Alex Jones,
Kaye Beach,
Anthony Schaeffer
Directed by James Lane
Written by Kevin L. Cole,
Richard Andrew Grove, Matthew Hart


         
Fascinating documentary about systems of psychologically controlling the masses.
         
According to investigative reporter Jon Rappoport, “Mind control has existed since the dawn of time. Only the methods have changed.”
         
Focusing on the struggle between the state and the individual, State of Mind discusses authority as a predator that sees the individual as a unit of energy. The state creates dependence by instilling fear of scarcity. By removing autonomy, creativity, and self-teaching, the void is filled by the will of the collective. The 2013 film posits that freedom requires withdrawing consent from this process.
         
Portions of the film revolve around experiments in conformity and obedience. The Asch conformity experiment reveals that most people will say things they know not to be true in order to fit in. Perhaps more alarming, the Milgram obedience experiment shows how average people will torture each other even when directed by only a flimsy semblance of authority.
         
Other portions of the film concentrate on wizards of mass control ranging from Niccolo Machiavelli to Edward Bernays. Nephew to Sigmund Freud, Bernays wrote Crystalizing Public Opinion, Propaganda and other favorites of Joseph Goebbels.
         
When a cigarette company asked Bernays to help them sell more cigarettes in the 1920s, Bernays decided is was time for women to smoke, too. He hired women to march up and down the street lighting “torches for freedom.” The demonstration made headlines the next day. Associating smoking cigarettes with a sense of freedom by violating the male-imposed taboo picked up flagging sales, and women have been getting cancer from cigarettes ever since.
         
Perception is a commodity. According to Bernays, those who control the opinions of the masses “constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
         
One method the filmmakers discuss by which the ruling class minority manufactures public consent is to create a problem which will cause the public to request help from the ruling class. The help that the ruling class then gives is to instill further control.
         
Interestingly, former Senator Christopher Dodd, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is also the President of the Motion Picture Association of America.
         
In the words of former Department of Education Senior Policy Adviser Charlotte Iserbyt, “The education our children are going to get has nothing to do with education. It is training our children to be resources—human resources, that’s the way they refer to us—to spin off profits for the globalists.”
         
Freely available on YouTube.


 Stewart Kirby writes for

Monday, February 15, 2016

FROM HIGH OVERHEAD







































From high overhead you couldn’t tell the people from the animatronics, and all was well in Redwoodland.
Then as you got lower you saw. Keith Ensing did. The people weren’t as lively as the replicas. Image trumped reality.
In passing as he descended, milling throngs dutifully chorused his name. His dangling feet exceeded reach. The trees were green and the air was clean. Keith in his jetpack continued on to Central Command.
Touching down on entering the opened section of the gleaming Central Command dome, Keith received word from efficient assistants aiding his passage that the object of his visit was in readiness.
“How much have they got?”
“Hours, sir. Many at least. Possibly hundreds.”
“Has anyone seen any part of it yet?”
“No sir.”
“Have anyone still in Sonigraph clear out in five minutes.”
There would come a time, Keith was certain, when viewing the events of the past exactly as they occurred, three-dimensionally in holograph rooms, would be as common as watching a commercial, but this time was the first. A moment itself one day to be viewed. This moment Keith Ensing saved for himself, and he wanted it to be special. Already on the process he had spent godless amounts of the never ending Redwoodland fortune. If it turned out on this try not to work, the initial failure would be his alone to witness.
Ultimately, there was no way it could fail.
Keith himself could not explain exactly how Sonigraph technology worked. He just knew that it did. Selecting a section of sound found drifting past the farthest star was an idea he gave the staff he paid to create into reality.
“All sound,” increasingly he had to explain, “travels into space. In a process similar to sonar, identified sonic emanations can be plotted into the dimensions of volume which the sound originally displaced when it occurred. At Redwoodland, these dimensions can then be displayed through a special medium we call Sonigraphics.”
Anything recognizable to the program would allow the program to adjust the display properly for life-size accuracy. Color would be the one element necessarily artificially supplied. It was Keith’s intention that in this manner he be the first in human history to literally experience the past exactly as it happened.
When he took the chair in the auditorium-size Sonigraph display room and beheld the gradual accretion of outlines flooding, Keith’s lips mouthed the words, “Now I own history,” as lines of light appearing took on increased clarity. It was as though a vision had materialized.
The shock Keith felt on seeing the great boles of redwoods which now appeared before him was nearly more than he could handle. That somehow something must have gone horribly wrong formed his initial impression. But when he looked closer he saw that the images of redwoods and fern before him bore characteristics distinguishing them from the redwood forest surrounding Central Command, and then Keith realized he was indeed witnessing the past. Millions of years earlier, everything Keith now saw was exactly this. Branches waved in an unfelt breeze. Slowly, Keith left the chair and walked into the display.
Insects incessantly buzzing in number and size greater than Keith had ever seen or heard proved significant contributors to the Sonigraph process, providing contour to larger, isolated sonic material and filling in, as it were, the nooks and crannies.
Color added by the system took on a subtlety in tone and shading virtually indistinguishable from reality in every possible respect, except in the case of human eyes. The smoothness of an eye’s surface appeared when processed through the system as a bright uncolored blankness, and while the image of a person’s eyes moving could be falsified easily enough, Keith specifically stipulated the eyes of those in the past stay blank.
The system’s ability to adjust the display in relation to the viewer standing in the Sonigraph was one of its most important features. The program tried to keep the viewer toward the center of the display room by shifting the perspective so that the three-dimensional display moved fluidly in time with the moving viewer. This effect had been perfected well before the final stages of the Sonigraphic process were completed, and Keith understood that by moving carefully and not trying to sit down on logs that weren’t there was the best way to enjoy the experience. He watched as his hand passed through a clump of fern. He pressed his face into bright and vivid plant-life. A neon-green lichen resembling a cross between coral and moss growing on the side of a redwood presented texture and detail of intricacy minute beyond articulation. The machinery’s ability to replicate life left Keith in awe as he moved through the Sonigraphic image of the past like a lonely ghost.
A dragonfly lit nearby in huge and magnificent splendor.
Keith looked up. Somewhere high above, the forest terminated in a ceiling masked to blend indistinguishably from the display. Just as somewhere behind him, lost from view, was the chair in which he had been sitting, and in every direction, as with the ceiling, the camouflaged walls blended indistinguishably from the display.
When he heard the voice, he snapped angrily that he had given strict instructions not to be disturbed.
The voice returned. “Are you there?”
“I’m right here!” Keith yelled. “Now get out!”
Again, “Are you there?”
Keith followed the sound until he came around a bend. There he saw a man sitting cross-legged on the ground. His back was to Keith.
“I have to assume that you are here now,” said the man.
Slowly circling around, Keith saw that in front of the man was a strange device. He saw something else, too. The speaker’s eyes were blank.
“I have to assume that you are here now, and that this worked.” Here he tapped the strange device. “I am from the future,” the man went on, blank eyes shining, “and I have traveled to the past. We perfected time travel. What I tell you now I say knowing the technology you have at your disposal. It is a simple matter to construct one of these”—he again indicated the device—“in order to draw your signal. So it is only a matter of time before you find this message.”
Keith sat opposite the speaker.
“You won’t be able to touch anything,” Blank Eyes said, “will you? Or taste, or smell. But all of this you will be able to see. All of this you will be able to hear. That is how you will experience this—with sight and sound, and with your mind.
“You are a witness right now to the Carboniferous period of three hundred million years ago. There is something here I want to show you.”
Blank Eyes rose from his seated position, lifting the metallic-appearing device before him by a handle and holding it out like a lantern. This movement on his part seemed to attract the attention of the dragonfly, a harrowing thing of primordial proportions. All of Keith’s instincts screamed for him to run as the hovering insect harried the now-still speaker. The thing’s wings beat so quickly, it looked to Keith as though if he put his hand into the whirring blur, he’d lose it. Yet when the dragonfly drew too close, Blank Eyes raised the device in a calm, fluid motion like a hypnotist with a watch on a chain. Evidently losing interest, the dragonfly buzzed away.
“Come along,” Blank Eyes bade, upraised face alight with a secret smile. “Come see what I have to show you.”



Blank Eyes had stopped.
Off to one side, half-hidden by the foliage, a pit appeared next to a pile of recently upturned soil, the rust duff accumulation across the rolling forest floor absent from the dank nutrients exposed.
A few feet down there lay in contours incongruous with the natural surroundings an unearthed material appearing like an opened pod. Amid a din akin to a giant cicada thrum, Keith beheld the being lying supine as if in death or sleep.
Even in repose, the stately grace and elegance of form betokened advancement. The wide sweep of the majestic head tapered to a noble visage. The eyes were closed, but when they opened they filled the mind with a shining light which dissipated like white wisps of cloud giving way to the blackness of blackest night.
Then Keith felt as though he were lifted up by the proffered hand of the being, which led him from the starless void with a gentle glowing presence, wise, benign and warm. And when seeing the being with his own eyes became too much to bear, and the hot wet tears fell down his face, Keith was conscious of the cosmetic surgeries he’d paid for over the years that left his stiff skin shining like a mannequin’s. Then it was as though they had passed through the void sufficiently to see the stars, and the stars grew into the streaming light of trees towering above.
Keith sat up.
He had fallen asleep lying down in the display of the being in the pod. From this he rose like a ghost in a dream. Still weeping. The tears were uncontrollable. He must have been crying in his sleep. Crying, because now he knew. The being had shown him. In one cubic inch of redwood soil there was power enough to supply the world’s energy for years.
Like a lump of coal becoming a diamond. Like a dinosaur condensed into a gallon of gasoline. It was the human ape that learned how to split an atom and destroy the planet, but plants provided the solution for humanity to save it.
Redwood soil.
Now he understood. Plastic and concrete were not the future. The future was the earth.
Blank Eyes wasn’t moving. Keith looked over and saw, standing in the trail, a wasp the size of a rottweiler.



Keith marveled at the big bug before him, big as a large dog. His thoughts, however, quickly returned to the power of the redwoods to save the world, so that Keith remained unconcerned, if he even noticed at all, as the giant insect waddled closer. Even when it was right next to him, and he was just finishing drying his eyes from the emotional high of his revelation, Keith had no reason to fear passing his hand through the beast’s bristling head. It was an almost absent-minded motion, an automatic reflex gesture of wonder, passing his hands through the Sonigraphic images in which he strode. Except that his hand did not pass through. It met sickening resistance on one of the thing’s eyes. The leathery antenna his hand brushed past bobbed.
The wasp was on him in an instant.
Pincer jaws at the thing’s mouth, strong as steel, shot out on either side of Keith’s neck. He felt the nauseating struggle of its six flailing legs with hard spike-like hair thrashing about and gripping. He felt the greatest pressure at his neck he ever thought imaginable, and then saw everything suddenly spinning, and it took him an eternity of turning to come to a stop, and then to see.
Sufficient oxygen left in the brain allowed him to watch the wasp atop his decapitated, spasmodically-twitching body, blood audibly fountaining, thrust with bent abdomen—and the last sight of Keith Ensing’s life was, inexplicably, of a monster insect incessantly pumping its dripping stinger in the furious act of ejaculating poison...



DRIFTING ROOM is the story that introduces Sam Hain, a kid named Kyle, and the parallel world where Sam accidentally lands. There Kyle's counterpart is Keith. After the events of CODY AND HEIDI, where Kyle fulfills a Grail Knight function, we visit REDWOODLAND and find Kyle's counterpart Keith Ensing has by age 64 become fabulously rich and powerful as the owner of the world's largest amusement park and forest preserve.