Dark Neighborhood: Watching Your Life Play Out On Screen While Sitting in the Audience?

Ever feel like that? As if you’re just an observer in your own life? As if you’re not really engaged in the actual living?

I was outside power-washing the driveway today (I’m a lousy power-washer; lots of streaks etc. but hey, most of the dirt is gone) but my mind was all over the place and all over time—forward and back.

There are variations. Being the person on screen, but feeling like your real self is out there in the audience. Of course, there’s being both people at the same time, but let’s not go there now.

Some of it has to do with being able to be in the here and now. I have a hard time with that. My brain seems to jump around a lot. I remember being a kid in the Bronx and I used to just get on my Stingray bike with the purple banana seat and just go out riding around. Nowadays I imagine that would be frowned upon, but times were different then.

I’d bike all over the Bronx. But my mind would travel much further afield in space and time. I also spent a lot of time in the library. So much so that I felt like I’d exhausted the closest one and had to go further afield to another branch. Books were my world. BTW, there I am next to one of the two lions in front of the main branch of the NYPL in Manhattan. Did you know they have names? Patience and Fortitude. That one is Fortitude, when I probably could use more Patience.

One of the coolest moments was finding this hardcover with this weird image on the cover: the Hobbit! (anyone remember the cover to the left?) And then seeing three more books by the same dude! Of course, I didn’t know then that Tolkien had compressed 3 movies into that first book; such arrogance. And left out the elf-dwarf love story! That awareness would come later.

But back to watching life play out and not being engaged. It bothers me. Sometimes I really wish my brain wasn’t broken because it seems like people without broken brains are happier, but that could just be bluer grass. On the flip side, it has its plusses. I have no doubt that it’s an asset for being a writer. And really, what a cool job!

It helped in the military. I could do really hard things and it wasn’t that hard to me. I always found it weird when others would collapse or give up and just not be able to handle it. To me Special Forces was the norm, not special. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane at night off the ramp at 500 feet AGL, wearing over 150 pounds of gear? Sure. Why not? I wouldn’t do it for fun. But for pay and mission? Sure. Move through a blizzard at 12,000 feet altitude carrying a lot of gear with the temp well below zero? Sure, because part of me wasn’t really there. I was watching this other guy do it.

But engagement is hard. To be in the here and now. The brain in tune with the body and in tune with the environment.

There are things that are broken and there are things that are learned. The line between the two isn’t clear cut, because they intermingle as we grow up. So now, it’s focusing on what can be relearned. Or unlearned and relearned.

So that’s the Dark Neighborhood for this weekend.

 

Oh yeah—quick note—today only, Saturday, The Rock, one of my favorite books is free if you’d like.

Also, if you’re not on my newsletter, please sign up. I’m going to do an intense giveaway of audiobook giveaways in the next month via the newsletter only, especially now that Ides, D-Day and Independence Day are live in audiobook and Nine-Eleven will be done next week.

Nothing but good times ahead in the cinema!

 

 

 

Bill Gates warns to the world to prepare for bioterrorism.

This is not a question of if, but when.

I guess if Bill Gates says it people will pay more attention. Biological and chemical weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, part of the triad with nukes, but they get a lot less press. There’s also the fact that they’ve rarely been used, even by militaries, mainly because they haven’t been very useful. They tend to be as dangerous to the employer as the target. They kill and maim indiscriminately.

But that’s no longer true, particularly for bio-weapons. Now that DNA has been decoded, weapons can be targeted to attack only people with certain codes. Think specific ethnic groups. The reality is, bioweapons will be favored over more crude destructive weapons such as nukes or even conventional weapons, because they will incapacitate/kill while leaving the infrastructure intact. Almost the perfect weapon.

They exist, thus they will be used. In the same manner we will see a nuclear detonation. They exist, one, at least, will be used. The most likely target for a nuke is in a cargo container in a port city. For bioterrorism, look at any terrorist group that is battling along ethnic lines.

Here’s the link to the article where Gates talks about it. But don’t go away quite yet.

Even without bioterrorism, the threat of a pandemic is also lurking. The last really, really bad one was 1917, when 50 to 100 million people died. While the article says a new pandemic will be contained better, I tend to disagree. In 1917 one couldn’t get on a plane on one side of the world and end on the other within 24 hours. If it’s a very fast pandemic, we’re in big trouble.

So here’s how to deal with both:

 

How To Stop An Imperial Presidency?

One of the greatest things George Washington did was walk away after his last term as President. There were those who wanted to anoint him king. Others who wanted him President-for-Life. But he gave up the power willingly.

I was pondering this several years ago. I thought about how, in our long history, we’ve had Presidents overstep their bounds. Break the law. Jefferson himself, with the Louisiana Purchase.  Polk and the trumped up Mexican War which expanded our country almost as much as the Purchase– ie California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, etc. Lincoln taking powers during war that were illegal.

How were they stopped? Did the process work? Or did Hamilton and Jefferson, two very opposite men, sit down and hammer out an agreement, a secret Allegiance, that could be invoked to stop a rogue President?

The very first law, enacted by the very first Congress, is the oath of office for military officers. That’s how serious it was considered. It’s an oath I took at 17, on the Plain at West Point. It’s one I still believe in.

Today, Monday and Tuesday, for President’s Weekend, The Jefferson Allegiance is FREE. Take the time to read a thriller steeped in history and politics. This book was a #2 National Bestseller at Barnes and Noble when it first came out.

Have a great weekend!

 

« Older posts

© 2017 Bob Mayer

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: