Peace and Rest Through Pain

Even with all the swirling chaos in Washington DC, the intermittent chaos in my family and its effects on me, I’m able to find small islands of peace and rest and even, at times, happiness. It’s been difficult. Life gets more disquieting and more disturbing as I get older, even as other things bring joy. I can go through bouts of sobbing and even euphoric happiness and then the uneasy feeling of foreboding in one day, sometimes. It sounds like mental illness, I know, but it truly isn’t that. A strange synthesis that’s hard to describe. It’s a sign of the times we live in.

But it’s things like these, unsettling, even tragic experiences even, that can help motivate one to come up with interesting ideas for story craft. As the Mission story soon draws to a close I look forward to the next series, which won’t come out for another couple of years but my more recent experiences will be channeled into this new character and his arc. It will be an interesting challenge to wrestle with this story and bring it to life and I’m looking forward to it. He will be much different from Robert Astor.

There are other smaller projects that I want to finish - my podcast story You Drop Stardust (which is set in the same world as my new, yet to be written series), And The Blueshifters. These don’t get read by many people but I find working on them cathartic for emotional reasons anyway and they help fuel ideas for my larger works.

As for the Mission series, I’m reading over all of the previous books so that I can re-calibrate my memory’s accuracy regarding certain details and plot points.. I’ll be getting started on the first draft in earnest in February. I’ll do my best in channeling my pain and anguish into creativity. And finding joy in it when I can. And in between those creative fits and starts, there is peace and rest. Sometimes.

Mind Manipulation And Social Media

Since the growing scandal raging in Washington DC I’ve been pondering the role social media has played in all of this. Toxic role, that is. Since this summer I’ve been listening to Jaron Lanier, Silicon Valley pioneer who has a lot of interesting and disturbing things to say about social media. The lunacy that I see in society comes from something far more sinister than what most people realize, but that takes us into the realm of the supernatural. I’ll leave that for another post.

The non-supernatural issues are frightening enough. Social Media is a tool that those who control the data taken from use it to coerce and manipulate us and we can see the results in people’s addiction to it and to their lack of ability to think for themselves, how easily they are controlled, by ideas implanted into them by others with some other agenda. Right now you can see it playing out in politics, right and left, but it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been examining my own engagement with social media. One thing that I’ve found helpful over the years are programs like AdBlock and more recently, Hide YouTube Comments, an app that hides YT comments, which makes it a far better place to learn from and engage with. Jaron encourages people to get off it for six months and see whether you really need it or do you have an addiction that needs addressing? If so, he encourages people to get rid of their social media accounts if it is having a negative impact on their life. I have often thought of deleting my social media accounts, or most of them anyway but I haven’t quite gotten to that point, yet. I suppose my weakness is YouTube, because for me it has replaced television but even so, I am resolved to get off YT more often and engage with other things that I enjoy. Below is one of Jaron’s talks, in NYC. very though-provoking.

10 Reasons To Get Off Social Media

Tuning Out Toxicity

After nearly a decade of using YouTube I have finally resorted to using a chrome extension that effectively hides all YT comments. Too many times I have watched a video on YT only to be lured into the comments section or to simply want to post a comment about the content in the video only to find myself being dragged through a verbal sewer. The extension is called Hide YouTube Comments and it is a Godsend for those of us who wish to block out the hatred, darkness and ugliness that has run rampant on internet social media spaces like YouTube.

Things have only gotten worse with the current political climate and it was awful before this.

What has really brought this on is the Star Wars fandom - of which I used to be part of. It really has become toxic and it was toxic before the current films. It became ugly and perverse when the prequels came out. There’s no need to rehash it all, we all know the things that were said. George Lucas was driven away from his own creation, for which I will never forgive the Star Wars fans who were part of that ugliness. Back then I became so disgusted that I left the fandom community. These days I only enjoy the films, audio books, and the documentaries surrounding them. I looked up to see what the fandom thought of the knew films and after this second sequel film came out I shook my head and realized that my decision to leave the SW fandom community years ago was a good idea. It’s gotten scary now and I’m not exaggerating . Whether you think it has gotten too PC (and yes, an argument can be made for that. Did we need to scrub out all white male characters on the Light Side in SW, and did we need a general with purple hair?) But there is a way to address the tyranny of PC without becoming just as tyrannical on the other side of the issue. What I’m seeing now is a hatred and childishness that even pushes the boundaries of nasty behavior. I feel as a black woman that somehow, according to some fans, I should not be allowed to see someone like myself in this universe. But it’s not just Star Wars, I’m seeing this stuff everywhere. You can’t escape someone wanting to bring and spew this sewage into every community that exists on the internet.

There are a few good places of light and love on YT where the comments section is actually enlightening, educational and positive and for those I can selectively disable the extension but as for the rest? I won’t miss the old days and I actually look forward to being able to enjoy the content itself instead of dreading the stink of the comments section. Toxicity in any form is deadly. I want to no part of it.