The Devil in the Pages: How to Play Devils Advocate

Hi Jim,

I saw that you give out writing advice and was hoping you could help me. See I’m taking my first shot at writing a political satire story, but am finding it increasingly difficult to write from the perspective of someone I don’t agree with. It’s getting very hard to write without sounding superficial or condescending. Do you have any suggestions?

Best-
Maria


Hi Maria,

That’s a good question and one that isn’t always easy to answer. As human beings, we all have preferences, beliefs, biases, and worldviews that are specific to us. Many of our core values and beliefs are deeply integrated into our personalities and often very difficult, if not impossible to change.

So with that in mind, how do we work through them. How do we betray our own senses and beliefs and become the devil’s advocate?
The way I see it, there are a few ways…
1. Get involved in debates. On my private facebook profile, I’ll often post a political question or issue based either on current events or something I’m writing about. My friends list is full of people from both sides of the isle… some more mature than others. Most of the time, I’ll get a couple of troll posts, as well as childish name-calling going back ad forth. However, then one or two people who are looking to have a ‘drop the mic’ moment come in with an intellectually sound, cited argument. Reading through these arguments can often give you the answer you’re looking for whether you agree with them or not.

2. Have someone else write it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with collaborating on a work with another person if you’re completely stumped. Just make sure that this other person has the maturity to post their views without going into attack mode.

3. Do a little soul-searching. This is something I typically do when I debate points. I come up with my argument and then carefully examine it to see where someone could poke a hole in it or use a piece of their own logic to refute it. In that way, you start thinking as they do and very quickly, you can form a cohesive argument.

Remember though, just because you’re writing it, doesn’t mean you agree with it. There is such a thing as playing devil advocate and its a perfectly reasonable thing to do in order to get a point across.

I remember back in college, trying to write a short story from a German soldier’s perspective during WW2. My goal was to have the soldier condemn what Hitler did, but defend WHY Germany let him come to power in the first place. This soldier wasn’t supposed to be the moral or ethical right, but I at least wanted people to know that perspective in order to gain a bigger understanding of the context behind World War 2. In the end, the soldier would be executed following the Nuremberg trials.

Well… I live in the United States. All of the known Nazis have long since been deported. Any that could still be left are likely either dead or in hiding. However… their children and grandchildren remained. Most didn’t want to talk about it, but a few were able to give me some insight into the how and why that we aren’t really taught in school.

So I was able to find some information that helped me make a decent argument.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Readers, what do you think? Do you have any advice for Maria? Let her know in the comments.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

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Star Trek Discovery: The Elephant in the Room

I’ve really wanted to tackle this one for a while, but the issues with Discovery seemed a lot more wide-spread than just the show. As a result, I had to address the more global issue first.

To give a little background into my experience with Star Trek, I started off watching seasons 2-3 of The Next Generation. Then my father introduced me to Wrath of Khan, which is to date, my favorite of the movies. After discovering that there was an entire other cast from TNG (no, I didn’t know this) I went back and watched the original series. At first, I was taken aback at the low production quality (I was ten, give me a break!). However, the series eventually grew on me. ‘Wolf in the Fold’ and ‘The Conscience of the King’ remain my two favorite episodes to this day.

I then began religiously watching DS9 and eventually Voyager. Admittedly my wife likes Voyager far more than I do, but its passable. DS9 was boring as sin until Michael Dorn joined the cast and the Dominion War broke out. I was never a fan of the Marquis story line nor the constant religious themes of the Bajorans. Sorry, this species is not that fascinating!

Then Enterprise came out. At first I hated it. I thought the theme really took you out of what was going on and the whole show seemed way too interested in catering to a new audience instead of the loyal base, a mistake in my opinion. As the seasons went on and we started getting into the formation of the Federation, as well as the seeds for the Romulan War, I started to get into it. Unfortunately the show was cancelled, leaving us with mere tidbits of what could have been.

I actually loved the Kelvin movies, despite them being sexed up, and having way too much emphasis on action. There is only so many times you can shred the Enterprise before it gets old.

Now admittedly, my fandom has shifted greatly over the years. They say there are three camps; The Star Trek Camp, The Star Wars Camp, and the Lord of the Rings Camp. I am firmly in the Lord of the Rings Camp, being a huge fan of folklore, fantasy, and mythology. This isn’t about to change any time soon. That being said, I still love Star Trek and Star Wars and do go back regularly. However, my outting from the Star Trek camp has allowed me to take a look at what’s been going on.

Star Trek has an insanely loyal fandom, one that even the creators have learned to respect (or fear, I’m not sure which). Their near cultist following of the show has earned them a reputation for being picky. However its this fandom that has kept the genre alive for so long with fan films and movies. The problem lies with the fact that Star Trek fans have a history of shooting themselves in the foot. Every time a new series or movie comes along, they gripe about every little inconsistency to the point where the show/movie is pushed into oblivion. Only after the show/movie is destroyed do they turn around and say how they missed it and how ‘at least it respected canon, etc.’ I hear this all the time about Enterprise.

So what about discovery?

Well… yeah even from the outside, one can see that it has a lot of problems. The ship designs, species designs, uniforms, technology, etc. etc. etc. all do not look right. The story appears to be a mess and the studio is in a panic. So from the outside looking in, it almost appears that the fans might have a legitimate gripe THIS TIME.

However there is one more problem with this one that really makes the controversy surrounding it stand out….

Let me preface all of what I’m about to say with this… I want to be very clear now… MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE STAR TREK FANBASE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM ACCEPTING A MINORITY CAST MEMBER OR A WOMAN IN A LEADING ROLE!

We had Uhura, Number One, Rand, etc. in the original series, TNG had several women and diverse cast members in and out, Avery Brooks led the charge in DS9, and Kate Mulgrew in Voyager. So really, the fandom has never had an issue with this.

However, recently we’ve seen a lot of concern and backlash over the fact that the leading character is a, as CBS put it ‘non-white female’. There is also a lot of talk about the apparently lack of any white cast members in the show. I can’t speak to this as I have seen quite a few white cast members, including Jason Isaacs, portraying the captain of the Discovery.

So if my initial statement is correct, then why are we having trouble accepting these particular cast members in Discovery. Well… I don’t think the problem is as simple as black or white. Let’s explore…

First, lets look at the timing of this show coming out… The current state of American Culture is in complete disarray. On one side, we have an extremely regressive movement that has placed a rather unhealthy emphasis on identity politics. What I mean by this is that the political ideology of these people seeming places a higher value on the color of ones skin or the type of genitals they have, then on their personality, morals, or values. Meanwhile on the other sides, we have an equally regressive isolationist movement that wants us out of world affairs and a small minority of these people have issues with race and gender as well, though its a lot more age-old. Then we have the people in the middle on both sides of the isle who are getting torn between the two. Verbal threats from both sides compels these moderates to pick a side and… because so many of them felt left behind, we currently have Donald Trump as the populist representative of the people…

Unfortunately, a great deal of our media including news, movies, comics, and TV shows, fall into the first camp of regressive leftists. A lot of people call them ‘social justice warriors’, however I’ve decided to take that phrase out of my vocabulary. It’s a euphemism, an ineffective term, and gives someone on the outside looking in the wrong impression of these people.

As a result, we’ve seen a lot of our mediums fall from good story-telling to regressive propaganda machines… again, focusing on agenda and skin color, while letting the story suffer. I covered this in another post called ‘Diversity and Writing‘, which I highly recommend for context on this issue.

So what does any of this have to do with the objections to the cast of this Star Trek show?

Well to be honest, I’ve followed the twitter, youtube comments, and other criticisms of this show very closely. I try to keep tabs on the general issues people seem to have with this series and I think I have a grasp on the current trend…

It’s not the fact that the cast is diverse, it’s how the shows creators are handling it. Star Trek has always had a diverse cast and they’ve always been heralded as progressive for a few major reasons; 1. the minority cast members are treated as equals with everyone else, 2. none of the modern issues with race, diversity, or gender are an issue in their time because humanity have evolved beyond such issues. In other words, we see people of all walks of life treated as people and having access to all the same resources as everyone else. They’re respected and their personalities, morals, and values are explored. Because the focus is on the character and not their race or gender, these characters are dynamic and beloved. They aren’t simple archetypes that have to fit into perceived stereotypes.

But Jim, those issues did come up!

They did only in the context of looking back in time. Either by Sisko looking back at segregated America, or by others exploring Nazi Germany and other issues, and how much we’ve grown since then.

Now let’s take a look at Discovery… for starters quite a few elements of Trek have adopted the regressive mindset. Trek against Trump, being one of the more egregious examples…

Next we have the show’s original front runner, Bryan Fuller.

Brian Fuller is a huge Star Trek fan and cut his teeth writing for Voyager and Enterprise. He also said that he would drop everything to captain a new series if ever asked. However, he also appears to be in pretty big with the regressive left…

In 2016 he commandeered the SDCC Star Trek Panel turning it into, as many called it ‘an hour-long social justice rant’ much to the chagrin of many patrols:

 

Not helping matters, when the show was first announced, little to nothing was mentioned about the setting, plot, or story… placing a higher focus on the fact that one character would be transgender and the lead would be a ‘non-white female.’

The wording of the identity of the lead, as well as the main focus of the creators seeming to be on the characters’ identities over the story led many to refer to the new series as ‘Social Justice’ Trek. Many feared that Star Trek would begin tackling social issues that should be out of date in the Star Trek universe and essentially follow Marvel, Hollywood, and much of Sony into becoming a regressive leftist propaganda machine.

In essence, its not the characters’ races or gender identities that is the problem, it’s the seemingly out-of-place focus on them that people seem to have a majority of the problem with.

In typical fashion, things have been made much worse by the media. Several news sites have pulled a Sony and taken a single digit percentage of the show’s detractors (seriously google the articles, they all use the same 5 hateful tweets!), namely racist individuals, and passed them off as the majority of the show’s criticisms, despite almost a million other comments going through legitimate criticisms of it. I’ll give a few examples you can look into below:

Some white ‘Star Trek’ fans are unhappy about remake’s diversity

Racist Star Trek Fans Decry Discovery’s Diversity, Revealing They Know Nothing About Star Trek
(Why Gizmodo, WHY!?!?!?)

Keep in mind, a lot of these news organizations are owned by the very companies that are producing a lot of the shows and movies that we now see. So its not entirely unreasonable to assume that the show’s creators had a hand in this.
Essentially what these people are doing, are dismissing the show’s detractors and driving a the hard social divide even wider for their own gain, either through contracts for later interviews, or clickbait.

I’ve noted in my previous post that this should be a crime against humanity. However, dismissing critics as bigots, or silencing critics through threats of sexism and racism have been a trend of the regressive left for a long time now. Sony did it and completely insulted the fanbase for Ghostbusters. Marvel tried to do it with new Fantastic Four movie, and, while CBS hasn’t come right out with anything, several of their supporters have. In essence, when Geek Culture objects to anything, we’re labeled as being basement-dwelling, unwashed, unmarried, introverts that are crying because our toys got taken away.

So how are they allowed to get away with this? Based on what you’ve said, these companies are misrepresenting gender/identity issues for their own gain and insulted a large group of the general populace. 

Well… honestly its in part because geek/nerd culture doesn’t have a collective voice. We come from all walks of life, genders, races and beliefs. We’re all over the place, so it’s hard to have anyone to speak out on our behalf. The people who could have been those voices have long since joined the ranks of the regressive left, leaving the majority of geeks/nerds (moderate-left/center of the line) with no voice. Its like a microcosm of the political moderates in the U.S. today. There is no voice.

However I would argue that these people aren’t getting away with it. The detractors from the Ghostbusters movie in many cases had to do a soft walk-back on the things they said. (Not actually apologizing, mind you, but the bare minimum they had to do when public opinion turned on them).

Paul Feig Corrects Quote Regarding Assholes in Geek Culture

Stay classy guys…

However though we don’t have anyone to speak out on our behalf and our outrage is often dismissed… for people who live in their mother’s basements, we do have oddly large wallets (strange how that doesn’t add up). Ghostbusters flopped at the box office, there is no plans for a sequel and Feig won’t be touching another ‘nerd flick’ any time soon (thank God). Fantastic Four outright bombed at the box office and Marvel comics are in a death spiral.

To all of the show’s detractors…
Guys, give the show a chance. The first episode is going to be free to watch, so you don’t have to pay for it. It may be good. Midnight’s Edge’s videos portray Bryan Fuller’s exodus as a bad thing, but I disagree with them. His departure from the series and lack of further involvement means that this may not be the ‘Social Justice’ Trek that a lot of people fear. Give it a chance, if the pilot is really bad, well you don’t have to pay for it. Speculation is that CBS is already gearing up for a potential cancellation anyway. So just see what its like and go from there. That’s all anyone can ask.

So readers, have you seen the same trend I have? Do you agree with me that the focus on identity, not the actual race/genders, are the issue or are the detractors actually racist? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to engage with you!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

You Want More Trump? NOT OFF MY WRITING PLAYLIST

 

Yes, this is actually made to be taken seriously…

Look, I don’t care how one identifies themselves, but if you’re someone who advocates identity politics,  do you really think this is going to help?

When to listen: Never… this is cringe-worthy. Unless of course you’re looking to waste a few brain cells.

Plus, under no circumstances should bill nye (lower case to denote a lack of respect) be taken seriously.  This is a guy who said he’d be okay with people getting criminal charges for disagreeing with him on climate change. Again, I don’t take sides on the issue,  but criminal charges for a difference of opinion? That’s how you get more Trump…



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

You Want More Trump? NOT!!!

 

I was in tears from laughing at this! Seriously, this is utter brilliance!

This is NOT how you get more Trump! Have a great day everyone!!!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

You Want More Trump? Mass Effect

Ever wonder what happened to the Mass Effect games? The first one was awesome, the second one was great… The third… and now Andromeda..

Despite the decent reviews that Andromeda has been getting… they largely seem to agree

“In its current iteration, Mass Effect: Andromeda is an incredibly addictive, compelling action RPG. It is also deeply flawed in a way that goes beyond the sometimes wonky character animations and technical glitches that worm their way into expansive, open-world AAA titles nowadays. Much hay has been made about Andromeda‘s character animations and odd lighting, and rightly so. While there is a lot to love about Andromeda, these seemingly small details wind up breaking the immersion and distracting from the game’s storytelling potential.

From wooden character models to dead android eyes, the animations in Andromeda feel as though they were an afterthought. Some characters look like they have space rickets when the walk, others seem as though they’re experiencing constant tremors, and some suddenly appear in front of me thanks to shoddy draw distance issues on the PS4 version. In one horrifying case, the game glitched and created two Nakmor Dracks standing on top of one another in the kitchen of my spaceship.”

Among other complaints are that the character creation bit is terrible, and many place the blame for this and other Bioware game flaws on the game designers who seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time being racists…

C7ELHgiWcAI-std.jpg

… I’ve taken a bit of flak for this, but after seeing this… crap on twitter, I sent a letter to BioWare, explaining that if this was the type of person that they employed, and the things they say here are perfectly okay with them, they’d lose a lot of customers. They already lost me. I still have my Dragon Age games, but I have no intention of purchasing Andromeda or any other BioWare game until they come out against this bigotry.

Identity politics doesn’t sell, nor does a bias against another race.

Oh come on Jim, I’ll bet her doesn’t really believe that. He probably just said it to attract attention to his game. 

That actually might be even more despicable. You drive the racial divide deeper just to sell your product?

So you’re against freedom of speech?

We’ve been over this. He has every right to say it and I’m glad he did, because I now know where the money I spend on my games goes and can make much more conscientious about where my money goes.

You are aware that most of the gaming/geek community are left leaning right?

Yes, though that may change as they’re continuously alienated by creators looking to pander to a group of people that literally have zero interest in their products. I have no issue with leftist ideologies, its regressive leftist ideologies that I take issue with and those people are not majorly part of the Geek community.

Stupid, racist, divisive comments like this, people. That’s how you get more Trump.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Political Exhaustion

You know… a while back my wife and I made a deal to get off of facebook. It was becoming an issue for both of us and we were spending too much time on there. At the time I lemented the idea because… well she was absolutely right. Most of the plans I made with friends were on there, I was spending too much time arguing over points, things… were getting bad.

So we stopped. Now here I am a year later, my wife goes back onto facebook to see if her family has posted any new news lately and I do the same… and I’ve looked over the last few days…

Here’s what my wall looks like:

  1. Article posted by a friend from History.com comparing today’s crisis to the Irish one from the 1900s
  2. Boston Globe Article blaming Baby Boomers for the state of the US
  3. Another Post by a friend talking about James Comey
  4. Another Supreme Court Appointee
  5. The Refugee crisis and why it sucks
  6. Some idiot quoting a Hollywood Celebrity on Trump
  7. Someone sharing an article that some other idiot half-copied from CNN talking about the Russian Hack.

… I’m starting to think that my wife had the right idea. It never ends and frankly, I think we’re all tired of it. The endless stream of political bickering… one side calling the other racist, the other side resorting to other childish name-calling, neither side willing to budge… the list goes on and on… FOREVER ON AND ON!!!

Frankly I think we’re all sick of it.

But Jim you…

I know… I contributed to it and continue to do so… and for that I apologize. I really hate politics. I’ve seen how it drives people away from causes, turns friends into enemies, rips families apart, and everything in between.

News outlets talk about voter disenfranchisement, well… this is really what they’re talking about. People don’t feel represented, this is true, but they’re also tired of all the BS being hacked back and forth. They are tired of listening to far more charged and triggered people go at it, nearly tearing one another to pieces, they’re sick of seeing their videos of their kids getting yelled at by agenda-driver educators when they challenge what’s being taught. They are tired of all of it.

This is NOT how we are supposed to be. It is not how we are supposed to live. The United States, and many other countries in the West were built on the idea that people can have different opinions, they can have different views and beliefs and while you may not agree with them, you should respect their opinions.

Where we live in a place where people are berated to no end for their political leanings, where they live in fear that some overbearing activist will contact employers if they see something they don’t like…

This isn’t the way things are meant to be. There is no free exchange of ideas. There is a fight to get out what you think before the other guy cuts you off.

This is why people don’t vote. We’re tired of all of it.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Why Can’t We Get Anything Done?

“It’s the Alt-right’s fault!”

“It’s the SJWs fault!”

“It’s the majority of people who choose to do nothing’s fault!”

“It’s the radicals fault!”

“It’s the people in Washington’s fault!”

Well… actually, you’re all right.

What!?

Yeah, surprised to hear me say it? I like to bash on Social Justice Warriors an awful lot, and believe me, I get more and more material daily. However they are not the only issue here.

Then what is the issue here, Jim?

Well… that’s where things get more complicated. Remember when I posted this little doozy:

untitled

Well consider it like this… the majority of the people are in the purple rage. The fringers are green and orange… While the rest of us outweigh these small radicals ten-fold, overly, we are silent, or not enough of us speak up to make a difference. The two minorities are the most vocal in their opinion and as such, usually get the most attention, leading everyone to believe that their views are shared by everyone on the opposite side of the line, regardless of accuracy.

So while the moderate citizen may vastly outnumber the fringers, I think Brigitte Gabriel said it best:

“The peaceful majority were irrelevant.”

Well I’d like to modify that a little and say that the ‘SILENT MAJORITY’ are irrelevant, for the same reasons.

Unfortunately, this unwillingness to step up to the plate and reclaim control of what’s going on with our elected officials has led to more and more extremes, and with those extremes comes an unwillingness to listen or reach across the aisle.

What do I mean by this exactly?

Well let’s take a look at a few glaring examples…

First and foremost, Gun Control.

“Children are being shot in schools, people are dying on the streets, there are more guns than people… so we need to enact ‘common sense’ legislation to keep guns out of the hands of evil/mentally unstable people.”

Makes perfect, logical, sense right? Who could possibly disagree with that statement?

The answer is of course, no one… No one, until you get into the gritty details of the ‘how.’

Well you’ve got one side on the extreme that floods stories about government overreach cases, which do happen, though hopefully not as often as they say, they flood airwaves with doomsday speeches and totalitarian fears, and say if you give away one right, they’ll come for all of them…

Not helping matters… the other side is lead by people who say things like…

… Everyone last one… Mr. and Mrs. America turn em in… ladies and Gentlemen, Diane Feinstein, the poster child for term limits in Congress.

As well as people like Leland Yee… yeah, the jackass who then got busted on gun trafficking,  suddenly, the narrative of the NRA and their extremes doesn’t sound so unrealistic.

Then you’ve got people President Obama, who during his time office, said he wanted to, and eventually did have an open discussion about gun violence in the U.S.

He and I apparently have a different opinion about what an ‘open discussion’ means, because said discussion took place behind closed doors with groups like Everytown,  Michael Bloomberg, and the Giffords. Little to no pro-gun people were invited. That’s not an open discussion, that’s a mob sit down to determine the next plan of action.

So as you can guess, nothing came of it.

Then you’ve got the people who say that everyone should register their firearms with the state… until something unbelievably unethical like THIS happens…

Following that, the Newspaper became a target for threats and harassment… which solves nothing. What they did was legal… unethical and amoral, but still legal. Whatever side you find yourself on in that, death threats and harassment are not the answer.

The problem is, both sides have great ideas! Focus on mental health and education, focus on poverty in the cities, nation-wide reciprocal gun laws, reasonable background checks, etc.

Sadly those get lost under bans, gun owner insurance, registry, confiscations, buybacks, second amendment talk, open carry, etc. and the argument gets us nowhere.

In short, nothings been done… nothing will be done…


Now let’s look at another example:

The War on Drugs

Again, common sense? Who wants drugs readily available to our children? Who wants junkies going berserk on the streets and killing someone?

Well… you’ve got one side that says it’s already happening thus the war on drugs is a failure. They want drugs legalized and perhaps create safe-spaces like in some European countries where people can use narcotics. They accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being behind the times, unwilling to talk about it, etc. Almost like a bar scene or something like that where there will be staff that can monitor people safely. Bring them all in and the crime that surrounds drugs will end.

… in other words, make it legal and crime won’t happen anymore. Cure the disease by killing the patient.

Meanwhile the other side breaks out their Bibles, yells ‘think of the children,’ runs indoctrinating videos of drugs in classrooms and doesn’t really address the major issues as to why people use, the circumstances or anything. They then simply try to get as much banned as possible. They resort to calling those who disagree with them as stoners, junkies, etc…

Bans across the board have worked out so well in the past… haven’t they? They always solve the issue.

Ugh…


Let’s go with one more… because I’m a masochist who likes torturing himself.

Abortion…

You’re a brave man Jim.

I know… So first let’s start out with the pro-people. They believe that women have a right to choose what they do with their own bodies and no government should dictate otherwise. They believe that scientifically speaking, as long as a fetus can’t live on its own, it is not a living being, thus aborting it doesn’t fall on any unethical grounds that we should be concerned about. They also say that abortion is necessary because there are situations such as rape, incest, and the medical needs of the mother where things like this will need to be performed.

And honestly… most of those are fair arguments.

However the argument that a woman should have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies runs cold when the majority of the pro-choice crowd out there suddenly either go silent or actually champion when a girl has that right taken away for something other than abortion. 

“She was physically apprehended by government agents and forced through chemotherapy. According to her family, she got into a physical altercation defending herself from doctors, until she was eventually subdued and strapped down to a table.”

In later interviews, she is said to have been emotionally scarred by the experience… that’s rape. Maybe not sexual, but the same sort of bodily violation. As far as I’m concerned, it falls into the same category, and the silence from the pro-choice crowd was deafening.

But I’m getting off-topic. The other problem with this argument is that we don’t really know when life begins. Science isn’t perfect as we don’t know all that is ‘know-able’ yet. We’re not there. We don’t have a definition for conscience and feeling.

Then you have the pro-life side. They quote scripture from the Bible saying that it’s murder. They give examples of partial-birth abortions where babies are killed almost at the moment of birth… in other words, viable. They also make the argument that a fetus is a symbiotic life form. That just because it can’t survive on its own, doesn’t make it any less life. It’s murder, period.

Again, fair points… but again those points ring hollow when you bomb clinics, possibly killing people in the name of… saving lives? And don’t give me that greater good nonsense.

Finally, yes religion for the most part has rules regarding death and murder, but few actually say anything in the base scripture about abortion or about when actual life begins. They’re also morally ambiguous about ending one life to save another. Simply put, there is room for gray area.

Again, both sides think they’re in the right, and neither side is willing to listen. Instead hyperbole takes over and childish name-calling such as baby-killer, and Bible-Thumper goes out.


Now as with most issues, where does the majority sit? Well to be honest, the majority is capable of seeing both sides because the majority is in the moderate areas or slightly leaning to one side. They could reach across the aisle.

Sadly one of a few things usually happens:

They are shot down by the radicals on their own side.

They become disenfranchised because they see their voices making no difference.

They feel like they’re a minority when more extreme voices are louder than there.

They buy into the dribble being spewed by the extremes and remain quiet.

They become fearful for their reputation or livelihood due to the actions of the other side. (And rightly so in many cases)

 

And this is why nothing ever gets accomplished. The extremes from both sides aren’t going to change, they’re extreme for a reason. They’ve long since been indoctrinated and it is highly unlikely that their minds will be changed. Meanwhile the peaceful… silent majority remains irrelevant because they don’t speak up and the media continuously puts a microphone in front of the extremists, trying to scare the moderates into their agenda and their extreme.

Well Jim… what do we do about it? 

Right now, the best thing we can do is keep doing what we’re doing in some cases:

-Vote for populist candidates. I know… I know… Trump was a populist candidate, maybe not the best example, but so was Bernie. Being a populist means that you care more about the everyday people in society than the social elite minority. That’s what we need.

-Weaken the mainstream media as much as possible by seeking out the alt-media, such as youtube media outlets that don’t answer to large corporations.

-Don’t worry about the extremists. Stand up, speak out, make your voice known… and if the extremists have a problem with it, weather their criticism. Eventually they’ll put their feet in their mouths by saying something genocidal, non-PC, or outright bigoted, and that will loom over their heads forever. It ALWAYS happens, always.

-Finally, get people out to vote. If we can get up to 80% or more voting, we’ll be in good shape. A government that fears its constituents is a functioning one. A government that is feared by its constituents is totalitarian.

That, people is why nothing gets done… and this is the only way we’re ever going to change it.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim