Saturday, December 14, 2013

A matter of price?

  My novels and collections of poetry have been published as hardbacks, as fairly expensive books. It was a deliberate choice I made. I wanted them to be sturdier, to last longer, to last long, preferably thousands of years, preferably forever…
  Some people have told me that they are too expensive, that it turned off them and would turn off many a prospective buyer. Others have told me it doesn't matter, that people truly interested would buy them in spite of the fairly high price, and that many prefer durable binding. I guess I considered and still consider both claims to be true.
  This year, though, two of my books have been offered by Amazon and Amazon UK to drastically reduced prices. Amazon does that occasionally. It is part of their both admired and reviled business practices.
  The Defenseless was offered for less than half price for weeks. Your Own Fate has been offered for months, now, for less than five pounds (currently, as of this very moment £2.47 - TWO pounds FORTY-SEVEN pence)…
  That is less than the price for a large (massimo) Cappuccino.
  And I don’t sell more of them than the rest, in spite of them being advertised more precisely for the reason above. I have no say in this. Amazon uses a kind of random system. But I don’t mind. Even though they have sold and sell my books for a price making them lose money on every sale, I get my share. I love that my books have both quality binding and cost less than less, of course.
  Even though my experience hardly qualifies as a poll or a valid survey, the verdict seems clear. It isn't a matter of price, at least not to the degree I suspected.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

New tools (I)

  I have now in my possession all the basic equipment necessary for professional movie-making.

  It took me three nights to master the basics of the Canon 5D mark 3, which is a pleasant surprise. I expected three weeks at least. As stated it is a piece of advanced technology to rival a space station, but in spite of that you can take great photos and films using the manual settings, which I am usually going to do. The quality of the images is just phenomenal, but don’t ask me to compare lenses and stuff, at least not yet. I will never focus on the technical side of filmmaking more than I have to.
  This camera is so versatile and gives you so many choices that you work pretty much in whatever way you want, and change your approach at will as you go along.
  I have procured a new laptop, Asus G750JH with 32 GB of memory. We call it The Beast, or The Monster, a computer more than powerful enough to serve the needs of an independent filmmaker. To say it has top specs is a vast understatement. The graphic card is too powerful and new to be registered on Adobe’s list over such cards. It will become a part of that list in the coming months and stay on it for years.
  I have become a part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, a move that gives me access to all Adobe’s programs/apps, among them Premiere and After Effects. That alone is a dream come true.
  The Zoom H6 handy portable sound recorder is still in the unopened box.
  So are the Metz Mecalight 480 and other stuff. I approach this slowly but confident.

  Once again, and I can’t stress this enough, they, and whatever technical or expensive «wonder» you procure are just tools, the potential, not the execution. They are not a magic wand, but the means for the artist, the creative human being to do his or her thing.
  I will!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Like a flower

  Wednesday, November 19, 2013, at 3.52.17 (the moment I drew my card) in the afternoon and onward…

  I have good news. Then I have good news, and then more good news.

  This has been one of my passions for years and years, and even decades. If you search in this blog you will find a lot about it there, how I constantly state my readiness to begin my filmmaking career, how it is postponed time and time again. I began writing real scripts seventeen years ago. The first silly home movies saw the light of day in my early teens.
  It’s now been a year since I started in earnest on my self-studies on film production, and I’m ready to take the first steps on actual implementation. During that year I have covered almost everything concerning movie-production, from insurance to necessary recording equipment, both software and hardware.
  Finally!
  I’m unpacking my Canon 5d mark 3 right now, unwrapping the delights of my long planned moviemaking career. This is the best «semi-professional» camera out there and I have waited for it since I started up as a «filmmaker» in those before mentioned teens.
  There is the battery, the battery charger, its cord, the cord to connect the camera to my computer and seemingly an entire number of cords. What was a purely mechanical wonder thirty years ago has now become a complex and even though it is solid work also more fragile piece of advanced technology. The four hundred page big instruction manual could just as well have been one for a Space station (a major station) or something.

  I spent half of the money on the camera. I will buy the rest of the basic equipment in the upcoming weeks. As I keep restating: the digital revolution has made all equipment in various art forms so inexpensive that almost anyone can afford it, at least during the right circumstances. Mine this time was that my bank, in a baffling, unexpected move approved my loan application. I had several rejections from banks that had machines considering applications for them, but I finally asked one where they, at least in this matter treat people like people and not commodities.
  In today’s society loans are mostly given to people that don’t really need them, but sometimes there are exceptions.
  I was fully prepared for rejection once again. Only my inborn stubbornness made me try one more time. It was a strange experience as I stubbornly made my pitch and I felt that I hardly had to try at all.
  If they hadn't approved my application I would have kept saving money, like I have for years and postponed the start of my new effort for another six months or twelve. I would have done it eventually without the boost anyway, but I was beyond ready and have been so for quite some time.
  My experience with acting and directing comes mostly from doing street theater (mostly modernized Shakespeare) in London and Europe twenty years ago or so, and some modest film experience.

  This is just yet another start, one more stop on the road, a ladder of learning and growing, I’m well aware of that. I won’t rush things, but proceed at my own pace, as usual.
  As added bonuses I will start making music again, also for the films, and become a photographer again, both which are equally great, really.
  I’m not buying just a camera, but professional equipment and will start using Adobe Creative Cloud, music software and keyboard, everything needed to do everything from A to Z in movie-production, work with a movie from the writing of the script, through the development stage, production and all the way to the finishing touch of an editor. Even though I will have help and will cooperate with others now and then, I will be a one man production company.
  I’m «buying» a new life, a new major part of it.
  Representatives for the established movie-production companies claim that making a film is a (large) group effort and that has mostly been true to this point.
  But No Longer.
  Soon, movies with grossly inflated budgets will hopefully be a horror of a distant past.
  I will share my impressions, good and bad about my tools and my efforts at becoming a filmmaker.
  Life is filled with small steps, but occasionally you have to make a giant leap. That’s what I have done again, now. I’m even more in transition than I usually am. The value of step by step progression and passionate determination is unmistakable. I have proven that to myself many times already and will keep doing it.

  These were a few of several things that made me take the plunge this time:

  «Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well». - Robert Louis Stevenson
«When it comes to dreams one may falter, but the only way to fail is to abandon them». Anthony Grayson - Dracula, from the new, sadly short-lived ABC show.
  «Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible». Doris Lessing
  Jump into the fire, even though there is a risk of being burned. Throw caution to the wind. If you’re in doubt do it.
  Stuff like that.
  Those not busy being born are busy dying. I believe that, fully and completely and have always lived by it.
  A friend of mine swears I will do pottery or something equally far from previous work in three years. I love that.
  He was both joking and not.

  Versatile multi-artist - flap thy wings and take flight.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Israel - the beacon of democracy and peace in the Middle East

  It has now been a year since Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza (November 14 to 21, 2012). The Israeli occupation army keeps attacking and terrorizing Gaza and the West Bank in big and small ways all the time, but this was yet another major offensive, what the occupant and invader called «Pillar of Defense».
  The Israeli human rights’ organization B’Tselem has thoroughly documented loss of lives on both sides and as usual documentation paints a singularly picture of Israel as an oppressor of the very worst kind, of its leaders and soldiers and eager supporters as inhuman bastards you have to look hard to find elsewhere.
  The IOF, the Israeli occupation army killed a total of 167 Palestinians. At least 87 of these, 35 percent were non-combatants. 31 were children below the age of 18, 20 of those below the age of 12. More and more were killed the longer the massacre proceeded. Israeli bloodthirst increased daily.
  Four civilian Israelis were killed by rockets fired from Gaza. Two soldiers were killed.
  Once again facts prove a stark contrast to the Hasbara, the Zionist propaganda, the thoroughly distorted version of events presented by Israeli authorities and western established media.


  If you want to read more articles on Midnight Fire about Palestine write Israel or Palestine in the search area up on the left or click on the Israel and/or Palestine tag below.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Not a Porsche

  A Mac isn't a Porsche like its consumerist proponents claim, but an old wreck with new seats installed (and only that), sold for a much higher price than a new car of a different brand.
  Basically you pay about $2000 more for a «top model» machine that may have technology that is at least a year old. Expensive Windows machines got the new graphic card (NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM) right away, for instance. MacBook Pro STILL hasn't got it, but uses the lesser middle class 750 card. It has a smaller screen, offers less standard ram and so on. The worship of Mac is completely ridiculous. The old certainty that you pay more, far more for the brand and not for quality remains very much a reality.


  I can’t say I will never buy one, but it isn’t likely and has to be during special circumstances, among them the Mac being sold for a lower price than a new computer of a different brand.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Human rights?

  This is my contribution to blog action day 2013.

  Human rights have been a joke for a very long time, hardly more than pretty party speeches in any given modern society. The pretense has increased with all the nice words on paper, while reality has pretty much ridiculed them.
  Today’s local, national and global society is a place destroying everything making life worth living, a sham where people are brutalized and ruined from cradle to grave, a place where justice, equality and freedom are four-letter words. The nice words are hardly more than propaganda, an illusion of benevolence. We are kept in place by a thousand threads of a spider’s web, kept from rebelling against the yoke of modern life. The oppressive regime of money and power is everywhere, all over the planet. There is no country on Earth where freedom reigns.
  People will claim that the Declaration of Human Rights was something new in human life, but that just isn't so. It’s a mere pale reinvention of what was a given in the ancient tribal nomadic societies.

  Rights are not granted by law, but by nature. We are born free but grow up in chains. Laws are made by those in charge, to benefit those in charge, against those with little or nothing. We’re not even remotely close to having human rights today. We should demand far more of the world and ourselves than we do, also in this matter. We should make sure to be a part of a society we want to live in, not run away from, places where we can thrive. It’s about time we stopped following human law altogether and took back the true freedom that is our birthright.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My books have been banned by WHSmith

  My books have been banned by WHSmith. The information on the screen-dump below is what is shown when you search for Amos Keppler on their website.
  This isn't unexpected, since I knew that my books are controversial and would be controversial seen through mainstream eyes, but that doesn't make it okay, of course. If anything, the books being controversial is one more important reason to sell them and feature them. Censorship and oppression of free expression are never okay!
  If you read the beginning of their message you might get the impression that it’s only ebooks, but that clearly isn't the case, since I haven’t published ebooks yet. And if you read further that is pretty much confirmed.
  They’re also claiming that they’re only removing «hard porn», but I know for a fact that that is yet another lie. They use the opportunity to remove radical controversial content, not only mine, but quite a few others. I know, for instance of several books from other authors with no description of intercourse or even nudity at all. Some of my books do describe intercourse and the greatness of having wild and raucous sex, though. I’m sorry. I’m SO sorry, okay…
  My books and others were also removed several days before the website was taken down.
  One of my novels, The Slaves, describes in graphic detail what trafficking and modern slavery does to people. It wouldn't be surprising if they wouldn't want that to reach the public. I, for one find my descriptions pretty tame compared to the real world. Reality, as always is far worse.
  A recent European Parliament report states that there are 880 000 slave laborers, among them 270 000 victims of sexual exploitation in the EU alone.
  An underestimation.
  «… we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them».

  «… we have decided to take our website off-line to best protect our customers and the public. Our website will become live again once all self published eBooks have been removed and we are totally sure that there are no offending titles available. When our website goes back online it will not display any self published material until we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again».
  «The customers AND the public»? No small feat…
  Yes, I seem to be very dangerous in their eyes, and I can happily confirm that I am! Dangerous long live!
  Yes, it is amusing in a way, even though censorship and oppression of free expression are never amusing.
  What is amusing, though, is that they have sold my books for three years, that I and others have slipped past their vaunted system of censorship for a fairly long time.

  I find their attitude and «values» totally unacceptable and offensive, of course.



  I have emailed WHSmith and asked what is «wrong» with my books, asked what they object to specifically but have received no reply.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The horrible lack of truly critical voices

  There just aren't that many truly critical voices on Earth today, and even fewer true system critics. Most of those critical voices, at least those speaking out in public just want to brush and polish society a bit, not making the vast, dramatic changes needed to save life on Earth and create a local, national and global society with true equality, justice and freedom.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Christians blow up abortion clinics and other stories from real life

  Established media is once again filled with examples of «Islamic Terrorism». Christians step forward, eager to capitalize on the hysteria.
  I, for one have pointed out many times and keep pointing out that Christians and Muslims are pretty much equal when it comes to violence, intolerance and «terrorism». Christian acts of violence just aren't covered by established western media, at least not as Christian violence. Christian propaganda says that while Islam extremists walk around and blow up and shoot people, Christian extremists do not.
  Like with most of the arguments coming from such people it is WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG
  The facts speak for themselves, as they often do.
  If there is a difference I would say Christians are a notch worse, definitely a notch. It’s completely ridiculous when Christians criticize Muslims. It is undoubtedly as if the pan should call the kettle black.
  It isn't hard, isn't hard at all to be «informed» about Islamic violence. It screams at you from any television screen or front page and on the Internet, while you really have to search to find reports of Christians bombing abortion clinics in the United States and Christian armies killing people wholesale and Christian missionaries oppressing potential converts and even pure political terrorism justified by scripture.
  When Muslim individuals bomb and kill people they represent Islam. When Christian individuals do the same they are misguided believers.
  Christians are, at best basically hypocrites. No one is allowed to criticize them or their belief, but they keep spewing hate on the non-believer and the heathen, still persecuting witches and pagans. Let's see, Christians enjoy portraying themselves as benevolent, but are often homophobic, misogynistic, intolerant and ignorant. They are also actively encouraging those «qualities» in others, especially in children, specializing in ruining them at an early age. The Catholic Church has been aiding and abetting child abuse for centuries and is so powerful that they get away with it. Ku Klux Klan (Christians) has existed in the United States since the Civil War. They have not gone away and are not going anywhere. Racism is practically enshrined in the Christian United States.

  CHRISTIAN TERRORIST BLEW UP YET ANOTHER ABORTION CLINIC TODAY

  LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY MASSACRES YET ANOTHER DEFENSELESS VILLAGE

  CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES RUIN YET ANOTHER FOREIGN CULTURE

  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH KEEPS HARASSING VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE

  This is a small selection of what should have been headlines. A truth-seeking and determined individual can easily find more.
  Christianity spread from a tiny spot in the Middle East two-thousand years ago. It has pretty much occupied Europe since then. It committed genocide on the indigenous population of what is now called America and many other places besides. It has spread across the world like a plague. We can’t make them go anywhere, since they are everywhere, but we should fight them wherever we find them.

  They should be actively opposed everywhere and all their unjust and beyond damaging influence rescinded.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homage to rage

  The value of rage is grossly underestimated.
  Strong emotions are usually treated as a bad thing today, like all natural things. We have for instance «anger management», but nothing like «calm management».
  And behind it all there is an implication that there is nothing to truly be angry about, which is more blatant falsehood, of course.
  My view has, for a long time been that we, whether there is a need or not should embrace all aspects of humanity, of being human, that that is what is healthy and right, not the constant suppression we experience today.
  Feel free to direct your anger, but don’t allow anybody to bury it. It has always been and will always be a healthy survival mechanism.
  One major reason why such suppression, any suppression, really is so prevalent is that those in charge see it as very important, even crucial in order to stay in power. If emotions run wild changes run high for that to be the breaking point in a local, national and global society on the brink, and they fear that, fear it a lot.
  They want us domesticated, like pets.
  Yes, rage is essential, even crucial in the fight against the tyranny currently ruling mankind. Reject calm and embrace rage. Be human, not a machine.
  Embrace your rage, excel in your passion, both for the sake of your own well-being and in order to benefit humanity as a whole.

  Long live the true, so very necessary revolution.

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Wrong World: The Lake

  When you look at this small stretch of water it is hard to imagine that it once covered the entire valley. You see the horrible, poisonous claws of modern society everywhere: heaps of sand and machinery designed to destroy as much nature as possible, as fast as possible, the old highway and the beginning of its extension, the extinction of remaining life in the valley. What was once a lake is shrunk to practically nothing and I can guarantee you there is no life left in the water beyond micro-organisms and its like.
  This is a very good representation of how it is all over the world and an excellent illustration of how civilization works. It’s constantly devouring small and big pieces of nature, as it makes headway for itself.
  We have long since passed the point of polite conversation when it comes to fixing the horror of the world that is current human local, national and global society.
  Again we have to ask at what point do we claim self-defense. We’re long past that as well.

  The Wrong World is an upcoming documentary long time in the making by Amos Keppler.

  More about this subject on Midnight Fire:
  Any digging in your neighborhood lately?
  Bulldozer
  Civilization destroys more land and people
  The World Grinder
  Tailspin suicide run

Sunday, September 08, 2013

The same old bullshit

  As a local candidate for the pirate party in the Norwegian parliamentary election on Monday I was interviewed by the local newspaper, Bergens Tidende.
  They asked me what I thought about the election and the general debate accompanying it. I replied: «I’m not impressed. It’s the same old bullshit».
  It is a great and fitting headline for the interview as a whole, so even though the interview was reduced to just a few phrases in the editing process, as interviews with radicals and activists usually are in established media I am fairly pleased, comparatively speaking.
  My main beef is this: As far as I know no one else in the election has called it, called the bullshit so prevalent in the «debates». Little or nothing of true significance has been discussed in established media, and no one else has called it.
  The crushing, oppressive surveillance has not been discussed. Neither have other crucial issues like the environment or the massive, increasing poverty or Norway’s willing and eager participation in the United States’ horrible, inexcusable and ongoing aggression.
  This election has not deviated significantly from all other elections before it, and that, as always is a tragedy and scandal of immense proportions.
  Those claiming that the center/left government should go are correct, but most of them will vote for the center/right government, one even worse than the one they are about to replace.
  The world goes from bad to worse - again. Norwegian voters choose conservative solutions, those very same that have been such a disaster in virtually any country they have been implemented.
  A great result of this election would be if all 169 current representatives of the Norwegian parliament had been sacked and no one else of the new, upcoming representatives from the established parties had been elected. Instead we will just get more of the same, the same old tired and oppressive song of conformity and downright insanity.

  The same old bullshit!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Rebellion

  The nascent forces of wild and untamed rebellion in this world must step up its game dramatically and embrace true inkululeko, freedom. There is a need, a beyond desperate need for opposing and striking down the forces of oppression so prevalent today. This local, national and global society is destroying everything making life worth living. That, in itself is enough to do anything to end it.
  The pollution causing increased global warming, the chemicals poisoning us and all life on Earth, the destruction of nature, all that is bad and has horrible and obvious consequences, but is still only symptoms of the vast spiritual loss, our alienation from our home, from generous nature.
  A society crying out for rebellion, for true revolution is filled with trifles, with party politics and indifference. The so called left is impotent, at best, is clearly a part of the problem. The center-left, center, center-right and far right are as bad as always and growing worse.
  We have long since passed the point of polite conversation when it comes to fixing the horror the world has become.
  Again we have to ask at what point do we claim self-defense. We’re long past that as well.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Welcome to New Orleans

  From my novel At the End of the Rainbow:

  They noticed the moment they turned a corner and crossed the invisible line to the Vieux Carrè, the French Quarter, even before spotting the balconies and the special architecture.
  There is an open space opening up to them after they've walked for a while, and they’re a bit lost, after having crisscrossed the narrow streets for a while. A man stands at its center. He holds a ball of fire in his hand or close to it, holds it in his grip, even though it doesn't touch his skin.
  They stop, and watch and listen.
  – There is a valley somewhere, the man clothed in chalk cried in a dead man’s voice. – A Valley of Death, one of kings and gods, where all things are possible.
  He put the fire in his hand to his mouth and swallowed it, consumed it, and it seemed to glow within him, to the point where his skin brightened and burned.
  – I’m Henry Gallier, he cried. – I’m the Loa of the gods.
  Liz steps forward.
  – Your words move me, sir, she cries. – They make it tingle down my spine.
  The man freezes and glares at her, and his expression turns absolutely blank.
  He speaks, and they can’t understand the words.
  – Is that… that is French, isn't it? Brad wonders.
  Gallier takes a big jump backwards, and with a final, fear-filled glance he runs away like an animal before the Storm.
  A girl stops at an odd angle from Liz and the others, between Liz and Ted. Her head is slightly cocked as she speaks.
  – «I burn in your presence, Bird of Fire and Shadow. My flame is nothing compared to yours. I dwindle to ashes in your moonlight».
  – So what does it mean? Liz asked lightly.
  – I have no idea, the girl said evenly. – I've seen Henry perform here every day for years, but he has never behaved like this. Never! You made quite an impression on him.
  The girl is young, younger than Ted, perhaps a bit older than Liz. She looks strangely at them, at them all, and there’s something in that look that is strangely familiar.
  – You’re travelers? She stated.
  – We are indeed, Ted said. – And we have traveled far to come to this place, this City of the Dead.
  – I’m late for supper, the girl said.
  And hurried away.
  They watched her leave.
  – Welcome to New Orleans, Liz said, a huge grin transforming her face.
  – I think someone just did, Phillip emphasized. – Did welcome us.
  She turned and looked at him. It was as if she saw him, saw his cold, hard face for the first time. Everybody looked for the girl, but she had vanished between the buildings, and no matter how much Liz wanted to pursue her, she knew she would find nothing in there, nothing but ghosts and shadows laughing at her.
  Welcome to New Orleans. She looked at Ted. They stood there, breathing in the air of the foreign, but oh, so familiar place. It was like pulling off an old blanket, revealing everything hidden beneath. A thrill shot through them both, of expectation and apprehension, and as always they couldn't tell which was which. It echoed within them time and time again, much more so than the whispers from the streets and buildings surrounding them, as the twilight turned to darkness and the darkness turned to night.

  Welcome to New Orleans!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To get away with murder - a fictional story

  The bullies' ball

  The two police officers walk down the street a warm afternoon. People walk up and down the street, passing them on both sidewalks. Several individuals cast wary glances at them.
  One of the uniformed men stops. The other stops right afterwards.
  - HEY, YOU SON OF BITCH, he shouts across the street. – STOP STARING AT ME!
  More people stare at them.
  - STOP, the enraged cop shouts.
  Many people across the street stop. Others keep walking.
  Both officers draw their gun. They fire it once, twice and keep firing. One of the black men across the street is hit, is hit several times. He falls and hits the ground. They keep filling him with lead. People scream in hysteria and run away. Two of them are also hit. They keep running.
  The man on the ground groans and dies.
  Both cops grin viciously to the bystanders as they cross the street.
  - You people hope this time will be different, the cop grinning the widest states calmly, - but it won’t be. Cops can do almost anything without being punished for it. The exceptions are only when we truly piss off our superiors or break a given important rule of conduct those in charge have ordained. If you want to get away with murder become a cop.
  He chuckles darkly and pleased, so very pleased, looking at them with glee and spite in his eyes.

  No one says anything. They know the man’s words to be true. Experience has shown them that long ago and nothing has changed.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recommendation

  I am often asked which of my novels I will recommend, and I recommend various books, depending on my mood. They’re all my favorites, my joy.
  But perhaps the very best, when I probe the issue within myself is At the End of the Rainbow, the fourth book in The Janus Clan series.
  There are three basic entry points to that series so far. The fourth book is one. The Defenseless, of course, and ShadowWalk are two others. Even if there is a clear connection to the rest of the series, they can easily be read on their own merit.
  I don’t quite know why I think that Rainbow is my best so far, perhaps because it is my latest, or one of my latest, perhaps because it is such a great flow of story, or because of something purely personal to me.

  The first three books were a kind of set up to the series. This is where I get to use and play with the characters in earnest, where the going gets even tougher. You get to meet some of the main players, still in their youth, but already scarred by life’s hardship, on their ride across the Earth. It’s a great Journey. I know. I made it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Original

  My influences, my inspirations, if you will are more than anything what hasn't been written, hasn't been done yet. If you can’t do anything original leave it behind and seek a different approach or story or life.
  It was like that from the start for me. I wanted to write, make what no one before me had done and several years ago I realized I had succeeded.
  Sometimes life is grand and twice inspiring.
  Even as a child, I’m proud to say I removed myself from the copyists, the conformists, the obedient and the unimaginative, an ongoing process that took off with a bang in my late twenties.
  And that volcanic eruption worked itself up from there, from that fluid point, and, even if I enjoy the occasional nostalgia I have hardly looked back.

  I can’t stress it enough, how important, even crucial this is, in art and life in general. It is one thing among many that is mostly missing from today’s general humanity. I keep living it, every second of the night and even day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Poet’s secret word

  When I reread Secrets, this collection of poetry I rekindle my dark passions. My poems and stories are more than anything honoring the night and the savage human being.
  What is misplaced is once more found. Each morning we wake up in today’s dead society we lose a little bit more of what we truly are. My poetry helps me and will help you recover from that.
  They are openers, shining a dark in the gray light of day, moonlight and mist and shadow and fire revealing what civilization and a thoroughly oppressive society keep from you.
  When we are strongly encouraged and forced to work and stay awake during the day, where oppression is at its strongest we lose something infinitely precious.
  Well, this is a place where you will find the opposite and different effect, the opposite desires and stirrings. I am proud, I am, so very proud.
  I write, partly to inspire people, especially those walking the shadows to empower themselves, and at least it works for me… and also for a few others I know about. That also feels good, so very good.
  These thoughts crystallized in my mind (you guessed it) late one night, but also while I was groaning half asleep after the alarm clock had sounded the next morning.
  I had no intentions of writing a back cover text, for instance, but planned on only displaying the words, the subtitle «descriptions of what cannot be described».
  When I reread these poems my ambitions on their behalf and on the behalf of the publication grow. Perhaps I didn't fully understand and appreciate what this was about until I read it through. And I hadn't, until recently.
  But that night something… clicked and it keeps clicking.

  With this all the poems I have written in English have been published, except those that came to life and dishonor in South America and Thailand in the latter quarter of 2003. They were inscribed in my Diary of a Traveling Man late 2003 paper notebook and that one is more than likely lost forever at some hot and moist beach.
  I have made several attempts at recreating them, but it just doesn't work. Can I recreate the sound of the wave hitting the shore at exactly the moment I wrote a particular line, or the distinct and unique echoes of a door slamming in the soft wind from a shore in Pataya or a reef in Tierra Del Fuego? No way!
  You will find strains, pieces of them in this collection, though, inevitably, since they never really go away.

  I finished this two years ahead of schedule. It was done. The last poem had been engraved. The puzzle was complete, or as complete as it will be.
  On the maxi collection containing all the other collections up to August 2003 I used small fonts and tight spacing in order to reduce the number of pages and the sales price. I wanted this one to be different, to be big and spacey, easy on the eyes and spirit (but demanding on the mind and heart).
  This will probably, the way it looks right now at least be my last collection of poems. I have said all I can say and will say with my four hundred and thirty-one pieces of poetry, with this particular method of expression, and any more would be to repeat myself both in form and content and I try extremely hard to not do that. At this point I feel like I have covered every single piece of my interests and passions extensively. If I should even attempt to write another, it will have to be something completely different. Even ideas for single poems will be ignored if they don’t bring something radically new to me.
  If I live to be a hundred I will most certainly return to poetry, in one way or another, though. For now a prolonged break feels very right. What started in 1989 as hesitant and coincidental steps has at this point run its course. And it feels strange writing that, but not wrong.
  The problem is, as you might guess, even as I sit here writing this, that the ideas keep flooding me like a waterfall.
  I expected nothing less…

  One Sherwood Forest
  2013-07-18
  210. night 12068, in the 13. year in the time of the Twilight Storm.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Outlook

  I have a rare, even unique outlook of existence and life, and I bring that with me into my writing and art, creating something that is clearly, unequivocally original.
  I've read thousands of books, watched thousands of films and still have yet to find any even close to what I have done and want to do.
  Most writers and artists are unfortunately pretty much average, well-adapted citizens. Originality and striving for it isn't their strong suit, and the results show in their writing and art.
  What I love to read, watch, listen to and experience is truly independent and original work, thoughts and actions. It is really that simple. Too bad it is almost totally absent today, rare as birds flying in the night.
  I want mature, truly mature books, films, music and art not insulting the reader with tons of censorship and social conventions. Censorship, both overt and concealed makes finding such items difficult, to say it the least.

  I write the kind of books and make the kind of art I love to read, listen to, watch and experience.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My life as cycles (III)

  My life as cycles (II)

  The next cycle was from 1997 and four years ahead.
  I inherited the house and the property and decided to make an attempt at keeping it. It needed a lot of fixing, of work and money, but my stubborn streak prevailed.
  So, I became a businessman…
  Like earlier, with the vacuum cleaners I realized that I was good at it. We sold books, music and comics, and I think I sold far more of our products than most others would have done.
  But it still wasn't enough. I realized that I was only good at the art of selling, not at business. We never actually went bankrupt, but we didn't really earn much money on it and discontinued the company.
  I spent most of the year outdoors in 2000, in order to do research for my novel Thunder Road: Ice and Fire. It was an amazing experience. I had always enjoyed spending time in nature, in the forest, but that segmented it. I found that I could survive, almost without help from civilization at all, and in a place where there is very little game left. I mostly fed on roots and herbs and the occasional, rare visit to the local grocery store. I spent eight months outside from March to November, writing on an old laptop and carrying lots of batteries.
  The first year I did it because of research. The next I did it because I had to. There was not much money left, not even to pay for electricity. I lost myself in the forest, and it hardly felt bad at all, but on the contrary like the right, the perfect thing to do. Even if I started out fairly unskilled I still managed. That tells me all of us can do so, if we put our minds to it.
  One «break» from that, one more highlight, was when I sneaked onboard the train to Gothenburg without paying and participated in the protests, the «riots» (mainstream media strikes again). We activists had a shared experience there, with a value that can hardly be measured.
  I sold the house and the property not long after my return. The sale was finalized in October. I traveled to London to find a place to stay, but the prices had increased so much in the eight years since I had lived there that living there and paying for an apartment was totally unfeasible. So, I returned to Norway and moved in with a friend, until I found a place to live three weeks later.
  I had started playing poker in earnest, on the web during that time. My first small wins were in August, even though it wasn't sufficient, even close at being sufficient as a living.
  My new, rented place felt strange at first, but I quickly made it my own and found the nearby forest and mountains to roam. I found myself fairly wealthy, even though I knew my small fortune wouldn't last that long if I didn't add to it.
  The next cycle lasted from that moment until December 2003 or perhaps February 2004.
  Three things struck me more or less simultaneously: The digital age had come and I could publish my books fairly inexpensive. I could travel, travel the world. And I could play poker at a fairly high level.
  And I did. I began my travels across the world in late December, making preparations for the publication of the Norwegian edition of Dreams Belong to the Night. And I played poker, live poker and on the web, where an entire new world created itself for us all.
  Two old and «renowned» British betting companies wanted in on the emerging poker craze and sent out words to their customers, imploring them to join in. In what I and friends call the New Klondike there was an enormous influx of new poker players both online and offline… that couldn't play poker. In the period of January to April 2002 I won approximately $150.000. You just had to sit down by a table and chips (and thereby money) would literally flow your way.
  I published my novel and began my Journey across the Earth, one that should, with a few breaks and interruptions last two years.
  It was definitely the best part of my life so far. It suddenly struck me: I had, through time and patience achieved all the goals I had set for myself when I was twenty. It was so beyond satisfying all of it. Sitting there with my published novels in my hands, all the great places I visited and experiences I enjoyed. This was indeed the life I had envisioned for myself when I was twenty.
  I basically made two important mistakes. I wanted to publish my book before leaving Norway, but in the digital age I should have realized that I could have published it from Antarctica and it wouldn't matter. So I didn't move my base of operations, so to speak, which would clearly have been beneficial later. And I presumed the New Klondyke would last forever, which was stupid, of course. It wasn't like I threw away money. Compared to how others would have spent it I was quite modest, like I have always been.
  But I still ended up suffering from what should have been a predictable situation. New Klondyke ended. The really bad players didn't have more money left to play with and the rest got better, improved their game. Things evened out. Nothing lasts forever. Even though I could travel around the world and play poker with a solid profit I couldn't win enough to cover all my expenses and still keep playing poker on the level I needed.
  So I decided to stay in Norway for a while and play only online. I kept winning but not enough. So, I scaled it down more, with only about $10.000 left.
  In a way I was fortunate. I still had money left. Many I know ended up with large debt, while I ended up with $10.000 to spare, if you will.
  Two years, seven-hundred-and-thirty days where I basically lived out my dreams.
  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
  And I keep living out my dreams, just at a smaller scale, even as I keep trying, in various ways to return to the bigger. I keep telling myself, either true or false that the best is still ahead of me, and my persistence and stubbornness and hunger for life keep bringing me great moments.
  I ended up living on welfare from February 2004 to August 2005. During that period I didn't visit the local town at all. I couldn't afford the bus fare… I bought lots of food each time I did my foraging and filled the fridge, so I wouldn't need to forage often. I couldn't afford to go job hunting, except on the Internet, since I didn't have money for the bus fare. So, except for long excursions into the forest I mostly stayed at home.
  In May 2005 I did manage to fit in a London trip. The airplane fare had become so inexpensive that even I could afford it or at least make myself afford it. It lasted only forty-eight hours, but it felt like a lifetime. I couldn't afford to pay for a hotel room the second night, so I didn't sleep at all the last period of darkness, but enjoyed the London night all the more because of it. I wasn't tired at all, and all of it felt like a miracle.
  What I did do during those eighteen months was writing, writing more than I had ever done, before or since, about five hundred thousand words. I wrote on new stuff and I translated, rewrote and expanded on my first novel The Defenseless, the one I had started on when I was twelve.
  When I finally got a job and returned to town in August the town actually looked different, looked changed and actually was. Many things improved. I no longer needed to be afraid that I wouldn't have money left for food at the end of the month. With more money to spend I could play poker at a higher level again and win more.
  I was fearful that working, even though I didn't work fulltime would affect my writing negatively, but it didn't. I realized then, if not before that nothing could or can. I will always write, no matter my economic circumstances.
  The next time I traveled to London I did so in style and stayed for a week. I slept sixteen hours the first night there, exhausted from too much working, no longer working part time, but fulltime plus, 1.5 day. Instead of the usual 28 hour week I worked twice that. It was only work, eat and sleep for a while. I kept writing (in my sleep), though.
  In August 2008, after months of problems I had what amounted to a physical and «mental» breakdown. My neck and mind just said stop. No more work for me. I was on sick leave, while undergoing treatment for my physical ailment, my poor neck and recharging my empty batteries of spirit. I had a rather well-filled bank account once more and that felt good when I was recovering. I suddenly found myself with lots of free time again, which at the time actually felt strange, alien to me. I, who had been a stranger to ordinary work for most of my life and wished it so, had been working nonstop for three years. No wonder I was down and out.
  I tried returning to work the next summer, but I was unable to work more than one day each week. Then the company closed down its local branch and I was unemployed again. I have been on disability support ever since. I have undergone five different treatments, to no avail. My neck is permanently fucked.
  But that free time was not wasted. I used it, as I always attempt to turn a bad situation to an advantage. My novels had been pretty much ready for publication since 2006, but at the time I had neither the time nor the necessary enthusiasm to get on with it. Now, I did. In spring 2010 I had The Defenseless ready. It was published July 21. Your Own Fate followed a month later. Eight more would follow in the next two years and three months.
  I am self publishing. Twenty years earlier I had become pretty much convinced that no established publisher would ever publish my books, not the way I wanted them to be. Not long after that I decided I no longer wanted any established publisher to touch my novels with anything (not even gloves). I didn't know how I would be able to publish my books then. I only knew that I would.
  The digital age came and progressed and now traditional publishers have become obsolete. They haven’t quite realized it yet, perhaps, but they have. Anybody can publish whatever they want today without kneeling before the landlord, and I love that, of course. And I do.
  I haven’t become wealthy during those three years (and that has never been my primary objective either), but the possibility that I will actually earn money on my art is always present. And it feels great to know that they’re out there, for people to procure and read, and will probably be for as long as I live.
  And the digital age has brought more wonders, more possibilities for me to fulfill age-old dreams. Filming and music have also become inexpensive to make and publish. I am on it.
  And it does feel great to be alive. In December last year I was diagnosed with cancer in a mole I had had removed. In close to two months after that I didn't know if one of the deadliest cancer types in existence had spread (ninety percent mortality rate), but it hadn't. So far there has been no sign of anything resembling a reoccurrence, which is always a possibility, though slim, I’m told. I have written more during these seven months than I have ever done before during the same amount of time. My creativity works like that. It can draw inspiration from anything.
  Life, in spite of the many snags remains beyond interesting and wonderful.

  «He who isn't busy being born is busy dying» - Bob Dylan

  I've been arranging or participating in witchnights annually or several times a year in quite a few countries since 1988. One of my more memorable travels was also Europe by train in the spring of 1997 and a beyond memorable poker game between Berlin and Amsterdam, where I cleaned the table completely. I have participated in numerous protests around the world, including the anarchist conference «Ten nights that shook the world» in London in October 1994 and the «anti-globalization» protests in Gothenburg in 2001, where the police shot and killed a protester without the slightest provocation. I have taken LSD eight times in my life and at least five of them were memorable, one beyond what any words can describe. Both here and out there, in the whirlwind I've encountered and befriended countless interesting people, witches, rebels and other players in the night, most of them more or less in opposition to everything modern society is about. If I should mention one person it would have to be Dorothy. She showed me more than anyone else what life is about and we shared everything that is to share. We met briefly in eternity, met again some time later, easily rekindling our passion and then went our separate ways without regret.
  My reincarnation dreams began early, in my teens, but I didn't understand their significance until much later, but when I did an entire new and bigger world opened up to me. The discoveries that I was a witch and shaman had similar effects, of course. My eyes, my consciousness remain open, far beyond any narrow chinks of your cavern.
  Yes, in spite of necessary and wonderful contemplative moments life is a rollercoaster ride of some kind or/and it should be…
  I feel alive, so very much alive.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Remembering what we will never forget

  Today’s oppressive local, national and global society takes many things from us, but after rereading my new, upcoming collection of poetry I have reaffirmed to myself something that isn't always altogether clear to me, but should be:
  What the oppressors most of all take from us, remove us from is the night, the ability to truly and often enjoy our dark and wild passions in explosive and abundant ways. The true, savage human being is still with us, inevitably, but muted, seen through mist and ongoing and present poison. My poems, especially my upcoming collection remind me of what we truly are.
  It’s safe to say that I know about it, know it well, but the memory of it still turn dim in my consciousness after a while without those crucial reminders and revisits. To know something intellectually, if you will isn't sufficient. The emotional memory fades after a while. It isn't or doesn't seem to be an innate part of our lives anymore and it should be.
  When we are constantly strongly encouraged and forced to work and stay awake during the day, where oppression is at its strongest we lose something infinitely precious.
  With «Secrets - descriptions of what cannot be described», I’m delighted to say you will experience the complete opposite desires and stirrings. I am proud, I am, so very proud.

  If all goes well the book will be released August 21.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Propaganda 2.0

  Even though this particular post is prompted by the conflict Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and countless other whistleblowers currently find themselves in with the authorities; it could just as well be about any similar situation. It’s a great illustration of how those in charge successfully divert our attention and distract us from everything that truly matters.
  According to those in charge it is the fact that the whistleblowers have exposed horrible secrets and actions that is criminal, not the secrets and actions themselves. This is all an often used tactic on their part. They lay blame on the messenger and make many of us do the same. It’s an age-old tradition. Please, don’t fall for it anymore. We will all lose if you do.
  Not one blatant and often brutal crime exposed by whistleblowers lately has led to criminal charges. Not one!
  These days virtually all editors and journalists in mainstream media engage in a massive campaign against those mentioned above and against countries like Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, those few and proud that has actually supported Snowden’s bid for asylum, for a modicum of safety. When they «break the news» that Twitter and independent media have already broken hours, even days earlier they always feel compelled to point out any lie and distortion about the given people and countries currently very unpopular in the halls of power.
  Yes, Joseph Goebbels, the infamous Nazi propaganda minister is small potatoes compared to today’s propaganda masters.
  The truth of the matter is that it is indeed those residing in the halls of power that are the true enemies of mankind. NATO, their foremost military tool has been one of the most aggressive military powers in history. The surveillance, totally unacceptable by any standards of truly free beings is unprecedented. Prism is merely the latest of countless surveillance programs. The Echelon project, for instance has been active since the eighties. The oppression is already massive. What is planned for us all is far worse. If you take sides in favor of mainstream, for the average and its blind acceptance of narrow thought these days you’re the enemy of freedom.
  It’s quite «funny». Any wet dream conspiracy theory hasn't only been proven true these days, but inadequate to describe what is happening.
  Barrack Obama has long since become just as much an enemy of mankind that Bush was. Any support given to Obama is, by now a support of oppression, of massive surveillance and persecution and killing of children. If you think that is harsh you should promptly reconsider your life and your opinions.
  It’s time for us all to say a resounding NO to those in charge. That means, in case you’re wondering to stop supporting both the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States and virtually all members of parliaments all over the world. It means total transparency in government and big business and no more clandestine services anywhere. It means we stop other people from poisoning our food and water and soil and air, from serving us poison, physically and mentally from the moment we are born. It means no more rich and no more poor people.
  It means we finally abandon a sick system and get on with creating that new world with true freedom and human dignity. It’s long past due.
  Don’t let those in charge get away with it this time, and stop accepting tyranny, in any form.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

My life as cycles (II)


  The next cycle was the next two years until my first London visit. Autumn 1981 I made it through one short and ultimately sweet military service. It lasted ten days until they realized I was allergic against being ordered around, that I would always be a security risk. I was dismissed after ten days, in such a decisive way that it was clear I would never be recalled or even join the civil part of the service (which have always been a sham anyway), not even during war. If war ever comes to Norway they will detain me and possibly shoot me, if they get the chance, but they will not recall me…
  It was such a rush. I was high for months afterwards, during the entire long winter. I had beaten the system at its own game and I was ready for more. Resistance was possible. A recruit hating the very idea of war, of militarism, one they would love to break and make to confirm escaped their cold clutches, their dead, bony fingers. I was ecstatic!
  I terrorized my hometown with excitement that long, cold winter.
  No military service? Another negative nick on my CV and my nine to five career prospects…
  That didn't really dawn on me at all and it certainly didn't bother me.
  July 19, 1983 I arrived in London for the very first time, and it changed my life even more. I confirmed for myself during those seven days and nights what I already knew: life is so much more than we are told. I experienced the world that short/long week.
  I continued to earn money through poker playing in the upcoming years, not much, but sufficient for me to not need a nine to five job. The next cycle lasted two more years. In September 1984 I visited London for the second time and it was even more an experience than the first time, sixteen days and nights of wonder and joy. In May 1985 I won the national Double-or-Nothing competition, and earned enough money to pretty much, within limits do whatever I wanted. During the next three years I didn't really use much of that money. I could travel to London and elsewhere without using them, and I did, several times. I became a Traveling Man.
  It wasn't until June 1988 I decided to spend more of them. I traveled to London for what was meant to be a month, but that ended up being five years, five of the best in my entire life.
  I met witches and rebels and the mothers of my children. The first Witchnight was celebrated June 21, an event of infinite magnitude we have repeated and done our best to repeat endlessly since. We moved into an old house with lots of room, an act straight out of my books and lived out our dreams.
  And then some… I know I will never be able to properly describe it all, put it into words.
  We began doing magick, began playing street theater and I wrote on my novels, novels I ended up dragging around half of Europe in an old suitcase. They were in jeopardy and suffered horrible hazards several instances during that time, but survived. I still have the originals of Dreams Belong to the Night and ShadowWalk in my possession to this night.
  We didn't earn much money on our art, so we had to take various jobs. Fate and greatness intervened again and most of us got jobs as vacuum cleaner salesmen. This was expensive, industrial vacuum cleaners. We traveled around to various offices and companies, to places where we had an appointment and it was mostly nice work.
  One reason for that was our employer. He was almost too good to be true. He treated us as human beings and not slave labor, and then he truly began his genius approach to business:
  When we had enjoyed several successful weeks and sold lots of industrial vacuum cleaners he gave us a few extra days off.
  And then:
  «Hey, guys, let’s spend the weekend in France, my treat».
  The first time we scratched our head and quite couldn't believe our good fortune, but it repeated itself many times. And the thing is: his actions inspired true loyalty in us. He still kept most of the money he earned, but more than any other businessman or «boss» I have ever met he gave us an undeniable feeling that we were valued. We weren't his slaves, but his true associates. He became very successful.
  And I realized, to my astonishment, that I was good at it, too, at selling stuff. My big forte, if anything is honesty, I think. I never try to make a given product better than it is, don’t even attempt to stretch the truth.
  Unfortunately for us, not for him he sold the company and started sailing the seven seas. Things never became the same after that. We quit after a few months with the new management.
  I returned to Norway in 1993 with a considerable sum of money in my suitcase, though. It was meant to be a short, very short visit, but my mother grew ill, very ill and I stayed to help my father out with her. It wasn't pleasant, wasn't pleasant at all. She died in 1995, after suffering constantly the entire time, hardly even alive at the end, making her passing a «blessing». He followed her into death in 1997. Before I knew it four years had passed. My father had found a kind of peace in his last years, and we had come to a kind of understanding, one that hadn't been there earlier. We hardly quarreled at all the last few years.
  I kept writing. I never stopped. I had long since realized that it was one of the few things that gave my life meaning.
  My first computer, bought in 1995 revolutionized my writing, made the very process easier, making it easier to focus on the «purity» of creating. In the midst of death there is life.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Man of steel begins - a review

  I have read Superman comics for forty-five years, now, and it is the very first time I've seen a Superman movie, a true Superman movie.
  First of all, one shouldn't even start comparing this with all the previous Superman movies. It’s so far above them that that would be totally unfair. They were mere juvenile attempts at telling the man of steel story, while this is the very first time they’re even attempting to make a mature, intelligent and passionate movie about him.
  This is also the first great film from Hollywood in four years, since Terminator Salvation. Though that doesn't say much either, since Hollywood has long since descended into boredom and total commercialism.
  There is something about the Superman story or mythos, if you will that has a kind of universal appeal, one that, at least to me has nothing to do with religious connotations or him being an American idol and ultimate immigrant either. It isn’t easily defined, but it is there.
  He is a stranger, a traveler, not quite human. «Even though you are raised as a human being you are not one of them».
  You can see, right from the first image that they have freed themselves from all the past films. There are no homage there, no echoes of previous, hopelessly unsuccessful attempts at telling the story. This Krypton is unlike any we’ve seen in the past, even though the story is similar. They (Nolan, Goyer and Snyder) do follow the comics, even though they’re also liberating themselves from it. The Kryptonians die from an ecological disaster brought on by their own, disastrous actions. They are not gods at all. In spite of their technology, or rather because of it they have long since become a degenerated people, descended into a state of being remote from life and passion.
  One of the few scenes of the story that feels less believable at first is when the Kryptonian council sentences their criminals, the failed rebels to prison, the Phantom Zone, effectively saving their lives, but when you think about it that is also completely in character. Their ability to consider the ramifications of their actions vanished long ago. We experience a structured, ordered and joyless society, where only Kal El’s parents and partly General Zod show emotion at all. Gray is the predominant color of Krypton.
  Then we are brought to Earth, to Kal El’s troublesome adolescence and adulthood, to his long and hard search for answers to who he is. And not long after that, the story takes off in earnest. While the quality of Batman Begins falls when he puts on the mask, this one is strong to the poignant end. When we first see the man of steel in his suit, it is a great moment, not a downer. The fact that that is followed by a few «embarrassing» moments also feels right.
  As stated, this film is so much better, both overall and in the details compared to all previous versions that any comparison is unfair. The characters are «human». General Zod isn't a «villain», but one, though gravely misguided with a very good motivation for what he is and is doing, and they show in great ways how he is as much trapped by his upbringing as the Kryptonian council he rebelled against. Michael Shannon is just phenomenal in the role, clearly far superior to all previous actors playing Zod.
  Everybody, from Lois to the secondary multicultural cast of characters like Professor Hamilton, Perry White and General Swanwick fits the story. It seems like they have thought about everything, every little detail of the mythos, what to include and what not to include. Kal El is smiling, reveling in his powers, when he is finally able to fly, like anyone would. And as stated the movie is filled with such minor, but crucial details. Professor Hamilton figuring out how to ignite the Phantom Zone device. Lois tracking down Clark Kent. The fact that the Kryptonian soldiers are better fighters, but that Kal El is more experienced in the use of his powers. The true ramifications of a Superman among us are at least touched upon for the first time. The battles, even though they are very much there take a backseat to that. And so on.
  What more than anything delights me, also as a writer and upcoming filmmaker is how great storytelling this is, a far cry from the usual empty bluster of Hollywood and the films Nolan has directed.
  The one thing I would fault the movie for, aside from the rather embarrassing product placement and being a mainstream Hollywood movie, is for not being even better at fulfilling the promise of the mythos, but as stated: it is so close to achieving that perfection that, even though I didn't jump up and down in joy when I left the theater I was certainly filled with wonder.

  Great job, guys! Keep it up! Hopefully this will herald a string of Superman movies and be the last origin story for decades.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Our home

  Every time we leave it we are overwhelmed by despair, and thus is the current world.
  The forest is our home, our one and true home. No matter how far we go, there it is.
  It isn't necessarily a place, but more a state of mind we’re always carrying with us.
  We started out there, millions of years ago, and we never truly left. The only thing removing us from it is civilization, is oppressive modern life. Everything else is pulling us to it. Our humanity is pulling hard to the deep and dark forests. It’s the moist and warm place of our hearts and minds and core. When it’s raining, in the middle of winter, we are still there. The reflection cast by its white bed shows our eyes everything we need to see. At summer we’re surrounded by life, fire and shadows.
  There is so much here, so much humanity, and so much spirit. The wilderness is a great place, but the woods are even more wilderness and twice as great.

  The forest can be almost anything to us.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My life as cycles (I)

  I see my life pretty much in cycles of between two and three years, give or take. When a certain amount of time has passed, I start or am started on another phase of my life. It isn't like I follow it with mathematical precision or anything, I most certainly do not, but when I feel ready or when circumstances, both positive and negative or neither dictate it, I move on to other things.
  The first cycle is the first seven years before I started school. It wasn't really that perfect or anything, but it’s what I see as real childhood. This was in the early sixties, before children stayed in kindergarten, so I stayed at home with friends, and we excelled playing in the vast wilderness surrounding us. I pretty much saw school immediately as I see it today, as a cruel limitation of life. Regimentation entered out lives and disempowered and destroyed as much as it possibly was able.
  «My schooling did me a great deal of harm and no good whatever; it was simply dragging a child's soul through the dirt».
                                                                             George Bernard Shaw
   Even as I excelled in pure learning the first few years, it eventually turned sour on me. It was just too damn meaningless and yet another method of regimentation, and I knew that, with every fiber of my being. The second phase is my first two years of school. At the start of the third I met a person that would become my good and trusted friend for many years. He accepted me as I was, but still kept challenging me to better myself. One of the few regrets I have in life is that, when the time came, I wasn't able to do the same for him.
  The third phase is the next four years at school, until we moved on to a new one and met new, even less impressive classmates. The three years following that, from I was thirteen to fifteen were just more of the same, more of the same unappealing bullshit. Everything good happened outside school. I had started writing my novels and my friends and I had lots of fun, especially during the long holidays, where the regimentation of school felt like something distant and immaterial. During the two months of summer we could almost forget all about it. We had long philosophical discussion in the night and learned to appreciate the beauty of the forest.
  Tenth grade was a little special at that time. It wasn't mandatory. Those attending did it to improve grades. The irony is almost too much…
  And, as it turned out: that year became more than a little special to us all. It started off fairly normal, with more of the same shit, but then, after a couple of months we got a new main, homeroom teacher. He basically ended up turning all our expectations about life upside down. That wasn't necessarily his intentions. The composition of the students also played a part, I guess. But what he did was to encourage us to grow on our own terms, to truly empower ourselves and not by learning lots of meaningless crap. He was an anarchist, a nihilist trapped in a world he disliked, and not necessarily very nice, but he helped us, truly helped us to find our footing, to find ourselves. He was only the third person to teach me my own value and he did that in abundance. That year was one of the best of our lives to that point. We reveled in our newfound freedom. Chaos erupted and grew the longer we stayed in that place. We, by our mere presence had become great and powerful Agents of Change. The others students began to emulate us and establishment held long meetings on how to deal with the situation. Establishment sighed with relief when the year ended.
  Among many things he taught us was to give the world the finger, and one of the results was that, at the end of the year all our grades had improved significantly. Even the teachers detesting him couldn't deny the results. We got better across the board, not just in the subjects he taught, but in all. I became a better writer that year, a better human being and made the first, nascent steps to become the truly independent human being I would eventually become.
  We, and the school were forever Changed…
  The next three years, during high school, we were back in purgatory, to the same, old shit. It was a colossal letdown. End of story. I call my thirteen years at school a beautiful disaster. At least, if nothing else it helped me decide what I didn't want.
  I had my first sexual experience beyond making out during those three years… and can still not recall anything about it. I had a blackout and I guess that is very symptomatic for those great high school years. I flunked, only in one subject, but the rest of my grades were so bad that it didn't really matter.
  So, here I was, twenty years old, without a viable education, and I felt nothing but base relief and joy, both because the suffering was over, and because of all the exciting plans I had for the rest of my life.
  On the day I turned twenty I swore I would change my life. I realized I mostly lived for others, to satisfy their expectations of me, and like a tape recorder repeated others' words and actions.

  I kept writing my novels and set up three main goals for myself to fulfill: I set out to truly become a writer, an author and to have my books published, to play poker for a living and travel around the world.

  My life as cycles (II)