Light Before my Eyes (from my Patreon page)

Evening folks, I am in an odd mood this evening, restless yet contemplative.  I need to create but am not ready to work on any particular project so I decide to revisit the poem I was working on about the vastness of space and the beauty therein.  However, I did not really feel like wrestling with rhyme and verse, structure and tempo so I decided to just write it out.  I give you:

 

Photonic Dreams

by

Robert Garbin

 

A photon of light has entered my eye.  An ancient photon has touched the receptors at the back of my eye and caused a series of electrical impulses that send information to my brain billions of years after the photon was first emitted.  Billions of years spent crossing the vast gulfs of space, being bent around stars emitting their own photons of light, a path full of gravitational twists that cause the distant from one shore to another to be measured in years of light travel.

In my mind I churn through these facts, wondering at the sites this photon of light has seen on its long journey.  Out there the star that gave birth to my photon has long since ceased to exist, nothing more than a nebulous cloud of expanding gases millions of miles across and yet too small for me to see without a telescope.  What societies did my photon uncaringly bypass on its way to me?  What alien mind might have pondered the same things I am?

The photon no longer exists outside of me just as someday the last reflected photon from me will cease to exist.  Will I be lucky enough to reflect a photon back into the vastness of space so that some small part of me can see the wonders of our universe up close rather than as a voyeur?   What a journey that would be.

Just an Observation

The biggest lie mankind has told itself and continually bases decisions on is that humans, for the most part, are rational beings.  I dare you to sit and think of one thing mankind has done that has not been perverted, abused, or taken for granted.  If mankind were rational, would we still have wars, murder, or rape?  Would we have arguments over silly things because we no longer see what is really bothering us?  Would there be greed, corruption, or lust?  Our very irrational nature, do to the multitude of variables in our physical make-up, will eventually be our undoing.  Not because we have them, but because we failed to learn to account for them.  If we do not account for greed, corruption, hate, lust, violence, etc. in our governing processes, they will grow unchecked.  To put it bluntly, humans are ruled by their emotions, which are in turn greatly affected by nature.  Changes in our environment will change our own reactions because, like it or not, we will always be a part of it.  Even more important, we are all connected in this world.  There is nothing that you do that will not have an effect on everyone else in the world.  Welcome to chaos theory 101.  Thus, the irrational/emotional actions of someone in China will affect you and vice versa.

History in the Making (from my Patreon page)

As promised, here is the surprise.  If you go to Robert Garbin’s Patreon page , you can download for free either a PDF or Rich Text copy of my short story “The Fall of Blessing and Prosperity”.  Below is the write-up I did for my Patreon page:

 

“As I said yesterday, I had a surprise in the works for those who have been following my blog.  Here it is.  I present to you “The Fall of Blessing and Prosperity” free to download.  

This is a story that is a key historical event informing the story line of the full length novel I have bouncing around my noggin.  It is a 6,500 word short story that details a pivotal event in the history of the novel “Sorrow and Remembrance” and will actually be incorporated into the story.  I have been working on this tragic story for some years continually adding to and refining it.

“The Fall of Blessing and Prosperity” is a tragic tale of human stubbornness and prejudice, ending in horrific loss of life, affecting people well beyond the arena of the warring cities.  This story, as well as the larger arc, has a lot to say about the effects of war on all those people who share the world with warring people.  You do not have to participate in a war to be gravely harmed by it.

Although I have been working on this story for years, it is still a work in progress with lots of room for expansion.  Any feedback you give will help me to improve what will be the backbone of a larger story.  I hope you enjoy this offering”

Teasing April’s Story (from my Patreon page)

Well, it is time to start teasing next month’s story, which is appropriate given that it will be April Fools.  The story will be a challenge for my readers since it is actually based on a historical event, but not in a straight forward manner.  I entered an earlier version of this story in one of the monthly flash fiction contests at SFFWorld.com and stumped most of the readers as to the event I was describing.  So by signing up for $1 a month at my Patreon page, you can see if you are quicker to figure out the event depicted in “Trinity”.   Two hints I will give you are that it is not about religion and the title is part of the story.

Art Does Matter (from my Patreon page)

I want to make a case for funding the arts for obvious reasons and I don’t mean because I am an artist.  Of course, I am an artist so I do lean toward an artistic point of view.  Also, the arts are more than just images, they are music, they are writing, and they are theater.  How many of these affect your life?  Well, by how much money actors, singers, and writers can and do make, I would say a lot.

Where to begin?  First, let us deal with the fact that Republicans once again want to scrape funding for the endowments to the arts and public television, which make up a small percentage of the governmental budget.  Why do they target these programs?  One, they are rich and can afford to get any art, entertainment, and learning for said they want so they feel they shouldn’t have to be taxed to help people who cannot afford access to same.  Classic “if it does not benefit me directly, I don’t want to pay for it”.  Unfortunately, it does benefit them greatly but they are too myopic and greedy to see that.  I will explain later.  In addition, they are not the only ones being taxed for these programs and the voters should have more say in what is cut.  You know, that whole  “taxation without representation” jazz the Republicans spew when it is not in their favor.   Two, cutting such programs make them look like they are fiscally responsible without having to dig into programs that benefit their largest donors.  Note, I do not say base because their base does not count, only their largest donors.  Finally, the artistic community is in general one of their biggest oppositions, so it is logical to do all they can to undermine that sector.

Now, let us focus on why the arts need funded.  The basic reason, and one that is directly in their favor, is that the arts take peoples minds off their woes.  After dealing with all the pressure of work, what is one of the first things people reach for to relax, TV – entertainment.  What makes entertainment possible?  Art, music, and theater.  The arts help soothe the frustrations we all feel.  Music calms the savage beast.  Next, the arts directly influence scientific discovery.  How many times have you heard that Star Trek has influenced a scientist or astronaut to become who they are?  How many ideas have been generated from artistic endeavors?  Also, the arts help to relax the minds of people so that they can better focus on the work tasks that are given to them.  Finally, by limiting art access to only those you are willing to pay for directly, you risk becoming frozen in a set of artistic values that will eventually erode their worth.  You in effect create a stagnant pond that begins to have a negative affect on scientific and technological creation.  How many great artistic and technological innovations have come from random citizens in our country?  The bigger the pool of talent, the better the results.

So, are the arts important?  Hell yes!  Where do the Republicans think the ideas for their ad campaigns come from?  Where do they think the ideas for wrist watches and cell phones came from?  Star Trek and Dick Tracy!  How do scientists and movie makers visualize for the public their ideas?  Artwork!  Where do scientists and engineers get a lot of their ideas about the future from?  Science Fiction Writers!  Life without the arts would be dull, meaningless, and dangerous.  Hey, I can understand that cuts need to be made, but you don’t have to totally wipe out these important programs.  Try dipping into all the items in the governmental budget evenly and quit lining your pockets with our tax dollars/future.  Quit shifting the burden solely onto the middle class you claim to care for so much.  Try trimming some of that corporate welfare fueling the 350 to 1 income differential between the top 1% and middle class incomes.  Take your stinking paws off the arts you damn dirty apes!

Here are some signs for you

Here are some signs I made for those who want to express their feelings.  They are free to use, just don’t change them.

 

trump-flag

 

bowling-green

Addendum to my post “Building a Great Wall”

 

John Oliver says it all here.  I have actually talked to someone about the wall and their reply was that they basically didn’t care.  I told them it would do no good and they agreed.  They still didn’t care, even though it is abundantly clear that Americans like him and I will be paying for it and getting no concrete safety out of it.  These same people hate paying taxes to feed the poor but will give up billions on a futile gesture that shows just how unchristian they really are.  How do you change that dialogue without losing your mind?  I am firmly convinced that half of America should be put in straight jackets for their and our safety.

Original Post:

Building a Great Wall