Monday, November 18, 2019

Don’t let middle age blindside you, kids. It can be a booger and knock you out before you know.

Found out that a guy I grew up with died over the weekend. Long story short, he took Ambien to help him sleep, drank a little too much at a football game this past Friday and something in the mix didn’t work together. We weren’t tight but we were friendly. I haven’t kept up with him since I left for college, but I always thought he was a pretty good kid and he apparently he turned out to be an okay adult.

I was told he and his son, who plays on the local high school football team, had an argument the night he died. I hope they made up. Either way, I feel for that kid, as well as his two sisters, but I’d hate to think my father went to his reward thinking I was mad with him. I consider myself extremely lucky that Daddy was able to hold out and stay aware until I got a chance to say goodbye and that I loved him. Something to think about, y’all. Life comes at you fast, they say.

Anyhow. Yeah, a little maudlin today but life goes on, as much as we try to stop it. Within the last 24 hours, there’s been two mass shootings. One was in Fresno, when some dick opened fire on a family watching football, while the other happened in Duncan, OK, where some shit killed three people before killing himself. The Fresno shooter is still at large, at current writing, and may be tied to a non-gang related conflict, while the Duncan shooter is dead and no one knows why he did what he did.

This all comes on the heels of a school shooting in Santa Clarita, CA, just north of Los Angeles. The young man who did the shooting there, a 16 year old who set off none of the usual “warning signs” (not a loner, not socially awkward, a student athlete, etc.) died Friday after ending his rampage by shooting himself in the head. There seems to be absolutely no rhyme or reason to who the young man shot, just whoever happened to be around. Pistols were used in all three shootings, the two California events were semi-automatic.

I really have no words for this. And this is not a call for any sort of increased gun control or taking away certain types of unnecessarily high-powered rifles from people who have absolutely no need of them. We are obviously way past the point where that will do any good. This idea that we as individuals have the right to end the existence of other people, strangers or classmates or friends, exposes a rot in the societal make-up. Our culture is wrong and twisted, and there’s something that’s just off that we need to address.

Is it capitalism? Or a degradation of “Western values”? A combination of both or something entirely different? Or is it nothing at all, we’re just the “bad guys” and since we can’t just kill other races indiscriminately, this is how we give release that foul side of our collected soul? I have no idea nor do I have any answers. But if you can’t even watch football in your own home, something is off and we’re ignoring whatever it is.

Okay, let’s wrap this up on something positive. I’ve been reading the “Deathless” series by Chris Fox. So far, I’ve knocked out the prequel, The First Ark, and I’m currently making my way through the first book in the four-book series, No Such Thing As Werewolves. The following two books apparently address zombies and vampires, with a fourth one not focused on any particular famous monster will wrap up the story.

Along with those particular boogeymen, the books have ancient conspiracies, aliens messing with Egypt before recorded time, paramilitary groups with fantastic weapons, classical gods, and lord knows what else. Author Chris Fox has a particular talent for characterization. Not to give too much away, but he paints the characters in the early part of the story with a rich, well-crafted interconnecting relationships before slaughtering the bulk of them. The antagonists (maybe they’re the villains or maybe they’re the heroes) are sympathetic with understandable motivations.

All in all, it’s been a good deal of fun and I’m interested in seeing where it goes. I’m generally not fond of books in a series, but Fox seems to be crafting a universe rather than following just one protagonist. If I can ever knock out the fiction that’s stuck in my head, that’s how I would go about it. Harry Dresden, just for an example, is far too dreary a character to follow for more than a couple books. But that’s just me.

That’s good enough, I think. Hug your loved ones, friends and neighbors, and read good books just for fun when you can. This is a tough old world, y’all.

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