Sunday, September 15, 2019

Crawling From the Wreckage

Oh! The joy of a wireless hotspot. As I write this I'm on my way down to LA to visit my sister-in-law in Redondo Beach. My kid has yet to meet her cousins . It's only been two years, right? (And one of them was born on the exact same day as Eowyn!)

Many moons ago I wrote my last update. suffice to say the last month or two has been harrowing for a handful of reasons. I had a nervous breakdown (was due for one) and had a spurt of creativity fueled by the turbulent period. I wanted to, as well, invest some time into some more developed ideas. At least one of them will get a longer format treatment to be featured at the end of my next book.

LA is a strange place. The heart of such whimsy (made fun of in such films as Demolition Man and Beverly Hills Cop) and violence. It's likely the home to California's future mega-multi-metropolitan-dystopia. Similar to the adage "you are what you eat," if the city was conscious, it would be screaming with existential terror because so many of it's inhabitants yearn for the end, a la Mad Max-styled diesel punk or the neon highlights of a Blade Runner-esque cyber-punk vista. (Pick your poison.) All of this is popularized in the film industry that has so molded the psychological and topographical landscape of the LA city basin. I don't think I could do it, living here. When the big one hits Sunset Boulevard will erupt like Vesuvius.

It's nice to finally begin the third edit of my new book. It's the final stretch, after 4 years of working on it. I had originally told myself to finish the book in two years, but, unless that's the only thing I'm doing, fat chance. I vacillate between the two, but the third draft is the most important draft in my mind. It's like sanding a piece of wood, or stitching up a laceration: the work isn't done, but its LOOKING like it's done. And that, if anything else, is a salve on my addled brain. Seeing that all that work and perseverance wasn't just for nothing.

If any of you have been following me in this journey, thank you. Seriously, thank you. It can be infuriating writing a book, especially when you know damn well that there are so many other books out there that you are fighting to compete with. With as little ceremony as possible I must say, Let me be YOUR author, friends. Nothing in this world gives me more joy than telling stories.

On another note, I got my fist unsolicited review! Very excited! See it below:


Thank You Mystery Reviewer!


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Madison Monroe: Investigative Therapist!


I had this idea when I was on my way back into work. I had just seen my therapist and was working out the idea that I was one of many patients. Which isn't unreasonable to think, but in a profession that focuses on mental health and wellness, I wondered how empathy played into it. To see a patient, to want good things for a patient, it all seems a bit Hollywood. But then I had this funny idea that led to this, and could turn into something more...



“This one,” Madison thought. “He’s a jumper…”
A languid fan turned side to side in the dry heat. Midday sun overhead heating the adobe husk as if they were roasting in a pizza oven. Madison twisted in her seat, chewing on the end of her ballpoint pen. Her blouse was sedate, a paisley amalgam of earth tones that emphasized space, secreting away the physical alacrity of three hundred combined hours of expensive yoga and personal training at Perpetual Fitness. It’s what the job required on any given day. And, despite maintaining a slight—though healthy—distance from clients, nestled into the fortress of throw cushions surrounding her, she awaited the call to go over the top into no-man’s land
Across from her, reclining stereotypically on a couch that she scored from a thrift store two blocks from her downtown office, was David: typical white male, mid-thirties, struggling with anticipatory anxiety and workplace stress. Additionally: fear of bright lights, obsession with oil slicks, mentions blood every so often with uncomfortable familiarity... David’s proclivity to fiddle with his clothes, to nervously pluck at his anemic beard: tell-tale signs of clinical compulsion. Deliberate and textbook. She knew now, without exception, that David was the murderer. Christ, he even had dried blood under his fingernails. Oil painter, my ass...
“It’s the same thing, every time. The lights. They’re a trigger,” he said.
Looking at her notes, a scrawl of shorthand psychiatric notations, she circled the macabre profession casually, written out with paradoxical whimsy. It was almost two in the afternoon. Her next client was already out in the waiting room, scrolling through social media and listening to the warm and fuzzy NPR broadcast featuring a documentary on the lives of polyamorous circus musicians.
“So, David, when you avoid this…” She paused, prompting the word in her mind like a late night talk show host. “You avoid this stimulation, right? You’re building it up. Making it out to be something catastrophic, like that stone that was rolling after Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
David sniggered. “Mmmhmm, I loved that movie.”
This was typical David: escape coping through nostalgia.
“David? Did you read the chapter in the workbook yet?”
He tilted his head sideways. Madison saw the reflection of the ceiling light in his glassy stare.
“No,” he replied. His posture clenched and relaxed, like a blood pressure monitor. “I’ve been wanting to, meaning to… It’s just been a hard week.”
“I’m sorry,” Madison cooed.
Quickly changing topics, she continued.
“We’ve established that you tend to worry, think apocalyptic thoughts. But… you know… not everything is the end of the world, David.”
Madison watched David roll over, onto his right arm, placing his head on his pillow as if he were about to sleep. He laughed. A disembodied voice, strained, nervous, unraveling like a roll of toilet paper.
Pushing against her couch, making a half-hearted effort of a pushup, he replied, “I know, right?”
“And you still think this is because of the loud noises that you were subjected to? As a child?” Madison probed further. Time was cheap, borrowed at this point in the session. The sting was in process. The cops were already outside. She could hear the police chopper cutting through the air overhead.
“My father had a gun. Late at night on the farm he would go out to check the traps around his chicken coop. And it was always unexpected, the shot. You would hear it in the night echoing through the hills like a jet engine, or a bundle of dynamite. Fourth of July, I hated the most. I would be dragged there by a babysitter or family friend and cover my head under the blanket for an hour. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! And I would shiver. They would laugh and cheer like it wasn’t a big fucking deal. And afterwards, I would look up and see it: the phosphorus afterglow of smoke, like blood spilling out onto the night sky.”
She needed more time. “David, did you come up with that right now? That’s really creative.”
Immobile, he looked up while lying prone. “Yeah? It just came to me…”
She leaned forward, masking her victorious smile, making wide strokes across her note pad. Not circles, or even underlines. It was the signature brush stroke of an epiphany. “So… okay, David. This is an ongoing thing. What steps have you taken to desensitize yourself to sudden increases in volume? What do you feel does the most to walk these panic episodes back to a place of calmness?”
But, it was too late. Chatter in her ear. The extraction imminent. The shrill ping of microphone feedback made her wince. David sat up. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“Ah, yeah… Just a migraine,” Madison replied, irritated. “It’s that time of the month…”
So much for the signed confession, she lamented.
At the corner of the office, from a slim five panel door—exit only—a sudden compression of blasting air. An explosion of brass colored woodchips, projectile fragments of door knob, and deadbolt barely missing her head. Through the haze, David scurried like a rat, rolling off the couch, and clumsily pushed the air conditioning unit out of the window frame.
“Down! On the ground! NOW!”
Ignoring the officers, David stumbled through the open window, reaching out for a railing that was not there. Afterward, Madison heard a scream and a chorus of cries below.
Fuck. She rolled on the ground in pain. “Why? I was so close!” she shouted.
As the officers swarmed in, inspecting every inch of the room for danger, they parted for Detective Jefferies. A gaunt face with high cheekbones and wiry hair slick with oil, he wore second hand slacks and a ragged windbreaker stained in the color of blue ice. He circled quizzically around the ruined office, sucking on a lollipop. It was her fault. Once, she made the recommendation for seeking a health substitute after watching Jefferies chain smoke a pack in two hours. Not candy, though. She didn’t recall recommending grape flavored Big League Chew to baseball players hooked on chewing tobacco. And carrots would just exude the aesthetics of wise cracking rabbits. Jefferies kicked a piece of wood across the floor, distantly remorseful. “Sorry about your place…” He grimaced, crunching into the candy and discarded the stick, flicking it like a cigarette butt.
Madison clambered for the windowsill in a daze. She saw onlookers gathering around what remained of David after his three story fall. It was a waste, losing a client. He was worth, at the very least, four more sessions.
Reluctantly peeling herself away from the tragedy, she left the window and slumped down in her chair. Drywall dust scattered out from under her.
“We raided his house this morning, in front of the bodega on Third Street. One of those craftsman homes with the paint peeling like at get out. Finally got a judge to sign the warrant. The construction work in the backyard on those new condos was the perfect cover, you know… for hiding the bodies. Just like you said, all of them were members of the gun club in the valley.”
Jefferies unwrapped another lolly and put it in his mouth.
“They all were—get this—partially exploded! As if fireworks were jammed down their throats.”
Madison hung her head, massaging her temples. “The confession… it was almost there…” She muttered.
“Sir?” One of the officers came in, dragging a fragile nymph of a boy. “This one was in the waiting room.”
                Madison leaned forward, peeking around Jefferies.
“Mark? Hey, I’m sorry... Can we reschedule for Thursday? Something came up…”
For the rest of the afternoon she sorted through her case files: photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, and whatever notes she had written down from her sessions with David. The office space she rented out was a part of a historical location from the turn of the century, before there was such a thing as global warming and the nights still got chilly. She lit a fire in her office and tossed the paperwork in, almost nostalgic. Mostly angry.
Weekends. That sacred time when one could lay out on the beach and get a $100 tan while shooing away the peeping homeless. It was time to get out and see the world. So, that night she met up with Joselyn and Steven, a pair she had met at the county correctional facility the year before. They had good energy, well balanced. Yin and Yang. Steven’s tendency to overanalyze and hyperventilate when his favorite character died on television and Joselyn’s frenetic and manic fascination with World War Two trivia and samurai swords. Kat-something…
They were at the local favorite of hipster and disenchanted youth renown, Your Face’s House, at the end of the bar, holding down the corner closest to the bathroom and the karaoke machine—just in case. Joselyn was jawing on about her latest client, Charlie, who committed suicide the day before the failed arrest on David.
“And that’s another thing. They never teach you how to profile. You think you have a jumper, but he’s really a cutter. You think you have a cutter, but she’s really prone to shoot up and OD.” She took a long drag on her cigarette, burning away a centimeter of tobacco. Into her chest went all the spite of the world, Madison figured. A convection oven dotted with freckles and rosacea. “I mean… fuck me for making a difference…”
“We do what we can,” Steven murmured. He took another sip of his Guinness and wiped the foam from his moustache. (Joselyn called it the “Tom,” as in Tom Selleck. Madison would always cringe, knowing damn well that it was a walrus moustache, trimmed short to the lip.)
“This last week,” Madison slurred. “I almost… I almost got ’im. Fuck… Fuckin’ cops… Shit.”
“Next time sweetie,” Joselyn stated with certainty. “Remember: the opioid crisis is the best thing since 9/11. Fuckin’ Pandora ’s Box. You’ll get another one, eventually.”
Madison swirled her drink counterclockwise, She bent over it, slumping down.
“When do I stop, you know? Caring?”
This caught the others off guard.
“Where do I draw the line? These aren’t just paychecks. They’re people.”
“Never get attached to the client,” Steven cautioned, nonchalant, flattening his cardigan closer to the bulbous outline of his torso. “If you did, life would be romantic comedies.”
“The shitty kind,” Joselyn agreed, smothering her cigarette. “Like, Bridget Jones’ Diary shitty. And you can forget that Hugh Grant shit…”
“I have one guy,” Steven began, calm and collected, staring too hard into the wood grain of the bar. “He’s nice, good kid. Believes—hands to God—that there’s lizard people, as in the conspiracy theories that you see on the Youtube. He’s intelligent, polite. Sometimes even poignant… How to proceed—that’s what they don’t teach you at med school.”
The bartender broke away from a group of college kids and checked in with the three, wiping the inside of a pint glass and setting it behind the bar.
“You guys good? Need any food?”
Joselyn declined while Steven search through the menu hastily.
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” He replied.
“And do you want that medium or welldone”
“Medium.”
The bartender smiled and collected Steven’s menu, leaving a card behind with a number sketched onto it.
Joselyn eyed the card jealously. “Medium, huh?”
“Medium,” Steven repeated. “I don’t spend much time in restaurants, but I know how hard it is to cook hamburgers.”
Madison was busy looking at the card. She smiled, surprised, frankly.
“You’re gay, Steven? Aren’t you married?”
“No… and yes, I am married. I just like the validation,” he said professionally.
Madison lifted her drink. “I’ll drink to that.”
After the burger came, which was on the edge of medium-well, Madison gathered her things and left the bar, hoping to get an early start the next morning. Saying goodbye, she ventured out into the wet October night, checking her phone as belligerent students weaved across the sidewalks. 16 messages from Mark. Jesus Christ. Another from a number she didn’t recognize. She checked it as she jaywalked across the street. The noise on the other end was modulated.
“Of thirty bare years have I
Twice twenty been enragèd,
And of forty been three times fifteen
In durance soundly cagèd
On the lordly lofts of Bedlam,
With stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips ding-dong,
With wholesome hunger plenty,
And now I sing, Any food, any feeding,
Feeding, drink, or clothing;
Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing…”

Saturday, August 3, 2019

"In Observance of Space Time" - An Original Short By Stuart Warren


 Seems like everyone is doing a video with DeepFake these days: a technology that allows the over laying of a digital face onto a real body. (But of course you know that.) It made me think, “why not a DeepFake for reality?” Once we know the ingredients of the universe, what’s to stop us from baking?


In downtown Santa Barbara, in the Neon District by the train tracks, venture capitalists gather at a coffee stained countertop, cramped with cracked cell phones and money clips. Across from them a haggard grad student in a threadbare T-shirt—once red, now pink, perforated around the neckline—types into a simulator awash in cyberpunk highlights. He’s about to change the world.

It couldn’t be possible, even in Frazetta-scaped science fiction rags, they said. The universe is made of strings, infinitesimal and taught with reality. One needs only to equalize the frequencies, mix spectrums across the dimensions, and you can be an astronaut-ballerina, that puts out fires and has x-ray vision. For one hundred million dollars and change, pocket dimensions fit in your coffee tin, palmed like a silver dollar populated with sentient life.

Anthony sits in his living room, plastered with melting clocks and anorexic giraffes. The Napa valley sun, wet with dew, stabs rays through the crystal endtable. In his hands is the DeepReality™ projector. It’s shivering in 5 dimensional light, and Anthony can’t shake the image of liquefying porn stars from his mind.

Madeline is on her way into the office, lying on a pristine private beach in French Indonesia. On her customized planet, orbiting three suns at the edge of the galaxy she named “M-243”—M for Madeline—she is the majority shareholder of Fabian Micro Technologies. She is experimenting product rollouts there, and in sixteen other dimensions to predict Fall projections. Platinum lily sells better in the Asian markets. Chrome olive didn’t test well in QA due to poor color retention.

Thugnanimous is at a golf resort with his menagerie of publicists and promoters. In the hotel sitting room, a pound of cocaine is being haggled over. Out on the impossible green—an emerald island outside of Phoenix—his girlfriend is training for the US Women’s Open. Far away from his lawn chair perched on the deck, he is a child, running across a beach with his father (who stayed) and his brother (who wasn’t killed in a drive by shooting when he was 3 years old). Afterward, they are going to get ice cream in Cardiff, and then drive back to Carlsbad.

Despite the personal testimonials by tech moguls and pharmaceutical companies, the premier success of DeepReality™, as reported by the New York Times, is the testbed of constitutional reboots and experimental politics. “Despots, 39% of the time, avert ecological catastrophe by implementing climate change policies at the onset of the industrial revolution, whereas democratic socialists have a mean of 85 years before open hostilities between constitution adopters and anarchists erupt into full-scale genocide. ‘DeepReality™ succeeds where all speculative fiction and philosophy fails,’ said the company founder, Horus Cort. ‘It’s the ultimate thought experiment, the wet dream of R and D firms everywhere…’ When asked about the controversy over the sentience and preservation of life within these fabricated dimensions, representatives for Cort declined to comment.”

There is no actual way to escape into the facsimile realms, according to experts hired by the DeepReality™ Board of Directors. Despite the advancement of aggressive bacterial strains, overpopulation, and radioactive contamination, “We are here to stay. This is our world to fix, not to escape and do it all over again.” Outside the DeepReality campus protesters wear lead lined ponchos and pound the gates ineffectually. Horus’s son is escorted by military contractors to and from school. Melanie Cort is putting flowers on her parent’s grave at Hollywood Forever. Within minutes they shrivel and boil like salted snails. She is thinking about her husband, and his dirty secret.

By the time the last leaf falls on to the polonium caked earth, Osmund Cort, steps into his private projector with his girlfriend, never looking back. The sky is oily and metallic. The air is phosphorescent. Vacant skyscrapers covered in ash stand silent, their skeletal remnants melting together on the horizon like Lovecraftian horrors. Here, on Earth Prime, not even the cockroaches survived.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Art of Pissing on Things And a Confession


This week I purchased a car, against my will, due to the untimely demise of my semi-reliable 2003 Honda Civic. This will be my first “big loan” I have ever endeavored to pay. So you can imagine the intensity of feelings going about the Warren apartmenthold. There were many signatures, many squiggly lines, on digital and paper mediums. This, incidentally, provoked something in me today while I was on my way to church: the nature of signatures, instances of them in nature and society, and what they ultimately mean in various contexts.

Signatures are official. They afford a sense of ownership or liability (or both). Typically I sign about 20 forms a day on average, be they while shopping or while installing software on a client’s machine. The EULA (End-User License Agreement) is probably the most common. Another is the Acceptable Use Policy, when signing into a server (intimating the credentialing requirements for the user signing in). In other situations, for instance when signing a check or loan contract, signatures are also an admonition of responsibility.

This then suggests the binding nature of a contract, typically concluded with a signature. A contract infers that the signatory (the one who signs) will meet the requirements of a bargain, or face consequences (financially or legally) when they don’t.

The need for there to be something like a signature is, make no mistake, branded into us. (Considering both evolutionary and sociological systems.) Tribalism begets ownership, to declare sovereignty. From cave dwellings to gang graffiti nothing has changed. In sexual politics, likewise, feminism and chauvinism are methods, ultimately to claim dominance over another—control, as much as ownership, is just the means to declare freedom of purpose. In order to make a declaration, there needs to be a signature. To even put it crudely, the existence of something called a “money shot” (please don’t look it up), is proof of the biological origination of the signature and that it is as bestial as a dog pissing on a fence.

So far signatures carry a negative connotation, one that is permeated with ideas of control, dominance, ownership, and consequence. I had difficulty coming up with examples of instances when signatures had good intentions. A marriage contract is an acknowledgement of a union, I assume for tax purposes. In religion, of the Judeo-Christian variants, a contract is not really present. A covenant is not a contract, because the agreement does not terminate when one or both parties fail to meet the criterion specified. A signature is used, either ritually or liturgically, but a covenant ultimately is about what a person will commit to. On either side, the required action proceeds outward, onto another.

Maybe the reason for all this is the anxiety and trepidation I feel about loans is the uncertainty of being able to pay them? And when I get scared I react by "being strong," which by my definition is reading books and acquiring knowledge. It's like, if I know more about something, maybe I will be able to control my destiny that much more. I can't even watch television without getting stressed, hoping the guy gets the girl, that everything will be okay. That's this whole week. (I could write a whole blog on it. Maybe I should?) Excuse the sudden outburst. It's tangential. My whole life I have been hurt with misinformation, with people misleading me to conclude wrongly about something. I never expected to write about signatures today, but behind every signature is a statement and an agreement. What if I don't know what will happen next? My psychiatrist has encouraged me to think "So What?" statements instead of "What If? statements, and that has helped a lot. 

"What if I need to buy a new car?" 

"So what if I buy a car? It's a common life event that everyone experiences, rich and poor, and I have nothing to fear. God takes care of me and loves me and shows me that he has helped with bills before. He will again." 

See what I did up there? That's me taking advantage of the moment. That's my queue to lie down for a little while... 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

"The Wake" - An Original Short By Stuart Warren


Awash in cerulean light, I’ve walked under the firmament all my life. Never left the hanging city though... Scholars and natural philosophers debate to no end what is, or what could be, beyond it.

Like them, I live in the Wake, where waters flow eternal, from pole to pole.

The hanging city goes by a proper name. The elders call it Loo’alblo. Still, most just call it the Wake: the everyday “Average Joe” folks. Hardworking schmucks. Myself? I’m a priest and, or, local informant—should the need arise. I interpret the scrolls of time. Long ago, the Great Sculptor held his chisel, and he hammered into the coral to make our world. Like mold, we grew in the crevasses, spawned in the open air of sunlit plains. Our first nomadic ancestors journeyed here, following the living path—the algae, grown in the rock. Divine times. Good times.

While I meditate on my mat in the great light, I consult with those seeking the will of the Great Sculptor, occasionally making a deal or two in the same stride. Lots of kids… Young, eager to be closer to the source. Some are cheaters. Want to spawn with another mate, recreate on the side—I have a notebook for that, when opportunity knocks. It’s a simple life. Mostly, I enjoy their stories: to be connected with the culture, the mire, the gestalt of commonality.

For instance: a farmer came to me once, confided in me, said that his living path was dying, that the great light was too great, burning it. I proceeded through the “thees” and “thous,” naturally. The beasts beyond the firmament came up. Titans and giants, treading the horizon, afterimages projected onto the sky full of cosmic terror. Wild shit, I know…

One of my regulars, who spawns for payment, came to me scared out of her wits by a “vision.” She told me, quite confidently, that the eternal gods that be were to shut down the great flow of aqua. After that, the great drying will come, and we will burn on the surface of the coral, forever and ever, again. It’s “routine,” she said.

I sent her away, promising her peace, diffusing the chaos, making her feel all warm and fuzzy.

Later now, I regret that. Their fibrous hands, their sweet looking faces, their implements and the tremors produced by them, cause quakes that shatter our homes. They seem to like their work, the bastards.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Today's My Birthday!"




I generally post this on every birthday notification I get on Facebook.

Sublime...
Today is my birthday. I am officially in my “30s” and life is mostly the same.

The other day I was working on a short story, one that I had had my mind on for a while. When I showed it to Alyssa, she told me that she had no idea what it was about until I explicitly told her. Without divulging the content, I find myself in these positions, occasionally, where I’m trying to describe a three dimensional object to a two dimensional being. Living in the lesser reality, the complexity and comprehension of the sphere is impossible. (Similar to how we can theoretically describe 4th dimensional objects with mathematics, but actually physically manifesting one is impossible.)

This was a struggle for Spirit of Orn, where I struggled to describe eye glasses without referring to terminology that is pregnant with connotation to and reference to eyeware.

Back to the matter at hand: my birthday.

I was born at 11:15am. So I often don’t quite feel like something notable has happened until mid-morning. So it’s anticlimactic when people in the office say “Happy Birthday” knowing well that won’t be the case for at least a few hours. A co-worker advised me that this is acceptable because we celebrate the “birthday” not “Birthminute,” and I will concede to this. But with my ridged punctuality, it seems so vulgar.

Regarding the image above, I love Perry Bible Fellowship, for the existential humor. I think when I first discovered this gem on the internet, I was immediately enamored with the bleakness and cathartic qualities of the author and the shapes that birthed from his pen. If you have time I highly recommend preordering the 10th anniversary printing of the original selection of strips by Darkhorse Books.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

All-Star GodMan

When I read All-Star Superman, I always cry. (This is what I did over the 4th of July weekend.)

I believe this is because Grant Morrison taps into what every man, woman, and child on Earth desperately wants: Hope.



For me this is special. Because as I came to understand, and what I must now force myself to believe every day, is that what I want in Superman is already available in Jesus Christ.

Since his inception, Superman has evolved to include savior-like imagery to the tune of a Semitic messiah, mainly Jesus of Nazareth. So I take pride in the idea that I can tell someone the Gospel by leaning on Superman's origin story and get almost there. (Emphasis here on "almost" because all allusions and allegories fall short of describing the true nature of the Christ and his relationship to us and to the other members of the Trinity.)



Still I find it wonderful that this is a thing.

I also find it disturbing, that sometimes I lend more affection to Superman than Jesus. That something demonstrably imaginary moves me (at times) more than genuine article. I struggle to make amends with this wild disconnect. Simultaneously, I must remind myself that, like the pagans of old, culture often brings us closer to the Gospel, because God has breathed his Spirit into us, and has made us in his own image and likeness. And when we struggle to comprehend him, we attempt to do so in the same language used to explain how we experience life and the cultures that evolve from our own society throughout the ages.

So instead of feeling despair, perhaps I should feel wonder? My God does not speak in spite of culture but from the mouth of culture.

From Superman's own mythos I can adapt the famous quotes because of this:
"Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son." (Superman, 1977)
“Truth, justice, and the American way” (Adventures of Superman, radio series, 1942.
To this:
(The Father, declaring) "Live as one of them, my Son, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They could be a great people, Jesus; they wish to be. They only lack Our light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity to worship, I have sent them you... my only son.
 “I am Truth, Justice, and the Way and the Light"
Syncretism aside, attributing cultural expressions to God in light of culture is nothing new. How Should We Then Live? does a far better job cataloging the depiction of God, of ourselves, and of our achievements in classical and modern art, demonstrating that the mediums communicate, at least subconsciously, our collective consciousness.



This week my church is doing a vacation bible school, which I am super excited about. While I've had my share of harrowing experiences at these camps in my youth, mostly due to the use of bad theology and emotional manipulation, Reality Santa Barbara possesses the awareness to acknowledge the aforementioned. The timing of this writing, my meditations of Superman and Jesus, are rather fortuitous it would seem.