Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stuff: Gas in a Box

As half the dynamic duo that is Leather and Tweed, Grant is the perfect foil to my, otherwise, grandiose mental meanderings. He's a media engineer, with a background in theoretical physics, who not only knows what I'm talking about, but also how to turn any beautiful scientific theory into a serious Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. Like above...

Yes, I've been trying to come up with an adventure series with characters based off of us. The trick is creating something that won't take a thirty page dissertation before each page of comic. It's still a work in progress...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stuff: America Say Knock You Out

This piece started out about my struggle to get back into school, with the aim of getting my A.A., getting a better job, and being able to contribute more to the collective recuperation of the Unites States' economy. Or, more to the point, how much Uncle Sam doesn't want me to do this.

Getting aid was like being a trick poodle being made to jump through crazy fiery hoops. The aid, when it comes, comes about a month after you actually need it - forcing me to dig a bigger financial hole for myself than the aid was supposed to help, not create. And, the terms of the loan - or loans, if you're forced to get more than one, are generally stacked to favor the lenders, and designed from the word go to leave you in horrible debt. And, my attempts to keep this manageable have been met with road blocks and hurtles that, as previously mentioned, end up creating more debt, and more need for aid than I originally had.

But as my frustration grew, working to get back a little that I've spent the last twenty years paying into, I couldn't help but notice that, in this new century, a lot of the policies of our nation are starting to move this way. From crazy draconian laws that let police strip search us for as much as a J-walking ticket, to out of balance tax codes that have me paying 25%, but a wealthy CEO 14%, or less, to corporate personhoood, the push to strip women of rights and standing, and the general message of fear spewing from our federal law enforcement agencies, I'm getting the hint; America doesn't want us thinking, being responsible, accountable, or even remotely empowered.

I guess it's to be expected. After all, we're pretty much ruled... Yes, I said ruled... by a wealthy elite. Why would they want their work force - who are the ones that provide them that wealth - an able minded lot rather than the disposable resource we're becoming?

I don't want to sound paranoid, or like I have a Guy Fawkes mask on stand by; because I'm not and I don't. But, in the early 80's, our social and science fiction had a lot of stories where everything was commercialized, marketed, and sold to an oppressed, dumbed down society. Thirty years later, and fiction is - terrifyingly - becoming fact.

Education is the investment we make for our country, for tomorrow. Any farmer will tell you if you don't mind the soil, you'll eventually lose your crop. So, it should come to no surprise that America continues to fall far behind other developed nations at a rate that follows the continued cutting of education. Add to that the political environment that has been demonizing college, trade schools, and higher education, as well as science, and...

Peace and grace be with you. Go out and fight for all our tomorrows!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stuff: Too Close Shave

It's going to be a long week of getting carded for beer...