I realize that this is a heck of a topic to jump into when I haven’t blogged in quite a while.

Part of what I’m about to say has been percolating for a while, I just hadn’t figured out the correct way to pull it from my brain and plaster it onto the page.

I think the 2020 United States Presidential Election has certainly cast a spotlight on the worst, most extreme elements on both sides of primary political division, and given my post’s title plenty of context. The far right in the U.S. makes us all look like heartless bastards who value money more than human life and decency, and that anyone who is not white, straight, and christian is invalid. While that is going on, the far left paints a picture of a world so enraptured with political correctness that no one dare breathe lest they offend someone.

Look. I came out this year as transgender. The left is clearly, generally speaking, more accommodating to me and others like me. Regardless of that, I recognize that the Dump/Sense administration is the most dangerous one that has ever been installed in the U.S., and if you can’t see jackboot authoritarianism for the threat to democracy that it is, I insist that you step outside your theocratic, nationalist, whitewashed bubble for a second and examine recent history from a more objective viewpoint.

But! Hold on second. I’m not gonna forget the far left. I was afraid to come out because of the hatred I was and am going to face from friends, family, and pretty much everybody I know who thumps a bible. However, I was just as afraid to come out because of how utterly ridiculous some of the most outspoken and extreme flagwavers of LGBT and minority movements make the rest of us look. We don’t need 69 or more gorram sets of genders or pronouns. If we keep making gender/sexuality flags we’re gonna run out of patterns for new countries to use in the future. Political correctness is bullshit. Respect people, use the name and basic pronouns that help them confirm their identity, treat others with decency, but for flarg’s sake don’t expect the whole world to conform to your safe space whims, and stop throwing a blanket over the mass of cisgendered folk, or as I prefer to say, those whose biological junk more or less matches what’s in their brainpan. The world needs masculine men and feminine women. Those who fall somewhere in between or fluctuate between the two are valid and we need those people too, but demonizing the many is not how to acknowledge and protect the few. Also, if you become as or almost as evil, vile, and destructive as what you oppose (referring to Antifa versus fascism), have you not defeated the purpose of your existence?

I think it’s safe to say that most of us Americans do fall in the middle of the two extremes we see in most media. Mainstream news flocks to whatever gets them the biggest story and the highest metrics. But regardless of if you’re right, left, or in my case, off in the woods, with your politics, I think it is for all of our good if we stop feeding attention and value to the extreme elements on all sides who have done nothing to deserve our time, money, or energy. We need fewer Trumps and fewer politically correct eggshells who think men are automatically evil and being a total snowflake is an actual point of pride and something to emulate.

So to the extremes, I say, shut the fuck up. You don’t speak for all of us.

FIN

It’s not necessarily that I believe I owe anyone here on the internet anything per se. However, those of you who have taken the time and/or money to follow what I do and read my books, I do believe you ought to have my thanks, and more of an incentive to visit this (admittedly still obscure) website of mine.

I have long since given up on trying to keep up with the endless trough that is social media. My life is so much better and richer for having dropped all but the bare minimum presence on Facebook, for example. I have started posting more often on the Instagrams (https://www.instagram.com/neo_ragnarok/) because I like that the presences there are more focused on art and less on politics, blathering, or generally useless and inane opinions on any and everything. Even there, though, I don’t have much time invested. I don’t care about trying to optimize my presence to get more likes and followers. You either like what I do or you don’t. This generation and society in general have become sickeningly addicted to social media, to instant gratification. It seems that so many go batshit crazy if they aren’t being constantly bombarded with information and content. Art gets buried in the feed. Meaningful wisdom is overshadowed. Success is less about quality and more about how much you can spam feeds.

Fuck that.

I stand in a weird place here, as someone whose voice is currently being heard in large part only due to the modern artist’s conveniences of the internet, a website, and the relative ease of self-publishing. Yet I despise the mechanisms that have spawned around and between these things, so here I am using a modern boon to say that I think we lost something crucial by abandoning the days where quality won out over quantity. Would things have been different if we were slower and more responsible in our adopting the internet and the digital age? Certainly, though the same could also be said for most innovations or breakthroughs, such as, say, atomic power…

So, I appreciate all of you who have read my work or taken the time to comment on one of my blogs, or who likes the artwork I’m posting. That’s really cool, and I want to going forward make any investment in me on your part worth your time. But it’s not going to be from quantity. I’m not gonna be blowing up your inboxes or your feeds. Like any treasure, you’re gonna have to do some digging here and meet me halfway. In so doing, you’re going to get something better than the torrent of spam that is flooding most of the internet. If you don’t like that, and want to follow someone who is going to constantly bombard you with updates and content, you might as well exit stage left, because that’s not me, and trying to be that way was detrimental to my existence and happiness.

Here’s to art, to quality, to creating and sharing something meaningful.

FIN

Despite many attempts to extinguish it throughout recorded history, pagan cultures, such as that of the Norse in Old World Scandinavia, endure today. This post explores the old Norse culture and mythology at an introductory level, as well as compares them to depictions in American popular culture.

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