hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Reflections on Lyn Lifshin’s Cold Comfort: Selected Poems, 1970-1996

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 5, 2022

Cold Comfort: Selected Poems, 1970-1996Cold Comfort: Selected Poems, 1970-1996 by Lyn Lifshin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. I’ve known Lyn personally going back to the 1980s and as “Queen of the Small Presses,” I saw her in every damn magazine I came across for decades. And I would buy, obtain or she’d send me copies of new books and chapbooks over the years so that while I only have a fraction of the roughly 150 books she published over the years, most are among my favorites and this is definitely one of them. This was Lifshin’s first book to be published by Black Sparrow Press, Bukowski’s publisher (and I think about the same time another old friend, Edward Field, started getting some of his books also published by Black Sparrow), and it was the biggest one of hers I had seen to date at close to 300 pages, or what I would call “average” for Black Sparrow book sizes. Lyn had a lot more complexity and talent than some people give her credit for, and I’m thinking of certain academics, none of whom will ever accomplish even 1% of what Lyn did, but all of whom with their big (small, actually) 2 damn books in hand have the temerity to look down on her as “inferior” because she wasn’t part of “the Academy” (despite spending time teaching a year here and there at many schools such as Syracuse). And yes, I actually had a good but mainstream academic writer friend use that description. I tried not to be pissed off. After all, most of the academics who are critics of Lifshin, Bukowski, the old Beats, the slam scene, confessional poetry, ME, etc., are quick to tout themselves and each other as descendants of Keats, Byron, Cummings, Thomas, etc., but few can match those old masters and more importantly, note the world “old.” These academics are stuck in ancient decades and centuries and either haven’t realized or cared that they’ve been killing any remaining interest in poetry from non-academics for decades, explaining their sad press runs of 250-750 books no matter how many awards they win (back when I was heavily publishing, people were often surprised to hear the average press run for most American poetry books was 750 copies. You don’t get rich off that. Which is why so many teach. Or if you’re lucky, live a life like Bukowski, be a drunk in the gutter screwing whores, gambling, playing with cats, pumping out 10 poems a night and became successful, popular and live off your writing because you don’t give a shit and you’re simply a) more talented and b) a harder worker) because while they may master craft, they have little concept of actual LIFE for you and me and most people outside the Ivory tower, so remembering back to a standard university lit review (and yes, I’ve been published in many, but rejected by more), I recall one of its average issues having poems with titles such as “Sunset at Deer Late,” “Robins at Sunrise,” “Mysteries of the Pond’s Ripples” and other bullshit like that, boring most people to tears until some are lucky enough to happen upon “less talented” (meaning “less formal”) populists who are writing not only confessional, but experimental (the LANGUAGE poets of some decades ago, the surrealists, etc.,), and who are writing about topics and things in life that are REAL to most people who don’t have the luxury of taking sabbaticals to go mentally masturbate and accomplish little while looking down your nose at everyone else. Most of the rest of us have to actually work! Ferlinghetti busted his ass to make his bookstore a success in the Italian North Beach section of SF while also making his new publishing company successful as he was being prosecuted for publishing Ginsberg. Also found time to write the best selling book of American poetry in history in A Coney Island of the Mind, a book that changed my life in changing my understanding of poetry, allowing me to learn the rules dictated to you in classes are constructs created by the untalented academic dictators and they exist to be smashed, which is what so many more interesting, popular, meaningful, influential poets of actual substance have been helping do to save poetry from the destruction that was being wrought on it by academia. Thank god! The irony about Lyn is the Academy was wrong just like my friend was (who was the director of the creative writing program at a big university). In this big book, rest assured all of these poems had been published in magazines before being collected to make up this book and most assuredly appeared in hundreds of the “small press magazines,” she and many others (I know and was one of) were known for but while she could have included those in the Acknowledgments, it’s almost funny to see the huge Acknowledgments page so full of largely only mainstream literary journals of high quality that very few academics so critical of her could barely match it! Revenge is sweet. (A small arbitrary sample: Chicago Review, Georgia Review, Carolina Quarterly, North American Review, Ploughshares, Long Shot, The Sun, New Delta Review, Chelsea, Christian Science Monitor, Caliban, Literary Review, Mudfish, Denver Review, Cream City Review, Wormwood Review, ACM, Grain, Puerto Del Sol, Hollins Critic, Free Lunch, Midwest Quarterly, Hiram Poetry Review, and on and on and you get the picture, right? Yeah, like usual, the academic snobs are wrong. Just because she mixed with the masses didn’t mean she couldn’t play in their yards too and she did so more and better while at it.)

Lyn was loved and appreciated by millions and I hope she’ll get her just due fully one day. I feel privileged that while I was serving as poetry editor for Ray’s Road Review for some years, I had worked to build the quality of submissions and works published to a very high degree, during which time our acceptance rate dropped from 40% to below 2% and we went from largely unknown, uncredited writers (nothing wrong with that — we were all there once and as long as the stuff was good, I published first timers alongside household names) to contributors whose credits typically included Poetry, NYQ, Partisan Review, Rattle, Paris Review, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, etc. Even had an 8-time Jeopardy winner. While I was publishing writers I like and respect who have credibility and credits like Simon Perchik, Alan Catlin, Dancing Bear, BZ Niditch, Marilyn Kallet, Clifton Snider, Lowell Jaeger, etc., Lyn naturally sent me some stuff and of course I liked it and accepted most of it, prompting her to immediately send me more — even though we were booked 2-3 issues ahead and she wouldn’t be published for 6-12 months. AND while one normally submits 3-5 poems, she would send me 75 pages on average each time. As a result, without ever intending or even really discussing it, I was able to publish some two full books of hers in serial format and I loved having her aboard as a publisher, rather than a competitor — I mean fellow contributor — in so many mags.

Thus, about a year ago when I got the news that she had just died, it hit me damn hard and I had to take a deep breath. Possibly shed a tear or two. I remember going to visit her at her condo in DC decades ago. She was still so very into ballet. I remember trying to compete with her, back when people were describing me as the male version of Lifshin because I was so prolific for a good while. But honestly, so many old friends, colleagues and even heroes and mentors in this community have been dying over the past few years that it’s gotten really hard for me. Ferlinghetti a couple of years ago. Dare I call him a friend? We spent time chatting, he gave me a million autographed books, he gave one of my books a back cover plug. About the same time, another Beat poet, old friend Diane di Prima, who I’d enjoyed a great relationship with died. She lived in the same pad as Amy Tan in SF, got together with me when she came down to LA. And joined by fellow Beat writer Michael McClure. Shit! And since then I’ve been finding more and more have died during the past 5-6 years that my health has forced me “underground,” so to speak, and no longer part of the scene, no longer up on the news. So I’ve learned far too late of the deaths of Will Inman, Walt Phillips, Todd Moore and hell, I was looking through the contents of an archive of an old friend in Stanford’s Special Collections (actually Ginsberg, to be honest) and I realized half the people were damn dead now but the worst was when Gerry Locklin died last January thanks to COVID, or how I choose to describe it, thanks to the white christian nationalist science denying alt right republicans. Bastards! Proof of no god right there. It’s gotten so that I’ve started trying to find old writer colleagues who are still alive because I fear I may be the last one standing and I always thought I’d be one of the first to go. Alphabeat Press’s Dave Christy just died a few months ago. Good old Ed Field is approaching 100 and I don’t want to jinx that. I know Cat Townsend and Belinda Subraman are still out there, and I think I’ve heard Dan Nielsen is still around, but Gerry? Lyn? Life is cruel.

Look, Lyn was famous for her Madonna poem series, for her mother/daughter anthologies, for the film they made about her, for laughingly (almost) knowing you’ll see her in any mag you get published in, no matter how small, how niche, what country or language, and she was known for a million other things too, but she was damn talented and interesting and always had this mystique about her and I think this is a great book to either get to know her or to relish reading her again. I can’t recommend this book more fervantly. Get it!

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Some Quotes of Mine

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 19, 2021

Excerpt from the Pittsburgh Quarterly (1993)

Excerpt from Street Poems (1991)

Excerpt from Shadows Before The Maiming (1999)

Excerpt from The Napalmed Soul (1999)

Excerpt from Shadows Before The Maiming (1999)

Excerpt from Cells (2004)

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PNAS: Neuroscience

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 17, 2021

I realize that I’m likely the only person looking at this page who will find this topic interesting because it seems to matter what the platform, as soon as I dive into either 1) neuroscience or 2) quantum gravity, etc., any conversation dies and people try to creep away unnoticed. And I get it, truly I do. It’s just not for everyone. It’s dry or hard or boring or Why?, etc. Well, yeah, for many people. But it’s also the stuff of life, so to say. Some things are dry and hard but I rarely let that stop me because the knowledge gained will be worth it. There! My tiny pep talk for the day!

So the National Academy of Sciences puts out generally high quality research on a regular basis. I got this last night, and on into the morning with tons of other email messages and some were really interesting looking, including this one from PNAS (Proceedings of the NAS). I couldn’t paste the email here so I took a screenshot and if anyone is interested, you can either look up the research yourself or ask me and I’ll locate it for you. The first one looks especially intriguing to me: “Cell-type–specific neuromodulation guides synaptic credit assignment in a spiking neural network” (Liu, et al…). In fact, for any interested parties (besides me), here’s the link to the original research.

I actually have a ton of other topics I’d like to post or write about, but my time is precious and limited, so I don’t know if or when I will get to any. Remember, it’s okay to Geek Out!

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EXITS

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 15, 2021

While I have been a professional writer for 35+ years & while I’ve been heavily published in print & later the Internet & while my work has appeared online in a number of formats & genres, I have never — to the best of my memory — personally posted any of my creative writing & certainly never any fiction. Until now. Why now? No clue. I just always liked this piece I wrote over two decades ago & a couple of editors did too, resulting in a decent paycheck that beat the hell out of poetry or academic publishing!

I’ve largely been invested in postmodern work throughout my life, whether literature, art, theory, etc., & at this particular time in my life, I was engrossed in a certain sub-genre of postmodern literature called metafiction — most likely a fad, but some good, well known authors were known for that type of work, such as Martin Amis. Additionally, it influenced other forms of writing, so many in the poetry field who write or study L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry may attribute its movement & success to metafiction’s influence. Or not.

In any event, I spent a number of years engrossed in this & related movements while also being force fed (pompous) postmodern (faddish) theorists such as Foucault, Lyotard, Barthes, Lacan, Kristeva, Jameson & of course Derrida (We can thank Derrida for deconstruction, its overuse in grad schools & misuse among the media & general population.) Postmodern LIT was different for me though, at least some of it as opposed to the nearly exclusively French theorists (I can’t being myself to use the word “philosophers,” & some were other “professionals” as well, such as Lacan, etc.). (An aside on these pompous blowhards. I thought they were morons when first exposed to them & the more I read, the more I felt this. Frauds using grandiose terminology, concocted concepts & misused if not misunderstood ventures into other areas not their own (the hard sciences?), mixing & matching, all in a seeming effort to both impress & intimidate — especially cowering grad students. Well, a couple of badass physicists seem to agree and they wrote a book called Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science & it’s awesome! Alan Sokal & Jean Bricmont go even further than I would have in trashing these idiots, in calling their bluff, in correcting their absolutely attrocious butchering of physics & the hard sciences, if not other areas, in which they prove most of these French postmodern “geniuses” have no damn clue how to spell “quantum,” let alone “math,” they’re so stupid. They laugh at them & on behalf of their colleagues in the sciences as well & call them out, making them look like fools in one spoof so unbelievably stunning & brilliant that when one reads of it early in the book & sees proof of the plain idiocy amongst the cultural faux intellectuals & then goes on to read example after example of named, specific “demi-gods” spouting BS that, in some cases, is literally rubbish, dead wrong, proof of their insipidness. For others who wonder at the spectacle of such apparent twits gaining their reputations because they truly deserve them, this book will provide the truth with humorous sarcasm while putting the majority of them in their place — which is nowhere close to where “The Academy” has placed them!)

In any event, I’ve long enjoyed, been challenged by, amused, disturbed, impressed, etc., at what so many postmodern writers have done. I’m not foolish enough to state that these are the greatest writers, this the greatest genre. I’m just saying I dig it! And the creative opportunities seem endless so that one can go anywhere from simple “rebel” nonfiction masquerading as fiction (Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit — anti-religion) to the infamous Naked Lunch & yet even far beyond that as well. Some writers I’ve especially enjoyed include Vonnegut, Kosinski, Rhys, Acker, Doctorow, Burroughs & many more. While meandering through tons of books & authors, I discovered metafiction, which seemed to be a rising movement with a lot of promise, not for everyone as you’ll see, but utilizing various plot devices one can trace directly to a number of special films over the past few decades that were not adaptations of these novels, but were clearly influenced by them. As I’ve written a lot over the years, sometimes I like to experiment in new things, new areas, not because I plan to move in that direction, but just as a challenge, just for fun. So it was that I wrote several pieces of short fiction during the mid 1990s that were based upon & maybe even designed to be metafictional & while possibly three stand out in my mind, this one is the only one I think really came close to meeting that mark. And as I said, apparently I wasn’t alone in thinking that & it remains possibly my favorite piece of fiction I wrote, certainly so in writing it. I never claim my stuff is great; I’ve always claimed to outwork & outproduce virtually anyone else, which turned out to be true for some 15+ years I believe, as do some others in a position to make that judgment. So I didn’t intend to write a “Forward” or anything at all, but to simply put the story down & let people read it. But most people I’ve met haven’t read & thus wouldn’t understand the context of a metafictional work & while it’s not necessary in order to read any, because this is not representative of what I do & have done, I reconsidered & decided to preface the piece with a some info so anyone reading it might have a clue as to why the author apparently doesn’t.


EXITS

Hi!  I am a writer, or at least I pretend to be.  I think I am, therefore I am.  Yes, I write poetry, fiction, nonfiction ‑you name it, I write it.  Of course, if I wanted to really make money, I’d be writing kiddie lit, or maybe porn. Yeah…porn, that’s it….

Anyway, my name is Steve Universe. I know, I know, I get nailed for the name all the time. Actually, since I’m the author of this story, I suppose I could go by any name.  Naming is power, you know.  That’s what they say at least.  My parents exhausted universal power in first creating me, and then in naming me.  They created for me an identity, whether I wanted one or not.

Naming.  Power.  Writing.  Power.  Naming is such a buzz phrase these days. Current hot topic, especially with the feminists.  Because it’s true power.  For instance, I am writing a story.  Even now, as we speak.  Even now, as you read this.  I will write a character into the text.  I will name him.  What?  I’m not sure yet.  But I will create him and he will owe his very existence to me.  Pretty God‑like, don’t you think?  Power. Naming. I’m a writer.  Or at least I think I am.  Well, I speak as a writer.

My author’s name, evidently, is Scott Holstad.  (Who would have picked that name?)  He claims to be a writer (but then, don’t we all?).  I mean, who the hell has ever heard of Scott Holstad?  If I’m destined to be a measly character in someone’s story, why the hell couldn’t I get Updike or Vonnegut?  Hell, even Mailer or somebody like that? Somebody known?  Someone who matters?

Well, this Holstad character seems to be the asshole who gave me my name, at least that’s what he claims.  Steve Universe.  He seems to find humor in it.  Play on words, that sort of shit.  Universal.  University.  Mr. Universe.  Universe.  I don’t call that funny.  He’d never make a living as a comic.  And Steve.  Pretty boring I’d say. Why not something a little more exotic?  God knows, most writers do seem to have somewhat boring names.  Robert, John, Walter, Steven.  Well, I’m a writer; I speak as a writer. I would name my character Fabio…yeah, that’s it.  Exotic.  Romantic.  Steve.  That’s so…universal!  I mean, I could be anybody….

Hi! I’m THE writer, or at least I pretend to be.  The Government says I am, therefore I am.  They give me these little numbers and I exist.  Truly.  I kid you not.  I know it’s amazing, and I sometimes doubt it myself, but just try dodging your taxes sometime and see if you don’t exist!

Anyway, I’m the creator of Steve Universe.  I know, I know call me a narcissist (and you won’t be the only one), but deep down we’re all ego maniacs.  It’s that God Complex.

Well, Steve’s been railing away so I have decided to just write him out of the text. That’s right, erase him.  Just write him out.  Easy as pie.

There.  I’ve done it.  Steve Universe no longer exists.  And it was easy to do, like I said.  They say we are all capable of creation and that may be true but, God –  are we ever capable of destruction!  Total annihilation, say I!

 We can erase, Reconstruct, abolish, eliminate, terminate, DESTROY, with the greatest of ease.  Oh, and we writers are so proficient at it.  Comes with the territory I guess.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about something new lately.  New, that is, for me.  I speak to you as a writer, therefore I can say this.  I’m thinking of writing myself out of the text.  That’s right, textual suicide.  Innovative, eh?  I hate to admit this, but Steve was right about one thing, at least.  I’m not the best-known writer.  Oh, I have my share of groupies and I certainly appreciate them.  They’re devoted.  But, I’m not exactly a household name either.  Not that I’m ambitious.  Not that I’m a narcissist.  I speak as a writer, remember?

Look, what better way to achieve notoriety?  Textual suicide.  I will be no more. (And I know I am now. I know I exist because I have numbers proudly given to me by my Government.)  I will be no more.  Oh, I know I won’t be around to enjoy the accolades, but what the hell?

And those saps out there always fall for the suicides.  My God, what a bloody operation!  I’ve always wanted in on the scam.  The papers, TV, TV, TV, TV, mags, papers, bloodsucking TV.  We’re the fastfoodfastentertainmentfast sexfasttloodthirstyviolent generation by God, and we’re suckers for that shit!

Give me my suicide!

Give me my constitutionally guaranteed suicide!

Oh, they’ll just eat it up.  And Steve?  Well, he’s been written out of the text, eh? Doesn’t really matter anymore, does he?  He’s Steve Universe.  Was Steve Universe. Universal.  University.  Mr. Universe.  Steve Academia.  Boring Steve.


Steve, Steve I’m so 

bereaved I can’t conceive  

Why we must leave.


Oh, but I digress.  Again.  But I speak as a writer.  I’m allowed occasional digressions.  Writers, dammit!  Never seem to get to the friggin point.  I mean, well, what is the point?  The point’s the point son.  The end’s the point.  Cause we exist you know.  I, Scott C. Holstad, who speaks to you as a writer (and as a human? maybe?), I exist you know.  This I know.  For the Government tells me so.  It gets so slow.  Sometimes gotta go.  Breakdown.  Discourse.  Breakdown.  The point?

Oh yeah, the Point.  I guess it’s the End of the stick you put your hot dog on.  Or maybe your marshmallow.  The Point…the Point.

The Point, oh yeah.  Well, to get on with my story, I think I’m going to write a new character into the text.  To be my narrator, of course.  To carry on the tradition…the tradition…the Point.

Actually, to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes I feel like I’m already being erased from the text.  It’s like someone has pushed the Pause button, but it turns into the Erase button.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I don’t know how to…communicate…it.  I don’t know….

Well, this is very strange indeed.  It feels like someone’s been tampering with me, with me, with me, with me…me — …me…me…me with…me with…me with tampering… NO! That’s Martin Amis you dolt!  We’re not going backwards in this story.  We’re being Fucking erased!

As I said, I speak to you as a writer.  And I am the creator of this mess, so I decide what’s going on.  Right?  I am going to ever so conveniently create a new character before ever so conveniently obliterating myself from this increasingly dreary story.  Textual Suicide.  Oooh, how ’bout Cyber Textual Suicide?  Yeah, they love that Cyber shit.  It’s so in.

There.  See?  I’ve created yet again.  A new category.  A new ending.  A new genre which they’ll be beating down the damn doors for.  Cyber Textual Suicide.  Only a matter of time now before it’s in the Canon.  Oh baby, they’ll be asking GRE questions about it. I’m drooling now just thinking about it!  And I owe it all to me.  Me!  Not Steve Universe. Not Scott Holstad.  I mean, Wait!  Yes, Scott Holstad.  That is me.  I think.  Wait, hold on. Let me check my ID card.  Oh yes, right here.  Scott C. Holstad.  In black and white.  Very official looking.  See, the Government says I exist.  Therefore I am.  I am the Creator of this story.  Cause the Government says I can.  I am the Creator….

And people laughed when he claimed that God was dead.  God’s not dead you fools.  I am God!  The Creator.  Yes, of this story.  And the Government says I exist so it must be so.  Right?  And if I want to obliterate myself (Wait. Here it comes…a rousing, orgasmic cry of Cyber Textual Suicide!!!), from the text of course, I can do it!  Cause I’m the Destroyer.  I mean Creator.  I mean God.  Oh, what’s the difference?

And this new character…what should we name it?

It.  What gender first of all?  Or does that matter?  We’ve all read Virginia Woolf after all.  And we did see “The Crying Game.”

Well, ok, but what color hair?  Eyes?  Teeth?  Teeth?   OK, I tried to pull one over on you.  Or is it put one?  Or does it matter?  Whatever the case, I am the writer because I am the God.

OK.  Height?  Weight?  Genitals?  Oh, no need to go Victorian on me.  Really!  Boots or balls, what’ll it be?  Come on, come on, we don’t have all day here.

You see?  Do you see why I am writing this and you’re not?  My God, you’re slower than horse shit!  And indecisive.  What a match.  Readers dammit.  What the hell do Fish and Iser know anyway?  I mean, have they ever actually tried to work with a reader?  Ain’t that easy, is it?  No sirree.

I feel decidedly better now.  Sort of.  Just thinking about what I’m about to create makes me go positively gushy from head to toe.  I’m talking thrills a minute. Because I’m the Creator.  The Government says so.  And it should…. Hold on, what’s this?  But I haven’t decided to go yet.  I’m the only person who can erase myself from the text.  Hang it all, stop that!  What is going on here?  I speak to you as a writer because i am the creator exist you know the government tells me so this i know you know i am god it’s so I’m the master of this story but everything’s getting denser is that really a word werd weird bsmck shit now i know that’s not a word dammit i need my words to create i need my language my name my power my god….

Hi!  Sorry about all that gibberish back there.  You shouldn’t really have been forced to endure it.  Feel free to register a complaint with the proper authorities if you must.  But on behalf of the author and this publication, I would like to extend a formal apology.

Those Post-Modern writers think they can get away with anything.  Pretentious fucks!  Oops, sorry.  It’s just that they get feisty and break loose every now and then.  But don’t worry.  We take care of ’em. We put ’em back where they belong.

Now. Where were we?  Oh yes.

Hi! I am the writer.  I know I am a writer and I know I am the writer because I speak to you as a writer….

XXX

Scott C. Holstad 

© 1995 Scott C. Holstad

#metafiction

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For Those Not Keeping Track…

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 29, 2021

This is the China that states and entities have been fearing for several decades.

This nightmare story has been making the rounds amongst global leaders, analysts and China watchers for the past couple of days. Lest anyone think this an aberration, it isn’t nor is it intended to be by the CCP.

China takes Uganda’s only international airport

Let me rephrase that first sentence. This is ONE of the Chinas. I suspect we’ll see more variants in the near future. I suspect many will, particularly in that region. Is 2025-7 still a realistic deadline? It’s nearly December 2021. Some generals have been mentioning 2022 throughout the year, some others 2021. Softly. It’s nearly 2022. What the future holds… 超限戰

Much more has been and can be said about regional and global geopolitical tensions, particularly pertaining to the East Asia region, but I’ll just put some links to some things I’ve posted or written lately.

Those PLA-built coastal Chinese hypersonics seem even less amusing now…

Virtually all of these pieces were taken from my LinkedIn page, where I post commentary as often as possible. Meaning those without a LinkedIn account won’t be able to access them, for which I apologize. If that’s the case and you want to read at least the source pieces, leave messages here, let me know, do something — or even look them up yourselves! — and if you can’t find the original source, I’ll find it for you and post it. These are important and critical times in the world for so many reasons. China’s big and the potential problems it presents sometimes seem insurmountable, but with Russia’s designs on its neighbors in Eurasia and a US-led NATO stuffing missiles on all of the borders of the newly NATO’d former Soviet satellites, I understand why Putin’s feeling threatened and ticked as hell, but the last thing we need is a two front narrative. Of course that doesn’t take into account issues in the Middle East, attempts at illegal proliferation with certain states vowing to literally stop at nothing to ensure that doesn’t take place, as well as renewed violence at certain places along the China/India border, which happens to be the longest geographic national border in the world — and it’s nuclear — and when mixed with an illegal nuclear India, the second most populous country in the world behind China — and catching up — AND a burgeoning regional hegemonic rival to China ALSO up against their worst energy, an equally illegal nuclear Pakistan that is armed to the teeth, pumping out nukes like crazy, paranoid as shit, lives for basically one thing which is to obsess about India and its nuclear destruction should Pakistan be lucky enough to pull that off, which means that THREE nuclear countries, all hostile, are all sitting there in a row having a pissing contest. The India/Pakistan region is considered by most global military and civilian leaders to be the most volatile and deadly in the world.

BUT it doesn’t stop there! Ever since the US dumped Pakistan and fled Afghanistan with its tail between its legs, predictably, nuclear China and nuclear Pakistan have been growing quite chummy, and — shocker — both unstable nuclear states have a Real problem with nuclear India between them. Nice. Something else I’ve found interesting is that analysts and experts have been writing and publishing on these dynamics all year, but I have YET to see what I’m about to mention — because I am the “groundbreaker,” you know 😉 — but with all of the people around the region/world freaking out about an unstable, tension-filled THREE nuclear state S/SE/E Asia region, why has no one — and I read hundreds of items daily, probably thousands, from all over the world — why has no one mentioned the FOURTH just north of all of them — Russia? Forgotten in the mix of crazies? They’re actually not as crazy as some others, but they’re damned dangerous and despite the extreme unlikelihood of any worries in the region of a crazed Russia nuking everyone, we all know it only takes one nutjob to set off a chain reaction that couldn’t be stopped, so even if Russia is the more “mature” (and I’m not entirely willing to go there) nuclear player in a four-nuke area, it doesn’t mean we should forget that the most volatile place on earth doesn’t just involve two nuclear enemies, and now possibly a third, but FOUR nuclear states and with the world going crazy, WTH knows what could come of that dynamic?

And with that, I’ll stop for now because A) I have other things to attend to and B) if I really wanted to drive this or these points home, I could keep going for days and weeks and never come to a logical stopping point so I’m forced to create one of my own — which I’ve done. If anyone would like some more substantial resource suggestions (in the way of books, journals, etc.), leave a comment (or look at my Goodreads author page library, as I have libraries on Asia, geopolitics, military, etc.) and I’ll be happy to make some recommendations.

Screenshot of the top of my Goodreads Author Page

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Thoughts on the book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 4, 2021

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After WarmingThe Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not new in terms of primary predictions but just a hell of a lot closer than 20-25 years ago. And it’s scary as shit. Naturally the US is just one of a handful of countries that not only doesn’t give a shit (our conservative owners) but stunningly STILL argues fantasy vs reality. Of course those with brains know what is going on. The uber-rich, banks, massive corporations, the boards, top execs, etc., naturally know all of this is true and they have the whole time. But they fight bitterly to refute reality and the rest of the world — why? There’s an excellent book out there (Bruce Cannon Gibney’s A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America) with a premise that baby boomers are literally a generation of sociopaths so selfish and greedy, they’re willing to sell out their kids and grandkids and, hell, the whole damn world, content to let the earth and all on it get destroyed — in large part due to THEM and actions and inactions. Why? What will this accomplish? They’re so unbelievably blinded by narcissism, greed and power that they somehow can’t see, even as they massively fund new institutes to research extending the (their) human life span and much more, yet these big, rich mini-Kings are so fucking stupid that they seem not have realized what every powerful peoples throughout history (the Egyptians? Aztecs?) found out — you can’t take it with you! Yet they act like you can. If they’re not amassing wealth to pass down their family line/corporate descendants—and they’re not because in their continuing denial that the earth is not flat, that the galaxy spins, that humanity has set in motion, already underway, the virtual complete destruction of the earth so there will be NO descendants to speak of to pass on billion dollar inheritances. And they’ve more than proven they’re just fine with that. So the net result is what exactly? Something as basic and juvenile as the race to reach the finish line and “win” because you’re the richest? That’s brain dead stupid. But leave it to the Me Generation to not think rationally or for the good of others when considering the future.

As far as I can figure, when you die, you *might* leave one or two things to prove you existed. First, a legacy of some sort. It doesn’t have to involve fame, wealth, anything. Families can pass on heirlooms, admiration for certain religious leaders and a variety of notable people (NOT as defined by Wikipedia’s criteria) might leave a famous legacy for a period of time. Writers, artists and musicians can leave various legacies, as can certain inventors, generals, scientists, etc. You get the picture. Do you want your legacy to resemble Donald Trump’s? Cause that’s basically what we’re talking about. People who are often quickly forgotten because they leave no legacy of any real value. Except in some cases, my second example of what people can leave. Wealth, property, investments, inheritances, etc. But we’ve already established those responsible for this crisis or in denial don’t care about that. They’re willingly sentencing their grandchildren to death along with everyone else so the second example is moot. Yet surely some of them must know this. But apparently not care or we would be joining the rest of the world to try to save the planet.

So the only answer is none. Pure selfish greed to amass as much money and power as possible despite the fact that A) they really don’t want to pass it on and B) they’ve already ensured that ultimately they won’t since 2-3 generations later, their destruction of the world will have been complete. (The US DNI annual threat assessment of the US Intelligence Community for 2021, given to Congress in April labels climate change as, after dealing with COVID-19 and its aftereffects, the second greatest transnational threat to America’s greatest security and humanitarian threat there is and it provides plenty of recent examples and near-term concerns. And this is not new. I recall one of the leaders on the Joint Staff as early as about 2005 stating that global warming/climate change posed one of America’s greatest national security threats — source forgotten, insufficient time to look it up, sorry. If you don’t believe me and want to see the report or if you DO believe or are on the fence or whatever, you can find it available through the ODNI here.) So anyway this makes Reason A moot too, because what good is it if you leave a legacy of art, music, architecture, writing when it will encounter the same fate as Reason B thanks to the same cause for the same reason. Which again is what exactly? They’re the new Egyptians, Aztecs, whatever, but they’ll be the first successful ones? That’s the only possible reason, it seems, which proves their brilliance and superiority are bullshit. The Me Generation, despite a glut of educated, successful faux geniuses have never given a shit about anyone but itself, proven over the decades by all they’ve done and continue to do. Maybe they should be called The Worst Generation instead, cause Baby Boomers is too generic a term for what they’ve been and done. And honestly that’s hard for me to say considering my spouse, friends, cousins and I are all either Baby Boomers or on the back end cusp, so I’m indicting us as well (though I think a good argument could be made that it was the large percentage of Boomers prior to the last two years who are mostly responsible, but that’s both biased and a subject for a different piece).

This book? Well written, important book. The subject is more of a horror story to me than simple nonfiction, but we can’t hide our heads in the sand. This is necessary. Recommended.

View all my reviews

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