The Journal, Thursday, August 9

Hey Folks,

Long post today. Get a beverage. Settle in.

Wow. Stayed up too late last night. It was a great night, with almost constant low-level rumbling thunder and distant flashes of lightning through the window. Not a lot of rain, but a great, soothing (and cool) light and sound show.

But as a result I stayed up far too late, enjoying the breeze through the door. And as a result of that I got up late this morning. If I’m not careful, that late rising will throw off my whole day.

Topic: Prejudice and Discrimination

Anyone else ever heard (or heard of) the “myth” that only white males from 18-35 see movies? Yeah, me either.

Yet a writer whose blog post I read today made that point and several others in a post today. All strongly biased, all strong prejudicial, all strongly discriminatory.

I won’t share the URL of the post for three reasons: it was, to me, repugnant; it was, to me, hate-mongering, albeit on the sly; and it was posted by a person who I suspect might sue me for expressing my “white male” opinion.

God I get tired of being bashed. Especially by someone who doesn’t have the slightest clue who I am or what I’ve done, good or bad.

Not that I fall into that specific (“18-35”) age group, but I do fall into the parent classification (“white male”) that is, by at least that writer’s standard, directly responsible for all the world’s ills since before humans even separated themselves into races.

I and all others in the group are regularly disrespected as a result, in my opinion, of that writer’s own “white guilt,” for which apparently she wishes to make restitution through our blood.

She (also a “white” female) is very careful to balance her stories with characters of every race because, after all, there are absolutely no “all white” or “all black” or “all hispanic” etc. professional groups anywhere on Earth.

The writer typically writes some great posts. But all too often she then taints my suspension of disbelief and shoves me away with her obvious hatred. Of me, whom she’s never met, and of all others she considers “like me.” Again, whom she’s never met.

Why do some people believe “white males” as a demographic are responsible for every single wrong done to people of other skin tones and countries?

In the first place, what gives them the right to generalize, grouping anyone with a penis and a skin tone similar to theirs as a “white male” deserving of their wrath?

This isn’t just a rant. I do have a point: The world is made up of individuals, and whether or not they like it and whether or not they agree, those individuals are responsible for their own behavior and attitudes.

Yes, individuals are raised in a society. Yes, they’re raised by human (and therefore faulty) parents. Yes, they’re influenced by their education or lack thereof and the people they hang out with.

But in the final analysis, individuals have Choice, and once they exercise it, that choice becomes their responsibility, whether or not they expect others to shoulder it for them.

To offer the writer the benefit of the doubt, which I suspect she believes she deserves and would take in a heartbeat, she slips only a few words now and then, a phrase, of this ridiculous garbage into her blog posts. And she does so innocuously.

But the typical dagger is less than an inch across and only a few inches long. It too can easily be slipped in between a pair of ribs or into a kidney. And it’s no less harmful.

Either way, injured is injured, and dead is dead, a complete lack of sentience. And accompanying it is a complete lack of trust-in and caring-about the biased opinions of the one who wielded the knife.

This particular writer’s current blog post reminds me of my college days. I’d already retired from the USMC, so I wasn’t the typical student. I started college at 38.

In an effort to broaden my own education and horizons, I signed up in my junior or senior year for a course on Women’s Issues (or something like that). They should have called it Hatred 101.

On the first morning, I arrived right on time. I stepped into the classroom, ready to be taunted a little about being a guy, being “old,” etc. But what I found stopped me cold.

Seated in a circle on the floor (we used to innocently, not slanderously, say “Indian-style”) were a dozen or so females, all angry, all sparkly white, all “traditional” students at 17 to 20 years of age. All that experience, chomping at the bit to solve all the world’s ills.

I remained just inside the door, listened for a few minutes. And what I heard was a bunch of young white girls discussing how terrible it was to be born black in our society. Just as if they knew first-hand. And they were being urged along by their white female professor.

I left. I went straight back to Registration, dropped the class, and signed up for another one.

I left not because I disagreed with them. I was privy to some of the worst times in American history. I left because they had ZERO idea what they were talking about.
I suspect we all (of all races, both genders, and all nationalities) have our own private little quirks. If I’m walking down the street and I see a group of tough-looking youths coming my way (black, brown, white or otherwise) I’ll probably cross the street.

In my humble opinion, anyone who says he or she wouldn’t do the same is either a) Jack Reacher, b) a fool trying to make a point, or c) a liar. Or maybe B and C both.
I remember seeing water fountains marked “Whites Only.” This was southeast New Mexico, not Mississippi or Georgia.

And I was raised by a father who held several deep-seated prejudices. There were regularly jokes in our house about “Mexican hunting season” (when Mexicans are fair game) and about people of African descent.

Those jokes weren’t funny then, and they aren’t funny now. On the other hand, there are race- and gender- and nationality- and religion-based jokes that are very funny. And harmless.

But not one time did I ever assume that “all” white males held the same ignorant opinions my father held. How could they? After all, I was a white male, and I didn’t.

And while we’re slathering-on culpability, where are “white” females in the mix?
I once (recently) became embroiled in an argument with a white female who said all Muslims, even infants, should be killed outright. Seriously.

And as a child of around 12, I was in the passenger seat of a car when my young aunt in the back seat, upon being asked where she’d gotten a particular item, said she “stole it off a dead n****r.” (I just don’t like that word.) She immediately turned, blushing furiously, to the other passenger, one of her best friends, also female but who happened to be of African descent, and apologized.

In case you’re wondering, the friend patted her shoulder and smiled, then said, “It’s all right. I know you didn’t mean it.”

My aunt didn’t mean to harm her friend. She had merely spouted a popular “comeback” of the day. Yet she was mortified at her own behavior. And I never heard a similar comment from her again.

Even then, I never believed for a moment that every white female was hateful. And I already knew that not every white male was hateful.

In my life experience, maybe the most profound thing I’ve learned is that despite the color of skin, race, religion, nationality, etc., most people are very similar. They’re just people, trying to get by the best way they know how.

They don’t harbor hatred for others regardless of general differences like skin coloration, nationality, etc. And likewise, they understand, as the author of the Conan series wrote in the words of the protagonist, “There’s scum and scut in every folk and nation.” None are exempt.

The simple fact is, there are bad actors out there. Some of them are black, some white, some in between. Some are Muslims, some Christians, some Catholics and some Protestants. And in the United States, some are Liberal and some are Conservative.

But by and large, people are just people. No individual group, race, nation or belief should be singled out for abuse. No matter the source of such abuse, it’s based in every case on the actions of a few.

And it’s caused by ignorance and, sometimes—say, when it’s posited by a person who’s intelligent enough to know better—it’s caused by outright meanness or stupidity.

What does this have to do with writing?

In a general sense, writers and other artists are by definition supposed to be open-minded free-thinkers, people who don’t automatically lump others into groups.
In a more specific way, we write what we know and what we know “of,” and maybe we censor ourselves, but we never allow others to censor us.

You know, for what it’s worth.

Today is a half-day, and I slept about two hours of it away. So I’m behind. And perturbed. So we’ll see what happens.

To the Hovel, finally, at 10. I seriously considered just letting today go as a writing day, but I figured I might as well at least look at it. In just over 2 hours, just under 2000 words. I’ll take it.

Of Interest

Dean’s Master Business Class still has openings. For information, see

See “Chittorgarh Fort” at I strongly recommend a free subscription to Atlas Obscura. Great initial idea and research site. I can easily imagine this one as a great setting for several genres.

See “Wilkie Collins, master of the cliffhanger” at

Strictly for fun and a great read, see TPG’s take on “Leisure sickness: why you should not relax on holiday” at

For the same reasons, I recommend “Gutenberg, WordPress, & You: the What, the Why, and the How” at

And that’s it for me today.

Talk with you again soon.

Fiction Words: 1911
Nonfiction Words: 1710 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3621

Writing of Nick Spalding 2 (novel, tentative title)

Day 10… 3477 words. Total words to date…… 30128
Day 11… 1911 words. Total words to date…… 32039

Total fiction words for the month……… 20904
Total fiction words for the year………… 269201
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5300
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 103586
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 372537

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 5
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 31
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 6
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………………… 193