Patreon

My journey has been something of a rambling one. If life is a path, then my path was confused by so many people telling me what to do or not do or what path to take based on their own path, and just… some of the advice is good and always will be (“watch out for wolves”), but some is outdated (“oh, there’s a rest stop three miles down the path, it was there when I went down the path twenty years ago!”) and some is just wrong because their path is not yours (“You have to hop across the river on rocks for half a mile once your five days in.” “…there is no river here…” “Of course there is!”).

I had no map, and the maps people tried to give me were outdated and often for entirely different paths, but no one could find one for my actual path. I’ve started making my own map, asking advice from and looking at people who have similar end points. But I’m also just tired of trying to follow a path that isn’t there, or doesn’t work for me. This blog was a stuttering attempt to train for a path, but I’m tired, and so it is now a machete with which I’ll carve my own, that I may show it off to those who believed and doubted me.

To that end, I’m launching a Patreon so I can hopefully focus on this blog and my creative assets more and more, until I’m making a living writing and designing games. The road will still be hard, I’m probably going to need to sharpen this machete a good number of times, and I may have to trudge back to the old path a few times, but I’m always going to come back here, and if the people who like my writing are willing to spot me a whetstone, I’ll put my all into this.

…that was a long metaphor and not at all planned… I’m glad it worked out.

 

Anyway. Looking at one of my creative role models, I’m taking her advice, and I’m asking. I’m asking for help. I’m asking for people who enjoy reading my weird ideas to help me keep writing those weird ideas by taking care of more material concerns.

 

What do you get from supporting me?

Well, I’m new to this, and I’m not producing a single constant product, so it took some thought. I’m starting the rewards at $3 a month where you get my thanks, and $5/mo where you get my thanks and your name in whatever my first book is (it’s going to be a bit of a wait, but I’m hoping that book can be a reality sometime in 2016).

The last two levels, $10 and $15 a month relate to a couple features I’m looking at introducing to the blog. I’m going to push myself, and having found that my longest stories here hover around 2500 words, I’m going to try to get a 5000 word story written each month. Patrons at the $10 a month level get to suggest story ideas and topics and then vote what that 5000 word story will be. I also want to start writing about food and put together my two majors from college, so every week I will write a food article, usually a piece about a dish, it’s history or cultural significance and my experience making it, or possibly a review (though I’m going to avoid these since they’ll be so localized). As a $15 a month patron, you get to suggest what a week’s food article will be about.

As time goes on, I’ll hopefully have more things going on, more inspiration, and more money to put into some of the ideas I’ve had percolating, so all Patrons will also get first announcement of major projects.

 

So, will you help me make this a reality?

We are the media

When Amanda Palmer started her Kickstarter campaign to distribute her new album, Theatre is Evil, her first piece of promotion for it was a video of her in a kimono, with a key-tar across her back, holding up signs written in sharpie, likely intentionally referencing Bob Dylan in Subterranean Homesick Blues. Towards the end of this message to her fans, she held up a sign saying “We are the media.”

This is more true than people may realize. We are the media, all of us. All of us.

People think the media is just those people they see on the news. That’s not true. The media is also called “The Fourth Estate,” referring to the medieval concept of The Estates of the Realm and the structure of Parliament. The Estates of the Realm described the division of social classes in Medieval France. The First Estate was the clergy, men of the cloth of course holding the greatest power, for they could excommunicate anyone, and grant or deny Divine Right. The Second Estate was nobility, and the Third the commoners. Parliament had a similar division, with the Lords Spiritual, the Lords Temporal, and the Commons. The Fourth Estate has generally referred to an informal segment of society which was either quasi-independent, or answered directly to the king. This has variously been lawyers and journalists, depending on time period, the person using the term, etc.

Whatever the fourth estate’s composition, it’s job is the same. It is the unwritten fourth check on the government.

Its job is to watch the people in power, and make sure they don’t abuse that power.

We’ve done a horrible, terrible job of it in the last fifty years or so. But maybe we can do better. We can if we decide to. Hell, we have to. The spirits of America’s Founding Fathers must be disgusted with the country they created, and are now roaming abroad, being there for those who want to be free. Americans don’t want to be free. We want our world views supported by the laws of the land, but that’s not freedom. We want to be secure, which is even less free. Benjamin Franklin said “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” This has often been paraphrased to “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” Those who do want to be free are now in other countries. It started with Tunisia, then Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Other Middle East countries, such as Bahrain, Syria, Iraq and Morocco have revolted with civil uprisings and “major protests.” Most recently, the subjects of Turkey have fought their government with civil disobedience, to which their government responded with violence.

Our Founding Fathers have seen that we do not want freedom, merely happiness. To quote George Carlin, “Everyone’s too fat and happy. Everyone’s got a cellphone that will make pancakes and rub their balls for them.” Our biggest struggle for freedom right now is the fight for guns or marriage equality. I say or, because it’s split by party line, and thus it is extremely unlikely that the country will get both. And sadly, America loves its guns far more than it cares about giving people equal rites. Guns are a cult in America, like they’re the fourth estate of the holy trinity. If you go down south, you will see phrases with “guns” and “god” as almost equal partners everywhere. You would think that the biggest proponents for gun freedom coming from the region that gave us the Civil War, Slavery and the Ku Klux Klan would be something of a red flag for the rest of the country, but it’s apparently not. You would also think that people would be all for allowing adults to marry other consenting adults and not care about the specific genders, but, again, apparently not so much.

The politicians have used these issues to secure their own power and divide us. I’d honestly be somewhat ok with no increased restrictions on gun control if we achieved marriage equality. The vast majority of gun owners are just playing with an adult, male-focused version of Barbie, and there are admittedly other ways to prevent shootings.

We, the people, the media, the Fourth Estate, must tell the politicians that their days of being masters are over, and that they will once again be the servants of the people they should be.

The Day’s Count: 734
(168 words were pre-written from a tangent in yesterday’s post that I decided should be it’s own piece, bringing today’s actual writing count to 566)