Kingdom of Rain

It’s fun to watch someone go through a major crisis, even if it’s self-inflicted. Puts things into perspective.
Some thoughts I had last night while listening to the rain bounce off my roof:
Ii have spent each day the past few weeks just inches from tears.
it’s a lot of things: fear and uncertainty about the quality of my book being the biggest, having the sit there and take it while some Rich Fucking Asshole treated me like I was a little kid, stupid computer problems, anne’s ex-husband bullshit, and finally the blog trolls (who I really should have just called assholes, because that’s what they are) and emailers.
Alone, I can deal with any of those things, but together . . . well, it’s just too much to deal with.
But the uncertainty about this book is killing me. I thought I had something really good, and shared it with a few people. Most of them told me it was really good, and gave some constructive feedback. A few of them absolutely ripped it to shreds, and gave me some constructive feedback. The result? I found myself unsure about everything. Unable to trust my instincts. I rewrote major parts to please others, instead of myself, and it left me paralyzed. I’ve since decided to just let it go. I’ll finish some grammatical and spelling corrections, complete a few tiny changes where I want to add more information, and publish the damn thing.
I’m scared. I’m scared that it’s not as good as I thought. I’m scared that it’s better than I thought.
My mom told me that I was in the middle of “vast uncharted territory” and that it was okay to be afraid. I’m not so sure.
I shouldn’t have posted my “I’m leaving, here’s why, okay now I’m back but I’m really leaving and I hate you” post. What I should have said is, “I’m overwhelmed with several things in my life, and writing for WWDN isn’t bringing me any joy right now. As a matter of fact, it’s sort of a chore, so I’m taking some time off.” What I posted gives way too much power and importance to a very small group of people who I should really just feel sorry for.
But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me feel just a tiny bit better to hear from people who actually SUPPORT me for a change. And Ben sent me a nice cartoon.
Note to self: don’t post when emotional.
And you know what else? I am profoundly upset about war, dreams of war, and the Bush Junta. Patriot II? How the fuck did this happen? How did we, as a culture, sit back and put these people in charge?
And these “Terror alerts?” Does anyone believe them? Did you guys read about the “suspected terrorist” in SF Bay? Some tug boat captain suggests that he saw someone in an unlit Zodiac raft at 3AM, wearing a wetsuit. That’s it.
The CG looked everywhere for this boat and its alleged terrorist, and found NOTHING.
But it’s all over the news, because WE ARE ON ALERT!!1!!11!
What happened to critical thinking? Are the American people so soporific that they can’t see this bullshit for what it is?
And now we’re supposed to believe that Osama Bin Laden is JOINING FORCES WITH SADDAM?
The timing on this is all too pat for me, and I wonder where the fuck the critical voices are who should be questioning this stuff. Where are the other voices in this vast wilderness? Isn’t anyone willing to speak up?
We are marching directly into a war, though there is massive public resistance to it.
We are marching directly into a war, and the media, the supposed 4th estate, isn’t doing ANYTHING to keep people informed — they’re just propagandizing for the Bush Junta.
We are marching directly into a war, though the rest of the world wishes we’d just mind our ouw stinking business.
And nobody seems to care. And I’m “anti-American” because I feel this way.
I was picking up some tools at OSH about an hour ago, and helped an older woman take some plastic boxes down from a tall shelf. When I put them in her cart for her, she moved a bunch of duct tape and plastic sheeting out of the way. She told me how scared she was, and urged me to be prepared and safe.
That’s perfect. This woman, who could be doing several other things today, is preparing for a terrorist attack, right here in Pasadena. Because she’s afraid. Just like the Bush Junta wants us all to be.
Ugh. Note to self: don’t post when emotional.

472 thoughts on “Kingdom of Rain”

  1. Wil,
    I was 2/3 of the way through my book (which was originally a 2 author book and I was the only one writing and my publisher was looking for a second author to take care of my weak points) and we thought we’d found someone. She skimmed the book and then tore it to pieces.
    Her most common refrain was “You can’t put that in a technical manual.” It took me a week of reflection before I came back and told my publisher I’d finish the book. She didn’t like my humor (shrug) That’s ok. And she was right, those type of things shouldn’t be in a technical manual but I wasn’t writing a technical manual, I was writing a readable, usable book 😉
    So buck up, take the constructive criticism when it’s good and let it roll off your back when it’s not. I look forward to reading JAG, just as I do popping in on your blog.

  2. Wil,
    I sympathize with the stress and anquish writing that book has brought you. Keep the faith and do it for you rather than trying to please the masses. You’ll do fine.
    As to the Iraq situation, I cannot say that I agree with your position. If the relaistic threat of war is not the motivator for Sadam then please tell me what you think is?

  3. Talk about assholes. I had my domain “joe jobbed” a few weeks ago by spammers.
    What a mess that was to have it all straightened out.
    I’m still figuring how many thousands of people got the email because Iwas getting about 10-20 bounced messages per day.

  4. Brad, that was AWESOME! Thanks for the link! I don’t know who the reporter was, but he did an excellent job.

  5. More proof that “anti-war” marchers are actually pro-Saddam, whether they admit it or not. Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Amir Taheri reports on his experience with the pro-Saddam mob this weekend:
    I spent part of last Saturday with the so-called “antiwar” marchers in London in the company of some Iraqi friends. Our aim had been to persuade the organizers to let at least one Iraqi voice to be heard. Soon, however, it became clear that the organizers were as anxious to stifle the voice of the Iraqis in exile as was Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
    The Iraqis had come with placards reading “Freedom for Iraq” and “American rule, a hundred thousand times better than Takriti tyranny!”
    But the tough guys who supervised the march would have none of that. Only official placards, manufactured in thousands and distributed among the “spontaneous” marchers, were allowed. These read “Bush and Blair, baby-killers,” “Not in my name,” “Freedom for Palestine” and “Indict Bush and Sharon.”
    Not one placard demanded that Saddam should disarm to avoid war.
    The goons also confiscated photographs showing the tragedy of Halabja, the Kurdish town where Saddam’s forces gassed 5,000 people to death in 1988.
    A 78-year-old Iraqi grandmother managed to reach featured speaker Jesse Jackson and asked if she could “have the microphone for one minute to tell the people about my life.” Jackson’s response: “Today is not about Saddam Hussein. Today is about Bush and Blair and the massacre they plan in Iraq.”

  6. just a quick point…
    I’ve noticed that there is a hell of a lot of generalisation going on in this whole debate. According to James Taranto, every “anti-war” protestor who was at the march in London is actually pro-Saddam. Since there were between 1 and 2 million people at that march, I suggest that a fairly large number of people who were there were simply there to show their horror and fear and disgust over the impending war, and not actually supporters of Saddam at all.
    None of the people I met in the GLasgow march were pro-Saddam. They all hated him and wanted to see him removed from power…but Like myself, they didn’t believe that a massed invasion was really the way to go about it.
    This is such a volatile and murky situation, with difficult moral issues (juggle if you will, the morality of wanting Saddam defeated, and the morality of not wanting thousands of innocents to die in the process), that we should all be careful to avoid generalisations such as “all those who are anti-war are really Saddam-lovers” or “all those who are pro-war are sadistic buchers”.
    C,mon, humanity and human opinions are diverse and varied…lets try to remember that.

  7. Fluffy,
    You are misconstruing Taranto’s point. What he is saying is this: it takes two sides to make a war, but your crew is only actively protesting one side. Even if you are strongly against U.S./U.K.-led military action in Iraq, only the absolute far-far-left (e.g., ANSWER) absolves Saddam of any responsibility for the current conflict. But despite the fact that anti-war protesters pay lip service to the idea that Saddam is a bad guy, NONE of them protest against him! In fact, as was pointed out in an earlier post, anti-Saddam signs were actually CONFISCATED by goons at the London rally.
    Even if you think Bush and Blair are wrong, Saddam is the provocateur here and clearly the one most in the wrong, and yet NO signs and NO speeches are directed towards him. Instead, we see multiple posters and banners comparing Bush & Rumsfeld to Hitler, and calling Blair a lap dog. Clearly, something is seriously wrong with this picture. When the leaders of democratic governments are being called Nazis, but there is virtually no criticism of the real mass-murderer, you really have to look at what the hell it is that you are doing. On top of all of that, Saddam is (rightly) looking at these marches as vindication of what he is doing. After all, none of the protesters seem to have much of a problem with him, at least as evidenced by their signs and speeches. So in addition to being fundamentally flawed from a philosophical and rhetorical standpoint, the marches are bolstering the resolve and self-esteem of a brutal tyrant. Great work, guys!

  8. Peace in Middle Earth in our time
    MINAS TIRITH (Gondor News Network) – Thousands of peace activists took to the streets of Minas Tirith and other cities of Middle Earth today to protest what they termed a rush to war with Mordor.

  9. “Mr. Nobody” –
    That fact that a left-wing academic, Iraqi dissident or not, would oppose the war is not exactly headline material. He no doubt also believes that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

  10. Wil, read your advise to your 12 year old self and apply it to your feelings about the book. For every person who loudly screams that they hate it, there will be another who quietly likes it. It will balance out.

  11. americans… blah.
    I’m reading some of the stuff Wil wrote and some of the comments on those nonsenses, and well, all my daubts and thoughts about americans were in place and right.
    Wil is nothing more than a guy that, as a kid, happened to taste what is it like to live a rich life and be popular, and now, without the money, all he’s got is low IQ americans “supporting” him. I started to wonder why the hell would someone read all the nonsense he writes and even post comments on that, but it came to my mind: “americans”. Another guy that needs to realize the facts and live a normal, off-line life like everyone else does.
    I won’t be back to read whatever someone might write as a reply to this, so it would be good for you to keep your comments for yourself, and just keep doing what you used to do: kiss wil’s ass and even “donate-pay” him to do it. Once again, “americans”.
    And yes, Wil, you’re FAR AWAY from being a geek/propeller head. Way too far. I realize you want to be one, but it just doesn’t work the way you thought :(
    PS. america screwed my country BIG TIME. You low IQ folks have no history, but have yet almost destroyed everything we have built in the past 800 years.
    (if you think this has nothing to do with you, WHY THE FUCK DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR LEADERS WHO DO THIS SHIT?!)
    And yes, my english sucks (but hell, here in Bosnia I learned most of it in freakin bunkers/basements with joyfull sounds of detonations and gun shot, people screams and everything that goes with a war), so keep your grammar error fix-ups for yourself.
    And oh, I wrote america without capital “A” on purpose. Go figure, low IQ nation :)

  12. digital,
    Ah, yes — it’s always nice to read such enlightened comments about low American IQs from someone who obviously has such a high IQ himself.
    As for your country being screwed up, I’m sure your beloved former leader Milosovic has absolutely NOTHING to do with what has happened to you (I am guessing from your tone that you’re a Bosnian Serb).
    At any rate, please get a clue before you attempt to lecture anyone else on pretty much anything.

  13. There’s an interesting article in the New York Times magazine by liberal feminist Susan Sontag that makes many strong points. It’s worth reading in full, but here are some highlights:
    -In the first paragraph, she mocks “the widely held vision of Helpless Europe being dragged into a bellicose folly by Big Bad America.”
    -She observes that contemporary Europe is “precisely designed to be incapable of responding to the threat posed by a dictator” and that Europe’s self-conception “renders obsolete most of the questions of justice — indeed, all the moral questions.”
    -Sontag deplores Europe’s inaction “in the face of all this irrational slaughter and suffering,” and observes: “Of course, it is easy to turn your eyes from what is happening if it is not happening to you.”
    -In answer to the placards at antiwar demonstrations, she says: “For Peace. Against War. Who is not? But how can you stop those bent on genocide without making war?”
    -She argues that a dictator need not pose an immediate threat to those outside his borders to justify taking action against him: “Imagine that Nazi Germany had had no expansionist ambitions but had simply made it a policy in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s to slaughter all the German Jews. Do we think a government has the right to do whatever it wants on its own territory? Maybe the governments of Europe would have said that 60 years ago. But would we approve now of their decision?”
    -She rejects as “grotesque” any attempt to equate the casualties inflicted by the . . . bombing with the mayhem inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people” by a genocidal dictator.
    Here’s her conclusion:
    Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust.
    No forceful response to the violence of a state against peoples who are nominally its own citizens? (Which is what most “wars” are today. Not wars between states.) The principal instances of mass violence in the world today are those committed by governments within their own legally recognized borders. Can we really say there is no response to this? Is it acceptable that such slaughters be dismissed as civil wars? . . . Is it true that war never solved anything? (Ask a black American if he or she thinks our Civil War didn’t solve anything.)
    War is not simply a mistake, a failure to communicate. There is radical evil in the world, which is why there are just wars. And this is a just war. Even if it has been bungled.
    Stirring words indeed. A powerful case for liberating Iraq. Only Sontag wasn’t writing about Iraq, she was writing about Kosovo. The article appeared in the New York Times magazine, on May 2, 1999. She is, of course, now agreeing with her fellow lefties and is completely against military action in Iraq.
    And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

  14. Explosive situation

    Excuse me, but oh shit. Police have arrested a man carrying a live hand grenade at Gatwick Airport and evacuated one terminal. All flights out of the north terminal were suspended after the man – thought to be a 37-year-old…

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