Prodigal Daughter: A Bedtime Story for Independence Day

July 4, 2014

The Prodigal Daughter

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Cold Play, Atlas

Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.
Luke 21:10-12
“What do you think of the novel I lent you? Exodus?”
“It’s naive. To put it kindly,” answered the black bearded man.
“I remember how it was before the walls came down. Before we came to America. Your mother, she never forgot what it was like to live under a dark spirit of lies, slander and accusation.
She never forgot the fear, ambition and terror of the party members. Oh how our neighbors and colleagues proudly wore their red star. They wore the sign of their fallen master like a badge of courage! Yet they lacked any courage. They lacked chests.

Here, we are again.

 

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

Now there is a good book!

C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

Have you read it?”

“What?”
Sarah unhappily sipped on her iced venti caramel latte. She glanced at her candy apple red iPad. 6 new email.
She glanced at the first email.
 …
DHS Sector 3 Battalion 3 Nimrod Protocol
Does he check out?

As she reviewed email on her iPad, Sarah fidgeted with the key to her company car – a sleek BMW X6.
The key to her car was a source of decisive inspiration for her- especially her lucky key ring charm. A black cat of Swarovski crystals.
She so loved how it sparkled!
Sarah was working things out in her head.
How do I get him to understand, she wondered to herself.
The Christians must be stopped before they start a civil war. They needed to be detained. The radicals. The Christians that believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was supposedly resurrected and who will supposedly come again.
Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah noticed a tall, dark and handsome man nod to her from a nearby table. He looked like Apollo – the god of war. He was hot.
“You’re hot”, he texted to her.
She texted back.
Me too! I think so too. Here’s my number. Call me, maybe. :P
“I’ll carry your world…” he texted back.

Sarah rolled her eyes and winked at Mister Tall, Dark and Handsome.
Then she slid a button forward on the side of her iPad and the monitor became a mirror. She checked her look and smiled. Her azure blue lip gloss was killer. Dangerous. Sexy. Forbidden Fruit.
I am that hot… she replied with a grin.

The black bearded man lit a hand-rolled cigarette. The smoke was fragrant. Notes of anise and chocolate reminded her of childhood and Sundays. Sarah played with a lock of her black hair and impatiently turned her attention back to the suspect.
 …
“But don’t you see – it’s prophetic. Christians can’t be trusted. They’re the problem. They’re standing in the way of progress. The Christian threat to our nation’s peace and security can not be ignored.
The Christians – they want to swallow us up and force our culture to fit their vision. They have no right to protest against the will of the State. The will of progress!
They must be rounded up,” she blurted out.
The facts and, obviously, the final solution was incontrovertible. He’d get it, she hoped.
She sucked on her latte and savored the sweet caramel.
“Prophecy belongs to the Lord. False prophecy, on the other hand is the territory of demons and ruthless ambition,” the man replied – interrupting Sarah’s thoughts.
“Who is trying to swallow who? Who is trying to force who’s culture to fit who’s vision?
Why are the intellectuals being rounded up? Why men and women of conscience and moral character?
You know; they did that in the old country. But the Communists could not contain the human heart.
Because the human heart longs for eternity and deliverance!
The human spirit hungers for the beautiful, the good and the true. It cries out for deliverance from evil. It cries out to God – who is the only one that can save us…”
Sarah rolled her eyes.
There he goes again, she thought to herself.
Yet another speech to the invisible but presumably doting Noble Prize committee.
The black bearded man paused and took a gulp of hot espresso. Then he continued.
“If I am the problem. If we are the problem…
Or if Christians are the problem and the problem is not the compromised wealth, dignity and welfare of the nation, then the so-called problem will be resolved in reconciliation, dialogue and love.
Your detention camps are not a solution.
They are the factories of evil, houses of horrors and, ultimately, a curse upon the nation!
Wars, unjust laws, and prolonged detentions – these are never the instruments of peace but our self-defeat. A defeat of our humanity. All of us.
These instruments of evil must be protested.”
Sarah expected a grand quote about now. It was a burden she had long ago become accustomed to suffer.
“I remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was during his mountain top speech when he had spoke these words.

Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

 …
“No!” Sarah replied.
“America is great, because we make it great. Because we’re taking out the trash!”
She was shocked and stunned by his outrageous, dissident and dangerous reply.
Professor Celan was a lost cause, she thought to herself.
“Don’t tell me you’ve converted to Christianity!?” she exclaimed.
In her pocket, she secretly texted her office. It was automatic, practiced, unapologetic, and professional.
Pick up the dissident.
The GPS location and street address for the Starbucks was included with her text message. A white van was dispatched and would arrive at the destination in five minutes.
“No, no. I remain a Jew but I will stand by my Christian brother and sister,” he replied with a gentle, warm smile.
“We are, all of us, members of the same human family. One family.
Remember these words – of all the words I have asked you to reflect upon.
Because these words may unlock your heart. Not today but someday. These words will help deliver you from hate.
Chaplin spoke them in his film, The Great Dictator.
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.”

Tears welled up in the blue eyes of the black bearded, Russian American immigrant. But through the salty tears, a light shone bright in the eyes of Paul Celan, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Harvard’s School of Literature and History.

“Daddy?”

“I forgive you, Sarah. And before your friends come to detain me without reasonable cause or by due process of law, I need to bless you, my dear princess.

There’s not much time, is there?”

The black bearded man stood up, raised his open hand and blessed his daughter with an ancient Jewish blessing.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace…”

What’s up with the Jesus freak? Want me to take care of that… texted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.

-

Stan Faryna
4 July 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Can we be true?

June 16, 2014

Can we be true?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

One Republic, Counting Stars

 

How shall we be true to others if we cannot be true to ourselves?

My thoughts turn to Shakespeare’s Hamlet which suggests that we can’t be true to our own self. Hamlet is torn by self-fragmenting experiences of human desire – often contradictory and, sometimes, violent and self-destructive desires. Hamlet goes mad. Hamlet is lost and consumed in darkness. Hamlet is lost even to himself.

The Gospels suggest that we can be true to our own self but only when we are true to God and, secondly, in our being a gift to our neighbor and those in need of help. Truth, Love and Hope shines from Jesus’ naked and beaten body nailed upon the cross. Jesus dies, but he is resurrected. The darkness that would feed upon him is defeated and Jesus is glorified.

 

African Child stalked by a Vulture-Sudan

 

Can we be true to ourselves? Is there a self which is true, truly ours and unsullied?

 

Stan Faryna
16 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Why blogging is so 2010

June 7, 2014

Why blogging is so 2010

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Awolnation, Sail

 

This is how Jack does it

Jack, TheJackB, also known as Jack Steiner throws the click bait out there like a pro. Actually, I think he is a pro. He’s a problogger. More important than that – he’s a fine writer. His most recent pitch – what is your blog about?

I like to imagine that Jack is going to be a 12 week New York Times Best Selling author. Of course, he’ll help me get a fair and awesome contract for my pending novel – just as soon as he hits that homerun.

Meanwhile, I have to explain why blogging is not dead per se, but the sharp edge is gone. It has a bite as serious as a spoon. That’s not your fault. But your chances of making it big as a blogger (if you had sticky rice to throw and awesome sauce on the side) are as good as scratching off a $1000 cash prize on a lottery ticket. For those who don’t like the math, let’s just put it at not very good. It was highly unlikely in 2010. But if that was then, it’s worse now.

Blame it on the geeks.

I reflected on what a geek is here. I plunder the mojo of the new geek. And geeks got really, really mad.

 

This is how I show my love

It’s one way I do it. I deconstruct lies and delusions – especially those beasts by which I am, myself, self-deceived. Or was.

I plunder them like a pirate. If what I share here burns like salt on a raw wound – just imagine how I felt as I explored my own wounds with the imprecisions and derring-do of a 19th century surgeon.

Blame it on the ADD.

Even bloggers don’t read as many blogs as they did. If you don’t believe me, ask the invisible blogger. He can tell you all about them apples. Lesson number three from Bill’s long and successful career as an insurance salesman may apply to this post: Don’t look back.

If bloggers are not reading five to ten blogs per day, imagine how few blogs are read by ordinary people.

 

Moore’s Law

Moore’s law suggests that the processing power and speed of a computer doubles approximately every two years. I will suggest Moore’s Dilemma which implies that human attention, comprehension and knowledge decrease proportionately with the increasing use of computers in everyday life.

This is not sour grapes speaking. Nevermind that I miss the days when I had 100,000 people read one of my posts. And it didn’t happen just once. But those days are gone and I’m lucky if 20 people will read this post today.

We know this – people have less time, shorter attention spans and decreasing intellectual capacity as far as blogs or anything else goes. People think less and reading is a modern superpower. Have you seen the Will Wheaton Project?

TV, video and pics remain dominant communication formats regardless of the stylistic adaptations which reflect the accelerated and incoherent regressions of the internet. But, seriously, I never doubted that their sovereignty could be deeply challenged by text (or hyper text). Even the new Twitter format is a want to get out from under the deadweight of text.

People need it to pop. Who got time for the deeper thoughts?

he …

himalayan blue poppy faryna gabalots

Himalayan Blue Poppy

What’s the point of blogging?

I’m going to keep it simple.

 

1. Search position

2. Ad link landing site

3. Build up the credibility of your marketing message (or fraud)

4. Because you have something to say and no one in your offline to share your big ideas with

5. Because you have something to say and you don’t respect the opinion of those who give you offline feedback

6. Because no one in your offline respects your opinion

7. Because you don’t know about WOW or some other totally immersive, lifestyle MMORPG

 

Speaking in Tongues

That’s tongue in cheek, right? Maybe. And maybe is all I can honestly say about the subject.

Want audience?

Video is the shizzle. It is where it is. The audience. And I shall hope I’m very mistaken.

But the skills and equipment you need to rock the video isn’t as plug, play and fake as the blogging.

Just ask Yogizilla. Or check out Yomar Lopez, Fred Rojas (Gaming History 101), me and some other peeps hanging out uncensored one evening on TwitchTV.


Stan Faryna
7 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

 

 

 


Maya Angelou – Being a gift unto others #rise

May 29, 2014

I fed upon her words

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

She stood shoulders above

She was no god, priestess, queen, diplomat nor elected official, but Maya Angelou exercised the greatest of all powers in creation. She could speak a word and it was done. She was blessed from above like few others. I may be mistaken but I understood her power came by faith and grace.

I also understood that this gentle woman moved mountains with her words. She spoke to stones and they beat again as hearts – even if only for a moment.

Ordinarily, I would join the world in it’s gentle wish for rest for a beloved. But I can not say RIP Maya Angelou. Do not misunderstand me, I have the greatest respect for the woman. Instead, my heart shouts out in joy – RISE HIGHER. RISE UNTO THE GLORY! And I do not believe there is rest in the glory. But greater works. Like the works of stars. Works that never end. Because without their undying light, darkness would overcome.

Michael Jackson

I remember her eulogy for Michael Jackson, “We had him.” I remember how she perfectly captured the memory of the king of pop – that tragic, tortured, brave-hearted hero of our time.

“His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.”

I do not know if poets will capture Maya Angelou as she captured Michael Jackson with words that memorialize a man like no stone or gold could ever have done.

How shall we rise?

I do not know if it can be said of her that we had her. Oh, please, please do not misunderstand me. She gave herself to us. She gave us fire, wind, water, air and earth. She told us to unfold our unseen wings. But only those who had ears to listen, heard her. Only those who had eyes to see, saw Maya Angelou. Only those who had ears, heard.

Though I am not a woman or African American. I rose upon her words. And still I rise. She spoke to us all.

Though I am not a woman, she reminded me that I am phenomenal, that my smile shines like the sun and, most of all, that my head, heart and spirit shall not be oppressed by demonic contempt and conceits.

Be a gift unto others

Maya Angelou was gift unto us. That is her greatest gift; it goes beyond the beating of words. She embodied a rare and precious wisdom.

Our gifts are not given for us to enjoy alone. We were created to be gifts unto each other. This is how we rise. We rise, together.

 

Stan Faryna
28 May 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Happy Birthday to @TheJackB

May 9, 2014

 

Happy Birthday to @TheJackB

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Daft Punk, Get Lucky

 

God bless you

You may know him by another name. Or several. Some call him Jack. Others, Mr. Steiner. And yet others, Josh. I have always thought of him as Ajax – the giant from Homer’s Iliad. It’s his birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Ajax.

Wishing Ajax a happy birthday reminds me of all those whose birthdays for which I did not offer a shout out. I regret my failure. I repent of it and I wholeheartedly apologize if you who ever wondered if my silence signaled a lack of affection. I do not have a good track record for remembering birthdays but I can say boldly and earnestly that my memory does not speak for the treasury and intentions of my heart.

Although I have little to offer as a way of gift to Ajax or you, I can start by mentioning some blog posts that I’ve enjoyed. Here’s just a sample of the blogging of Jack Steiner:

What Do Father’s Fear?

What Does The Reflection In The Mirror Look Like

Time Travel and Terms Of Service

 

Do your words need healing?

In a recent post, Jack bemoans the quiet and unenthusiastic state of bloggery – lackluster traffic, dwindling comments and, ultimately, the quixotic and unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment and, sometimes, despair. Jack is not mistaken in his perceptions of the death rattles of the blogosphere. Podcasting is where it’s act.

But Jack also once said, “just write.”

And that’s what we bloggers should and must do – write. Oh – not with a sense of a cavalier and professional schedule and punctuality. Not with undaunted, rash words! Not with the wrong words!

What shall we write? Let us not write evil or incite it by our writing. And let us not tell lies.

The Book of Proverbs offers some insight in this regard.

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
Proverbs 21:23

He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 13:3

 

Words without limits

Words without limits can be like unsheathed daggers as much as they can be dandelion spores carrying our wishes to the eager and benevolent ears of God. Like a flashing red strobe light on the dashboard of a missile launch station as often as they may remind us of the sweet, clovey fragrance of a field of blooming dianthus.

Therefore, we must wield our words, gently, joyfully and with care and good will – equal to the enthusiasm with which we want to speak and share. Our words must be written and spoken with love.

It’s not easy. Because our words speak our heart. And, sometimes, there is much darkness in our hearts.

Fortunately for us, our hearts can be healed by our own words. It begins when we bless each other. This is where love begins.

 

Luna Moth 3 Faryna May 2014

Stan Faryna

9 May 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


Ye Olde #Hearthstone Tavern and Inn #YOHTAI Issue No. 1

April 18, 2014

 

YOHTAI!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Daft Punk, Contact


I wrote a post about a new Hearthstone community over at G.A.N.G (Geeky Antics Global Network). GANG is managed by Yomar Lopez (aka Yogizilla). Hearthstone is a digital Collectible Card Game (CCG) by Blizzard – maker of World of Warcraft. Hearthstone also happens to be the new hottest game app for iPad.
Check out my post.
http://geekyantics.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/ye-olde-hearthstone-tavern-and-inn-16-april-2014-issue-no-1/
Hearthstone Concede Victory to Faryna
Get Hearthstone for iPad here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hearthstone-heroes-warcraft/id625257520?mt=8
Don’t have an iPad 3 or better? Play Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on your computer.
http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/
Marvel Avenger Alliance friends from Playdom.com, there is life after MAA!

And have a Good Friday or Passover.

Stan Faryna
18 April 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

 

 


What’s wrong with your social strategy?

March 19, 2014

What’s wrong with your social strategy and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Mint Royale, Singing In The Rain

Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes:

The most unconvincing [statements] are those in which you patently… try to enhance your status without contribution.

The measure of your contribution will be evaluated by it’s real time value (currency) to your audience – not your own self-deceiving imagination of value.

Here’s five rules that I used in the past when developing and planning a social or online 0strategy:

1. Value is proven only by exponentially increasing factors (not one out of three and not geometric rates of growth): attention, interactions, and head count of a target audience.
… 
2. If you have no audience, you provide no value.

3. Buy your initial audience; buy a target audience that will and can immediately benefit from your proposed “value” – not bots or just anyone. You can buy a list of leads, data, etc.

3. It is always cheaper, better and faster to have others raise your status in the eyes of your target audience. Admiration requires the recognition of unexpected and rare superlatives.

4. The organic growth and success model typically results in loss, failure and despair; none of which represents a reasonable expense (cost of doing business) or investment.

5. Organic growth and success is faked, frequently and successfully. Everybody loves a good story tacked to evident success. This is a warning – not a prescription.

If you learned something of value from this blog post, tell no one about me.

Stan Faryna
19 March 2014
Fairfax, Virginia


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