Phil Robertson: Hero or Monster?

December 21, 2013

Letter to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, et al.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Dawn of the Dead Credits with Johnny Cash

Dear Phil Robertson and everyone else interested in this public scandal,

There will be disagreements, contentions and frequent temptation to act and speak in an unbecoming manner – especially in a multicultural society and that includes online communities. In this context, idle talk and memes can be a divisive device which begs caution, scrutiny and wisdom.

How shall we live, work and relate with each other in our diversity? How shall we enthusiastically collaborate toward the common good and our own separate, individual, nobel ambitions?

However our opinions may differ, each of us will find it challenging (more or less) to live in a world that includes those whose actions, opinion and political will contradict our identity and, perhaps, even challenge the living out of our intimate hopes and aspirations.

That is a challenge we must accept with several virtues. I speak of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If each of us do not accept to meet this challenge with these several virtues, then we are not worthy of democracy, freedom, peace and/or happiness.

If we cannot agree these virtues are necessary or exercise these virtues with an enduring devotion, then communities and nations are doomed. For we will walk in darkness.

That is a bleak future that reminds me of the Prince’s warning and lament in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

ALL ARE PUNISHED!

May God bless us, everyone.

Best Regards,

Stan Faryna
21 December 2013
Fairfax, Virginia

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Faryna.FanPage

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/Faryna

Google Plus
http://plus.google.com/+StanFaryna

Flash Fiction by Stan Faryna

I’m a creepy, lonely man!?
The Greatest Show on Earth is on Andaman road
Get Lucky
Advertisements

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And other social media DOHs.

January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day) is an American celebration of the Christian civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.

From a practical point of view, the holiday is a federal holiday which means government employees get the day off. It is not a celebration, however, in which all Americans participate equally. Neither in body, spirit, nor enthusiasm. Not like Thanksgiving. There are no common rituals. There is even a failure – gasp – among the A-, B-, C-list bloggers to hungerly contemplate the relevance of Freedom and Justice – the things that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke so passionately about.

So you say you want to make a better world? Really?!

Anyway, fluffing the day (MLK Day) is inappropriate – if you say that you are a proud and belligerent American. [grin]

Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have A Dream Speech

Read the rest of this entry »


How to Write a Blog Post That Sucks

July 3, 2011

I finally got to watch The Adjustment Bureau – directed by George Nolfi. Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, this romantic thriller is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, The Adjustment Team. I liked this movie. And me liking a movie that isn’t carried by special effects and explosions is saying something. It means there’s something more than just a story.

Leonard Cohen, Dance Me to the End of Love

Free Will Is Sublime

I’ve been wanting to see The Adjustment Bureau ever since reading Lori Gosselin’s May blog post on fate and free will. Read it here.

Inspired by the movie, Lori asks if we have free will? And if we do, how do we describe it. The hundred or more comments that follow her post suggest the subject and questions are relevant to us – despite the blogosphere’s apparent and constant preoccupation with how to write a better mouse trap- headlines, seo, etc.

Free will is as real as it is sublime. Furthermore, we underestimate free will as much as we fail to appreciate and exercise it.

Independence Day

But if we reflect briefly on America’s Independence – we can begin to understand how awesome is free will when men, women, and children direct their free will to the common good and course of Freedom.

Even History cannot ignore free will. Because History appears to align itself with human hope when free will moves like a tide in the hearts of those who yearn to recognize the dignity of the human person.

Therefore, as much as it is a celebration of the sacrifice, triumph, and spirit of a nation, the Fourth of July is also a celebration of the effectiveness and efficiency of free will. No other holiday stirs hearts and bold passion like Independence Day – if you haven’t noticed.

Captains and Masters

One comment to Lori’s blog post summons bold words from the poem, Ivictus, by William Ernest Henley:

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul

You can even put on a captain’s hat – if that makes you feel better. <grin>

Captains and masters, however, have no need for self-affirmation. Still, I can appreciate the longings of authors (of the poem and comment) – the longing for such command. And, I do believe, such command is intimately bound to the perfection of our individual will. As much as it is about Love.

Why This Blog Post Sucks

I had hoped to illuminate something awesome and exciting about free will for you. How it is intimately connected to our courage (or lack thereof) to be, who we are, and who we shall become. How free will is fueled by Love. In less than 200 words. Just like this.

Because I believe that such illuminations may help you unlock your potential and destiny.

But I also felt that I had to give you glimpses of free will in its greatness and defeat. For the illusion that we are captains of our souls (in this moment) is as much an illusion of the command of a car accelerating from 0-60 in under 7 seconds.

Such illusions, generally speaking, appeal to me as much as they may appeal to you. But they confuse us. Too often, they lead us astray from our destiny, ourselves, and, yes, even love.

More importantly, I fear that I have thrown these glimpses on the page as recklessly as an artist in pursuit of abstract confusion.

Will you help me save this blog post from sucking hard?

Redeem This Blog Post

Philip K. Dick may also have had some insight. He was an unusual man. That insight may have even translated into the screenplay.

What insights did you get out of the movie?

What insights do you bring from your life?

Stan Faryna
3 July, 2011
Bucharest, Romania


DOH! I can’t believe I’m putting this out there! What’s wrong with me?!

March 31, 2011

For my friend, K. May God be with him.

Where is the Love, The Black Eyed Peas
………………………………………………..

………………………………………………..

Sucking in Syria

Syrian protesters are dying. Everyday, it seems. Maybe, eight were killed yesterday. Four, the day before. More Syrians will die, tomorrow. Through links on Twitter, I’m getting to see some videos of the dead and dying. There’s blood. Tears. Crying. There’s the crack of AK47s.

The protesters are demanding Freedom. Change. Opportunity. Reform. They want to make a better world.

Syrians are not just dying. They are being murdered. The killing is intentional.

Protesters are being murdered by soldiers or police who have been ordered to do so by their government. They might not look like you or me. They may not even speak the same language. But, unless, you are hopelessly all wrapped up in you, you know that other people are losing the people that they love and care about. In an instant.

In a gruesome, grim, split-second instant, love seems to be cancelled.

Read the rest of this entry »


Arab leadership: Will the real slim shady please stand up!

March 21, 2011

Where are the Arab leaders?

Where are the leaders of Arab nations? Who is dressed in the armor of Islamic righteousness? Who stands against their Muslim brothers who do evil? I don’t see them anywhere, do you?

Below, a little background music: Eminem, The Real Slim Shady

……………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………….

Muslim unity has a LOUD hollow ring to it and it’s being heard – and discussed – around the world. Many centuries ago, Westerners learned that shared religious views are no substitute for cooperation backing up a firm will and commitment to effect positive change. Even when the different prayers of peoples are formulated with the same words, intentions and aspirations, religion is separate from statesmanship. If the two-faced Pan-Arab commentary and confusion continue, American and European empathy for the Pan-Arab cry for freedom, democracy and justice may wane, even disappear. Read the rest of this entry »


Darth Aol, A Princess, And A Legend of a Free Press

March 18, 2011

Return of the Jedi-ess

Sooner or later, Techcrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis will master the graceful art of the kowtow. Or join the ranks of freelance writers who struggle to pay the rent, story to story. OR not. Perhaps, Alexia will become a freedom fighter celebrated for her snarky courage and determination. Certainly, Alexia imagines that all her klout gives her the right to criticize her employer’s evil ways. Yeah, we’re talking about AOL.

You can read how Princess Alexia spanks Darth Aol here.

As a fellow Trojan (we are both alumni of the University of Southern California), I should be sympathetic just because! Fight on, Alexia! “Fight On!” was our motto at USC.

On the other hand, she’s fighting a bigger fight – the kind of fight that I can get excited about. Alexia is fighting corruption. She may not even know it. But Alexia is fighting the corruption of the press – an institution whose relevance to Freedom and Democracy was once considered so vital that it necessitated unambiguous protection by a Constitutional Amendment. Read the rest of this entry »


Twitter, Facebook, and other web apps as instruments of political and social change

March 14, 2011

The debate over the usefulness of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (and many other internet services) is being argued in regard to steering and consummating political and social change at ground zero. The sweeping change in hearts and minds across the Arab world have fueled these debates – especially the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, but also the events in Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, and beyond.

No well informed opinion can deny that humanity’s struggle for freedom and dignity has received more attention now than ever before. The unfolding drama and embrace of change have never captured the imagination and hearts of so many of the world’s population as the recent unprecedented changes in the Arab world.

Never before have so many experienced true revolution directly by picture, video, text message and blog post. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (among other social media) made this possible. And let us not forget that it was the English language which was instrumental to the sharing of information, inspiration, insight, sympathy, anguish, hope, and, yes, outrage. Read the rest of this entry »