I Shall Use My Powers for Good

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:20 (ESV)


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of my most favorite musicals. I had a blast playing the role of Potiphar many years back at Richmond’s Dogwood Dell.

It’s based on the Old Testament story of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. But he ends up a right hand man to Pharaoh. When famine hits his homeland, his brothers come to Egypt for food. Joseph recognizes them right away but they’re a little slow on the uptake, since they think there’s One More Angel in Heaven. When he finally reveals himself, he tells them that while what they did was evil, God used it for good. So, they all move to Egypt and get jobs in the brick making business.

Oh sure, it led to four hundred years of slavery and in the end Charlton Heston was passed over, so to speak,

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dogwood Dell, July & August, 2012 (Potiphar)

when the 1957 Academy Award went to Pharaoh who looked a lot like the King of Siam. *

Before I write myself into a corner, let me explain my thought process.

I’ve been considering my writing and what, if any, purpose it serves other than my own enjoyment. Trust me, I got my Google Analytics report yesterday. We’re not winning any ratings wars. Although I do appreciate those of you who read here. (Tell your friends)

While I have other projects that are more artistic, if you will…my short stories…my scripts…the novels…oh, the novels that need much work, I write here to hopefully have a positive influence.

Heaven knows, especially over the last now almost fourteen months, we need all the good vibes we can get. So, I do what I can.

Martin Luther said:

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.

I’m not really sure that I can change the world. Rather, to paraphrase Diana (Ross, not Princess) I want to reach out and touch and make this world a better place.

If i can.

I used to think that I could change things writing about politics.

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

I was young. I was naive.

I got better.

I want this to be a place of encouragement. Maybe it’s a ministry, I don’t know. I’m not going to start preaching. Well, not anymore than I already do.

But if I can share something positive, something encouraging, then like Lina Lamont, I’ll know that “It ain’t been in vain for nothing.”

I’ll take “How many obscure cultural references can he squeeze into one post?” for $500, Alex (RIP).

So I write here to share things that are on my mind. I write here to sometimes call for reason in an unreasonable world.

I hope I do it well.

Terry Pratchett said:

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

If my pen was really as sharp as it should be, I’d find a clever way to end this.

As it is, I’m going to stop before I get to the Tolkien and Chekhov references.

Editing is also meant for good.

Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash


*While The Ten Commandments was nominated for seven Academy Awards, Heston was not nominated as best actor (seriously, have you seen the film?). Yul Brynner, a.k.a. Pharoah in The Ten Commandments won that year for The King and I. So let it be written. So let it be done.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

I recently wrote a note to myself that said “there should always be music.” Yesterday after a doctor’s appointment I was feeling the weight of what I shared on Monday.

First up on Pandora was “His Eye on the Sparrow” and then this “God Provides” by Tamela Mann. It was needed.

Maybe you need it today.


 

WHAT I’M READING


 

RANDOM LINKS YOU SHOULD READ

Richmond’s Rage of the Woke
City Journal
The city’s iconoclastic frenzy, supported by local leaders, has left a historic avenue with stumps and graffiti. Read More.

BREAKING: Derek Chauvin’s lawyer requests new trial, citing alleged jury misconduct
The RF Angle
Nelson also alleges that the court failed to sequester the jury during the trial, which caused the jurors “to prejudicial publicity regarding the trial during the proceedings, as well as jury intimidation and potential fear of retribution among jurors.” Read More.

Who amongst us didn’t see THAT coming?

TX Democrat Party Leader Resigns After Using Racial Slur Against Senator Tim Scott
Red State
Lamar County Democratic Party Chairman Gary O’Connor attacked Senator Scott with a degrading term meant to insult Black Americans whom some perceive as “acting White” just because they don’t toe the liberal line. Read More.

Biden Believes in Science — So Long as the Teachers’ Unions Approve
National Review
Now, a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, reported by the New York Post, reveals the depth of political interference in the school-reopening guidance. Read More.

Trump launches new website called ‘From the Desk of Donald J. Trump’ which lets followers share his posts to Twitter and Facebook
Daily Mail
The former president unveiled the website where only he can upload content, and doesn’t let users interact, as he teased to supporters they will be ‘very, very happy’ when they hear his decision about running for the White House again. Read More.

If you’ve missed him, here’s the link:

From the Desk of Donald J. Trump

 

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard

 

 


BENEDICTION

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.

Numbers 6:24-26

Forty-plus years in the reading

We live out our lives as we are meant to live them-with some choice, with some chance, but mostly as a result of the persons we are.

Terry Brooks in The Druid of Shannara, (The Heritage of Shannara #2)


This weekend, I finally finished one of the books on my current reading list. It only took about forty years.

Allow me to explain. As if you thought I’d do otherwise.

In the early 1980s, I discovered a new fantasy series by Terry Brooks. While The Sword of Shanarra was published in 1977 I didn’t find it until a few years later. It is an epic fantasy novel and the first in what turned out to be a series of thirty-six books ending with The Last Druid: Book Four of the Fall of Shannara, published in October 2020.

I’m not sure how I found the books. Maybe it was a random search through a bookstore near the Virginia Tech campus that I loved. Maybe it was a recommendation from a friend.

But I’d fallen in love with Tolkien’s writings in high school and was introduced to C.S. Lewis in college.

After college I moved back home and took a job that was less than inspiring and was in a church relationship that smothered any sense of individualism that I had. It took me about three-and-a-half years to escape both.

No not writing about those here. They’ll be in the book.

When I did escape I ended up in politics.

Frying pan. Fire. You know the drill.

I digress.

I think I had a lot more time to read back then. Maybe I’m making that up, but I certainly didn’t have the internet, I wasn’t acting, I was nowhere near a theme park.

And I didn’t look anything like Santa Claus. True story.

I did start writing a novel or two on the old Smith-Corona typewriter that I got for high school graduation.

Available at
The Write Side Shop
(click the pic)

Again, I digress.

But it was around that time that I found the Shannara series, along with The Thomas Covenant Chronicles by Stephen R. Donaldson, and the Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz. For the record, both also continued writing and I’ve not finished those either. I’m a little more than halfway through Brooks’ Landover series. Again, only because he kept writing.

On a side note, I finished the Left Behind series out of sheer stubbornness. Except that I refuse to read the prequels.

Again, again, I digress.

But Terry Brooks continued writing his Shannara series over the years. Sometime before the afore-mentioned escape, I stopped reading them. In 2013, I picked them up again and started over.

I purchased a lot of copies second-hand through Amazon. I read a few from the library.

Initially I didn’t want to buy the final book in hardback, but sometime after the first of the year I gave in and ordered my copy.

I’ve been reading it slowly over the last few weeks. True, it doesn’t fit into this year’s theme of British history and literature. But I made that exception.

Sunday, on a day where I felt I needed to take care of me, I set up a chair on the deck, ignoring how much work the deck and the yard read. I sat in the sun for five hours and finished the book.

Not bad for something that only took me forty years. To be fair, since I re-started the series in 2013, it was really only eight years.

Terry Brooks was a law student at Washington and Lee University when he started writing the books in 1967. Unlike my attempts on the Smith-Corona, he kept writing. He found his genre after reading…wait for it…The Lord of the Rings in college.

No doubt more elvish magick.

Some critics said that the series was too derivative of The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps, but the series begins some 2000 years after The Great Wars after a nuclear holocaust wiped out most of the planet and rearranged geography. What better time for elves, and dwarves, and things that go bump in the night to come out of hiding?

The initial Shannara trilogy was adapted for television a few years back, but I’ve never watched it. I’m too busy with my current binge watching The Simpsons predict the future.

Perhaps it seems a bit silly that I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve completed this series. But in this plandemic (d’oh!), I mean pandemic, we need to celebrate the small and large triumphs.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I’ve finished the Shannara series before I’ve finished the complete works of Shakespeare (I’m working on it). And reading thirty-six books in forty years, or even eight, probably shouldn’t be considered a great accomplishment.

Especially when Goodreads tell me that I’m still seven books behind on my 2021 goal.

Photo by Richard Clark on Unsplash


MUSICAL INTERLUDE


 

WHAT I’M READING


 

RANDOM LINKS YOU SHOULD READ

Pentagon says no to parking permit for Rolling To Remember
WASHINGTON (7News)
The U.S. Department of Defense has denied a parking permit to the American Veterans or AmVets to stage a rallying point at the Pentagon ending a 32-year-old tradition on Memorial Day weekend for Rolling To Remember. Read More.

DC has banned dancing at indoor and outdoor wedding receptions
WUSA9
As D.C. reopens, it’s allowing small indoor and outdoor weddings, but dancing — even just standing around at a cocktail hour — is banned. Read More.

Biden has a strange definition of patriotism
The Washington Times
President Biden told America on the campaign trail, in the early days of his administration and over the course of his first 100 days in the White House that on the coronavirus, he would follow the science and issue executive guidance based solely on the science.
He lied. Read More.

Corporate Media Feverishly Tries To Hide Biden Administration’s Culture War Extremism
The Federalist
Would Americans be happy to know that Biden has ordered the entire government to center its economic, health care, environmental, and scientific policies around divisive “racial equity” issues? Doubtful. Read More.

Gov. DeSantis announces suspension of all local emergency COVID-19 orders
Blaze Media
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday signed a bill that would ban COVID-19 vaccine passports in the state and also announced a new executive order suspending all local pandemic-related emergency orders. Read More.

 

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard

 

 


BENEDICTION

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.

Numbers 6:24-26