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Love Letters to the Universe #23: Holding Out For a Heroine

24 Apr

Dear Universe,

I have always been taken with heroes. Since I was a little child my mind was fully occupied with thoughts as to what made a hero a hero. I studied comic books, mythology and prime time TV. I contemplated such quotes as: “Unhappy is the land that needs heroes”. I learned too well, that the violence enacted by these champions of the screen and page does not translate well to the playground. Today, we seem to need heroes more than ever, as their likenesses are reinterpreted and devoured by a growing fanbase of millions and millions.

Perhaps, more than heroes, however, we need heroines. We need to rewrite the codex of our shared dreams so that the female protagonist stands tall so that some of the damage done by centuries of wretched misogyny and cruel inequality may be undone. It is frankly ridiculous that even today when a group of heroes include a female, that the female is underrepresented by merchandise, that our girls are left with childhood heroes that are more occupied with fashion and juvenile social circles than standing up to the wrongs (however symbolically) perpetrated by the hairless monkey.

In the last few days, the attitudes opposed to this problem seem dreadfully apparent. I have watched as the Disney owned Marvel Studios have proffered entertainment with many strong and independent female characters in way that seems unparalleled in history. It hasn’t been a perfect balancing, not yet, but great strides have been made.

In just under a week, the second Avengers movie shall premiere in the United States. Sadly, there is only one returning female superhero in the mix. This is the provocative and ultra-competent Black Widow (an ordinary human surrounded by mostly godlike men whose powers stem from technology, magic and strange science). Written by the incomparable Joss Whedon, this film promises to portray the Widow as a powerful and deadly opponent to injustice. Joss Whedon has contributed much to the evolution of the super heroine in his Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.

While doing a press tour, two of the male actors in this movie were asked what their thoughts were about the romantic involvement with the Black Widow and the Incredible Hulk (not their characters). In supposed jest these two joked that the Widow was just a “slut” and a “whore”. They have since apologized, but their humor masks a very real problem with attitudes endemic to patriarchal culture at a time when the super heroine has her feet tenuously placed on the threshold of true greatness. Many of new female directed and female oriented heroic movies are slated to appear. More and more genre fans are female. We may even have a female President of the United States in the near future.

This is the problem, oh great and benevolent universe: the male hairless monkey is threatened by strong female types. When a female steps out of her more traditional subservient roles, then she is defined by her sexuality. She stops being a formidable warrior for right and becomes a “slut” or a “whore”. Many people, disgusted by this attitude, are decrying against the very medium itself, which is truly sad. It is the medium itself that stands to be the best vehicle to change these attitudes and throw the heroic female in the spotlight she deserves.

The Black Widow, a Russian spy who was taken, abused and brainwashed by the Leviathan project and turned into a weapon, has liberated herself and uses the results of her hardship to fight the good fight and was instrumental in protecting earth against invaders and has prevented a crypto-fascist coup from taking over the United States and executing thousands of free thinkers. She has met her opposite in Bruce Banner, a traumatized victim of childhood abuse. Banner’s rage manifests physically in the gamma ray-induced Hulk state. Whedon has allowed these two characters to find romantic development because of this shared pain. This truly feminist story’s poignancy is made ever the more poignant by the actors’ poor choice of humor concerning this fictional character.

We need the Black Widow. We need the woman who is brave and willing to put herself in harm’s way to make things better. We are doubly foolish to disregard her.

It is with this hope for more heroines and with a desire to see the archetype imprinted positively on both the young males and females of my hairless monkey kind, that I present to you the last member of the Empress quartet.

  1. The Heroine:

Primary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Experience (North)

Epithets: The Dominatrix, The Lady Adventurer, The Independent Woman, the Challenger

Mythic Examples: Mulan, The Black Widow, Marion Ravenwood (Indiana Jones), Amelia Earhart, Atalanta.

Description: The Heroine feels the Empresses’ need for control while embodying the wild and free desire for true and shaping experience. Nowhere else really do we have the strength of will coupled so completely with the expansive and traditionally masculine desire to see what is on the next hillside or challenge the limits of oneself. The heroine embodies a real and tangible threat to the patriarchy, which is a good sign that the patriarchy itself is a foolish concept in need of a hasty disposal. The Heroine is a proud and defiant figure that will echo again and again in our culture, because we need her to echo.

As a young girl, the Heroine often appears to be what is traditionally described as a “Tomboy”. These girls will play rough, rise to challenges and are not afraid of a little scrape or dirt. Although they have quick minds and are ever curious, they are the least academic of the Empress types usually because of their impatient and often inattentive focus. The needs inherent in the make up of the heroine will not allow her to conform to gender expectations, nor will she be able to tolerate bullying or categorization that is based on unrealistic prejudice.

Heroines will often have a difficult time with the societal expectations centered around dating and romance. They are looking for someone who is competent enough with which to adventure through life, but who will also be able to accept her competence without resorting to insecurities.

The Heroine wants experience, and that includes sexual experience, but living in a patriarchy the rules for said behavior are stigmatized against the female. Thus, the Heroine will often be forced to experience the derision of her the less brave and adventurous peers of both sexes.

Athletic and skill based pursuits are excellent proving grounds for the young heroine. She also loves to challenge herself with outdoor excursions and physical endurance challenges such as Arctic swimming.

Very often, the Heroine in myth will have to dress, act and challenge men directly in order to get what they want accomplished. Hence they are often the first females to take on traditionally male roles as  protective service such as police, lawyers and advocates, soldiers and astronauts (explorers).

The Heroine will make demanding teachers, coaches and parents, but they are also fiercely loyal and brave advocates for those less capable than themselves. At a young age they will have often idealized some of the more competent adults around them, so they will hold their responsibility toward those who come after and may look up to them quite seriously.

The heroine’s main concern is control, and she will savor the challenge to have experiences that challenge that control and test them to their limits and beyond. When she does this she champions all of humankind.

Ideal match: The Scout

Challenging types for the Heroine: The Champion or the Valkyrie

The Shadow Type: The Femme Fatale: Our traditional literature are chock filled with these shadowy heroines who control the unwary male, lead him into a life of danger and leave him to die in the dust. Inherent in the myth of the Femme Fatale is the lie that a strong and independent woman must use men in some form of crypto-vampiric way in order to exist in the world. Sadly the power of this myth is such that it may convince young heroine’s themselves that this is their only hope to find any gratification in the world. The Noir era and even most of the modern movement of literature is filled with this evil dominatrix who lures men to their doom and a lifelong longing and despair.

When the would be heroine focuses purely on externalizing her control, she is buffered from her own experience by having to exist vicariously through men and their suffering. The femme Fatale is mostly a grossly distorted myth that stems from man’s fear. The problem lies in the pervasiveness of this myth and its ability to convince women that this is the only role open to them in their frustration. The cure for this, however, is the appearance of more and more heroine’s in firm control of their own lives and seeking without apology the experiences that will better teach them and mankind the best route to follow. These heroines will give permission to the next generation, and so on and so on.

This is why, sweet universe, I hope that the attitudes espoused by the two talented actors in regards to the heroine character, the Black Widow, be not repeated. And if they are may both men and women alike rise up and denounce the attitude whenever it rears its ugly head. The time of the Heroine is upon us, and we are in most need of her.

Sincerely,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #22: The Best of all Nannies- The Governess

24 Apr

Dear Universe,

I won’t mince words. I am guilty of attributing gender to you. I won’t apologize. It has been done over and over again. The hairless monkey sees things in polarities. For a very long time the majority of hairless monkeys have raised up their voices and hands to you in supplication, thanks, and astonishment and attributed a masculine identity to you and your wonders. Some of these, sadly a virulently aggressive some, have imposed a verdict that you shall only be known as ‘He’. This makes me sad because this display of exclusive insanity has led to a number of bad things. They say bad things come in threes, and so it goes. Wherever this monotheistic patriarchal thought meme has reared its ugly head we see 1) rabid misogyny and a disgraceful neglect and scorn-worthy villainization of more than half of our species, 2) a disconnection with and eventual destruction of our sacred home, the Earth, and 3) a disconnection with our own spiritual self, which is also to say with each other, which inevitably leads to the enslavement and death of millions and millions of hairless monkeys.

I won’t say that calling you a ‘she’ is the answer to these problems, except, for me it appears to be. I came from you, as a child comes from their mother. When a soft breeze ruffles the hair on our monkey brows, we would love to imagine that a hand brushes there gently, easing our troubles and helping us sleep. When things become too difficult we like to think that whatever medicine is forced upon us will also come with the spoonful of sugar which will help the medicine go down. We need to act rightly, not out of fear of punishment, but as proud sons and daughters who have had the patient and reflective teacher who has helped to shape us and will continue to proudly admire us as we go out and embody the wisdom we have gained.

Thus, I think I have found an archetype which embodies this wisdom and helps guide hairless monkey kind toward that promising fulfillment that you have always seen in us.

  1. The Governess

Primary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Reflection (West)

Epithets: The Magical Nanny, The Girl Detective, Lady Justice, The Star Pupil

Mythic Examples: Nancy Drew, Hermione Granger, Mary Poppins, Agent Carter, Nanny Mcphee, Jane Eyre, Clara Oswald (of Doctor Who).

Description: The Governess is marked early in life by her reflective nature. Although she may appear unassuming, she is forever pondering things, even at a very early age. Her secondary or masculine Mode of operation is through reflection, which makes her consider every side of an angle. This instills in the girl governess a moral foundation for thought which is constructed by and maintained vigorously by the Governess’s primary Control Mode. The Governess is, like the rest of the Empress types, concerned with maintaining control, but she (of all the types) is more concerned with a steadfast adherence to a kind of moral common sense. This can lead to a kind of sustained outrage at the injustices done regularly by her fellow mortals. This outrage will often necessitate a kind of dogged campaign against acceptance of a faulty or unjust situation, and can lead the Governess to opposition with those who enjoy power and the fruits of selfish action.

She may also have a hard time coming to a decision easily, and can suffer from a lot of anxiety at an early age, because the self-reflective Governess understands how nearly impossible any exercise of real control actually is. If she is hard on herself, she is often verbally exasperated with her less reflective peers, which often only fosters the alienation that the young governess feels due to her masculine alien self.

The young governess desires to know all the facts, values knowledge and is thus one of the best students in any class. Here the governess stands out as an unusual underdog feminist hero. She is always concerned with propriety, and thus feels much conflict when her earnest desire for rightness comes up against the injustice of patriarchal tyranny.

As the governess grows, so does her knowledge and the confidence she has in that knowledge. She sheds off her anxiety and tunes her uncanny intuition toward solving life’s many mysteries and puzzles (she loves puzzles). It is here that Governess comes into her full mastery and can be the best advocate for rightness, justice, decency and truth.

She is the only Empress with access to the fae-enchanted west and thus her intuition acts as a kind of psychic super-power. She will often accept a wide range of occult possibilities, but never once fails to respect rational common sense above all else.

Literature is rife with Governesses that take to the teaching professions and they make great counsellors, teachers, nannies, guardians, librarians, and supervisors. Their uncanny abilities make them excellent detectives, scientists, record keepers, writers, researchers and journalists. The world will continue to benefit from the good works of these upright caretakers and marvel at the likes of Hermione Granger as she struggles to save the day despite being the accomplished “mudblood”, or Agent Carter, as she doggedly saves the day in her quiet way while living with the masculine disdain of her oafish ‘superiors’.

There is a romantic aspect to the often self-denying governess. When this woman finds someone who is worthy of her attentions, she will bend the world to be with that person and suffer greatly by the side of those who struggle to be the promise of what this magical woman has seen inside of them. She is the perfect match for the Detective, as she will bring form and consistency to the sleuth’s universe, and shine a moral light for him to sleuth by.

Ideal match: The Detective

Challenging types for the Governess: The Priestess, or the Revolutionary

The Shadow Type: The Manipulator- The shadow side of the Governess is one who has sadly embraced that feeling of alienation, and instead of seeing it as a badge of those given responsibility, they find an end in using deceit to achieve the ends of control. They are your scheming and vengeful women who use their intellect and cunning as a secret tool to sabotage those who the shadow governess deems unworthy or counter to the most desirable end. Potboiler Melodramas are full of such dark hearted tricksters who seem to get their kicks out of using their perceptions to corrupt love, endeavors and institutions merely for the sake of venomous spite. In the X-men comics, the White Queen, or Emma Frost, embodies the classic manipulator. She uses her telepathy and her will to blackmail, extort and control those around her to allow her access to wealth and power that would have otherwise been denied to her. She has even taken on students both as a member of the Hellfire Club and as a kind of stand in for Charles Xavier. Her character is fluid, however, and we see her transition into a more positive influence as a true Governess in her later appearances. However, how much her influence has led the robotic Cyclops toward his anti-hero status as Mutant revolutionary, we may never know. This is the nature of the manipulator, a truly shadowy figure which endangers trust and thereby takes away the very thing the governess inspires. Here we see we can be our own worst enemy, and how the dual side of Kali as both creator and destroyer is personified.

This is why it is so important that we celebrate the Governesses among us that decide to nurture, not pervert, to inspire strength and goodwill, not distrust. The glorious stories of such characters have inspired me, greatest Lady Universe, to believe that you will continue to look after me and inspire me toward my ultimate reformation of spirit.

With eternal love,

Trav

The Vale of Shade is Being Given Away!

24 Apr

True Believers, it is not a myth, a lie or a fable. The massive fantasy trilogy all-in-one-volume, The Vale of Shade is being given away at Goodreads.com. I will post the link below. Be sure to sign up to see if you can win this tome of totally terrifying and triumphant fantasy!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/136091-the-vale-of-shade

Love Letters to the Universe #21: The Diva Rises

20 Apr

Dear Universe,

Who am I? Who am I to write to one such as yourself, so grand, powerful, and inspiring; while here I sit, a commonly miserable mortal just recovering from a nasty illness during my vacation?

You see, this is why there are so many gaps between my letters. This is why “ Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;” I give up. How many stories, how many truths have languished in the cloistered hothouse of my imagination all because I did not feel worthy of telling them? It is fear alone that so locks me out of expressing my love for you. It is unworthy of me, of you, and the rest of the brave men and women who have from time immemorial took the time to put their mark upon the walls of humanities caves, so that others might happen upon them and think, what a wonder! What if I should (someday) be so brave, and add my thoughts to those I see so proudly etched above?

The argument continues thus: How much evil then is done by those who think they have a right? You are humble! That is noble! Now go waste time humbly and idly. But, then I think how much goodness does contend with that fact. If the good person does nothing, says nothing, than nothing good is accomplished. I want to be good, I want to accomplish things. I realize that my “playing small does not help the world” as it were. But, what qualities would I most need in order to fully embrace this understanding, to ever push forward with the burning desire to write, to speak my love, and to know that I have not wasted one moment in indulgent despair which parades itself in a mocking show of humility?

I would need control, strict disciplined control over my emotions, my mind, and my fidgety fingers. I would need to control my time, so that I could best use it to shape the words that would best fly out and hit the mark. I would need the control of space, to create, literally a space of my own, where none may easily intrude and give hope to the grumbling idler that threatens revolt with ever paragraph break, every twinge of desire for more tea, another smoke, or just a couple cookies from the jar downstairs. Hence I must turn to the Empress within myself, if it were, or at least visualize that I was speaking to you, most exalted empress of the star flown sky.

I would also need the desire to be recognized, to be noticed, to grab someone’s attention and hold on and rattle and joke and hum until my (hopefully) captivated audience is tapping along, seeing if they might be the one to answer all of these questions that I ask.

The woman I am about to introduce to you, my sweet, embodies both of these qualities. She is one of the shining stars of all of the personalities that dazzle all before you. She is…

  1. The Diva

Primary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Recognition (South)

Epithets: The Queen Bee, The Cheerleader, The Main Attraction,

Mythic Examples: Cordelia Chase (From Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Angel), Miss Piggy (from The Muppets), Countless performance celebrities, Quinn (from Glee), Fish Mooney (from TV’s Gotham)

Description: The meaning of the word Diva is “goddess”, so it is not a surprise that in this historically patriarchal and rather misogynistic culture that the word and this type have gotten quite a bad rap. The powerful, attention getting woman is all right as an objectified performer, but not as a fully functional human being. Although it is difficult to find fully articulated paragons of the female archetypes in most existing folklore and entertainment, it is doubly so for the Diva.

As a youngster, the Diva will be attracted to activities that will put her in the limelight. Often musicians, dancers, actresses and cheerleaders are full of the young Diva trying to shine as bright as she can. She will also spend much time in front of mirrors, practicing how to best control her own image and how her demeanor can be used to pull the strings of those who witness her unmitigated glory. Her natural vivaciousness will lead to a pack of admirers who can quickly turn into fast friends if the Diva allows. She will be the center of attention, and strike mercilessly at those who try to deny her this, which can make for some caustic and brutalizing social environments (again depending on whether the Diva allows). The Diva is in control, but young Divas (or stunted, immature ones) are not always keen on admitting this fact.

However the wise, benevolent diva, realizes that she is in control and also that the best form of recognition is love. Divas are always happy to be applauded, however they are the most consistently happy when they align their star with the welfare of a cause or group. Here they become the spokesperson, the cheerleader, the rallier for great change and progress. These are the Divas that have seen beyond their own egos and are now free to see their recognition found in the success of their people or the cause that they have adopted.

Hence, although the Diva will succeed and enjoy performing and most artistic pursuits, they can also best use their magnanimous abilities as teachers, mentors, public spokespersons, liaisons, journalism and public relations. The Diva that recognizes that through control of herself and her environment, recognition will come, will always find an avenue toward contentment. However, if the Diva fails to see any recognition beyond the immediate rush of fascination, then they will become horribly embittered and will use their abilities to lash out at a world that has (in their eyes) cast them aside. It is for this, that we must cheer on the little Divas around us, make them see how needed they are to inspire us, to enchant us, so that the damage done for centuries does not vilify the next generation of these sparkling maestras. The true seasoned Diva is respected for her poise, her positivity and her honed mastery of skill which trumps any trivial qualms about age, time or fashion.

Ideal match: The Scientist

Challenging types for the Director: The Sage, the Medicine Woman, Medicine Man or Fairy Godmother, fellow Divas.

The Shadow Type: The Prima donna- As Noted above, the shadow self of the Diva has failed to find love in the world and love in her own inner world. She looks for external validation, and failing to find it, will tear it from the world in whatever torn and sundered quality she can manage. She is wholly ego-based, and is thus a truly tragic and pitiable character. This does not, however, excuse the prima donna’s behavior, which is magnificently awful as her benevolent Diva counterpart is inspiring. Sadly, history and folklore are rife with these shadowy figures.

In Snow White, the queen is the stepmother to Snow White and it is her jealousy of the girl’s beauty that is the motivator for the entire plot. Instead of becoming the gracious mentor for Snow White, she drives her into the wilderness then tries to poison her. Is it any wonder that the Grimm Brothers originally had her ending come in the form of her being shod with iron which causes her to dance until she died?

We can also find the behavior shown in the fashion obsessed character, Cruella DeVille  from One-Hundred and One Dalmatians. A thoroughly modern witch queen, this woman forced her rich husband to change his name to hers and will control the countryside if only to get her a fashionable coat made from the skins of little puppies.

These women serve as reminders to us all that if we seek contentment in the material, we will ultimately be drawn down to death with the very things which will not last. However, when the Diva is allowed to shine and taught, hopefully through the good example of seasoned and masterful Divas themselves, that the starlight that never dims is made from love, then we will all tear up during the final encore, and join in with her on the final heartfelt verse.

And here I am, sweet universe, at the final verse. Please know it will never be final, nor will it be as heartfelt as I could possibly hope. I have felt the spring sunshine on my skin, and despite my days of illness, I have heard your love in a birdsong.

Love,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #20: The Director Will See You Now

5 Apr

Dear Universe:

I have been a bit apprehensive about writing to you concerning the Empress. This may be because I feel woefully unfit for the task at hand. As I am a male, and this being the first feminine archetype that I have endeavored to describe, I have had to build up a certain amount of pluck to attend to this stately type. The Empress constructs meaning and navigates reality through the exercise of control. Control has always been a difficult subject for me. One, I am a hairless monkey, a species only peripherally associated with the concept; and two, I am a reflective Alien type and find my opposite with the Empress.

However, when I turn my mind to control, I recognize that it is this Empress that has encouraged me to stop dithering about what I should write, and turn my efforts to writing of my love to you, my sweet. And although I understand that control is an illusion, I find it is best used and rightly manifested when it is done in the spirit of love. How many times have I managed to control my frustration or held my tongue as I have raised children or patiently waited out misunderstandings with friends or loved ones?

Right now, my daughter has taken onto herself to travel the countryside. I remember when once, when she was little and having a birthday party. We were all in the backyard of my house and my brothers had brought down a couple of horses for the children to ride upon. As my daughter was placed on the back of the horse behind one of my brothers the horse became agitated. It galloped up a bank and then preceded to buck and rear. My little girl tumbled down behind the horse. As I was behind a line of watchers and some distance away this situation was beyond my control, and seemingly beyond my help. I saw very clearly that the horse was about to kick back and injure, maim or kill my little girl.

There was no doubt in my mind, but that I reached out with my mind, my will and my voice. Time seemed to hold still for one blessed moment.

“Eden, Run!” I shouted, and my voice seemed to echo out, cocooning my girl from harm. She looked up into my eyes from that distance, leapt up and scurried to the side, just as the horses frenzied hooves cleaved the air where once she had been so rudely cast upon the bank. Time moved forward and everyone seemed to pause in the grace of what had just happened.

I ask you now, sweet universe, be with my little girl (for that is what she will always be to me). Allow that cry of love and protection shouted so long ago to echo through you and cocoon her from hurt and tribulation on her journeys.

And so I remember all the long cold days, the nights of no sleep, the fretful drives to hospital and so many other things that surely would have sundered me, if not for the control manifested and justified by love. It with this control and in the fashion of this love that I will describe to you the first of the Empress Archetypes:

  1. The Director

Primary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Epithets: The Expert, The Organizer, The Sensible One, The Iron Matron

Mythic Examples: Judi Dench’s M (from 21st Century James Bond Films), Elinor Dashwood (Austen’s Sense and Sensibility), Florence Nightingale, Madame Curie, Margaret Thatcher.

Description: As a child, this precocious child will often be ill tolerated by her peers for her know-it-all, my way is best attitude; and her lack of tact will sometimes seem impudent to impatient elders. The Director does not mean to cause a fuss, but she is by nature fussy, and (in her mind) for good reason. She understands the way in which things might be ordered most efficiently, and she is exasperated to a state of being overwhelmed by those who fail to understand the need for such order and control. She will most likely excel in school, although she does best in the categorizing of things and learning by rote. She loves the symmetry of mathematics and this will come naturally to her. Many a Director has furthered knowledge and understanding in any field associated with the cold hard logic of numbers.

As she grows, the Director will not be swept away by the vagaries of romance like so many of her peers, but will act sensibly toward her future, and in a truly altruistic way will endeavor to guide others toward theirs, as long as she sees hope in a subject. The Director has little patience for idle reflection or intuitive takes on the world. The Director is a masterful planner and is ideal at organizing people, things and ideas. Her strategies are not showy, but the Director is in it for the long game.

Fantasy, romance and sentimentality is anathema to the Director. She just does not understand the benefits of it, and since she does not understand it, she deems it unworthy and pays it no second mind. This can result in the Director harboring a secret and deep loneliness and disappointment which only the attentions of the most dutiful, persistent suitor may penetrate and obliterate with the daily routines of duty and love. Hence, the Operator is best suited to the Director, as he will enjoy and respect her adherence to order and will be willingly obedient to the cause of order in which the Director has dedicated herself.

The Director is best suited for work in Mathematics, Administration, the sciences, medicine, and education. She is a conservative figure only in that she believes it would be inefficient to overhaul all systems, when a little elbow grease and tidying will put polish to any state of affairs.

Ideal match: The Operator

Challenging types for the Director: The Sorcerer or the Sorceress

The Shadow Type: The Ice Queen- When the Director allows her desire for Control and Order to become all encompassing in her own life, she shuts down her access to the most genteel of the human sensibilities and gives birth to her shadow: The Ice Queen. This frosty matron thrusts her demands and visions out onto all things and will not tolerate insubordination in the order manifested by her will. She will be blind to the egomaniacal nature of this attitude, as she is doing, in her own mind, what is fit and proper for the maximizing of peace and potential. Here we have Narnia’s Jadis, the witch queen that rules over a magical kingdom trapped in an eternal winter. We laugh at Dana Carvey’s classic sketch of the Church Lady, but our laughter is nervous as many have faced the unapproving and scornful glare of such an Ice Queen. The Ice Queen is by nature a fascist, a control freak, who will make life miserable for those who would be free, and has helped lead nations and communities into oppression with fervor.

In more recent popular literature, the Ice Queen is embodied in the fascist matron, Dolores Umbridge, the villainess in the Harry Potter series..

Although, the Ice Queen is a matter of some frightful speculation, she is a mirror of the times and the culture in which she was raised. Dedicated to a hopeful society that is respectful and protective of individual’s rights, the Director in her apex of power and glory will protect and preserve those institutions that so uphold human value. She is someone who will sort things out and will thereby make an excellent leader with a clear vision, unquestionable scruples and knack for getting things done, and better yet, well done.

I see now the fitness of your imperial decrees, great universe, and I only blame myself for not heeding those first lessons that you put before me. I beseech your ever benevolent majesty for the purest of directors to come boldly forth and be heeded, so that they may iron out the difficulties we face as a species and put us on the proper path to our continued development and future glory.

So mote it be.

With Love and adoration,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #19: Scout’s Honor

19 Mar

Dear Universe,

Everyone wants a companion, someone with whom to commiserate, someone with whom to face the long nights and enjoy the pleasant days. Loneliness is perhaps the most wretched feeling known to the hairless monkey. In part, it was with great hopes in avoiding this feeling that I set out to write these letters, to you, my darling. The writer always brave (and some would say foolhardy) sets pen to paper in the hopes that someone will listen, and truly hear the spirit behind the words. Our motivations for reading are similar as C.S. Lewis said in William Nicholson’s Shadowlands: “We read so that we know that we are not alone.”

Much of the attraction of the robot myth centers around this idea. We love the idea that we might create some intelligence that will live sympatico with us. We would then be able to share our experiences with it. As naive as it may be, this dream is acted out in science fiction as much as the alternative, where we create our own automated destruction through our hubris. This companion robot myth stems from our belief that we ourselves are at heart good, loving and faithful creatures. If our sentience is invariably linked with our capacity to love, then would not sentience display, embody and even need such love whether it was artificial or not?

Hence, we come to the final model of our Robot showcase. His story embodies that question, one that is asked countless times in myth, the answer of which is evident in each of our lives.

  1. The Scout

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Connection (North)

Epithets: The Companion, the Samurai, the Pack Leader, the Ranger

Mythic Examples: Phil Coulson (of Marvel’s SHIELD), Alfred Pennyworth (of D.C.’s Gotham), Chappie, Samwise Gamgee, Captain Li Shang (of Disney’s Mulan)

Description: Some of our best and most beloved stories contain this ultimate companion. We have countless robotic characters that develop a true bond with humans that inspire us. More so the flesh and blood members of this archetype carry the weight of the world on their steadfast shoulders. In Samwise Gamgee’s case, literally so. How fondly do I remember Samwise’s support of the heroic Frodo as he struggles with the pull of the ring of power. He lists off the things of home in the shire to inspire a drive to survive. He forages in a barren land to make the best stew he can. He hesitates only for a moment to leave the shire, to leave the comfortable routines of all he knew behind to follow his friend into certain danger. When Frodo can no longer walk, he lifts him and carries him up Mount Doom. Samwise embodies the orderly practicality of life in the shire, but his connection to those he cares for is absolute. He is the robot with the mother aspect of the north.

Because of the Scout’s feminine aspect he is more at home in natural environments than any of the other robotic types. He finds order through connection, and his purpose follows that order will ensure connection, as well, and he will endeavor to maintain that order diligently and without question. Thus, scouts love camping, hunting, hiking and any activity where they can feel their connection to the order of nature. They enjoy the company of animals and will often be a veritable cornucopia of facts concerning habitats and wildlife. They make great caretakers of said wildlife and can be a great advocate for the environment and all other life.

Although the scout will generally like other people, they do not always understand other people. This will lead sometimes to a removed and cold demeanor when the scout encounters others who are outside his normal reference point when it comes to attitudes or experiences. A provincial creature, the Scout enjoys simple pleasures with a small coterie of trusted friends. The Scout will keep these happy few for a long time as he does everything to prove his steadfast loyalty to them.

As a small child the scout is torn between his desire to connect and to flee the messiness of human connection. He will often be quiet, and shows respect and admiration by steadfastly following around older companions. When the world becomes overwhelming, the Scout child will curl into a fetal position, connecting back with himself. Here lies the danger, as the Scout grows he must decide whether he trusts the world enough to continue interaction. If not, he may disappear into the wilderness or the wild of his own thoughts and routines.

The young Scout will believe that he is a wildman, and thus, will often be covered in bruises, as he does not have the natural intuitive savvy to judge whether a feat is safe or even advisable to attempt accomplishing.

Many Park Rangers, Guides, and Veterinarians are scouts as they enjoy nature and those in their presence, both animal and human feel reassured in their competent company. The sense of connection to their community or nation will also lead many scouts to enjoy serving in protective and emergency services. The Scouts are attracted to all things martial as well, as they enjoy the orderly nature of the lifestyle and the many interesting weapons and devices used by those in the military services.

The scouts at heart are honor-bound. Honor for them is the currency with which the hairless monkey navigates relationships. He will become resentful if his honor is ever put into question, and will be highly suspicious of those whose behavior is motivated by reasons beyond their understanding.

The friendly neighborhood postman is most likely a scout, so is the grandfather patiently training his grandchildren the joys and routines of fishing. Of course, the hermit-like logger living out in the woods may very well be a scout, too. Although, the scout may tolerate mess better than most robots, he is never truly happy with chaos and can be quite worn out by disputes. The order he establishes is that which he feels connected. He will defend that thing, be it family, community, nation, or property against outsiders with uncompromising diligence.

In relationships the scout will be faithful, but loves to have someone else make the difficult decisions, especially as the language of relationships can often be intimidating or downright indecipherable for the scout. Thus, he likes women who are good at keeping order, nurturing, and stating what they expect. He would proudly serve at the heroine’s side, or be the first officer in the Matriarch’s familial army.

Naturally conservative, yet surprisingly gentle at times, the scout can be the ultimate companion, taking time to make sure that everyone in his family, unit, or community is safe, happy and peaceable.

Ideal match: The Heroine or the Matriarch

Challenging types for the Operator: The Champion, The Enchantress.

The Shadow Type: The Mercenary- If the Scout fails at connecting to those around him at an early age, then he will become the Mercenary- being only honor bound by his word, or for the corporation that for which he works. His attraction to martial things will also lead him to a strange zealous connection to his people or nation state which depending on said nation state, could be disastrous. The armies that have decimated people’s in countless wars are full of scouts blindly following orders. “And why should I not?” Asks the shadow scout, as he has been taught to feel no connection to his enemy and knows who he is because of his connection to his squadron or movement.

But, when the Scout has fostered a connection to his own humanity, he will feel connected to all of mankind. He will then protect the innocent, bravely going first into dangerous situations for the betterment of others. Who could ask for a better companion?  And when the Scout robot transcends his programming in the name of love for his fellow living beings, could there be a nobler act?

And, so we have spoken together now about all four of the robot types: Operator, Scientist, Detective and Scout. I hope this discussion has pleased you. For, I am but a hairless monkey transcending his programming, telling the universe of my love.


Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #18: The Game is Afoot

17 Mar

Dear Universe,

You are a mystery. On days such as this, when the winter drags its heels like some impudent boy who has overstayed his welcome, when the weight of these cold dark months seem to press down on my mind, I must admit, I feel I am not fit company for you or any of the other hairless monkeys about. When I look out upon the world through my porthole of experience (yet, still bordered by the apathetic white of snow), I only see mystery piled upon mystery with nary a hope of unraveling sense from the whole befuddling mess. Now, I see why I have undertaken such a lengthy task as describing the thirty-two archetypes in the body of hairless monkey society. I sigh, turn my collar against the cold despair of late northern New England winter, and set to work. I have this humble preoccupation to help me along. I give thanks for the opportunity, great universe.

And now, I see the wonder of coincidence, for the fellow I forthrightly introduce to you next, is the unflappable and ingenious Detective.

  1.  The Detective

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Intuition (West)

Epithets: The Inspector, the Strategist, The Devil’s Advocate, Truth-seeker

Mythic Examples: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Encyclopedia Brown

Description: From within the mystery, amid the masses of confused and distraught hairless monkeys, the detective arises to ferret out the culprits and rest his fellows’ minds at ease once again. The definition of mystery is that which perplexes the ordinary, and so like all else in life, you must fight fire with fire. The Detective is the most unorthodox of the Robot Archetypes. Although he has respect for order (indeed, so much so, that he may very likely develop obsessive compulsive personality disorders), his feminine aspect operates through his intuition, a finely tuned instrument, which he wields with the precision of a Scientist. Like the Operator, he is a mechanic, but his medium is reality itself, which takes a mind which is free to make leaps of logic and accept all manner of strange possibilities. Thus, the Detective stands out as a singular creature. Few would be so foolhardy as to guess what is transpiring behind his probing eyes. His manner is often caustic, aloof, and unapologetic.

As a boy and a young man, the detective is fascinated by puzzles and codes. He will often be a rabid chess player, and his strategies are byzantine and masterful. At an early age, his capacity for taking the role of devil’s advocate will frustrate and often enrage his peers, especially those that fancy themselves in a position of authority. Primarily the Detective does this out of an intuitive need to see all sides; but he is not above relishing a chance to prove that he is ultimately more clever than those around him.

He is clever, but this propensity comes at a price. His intuitive understanding alienates him and can be a heavy burden. Often he will develop peculiarities of habit that will be the only thing to soothe the troubled man, vexed by a particularly difficult conundrum or just facing the rigors of dealing with so many people who fail to understand the world the way that he does. This propensity for self-soothing and his urge to experiment also places the Detective as the Robot type that is the most likely to develop substance abuse problems.

The Detective’s primary and secondary functions are from polar opposite positions. He is pulled between needing to intuitively respond to the universe freely and to maintain and construct a viable order from the chaos of existence. This leads to a sense of tragedy in the aspect of the Detective. Often called upon to right situations, the Detective is rarely welcomed warmly by those he is protecting, avenging, or serving. Luckily, the Detective rarely seems to care if the world refuses to see him as anything other than an anti-hero of sorts. The private dicks from twentieth century noir fiction are perfect examples of this anti-hero manifestation.

The Detective is of course not always found working for the police or sitting in their office waiting for a suspicious spouse to hire him. They are very good at doing inspecting work, psychological work, journalism and masters of other sciences as well.

The Detective is the Robot most gifted with preternatural abilities. His intuition which is so internalized that it may appear to be psychic, just may be that. The rare Detective may even develop an interest in the occult and parapsychology, as well, however, it goes as a matter of pride that the Detective will be able to eventually prove his intuitive leaps with cold hard logic in the end.

Being naturally savvy to the inner workings of human motive, the Detective is very often described as being cynical. He is sometimes amused, but rarely respectful of those who are blindly idealistic. He understands too much to believe that man’s darker nature does not have a hand in most of what someone does. However, the Detective does well to remember the difference between those who are honestly striving for a better life, however naively, and those who wear the mask of the idealist in order to wield power for its own sake. When he does, the detective is then the loyal sheep dog amidst the flock, heroically driving away the wolves.

As anyone, the true Detective must defeat his own ego. He must do so that his will to be right doesn’t interfere with his ability to seek out and describe the truth.

The Detective is often attracted to strong female types, but is best suited with the Governess as she has the propensity for keeping his life in a semblance of order. She has a quick mind, which she can use to help the detective think things through, and would prove to be an invaluable advocate for this man who works for law, but yet cannot quite be always constrained by it himself.

Ideal match: The Governess

Challenging types for the Operator: The Revolutionary,

The Shadow Type: The Inquisitor- Although it is the detective’s feminine side which might be the reason behind much of his trouble, ironically it is his adherence to order which might draw him toward the shadow side of himself. When such a thing happens, at the least, he becomes a dispassionate hound, cynical, biting, and distant. He will get his feathers ruffled by the slightest offense to his orderly sensibilities. At his worst, he becomes the Inquisitor, the relentless zealot who is willing to forgo all human mercy and compassion for the truth. It was due to the assistance of these shadow Detectives that such malignant institutions such as the medieval church and the Germany’s Nazi party were able to round up, torture and slaughter so many innocent people. Here the Detective uses the excuse of a cause to let out his most sociopathic tendencies. Here, they gleefully test the limits of human constitution and will.

Again, the Detective must understand sociopathic behavior in order to defeat sociopaths. He is our greatest hope in overthrowing corruption and keeping our loved ones safe. It is through the balance of his masculine and feminine sides that the detective learns to respect human dignity and freedom and value order and law simultaneously.

When the detective is young he may believe that he is an alien. If he realizes that he is in fact a hairless monkey and shares an equal right with all those he encounters, he will know that he is a man, a very special man who is brave enough to skirt the shadows of mystery and bring the light of truth and revelation to those who depend on this clever and wonderful character.

Thanks, good universe, for all the truth-seekers out there, fictional and real, who have inspired our minds and protected our lives and rights.

Love,

Trav  

The Valkyries: The Bone Snake is Available!

6 Mar

I am a proud papa! My newest work is now available in print and for the Kindle. Motorcycle Mamas stand strong against the apocalypse. If you have ever enjoyed my company, my writing, or if you would just like to read a story with powerful women striving against the dark, please buy or download this novel today and/or this weekend. Just click on the Valkyries patch that I’ve put on this site. It will take you where you need to go for drama, suspense, horror and adventure.

or you can go here: http://www.amazon.com/Valkyries-Snake-T-L-Barrett-ebook/dp/B00UB0DCPO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425611922&sr=1-1

Love Letters to the Universe #17: The Good Doctor is In

4 Mar

Dear Universe:

Here is yet another line of robots, shining and polished off the cosmic conveyer belts of your factories, my beloved universe. I present to you…

2. The Scientist

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Influence (South)

Epithets: The Gentleman Scholar, The Good Doctor, Intellectual Explorer

Mythic Examples: Professor Challenger, Any scientific hero from the pulp era or 1950’s Atomic Age Science Fiction.

Description: The Scientist delves into the unknown, armed with reason, a respect for Nature’s order, the belief that hairless monkeykind are destined to acquire all knowledge, and the drive to be the one who brings it to them. He is the gifted doctor, heroically saving lives and then jumping onto his bicycle to race to a charity gala event. The archetype itself has been immortalized by dozens of films during the atomic age, where square-jawed bespectacled men put their minds toward defeating whatever horror assaults mankind.

The Scientist has a southern feminine side (The Princess), so he is by far the most social of the Robots. He wields influence like a sword to fight for reason wherever he goes. In his eyes he is a priest of order, and he will never accept any answer but the logical one. He has no time for unnecessary theatrics or anything smacking of the mystical or superstitious.

As a child, the scientist will have a complicated relationship with his mother, which he will always try to impress. He will usually be a well-behaved, curious boy, who will see that recognition is tool so that he might better influence his world; but also because it is the fit and orderly thing to do. He will not do this out of competition, but as adherence to a conventional expectation. He is so good at being the good student, son, and often athlete, that he will often think that he is in fact a superstar. At heart, however, the scientist is a “brain”, and his thirst for knowledge will make him a lifelong avid reader of non-fiction, and he will always be educating himself and those around him that are willing to listen. This will also see him achieving scholastically, which will open the doors to the kind of career that will satisfy this seeker of knowledge. These include: the sciences, psychology, health careers, academics and philanthropy.

In the polarity of this personality type, the desire to influence allows the scientist the ability to make things more orderly. This manifests two different drives. The first is the desire to increase our understanding and influence over the order of nature. The second is helping humankind to better live within the order of nature. The scientist may desire to expand the use of stem-cell research to decrease suffering, or create public health awareness and research that will contribute to the general quality of life.

The Scientist is the most social of the Robot types. This is reflected in his sense of humor, which is often dry and wry, but can descend into downright silliness with an appreciation of the ironic. When, however, the scientist fails to develop or loses this sense of humor, the world around him will suffer.

Ideal match: The Diva

Challenging types for the Operator: The Medicine Man or The Medicine Woman

The Shadow Type: The Mad Scientist- At the least, the Scientist type deep into his shadow will show a kind of moral superiority with anyone that he does not deem rational, or sometimes, in fact, in agreement with him, because he is afterall, the man with obviously the best grasp on the rational in the first place. This can make him seem downright intractable to those that must contend with the scientist. As for the worst- we must turn to the pages of gothic literature for the tragedy which is the Mad Scientist.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, first saw publication in January of 1818, wherein, this very young woman gave birth to a metaphorical nightmare that not only spoke of the inhumanity of the new industrial age, but still speaks today about man’s relationship with nature, himself, each other, his children, and of course, you, my darling.

In the novel, Victor Frankenstein, a young Swiss gentlemen is born with an eager desire to ferret out all of nature’s secrets and make his mother proud of his accomplishments. He is devastated by the death of said mother and vows to find the elixir of life which the alchemists had been all the rage over a few centuries before. So far, he is the classic Scientist type. At first, his reasons are understandable, even laudable for their philanthropic aspects. Who hasn’t wished at one time or another to be able to stave off the death of those that we love?

However, even early in the studies we see the first stages of madness and how this affects Victor’s life. He shuts himself away at all hours, disregards correspondences from loved ones and alienates everyone closest to him. Many a Scientist has suffered through a divorce or worse because of his attention to the details of his work or other pursuits. Mary Shelley, raised by her philosopher father warns us that we should not let any pursuit get in the way of “our domestic affections.” Here she attributes not only the destruction of family life, but a marked effect that such pursuits, which she deemed “unlawful”, (such as the enslavement of Greece, the genocide of the New World, etc…) produced because of this monomaniacal desire.

Victor wants to be “the one”, and it is this, combined with his completely egotistical belief that it is always and only up to him to bring such brilliance into the world, which makes the toxic and tragic combination.

Victor creates life (spoiler alert), but intuitively recoils in horror at what he has made. This leaves the creation wandering about an apathetic and cruel landscape on its own. Victor Frankenstein is the ultimate deadbeat dad. Many a son fed up with excuses, must have wondered how such a father could be so intelligent, yet be unable to arrange his life so that it might include those he loved or for whom he was responsible. They also might wonder how the world could be so improved and garner so much of their father’s attention, while the scientist’s own child remains emotionally neglected.

The scientist must foster a kind of perpetual awareness that will allow him to realize the full extent of how he ‘influences’ the world. Once he does that, he will continue to be the ultimate philanthropist, bringing hairless monkeykind the fruits of his research. The scientist can and has cured disease, made life stronger, safer, and far richer for his assistance. They can also be the voice of reason, sometimes the only one in an often dark and ignorant world. More often however, it is the quiet voice, the calm hands and the general willingness to help his fellow monkey, that helps the rest of us celebrate and be thankful for this wonderful type.

Frankenstein was a tragedy full of loss, death and disaster; it was so, not only for the monster that was unleashed upon humanity to commit murderous crimes, but perhaps more importantly, it was the loss to humanity with the squandering of the life and brilliance of one man who might have been such a help to so many.

It is the scientists’ responsibility to avoid the kind of infantile ego-rage of Victor Frankenstein. They must never become so motivated that they destroy those domestic affections and fail to respect and cherish the order that they, through their perseverance and brilliance, have made clear for all to understand.

As I have watched the earnest and learned people attend to my child’s health needs, I am humbled by their dedication and realize that where I see this match of expertise and the desire to do loving work, I find you, my dear. And yet, I will never stop looking; but then, neither will the Scientists. Just one more thing for which to be thankful.

In loving admiration,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #16: The Smooth Operator

3 Mar

Dear Universe,

Thank you, my dear, for stories. They are the vehicle through which myth is transmitted to mass consciousness, allowing us a common forum to discuss and evaluate our own lives. They become a shared dream, where our insecurities and desires, hopes and fears are acted out. For our first foray into personality discussion, let us turn to the myths of the Robot- a male archetype that perennially resonates with us because it has important things to say about our situation.

A robot is a being that is run from artificial intelligence. It was constructed using science, but in reality it is a discussion of consciousness, the laboratory where science and magic are indistinguishable. The robot is made from man (or some other manlike intelligence) and looks upon the world, ponders its own existence and finds peace, or rebels against the universe that made it. So too, are we born (or created) and we find that consciousness begins to allow us understanding that should not be available to us in regards to our “programming”.

The lists of robots (both figurative and literal) pepper the mass consciousness because of this very reason. As a child I loved the Star Wars saga, but as a young adult, upon watching A New Hope once again, I was struck by one particular line. On Tatooine, the steadfast droid companions, R2D2 and C3PO are left alone and have a quiet discussion. C3PO reflects on his relationship with his small squawking and beeping friend.

“Why I stick my neck out for you R2 goes beyond capacity.” This statement speaks volume of the awakening consciousness in this artificial being. Just as C3P0 is an inorganic accumulation of matter run on electricity, so we are organic accumulations of matter running on electricity. We marvel over and over again at our own ability to go “beyond capacity” because of our love for our fellow beings.

This is the story of the robot, as it is the story of man. We perceive order in you, sweet universe, and see how we ourselves are created from this complex matrix. We must decide, however, if order is the sole purpose of this endeavor of life. If we do, then we will stagnate. We will fail to see that the you are perfection, and the definition of perfection is that which is infinitely more capable of being more perfect. But if we understand that order is the vehicle through which we experience, a carefully balanced system that allows us the chaotic notion of free will then we will continue to evolve toward the perfection of consciousness that overrides all systems, suffering, and death.

An interesting note about Robots: most suffer, especially when young, from a deficiency in their ability to self-diagnose. This leads to an affliction which I will furthermore refer to as: The Bladerunner Syndrome. These boys and men fail to understand their basic nature as Robots and will often try to act as if they are the male counterparts of the quadrant from which they derive their feminine aspects. This misunderstanding can result in much confusion and sometimes outright disaster, the likes of which I will discuss in each separate type’s description.

So, my love, as promised, are the four types of Robots that walk among the hairless monkeys:

The Operator, The Scientist, The Detective, The Scout

  1. The Operator

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Epithets: Mr. Fixit, The Computer, The Vulcan, The Empirical Android

Mythic Examples: Hephaestus, Data, C3PO, Spock

Description: The Operator is the youngest of all the types. They have sprung from the tension between order and control. The Operator is most comfortable in routine, orderly environments where the illusion of control is greatest. This type is most uncomfortable with emotion, and will avoid most situations which will lead to any encounter with this messy subject matter. They make up for this (at least in their own minds) by being precise, technologically adept and dependable. If something is broken, the Operator, smiles with this new found purpose and sets to fixing it. They make wonderful systems managers, technicians, inventors, programmers and engineers. The Operator is in love with all manner of machine and is often far more comfortable dealing with the inner operations of these then their fellow hairless monkeys. As young children, the operators may have difficulty with a lot of physical attention, as many of their behaviors are concurrent with those experienced by hairless monkeys on the autism spectrum. Hence, the world of romance and intimacy is a foreign land to the Operator. This does not mean that the right Empress might not be able to “train” an Operator into an eager pleasure bot. For the operator, however, the control mode he shows due to his feminine Empress aspect is usually manifested as a kind of self-control best expressed in the mythic example of Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. If things get too complicated, then the Operator buries himself in routine or some materialistic endeavor. If this fails then the control manifests as a kind of avoidance protocol which leaves many companions of the Operator feeling ignored or underappreciated. However, like Data, also of Star Trek, the operator can be a wonderful companion full of simple curiosity, technical ability, and dependability. And, like Data, if the operator is brave enough to challenge his own programming, he will have the remarkable achievement of redefining what a human being might become.

Ideal match: The Director (the Steel Empress)

Challenging types for the Operator: Anyone with Western (Fae) Aspects, especially the Sorcerer or the Sorceress.

The Shadow Type: The Drone- The Operator who retreats from the world of humanity and (all the wonderful varieties in you, my darling) becomes the Drone. The Drone tries to exist without emotion or intimacy. It respects only the predictable. The Drone had let the Control aspect of his Feminine side become too powerful in its drive to complete a total and irreversible order. The Drone may often appear to be outright asexual in his make up. For the Drone pleasure becomes an intangible satisfaction with sterile rigidity to form. When the Drone has a full on case of Bladerunner Syndrome, it becomes a reversal. The hairless monkey fails to understand that he is in fact a hairless monkey with human feelings and subject to ethics and morality. Without this careful attention to the moral order of things, the Drone can be used as a merciless weapon in the hands of the violent and despotic. Also, countless myths have shown how the Drone may rise up and try to erase everything illogical and human, as he sees himself as the paragon of perfection, while all else is an aberration worthy of extinction (the Terminator films, Ultron of Marvel Comics, D.C.’s Braniac, and so many others).

Ironically, the Operator, in his fully realized potential is a vital ingredient in the hopes for any kind of utopia. We have the technology right now to feed, clothe and educate the entire world. It is the Operator who can help us with this organizational achievement. The Operator would be very happy to do so, for in this service, the Operator feels his connection and place with you. What a true companion to hairless monkeykind! What a gift from you, my sweet.

With my eternal thanks,

Trav