About

I’ll knock your teeth out!

Something strange has been happening to me lately. Those of you familiar with my writing know that I’ve been living in Central Africa for the past three years as an amateur sociologist. Since I’ve been here I’ve made friends with and associated with only the lower classes of people. Recently however I made friends with people who are connected to the small rich upper class of people. Without any maneuvering on my part I am now being introduced to a number of influential individuals and I hear that my name is spreading throughout the community. 

As an amateur sociologist my job is to observe society and report honestly without any preconceived ideas or notions of influencing change. For this to work however I must remain neutral. As the data measuring instrument I must remain unchanged throughout the entire experiment otherwise my data will be corrupted. With this in mind I would like to report a change in myself that I observed. I’m growing more confident around police officers. Their threats don’t intimidate me like they did when I first arrived. 

The other day I accompanied my wife to her job using a taxi. Usually the taxies charge a dollar if they pick us up on the main road but two dollars if they pick us up at our front door which is considerably far from the main road. This day we were walking out to the main road when a taxi offered us a lift halfway between our door and the main road. We assumed since we were all headed to the main road that we would be charged a dollar when we arrived at our final destination. When we arrived however and my wife handed the driver a dollar he through it back at us protesting that we owed two dollars. My wife laid the money back down where he could reach it and opened her door to leave. As she turned the driver grabbed her purse. Now, I would like to think I reacted normally under the circumstances but I’m not sure. I grabbed the guy’s wrist with one hand, made a fist with the other and told him I would knock out all of his teeth if he laid another finger on my wife. For the first time he turned his attention towards me. In a land with more human rights abuses than anywhere else in the world women here are treated with no respect so apparently the driver felt he was within his rights. My wife exited so he turned and opened his door. I followed my wife so I could stand between the two. I had already warned the driver so I mentally prepared to carry out my threat. As he came around to our side of the car he noticed that I stood a foot taller than him. He changed his tone and spoke more respectfully but insisted that we owed two dollars. I chided him for laying his hands on a woman and reiterated my warning. We finally paid him the two dollars but as we did so I found myself behaving in a surprising manner. 

Here, status is everything. If you’re somebody important you let others know it and walk over your inferiors. This way of thinking goes against everything I stand for. Nevertheless I felt impelled to let this taxi driver know that we are Americans and he’d better be more careful next time. He said he didn’t care as he retreated into his car. This infuriated me and I found myself standing in front of his taxi, blocking his way, and threatening to call the embassy. I don’t know what came over me. Your thoughts???

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/616099

William Chasterson on coming out of the closet as a #blerd

After thirty seven years I recently came out of the closet as a blerd. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, blerd is a black nerd. Now you may wonder how is it possible for someone to be a blerd for thirty seven years and fail to recognize it. Well, just try and imagine yourself in my shoes as I attempt to explain. 

I was a young black kid born in the black section of Milwaukee Wisconsin in the eighties. As I was being brought up I followed in my older brother’s footsteps and gravitated to the same things they were interested in. It was the age of He-Man action figures, Thunder Cats, breakdancing, painters caps, fat laces, nyolaters (the hard fruit candy ‘now and later’), iron on t-shirts, Voltron and transformers. I was bussed out of the neighborhood to a school in the suburbs for kindergarten and first grade as part of a vouchers program. This is when I had my first contact with white people. Children have no concept of racial inequality so although I was a brown spot on a canvas of white I wasn’t made to feel different by the other kids. I even had a white girlfriend which at that age basically meant I had a friend who was a white girl. We called ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend though. At that time, life for me didn’t seem complicated but all of that was soon to change.

Because of domestic violence my mother took us kids and fled to her hometown in Ohio called Fostoria. This small town which the last time I checked had a population of 15,000 people is where I was placed after being uprooted from the city. The environment and culture of this agricultural town was in stark contrast to our previous surroundings. I had never before seen real life farm animals. The locals used to get a kick out of the reactions of my siblings and I to seeing real cows and chickens for the first time. It was in my primary years that the first signs of blerdhood began to surface. Unlike Milwaukee (probably because we were too young to care) the kids in Fostoria were well aware of the differences in race. But it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a fact, like the sky is blue and water’s wet. It was here that I for the first time heard the chant: “A fight. A fight. A nigger and a white. If the white don’t win, we all jump in.” The kids sang this song without thinking and with no animosity towards blacks. Many times it was two white kids fighting when they began to sing it. Once I was with a group of kids and they didn’t realize until they were halfway into the song that I might be offended by the lyrics. In primary school I was always the only black kid in my class, so I stood out. Over time something else started to cause me to stand out. I began developing a firmer grasp on scholastic matters than my peers which made some kids begin to dislike me. 

A new word emerged in our society that promised to define an entire class of people in a humorous way. The movie “revenge of the nerds” defined this group of misfits with even more detail. It didn’t take long for my peers to realize that I fit in with this group but only I wasn’t white. You had to be white at that time to succinctly be referred to as a nerd. Nevertheless I ran from the label and did anything I could to pretend to fit in. I tried to dress according to what the other kids considered cool though my family never had much money. Everyone in my family wore glasses and I was no exception. I had thick coke bottle lenses without which I was nearly blind. It was obvious that I was trying to be something that I wasn’t but so was everyone else at that age. Besides, there still was no clear label that my schoolmates could attach to me, that is until the show “Family Matters” came onto the scene and the world was introduced to the character “Steve Urkel”. With the introduction of Urkel into pop culture the black nerd icon was complete. It didn’t help that I looked a little bit like the character especially to those who think all blacks look alike anyways.

Around this time I went into jr high or middle school where the town’s minority students became more concentrated as all the primary schools bottle necked into one building for 6-8th grade. In the nineties black awareness was in full swing. Minority kids wore Cross Colors, Karl Kani and Tommy Hilfiger. It was then that I was made aware of a new fact. Something that was always as clear to me as the sky’s blue and water’s wet was now up for interpretation. My blackness was now being questioned. Because of my diction I was told I speak like a white person which I should of been offended by because these people were insinuating that black people can’t be intellectual and speak with good diction. I was in fact offended, but for a different reason. I wanted to be black. I wanted to fit in with the other minorities. I wanted to be able to use the word ‘nigga’ naturally. The Ebonics  word always got stuck in my throat when I tried to use it. I decided I would need to make a drastic change. I gradually allowed my grades to slip and I gravitated towards minority kids with behavioral problems. It took me a while to be accepted into their clique but they did eventually accept me perhaps out of compassion. I was still a blerd but I was trying to pretend I was a hip hop gangster. This new phase I was going through brought with it the animosity society directs towards rebels but didn’t bring with it the romanticism that attracts many to the bad boy persona. I was secretly seen as not quite genuine throughout my high school years. I was the not so Great Gatsby.

As I get older I find myself caring less about what people think about the real me. It’s not that I enjoy standing out or purposely do things to go against the grain but rather I now see the importance of having a clear sense of self. If I’m being myself and others have an aversion to me I no longer see the need to transform myself into something I’m not in order to gain their approval. One of my best friends said something to me recently that is both troubling and telling. I wrote some articles under a pen name and I don’t know if he even read them or not but he said “I don’t like this person”. He knew it was me that wrote the articles but he assumed that because I used a different name that I didn’t really believe in what I had written. He thought I wrote it for shock value. In reality they are my real thoughts though I’m sure he misunderstood them. “If he doesn’t like this person,” I thought, “In reality he doesn’t like me. In order to be liked by him I need to either change my inner feelings or hide them from him. Do I really need a friend like that?” As I get older I’m deciding more often than not that the answer is no. “That’s what I’ve done my entire life,” I realized, “and I don’t want to do it anymore. There has to be other people out there like me.” That’s when I came across the word ‘blerd’ while surfing online. I discovered that there is a whole community of black nerds just like me. 

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/540303 #amreading #amwriting

WAR IS PEACE                                              FREEDOM IS SLAVERY      IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 

BIG BROTHER IS 

WATCHING YOU !!!

MANKIND’S SEARCH FOR THE SUPERMAN

When NAPOLEON conquered Europe he pretended he was JULIUS CAESAR. When Caesar conquered the known world he pretended he was ALEXANDER THE GREAT. When Alexander conquered the world he was pretending to be a Greek demigod.

Alexander was a Macedonian pretending to be a Greek. Napoleon was a Corsican  Pretending to be a Frenchman. ADOLF HITLER was an Austrian pretending to be a German. STALIN was a Georgian pretending to be a Russian.

Why couldn’t these conquerors just be themselves? Because they knew that they were only men and what was needed was a superman. They borrowed from idealized representations of man’s greatness. History is always full of this kind of material because it was written by man and man can’t help but envision himself as a superman. 

Since the day Adam decided he wanted to be like God man has striven to prove he is more than just a man. The Egyptian Pharaohs were considered gods. So great was the Babylonian superman’s arrogance The dynasty is portrayed in ancient writings as bragging: “To the heavens I shall go up. Above the stars of God I shall lift up my throne, and I shall sit down upon the mountain of meeting, in the remotest parts of the north….I shall make myself resemble the Most High.” The Medo-Persian king was also viewed as a superman.  Laws passed in the Persian monarch’s name could not be revoked such was his supposed infallibility. Greece believed strongly in the superman. These supermen were considered to be a combination of man and Greek god. HERCULES is an example of such a superman. Another Greek example is that of Greece’s greatest ruler Alexander the Great. He was rumored to have been conceived by the union of his mother and a god behind the back of her husband Philip II then current king of Macedonia. Thus Alexander, half-man, half-god was considered destined to become the  next superman.

AND THEN THERE WAS CAESAR…

In this article we’ll focus on the historic timeline from Caesar to our day. Caesar is a preferable starting point considering he was arguably the pinnacle of man’s arrogant claim of being a superman.

Extending from Western Europe to Northern Africa and Western Asia, The Roman Empire was so large that it became difficult for one superman to rule it. Eventually one of the Caesars decided to divide it into two halves with one of his super sons ruling the western half while his other super son ruled the eastern half. After centuries of arrogant rule with its most powerful weapon the Roman Ego, finally the Germanic tribes called its bluff and the western half of the Roman Empire fell. The eastern half would last much longer but eventually it too would fall. Is that the last we will hear of Caesar the superman and his absolute rule? No.

Modern nation states couldn’t let go of Caesar’s superman. The Russians influenced by the eastern Roman Empire created THE CZAR which is Russian for Caesar. The Germans influenced by the western half of the Roman Empire created THE KAISER which is German for; you guessed it, Caesar.

Modern nation states, politicians and religious organizations like THE CATHOLIC CHURCH are expected to be infallible which is why the church is forced to wait generations after its members have long since died before admitting any errors. (ie. THE INQUISITIONS)

German philosophers like FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE took the search for a superman to a whole new level by claiming that man needed to break free from his mortal fetters at all costs. He regarded any other striving except pushing ones self to the next evolutionary step (that of the superman) was slave mentality. He wasn’t just all talk. He pushed himself with this aim. The result? Nietzsche went straight out of his mind.

Both Hitler and BENITO MUSSOLINI believed in Nietzsche’s superman or in German the übermensch. They also believed in his diametrically opposed counterpart the üntermensch  or subhuman.

Modern day Neitzches like rapper KANYE WEST encourage a whole new generation to feed their egos on the idea of the superman. Using both lyrics and behavior such rappers persuade young ones into believing that humility is equivalent to weakness. They also enforce the age old belief that man is not enough. In order to succeed you must be a superman.

In my new book ‘METAPHYSICAL MAN THE DON QUIJOTE OF THE DIGITAL AGE’ I try to examine our current belief in ourselves as supermen and women. The book is an attempt to suggest the unpopular idea that perhaps man doesn’t need to kill himself trying to become the superman. Maybe man, real man is enough. Maybe as long as he’s trying to be his best, man is great just as he is.

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

NEIGHBORHOOD TRAMPOLINE


In the small town I was raised in we had a public swimming pool. We also had certain neighbors who could afford a large trampoline and they would let the neighborhood kids come and jump on it. In dedication to the neighborhood trampoline I’m pleased to present a virtual neighborhood trampoline. All bloggers are welcome to come and bounce on it. Just first take off your shoes and never “double bounce”. (Fans of the show COMMUNITY will know what I’m talking about.) Just kidding. Bounce as many times as you like. In fact, double, triple, and quadruple bouncing is encouraged! 


I openly admit that this idea is a combination of The Community Pool, which is a great resource for new bloggers to meet and get feedback from seasoned peers and OM’s WordPress Meet and Greet. Opinionated Man is very supportive of new bloggers and a great resource. Note to new bloggers – Don’t be frightened off by OM’s aggressive facade. He’s a teddy bear and I hope to stay as humble as him when I have more than 55,000 followers.- 


All bloggers are welcome to come bounce on the Neighborhood Trampoline. Just remember that it’s our trampoline and we need to take care of it in order for it to stay open for the public. Please observe the NEIGHBORHOOD TRAMPOLINE RULES AND REGULATIONS. Trampolines are great fun but they can also be a multimillion dollar injury suit. (another COMMUNITY reference) The rules and regulations are similar to those of the WordPress Community Pool… Okay I copied them almost word for word just to cover myself but the only one that will be strictly enforced is the first one; Keep all comments civil and constructive. No profanity. This is a family friendly blog. 


Unlike the Community Pool, shameless self promotion is encouraged at the NEIGHBORHOOD TRAMPOLINE but please leave more than just a link. Tell us a little bit about your blog and why we should press the follow button.


TIP: To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.


Feel free to share and reblog this post. Thanks!


THE THIEVES FINALLY MURDERED MY DOG

Well she was actually my neighbor lady’s dog but considering the fact that we gave more attention and sustenance to the poor creature, I can confidently say she was our dog. Her name was Negrita and she was one of three dogs that alerted the surrounding houses of approaching thieves. I wrote about these dogs in a previous post entitled ‘A working class hero is something to be‘. 

The night the thieves murdered Negrita was an especially active one. We got very little sleep, as random footsteps surrounded our house throughout the night. Starved by her owner and forced to eat garbage Negrita apparently couldn’t resist the poisoned treats the thieves brought for her. The next day the neighbor lady, who I also wrote about in the post; ‘No honor amongst thieves‘, broke the sad news to us. She started off by telling us that the thieves broke into three cars parked outside our house the previous night. They attempted to kill all of the dogs, but Negrita is the only one they succeeded in murdering. The expression on my face as she recounted the story was one of genuine concern and the words which came out naturally were; “I’m so sorry.” As I expressed my regret however, the callous woman began laughing uncontrollably. I had to walk away from her in disgust.

Animal rights and humane treatment of animals here (especially dogs) is rare. I’ll miss the tireless worker who sacrificed her life for nothing. She’ll be missed by few but I would like to at least honor her memory with a post and a moment of silence for the premature death of Negrita.

– William Chasterson 

WHO IS METAPHYSICAL MAN ?

Who is Metaphysical Man ???

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

My Story

I realize I’m doing this backwards. Usually people introduce themselves before they begin talking. But I jumped right in and began posting because I was very excited about my first book. After four months of posting allow me to take a moment and introduce myself. My name is William Chasterson. I’m a writer and a student of history. I was raised in the Midwest of the United States in a very conservative town of about 15,000 people. In my twenties I moved to New York which is where I’ve been for the past 15 years. After the first few years of culture shock I was finally able to settle into my environment and actually consider myself a New Yorker. For the past year and a half however I’ve been living in the third world. I’m not going to mention the name of the country I moved to because governments can be sensitive at times and although I have nothing negative to say about any government. They could arrive at the wrong conclusion and I could wind up behind bars. 

How did I end up here? 

I’ve always had an inclination to want to be successful. But I felt something was lacking in the traditional means and end most people use to arrive at what they consider to be a success. I wanted to contribute something positive to society. For years I’ve done volunteer work but I always felt as if I was holding back somehow. I wanted to do more and my wife and I talked about one day making a grand sacrifice and traveling to an underdeveloped country. Then one day we found that ten years had passed by and all we had done is talk. We were getting older. If we were going to contract some rare disease while helping others, now was the time to do it. We’re still young enough to be able to bounce back. But the clock was ticking. We decided that it was now or never. We needed to either take action or stop talking about it. Although I had a nice paying job with flexible hours I decided to quit. My employers couldn’t understand my decision and it was difficult for me to explain. On the exit interview every question implied that I had found a better job and they wanted feedback on what they could have done differently to retain me. After I left my job things began moving rather quickly. I rolled my 401K savings over into an IRA. We got our travel vaccinations and malaria pills. We stocked up on everything we thought we would need to get us through the first year. We’ve always considered ourselves as living simple lives. But when you have to gather up and store everything you own you may find you have more possessions than you thought. That’s what happened in our case. Friends did us the favor of storing what we could not take. Long story short, we boarded the plane and embarked on a new phase in our lives.

The first year

The first year was harder than we could have ever imagined and the plans we made to support ourselves caught snag after snag until finally falling through. This meant we had to rely on our savings more than expected. The country we moved to has no middle class. In America people talk about their not being a middle class or the middle class being under attack but until you actually experience a society with no middle class it’s impossible to imagine. First of all there is a small class of über rich people and a much larger class of extremely poor people. I  expected everything to be cheap but the opposite is true. There’s no competition for prices because the rich don’t complain or bargain. Whatever things cost they just pay and keep it moving. The poor can’t afford any luxuries. They live in survival mode. Imagine high prices and low quality products and food and you’ll have an accurate picture of what it’s like here. Compared to Western societies even the rich here live relatively rough lives. While the poor just subsist in the most barren of environments. It’s kind of like George Orwell’s 1984. Despite the challenges however we have had much success in the volunteer work we came to do. I’m not using this blog as a forum to further my volunteer work at this time. Most of the people I work with don’t even have computers. For this reason I won’t go into great detail about the work. But I will say we educate people to make practical changes which enables them to live happier lives. I know our decision to move seemed unusual to many but I always believed that deep down everyone wanted to do what we were doing. We’re not special in any way. We saw an opportunity and we grabbed it. If given the same opportunity I felt anyone else would do the same. This belief has changed somewhat but I don’t want to talk about that right now. We sent a lot of emails and pictures back home because we thought everyone would be interested in what we were doing. We carefully filtered the emails because although we were suffering we didn’t want to discourage anyone. We only chose pictures where we were enjoying ourselves and we highlighted only the good experiences. Far from discouraging however I get the impression that the emails had the opposite effect. Some may have thought we were having the time of our lives and were bragging. We were actually having the time of our lives but not in the ways they may have imagined. On our return to the states I once again experienced culture shock but now in a different way. Everything was convenient but there was an overpowering stress that permeated everything. On the surface it seems that living in the third world is much harder because of the poverty, poor hygiene and strong military presence. But the stress I felt on my return was harder for me to deal with than anything I experienced the previous year. I blame no one for this. Human beings (including myself) are complex strange creatures. I’ve documented some of these experiences in my new book Metaphysical Man which is due to be released July 1st 2015. I’ll most likely be updating this post as time goes on so that those who might be interested can find out what eventually happens to us. But that’s all for now.

Sincerely Yours,

William Chasterson


Want a sneak peek of my upcoming novel? Preorders are now available @pubslush! Get some great early bird rewards : ) Link to http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303

WILLIAM CHASTERSON’S INDIE BOOKSTORE

Are you currently selling books on Amazon or Smashwords? I’m working on a community platform idea upon which I can help you sell your books. If you’re interested please leave a comment on this post and I will send you details.

http://blog.pubslush.com/mankinds-search-for-the-superman/

http://blog.pubslush.com/mankinds-search-for-the-superman/

NPR News: Report: Kushner Discussed Setting Up Secret Communications With Russia

New story on NPR: Report: Kushner Discussed Setting Up Secret Communications With Russia http://ift.tt/2s5ENqS

NPR News: Report: Kushner Discussed Setting Up Secret Communications With Russia

Report: Kushner Discussed Setting Up Secret Communications With Russia
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak told the Kremlin that Jared Kushner had discussed setting up a secret means of communicating directly, using Russian facilities, according to the Washington Post.

Read more on NPR

NPR News: Life-Without-Parole Sentences For D.C. Sniper Thrown Out By Judge

Life-Without-Parole Sentences For D.C. Sniper Thrown Out By Judge
The judge ruled Friday that, because the Supreme Court has found mandatory life for juveniles unconstitutional, two sentences being served in Virginia by Lee Boyd Malvo must be reconsidered.

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NPR News: Life-Without-Parole Sentences For D.C. Sniper Thrown Out By Judge

New story on NPR: Life-Without-Parole Sentences For D.C. Sniper Thrown Out By Judge http://ift.tt/2rZUeBx

NPR News: In Mexico, A Last-Ditch Effort To Save The Vaquita, On The Verge Of Extinction

In Mexico, A Last-Ditch Effort To Save The Vaquita, On The Verge Of Extinction
There are only 30 of the small porpoise left, due to over-fishing in the waters of the Gulf of California. Efforts to save the vaquita have pitted environmentalists against fishermen.

Read more on NPR