Trutopian | Trœ’tōpēên

A state in which everything is perfect as evidenced by clear undeniable proof presented right before one’s eyes.

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. 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

 

Inspirational Quotes

The fact that one’s enemies remain invisible doesn’t make them any less dangerous.

– William Chasterson 

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. 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

The Stupider the Better

In his book ‘the Brothers Karomozov’ Fyodor Dostoyevski invents three brothers that serve as archetypes for different facets of the human condition. In this article we’re going to focus on Ivan Karomozov who represents the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters.

Ivan explains, with his poem “The Grand Inquisitor,” his beliefs with regard to God and immortality. The following passage is an excerpt taken just after his explanation.

“I’m telling you this in all seriousness. I deliberately began our talk as stupidly as I could but I finish it with my confession because that’s all you want. You didn’t want to hear about God but only to find out what your beloved brother lived by and I’ve told you.”

“And why did you begin as stupidly as you could?” asked Alyosha looking thoughtfully at him.

“Why? For the sake of proving to you that first of all I’m a Russian and Russian discussions on these subjects are always conducted as stupidly as possible. And secondly the stupider the more to the point. The stupider the clearer. Stupidity is brief and artless but intelligence shifts and shuffles and hides itself. Intelligence is a nave while stupidity is straightforward and honest. I brought my argument down to my despair and the more stupidly I presented it the better for me.”

Ivan’s preferred technique of presenting his argument as stupidly as possible appeals to me. As imperfect human beings we take ourselves far too seriously than we should. We also judge each other far too harshly than we ought to. By beginning a serious endeavor stupidly we immediately lower everyone’s expectations. We can express ourselves freely without fear of judgement because we were never supposed to succeed in the first place. On the other hand if we consider our character infallible (even if it’s only a secret belief which we refuse to admit to ourselves) we attract criticism and it’s not usually constructive. 

For example the heading of my blog says I’m examining the makeup of the human ego and it’s predictable results. My Twitter handle says I’m an amateur sociologist exploring humanity between the classes. If I was to present myself as someone important or worthy of attention I know I couldn’t write freely. I would be crushed under the weight of negative criticism people are just dying to dole out to idealists. For this reason I will conduct and present my experiments as stupidly as possible.

– William Chasterson 



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

Friedrich Nietzsche

Indebtedness does not make men grateful, but vengeful; and if a little charity is not forgotten, it turns into a gnawing worm

– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

So there I was, standing at the edge of the Cuyamonga River staring down at the rushing water with a determined look in my eyes. The air was damp and had a briny smell. All kinds of thoughts were running through my head. “What does it feel like to drown?” I thought. “Will I hold my breath the entire time until the burning in my chest forces me to fill my lungs with icy water?” A sudden shudder shook my entire body as I thought of how cold the water must be. A nearby crack of a twig breaking suddenly stole my attention from the steady rumble of distant rapids. Quickly I looked back in the direction that I thought I heard the sound. All looked still. There was no one there, just trees and rocks. “Did I really hear something or is my mind just playing tricks?” As I turned back to face the water I could still picture the trees and rocks where I heard, or at least thought I heard the sound. “In this mental picture there was definitely someone there, watching me with piercing critical eyes.” …….

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

Are Africans really people?


Are Africans really people?

This question arises as a result of the double standard the news media has set up when reporting on the Ebola epidemic. News española, CNN, and most other news outlets have been giving in depth coverage of the individuals affected by the disease. We learn details about the people and their families. We see dignified pictures of them when they were well. In contrast when it comes to Africa we see numbers and charts. We see grand totals of the dead and forecasts of how many more are expected to die. The footage of actual people we are shown is degrading and played on a continual loop. For instance I saw footage of a man in Liberia who escaped from the Ebola clinic because he was hungry and they weren’t bringing him food. They chased him through the streets in their bio suits and tackled him. He was carried and thrown into the back of a truck as if he were a rabid dog. In other footage a woman with Ebola was shown wandering the grounds of an Ebola clinic. They showed her crawling on her hands and knees like an animal. Before they subdued her the camera cut to a soldier in full military garb complete with his ak-47. The impression left was that of a wild beast or escaped criminal. When African leaders are interviewed they are asked questions like: “How do you account for the disparity between the way your country is handling the epidemic and the successful treatment of the disease in the west?” The reporters ask this question with a straight face as if they expect a simple answer. The implication is that the leaders have been squandering the countries resources through corruption leaving its citizens vulnerable to such epidemics. In many cases this is probably true but this is not the only factor. Western countries have been exploiting Africa for centuries. Are these underdeveloped countries now expected to compete at the same level as their western counterparts?

Impression left on the public

As someone who has recently lived in the states as well as in Africa, I see things from two perspectives. The western perspective consists of a fear of the unknown. A deadly disease rapidly spreads from a place most westerners know little about. If I had never been to Africa and all I knew was what the western media was showing me I might get the wrong impression. It might seem to me like Africa is a continent full of savages that need to be controlled by force before they infect the rest of the world. But I know there is another side to the story. If I search my memory I can remember hearing about this disease in the nineties. Back then it was referred to as a flesh eating disease. But if Ebola is not a new disease then a question arises. What has the world’s richest countries and the world’s best scientists been doing all these years since it’s first discovery?

My impressions

Who am I? I’m a nobody who has lived in Africa for the past year and a half. I’m no different from the  11,325 other nobodies who died unexpectedly and were swept into the pages of history not as people but as a margin of error. But I will take a moment if you care to listen to describe what I have seen. When the outbreak occurred I was in the states enjoying a much needed rest from doing volunteer work in central Africa. The rest was short lived however. The faster pace of life that used to be normal for me now made me feel anxious. When the news broke, the media put such a scare into me that it took all the strength I had to get back on a plane and return to Africa. Now that I’m back, the slower pace combined with the easy going attitude of the people has calmed me. I’m worried but it’s not the same irrational fear and anxiety I felt back home. There are real problems here but the people take life one day at a time. People are losing their jobs and corruption is rampant. Children are constantly getting sick and they’re not eating the right kinds of food. For my own reasons I’m not going to give the name of the country I’m in but as of the time of this writing there have been no reported cases of Ebola here. Nevertheless, if developed countries like Spain and the United States are seeing cases I’m not confident that it won’t emerge here as well. What are we doing in the meantime. We are struggling to do the right thing. We are dealing with the victories and defeats of everyday life while at the same time keeping one eye on the news reports. The past year and a half has been a very educational experience for me.
I have seen beautiful people with beautiful personalities. They speak different languages and tribal dialects. Their culture is different than ours. The way some of them reason is beyond my comprehension. But once you get past the superficial differences I’ve found that they are the same as us. They have the same hopes, aspirations and fears that we have. From what I’ve seen I’ve come to the conclusion that Africans really are people. No different than you and I. What is more once we learn their language we’d find that Indians, Chinese and Arabs are also people just like you and I. So the next time a news outlet displays a map with colorful graphics indicating the affected areas or numbers indicating the victims just take a moment and reflect on the fact that they were real people. The pain felt by the families and friends of these victims is also very real and lasting.

– William Chasterson

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