The YouTuber’s Growing Attitude Problem

Like many people, I stopped paying for cable or satellite TV years ago, and gave up on free over-the-air broadcasts due to their lack of interesting content. This means that I now rely on a combination of paid streaming services (Netflix and Amazon Prime) and free online content (YouTube). Of these, YouTube is the most analogous to the broadcast television I grew up with. Content is uploaded on “channels” by individual content creators, with new “episodes” being uploaded according to their own production calendars, and revenue is generated through the placement of ads within that content, just like adverts (commercials to Americans) on TV.

Continue reading “The YouTuber’s Growing Attitude Problem”

Must be the Season of the Sticks

Early in the 2020 pandemic I established an evening routine of taking a stroll around my ½ acre compound and picking up any sticks that might have fallen from the various Eucalyptus and Gravillea trees growing within. Incidentally, what we call a compound in Kenya is known as a yard in America or a garden in England. I know that in America the word compound brings up notions of Branch Davidians and other armed cultists preparing for doomsday, but it’s really an innocuous word. More on words in a bit. Continue reading “Must be the Season of the Sticks”

Where’s the Science in Your Fiction?

For a brief time as a teen I was interested in sci-fi and fantasy books. Though the two genres are usually lumped together, I always had a clear understanding that sci-fi involved robots and/or space, while fantasy was almost always something about wizards, elves, magic and realms that had not yet witnessed an industrial revolution. (Seriously, why all the swords, people? Magic up some gunpowder for chrissakes). Continue reading “Where’s the Science in Your Fiction?”

The redneck awakening

My hero and favorite author, Edward Abbey, sometimes referred to himself as a redneck philosopher. Abbey was born and raised in Appalachia, but lived most of his life in the Southwest. He was a Fulbright Scholar and attained a Master’s in Philosophy, examining the relationship between anarchy and morality. He did a post-graduate writing fellowship at Stanford and published over 30 books in his lifetime. Not bad for a hillbilly kid from rural Pennsyltucky.

Rednecks have a poor reputation in modern American society, and deservedly so. Stereotypically, rednecks are under-educated, insular, bigoted, xenophobic and narrow-minded. But that’s just the stereotype. Of course there are exceptions to every stereotype. It’s interesting to see what happens when the redneck rises above the stereotype.  Continue reading “The redneck awakening”

The Myth of Wild Africa

For nearly 100 years, the land that is today the Bubye Valley Conservancy (BVC) of Zimbabwe was not wilderness. The land was a cattle ranch. Wild animals were intentionally wiped out, for fear of disease transmission, and to eliminate predators that would kill cattle. For nearly a century, the land hosted a cattle monoculture, devoid of wildlife; and elephants, rhinos, leopards and lions were completely wiped out. For a century this land was the furthest thing in the world from wilderness.  Continue reading “The Myth of Wild Africa”

The Politics of Pessimism

There’s a quote I heard recently that was represented as Taoist, but I can’t confirm its origin. It certainly sounds like something Lao Tzu could have said. It goes: “A man who desires to be miserable will find plenty of reasons to support his cause.”

This quote perfectly represents for me the current state of politics within the Republican Party in America. Donald Trump panders to people who desire misery through his platform of pessimism and gloom.  Continue reading “The Politics of Pessimism”