Chapter One Of My New Novel

I won’t give the title yet. But I’ve been working on this for the last year. And sure, it’s only nine chapters, but those nine chapters are 170 pages long of a book that will likely be over 400.  The editing process will likely be long, yay, but there will be a lot more fleshed out as I go along. Especially in this first chapter. I enjoy it, but I know that, though it’s what I want it to be, there are aspects that need to fit better with what I’ve been writing. So enjoy and feel free to leave comments on what you thought worked and what didn’t. If you liked it, if you hated it, go hog wild. And I’ll see what I can do to make it even better. Thanks for reading.


SHE STOOD PARALYZED, a hand wrapped tightly around her throat and her face pressed firmly against the cold, grainy surface of a building wall. A hungry chuckle and foul breath caressed her neck and ears. She closed her eyes and felt her skirt sliding up her thighs. A small sound tried to escape her throat as she gritted her teeth.

     “Now stop yer whimperin. You and I both know how much yer gonna enjoy this.”

     She pursed her lips together and tried to stifle her sobs and braced herself for the inevitable violation of her body. What she didn’t expect was a splash of wetness across her right cheek and a gurgling gasp. She found herself spun around and saw a woman in a long trenchcoat holding a blade in her right hand covered in blood. And at her feet was the shuddering form of her tormentor holding his throat gasping his last breaths. She lifted her eyes to her rescuer but, before she could utter a word, heard the man’s two companions coming down the alley.

     “Hey, Gil. How long you gonna take ta- Oh, shit!”

     In a flash, the blade dropped from the woman’s hand only to be instantly replaced by a vicious looking pistol. Two shots rang out and the first man’s eye and chest exploded. A split second later the woman was twisting behind her and had another pistol in her left hand. Two more shots rang out before the second companion could draw his arm. Both shots pierced his heart before the first man had even hit the ground.

     “Wh…uh…” she stuttered as the woman reached out and grabbed her shoulder.

     “No time to dawdle. Git up those stairs and find somewhere to hole up,” the woman said pressing her forward. “Don’ come out til the shootin’s done stopped.”

     She rushed up the alleyway stairs to the waiting door and only once there glanced back to see the woman heading towards the alley entrance, her coat whipping in the wind like the fury of hell. A volley of shots rang out and she darted inside, hesitating no longer.


ONE, TWO, THREE… Aidele counted, downing the third and taking cover behind a barrel as two more thugs jumped out of a doorway and opened fire. They sought cover themselves as she darted behind a trough shooting at them at the same time. The shots exploded on the barrels they were taking cover behind and the two returned a volley. She paused as they cut loose and then jumped up as soon as they had stopped to find her mark on their shoulders, gut, and necks. They dropped and she hurried across the dusty street hearing the shouting of more thugs fast approaching.

     Including the three in the alley, those three before, and these idiots, that makes eleven. Only fourteen more remaining. No worries, Aidele. She rushed inside an open doorway and up a flight of stairs. Crouching low she quietly went down to the end of a small hallway where an open window looked down on an alley between the buildings. Two gunslingers walked by slowly below and she crawled out the window onto a slender crossbeam to fire twice, one per man. Both head shots. Both fell. Screaming and shouting came from beyond the alley from towards a series of adjoining buildings. She quickly balanced across the crossbeam to the next building as three more men arrived.

     Twelve and thirteen. Twelve to go. Inside the building, she ducked down and placed her back against the wall and cautiously peered out the window ledge to see the three men standing over their fallen comrades.

     “Aw balls, Lou! What we gonna do?” one of the three shook his head mournfully.

     “Ah tells ya what we should do, fuck this! High tail it outta town! Make fer the hills!”

     “You stow that talk, Merus! Jus’ one gal with a burr up her ass! There’s more’n enough o’ us left ta put her down!”

     The one called Merus walked in a tight circle around the two dead men.

     “Yeah? Well if’n you ain’t noticed there’s fewer o’ us left ta fight with!”

     “Don’ matter. We gonna-”

     Aidele popped up and unloaded on the three men. Lou went down first, his head erupting in a shower of blood and brains. Merus and the other started firing up at her. Three shots penetrated the one man’s upper shoulder and chest and he fell onto his back growling in pain.

     “Elson!” Merus shouted and backed up against the wall of the building Aidele was in and fired blindly up at her. Elson gurgled loudly and went still.

     “She’s up in the ole whore house!” Merus shouted and received angry yells in response.

Aidele dropped down into a crouch, cursing her luck, and made to reload. She heard the doors burst open downstairs and a lot of shouting came up towards her.

     Fifteen fer sure. Missed that damned Merus feller! Ah’ll get back ta dat one… She cocked her pistol and rushed towards the stairs where a man was coming up. He saw her and pointed his gun but she made short work of him. She heard a thud and a hiss and turned to see an explosive had been lobbed in through a window at her and came to rest only a few feet away from her position.

     “Shit!” she cried out and ducked into the room behind her, kicking the door shut as she landed on her back. She heard several men coming up the stairwell and an explosion in quick order. The voices screamed in pain falling back down the stairs while another screamer seemed to be flying by the room and out into the alleyway where quiet gurgling protests followed. In front of her, the wall crumbled under the stress yet somehow still stood.

     Damn good thing these shelves are so sturdy. She got to her feet and went deeper into the room where she saw two women whimpering and huddling in a closet.

     “Ladies. Be sure to stay put now,” and at that jumped out the rear window and onto a roof running from the brothel and towards a saloon. She made for the upper story of the saloon as a flurry of gunshots chased her, zinging off the stony surfaces around her feet.

     “She’s back here and still kickin!” a man called after his cohorts.

     She fired at him taking out a knee and, as he fell to the ground writhing in agony, shot into his chest. Then four more men rounded the corner and joined in on the action. Aidele jumped through the upper floor saloon window as gunfire ricocheted all across the frame. She stood up to see two men trying to play cards on a small table hunkered down as small as possible.

     “Miss, I’d just as soon not be involved in this if’n you don’ mind.”

     She tugged on the brim of her hat, “You gents don’ mind me. Just passin’ through.”

     Aidele rushed down the outside hall and towards a room over looking the far street and shut the door behind her. She made to the window and crouched low by the sill.

     How many still left? Lost count, dammit. Pretty sure Ah got seventeen of ‘em at least…eighteen?

     In the open street below she saw half a dozen men taking cover and looking to be trying to surround the saloon. Then she saw him. He strolled out into the clearing just across the street as if this were just another walk in the park.

     “Ms. Wilson!” he called out and came to a stop between two of his men. “Ah assume that’s you causin’ all this ruckus. Don’t gotta be this way, y’know. Why donchu come on out an’ we discuss this civilly?”

     She squinted and felt the anger crossing her brow. Her lips drew taught and she lifted her weapon. She fired taking his hat off as he quickly ducked behind an overturned carriage.

     “Ah’m guessin’ you ain’t in the talkin’ mood!” he caustically replied. “Well? Whatchu waitin’ fer? Git on up in there!”

     His henchmen hesitantly looked at him and reluctantly rushed towards the saloon. Aidele smiled and felled a man with one shot. She didn’t get another as a volley of fire rang the window and she rushed out of the room, slinging the door open, and seeking better cover.

     As she exited the room she saw several saloon patrons looking for a safe hiding spot. She ignored them and found a room next to a stairwell that was also connected on its other side to a balcony running across the building to another section of rooms beyond.

     Aidele took cover by the balcony doorway and looked out to see the entrance where what looked like the rest of his men were arriving, with two splitting off and running under the balcony to presumably out back.

     Don’ worry, I ain’ escaping. Hmm…Aidele’s last stand. Ain’ backin’ down now you sumabitch! The men started overturning tables and taking cover behind them. A flurry of patrons rushed out of the saloon as fast as their feet would carry them.

     The boss man hurried inside and hid behind a post.

     “Aidele!” he shouted. “Why ya hidin’ now!? Thought ya had unfinished business wit’ me!?”

     “Maybe she just runned off? Out the back?” a thug closer to the bar said back to his boss.

     “Nah. She ain’ runnin’. Eddgis and Potts in dar rear. An’ we ain’ heard shit from ‘em yet,” the boss said.

     “Maybes they dead?”

     She saw one man rush underneath the balcony in a low crouch and heard a door swing open.

     “You boys seen ‘er?” a muffled call.

     “Nope. Ain’ showed hide nor hair.”

     That man returned, “They says-“

     “Ah heard ‘em,” the boss said.

     “We should jus’ burn ‘er out, boss,” another thug spoke from behind a table.

     “Now might be that’s a good idea,” the boss started. “Ya hear that, Wilson?! Ya don’ come down here, we gonna burn the place down! Damn shame. Fond of this saloon.”

     Aidele frowned and heard creaking coming from down the hallway. She quickly repositioned to beside the doorframe she came through and waited while silently drawing her blade from her boot. A gun peeked in through the door followed in short order by one of the boss’s goons. Before he could blink she sliced her blade across his throat and darted into the hall to see his backup. The blade left her hand and flung blade first into the man’s neck. His gun fired up into the ceiling and she rushed towards him grabbing his body. She held him up right and placed a hand on the shaft of the blade still sticking out of his neck. He tried to gurgle and collapse but she held him up and pushed him forward as she guided from behind.

     “Shh. Don’ say notin’. I’ll lead if’n you don’ mind.”

     “What’s going on up there!? Boys!?”

     “Ah’m comin’ down!” she replied to the boss and positioned the man at the top of the stairs.

     She pushed forward trying not to let him slip from her grasp and ran down the stairwell. Gunfire immediately erupted pelting the hapless man in the chest. Aidele let go and drew her two guns and began firing as she leapt behind the bar just at the base of the stairs. She targeted the guys nearest the bar first. They went down quickly.

     Screw it! Three left! He musta picked up some more men! She dropped low as the firing continued and leapt to her feet to lay siege to the men she saw briefly. Guess those two upstairs were the backup out back. What a pity. Here I come, you bastard.

     She fell back down behind the bar as an eerie silence fell across the interior of the saloon. She felt a sharp pain in her right shoulder and saw that a shot had grazed her. She flexed her hand and saw she could still grip and put it out of her mind.

     Deal with it later.

     “Hot damn, woman, you can shoot,” the boss sighed. “Let’s finish this.”

     She heard the three men walk to the center of the room. The clump of their boots stopped. And she held the nose of her pistols flat against her forehead, pushing her hat up just a bit.

     “Whachu say, Wilson? Ya got spirit, ah’ll give ya that,” he let out a loud sighing grunt. “You should know, killin’ yer papi tweren’t nothin’ personal.”

     “Was ta me,” she replied and placed one pistol back in its holster so that she could reach into a coat pocket. She pulled out an object with her right hand and looked at it with conviction.

     “All gotta go sometime. Muswell go with our boots on,” she heard him say gruffly.

     She nodded at that, “Truer words were never spoken.”

     In a blur of motion, Aidele jumped to her feet bringing the small round object to bear and tossed it towards the three men. Nearly an instant later she brought up her one pistol as the three men took aim. The device split in half as it approached them and the two halves spun into each henchmen on either side of the boss and detonated in their chests. Their guts sprayed all over the boss who covered his face as Aidele fired four shots: one disarming him, one into his left shoulder, one into his belly, and one just above his heart.

     The boss fell onto his back and all went quiet save for his groaning and the outside murmurings from locals gathered around waiting to know what came next.

     Aidele walked towards the boss deliberately slow, kicking his weapon away from his reach. Her pistol was held out at an angle before her and at his face. The boss smiled at her and gave a slight nod. His grizzled and heavily mustached face were covered in blood and spittle.

     “Well, whatchu waitin’ fer? Ya gots what ya come fer,” he coughed a slight chuckle. “The full weight of mah crew an’ ya mow through us like cattle grazin’. Color me impressed, Ms. Wilson.”

     A scowl crossed Aidele’s face, ”Don’ want yer accolades. Only thing Ah want is ya lookin’ me in mah eyes as Ah do ya in.”

     He looked straight into her eyes, the life already fading, “Ya can do’s with me what ya will. But they’s never gonna forgit about that-“

     A shot rang out and his face shattered under the force. Aidele blew on the tip of her iron and holstered it.

     “Din’t say nothin’ ‘bout talkin’ neither.”

     She turned and exited the building. Onlookers stared at her, some whooping, as she walked between them and headed towards the far end of town where her steed was tied up.


IT’D BEEN QUIET for far too long. Then the cheers and hollering had begun. She wasn’t sure what that meant but the young woman decided since the gunfire had long since stopped that now was as good a time as ever to leave her hiding spot and to head back out into the alleyway.

     As she walked down the stairs she could hear a crowd of people rushing down the street. Her assailants from before were still lying where they fell, and she took great care not to step on them or their drying blood as she headed out towards the alley entrance.

     Several people were passing by smiling, and the young woman stopped them.

     “What happened?”

     The woman in the bonnet turned to her and took her shoulders.

     “You didn’t hear, Lilybell? Kern Micheals and his gang are dead! We’re free!”

     The woman and her companion laughed and continued walking down the street.

     “He’s dead?” Lilybell whispered and saw a familiar figure crossing the street a ways. It was the woman who’d saved her from Kern’s thugs. Lily decided to follow her as she made her way down a long street to the far side of town. Lily wasn’t the only one. A dozen others came out to wave their hats at her as she found her steed and mounted up.

     Lily wanted to say something to the woman but didn’t know what. She only ended up across the street from the woman among a crowd of onlookers and saw the town mayor rushing up to the stranger.    

     “Miss! Miss!” he cried out and stopped before the woman who only looked down at him. “You’ve done us all a great favor! I’d be honored to offer you the badge of sheriff given that damned Kern wiped out our lawmen when he rode in. We need strong law minded individuals such as yourself taking care of business!”

     The mayor smiled and the woman frowned, “Tweren’t nothin’ to do with the law, sir. Simply owed that coward a personal response.”

     She began to ride away but he stepped in front of her steed, “Well…uh…oh at least tell us the name of our erstwhile hero!”

     She paused for a long moment, “Aidele Wilson.”

     “Three cheers for Ms. Aidele Wilson!” the mayor shouted to the crowd. “Hip hip!”

     “Hooray!” the crowd joined in and then shouted twice more as Aidele shook her head and rode near Lily.

     Lily looked up at her and caught her eyes, “Thank you.”

     Aidele tugged on the brim of her hat, “Ma’am.”

     And with that, the woman kicked her steed into motion and headed out of town. Lily watched her disappearing out into the wasteland beyond and thought, One day, I’m gonna be just like her. Nobody ever’s gonna take advantage of me again. Not ever.


The Trump Presidency: How Did We Get HERE?


It was Tuesday night. November 4th. 2016. I was mostly drunk and furious. On my knees with tears on my face raging to the heavens at the absurdity I was witnessing. This wasn’t the world I wanted to live in. This wasn’t the way I wanted to see a Republic fall. Or rather, I wailed about not wanting to live through the collapse of my nation.

     I went on Facebook and ranted and raved. My wife locked herself in the bedroom because, despite our vows, she didn’t want to move to Canada. And several of my friends just left Facebook altogether due to the diatribes they were seeing. Not just from me of course.

     The next day, embarrassed by my hyperbolic posts, I deleted them save for one. Which I’ll get to later. I then proceeded to write an amended piece. Not one of “Let’s give him a chance,” but one devoted to a more in depth analysis as to WHY I was so vehemently upset. You see, I meant what I said. I was just ashamed with how I said it.

     Now, based on the fact that I raged so (afterall, no one saw this coming…well, outside of a few predictors) one might assume that I’m some far left liberal nutter who can’t imagine a conservative president being in office again. Because they don’t hold the same values as America right?

     Sorry to disappoint. The truth is I’m a moderate with liberal leanings. It’s also true that I despised Hillary Clinton. But, and it’s important to stress this, I didn’t throw my support behind her because I thought her policies were superior. Nor that I just hated the guy she was running against and she was the lesser of two evils. (I mean, she was, but that’s incidental.) No it was because I knew she could do the damn job. Hell, I know Mike Pence could do the job. That Romney would do the job. That certainly John McCain could do the job. And even that walking meme Jr could fumble his way through most of the job (with help from his puppet master, of course.) In fact, the majority of the voters felt the same way.

     YET, here we are. The bumbling cheesy poof won. The man who probably couldn’t figure out how to zip up his own pants with his tiny, tiny hands without assistance from his yes men is now leader of the free world and God help us all.

     Like I said, I’m a moderate. So this isn’t an ideological issue I’m having as such a charge is levelled quite frequently at people who hate the man. In fact, though liberal leaning, I would have been fine with a McCain administration. Ok with a Romney administration. Somewhat dubious of a Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, or a dozen other’s administrations. Yet they still would have brought a certain perspective to the table that we are currently missing: that they alone are not the ones to “save” America but would work within the framework of the Constitution to perform their jobs.

     That we find ourselves with this affront against all the values we hold dear is a terrifying example of what can go wrong when a nation loses faith in its government. What’s even more worrisome is that his supporters don’t seem to get what all the uproar is about.

     So how did we get here?

     I have heard a variety of reasons of how we ended up with the current president. Reasons running the gamut from racism to xenophobia. From sexism to destroying Washington. And from what I can tell it’s all of the above. And none of said reasons. You see, for whatever the reason was, it was determined that the only way to solve it was to pull the pin on a giant orange grenade, lob it at Washington, and see what the end result would be.

     And what these last several weeks have demonstrated quite clearly is that such a mentality is a detriment to our Republic.

     Drain the swamp? How about we make it more murky.

     Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it? Well, they probably won’t pay for it but we’re gonna build it anyway no matter the cost!

     Immigration reforms? Let’s go ahead with that Muslim ban but NOT call it a Muslim ban and assume no one will notice. (And then argue with the Judicial Branch claiming they’re “so called Judges”. They’re judges, bub. This is what judges do.)

     Deal with actual terrorist threats? Nah. Let’s make up terrorist attacks and then focus on our daughter’s clothing line when a real one happens.

     Defend the LGBT community like we said? Pfffft! Don’t be absurd! It’s clear people only go to the bathroom to watch each other do their business. (I mean, I don’t. I don’t want to know what’s going on in the next urinal or stall over. I get my business done and get out. No time for conversations. You hear that?? I don’t want to chat while doing my business so stop trying! Where’s the “Shut Up And Do Your Business” legislation, huh?)

     He has also gone slap happy with executive orders and memorandums (which are on par with the number Obama issued in his first three to four weeks. Both went crazy compared to the last six presidents) in his first month in office. My issues with these last actions are not so much numerical (insane though it is) but substantive. We rolled back regulations on Wall Street before. Did that help America or, oh I don’t know, lead to an economic crash in 2008? Why is he obsessed with creating a government run task force to combat crime nationwide? Shouldn’t we rather make sure our police forces are better trained and prepared to handle a wider variety of modern threats? Doesn’t this idea of his sound a bit…authoritarian? Will they have a cool set of initials too like the SS or KGB? In fact, I can only give das führer one cause for applause in that he wants to combat human trafficking. It does need to be stopped. But why do I get the feeling that policy endeavor will come with some caveats? I mean, it’s not like anything from the hand of orange can be purely altruistic? Can it? It would be great but doubtful.

     And now the nuclear powers around the world are starting to flex their muscles in a bid to take advantage of a perceived vacuum on the global stage. What’s General Hairpiece up to? Golfing. After ridiculing the idea while campaigning. Nice.

     Now about those reasons.

     First up, the accusation of racism. Agent Orange didn’t do himself any favors by labeling Mexicans “rapists”, inferring the police are the only victims in a system badly in need of reform, called for a ban on all Muslims (yet, and I must be clear, was fine with Christians from those nations coming in-so less racist than a religious test yet still bigoted in its approach), and encouraged his supporters to punch and hit “those” people (though he likely just meant protesters YET had to have known how white nationalist his crowds were getting, right? RIGHT?!) And though Captain Planet claimed he didn’t know who David Duke was, it has been shown that he IS aware of him as he once called him a racist and denounced him several times for it. Therefore, at some level, there has to be a recognition by him of this fact and may even be using it to further his career.

     However, though we can see there is a racist component in the candidacy and possibly in the administration itself too, we can’t conclusively say racism is what got him elected.

     What about xenophobia? It can’t be argued that our subject of interest wants to bring a halt to a majority of immigration for the time being. But can we call it xenophobia? Certainly there are elements in the support base who’ve taken it upon themselves to show those nasty foreigners what’s what and definitely the xenophobic urge is present in his base. What was once the Muslim ban became the Travel ban and the wall to keep out those pesky Mexicans is going up. (Though there doesn’t seem to be a concern about Canada and potential terrorist cells there. Perhaps tackling THAT border would be too monumental of a task.) There does seem to be a legitimate concern from this supposed president over terrorists entering the country illegally. He wants stronger vetting measures afterall. But his arguments get undermined when terrorist cells have entered LEGALLY and are often homegrown. But sure let’s pick on the Syrians and then undermine our own arguments by saying it’s alright to let in the Christian ones. Because a Christian has never committed a terrorist act. Oh wait…

     Sure there’s fear about the unknown but given the massive protests over the Travel Ban (even by some former supporters) it’s likely this wasn’t the sole contributor to victory either.

     Let’s consider sexism. Because you can’t be a 70 year old man talking about grabbing women by the pussy and disparaging their appearances on national television without you NOT being labelled sexist. Yet there were an alarmingly large group of women who didn’t seem bothered by this. In fact, a lot seemed to view it as an indicator of honesty. Especially given the deep distrust of Hillary. But what’s really remarkable are those women who’ve I’ve personally talked to who voted against Hillary because they truly didn’t believe a woman should be running the nation. (An issue that will have to be addressed by any future women running by either party if they hope to win.) In fact, the general consensus among those individuals is that a woman is too emotionally unstable to concentrate on such weighty issues as national security, or domestic policy. (Total bunk, mind you, as the world has already had numerous female leaders who were more than up to the task and are still there. But there’s also the bunk idea that a man can’t be ‘emotionally unstable’. Hell, we’re living through proof right now.)

     Hillary didn’t do herself any favors by bringing on board the most boring and whitest white guy who ever whited Tim Kaine. A man so forgettable that one can easily forget he was even the VP pick. And then there was the whole email controversy which further convinced the anti-women women that women couldn’t handle the responsibilities of higher office. (And an issue that seems to be moot now given that the entire administration has, up until recently, had their own private servers. The claim now though is that those accounts have been deleted. We shall see. Regardless, Commander Hairpiece STILL won’t get off the unsecure Twitter account!)

     But despite these issues, the perception of Hillary being the elite example of Washington may have more to do with the vitriol. Making even this idea of sexism, sexist statements aside, another unlikely sole component to get him elected.

     And the destroying Washington claims and claims like them? I can’t take these that seriously. Though the thought among most was to shake up Washington, the majority (vast majority) still want a federal government. They just want the representatives to do their jobs and stop the infighting. It’s the extremist fringe that holds up true reformation in Washington. Even so, I can’t imagine that many people just want to do away with it all.

     That sets the stage for anarchy and there has never been a large presence of anarchists in the US making this the most unlikely component of the Orangutan’s ascension.

     Therefore, the only conclusion to draw here, in my personal estimation, is that it was all a part of the process yet none of it clearly drove the outcome. In the end, it just seems like a way to grab Washington by the shoulders and shake it till it listens. Which I’m doubtful about. Afterall, Washington is so entrenched with itself that not even an orange grenade will do much more than make it flinch. Personally, I think congress is just waiting for him to tire himself out and likely won’t move on anything vital until he’s willing to follow their lead. Well, asides from the Affordable Healthcare Act that they’ve been chomping at the bit to tear apart for a while now. (Oh and apparently go nuts on some ideological issues that they’ve been hungry for for a long time leading to some really horrifying results. I’ll probably get into that in a later blog.)

     We got here by policies that ignored too many people for too long a time. And by the implementation of a political agency (the electoral college) that no longer seems relevant in this day and age.

     We got here because the nation wants Washington to listen, but Washington doesn’t seem to care.

     We got here because our choices in an election seem to really come down to a turd and a giant douche so this time they went with the absurd.

     We got here because there’s a mentality in the country bent on dividing the nation into extremist elements that can easily be labelled Retardicon or Libtard with no consideration for a centrist viewpoint.

     We got here because talking points are more important than facts and faux media is at war with journalism. (And the parties right now seem more concerned about just holding office and just don’t care WHO represents them in the office. Just so long as they have power and THIS is a dangerous goal to hold.)

     And we got here because half the country is in an ideological war with itself while the other half has stopped caring altogether.

     This is an untenable situation and if we’re not careful the next election cycle is going to give us something even more outrageous. This time from the extremist left. Let’s turn back to moderate and centralized ideals where diplomacy and compromise are no longer dirty words but the most useful tools in our social contract. Let’s get back to recognizing that America is great and it’s great BECAUSE of our values of compassion, diversity, sense of unity, and for being the beacon of hope that recognized all peoples for who they are.

     I mean, isn’t that why we’re having an immigration problem to begin with? Shouldn’t we be proud that so many people WANT to come here? Do we need to drive away the world to make ourselves feel better? If we continue down this path we won’t be a Great America, we’ll be an America that was once great.

     Oh, and as for that one post I kept? It’s this picture below and I think it says it all.




Why Are Women In Games Still Marginalized?

So I was watching the AngryJoeShow on Twitch.TV and seeing what the new Dead Rising 3 game was like. As always, it seems like just another slasher game with generic interactions and a somewhat clever interface with the creation of new weaponry able to slaughter hordes of zombies with little to no effort. Your typical action hack n slash game. If you’re into that, no big deal. Hey, someone has to play them. I myself am into heavy story oriented games, which seem to be on the decline in recent years. What with so many people looking only for the gratuitous fix in beating something up. The American way nowadays it would seem. Well, the game Dead Rising 3 serves up plenty of onslaught and destruction to give a perfect fix to those who don’t like to do a whole lot of thinking in their gaming. And then DR3 gets to the sequence where the woman, Rhonda, is abruptly abducted by a motorcycle gangand taken inside a small room where, presumably, she will be raped to the pleasure of the macho mad thugs riding in to destroy the day. Meanwhile, our hetero male hero must fight off the horde of motorcycling devils to swoop in and save our damsel in distress.

And that got me to thinking about all the recent garbage I’ve been reading on comment boards over the last few months. About how there are not any good games with female leads. Mostly they’re not good, according to the male populace playing them, because they have females in the lead. Because, obviously, a woman can’t carry a game. She’s automatically considered weaker and must by nature take on the role of the damsel in distress or cower down to the ‘might’ of the grunting male who is quite possibly more able to carry the title than she. And I began to wonder, why? Why is this mentality so prevalent in gaming? Why do so many men believe that women are automatically weaker? Is it a symptom of the western world? Have we been brought up to ‘keep women in their place’? Why are women portrayed in this fashion?

Particularly since we have such great games as the new Tomb Raider reboot and the cult classic Mirror’s Edge. Hell, Jade in Beyond Good and Evil carried herself with a bravado that male protagonists would be the envy of. Yet still women are looked down upon. Has history not taught us ANYTHING about the strength of women? What is a woman exactly? What is the difference between a man and a woman? Why, I do believe, it is one lowly chromosome. The Y chromosome. And it makes me ask WHY all the time.

As a culture, America seems to ignore all the historical figures that have demonstrated quite convincingly that women are not at all weaker than men and, in fact, are often stronger. Joan of Arc, Boudica, Cleopatra, Tawakul Karman, Hatshepsut, Mulan, Elizabeth the I, Tomoe Gozen, and even Gladiatrixes in ancient Rome. And the list goes on. As many men are reknowned through history there are the same in the woman variety and yet women are looked down upon still. I had a debate on youtube with a guy who believed that women shouldn’t be in games because men represented what players most wanted to be: badasses. Yet when I posted my retort with a list of badass women, he was unimpressed. Likely because he was a troll. But also likely because the mentality in this country still exists that women need to be protected. Which is nonsense. Sure there are women who are abused and taken advantaged of. The same is true of an equal number of men. But men, out of some distorted sense of honor and wounded pride, are far less likely to report these abuses. But in gaming, companies are more than happy to keep the stereotype going.

While on the ubisoft forums, I stated I wanted to see more female assassins represented in the lore. And I got flack for that! Guys saying that that ‘isn’t realistic’ and that ‘women weren’t active in those conflicts in those time periods’, which completely ignores the fact that women have fought in every major combat throughout history. Women disguised themselves as men during the civil war and no one was the wiser until long after the war! Women fought in all the major World Wars, built advanced weaponry in World War II, and still today serve in active duty rosters throughout the world! Yet somehow they are still considered ‘weaker’! How is it that history can show us so much about the strength of individuals in humanity, yet we’re so shallow as a people that sex is the only defining factor!?

It annoys the piss out of me and I’m tired of it! I want my games to reflect the truth. That women share in the burden all people carry throughout the world and throughout history. We all struggle to survive and take care of our families. Whether or not you have a certain body part does not change the desire of the individual to make a difference! Games may be an escape from reality, but every game trying to capitulate to the desire of ubermales is a great disservice to gamers everywhere and a disgrace! If women were so much weaker than men, a goddess wouldn’t be the major threat in Assassin’s Creed, the term ‘Amazonian’ wouldn’t exist, Jade and Faith wouldn’t be able to change the dynamics of the worlds they inhabit, and Queens wouldn’t be knealt before in high fantasies!

It’s far past time that this debate was changed and such insolence to diversity and understanding nipped in the bud! I want my badass woman protagonist already, and I want her to be taken seriously!