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Week 398: Positive Thinking; The Week In Rocktober and Sing, Little One, Sing Like the Wind

Positive Thinking

We will celebrate our eighth anniversary next month. Anniversaries and birthdays usually make me queasy because I view each as another item to be checked off a Great To Do List whose final task is “Die.” But I will allow that there is maybe, perhaps, seemingly and possibly an element in my personality that could be improved by wise advice, Vitamin Jesus or even a sunnier attitude brought about by better chemistry.

I could turn to the overwhelming amount of Self Help books on the market. For years I’ve been vaguely aware of some guy named Tony Robbins, who maybe, perhaps, seemingly and possibly is a postmodern Dale Carnegie of some sort. From what I see Robbins has amassed a fortune by selling How to Be a Better Corporate Parasite books to people who really deserve what they get. I’d know more about Mr. Robbins if I googled his titles, but really, googling the titles of another sounds vaguely like a Scottish sex crime of some sort–so I will pass on the Self Help industry–other than to positively ask “Is it moral to make confused and suffering people pay for the directions to Happy Land?”

I could turn to that other great uplifting for profit industry, religion. But the problem with Faith is that there are too many know it alls, self righteous types, priests, gurus, witch doctors, perverts, hypocrites, politicians and shitheads in general standing between people honestly seeking serenity and God. These people are supposed to guide you, to help you see the way, but in the seeing sense they usually combine to form a giant cataract. I really want a God, but I will have to come back after the charlatans have folded up their tents and moved on to the next town.

That leaves medication, via a doctor or through your own Self Help program. All a person needs to do to get an antidepressant is say the right words and score poorly on a questionnaire that all medical professionals treat like the gospel. Depression is one of the few diseases that gets pills on the strength of your say so. They need to X-ray that broken leg you say you have before they give you the good stuff. Although the pills work wonders for many (my mother was a keen example of that–I never thought she could get better, but she did), for me they dampened some undesirable feelings yet replaced them with horrible nightmares and a state of being best described as less there.

Ah, but the good stuff. How I adore my frequent little vacations from reality via a shot glass–


Sigh–now look at what I’ve done. I came seeking a positive outlook and here I am again questioning the sincerity of wildly successful authors, comparing organized religion to a carny grift and endorsing Tramadol over Citalopram; Scotch instead of therapy.

And here I am once again struggling for a way out of the hole I have dug, all these words that have nothing to do with The Week in Rocktober, but must get there somehow. Ah, but that’s stinking thinking! Actually, the road to happiness is simply getting up when you are knocked down with as much grace and resolve you can muster, and forge on despite the rejection slips and parasites claiming to be your friends. That’s what this site is all about, really, little successes that shine within a gigantic cloud composed mostly of failure. For every tale that gets through there stand the ghosts of ten that didn’t make it.

And this week, five persons arrived on the site who have done just that.

This Week in Rocktober

I became obsessed with music at a young age. I have no real talent in composing or playing it but I’m obsessed nonetheless. Mainly rock. And ever since age eleven or so October has always been Rocktober in my mind–though I try to keep a lid on my dorkier monikers. But this week, with Doug Hawley in it, a person who encourages all to keep rocking in the free world, I must allow Rocktober to sweep October aside.

Besides the endearingly curmudgeonly Mr. Hawley, who is making his fourteenth LS appearance, we have yet another Tom Sheehan sighting and the welcomed yet long forestalled return of Yashar Seyedbagheri. We also have a second timer from New Zealand and a writer making his site debut.

Tom Sheehan began the week, as he has so often this year (and next for that matter). The Mess for the Sages is another fine example of Tom’s work, which will hit the 200 mark in December. In the course of his long, ongoing career, Tom has written in many genres (Westerns especially), but he has also created a genre that is singularly his own–call it a Tomre. Compositions of humor and intelligence strung together with a signature voice developed over decades.

Tuesday welcomed Nick Satnik to the site. The Souvenir is a harrowing, energetic work that reaches out and grabs you. It is full of little surprises and culminates with an ending that cannot be guessed. We look forward to seeing more from Mr. Satnik in the times to come.

Midweek saw the return of New Zealand’s Sandra Arnold. The idea in her A Game of Consequences has been attempted in form by others before and plenty, and those attempts usually miss the mark. Not so here, Sandra set the tone and measured the pace very well indeed. Now that she has appeared with us twice, we already look forward to her next.

Another welcomed return from too long an absence happened Thursday. Yashar Seyedbagheri, with his forty-fourth appearance with Psychic Promise, Yash is now six away from being only the fifth or sixth site contributor to reach fifty stories (Adam Kluger is even a bit closer to the mark–they are neck and neck). This tale is yet another up close view into the human heart. Yash apples the language with surgical skill. Every word tells.

And it would be difficult to have a week in Rocktober without Doug Hawley on board. Killer Killer “aired” yesterday, and it underscores the one great, positive commonality that each of our five authors displayed–though wildly different, each of our authors has his and her own distinct voice. Even with the single sample from Nick, each writer speaks with an original voice that reminds me of no one else but the writer him/herself.

If you have yet to read any of these works, please do so. It will be an uplifting experience, even though they contain much sadness and other slightly less than Up With People sentiments. Yet they are human and aren’t looking to con you.

Oh! Before I go, I would like to announce that beginning in January, our four year old weekly Rerun Feature will change and appear once a month. Please do not view this as a step back of any kind–to the contrary, submissions are up over forty-percent this year. Without an eight day week, however, I find it hard to keep up the weekly production pace–though I do appreciate folks like David Henson, Shawn Eichmann and Joy Florentine (and others) who have contributed to the feature. Think of it the same as a TV show ending weekly programming yet still presenting a monthly outing–like Perry Mason TV movies. Of course, if anyone has a story they would like to be seen again, maybe even one of his/her own, just include that request in the daily comments section.

Sing a Happy Song

I’d like to close with an uplifting little song performed almost a half century ago by the “Brady Bunch Kids” (aka, “The Silver Platters”). Check out the smiles. These kids must have been high on something.


7 thoughts on “Week 398: Positive Thinking; The Week In Rocktober and Sing, Little One, Sing Like the Wind”

  1. Some interesting observations as always. The idea of organized religion as a cataract is among them. “Little successes that shine within a gigantic cloud composed mostly of failure” is a wonderful image and can describe many things in life. The Brady Bunch reminded me of other kid bands like the Partridge Family and Cowsills. I’ll miss seeing reruns weekly, but glad they’ll still be around monthly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello and thank you, David

    Funny you should mention Partridge Family. Danny Bonaduce has been a morning DJ in Seattle for the last decade. He’s in his sixties, so I guess faking the bass as a child can lead to a full career.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Leila,
    I reckon those self-help folks always have faces that you want to slap.
    I wonder if anyone has ever worked out the percentages of those who have been helped against the other poor ‘still be loser’ bastards!?
    …I think that the amount of losers will be in proportion to the wealth the unscrupulous bastards amount! But fair play to them for grabbing the needy market and exploiting it to the full!!
    …Those weans are weird looking. I think that the kids from ‘The Village Of The Damned’ could do some sort of ‘Kreftwerk’ tribute band!!
    Excellent and entertaining as always!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hugh

      Love Kraftwerk. Der Autobahn. First footage I saw of them featured one guy playing something that looked like a car battery with two metallic sticks. Love Children of the Damned. “Build a wall.” Most accurate kid movie ever if you ask me.


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