Saturday, November 27, 2010

In the world in which I live today

(First published 2000 at The Bear Bitch Project)

In the world in which I live today, I see that possibly 88 people have lost thier lives as the passenger plane they were flying in crashed headlong into the ocean off the coast of California. Such death, such a tragic loss to the families of the victims, is unimaginable.

In the world in which I live today, I grieve for the victims and their families.

In the world in which I live today, I see that the Governor of my state has suspended all state executions for capitol offenses, calling the system that determines such things in my state: "so fraught with error (that it) has come so close to the ultimate nightmare." Such death, perhaps for some mistakenly carried out without the weight of truth behind it, is unimaginable.

In the world in which I today live, I grieve for the innocent.

In the world in which I live today, I see that a man who admits killing 10 women in my city since 1993, who then moved to New York to escape the scrutiny, recently moved back to my city - seeing himself as a "shark in a fresh pond" there. He was caught by the fine work of the Chicago Police Department, and admitted not only to the ten killings, but also to eleven rapes. Such sick, selfish actions, causing needless death and pain to the people, is unimaginable.

In the world in which I today live, I grieve for the unwary.

In the world in which I live today, I see that China has banned another spiritual meditation sect, along with the Falun Gong, dubbing it a "evil cult". Zhong Gong (an offshoot of a traditional health practice) adherents, now face the same persecution by a government suspicious and paranoid of its own people. These people now face arrest, persecution, and incarceration for their health and spiritual belief. Such needless persecution, and the pain and suffering caused by it, is unimaginable.

In the world in which I today live, I grieve for the faithful.

This weekend, away from home, a girl lay in my arms. She looked up at me and planted small kisses on my neck and chest. Distracted by her touch, I looked down and noted that she was crying. When I asked her why she was crying, she told me she wanted to thank me for the time I had spent online talking to her, guiding her, chastising her, teaching her, showing her that even in this society, a man can be a Gorean man and that a woman can come to fulfill her place in his life. She thanked me, for providing the impetus that she used to change her entire life. 

In the world in which I live today, I grieve for the victims, the innocent, the unwary, the faithful. There is so much needless hate, fear, pain, suffering and loss. We as a species have comitted nearly as many crimes against the nature we so profess to love as we have spent time trying to protect and improve upon it.

In the world in which I live today, I grieve for us all.

And somewhere out there today, there is a small girl working at a desk, whose hair is constantly in her face, who possesses a smile that lights up the room when she smiles, whose words I will carry with me in my heart until the day that I die.

In the world in which I live today, differences can be made. One person at a time.

I wish you well.


Friday, November 19, 2010

She told me this...

(What follows is a reprint of previous writing of mine, some of it more than a decade old, that appeared in various places including "The Bear Bitch Project" and The Gorean Voice, which I co-created and served as editor for a few years. The webzine is long defunct, and the archives of the site are sadly incomplete, but it pleases me to present my thoughts then, to my audience here. As always, if you have a question or comment for me, use the e-mail link in my profile down there somewhere.)

Last night, she told me this.

She told me it was not fair.

She balled her hands into fists and tried to remain in control. Not without a small bit of interest, I watched her internal struggle. Her control won out, by less of a margin than she was obviously comfortable with.

She told me it was not fair.

She told me that she has come to understand, as well as she can at this point, the philosophy upon which we base our lives. She told me that she seeks to be a Gorean slave - to belong to a Gorean man - in her life. She told me that she has learned first hand that it was hard to try to live this way. She said that she could understood that idea of having to sacrifice, the cost involved in living Gorean or just belonging to one.

She told me it was not fair.

She told me that all this, all she has learned in the forums, channels and at the feet of Gorean men is a part of her now. In a wonderful way, it colors how she sees the world, her life, and relationships.

Last night, she told me this.

She said that she now understands what I meant when I told her that there are few Gorean men in this world. That she now understands just how precious a scant moments attention from one of them can be. That time spent with other kinds of men in trying to recreate the feeling of being with a Gorean man is wasted time. She is not interested in just BDSM. Those men are not what she has known. They are not what she seeks. They are, truly, are "of earth" as she has read in the books. 

She told me that she cannot forget what she has learned at the feet of Gorean men. That because of the truths about herself and life in general that she has learned there she now seeks a higher standard, she wants more than to be a girlfriend to some Dom. She seeks to be a Gorean slave.

And she nearly wept with frustration that there are too few Gorean men in existence, to make her one.

She told me it was not fair.

She told me this last night.

I agreed.


Friday, November 12, 2010

John Norman is not my God

(What follows is a reprint of previous writing of mine, some of it more than a decade old, that appeared in various places including "The Bear Bitch Project" and The Gorean Voice, which I co-created and served as editor for a few years. The webzine is long defunct, and the archives of the site are sadly incomplete, but it pleases me to present my thoughts then, to my audience here. As always, if you have a question or comment for me, use the e-mail link in my profile down there somewhere.)

Hello everyone.

I have recently seen again, probably for the hundreth time, the tired old argument that is sung to the tune of: "John Norman did not write about a lifestyle, does not acknowledge a lifestyle and indeed, he even was prepared to sell the rights to the novels to a game company at one point - so gaming must be okay with him."

To reply to that, I would state this: "Yes, I am sure it is."

"John Norman" is not my God.

The author wrote a series of fantasy/science fiction books for years, in which contained in them much pleasurable reading (in a fantasy-pulp sort of way) and too, much commentary on social and societal ills in the current and past society we live in. He wove a tapestry of fantasy, philosophy, social comment along with some of the basic issues of humanity, and put them out on the market, where they sold well, even to the point that he was blacklisted and was unable to get his work into print. That during that, he was willing to license his property to interested companies is not at all surprising - look at the two movies that were made when he sold his rights to Dino D. 

John Norman is not Gorean.

Over the years, according to what I've been able to find out, the author has been 'accosted' by several groups, who claim to "live" as Goreans - the first being a motorcycle club back in the 70's who bothered him at work. Such circumstances would well make the author a bit nervous about his safety and the responsibility he would assume when people take his philosophy out of the novels and apply it to their lives. Another example of this would be those folks at Renn Faires who pattern themselves after the Tuchuks, who - again I am told - steal from others without compunction to the point where they are no longer invited to several events. Such anti-social behaviour too, would clearly make the author stand back and attempt to put as much distance between himself and such people - if for nothing but for the fact
of percieved liability.

John Norman is not my God.

The author has stated that his work is fiction - to which none of us disagree. We do not ride tarns, we do not slay people with swords in bars because they were rough with the waitress, and last time I checked, talking giant spiders were in short supply in my area. But there is more to the authors work then simply the fiction and he has addressed this. Whether he intended to or not, this author with his background as a Professor in Philosophy, pulled togather from history and then managed to communicate in that work of fiction the tenets of a lifestyle philosophy that spoke to the heart of a few people. Those people, then, have taken what the author has said and built a firm, responsible and rational life around those tenets. One that is lived *within* this society, and not outside of it nor with the intention of doing harm to it.

Read carefully.

Whether he intended to, or not, what he wrote touched the lives of some of his readers - it made sense - so much so that they found a better and more fulfilling way to live in this society, by following those tenets.

John Norman, however, is not my God.

This is not a cult - he is not the guru. This is not a religion, dependant on the words of one man to help see us through. Indeed, as I noted above, the author did not *invent* the tenets of the Gorean philosophy, they were taken from many varied sources of human endeavor throughout history. What he *did* do is place all of that, including some traditions, into a *framework* that spoke to a few men - and through those men, and thier efforts largely on the internet, there exist today thousands of people who know about the philosophy and most likely tens of thousands who have heard about the source texts. So much so, that a publisher in New York secured the rights to republish the decades-old novels.

Why? Because of the internet, and the work of a few men who use it, it seemed people again were interested in Gor, the philosophy in the books, and things Gorean.

John Norman is not a God, nor a cult leader. He is well advised, as the author of the source text, to place distance between he and those who live this - for the simple fact that there are some real nutcases out there and the issue of liabilty and responsibility can arise. You see *US*, as lifestylers, do the same thing here in public when we speak out against and put distance between us and the gamers, the predators, the con men, the pedophiles and those who encourage rape and non-cosentual slavery as a matter of policy in their 'game-but-we-really-live-this-offline' fantasies.

We do not want to be tarred with the same brush as they.

The author, does not want to either, and cannot - I suspect - afford to make any distinctions between us.

I cannot blame him - the risks are great and the profit little. But he has seen the websites, talked to some here, and knows - if not understands - what we are and try to do. Through the humble beginnings of two men in a "paga tavern" on Dalnet, he has seen his work back in print for the first time in almost a decade.

John Norman is not my God, no more than Sarte, Nitzche, or any philosopher one can name. To consider him so, to elevate him to that position (or to portray him as in it) is unfair - to both he and us - and has never been the case for us.

What those who pretend, play and game and screech about us being nazis do not accept, in the end, is that we can truly exist. That we are not playing a game, nor doing this for the women, nor pretending to be Conan online, nor are we so displeased with our place in society that we seek to disconnect from it in assuming a role as a "character".

What they do not understand, and refuse to try to do, is to see that we are simply men and women for whom the philosophy expressed in the books has spoken to - a philosophy we have taken to heart, and one that we live as best we can, every day. I understand that they cannot see this, for to do so is to admit their own shallow games are just that. To do so is to admit someone can do something that they cannot. That is hard for some people, for some reason.

John Norman is not my God. I am not a *follower* of a cult.

I am a man, in this society, who chooses to live a philosophy that holds men to a higher standard, which recognises a fundamental order between people, and which has been a part of my life for over 18 years.

John Norman is not a God. Nor, is he Gorean. He simply wrote about such men. And his writings inspired me to be a better man.

And in doing so, I thank him. 

In striving to live up to the ideals, the traditions, and the philosophy that such fictional men portrayed, I can call myself Gorean in *this* society.

If that bothers you, if that frightens you to the point of threatening individuals among us with harm, if that makes you call us all nazis or whatever garbage springs forth next time, if that forces you to write site rules condoning rape and play a game to *pretend* to be what we are - I say that is too bad, it is a pity, and shame on you. But I've seen it all before, I've heard it all before, and no logical argument has yet been able to convince me that I do not exist (existentialism, aside). ;0)

I wish you well.


Friday, November 5, 2010

"Master, I want to be a Gorean slave, what should I do?"


Run away now and run away quickly. Living as a Gorean slave to a Gorean man is more demanding than anything you might have encountered in your previous interest in D/s; it is most likely more demanding than anything you have ever conceived of in your life. It exacts a cost - a very high one - in terms of your present life and the comfortable and safe existence that you have crafted for yourself to live today.

Few girls can do it, which is why *actual* Gorean slave girls are so prized.

If you do not take my advice, if you stay and continue to log onto 99.9% of the web sites out there, I can promise you this:

You will not find what you seek.

You will eventually venture out into the chat areas, where you will find most of the "gorean" men are there at the beck and call of the women and remain so in the hope that they can either get some cyber sex, or that these women will consent to remain as their "slaves" so that the men can wrap themselves in a pathetic veneer of being "gorean".

You will find people who will tell you that Gor is "what you make it", meaning that whatever they do is okay, and that they can excuse their own behaviour and retain their measure of comfort in their own lives, no matter how contrary to the philosophy or the traditions it may be.

You will find "gorean slaves" who, in whisper and messages, will tell you which of the "gorean masters" of that place are pussy-whipped (usually all but their own "masters") and which are "real men" (usually just their "masters"). They will talk poorly of the free, gossip freely, viciously and openly in public, spit vitriol back when corrected and generally run the place from their knees.

You will find "free women" online who get drunk and sign on to chat venues as slaves. You will find "gorean men" online who, using a different nick, are "slaves" to both men and women. You will find men who will beg you to send them money. You will find men who have mistaken interest in BDSM for being Gorean, who will ask you to come to them so that they might beat and harm you to placate their sadistic fantasies. You will find both BDSM and simple D/s confused with and masquerading as the Gorean philosophy.

You will even, most likely, find people who will reply here shortly who will tell you that none of that happens. ;0)

The truth is that you will simply mostly find sad, lonely people who take a lifestyle philosophy that they will never have the courage to honestly explore, and warp and twist it into a fantasy online that they can masturbate to.

Don't believe me? Go ahead and log on.

Forget Gor. Forget "online Gor". Find a friend, a mate, a lover, a husband. Find some happiness. Stop being *lonely*, it is a rotten reason to sign on and look for support. Find what you need *offline*, instead of joining the masses by using what has become a shallowly-contructed online fantasy to spice up their pathetic lives.

Run. Run now and run far.

If you find, however, that you are unlike the masses online who think with their sex organs, and that no matter what you do you **cannot** leave the thought of this behind (which requires knowing the difference between *NEED* and *WANT*, concepts that a whole generation is sadly lacking in understanding) then here is my advice:

Go to ebay and buy the books. All of them. The bottom has dropped out of the used book market and they can be had for a fraction of what they once were selling. Nevertheless, be prepared to shell out a few hundred dollars for them.

Too much? Then run.

Then sit down with them and read them, front to back, in order. When you close book #25, re-open book # 1 and start again, this time taking notes and writing down questions. This may well take a year or two, if not more, to accomplish.

Too long? Then run.

Then seek out, if any remain, actual Gorean men and women online. How to find them? Here is a hint - you will not find many pretending to be playing in paga taverns, or accepting cyber-drinks from cyber-girls who hope that the cyber-liquor pleases the "master" down to his "soul". You will not find them thanking such cyber-girls for bringing "honor" to their "masters" simply because they can cut and paste something that they found on some web site or construct a few words into a 'serve'.

You will not find them playing "gor" as a game.

Frankly, there might not be any left online, by the time you are ready to give your entire life, possessions and future to a man to do with as he pleases. 

The risk too high that you might miss out on 'all the fun'? Worried that your "belly" might change its mind and go 'cold' and stop "burning for a man" in a few years?

Then run. Run far away and do it now. Save yourself and others the time, pain and heartache.

Or else most likely you will simply latch onto the gamers, be sucked in by the games and end up with a pretend "ko-lar", given by some lonely guy who begged you (or frightened you) into "wearing" it online, and wondering to yourself why, after the newness of the 'serves' and 'dancing' and "masters" wears thin, the "gorean lifestyle" you sought simply does not have the depth or heart or soul that you thought it would.

It does have those things.

Simply, very very few are willing to pay the cost to find them.

Run, girl.


Reprinted from the 10/21/01 edition of The Bear Bitch Project.