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What not can do to you . . .

It's very easy to despair.

The world in which we live gives us plenty of opportunity. We have a President for whom rational thought is as foreign as his policy. We listen to the rantings of madmen and women claiming the divinity of our nation, only to watch them cure their epiliptic children by crushing their fucking chests in the middle of so-called "faith healings." To make matters worse, we watch DA's who, in fear for their political lives, refuse to prosecute under the grounds that it equates to religious persecution. What it amounts to friends is murder of an innocent, but hey, when votes are on the line--CHRISTIAN votes--no cross is too heavy to bear. We rant and rave about the horror and terror caused by terrorists, yet fail to do a thing about the much more pressing threat of the American Taliban, those who would use their belief in the intangible to justify whatever actions their god happens to whisper in their ear.

There is only one true escape: art. When I write, I can recreate the world in whatever shape I wish. When I write, I can take aim at whatever I wish and let the pieces fall where they may. When I write, the world seems tolerable; its very essence redefined and codified and washed free of the blood soaked streets. If there is salvation in the world, it comes to us in the form of prose and verse and oil on canvas and great performances on stage and song and voice.

You want to find god? Look no further than the men who put a square filter in a round hole and saved the lives of three doomed astronauts aboard Apollo 13. Read the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and learn something about the nature of love. Don't look for it in mythological, bearded all powerful entities. Don't let a simple, common psychosis kill your children. Don't let your President let loose the dogs of war because he reads the "good book."

I hope you find your salvation amidst the ruins we call the United States. I've found mine.

I need to go write.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of The Abyss.

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