When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
I hear the question repeatedly. How did Trump win? The media and the Left are still in shock from the defeat, and they still don't get it. I can put it very simply. It became fashionable in the Democrat Party to denigrate working class people. Trump carved out a home for them in the Republican Party. Going forward, Republicans need to keep these people in the party while Democrats need to try and win them back.
The only Lefties I see who get this are Michael Moore and Chris Matthews. They are fools on everything else, but they come from a blue collar place. They get it in a way than no East Coast limousine liberal or leftist Hollywood celebrity will ever understand. This election was between elitism and populism, and populism won. This is because the common man outnumbers the elite, and the elite got too big for their britches.
Donald Trump gets common people. For some reason, he is a billionaire with a blue collar sensibility. The problem is that blue collar people are not necessarily conservative. Their mentality is without sophistication either modern or traditional. This comes from watching hockey games instead of reading books.
As a conservative, I am already over the Trump victory, and I am in my critic's mode once more. Trump is already backpedaling on issues he campaigned on, and I think he will be less conservative than Mitt Romney would have been. People who see hope that Trump will make America great again need to now temper their expectations. The simple fact is that Trump has no deep beliefs except in himself.
The comparison I hear people making is to the Emperor Constantine who was a scoundrel but defeated someone much worse than himself and removed the Roman sandal from the throat of Christianity. That was more due to God's providence than to anything great in Constantine himself. The guy was no saint.
Trump does allow Christians and conservatives the breathing space they would have never had under Hillary. True conservatives need to fight as hard as they can for our issues for the next four years. We may only have two years to pass legislation as midterms will probably deliver Congress back to the Democrats. It's like that Yin-Yang thing in Taoism.
The thing I pray for now is that Trump would nominate Ted Cruz for the Supreme Court. I think many senators would vote for him just to get him out of the Senate. Cruz is the only guy I know who would be as hardcore conservative on the court as Scalia. Please, Lord, let them nominate Ted Cruz.
In the world of entertainment, HBO's Westworld is now a thing. I didn't care about it whatsoever until my brother-in-law insisted on us watching the thing. I can't commit to anymore serial TV shows. I wait until they end so as not to waste my time on a story with a bad ending like The Sopranos or Lost. I understand that Dumas and Dickens both wrote in a serial format, but not everything they wrote was worth the commitment either. I loved Monte Cristo but not The Three Musketeers.
Westworld may turn out to be an epic hit for HBO like Game of Thrones. I don't know, and I don't care. I'd rather read books than watch TV shows. But Westworld is unique in one respect. It has prompted a great deal of philosophical debate about the nature of consciousness. I am going to go out on a limb here and declare that human beings will never be able to create anything like human consciousness. If you believe humans are merely clever monkeys, then it would be possible to recreate something like consciousness. But I believe all human beings have a spark of divinity in them known as a soul. We can never recreate this. Machines will always be machines no matter how clever we make them.
Could we create something like the Terminator? I believe this is possible. These machines will have no soul or self-awareness, but I do believe they will have the ability to annihilate the human race. The irony is that programming will come from a human hand. One of my ideas for a novel is about a misanthrope who programs such a machine and sets it loose on the world as he expires on his deathbed.
From what I can gather about Westworld, they explore the idea of these conscious machines being worthy of dignity such as we owe fellow human beings because of the imago Dei. I have to laugh at this considering that we live in a society that accepts and promotes abortion and euthanasia. Machines can't be human beings in our society because even human beings are no longer human beings. When you hear a guy argue that a pig is more valuable than a baby and defends infanticide, you know our society has lost its marbles.
The real theme in Westworld is that it is the next stage of pornography. Thanks to the internet and computer technology, people are able to indulge themselves in limitless depravity and fantasies of violence. Between dirty movies and violent video games, people can let their worst impulses have free rein. The problem is that it isn't real enough for them. Consequently, sci fi gives us the holodeck on Star Trek and the robot world of Westworld. Implied in all of this pornography is the belief that it isn't wrong as long as no real human beings get hurt. Unfortunately, Jesus disagrees with this. Here are the words of the Lord on the matter:
You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.
MATTHEW 5:21-30 DOUAY-RHEIMSThere is no such thing as a victimless crime in Christianity. You can live a perfectly normal life on the outside but be a complete monster on the inside. Westworld shows what human beings are on the inside. Jesus tells us to wash the inside of our cups and not merely the outside. Speaking for myself, I look really good on the outside, but I know what lurks inside of me. Most of the sins I confess now are the ones no one knows about but are in my mind. I don't hurt people, but I still have a desire to hurt people I find despicable. I don't always wish the good of the other. This is sin.
Most of my evil fantasies involve punching people I don't like in the face. That is an improvement over where I used to be. I strive daily to root out this last impulse. If I don't, it will have to be burned out of me in Purgatory or send me to Hell.
I see Westworld as a parable about pornography. Unfortunately, I don't think the producers of the show will take the story where I would take it. I suspect they want to tell a tale about robots gaining souls. I would tell a tale about men losing their souls. Fortunately, I can write that tale.
I struggle to work on my fiction projects because they take so much out of me mentally and emotionally. Writing is hard work, and writing fiction is the hardest writing there is. It was easier when I was writing pulp garbage as an atheist, but it has become genuine labor writing as a Catholic. My old writing was on the level of a violent cartoon. Now, I try and write about human beings imbuing them with as much humanity as I can. Then, there are the themes of sin, redemption, good, and evil. The difference between fiction and non-fiction is the same as the difference between building a real house versus building a birdhouse.
I think I will stop here.