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Man in the Mirror

Rod Amis - Unbound

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The World's Magazine: generator21.net

Event # 253: MAN IN THE MIRROR

AMERICAN DREAMS
DAY ONE
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4 FEBRUARY, 2001 - What do you see when you close your eyes?

No matter how dark the room, on blackness there are always receding waves of light, aren't there? Whorls, exploding nebula, bursts of a pale color here and there, sometimes floating away into the darkness, sometimes symbols, even the reversed outlines of faces. It is like looking into the center of the Universe before the mind drifts and you recede into sleep... I have this notion that we see the Universe behind our eyes because we are all made of the exact same substance as the stars. The imprint of our origins is right there behind out eyelids.

As this thought runs through my mind, it strikes me that this is part of our shared Collective Unconscious making itself manifest every night before we sleep, just as some ideas make themselves manifest in our art and in our lives and history. I think about the ancient idea of ours that there is a star for every single person born on earth. I like to imagine that my own star is a sun nourishing a solar system where there are warrior priests defending the notion of Love.

"Rod, George Lucas already had that idea! He called them 'the Jedi.' Duh!"

Maybe. OR maybe, like most artists, he tapped into our Collective Unconscious and made a more au courant sense of notions we all share. The idea of things takes a long time to blossom, I believe. For instance, it is not a stretch to see that the Spartans were the rough of idea of the Roman Imperium grasping for its maturity; the "melting pot" which is multi-ethnic America is perhaps only the extrapolation of Alexander's Hellenism. But there is always more than one idea at work at any time. That the History channel on cable television is so full of the rehashed stories of Nazi Germany, for example, shows that the idea of fascism is still alive and well and wrestling with the Hellenistic idea that is also part of the American psyche. It's like Jung's notion of The Shadow being necessary. No idea, like no organism, operates in a vacuum...

When I would articulate thoughts like these, I remember, my Ethiopian friend Giday Beshue, for whom I ghostwrote a book, would say: "Rod, you are burning. You have to be careful about that. It scares the people. They hear you say such things and think that maybe you are mad, except that you are so calm and sure and you have such power when you speak. They think that what you say is true, but it still scares them, it burns them..."

"It scares me, too," I would respond. Then I would chuckle, "Why do you think I sometimes resort to 'Scotch Therapy'? I have to get back to seeing the joke in these things, too."

Burning. Yes, that is how it seems when these thoughts come. A burning flow of connection and insight. The Writer has come upon me. He goes over the riff and refines it, even as I say, "Enough already! Let me go to sleep now." But he always wants one more interlude, something else to say.

Then it is 6:20 in the morning and I hear someone else in the building beginning to shower. They are beginning their day as I am hoping to end mine. An hour earlier I've asked The Writer to cease and let me rest.

In This Issue

DR. PAUL KAIL reports from Prague on the story behind BSE or "Mad Cow Disease" and its potential threat to countries outside of the United Kingdom. It's a quick lesson on opposing theories and governmental action and inaction. News you can use: G21 NEWS. DOUGLAS MC DANIEL provides the other two parts of his "Glasnost Lost" in THE MYTHVILLE PROJECT. It's a long read, but one I think many suburbanites will be able understand and reflect upon it. BOB POWERS takes a look at the companion book to Ken Burns's "JAZZ" series on the Public Broadcasting System and gives you a quick and easy way to win FREE music in POWERSSOUND.

Enjoy these and the other great offerings we have this week. Then check on the new publication regime 21 SCHEDULE that begins next edition. We think you'll like the changes we have in mind.

In My Life

My friend Terry (a.k.a. "Von Helsing") thinks that N'Orleans is the wrong idea. He has been selling the prospect of Sebastopol, California, on the Russian River where I could find rural retreat and a burgeoning little cyber-community. He believes I should be near my friends in NorCal again.

Our animated butterfly.Meanwhile, my old San Francisco crony, Mike Mallen, has been telephoning to extol the virtues of a new start-up with which he believes I should be involved in Calcutta-by-the-Bay.

So the pressure is on for me to return to California, the Lotus Land that I never, ever, chose to go to of my own volition. It seems that "all" my friends are there (if you listen to the Californians tell the tale.)

The whole time I lived in Cali, lots of these friends referred to me as an East Coast snob. But when I returned East, the women in my favorite bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan got great chuckles out of referring to me, a man in his forties, as "California Boy." And people wonder why I don't feel at home anywhere....

In less than a month's time, it appears, I'll be flown out to California to do some technical writing for this new start-up. They'll pick up the tab. And, of course, one of my friends from the San Francisco Irish Mafia will make sure to give me TONS of reasons why I should move back.

Meanwhile, another Loyal Reader, from Australia e-mailed this week recommending that country as the Next Stop. He explained to me how inexpensively I could live there, compared to the States, and the beauties Victoria.

It's wonderful AND awful to have choices. When you can live anywhere (with a decent Internet connection) and don't have significant and demanding ties, you blow like sagebrush in the wind. Everyone believes where they are is paradisical and that you'd love it. Sometimes, they almost convince you....

GO PLAY!

THINGS I NEED THIS WEEK

1. Successful completion of three stories I have slated to get out for my new publisher.

2. Another publisher who recognizes my worth.

3. Rewrites from a couple of the G-Crew I thought I'd have received by now.

4. Solidifying the Move Plan so I can give notice to my landlord.
Thanks for coming back this week.

"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
Rod


Remember the beauty of our world by visiting the EarthFromAbove site. We are so lucky!
This is another Web site made on a Macintosh.
Mac OS X comes out on my birthday. I couldn't be happier!

Apple Computer's Think Different logo.

ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services.

Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He was also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviewed technology issues weekly, producing 383 editorials. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000, and left in September of the same year. He is now a contributing writer for ACCESS magazine, which appears both on- and offline for 10 million readers in 100 newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Boston Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Denver Post and Orlando Sentinel, among others. In January, 2001, Rod became the US reporter for Silicon.com, a division of Network Multimedia Television in London, UK, reaching 3.5 million European readers.

Rod lives in dreams and visions, edits the writing of people from six continents for The World's Magazine, and wonders if New Orleans is actually the next stop on the hejira.

He continues to be committed to integrity, chastity and a dose of humility.


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