Why did you write this book? At twenty two and somewhat suicidal, I hitchhiked
from Michigan to Mexico, and rode buses into Guatemala's killer earthquake.
Along the way, I died as a good American school kid, and became a better American.
That journey changed the direction of my life, and over the years I surfed along
in Spanish on the tidal wave towards a Hispanic United States in one more generation.
This book hopes to educate both Hispanics and Anglo Saxons about culture shock,
and prepare them to acknowledge the arbitrariness of our realities, our value
How did you become interested in the topic? Through shortwave radio, I heard
news from around the world, and when Fidel Castro criticizes the United States,
he shined a light on the inhumane aspects of our society and government policies.
So this country boy wanted to see for himself.
What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book? Open intolerant eyes
to the vision of the future Hispanic American, and to all the youth denied a
Who is your intended readership? Curious people of all ages, especially those
who can appreciate more than one real world at a time.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? When I saw my mother value
books. We consulted our Encyclopedia Brittanica for pleasure, and talked about
books a lot.
How did you research your book? I lived it, took notes and wrote it down,
and the memory of the journey sparked a lifelong relationship with Latin America
and the Spanish Language. Over the decades since, the more I steeped myself
in Latin America, the more my ideas became both more refined and rarified.
What surprised you about the process of writing your book? The innumerable
typos that sneak in. People don't want me to give it away fro free. With computers,
one can edit without end, so I pushed it out of the nest and gave it to the
world because of its value, and as a payback for all the world gives us.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Follow my curiosity, which
may become impulsive collecting or research, depends on long-term outcomes.
Are you working on another book? I would like to explore New Age homicidal
witches in nudist Hawaii, or decipher how Mexican Spanish creates Machos and
sluts who commit infanticide, or take the pulse of that sleeping monster of
a post-Fidel Cuba. For stimulation. Sometimes I dream of travel around Brazil
without a care in the world.
Who inspired you? Hemingway, Mario Vargas Llosa, Fidel Castro's shortwave
broadcast, Pablo Neruda, the Hoover Institute and Newt Gengrich, and a beautiful
book about an intellectual's trip through South America.
What do you think readers will gain from this book? A fuller appreciation
of the deep complexities of multiple realities, and a view toward the benefits
of greater complexity and benefit of polyglots.
What’s your personal background? That's personal. I'd rather not go into
it. To protect the innocent.
How does this book fit into the rest of your life? I hope it helps people
from both the developing world, and the developed world, see the necessity to
create a better quality of life for a sustainable future.
What books are you reading right now? The Bible, and I download ebooks into
my PDA, to read whenever I get trapped waiting somewhere. I find classics now
in public domain, and download them off the internet. An unauthorized Bush biography,
Women in Love, Brothers Karamazov, Dicken's Old Curiosity Shop, son of Tarzan,
An American Tragedy, Naufragios de Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Howards End,
In The South Seas By Robert Louis Stevenson, The Lost World, The Bat, Clockwork
Orange, A Young Girl's Diary prefaced by Sigmund Freud, etc.
Many newborn creatures, especially mammals, inherit the
personality of a trusting, needy puppy, and then life kicks that Shtuff out of
them. Each culture educates people to conform to their society, and with higher
and more universal education, they may attain a level that some call Self-Actualization:
a person who puts communal goals above their personal needs- an artist, a spiritually
balanced person, a person who decorates and enhances their community and surroundings.
When one truly values life, liberty, and the pursuit of a common good that upholds
personal happiness, that spells Altruism, that probably would extend itself into
a trans-national and global Peace, Love, and Understanding. Perhaps soon, this
philosophy may, by necessity, extend to other planets, if extraterrestrials ever
dare talk to us and don't use us for food. Back to top
Where can I find more information?
Deep in your heart, in your most quiet moments of complete
relaxation, in the peaceful communion of friends and neighbors, in the exhilaration
of exploration and discovery of new places, things, people and customs, in the
revelations that learning another language brings to our understanding of the
fickle truths we hold so dear.
When we realize that reality exists as mere thought, then
we may decide to help others pull themselves upward, out of the morass of inherited
traditions, personal trauma, learned behaviors, debilitating thoughts, negative
relationships, and above all, self-doubt and feelings of inferiority. Everyone
deserves a second and third chance in this process called life. No Zero tolerances. No three strikes, you're out. Everyone deserves their Human Rights as a
birthright, and shoulder to shoulder, we support each other and easily find a
place to cry when things don't work out.
When something or someone threatens the status quo, a
natural resistance takes hold, not just from those privileged like the ruling
classes or people who work at a job they can't afford to quit, but even those
at the bottom, those who suffer, will often refuse and reject the unknown over
their known miseries.
Use of passive voice allows us to say things like "Those
who differ, will be punished" instead of "The State Police falsify evidence
to throw you in jail" to hide the actions behind the verb "to be"
i.e. "will be punished". This avoids spelling out exactly who will
do what. This hides responsibility.
People like to pretend that in the past, things "were"
different, which really says "I want to believe that today's complex situation
defies solution." The same ethics and moral truths existed then as now.
Americans will not open their eyes to the increased use
and acceptance of violence and of torture, to unfair and illegal imprisonment
of people at Guantanamo Bay, to the worldwide disgrace of the world-record high
percentage of US citizens in US jails, to the inequities of a Superpower nation
that supports both Democracy and Dictatorship only when in its own best interests
to control resources and geopolitical power.
They would rather convince their children to Be All You
Can Be by joining the military, the one institution that remains useless until
all diplomacy fails, and the dehumanized violence must begin.
Throughout history, military institutions engineered the
majority of coups that overthrew governments around the world. A good definition
of a subversive organization.
Do you know what percentage of the US budget goes to the
Things "were" simpler in the past. People
did not have access to information. Today, many ways exist to find information,
but the will to know becomes blunted by News organizations owned by six corporations
that treat information as entertainment; they know you feel instinctively interested
in violence, scandal, and sex, which has almost no influence on your life except
to make you a couch potato- passive, fearful, and fat.
A real potato would feel shame.
You won't see the contemporary situation as parallel to
the past, because the politically correct also control your public education,
textbooks and teachers. People today don't want controversy or debate, they don't
want to see complexities or multiple influences and layers, so they like a "dummied
down" and over-simplied version of the past. In comparison, it confuses
the present lack of information, and supports their passivity.
Most people think Human Rights deals with torture, or
murder of journalists. It also means you take an active role in government, which
takes responsibility for your well-being. Do you care about your own Social Security?
That's a human right you lose through passivity to an uncaring government ruled
by the priviledged class of conservative Social Darwinists that see you and your
family as a soon-t-be-extinct subspecies. ?
You could do something about it, with a more active voice...
The self-styled philosopher / humorist Mr. Plimsoll might
be a woman, one of the original Gringo Locos, who emulates the leftist Traven
married to the utopian Gauguin. An easily approachable Postmodernist expatriate
when not on some repetitious drunken brag to tourists, he/she practices the Zen
of Total Immersion in a foreign culture to examine one's own navel. Independent
wealth and fluency in Spanish finance a continual sojourn through the Americas.
Plimsoll deserves a Doctorate in Latino and Wasp Behavior, with a minor in the
Killer Bees of the Elitist Model of Government. Plimsoll regularly wins literary
competitions, dabbles in didactic art to appease his inner radical polemicist,
and enjoys memberships in various writing organizations. Plimsoll's life, continually
threatened, keeps him/her on his/her toes- if I'm thinking about the right person,
Anyone who learns enough of a foreign language or a foreign
culture to suspect that their natal ethnicity's viewpoint does not represent the
only valid reality. So begins the great yellow brick road- to suspect the motives
of governments, and to analyze foreign relations as driven by economics and mass-media
news agencies, that most often protect relations within a new class of the global
elite, both investors and various degrees of virtual dictatorship. And so we ask
the Wizard of Odds: What's the probability things happen by chance? How did the
diamond ring become necessary in a serious relationship? Back to top
When is the end of earth's adolescence?
When people stop the bullying and fighting on this watery
wonderland and learn to share. Then someday we might identify everyone's wellbeing
with our own, and continue the work for the Greatest Common Good, progress,
and both scientific and spiritual advancement.
This doesn't mean Communism, but does tend to imply
that any country that feels it must fence its borders (because it uses and controls
over sixty percent of global resources on a planet with almost one-hundred fifty
countries) negatively influences the Universal Human Rights of almost everybody
else. Back to top
Shameless self-promotion follows:
WMD Machete released as Paperback!
An Adventurous and Romantic
Creative Nonfiction Memoir
of a Global Citizen's Coming of Age.
22,000 people died for his sin, the night he took a woman to bed in Guatemala, and woke up in Guatepeor.