Note: This collection of thirty-six short essays, photos, and quotes should be released later this year. I'm in the middle of the deep edits of the manuscript.
What do you think of the cover? I really like it. The background and foreground photos were taken no more than a mile from where I live.
IT'S FAR less popular than epic fantasies would have you believe. In fact, if this last year has shown anything, light—truth, reason, virtue, and actual faith (as opposed to the easily consumable and popular version proffered by the media, politicians, and organized religion)—is despised by at least half the populace. Probably much more.
Shadows are where most people live. It's where most prefer to live. Shadows: untruth: fake news, propaganda, cat GIFS and other meaningless trinkets of modern life. It's found in profits over people, in profits over democracy, in profits over decency, in profits over design, in profits over the environment and climate, in profits over life.
Gandalf would shake his head in utter dismay were he actual and here to see it. The war would be over, he'd announce. The forces of evil were victorious. The Age of Men didn't produce goodness and light, justice and mercy, peace and community. It instead produced Donald Trump, his voters and supporters, the Republican Party, and the rank and trench-deep indifference all of them require from Men in order to survive and thrive.
Harsh truth: most people, left to their own devices, would not be Jyn Erso of the Rebellion, or her father, Galen; they would not be Cassian Andor or the defecting pilot, Bodhi Rook. No. There is no profit in being any of those fools, or choosing as they did! Most people, truth be told, would choose to work for the Empire. They would choose the employment opportunities found in the safe path, the mediocre path, the well-trodden path. Many would choose to be stormtroopers! They'd support the Emperor! After all, he's going to "make the Empire great again!" They would, in the end, choose the shadows, the deeper and darker the better, and happily, just as they do in their "real" lives.
Choosing the light is choosing to be courageous. It can't be done sitting on your ass while watching The Apprentice. It can't be done sitting in your cubicle as the company you work for continues to destroy the planet, however minusculely it may be doing so. I can't be done watching Alex Jones. It can't be done by supporting politicians who openly hate diversity, who openly work against the commonwealth, who have no problems damning the poor and less fortunate. It can't be done, in fact, without going wholly against the grain, choosing nonconformity, choosing to fight against the fraudulent and powerful, choosing to stand up against bigotry and exclusion, choosing, in the end, to be a Rebel.
So I ask you: Why do you cheer the heroes in Rogue One or Lord of the Rings when in reality you'd work for the bad guys and live in the shadows, just as you continue to do now?