He is The Iron Fist.

Slow? So is Bar-b-que. A casual ember from the tip of a cigarette flicked carelessly from a car window burns slowly too; until a wildfire is ignited. Watching the first six episodes of “Iron Fist” was like watching the Space Shuttle lift off from Cape Canaveral. It was a penny a day doubled. It was like the The Iron Fist himself. The slower he looks like he’s moving, the farther ahead of you he is.

These six episodes got a literal goose egg on the tomater site? These six episodes have been called boring?

Yes. Iron Fist starts out on a slow burn, except for the action. Within moments of the cold open, we get a glorious hint of just who exactly Danny Rand is. While multiple mooks attempt to actively hurt The Iron Fist, he effortlessly glides around them, protecting them as actively as himself.

What doesn’t come fast, or easy, are the answers. Where has Danny been, why is he back now, and what has he become? This information is teased out, given out in drips and drabs as the story unfolds.

The mythology, the history,and  backstory play out like a bass beat. Its always there and always moving forward. It’s a subtle yet driving rhythm that seems to keep upping the stakes. Imagine an Ion engine that spat out narrativium.

The world building alone would be enough reason to watch “Iron Fist”. Layering a fast paced and expansive story on top of it is simply gaudy. “Iron Fist” moves fast. Time is taken to establish the stakes, and the players, but when they move they move.

So is “Iron Fist” fast or is it slow? Yes. The iron fist moves exactly as fast as it needs to.



The Culture War has come for you.

Most folks on the right side of the spectrum, and I would assume most folks on the left as well, have no interest in fighting a culture war. All most folks really want is to live their lives, raise their families, and do the best at both that they can. But as many folks on the right, or even the moderate left have begun to discover recently, it doesn’t matter how much you want peace, when the war comes to you. This has never been an issue for me personally because I’m an asshole. I love arguing, I eat insults like candy, and I feed on hatred.

It is however news for many who consider themselves centrists regardless of which direction they lean. A few recent posts have made it clear to me that in the wake of Trump’s election victory, even those I would consider soft right, hell even many who considered themselves center left are finally beginning to understand this. First there were a couple of recent posts by Brad Torgersen. One on his blog, and one on his Facebook. Now to understand the significance of this you need to understand that Brad was once called “The baby blue conservative” member of the sad puppies by Sarah Hoyt. Though I don’t know the man personally every single public statement I have ever seen him make has been marked by his humility, empathy, and willingness to see things from someone else’s perspective. None of which I may add are qualities I possess in more than minuscule amounts.

Then as I sat down tonight to decide what my topic would be, I saw this post in my WP reader tab. Fuck the Science Fiction Community by Cirsova. Now I admit, I know nothing about Cirsova the person. I hear Cirsova the magazine is doing some really great work, but I haven’t gotten around to actually buying any issues yet. Hell I don’t even know if Cirsova is male or female. I do know that whoever it is, they now know what Brad has so recently learned. It doesn’t matter whether or not you want the war when the war comes for you.

You see unlike Milo, these weren’t folks going out and actually courting controversy in order to make a point. Unlike me, they aren’t assholes from a long line of assholes. These are just folks trying to go about their day, doing what they do, creating their art, and trying to live the best life they can. None of that matters though, when the war comes for you.




Today’s Progress. – 680 words

Current project total – 45,230 words.

Momma said there’d be days like this.

Some days you just aren’t feeling it. It doesn’t matter what “it” is. Whether its work, or play doesn’t really matter much, except that if its work you’re more likely to do it anyway cause it has to get done. Maybe you’re tired, maybe you’re in a bad mood, maybe you had a fight with someone you loved or maybe you just want to veg out. We all have days like that. Today I had one. Couldn’t concentrate at work, wasn’t feeling writing. I really just want to lie back, watch some T.V. and veg for the rest of the night. So that’s what I’m gonna do.


Today’s word count – 337

Current project total – 44,550

Reflecting on Milo.

Milo Yiannopoulos is probably one of the most polarizing figures in media/politics today. As a gay, jewish, somewhat conservative, (at least on the issue of free speech) writer who was an early supporter of Gamergate (or at the very least one of the few people doing honest reporting on it) he kinda defies categorization. To those on the left he’s a traitor who wandered off the plantation and sided with the evil right, even going so far as to honestly report on the alt-right, (or alt-west, or new right or whatever the hell else this burgeoning movement is being called today) At the same time to many on the right, especially the mainstream conservative right, hes at best an interloper trying to make his bones off their backs, at worst a Trojan horse leading the future of the right into sodomy, liberalism and sin.


My own take on him has always been that he’s entertaining when he pisses off the right (which is of course to say the left’s) people.That he is dead on in his defense of free speech. That his tactic of using wildly provocative and offensive speech is both brilliant and executed nearly flawlessly, and that though we may not agree on many things he is certainly worth supporting in so far as my interests and his overlap.

Recently Milo was the victim of a coordinated media hatchet job that used deceptively edited video and audio to make it appear that he said something he didn’t. Make no mistake, this was not an accident, it was not a coincidence,  it was not done in good faith, there was no honesty in the attack, and it was absolutely and intentionally done with malice aforethought. The truly sick, the truly perverse thing though, is that it was done by the same media that as recently as a couple years ago had applauded attempts to make pedophiles look sympathetic. Worse, the article in question was in fact defended by the flagship of the mainstream conservative right The National Review. Yet the same media that has defended Roman Polansky, Woody Allen, and Lena Dunham, intentionally jumped on bullshit in an attempt to attack Milo, and it came from both the left and the right.


Don’t be manipulated. Read the man’s own statement. Go download and watch the Drunken Peasants podcast episode 193 for yourself.



Men make plans and the gods laugh.

I haven’t posted for a while. That’s mainly because I’ve spent most of that time praying to the porcelain god.Was it food, the flu, or a gypsy curse? Damned if I know. Hell maybe my girl has been poisoning me. But whatever it was, it seems to have run it’s course. In the meantime I have no idea whats been going on. I was trying to create a habit of writing (as opposed to posting) every night, but its hard to write when your head is buried in a toilet trying to feed the sewage trolls like you’re a momma bird.

Tonight however, I felt vaguely human. So I sat down and wrote. Only 1500 words or so but its something. If I were more coherent I’m sure I could tie this into politics and turn this post into a rant but I kinda need to hurl again. But I aten’t dead.

Know that you are mortal.

It is said that when Julius Ceaser would lead triumphal parades throughout the streets of Rome a slave would stand behind him on his chariot, whispering “Know that you are mortal”. Is it true? Damned if I know. So why am I bringing it up? Because we are also mortal and we need to learn to forgive ourselves when we fall below our own expectations. Last night I published the single shortest post I ever have to this blog. The reason why is explained in the post itself. I also wrote just slightly over thirty word last night. In point of fact I wrote exactly one, single solitary sentence.

The thing is, I’m a motal. I got drunk. So drunk I could barely see straight. But I still wrote something, even if It was only one sentence. I still published a post even if it was the shortest post I have ever published. I did this because I am trying to develop a habit, and the only way I know of to establish a habit is to make yourself do it every day until the day comes when you just do. I’m not there yet. Hell I aint even close. I’m just closer than I was yesterday, and even closer than I was the day before.

One day, I wont even have to think about whether or not to write when I get home from work. I’ll just do it, because it will be a habit. So even though I only added one single solitary sentence yesterday, its O.K. I added eleven hundred words today. I’ll add more tomorrow. I’ll more the day after. I keep adding them until I have a book. Then I’ll keep adding them until I have two. One day, I’ll have a career as a writer, one day I’ll pay my bills by sitting in a room alone a lying to the world. One day my only work will be writing. Unless I drink myself to death before that.

Small steps can end up racking up a lot of miles.

As you all may remember I talked about creating habits a few weeks back. As my output on this blog has shown, making the effort to turn a behavior into a habit can pay off if you stick with it. At the time I was trying to make posting to this blog a habit, and I have more or less succeeded.Yes I could still do better, I still forget to post on a weekend sometimes, or If I go out with my buddies on a Friday night, But overall I think I’ve been very successful at creating the habit of posting daily.

So now its time to build on that success. Up till now I’ve been making posting to this blog the very first thing I do after I get home from work. The problem is, by making posting to this blog a priority, I have been neglecting the entire reason I’m trying to build an audience. Which are of course the books I am writing. After my conversation with MishaBurnett yesterday, I realized I need to take the same discipline I’ve been applying towards posting on this blog, and apply it to finishing one of my WIP.

As a result, today I decided to evolve my habits to help me achieve both my goals. What this means in practice is that instead of coming home and posting on this blog first, I will now create the habit of working on my WIP first, and then posting to this blog. That’s why I am publishing this post a  a few hours later than I have been. Instead of sitting down and writing my blog first, I spent a couple hours writing. And I did well. Not only did I add 1500 words to a WIP I’ve been neglecting, in doing so I broke the 40k word mark, which is a first for me on any project. So expect my daily posts to come a little later in the evening from now on. Because my new habit is to write first, post second. If I weren’t a drunken idiot, I’d have known it should have been this way from the beginning. But I am, so I didn’t. Live, learn, and try to get a little bit better, every day.

Bonus Writing Sample – Hoodoo Man

Based on some advice I received from Misha Burnett, I am going to be going back to my earliest project “Brotherhood of the Iron” which some of you may have read samples of here and here. I am going to stick with this, which I am about 35,000 words into until I finish it. Because of this “Hoodoo Man” which a couple people seemed to like will be put on the back burner. But as a gift to those of you who liked and encouraged me to continue with “Hoodoo Man” (MishaBurnett and MobiusWolf I’m looking at you) here is the entirety of the story so far. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish “Brotherhood of the Iron” quickly and move on to the next project. Keep in mind its still not edited but I did at least run spellcheck because I can’t spell which I figure has not gone unnoticed. Y’all have probably read the first bit, but it goes on from there.

Hoodoo Man

Chapter 1 – Red tailed Hawks, and Red Rocks.

So there I was enjoying a beautiful Kentucky afternoon while renewing the widow Abner’s brownie wards when some damned fool in a city truck (and if you don’t know what a city truck is its one them fool jacked up trucks with a nice shiny paint job, too much chrome, and no gun rack in the back window) comes barreling down the road too damn fast, skidding out on the turn, crushing the woven beech wood, Hawthorne and silver bell knotwork I had been preparing to bury at the northeast corner of the widow’s property, scattering my candles hither and yon and damn near running me over in the process.

As I was deciding whether or not to throw a couple low grade curses his way and trying to decide which one to use (I was leaning toward making the dumb bastard a magnet for lice, only temporarily of course) I was interrupted in my cogitating by Deputy Dalton’s 97 ford bronco screaming down the same damn road. At least Jed knew how to drive on dirt and managed to stay on the road, and Sheriff Garrett who was riding shotgun did have the good manners to throw me an apologetic wave as I got yet another cloud of dust and gravel square in the face, but to say my day had ceased to be pleasant was an understatement.

Well there I was cursing under my breath about idiot city boys who come up into the mountains with bad intentions and the idiot cops what chase them when I got a twinge in my right earlobe that told me something bad was about to happen. AS if my day wasn’t bad enough now there was gonna be violence. Exasperated I looked up into the clear blue Kentucky sky to see if I might have an ally up there when I spotted Hank circling on the thermals looking for a meal. Hank’s a crotchety old red tail but he and I had history so I sent my sight up into the sky and made contact.

“Need Ride, Help” Hawks aint much for long winded conversations. Fancy-pants eloquence tends to piss them off.

“Rabbit?” See what I mean, no hemming and hawing, no unnecessary jawing, just straight to haggling.

“Mouse?” You gotta be tough with red-tails, you get a rep as a pushover and next thing you know they’ll be asking for a whole damn sheep, though what in the hell a red-tail would do with a sheep I have yet to figure out.

“Squirrel. No Squirrel, no Ride”

“Squirrel” I agreed and spit on the ground to seal the deal. Old hank came plummeting down in a predatory dive centered on my head, and if you aint ever had 2 and a half pounds of raptor homing in on your kisser you got no damn idea just how intimidating it can be. But I held my ground and looked him square in the eye and just before I got a face full of talons he flared out his wings and dropped to the ground on the other side of the gob of spit just as light as a butterfly landing on a rose. I sat down and focused my eyes on his, there was the familiar feeling of being on a merry go round moving way too fast and next thing I know I’m looking out of Hanks eyes as he flaps those big old wings and lifts of like the avian death machine he is.

I’ll tell you, if you’ve never seen through a Hawk’s eyes then you got no damned clue just how piss poor human sight is. Hell I was judged 20/20 back when I fought in the great war and my eyes hadn’t gotten any worse by the time I served in WW2, but Hank made me fell like I’d spent my life half blind in one eye with an eye patch over the other. He could see the ticks on a dog ass three miles away. Well he could have if he had had any interest in ticks, or dog’s asses.

As we circled up into the sky I pointed out the candy apple red truck that has just then taken yet another turn too fast, resulting in said truck being quickly and forcibly stopped by a red oak that was even older than I was. As I watched in horror through Hank’s superior avian vision I saw some damned fool dressed in too tight jeans, too shiny boots, and the reddest shirt I have ever seen in my life come out of the car with the biggest damn handgun It had ever been my misfortune to lay eyes upon.

“Is that damned fool trying to fire a deagle one handed?” I thought to myself?

Hank, being as privy to my thoughts as I was to his eye sight began to to look around in rage, utterly offended by the idea that an eagle might be trying to horn in on his territory.

“Where Eagle”

“Not eagle, deagle” I replied with a mental image of the ridiculous gun.

“Noise hand. Pah”I shit you not, he actually thought “Pah” I believe Hank may have spent more time around me than is healthy for any bird.

By this point the deputy’s bronco was skidding to a stop in front of the garish truck, but unfortunately for old Jed the cloud of dust and gravel he created in doing so obscured his view of the crazy fool with the oversize gun, and now I knew why I’d had my premonition. I could tell by the way Deputy Dalton and Sheriff Garrett were getting out of the car that they assumed the city feller was hurt and only I knew better. Damn it, this was gonna end up costing me a rabbit after all.

“Hank, Bad man. Bad noise hand. Hank hunt”

“Rabbit?” I hate it when I’m right sometimes.


Once we were agreed things happened pretty fast, Hank streaked down like a bullet, flaring his wings and extending his talons just as the crazy bastard with the idiot gun raised his hand to fire, only instead of the big bang he had been expected he heard himself scream as the pain of his wrist and forearm being shredded hit. For one crazy second he looked into Hanks eyes and I could see the madness within his. Hank and I both shuddered at that because there wasn’t nothing natural about that particular kind of crazy, and it had more than a touch of damnation to it.

Well old hank flapped his wings and got out of there likety-split, but by that time Deputy Dalton had seen the gun on the ground and the hawk flying away and while he looked confused as hell he’d been trained well. He had the city boy on his stomach in the dirt and his arms cuffed behind him before he asked any questions. The last thing I saw before Hank turned back to where I left my body was Sheriff Garrett tipping his hat to Hank and I while shushing the deputy. Les always had been a well mannered boy

As hank winged his way back to my body I looked down to see the widow Abner standing over my still form, pointing her finger at me and apparently doing some shouting. I had a feeling I’d have a sore noggin If I didn’t get down there quick like so I sent Hank a mental image of a rabbit on my porch at sundown, and he seemed just fine with that. Gathering up my sight I focused on the back of my own head (Looks like its about time to get back to the barber shop) and sent my self back to my own mortal clay.

Have I ever told you I hate being right so damned often. Well I do. No sooner am I back behind my own eyes when a gnarled old piece of ash thwacks me right on top of my skull. At the same time the not so dulcet tones of a eighty eighty year old woman in full schreechifying mode comes barreling into my eyes and I am confronted by the not so comforting sight of Widow Abner’s wrinkled digits pointed right between my eyes. From the ache in my crown she must have been talking for a good couple minutes and had decided to punctuate every sentence with a thump on the top of my pointy little head. Now like any self respecting man I don’t leave the house without a hat on but that old piece of cloth and felt didn’t offer much in the way of protection, even when it hadn’t already been abused by an old woman with more sand than sense. I still wasn’t quite up to actually deciphering what in the hell she was going on about but I saw her jab her finger at me and threw my hand up just in time to catch her walking stick in my right hand, and while it stung my palm something fierce may hands are well calloused, my scalp not so much.

“Now Damnit Lizzie, how many times have I told you that the kind of crap that was cute when you were a chubby legged toddler aint so cute when in your eighties and more gnarled that that old hunk of wood you call a cane?”

“Well he finally deigns to speak with me, lawd a mercy, aint I just so blessed. And here I thought the layabout I’d hired, and already fed lunch to I might add, was just taking advantage of my good and naive nature by taking a nap when he was supposed to be working!”

“Lizzie you know damn well I wasn’t sleeping, you’ve seen me hitch rides since you were knee high to a grasshopper”

“Well I didn’t hire you to go out hitchin now did I. No sir I did not, I hired you to make sure them damn milk stealing Irish monsters wouldn’t be curdling my cows cream so I did”

“For one thing, I was helping out Sheriff Garrett, for another I’m nearly done, and for a third if you don’t put that damn rod down I’m gonna put you over my knee and spank you worse than I did when I caught you trying to trying to steal a cheese wheel from the Buckner farm.” I punctuated that last statement with my hardest stare, the one that had convinced many a young man in the Somme that leaving the trench was far less scary than staying in it when I’d given an order to move. And the crazy old bat just laughed at me.

“I’m so sorry Unca Zeke, pwease don’t spank me, I’ll be a good girl” Now if you aint had an eighty eight year old woman try and hit you with the puppy dog eyes let me tell you, its a damned disturbing sight.

“Lizzie that shit stopped working on me when you was four, and you aint nearly so cute now as you were then” And Ill be damned if the old biddy didn’t cackle even louder. I swear there is something damnably odd swimming in my families gene pool.

Well right around this time I see Deputy Jed’s bronco pull up and Old Sheriff Garrett gets out the driver side door, and waves the deputy off, before taking off his hat and clearing his throat.

“What in the hell you want now Les? You already took this lazy excuse for a workingman off his job once today and you know damn well that ever since my dear earl made the mistake of trying to shoot one of them damned brownies they got a grudge against this poor old woman”

Now Les had always been what you call, easy going, so he just cracked a wry grin to that particular verbal assault.

“I just need to talk to uncle Zeke for a few minuted now mam, and besides the way I remember it was you who tried to shoot the brownie and poor earl was to scared to stop you”

“What an utter calumny! I will not stand here and be insulted on my own land. You better finish this job before sundown of we’ll see how well your hoodoo stands up to a couple barrels of double aught!”

And with that she turned on her heel as smartly as any Hun officer ever had, and marched off, stamping her cane into the ground with every step like she was calling cadence. Les and I waited till she had cleared the rise and was on the other side before we both fell about ourselves laughing for a good few minutes.

“Talk while I’m working Les” I said as I picked up some branches and began reweaving them into the knotwork I used to protect my crazy niece from the meanest damn hill fairies in at least 9 counties.

“Well its like this Zeke..” He paused, wiping the back of his hand against his forehead, pulling out his old handkerchief and mopping his brow. “I think we got a problem.”

Now I’d known Les since the day midwife walked out of his daddy cabin with him, and the only times I could recall him ever being this reticent was when he needed to ask me a favor. And while Les wasn’t no rootworker, he’d picked up a fair number of tricks in his thirty years as a sheriff. So if he thought he needed my help he probably did, and it was probably worse then he thought. Now of course I was gonna help, not only was he family but he also held the only political office I actually respected. Didn’t mean I was gonna make it easy for him though.

“We got lots of problems Les. Not only is there a by god literal New York Yankee in the white house, The Wildcats still aint made it to the series, and if’n I don’t get these wards done by sundown you’re gonna have to Arrest your cousin for killing your uncle”

Les got a decent chuckle out of that, but I could tell his heart wasn’t really in it. So he followed the advice I’d given back when he was still wearing short pants and kids wearing short pants was still a thing. He took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and dealt with it head on. I say a lot about my family, but one thing no one has ever sand is that we don’t got sand.

“Its you’re kind of problem Zeke, My kind too if I’m being honest, its one of those weird cases where what you do and what I do get all mixed up together.”

“You mean like the Sawyer clan case?”

Les shuddered visible “Oh Gods I hope not, but mebbe”

‘Huh” I buried the little knotwork fetish at the corner of Elizabeth Abner’s property, lit a candle, spoke a prayer and sent my shine down through my fingers and into the dirt. I could feel the walls of spiritual energy snap close like a mousetrap. A fine bit of work. Standing up and dusting my hands off on the knees of my old overalls I looked at Les Garrett, and I could see he was afraid, but only because I knew him so well.

“Well I reckon you outta start at the beginning then, I suppose we might as well talk in the truck.”

As we walked down the dirt road towards where I’d parked my truck I saw a hint of a face peeking out from Lizzie’s house and threw her a wave. The sun was heading down and I knew damn well she wouldn’t leave it before down for nothing, no matter how much she trusted my wards.

Once we got on the road Les fished around in his breast pocket, pulled out a little bag and tossed in on my lap. “What do you make of that?”

“I don’t know. Rock candy maybe?” I wasn’t being a smart ass for once, the little red crystals really did look like rock candy.

“heh. I guess some folks might consider it a type of candy, but if I ever caught someone giving it to a kid I’d skip the courthouse and take him straight to the hanging tree.”

“drugs then” Les had had a mad on for drugs ever since Donny had come back from the Nam with a head full of bad memories and a worse heroin habit. I wasn’t quite as evangelical about them myself, but I wasn’t the one who had found his own son dead in the outhouse one morning either.

“Crystal Meth. Its one of the bad ones Zeke, makes people mean, paranoid, violent, and damn near immune to pain. Keeps them up or days straight and makes them think they can do anything. Worse it makes them think they got the right to do anything.”

“Hmmm. I thought that stuff was supposed to be blue?”

“Don’t tell me even you are a fan of that damned show? Glorifying goddamned drug makes, pushers, and killers” Like I said, Les is a bit evangelical when it comes to drugs. “No in real life it aint blue, but it usually aint red neither. And to tell the truth this stuff makes the regular stuff look like cough medicine.”

“How so?”

“I…. Its hard to explain Zeke. I mean we’ve sent samples to every damn drug lab in the state, to the boys at Quantico, hell I even called in some favors and got them assholes at langely to take a look, and so far as any of them can tell its just run of the mill meth. Much purer than normal but just meth they say. But then again none of them can tell me why its red. And Zeke this stuff don’t just lower a mans inhibitions and make him think he superman, it turns them into to monsters. You remember Jack Reid’s boy Billy?”

“Tow headed boy, slow in the head but strong as an ox?”

“That’s him”. Les paused and I just knew what came next was gonna be bad “We’ve been keeping this under wraps on account of how we don’t want folks to panic, but he killed his Momma and his Daddy. Hit his daddy in the head so hard so many times his skull was pulverized. And the things he did to his Momma? Dear god you don’t want to know. I wish like hell I didn’t. Thing is, when the drug wore off he was so mortified by what he done he called in the station, confessed to his crimes over the phone, put his daddy’s shotgun in his mouth and pulled both triggers. And you know what we found in his pockets Zeke? A little baggie just like that one on your lap, with nothing more than a few grains of red sand in it.”

No I understood why Les was so scared. Billy Reid had been soft in the head, but he had also been the sweetest damned boy I’d ever known. His daddy had to hire help come butchering time cause despite the fact that billy could probably kill a full grown bull with a single punch he was so damn sensitive his Momma had to take him into town when it was time to butcher the pigs. If he heard so much as a single squeal he’d be bawling his eyes out for days. He didn’t have a mean damned bone in his entire body. Hell if you asked me to bet my life on the last person on earth who would commit murder Mother Theresa would have lost to Billy Reid. If this shit could do that to Billy Reid, it could make a monster out of anyone. “you say the chemist’s couldn’t figure out what made it different?”

“Not a damned clue”

“”The I reckon you’re right, this is probably my kind of thing. Leave it with me, Ill go see what Stoney Sam can make of it. Want me to pick you up a jug of his corn? “

“Make it three Uncle Zeke” If I didn’t already know this was gonna get bad, that would have clinched it. Les wasn’t much of a drinking man, and a Jug of Sam’s finest usually lasted him half a year or more. If he wanted three?

“Will do”

“And Zeke, do it quick time if you can, I don’t want to bury any more families. “

“Reckon I will, now come over here and give your old illiterate hill william uncle a hug”

Les hadn’t hugged me that fiercely since the night of Donny’s funereal, and deep down in my water, I knew this was one was going to be really bad.”

As he got out of the truck to go back into the Sheriff’s office, Les was silhouetted for a moment by the setting sun, his white hair transformed into a multicolored halo, and I feared for my brothers great grandson without knowing why. So I said a quick prayer to Saint Peter for him, and hoped I could wrap this case up before anyone else got hurt. Thing about hope is, sometimes it’s our greatest strength, and sometimes its the cruelest damn thing on God’s green earth.