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Ishmael and The Pale Usher
‘Would You Have Been Different If You Had Grown Up in a More Decent Setting than Baltimore?’: A Man Question from Sean

The answer that came directly to my mind was, Ishmael, “I would have ended up being like Ishmael, the same outsider personality, but stuck in a machine barely human enough to accommodate mu conscience.”

Last year, almost exactly 11 months ago, when I met Ishmael in the Salt Lake City airport, it was like meeting a twin from whom I had been separated at birth. I’ve met some folks like that through my writing—Nero the Pict being another—but no one else who I immediately sensed so alike in terms of outlook and otherlook.

Ishmael and I were both luckier than the other in some ways and physically different enough for our material aspect to make a big difference in how the world looked upon us. My world is far more twisted than his and seems to have twisted me more. However, with the realization among many of us outliers that the greater world of Postmodern Civilization is based on a Lie Filled foundation, reflected in the immediate ostracism and even criminalization of truthful speech—such as the notion that our leaders raping children for sport is not to be discussed—seems to place the moral superstructure of our devolved spiritual world more in line with the evil that is Baltimore and places like it than the Rocky Mountains and its people.

As the evil of the sickening world reaches its vile claws to clutch at Ishmael’s mountain, he has reached out for news of his future, for insights into what it is like to live where Wrong has won, where Right and Might are by definition separate and the very words we breathe are heard through fiendishly twisted baffles, where hate is the sacred song of innocent martyrdom and truth is regarded as evil, declared the very screeching of the demonic pit.

The world has shaped us in different ways, but I know we are the same.

Toward a vision of this end, I have worked for some years on a book that languishes on my desk in its final stages, The Pale Usher, an interpretation of the extended introduction to Moby Dick, those first 30 odd chapters in which the protagonist, Ishmael, separates from society by stages, largely with the help of a savage raised in the heathen parts of the world, a man who is clearly his mythic twin. I began this book six months before Ishmael contacted me by email, but continued it largely thanks to his encouragement, and will take off posting a day this week to complete it and have it shipped out to the roof of our expanded world, ahead of the outward flight from Harm City a month from now.

A Well of Heroes: Two:

Literary Impressions of the Prose and Verse of Robert E. Howard

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