Showing posts with label rant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rant. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Support Jeremy Clarkson



Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked from BBC due to a physical altercation with a senior producer.

Translation: Clarkson fired for busting a producer’s lip.


How I imagine Jeremy is feeling at this announcement:

Now, we don’t know the full details over what prompted the fists to start flying and likely never will.  However this issue has divided people into two groups:
Clarkson Supporters
People that don’t understand why we would ever support Clarkson in the first place
So, I’m going to try and explain why I support an sexist offensive violent racist with xenophobic tendencies.

We live in a world where people are just looking for something to be offended at.  In the nerd world lately, there’s been the outcry over the new Wonder Woman look.  No, really, people got upset about that. 


There was the whole big mess over the Batgirl alternate cover being offensive.

Personally, I find it creepy and disturbing, but perfect.  Maybe it didn’t fit the story properly, but it is an amazing image.

Just go through your Facebook news feed, and you can find all sorts of stuff that people are getting upset about.

So, how does this relate to Clarkson?  Well, to put it simply, in this world of rampant offense and out of control political correctness, Jeremy just doesn’t give a fuck.


That attitude is a breath of fresh air.  Especially from an entertainer.  It opened up areas of humor that people otherwise wouldn’t touch simply out of fear.



Now, lets take a little look at some of Jeremy’s offenses and how I can justify them.

He’s sexist

FGZqucm - Imgur


He’s racist
Apparently he was caught saying the original version of the eeny, meeny, miny, moe rhyme.  The one that contains the N word.  You know, the one that anyone over the age of 35 has likely said at least once in their childhood.  I have.  I don’t anymore, but I have.
He made that comment in Burma regarding the bridge they built.  That one, I honestly don’t know why it even came out.  That should have been caught during editing and cut.
Lets see, who else has he offended:
I think pretty much ever race and nationality except for maybe Canada.
In spite of all of this, though, he still gets support from his co-workers

He and co-presenter, James May, have both promoted drinking and driving

That’s gin and tonic being consumed while over international waters in the North Pole.

So, with all these faults, why do we love him so much?  Short answer, he’s entertaining.  Longer answer, he says and does the kind of things that people secretly wish they could get away with, but are too frightened by the thought of offending someone.  He is just an alpha male.  The confidence he has to do and say what he does attracts people.  It also pushes people away, but those are typically people he doesn’t want around anyway.  He is who he is.  He doesn’t hide any side of personality.  He just puts it all out there and let the chips fall where they will, and its damn fun to watch.


Right, so having said all that, do I think that Jeremy should not have been fired from the BBC?  I’m not sure.  If there was little to no provocation to the fight, then yes.  If he was pushed, provoked into it, then he and the producer should either be fired or suspended.

What got most of us really fired up, was the BBC’s decision to just end the latest (last) season of Top Gear over this.  This simply punished the fans of the show for Jeremy’s actions.

All in all, Top Gear as we knew and loved it is over and gone.  Will James and Richard leave the BBC as well?  We don’t know.  If they do, then there is hope for a new version of the show we love.


If you still can’t understand how being entertained by a loud offensive brute is possible, I feel sad for you.


If the things I’ve said are offensive to you and have hurt your feelings, or you think I am just completely wrong and likely just like Jeremy in my attitude, well….


Monday, December 8, 2014

Comic Cons, Anime Cons, Cosplay Cons? Who Are We?

Well, Pat Broderick is back.  This time with a longer rant that promotes segregation, gate keeping and even slut shaming.  Sorry for the crapy two part screen grab, but his rant was just too long.

Well, here we go again.

Now we cosplayers, costumers, and makers are not even artists.  Or at least not on the same level as his high art.  Oh and we're also a cult.

At one point he suggests setting up a specific room for just cosplayers to go to for pictures and ego feedings.  That would keep the cosplayers out of the artist and vendor areas, allowing them to make more money since we're not blocking them any more.

Let's think about that for a minute.  This past weekend, I attended Yama-Con and walked the vendor area, artist area, and media guest area in costume.  My wife made a few purchases, and I did too, in costume.  Now, if we'd been banned because we were in costume, those dealers would not have our money.  Now, take out everyone else in costume and you've just removed 90% of the con attendees and even some of the vendors.  Also, who would be the one to determine what a costume is?  Some costumes are elaborate and obvious, where others almost look like street clothes.  So, I really can't see how keeping the majority of con attendees out of your room is going to bring you any more money.   This simply highlights how disconnected from the community he really is.

Now, the "Hey, keep it PG, Powergirl!" part.  This one is just a flat out face palm.  You're calling out and shaming people for dressing up in "sexy" costumes of characters YOU designed.  You designed that costume, and someone made it and is wearing it and you're trying to call them out for being too sexy and making parents awkward.  I don't really know if I need to say more than that.  I'm not even sure if I can.

You know, in a way, I feel sorry for Pat.  He was at his peak before Nerd Culture was at its peak.  Now, Nerd Culture is strong and mainstream, and money making machine, and he's about as relevant to is as Oprah Winfrey.  Pat, you keep yelling.  It's getting you the attention you're craving, but it's making you very toxic as well.

I would recommend that all cosplayers look up Pat's post(s) and check out who has liked or commented.  Likes = Agree IMO.  So if a con promoter agrees with Pat, then that tells me the promoter doesn't want cosplayers at their con.  Now, that is just fine.  They have the right to feel that way.  I have the right to disagree and the best way to get your voice heard in today's world is through wallets.  Don't like cosplayers at your con?  Cool.  I don't have to go, and I won't.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Today I Learned That Comic Book Artists Hate Me

And I’m OK with that.

What am I talking about?  Comic book artist, Pat Broderick wrote a very inflammatory facebook post basically stating that everything wrong with modern conventions comes down to just cosplayers being there.  Here’s a copy of his post.


Now, as an old man, bitter, crusty, and more than a little jaded, may I just say:


Things in the geek world were just starting to settle.  People were starting to get along and it was getting quiet.  Meaning Yaya hadn’t made a blog post or had an old article republished as a new one in about a week.  Now this old fart has to come out swinging for the fences and get us all riled up again.

What we really end up here with is a classic example of Gate Keeping in the nerd culture.  Especially obvious in the comments supporting his view.  They all can be summed up with this:

Cosplayers are doing our characters without knowing anything about the character.

That’s their opinion.  Before we ever cosplay a comic book or any other character, we need to go back, read every issue of every book that the character has ever appeared in.  Learn the name and biography of every artist and writer of those issues.  Then read every issue that they have ever worked on.  Then and only then will we be qualified to cosplay that character.  Only then will we be worthy.

Gate Keeping.

Geek culture has changed.  Its now mainstream.  Its now cool.  Conventions went from having a few hundred attendees to tens of thousands of attendees.  That’s awesome.  Conventions now shut down major city streets to have costume parades, and people turn out by the thousands to see this.  That is awesome.  Then, a lot of them go home.  They came for the spectacle of the costumes.  A lot of convention attendees are there just for the costumes.  Just to people watch, and that’s pretty awesome too.  Its nothing new, really.  Its been like this for years.

Cosplayers are taking away the attention.  Cons are about costumes and not comics anymore.

Wrong.  Cons are about money.

It really comes down to marketing.  TV and movie actors and even voice actors are big draws to conventions because we recognize them or their characters.  We know them as their characters.  Show me a picture of John Rhys-Davies and I’ll remember Sallah.  Tell me that the voice in the Lexus commercials is actually the same person that provided the voice of Brain in Pinkey and the Brain, and what’s left of my mind is in that panel.  Tell me that Pat Broderick is going to be there and I’ll say who?

Comic book artists on major titles is a very niche market.  Not everyone is going to know who is who, especially if you’re a DC or Marvel artist.  Those universes are so huge and intimidating no new fan is going to do all that research that Mr. Broderick seems to require.

So, what should they do?  Try marketing themselves by more than their name and their tie to DC or Marvel.  How about in their guest write up, mention the issue numbers that they worked on, you know help us out a little.  You worked at a comic book publishing giant.  The new fans of things geek are never going to know what your pedigree is if you don’t tell them.

Yeah, but all the big word space for promoting this goes to the big stars and not to the artists.  So, then how is that the fault of the cosplayers?  Sounds to me that convention runners have figured out the simple truth comic book artists are resisting.  Movie and TV stars bring in people.  People mean money.  Except for cosplayers.  We’re broke.

That’s the other side of this argument.  Comic artists and writers and vendors complain that at the big cosplay conventions, they don’t make any money because cosplayers don’t buy anything.  Well the simple truth is that’s because I’m broke.  Do you have any idea of the time and money that goes into a costume, travel to a con, hotels, food, and then you expect me to pay you $50 or up for a simple line drawing of a character you drew 20 years ago?  Do you have any idea how much hot glue $50 will buy?  I do.  Cosplaying is a super expensive hobby and I’m sorry I didn’t budget myself the money to throw at your feet.

Times are changing old man.  Times have changed.  The world is cold and cruel.  Only the strong can survive in this environment.  Adapt or die, that’s your choice now.  Learn to market yourself, educate the new fans, and appreciate that you have new fans, or any fans at all for that matter.

Over on Pat’s facebook page, there is a lot of hate toward cosplayers going on, but it seems at least one of Pat’s friends gets it.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay – A Lesson in History


On Tuesday, August 13 at 10:30PM eastern, I attempted to watch the Sy-Fi channel reality TV show “Heroes of Cosplay”.  I made it about a third of the way through the episode before having to turn it off for my own health.  The show was causing a spike in my blood pressure and sent me ranting all over the house.  By the way, cats do not care about my opinions and will not listen.  Once I calmed down a little, I noticed something.  This anger that I was feeling was somehow familiar.  Like I had felt it before, but when and over what?  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had been here before.

If you would, please set your WABAC Machines for 1975.  We’re going to join in on a quiet little revolution: Skateboarding.

Skating started as a means of individual expression.  It wasn’t a team sport.  You didn’t compete against anyone.  You just rode for you.  Kids would band together in support of this idea and would ride together either down streets or in abandoned pools (or at least empty ones).  Then an observer took notice and offered a prize to the one that could pull off the sickest trick.  The skateboarding competition was born.

Kids went from being kids to being rock stars overnight.  They were touring the world on their skateboards.  Some took fame well.  Some, tragically, didn’t handle it well.  However, through them and their skating, the popularity grew and grew.  Also, keep in mind, this is before the Internet.  We learned about things via word of mouth or in print media sources.  So, the growth was slow compared to how things take off today, but for this time period, the popularity was exploding.

With all popular things, there is a group that sees it as a trend, and trends make money.  Enter the corporate sponsored competitions.  Now we could watch Big Air competitions on low level ESPN channels.  Street competitions were getting brands slapped everywhere.  Suddenly this means of individual expression had become a sport.  Skateboarding even had its own public face in the form of the great Tony Hawk.  A truly talented skater, but one that many regarded as a sell out.

Watching skating turn into a professional sport; seeing kids get into it just for the sake of making money; watching competitions become more and more cut throat was heart breaking.  It made me very angry.  This thing I loved, this punk movement, had gone and gotten a suit and tie.  It had changed into something new that I didn’t like.  Or had it?

That was the anger I was feeling from Heroes of Cosplay.  They were taking cosplay, and making it into something else.  Something ugly.  Something that does not represent cosplay’s heart and spirit.  Just like what they had done to skateboarding.  Now this is not about skating or cosplay becoming mainstream.  Please don’t think that.  I want more and more people to see and do cosplay.  Everyone should at some point.  This ager is over the perverting of the heart and spirit:  Taking forms of individual expression and turning them into high pressure competitions for fame and glory.

Alright, not set your WABAC Machines for the year 1999.  By this point, my anger had subsided, and I had just resolved myself that this was the way things are now.  I had even taken to watching the X-Games.  The 1999 X-Games is one I will never forget.  It was the best trick competition and Tony Hawk was riding.  He was putting on an amazing show and was leading up to the then Holy Grail of tricks: The 900.  In a 900, the rider spins 900 degrees around in the air.  That’s two and a half full rotations in the air.  A lot of us thought this was impossible, but you could see Tony trying it.  His timer ran out before he could pull off the 900, but he didn’t stop.  He kept trying.  The TV cameras didn’t turn off.  No other skaters went to file a protest that Hawk was taking up their camera time.  The announcers didn’t question what they were watching.  “Just let him have another try” was all that was being said.  Then it happened.  After regulation, when it technically didn’t count, Tony Hawk landed the first 900, but it didn’t count in the competition.

The celebration that came after was amazing.  Everyone had been cheering him on, not hoping he would win, but wanting to see the trick.  That’s when it hit me: Skateboarding hadn’t actually changed, at least not at its heart.  Sure it had corporate sponsorship now and a cleaner haircut, but that spirit was still there.  Skateboarding hadn’t really changed at all.  So, if skateboarding can survive, so can cosplay.

Ultimately, the entire geek universe and culture is going through a really long growing pain.  We’ve won mainstream support.  We’re getting big flood lights pointed into our shadier areas.  A lot of things are changing; some even for the better.  Evolution can be painful, but we will survive.  Stuff like Heroes of Cosplay has happened many times before and it will happen again and again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fake Geek Girls – Scourge or Hype?


Every once in a while, I use this blog for a rant.  This is one of those times.  No cool pictures of props this time, just opinions. Long winded opinions.

Me being me, I’m typically really late to the party topic of the minute.  However, one of my favorite web comics (weregeek) has been running a series of comics covering the latest (for me) plague sweeping the convention and cosplaying world:

Fake Geek Girls  *dun dun dunnnn*

When I first saw the term, my initial reaction was “What the hell is a fake geek girl?”  After doing some research, my forehead is quite sore from slamming into my desk over what I found out.

A Fake Geek Girl is a hot girl that is not into anything nerdy or geeky, but shows up to conventions dressed in some sort of sexy costume.  These girls do not read comics, they don’t watch sci-fi, they don’t play games, but they crash our conventions and strut around all sexy and hot.  Apparently this is just another form of terrorism and must be stamped out.  Girls at conventions are OK, but they can’t be hot. If they are, they should be prepared to have their “Geek Cred” called into question and challenged constantly.

I swear, I wish I were making that up, but I’m not. 

After finding out what it was, I next had to know where it came from.

Most fingers point to Penny from The Big Bang Theory (again, I am not making this shit up).  She’s a hot girl that knows nothing about the geek culture, but hangs out with geeks because it is the new trendy thing to do.

Go back and read that again.  A fictional character, portrayed by an actress, working from a script is the source of the new Geek trend.

Now it is the in thing to do, to dress like a geek, pretend to be a geek, go see geek movies, etc. but without actually being a geek.

And this is wrong?

I’m going to put my opinions on this into two buckets:
The Geek Trend
Fake Geek Girls

I believe that the two are connected and must be addressed together.

The Geek Trend

Comic book and Tolkien movies are everywhere.  You want a successful movie, go read a comic book or a fantasy adventure book and make that into any kind of movie.  Good or bad, it will make you money at the box office.  Better yet, look for an old title and reboot it.  You’ll make money every single time.

This has led to a rise in awareness of the Geek subculture.  We’ve been here forever.  I was born a geek and I predate the Internet.  We’re not new, but we’re an untapped source of entertainment income.  We’ve been throwing money at comic books, action figures, games, dice, and replicas for years.  Someone finally noticed.

Now what that really means?  WE WON!  We freaking won people!  We’re no longer on the outside.  We ARE the trend.  We have taken over nearly every aspect of society and pop culture, and that is what is wrong, according to some.

We can’t have that chip on our shoulder anymore.  We can’t play the role of the outcast.  We can’t be bitter towards the popular crowd.  All those negative emotions we’ve carried that we’ve used to help identify ourselves as Geeks has been stripped away.  Good, I say.  Those attitudes only contribute to the negative.  They need to be removed.  Geeks can be some of the most awesome people you’ve ever met, but not when they’re all broody and gloomy.

“But, these Trendy Geeks, they aren’t real Geeks.  They are an insult.  I’ve spent my whole life reading X-Men and all the splinter universes and being unpopular for it.  Now they just walk in wearing a Wolverine T-shirt and it’s cool.  I suffered.  So should they!”

Really?  Seriously?  Let it go.  Besides, have you ever been caught up in a trend only to find that later, you actually enjoy it, but you wouldn’t have found it if it hadn’t been the trend at the moment?  Give these folks a chance.  Worst case, the trend wave changes and they go away on to the next wave.  Best case, you have a new friend to talk to that you can amaze with your knowledge of all the different X-Men back stories.

Fake Geek Girls

Trends, they bring trend followers.  In my day, the trendiest people were the popular beautiful people.  These were people to sit back and admire.  They were always there with the latest and greatest and looked amazing with them.

Now they’re wearing Portal T-shirts.  Now they’re going to see The Hobbit, not knowing it is based off a book.  These beautiful trendies, are the source of the Fake Geek Girls.  Also, notice, there is nothing in here about Fake Geek Boys.  I think we’ll see why later.

So what if you see the head cheerleader dressed as Sexy Superwoman at Dragon*Con?  Can you please explain how that is NOT a fantasy come true?  Oh, wait, it’s because she really doesn’t know about the character.  She’s just there to get attention from overweight Geek Boys and torture you with her hotness that you can never touch.

Taking a closer look at that last statement:
She’s there to get attention from overweight Geek Boys. 
Now yes, there may be a 1:1,000,000 chance that by looking hot, and working the cameras, she could get discovered by a professional photographer or a celebrity panelist walking through and thus begin her rise to fame and fortune.
That is probably the saddest thing I have ever written.  We’re talking about someone with no sense of identity.  They just drift from trend to trend, and here, they are whoring themselves out to drooling and sexually frustrated Geeks in the hope of possibly finding success.  At least that is my theory on why they would do this.  Maybe they do just get off on sexually frustrating men.  In that case, they have a great career ahead of them as a stripper. 
Either way, what is the big deal?  Why can’t we as Geeks, just stand back and at the most basic, admire the view?  Is it because this outsider is getting attention for her Halloween Express costume and you’re not getting attention for your hand made Lord Elrond costume?

Now who is the sad one?

Oh, and why are you not hissing at and running off the well built beefcake in the 300 Spartan costume.  “He’s a dude.”  Does he know that The 300 was more than a movie?  “Doesn’t matter.  He’s a dude, and from the looks of it, he could give us a convention swirly without breaking a sweat.  Let’s go back to picking on the hot chicks again.”  *sigh*

Putting the obvious misogyny aside, let’s take a look at this from an art form angle.

Like many others, I do believe cosplaying is an art form.  From making the costumes and props, to wearing them, it is all a creative process.  Even if you commission the work, you had to have the creative desire to know that you wanted to do this.  Creativity flows out of the cosplay world.

So, do these Fake Geek Girls insult and lessen the artistic value of cosplay?  I would say no more than a bad movie lessens the artistic value of film making.

I was trained and taught to be a classical artist.  At the time I went through college, comic and graffiti art, were not art.  Digital art was just commercial, and again not art.  There were still arguments going on about if photography was true art or not.  Now look how things have changed.  It is quite awesome.  However, this training has given me the ability to compartmentalize art, not qualify it as art or not art, but place it in the right category. 

I do believe anything that is created, can be called art.  However, that doesn’t mean it is all good art.  Anything can be art, but not all art is equal.  What I call good or high art, you may call trash, and vice versa.  That is the heart and soul of what art is.

So, is the half naked girl with electrical tape covering the pink bits passing out cards at the convention an art form?  By my definition, yes.  Is it good?  The last time I saw it, no.  No, it wasn’t.

Art is subjective.  In a museum, you spend time admiring the creations that move you.  Just like at a convention, you’ll spend time talking to the cosplayer that did something you think is awesome.

To sum everything up and close of this long rant:
Fake Geeks are simply a by product of Geek culture having finally taken over.  We have won the day, but we can’t enjoy it.  All these people that we spent so much time and energy being bitter toward are now surrounding us.  They are trying to speak our language, but they haven’t paid their dues like the rest of us.  They must be shunned.  Girls bear the brunt of this, because on top of the bitterness, they must carry the sexual frustrations they cause.

Growing up as a Geek, I could only admire the beautiful people, and resent them. Why were they popular? Why did they have money? How did they get that status and I didn’t?  Why do I have to learn their ways and pretend to be interested in what they say just to survive?

Know what though?

I grew up.

I got over my bitterness by seeing it for what it was.


I decided to get comfortable in my own skin.

You should too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exploring Fandom


When Melinda and I had to return early from Dragon*Con, it was very disappointing.  We had a pretty good geek-out fix, but it would have been nice to have seen it all the way through.

The first Saturday after we got back happened to be a home UT football game and we had tickets.  Now this was quite a culture shock.  Going from geek mecca to jock mecca in less than 7 days.  However, as I sat there and watched people and the game, I began to notice that the two fandoms were not that different.

Now before I get too far into this, what is fandom?  Basically fandom is just being a fan of something.  Sports fan, Sci-Fi fan, gaming fan, all are fandoms and they have all the sub-levels down to teams, movies, games, players, actors, characters, etc.  All simply fans of something.  Problem is geek fans and sport fans have never really gotten along.  Even in Atlanta with Dragon*Con fans outnumbering the sport fans nearly 20 to 1, there was hostility between the two.  Sport fans refusing to acknowledge the fascination of Dragon*Con and dismissing it as just a bunch of nerds.  However, I will try to now prove, the two fandoms are not that different at all, and both sides should just admit it and end the hostilities.


Both fandoms enjoy gatherings in large groups.  These gatherings have various activities.  What the D*C groups would call gaming and cosplay, the sport groups call corn hole and showing support.  D*C groups will gather and debate various movies, comics, games, etc. while the sport groups will debate stats, records, recruitment, etc.  See, same stuff, just different names.  Here, let me show you some pictures from the two gatherings.


IMG_6596IMG_6598IMG_6611IMG_6604 (Medium)
Crowds of people, all dressed in bright crazy colored clothes trying to get from point A to point B and hanging out in between. 

UT Football Game

IMAG0273 (2)




Crowds of people in brightly colored crazy clothes trying to get from point A to point B.  Only difference?  This group is more outdoor based.  Wow.  Huge difference isn’t it?


Yes, geek gatherings have a lot to do with costuming.  We create elaborate costumes to show off our support for our fandom and to get attention.



At the UT Game

UT Fan 1UT Fan 2UT Fan 3UT Fan 4

Fewer pictures because these guys can be hard to catch, but they’re there.

For heavens sake, both sides even have furries.

IMG_6529UT Fan 3

Sports fandom just call their furries “mascots”.

So, really, are we that different.  We all like to get together with our friends, hang out, and talk about the fandom.  Both sides are very aggressive about their support for their fandoms.  Try telling a UT fan Alabama is the better team or try telling a Trekkie that Star Wars is better.  Either could result in at least a verbal beat down.

Try thinking about that next time before you throw out the work “jock” at someone, or yell out “Get me to somewhere with sports and away from these nerds” (actual quote overheard at Dragon*Con).  We’re not all that different from each other.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spiritual Leaders vs. Fame Whores

Quick break from Fable 3 and costuming for a different kind of update. If I like this, you may see more.

A friend of mine posted this article that is a response to a rather out spoken spiritual leader. This leader’s ideas are so counter to the spirituality that he claims to believe in and lead, it is outrageous. Now, I don’t mean to go off onto a rant here, but this leader is a great example of what is wrong with all spirituality today. We basically have two kinds of spiritual leaders out there. The true leaders and teachers and the fame whores.

Anyone that is truly a modern spiritual leader or teacher typically has a very full plate. They have to take time to study and research. In the area of spirituality, this is even more time consuming than anything else. They have to worry if the teachings they are reading are correct. Intensive background studies have to be done and languages learned. Then they still have to often, thoughtfully and hopefully through guidance of another and meditation, put their own personal take on the concept in order to teach it. Once that is done, they may want to spend some time on their own spiritual walk. Then they may have to work with people that look to them for leadership and guidance. Counseling people through grief, addiction, confusion, whatever. Then they have their family and all the trappings there. Some even have a regular 9 to 5 job on top of all that. These teachers and leaders have no time left to hold press conferences or write outrageous blogs.

Now, the fame whores, they’re different. No different, than any other fame whore out there, but they decided that wearing the suit of a spiritual leader or teacher would be faster and easier than releasing a sex tape, recording themselves making drunken racial slurs, or whatever the flavor is this month. They thought they could get a larger fan base quicker by preaching spirituality. Fame whore spiritualist, or FWS as I will call them now, have plenty of time on their hands. They don’t worry about correct interpretations of scriptures. They don’t worry about reading their entire spiritual book from cover to cover. They just sit down and pick and choose what they want as it fits into their own plan, much like someone at a buffet. FWS has lots of free time to hold press conferences, update blogs, market themselves, and make lots of noise. None of the trappings of a true leader or teacher apply to them, even though they wear the same coat.

Herein lays the problem. Noise = ratings = people = money. We see and hear about FWS every single day. They make the noise, they get the TV time. Right or wrong, the real leaders and teachers are too busy leading and teaching to come out and counter these FWS, and even if they had the time, it would be a dangerous thing to do. One could easily fall in love with the attention and slip into a FWS. I have done my best not to single out any spirituality here, because like rednecks, FWS are everywhere. We as spiritual followers and seekers must be ever vigilant and testing of our chosen leaders and teachers. Questioning and challenging them at every turn. If they are a true leader and teacher, they will welcome this, and we must stick with them and our job as a seeker. If they are a FWS, well, they’ll likely kick you out of the flock for any reason that comes to mind.