Willfully Ignorant

Let’s face it: there are a lot of unintelligent people in this world.

Being ignorant – that is to say, uninformed or lacking knowledge – may have some genetic basis for certain people. Or perhaps they have some mental condition that inhibits learning. They may have a low IQ. In those situations, ignorance can be excused as a preexisting condition not entirely within the control of the ignorant person, who may or may not aspire to improve their situation.

But there’s an epidemic sweeping this country right now of what I like to call willful ignorance. Normal people of average or above-average intelligence actually willfully accepting misinformation and displaying an almost allergic reaction to the notion of using their brain to reason and rationalize.

Example: the other morning I was out to breakfast with my lovely wife. The waitress was down the way talking to other customers about President Obama. The slant of their conversation was decidedly anti-Obama, but the rationale behind it bordered on absurd. The waitress mentioned that the Obamas hadn’t been invited to the Royal wedding and she found it amusing that the British monarchy obviously had such a dim view of the President. Now, rather than actually take five minutes and figure out that the Obamas were not the only heads-of-state that hadn’t been invited, or consider the notion that by attending the wedding they would only be increasing the pressure on an already over-taxed security service, this waitress simply accepted the the first notion that entered her head and used that to buttress her own negative feelings about Obama. In other words, instead of acquiring the correct information, she simply assumed (falsely) a number of things that made her own kneejerk stupidity sound plausible.

Example 2: let’s talk about Obama’s birth certificate. The rallying cry of these same willfully ignorant people has been that Obama wasn’t born in the US. This is so utterly ridiculous on so many levels, it’s fairly comical how stupid this theory is. I mean, really. The President of the United States undergoes a security background check that would leave most people quivering in their boots. Given the unprecedented access the President has to our nation’s most trusted secrets, is it even remotely intelligent to suggest that this guy hasn’t been so thoroughly scrutinized that the birth certificate issue wouldn’t have been addressed years ago?

No, and it’s frankly pretty damned stupid to suggest there’s a conspiracy afoot to bend the rules for one guy to gain access to the highest office in the land. Come on, already. Do any of these birther conspiracy nuts even have one iota of knowledge about what happens during a background investigation? Or how many people are involved in carrying it out? Too many to keep quiet, that’s for damned sure.

But again, rather than use their brain to reason this out, the willfully ignorant choose to ignore common sense and knowledge because doing so would refute their kneejerk subjective opinions about a topic that they feel strongly about.

In Ninjutsu – and likewise in many modern intelligence operations – operatives were taught to be able to objectively report on situations and circumstances. The frontline agents were not expected to form opinions about what they were assigned to uncover. They were simply supposed to report back what they saw. It was then up to the wiser higher-ups to determine what those frontline reports meant and how they might be construed. A lack of objectivity in reporting intelligence leads to faulty assumptions, inaccurate data, and catastrophic repercussions.

As a modern-day student of Ninjutsu, I try to always view things objectively – I gather facts and data and then make up my mind independently about what these things mean to me. Basing a belief system on kneejerk reactionary thought isn’t wise. Nor is it revolutionary.

It is simplemindedness masquerading as zealotry, pseudo-patriotism, and idiocy.

More people than ever before seem willing to put their brain on screensaver mode because it’s too hard to think, or it takes too much time to engage the gray matter. They want their world condensed into tidy sound bites that echo their primal, childlike fears. This makes them feel secure in their beliefs and they’d rather be willfully ignorant than risk being challenged and forced to use the ol’ noggin.

We’ve seen the results of such a mindset. More nutjobs are entering politics than ever before. And they’re winning seats in power because they know that most people simply will not take the time to research them or find out the disturbing truth about them. The willfully ignorant allow themselves to be controlled via their primal reactionary subjectivity. This mindset of willful ignorance is dangerous and more than anything else we’re facing right now, this alone can reduce our great nation to the laughing stock of the global community.

Objective, rational thought is what is desperately needed in the United States of America.

Don’t be willfully ignorant. Don’t be swayed by fear and conspiracy theory and all those other little things that tug at you like the strings on a marionette. Remember: if you really believe you’re intelligent, then you are required to use your brain in an objective manner to fully discover facts and truth before deciding on a conclusion. If all you’re doing is listening to talking heads and regurgitating mindless fear-speak, then you’re not using your brain…

…you’re being controlled.

How does such a thing relate to self-protection? Very easily. If I know, for example, that you’re a rabid anti-Obama Tea Partier, and I have to take you out, I might be inclined to use that to my advantage. If I want you to make the first move, I might suggest that Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread and infuriate you with my glowing praise of our President. I know that with enough talk, I can get you to flip out and commit to making an attack.

Or maybe, I want to get closer to you. So I take the opposite approach. I rave about what a crook Obama is and how he’s ruining the country. All the while, I subtly draw the distance down between us until I’m in your kill zone. But you don’t see me as a threat because, after all, I’m appealing to your subjective mindset. And before you realize the danger, it’s too late.

And really, it’s just that easy. Those are only two examples of methods I could use on a one-on-one situation to take you out. Can you imagine how many more methods there are for controlling the masses based on appealing to a subjective mindset such as what willful ignorance encourages? Objective, rational thought is the enemy of mass mind control. If you’re truly interested in self-protection, you owe it to yourself to see that ALL of your tools are fully developed – not just the punches, kicks, joint locks, and throws.

Real self-protection begins with your mind. Keep it girded in the armor of objective, rational thought that allows truth to shine through. Willful ignorance is like a rust that undermines the integrity of everything you rely upon for protection.

Don’t compromise your safety.

Amazon’s German Kindle Store

I’m thrilled that Amazon has now opened up its new German Kindle store – and already, my Lawson Vampire series is out and available for mass consumption. As of this morning, they had just about every Lawson adventure there, except for THE ENCHANTER, but I epxect that should be available shortly.

As someone making a significant income each month from my independently published titles on Amazon and Barnes&Noble, this latest news is fantastic. It’s yet another platform to sell ebooks on, and yet another market I can enter into and reach new fans. The books are still in English, of course, but given that there are many English-speaking Germans, I’m hoping to reach a majority of them and get them hooked on Lawson. And this, of course, helps also with the building of a global community ready to devour Lawson on the television as well.

Here’s the link to the full press release from Amazon.

Tax Time Escape

So, it’s tax time yet again for Americans and this season usually produces a lot of stress and anxiety.

I’m happy to report that I and a select group of caring, compassionate authors are here to help with our very own Tax Time Escape program.

What exactly is the Tax Time Escape program? It’s very simple: we’ve slashed the prices on some of our novels to the cheapest possible price allowed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble – 99 CENTS each.

That’s right, great reads from an amazing group of writers – and each for the paltry sum of just 99 pennies.

Whose involved in this Tax Time Escape? Feast your eyes on the writers listed below…

Obviously, I am. And I’ve chosen my supernatural thriller Vicarious to be included in this program. Here’s the brief description of this chilling little tale set in Boston. “When disgraced ex-FBI agent-turned-Boston-cop Steve Curran finds a corpse with no practical explanation for its death, the nightmares start again. Convinced the serial killer that caused his expulsion from the Bureau is once again haunting him, Curran soon learns his theories are all wrong. When the sister of the latest victim, Lauren Fields, uncovers an old journal detailing the hunt for a creature known only as the Soul Eater, she and Curran must confront the very real prospect that the killer is not of this world at all – and that his motives have little to do with killing, but all to do with something far, far worse.”

You can get VICARIOUS for the Kindle by clicking on the cover or HERE and you can also get it for the Nook by clicking HERE.

Willie Meikle is a fantastic writer of various genres and his latest is every bit a nail-biter. From Willie, here’s the description: “Patty is a cataloguer of rare manuscripts, working on part of a newly discovered journal of a 14th Century alchemist. Just another dull day on the job. But after mentioning it in her blog she gets to the office to find everyone brutally murdered. Now she’s on the run with the incomplete journal, trying to find the rest, pursued by a killer who wants the secret of eternal life it contains. ”

Grab THE CONCORDANCES OF THE RED SERPENT for the Kindle by clicking the cover shot above or clicking HERE and you can get it for the Nook by clicking HERE.

Steve Savile is one of those writers who comes up with ideas you wish you’d thought of, plus he just so happens to be a damned good friend of mine. His offering is OUTCAST and from Steve, here’s the description: “Outcast is a document humane charting the descent of an ordinary man into a murky underworld of very human monsters, grief and madness as he wrestles to come to terms with who he is and just what he is capable of in the name of love. Ask yourself this: how do you fight a monster no one else can see?”

Check out OUTCAST for the Kindle by clicking the cover shot above or clicking HERE. It’s unfortunately not available on the Nook just yet.

Twilight Scam on Facebook

There’s a massive scam happening on Facebook right now involving a Twilight Breaking Dawn game. Do NOT click on it because it apparently hacks your account and attacks your friends. Worst of all, it opens you up to ridicule from people who see that you actually like the Twilight series. 🙂

The single best way to combat this threat is to read my Lawson Vampire series. Like, say, the latest novel in the series that goes back to the 1970s when Lawson and Zero are dispatched to Madagascar to track down a skeleton in the Council’s closet with roots running back to World War II. Its awesomeness will easily trump any Twilight scam and you can be proud that reading Lawson is like saying to the world, “I rock the casbah and so does Lawson.” In fact, you can grab THE ENCHANTER just by clicking the cover here—>

And here’s another way to show your pride on Facebook: grab this anti-Twilight scam banner and fly it proud! (just right click and “save as” or Mac users can Control + click to save)

Remember: I’m here to help. 🙂

Lots of News

So, this past Friday at 9pm, we launched the all-new, all-awesome website for THE FIXER. This is THE place to go for all things Lawson Vampire – the TV show, the book series, everything. We also debuted the new 30-second teaser clip, which you can see just by clicking on the screen shot to the left.

AND on top of that, we also debuted the brand new ebook THE ENCHANTER. You might know this better as THE MADAGASCAR MATTER project that I ran as a subscription only serialized piece a year or so back. The problem was, the story took on a life of its own and blossomed into a full-fledged novel of 81,000 words. So I turned it into THE ENCHANTER and put it out. The book is a Lawson adventure from the late 1970s when he’s in Madagascar with his former mentor Zero to run down a skeleton in the Council’s closet with roots running back to World War II. Fun stuff. It’s out for the Kindle and the Nook, or you can grab it on THE FIXER website, too.

And we have much more planned. This week, I’m working on THE SHEPHERD, a special Lawson novella written for some very special folks. That should be out soon. And then we’ll be debuting the extended cut of the teaser clip out on THE FIXER website. Look for that by the end of the week,hopefully.

More media attention is brewing. I have a lunchtime interview today, so that should be fun. It comes on the heels of a nice piece in the Boston Herald a week or so back.

Tons of other stuff happening right now. I’ll talk about it when I can.