Once and the Real World

Something I really need to get off my chest is the sheer comparison of Once and the world we live in today. I know many of you viewed my post yesterday entitled “Outcry of Lost Souls.” What I did when I wrote the post was take a voyage all the way back to the year 2010, when my interest and curiosity of the world’s problems finally overtook me. I had to dig deep and revert back to my nineteen year old self and get into that mindset.

Sure, much has changed since I was nineteen. For instance, my political views at the time leaned towards modern-day liberalism and today I’m very, very libertarian, so yesterday’s post reflected that view of my political perspectives I possess today. Back when I was nineteen, I was a history major, minoring in political science, and this was virtually my way of dissecting the past. Sure, my love of fitness and the gym would overtake that, mainly because it’s nearly impossible to end up with a decent paying job with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and graduate school is most definitely a must. So here I am, seven years later, with a Bachelor of Science in Wellness and Fitness, a program from California University of Pennsylvania which I highly recommend to all looking to break into the world of fitness.

I literally had zero idea of where the book was headed at the time, and after writing several initial drafts and erasing every single page at least a half dozen times, I finally created and developed characters to my liking. Spoiler alert: the only character to remain unchanged is Lira Ross, though her backstory changed substantially, and if I’m ever as famous as J.K. Rowling or Robert Jordan I’ll be more than happy to share my initial character outlines. In fact, even as recently as March, 2015, I still lacked direction for the work. It wasn’t until I was halfway through writing Comeback Kid during the 2016 Spring Semester did I finally unearth a plot that I could stick with. Spoiler alert: the plot outline was right in front of me for over eleven years. Yes, I love being vague.

As mentioned previously and implied yesterday for you code breakers, I wanted to give you all a quick rundown on some real world themes of Once. Many of these themes and issues are seen every single day of our lives. While Conservative America and Liberal America engage in an endless debate on how to provide effective solutions to these problems, myself and plenty more experienced and budding authors have already provided them. Put it this way, when someone asks me a fitness related question and I provide an answer, they will embark my answer to fit their goals. When they ask me how I knew a particular variable was so effective as it pertained to their goals, I simply reply that “I read a few books in my life.” I love politicians, because the answers are typically right in front of them, but something tells me only the father-son duo of Ron and Rand Paul have ever taken time out of their busy lives to actually read the bills that are potentially being passed into laws.

What kind of problems do we face both at home and abroad, that I’m trying to get off my chest in Once? Let us begin!

  1. I’m going to begin with a little bit of fun here, because Once is actually an allegory that stands for something else. While much of the series is rather serious with dark meanings and themes attached to it, there is a certain something in the world of sports I would love to see happen. One of my beta-readers actually saw through this relatively quickly and I admitted the truth! All in all, if you love sports, you may just want to pick up the book and read, because there is much, much more than harsh realities that must be dealt with.
  2. It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. These are famous words, made into a book title by Judge Andrew Napolitano. Great libertarian, great judge, greater writer, great visionary, is Judge Napolitano. Back in 2012 I decided to pick up his book and read it, along with Ron Paul’s Manifesto, as well as End the Fed. After reading these works in addition to works written by famous economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard (Rothbard’s works are shocking and somewhat frightening), I read Joseph Campbell’s Hero with A Thousand Faces. This was done after I had all but given up on writing Once, since it just appeared to have been too much of a chess game. After reading these awesome works, however, the challenge was back on, but stagnation and frustration still accompanied.
  3. Sure, the Southpoint Empire is based off past empires, but heed warning, as I also wanted to point the finger at any possible future empire and warn any potential superpower. My underlying question is this: Is it really necessary for any country, at any given time, to spread influence to other countries that may or may not want this influence? Be it positive or negative. What typically comes with empirical ambitions? What is the byproduct of oppression, colonization, and invasion, for the good or the bad? War, suffering, uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate. While writing Once, my goal was to make a point, and a point to allow all nations of the world to govern themselves.
  4. Uncertainty is something I already touched up on, but I really wish to give it its own section, since it is a key player. With any conflict that is either brewing or picking up solid steam, uncertainty evolves. Who is attacking? When are they coming? Will it be without warning or are the signs in place? If so, what are the signs? Why is this happening? How is it coming to happen? Where are they coming from? How will they reach us? Should we attack or defend? What are they expecting? There is so much uncertainty in the piece of work, but it relates so very well to real life. Think about the world we live in today and the uncertainty we’ve seen both at home and abroad for well over a century. I like to think of our modern day period of uncertainty in relations to the rest of the world beginning in 1898. Some say it started in 1913, with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, but I’m going with the Spanish-American War. Here is my own personal timeline on America’s uncertainty both here in the States and with the rest of the world.

1898: Spanish-American War is fought after America blames Spain for sinking the U.S.S. Maine.

1913: Creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, which would eventually lead to the demolition of the gold standard.

1917: After remaining neutral, America enters World War I, on the side of the Allied Powers.

1919: Treaty of Versailles is signed, imposing harsh sanctions on Germany, who was blamed by the Allied Powers for instigating World War I. League of Nations is created soon after in 1920.

1929: The Great Depression affects the world.

1933: Third Reich begins in Germany, causing terror throughout Europe.

1939: World War II begins.

1941: America declares war on Japan, and later Germany.

1945: World War II ends, Cold War begins.

Okay, so here is where it gets really interesting, because the Cold War begins total and complete uncertainty in the relationship between two superpowers, who then proceeded to gather allies. One superpower influenced the West, while another spread ideas to what would become known as the East Bloc. From 1946 until 1991, America and the rest of the world has seen:

  1. Divisiveness in both the world and within nations.
  2. Terrorism.
  3. Usurpation of many individual rights both at home and abroad, while the idea of collectivism has run rampant, even invading the West. A very good example would be the European Union, which is now showing signs of crumbling as many feel they’ve lost their national identity in what has become a collectivist society. Britain exited the European Union last year and there are rumors that the Netherlands may soon follow suit.
  4. Strained relationships between the United States and the Soviet Union, and if one were expand to today, Russia.
  5. Distractions, most notably distractions from a domestic standpoint, which have really gained steam since the early 2000’s, however, a good starting point for domestic distractions may have begun with the counterculture movement of the 1960’s. However, what invoked the counterculture movement? The Vietnam War. A major and controversial world event, which conscripted young men (typically of lower class) to fight on the front lines. If there were ever a nation so divided in our history, the Vietnam War would rank in the top three, next to The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Iraq War (2003-2011). Yet something spawned from the Vietnam War, and this is a very key point many people tend to miss, and this is the counterculture movement, which has evolved into dozens of counterculture movements of today, directly in the face of uncertainty. Look, I’m not going to state what these counterculture movements are and whether I’m for or against them, because it isn’t the topic of this post. What I’m stating is that domestic movements typically distract us from uncertainty, which comes in the hands of political agendas, act as distractions from what may really be happening at the moment. Really think deep and look at the current events, and what is really going on. Look over the domestic movements for a moment, and tell me two things that are going on at this very moment that are uncertain to the rights and freedoms of the people. If you answered a wall on the southern border and a 54 billion dollar hike in defense spending (uh, your tax dollars, in other words), you’ve answered correctly.

I really wanted to explain number five in depth, because it really relates to Once. You are going to see the main points and main plots many times, as they’re recurring throughout the work. What is also recurring? Distraction, distraction, distraction. Go back to my number one point, because you’re going to see this distracting allegory several times through. In fact, there will be other topics that may be relevant to the work, but it’ll pique your interest to the point where it nearly gets out of hand. So, with all of this being said, I would like you to do one more thing, and count the words to this post, because there is a reason for doing so, and it’s also a distraction to it as well.

One night, the clock struck twelve.

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