Dark of the Moon

Here’s an idea for poem number 2. In a nutshell: life also evolved on the moon; it has water and an atmosphere; the landmass is concentrated on what Earth-dwellers call the dark side of the moon, meaning that the sentient life forms that evolve on the moon never see the Earth. Eventually they develop the technology to sail over the horizon, and finally see the Earth rising up out of the sea before them. This poem is about what that moment would be like.

Outline:

1. we’re on the moon

an orb – a brother or cousin – spinning – dancing – hurtling – inevitable dance of the eons – near yet always out of reach

that brother orb or cousin, spinning in an inevitable dance for eons

Conceive a place from us forever hidden

An eons long dance our back always turned

Instead of above ideas, let’s go with the command – command – question format

“Conceive a world eternally turned away

as lovers in an eons long fight without possibility of reconciliation

2. life has evolved

conceive of life evolving there as on Earth – water and atmosphere – recipe for life fulfilled

conceive of its recipe for life fulfilled with air and water

“Conjoined at birth and no man with the art to render assunder

as though cruel sutures of flesh binding them yet keeping them apart

3. parallels the Earth in many ways / 6. sentient life evolves but never sees the Earth

life emerges, evolves – epoch upon epoch – sentient life similar to humans appears

from those countless epochs a beast emerges with the will to rise and seize its own destiny

4. land masses are concentrated on the far side of the moon / 5. tidally locked orbits

it rises to view the cosmos but cannot see the elder brother, trapped on the far side of the tidally locked moon

7. millenia pass

millenia fade into history as the epoch turns

8. technology reaches a point where long-distance ocean travel is possible

the will to master destiny spawns marvels of technology

9. we’ve built a magnificent ship

ship metaphors – tall, wood, brass, canvas, hemp

10. we sail over that final horizon

finally able to conquer the final horizon, escape the prison

11. our mathematicians have assured us its existence

what has been known mathematically for centuries

12. our astronomers have yearned to see it

what has been discovered again and again in the imaginings of the astronomers

“ancient watchtowers rising out of the surf holding aloft observatories for those would would stand with strained eyes and toes for a glimpse”

13. but when we do finally see it rising out of the horizon

those few who mastered their fears and strode to the world’s end and beyond

“all the waves abased before it like suplicants before some mad king”

“to that strange court our vessel was an ambassador from some rude land of dirt and clay”

14. will we be able to emotionally handle the experience

nothing could prepare us – rising out of the horizon like the unblinking eye of a wrathful god

15. or will we flee from it or hurl ourselves into the water

overwhelming – the kind of horror that only an excess of beauty can communicate – the weak collapse in worship – the strong case themselves into the deep

I think I’ll go for iambic pentameter on this. (da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM). Rhyme scheme… aa bb?

Idea for structure: 4 or 6 line stanzas (6 works I think), 3 of them, last line is a question, possibly last two lines

Stanza 1: set up the situation

Stanza 2: embarking on voyage, armed with mathematics

Stanza 3: revelation

And I Don’t Even Know It

My short story is due in a week, so I should really be working on that. But instead I’m stuck thinking about this poem that isn’t due for a month. Oh well.

“In the Menagerie”

Stanza 1: introduce the scene, a man with his son in a zoo (but it’s an alien man and alien zoo)

Stanza 2: the human cities

they had cities very much akin to those mounds of grit and organic secretions one observes in any number of insectoids

wherein the hunched and agorophobic lurked under fragile roofs and within fragile walls and burned lumps of their planet they had dug up for the purpose

coughing over the fumes and pouring filth into their skies

Stanza 3: charity

malevolent in their ignorance

worshipping life so that they cheapen it

valuable only for quantity and nothing for quality

Stanza 4: reproduction

The men celebratory

for their protomatter issued as a twisting knot of snakes writhing in some dismal defile

The women celebratory

as they cure their infection by disgorging a parasite of screams and want

Stanza 5: closing

The slaughterer and the slaughtered both beseeched the same god

But he didn’t love them enough to save them from themselves

And he sure as Hell didn’t love them enough to save them from us

But even millenia of atrocity can produce some good

As a lesson for us as we stand here now

And see the brute, declawed and naked

A monkey in a cage

 

I’ll be returning to this post periodicaly to work on this poem. Currently it’s too obvious and the ideas are expanded upon enough. Plus I need a good opening and a better closing.

Allegory

I’m fascinated by George Orwell, and to a lesser extent Ayn Rand. These are authors who turned to creative writing in order to make a strong point, a point that likely would have been lost if they had just tried to communicate it by writing a letter or expository essay or something like that. George Orwell was a master of the allegory. In Animal Farm he was able to make a very deliberate and compelling statement about Stalinist Russia, and about dictatorship in general, using a story about pigs on a farm. To me, that’s amazing. It’s truly amazing to see how potent a statement can be made by taking characters, events, and concepts, and simply substituting them with something else. I suppose it’s a way of simplifying things; people can relate to the conflict between pigs on a farm more easily than the conflict between historic political factions in another country, and so the issue can be brought to a level that’s compelling and meaningful to the everyman.

One of my projects-in-waiting is what I hope will be a successful allegory. (Successful in the sense that it will be completed and will appropriately expand on the ideas it’s meant to be an allegory of, not so much successful in the sense of making any money). The concept I want to allegorize is prohibition. To me, the current laws on drug possession and use are fundamentally identical to the laws during the prohibition years in the 20s and 30s. Prohibition, of course, was a miserable failure. It did nothing to stop people from drinking, but it did create a booming business for organized crime. It also drove up the value of alcohol to the point that people were bootlegging it themselves, which resulted in all sorts of people dying and going blind from alcohol poisoning. I guess it’s a little like making abortion illegal. Some people think that’s a good idea, because they think people shouldn’t have abortions. What they fail to acknowledge is that making something illegal doesn’t actually stop it, it just drives it underground where dangerous criminal activity springs up to supply the demand.

I think this concept is rich for an allegory. My idea, not all the original I know, is to use magic as the allegory for alcohol, drugs, abortion, or any substance or activity made illegal that probably shouldn’t be. I should make a comment here about the difference between a drug being illegal and something like murder being illegal. To me, if there’s a victim, then it’s appropriate that we have a law to protect the rights of the victim. When there’s no victim, there should be no law. There’s a lot of grey area there, I know, because people would argue that drug users are victims and aborted fetuses are victims, and so forth. But I dont’ want to write forever about this, just let me say that some laws have victims and some don’t, and the ones that don’t shouldn’t be laws.

So I’d like to spend some time, likely in a future post, drafting ideas for this allegory. What I need to do is brainstorm a crapload of concepts around prohibition and its effects and start allegorizing them. You know, I should get a book about prohibition…

 

Let’s Give This a Try…

Here’s the outline, then, for Part at Steve’s!

  1. Steve is on his balcony, waiting for guests to arrive — change: the party has started, many guests are there, Steve has escaped to the balcony
  2. He observes the view and notes a homeless man in the alley
  3. His girlfriend, Nancy, arrives, they talk briefly about the party — change: Nancy pokes her head out the balcony door, the talk briefly, she goes back in
  4. Nancy goes into the apartment to prepare, Steve notes a group of young men entering the alley
  5. Guests arrive: Darrel and Dick, a gay couple from Nancy’s work
  6. Darrel and Dick come on to the balcony and with Steve observe the thugs harassing the homeless man, they make light of the situation
  7. Party is growing in intensity: louder, talking giving way to laughter and some dancing as alcohol kicks in, possibly drugs
  8. Third guest arrives: Cheryl, a friend of Nancy’s, they stay in the apartment talking — change: mention her, possibly, she’s been there all along
  9. Fourth guest arrives: Cody, friend of Steve’s from work, he pauses to admire Cheryl before joining Steve on the balcony, they watch the conflict below and then discuss Cheryl, with Cody expressing romantic interest (although he’s only just met her)
  10. Fifth guest arrives: Jesse, metro sexual and resident of the same building, friend of Steve and Nancy’s, Jesse is an object of desire for Darrel and Dick, seeing him arrive, Darrel and Dick go into the apartment, leaving Steve and Cody on the balcony, who then discuss Cheryl
  11. Guests continue to arrive the fight in the alley builds in intensity
  12. Party builds as well: someone has turned the music up, guests are dancing, making out
  13. Nancy and Cheryl come onto the balcony, all four observe the fight, Cheryl is disturbed, hugs herself, Cody escorts her back inside
  14. Jesse comes onto balcony, observes conflict with Steve and Nancy, remarks on safety of building/neighbourhood, need for security
  15. Others come onto balcony, remark on party, observe conflict below, remark on conflict
  16. Steve goes into the apartment for a beer, also to check on Cody and Cheryl, can’t find them, checks his bedroom, they are fucking on his bed
  17. The balcony is crowded now, Steve can hear someone taking bets, Nancy’s face is lit with an orange glow
  18. Steve comes out, pushes to the rail, below the young men are running off, homeless man is on fire, thrashing about on the ground
  19. Party-goers remark on scene below, a number express disgust and go back into the apartment, the homeless man is dragging himself across the alley, someone offers to take bets he doesn’t make it as far as the dumpster
  20. Assorted comments, as the homeless man dies and the fire dies down so does the party
  21. Steve sees Cody leave, shortly afterward Cheryl appears as if looking for Cody, then she too leaves, appearing distraught, various other party-goers leave, Darrel and Dick leave with Jesse
  22. Nancy says she isn’t spending the night, also leaves
  23. Steve observes the charred corpse, then goes in and retires for the night after cleaning up the worst of the mess
  24. Closing is brief, something like, “Steve checked the morning news before he left for work; there was no mention of the incident.”

Does it work? I still think it might suck, but I can try writing it out.

 

Outline Extravaganza

I’m going to try an experiment here, using Star Wars.

Theme: redemption. Redemption is always possible and always worthwhile because no matter how far you’ve fallen and how despicable you’ve become, there remains the option to renounce that life and become something worthwhile again – although that journey can be difficult and costly, or even fatal.

Setting: future-fantasy; another galaxy, another time, high-tech… elements of mysticism and magic.

Characters: Darth Vader is the main character, represents the fallen despicable person who must be redeemed; other characters: Luke, his son, is the redeemer; Obi-Wan, Yoda, act as guides for Luke; Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Wedge, Lando, various others, are Luke’s friends, allow for sub-plots and flesh out the setting; the Emperor, is the dark influence, the embodiment of what Vader must overcome.

Plot outline: Vader starts off as the innocent and idealistic Anakin Skywalker, born with the ability to wield enormous power. Over time he developes his power, but his own weaknesses make him susceptible to influence by the evil Emperor. After committing a series of increasingly evil acts, Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. Years pass and his son, Luke, hidden from Vader since birth, is also coming into similar power. Yoda and Obi-Wan guide Luke on a journey to overcome the influence of evil and redeem Vader. In the finale, Vader refuses to destroy his son, and turns on the Emperor, killing him. The battle is fatal to Vader as well, but he and Luke reconcile before Vader’s death.

Done. Well, not done, but outlined in rough. Of course, it would take hundreds of thousands of words to tell the whole story. And to flesh it out, there’s all sort of sub-plots: Han Solo, who has to overcome his selfishness to defeat his enemies and win the love of a princess; Lando, who starts off as a betrayer only to redeem himself and become a hero; the galactic conflict with the Empire and the heroic Rebel Alliance. It all adds up to a pretty good story.

So what was the point of this little experiment? What I’m hoping to do is to be able to use this as a guide for sculpting a reasonably worthwhile outline for a story of my own. The concept is that the initial theme is simple, but in order to tell the story, a rich setting is developed, memorable characters are introduced, and an engrossing plot is built.

Let’s try, with Party at Steve’s!

Theme: nihilism. People tend to place a lot of importance on their beliefs and outlooks on life, but ultimately we’re all just fragile creatures barely functioning above the most instinctive levels, and none of our opinions and beliefs has any real lasting meaning or importance.

Setting: modern-day; limited setting features Steve’s condo apartment and balcony and the alley below.

Characters: Steve is the main character, he represents the person with beliefs and ideals – he’s a yoga instructor and vegan for example – who will find that his beliefs are pretty trivial; Nancy is his girlfriend, believing much the same things, but she is a hollow person and her presence and dialogue show the emptiness behind clinging to subscription belief systems (note that she isn’t stupid or vapid, she simply doesn’t think for herself, rather she believes whatever popular trends tell her to believe); various party guests, these people each represent a snapshot of some moral take on the situation, some are horrified and sickened, some are apathetic, some actively cheer things on, some question others but do nothing themselves.

Plot outline: Steve is having a party at his condo. Before the party he is on his balcony watching a homeless man in the alley below. The party slowly starts as guests start to arrive. In the alley, a group of thugs has begun to harrass the homeless man. The party and the altercation in the alley both build in intensity, written in a loose, parallel structure, with guests observing and remarking on the incident in the alley in between events at the party. Although a wide range of reactions and opinions is given, no one thinks to intervene or call the police. Eventually, the homeless man is beaten nearly to death and is lit on fire. As the fire burns down and the man dies, Steve’s party also winds down and ends.

Grumble grumble. I’m still torn as to if there’s anything here worth writing. Maybe I’ll launch into a full outline and see if I can make something comprehensible out of this. Somehow I’m not sure if that theme is going to shine through the plot. I think I need a bunch of party guests so I can show different examples of “subscription morality” and examine a hypocritical reaction of these people as they profess one belief but act in a completely diffident manner to the occurrences.

 

Themefest

Well I’m one and a half weeks from needing a completed piece of fiction. Alright, not completed, but outlined with 4 – 8 pages written, and written well enough that I won’t be embarrassed to show them to a room full of people.

I’m turning over the idea of Party at Steve’s! in my head still. I’m starting to think that would make a better poem than a story. Well… no, it would probably be a better story, but this class requires 3 poems and only one story, so I might bump Party at Steve’s! to poem status. I think I would do a sort of Synchronicity II sort of idea, with one stanza being about the party-goers doing their thing, and the next being about the homeless guy in the alley outside, and as the party climbs in intensity so does the encounter between the homeless guy and the gang, culminating in the homeless guy being burned to death and the gang joining the party. Anyhow, it has some potential.

So that leaves me back at the starting point for a story. I’m thinking of going back to the human breeds idea. Basically, the theme is that all of mankind’s beliefs and governments and morals amounts to not very much – it’s all entirely transitory and can disappear in an instant. So in the story aliens take over the Earth and (over several millenia) humans become like dogs. So instead of one “breed” of humans, there are dozens that have different appearances and mannerisms and abilities. I think I would even name them after dog breeds, so there would be hounds, spaniels, retrievers, and so on. Some humans would have “jobs” in the sense that some dogs have jobs, like guarding and so on, but most would just be companions.

Ideas:

  • In general, humans can’t speak, but some breeds could be taught like parrots to mimic the aliens’ tongue… could be a good ending? Kind of horrific: “Mom I taught Buddy to speak, watch!” “Oh, that’s cute son; he’s going to be so much fun.” “Yeah, he is… but sometimes he doesn’t talk right; sometimes it sounds like he has his own language.” In the next room Buddy, curled into a ball on his bed, mutters to the wall, “can’t anyone remember? Can’t anyone stop this? Please kill me.” No, actually it would be better if Buddy was at a kennel… or a ‘human’ park or something – he’s learned to talk again and he’s among a group of humans of various breeds all sniffing and licking each other as they bound around him, and he’s looking at them all saying, “can’t any of you remember? Can’t anyone stop this?” It’s got potential as an ending.
  • Too much like Planet of the Apes? Might be.
  • Work backwards from the end… how to outline the story to build the theme… if the theme is disintegration of everything –  society, morals, culture – can I just show the end result? These dog-people wandering around?
  • The aliens hold our accomplishments in contempt: they have exhibits of our society the way we would display a wasp nest or ant hill. They dismiss us as so primitive there was never anything for them to learn from us. Instead, our rudimentary intellects were determined to be only advanced enough for us to destroy ourselves, but never to accomplish anything of lasting value, therefore we were enslaved. Need to develop this; did the aliens view us as having ‘rudimentary’ intellect, or were we so far behind them they didn’t even see it as that. Maybe our cities looked like anthills or wasp nests to them, and our armies and weapons were like monkeys throwing their own shit. Good metaphor there, maybe work it in.
  • Humans are given dog names for the reader’s benefit – helps reader understand that humans are just pets. Buddy, Spot, Rover, Yeller… any Ceaser Millan references? No, that’s a bad idea.
  • Main alien character is Buddy’s owner. He wants to be a veterinarian… always trying to learn more about humans, provides an opportunity to walk the reader through the different breeds and the history of what happened.
  • Need to continue outline – this one might need a bit of a plot… not much though. Buddy thinks he’s going to be put down – end up at the human park instead… no, doesn’t work. Day-in-the-life maybe? Nothing huge in terms of plot, but rather a mundane day where Buddy is surrounded by wonders but understands none of them, just sniffs things and licks his butt and hopes to be taken to the park.
  • That calls for some imagination – alien tech is outlines in abstract terms; human intelligence to the aliens is like dog intelligence to humans, so they have unbelievable – and not understandable – tech. Frame in terms of basic needs when looked at by humans.

 

Scratches

her head with the appearance of having been beaten ferociously with a heavy copper sauce pan

but for that beautiful nonetheless

and within that fractured, wrong dome a memory

 

I need to outline this a lot more, and come up with a cohesive theme. The basic structure is that each stanza outlines a memory of someone, who in turn remembers someone else, and it all ends with something like

and within that mind lies memories I can not say.

 

So the structure seems sound — I’d like to use a proper meter, probably iambic pentameter, or maybe something exotic — no rhyming I don’t think, although I think I’d like to have an audible structure as well: like moon and turn, if you end sentences with them it doesn’t rhyme, but it’s close and they share some auditory traits; well, they’re the same length and they end in ‘n’ which is close enough for me.

But what the fuck is this poem about, anyway? I thought I was going to develop themes first and then content and structure. Thoughts:

  • each stanza outlines a memory of a person or place (maybe not place)
  • each stanza ends introducing the next memory – so the poem is a memory within a memory within a memory… et cetera
  • some stanzas like the one above highlight physical characteristics – I guess whatever would be most memorable about the character; could be physical or emotion, or an event “of Magdalena who walked among flowers always barefoot and foolish and laughing at thorns and blood” or something that doesn’t suck at least
  • and a theme. Theme theme theme theme

Requires more thought / work, but has potential

Other poems:

  1. a poem about “Slimy to the Moon,” my D&D adventure about a town taken over by oozes – very likely come across as a horror
  2. a poem about the other adventure about a war between angels and demons orchestrated by agents of pure chaos – likely come across as a Divine Comedy knock-off

 

Now With a Purpose

So this is the morning after my first creative writing class. Good experience so far. Here’s the important part: I need to submit a piece of prose in 2 weeks and a piece of poetry a couple of weeks after that. Poetry! Actually, I think it’s three pieces of poetry. The idea is that the class is basically a workshop where the class critiques each others’ work – so the class before your work is being “workshopped” you bring in enough copies of your work for everyone to read and then the next week the slaughter commences.

With that in mind, I need to get cracking on a piece of prose here. Actually, before that I need to have a couple of pages of prose that I consider to be… evocative I suppose, or demonstrative of the objective corollary. I think I might copy a couple of pages from Blood Meridian. It’s a crazy violent book and Cormac MacCarthy could squeeze about ten years of prose into a paragraph if he wanted to, so I’m sure I can find a couple of good pages.

Back to the prose… a few posts back I scratched out some prose from my Party at Steve’s! short story project. You know, I still have mixed feelings about that exclamation mark in the title, but for now it’s staying. So the question is, do I keep going with that project for my creative writing class, or do I do something different? The submission is only 4-8 pages double-sided, which is like 1-2 thousand words at the outside; maybe I’ll write up the Party at Steve’s! excerpt and then write up something different and submit which ever I like best.

Short post today. More to come.

 

If You Can Keep It…

This is likely more myth than fact, but apparently in the early days of the United States Benjamin Franklin was stopped in the street by a woman who asked him what sort of government they had devised; his reply was, “a republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.” They didn’t keep it, as far as I can tell, and neither did just about anyone else.

I’m not a fan of democracy. I think democracy sucks, to be truthful. The problem with democracy is that it puts political power into the hands of the people. I can hear your thoughts: “yah, that’s right, that’s the way it should be; power to the people!” Alright, the problem with this is that most people, and I mean MOST people are idiots. Being an idiot, in this context, isn’t necessarily about intelligence, but rather about the willingness to use intelligence. I actually think most people are probably naturally fairly smart, but they lack the motivation to actually apply their intelligence to anything. Or, equally likely, that their emotional attachments prevent them from thinking about things, because they’re too busy feeling about things instead.

My ideal government is a hybrid socialist utopia combined with a classic republic. The classic republic, to me, is one where the ruling body is not elected by the public at large, but rather appointed by a smaller group with the qualifications to determine who should form the government. If you think about it, the way it is in a modern democracy is that basically any citizen can vote, and the qualifications for being a citizen, as long as you’re born in the country, are nothing. So… think about this: the qualifications for determining who forms the government are NOTHING. I think this is nuts, personally. I’m a huge fan of the meritocracy, with the idea being that you must have certain qualifications before you’re allowed to participate in the selection of a government. In essence, rather than the government being of the people, by the people, and for the people, it instead is only of the people and for the people.

Which is an important point to make. I do think that the basic right and freedoms of the individual are very important. So in my ideal government the nation’s constitution enshrines these basic rights and the power of the governing body is limited by the constitution. In this way you could have an extremely capable and agile government, free from the incompetence and partisanship that drags down democratic governments, but you’d also ensure that the nation didn’t become a type of dictatorship where the people lost their rights along with their vote.

As far as the specific qualifications for having the right to participate in selecting people to form the government, those qualifications would be based on the values of the nation. I think that a nation should be run much like a corporation, and where a corporation should have a statement of mission and values, so too should a nation. For Canada, I can see our value statement highlighting the values of ethicality, progress, prosperity, productivity, efficiency, lawfulness, and honorability. By calling out what values are important to the nation it begins to form the basis for determining what criteria should be used to determine who should form the government and who should be allowed to participate in the selection process.

 

A Higher Power

I’m an atheist, but my brother isn’t. I think it’s been rightly said by a number of people in a number of places that atheism itself is a type of religion. Generally I think this is said as an insult or an attack against atheism, but I don’t really take it that way. The reason my brother isn’t an atheist is that, from a scientific perspective, there is nothing to suggest that there either is or is not a God. So in the absence of any evidence one way or the other, there is no reason to have an opinion on the matter. That forms the basis of why atheism can be considered a religion: if you don’t believe in God, but you do believe in the absence of God, then you in fact have a belief system very similar to that of a religious person.

But having said all of that, I do consider myself to be an atheist. And I don’t mind it if people call my commitment to atheism a “religion”. My rationale for a non-belief in God is that it is common for people to have a need or merely a desire to form an opinion on a matter in the absence of an abundance of establishable fact. For example, reading this right now, you aren’t diving for cover underneath your desk are you? Yet, it’s possible that an alien spacecraft is about to launch a barrage of laser beams at the building you’re in, but despite that you’re acting as though that isn’t going to happen. The reasoning here is fairly obvious: nothing in your experience or observation exists to suggest that such an attack is even possible, let alone imminent. Therefore you continue on with your life on the assumption that it isn’t going to happen. This is a survival mechanism, really. How could you ever leave your house or even function at all if you had to be constantly on guard against even the most remotely possible occurrences? It’s not possible – so we make assumptions and move forward.

One of the, to my mind, fundamental concepts that establishes whether something deserves to be considered a real possibility or not is the Law of Parsimony. This law suggests that in the absence of all facts, assumptions should be based on the most reasonable and least fantastic possibilities. For example, if your watch is wrong it may be for several reasons. It could be that you forgot to wind it, or the battery died. Or it could be that an evil gremlin from the 18th dimension is plotting to make you late for work so that your despair over being fired will cause a negative emotion surge that will empower it to conquer the universe. Which assumption are you going to make? Probably not the last one. The point is that in an absence of fact, you proceed on the most mundane and realistic assumption, not a bizarre or fantastic assumption.

Which brings us back to the idea of atheism. Atheists believe that there is no God. What evidence do they have to suggest there is no God? None, really. I mean, you could theorize all day about the existence or non-existence of God: where did the universe come from? Why is there life? What is the meaning of everything? Et cetera. But really there’s no evidence in any of those musings; it’s just philosophy. So if you want to arrive at a conclusion about whether or not there’s a God, you need to make a “leap of faith;” essentially deciding to arrive at a conclusion for which you lack evidence.

The Law of Parsimony provides the rationale for atheism. I don’t know why the universe exists, although I suspect that the question is unanswerable because there is no “why.” Rather, the universe exists for the same reason hydrogen has one proton, which is to say there is no why; that’s just the way it is. I have no evidence, but in the absence of evidence I can still arrive at a conclusion according to the parameters of the Law of Parsimony. Is there a God? Well, I’ve no evidence… yet I’ve never witnessed anything that could be considered divine; I’ve never encountered anything that would suggest it’s possible to be all-powerful; the concept of a God figure is utterly foreign to any observable phenomena; therefore, the Law of Parsimony suggests that belief in God equates to selecting a fanciful explanation rather than a reasonable or prosaic one. The reasonable conclusion is that since nothing observable exists to suggest a divine presence, one must conclude that there is no such presence. Hence, atheism.