The Diversity Persuasion


Suggested Audio Jukebox:


[1] Simple Minds “Theme For Great Cities”
[2] Simple Minds “Sanctify Yourself”
[3] Simple Minds “Alive & Kicking”



Thank the heavens above for diversity. I can’t think of anything more utterly depressing than every single person being the same as the last. Where’s the fun in that? It would soon become dreadfully tiresome and the world would soon capitulate I’m sure. It’s far more exciting a proposition having a little variety in the ranks; different personalities to bounce from and alternative viewpoints to entertain. After all, we’re all just winging it as best as we can right? Of all the people I know, precious few have it all figured out, and the rest of us stumble as best we can from one day to the next. We all have our own coping mechanisms, each of us tackle our obstacles in our own way, and one outlook can be completely different from the next. That’s where common ground comes in handy. I’m all about the common ground and, moreover, more than happy to accept the uncommon. Should somebody’s view differ from my own, then I find that fascinating and wish only to learn more. After all, I’m hardly the all-knowing one. However, what I don’t already know, I’ll always look to understand.


With me, you pretty much get what you see, to be honest. My flaws are plentiful and I wear each scar proudly; but I also appreciate my strengths and don’t make light of them. Positivity is a given with me and, in that respect, I’m as open a book as can be. My heart resides on my sleeve and I’m looking to invest in another as I need a new set of cufflinks. That said, one previous girlfriend once remarked that I’m like a closed book and I can definitely see what she was driving at. Where I have had a tendency to shut down in the past is when sharing something that hurts to reenact. Keep me smiling and it’s access all areas but, the moment said smile resembles a grimace, all systems shut down. Recently this has changed considerably and the main reason for this is that I am truly comfortable with myself now and have learned so many harsh truths over the past three years that it just isn’t funny. Somehow I found my inner peace and anyone who knows me intimately will have noticed the spring returning to my stride.


Should anything untoward be looming ominously on the horizon, then I can handle the drama, and do everything in my power to keep things on an even keel. Two things I won’t ever be culpable of are assumption and judgement, and one person’s view of another won’t sway my own in any way, shape or form. Neither will I make any excuses for sitting on the fence, even if that means appearing to be non-committal. Each to their own I say and I have no divine right to pass decree on another, regardless of whatever poison circulates at the time. It’s just not my thing and, of all the tools I possess, few are as advantageous as my very own opinion. This is not to say that I am set in my ways as I will listen very closely to the standpoint of another. But a lifetime of cherry picking has done me absolutely no harm and I know just as well when to discard information. Expressing myself through the written word allows me to explore many topics and theories. Granted, this may appear something of a one-way transaction, but it isn’t all about self-fulfilling.


It’s ultimately all about identity. Through prose I have managed to identify my true self, those reading can hopefully relate to numerous different subject matters I discuss, and we all therefore benefit from the association. There have been twin identities that I have been required to juggle and, at times, I haven’t known for the life of me where one ends and the other begins. Mercifully I have cracked that particular nut now and feel just as at ease as Richard Charles Stevens as I do the Keeper of The Crimson Quill. If there’s a split personality in there, then I have sussed out how to sum up both parts, and this has assisted no end in finding my true center as a scribe. In turn, this means that I can hand over that much more of myself, and my book is no longer shut tight as it was previously. Writing with full freedom is truly a liberating experience and, the moment I do so apologetically, is the very same where my light begins to fade.


Naturally some of my work will divide opinion and that is fine with me as there is nothing more invigorating than discussion. Whether I’m part of this discourse is by the bye; I just like opening shit up for friendly debate. Certain pieces I post may appear to hit too close to home and I get that they may cause confusion as to where I stand or what my stance is. However, there is such a thing as being too close to a chosen topic, and it is all too easy to allow this to cloud our perception. The most critical thing to remember is that I don’t believe in censorship and choose not to compromise myself when perched at my laptop thrashing one out. Perspective can make all the difference and it is key to remember that many different people read and every one perceives in their own manner. Am I looking to court controversy? Not necessarily, at least, not actively. But I won’t shy away from being myself as it has taken long enough learning who that might be and have no intention of misplacing that. If something I write hits hard, then I would suggest taking a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Do so and you will see just how benevolent a strain I actually am.


Anything deemed taboo is ripe for discussion in my estimation and should always be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. A great example of this would be a piece I wrote just yesterday by the name of Censored. This came about simply by stumbling across the artwork of a gentleman by the name of Luis Quiles and, where traditionally I write first and source images later, this time I let the pictorials tell the story and peppered it with the typical Keeper humor. Was there hidden subtext? Nope, not a jot actually. Neither was it supposed to reveal my personal stance on any of the topics breached. I leave that for the moments when I’m truly being intimate and this was little more than an exercise in having fun and designed to turn a few frowns upside down. It’s key to remember with me that I do not make points in an underhand manner but neither do I taper my output dependent on whatever the topic of the day may be at that time. I just carry on regardless and do so without apology. Know me well and this will be crystal clear.


So who am I anyhoots? Okay well I think its high time I pull the skin back and say it as I see it personally. I’m benign to the spine and wish no hardship on another, I’m also a serial flirt and that is just the nature of the beast, I’m a true friend when you need it, and I happen to use the word love rather openly. This is just my way and there’s no hidden meaning or cruel intentions if I throw these three little words into conversation. You see, love comes in many different forms, and is something I will never turn my nose up to or fear feeling to its fullest. Granted, this can lead to a dash of confusion, as not everyone is so free with their affection, but I don’t say it unless I mean it. On the flip side we have hate and, of all the one million plus words in the English language, none have less of a place in my vocabulary. Hate breeds hate but love is every bit as fertile. It just depends what kinds of seeds you prefer to plant. Bear in mind that your whole crop depends on this and come to your own assumption of which to endorse. Should hate work for you, then knock yourself out, as I won’t be casting judgement. I may just be less inclined to chew the fat when there’s something far more lean just begging to be digested.


As for diversity, bring it I say. No two people are the same and I’ll absorb every last drip of variety and adapt to it accordingly. However, I’ll always be me and me alone, as that is all I can be and it took forty-odd years to finally reach that beacon and I happen to like it here. What I won’t be is set in my ways and generic responses disinterest me entirely. I’m also pretty much unshockable and this makes me quite the confidant should our relationship arrive at that juncture. Never should you feel it necessary to edit yourself or worry unduly about my reaction to something that may seem controversial. I’m never looking for people to ring the changes on my behalf, indeed, nothing makes me despair more. Just be yourself, know that it’s more than enough for me, and actually serves as a breath of fresh meadow air. There is no hidden agenda, no nefarious plot for global domination, no empires I’m looking to overthrow, just a regular guy with a thought process which is anything but.


I have no idea where the future leads right now or even whether I’ll still be here six months from now. However, this is no cunningly disguised epitaph and I have every intention of staying one swipe ahead of the reaper’s scythe. It’s every day as it comes to me and what I do with the time I have is of uppermost importance. I’ve stared death in its face and, should it strike me down unannounced, then there ain’t a damn thing I can do about it. Where I do have a modicum of control is in what I put out into the world on a daily basis. There’s a part of me in everything I write but you have to learn when to take things literally or not. It’s all too easy for the lines to blur and my work will soon come across contradictory if you hang from every last word, as though I’m dangling you there over a simmering cauldron. I suggest you search for the breadcrumbs and discard any stale morsels as they need not act as any great endorsement of my character. Should you read, and I mean really read, what I write then you’ll know more than enough about what truly turns my cogs.


I’ll always want to provoke thought, never cease endeavoring to entertain, am in no danger of running low on the love stuff, and be your constant if you allow for such. Passion seeps through every last one of my pores and I trust that I can pay that forward in kind. You see, every last one of you possesses their own and together we can achieve that much more by pooling our resources in whichever manner this may be. Empowerment is critical as I’d rather lead a horse to water than hold its head sub aqua until the circulation cuts off to its brain. The Rivers of Grue happen to be full of nutrients and, beneath, swirl numerous currents of passion. It’s as diverse a place as any other on the planet and that is not because it’s under my jurisdiction and I’m on some power trip either. I’m just a fellow soul treading water like the rest of you. No master, no commander, just one voice of many. So thank the heavens above for diversity as I’d fast grow sick of my own.

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