What Comes Next?

A few updates, as far as the writing’s concerned.

First, Infernal Tales is getting nothing but positive reception so far. This should be good news, I guess, but my neurosis will not allow such optimism, so I’m more than a little skeptical. There’s gotta be someone out there who thinks it’s crap, right? Perhaps that someone is you. Check the link in the menu bar if you wanna see for yourself, and if you don’t want to pay the three bucks for the full story, e-mail me so we can arrange a free copy.

The second update is for those that have already read Infernal Tales and are interested in knowing what comes next, so SPOILER ALERT, I guess. I plan on writing five more stories in the same universe, which will take place during the aftermath of the bombing and the beginning of the war. Two of these stories will be of at least novella length and will focus on Luc, who will need to enlist the help of several more key humans—and a few gods, too—in order to stem the tide of mass extinction. Optimistically (grrr), I want to have the next one out by the end of next summer. The other three stories will be shorts, and will highlight what some of the other gods are doing during this time: so far the subjects (and titles) I’m leaning toward are Poseidon (“Nards of Neptune”), Taweret (“The Lady in the River”), and I won’t reveal too much about the third, except the working title: “Orgy of the Gods.”

Last, in the meantime, I will also be working on some short stories of a completely different nature. These will be lighter on the sci-fi and much heavier on the comedy/satire, and will focus on three separate protagonists—a trio of highly intelligent brothers, each completely crazy in their own distinct way—who share a house in Miami that becomes home to their off-the-wall plans, shenanigans and fits of fancy. A few of you will find this concept familiar (some way more than others). I’ve already started working on the first one now, titled “Nuclear Family,” and I’ll probably release it here on this very corner of internet for free once it’s finished, which will hopefully be within the next three months (school-year starting, and all).

Oh, and one more thing. In case you haven’t noticed, Black Jeezus is now marcvelazquez.com. I got my own .com, bitches. And I can put whatever I want on marcvelazquez.com, which is an intriguing idea with far-reaching implications that I’m getting half-chubbed just thinking about. So be on the look out for short stories, musings, rants, and all that good stuff.

That’s about it, humans! As always, get at me if you’ve got questions.

Infernal Tales

infernaltales_xsm

 

So, quick update. I wrote a novella.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know. But for someone like me, who’s wanted to be a writer since as long as he could remember, it’s a big step, and I’m hella proud of myself at any rate.

If you want to find out more about it, head to the Infernal Tales in Helvetica link in the menu or sidebar. There’s a 12-page preview there, and if you like it enough to spend three bucks to find out what happens, there’s a link for that too.

Also, I know I literally say this every time, but I should really stop neglecting this blog. I’ve updated the look in the hopes of inspiring me to do exactly that, but I guess time will tell. In the meantime, read up and be on the lookout for more short stories and fiction.

Where I Be

You know how sometimes, you can have a day that’s just monumentally shitty. One unfortunate stroke of misfortune after another. Like, maybe you sleep through your alarm and you forget to put on deodorant in your hurry to leave, and then you spill your entire cafecito on your brand new shirt before you even get a sip, and then you get to work two hours late and your boss yells at you for being alive, and then your doctor calls you and tells you he’s concerned about a lump and that he wants you to come in this week so he can thoroughly test you for butthole cancer, so you spend the rest of the morning reeking of sweat and coffee, trying to focus on getting work done, but you can’t because you can’t stop thinking about dying of butthole cancer, and, now that you think about it, you swear to god you can feel it in there, and you can’t sit comfortably. Malignant tumors in your booty hole. Cancer of the asshole. What an appropriate way to die. And as you ponder this, you realize you’re four hours into an assignment that you’ve done completely wrong and you realize now that you’re going to have to start again from scratch, and yada yada yada and fast forward through another eight or nine hours of one consecutive terrible thing after another, made ten times worse by the fact that you can no longer find a comfortable seat, anywhere.

Finally, you get home from the police station, pay the taxi driver and apologize for what you left in his back seat and for the fact that you don’t have enough for a tip, go inside, move your bowels with some discomfort, replace the dressing on your forehead that’s starting to get bloody and soggy, remove your shirt (which now has mustard, bird shit, sheep’s blood, and human urine added to the collection of stains), take off your pants (which are actually someone else’s pants and three sizes too small)…

But then, something good happens. Maybe you take a nice, long, relaxing bubble bath, and you make a bubble beard and bubble armor and declare yourself the bubble god and banish your worries to the underworld and watch them disappear down the drain along with the bathwater. Maybe your friend comes over and brings you some McDonalds and before you know it, you’re laughing and crap-talking over McNuggets and Dr. Pepper, and you don’t even remember what a crap cake day you just had. Maybe you flip on the telly, and something awesome is on, like your favorite movie just starting with no commercials, or a news report saying that Lil Wayne died earlier today from crashing his private jet into a volcano. Whatever it is, the point is something good happens that cuts through the bad shit of your day like a lightsaber through a stick of butter, and keeps you from going off the deep end.

Suddenly, life isn’t so bad. Tomorrow’s a new day. There’ll be a new shirt. Your pants will be yours. You probably don’t have butt cancer and even if you do, it’ll be alright. Work will be okay, and even if it isn’t, you hate your job anyway. There’s a giant mountain in front of you that you’ll have to climb, but at least the valley is behind you.

That was my overly elaborate way of explaining how I feel right now. How sometimes, the clustering of misfortunes can make simple pleasures that much better, and make you appreciate it more when things go right. So to anyone that might be wondering where I went and how I’ve been, I’ve been better, but things are looking up. I have this feeling that the next phase of my life is going to be very significant in a way I don’t entirely understand yet. Kinda like a dead phoenix.

It’s been difficult to get myself to write lately, but I’m going to try. I think maybe I need to.

The Black Jeezus Rises

Image

Howdy, humans.

Yes, I realize it’s been a while. I think a few updates are in order, no?

First off, you may or may not be pleased to know that I am, in fact, alive and well. And aside from some allergies and intermittent bronchitis, I’m in tip-top health. My absence from the ol’ wordpress was due more to a change in attitude than anything else. I’m still very much an atheist, but I no longer have the desire to vent my frustrations online. Why? Well, your guess is as good as mine. I suppose one might say I’ve “matured,” though I’m not sure that’s the word I’d use, given the fact that I still inspect all of my poops before flushing to see if they look like any celebrities.

I’ve mentioned that before on this blog, haven’t I? No? Shit.

Anyway, I haven’t abandoned writing either. Just blogging. For those curious, I finished the first drafts of a ten-episode comedy-drama series (I refuse to use the word “dramedy”), and am in the process of constructing a different, much more time-consuming black comedy / crime drama series. It’s hard, frustrating work, trying to write something that you’re happy with. But until they discover a way to be a writer without actually having to write anything, I guess I’m doomed to a life of constant disappointment and dissatisfaction. Kinda like Miami Dolphins fans. Only with less alcoholism.

Furthermore, some of you may or may not be pleased to know that I decided to give the whole “love” thing another go. Put my cards back on the table and let the chips fall where they may and whatnot (I may be mixing my analogies here). And wouldn’t you know it, I nabbed quite hefty jackpot. By the way, I mean “hefty” in the sense that she’s awesome, not “hefty” in the sense that she has a problem with girth. Anyway, I met her on the internet (which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is growing increasing frustrated with the matches in their own social circle), and we’ve been doing pretty well. She’s really something. Motivated in ways I’m not. Beautiful in ways I could never even hope to be. Sensible in ways that always escape me. And her cat is okay too. By the way, I mean “cat” as in a literal cat, not “cat” as in a euphemism for vagina. I know it’s cliche, but I feel those familiar tingles and jingles in my abdomen when I’m with her. I missed those. It’s like being in high school again. Only with less alcoholism.

Now that that’s out of the way, onto the blog. I almost considered taking it down, but upon intense reflection (not really… it was more like three minutes of thought while on the john, pinching out a sewer trout that looked like Judd Hersch), I’ve decided to keep the blog up and running. I’ve even decided to try to write a little more often. But definitely not the same subject matter as before.

So in summation, if you like my writing style, but didn’t much care for the subject matter, you’re in luck. You’ll still be getting the pure, raw Black Jeezus wit, but without the annoying filler.

So stop sending me e-mails already.

Leprechauns?

Just found this jewel on Matt Dillahunty’s blog. Made me LOL. Enjoy.

* * * * * *

A very sturdy looking box rests on a table as two men walk up to it

Theist: That box has a leprechaun in it.

Atheist: I don’t believe that…why do you?

Theist: I heard him talking.

Atheist: I don’t believe that either…in fact, I have no evidence that leprechauns exist.

Theist: Well, either there’s a leprechaun in the box or there isn’t, right?

Atheist: Right.

Theist: So it’s 50/50…and since I heard him talk, I’m sure that there’s a leprechaun in there.

Atheist: Either there’s a leprechaun in the box or not, but that doesn’t mean the odds are 50/50.

Theist: Of course it does.

Atheist: Actually, it doesn’t, but could you offer some evide…

Theist: Hang on! He’s just told me that if you don’t believe he’s in there, he’ll chain you to a tree after you’re dead and stick his shillelagh up your ass for 10,000 years!

Atheist: Um, wow, but I was asking if you could offer some additional evidence beyond your claim that you heard him. I didn’t hear him say that, by the way.

Theist: Well, you’re not listening hard enough.

Atheist: Ok (listens)…noth…

Theist: Give it TIME! You’ve got to sincerely WANT to hear him…

Atheist: If he’s in there, I’d like to know it…I’ll keep listening.

Theist: Did you hear that?

Atheist: Nope, nothing.

Theist: You’re either lying or you’re so closed minded that he’s not letting you hear him.

Atheist: Not letting me? Leprechauns can choose who can hear them?

Theist: Of course! He could open this lid, show himself to me…and you’d never see it, you’d think the box was closed the whole time. They’re MAGIC!

Atheist: Well, do you have any evidence for any of this? I mean, I’ve never seen a leprechaun…I have no reason to think they even exist and every time you tell me how to prove it, the tests fail.

Theist: No, YOU fail. It worked for me.

Atheist: (Motions toward a handful of people to one side) Well, there are other people here who have tried this…and it failed for them.

Theist: Yes, but these people (motions toward a huge group off to another side) heard it. In fact there are WAY more people over here who will tell you they heard it.

(The Atheist moves off to ask them a few questions.)

Atheist: I talked to some of them…they all have a slightly different take on this. Some say it’s a leprechaun; others say it’s a fairy; still others say it’s a goblin. They don’t all describe the same voice and they apparently have conflicting messages that they claim came from inside the box. Most of them simply said that they knew other people who claimed to know what was in the box.

Theist: Ah, yes! There’s actually a troll in the box with the leprechaun. He sometimes pretends to be the leprechaun, or a fairy, or a goblin in order to fool those other people – but you’ll notice they STILL heard something.

Atheist: Yes, some say that, but others don’t.

Theist: Well, that troll sometimes blocks the sounds so people can’t hear it.

Atheist: So, how do you know, when you hear the leprechaun, that you aren’t hearing the troll?

Theist: Don’t be absurd! The leprechaun is my friend; he makes sure that I only hear him.

Atheist: But how can you be sure…if you think there’s a troll there too, who pretends to be a leprechaun…how can you know? Maybe there’s ONLY the troll and he’s just fucking with you.

Theist: Now you’re just being thick. Look, there’s a box, right?

Atheist: Yup.

Theist: Now why would there be a box here unless there was something in it?? There MUST be something in it, right?

Atheist: No, the box could be empty.

Theist: No it couldn’t, or there’d be no reason for the box to exist! Boxes are for holding things. We all know that.

Atheist: So you’re claiming that the box could not possibly be empty?

Theist: Correct.

Atheist: And you don’t see that as a flawed premise?

Theist: No, and it’s confirmed by the fact that I heard a leprechaun.

Atheist: How did you hear him?

Theist: He talks to me telepathically.

Atheist: Oh, so you didn’t mean to listen with my ears, you meant listen with my mind?

Theist: Your heart.

Atheist: That doesn’t listen…

Theist: Your metaphoric heart!

Atheist: Ok…but that guy says he heard it with his ears.

Theist: He’s wrong…he’s hearing the troll.

Atheist: But I don’t even hear the troll.

Theist: He’s blocking you.

Atheist: Ok…how do you know all of this?

Theist: The leprechaun told me.

Atheist: Ok, so you’ve made appeals to magic, telepathy, leprechauns, trolls and non-empty boxes….you’ve offered no evidence. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you.

Theist: Don’t forget the shillelagh!

Atheist: Right… and you’ve made threats about things that’ll happen after I’m dead – when there’s no evidence that there’s any ‘me’ to experience anything after I’m dead. I just don’t believe your claim.

Theist: What if you’re wrong? Isn’t that a lot to risk? He says he’s got a pot of gold for you if you believe…isn’t that worth believing?

Atheist: Look, even if I could make myself believe, which I can’t, why would I want to do that? If there’s no leprechaun in there, then I’ve wasted the opportunity find out what’s really in the box. And if he wants me to follow his instructions…

Theist: Oh, he does…I’ve written them down for you, here…

Atheist: (Looks at the list) Then I’ll have wasted time doing things that…does that say “Do not eat poo”?

Theist: Yup…great rule, isn’t it?

Atheist: Yeah, but what about “Drop money in the box”

Theist: He’s got needs too…pots of gold don’t grow on trees.

Atheist: I thought he was magic.

Theist: He is…but, well, the money is so we can tell other people what the leprechaun wants.

Atheist: Why doesn’t he tell them?

Theist: He could, but…well, he will, if they’re open too it. Some, like you, are fooled by the troll.

Atheist: Why doesn’t he get rid of the troll.

Theist: It’s a mystery, but we’re sure he will eventually.

Atheist: Anyway, if this isn’t true, then I’ll have wasted a lot of time and money on something false…only to avoid a threat that wasn’t real.

Theist: Yeah…but what if you’re wrong.

Atheist: Ok…look, I’m done. I do NOT believe there’s a leprechaun in the box.

Theist: How can you be sure?

Atheist: I’m not, but I don’t believe there is.

Theist: How can you say there’s no leprechaun in the box!

Atheist: I didn’t…I said I don’t believe there is one.

Theist: Same thing.

Atheist: No it isn’t…however, now that I’ve considered and rejected your claim…

Theist: Don’t do it!

Atheist: I’m willing to say that I actually do believe there is no leprechaun in that box.

Theist: NO! You’re making an irrational claim…you think you know everything?!??!

Atheist: No, I’m not claiming that I’m absolutely certain that there’s no leprechaun in the box…but I actually believe, to some degree of certainty that there isn’t…because if there were, I’d expect there to be some evidence to support it, and investigations keep coming up empty. I’ll be back with some tools…we’re going to open that box.

Theist: You can’t open the box.

Atheist: Why not.

Theist: You just can’t, it’s impossible.

(Another person walks up)

Agnostic: He’s right. Neither of you know what’s in the box. You’re both equally absurd to assert that you DO know.

Atheist: I didn’t assert that I’m absolutely certain, I simply stated what my belief is…and it’s based on the evidence, or lack thereof

Agnostic: Don’t be silly…you’re just as dogmatic as he is.

Atheist: I’m not dogmatic about this at all – I’d just like to open the box and find out.

Agnostic: The box is impervious.

Atheist: How do you know?

Agnostic: Um, well, I don’t…it just seems impervious.

Atheist: Really, do you have other impervious things to compare it to?

Agnostic: Well, um, no…but I’m sure it’s impervious.

Atheist: If you’ll forgive me, as we’re essentially on the same side in that we reject his assertion…

Agnostic: I don’t reject it, I don’t reject anything

Atheist: Do you accept his claim?

Agnostic: I don’t know.

Atheist: You don’t know whether you accept his claim?

Agnostic: No, I mean I don’t know if he’s right or not.

Atheist: Well, neither do I, but that’s not what I asked.

Agnostic: The box is impervious

Atheist: Well, you sound just as dogmatic about our inability to know as he does about his private communications with the leprechaun

Agnostic: Now you’re just being rude

Atheist: Look, I’m going to open this box

Agnostic: Silly atheist….

(The atheist manages to drill a tiny hole in the box…)

Atheist: Look, it’s not impervious! I’ve got a hole here. We may eventually be able to investigate this in more detail.

Theist: You switched boxes!

Atheist: No, this is the box.

Agnostic: It’s STILL impervious; your little hole doesn’t give you enough information to support your claim.

Atheist: I can continue to investigate…and so far, there’s no evidence to support the theist’s claims.

Theist: You switched boxes!

Atheist: No I didn’t.

Theist: Then, um…he’s hiding. He needs you to believe without seeing him, so he’s hiding.

Atheist: That makes no sense.

Theist: The troll has created an illusory hole that is providing you with false information about what’s in the box!

Atheist: /sigh

Agnostic: That might be possible, I really couldn’t say.

Atheist: No, I bet you couldn’t.

The theist walks away, to tell other people about the leprechaun in the box.

The agnostic tries not to be anywhere near either of them, while secretly keeping an optimistic eye on the atheist’s activities.

The atheist goes about his life, occasionally finding new ways to investigate the box, but he tries to enjoy his life while preventing the theist from ruining it by imposing the leprechaun’s rules on everyone.

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed watching this

Gee, I seem to remember something in the Christian scriptures about not bearing false witness.

Ahh, wait. That’s Old Testament. Never mind it, then.

Focus on the Family, just to be clear, is not a “fringe organization” or representative of an “ignored minority.”  FotF is, by all accounts, the most influential evangelical group in the United States, and untold millions of Christians ate up James Dobson’s bullshit every day on his radio program (including yours truly, once upon a time).

So if you’re thinking of complaining that atheists like me get bent out of shape over mere straw-men or extremists, think again. These people are knowingly spreading misinformation to a huge portion of my countrymen, who don’t even think twice to question it because they’d rather trust a prick with a bible and a psychology degree than make the effort to read actual scientific research.

And what’s worse, these people vote.

Meanwhile, Down at The Ol’ Office…

Orlando:
I like the Jets.

Lauren:
Me, too.

ME:
You like the Jets?

Orlando:
Yes. Yes, I do.

ME:
The New York Jets?

Lauren:
Those Jets.

ME:
I like the Jets slightly more than I like a hairbrush up my asshole. But only slightly.

Lauren:
I thought that was every Wednesday at your house.

ME:
Not anymore.

Lauren:
No more Hairbrush Wednesdays?

ME:
Nah. Now it’s Curling Iron Thursdays.

Lauren:
Nice. I hope you leave it unplugged though. Safety first.

ME:
Where the fuck is the fun in that?

Lauren:
True.

ME:
Plus, you get those curly ass hairs that women love. Seriously, bitches are all about the curly ass hairs. Like Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Sexy shit. Literally.

(collective groans)

Lauren:
Why do you always have to one-up people?

ME:
Because I’m so fucking good at it!

———-
EDIT
———-

SOHAIL (via text message):
And I’m not there to stop you.

REPLY:
No. No you are not.