Category Archives: 07 Barnabas the Blogger

Heroes & Villains (III) – John Lennon

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Musings On: “INSTANT KARMA” 

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you, Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together, Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of, Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin’ to do, It’s up to you, yeah you

Instant Karma’s gonna get you, Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin’, Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see, Laughin’ at fools like me
Who in the hell d’you think you are, A super star, Well, right you are

Well we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on, Ev’ryone come on

Instant Karma’s gonna get you, Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers, Ev’ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here, Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there, When you’re ev’rywhere
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on, Come on and on and on on on, Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah”

In a cause and effect universe the things we do are the sowing of the seeds that will reap us a harvest of joy or sorrow. Cast out your bread on the waters, and after many days it will return to you! Do unto others as you would have them do to you! The concept of karma is understood in the west as a similar kind of thing.

John Lennon wanted us to consider what things would be like should the harvest instantly follow the planting. If Karma worked in an instant, we most surely would be kept on our toes! Maybe all of us the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the west and the third world would think twice before acting. Love would be much more in evidence and even in abundance than it is right now.

There is one great leveller to human existence and that is death. Today almost a third of a century ago the writer of “Instant Karma” was gunned down outside his home. He is one who would ask us to take seriously the claim that love and peace are the way forward for mankind. He made clear in the lyrics of this song that none of us should laugh in the face of love!

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He went further in suggesting that those who are motivated by anything other than love, are sub-human! Such people can believe what they want about themselves, but there still is none so blind as those who will not see! The foolishness of seeing those who speak of the ONLY way forward for the survival of mankind as laughable are most certainly to be challenged!

He also said “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it!” Thankfully he offered us hope in the words of the chorus, for indeed we do all shine on, as does his memory and the words he spoke,  almost 34 years after his death!

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“Why in the world are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear? Why on earth are you there, when you’re everywhere?” Here and there are not where we are, we are metaphysically everywhere! For the illusion of our duality to dissipate and be transcended we need to see that we are spirit living in the material world! It’s time for us all to get our share of peace and love!

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Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Heroes & Villains (II) – Nelson Mandela

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THE MAN WHO PUT A SMILE ON THE FACE OF THE HUMAN RACE

Nelson Mandela was a man who personified the best of what being human is. We all see injustice around us and some of feel unable to do anything about it. The problem is too big and the influence or abilities we have are too small. We have a sense of overwhelm and we sadly walk away feeling impotent and inept.

Some get angry with the way that things are and are willing to take up arms to put right the wrong that the injustice has caused. We meet with like-minded people and the violence that ensues despite our original intentions merely creates more injustice, more grievances, more desperation, more killing and hatred, the very thing we wanted to end.

Mandela was a man who believed in a peaceful struggle and yet when that peaceful struggle merely got those who protested unarmed at Sharpeville shot, he considered the alternative. He went for guerrilla warfare training in Algeria and yet he returned to South Africa without completing it, choosing to disrupt rather than destroy the apartheid regime which he opposed.

His acts of disruption led to imprisonment in Robben Island. Yet, he used the free time he had incarcerated there to read and think not only about what to say to encourage those who continued with the struggle; but also how, should he be released, he could be most effective in bringing about the outcome he desired.

A peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy was brought about by a landslide victory for the ANC and the “truth and reconciliation commission” which looked into human rights abuses in a civilised and honourable way for all involved. It is a miracle that this peaceful transition is now a part of historical fact.

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When his life came to peaceful end I looked around the world with sadness, because on the face of it there was no-one like him, of the same stature. The leaders we have whether political, spiritual or otherwise are pygmies against the achievements of this giant. He was in a league of his own and yet … the world stage awaits the arrival of others like him who is willing to step forward.

The question has to be asked, is it you? Oh but Andrew, I’m a no-one, I have no influence, I wasn’t born a prince or a princess like Mandiba was. I am not politically motivated, politics doesn’t interest me, and the current crop has put me off the subject forever. And yet dear friend maybe what we need isn’t one major figure bringing a smile to the face of the human race?

Maybe instead we need a world full of people willing to think:

I may not be able to do much, but what I can do I will do!
I may not have any political influence, but I can lead by example!
I may not be able to affect the destiny of a nation, but I will forgive those who have wronged me!
I may not be grieved by the world at my passing, but I am determined to put a smile on the face of all those I meet and to be the best person that I can be, no more excuses!

Rest in peace Nelson you are an example to follow, the world has darkened for a moment at your passing but we intend to become torch-bearers to re-ignite light and love into this world, because we are beginning to realise what and who we are!

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve
the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were
born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated
from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates
others!” – —Marianne Williamson

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Heroes & Villains (I) – JFK

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THE DAY HOPE DIED AND WAS REBORN!

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” – John F. Kennedy

Fifty years ago in Dallas the world changed forever! The youngest American President was assassinated along with the hopes and dreams of many of his generation who were beginning to see the possibility of a new order: A world where nuclear war could be averted by keeping a cool head in a crisis; the promise of the end to racial segregation and of the worth of each and every human being.

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In JFK the world had a leader who could think of going places politically that had never been dreamed of! And yet when he died I believe it was a time of quiet reflection for our small planet, a time when many people took stock of their lives and decided that they wanted the world to be the way Jack Kennedy could have helped to make it had he lived.

It was Tertullian the founder of Western theology who said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church!” When Dr Martin Luther King Jnr and the President’s brother Bobby were also assassinated, people’s hearts and minds were moved again to bring about the kind of world that they had described!

Amongst others these three men were childhood heroes of mine, not because I could remember their assassinations, I must have been sent to bed early those nights, but by the conversations I heard based around the speeches that had been given by the three of them. Even here in the UK, people were moved by the concepts shared and the dreams held by these men.

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Why not imagine things the way you would like them to be? There are many dreamers in our world dreaming the same things, wanting our planet to be free of war, tyranny, hunger and each one of us can play a part! It may cost us our lives, but isn’t it worth having something worth dying for in your life, than a life where each day you die inside?

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Does your life have purpose and direction? Today we remember a man who had both and spent his short time on our planet using his courage and efforts to make a better world for us all. Thank you Jack for leading by example, I salute you and realize you were a man with temptations and personal problems like the rest of us, but that you overcame the challenges and left your mark on us all!

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Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Rules and Regulations

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RULES AND REGULATIONS

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law!” – Romans 13: 8-10

It seems to me that as a society the rules and regulations we have no longer favour (if they ever did) the poor and disenfranchised! We have civil law which seems to be set up to make sure that those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to afford to pay someone to represent them in court will not get justice. Those who can afford a lawyer should watch out too, because if the other side can afford better legal representation your appeal to the law will fail too! In criminal law, the rich get away literally with murder and the underclass who do the petty crime (because society has let them down) to help make ends meet, are locked up for attempting to provide for themselves and their families!

Why do we continue to vilify those who have no work, describing them as “scroungers” when their only crime is to be unemployed at a time that government (here in the UK) has made over one million public sector jobs redundant and replaced them with private sector part time jobs and zero hour contract jobs? The two and a half million unemployed (one million of them under 25) are all chasing half a million jobs. What kind of a democracy fails to represent the needs of its poorest citizens? The weak go to the wall and the politicians who are supposed to represent these people, live in the comparative lap of luxury. The law should protect those who the government fails to help. We are as a nation only as strong as the weakest in our society. So this is the UK, but sadly there are many other nations around the Western World and beyond where things are not much better.

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We have a simple commandment given to us in the book of Romans “Love your neighbour as yourself!” Jesus was asked “Who is my neighbour?” and he replied with the story of The Good Samaritan: – (Luke 10:25-37) – And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live!” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise!”

I Meant That

Even in a Post-Christian society the golden rule should still be “Love One Another!” I believe a time is coming, and it’s not far off, when people will awaken to realise that we don’t need politicians, police and lawyers to maintain a civil society all we need is love in our hearts and then to recognise that we all belong together, we are one! Even though we are individuals, we are not here to fear others actions, but to meet the needs that we see around us with all the love, will, mind, soul, strength, money, position and authority we have been entrusted with. That which was given to us as a gift was given to us for the benefit of all! The laws of our society need replacing with the royal law of love and guess what, you can help start a love revolution today, simply by loving your neighbour in the same way you love yourself.

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Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Coming Out And Being The Authentic You

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 COMING OUT AND BEING THE AUTHENTIC YOU

There’s only one race – The Human Race!

People picked on me for being fat, being small, being the teacher’s pet; my nickname was Greaser Smith (thank you Philip Myers) I objected: “I don’t use Brylcreem!” Philip said “It’s not because you put grease in your hair that I call you Greaser Smith. It’s because you grease up to the teachers!”

People can be cruel bullies, they pick on us for the things that make us different from them, they picked on me for being me. Well I have an announcement to make: I am an individual and I am unique … just like everybody else!!!

It’s time for us all to “come out” and be authentically ourselves! Vive le difference! I love all humanity; I don’t want to put anyone into a stereo-typical box! I want us all to celebrate each other, to celebrate being who we are. We are magnificent; we were made from love and to love!

Love and light to you from Andrew (aka Barnbas the Blogger)
PS Please see what inspired me into writing this article. The article about “Coming Out” as bi-racial. Which then reminded me of the Blue Mink song etc!

https://medium.com/human-parts/c25d6ae8f2af

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAWn4FO1MOw 

Take a pinch of white man
Wrap him up in black skin
Add a touch of blue blood
And a little bitty bit of Red Indian boy

Curly Latin kinkies
Mixed with yellow Chinkees
If you lump it all together
Well, you got a recipe for a get along scene
Oh, what a beautiful dream
If it could only come true, you know, you know

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough to take the world and all it’s got
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
And turn out coffee colored people by the score

Rabbis and the Friars
Vishnus and the Gurus
You got the Beatles or the Sun God, it’s true
Well, it really doesn’t matter what religion you choose
No, no no

Making Lady Favor
Mrs. Graceful
You know that livin’ could be tasteful
We should all get together in a lovin’ machine
I better call up the Queen
It’s only fair that she knows, you know, you know

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough to take the world and all it’s got
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
And turn out coffee colored people by the score x4

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Walking Each Other Home

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WALKING EACH OTHER HOME

“The day the world gets ’round to understanding where it is,
Using all it’s found, to help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets ’round to understanding where it’s gone
Losing so much ground killing each other, hand in hand
Such foolishness in man I want no part of their plan – oh no

If you’re the destructive kind now I’m working from day to day
As I don’t want to be like you I look for the pure of heart
And the ones that have made a start,

But lord, there are just a few who bow before you,
In silence they pray, oh how they pray for the day the world gets ’round
Using all they’ve found to help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets ’round” – George Harrison
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU_RxElsv5E

Helping each other is something I was taught in Sunday School; my Mum was the Sunday School Teacher, so I went with her as soon as she was ready to take the role back on, after my birth. I seem to remember being told I was in the beginner’s class from the age of 18 months and that I loved to sing along with the songs they sang. Here’s one of them (with actions) that I sang with great gusto back then!

C.C. Kerr – Two Little Eyes To Look To God:

Two little eyes to look to God, (touch your eyes)
Two little ears to hear His Word, (touch your ears)
Two little feet to walk in His ways, (walk your feet)
Two little lips to sing His praise, (touch baby’s your lips)
Two little hands to do His will (hold up your hands)
And one little heart to love Him still. (place your hands over your heart)
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If we believe we were sent here to do God’s will and in the Ten Commandments we were told what God didn’t want us to do; If we have understood the royal rule of love that Jesus gave us to Love our neighbour as we love ourselves and his command to “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you and despitefully use you!” then what is the problem with us?

How much ground have you personally lost in the expression of anger and hatred. How many conflicts have you been willing to take sides on, without being willing to think about why the people on the other side feel and act the way they do? The foolishness in man which can’t see the other side of the argument and the resulting willingness to kill and be killed in the struggle that leads to a conference room where people talk out their differences, in my opinion beggar’s belief.

If we don’t bow before the lord and give ourselves the opportunity to see our own faults and failings in the light of love, then our world can never be the way it should be! We should be helping each other and taking hold of the hands of those around us to enable them to do for us what we should have been doing for them all along and that is “just walking each other home!”

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Thoughts, Silence and Being

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 THOUGHTS, SILENCE AND BEING

“It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music” – Zen proverb

I keep thinking about my life and how all the events and the decisions I have made in it have brought me to this place and point in time I call now. I also know that everything I think, do and say today will affect the future trajectory of my life; if I do nothing, then nothing will change or will it?

If everything we do is either an action to serve others or serve ourselves, is it better to serve others? Is it bad of me to look after my own interests before the interests of others; or should I take the plank out of my own eye before I try to help my brother with a “speck” in his?

Damned if I do and damned if I don’t, is what seems to be the conundrum we continue to battle with each day of our lives. So here’s a possible solution and even some enlightenment? Do nothing until you have a certainty that your actions are the ones you are supposed to take.

That’s all very well for you to say, but I am caught up in my daily life; jobs to do, places to go and people to see! So I ask you, do you ever experience silence? Is there always background noise: the traffic, the computer, the TV, the family, your friends or even your own thoughts?

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Yes there is the heart of it: thinking! We never stop thinking do we? Thinking is a great way for us to consider our outcomes, but then fear steps in and suggests that things might not go to plan. If we were to be silent and unattached about the outcome, would we be at peace within?

Can silence empty our minds of fear? It must be worth giving the concept a trial, mustn’t it? So, how do we find silence? The quote above suggests without silence, we will never hear the music of creation, the space between the notes is where we find the beauty of the universe (the one song)!

“We are infinitely more than we think!” says Kahlil Gibran. Thinking is the human part of us, it is in the silence that we fully exist, where our consciousness takes full flight and allows us to be who and what we are.

Here are some words from Deepak Chopra: “We are thoughts that have learned how to create the physical machine. We are impulses of intelligence in a larger void of intelligence. We have learned how to create physical matter, by that I mean our minds and our bodies. The world is a quantum soup, radically ambiguous, a ceaselessly flowing field of all possibilities of infinite choice. We are like King Midas – but where he could only turn things to gold, we can turn things into anything we like.”

Maybe it’s time to find a way to silence, so that we can remove ourselves from the humdrum of everyday life so that we can be all that we are capable of being, both as individuals and as a human society. It’s time to transform by the renewing of our minds!

Love and light to you from Andrew :) (h)

Open Your Heart To Love

 

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OPEN YOUR HEART TO LOVE!

Open your heart to love and let it flow through you
Not as a trickle as it was at first
Or a babbling brook as it became
Or the stream that it is now
But as a river in full flow
Till it reaches the sea of the joy of god

Shine your light
Shine it bright
Make daytime of the darkest night
Shine your light for all to see
Your eternal divinity!

 

The Role Of The Detached Observer

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THE ROLE OF THE DETACHED OBSERVER

 “The nature of the ‘collapse of the wave function’ is determined by our self-concept stored in the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is aware of the ‘many-worlds’ occurring simultaneously and chooses the reality we continue to exist in based on our self-concept.”  
 Kevin Michel 

Yesterday I “came out” as Barney the Rebel Rebel, today I would like you to admit with me that we are all a bit like Barney whose lightning flash signifies that he is, as the lyric in one of David Bowie’s songs says, “Torn between the light and dark, where others see their targets Divine symmetry!”

We are all as individuals wanting to be significant, noticed and to feel special and sometimes if we don’t get our own way we become angry or upset; and yet there is a part of us that loves our fellow human beings and it is that part of us that recognizes our own need to be loved.

The ego and the spirit and often signified as the little angel and little devil sat on opposite shoulders whispering into our ears the actions that a selfish and unselfish person might take in any given situation they might find themselves in. I want to offer you a third way forward at such times.

Barney the Rebel Rebel is The Schizoid Man, and yet in those words of the song “Quicksand” we have part of the answer to the conundrum of duality! The “targets” we set ourselves of either doing the right thing or pleasing ourselves and having our own way and when look at in the role of the detached observer symmetrically at peace with one another.

The passion of the human heart is the key to us experiencing life fully and yet when we allow our emotions to rule our lives we can lose control! The key is to distance ourselves from the duality of right and wrong and to find our answers beyond the passion of our own intensity and instead know the peace of the oneness which is derived from its place of detached observance.

If our “self-concept” is based in duality, there will always be a dichotomy to overcome within our emotions; it is only in standing back and observing our passions and the passions of others that we can make a choice that will be in tune with the heartbeat of the universe!

Love and light to you from Andrew :) <3

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Hi I’m Barney and I’m A Rebel Rebel!

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 HI! I’M BARNEY AND I’M A REBEL REBEL!

“The Greatest Expression of Rebellion is Joy!” Joss Whedon

I love this little animation of Barney Rubble from The Flintstones he reminds me of me!

One thing you can say about me is that I’m unconventional; I’m a total one off, just like everybody else! We are all individuals and we all have our own take on life! Barney is a great friend to Fred Flintstone, he’s always there for Fred to encourage him and to stand side by side (you can’t say “shoulder to shoulder” because Fred is lot taller) with him whether it’s at work or as neighbours Barney is the guy to have around!

You may have seen a number of my blog posts under the heading “Barnabas the Blogger” well here’s the explanation why: The name Barnabas literally means “Son of Encouragement” and my own name Andrew (manly in Greek) Paul (small) Smith (craftsman or worker i.e. blacksmith) also sums me up – hard-working little man!

So call me Barney if you like! I am a bit of a rebel, I think outside the box and for many years I have shunned conformity. I love what I have been doing with my life being a kind of antidote to the negativity to be found in the media and also in Facebook. I have decided to be an unconventional unconventionalist and get a part time job, to get in amongst people living conventional lives again.

A while ago one of my cousins told me to “Get out of my ivory tower!” Well my tower is far from ivory; it’s my loft space office where I have communicated with the four corners of the Earth, via the internet for the past seven years. I intend to continue to write articles and share my own take on the world in this way but I will now get an opportunity to get involved with the lives of others up close and personal.

This particular animation of Barney Rubble appeals to me because of the lightening flash on his face based on the artwork for the David Bowie album Aladdin Sane. My love of David Bowie’s music separated me out from all my friends from 1972 onwards, it made me unique. I love that “other-worldly” or alien outlook on life. “Rebel Rebel” as you may know is a David Bowie song from his album “Diamond Dogs” which was released as a single.

Nowadays I would express my rebellion terms of “A spiritual being having a human experience” and yet I have always loved wearing the mask of normality and fitting in. According to Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Greatest Expression of Rebellion is Joy!” Buffy according to Whedon was “A hero who had always been a victim!” “The world” he said “is a scary and horrifying place, and everyone’s going to get old and die, if they’re that lucky. To set children up to think that everything is sunshine and roses is doing them a great disservice!” and that is why he created Buffy!

The world I am about to write about is an alien, scary place, and yet I will continue to write about it from a point of view of joy and with all the encouragement I can muster to continue to be an antidote to the negativity that is out there, the difference will be ids that instead of avoiding the darkness I intend to confront it with love and light.

This is Barney Rubble Rubble signing off!

Keep smiling and keep on keeping on!