WOLVES AGAIN (sort of…)…

It’s been a while since I have posted anything about wolves but I’m finally going to respond to a comment I received about three years ago with regards to “White Wolf Moon” and my depiction of Ginn, the wolfdog. A woman came into the bookshop where I worked at the time and informed me that I misrepresented this animal to be cute and cuddly and not the “killer” that wolves are. I have also been (correctly) informed that wolves do not have blue eyes.

First…the book is fiction. Yes the characters and situations are loosely based on people and events I knew back then and contain a lot of factual information but it is still fiction. Ginn is based on a white wolfdog I had met (yes, she had blue eyes) and in subsequent encounters with other animals of her type I found all of them to be very much like the character I portrayed. Second…I did a search for wolfdog photos and sites that featured the crosses and not only confirmed that if treated properly they can be socialized (although not properly domesticated) and that quite a few did peer through blue eyes. I suppose the eyes are indicative of the wolf content (high content would probably negate the blue eyes of the Husky or whatever the other part of the cross). No there are no blue-eyed wild wolves but the fact is there are many blue-eyed wolfdogs out there. By the way the questions I received about Ginn have been answered in “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon”. As for wolves being “cuddly”…come now. We all know that wolves are predatory carnivores and trying to cuddle an actual wild wolf (if you could even find one) is nature’s equivalent of Russian roulette with five rounds in the chamber. That’s the reality. Do I love wolves? Yes but I think “respect” would be a better word.

I find it interesting that, according to a couple of sellers that flog Canadian and British Columbia souvenirs, the two most requested animals are bears and wolves. My local thrift shop will tell you that if it has anything to do with wolves, whether posters or sculpts, they rarely last more than a day on the shelves and Walmart sells out of those wolf keychains before anything else (even though they incorrectly have blue eyes). Tourists spend millions of dollars a year to come to our country to see the wildlife yet we blatantly slaughter these animals under the guise of “control” or “maintenance”. We aerial gun down wolves to “protect” the Caribou then turn around and lease those delicate lands to oil and forestry businesses thus destroying the one thing that these animals need…a safe and secure habitat.

Okay…elections.

Both the U.S. and Canada are in the throes of election campaigns of sorts and for whatever reason I’m intrigued by both this time around. I’ll pass on commenting on the “hair” aspects of our election…Margaret Atwood said it better than I could:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/hair-is-in-the-election-season-air-but-is-it-crucial-to-your-vote

I just wonder why no-one is using this type of campaign against Trump.

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TIME TRAVEL & TRUTHS

“No…I wouldn’t want to go back. You can’t change just one thing, it’s all intertwined…one thing causes another and so on. Take away that first thing and a whole branch of your life tree could disappear and who knows where I’d have ended up. I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking with you if I could’ve gone back and changed something.”

So says Danny in a deleted scene from my current manuscript. It is the obvious theory of time travel and actually makes a lot of sense.

Time travel is easy when writing a manuscript but the same theory applies. When I began this story I decided to keep writing as the ideas flowed and I’d go back and organize it later. At one point I was reading what I had written and decided one scene would work better in a later part of the story so I used a bit of fictional time travel and relocated it. It was only during what I hoped would be my final read-through that I realized what I had done.

As this is a sequel to “White Wolf Moon” I have to keep in mind the people that might not have read the original story so all the little “in” references have to be introduced. One of the major references was to the place that all the characters gathered on weekends simply called “The Ranch”. Using internal narrative I had Evan (the main character) reminisce about the pioneer property with an introductory description of the geography and the activities they had experienced back in the 60s. That narrative (and a few other mentions) was in the scene that I had moved. Anyone who hadn’t read “White Wolf Moon” would have had no idea what the characters were talking about in the current manuscript.

Another flaw in the time travel was a new character calling an original character by her first name. Their introduction was also in the scene that I had moved so there was no way he would have known this woman’s name as he hadn’t met her yet. That might work for a psychological horror story but not in mine.

Lack of continuity aside I’m surprised at the number of little things I’m finding that need to be tweaked or totally redone. It tends to make me wonder what kind of head space I was in when I wrote it.

Another topic, still in keeping with the fictional flow of this blog…truth on the internet. If I’m to believe everything I’ve read then Shania Twain has died not once but twice over the past few years; Michelle Obama is really a man; Sandy Hook was a Government plot to outlaw assault-type weapons (no children were harmed apparently, they were just “actors”); Malaysia Flight 370 was hijacked by ISIS and is buried in the sand in Syria awaiting another 911 fiasco; President Obama doesn’t know what a cattle guard is, and of course the re-occurring chestnut…Paul is dead.

What got me started on this was a post to a BC Wolf Hunt petition by a man named Bill Schoel whom I don’t mind mentioning because I apparently embarrassed him into hiding. He claimed that a “friend” of his had his dog killed by a pack of wolves that frequent downtown Kamloops, British Columbia. I’m not sure why he chose to name Kamloops as the setting for this piece of fiction but I’m glad he did. I have lived in the city for many years now and I don’t recall any wolf sightings…bears and cougars yes, but no wolves. I’m pretty sure a wolf pack patrolling downtown would make the news. I took him to task and he withdrew into wherever people like that go but not before he had multiple “likes” and confirming comments about his post. It is those people I question. Do they not check out these comments to ascertain the validity before jumping on the Fool Express? I find it amazing that in this easily accessed information age so many people are so misinformed. Perhaps they’re just lazy and would rather mindlessly buy into the flavor of the day than expend what minimal energy it takes to check the facts. Bill should have googled his ludicrous story prior to writing his comment and he wouldn’t look like an idiot trying to spread something that wasn’t true.

One comment I received was questioning whether I thought I was smarter than the rest of the world. My response was “It has nothing to do with being “smarter” it’s simply using your head and presenting verifiable facts (preferably with links). You don’t have to be a genius…just someone who wants to do a little digging and get it right before you comment.”

Alas I fear it’s easier to look the fool.

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ART, MUSIC, LIFE, RHYTHM…

How curious is Mother Nature. To create within a single world this multitude of perfectly shaped trees, flowers and grasses then simply toss them about with reckless abandon.

Rocks and boulders, each grained and weathered with intricate care are strewn helter-skelter across the landscape with little consideration of overall impression. Does she not understand the basic concepts of balance in form and texture, function and structure?

Or could this chaotic representation be the work of the quintessential artist?

It might be a still life with wind-swept grasses cascading down hills like waterfalls frozen in time, charred trees boldly standing as ancient sentinels on a field of muddied ash, a reminder of the fires of summer. Portraits of perfection posed before a scattered backdrop.

Is it abstract, impressionistic or a subtle blend of both? Simply put it is the finest example of interpretive natural art and it is how you see and feel it.

Nature may not always be perfect yet within these imperfections there lies a sense of purpose. Straight lines do not grace her masterpiece yet within her seemingly disheveled display there is order…and rhythm.

Everything natural exists for a reason and everything runs to a beat. It’s the cycle of life. Left to her own devices Mother Nature the artist becomes Mother Nature the composer, her natural sweet symphony the soundtrack of this world.

It is only when mankind chooses to ignore the rhythm that this symphony is silenced.

While Mother Nature is perfect in her imperfections mankind is simply imperfect, failing to understand how much a bit of harmony could improve life’s song for everyone and everything on this planet.

This not-so-veiled call for everyone to stop and think before we lose what we can’t replace was predicated by the BC wolf cull. I am almost ashamed to admit that I live in this province they call ‘beautiful’ on television ads and license plates. Public and scientific opposition to this ‘cull’ is massive yet the government doesn’t want to listen. Oddly enough the B.C. Ministry of Lands refuses comment on how many wolves have been ‘harvested’ and won’t provide a representative to explain the ‘science’ behind their decisions. My guess is…there is none.

Blaming predators (wolves in particular) is the cowardly way out. It’s easier to face a backlash from ‘tree-huggers’ than the wrath of forestry, ranching, and mining corporations. It’s easier to take to the air and gun down animals that are simply trying to survive in a wilderness growing smaller every day than impose restrictions on development, fracking, and overgrazing livestock. The caribou herds are in decline but for God’s sake’s let’s not suggest that man has had anything to do with it.

Okay, off my soapbox but on the same topic…

The Go Go’s had the beat, as do we all. Everyone has that certain song stuck in their head and that song goes a long way toward how we feel about our day. Regardless of religion, race, sex, or socio-economic lot in life…music is the common denominator. Happy music puts a spring in your step and makes everything just a little bit better. Those odd people, those skippers and shakers you see every day swaying along the sidewalk…you know the reason they’re odd don’t you? They’re marching to their own drum and while it may seem that some have their own damned orchestra it’s all part of the rhythm of life.

I’m on the first major tweak of the manuscript for my second book and never has the need for rhythm been so obvious. This book has been written in pieces over two years, which is my failing. These pieces didn’t necessarily follow each other during the writing and while the rhythm within each scene is strong the combination of scenes doesn’t flow as well as it should. It’s almost like this was a group effort, different people writing different parts of the same book. Readers need a beat whether in narrative or dialogue and while it’s not a major re-write it is a necessary step to smoothing the flow of the story.

It’s simple. I’ve just gotta stick with the beat and follow that rhythm in my head in writing…and in life.

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https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/captain-paul-watson-on-b-c-wolf-kill/

 

OF WOLVES AND SUCH….

This blog is not really about wolves but it is a subject in which I consider myself to have above average (although by no means expert) knowledge so it’s easier to make my point. From witnessing my first wolf pack in the wild on our farm in Ontario in the 1950s to having a much more recent encounter with (fenced) wolves at a Christmas Light Celebration at the BC Wildlife Park outside Kamloops, wolves have always played some sort of minor role in my life.

When I was beginning work on the sequel to White Wolf Moon I decided to research this animal so I could present my canine character with more authenticity. It was then I discovered the ugly truth about the internet.

It seems anyone who can type has an opinion these days and that opinion doesn’t have to be based on anything concrete or valid. It’s just an opinion. Having an opinion is fine (everyone should have one or two) but for a reader to blindly accept these opinions without question simply confirms what I feel is one of those things wrong with the world today.

I’m not a follower, nor am I a leader. I feel that comments made by people on both sides of any issue should be checked out but it appears most people don’t want to hear the truth. They just want someone to confirm that what they already believe is the truth. Just tell them what they want to hear and the ‘likes’ will come. One of these anti-wolf pages is currently on the “historic” bandwagon posting unverified newspaper stories and illustrations from days gone by. They claim that these unsubstantiated hackneyed articles from the 1700s complete with woodcuts and etchings are the factual journalism of the times and they prove “that modern wolf science is pure fiction”. By the way through minimal research I discovered that one of their latest “fact” illustrations is from The Red Fairy Book (published1890). No need to tell you what fairy-tale we’re talking about.

We live in an age where credible information is out there but a lot of people have neither the comprehension nor the time or patience to learn what is real and what isn’t. It’s easier for them to take the lazy way out, much preferring to have some narrow-visioned snake-oil salesman with a pocket-full of agendas and videos to sell tell them what to think rather than form their own educated opinion.

A side note: I generally steer away from commenting on American politics because I really don’t understand the workings and, as a Canadian, it really isn’t my place but…

I watched the SOTU address (which reaffirmed why I like Obama) but I just couldn’t take my eyes off John Boehner. Am I the only one that thought he looked like the ‘before’ picture in a Preparation-H ad? With millions of people watching him this man didn’t possess the self-pride to at least appear interested in anything. It’s clear that he and Obama aren’t after-school buddies but there should be at least minimal respect for the office, if not the man. I’m not a fan of our Mr. Harper but I respect the position he holds.

Respect, or the lack of it, is one of the big issues in our world today. Respect for others and respect for oneself seems to have disappeared. We, as a people, show little respect for our environment. Politicians are trying to force through “safe” pipelines on fragile landscapes while, coincidently, the waterways in Yellowstone National Park have just been polluted with 50,000 gallons of crude from a leak. Our BC Government was (perhaps still is) considering opening up our Provincial Parks for oil and gas exploration. Oddly enough the fact that big business, politicians, and money mongers have no respect for anything doesn’t surprise me. It’s the little guy that types “sweet” on his social media page under the story of two RCMP officers being shot in Alberta. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Perhaps this lack of respect is a sign of the times. In the old days before the internet if you chose to call somebody down you’d best not walk past the schoolyard after dark but there’s safety in the anonymity of social media today. You can sound big and tough while living in your parent’s basement smokin’ dope and free from the fear of retribution. Perhaps the lack of respect has been here all along but I don’t think so. I also don’t think it’s as widespread as it appears, at least I hope it isn’t. It’s just that with today’s technology it’s easier for these people to be heard…but that doesn’t mean we have to listen.

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GRAPE EXCERPTATIONS….

Okay, the title has nothing to do with anything except that I’m sitting behind the laptop snacking on bowl of grapes. I usually prefer my grapes aged and liquefied but it’s a bit too early for that sort of thing.

First a HUGE thank-you to SK Nicholls for the wonderful review of “White Wolf Moon” and for making me realize that I haven’t been as diligent with the book (or the blog) as I should be. That is all about to change…in fact there are going to be a few changes in my writing life. I can only hope this tired old brain can keep up with the learning curve (more on this in future blog postings). Interestingly though…the more I delve into these changes the more this tired old brain seems to wake up. Before I embark on this journey I have to unload some of the baggage that has been occupying far too much of my time. I have been distracted by my on-going involvement with wolf issues of late but a lot of that has now come to an end. While I am still and always will be decidedly pro-wolf I have come to the conclusion that any sort of dialogue with most of those anti-wolf people is just a waste of time…time that could be better spent in other arenas.

I have started restricting my on-line time to “absolutely necessary” occasions (checking emails, updating blogs/facebook etc.) and I now allow myself about two hours a day for such activities, first thing in the morning and again after dinner. How successful I’ll be remains to be seen because, as I’ve already discovered, it’s not easy to break those old habits.

So my journey starts here and while the destination is far down the road it’s now one step closer. Once again thank you to SK Nicholls for the nudge!

Following is an excerpt from the sequel to WWM that could just as easily refer to the process of writing and independently publishing a book…

Jenn picked up the large paperback, read the title then smiled at Evan. “Beginning Guitar?”

“Like everything in life you need to go back and do a refresh of the basics every once in a while.”

“But you’ve been playing for years.”

“True but when I uncovered that book it made me think of how I felt when I first started playing. There was the sense of accomplishment when I’d finally get a new chord down but there was also the excitement of discovery. It was all so fresh and new for me. I was creating sound…me, little Evan Morris, was making music of sorts. I set my sights on stardom, producing records and living the dream. That became my destination but I quickly realized that the journey is every bit as important as the destination. You can’t have one without the other. You do have to have a goal in mind but if you’re obsessing over the future goal then you’re not concentrating on the now…the journey. If you have the desire the destination will always be there so just let it go. Focus on the now and enjoy the ride. Just because you’re driving to Disneyland doesn’t mean that there aren’t many wonderful stops en route. You have to put Mickey in the back of your mind and fill that mouse-less space with any turn in the road that strikes your fancy and take time to appreciate the mini-destinations along the way. Each of them can be a treasure and they’ll eventually take you where you want to go so relax…Mickey will still be waiting when you get there.”

“So…stop and smell the roses?” Jenn laughed. “Sorry…”

“Don’t be, its true.” He reached for Suzi and began lightly strumming. “Honestly I’m not very good at this but it really doesn’t matter. It’s for me and that’s why I do it. Over the years I’ve let it slip and now I see what I’ve been missing. It isn’t just the music but all that comes with it…the peace, the relaxation, the magic of creation, and the evolution of ideas…the little things. It’s all about making music, good or bad, that reaches into the mind and soul of the player or composer and takes him to another place. If other people can appreciate the journey then that’s good but it still comes back to the simple selfish joy of creation.”

“Ah but you also have your record album…” She pointed to the framed copy of ‘Roses and Rust’ on the wall behind his desk. “Wasn’t that a part of the original destination?”

“Yeah it was a bonus…but sometimes the destination isn’t quite what the trailers promise.”

“You seem to have forgotten about all those people on your fan pages. Now they’re appreciating that journey too.”

Evan grinned. “Yes they are and I still can’t believe it. After fifty years I guess I finally got there.”

“And Mickey was still waiting.”

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WHERE DO I GO?

This is a bit of an experiment for me. I have absolutely no path outlined for this blog because I think I’ve hit a mental clutter-point. There are so many things on my mind right now that bringing just one into focus is trying at best.

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I’ve hit a wall with my book…not a tall wall but stumble-height. That’s why the above jigsaw puzzle came into the picture. It was meant to be a distraction, a bit of an escape from everything else for a while. I had to buy it for the subject matter. I am a wolf supporter. The first wild animal I encountered when my family moved from England to a farm in Ontario, Canada in 1955 was a wolf, or rather a small pack of wolves. Other than the incredible shriek of a steam whistle in the Montreal railway station as we boarded that train for the last leg to our new life, the howl of a wolf is the sound I remember most from those days.

It scared me. I was brought up on fairy tales where wolves were always the bad guys.

I heard those howls many times and on three occasions I saw those wolves from my bedroom window. They would casually make their way across the field a few hundred yards away unaware that they were dispelling all the stories I had heard. They jumped, yipped, and played…and were not frightening at all.

The neighboring farm belonged to Mr. South. I never knew his first name but I wish I did. He was also the school bus driver and every morning he’d pick me up at the end of the road in his dusty green panel wagon and chauffer me to a little one-room school near Roblin. I told him I had seen the wolves and he laughed as though it wasn’t that big a deal. He told me how the wolves would come and go and that they were always crossing behind his house too. In typical paranoid kid fashion I asked why he didn’t shoot them. He told me that they were God’s creatures and as long as they weren’t bothering him or his cattle, he wouldn’t bother them. Then he explained the last thing you want to do is break up the pack…that causes no end of trouble. It was years later that I learned how wise this old boy was. Not book-wise…life wise.

Back to the puzzle. It’s 3D, which doesn’t really come across in the photo. Depending on the light or viewing angle it changes colors and sometimes pieces that don’t appear to belong actually do belong. I spent about a week putting it together only to discover that there was one piece missing. Instantly my thoughts, evil and threatening, went to the factory and the shoddy quality control but moments later I discovered the piece still entangled in the plastic bag inside the box. Then I realized that I had too quickly assumed that someone else was at fault for this grievous error. I hereby publicly apologize to the worker in the Chinese factory that packaged my puzzle. I messed up…sorry.

At the same time as I completed the puzzle a message came on my facebook page. Animal Planet was running a program on Monster Week falsely depicting wolves as over-populated, man-eating murderous killers “who threaten us as never before”. I went to the site and yes, amid giant squids, eels, and a sundry of other murderous animals, wolves are monsters and are going to eventually wipe out all human kind. Okay I added the last part but that’s the impression it gives. After studying these animals for five years I can say that everything in Animal Planet’s promo line flies in the face of science but then it’s all about money and sponsors isn’t it? This channel has become the National Enquirer of television (its top rated program is a “documentary” on mermaids) but that’s the way most of these ‘reality’ channels have gone. It’s all about sensationalism and bucks…truth be damned. Scripted family reality shows have become the norm and some folks are getting mighty rich pretending to be real. It’s all about the audience and these folks are laughing at their audience all the way to the bank. It’s not just these programs but mainstream news is running Kanye and Kim as a top story. Who cares? Obviously a lot of people with too much time on their hands and too many choices. Back in the day when there were a half dozen networks you turned on the news and got…well, real news. Nowadays you have hundreds of networks filling time with programs that would never have made it back when quality was a determining factor and you certainly wouldn’t have had a news channel running repetitive speculation and theory on a plane disappearance for twenty-four hours a day.

In the eighties it was widely stated that television had become a wasteland and to my way of thinking it’s gone downhill since then…but I see by the clock on the wall that I’ve run out of time and accomplished nothing but a bit of a rant.

I still have clutter but perhaps not as much. Maybe another couple of blogs will free up some more mind space but there always seems to be something waiting in the wings ready to leap into my head and fill the void left by the deletion of solved issues.

As for those wolves in the 50s…I only saw them the three times over the space of a month or so then they moved on. I’ve come to realize that’s what wolves do. When the time comes to move on they leave and whatever they leave behind is left behind, never to be thought of again. Perhaps we can all learn a little something from that.

***May 28/14…an update. As well as NOT running the program (see my comment below) this was on their website today. It appears Animal Planet is trying to soothe the wounds.  http://blogs.discovery.com/bites-animal-planet/2014/05/10-reasons-to-love-wolves.html?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=AnimalPlanet

I offer thanks to all those who signed the petitions or joined me in emailing Animal Planet to inform them of their error. I think it had some impact.

 

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

When I worked for At Second Glance Books in Kamloops I would occasionally receive a complimentary copy of a book from an up and coming local or regional author. The purpose was simply for me to read it so I could speak with some knowledge of the product if anyone asked. Fortunately with some titles nobody asked.

Last week while organizing my library I stumbled on a few of these self-published works. After shelving the other books into a somewhat systematized array I sat in my chair and did some selective reading and, of the three I scanned, I quickly discovered something they all had in common. The characters all spoke in much the same ‘voice’. The same patterns, rhythms, and sentence structure was used regardless of which character was involved in the dialogue. As much as I respect and congratulate people who self-publish we all have to be held to a certain standard and something this simple is actually easy to correct.

I’ve learned to distinguish voice patterns by eaves-dropping in public. If you listen carefully you’ll soon pick out the little oddities that make some people unique. Shorter sentences, a proliferation of ‘ums’, variance in pitch and pattern, a bit of a stutter…it’s all subtle yet obvious when you listen.

I picked up a copy of White Wolf Moon and did the same selective reading and breathed a sigh of relief. Mostly I had managed to create individual voices for my characters but there were a few areas that I could see readers having trouble following the dialogue especially with some of the longer conversations between Evan and Danny. The real life voices of these two men are surprisingly similar but there are subtleties that I didn’t manage to get across throughout the book. Without regular name tags I could see confusion.

The wonderful thing about publishing a first book is what you learn from it. Not just the whole publishing process but the mistakes you made in creating the book, the actual writing. Overall I’m pleased with the way White Wolf Moon turned out but there are some things I’m not anxious to repeat in the second book.

When I discovered the confusion in voice I started (once again) from the beginning of the new book and within three pages found areas where the dialogue needed clarification. As the writer you know what it’s supposed to say but the reader doesn’t know where the conversation is going until they get there. It’s important to make the journey as easy and stress-free as possible so I’ve made some minor clean-up changes.

I have some unique characters this time around. They speak in a specific dialect using colloquialisms and bad grammar. Those are easy to depict but the subtle differences between Danny and Evan need more work to convey. Mostly I believe it’s in the rhythm and sentence length. Evan is a bit of a thinker and his words are generally more deliberate while Danny talks off the top of his head in shorter, choppier sentences. As I said the differences are subtle but they have to be made obvious in order for the reader to hear which character is speaking. Yes I still need character name tags but I don’t want them every seventh or eighth line unless there’s an action involved.

Now comes the part where I digress.

As most of you know I am pro-wolf. I used to visit the anti-wolf pages just to get a laugh, mostly at the impressive lack of grasp of the English language that many of these folks possess. For a year or so I copied some of the more idiotic comments into a file simply called “Stupid Comments”. It is interesting to read these comments as a single unit. They reveal a mentality and attitude that borders on total “nutso” and I would think they could provide an in-depth study into some rather twisted psychological traits if analyzed but I’ll leave that for someone who’s interested in such things.

When I was creating a backwoods, less-than-educated character for the new book I wanted to use some of these comments as they are genuine and grass roots. Two things happened as I was reviewing these little treasures. One…I gave my character Fergus a couple of these lines and it sounded like a Saturday Night Live satirical skit. The words and dialect were actually too unbelievable for a fictional character. My people have to be real and poor ol’ Fergus…wasn’t. The second thing that happened was that I quickly realized the similarity in many of the comments especially the aforementioned speech patterns and rhythms. After grouping these comments I noticed that, even with different names, some are virtually identical. The same words were misspelled, the same lack of punctuation, and the same catch phrases. Some comments were completely identical even down to the placement of the same text shortcuts (lmao, lol etc.). There is no question that at least four of these “individuals” is the same person and is also an administrator on two different pages. One other individual is behind at least three pseudonyms and even has some interesting conversations with himself. Of course there are many other people on these pages who proudly display their shortcomings when it comes to communication skills. That’s pretty sad…especially when you read a comment like: “Its always a good hunting season just as long as your in the hills right, and my bad i didnt mean that bad really i giess i thought you did but now i know ypu wernt sorry.”. The sad (and shocking) part? If you click on his name it takes you to this man’s fb page where you discover that he is a professor at Idaho State University.

I’m not sure what to draw from this experience. These people can’t write and, judging by many of the comments, aren’t all that interested in reading either. Has this computer generation just become lazy or is the education system failing big time? I admit that this is a small segment of the population but it still amazes me that there’s even a segment that managed to fall through the cracks this badly. There’s probably a bigger social issue at play here but again I’ll leave that to someone who enjoys exploring that sort of thing.

I don’t frequent anti-wolf pages any more, it’s far too depressing. When I read the dialogue between Fergus and Evan I feel good. Fergus is fictional but real to me. When I gave him dialogue written by real people that I assumed would be of a similar character he became unreal, a caricature. Perhaps it’s like the old saying “Truth is stranger than fiction” and in this case I think I’ll stick with fiction.

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