Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The FORCERY Four, together again!

I don't know how else to put it, but there are some things that happened at Dad's funeral that despite the occasion were an amazing delight.  And I truly believe that Dad would have had no small measure of pride if he could somehow know that this celebration of his life brought so many wonderful people together to celebrate not only his own life, but also of the most precious things in all our lives.

During the service I spoke a few words about Dad and since the other ministers were sharing stories from his life, I did likewise and related some tales of how forgiving and relenting - even if he didn't understand what the heck I was doing - of the many stunts that I pulled during the life that we shared.  One of them was during the filming of Forcery: my first (and Lord willing still the first of many more to come) film project.  So there was Dad watching as we did things like setting fire to the living room floor of his house, having sledgehammers flying all over the place, "breaking" my best friend's legs etc.  Dad saw this one day and he started to leave.

"Are you headed out Dad?" I asked him.

"Uh-huh, way out," was his reply.  That got a good laugh from the very many who came to the service.

Well, as it turned out, Dad's funeral turned out to be the occasion of a reunion of sorts.  Because among those who came were Chad Austin, Ed Woody, and though it was a long drive for them Melody Hallman Daniel and her mother attended... and boy was my heart jumping for joy to see each of them!  Ten years ago we were all making Forcery.  And as things would have it, we wound up all together once again.

It hadn't been planned, but I really believe that it was something God let happen: the reunion of the Forcery Four.

So here - from left to right - are Ed, myself, Chad, and Melody (with her service dog Sasha) ten years later, just after Dad's funeral:


We don't look all that different than we did when we were making that movie, do we? :-)

And here they are, the stars of our show: Chad and Melody, AKA George Lucas and Frannie Filks:



For such a low-budget project, it is absolutely amazing where our little film has gone and has accomplished since then.  Melody shared how many of her former drama students and fellow faculty members come up to her to tell her they saw her in the Forcery footage that was featured in The People vs. George Lucas.  Chad and Melody were seen on the screens at Cannes.  Forcery was mentioned in Time and The Village Voice and a lot of other publications, and made a whole bunch of bigtime filmmaking-related websites.

I won't say that I myself am proud of Forcery.  Instead, I will say that I am proud of what we accomplished together.  We didn't become only friends because of Forcery: the four of us and others became a real family.  Chad and Ed, have long been my brothers.  Melody became as beloved to me as any sister.  And all of them brought amazing consolation to me when I needed it most.

That is what makes Forcery so special in my life... and it always will be.

But it better not be another ten years before we come together again!  We've already planned to reunite again and watch Forcery once more.  No doubt next time we will have even more family to share it with :-)

EDIT 11-27-2014 3 a.m. EST:  After attempting it multiple times and failing, I finally got Forcery, the entire movie, to upload as a single YouTube video!  No more having to jump to parts.  Here it is.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Taking Dad to the edge of the Jordan

Yesterday was supposed to have be one of the saddest days of my entire life. Yet here I am after Dad's funeral and I cannot help but feel like the most blessed, most overwhelmed with joy, most hopeful man in the world.

Mom and Dad's grave site,
the morning after Dad's funeral
This entire time, I believe Dad would have felt honored by every aspect of it. Anita and I had Dad dressed in his denim bib overalls, with a red plaid flannel workshirt beneath and in his right hand, just as it was often poised in life, his smoking pipe. He had often told Anita that if she had him wearing a tie he would come back to haunt her, LOL. Last night during the visitation we had a table set up displaying some of the many knives that he hand-made over the years. That was my aunt's idea, and it was a good one. A lot of people got to see some really amazing examples of his handiwork.

The service was, well... spot-on perfect. It was a time rife with tales from the life of Robert Rankin Knight. One of the officiating ministers was particularly fond of the time two and a half years ago when Dad (during his and Uncle Frank's epic/crazy cross-country drive to Arizona) was pulled over for speeding in west Texas. We still don't know what he was clocked doing, except that the speed limit was 80 MPH. Somehow Dad got off with a warning after chatting with the patrolman about his knifemaking. That was Dad awright: a peaceful demeanor and cheerful talking can go far.

As I said, the service could not have been better. Everything about it was a true testament to his memory. Something about having two Methodist ministers and a Holiness-turned-Baptist-turned-Presbyterian pastor officiating made it so right, somehow. Dad always said he wanted "Go Rest High On That Mountain" by Vince Gill played at his funeral, and Anita's two friends from her church did an amazing rendition of that song. I'm also glad that before the service, those who came got to see the memorial video that Wilkerson Funeral assembled. So many moments from such a beautifully-lived life.

But it was what came after the service, as we were on the way to the graveside ceremony, that impressed my heart with how much God blessed our lives with Dad, and how He is continuing to bless our lives, and my own especially. Even when I spoke a few words about Dad during the service, somehow I didn't see ALL of the people who were packed inside the church. That came later, when our family was in the limo and watching everyone file out of the church, and then as we met in the fellowship hall following the interment.  Words fail to convey how much my heart jumped to see Melody Hallman Daniel - AKA "Frannie Filks" from our movie Forcery - and her mother.  Denise, I am so very moved that you and Nick could come and join the celebration of Dad's life.  Ed Woody and Chad Austin: my brothers... Dad loved you as if you were his own sons.

To each of you and more who came to the funeral, who came to the visitation, who came to visit with us at the home during the past few days, who kept my family in their prayers thank you for honoring him with your presence: on behalf of my family, you haven no idea how exceedingly grateful we are for taking the time to be with us.

I will confess something: I am scared. I don't know what I'm doing, it seems like. But in the past several days God has been showing me that just as much as He blessed me with the greatest father that anyone could ever have, He has also blessed me... and is STILL blessing me... with the most wonderful friends and family that anyone could have in this world. We are told to lean not on our own understanding, to trust God with all our heart instead. We are also told that we don't have to see the entire road ahead: that His word is a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path. In these past three weeks and in the last several days, God has demonstrated in too many ways to count that He IS with us. That He is with me, no matter how far I have felt from Him. He has brought me this far. Maybe He will bring me a little further still.

Yesterday, we said farewell to Dad. But this was not goodbye, not really. This was a celebration of his life. Indeed, this was a celebration of what it means to HAVE life, and life abundantly. I am always going to miss Dad. As I sit in this house that is now suddenly my own, only now is his absence beginning to impress itself upon me. But I also know that Dad would want me to keep moving forward, to always be thankful for what God has given me, to "think positive" (as he often told me), and to cherish those who God has placed into my life.

Just as Dad was all of those things and more.

To all of those who have held up my family in their thoughts and prayers during these very trying past 19 days, to those who offered words of encouragement and edification, to those who have consoled our family and helped us in so many ways for the past three days, to those who came to honor the memory of Dad last night and this afternoon, to all of those and many, many more...

Thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dad's page on the funeral home site

The thought this morning was that I would post Dad's obituary on my blog after it had been published on the Wilkerson Funeral Home website.  But the staff at Wilkerson has rendered such an astounding service during this time of our need... well, that and the page they did for Dad is so spot-on perfect (and totally in keeping with his character)... that their tribute to Dad sincerely and earnestly does merit a visit to its link.

There will be a video slideshow uploaded later.  Anita and I spent most of yesterday evening and some of this morning combing through hundreds of photos of Dad, finding a select few to represent his very varied and wonderful life.  There were some that I hadn't even seen before, including a couple of he and I when I was only one year old.  Anyway, the video slideshow will be up soon.  And as I did with Mom's a few years ago I'll be posting an embedded YouTube of it here also.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Dad is gone

Dear readers,

My name is Robert Christopher Knight, and I am proud to be the son of Robert Rankin Knight. And I have something to say to everyone.

No one could have been blessed with a father as amazing as Dad. From him I learned resolve, resilience, humbleness, the strength to always do what is right, the value of education, the persistence to achieve no matter where one is in life, the enjoyment of creativity, loving and cherish others especially those closest to you, and more than anything else a quiet and sincere devotion to God.

I could not have been blessed with a better father.

Robert Rankin Knight went Home this morning at 1:41 a.m.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A request for my readers

Hey.  It's just me again.  For whatever that's worth.

My personal situation is more of an ordeal than I could try to articulate in a blog post.  However it would be very accurate to state that this is without any possible doubt the most difficult period that I have ever known across the entire span of my life.  God only knows how I'm able to hold up right now...

...and that's what I mean, literally.  It's only by the grace of God that I'm writing these words tonight.  It's only by His grace that I've made it through the past two weeks and it's only going to be by His grace that I might be brought through the days and weeks and months to come.

Dear readers, there is something that I want to ask of you tonight.  Something that is absolutely impossible for me to impress upon you enough:

Life is too short.  Life is too precious.  We aren't guaranteed tomorrow.  And there should be no regrets between us.

Tonight, find the most precious people in your life and tell them, at the very least, three little words:

"I love you."

That's all it takes.  Tell them that you love them.  Let them know without any shred of misunderstanding that you care for them, that you cherish them, that you are extremely thankful that they are in your life.  Tell them that you thank God each and every day that they are there for you.

Never, ever let the sun go down on anything between you.  Don't let anger linger among you.  Anger and spite and bitterness have destroyed too many beautiful relationships, haven't they?  Don't let them destroy the ones that you are in.

Never leave something unsaid between you and someone else.  Leave no stone unturned.  No matter how painful it might be.  You don't want that to be something that one day you would wish you could go back to, only to find that it's too late.

I have written on this blog before that I have been in some dark places.  This, right now, is the darkest yet.  I have asked for prayers from a multitude of people.  I've no doubt that they have worked in petitioning God.  Worked more than my own, because I do wonder if God is hearing my own.

This is a very dark place and for once, I would ask for prayer for my own sake.  There are too many issues that desperately require prayer.  If you guys can keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I'm sure that God will hear each of you.

Don't let the day go by without telling someone that you love them.  Please.  Never do that.  Tomorrow isn't assured to any of us.  All we have are the moments now, between each other.

Make the most of them.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

-- Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fear and faith in the realm of miracles

It would not at all be inaccurate to state that more than any other time in my entire life, I have not been as scared as I have been for more than a week now.

It would be just as rightfully said that in that same span of time I have witnessed nothing short than a miracle.  Maybe even more than one.

Dad had a stroke on Tuesday of last week.

It was incredibly fortunate that it began in a physician's office.  That it was recognized in the earliest stage possible and that as a result 9-1-1- was called and Dad was immediately taken from Reidsville to the best hospital in Greensboro.  If it was meant for Dad to have a stroke, well... he could have been out on his tractor plowing a field when it happened and nobody would have known about it until it was much too late.

Instead he was taken to the hospital and the drug TPA was administered at once.  This is the medication that breaks up blood clots.

I'm counting all of that as the first miracle.  A miracle of timing that extends way past mere coincidence.

I would be remiss if I did not add however that I had never been so frightened as I was then.  I didn't want to lose Dad.  I love him.  He's always been there for me.  I wouldn't be writing my book if it hadn't been for his gentle prodding to do so for so many months.  He has helped me throughout these past few years in dealing with my manic-depression.  He has taught me things that I never knew before, like how to make a good pound cake.

I'll tell you a secret.  I have wanted my book to be sold.  I've been giving this effort my very best, not just for my own sake but for his.  The plan has always been that when it sold I was going to take Dad on a trip somewhere.  Maybe to Arizona.  Maybe to Scotland.

It's not like it was with Mom.  We watched her health gradually deteriorate over the course of three or four years.  When the time came it wasn't without expectation.  When the time came, we were able to let go.  Able to let her lingeringly drift away above and beyond her pain.

It's different when something as sudden as a stroke occurs.  You can't see it coming.  You don't know what is going to happen as a result of it.  All of those plans and more, just gone.  Not knowing if a loved one is going to make it or not.

So it was that the day after the stroke, Dad began to have significant bleeding on the brain.  TPA is practically a miracle drug if given without the first three hours of the stroke, and Dad was given it less than 45 minutes, maybe even 30 minutes, after the stroke began.  Unfortunately TPA brings with it the risk of cerebral bleeding.  And that is what happened.

I saw the area of the bleeding on the scan they did of him.  The big white space is going to forever be etched in my memory.

Fear upon fear upon fear.  I looked at Dad laying on his bed in ICU and the horrible realization finally sank in that I might actually lose him.  And it seemed that God wasn't listening to my prayers.

I'll admit to something else: I've long been afraid that God doesn't hear my prayers.

Maybe He doesn't hear because it is extremely difficult for me to do it with my mouth.  Manic-depression causes my thoughts to run way too fast and sometimes my lips can't catch up.  So my prayers more often than not are from my heart and not my tongue.  Then there is wondering if the bipolar itself is causing Him to not make anything out from the internal dissonance, or if it's just that my mind can't hear Him.

I've wondered if I'm too far away from Him for God to listen.  Yes, there are times when I wonder if I'm too far damned for things that I have done during my life.  Things that I have begged forgiveness for but seem to have never experienced that saving grace.

Dad's brain was awash in blood that should not have been there and my prayers were going no further than the ceiling of his room, it seemed.

That was fear.  That was fear that I've never had before and I pray will never happen again or that it will ever happen to anyone else.

Dad was stable, more or less, for the next few days.  The edema wasn't growing and in fact appeared to be subsiding.  But the following day, on Friday, Dad went into respiratory failure.  During which time his heart stopped beating.  The nurses were about to take him to another room outside of ICU.  Doctors and nurses who were in the same ward went quickly to work and brought him back to normal (whatever "normal" is in this kind of circumstance).  The doctor told us that Dad had experienced a seizure and that the heart stopping momentarily (and his heart did quickly re-start on its own) was not uncommon in cases of stroke.

I don't know what would have happened if all of that staff, with so many years of knowledge and experience, had not jumped into action as they did.

That was the second miracle.  And that's what these were: nothing short of miracles from God.  Miracles of timing, yes.  But that makes them no less potent or awe-infusing.

It was in the first day or two of Dad's stroke that I began asking others to please keep him in their thoughts and prayers.  My logic was this: if God isn't hearing my own prayers, maybe He will listen to those of others who are far closer to Him than I am or may ever be.  That is what happened.  I asked for prayer here (some quietly told me that they have done that, without knowing what it was that was going on to evoke those prayers).  I asked for it on Facebook.  I asked for it from my counselor.  I asked for it from anyone who I knew at all, and then some.

To pray means to petition God for something, even if it's just for a little slice of His time to hear you out.  I added my own to those being spoken by literally hundreds of people, from Reidsville to Hawaii to Germany and everywhere in between.  Dad was being lifted up by people he didn't know and probably never would otherwise know were there.  When he can, I'm going to show him the prayers that my friends on Facebook alone were showering him with.

I'm more thankful than I can possibly express that there is now a chance that that will happen.  Because a few days ago on Monday we really did almost lose Dad.

He had been on a respirator since Thursday (I hope I'm getting these dates right, if not I can always look at the prayer requests on Facebook instead of trying to rely on stressful memory).  After two days he was doing well enough that he was taken off of that.  On Monday afternoon I called my sister - who has been part of the constant vigil we have been keeping at the hospital - to ask how Dad was doing.

She was in tears.  She told me that he was back on the respirator and that Dad was unresponsive and that the damage to his brain might now have been so severe that there was no hope for him whatsoever.

Again, I cannot at all express the fear that enveloped my family and I.

Monday afternoon Dad's sister talked with the doctors.  She talked with Dad's pastor who has been with us so much throughout this ordeal.  Then she talked to my sister, who is a medical professional.  And then in the chapel all of them spoke with me and not for the first time but certainly the most I came almost entirely unglued inside.

I need to elaborate on something here: all through this time I've been holding it together far better than I would have ever anticipated.  I'm being there for my family, for Dad's sake because he would want me to not lose my nerve.  For myself most of all, because I have come this far already.  That doesn't mean that I'm not a mess inside, because going through this has certainly done that.  But at least I'm there enough for those around me.  This has become one of the most incendiary events so far as my bipolar disorder is concerned but... well, again I don't know how else it's happened other than a very real miracle and knowing that it's not been just Dad but also myself who has been sustained by the prayers of so many people.

It's been more than enough to make one believe that God does really hear our prayers.  Even those of people who feel most distant from Him.

My aunt and Dad's pastor conferred with my sister and I.  And, well... there is no real other way to put it: the family agreed that in keeping with what Dad had expressed to us before, that a do-not-resuscitate order would be signed for him.  Meaning that drastic actions to save his life would be withheld if he went into a state that would have rendered him, in so many words, a vegetable for the rest of his life.  That didn't mean that treatment itself would be withheld, because the doctors and nurses have been as committed to helping Dad as much as any patient possibly could be helped.  I saw that on Friday, when his bed was surrounded so much by staff that my sister and I couldn't make him out at all.

To possibly allow Dad's life to be terminated was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make.

For as long as I live I'm never going to forget Dad opening his eyes so briefly, and me telling him that I loved him and his barely-audible voice saying "I love you too".  And I thought that would be the last that I ever heard from him.

Anita (my sister) and I spent the rest of the evening at his bedside.  Holding his hands.  Telling him we loved him and always would.  Whispering to him that if he wanted to let go, that he could.

And all of this time, our friends on Facebook were praying harder than ever for Dad.  For which, I will never be thankful enough.

I went home at 3 in the morning.  I don't remember how I drove back.  Tammy, our dog, needed to be fed and watered (thankfully a cousin had been given a spare house key so he took care of her several hours earlier).  Sleep never came.  Time stretched and spread out too thin.  Not even my medication worked.

That was the longest night of my life.

I'd withheld taking one medication because it's one that does cause drowsiness.  I had withheld it because I didn't know if I had to go back to the hospital and I needed my faculties for it in case I did.  But by 5 a.m. the depression was creeping in and I had little choice but to take the drug.  It was either be awake and my mind collapsing into a massive spiral, or succumb to drowsiness, let my mind rest and be there for my family when they would potentially need it most.  I knew what Dad would have me do in that situation: he would want me to take care of myself first.  So that's what I did.

Several hours later the next miracle began...

I called Anita.  She told me that Dad was doing much better.  That his responsiveness was returning, that he was able to breathe somewhat but that they were still keeping him on the respirator.  He was opening his eyes more when someone spoke to him.  And he did speak to us!  In fact, he told us something so hysterically funny and somewhat vulgar that I can't print here.  But I don't care: my father was alive and communicating, and that's all that mattered.

Later that evening the nurse showed me something.  The stroke has left Dad immobile on his left side.  The nurse put her fingers into Dad's left hand and told him to squeeze around her fingers.

And he did.

Yesterday was even better: he was taken off the respirator.  He wasn't quite whispering but he still had things to tell us that we could just barely make out.  He said something else vulgar that I had to laugh at.  And my aunt and I saw him move his left arm.  Not just fingers, but his entire arm.  Not much, not even lifting it over the blanket on his bed.  But he moved it all the same.

Dad is alive.  And I am absolutely praising God for bringing him so far in such little time.  I went home last night and got down on my knees to thank Him for this and thanking Him for all of the people in my life and that of my family who have been praying for him.  Dad was doing so well last night that we were able to end our vigil.  So after my prayer of thanksgiving I played with Tammy, then I made a pizza and finally got to use that bottle of original brand Sriracha sauce that I found over the weekend, then I ate while watching Thor.  Then I did something I haven't done in two weeks: sent out queries to potential agents (this is the toughest part of writing a book, the gauntlet that every author must run and I'm no different).  Then I let myself play some TIE Fighter and before going to bed I prayed for another ten minutes and then crashed harder than I've ever crashed asleep before.

Don't tell me that there is no such thing as miracles.  I've seen them. From the time when all of this started, on through what is going on right now and especially what happened during the night between Monday and Tuesday.  We really were bracing ourselves for the worst.  By the estimation of practically everyone Dad should not have survived, much less begin to demonstrate responsiveness and motility that defies all sense of reason.

Don't tell me that prayers don't work.  I don't know if my own did, but those of a lot of people better than I certainly did.  And Dad is being lifted up in them still, even now.

A friend told me yesterday that maybe I'm being too negative, too down on myself about whether God is hearing me.  And she's right: I am too critical of myself.  But she also told me that all of this is something God has been using to increase my faith, to make me stronger.  To make me more the person that He intended for me to be.

If so, then that also is one more miracle from this situation.  And in its own way, the one that is personally to me the most amazing of all.

Dad is not out of the woods yet.  There is still a long hard road ahead of us.  In keeping him stabilized and then the therapy which will hopefully restore a measure of normalcy to his life.  I've told the staff that Dad is a knifemaker, and that he needs to be able to swing a hammer at the red-hot steel he holds down on his anvil.  The staff thought that was another interesting thing about a patient who told me "was quite a character".

I don't know what is going to happen from here on out.  I do know that Dad is still in need of a lot of prayer and thought.  For those who I have reached out to through this blog and have done so, I am exceptionally thankful that you have done that.  I ask that you please continue to keep Dad and my family in your thoughts and prayers.

Miracles.  They happen.  In the past several days, I've seen them.  I have seen a lot of things in my life that can't be explained by the senses of science and medicine.  When you witness your own parent go from the very edge of death to having a fighting chance at life, nothing else comes close.

Miracles happen.

Fear is not forever.

And faith?  Faith manages.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Dear readers,

Prayer would be much appreciated right now and it's not for me.  Thank you.

Monday, November 03, 2014

We are supposed to be better than this...

What I'm about to say is going to get me in a whole lotta trouble with some people. But it's way past time that it be said...

There are two groups of people in America who have been taken for a ride by either of the two major parties. They have been taken advantage of at practically every turn. They have been promised everything and have been given nothing.

I speak of Christians being held captive by the Republican party and of those of African descent by the Democrats.

Both of those groups have become the battered housewives of the Democrats and Republicans. They've been beaten and told "where else are you gonna go baby?"

People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have kept their brethren beholden to the Democrats only because it feeds their own egos. Booker T. Washington warned against such when he said "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

No American deserves to be treated like this. It's something that no free man or woman should tolerate.

And then there is the loathing I have toward the Republicans for what they have done to so many well-meaning Christians.

What is the single biggest issue that most Christians have been passionate about during the past several decades? It is abortion. What is it that Republicans have kept promising that they will do away with if they got into power? It is abortion.

The Republican party has held the majority of votes in the legislature and held the White House so many times since Roe v. Wade, and still we are no closer to getting rid of abortion. And we will NEVER be rid of the sin of abortion if we keep trusting the Republican party to accomplish the task.

Because the truth of the matter is, the Republican party - or at least its leadership - DOES NOT WANT ABORTION TO GO AWAY!! It is the biggest thing they have to keep Christians, especially evangelicals, voting Republican. If abortion was finally made rid of, the Republican party would no longer have all of those well-intentioned Christians to count on to vote for them at the ballot box every two and four years. The LAST thing that the Republican leadership wants to do is throw away their biggest draw.

The GOP had the Presidency and both houses of Congress during the past decade. Did they ever attempt to overthrow abortion? Nope. Not at all. And yet so many of us as followers of Christ have been told in no uncertain terms that we have to vote Republican, that it's "God's ticket" on the ballot.

What am I trying to say in all of this?

We the people have been USED and ABUSED by those who care for nothing but power and prestige. They promise everything and deliver nothing. The two parties and the system they have created is among the most corrupt in the history of the world, and we owe it NO allegiance whatsoever.

We will not be a free people until we stand up, look at those who keep us in bondage right in the face and tell them: "no more".

We either stand on our principles or we stooge for a party. There is no middle ground.

We are better than this. God meant for us to be better than this. America is a land meant for people of liberty and ideas, not limited thinking and ideologies.

If you have understood what I have written and have been pissed-off about it... good. It's SUPPOSED to piss you off. Parties, politicians and the media have insisted you wear blinders. Tear them off and see the light.

And tell those who would claim power over you - WHOEVER you are - that they can go to hell.

Vote tomorrow. Absolutely. But I brook no illusion that anything will change for the better in America, no matter who wins or loses. With each passing election we lose more and more liberty. We have sacrificed responsibility for convenience and we think we can make up for it every two or four years at the ballot box. As a Christian, I believe that too many of my fellow believers have been taken in by the notion that we have to have political power in order to effect change for the better. We are called to be a light for Christ, not to be seated at the table of power. We've been told a lie that we have to elect rulers over us... when in America WE THE PEOPLE are the rulers. Not politicians, or even the government itself. "Render unto Caesar," it is said. Here in America we threw Caesar out on his ass a long, long time ago. The citizens are in charge, for better or for worse. Unfortunately we have shirked that charge because the media or the parties - and I don't care WHICH party - has told us a damned lie in saying "trust us".

I choose to vote tomorrow because I am a free citizen who is not beholden to any man or to any party. None but God can lay claim to my vote, and any who think otherwise is a blithering idiot. I will vote because this land is where God chose to put me and I *will* be responsible with that.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

What the #&@% did I just watch on DOCTOR WHO this week?!?

To: Steven Moffat
From: Christopher Knight
Subject: This week’s new Doctor Who episode “Dark Water”

Dear Mr. Moffat,

You have crossed a terrible, terrible line with this episode.

The same was said of what we came to know as the War Doctor.  This, somehow, is far more insane and certainly the boldest thing yet seen on Doctor Who.  So bold, that you may have finally gone too far.

I hope you know what it is that you’re doing.

Sincerely,
Chris

p.s.: do NOT consider doing this to the Doctor himself.  The consequences would be disastrous.  I could see someone of the opposite gender in the role, but not the character himself.

p.p.s.: I am compelled to state for the record that what you did is actually better and truer to that particular person than happened on Russell T. Davies’ watch and that "Missy" is a fine addition/extension of the Who mythology.

p.p.p.s.: Roger Delgado will always be the best!

p.p.p.p.s.: somehow, I think Delgado would have admired what you have done.

p.p.p.p.p.s.: oh yeah, “Dark Water” is the best episode of the Peter Capaldi era by far!!

"November Rain"

It's the first day of November.  Seems like a lot of people are getting cold wind and precipitation of some kind (further west of my location many places are getting 3 inches of snow).

Perfect day for a song like this.  Some consider this to be the best music video ever assembled...




Admittedly, I did post this same video six years ago. Somehow, seems even more appropriate now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The FORCERY Four, together again!

I don't know how else to put it, but there are some things that happened at Dad's funeral that despite the occasion were an amazing delight.  And I truly believe that Dad would have had no small measure of pride if he could somehow know that this celebration of his life brought so many wonderful people together to celebrate not only his own life, but also of the most precious things in all our lives.

During the service I spoke a few words about Dad and since the other ministers were sharing stories from his life, I did likewise and related some tales of how forgiving and relenting - even if he didn't understand what the heck I was doing - of the many stunts that I pulled during the life that we shared.  One of them was during the filming of Forcery: my first (and Lord willing still the first of many more to come) film project.  So there was Dad watching as we did things like setting fire to the living room floor of his house, having sledgehammers flying all over the place, "breaking" my best friend's legs etc.  Dad saw this one day and he started to leave.

"Are you headed out Dad?" I asked him.

"Uh-huh, way out," was his reply.  That got a good laugh from the very many who came to the service.

Well, as it turned out, Dad's funeral turned out to be the occasion of a reunion of sorts.  Because among those who came were Chad Austin, Ed Woody, and though it was a long drive for them Melody Hallman Daniel and her mother attended... and boy was my heart jumping for joy to see each of them!  Ten years ago we were all making Forcery.  And as things would have it, we wound up all together once again.

It hadn't been planned, but I really believe that it was something God let happen: the reunion of the Forcery Four.

So here - from left to right - are Ed, myself, Chad, and Melody (with her service dog Sasha) ten years later, just after Dad's funeral:


We don't look all that different than we did when we were making that movie, do we? :-)

And here they are, the stars of our show: Chad and Melody, AKA George Lucas and Frannie Filks:



For such a low-budget project, it is absolutely amazing where our little film has gone and has accomplished since then.  Melody shared how many of her former drama students and fellow faculty members come up to her to tell her they saw her in the Forcery footage that was featured in The People vs. George Lucas.  Chad and Melody were seen on the screens at Cannes.  Forcery was mentioned in Time and The Village Voice and a lot of other publications, and made a whole bunch of bigtime filmmaking-related websites.

I won't say that I myself am proud of Forcery.  Instead, I will say that I am proud of what we accomplished together.  We didn't become only friends because of Forcery: the four of us and others became a real family.  Chad and Ed, have long been my brothers.  Melody became as beloved to me as any sister.  And all of them brought amazing consolation to me when I needed it most.

That is what makes Forcery so special in my life... and it always will be.

But it better not be another ten years before we come together again!  We've already planned to reunite again and watch Forcery once more.  No doubt next time we will have even more family to share it with :-)

EDIT 11-27-2014 3 a.m. EST:  After attempting it multiple times and failing, I finally got Forcery, the entire movie, to upload as a single YouTube video!  No more having to jump to parts.  Here it is.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Taking Dad to the edge of the Jordan

Yesterday was supposed to have be one of the saddest days of my entire life. Yet here I am after Dad's funeral and I cannot help but feel like the most blessed, most overwhelmed with joy, most hopeful man in the world.

Mom and Dad's grave site,
the morning after Dad's funeral
This entire time, I believe Dad would have felt honored by every aspect of it. Anita and I had Dad dressed in his denim bib overalls, with a red plaid flannel workshirt beneath and in his right hand, just as it was often poised in life, his smoking pipe. He had often told Anita that if she had him wearing a tie he would come back to haunt her, LOL. Last night during the visitation we had a table set up displaying some of the many knives that he hand-made over the years. That was my aunt's idea, and it was a good one. A lot of people got to see some really amazing examples of his handiwork.

The service was, well... spot-on perfect. It was a time rife with tales from the life of Robert Rankin Knight. One of the officiating ministers was particularly fond of the time two and a half years ago when Dad (during his and Uncle Frank's epic/crazy cross-country drive to Arizona) was pulled over for speeding in west Texas. We still don't know what he was clocked doing, except that the speed limit was 80 MPH. Somehow Dad got off with a warning after chatting with the patrolman about his knifemaking. That was Dad awright: a peaceful demeanor and cheerful talking can go far.

As I said, the service could not have been better. Everything about it was a true testament to his memory. Something about having two Methodist ministers and a Holiness-turned-Baptist-turned-Presbyterian pastor officiating made it so right, somehow. Dad always said he wanted "Go Rest High On That Mountain" by Vince Gill played at his funeral, and Anita's two friends from her church did an amazing rendition of that song. I'm also glad that before the service, those who came got to see the memorial video that Wilkerson Funeral assembled. So many moments from such a beautifully-lived life.

But it was what came after the service, as we were on the way to the graveside ceremony, that impressed my heart with how much God blessed our lives with Dad, and how He is continuing to bless our lives, and my own especially. Even when I spoke a few words about Dad during the service, somehow I didn't see ALL of the people who were packed inside the church. That came later, when our family was in the limo and watching everyone file out of the church, and then as we met in the fellowship hall following the interment.  Words fail to convey how much my heart jumped to see Melody Hallman Daniel - AKA "Frannie Filks" from our movie Forcery - and her mother.  Denise, I am so very moved that you and Nick could come and join the celebration of Dad's life.  Ed Woody and Chad Austin: my brothers... Dad loved you as if you were his own sons.

To each of you and more who came to the funeral, who came to the visitation, who came to visit with us at the home during the past few days, who kept my family in their prayers thank you for honoring him with your presence: on behalf of my family, you haven no idea how exceedingly grateful we are for taking the time to be with us.

I will confess something: I am scared. I don't know what I'm doing, it seems like. But in the past several days God has been showing me that just as much as He blessed me with the greatest father that anyone could ever have, He has also blessed me... and is STILL blessing me... with the most wonderful friends and family that anyone could have in this world. We are told to lean not on our own understanding, to trust God with all our heart instead. We are also told that we don't have to see the entire road ahead: that His word is a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path. In these past three weeks and in the last several days, God has demonstrated in too many ways to count that He IS with us. That He is with me, no matter how far I have felt from Him. He has brought me this far. Maybe He will bring me a little further still.

Yesterday, we said farewell to Dad. But this was not goodbye, not really. This was a celebration of his life. Indeed, this was a celebration of what it means to HAVE life, and life abundantly. I am always going to miss Dad. As I sit in this house that is now suddenly my own, only now is his absence beginning to impress itself upon me. But I also know that Dad would want me to keep moving forward, to always be thankful for what God has given me, to "think positive" (as he often told me), and to cherish those who God has placed into my life.

Just as Dad was all of those things and more.

To all of those who have held up my family in their thoughts and prayers during these very trying past 19 days, to those who offered words of encouragement and edification, to those who have consoled our family and helped us in so many ways for the past three days, to those who came to honor the memory of Dad last night and this afternoon, to all of those and many, many more...

Thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dad's page on the funeral home site

The thought this morning was that I would post Dad's obituary on my blog after it had been published on the Wilkerson Funeral Home website.  But the staff at Wilkerson has rendered such an astounding service during this time of our need... well, that and the page they did for Dad is so spot-on perfect (and totally in keeping with his character)... that their tribute to Dad sincerely and earnestly does merit a visit to its link.

There will be a video slideshow uploaded later.  Anita and I spent most of yesterday evening and some of this morning combing through hundreds of photos of Dad, finding a select few to represent his very varied and wonderful life.  There were some that I hadn't even seen before, including a couple of he and I when I was only one year old.  Anyway, the video slideshow will be up soon.  And as I did with Mom's a few years ago I'll be posting an embedded YouTube of it here also.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Dad is gone

Dear readers,

My name is Robert Christopher Knight, and I am proud to be the son of Robert Rankin Knight. And I have something to say to everyone.

No one could have been blessed with a father as amazing as Dad. From him I learned resolve, resilience, humbleness, the strength to always do what is right, the value of education, the persistence to achieve no matter where one is in life, the enjoyment of creativity, loving and cherish others especially those closest to you, and more than anything else a quiet and sincere devotion to God.

I could not have been blessed with a better father.

Robert Rankin Knight went Home this morning at 1:41 a.m.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A request for my readers

Hey.  It's just me again.  For whatever that's worth.

My personal situation is more of an ordeal than I could try to articulate in a blog post.  However it would be very accurate to state that this is without any possible doubt the most difficult period that I have ever known across the entire span of my life.  God only knows how I'm able to hold up right now...

...and that's what I mean, literally.  It's only by the grace of God that I'm writing these words tonight.  It's only by His grace that I've made it through the past two weeks and it's only going to be by His grace that I might be brought through the days and weeks and months to come.

Dear readers, there is something that I want to ask of you tonight.  Something that is absolutely impossible for me to impress upon you enough:

Life is too short.  Life is too precious.  We aren't guaranteed tomorrow.  And there should be no regrets between us.

Tonight, find the most precious people in your life and tell them, at the very least, three little words:

"I love you."

That's all it takes.  Tell them that you love them.  Let them know without any shred of misunderstanding that you care for them, that you cherish them, that you are extremely thankful that they are in your life.  Tell them that you thank God each and every day that they are there for you.

Never, ever let the sun go down on anything between you.  Don't let anger linger among you.  Anger and spite and bitterness have destroyed too many beautiful relationships, haven't they?  Don't let them destroy the ones that you are in.

Never leave something unsaid between you and someone else.  Leave no stone unturned.  No matter how painful it might be.  You don't want that to be something that one day you would wish you could go back to, only to find that it's too late.

I have written on this blog before that I have been in some dark places.  This, right now, is the darkest yet.  I have asked for prayers from a multitude of people.  I've no doubt that they have worked in petitioning God.  Worked more than my own, because I do wonder if God is hearing my own.

This is a very dark place and for once, I would ask for prayer for my own sake.  There are too many issues that desperately require prayer.  If you guys can keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I'm sure that God will hear each of you.

Don't let the day go by without telling someone that you love them.  Please.  Never do that.  Tomorrow isn't assured to any of us.  All we have are the moments now, between each other.

Make the most of them.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

-- Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fear and faith in the realm of miracles

It would not at all be inaccurate to state that more than any other time in my entire life, I have not been as scared as I have been for more than a week now.

It would be just as rightfully said that in that same span of time I have witnessed nothing short than a miracle.  Maybe even more than one.

Dad had a stroke on Tuesday of last week.

It was incredibly fortunate that it began in a physician's office.  That it was recognized in the earliest stage possible and that as a result 9-1-1- was called and Dad was immediately taken from Reidsville to the best hospital in Greensboro.  If it was meant for Dad to have a stroke, well... he could have been out on his tractor plowing a field when it happened and nobody would have known about it until it was much too late.

Instead he was taken to the hospital and the drug TPA was administered at once.  This is the medication that breaks up blood clots.

I'm counting all of that as the first miracle.  A miracle of timing that extends way past mere coincidence.

I would be remiss if I did not add however that I had never been so frightened as I was then.  I didn't want to lose Dad.  I love him.  He's always been there for me.  I wouldn't be writing my book if it hadn't been for his gentle prodding to do so for so many months.  He has helped me throughout these past few years in dealing with my manic-depression.  He has taught me things that I never knew before, like how to make a good pound cake.

I'll tell you a secret.  I have wanted my book to be sold.  I've been giving this effort my very best, not just for my own sake but for his.  The plan has always been that when it sold I was going to take Dad on a trip somewhere.  Maybe to Arizona.  Maybe to Scotland.

It's not like it was with Mom.  We watched her health gradually deteriorate over the course of three or four years.  When the time came it wasn't without expectation.  When the time came, we were able to let go.  Able to let her lingeringly drift away above and beyond her pain.

It's different when something as sudden as a stroke occurs.  You can't see it coming.  You don't know what is going to happen as a result of it.  All of those plans and more, just gone.  Not knowing if a loved one is going to make it or not.

So it was that the day after the stroke, Dad began to have significant bleeding on the brain.  TPA is practically a miracle drug if given without the first three hours of the stroke, and Dad was given it less than 45 minutes, maybe even 30 minutes, after the stroke began.  Unfortunately TPA brings with it the risk of cerebral bleeding.  And that is what happened.

I saw the area of the bleeding on the scan they did of him.  The big white space is going to forever be etched in my memory.

Fear upon fear upon fear.  I looked at Dad laying on his bed in ICU and the horrible realization finally sank in that I might actually lose him.  And it seemed that God wasn't listening to my prayers.

I'll admit to something else: I've long been afraid that God doesn't hear my prayers.

Maybe He doesn't hear because it is extremely difficult for me to do it with my mouth.  Manic-depression causes my thoughts to run way too fast and sometimes my lips can't catch up.  So my prayers more often than not are from my heart and not my tongue.  Then there is wondering if the bipolar itself is causing Him to not make anything out from the internal dissonance, or if it's just that my mind can't hear Him.

I've wondered if I'm too far away from Him for God to listen.  Yes, there are times when I wonder if I'm too far damned for things that I have done during my life.  Things that I have begged forgiveness for but seem to have never experienced that saving grace.

Dad's brain was awash in blood that should not have been there and my prayers were going no further than the ceiling of his room, it seemed.

That was fear.  That was fear that I've never had before and I pray will never happen again or that it will ever happen to anyone else.

Dad was stable, more or less, for the next few days.  The edema wasn't growing and in fact appeared to be subsiding.  But the following day, on Friday, Dad went into respiratory failure.  During which time his heart stopped beating.  The nurses were about to take him to another room outside of ICU.  Doctors and nurses who were in the same ward went quickly to work and brought him back to normal (whatever "normal" is in this kind of circumstance).  The doctor told us that Dad had experienced a seizure and that the heart stopping momentarily (and his heart did quickly re-start on its own) was not uncommon in cases of stroke.

I don't know what would have happened if all of that staff, with so many years of knowledge and experience, had not jumped into action as they did.

That was the second miracle.  And that's what these were: nothing short of miracles from God.  Miracles of timing, yes.  But that makes them no less potent or awe-infusing.

It was in the first day or two of Dad's stroke that I began asking others to please keep him in their thoughts and prayers.  My logic was this: if God isn't hearing my own prayers, maybe He will listen to those of others who are far closer to Him than I am or may ever be.  That is what happened.  I asked for prayer here (some quietly told me that they have done that, without knowing what it was that was going on to evoke those prayers).  I asked for it on Facebook.  I asked for it from my counselor.  I asked for it from anyone who I knew at all, and then some.

To pray means to petition God for something, even if it's just for a little slice of His time to hear you out.  I added my own to those being spoken by literally hundreds of people, from Reidsville to Hawaii to Germany and everywhere in between.  Dad was being lifted up by people he didn't know and probably never would otherwise know were there.  When he can, I'm going to show him the prayers that my friends on Facebook alone were showering him with.

I'm more thankful than I can possibly express that there is now a chance that that will happen.  Because a few days ago on Monday we really did almost lose Dad.

He had been on a respirator since Thursday (I hope I'm getting these dates right, if not I can always look at the prayer requests on Facebook instead of trying to rely on stressful memory).  After two days he was doing well enough that he was taken off of that.  On Monday afternoon I called my sister - who has been part of the constant vigil we have been keeping at the hospital - to ask how Dad was doing.

She was in tears.  She told me that he was back on the respirator and that Dad was unresponsive and that the damage to his brain might now have been so severe that there was no hope for him whatsoever.

Again, I cannot at all express the fear that enveloped my family and I.

Monday afternoon Dad's sister talked with the doctors.  She talked with Dad's pastor who has been with us so much throughout this ordeal.  Then she talked to my sister, who is a medical professional.  And then in the chapel all of them spoke with me and not for the first time but certainly the most I came almost entirely unglued inside.

I need to elaborate on something here: all through this time I've been holding it together far better than I would have ever anticipated.  I'm being there for my family, for Dad's sake because he would want me to not lose my nerve.  For myself most of all, because I have come this far already.  That doesn't mean that I'm not a mess inside, because going through this has certainly done that.  But at least I'm there enough for those around me.  This has become one of the most incendiary events so far as my bipolar disorder is concerned but... well, again I don't know how else it's happened other than a very real miracle and knowing that it's not been just Dad but also myself who has been sustained by the prayers of so many people.

It's been more than enough to make one believe that God does really hear our prayers.  Even those of people who feel most distant from Him.

My aunt and Dad's pastor conferred with my sister and I.  And, well... there is no real other way to put it: the family agreed that in keeping with what Dad had expressed to us before, that a do-not-resuscitate order would be signed for him.  Meaning that drastic actions to save his life would be withheld if he went into a state that would have rendered him, in so many words, a vegetable for the rest of his life.  That didn't mean that treatment itself would be withheld, because the doctors and nurses have been as committed to helping Dad as much as any patient possibly could be helped.  I saw that on Friday, when his bed was surrounded so much by staff that my sister and I couldn't make him out at all.

To possibly allow Dad's life to be terminated was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make.

For as long as I live I'm never going to forget Dad opening his eyes so briefly, and me telling him that I loved him and his barely-audible voice saying "I love you too".  And I thought that would be the last that I ever heard from him.

Anita (my sister) and I spent the rest of the evening at his bedside.  Holding his hands.  Telling him we loved him and always would.  Whispering to him that if he wanted to let go, that he could.

And all of this time, our friends on Facebook were praying harder than ever for Dad.  For which, I will never be thankful enough.

I went home at 3 in the morning.  I don't remember how I drove back.  Tammy, our dog, needed to be fed and watered (thankfully a cousin had been given a spare house key so he took care of her several hours earlier).  Sleep never came.  Time stretched and spread out too thin.  Not even my medication worked.

That was the longest night of my life.

I'd withheld taking one medication because it's one that does cause drowsiness.  I had withheld it because I didn't know if I had to go back to the hospital and I needed my faculties for it in case I did.  But by 5 a.m. the depression was creeping in and I had little choice but to take the drug.  It was either be awake and my mind collapsing into a massive spiral, or succumb to drowsiness, let my mind rest and be there for my family when they would potentially need it most.  I knew what Dad would have me do in that situation: he would want me to take care of myself first.  So that's what I did.

Several hours later the next miracle began...

I called Anita.  She told me that Dad was doing much better.  That his responsiveness was returning, that he was able to breathe somewhat but that they were still keeping him on the respirator.  He was opening his eyes more when someone spoke to him.  And he did speak to us!  In fact, he told us something so hysterically funny and somewhat vulgar that I can't print here.  But I don't care: my father was alive and communicating, and that's all that mattered.

Later that evening the nurse showed me something.  The stroke has left Dad immobile on his left side.  The nurse put her fingers into Dad's left hand and told him to squeeze around her fingers.

And he did.

Yesterday was even better: he was taken off the respirator.  He wasn't quite whispering but he still had things to tell us that we could just barely make out.  He said something else vulgar that I had to laugh at.  And my aunt and I saw him move his left arm.  Not just fingers, but his entire arm.  Not much, not even lifting it over the blanket on his bed.  But he moved it all the same.

Dad is alive.  And I am absolutely praising God for bringing him so far in such little time.  I went home last night and got down on my knees to thank Him for this and thanking Him for all of the people in my life and that of my family who have been praying for him.  Dad was doing so well last night that we were able to end our vigil.  So after my prayer of thanksgiving I played with Tammy, then I made a pizza and finally got to use that bottle of original brand Sriracha sauce that I found over the weekend, then I ate while watching Thor.  Then I did something I haven't done in two weeks: sent out queries to potential agents (this is the toughest part of writing a book, the gauntlet that every author must run and I'm no different).  Then I let myself play some TIE Fighter and before going to bed I prayed for another ten minutes and then crashed harder than I've ever crashed asleep before.

Don't tell me that there is no such thing as miracles.  I've seen them. From the time when all of this started, on through what is going on right now and especially what happened during the night between Monday and Tuesday.  We really were bracing ourselves for the worst.  By the estimation of practically everyone Dad should not have survived, much less begin to demonstrate responsiveness and motility that defies all sense of reason.

Don't tell me that prayers don't work.  I don't know if my own did, but those of a lot of people better than I certainly did.  And Dad is being lifted up in them still, even now.

A friend told me yesterday that maybe I'm being too negative, too down on myself about whether God is hearing me.  And she's right: I am too critical of myself.  But she also told me that all of this is something God has been using to increase my faith, to make me stronger.  To make me more the person that He intended for me to be.

If so, then that also is one more miracle from this situation.  And in its own way, the one that is personally to me the most amazing of all.

Dad is not out of the woods yet.  There is still a long hard road ahead of us.  In keeping him stabilized and then the therapy which will hopefully restore a measure of normalcy to his life.  I've told the staff that Dad is a knifemaker, and that he needs to be able to swing a hammer at the red-hot steel he holds down on his anvil.  The staff thought that was another interesting thing about a patient who told me "was quite a character".

I don't know what is going to happen from here on out.  I do know that Dad is still in need of a lot of prayer and thought.  For those who I have reached out to through this blog and have done so, I am exceptionally thankful that you have done that.  I ask that you please continue to keep Dad and my family in your thoughts and prayers.

Miracles.  They happen.  In the past several days, I've seen them.  I have seen a lot of things in my life that can't be explained by the senses of science and medicine.  When you witness your own parent go from the very edge of death to having a fighting chance at life, nothing else comes close.

Miracles happen.

Fear is not forever.

And faith?  Faith manages.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Dear readers,

Prayer would be much appreciated right now and it's not for me.  Thank you.

Monday, November 03, 2014

We are supposed to be better than this...

What I'm about to say is going to get me in a whole lotta trouble with some people. But it's way past time that it be said...

There are two groups of people in America who have been taken for a ride by either of the two major parties. They have been taken advantage of at practically every turn. They have been promised everything and have been given nothing.

I speak of Christians being held captive by the Republican party and of those of African descent by the Democrats.

Both of those groups have become the battered housewives of the Democrats and Republicans. They've been beaten and told "where else are you gonna go baby?"

People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have kept their brethren beholden to the Democrats only because it feeds their own egos. Booker T. Washington warned against such when he said "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

No American deserves to be treated like this. It's something that no free man or woman should tolerate.

And then there is the loathing I have toward the Republicans for what they have done to so many well-meaning Christians.

What is the single biggest issue that most Christians have been passionate about during the past several decades? It is abortion. What is it that Republicans have kept promising that they will do away with if they got into power? It is abortion.

The Republican party has held the majority of votes in the legislature and held the White House so many times since Roe v. Wade, and still we are no closer to getting rid of abortion. And we will NEVER be rid of the sin of abortion if we keep trusting the Republican party to accomplish the task.

Because the truth of the matter is, the Republican party - or at least its leadership - DOES NOT WANT ABORTION TO GO AWAY!! It is the biggest thing they have to keep Christians, especially evangelicals, voting Republican. If abortion was finally made rid of, the Republican party would no longer have all of those well-intentioned Christians to count on to vote for them at the ballot box every two and four years. The LAST thing that the Republican leadership wants to do is throw away their biggest draw.

The GOP had the Presidency and both houses of Congress during the past decade. Did they ever attempt to overthrow abortion? Nope. Not at all. And yet so many of us as followers of Christ have been told in no uncertain terms that we have to vote Republican, that it's "God's ticket" on the ballot.

What am I trying to say in all of this?

We the people have been USED and ABUSED by those who care for nothing but power and prestige. They promise everything and deliver nothing. The two parties and the system they have created is among the most corrupt in the history of the world, and we owe it NO allegiance whatsoever.

We will not be a free people until we stand up, look at those who keep us in bondage right in the face and tell them: "no more".

We either stand on our principles or we stooge for a party. There is no middle ground.

We are better than this. God meant for us to be better than this. America is a land meant for people of liberty and ideas, not limited thinking and ideologies.

If you have understood what I have written and have been pissed-off about it... good. It's SUPPOSED to piss you off. Parties, politicians and the media have insisted you wear blinders. Tear them off and see the light.

And tell those who would claim power over you - WHOEVER you are - that they can go to hell.

Vote tomorrow. Absolutely. But I brook no illusion that anything will change for the better in America, no matter who wins or loses. With each passing election we lose more and more liberty. We have sacrificed responsibility for convenience and we think we can make up for it every two or four years at the ballot box. As a Christian, I believe that too many of my fellow believers have been taken in by the notion that we have to have political power in order to effect change for the better. We are called to be a light for Christ, not to be seated at the table of power. We've been told a lie that we have to elect rulers over us... when in America WE THE PEOPLE are the rulers. Not politicians, or even the government itself. "Render unto Caesar," it is said. Here in America we threw Caesar out on his ass a long, long time ago. The citizens are in charge, for better or for worse. Unfortunately we have shirked that charge because the media or the parties - and I don't care WHICH party - has told us a damned lie in saying "trust us".

I choose to vote tomorrow because I am a free citizen who is not beholden to any man or to any party. None but God can lay claim to my vote, and any who think otherwise is a blithering idiot. I will vote because this land is where God chose to put me and I *will* be responsible with that.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

What the #&@% did I just watch on DOCTOR WHO this week?!?

To: Steven Moffat
From: Christopher Knight
Subject: This week’s new Doctor Who episode “Dark Water”

Dear Mr. Moffat,

You have crossed a terrible, terrible line with this episode.

The same was said of what we came to know as the War Doctor.  This, somehow, is far more insane and certainly the boldest thing yet seen on Doctor Who.  So bold, that you may have finally gone too far.

I hope you know what it is that you’re doing.

Sincerely,
Chris

p.s.: do NOT consider doing this to the Doctor himself.  The consequences would be disastrous.  I could see someone of the opposite gender in the role, but not the character himself.

p.p.s.: I am compelled to state for the record that what you did is actually better and truer to that particular person than happened on Russell T. Davies’ watch and that "Missy" is a fine addition/extension of the Who mythology.

p.p.p.s.: Roger Delgado will always be the best!

p.p.p.p.s.: somehow, I think Delgado would have admired what you have done.

p.p.p.p.p.s.: oh yeah, “Dark Water” is the best episode of the Peter Capaldi era by far!!

"November Rain"

It's the first day of November.  Seems like a lot of people are getting cold wind and precipitation of some kind (further west of my location many places are getting 3 inches of snow).

Perfect day for a song like this.  Some consider this to be the best music video ever assembled...




Admittedly, I did post this same video six years ago. Somehow, seems even more appropriate now.