Saturday, September 17, 2011

Guest Post: Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Today I'm happy to welcome Benjamin Kane Ethridge , Bram Stoker Award winning author of the novel BLACK & ORANGE, to Tell Me A Story. You can read my review of this great dark fantasy here. 


It’s depressing right now to be a middle class American.  We’ve taken so much abuse from corporations and from our own government that we can longer differentiate whose beating us anymore. It doesn’t matter. They’re both doing it, and we’re letting them. Our apathy has grown Everest high.

I don’t like thinking about this. Few people do. But when I hear ordinary people talking politics, and they have no clue what the real issues are, I can actually feel a rain cloud drifting over our lives. When I hear people reciting talking points, knowing no facts whatsoever, I realize that the powers that control our country are winning, big time.

I get it though. People need easy ideas to grasp. We don’t have time to read every paper and investigate every cause and issue. But we’re being misled so often it is embarrassing to acknowledge. I try to direct people to because it’s a place that rates the truth in politics. Even this seems too much for people to process. Why? Well, neither party is always telling the truth all of the time. But we gotta have a team, right? So we shrug and go about living our lives.

Once, when I was a kid, I remember being held down by a bully. I couldn’t breathe. This other kid was bigger and meaner than me. Luckily, my mother came by. I sat down on the porch with her, while she said to calm down, breathe, don’t let it bug me, he isn’t worth being angry over, etc. She continued her lesson, softly describing how it was okay to be mad, but to let it go.

I wasn’t listening to her. My anger had built and the dam had to bust. I ran over to where the bully was playing and soundly kicked his ass. That was my “this is all that I can stands, and I can’t stands no more” moment.

When will the middle class have this moment? Not one of those fake, fickle, trendy moments that doesn’t last after an election. And not one that has its facts and priorities all screwed up.

We are 98% of this country and we’re being held down. This bully isn’t bigger or stronger than us, but he has proven more cunning and determined. In our ear, this bully whispers lies we never question, and we’re being suffocated underneath him. If we do become mad, the bully tells us to blame it on each other, not on him. We nod and go on believing, hoping he’ll give us a break, let us come up for air.

Will we ever be angry for real reasons? Will we ever fight the real enemy?

Or have we forgotten what real is?

About the Author

Benjamin Kane Ethridge’s fiction has appeared in Doorways Magazine, Dark Recesses, FearZone, and others. His dark fantasy novel BLACK & ORANGE (Bad Moon Books 2010) has won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel. Beyond that he’s written several collaborations with Michael Louis Calvillo, one of which is a novella called UGLY SPIRIT, available in 2011. He also wrote a master’s thesis entitled, “CAUSES OF UNEASE: The Rhetoric of Horror Fiction and Film.” Available in an ivory tower near you. Benjamin lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter, both lovely and both worthy of better. When he isn’t writing, reading, videogaming, he’s defending California’s waterways and sewers from pollution.

His official web presence is and you can Facebook him here, and Tweet him here,!/bkethridge

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