Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 1st We Got Him and We Celebrate: Now the Existential Agonizing Begins

I want to remember this day, the day we "got him" and the day we celebrated death and then the next day some of us woke up with an existential hangover.

Who do we kill and feel happy about the killing? What type of person fits into that catagory of human being whose demise brings joy to most of the world? Yeah, this guy, I guess would fit the bill.

My inital take on his killing feels like this: You are free to kill--and indeed, stupid if you don't kill--someone who is actively trying to kill you--someone who has a gun pointed at your head and you're pretty certain is about to pull the trigger. The existential angst and second guessing in a case like this should be left to those among us who have strong "turn-the-other-cheek" leanings and would rather die themselves rather than take a life. They are an enlightened and very small minority and are always oppressed and victimized.

The world, it seems, pretty much agrees with the action our Navy SEALS took today and that should be judge and jury enough. We didn't put the entire population of Hiroshima in trial before we knowingly and willingly wiped them out.

So, let's accept it that the human animal as it has evolved must necessarily kill or be killed and be pleased with the outcome, so far.  There will be more hell to pay, for certain, but paying hell is the terribly odd way human nature works. We will leave it to the better angels of our natures to make apologies.

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