Author, Novelist, Writer, & Public Speaker

Posts tagged “Nick Shamhart

No Rest for the Weary Parent



All parents worry about their children. That’s par for the course of a healthy-ish psyche. But there is a comfort to closure for typically developing children. A sort of universal understanding that though they may need you for a while at some point they can and will function without you…

…That’s why there is something so soul aching to having a child that cannot reach that point.

Yes, hopefully others will help them when you are gone, but that is the only comfort you can ever have – vicarious at best. Mostly you’re plagued by the sadness of questions like: Will they understand? Do they even comprehend death as a concept? Do they think they did something wrong and that is why daddy is gone? Where is he? Why won’t he come back? Or…will they forget you completely? Will you just have been a face they knew? One that doesn’t bubble to the surface without the constant reinforcer of your presence?

True, a typical child may wonder some of those same things, but their parent has the comfort of knowing that one day they will have a better understanding of those concepts. Instead of that comfort parents like me have ulcers, drinking problems, both, and worse.

Parents of the mentally handicapped either worry that when we die our children will spend the rest of their days wondering where we went…or, will they be better off never remembering us at all?






I understand that nobody wants to take the blame for anything. I get that. I do. But there comes a time socially when we have to accept that most of the world is just pointing fingers in an attempt to avoid addressing how to fix whatever the problem may be. Who wants to be culpable for the state of the world? Gods leave their worshipers in a lurch when the shit hits the fan. Deities don’t want to be accountable, so why should men and women? Governments bark, cry, and tattletale like children on a global playground. You won’t find any responsibility taken there.

That leaves our world in a predicament, huh?

Never fear. I’ll take the blame for everything. Sexism, Racism, War, Greed, Anger, Lust … Ebola, Cancer, Crack, Fracking, Religion, Climate Change, Poverty, and more. You name it. If you can point a finger and argue over who should shoulder the weight go ahead and Blame Nick. We even started a hashtag #BlameNick so you can easily let the world know on social media who is to blame for all the shit that’s going wrong from the economy to the Kardashians.


Because the world will remember us however it sees fit. Cowards are awarded praise and statues while the real heroes watch their own blood leak into the soil of ignominy and anonymity.

The catch? Why would I be willing to go down as the man who was responsible for such catastrophes and atrocities?

Easy. The second you #BlameNick there are no more excuses. You have your scapegoat. Your culprit and monster, so the world can stop bitching, whining, and crying and begin to do something about it.


Dance Puppets … Dance

August 23, 2014

I often wonder what I would turn into if I were really rich. I don’t mean wealthy, or simply comfortable. I mean Dick Cheney buying a new heart for himself in his seventies kind of rich. That kind of money. Those of us without that financial scope typically are that way for a reason. Maybe it’s luck, birthright, or plain stupidity. It happens. But some of us aren’t rich because we don’t like what we see when we look at the world’s super bourgeoisie. We see addicts. Junkies that can never get a strong enough hit, jonesing for a fix, and willing to anything to get it. We don’t want to be that kind of person.

But, personally, if I were…well, some of the things I’d do. Wow! I’d be nothing shy of a monster.

Napoleon is often quoted as saying, “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

Perhaps that was true for the bulk of human history. Lately with the ecumenical decline in faith, as one of those super rich, I’d have to turn to other means of keeping the paltry proletarians, the meager masses, and the worker drones from storming my palatial homes and such. I don’t want your filthy hands touching all my Stuff! Hmm, so fear of a hellish eternity just isn’t cutting it anymore…let’s see, what can I do to keep my coffers full and my fat ass alive? Hmm? Keep you puppets dancing to the tune I’m whistling.

Well, if the masses aren’t afraid of a god maybe they should be afraid of each other. Yeah, that could work. Fear will keep them in line. It always has as long as we don’t take away too many comforts. They have their fast food and TVs still. Oh, there’s an idea. Let’s use those. TVs, yeah that always gets their dander up. Offensive. Defensive. Violence. Outrage. Perfect!

Now how do I go about this? Hmm, well so many of them seem to want what I have. Money, money, money, money! Money! Even in small doses. I can toss it out like stale bread to ducks and they just gobble it up! Why don’t I pick a few who are desperate enough and stupid enough (I suppose that last part goes without saying) that I can pay them to stir up social unrest on the old boob tube, eh? Yeah, I like the sound of that! Wait…what should they stir up? Hmm. Oh duh! Race! Always go with color and creed. Set those masses against each other with their differences! So easy! So simple. Pull a string here. Pull another one there. Dance. Dance. Dance. So… Simple…

…Just one fool with one gun and I can keep them all distracted. It’s worked before. It will keep on working.

~Nick Shamhart

Illiteracy Leaves Little Basis for Comparison

August 8, 2014

I was recently asked to give my opinion on what I felt was psychologically right or wrong with the Fifty Shades of Grey books.

I had my doubts that my contribution would see the light of day because I did not take what I am sure was the anticipated, belligerent yes or no stance that is the hallmark of inexperience (and, sadly seems to be the mindset de jure). I wanted folks to have the chance to read it, so here goes.

“Art is of course subjective. Personally I shudder to label a Bodice Ripper as art, but some people consider Robert Mapplethorpe to be an artist. It’s a matter of personal choice – the externalization of the internal.
That said, to tear apart the Fifty Shades trilogy would be unfair. The phenomenon that the books stirred about had little to do with the quality of story telling, the prose, or the presentation. What happened was that the populace brought it upon themselves. Worldwide reading trends are quite sad. Entertainment on demand fired a bullet pointblank into the floundering corpse that was the publishing industry. The statistics for the USA are nothing shy of terrifying. 58% of Americans will not read a book after high school. One in ten thousand Americans is an avid reader, meaning they read more than one book a month.
What happened with the Fifty Shades books was a direct result of those numbers. When people don’t read they have little to use as a basis of comparison. So, instead of E.L. James’ books being swept into the growing heap of erotica, with the likes of Steele, Collins, and other ladies that have been working that trade for decades, people took notice. 
Social Media, and its fickle trends helped word spread about the books.
It was the same ecumenical ripple effect that Rowling’s Potter books had. They were fine for what they were, in that case fantasy for Fifty Shades erotica, but for true avid readers that could compare the books to a much broader and larger personal library they were nothing special. 
That’s why children like simple, brightly colored toys. They are stimulating, and the child has no previous experience to say whether the toy is good or bad. Most of the staunch supporters of the Fifty Shades book that I have met read very few books annually. Half a dozen at best, so if they have read less than a hundred books in their lifetime. Who is to say what they are basing their love of Fifty Shades against?”
~Nick Shamhart

Misunderstanding Patience

August 2, 2014

Our definition and concept of the word patience varies greatly.

1. the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or anger.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
In the West we take those ideas and pervert them to our constant need for more. Our delusion of something better, something more, something else, greener grass, bountiful pastures, promised lands – all fuel our fire of desire. We salve our need for greed with a virtue we so blithely dub patience.
We tell ourselves to be patient and we can have everything we want. Be patient and stay the course for great reward! Be patient and you shall have a better job, more money, a bigger house, a golden retirement, a slimmer waistline, a calmer demeanor, and more and more and more.  But, patience is not about acquisition. It’s not about waiting the clock out. Time isn’t our friend who’ll come sweeping in one day like Santa Claus to reward all us good boys and girls who were patient.
The cicada has always held a special place in my mind, when I think of patience. Like many people my wife thinks of heat and summer when she hears their chattering call. That’s how you know it’s hot in a movie, right? You hear the cicadas.
The cicada knows patience better than any human. Some of them remain as nymphs (immature cicadas), buried underground for as long as seventeen years,  and emerging for only a few weeks as matured adult cicadas. Think about it. Some of the cicadas you hear this summer may have been born before Princess Diana died!
Patience. It is not about waiting to get something. The waiting already is something!
Next time your hear a cicada don’t think of it as the sound of heat or summer. No, it is the sound of patience.
~Nick Shamhart

You’re Worth More Than a Million Kardashians

June 28,  2014

I often wonder why people obsess, fixate, and idolize celebrities. Most days it seems like people listen to what Opera has to say more so than their friends and family – people they love and are loved by in return. Anyone else find that odd? to value the opinion of someone you have never met, and will never meet, over the people who breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat the same food as you?

I’ve witnessed social media cluster fucks beyond count over such asinine concepts as what a celebrity was wearing. Why should the world care? Is it smoke and mirrors for the travesties surrounding us? Is it escapism to lands of fairy tale princesses with ghetto booties like the Kardashians? Why? There’s plenty of booty to go around. What makes the Kardashians’ so obsession-worthy?

Celebrities are not your friends. They don’t care about you. They would not piss on you if you were on fire. Not a one of them would trade places with you…ever. Even though your life has value. It has substance and meaning. In fact, your life is better then theirs because you have people that love you for who you are, not who they think you are. If you’re completely alone with no friends or family you are still better off because you can go out and make new friends without the worry of do they like me for me, or my fame?

Remember that you have more value than any American Idol.

~Nick Shamhart


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