‘The Election’ Published on GonzoToday

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgHere at Brad OH Inc., we’re happy to announce that our Single Serving StoryThe Election’ is now available for reading on GonzoToday.

A direct link can be found right here.

Further, the downloadable version of ‘The Election’ over at Smashwords is very fast approaching the 100 Downloads mark. That’s even more reason to celebrate! Click on the image below to access a free, downloadable copy of ‘The Election’ on Smashwords.

theelectioncoverWe want to take this occasion to thank everyone who’s downloaded it for your support—we truly appreciate it, and hope you enjoyed the read. For those of you who haven’t yet read ‘The Election’, now is as good a time as any. So click here, or on the image above, and check it out absolutely free in any e-reader format that suits you! Alternatively, you can view it (along with many other fantastic articles) in-browser over at our friends ‘GonzoToday‘ by clicking right here.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Golden Goddess

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

They’re still out there. Oh, make no mistake about it; we still have our Gods and Goddesses.

It’s not religion I’m talking about. Not per se.

This is about the real Gods. The ones which move behind the scenes, the ones we actually look up to.

Gods and Goddesses abound in a place like this.

Made in his image—and all that.

I saw her with my own eyes: the Golden Goddess.

Until then, I didn’t even know I was looking for her. But passing through the supermarket, spending money to fill the void, she appeared before me at the magazine rack.

Hair flowing like spun gold, tussling over bronzed shoulders and cascading down a back arched with the pernicious poise of a predatory cat.

Her eyes shone like emeralds, gleaming with wanton hunger, and the eyebrows above were perfectly symmetrical, curved and inviting.

Her suggestive look left no room for misinterpretation.

It was only a passing glance. Then she was everywhere.

Every passing girl had touches of her within them.

All painted up in their revelations.

All decorated in their sacred garbs.

All repeating their hallowed sacraments.

All falling short.

Every man seeks her, and every woman strives to be her.

There are Gods as well.

Bound with muscles and tall as pillars, they call with different voices but similar promises. They tell you about things you’ll never achieve.

Paradise withheld—but almost attainable to the most prudent and savvy.

It’s something to strive for. At least in lieu of anything real.

They have bodies like humans, but more so. Digitally retouched beyond earthly proportions; sexual beyond human expectation.

Sex sells. It’s the most paid and prayed for thing there is.

And once you’ve known a Goddess, no earthly being comes close.

It’s happened to us all.

We chase our Goddesses, hoping to become a God.

We spend our money in pursuit of the holy ideal.

We withhold our affections for hope that our own Goddess is just around the corner—hold out, have faith.

You’ll never have one. You’ll never become one. They aren’t of this world. But for each deficit you find, you know there’s a solution down the next aisle.

Then another deficit, another product.

Flex your muscles alone in your room, hold them up to his.

Dye your hair.

Skip your meal—avoid temptation.

Push your breasts up in the mirror and let your proud shoulders fall along with them.

It can drive you mad.

But you’d have to be mad…to believe these things are real.

Yet you can’t risk giving up the chase. The rest are all so active, so close.

You can’t fall behind.

The next choice you make could get you to the Promised Land.

Who knows?

Why not?

What else is there to do?

Just keep your faith.

Just keep chasing the dream.

Just keep spending.

Maybe you’ll find her.

Maybe you’ll be him.

Maybe if you keep focussing on them, you’ll never have to see yourself.

-Brad OH Inc.

Bullying in the Supermarket

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ It’s an adage we’ve all heard. Whether from animated rabbits, or our own dear parents, the majority of children are taught explicitly that being unkind is not the way to act in our society.

I was at a conference a while back discussing bullying in middle school, with a particular focus on cyber-bullying. The attendees were often shocked at the examples of childhood cruelty being perpetrated by and against youth these days.

Photos—often explicit—are shared around, and entire websites are dedicated to insulting one another, spreading rumours, and generally making life miserable. There’s no doubt about it, it’s a hard world for a child to grow up in.

This is especially true when we are constantly telling them that the expectations of life are otherwise—that adult society functions on the basis of good social graces, of respecting your fellow man and avoiding hurtful language. If this is how people are expected to act, it comes as a special shock to find that your peers are so steadfastly determined to undermine such ideals.

It was these thoughts which weighed on my mind as I stood in line at the supermarket after the conference ended. How can children be so cruel, and how can we teach them to act better?

The question didn’t linger very long. It was rather rudely chased from my tired brain by the glossy magazine covers flanking me on both sides as I worked my way slowly toward the register.

‘Guess whose cellulite this is’, a headline would read, and a zoomed in box drawn from a woman on the beach would reveal the unsightly lumps on her bikini-clad ass. Some celebrity had the audacity to appear in public, without the assistance of airbrushes and digital photo editing to help her. The nerve!

A man was accused of cheating. A context free photo of him hand in hand with a woman rested above a headline bemoaning his lack of values, and lamenting the inevitable ruin of his marriage.

The headlines were legion, each one attacking some vice or speculating on some perceived flaw. Entire front page spreads were dedicated to the attempted outing of supposedly gay singers, surgeries gone awry, and teens who could not afford to have yet another child.

It’s no wonder, I thought, placing my items on the scarred rubber conveyor belt. How can we tell children to be nice to each other when the clear and undeniable truth is that we cannot manage it ourselves?

It’s a savage hypocrisy. A society so feral and filled with hatred that even political debates eschew all relevant discourse in favor of painting one another as sexual deviants and money-grubbing lechers.

So what are we left to glean from the broad disconnect between expectations and practice? Do we assume that our children are stupid? That they will somehow fail to notice the overt double standard? Will they just ignore that swindling and deceit are the clear pathways to success in the job market, and that even our leaders have no qualms about saying mean things if their PR managers tell them it will get their ratings up?

Perhaps it’s not the kids who are to blame. In a society that worships the rich, adores the callous, fetishizes fallen idols and encourages its people to hack their way through friends and neighbours to climb a rung higher on the ladder, maybe such horrid indecency in children isn’t the aberration we treat it as. If these are the values we truly hold, perhaps such kids are just proto-types of the new age.

It’s a necessary survival strategy—a natural evolution.

But if our hope is for such cruelty to cease—for kids to go to school and enjoy the company of their peers, to feel safe and supported by those around them—we may consider starting the change with ourselves.

-Brad OH Inc.