Category Archives: Uncategorized

We Are All The Same Species

Dear readers,

As terrible and jarring as the events at the Boston Marathon may have been, it is important to ponder one salient reality.

Unfortunately–and this must NOT be taken to diminish the seriousness or sadness of the attack–Monday’s event was far from unique. Things exactly like it happen all the time, practically every week somewhere in the world. This is all the more reason why the proper response is not to divide, but instead to unite. Not just as a country, but as a species. We have to figure out why our species can’t stop this kind of thing from happening, and the answer lies not with one country or demographic but at the heart of the salient elements of the human condition. Residents of other cities and countries, whose weddings and playgrounds and offices and nightclubs and buses have been bombed more times than they can count (including, yes, by our drones and missiles), have expressed sympathy and solidarity with those directly affected by the Boston Marathon incident; this is the path to our species’ salvation and progression, not calls to target any population or to turn someone’s country into a parking lot. Continue reading


Happy World Book Day!

Pick up a new read today 🙂


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Paul West, author of First Cause

Paul West, author of First Cause

Whether or not you celebrate this particular holiday, I wish all of my readers & fans a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and positive 2013. May the future be bright!


Repost: The World IS Getting Better

Seriously, even though it sometimes doesn’t seem like it even to the most hopeful, the world is incrementally improving, despite the fact that it often wanders close to the edge of disaster. Figured I’d repost this, in light of the CT tragedy and countless ensuing conversations/debates…if nothing else, First Cause is inspired by the dissonance between the fact of how bad the world is and the hope for how good it can be.  Food for thought, anyway.

“The Good Old Days” part 2: the world IS getting better

Every time you are shocked or dismayed by something you see people undertake to do to other people, remember that not long ago, you just wouldn’t have heard, seen or read about it. The fact that so many think the world is getting worse is a sign that it’s getting better; we’re trying harder, pulling away from the old norms, including more people in the fabric of society.

For the first time in human history, the concept of inalienable rights actually is somewhat broadly considered to apply to all categories of human being. Its application still lags well behind its ideation, but at least all draft-eligible Americans can vote now–it cannot be forgotten that that has not yet even been true for fifty years!!! We are shocked and dismayed, as more of our old assumptions are brought to the ground; this dismay represents progress, as more people are brought into the fold of basic human opportunity. The best we can do, any of us older than preschool age, is thank ourselves for every way in which we’re free from the poisonous crap that’s been drummed into us from birth. We are products of a poisoned world, a world where people are defined by ridiculous parameters and not taught to see each other as individuals; where violence as instruction is taken for granted, and wars last for astounding lengths of time: where people collude to exclude others from citizenship for reasons as preposterous as skin color, genitalia or inherited religion. Where bullying, humiliation and authoritarian punishment are rites of passage.

Fortunately, the grand scale of human-on-human atrocity is actually getting smaller, as the world shrinks and we increasingly realize that, as it was once said, ‘an explorer from another galaxy would find us all very much alike’. We have to remember that, and remember that the only hope for our wretched but brilliant species lies in its future.

Cover of First Cause: A Novel About Human Possibility

Cover of First Cause

World War Z Movie Trailer!

The book World War Z was given to me as a gift a few years ago; I’m proud to say the person who gave me this book said it reminded them of First Cause. I subsequently read it, and was pleasantly surprised. I hope this movie’s not a disappointment; either way, I’m going to check it out…


That is all.


On the Cancellation of the NYC Marathon

Dear readers, NYC residents & our friends & neighbors,

I think cancelling the marathon was the right call, for a multitude of reasons. But it should be borne in mind that people trained for astounding amounts of time in many cases; raised steep amounts of money in many cases; mobilized friends and family and rearranged their lives in many cases…for an event, once-in-a-lifetime for many, that now might never happen. Don’t get me wrong–I’m far from a marathon enthusiast, in fact I think it’s borderline crazy for many people to attempt, just to say they did it. But I can understand people being upset, even crushed, by the race being cancelled. People come from literally all over the world for it, and all ‘races’ and most ethnicities are represented. Moreover, a lot of people run for charity and/or loved ones, and there are also the para/quadriplegics for whom the race is a much more legitimate ‘big deal.’ Again–I’m generally ambivalent about marathons in general, and I do think that canceling it was the right call, for reasons related to sensitivity, resources and safety. But it’s not as cut & dry a situation as a lot of people are making it out to be, and I do feel sorry for many of the participants, for whom this might have been their only shot and who might have sacrificed and mobilized an awful lot to have to just go back home. Yes, at least they have a home to go back to. But still, I think it’s worth thinking about in a more nuanced way.

Congratulations to the East Village & LES for the restoration of power; I hope it sticks, and I hope it’s complete. Best wishes to the outlying areas whose situations are still dire…


Thanks for reading,