Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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New essay published

The good folks at ReImagining Magazine have published their summer issue. My essay, An American Imposter, finds itself there.

I spent a long time abroad this spring and summer, and got tired of having to “explain” my American identity. It got to the point that I no longer wanted to talk to strangers about where I was from. It became impossible to have conversations about anything besides our loathsome national politics.

The experience inspired this essay. Hope you’ll read and share. 

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The next threat to American Educators: Murder


What’s a good way to keep an educator from provoking a group of young people to think about a point of view that’s unwelcome, unusual or foreign to them?

How could we limit the capacity of a critical thinker to urge youth to explore ideas?

Is there a way an institution of higher education could censor its staff with a high rate of efficiency?

Might it be possible to dissuade a professor from encouraging youth to live an examined life, to urge them toward inquiring whether the ideas they grew up with, the assumptions of their society make sense?

How can we further lower morale among faculty members while further raising it among top-level administrators, particularly those who rarely see or work with actual students, and in some cases earn 15 or 20 times the amount of the lowest paid adjuncts?


Threaten faculty with death.

Capture So, it’s not enough to pay your instructors slave wages. It’s not enough to flock them into meetings where overpaid top-level administrators present grids and graphs to highlight just how little money there is for instruction, faculty development or recruitment of talent for the faculty pool. We must also now face the possibility that students will kill us for doing our jobs.

In the meantime, the colleges shrug this off. What can the oligarchs of the American educational system do against the law of the land? They’d better warn the faculty to tread carefully. That, or as the Onion suggests, keep a gun pointed at the students at all times.

Image lifted from GunFreeUT


How to survive an active shooter (the patriotic version)

I’m shocked by this Washington Post bit, in which Michael Maasdam, a former Navy SEAL, and currently the chief executive of Move2Safety, instructs us gentle lambs how to survive an active shooter running throughout our American workplace or school. It’s worth investigating , but I’ll summarize it for my busy audience. Here are the steps we should take when the shooter inevitably arrives in our school or place of employment:

1.) Move to safety

2.) Look for an exit

3.) Take cover, stay low

4.) Stay sharp

If you’re like me, you probably want a definition of “sharp”.  Here’s Maasdam’s definition: A sharp person [Realizes] the possibility that [s/he] can be shot and [thinks] through how [s/he] will react to the situation.

Now, although I’ve been threatened by armed thugs, I’ve never been shot. Still, there are several reactions I can imagine. One is that I will die, perhaps instantly. The other is that I’ll be wounded, go into shock, beg for my life, and, if I am spared, hope I can communicate with someone in some way before I die. I will think of my children and wife. Perhaps there are experts out there who’ve been shot many times and could share what other sharp realizations we should have at the moment we’re faced with our death.

Of course, I’m left furious by these suggestions. Quite frankly, they offend my identity as an American. I would like, therefore, to present the patriotic version of how to survive a shooting.

In the event that you are faced with an active shooter in your place of employment or study, you should do the following:

1.) Pull your concealed firearm out of the front of your pants. If concealed firearms are forbidden in your area, please remove your shotgun from your shoulder.

2.) Listen for the sound of the shooting

3.) Head in the direction of the shooting, weapon ready (be sure your safety is not on—this is a good time to check!)

4.) Wait for the shooter to become visible

5.) Yell, “Yippee-kaye, motherfucker!”

6.) Aim

7.) Fire

8.) Sing, preferably in a baritone voice, Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.  Etc.

It’s absurd that a Navy SEAL, a man skilled in the use of firearms, does not tell us to go shooting when someone else is shooting. What the hell else are our guns for? We should all be fighting tyranny every day, and there’s only one way to be sure we’re anti-tyrants. Guns are simply sitting around when there’s no one around to shoot. That’s why Jesus has blessed us with shooters, people! Like, duh. We’re supposed to shoot them.

I’m sure there are plenty of pussies out there freaking out over my suggestions. Some of you might point out that there’s no practical way for all of us to be armed, to carry our guns on our shoulders or in our pants. My suggestion to you? I actually don’t talk to pussies.

If you think you’re safer in a place like Canada or Sweden where there’s nothing between you and the tyrants, (except, like, fucking laws and shit), you should move there. Why aren’t you? That’s right…because there are NO FUCKING JOBS there. It’s not that Canada and Sweden have fewer shooters and, generally speaking, far less paranoid societies. It’s that they don’t have any fucking jobs. If you want shooters to come to your job—hello!—you need a job first. Without any job to shoot up, the shooters just walk around the countryside with their guns. Don’t give me this shit that there are plenty of schools for them to shoot in Canada and Sweden. More than America? Most Canadians live five feet from the American border where they can totally see Russia, since it’s real close. And in Sweden the taxes are basically, like, high…way higher than Chicago. Also, in Spain, the upenploimin rate is around 106 percentage.

So, you think ur smart. Well, you ain’t. Ur a pussy.

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift M-16

His truth is marching on