This Trilogy is a work of fiction, conceived by my son and co-author JA Roff, and written by me, DE Roff.
I address social, moral issues and societal issues through events that take place and the characters we introduce to you, the reader. We hope, only hope, that you can reflect on a point of view that is not meant to change your mind about your own deeply held beliefs, but to inspire thoughtful discourse in an atmosphere of toleration, what I still believe to be the bedrock goals of both the United States and Canada. I believe that a vibrant democracy creates the marketplace of ideas that eventually achieves consensus over the long term among citizens resulting in progressive change. But within the genius of any democratic state is the idea that the parameters of thought, action and the freedom to live as one chooses, must be respected.
The Trilogy is a series of interconnected stories, prose that can be read as simply that. But I believe it is much more and although there are points of view, political and social expressed by one character or another, I hope it does not distract from being a good read.
More than one point of view per issue is presented, not so much to attempt to show a certain balance of the author’s thought process as it is to acknowledge that there are competing beliefs in the real world.
I don’t need to like or approve of what my fellow citizens think or believe, only respect their right to think it, believe it and express it. The idea that we can have the maximum amount of personal freedom within the confines of a civil and safe society, embedded in law, I again still believe shows progress for mankind. Not all would agree with this assertion, my co-author among them. The breakdown of ignorant prejudice and the expansion of freedom for all, irrespective of race, color or creed, is what makes these democratic nations great. Is it still aspirational? Of course.
Change for people of color, real equality in every respect, is a matter of urgency. If white folk have it now, why should others only gain it only incrementally? The response to this system is inner rage, and one day may be outer rage.
Barack Obama once said in a speech that the “Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice.” I do not believe he is the original author of the quote, only that his speech was where I first heard it. I believe in this wholeheartedly. I believe in him wholeheartedly.
I think the most dangerous “occupation” in America today is being Black, male and young. That parents of young Black folk have to have the “conversation” with their children about how to act when confronted by the police is a matter, a fact, that I never even knew existed until recently. I never had this conversation with my father; neither did I have it with my son.
I am sixty-six years old, white, educated, and privileged. I am a proud liberal, a leftie going back to my college years, and yet my ignorance of the conditions that have existed all my life for my Black brothers and sisters is, at a minimum, shameful. How could I not have known?
Our world is changing, and changing at an ever-rapid pace. The internet, cell phones, satellite technology, computers and a host of invasive tools now make our lives less private and more subject to intrusion than ever before. Our laws have not kept pace with the ability of criminals and governments to harm us and our loved ones.
In my opinion, in the United States, less in Canada, local, State and Federal laws have been perverted to protect the rich and powerful at the expense of the ordinary citizen in the United States. Slowly the America I hoped would be better at the end of my life is getting worse. These perversions of law are largely for the benefit of a system the has eroded our basic sense of fairness, divided us as a people, and instilled a fear of the “other’ in us. What happened?
Even my son criticizes the way I present non-traditional consensual personal and family relationships; the difference may lie in our ages. I have seen great change in my lifetime and seen greater changes coming in the way we arrange and live our lives. Young men and women are less constrained by social custom just because that’s the way it is now. Nobody asks how we got here, but I’m glad we did. I do not know why young folk today seem better equipped to deal with social change, seem less racist and discriminatory; it wasn’t that way when I was growing up. But the tendency toward materialism among our young folk, the seeming lack of concern among the better off is disturbing.
I realize this is a broad swath of criticism, but as tendencies go, we seem to be more polarized and a lot less neighborly than when I was a kid. I think my parents’ generation, going through the second world war, and seeing and meeting all kinds of folk from all over America created the America I knew and loved. The good parts of that generation, even with all its faults and prejudices, is fading.
I also come into criticism for making some characters unrealistic in one fashion or another. I readily concede that to be true. But in my defense, if people treated each other more civilly and criticized others less harshly, perhaps my “what if” version of some of my characters would not be necessary. I do not suggest my characters are realistic, but I insist they be allowed to be read, in some cases, understood as aspirational.
For those that note the influence of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, bonus points. Personally, I think he is a genius, and his influence late in my life has been a blessing. The gift was one my son gave to me.
As a work of fiction, I take my poetic/prose license seriously and have felt free to embellish some events, diminish others; others events are historically accurate, though not some of the charcters. Obviously, there is no race of undiscovered creatures as portrayed in this Trilogy, nor are there Immortal beings with whom I have ever spoken. So, Julius Caesar did not meet with these beings, although his campaigns in Gaul and Germany are factually correct as described, and he was immensely cruel.
I am an ignorant tech guy, so if some of my technology assertions seem unrealistic, chalk that up to poor research on Wikipedia, or misunderstanding the meaning of what I thought I understood. All errors are solely mine, but don’t confuse what I think might someday to be possible with factual impossibility today.
I believe that human beings fall in love with human beings in the most amazing ways. I think Ed Sheeran wrote a song to that effect. Each is a new and unique story that does not depend on gender identity, wealth, or position. I am hopeful that the issues of male/female, male/male, female/female and other combinations of living arrangements will soon be laid to rest. I would hope the same for racism, anti-Semitism, anti-religious sentiment, and anti-scientific sentiment too, but that’s not going to happen as long as we see the speck in the other person’s eye, while we fail to the speck in our own.
Tolerance is hard work. Civility is hard work. Loving our fellow man, not as a group, but individually is hard work.
I myself have failed at much of this in attempting to live a life of true tolerance. My son is much better at this today than I will ever achieve; I hope his children will sustain that progress until one day the passionate beliefs of the value of all mankind espoused by Marin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi become a reality.
As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The magnitude of the wisdom in that one sentence is still astounding to me. We change as humans one heart at a time.
Please read this Trilogy not as something that cannot be, nor as reality now, filled with characters who do not exist; read this book for what might be. Just ask, what if … My hope is that these books are read as aspirational, not naïve tripe.
The characters in this Trilogy are often symbolic, or better, metaphors for other similar types of people and conduct. If you are a male heterosexual victim of intolerance in some form or fashion, perhaps you have more in common with a lesbian couple than you might think.
To be clear, I am not part of any religious organization, but am a practicing Deist.
Tech is both a blessing and a curse.
I believe in ghosts and spirts, and that evil is man-made. Some, most in my own family, believe me to be a pain in the ass, a bit of a know-it-all, and occasionally difficult to get along with.
I don’t disagree. I had a dog once that loved me. Perhaps I just need another dog.