Blue Snake's ten essays openly challenge cherished beliefs and cultural myths. Author Steve Gillman invents a new god to show the lack of evidence for others. He proposes we get rid of Social Security, says we have no duty to country, and explores the idea of words as a root of war. Guilt, hatred of America, pushing the poor away, evil within us, and how to quit a job are other subjects covered. More
Author Steve Gillman openly challenges cherished beliefs in the ten essays included in Blue Snake. In the title essay readers are presented with the creator of the world, "our serpentine mother," and challenged to offer better evidence for their own gods. The essay that follows suggests that "...our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors are capable of killing babies, torturing innocent people, and more." History and psychological research are cited to demonstrate that we are not so different from those who have committed atrocities throughout the ages.
The essay "How to Quit Your Job" is a practical guide to doing just that.
"Why Do They Hate Us?" explains the animosity the people of some countries have toward the United States, by way of a fictional alternate history, and a few facts that are probably unknown to most readers.
In one essay Gillman calls for an end to the "exclusionary rule" by which we exclude from the court any illegally-obtained evidence. He recommends punishing police who violate the law rather than "punishing the truth."
The piece titled, "I Have No Duty to My Country," argues for an inherent right to life and liberty which does not have to be bought from a government or society.
"How to Get Rid of Poor People" challenges some very common cultural practices that result in pushing those who are poor further and further away.
In another essay the author explains how, "Guilt, when encouraged, becomes self-glorification," and suggests that it's better to learn from mistakes and change behavior rather than over-indulge in self-condemnation.
"Eliminate Social Security" suggests alternatives to what has become the nation's largest "welfare program."
The final essay, "War and Words," proposes that one of the roots of large-scale conflicts has to be language and/or the way it is used. Gillman does not attack the utility or value of language, but says, "If we do not see and use words as the tools they are, we become tools used by them, or by those who manipulate them skillfully."
Blue Snake (22,900 words) is part of the "At Your Own Risk Series" by Steve Gillman. The essays in these books are meant to suggest new ideas, open minds, occasionally entertain, and above all to encourage independent thought.