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For the past 11 years or so, I’ve been involved in something called the Real-Life Superhero movement.

So far, I haven’t published much nonfiction about Real-Life Superheroes (RLSH). My main focus as an author has been fiction and poetry. My main focus as an RLSH has been doing the work, not talking about the ins and outs of being an RLSH. As a result, I’ve hardly written anything about the RLSH movement and my experiences in it.

It’s time to change that.

This is the first in a series of essays about the Real-Life Superhero movement and my involvement in…


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2020 is almost over, but here in the US, the pandemic’s just getting warmed up. Several vaccines are in the process of approval and early distribution, but it will take months to distribute them to enough people to make a major difference in the spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, the winter spike in confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continues. How we respond to the pandemic over the next few months will determine just how catastrophic a toll it takes on our communities and society.

At this point, government interventions such as mitigation efforts and relief programs will be insufficient…


This song parody is part of the Pandemic Song Parody Challenge. To participate, write a pandemic-themed parody of a popular song & share it on social media with the hashtag #PandemicSongParody.

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I Want Masks And Distance From You
(Parody of All I Want For Christmas Is You)

I don’t want viral transmission
There is just one thing I need
Evidence-based mitigation
Implemented at great speed
I just want the world to know
How to make this virus go
Make my wish come true
I want masks and distance from you

I don’t want science denial in the name of unchecked greed Don’t care about QAnon posts And other conspiracies I don’t need more bad excuses For…


Do you ever get a holiday song stuck in your head? Whether you love them or hate them, those tunes really are catchy! Hearing the same earworms over and over each year has inspired me to launch the Pandemic Song Parody Challenge.

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The rules of the Pandemic Song Parody Challenge are simple. Take a popular song and make it about the pandemic or mitigation measures. Example topics include masks, physical distancing, remote learning, work from home, cabin fever, and so on. The possibilities are endless. However, if you post anything that’s anti-mask, anti-remote learning, or otherwise in favor of the…


This song parody is part of the Climate Song Parody Challenge. To participate, write a climate-themed parody of a popular song & share it on social media with the hashtag #ClimateSongParody.

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I Want Climate Justice For You
(Parody of All I Want For Christmas Is You)

I don’t want those high emissions
There is just one thing I need
Zero fossil fuel combustion
Just transition at great speed
I just want the world to know
Fossil free’s the way to go
Make my wish come true oh
I want climate justice for you

I don’t want colonialism Let the indigenous lead Global climate reparations End to white supremacy Overthrow the patriarchy And the gender binary…


Do you ever get a holiday song stuck in your head? Whether you love them or hate them, those tunes really are catchy! Hearing the same earworms over and over each year has inspired me to launch the Climate Song Parody Challenge.

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The rules of the Climate Song Parody Challenge are simple. Take a popular song and make it about the climate crisis or climate justice. This can include any aspect of the problem and its solutions. …


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For better or worse, voters in the United States are now casting the first votes of the 2020 United States Elections. The official election day is November 3, but early voting and mail-in voting have already started in earnest. Anyone concerned about the outcome of this election now has less than a month to get out the vote in favor of their preferred outcome for the presidential election and the many down-ballot offices at stake.

I’m no expert. I have no degrees in political science, no access to special polling data, and no other impressive qualifications on paper. What I…


I’ve decided to change the way that I use social media.

Effective immediately, I’m making several simple but important changes to what I post on social media, where I post it, and how I allow others to respond to my posts. I’ve decided to write a detailed explanation of these changes both for the sake of announcing them to my social media contacts and for the sake of providing ideas and inspiration for anyone else who may be considering a similar shift.

What am I changing?

The biggest changes can be summed up in three main points:

  1. No more contrarian comments/replies. If you don’t…

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Covidiot. Plague rat. Mask slacker.

These are just a few of the many terms that I’ve seen people on social media use to describe the millions of Americans who reject wearing masks and oppose taking other collective actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a personal level, I understand the appeal of these terms. I’ve used them myself in private and occasionally on social media. People who go out in public and willfully disregard masking and distancing guidelines are placing everyone around them in mortal danger. It’s reasonable for the rest of us to feel outraged by their behavior…


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Spirit Halloween in Carbondale, Illinois (Photo: Aur Daenergymon Beck)

It’s that time of year again, folks. Spirit Halloween is claiming every empty storefront they can get their hands on.

Here in Carbondale, Illinois, Spirit Halloween has taken over an entire abandoned Macy’s. When I first saw the photos online, I thought they must be fake. I’d never seen Spirit Halloween move into such a big and prominent location before! Are they actually growing in size and stature against all odds in the middle of a pandemic?

This upsizing of the local Spirit Halloween store made me come to a haunting realization.

As the economy collapses, Spirit Halloween will only…

Treesong

Treesong is a father, husband, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero who lives in Southern Illinois.

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