DSC_7482Ben Garrido is the author of the novels The Blackguard,  The Potency  and Joshua and the Chosen People. He also writes award winning journalism for the Reno News and Review, Chico News and Review and others, and lectures on second language acquisition at Mokwon University in South Korea. He writes on subjects including language, fiction, adventure and logic.  Raised in Reno, Nevada, he now divides his time between South Korea and the United States.

Please click here for the blog, or, if you’d like to browse some of the best archived materials, you can find them under the headers at the top of this page. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Blackguard Cover

Writing and Language Essays.

Opinion Essays.


Korean Stuff.

Car Racing Essays, Videos and Photos.

Short Stories By Myself and Others.

Open Letters. 

My Textbook.



  1. Katherine C. Mead-Brewer · · Reply

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂 For more information on the award, please visit my most recent post: http://howlinghowl.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/the-versatile-blogger-award-huzzah/

    Thanks for your sharing your thoughts and your writing!

    1. Thanks! I’m honored.

  2. Congrats! I’ve nominated you and your blog for a Liebster Award.
    Go to my blog post for instructions. http://ernsangia.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/nina-kaytel-and-the-liebster-award/
    Go to this link if you want to see where it started. http://ninakaytel.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/award-time/#comments

      1. Anytime Ben. You don’t have to partake, its a way to spread the word about your blog. I’m sure that with the new book you could any extra exposure. Nina is a fine blogger. If you haven’t checked her out already, please do. 🙂

  3. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    Ben, this is In-young. You are like a god to me.

  4. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    Ben is ugly

    1. Hwang in-young · · Reply


      1. Hwang in-young · ·

        sorry ben 재빈 wrote this

  5. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    Hi ben I’m Hwang in-young.
    your class is very nice.
    I want listen your class again

  6. You guys are awesome. Keep in touch. ㅋㅋㅋ

    1. Hwang in-young · · Reply

      haha yes I’m very awesome

  7. You have to be well liked for others to call you ugly and then continue the conversation:-)

    1. Hwang in-young · · Reply

      Really? I continue the conversation?
      I can do

  8. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    what are you doing now?

    1. Hey bud, do you see the “contact” button? Click that one, okay? ^^

      1. Hwang in-young · ·

        no I can’t see

      2. It’s on the top, “textbook” 옆에, “Journalism” 밑에 있다. 그런 버튼을 크리크 해 봐. ^^

      3. Hwang in-young · ·

        not 크리크, 클릭

  9. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    hi, I think you are a best teacher in after school English class

    1. Yeah? Is the new teacher boring?

      1. Hwang in-young · ·

        no but bad way to talk

      2. Sorry to hear that, bud. 😦

      3. Hwang in-young · ·

        hei I’m not a bud!!!
        just you are a better

  10. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    hi long time no hear ben

  11. Ben

    I’m about to take part in an award that is meant to showcase blogs who have a written base. This entails a bio and pic from me, thanking and featuring the bio from the person who nominated me and then showcasing three other writers with a bio and photo in my post. It’s called a Blog Hop and isn’t your standard award but more of a recognition of writing and talent.

    I have two of the three but Di from Holistic Wayfarer [who was to be the third] doesn’t have time at the moment due to her work on the Race Around the World. After spending some time on your site and the back and forth between us re my post I would really appreciate it if you would consider doing this.

    All I need from you is a bio about yourself and your writing [about 1 – 2 paragraphs] Feel free to include links to your written work and any particular posts you are proud of. If you are interested please send the info to jenniferann1970@hotmail.com as soon as you can as I’m already a ‘little’ behind getting this one out.

    If you’re not interested just let me know soon OK as I did have a couple of others in mind but after seeing your work I would prefer to use you for this. Thanks


    1. Hey Jenni,

      Check your email. 🙂

      1. Excellent – I’ll finish writing it tonight and will let you know when it goes up – you are welcome to re-blog it you want and I will try to forward any comments or questions about you and your work to your email address if that is OK. Just quickly do you have a photo to go with that or would you prefer to use the cover of your new book as an image? I can grab the image from your site but if it’s a photo just email it to me. Thanks a lot. Jenni

      2. Done and done. 🙂

  12. Hwang in-young · · Reply

    I will go to philiphin English camp in this summer vacation

  13. All the Best! Luckily, my “Perspectives” include the English Language! Regards – Syl

    1. Hahaha, thanks for swinging by. 🙂

  14. It’s a pleasure to meet you Ben. We share a passion for writing and blogging it seems. Thanks for visiting and following my blog…I look forward to reading more of your posts and perhaps learning more about South Korea. I once had a S. Korean student stay with me while he attended high school in Canada.He and his family have since left their homeland and relocated to the East Coast of Canada.

    1. Cool! Yeah, I really like it here in South Korea. Probably going to be here for the long run.

      I look forward to reading more of your blog posts. Keep up the good work!

  15. Thanks for popping by my blog. Looking forward to reading more of yours

    1. I enjoyed it very much. Armchair philosophers of the world unite!

  16. Thanks for visiting my blog and following me. I look forward to receiving your writings.

    1. I hope I can give you something worthwhile. 🙂

  17. Love The Blackguard cover! Very eye-catching!

    1. The artist is a Portuguese gentleman living in London named Guilherme Condexia. He has done a bunch of killer covers and I’m lucky to have worked with him.

      Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  18. Thank you for the “Like”. 🙂 Honoured!

    1. You’re very welcome.

  19. Ben, Thank you for the follow!

  20. Now, THIS is a blog page. =) Happy new year, B.

    1. You too! I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine. 🙂

  21. Oh wow! I’m so glad that Holistic Wayfarer sent me your way! Me and my family live in Reno and my girls are in love with all things Hallyu! Their goal is to go teach in Seoul someday. It should be really interesting to follow you. Can’t wait to dig in and learn!

    1. Welcome! I hope you find some interesting stuff.

      I’d love to hear all about your family’s plans for adventure.

      1. Thank you authorbengarrido! I’m sure I will, and I’ll tell you all about our plans soon. Holistic Wayfarer said to say, “Hi from the Grammar Mafia.” Lol!

  22. I wanted to pop by and again say thank you for the email and taking the time to share your concerns. That was very kind of you.

    1. My pleasure. I hope you get what you’re looking for. 🙂

      1. I probably won’t. But dreams are good to have. Thanks again for your kindness.

  23. Hello
    Thank you for visiting me, have a good day. 🙂

  24. Hey Ben, I hope you don’t mind, but I have to respond to you on your site because your post on my site, strangely, did not have a “Reply” function (the only one that did not). So I post here your comment and my response:

    Hey Max,

    No worries on the delay. I know how this stuff goes. 🙂

    I think we’re talking about slightly different things. Your problems with Christianity seem, to me, to stem from your examination of the problem of evil. Why is there evil in the world if God is all good, all knowing and all powerful?

    The problem of evil, it further seems, isn’t a problem if you’re a Buddhist or a Greek pagan. Those people would simply reject the premise that God is all good, all knowing or all powerful. Ask Achilles or Hector why the gods allow evil and you’ll get a shoulder shrug since there’s no expectation of omnibenevolence in their tradition.

    This is the irony I was trying to point out. Without the ethics of Christianity, your basis for rejecting Christianity doesn’t really make sense, at least, not to me.

    Your alternative to the forms of Christianity, it seems to me, are benevolence, pity and empathy. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, etc. These, once more, seem like very Christian values.

    I’m not saying this as a Christian, by the way, because I’m not a Christian. I’m saying this because I think that there is a deep irony in the western world’s left and right wings. The left wing ignores Christian forms (prayer, omnipotence, ritual, stated belief in god) but grabs onto the practical morality (pity, benevolence, empathy for the least among us) with unlimited zeal. The right ignores the practical morality and clings to the forms.

    I wonder, therefore, if we might be better starting over without either the forms or the practical morality?


    My response:

    No, I have not problem with Christianity itself. I resolved all of that as I researched for my novel. The only problem I have with Christians (actually the more radical type) is that while they insist that the government leaves them alone, they have no problem at all with using the government as a blunt instrument with which to bludgeon the rest of society to bend to their beliefs.

    Nor is the existence of “evil” a problem for me. The human condition, as we see it today and throughout history, is exactly what one would expect to see in a species that evolved the power of reason, but is still subject to base impulses (stronger in some than in others) of xenophobia, territoriality and self interest, all a product of our evolutionary past.

    Without the ethics of Christianity, your basis for rejecting Christianity doesn’t really make sense, at least, not to me.

    I think I understand your problem here and I think it lies in what you like to believe about Christianity, and what the history of Christianity actually demonstrates. Plus, there is the fact that you seem to discount Reason as a means to an ethical life.

    Christianity was not very ethical for at least the first thousand years of its existence. You can say, of course, that the Church was not following the Bible. It actually was. And, it was that very church that put the bible together, adding and subtracting what it wanted. Even after the Protestant Reformation, Christians continued to follow biblical laws and burn to death people who didn’t agree with them and those whom they considered witches. They were following the ethics of Yahweh on the OT. There was a time when the Church was virtually no different than ISIS today (e.g., auto-de-fés.)

    I think that the reason Christianity has mellowed to a great degree is because it was exposed to the Enlightenment and its focus on reason over tradition, as well as a wonderful cadre of great thinkers (philosophers) who relished debate, dissent and the right to one’s own conscience.

    Too, Christianity has done what many other religions did–become exclusive. Most religions have a tenet that says, in different words, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Had they left it at that, they would have been inclusive of everyone. Yet, instead, they built walls of exclusive dogma that demanded others believe as they. That is not ethical, and it is a major part of all three Abrahamic religions.

    As a technical matter, however, it is clear to me that Christianity is a hybrid religion born of a union of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, self-fulfilling prophesies and “errors” in translation. There is much I could say about these factors, but it’s late now and I am sleepy. Besides, I decline to write a book here–although I am tempted to expand at length on these subjects.

    So that is enough for now. Just know that I have studied the philosophers, anthropology and biological evolution, as well as the Bible (applying science and reason to Christianity for my novel). I’m fairly well read in the arguments for and against biblical literality as well as the general theological polemics. I’m quite satisfied having a free mind, unbound by dogma.

    Be well, my friend.

    1. Thanks Max. I don’t mind at all. Let me ask one more question if you don’t mind. By what standard was the church of 843 a.d. not that ethical?

      1. You will have to be more specific. I had to go back and reference that year. There was the split between iconoclasts and the promoters of Orthodoxy (early East and West?) and the restoration of the veneration of icons, as well as a less literal interpretation of the Ten Commandments. This, of course, was certainly a small but significant move toward a more rational stance.

        But it doesn’t matter what they said or codified in 843, what matters is the overall history. You will recall that the Church committed a great many atrocities before and after 843 (e.g., the ongoing inhuman tradition of castrating children who happened to have talent for singing so that they would retain that high pitch on in to adulthood. I’m sure you recognize these poor children as Castrato. This practice was not banned until 1903. Then there were the wars and general intolerance to “heretics” of Charlemagne as well as ensuing wars–the inquisitions, the Crusades and the rape of Constantinople (not to mention the disasterous Children’s Crusade), the auto-de-fes, witch hunts, etc). Then, of course, we have the suppression of science.

        I see little here that resembles ethical behavior. I’m certain that many throughout the history of Christianity have attempted to bring about a more civilized Church, but the very nature of Church thinking was a confusion between the writings of the Gospels portraying Jesus as a benevolent man-god who was supposed to be the same god of pre-Christian writings that displayed a portrait of a fundamentally uncivil, narcissistic, jealous, angry, unjust warrior god.

        There is much of that confusion even today in Christian fundamentalism (e.g., general religious intolerance and a huge victim complex).

        Basically, one can pinpoint various attempts throughout history were attempts were made to moderate the cruelty and intolerance, but the Church still holds to many of the old biblical laws that were anything but ethical. Besides, the apparent contradictions do not help at all.

        I do not mean to say that all Christians are unethical. Indeed, there have been many individuals through history who were very good and ethical Christians, as most are today. At least these people have been able to compartmentalize their beliefs and sense of ethical behavior, thereby avoiding cognitive dissonance.

      2. Oh, wow. Thanks for the history. I actually just picked 843 as a random year.

        What I meant is, by what stardard is castrating young boys, oppressing heretics, witch hunts and crusading wrong?

        The Tang Dynasty, for example, would have no problems with most of that. Neither would the Myceneans or the Church fathers of 843.

        In other words, what is our moral standard that allows us to condemn castration but doesn’t bother the Tang, the Church of 843 or Mycenea?

      3. Dear Ben,

        Indeed, the Tang Dynasty was by no means perfect. Given your interest in the dynasty, you might find a recent post of mine to be engaging, for there have been some striking contrasts between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the ancient Chinese governments, as explained in the middle section of my post entitled Strong Wind Knows Tough Grass” published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/strong-wind-knows-tough-grass/

        By the way, it would be best to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

        Happy July to you!

        Yours sincerely,

      4. Thanks!

        Actually, it’s really interesting you do Chinese calligraphy. I might have to keep that in mind when I re-release The Potency!, which is my second novel. Might ask you for some art and calligraphy. 🙂

      5. I very much enjoyed the article and commented on your page. 🙂

      6. Dear Ben,

        I am delighted by your positive feedback and shall reply to you at the comment section of my said post with a bespoke response as soon as I can. In any case, I can already see that we have a number of things in common.

        May you have a wonderful weekend!

      7. I look forward to it!

  25. The history lessons presented in this thread are all quite interesting and informative but when it comes to moral imperatives, in my humble opinion, they are and always have been guided by by expedience. Every form of organized religion that pays homage to a supreme being places that deity in a box and effectively limits its powers. Meanwhile neutron stars are dropping into black holes throughout the universe and no explanation of God’s purposes informs us of why that needs to be. Cogito ergo cogito sum.

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