Endgame 2024: Autocracy Or Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

But for the want of Donald Trump actually being “the guy from The Apprentice,” the United States would either be in the midst of a civil war right now or having the final stages of its transformation into an autocratic managed democracy occuring.

That was the thing that people like me totally missed about Trump. Sure, he has autocratic impulses, but he was in the end, all talk. It wasn’t the “Deep State” that was his problem — it was him. He was an incompetent idiot with no leadership skills who just thought things would magically go his way without knocking any heads.

But where does that leave us now?

Well, the issue of the day — civil war or autocracy? — has been punted down the road for about four years. There are about six Republicans right now chomping at the bit to do what Trump couldn’t do. And if they aren’t able to manage events properly, then there will be a civil war as we transition into an autocracy.

The issue is, the United States, politically, is now a zombie. It’s a dead Republic walking. Get out while you can, because things are going to get nasty and dark and a shit ton of people may die.

It’s going to happen in the winter of 2024 the way it’s going now. Congress — now controlled by the fascist Republicans — will do everything in its power to give the presidency to Trump, Trump Jr or whatever autocrat the Republicans nominate in 2024. Either they succeed peacefully or they don’t.

If they succeed peacefully, my big mouth gets me ships to an ICE “reeducation camp.” If not, then, well, I may die because a cache of WMD is stole somewhere in the United States and the two sides start killing each other THAT way.

Maybe I’m wrong. I often am.

But….

I’m Becoming Very Methodical With This Allegorical Thriller About The Trump Era I’m Developing & Writing



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have a huge amount of momentum with this novel right now. Pretty much it’s consumed my entire life, creative and otherwise. One thing I like about where things stand is I’ve come to the point where there is a total disconnect between my mood and my copy.

It’s not like when I first started developing and writing this thing when if I full of passion I somehow thought that made for better copy, when, in fact, I think the more dispassionate you are, the better copy you produce. Even though, as that screenwriter once said it helps to “hate….a lot” when writing, it also helps to be very clear eyed and methodical about what it is your goal for each individual scene is.

I’m pretty much awash in scene structure porn right now. I’m wallowing in a number of books that are really helping me take things to the next level on a scene by scene level.

I hope — hope — that I can knock out some sort of first draft soon rather than later. Then I take a break of about a month and turn around and do it all over again…then I start soliciting my beta readers.

That, at least, is how you’re supposed to do it.

National Service: How To Stop The Second American Civil War Of 2024


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems to me that if we really want to avoid the GQP seizing control in about 2024-2025 and start murdering people like me (and maybe you) we need to take a serious, serious look at national service.

In fact, I would go to so far as to say that at this point the implementation of National Service would be the only thing standing between us and autocracy or civil war. The reason is: if good old boys from the Deep South regardless of wealth or schooling were absolutely FORCED to interact with fey libtards from Brooklyn at a tender, impressionable age, then, well, maybe the two sides might come to some sort of understanding.

Maybe the GQP wouldn’t be so absolutely fucking scared of brown people and women with sexual agency that they wouldn’t want to suck the political cock of an absolute fucking idiot like Donald Trump. UGH.

This will never happen, of course.

The Right knows that I’m right and they’ll claim it’s socialism. They WANT good old boys to hate liberal progressives so they can ram through tax cuts for plutocrats. They get young hack MAGA judges in exchange.

Anyway, as I always say — the United States is fucked. Get out while you still can before the Killing Fields are opened.

The Curious Case Of The First 125 Pages of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m kind of obsessed with Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series for a number of reasons. While I started off trying to write an American homage to those first three books….uhhhh….that’s not what’s going on now.

My novel is now a lot more scifi by way of James Bond than Larsson’s works. But there is one specific aspect of the first book in that series that now, as I begin to study scene structure I wonder a lot about — why are the first 125 pages or so of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so….boring?

It’s just a lot of exposition and backstory. It’s a datadump. You name it. It’s just really meh. Then around 125 pages in, the whole series zoooooooooooooms by. It really becomes a page turner.

I have a theory, now, that maybe it’s not that he wrote and re-wrote those first 125 pages over and over again (I feel his pain on that one if he did), it’s that he maybe changed the structure of his individual scenes at that point? I only bring that up because, well, I’m really getting into scene structure now and I’m hoping that my novel will go at a nice clip now for readers. But there is so fucking much I don’t know yet about subplots, etc. But you can’t edit a blank page as they say, they should come gradually between now and the second draft when I really start looking for people to read this thing.

While I’m a big Larsson fanboy, I’m also a very lazy Larsson fanboy — I pretty much know absolutely nothing about him other than he dropped dead of a heart attack right after he sold the first three books. And I know he was a well regarded Swedish journalist.

Other than that, nothing.

I like to imagine that we’re about the same age and, as such, we have that pretty big metric in common. But….I may be fooling myself. He could have been not my age, but a lot younger and just looked my age.

Anyway. The novel is going well at the moment.

I May Start Using Big Tech’s ‘Digital Telepathy’ As My Informal Shrink


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have no idea if my suspicions about the ability of Big Tech to read my mind are true or not. But, Jesus, Tik-Tok specifically sure does do some fucking spooky things with its “algorithms.” So much so that either we need to break up and regulate Big Tech because they’re hiding a Soft Singularity from us, or we need to break up and regulate Big Tech because they’re rooting around in our minds using Digital Telepathy.

Well, maybe Big Tech can read our minds?

Let me explain.

I’m around my elderly father a lot and…for some reason, out of the blue, Tik-Tok pushes me videos about World War 2 a lot. So much so, that I’m like, “Any algorithm they may be using sure seems to be thinking about my dad, not me.” Remember, there was a point some time ago when YouTube was pushing me videos about lockboxes and the end of the world which totally made no sense for me at the time. (But did for my father, natch.)

But Tik-Tok has begun to push me weird, almost snarky, content as if it’s rooting around in my mind and wants to have some fun of some sort. The key issue is, of course, is I can’t really prove any of this. There are plenty — PLENTY — of other ways their “algorithm” could figure out most, but not all, of the shit about me that they are pushing. I’m sure they’re listening to me using my phone. I’m sure — somehow — these very words I’m writing right now are being monitored and throw into the maw of an “algorithm” somewhere to better sell me widges.

I get that. THAT, I understand.

It’s when Tik-Tok gets cocky and does a bankshot off some something only I know about my personal mental monologue that I go…hmmmm….weird. Why am I getting that if ONLY I KNOW ABOUT THAT REFERENCE. And, what’s more, some of the stuff Tik-Tok is pushing me is almost like it’s trying to help me with personal problems. Wow-we-wow.

If Big Tech has gone past simply knowing that I’m I have “CAT” on my mind all the time, but has figured out the more abstract things associated with WHY that term is on my mind all the time, then……oooooooooh boy. The national security implications of that are deep, deep, deep.

There are two I can think off the top of my head.

One is, if, say the United States really did slip into autocracy, I could see the NSA start to hunt down specific people whose minds their monitoring for “anti-MAGA thinking” (or somesuch.) Though, to be fair, I generally think that while they obviously abuse their power, in the war against MAGA, the NSA is probably the good guys for the time being. There’s a reason why MAGAQ-Trump hate “the Deep State” so much.

The other is, if a hot war broke out between China and the United States, it sure would be useful for China to have some sense of how open America’s youth would be to be, say, getting drafted. That’s some serious Soft Singularity intelligence there.

But no one listens to me. Absolutely no one listens to me.

The Fire Next Time: How To Be A Left Wing Populist Demagogue


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s becoming alarmingly clear that my precious American liberal democracy is doomed. It’s fucked. For some significant macro demographic and economic reasons, we’re careening towards either civil war or autocracy. This is probably happening in the winter of 2024 as one side or the other freaks out over this this or that thing that the other side did.

So, with that in mind, I would suggest maybe the Left think about beating fucking cocksucker Rightwing nutjobs at their own game. So, if I was taller and more stable, here is what my platform for my Left wing MAGA wanna-be grift would be.

  1. Legalize Pot.
  2. Student Debt cancelation
  3. Breakup of Big Tech
  4. Extreme Regulation of any job-killing new tech
  5. Return of the an actual, honest-to-God progressive income tax
  6. National service of 18 months for new high school grads nationwide.
  7. A serious look at reoperations for slavery

    Sadly, even this is too nuanced for the dumb-dumb American electorate scared of brown people and women with sexual agency. Anyway, the point is, we’re so fucked. MAGA is going to pop out of its spider hole pretty soon and people like me — and maybe you — are going to get rounded up and either shot in the back of the head in American Killing Fields in upstate New York or put in some sort of weaponized ICE Camp.

    Something pretty big that I can’t predict would have to happen to prevent this.

Of Novel Scene Structure Or, ‘Don’t Be A Hack’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m really getting into the specifics of the structure of novel scenes these days. I’ve begun to stabilize the beginning of the novel to the point that I can take a deep breath and start to look at some of the nitty gritty things that I have ignored to date.

One thing is — structuring a scene can be hard work.

For one, not all scenes are the same. But because a lot of struggling writers — like me — have no idea what they’re doing, they turn to people who seem to have some “reveled truth” about how to write a novel.

There is no reveled truth, by the way.

Anyway, I’ve begun to cobble together my own ideas of how to structure novel scenes. And to me, the key thing is not to be a hack — there are scenes and there are sequels and sometimes there are things that just barely fit the concept of what you’re told a “scene is supposed to do.”

But, in general, I would say you need some sort of “change” in the unit of measure known as a scene. Though sequels are a different thing altogether at times.

I’m really getting out of my comfort zone with this novel, which is good.

Notes On ‘Scriptnotes’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I really enjoy the “Scriptnotes” podcast, but I do have some…notes. My chief beef is the very strength of the podcast is its weakness — it’s two very accomplished, successful and knowledgeable guys talking about what it’s like to be be two very accomplished, successful and knowledgeable guys.

As such, sometimes they are rather….patronizing…to the serious concerns of people who are just starting off in the business. The show seems more for people who actually have a career in Hollywood than someone who aspires to have a career in Hollywood.

But you can’t be all things to all people.

I guess I’m suggesting that there’s a market for a Scriptnotes for extras who aspire to be screenwriters. Or something. A program that takes novice screenwriter’s concerns about IP theft seriously, that kind of stuff.

Yet, in general, I find Scriptnotes interesting. I sometimes feel like a street urchin with my nose pressed against the glass of the podcast as they talk about their careers, but lulz.

The Fall Of The American Empire


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

If you work on the assumption that some pretty basic concepts about the United States that I assumed to be universal come not from us being a “city on the hill” but, well, because white people were pumping out enough babies to keep them demographically fat and sassy then, well…wow.

It kind of blows my mind that American liberal democracy rests not on American exceptionalism, but the cold, hard metrics of demographics. In fact, in a sense, the whole idea of America being a “melting pot” is a lie: even Germans were seen as a threat in the 1850s-1860s…and they were demonstrably white!

So, if you throw in the speed at which travel happens in the modern world, then pretty much everything wrong with American politics boils down to one thing: a dearth of white babies.

The abortion debate: white women need to pump out more kids!
Immigration: Scary brown people will bring brown babies!
Guns: We have to protect white babies!
Taxes: I need money for my white babies!

Ugh.

What conservatives want is things to go back to “normal” where white people are on top to a point where they don’t even realize they’re on top. As Ezra Kline says in his book, “Why We’re Polarized,” all the civil rights progress of the 1950s and 1960s was seen as largess on the part of the White Majority. Now that White People are nervous about a lack of white babies…screw you guys!

It’s all very disheartening.

All I can say loud mouths like me — who have the most to lose when America slips into autocracy — I need to get the fuck out of this country while I still can.

Fuck MAGA and its false orange prophet.

Thinking Seriously About A Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Where to begin with this one. We have to accept that the United States’ political system is DL rotten to its core and a sizable chunk of the center-Right is chomping at the bit to start murdering people like me.

Barring something I honestly can’t predict, if there is going to be a civil war, it’s probably going to start in the winter of 2024-2025. Long term political trends are loaded in MAGA’s favor in a pretty massive fashion. So, if they can just not bungle the strangling of America’s liberal democracy then they’re set to turn the United States into an American version of Putin’s Russia for the rest of my life.

Just the Electoral College alone is enough to end America’s experiment in self-governance over the course of the next few election cycles. There will come a point when the gap between the popular vote and the Electoral vote grows so fucking enormous that we either start murdering each other in cold blood or we simply give up and slide into an autocracy where I end up in a weaponized ICE camp.

There is pretty much just one way an actual “second American civil war” happens in the United States — something happens during the 2024 election cycle whereby the forces that Trump unleashed in 2020 are taken to the next level. It’s not just the U.S. Capitol that faces an insurrection, it’s entire states that implode into waring governments on a pretty significant level.

The thing that blows my mind is how so many Southern “Lost Cause” fucking motherfucker cocksuckers stroke one out to the idea of a second civil war then come to this Website looking to suck their own cock. Guys, if you weren’t such fucking idiots you would let politics do all the hard work for you. No one gets hurt and you get your white Christian entho state.

But no, you are so angry over “cancel culture” that you want to murder people like me to….prove a point? Idiots.

Anyway, America’s political system is running on fumes. We’re in neutral. The first step towards are worst case scenario is Republicans win back Congress in 2022. (Which they will.)

Like I keep saying — we’re fucked. We’re totally, completely fucked.

Get out of the country if you can. Now.