My Decision To Develop & Write Four Novels Instead of Two Is Working Out Well

by Shelt Garner

They key reason why my decision to double the books in this initial group of novels has worked out so well is it allows me to do something different when the mood strikes and still stay in-universe.

I have all these great, great ideas rolling around in my mind these days and now I have an outlet to do something different while moving the overall project I’ve been working on for the last few years forward.

One thing that’s interesting is the prequels allow me to figure out how to tell a story that isn’t completely fueled by my white hot, center-of-the-sun rage against MAGA. These two prequel stories are a lot more character driven and very personal.

Anyway, I have a massive amount of work ahead of me. I feel a lot more need to just write something, anything sooner rather than later — when I finish the outlines to these four novels.

That should happen pretty soon, at least on a preliminary basis. I’m shooting for the end of July 4th weekend.

The NSA Reading Your Emails Is So Cheugy, Tucker — You Need To Rant About Big Tech Reading Our Minds

by Shelt Garner

When it comes to the idea that Big Tech can “read our minds,” I think of what we know and don’t know about UFOs right now. We know something weird is going on in our skies, but we don’t know what. The same with my unease about any possibility of Big Tech to read my mind. I know they have a very, very spooky ability to know extremely-specific-to-me things that have be rolling around in my mind, but I don’t know how.

So, if Tucker Carlson is going to lie about cheugy shit like the NSA reading his emails, of all things, at least he could up his game and lie about Big Tech being able to read our minds. That would make the Deep State sit up and take notice, now wouldn’t it. Wink.

I’ll even go on Tucker’s show to talk about my fears. Now THAT would be interesting. I promise I won’t say “babba booy” once. Of course, there’s a very easy way to check this out — have three different people use Tik-Tok, for a few hours, then switch phones and have them think about something REALLY HARD to see if they get pushed content relative to what they thought about.

But, let me be clear — I don’t really think Big Tech can read our minds. I do think, however, that something spooky is going on that is difficult to understand given what is known. I would even go so far as to say something akin to a “Soft Singularity” may have occurred in the last few years and Big Tech is keeping this information to themselves.

Lulz no one listens to me.

Oh My God, What The Fuck Happened To Chvrches?

by Shelt Garner

So, there I was, thinking of my old favorite, Chvrches. I pulled them up on Spotify, thinking they were still doing their really unique synth-pop-rock brand of music.

The first, most recent, song of theirs I listened to left me cold, to say the least. It was very much pretty much standard Modern Music. Apparently, the song in question, Here With Me, was a huge hit for them. Surreal.

So, I guess pour one out (again) for good music.

Axis Of Red Pill Derp — Joe Rogan Interviews Quentin Tarantino

by Shelt Garner

I’m a huge Tarantino fan. I think he’s one of the last great auteurs out there, but he can also sometimes be tone deft when it comes to cultural issues. I haven’t watched all of his interview with Alt Right Lite hero Joe Rogan, but what I have seen is very interesting.

As expected, there was a lot of Red Pill derp going on between these two guys. I don’t think the average person appreciates how a huge swath of the young adult male population has grown alienated from the existing media narrative. In fact, on YouTube, there’s an entire on-boarding system designed to hook such individuals into getting “Red Pilled.”

So, while in Tarantino’s mind, he was just dropping truth bombs in the context of how he’s one of the last great Hollywood directors, a lot of young men see his interview as validation for their “women and minorities control everything” narrative.

Thing about all of this that is so aggravating is how difficult it is to pin down in concrete terms what things like “cancel culture” even mean. One person’s “cancel culture” is another person’s “well, we live in a new age where audiences really aren’t as accepting of the gratuitous sex and violence that Tarantino is know for.”

Red Pilled young men are a lot like most MAGA people — they are spooked by abstract changes in modern American society. Both groups can’t really articulate what bothers them, they just know they hate liberals. Red Pilled young men hate things like Kathleen Kennedy and love the earnest masculinity of Joe Rogan.

A lot of the problems in American culture are so nebulous and abstract and yet so powerful that they’re even more intractable than they would be otherwise. As such, I suspect they’re only going to be solved when the United States finally becomes a MAGA autocracy — or we have a civil war.

Either way, a lot of difficult-to-pin-down fears that people on both the center-Right and center-Left may have will become very, very moot.

The Talented Ms. Tavi Gevinson

by Shelt Garner

Before I begin, I will note that Ms. Gevinson is 25 years old and in the public eye. As such, it’s not like I’m being a creepy middle aged man by simply having a hot take on her. So, please, spare me, Mr. FBI Agent In DC putting this post in your file of me. (If it exists.)

Ms. Gevinson is living the Life of Riley right now. But she’s also extremely lucky. She hit the media zeitgeist at just the right moment in time when she was growing up. What makes her so interesting to me is she does, in fact, have talent, unlike a lot of other young people in the public eye who appear to be famous for being famous.

But Ms. Gevinson is a construct of a very specific area of the media universe. If she didn’t exist, someone like her would be created. As best I can tell, she’s analogous to a blonde, American version of Britain’s fashion It Girl, Alexa Chung.

And, yet, I don’t think the average American understands what a potent cultural force she is in the rarified halls of Elite Media. She’s apparently in a Gossip Girl reboot and she definitely seems to be heading towards being a movie star soon enough.

Yet, again, I don’t know what to make of her. Something about her rapid ascent rubs me the wrong way. It’s like The Powers That Be in New York Media have decided she’s going to be A Thing for decades to come, even if hayseed rubes like me don’t quite get it.

But it could be worse, I guess. She serves a function and she does, in fact, have talent. I think maybe some of my annoyance comes from how precocious she’s been and how a lot of adults who should have known better — at the time — took her way, way too seriously. At the onset of her career as a little tyke she was something akin to Rushmore.

I need to get over myself, though. I just hope she’s grateful that she’s been given some pretty spectacular opportunities at such a young age.

America’s Path To Autocracy Goes Through Texas

by Shelt Garner

If you want to understand the political, historical and demographic forces at work in the United States right look no further than Texas. The Lone Star State is the place where we see America’s overall decent into autocracy in the micro. For a generation, people have been talking about how Texas is “shifting Blue” and there will, at some point, come a moment when it’s no longer reliably Red. Such an event would be huge — Democrats with the failsafe of Texas on the electoral board would be in a very good position going forward.

There’s a huge problem with this, however — Texas Republicans know this, too.

As such, Texas is thus one of a number of states around the Union where the Republican Party has grown hysterical and autocratic. They will do anything to keep power, to the point where they don’t blink an eye at running roughshod over democratic norms.

So, when you talk about the political future of the United States, you have to take into account that the Republican Party is, well, fascist. They are laying the groundwork for forcing the issue: we will either become an autocratic managed democracy or we’re going to have a civil war.

And Texas is a prime example of how the Republican Party, on a systemic level, would rather destroy democracy than do any soul searching so they could continue to win elections fair and square. They would rather destroy the whole system than risk such forced existential introspection. We have get woke to the very real possibility that at some point between now and January 2025, the United States will become, on a political level, Texas.

The anti-democratic moves that the Texas Republican Party is doing on a systemic level will be applied to the United States by the national Republican Party for the very same reasons — Republicans know they have unpopular policies and the only way they can stay in power is to cheat via turning the country into an fascist autocracy.

There are no easy answers. Either the autocratic forces at work within the Texas Republican Party — and beyond — win the day, or we have a civil war. That’s it. That is our choice.

The Earth Is Broiling & Yet It’s Still A Lulz?

by Shelt Garner

Reality is very important to me. So when I find myself surrounded by people who are denying a concrete reality that is all around us, it makes me very angry. What sparks me thinking about this is how it’s now very clear that the earth is heating up at an alarming rate.

And, yet, because how since about the 2000 presidential election, anything to do with global climate change is seen exclusively through the prism of partisan politics. Because of the broader problem of negative polarization, people on the Right are denying empirical evidence that global climate change is real. They do everything in their power to conflate, or mitigate or rationalize out of existence the very cold hard facts that we are now confronted with on a daily basis.

Even if you pin these people down, the pretty much just throw up their arms and say, something like, “humans have nothing to do with it” or “what do you want us to do about it.”

But, really, this is an issue of these people getting so wrapped up in the immediate political future that they’re willing to embrace nihilism. So, you can tick off all these different things that we should or could do to save ourselves, because of the absolute addictive power of negative polarization people on the Right will never, ever change their point of view on this subject. To the point that we could all be forced to move to Canada, Russia and Antarctica and these people would still be complaining about the Green New Deal banning cows because of their farts.

All of this points to not only how fucked we are, but there’s a severe problem in our political system that is putting the entire existence of humanity at risk. And the one thing that would fix this problem — leadership on the Right — is just not something that is going to happen anytime soon, maybe ever.

As it stands, people on the Right are looking at global climate change exclusively through the lens of partisan politics and economics. To the point where, like I said, they’re nihilistic. They would rather own the libs than risk, in any way, figuring out a way to save humanity through the group effort of a common front.

So, I don’t know what to tell you. Get ready to broil, I guess.

The UFO Conundrum

by Shelt Garner

The core reason why UFOs collectively cause us all a huge problem is it’s easy for us to get all worked up…and then nothing happens. That’s why it’s so difficult for UFOs to be taken seriously. Over the last 70 or so years, we’ve all been left waiting for something to happen…and it never does.

I would say at the moment, all we can confirm is that there have been credible reports of things flying around in the air that we can’t explain. That’s it. We don’t know what they are and we don’t know where they came from. Because of the magical thinking associated with conspiracy theories, it’s natural for people to make the leap into, “Well, obviously, the government has made First Contact and is hiding it from us.”

When, that is a leap with absolutely no evidence to back it up. It’s a shit tone of wishful thinking. Though, to be fair, every once in a while, so old guy high up in a government here or there around the world will give something akin to a deathbed confession where he goes on at great length about what appears to be some rather fantastical post-secret-First Contact things.

But even under the most charitable of circumstances, without any proof that any of this is real, there are simply way, way too many hurdles to overcome. For such things to be real, not only would aliens have to be real, have been interested in humans enough to come to earth, but the government would have had the wherewithal to keep the whole thing secret and THEN somehow manage to have astronauts in tunnels under Mars.

As such, again, it’s safe to assume that there are, on occasion, things whizzing around the world’s skies that we can’t explain. That’s it. That’s the extent of what is safe to believe.

The Problem With ‘Red Pill’ Culture

by Shelt Garner

As I understand it, there’s a whole on-boarding system that exists for disenchanted young men to “red pill” themselves. When this happens, they start to rant about how women and minorities control everything. But this usually doesn’t happen overnight. They start by watching videos on YouTube about how much Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy sucks. Then they start to get into Joe Rogan.

Before you know it, they turn into incels who are MAGA friendly.

There is so much wrong with this. The key issue for me is we, as a society, are not doing enough to educate young men about the New Normal we live in. Nothing’s right or wrong but thinking makes it so, as the Bard would say. So, in a sense, it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m of the general opinion that a number of things have led to “Red Pill” culture. One is, the lack of a draft to force young men to do Man Stuff with other men from all over the country. Having some sort of unisex National Service would do a whole lot to helping the United States avoid the existential choice of autocracy or civil war. But, sadly, it’s too late now.

Another problem is young blue collar men find it difficult to find high pay jobs that would allow them to fit into the traditional norm of breadwinner. In other words, they find it difficult to get laid, get married and have kids the way their parents did.

Throw in a rather abrupt shift in women’s self perception associated with the #MeToo movement and you have a recipe for a lot of young (white) men to “Red Pill” themselves and radicalize.

There are no simple answers to any of this. I understand things like media narratives and so forth and even I get really irritated with some modern changes, like how Victoria Secret is just about done for.

But, at the same time, I’m educated and refuse to go down the Red Pill rabbit hole so I come out the other side a deranged lunatic. I do think, however, that everything is going to sort itself out between now and, say, January 2025.

We may not like what we have to go through to solve Red Pill culture. It’s going to suck.

Don’t Sleep On The DPRK

by Shelt Garner

Things are too quiet. The last few months have been eerie in how peaceful and quiet they’ve been. Given that we’re just about due for a Once A Generation Event, there are any number of things that could throw everything up in the air in a rather abrupt fashion.

If you are old enough to remember 9/11, there was very much a Before and After feel to it. By the night of 9/11, everyone knew that nothing would be the same.

So, if you look around the world, there’s one place that is always on the cusp of fucking things up — the DPRK. Just today, the DPRK announced some sort of “problem’ with their COVID19 restrictions. This is not good.

But, even without that, the DPRK is ripe for something rather spectacular to happen. The DPRK is the geopolitical equivalent of, say, a zit that is always just about to get so infected that you have to go to the doctor. Anything that changes the current status quo with the DPRK would have massive, and I mean MASSIVE, implications for domestic politics in the United States.

In fact, I would say, in a sense a major regional war against the DPRK might be the only thing that could punt the current political crisis the United States is facing down the road a few more election cycles. It’s easy to imagine Democrats keeping Congress and the White House if Biden managed to guide us through a war against the DPRK.

But that would be a very, very risky thing to pin your hopes on. It’s too easy to imagine the DPRK freaking out and nuking a major city or two in the United States if there was any type of war between it and the US.

Anyway, the point is — don’t sleep on the DPRK. It might grow extremely unstable and problematic when we least expect it.