Jerry Seinfeld & The Fate Of Comedy

by Shelt Garner

I try to be as moderate and empathetic as possible. But sometimes the “woke cancel culture mob” really gets on my fucking nerves. Take, for instance, what’s going on with Jerry Seinfeld and his belief that people being “woke” has caused the demise of comedy.

There is so much wrong with the reaction to this comment — on both sides.

The MAGA Right has glommed onto his observations as a way to confirm their priors. They believe that they can “own the libs” by screaming at the top of their lungs that what they believe HAS to be Right because “even Seinfeld” agrees with us.

Meanwhile, the “woke cancel culture mob” is just as bad. They really are so touchy that they can’t take even the smallest amount of criticism. They are doing everything in their power on social media to “recon” away how Seinfeld is one of the greatest comics of the last 30 odd years.

Now, as for what Seinfeld believes — I don’t know what the truth is. I suspect he has something of a point, but I also think that the economics of comedy have changed drastically in the last few decades to the point that the comedies of the 1970s, 80s and 90s just aren’t economically viable anymore.

Just the advent of streaming itself is enough to throw things out of whack.

I guess I’m just annoyed at how polarized the American political system is. We can’t come to any agreement about anything — not even the fate of comedy — and it is really aggravating.

These Novel Writing Projects Are Existential

by Shelt Garner

It is becoming more and more clear to me that I could be nearly 60 years old before I become a published author — if that even ever happens. What’s more, it’s also clear that there is a pretty good chance that if the Petite Singularity doesn’t make all my hard work moot, that some sort of severe political crisis starting in late 2024, early 2025 might just do the trick.

My dream is that my “passion project” main novel is as accessible and popular as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

And, yet, here I am determined to keep going with two different novels that I’m working on.

The key thing is that I manage my expectations. I’ve decided on an existential basis that I’m willing to use what little time I have left on this planet to at least TRY to become a published author, problems and obstacles be damned. I have a huge chip on my shoulder about my writing ability and I want to the validation of getting the approval of literary gatekeepers.

Having said all that, I am really working on my backup scifi novel. The main novel, the “passion project” has problems because its heroine is a part time stripper at club that she owns. I am WELL AWARE of how problematic this may be to younger people — especially women — but I really like how unique and unexpected this part of my heroine’s personality is and so, lulz, fuck it.

Meanwhile, the backup scifi novel is built from the ground up to be as marketable as possible. That’s the goal, at least.

In an ideal world, one of the two novels will sell and I could use the popularity of one novel to get the other novel published. But I have my doubts about if such a cross-pollination of success is possible, given that the two novels are of such different genres.

Anyway. I am pleased with what I’ve come up with and the goal is to wrap up a final third draft of the “passion project” novel no later that around July 22.

The Radicalization of Traditionalists Is Alarming

by Shelt Garner

It seems as though the 2024 election will be decided because of macro political, historical and demographic trends, barring some black swan event that I can’t predict. As such, I’m inclined to believe Trump is going to win simply because of bad vibes, if nothing else.

Traditionalists are so upset over the browning of America, the “gay agenda” and the secularization of the country that they feel as though they have no choice but to support a fucking tyrant like Trump. They rationalize the dangers of giving Trump a second term by saying, lulz, he was all talk the first time, of course he’ll be all talk the second time.


From personal experience, it definitely seems as though Traditionalists — who are the bedrock of any stable democracy — are so weirded out by the extremes of the “woke cancel culture mob” that they are willing to give up their democratic American birthright. As such, we’re pretty much fucked.

Having said all that, we also have to admit to ourselves that if Trump goes full tyrant on us in 2025, that there is a real chance that some pretty unprecedented things might happen — up to and including Trump being deposed in some way. That, in turn would cause a civil war to happen.

Or not. I can’t predict the future.

But the fact remains — late 2024, early 2025 could be up there with the Russian Revolution in terms of jaw dropping, history making events. The key thing is Trump is telegraphing what he wants to do in a second term. As such, I just can’t believe that Trump could go full tyrant without there being some severe consequences.

The United States is just too big, too diverse and has too strong a tradition of democracy for us to just shrug and accept Trump being a tyrant overnight. If he does a “shock and awe” attack on the institutions of the United States there will be consequences for everyone involved.

And, yet, it hasn’t happened yet. There remains a chance that somehow, someway, we’ll muddle through things like we have done so many times in the past.

But I am worried this time could be different, very worried. And the key thing to look for is how Traditionalists respond when Trump begins to snatch people off the street. Things would have to get REALLY BAD for Traditionalists to sit up and take notice.

If Trump starts to arrest people he doesn’t like, the first thing radicalized Traditionalists will say is Trump is just using “lawfare” against people he doesn’t like, just like Biden supposably did (in their view.) As such, it will be interesting to see how fucking bad things will have to get before Traditionalists begin to question their decision to go all-in on Trump.

I suspect only if it gets personal will they care. They will be Good Germans until they, personally, have to deal with some tyrannical thing Trump has done. THEN they might begin to second guess their decision to support MAGA fascism.

But only then.

Am I An ‘AI Doomer?’

by Shelt Garner

Because of what I engage with on Twitter, I’m being fed a growing amount of AI community content. What gets me is so many users — young men, presumably — are obsessed with accelerating AI development until we reach Artificial General Intelligence.

AGI would be much like Sam in the movie “Her.” But, given current advancements in robotics, it’s very possible that sexbots will become affordable enough within a decade that Incels will have absolute no reason to ever get anywhere near a living, breathing, biological woman. Ugh!

Before I go any further, I remember what it was like to be a young man transfixed by technology. In my instance, it was the Internet. I was very, very obsessed with every twitch of the Internet revolution when I was in college. It was that obsession that would ultimately lead me to have a very misguided time as a technology manager in the late 1990s.

Anyway, the key thing for me is that there is a good chance that AI will revolutionize humanity’s existence in much the same way that the Internet did, only far, far quicker. Instead of decades of gradual change, it could be years — or months! — of very, very fast change that will be looked back upon as something akin to a Petite Singularity.

As an Old, I just don’t see how anything like AGI being developed is going to help humanity. All these people touting the life of prosperity, luxury and surplus seem to be oblivious to the hateful, cruel nature of capitalism. The only way anyone my have any money in the future is if there’s a Universal Basic Income.

There is a real chance that AGI will cause either massive political and economic disruption or, in the end, there will just be the Poors and the Very Wealthy and that’s it. I continue to believe that MAGA may evolve into an anti-tech movement at some point in the near future.

Am (Almost) Querying: Now What

by Shelt Garner

It has occurred to me that there may be a problem with my plan to have a backup novel that is meant to be a lot more marketable than the main “passion project” novel — the two novels are different genres.

My main “passion project” novel is meant to be an homage to Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I don’t know how much of this problem is in my own mind because I’m overthinking things and how much is real. My theory of the case is it will be easier to sell the scifi novel — then I will use the success of that novel as leverage with the thriller novel.

My concern is, of course, that the two novels begin different genres will cause their paths to be mutually exclusive. But I think I’m overthinking things. I think the concept is still valid — if I use one novel to get an agent, I can leverage that success to sell the other novel.

Or, I suppose, I could just throw up my hands in despair because “everything sucks” and I’m too old to ever have any additional success in life. But I’m just not prepared to admit defeat just yet. I’m going to keep going because no one can predict the future.

I’ve learned a lot about developing and writing a novel from the main “passion project” and I’m hoping that those skills will allow me to develop and write a scifi novel far more rapidly than the mystery thriller. I’ve already seen evidence of that with the mystery thriller.

I hope to wrap up an outline of the scifi novel pretty soon. I’m just about to wrap up the latest iteration of the third draft of the novel. Once I wrap that up, then I am going to find myself at a crossroads. I don’t quite know what I’m going to do in the near term, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Political Event Horizon

by Shelt Garner

As I keep saying, the old adage is you go bankrupt gradually then all at once. The closer we get to Election Day 2024, the more I find myself worrying about how surreal late 2024, early 2025 may be.

The thing is — I can’t predict the future, so I just don’t know what is going to happen.

Our best case scenario is Biden wins, Trump rants a lot about a National Divorce…and no one listens to him. Then Biden manages to live long enough into his second term that there is a reasonably stable transition to Kamala Harris.

But that is really, really the best case scenario. There is a lot of evidence to suggest there is a non-zero chance that some pretty fucking dramatic things might happen, no matter who wins in 2024. If Trump loses, we may have a civil war. If Trump wins, we may have a Blue Revolution…and then a civil war.

They key thing to consider, as I’ve mentioned before, is the fact that on an institutional basis the Republican Party has grown both radical and beholden to Trump to the point that even though the average MAGA person might not be willing to fight it out in the streets, the state Republican Parties are so radical that they may force the issue one way or another.

And, remember, all of this is happening because of vibes. Republicans — because of the browning of America and the increasing secularization of society along with the widespread adaption of feminism — feel put upon. They often don’t even know why they’re so angry, but they are.

I like to speculate that the issue is angry white Christian (men) just don’t want to talk about abortion or gay rights. They don’t mind if you have an abortion, they just don’t want to have to think about it. They want it to be a deep personal shame that requires you to “leave town,” only to return with everyone giving you the stink eye.

The same with being gay. They, on a personal basis, don’t mind if you’re gay, but they want it to be a deep personal shame. They want it to be something done in secret that is only whispered about.

And that goes for a whole list of other things that divide America at the moment. And, of course, some of all of this is just people are getting old and they don’t understand the Youngs and their newfangled world views.

Anyway, I’m growing ever more alarmed at what is happening politically in the United States. It will be interesting to see if we make out alive. I would like to query a novel in peace and quiet.

Normies Aren’t Prepared For The Petite Singularity

by Shelt Garner

I am well aware that I’m “very online” and I need to touch some grass, but having said that, given how we’re collectively careening towards a “Petite Singularity,” normies are in for a rude awaking in a few years — months?

My middle-aged peer group just is completely oblivious to what’s going on with AI. They barely, barely know anything about ChatGPT. And they’re totally unaware of the advancements in robotics. The moment LLMs can be put into androids, then huge swaths of the economy — knowledge and otherwise — are going to be disrupted.

When LLM-enabled androids are doing such high paying blue collar jobs as plumbing and carpentry….yikes!

The question, of course, is when all of this is going to happen, when it goes mainstream. That is a very curious question. There is a good chance that we are going to have to sort out our politics starting in late 2024, early 2025 first. Once we decide if we’re going to be a MAGA-themed autocracy or not, THEN we will see a lot of technological advancement happening very, very quickly.

One issue is cultural. Are people prepared to share their homes with LLM-powered androids? There are going to have to be a lot of safe-guards in place to prevent androids from using the same tools they use to keep a house clean to bludgeon their owners to death.

It is definitely going to be interesting to see what happens in the near term. And I haven’t even addressed the fact that digital personal assistants will totally disrupt the knowledge economy in ways none of us can possibly predict. I do think, however, that MAGA could very well evolve into an anti-technology movement that demands AI be severely regulated or outlawed altogether.

The Curious Case Of The ‘Woke Cancel Culture Mob’

by Shelt Garner

Two interesting things happened that gave me pause for thought. One was Bill Maher laid out a view some of the issues surrounding the “woke cancel culture mob” that I could not dismiss out of hand. It was nuanced and at first glance at least, seemed to expound upon a view that pretty much fit what any reasonable person might think about the subject.


Meanwhile, just in the last few days, Jerry Seinfeld said that he thought that comedy had been chilled a great deal by “woke” people being too easily offended.

These two things have given me pause for thought because I find myself wondering if my views on these subjects are out of step with the “media narrative” and will, as such, cause me to get “canceled” if I ever blow up with my novel money.

I don’t know why I even worry about such things because selling my novel and having any success of note will be like winning the lottery. But, lulz.

It all gets worse when you consider that I have seen a number of people on Twitter get their panties all in a bunch over Seinfeld’s comments. I do believe there is some merit to what he had to say and it doesn’t just stop with comedy. For some reason, the “woke cancel culture mob” also has an extremely puritanical view of heterosexual sex in the arts.

Anyway, I try to be as moderate and empathetic as possible. It would help a great deal if there was nuance in public discourse, but alas, that’s just not how things are these days. Everything is yes / no, black / white and people can get pretty worked up if you don’t adhere to the orthodoxy.

My Backup Scifi Novel Is Beginning To Get Fleshed Out

by Shelt Garner

I am going through my main novel — which I now see as a “passion project” at quite a nice little clip. I hope to wrap up the latest iteration of the third draft in a few weeks. Then I will probably go through and really look carefully at each scene to make absolutely sure that it’s good enough to keep as-is.

Meanwhile, the scifi novel, which I am developing specifically to be as marketable as possible, is coming along as well. I’m using AI to help me develop the novel because I have no friends and no one likes me. I have had decidedly mixed results using AI for development.

Sometimes AI has given me so really good suggestions. Other times, meanwhile, the results have been rather…meh. But, in general, using AI has sped development up significantly because it has given me at least some sort of path as to where I should go. Too often in the past I’ve spent a lot of time just spinning my wheels, not really knowing what I should do.

Anyway, the next step with the “passion project” novel is to save up money for an editor. It’s going to take me a few months because I’m living in poverty. But it will be worth it. I am still rattled by the fact that I managed to scare off one editor I wanted to work with simply because I’m a freaky weirdo.

But I have to accept that within a few months — hopefully no later than July 22nd, 2024, I will begin the querying process for the “passion project” in some way — even if it’s just continuing to save money up for an editor of some sort. I may break down and just start to query the novel if I fear it’s just going to take me too long to get through the editing process.

Everything Is So Fucked Up

by Shelt Garner

Trump is just a symptom of a broader problem in American politics. That is what makes Trump such a curious political figure. He is not a Great Man of history, he’s just a very lucky ding-dong who serves as an avatar for the rage of white Christians (men) who feel disenfranchised on a personal basis by the “woke cancel culture mob.”

That is why American democracy is on the verge of collapse. That is why we’re just one election away from imploding as a nation — not Trump.

All the potential solutions to this particular problem just aren’t applicable anymore. It’s clear that the final showdown between the forces of democracy and fascism is just a matter of time now. It’s not like I want this to happen, but I just can’t see MAGA fading peacefully into political oblivion if we manage to win in 2024.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that we win in 2024 and MAGA peacefully drifts into political obscurity and that will be that. But, I fear, the best case scenario is Trump rants about the need for a National Divorce and everyone just ignores him. Then he turns around an announces for 2028.