‘Cast Away’ — #WuFlu Worst Case Scenario Survival Speculation

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltgarner

First, don’t panic. I’m well known for being a daydreaming crank. As such, the following should be taken as entertainment. But let’s take an honest look at what might happen if The Worst Happened with WuFlu at some point in late January into early February. I am reminded of this scene in the movie Cast Away:

We are not prepared for the type of historic clusterfuck WuFlu might be. I say this because of what we know to be true in China right now. The fucking thing has a 10-12 day incubation and you can have no symptoms and be contagious. So, that’s nearly a fortnight of millions of people being able to go all over the world, exposing people and not knowing it.

Now, remember, I can’t predict the future. All I have is datapoints and no context. So this could all fizzle out and I can go back to developing my novel in peace. But suppose my worst fears happen and at some point, say around Jan. 31st, three things happen in quick success — maybe even within hours of each other: Brexit, we find out about a significance impeachment vote in the Senate….and there’s a significant flair up WuFlu cases in the West. I don’t think any of us are prepare for the reaction would be if one of the 80 year old Senators simply keeled over in the middle of the Senate with WuFlu.

That’s unlikely to happen, to say the least. But a lot of different things are happening at the same time, as if history is on the cusp of abrupt lurch forward into a new era in a rather dramatic fashion. If over the course of, say, a week, WuFlu is sufficiently potent that it begins to influence the impeachment trial AND Brexit, well, holy shit.

And, let me note, that the issue is perception. It doesn’t really matter how many people actually keel over in the States, it’s how many do it in a rather conspicuous fashion. But one thing I am mulling is continuation of government. The nightmare scenario is a lot of very important members of the Federal government abruptly become conspicuously incapacitated. But that’s really the absolute worst case scenario.

The point is, again, that I can’t predict the future. But just like when the airplane crashed in Cast Away, little decisions we make now may have some pretty big consequences for years to come.

Wargaming ‘#WuFlu 2020’ #Wuhan #coronovirus

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Here are some observations about what’s going on with the “WuFlu.” As of right now, there’s no reason to panic or worry. As long as the media narrative is people are dying in China, then, well, lulz (at least according to Twitter “thought leaders.”) China is an authoritarian state, so there’s every reason to believe the outbreak could get far, far worst than any of us could possibly imagine but it would be contained.

It’s when people start dropping in the streets of major cities in the West that we lurch towards a pretty dark situation. What’s interesting is a number of things are happening at the same time — Brexit in the UK, impeachment in the US and now Wuhan in China.

I guess my main fear is that the leader of the free world is a deranged tyrannical lunatic.

Apocalypse Now: Brexit, Impeachment, & Wuhan

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A number of things are happening at the same time on a macro historical level at the moment and there’s a least a chance that they will begin to influence each other.

Brexit
As I understand it, Brexit is going to happen on Jan. 31, one way or another. I haven’t really kept up with how “hard” it’s meant to be, but it’s definitely going to cause some disruption in things in the short term.

Impeachment
We are rushing towards a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion on impeachment, with Trump being acquitted out of hand by the Senate for no other reason than the entire Republican Party is beholden to House Trump and only see democracy as a means to an end.

Wuhan
We haven’t had a pandemic in just under over 100 years. If we had a once-a-century pandemic given modern transportation, there’s a good chance the death toll would be far higher than any of us could possibly imagine.

As of right now, these three things are happening separate of each other. But there’s a least a small chance that will change. There’s a chance that there may come a point in the near future when they begin to at least influence each other in some way.

Say, for instance, that somehow we get a longer impeachment trial, long enough that the economic effects of Brexit begin to influence politics in the United States enough that public opinion begins to shift on Trump. This is probably highly unlikely — Trump’s probably going to be acquitted in a matter of hours, it seems. But if there was a longer trial, then there’s more chance that if the Wuhan virus begins to kill people at pandemic levels in the next few weeks, then all three things would influence each other.

What’s more likely to happen is something like this — there’s a short trial. Trump’s “vindicated.” And then all breaks loose. Then we see the one two punch of Brexit and Wuhan strike. It is the stress of finally having a crisis that is not a self-own that drives Trump completely bonkers. And given that use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president is a dead letter, then we would have a worse-case-scenario on our hands.

Trump complete and total lack of leadership would only make a bad situation far, far worse. In the end, the fate of humanity might be at stake and I honestly don’t have a ready answer as to the outcome.

V-Log: Lev Parnas & The (Possible) Fall Of The House Of Trump #MarieYovanovitch

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I may write a post on this page after Lev Parnas is on Maddow tonight, but this video is really good and says everything I want to say about this subject for the moment.

Welcome To The Impeachment Trial

The Real Reason Why Evangelicals Support Trump

An observation

V-Log — Developing & #Writing An ‘Apocalypse Now’ For The Trump Era

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In these two rambling videos, I talk about both the novel I’m writing and how fucked we are when it comes to Trumplandia. May God have mercy on our collective souls.


Dr. Toxoplasmosis, Or How I Learn To Stop Worrying And Love Cyberwar

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate violence, suggested or otherwise. I think I have that parasite found in cat pee that makes you nicer. I’m a man of peace, of ideas. And, as such, as our doofus president seems hellbent on blowing us all up, I would gently suggest to the Iranian government NOT to blow up anything in revenge. Do something a lot less bloody — hack into TrumpOrg.

It’s a way to square the circle. All they have to do, really, is release Trump’s taxes and the rest takes care of itself. They will have “won” the war against the United States without hurting anyone. They can sit back and watch the United States eat its tail as MAGA lulzes a million pages of proof that Trump’s a criminal and everyone else freaks the fuck out.

No one needs to die.

No one listens to me, though.

Radiohead & The Difficulty Of Conveying Music In A Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The reason why Radiohead is so important in my development of this novel is how difficult it is to convey music in a novel. Outside of, say, The Beatles, there really aren’t a lot of pop-rock songs that are so widely known that a lot of readers wouldn’t have to stop and actually listen to the song’s referenced.

This is a problem for me given how at its heart, this novel is about music and its importance in the lives of the characters. I have a workaround of sorts — Radiohead. Radiohead both has the type of songs I need to set mood AND has a discovery that’s wide and deep enough that I have a decent chance of referencing a song that enough people know that they WON’T have to actually listen to it.

But one thing I can’t stress enough is how important music is to this novel’s universe. It’s its soul. Its heart. The thing that binds everything together. That I’ve actually managed to pull this off (at least in my own mind) is quite an accomplishment. Or, put another way — this should be a screenplay. But I like the idea I not only have absolute creative control, but I also can give you insight into a character’s internal thoughts in a way that is difficult to do in cinema.

Another thing I struggle with is setting tone. Radiohead forces me to stay focused. People want a dark, exciting thriller not just a fast-paced version of The World According To Garp. But I simply don’t take myself very seriously and so that’s bound to pop out in the novel every once in a while. I simply don’t have THAT much self-control.

We’ll see, I guess. The last time my entire life was wrapped around something of such significance was ROKon Magazine. But that was a pretty brutal creative experience that destroyed me. Hopefully this particular hat trick won’t be as emotionally painful.

My Heroine Doesn’t Fit The Media Narrative For A Latina

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me say for the record that I have no idea what I’m doing and I have no idea how long it’s going to take me to finish development of this novel, much less an actual first draft. But tonight I had a serious breakthrough on a canonical level which gives me added momentum going forward.

From the very beginning, I’ve wanted my heroine to be ethnically Latina. But as I’ve come to understand who the character is, I realize that she simply doesn’t fit the current media narrative about the Latinx community as advocated by Twitter Liberals. She’s her own person. She’s gorgeous and she can kick your ass. If you think that makes her just another “sexy slutty assassin” then fuck you. I only say that because I’ve spent much of my time the last year working to think up every possible way to flip the script on that particular trope while also giving the Latinx community a folk heroine to root for.

I want my heroine to be something that Lisbeth Salander isn’t — likable. As I’ve said from the beginning of this to-date year-long process, I want my heroine to naively be a “manic pixie dream girl,” but one that was shoved into a vat of Lisbeth Salander. Her personality has been warped because of events out of her control. She doesn’t have Asperger’s and you could actually see yourself hanging out with her but for a pretty big event in her past that totally changed who she is. I am well aware that I risk writing a younger, better looking female version of myself as my heroine. But I’m so super self-conscious about that possibility that hopefully that won’t happen.

Now, why I, a middle aged hayseed rube white guy living in a backwater portion of a purple flyover state, would do such a thing probably seems rather surreal to the average Twitter Liberal. I can’t help who I am. I can be empathetic, however. I have very strong opinions and sometimes I say things that could be perceived as offensive on any number of different levels. But I’m not racist,or a misogynist, or an incel or a bigot. I fucking hate MAGA with a white hot creative rage.

I guess some of it comes from who’s the one type of person MAGA hates the most? A Hispanic. So, if I’m going rant at the top of my lungs (using subtext) as to how much I fucking hate MAGA, the only way to do it properly is to have a Latina heroine. Throw in how much I love The Girl Who Played With Fire as a novel and, well, the rest takes care of itself. The ONLY reason why this novel is a thriller is I have to have an excuse to run around my Trump Era allegory in a way that keeps you turning pages.

I really, really want this novel to be as accessible as possible. I want everyone to have a good time — even MAGA fucktards who may be hate-reading it because Don Jr. told them it sucked. (That I even sell the damn thing is just a dream at this point. I full expect that I will have to self-publish and the best I will be able to do is get a profile in the local weekly.)

Anyway, just like you can’t hold a pregnant woman’s baby until it’s actually born, you’re going to just have to wait while I bounce between thinking, development, writing and talking a lot about what is, in real terms, still a moving object. I have a whole lot of work ahead of me still. AND my writing probably isn’t nearly as good as could be.

But I do know I’m not going embarrass myself. This could be my Sharp Object and my next novel will be my Gone Girl. Who knows.

A ‘Ready: Player One’ For Middle-Aged People Who Love Pop Rock

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Let me start off by saying I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m essentially working in a vacuum as I develop this novel. And I write a lot of blog posts when I’m trying to distract myself from the novel problem of the moment. So, take a lot of what I write with a grain of salt relative to your personal expectations of my ability to actually make what I can articulate a reality.

But, I would note in passing that I’m kind of obsessed with the type of music I point out in this novel. So much so, that the argument could be made that if you like good music — or, at least the type of pop rock music that I like as a middle aged white man in a flyover state — this novel is shaping up to be something of a Ready: Player One for you.

At the core of this novel is how several very important characters love “good” music that fits a very wide spectrum of “pop rock.” But, this is a novel we’re talking about, not a movie. So, the actual implementation of this concept will likely be far more limited than I would like. There are plenty of people who won’t know any number of the songs I reference. But, who knows.

All I know is, I need to hurry the fuck up. If I don’t get back to writing soon, I may not be able to sell it a finished product for no other reason than I’m going to be rotting in the American Killing fields in some weaponized ICE camp.

Or, maybe I’ll escape to Canada and publish the novel there.

Wish me luck.