‘Knives Out’ & Its Influence On The Novel I’m Developing & Writing

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I walk out of movies a lot now that I have been seriously developing and writing a novel. But I saw Knives Out last night and loved it. In fact, the third act was a real “ah-ha” moment for me in regards to the novel I’m writing. I spent the entire drive home talking to myself about the “big black void” that you want to hide from the reader for as long as possible after it happens.

In other words, I now know the exact sequence of events that pretty much the basis of the whole novel’s plot. Now that I know that, I can spend a lot of time dropping clues to the reader leading up to that event and then spend the rest of the novel slowly explaining to them what happened. It’s a major step forward in the plot. Though I have to admit the novel is going to be a lot more Knives Out and a lot less Gone Girl for no other reason than I simply am not as twisted and dark as Gillian Flynn is. I’m just too nice. But I still have a time to make things darker than I am naturally inclined to do, I guess.

One thing is clear — this novel is going to fast paced and very easy to film if it ever became that popular. I’m a visual person and love movies and it’s just difficult for me not to essentially write a novel that’s very cinematic in nature from the ground up. In that sense, I am very much like Michael Crichton in the sense that I think he wrote his novel’s with the assumption they would be filmed.

On a side note, I really, really like Daniel Craig. He’s the gold standard for who I imagine my Hero being in my mind. But there are a lot of problems with that relative to who the character is. My Hero is too much like me in ( some respects) for there to be a 1-to-1 correlation. But I am trying to make my female romantic lead a lot like a combination of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Alexa Chung. Sorta. She’s definitely sort of in that spectrum of brunette British woman.

But anyway, I still have a huge amount of work to do. But I am definitely pushing myself to my creative limits in development, if nothing else. This novel is becoming more and more a reflection of my own personal history and personality.

A Ping From The Darkness About Trump’s Potential Mental State

Why would someone from the Washington D.C. area look at what I’ve been writing about the consequences of Trump going bonkers in the context of impeachment?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am a nobody. No one listens to me. So when someone, anyone — especially someone from notable like Washington D.C. — looks at anything I’ve written it at least makes me curious.

It’s probably nothing. But all I know is, Trump is hanging out in the White House’s private residence a lot these days. And the whole administration is a bunch of criminal liars. So, it could be nothing, it could be that someone, somewhere knows enough about Trump’s mental and or physical condition to want to know what I’ve written on the political implications of him getting far, far worse.

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Trump’s Mental Decline Is A Real Problem — What If His Insanity Merged With His Criminality?

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The issue with whatever the fuck is wrong with Trump’s mind is it’s chronic and degenerative. It’s getting worse day by day, if in a somewhat subtle manner. I thought there was a chance he would snap under the pressure of impeachment, but I think he’s going to make out well enough to win a second term, weaponize ICE and ship me to an American Killing Fields whenever my ICE agent notices my anti-MAGA ranting online.

Mental issues are very difficult to predict. So, the absolute worst case scenario would be whatever it wrong with him reaches a critical stage at some point late enough in the 2020 election cycle that there is absolutely nothing politically we can do about it. The 25th Amendment is a dead letter and if at some point at around July 2020 Trump is obviously completely batshit insane, our entire political system will jam up. There simply wouldn’t be any way to do anything about it. Even if Trump was demonstrably fucking insane, he would still win re-election.

My absolute worst case scenario is Trump after he gets re-nominated simply says, “Fuck you, why even vote? I’m going to bribe the Electors and then pardon everyone anyway.” Legally, there would be nothing we could do. Politically, we would have exhausted the impeachment option AND Republicans would say “Let the people decide.” I don’t really expect anything that bad to happen, but it’s a least a possibility given what’s going on right now.

I honestly don’t know what the endgame would be in that respect.

The End Of The American Republic

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It’s over. We lost. The bad guys won. Gradually, over the next few years, the political system of the United States and Russian will become identical. While Republicans may keep the House as something of a political pressure valve, even that may make them uncomfortable.

ICE will be weaponized and I’ll end up dead in a ditch. Once Trump is acquitted by the Senate, he will be a dictator. He will again be unbounded and he will destroy any chance of a free and fair election in 2020. It will happen in fits and starts, but it will happen.

The only thing that mitigates this clusterfuck for the time being is Trump is criminally incompetent. So, really, he just has to make it into his second term and Kris Kobach, or Tom Cotten, or whomever he picks to make sure American Carnage becomes the law of the land. He can turn into a mental puddle any time after Nov 2020 and, well, that’s that. The end. Fascism, darkness, descends upon America.

I don’t know what to tell you. I guess if you’re center-Left, leave the country if you can. If you don’t, you may be taking your own life in your hands.

The Dumbest Timeline

The Muse In Question
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have something of an obsessive personality. Right now, I’m obsessed with developing and writing a novel. Things are going well as of this moment. It’s a lot of work and that was the whole point of writing novel seriously — I wanted a big creative project to suck up all my time.

A reasonably long time ago I was obsessed with fashion “It Girl” Alexa Chung. The whole thing was rather dumb. I had way too much time on my hand and I love to write, so I was writing a lot about her. Now, what was extremely dumb about this was there were people would apparently noticed this and were a least somewhat concerned.

I was simply a fan who liked to write a lot. At least, that was what it seemed like to me at the time. But I definitely got the sense that her “people” might have been aware of my obsession. It gets even more embarrassing when every once in a while I look in my Webstats and see someone from Sweden looking specifically at what I’ve written about Ms. Chung — even though I’ve not written anything about her in any conspicuous manner for some time now — maybe even years. I have no idea who it is — it could be anyone — but I feel a pang of mortification at the thought that it could be her Swedish boyfriend Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd.

Ugh.

I guess what bothers me is I wasn’t hostile or threatening in anything I wrote. I probably came off as rather delusional, but I thought I was just writing obsessively in a rather unimportant corner of the Internet. But the whole experience definitely taught me a lesson — anything you write about ANYONE online is at once everywhere and no where. Celebrities are people too and it’s actually rather rare for them to not be freaked out by a middle aged weirdo like me talking about them obsessively, especially a woman.

But I definitely have a lingering annoyance over that whole situation. People were so quick to assume the absolute worst about my intentions. Yet, I guess, that’s just the world we live in now.

Update On My Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Things continue to go quite well with my novel. I’m kinda working on the scene summary for v1.5 right now. I’m very tired from working on it all day. I’m doing all of the work in longhand, so that tires me out. And things are going a lot slower than I’d like. But I definitely have a lot of forward momentum.

I’m trying to read as much a I can about how to write a novel. The story is strong and I’m pushing myself to the limits of my ability. I’m a pretty good storyteller, but not that great a writer. And there are a lot of things about writing a novel on a basic level that I continue to learn about every day.

One thing that kind of bothers me is I’m too old to do anything creatively successfully in real terms. I should just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling all day and feel sorry for myself. But I can’t help that I’m 20 years too late to the party. I just want to write a novel that I, myself, would enjoy. In large part, the whole thing is just a way for me to see what it would be like to go through the process of writing a novel to see how far I would get before it becomes too painfully obvious that I’ve made a fool out of myself.

But, in real terms, I don’t have anything else to do with my life right now. And I really, really, really like the concept. It’s great. It’s really strong and interesting and flips the script on some tropes more than once. And my characters are growing strong by the day. A lot of my characters are in my head still, though, and not on the page. But that’s changing quickly.

I’m just so tired right this second that it’s difficult for me to get much more work done tonight, even though I really want to. I hope to lay the entire second POV list scenes in front of me on one page then figure out how to make the whole thing as cogent as possible before I got much farther.

Anyway, wish me luck.

Republicans Have No Shame & Crave Power For Power’s Sake

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m not feeling so great about the chances that Trump will be convicted in the Senate. I say this because Republican defenses for Trump right now are pretty much just, “You don’t like our politics, fuck you.” So, all the Twitter liberals you attempt to use any fact-based logic with fucking fucktwit Republicans are wasting their time. Republicans are such cult that the moment a Democrat ever happens to be president again, they will impeach him or her the moment they have the power to do so. They will want to prove the point and also take some of the sigma away from being impeached so Trump doesn’t look so bad.

Not that I think there will ever be another Democrat president the way things are going. The dystopia is here. The bad guys have won. For the autocrat, all that matters is remaining in power. Everything else is a lulz. So we could have Trump dead-to-rights (which we do) and he will be acquitted and turn around and do the exact same thing. He will grow even more brazen to such an extent that election 2020 will be American Brexit. The whole thing will be such a massive clusterfuck — that Trump will win in the end — that it will be pretty self-evident our democracy, our Republic, is dead.

Trump will push for a Constitutional Convention at some point in his second term and I will promptly be “vanished” by a weaponized ICE.

Now, having said all that, there are still a few issues that I simply don’t know how they will play out. Trump’s mental state is getting worse and Republicans are so bloodthirsty on a rhetorical level that some pretty tragic things may happen when someone takes them both seriously and literally. Those two issues might be the things that bring down Trump at some point.

And, really, if you are MAGA reading this because my worst case scenario is your best case scenario — you’re a piece of shit.

But I think while it is exciting and interesting to see the impeachment process take place, we have to prepare ourselves for the absolute worst. MAGA will start murdering people in cold blood soon enough. Those of us lucky to be able to leave the country when that starts to happen will do so.

Impeachment’s Endgame Will Be Messy

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I just don’t see any clear-cut end to the impeachment process. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t mean Trump won’t be impeached. And I’m not saying there isn’t at least a growing chance he won’t be convicted (somehow.)

But what I am saying is the macro trend in the United States is towards authoritarianism, fascism, plutocracy and theocracy. So, first, let’s look at it from the Republican side.

We’re reached a point where Republicans will have gotten their strategic goals for the near term, no matter what happens. They’ve gotten their plutocrat tax cuts and they’ve gotten their young hack MAGA judges. Thus, even if Trump is somehow miraculously removed from office, it will, in real terms, be only a symbolic victory for the center-Left. We still have a solid 20 years before the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to drop dead and the Browning of America really begins to have a demographic — and political — impact.

Remember, if Pence becomes president, there’s a non-zero chance that while he’s a more traditional pol, he won’t get rid of Barr and he won’t get rid of Pompeo. Though the latter is likely to quit simply to run for Senator. Lulz! Pence will simple sugarcoat the fascism of Trump with a thin veneer of norm-respecting and theology. He’ll wait until just after he wins the presidency in his own right and then pardon Trump. Pence will assume that voters will have calmed down by the time he runs again in 2024.

But let’s look at it another way –what happens if the center-Left gets its best case scenario and, say, Nancy Pelosi becomes president? Republicans will use their plutocrat tax cut to demand we gut the social safety net at a minimum and may even use it as a bludgeon to get a Constitutional Convention to “to pass a balanced budget amendment.” So, in real terms, we would probably have just at about a year before Republicans win not only the presidency, but the House. Then we’re right back where we started from.

As I’ve said before, in a sense, our best case scenario might be either Nikki Haley or even Ivanka Trump becoming president because their far more likely to at least allow a free-and-fair election in 2020. And, if the economy goes south, they will get the blame, not the Democrats. But, remember, if a Democrat becomes president in 2020, they will likely have just about two years before the Republicans take the House and turn around and impeachment for simply not being MAGA.

The point of all of this is manage people’s expectations. We’re in for a bumpy few months, no matter what. And there’s a really good chance Trump will escape political justice AGAIN and he’ll go full Hitler if he somehow manages not to go insane.