Mike Pence Is A Coward

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As things stand, MAGA hates Mike Pence and everyone else thinks he’s a joke whose only honorable act was to fulfill his perfunctory role as the person required to certify the Electoral Vote on January 6th.

But there is one option for Pence that he is simply too big a fucking coward to take — turn on Trump in full throated manner and confess everything he knows about Trump and Trumplandia. If Pence did that, it would be one of those The Day The Earth Stood Still kind of political events that happen every once or so a generation.

Yet, like I said, Pence is a coward.

He somehow thinks that he can square the circle and use his evangelical base to slingshot himself into a direct competitor to Trump in a We-Need-MAGA-Without-Trump type gambit. But, sadly, this is not going to happen.

Pence’s only option is a hail Mary pass where he becomes a #NeverTrumper and joins Liz Cheney in the ranks of people who are absolutely opposed to Trump and MAGA. He won’t even have to change any of his other opinions. The center-Left is so bereft of good leaders at the moment, that he would instantly be hailed as the potential leader of some sort of Unity Ticket — Pence / AOC 2024, anyone?

I know that would never happen, but…we’re in very desperate times at the moment when it comes to the state of our democracy. Something’s gotta give.

Blue & Gold — #Lyrics to a #Pop #Song

Blue & Gold
lyrics by @sheltgarner
Please give credit
if you produce or perform

seeds on the ground
tells us where the bodies
are to be found
the future is bright
after a dark night
in the distance we see
the blue and gold
the blue and gold
the blue and gold

blue and gold
makes me smile
knowing that
freedom is not
on hold
the blue and gold
the blue and gold

the sky is blue
the gold of the land
sparks what is be had
in a free land of
free people glad
to be alive
the blue and gold
the blue and gold
the blue and gold

(bridge)
to the east
the bear crushes spirits
it thinks it can make people tremble
but we all know the truth
free people will resist
with the might of a thousand years
of history and hope

the sky is blue
the gold of the land
sparks what is be had
in a free land of
free people glad
to be alive
the blue and gold
the blue and gold
the blue and gold

Why All The Talk Of ‘Civil War’ On The Part of MAGA Is Bullshit — It’s Blues You Have To Worry About

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I call bullshit on all this talk of “civil war” on the part of the MAGA New Right. They’re trolling Blues. The MAGA New Right is ascendant and, in the end, if Blues “bend a knee” to Reds, lulz, what were we talking about?

Should Blues decide NOT to bend a knee to MAGA, then we’re going to have a civil war. And it won’t be because Billy Bob drinking his Miller Light picked up a gun and starting killing all the latte swilling liberals he could find. It will be because, on a state level, Blues say fuck you and begin the process of seceding from the Union.

Then either the U.S. Military gets involved, or it implodes or God only knows what happens. But all this talk and “ReTRUTHing” on the part of the MAGA New Right about a civil war is extremely dumb trolling. They, at the moment at least, have absolutely no reason to worry about a civil war.

They are getting everything they want politically and they’re well on their way to establishing permanent white minority rule without a shot being fired.

Why Music Streaming Is Probably A Net Positive For The Music Industry — & Artists

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m not an expert, but just some back of the envelope thinking about things like Spotify leads me to believe that in the end the music industry is bound to make a whole lot more money of streaming than off of any physical medium.

The reason is, if someone owns music, they buy it once and can listen to it as much as they like for “free” afterwards. Meanwhile, with streaming, it’s kind of a win-win for everyone involved. For a reasonable monthly fee, consumers can listen to millions of songs at whim. Meanwhile, every time a song is played — for whatever reason — the artists involved gets SOME money, however small.

So, there are two major times when this element of music sociology gets involved. One is, the back catalogue of music that might not be as popular anymore and, as such, might be hard to find. Places like Peaches or Tower Records — however big they may have been — had finite physical retail space and, as such, they had to make some subtle editorial decisions.

So, as an Old, if I went to some modern day Tower Records, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be able to find some obscure 90s band simply because it was 30 years ago and the market to house the CD / vinyl isn’t there anymore. But with Spotify, et al, if I want to listen to a very specific 90s song out of the blue, that’s money that that artist would otherwise not get.

The other main way artists MUST be making more money is through replays. I listen to some songs over and over and over and over again and that’s money that the artist wouldn’t get using the traditional Point of Sale type distribution of a physical product — once that physical music medium is bought, that’s all the money that artist should expect to get.

I’m not saying streaming music is perfect or that it isn’t causing problems. It’s not perfect and it’s causing problems. But I think, over time, artists — especially older mid-tear artists –may realize they’re actually making more money than they might otherwise.

I think.

I’m Suspicious About What’s (Not) Going On In Silicon Valley

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate conspiracy theories. But, occasionally, I look at a situation and begin to…wonder. And, right now, I find myself suspicious about the lack of real innovation coming out of Silicon Valley.

Moore’s Law is still at play, with processing power doubling every 18 months…and…yet…the metaverse is all we got coming up? It makes me wonder if maybe there’s a lot going on, but for market reasons Silicon Valley is sitting on its hands for some reason.

If you really wanted to be paranoid, you could say that there is something like digital telepathy that actually exists — and is being used — but we’re not being told about. That sounds very, very crazy, but it’s at least interesting to think about.

And then, there’s something else — with advances in AI, why is your typical Google search so bad? And where’s my Her-type personal assistant that can be my personal intermediary with the online world? Why are we focusing on the metaverse when a digital assistant would be far cooler.

Tech Bros & The Elites Are Oblivious About How Dire The Return Of MAGA Will Be For The American Economy

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So, I’ve found a new podcast from The Ringer podcast network called Plain English. It’s really good. I’m pleased I’ve discovered it. But I find myself growing aggravated with this specific episode I’m listening to between the host Derek Thompson and Jason Calacanis when it comes to the current state of the economy.

The two of them are obviously Elites. They very casually throw around concepts that are completely alien to a broke, freaky loser like me. The thing that is making me angry is they are so focused on what’s happening Right Now, that they are totally missing the looming clouds that is the return of MAGA in the coming months.

Once MAGA inevitably returns, we’re going to face America as the Corporate State. MAGA is very much like old school fascism. And once MAGA sizes control they’re going to mettle in the economy far, far more than the Democrats ever would. They will have an industrial policy in all but name. They will pick winners and losers and they will come after “woke corporations.”

Of course, the other option is a civil war, which would totally destroy our economy. I doubt that will happen, but…it is something to think about.

A New Automattic Theory

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Ok, hear me out. Here’s my new (somewhat self-aggrandizing) theory about why I’ve started to see people using Automattic as their ISP in my Webstats. I thought, maybe, that I was either going to be deplatformed for my drunk rants or maybe, even my Website was being scraped for some reason.

Then it occurred to me — maybe it’s possible that some media company that maybe has a turnkey solution with Automattic that includes an ISP element. As such, it’s possible that I’ve caught the attention from some (media?) company and what I’m seeing is a few of their staff looking at this site on a regular basis.

If that’s so, WOW! That’s great! I’m very flattered.

Anyway. I’m nothing more than a delusional jerk with a good heart in the middle of nowhere. Anyone being a regular reader of my writing pleases me. I would prefer if said people weren’t stalkers or haters. But, lulz. Nothing matters.

Why I’m Long On Podcasts

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m beginning to believe that Spotify was very smart to invest big in podcasts. It seems to me that we’re just about to go to the next level with podcasts. There is just too much slack, too many unfilled niches in the podcast industry for this not to be the case.

Let me explain.

Usually, any industry is going to consolidate into three or four major players. Or, something happens to make the whole issue moot. So, with blogs about 20 years ago, you had an explosion of really cool blogs that filled a number of niches.

And then social media came and, lulz, nothing matters anymore.

I mean, it’s a real, real struggle for me to get outside of my passive comfort zone and read any blog. I get all my information from Twitter. So, in a sense, at least for me, Twitter is the center of my online experience.

But there are two online spaces that draw my attention away from Twitter — Tik-Tok and Spotify. Tik-Tok because it’s strangely addictive and my be reading my mind (ha!) and Spotify because I love music….and I keep finding new and interesting podcasts to listen to.

In fact, if I had the right personality, I probably could start a very successful podcast. But, alas, I have no friends, no one likes me and I have no money to bribe people to pretend to like me enough to talk to me on a podcast on a regular basis.

But the point remains — there is huge growth potential for podcasts. In fact, it could be that, in the end, podcasts may just grow and grow until the metaverse finally arrives. Remember, all the other options are mature. YouTube is mature. Social media is mature. Blogs are mature. The only industry with any momentum and room to grow is podcasting.

And, really, all you need is a basic amount of infrastructure, talent, vision and access to Spotify. If you did a good enough job with the other elements, you could — potentially — grow organically.

Anyway, there is a window of opportunity, maybe two years, that if you came up with a great podcast idea that you could probably re-create the cool of Gawker Media back in the day.

Good luck.

Ron DeSantis Is Probably Going To Be Our First American Autocrat

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As I’ve written before, I don’t hate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but I do know that if he can just get past dingus Donald Trump he can be America’s first autocrat. I say this because DeSantis is younger and organized and, from what I can tell, an actual adept governor. But he’s also an aspiring autocrat.

If this was 25 years ago, DeSantis would probably just be a basic Republican. He would probably be somewhere on the Bush I or Bush II spectrum of politics. But that’s not what’s going on. DeSantis has one obstacle to becoming very powerful and extremely wealthy: dingus Trump.

We haven’t reached the battle royale that could happen very soon between Trump and DeSantis. It could be, of course, that DeSantis may be co-opted by Trump rather than destroyed. This might come because, in the end, that Trump is a lot weaker than we all — including Trump — current believe.

And, this doesn’t even begin to address the other issue, which is Mike Pence might dive into the little kerfuffle of wannabes who somehow think there can be MAGA without Trump. (Which I think is bullshit.)

The key thing is — Trump is too lazy and stupid to be a true autocrat. But whomever he picks as his MAGA success (probably his veep) will, in fact, be our first Putin-level autocrat. The person who will establish white minority rule in the United States. Given how nuts Trump is, it’s possible that our first autocrat might be Gen. Mike Flynn. It could really be that bonkers.

If that happened, then we’re probably going to have a civil war.

But if DeSantis somehow cockblocks Trump and is the nominee in 2024, then I believe that through hook or through crook DeSantis will be POTUS in 2025. Then he will, by definition, be America’s first autocrat. He will probably push through a Constitutional Convention and he will, through grift, become fabulously wealthy.

Remember — there are macro trends at work. Around 2024 -2025 we’re either going to become an autocracy or have a civil war. That’s it. No other options. We might punt things down the road a little bit, but we’re totally, completely fucked. Get ready.

Mulling Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series & What Drew Audiences To It

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s interesting how different authors interpret Stieg Larsson’s first three books involving Lisbeth Salander. What I liked about them — and the element I hope to emulate — was the characters.

I really like The Girl Who Played With Fire the best of those first three books because of those three books that make up the Millennium Series, it’s the one book that really reads like a normal novel. The first book is way too slow at times and the last book is just, well, weird. It’s too complex and about conspiracy theories that Larsson obviously believed in.

Anyway.

I continue to pause my writing on the first novel for about a month. It’s a real struggle. Every day since I went on this “pause” I’ve felt the urge to say,”Fuck it,” and read the first draft so I can turn around and start actively working on the novel again. But I know there are plenty of other things I could be doing while I wait to start up again.

I need to do a lot of reading, for one. A whole lot. I’m going to read — or try to read — the latest book in the new series featuring Salander. I’ve read just a few pages and I already taken aback by how different it is in tone from the other books (I tried to read the first post-Larsson written book in the series and…kinda got bored midway through and stopped.)

But I really need to read any and everything I can get my hands on while I pause my writing. And I also need to throw myself into working on development of the other four novels. I need to remember as I do that, of course, to stay flexible. That’s the one thing I’ve learned from all this work over the last few years is don’t grow too attached the specifics of anything in your outline.

Everything should be up for reworking or change as need be.

I read another novel that is trying to do what I want to do — cater to the Larsson audience — and I was again taken back by how different it was from what I expected. Larsson’s work is very much slow-burn in nature. It’s as if the author of the book in question was trying to cherry pick the best bits of the Larsson stuff so he could be more of a hack.

I don’t know. Whatever. I have my own vision and interpolation of what made Larsson’s work great and I’m going with it. The first three novels in this five novel project are DEFINTELY very “me.” They have my sense of humor and aren’t nearly as dark as Larsson’s stuff, which is probably bad. I need to work on making all these novels darker.