The End Of Politics & The Looming Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Most of the traffic this site gets now is from people nervous about the possibility of a Second American Civil War. They have every right to be. American politics isn’t functioning anymore and either, in the end, the United States becomes an autocracy or we implode into civil war / revolution. At least, that’s the macro trend as of March, 2021.

I’ve been reading as much as I can about the rise of Hitler and, in general, tyranny. It definitely seems as though the recent Capitol Insurrection is just a sign of things to come. Only because Trump is a fucking lazy idiot are we not, right now, either in a civil war or in the final stages of some sort of autocratic consolidation of power.

But, here we are.

We’ve punted the existential threat the GQP don’t the road maybe four years. All the conditions are there for the GQP to, at last, strangle American liberal democracy in 2024. Republicans will control Congress in 2024 and since they hate democracy as much as they hate brown people and women with sexual agency, when the exact same thing that happened in 2020 happens AGAIN, well, we’re just fucked.

We either have a civil war or we turn into a MAGA-Qanon themed autocracy. As I keep saying, get out while you still can. If there is a Second Civil War, you would be a fool to think WMD won’t be stolen at some point and used. We’re going to nuke ourselves out of existence. That’s how civil wars are — they’re nasty and sometimes go in directions you can’t expect.

So, for the time being, we’ve punted the specific crisis of a civil wear down the road. But when the time comes — around 2024 – 2025 — we’re going to be faced with the same choice we were faced with in 2020: autocracy or civil war?

WW2 Saeculum: Our American Zombie Republic


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

When I’m not writing an allegorical thriller about the Trump Era, I’m reading. A lot of that reading has to do with the novel. But some of that reading is about something I’m very nervous about — how the United States is careening towards a second civil war.

Remember, that second civil war would have already happened but for one thing, or person: Donald Trump. All the conditions were there in 2020 and by only one metric did we not either slip into autocracy or have some sort of civil war — Donald fucking Trump is a fucking idiot.

He was so fucking lazy that the fate of the United States, in a sense, turned on a dime. We faced the precipice and, in an almost cartoonish fashion, we turned around and walked back into an era of democratic norms.

So, in a sense, all my hysterical ranting about Trump was right but for one thing — when push came to shove, Trump was such a lazy fucking moron he simply was not able to do what 99% of the people in the world would do in his position — knock some heads to stay in power.

As such, here we are: we’re a zombie repubic.

We’ve punted the question of “autocracy or civil war” down the road four years. The United States is, on a macro level, extremely unstable right now. There are two historical analogies I could point to. One is 1860.

Imagine if some of the last ditch efforts to stop the civil war worked and they simply punted the crisis down the road four years. That’s what’s going on now.

The other is 1933.

We’re kind of if Hitler lost the election in 1933, but vowed to try again and just kind of lurked around waiting for his opportunity .

But the key thing you have to remember is — there is no narrative to history as its happening. It’s very, very possible that the Bad Guys will win and a lot of people — like me! — will die because we won’t shut up about the tyranny of MAGA. We won’t be around to see the downfall of the GQP because of their excesses.

There is a broader macro geopolitical issue to worry about — a stable United States is the lynchpin of the post-World War 2 Pax America we’ve all come to enjoy for the last 70 years or so.

Should the US implode into civil war or simply become an inward looking MAGA autocracy, well, it won’t be just the United States that’s fucked. And, surreally enough, such a massive clusterfuck might happen just about 100 years from the end of WW2. (And, remember there were about 100 years from the Congress of Vienna to the outbreak of World 1.)

So, I’m thinking maybe no later than the 2036-37 timeframe. (That would be when Japan invaded Manchuria.)

Or, put another way — we’re just one election of a Trump-like autocrat away from the end of the post-WW2 era. World War 3 could very well happen and everything will be re-arranged in a rather blood and dramatic fashion.

Good luck.

‘Overtime’ — #Lyrics To An Adult Contemporary Song


I have no idea what I’m doing. But I stumbled across the Ariana Grande song “Motive” and for an adult contemporary song it’s damn good. But anyway, this song is meant to be about how “best things in life are free.”

Overtime
lyrics by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

we ain’t go no money
baby we both know it’s true
but you’re rich in ways
that make the girls blush
so when you make it rain
in the bushes we take it slow
stroke, stroke, stroke

(chorus)
the jewlery may be fake
but the passion will be real
we’re working overtime, overtime, overtime
to heal the pain of keeping it real

I’m not prepared to be scared
we’re both broke it’s true
so our fun has to be free
you’re as strong as they come
which is what I do like clock work
one by one

when the dawn breaks
I’m all you can take
if I work back much more
you might break

(chorus)
the jewlery may be fake
but the passion will be real
we’re working overtime, overtime, overtime
to heal the pain of keeping it real

(bridge)
I ask you
when we win the lottery
will we still be in love
or will you leave me for a side chick
you just laugh and rub my head
tell me roll for another round

(chorus)
the jewlery may be fake
but the passion will be real
we’re working overtime, overtime, overtime
to heal the pain of keeping it real

(chorus)
the jewlery may be fake
but the passion will be real
we’re working overtime, overtime, overtime
to heal the pain of keeping it real

Lyric Writing Musings


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I find myself feeling pretty good about the novel I’m working on. It’s not perfect and I’m just (again) at just about the end of the first act, but things are stable enough with it that I’m allowing myself to blow off some steam by writing song lyrics that will never, ever be performed.

But I think what’s going on is I like the challenges associated with at least TRYING to sell a pop song. I’m going to have to learn guitar, maybe buy some mixing equipment. And I’m going to have to study what makes a great pop song.

So, I find myself listening to the likes of Ariana Grande and….oh boy.

She can’t possibly be the horney little minx she tries to come off as. I guess the only reason why that is even an issue is her image is of a pre-teen. For her to be so raunchy in her songs…I mean…come the fuck on.

Anyway, one thing is clear about pop songs is they have to be open enough to interpretation that people can imbue the lyrics with their own, personal meanings. That’s what makes writing a pop song that isn’t 70s KISS song so difficult.

You have to both convey a lot of information but also the information is so vague in real terms that no one really knows what you’re talking about. But I think as a little bit of a treat to myself I may write a few song lyrics tonight just to stimulate that part of my mind after a long time of not doing so.

I’m well aware the whole thing is stupid since, like, what’s the point? But it is enjoyable in its own way to attempt to sort of write proto song lyrics that I might one day use as the basis for REAL song lyrics.

‘This City Doesn’t Deserve Me’ — #Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Song

The title of this song comes from something Tina Fey recounted one of her daughters saying: “this city doesn’t deserve me.” I know nothing about music, but I do enjoy telling stories using the economy of verse. And, honestly, once I finish the novel I’m working on, I may very well buy a guitar and see if I can sell one pop song before I croak.

I see this song as have a tune similar to this song:

This City Doesn’t Deserve Me
lyrics by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner
Please credit if you produce or perform

skyscrapers surround me
keep me teathered
bound me
as I walk around Chinatown
not my fate to know yours
but I’m ready, ready
to test the ground
to become outward bound

(chorus)
this city doesn’t deserve me
I state as I flee the hate
this city doesn’t deserve me
I state as I flee the hate
why does it have to be this way
at this late date

(bridge)
love the energy of this ground
but it’s tough to get around
when it doubt run for the hills
maybe find some thrills

(chorus)
this city doesn’t deserve me
I state as I flee the hate
this city doesn’t deserve me
I state as I flee the hate
why does it have to be this way
at this late date

Where Is Our Post-Trump Era ‘Network?’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The wild thing about the Trump Era is that to date, on a creative level, it’s completely value free. It’s like it didn’t happen. And, yet, it fucking did happen. As such, here I am plugging away at a novel that wallows in Trump Era tropes after, well, the Trump Era is, for the time being, over.

The interesting thing is this was not the case with Watergate. There were several really good movies in the 1974-1977 era that obviously were in, their own way, a reaction to Watergate. The one that pops into my mind is Network. The movie is both timeless and representative of a very specific moment in time.

And, yet, not only did the actual Trump Era produce no such art, as far as I can tell, Hollywood is going to act like the whole thing was a bad nightmare. When I’m really delusional — and maybe drunk — I find myself scratching my chin and wonder if the novel I’m working on in itself might be the piece of Trump-related art I’m looking for.

But that’s being really delusional, even for me. No cares. And never will. I just really like this novel, even if there’s a real risk it may seem dated by the time I try to sell it.

Endgame 2024: Autocracy Or Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

But for the want of Donald Trump actually being “the guy from The Apprentice,” the United States would either be in the midst of a civil war right now or having the final stages of its transformation into an autocratic managed democracy occuring.

That was the thing that people like me totally missed about Trump. Sure, he has autocratic impulses, but he was in the end, all talk. It wasn’t the “Deep State” that was his problem — it was him. He was an incompetent idiot with no leadership skills who just thought things would magically go his way without knocking any heads.

But where does that leave us now?

Well, the issue of the day — civil war or autocracy? — has been punted down the road for about four years. There are about six Republicans right now chomping at the bit to do what Trump couldn’t do. And if they aren’t able to manage events properly, then there will be a civil war as we transition into an autocracy.

The issue is, the United States, politically, is now a zombie. It’s a dead Republic walking. Get out while you can, because things are going to get nasty and dark and a shit ton of people may die.

It’s going to happen in the winter of 2024 the way it’s going now. Congress — now controlled by the fascist Republicans — will do everything in its power to give the presidency to Trump, Trump Jr or whatever autocrat the Republicans nominate in 2024. Either they succeed peacefully or they don’t.

If they succeed peacefully, my big mouth gets me ships to an ICE “reeducation camp.” If not, then, well, I may die because a cache of WMD is stole somewhere in the United States and the two sides start killing each other THAT way.

Maybe I’m wrong. I often am.

But….

I’m Becoming Very Methodical With This Allegorical Thriller About The Trump Era I’m Developing & Writing



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have a huge amount of momentum with this novel right now. Pretty much it’s consumed my entire life, creative and otherwise. One thing I like about where things stand is I’ve come to the point where there is a total disconnect between my mood and my copy.

It’s not like when I first started developing and writing this thing when if I full of passion I somehow thought that made for better copy, when, in fact, I think the more dispassionate you are, the better copy you produce. Even though, as that screenwriter once said it helps to “hate….a lot” when writing, it also helps to be very clear eyed and methodical about what it is your goal for each individual scene is.

I’m pretty much awash in scene structure porn right now. I’m wallowing in a number of books that are really helping me take things to the next level on a scene by scene level.

I hope — hope — that I can knock out some sort of first draft soon rather than later. Then I take a break of about a month and turn around and do it all over again…then I start soliciting my beta readers.

That, at least, is how you’re supposed to do it.

National Service: How To Stop The Second American Civil War Of 2024


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems to me that if we really want to avoid the GQP seizing control in about 2024-2025 and start murdering people like me (and maybe you) we need to take a serious, serious look at national service.

In fact, I would go to so far as to say that at this point the implementation of National Service would be the only thing standing between us and autocracy or civil war. The reason is: if good old boys from the Deep South regardless of wealth or schooling were absolutely FORCED to interact with fey libtards from Brooklyn at a tender, impressionable age, then, well, maybe the two sides might come to some sort of understanding.

Maybe the GQP wouldn’t be so absolutely fucking scared of brown people and women with sexual agency that they wouldn’t want to suck the political cock of an absolute fucking idiot like Donald Trump. UGH.

This will never happen, of course.

The Right knows that I’m right and they’ll claim it’s socialism. They WANT good old boys to hate liberal progressives so they can ram through tax cuts for plutocrats. They get young hack MAGA judges in exchange.

Anyway, as I always say — the United States is fucked. Get out while you still can before the Killing Fields are opened.

The Curious Case Of The First 125 Pages of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m kind of obsessed with Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series for a number of reasons. While I started off trying to write an American homage to those first three books….uhhhh….that’s not what’s going on now.

My novel is now a lot more scifi by way of James Bond than Larsson’s works. But there is one specific aspect of the first book in that series that now, as I begin to study scene structure I wonder a lot about — why are the first 125 pages or so of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so….boring?

It’s just a lot of exposition and backstory. It’s a datadump. You name it. It’s just really meh. Then around 125 pages in, the whole series zoooooooooooooms by. It really becomes a page turner.

I have a theory, now, that maybe it’s not that he wrote and re-wrote those first 125 pages over and over again (I feel his pain on that one if he did), it’s that he maybe changed the structure of his individual scenes at that point? I only bring that up because, well, I’m really getting into scene structure now and I’m hoping that my novel will go at a nice clip now for readers. But there is so fucking much I don’t know yet about subplots, etc. But you can’t edit a blank page as they say, they should come gradually between now and the second draft when I really start looking for people to read this thing.

While I’m a big Larsson fanboy, I’m also a very lazy Larsson fanboy — I pretty much know absolutely nothing about him other than he dropped dead of a heart attack right after he sold the first three books. And I know he was a well regarded Swedish journalist.

Other than that, nothing.

I like to imagine that we’re about the same age and, as such, we have that pretty big metric in common. But….I may be fooling myself. He could have been not my age, but a lot younger and just looked my age.

Anyway. The novel is going well at the moment.