Talk To Me Internet: The Novel’s Outline Is Flowing Well, & This Could Be A Movie

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I continue to write a lot on the first draft outline of the novel I’m working on. Things are flowing quite easily and what I’m putting down on the page as I write — in longhand — the story has the makings of an eventual movie. It really is that good. But I have to write the novel first. But I could see how this novel could be turned into a screenplay pretty easily under the right hand. I doubt it will be me if it does happen, but it’s fun to write and daydream as I go along, regardless.

I really like Ilana Glazer and I keep trying to figure out ways to make one of the major characters based on her in some way. Things are still kind of up in the air, so I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work out. But I’m trying to just let things flow out of my head without getting too worked up about the specifics at this point. Just getting things down and being able to work with them later is what’s important.

Talk To Me Internet: Babbling About The Novel I’m Writing About The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am writing a speculative fiction satire of sorts about the Trump era. The book I would compare it to the closest is Fahrenheit 451. It’s definitely got that kind of vibe to it. It’s funny and yet sort of serious at the same time. That’s my goal in writing it, at least.

But I’m just in the outline writing stage at this point. It’s going to be a while before I finish it. It could be a year or more before I get to the point where I’m comfortable trying to send it to a publisher or whatever.

Talk To Me Internet: Some Mulling Out-loud About My Novel Of The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am hard at work on a novel about this strange era we live in. It’s going faster than usual for once. But it is going to take time for me to actually finish it. I expect it will be about two years from the moment I actually get the plot straightened out.

Watch & See, Trump Is Totally Going To Fire Bob Mueller

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

All the conditions are there for Donald Trump to fire special council Bob Mueller. Trump is laying down the groundwork to do it, at least. He’s complained that Mueller and former FBI director Jim Comey are too close. And he’s generally made it clear that he’s thinking about it.

I am not one of those who thinks anything will happen should Trump fire Mueller. Though there would be an instant Constitutional crisis, as I understand it, it was about a year from when Nixon did something similar to the point when things came to a head in the Watergate scandal. And that was at a point when things were a lot less partisan than they are now and generally both sides did the right thing when they were called to do so.

So, there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth. A lot of people like me be furious. But, in the end, this bloody, pitched political battle will continue. It could be years and years before the right thing happens and the Special Prosecutor law is brought back again, and that point, Trump could almost be out of office.

And, so, in effect, he will win.

A Second American Civil War Is Coming…

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The conditions are right for second American Civil War. I am thinking it’s going to happen between now and 2025. I say this because to me it seems pretty obvious that Donald Trump as president may be the firebreak between us and this event. What I mean by this is not that Trump is some sort of great leader holding the country together — I think he’s a shit leader — no, it’s that the insane, surreal Right is itching for a fight and only because they have one of their own as president that they don’t act.

So, once Trump is replaced by a center-Left president, it seems obvious to me that the call for secession will grow unbearable. But unlikely 1860-1861, it is more likely to be states in the West that bolt first, not the South. I say this in large part because of race. It just can’t see African Americans voting en masse for secession in South Carolina or Alabama. I can, however, see the residents of, say, Texas or Montana do it.

Of course, there is the opposite possible scenario. It is possible that center-Left states may be the ones, in fact, to leave the Union simply because they don’t feel they’re being listened to. In a way this makes a lot more sense given historical trends, but we’ll just have to see.

One issue is how messy a secessionist movement would be. Would the central government even care, or would it pull a “wayward sisters, part in peace” move and the country would split peacefully a la the USSR in 1991. It pretty much depends on leadership. If there is leadership that demands the nation stay together, then things could get bloody and messy pretty quickly. But if there isn’t the leadership, then the nation is so divided that it’s very possible that the split will pretty much be peaceful.

One interesting issue is what would the respective nations look like post-split. There is the very real possibility that because the center-Left states wouldn’t be contiguous that they would form sort of union with Canada in an effort to fix that problem. Meanwhile, the center-Right states would likely go completely bonkers and push through every insane policy that they’ve wanted to initiate the last 30 odd years. But like I said, only in states like Montana would the split be clean. In the Deep South, any attempt for the state to hold a Secessionist Convention would cause blood to run in the streets.

Should there be a real movement to impeach and convict Trump, should such a move get traction, then that might be the tipping point that causes states to begin to leave the union. So it might not be 2020-2021 or 2024-2025 when all of this happens but 2018-2019. It’s possible. Not probable, but possible.

I think we risk a second American Civil War in part because the views of the insane, surreal Right drift down to the “normal” Right gradually over a few years and so it makes sense that by no later than 2025 what seems insane will be taken as normal by the Right.

All of this doesn’t even take into account a very troubling thing that I don’t really know enough about — Donald Trump is cramming the judiciary with young, insanely conservative judges. So, that’s another thing that might placate the Right and postpone or eliminate the need for them to press secession from their point of view, but make the center-Left feel emboldened to do just that. We may look back on this present era much like the late 1850s, where in hindsight it is obvious that the country is tearing itself apart, it’s just matter of how exactly it’s going to happen.

Adding more fuel to these flames are titanic shifts in our economy. The process of AI, automation and other aspects of the drifting march towards the technological Singularity that we’re now experiencing will bring enormous changes to our society in ways that probably will only hasten or division. Throw in the growing sophistication of AR and VR into the mix and things grow really interesting really quick.

This is the point when I’m supposed to offer up some solutions. Alas, I honestly can’t think of any. That’s why it seems pretty inevitable — at least at this point — that there will be again be Civil War bloodshed shed in the United States within, say, 10 years. I could propose, maybe a “Twitter killer” that might force us to interact with each other in longer than 140 characters, but no one listens to me and I don’t have the skill to design such a service myself, so that’s kind of pointless.

It’s all very sad. I wish there was an easy answer to it all, but there isn’t. We need to engage each other more, need to talk to people we disagree with. But that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. So, as of right now, it seems as though all trends point towards us being doomed.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

The Elements Of Trump

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

One of the things that makes Donald Trump so difficult to understand is he has all kinds of influences and elements that are rolled up into one flaming dumpster fire full of shit that can be difficult to understand. Here is my modest attempt to make sense of it all from my novice presidential historian point of view.

1. President James Buchanan
Trump definitely has elements of President Buchanan to him. He seems like the kind of guy who would let states peacefully leave the Union simply because he felt he didn’t have the power to stop them legally. He seems like on a basic level, his presidential instincts really are that bad. And, given the rhetoric of some of the surreal, extreme Right wing people, should Trump lose in 2020, he definitely might have the opportunity to prove one way or another if he would let states leave the Union.

2. President Richard Nixon
Trump has a heaping helping of the self-defeating paranoia and tendency to double down and triple down in the case of a screw up. Especially in the case of the non-existent tapes Trump definitely has a Nixonian tendency to shoot himself in the foot. One aspect that Trump doesn’t have is the smarts that Nixon had. Trump has Steve Bannon, but that only goes so far. A fish rots from the head and Trump for the most part is way, way, way, way in over his head with regard to most issues.

3. President Bill Clinton
One thing Trump shares with Bill Clinton is his willingness to admit defeat in an effort to save his skin. So, it is very possible that should in a few years it look like Trump’s goose is cooked, he could very well say he’s sorry and save his own political hide. Nixon would never say he was sorry, so he lost the presidency. But it’s very possible Trump could save himself on a political level by simply admitting his “satellites” did, in fact, collude with the Russians.

Of course, there is a little bit of Chauncey Gardner from Being There in Trump. He’s just the right dude in the right place at the right time. And he absolutely refuses to give up, no matter what. So, I suspect barring something really awe inspiring politically, that we’re stuck with Trump for four to eight years. We just have to accept that.

‘The Grifter’ — Lyrics To A Woke Pop-Folk-Rock Song

This is just me venting in verse about Donald Trump. Fuck that guy. What a fucking liar.

The Grifter
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

he’s got something to sell you
he’s got a load of lies
he’ll keep you happy for a while
’cause he’s a celebrity
before it’s all over he’ll grab you between the thigh

he’s the grifter
he’s the grifter
sell you lies, lies, lies
when you figure it all out
he just walks on by

CNN spreads his lies
so does MSNBC
Steve Bannon laughs and laughs
FOX News eats it all up
makes me want to throw up

he’s the grifter
he’s the grifter
sell you lies, lies, lies
when you figure it all out
he just walks on by

[bridge]
with his slight of hand
he’ll keep you confused
until you’re cross-eyed
the Right wing doesn’t care
as long as they get their share

nothing will changes until
we all wake up
until we shake off our sleep
and get woke

he’s the grifter
he’s the grifter
he’s the grifter
he’s the grifter

For The Resistance, Trick Is To Accept The Trumplandia Era Without Normalizing It

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The fact that the most recent Congressional races have not gone The Resistance’s way, has caused a lot of consternation on the part of its members. There is a lot of finger pointing and a lot people saying we’re doing everything wrong. I believe we should finally accept that this is a new era where the surreal is common place. But I don’t think we should normalize it.

There is a fine line between accepting the Donald Trump era and normalizing it. In other words, if we don’t all take a deep breath and realize we’re in a new normal we’re apt to burn our selves out. We can still rage against all the totally bizarre things going on while still engaging people with opposing views to ours.

Or, to put it another way, we have a long time before the 2018 mid-terms. And it could be even longer than that before The Resistance finally gets its act together through effective leadership. It takes time for leadership to bubble up to the surface and it could be 2018 or 2020 — or even longer — before someone is willing to step up to the plate and give The Resistance the vision it needs to finally overtake Trumplandia.

Part of the problem is, at least for me, that I struggle to make historical comparisons. What, exactly, is Trumplandia? Is it an updated Nixonland? Is it an updated Reagan Revolution? Or is it something even darker? Is this the late 1850s and Trump is John Buchanan? Is an actual Second Civil War on its way in 2020, should a Democrat win? Or could it come even sooner should it become obvious that Trump will be impeached and convicted?

As I have frequently said elsewhere, a president sets the tone of his era and Trump has done a good job of turning half of America in to thin-skinned crackpots just like him. It seems as though there really are two Americas. This has come about for various reasons, including technology and economics. I have suggested in the past that maybe some of it has come from a slow movement towards a technological Singularity. We may have reached a the event horizon of a Singularity that will appear in 20 or 30 years from now.

That would make a lot of sense, given how adept Trump has been in using Twitter. That, of course, raises the issue, yet again, of The Resistance coming up with a Twitter replacement. Something that did much of what Twitter does, but forces longer-length conversations. That, at this point at least, is just an idle daydream because I, personally, can’t do anything about it because I have no money, can’t code and don’t really want to learn. But you’d think someone out there might decide to do it. I know I would use such a service.

Regardless, we have to accept that nothing is going to change politically anytime soon. That’s the key. The Resistance can’t risk burning itself out. I say instead of just flaying around with rage, use your energy productively but engaging people who you disagree with and thinking of creative ways to help the movement. That makes the most sense, at least to me.

I just worry that if we don’t do as I suggest, The Resistance will be totally burnt out when the time comes in 2018 or 2020 to do something that requires a lot of energy.

‘Summer Solstice’ — Lyrics To A Woke Pop-Rock-Rap Song Of The Summer

These lyrics are meant to be set to a song of the summer kind of beat. I am using the events floating around right now. But given that no one listens to me, really I’m just trying to tell a story in verse for my own enjoyment. This song is meant to be a homage to The Temptations’ Ball Of Confusion.

Summer Solstice
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

the world is growing warmer by the moment
the days are growing hotter every day
the days seem to be growing longer too
there’s nothing to stop our doom
we need to address the change in climate
but Trump just sits on his tiny, tiny hands

[chorus]
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
is full of fear
is full of fear
is full of fear

a billion here a billion there
the Man is making more and more
while you and me are growing poor
they want to defund everything we need
23 million to lose their health care
all because the powers that be
want to annoy people like me

[chorus]
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
is full of fear
is full of fear
is full of fear

[bridge]
voter rights
are fading fast
racists delight
guns on the streets
people wanting to regulate us
beneath the sheets
it’s all happening
on summer solstice

[chorus]
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
summer solstice
the longest day of the year
is full of fear
is full of fear
is full of fear

Talk To Me Internet: Art In The Age Of Trump, Redux

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The issue of how to deal with Donald Trump as president is a tough one for art. Art is usually the thing that autocrats first attack and Trump has set the tone of his era such that even Shakespeare is under attack. I don’t know what we’re going to do about it. I do my little part through writing song lyrics and struggling with a novel, but not much — at least right now — is happening either.