The Lessons Of #BretBug

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens became the laughingstock of Twitter recently. Let’s go through the reasons why this happened.

He Is Well Known
One reason why #BretBug took off was he was well known to both thinkers and the common folks of Twitter. So they had a common frame of reference. Add to that they everyone knew his policy views — mostly bad — and that added fuel to the flames.

He Came Off As A Hypocrite
Apparently Stephens is well know for bitching and moaning about the lack of free speech for conservatives on college campuses. For him to turn around and attack someone for a minor slight online is something of a hoot.

He Overreacted.
The person who got in trouble did not come after Stephens directly. He simply made a throw away joke. Stephens had to go way out of his way to find what was said about him. It was a situation that most Twitter users find themselves in and for someone with power to come after a lowly, random Twitter user is a little too much.

There Was Proof
We were able to actually see the letter about the matter from the professor involved. The gave everyone a common document to look at and comment on. Later, to reference when making jokes.

It’s The Lull Of The Year
This is the slowest news week of the year. Add to this that people needed to blow off some steam because of Trump or the Amazon being on fire, or whatever, and this drew people’s attention in a way it might not otherwise.

V-Log: Mulling Making The Novel As Action Packed As Possible

by Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.

Sick Sad World — Watch Me Be Even Sadder As I Make A Gentle Observation About AOC

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me get some things out of the way. Apparently simply even having the question of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s romantic status enter your mind is some sort of taboo because it devalues her ability and leadership as a young, strong Latina.

So, I guess me simply make a gentle suggestion makes me even sadder and pathetic — she needs to get ahead of this issue. Men have been oppressing women since the Earth Mother was replaced by Yahweh so, like, I don’t think me simply observing that it’s odd that the general public doesn’t know her romantic status should be THAT big a deal.

Anyway, as I’ve said before, obviously this is an unstated taboo of some sort right now and as such I’m either ahead of the curve a little bit or just a pathetic looser.

Why does it even matter? It matters because the world sucks. And of all the shitty aspects of modern public life, being an attractive, smart and controversial woman pol in Trump’s America has got to suck the fucking worst.

Anyway, thankfully most people think I’m a crank, so it’s not like anyone is going to notice I did this follow up post unless I draw attention to it.

#FOTUS — The Cohen Tapes

by Shelton Bumgarner

Think of this a yet another final word on all of this.

#FOTUS — This Makes No Sense

By Shelton Bumgarner

I am at a loss. I have no idea what is going on. I continue to get a steady flow of interest in the now very debunked #FOTUS Theory from here and there around the world and it totally, utterly makes no sense. Why would anyone care about a theory that anyone who has been paying any attention knows isn’t true?

And, yet, since last week, I’ve had a steady little trickle of people who obviously are interested in…and I honestly am at a loss. It totally makes no sense what so ever.

It’s as if people are getting wind of something regarding the theory that on the face of it would be completely illogical and “big, if true” kind of thing. There was no cover story and we know what happened — Elliot Broidy got Shera Bechard pregnant and pretty much because of a very stupid dumb luck kind of situation it at one point appeared as if Trump was involved in some way.

And, weirdly enough, given what a piece of shit Trump is on many different levels, he was, in fact, not connected in anyway other than his personal fixer, Michael Cohen, being connected to Shera Bechard’s lawyer Keith Davidson.

But it’s as if deep in the bowls of the Internet, someone, somewhere, finds all of this interesting again for some reason. 

Some Observations About The Plot Structure Of The ‘Girl With…’ Series Of Books

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing about The Girl With…series of books is the two main characters aren’t really all that romantically involved. They kinda are, but that’s kind of besides the point.

So I find myself thinking about that as I structure the novel I’m writing. Yes, I’m being rather vague, but meh. This is more about writing out an internal monologue more than anything else.

I find myself really leaning into what I remember of the structure of The Girl With books because the firsts one was done as a first novel and as such gives me a framing device for my own efforts.

The thing about the novel I’m developing now is it’s just a character driven story.  The concept isn’t really that “high.” It’s just an interesting story involving interesting people put in an interesting situation.  I’m really leaning into what I “know” as I write and that helps speed the process up a great deal.

Hence, I think I’ve come up with a decent story. I’m pleased. Really, as I keep saying, at this point it’s more about simply putting in the hard work of actually developing and writing the novel than anything else. 

The Curious State Of Affairs In Ukraine

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have no idea what is going to happen. But above are some thoughts.

A Subtle Shift In The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner

It seems to me that as of Dec. 7th, we have shifted subtly into a new era under Trump. It seems as though we’ve silently shifted from the “shut up, Trump didn’t do anything wrong and if he did, everyone else did it” line of argument from MAGA, to something closer to this series of arguments “just tune out –> well, convict him, then if you think you can — > The Pence Pivot.”

What I’m saying is for those MAGA who are willing to engage The Resistance in the first place, if they’re not completely loony and gone QAnon on you, they try a sort of jury nullification. 

The first stage is:

Just Tune Out

In this stage, they say that we should just tune out and stop being outrage. Nothing Trump has done has harmed you personally, so why are you still talking about it. Why are you “obsessed” with it. This, to me, indicates that you’re actually making some concrete points and they’re tired of being reminded that, well, they’re wrong.  They’re tired of being reminded that you were right all along and they were sold a bill of goods by the Trump Campaign in the first place. They’re content with Trump’s policies and they just would prefer you be quiet so they can raise their kids, enjoy their tax cut and take pictures of their lunch.

Well, Convict Him Then, If You Can

The next stage, should things get this far, is in exasperation MAGA people (at least the smarter ones) will throw up their hands and say, “Well, he’s been impeached, but you’ll never convict him in the Senate. This is all a waste of time and you should just shut up.” 

This is there way of, again, saying the basic thing they should say, that their support of Trump was a mistake because it was based on fraud and a long con (not to mention racism and misogyny) they simply are not prepared to do. So, they avoid the entire issue altogether and say, “Well, if you can’t convict him, shut up.”

The Pence Pivot

This is the final and least likely to happen stage of this epic clusterfuck. At the very moment it becomes obvious that Trump isn’t going to survive in the Senate and Pence is likely to become president (or something), MAGA people will do The Pence Pivot.

They will suddenly talk about how they “really voted for Pence anyway” and how Godly Pence is and yadda, yadda, yadda, blah blah blah. In other words, if we actually get this far in the process, which is iffy at best right now, they would simply end the discussion by saying they “really” voted for Pence and Pence is the perfect person to MAGA, which what they voted for in the first place.

V-Log: The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing As Of Sept. 12, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am starting from the beginning of my novel yet again, but I’m going to be re purposing a lot of material I’ve already written. I’m slowly getting a sense of what this story is about, even though I still need to do a lot of backend hard work that I just haven’t managed to do yet.

But we’ll see. I have one really strong chapter written and it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing the work.

Here’s a sample of the one chapter I’ve managed to write that’s pretty good.

Tagger looked up as he drove and watched as the thousands of small pods he’d just seen fall from the sky along what he assumed was the Virginia – North Carolina border slowly bury themselves into the ground.  He went just across the affected area that was now rumbling, parked his car and stood in amazement as an enormous wall-like structure began to slow ascend from ground nearby. He snapped out of his rever long enough to notice that Nuk had also driven across the border and was standing next to him.

The wall was what looked like 30 feet deep and was quickly reaching at least 30 feet in height. It was slow and steady in its growth and they watched a few cars attempted a last ditch effort to cross the ever-growing wall. Titanic sounds could be heard to their left and right as the the wall destroyed everything it its path towards the sky.

In the middle of all of this, he hear the sound of a strange push notification on his phone. He looked down and saw a new app with a strange icon of three interlocking stars on his smartphone.

He hit the app’s icon and it quickly began to sink in the significance of all of this. According to the App, the wall was the handy work of a galactic spanning civilization which called itself the Galactic Collective. As he watched the wall in front of him grow taller and more imposing by the moment, he struggled to comprehend it all.

It was First Contact. Humanity wasn’t alone in the universe, after all.

A small, curious crowd began to assemble and walk towards the gigantic black wall. After about 10 minutes of constant growth, there appeared to be some stabilization in the height of the wall. It registered that Nuk was live streaming all of this with her phone and without thinking about it, he slowly walked up to the towering wall and placed his hand flat on its surface. This scene became quite historic in the coming days, with nearly a billion views on YouTube  in a week. For his part, Tagger’s mind was having difficulting processing the sheer enormity of what he was seeing.

The first notification on the app also noted that the area surrounded by the wall would be immediately evacuated. How this was going to happen, was unclear. Tagger and Nuk looked in shocked as the realized they were now walled off from the rest of the world. From his initial inspection of the First Contact App, there were some basic things immediately apparent — the Galactic Collective not only was well-versed in human civilization, but they had particular interest in English speakers. The First Contact App was only available in American English, required at least a limited knowledge of some basic Western concepts and seemed directed specifically at what traditionally would be referred to as the Western World.

Tagger then noticed Nuk frantically making phone calls as all of this was happening. It sounded like she was on the phone with her editor in New York City. Once the call was over, she looked at Tagger, her eyes enormous.

“Tagger,” she said. “You’re a star now. Like, a huge star. You’re the first person ever recording touching proof of alien life.”

The shock was beginning to wear off and Tagger looked at Nuk. She was a striking brunette with long black hair that reached past her shoulders

They heard a slow humming sound from the interior of the wall and they looked on in amazement as large holes could clearly be seen forming in the wall in front of them. In a moment something clicked in Tagger’s mind and he started racing to his car. “Get in if you want to live!” he screamed at Nuk.

Within seconds of them closing their car doors, there was a loud “whoosh!” sound as millions of microscopic black objects zoomed past their car. After a moment, the thick black cloud produced by these snowflake-sized probes could be seen dispersing into the cityscape ahead of them. Without thinking, Tagger gunned the gas and made his way through the city.

Whatever the mission of the black cloud, it was sufficiently distracted at the moment that they could make their way safely through the now abandoned streets of the city at high speed.  A small backwater of about 40,000 souls, this was the most excitement the city of Danville had seen since it was the last capital of the Confederate States of America in 1865. The city had seen far better days and up until a few minutes ago appeared doomed to quietly shrink into oblivion.

Driving towards Tagger’s house, they looked intently around them in constant fear they would see the black cloud again .

V-Log: Blue Check Dreams

by Shelton Bumgarner

Dreaming is free.