V-Log: The State of My Novel & A Rant About The Perils Of Modern Storytelling
Be The Power
by Shelton Bumgarner
It is self-evident that we’re in a no-win situation. Either we do nothing about Trump and wait nearly 18 months for “the people decide” in an election that’s unlikely to be free and fair, or we go down fighting by impeaching Trump sooner rather than later.
One one had this is not a very easy thing to decide. The current conventional wisdom of the Democratic leadership in the U.S. House is to punt the issue of impeachment and let Speaker Pelosi rattle round in Trump’s head until Nov. 2020 rolls around. I find this an untenable position.
I say this because Trump and MAGA have one guiding principle and that’s the gamesmanship of white knuckled power politics. Democrats still think we’re in some sort of hazy feel-good situation from the mid-1980s. This is, sadly, not the case.
MAGA wants to remake the United States structurally to a “managed democracy” like what is found in Russia and will do whatever necessary to achieve that goal.
This brings us to our other option — impeaching Trump immediately. While I understand that Speaker Pelosi is playing 80 dimension chess against Trump who’s barely playing checkers, this is not what’s going on. An more apt comparison would be the scene in Raiders when the knife wielding guy comes after Indy and he just shoots him. Speaker Pelosi can use all the Jedi mind tricks she wishes, in the end, Trump is going to spin no matter what happens.
So why not just impeach Trump?
I would rather the history books — should we last that long — when they’re written say the United States put up a fight right before the cancer of MAGA finally enveloped it for the last time than that we did nothing when given the choice.
I think that’s the least we can do at this point.
By Shelton Bumgarner
Let me be clear — I hate violence. I’m a man of peace and of ideas and nothing I’m about to write should be taken as anything more than an attempt to articulate an ideological vision.
Now, having said that, I think it’s time for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down and someone willing to aggressively impeach Trump to take over. We have a very tight window of opportunity — if we don’t give Trump the historical stain of impeachment by August, it’s just not going to happen in his first term.
I used to think the United States would never become a “managed democracy” like Russia, but now I think it’s a foregone conclusion that is already effectively this. When Mueller punted on the issue of Trump’s criminal activity while in office, that effectively gave him a pardon and now we’re all very screwed.
It just doesn’t matter what happens next. Trump is going to consolidate power because of some serious systemic flaws in the American political environment and, barring something fluky none of us can expect the Trump’s are likely to rule the United States for the next 20 years. I give that timeframe because it’s about 20 years out that the youngest of the Baby Boomers will finally begin to drop dead just as the the browning of America really begins to reach a tipping point.
Having said all that, the point is — we honestly have nothing to lose at this point. We need to impeach Trump now. Even if it in the short term it helps Trump, in the long term we’ll have at least been seen as putting up a fight before the long night of managed democracy finally began.
That’s why I believe we need Radical Resistance. We need to overthrow the existing Democratic leadership in the House and find someone willing to do the job Nancy Pelosi apparently isn’t interested in. She’s so busy playing eight dimensional political chess that she totally misses the historical need for immediate impeachment.
I understand why she thinks it’s a trap — Trump will run on it once he’s not convicted and he’s going to consolidate power aggressively afterwards. She thinks we can make our last stand at the ballot box in 2020 and avoid impeachment altogether. “Let the people decide,” is her opinion.
I hate to break it to her, but that’s bullshit. Trump is already doing everything she’s afraid an unsuccessful impeachment will cause, so why not do it? Wouldn’t it be better to go down fighting than meekly let Trump walk all over us on his way to Putin-like levels of authoritarian control?
So, either do your job, Nancy, or step down.
History is calling.
by Shelton Bumgarner
I’m developing and writing a novel and as such I have storytelling on the brain. The more professional in my mentality towards this endeavor, the less I want to talk about exactly what I’m doing and how.
But I do find the future of storytelling worth writing about while all of this is going on. It seems to me that the traditional film industry is about to have its Napster moment. Not because some punch in his bedroom creates and app that destroys the movie industry’s business model, but because at some point we’re going to find ourselves in the Ready Player One universe for real for real.
I just don’t see the titans of the movie industry being as fleet footed as the gaming industry. There’s going to come a point between now and, say, 2030, when some upstart gaming startup figures out a way to give us OASIS. When that happens, the passive movies will become the vinyl of Generation Z or beyond.
This is not something I look forward to. I love traditional movies, but the writing is on the wall as they say. All that needs to happen is for MX gear’s price point to be low enough and wireless broadband speeds to be fast enough that it makes economic sense. Traditional Hollywood film studios aren’t going to know what hit them.
Why watch Star Wars, A New Hope, when you can “play” it (or something similar) with a few million other people. The Star Wars universe is big enough that should a MX startup, say, buy Disney, they could create an OASIS-type environment large enough for that to happen. Now, I also love the Foundation series, so logically, it would make more sense for such a startup to buy the rights to Foundation, flesh out the saga’s universe in an MX environment and make $1 trillion.
But, sadly, no one — but no one — listens to me.
And, yet, this is on the horizon. This is happening. It’s just a matter of the details of how, exactly, it does so.
by Shelton Bumgarner
Blogging is dead, long live blogging.
I was, in a minor way, one of the first “bloggers,” even though that’s not what it was called nor did I have any influence beyond the readership in the Virginia newspaper business. I used to run the Virginia Press Association’s Website and in about 1999, I turned into a blog.
But those days are long, long gone.
Now, of course, it’s all about Twitter.
This is a really bad situation for a number of reasons, but there’s no easy solution. Twitter’s population says more about us as a culture than it does technology and its uses. The window of opportunity that existed at one point to “kill” Twitter is long closed.
I say this because we’re kind of in a holding pattern before the rise of MX (AR and VR) resets everything and we have a new normal. It’s just taking MX longer than I expected to take over everything. But it is coming and as such everything is going to change in a pretty abrupt manner whenever it does.
Blogging in its traditional form gave a lot of people who would otherwise never get a traditional column in a newspaper an opportunity. This leveled the playing field and led to a brief moment in time when a few people actually were able to become break out stars.
The rise of MX is likely to bring with it a new type of media star as well. It’s possible that the YouTube stars and Twitch stars of today will morph into the MX stars of tomorrow. The notion of telepresence in itself is such a huge disrupter that we’re likely not to know what hit us.
One interesting thing is what will be the MX media company of the future that none of us see coming. What will be the Netflix of MX? While Facebook is obviously in a great position to benefit greatly from MX, it’s likely to be an upstart that fills the media space that doesn’t even exist now.
My best bet whatever it is, it’s going to come from the gaming industry and it will be the thing that is the final death knell of traditional passive movie making. I suspect that movies will, in 20 years, be something along the lines of vinyl. While everyone else is running around an MX environment, “playing” the latest Star Wars immersive movie, a core group of people will want to sit back and watch the passive version of the original movies.
This company — whatever it’s called — will likely warp the entire media landscape in a manner we can’t predict. A lot depends on the vision of its founder. I suspect Facebook will corner the market in AR, while this new company will produce an MX environment that is pretty expansive.
The problem is, of course, that we have no idea who will the winner is or when all of this is actually going to happen. A back-of-the-envelope guess is sometime between now and 2025.
I guess the point is, blogging is where it all started and we’re about to enter a new era where the rules change quickly and in unexpected ways.