Back In The Second Act Struggle

by Shelt Garner

I went to DC this weekend to have a personal writer’s retreat and on my way back home, I realized the story was way too front loaded. So, once I got home, I did a lot of restructuring.

The story is a lot better now, but now I have a lot of holes to fill in the second act outline. I’ve done this before, so I know I can do it again. It’s just at times like these I kind of feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I shouldn’t still, essentially, be in the first act after this much hard work.

And, yet, here I am.

A lot of this comes from how poorly I was prepared to write the novel I thought up a few year ago. Now, however, I’m much closer. I just am at a loss as to what to write in the places that are blank right now. The best course of action is to just think of up something, anything and then fix any major problems in the second draft.

One solution to all of this is to do a lot of reading. I think if maybe if I force myself to delve into the small library of unread books I have right now, that something I read might spark the creativity necessary to fill the current blanks in the outline for the second act.

I just need to stop being so hard on myself. I have two more drafts after this one, I can afford to be really crappy now.

Sydney Powell, Cyber Ninjas’ Arizona Recount & The Prospect Of Second Civil War Caused By A Nullification Crisis

by Shelt Garner

The bolts continue to grow loose on the United States’ government. We have professional crazy personal Sydney Powell ranting about how Trump should be “reinstated” at the same time that Cyber Ninjas continue to work towards what seems to be their obvious goal of “proving” Trump won Arizona.

Now, as I keep saying, what makes all of this unnerving is, at this point, it could go either way. It could be that I’m really stretching to believe that should Cyber Ninjas “prove” Trump won Arizona that that might be enough to get a number of MAGA state legislatures to convene conventions to weigh the practicality of “nullifying” the Biden Administration. These conventions could, in turn, become secession conventions once it becomes clear that ding-dong Trump’s ideas about nullification are, well, just stupid.

It could be all that happens is the Cyber Ninja results becoming nothing more than a talking point for MAGA thought leaders, but otherwise won’t mean anything at all. Republicans could just keep recounting various states over and over again and it won’t be until January 2025 that we have to worry about the real nullification crisis — this time sparked by a MAGA controlled Congress being unwilling to certify Biden’s win.

The only reason why I’m uneasy is it’s very easy to imagine the same dynamic that happened on January 6th happening again — only this time on a national level. Trump and other dipshit Republicans will rant about the need to nullify the Biden Administration — and then won’t know what to do when MAGA state legislatures take them both seriously and literally.

But, again, I could be really miscalculating things. It could be, thankfully, a big old dud. I honestly can’t tell what is going to happen right now.

The Twitter ‘Resistance’ Movement Needs To Grow The Fuck Up

by Shelt Garner

One of the most fucking annoying things on Twitter, other than people begging for followers and asking stupid questions, has got to be when well meaning busybodies talk about all their “resistance” friends.

Fuck that.

The thing I’ve learned since 2017 is Twitter “resistance” to MAGA is completely value free. It just doesn’t mean anything. I’ve grown to believe that at some point between now and January 2025, MAGA is going to make a serious power grab to the point that we either become a white Christian ethno state like Russia, or there’s a civil war.

If the former happens, all you have to do is take one look at the state of the “resistance” in Putin’s Russia to know people having fits on Twitter won’t mean squat. All a President Pompeo or Cotton, or Hawley has to do is flip a switch and the ICE infrastructure is weaponized…and people like me start getting pushed out of windows.

You come preen all the like on Twitter about how some interview “devastated” this or that well known MAGA dipshit, but when the autocracy comes…you had better put your big boy pants on. At some point after the MAGA autocracy is established, you’re going to face real-life consequences for “resisting” the autocracy. And from what I can tell of the current Twitter “resistance” ranks, I don’t have a lot of faith that these self-avowed resisters will be up to the task. They have families, and careers and or whatever. Most of them come off as elderly liberal Boomers…and they’re not exactly what is needed as the core of a French Resistance-type group.

So, like, put up or shut up idiots. Be prepared to risk things in the real world that are important to you or shut the fuck up.

The Trouble With UFOs

by Shelt Garner

Both options when it comes to the recent sightings of UFOs by the USAF come with some serious problems. Let’s look at the two options and struggle with their individual problems.

If the UFOs are of alien origin, then their appetence is somewhat underwhelming. That they would do something so prosaic as simply hang out off the American eastern seaboard to monitor a U.S. Navy base is…kinda of meh. If you have the ability to travel the light years necessary to get to earth, why do something as dull as that? Also, why haven’t other nations come forth to say they’ve seen similar things? Why would the U.S. Government be the only one in the world to show such footage? Lastly, I struggle to believe that if aliens had the ability to get to earth that they wouldn’t also have the technology necessary to make themselves invisible. I know that’s jumping to conclusions, but it’s a reasonable assumption to make.

If you were a foreign government that had developed technology far, far more advanced than the US Government, why would you blow your secret on something as dumb hovering conspicuously off the coast of the United States? It definitely seems as though whomever designed these craft (drones?) wanted us to know they existed.

Bonus Issue:
Why has the U.S. Government changed its tune on UFOs so abruptly? I know there’s some sort of report that’s supposed to come out soon that Congress will be given…but that seems like just a fig leaf for a bigger reason. What that “bigger reason” my be, I have no idea. It’s all very curious.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love America’s Coming Existential Political Crisis

by Shelt Garner

I hate violence. I really, really hate guns and violence. And, yet, I’m not an idiot — it’s pretty obvious that Republicans have come a bloodthirsty cult, hell bent on turning the United States into an autocratic white Christian ethno state like Russia.

But I’m still not a violent person, so there must be something else one can do in preperation for the very real prospect of an existential political crisis likes of which we’ve not seen since the fall of 1860. For me, the simple answer is one of expectations. Do not rely upon the idea that something that should otherwise be a basic assumption — the person with the most votes, wins — is what is going to happen.

The problem with that assumption in modern America is manifold. First, Republicans are actively making it as difficult as possible to vote. Second, even if Democrats do manage to get the most votes, Republicans are have made it clear that they won’t believe it and will do everything in their power to nullify the results.

As such, those of us who still believe in liberal democracy face an issue of expectations. When the nullification crisis finally happens, that is going to be when we finally have the existential question before us that I keep talking about on this blog: autocracy or civil war.

The specifics of this clusterfuck are still too far off to be mapped out, but I do think if you have the means you need to two things: buy a passport and make sure you live in a state that jibes with your political views. The thing about an actual civil war is while they open up a lot of opportunities to fix systemic problems — they’re fucking scary as hell and there are no assurances that your side will win.

The original American Civil War was very much a touch-and-go event for the North until, say, Gettysburg. Even though the North had the population and economy, for years into the battle it lacked the political will to do what was necessary to win the war. So, too, the augment could be made that Blue States, despite having bigger economies, more cohesive polities and more concentrated populations may collectively shrug if MAGA sizes control via nullification and we become an autocratic managed democracy.

I feel very much as though I’m someone living in America about 1859 — everyone knows Something Bad is going to happen in a few years, but the details are still to be worked out. This is when I point out the old quip about how people go bankrupt, “gradually then all at once.”

That’s my fear with the United States. Things are going to obviously be unstable for years and then…whammo….we’re going to face the prospect of either civil war or autocracy. It’s going to happen very quickly and without any notice to such an extent that MAGA Republicans — who apparently constantly have political violence on the brain — will take advance of their ability to do some shock and awe against Blue States.

This all becomes very muddled very quickly because I have no idea of the specifics of this existential crisis — just that all signs point to it happening at some point between now and January 2025.

But the point is — be prepared for significant political turbulence in the United States in the coming years. The type where heroes will be made and cowards will be shamed. Good luck.

Welcome To The Late 1850s, Matt Gaetz!

by Shelt Garner

It’s interesting that it was Matt Gaetz, not Donald Trump who Went There by ranting about how MAGA Republicans need to use the 2nd Amendment to defend themselves. I always thought that at some point after election night 2020, Trump would start ranting about this very thing in a final bid to stay in power.

It’s a testament to how lazy and dumb Trump is that he didn’t do this. Trump has always been nothing more than an avatar for existential problems in the American political system and, as such, he is successful by just breathing. He personifies the rage a lot of white people feel as the dead hand of demographics marches ever more towards America being a majority minority country.

From a historical standpoint, Gaetz’s hysterical invocation of the 2nd Amendment is very much on brand for the late 1850s. There’s even a book, which I’m trying to read, called The Field of Blood about how violent American politics became in the years leading up to the Civil War.

And, in a sense, we should be thankful that we’ve been spared any violence in Congress. People were beating the shit out of each other in Congress at an alarming rate in the late 1850s. If you add modern American gun culture into the mix, things could get pretty scary and tragic pretty quick.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. Does anyone take Gaetz up on his suggestion of political violence against Big Tech or is all just another lulz as we hurdle towards a final choice of autocracy or civil war?

Norm Ornstein On Deep State Radio Is Right: The Republican Party Is A Violent Cult

by Shelt Garner

All the political metrics in the United States are pointing towards a very dark future between now and January 2025. In fact, it’s not so much a question of if, but when, we face a very stark choice: autocracy or civil war.

So when I heard Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute lay out the same arguments that I have been ranting about on this blog for months now, it took me aback a little bit — I’m not the only one to thinks we better enjoy this quiet before the storm.

The only thing that continues to frustrate me is not enough Blue Check liberals on Twitter are taking these cold hard metrics and then asking what the implications of them are. I mean, what does it mean, as Ornstein says, that the Republican Party is now a “violent cult.” How do we prepare for that going forward.

Rather than just noting this ominous development in the public Twitter lyceum why don’t the nattering nabobs of negativism start to figure out what we are supposed to do about it.

This is when I wish I was smart enough to write for VOX, or New York Magazine or even The New Yorker. It would be nice if liberal-progressive thought leaders could come up with some sort of plan of action like they did before the 2020 election. The 2024 election has the potential to be far worse than the 2020 election because the likelihood of violence is significantly greater.

Tragically, just thinking off the top of my head, the only thing I can think of as to how to respond to the Republican “violent cult” is to be prepared to fight dirty just like they do. Or, put another way, we have to recalibrate our views of the Republican Party. They are no longer one of the two major parties in the United States, they are a violent cult hellbent on destroying our liberal democracy one way or another. We have to be prepared to call their bluff in a way we haven’t since 1861.

I hate even having to entertain such a drastic idea, but the only reason I am is, well, the Republican Party is a violent cult. We can’t pretend that they’re a normal political organization anymore. They’re equal to American Slave Power of the 19th Century.

God help us all.

The Historic Comic Genius Of Lorne Michaels & SNL

by Shelt Garner

If my Tik-Tok feed is any indication, SNL has effortlessly become popular with another generation of Americans. This leads to how and why this keeps happening. First, let’s note that the old quip about SNL is, “It’s a mediocre restaurant in an excellent location.”

But I would suggest that this seriously misses the point about the House that Michaels Built. What makes the show so timeless is it fills the Bob Hope niche in modern America. Bob Hope’s humor was sort of like the comic strip Garfield — it was funny, but it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny. It was comic comfort food. As such, SNL is kind of the same way — it’s often funny, but it’s rare that it’s really laugh-out-loud funny.

And that’s why SNL is probably going to grow in cultural significance for decades to come — it gives us a weekly round up of what’s on the mind of New York City liberals but it isn’t needy or pushy. It’s an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half on a Saturday night.

If the show was as edgy as some people would have it be, SNL would quickly burn out. It would be really popular for one or two seasons and then get canceled because it was a little bit too “of the moment.”

The question of who will replace Lorne Michaels is something that I find very interesting because he’s been such a powerful figure in American entertainment for so long that while a lot of people would want the job, only one or two would actually be a good fit.

I still think Tina Fey is the perfect replacement for Michaels for various reasons, but I don’t know enough about her career goals to know if she would be interested.

How Likely Is It, Really, That ICE Will Push Me Out A Window One Day?

by Shelt Garner

I often use the throwaway line that if America turns into an autocracy that I will get “pushed out a window by ICE for not shutting up.” But, really, how likely is that even if America becomes an autocratic managed democracy like Russia? I suspect it’s a lot closer to reality than you might think.

But for things to get that bad, some thing would have to happen before. One big thing would have to be the purging of the media in some way. A MAGA purge of the media seems very possible to me. It would probably happen in a rather abrupt fashion when, behind the scenes, President Pompeo or Hawley put the squeeze on TV execs via their broadcast licenses.

And, yet, if people like me really did begin to get pushed out of windows by ICE, things would have gotten so dark that the one thing that has kept America a free country for a lot longer than you may expect would have changed: our self perception. This would probably be accomplished via a Constitutional Convention that was rammed through by MAGA state legislatures.

So, I suspect the whole pushed-out-a-window-by-ICE scenario is something that could very well happen, but it would likely be something that happened a generation after America stopped being a liberal democracy once and for all. Though, it could happen in the context of the radicalization associated with a civil war.

The key takeaway, however, is Republicans have no shame and crave only power and wealth. In the end — if we don’t have a civil war — they’re going to crash past any existing democratic norms we have and take things to the next level.

This will include, I’m afraid, pushing people like me out of windows for not shutting up.

The Curious Political State Of Trump

by Shelt Garner

The interesting thing about Trump is on one hand his power has receded among the general populace, while within the Republican Party is personality cult is only getting stronger. As such, a lot of Twitter liberals see this and scoff at the notion that Trump might be able to win the presidency again.

And here’s the rub: he doesn’t have to — all MAGA has to do is nullify the election of Biden in 2024 and throw the election to their ding-dong Dear Leader, no matter what the actual vote count may be.

Or, put another way, we continue to careen towards the stark choice of either autocracy or civil war. If we do go the autocratic route, the big question for me is does our new autocrat at least attempt to work within Americans’ self-perception of us being the “land of the free” or does he say fuck it and bring the whole thing down, damn the consequences?

I was way too quick to assume Trump would do the latter when it turned out he was such a lazy idiot he couldn’t pull it off — in short, he was just a lot of talk. But, then again, if our autocrat was someone younger and more focused then it’s very easy to imagine a situation where people like me really do begin to get pushed out of windows by ICE.

But history has surprised me before. It could be we just muddle through this like we have in the past and while we’ll inevitably get a MAGA autocrat they won’t be nearly as bad as I fear. Though, as I keep saying, form follows function, so it seems pretty easy to imagine a scenario where things get pretty dark in the United States pretty quick.

I hope I’m wrong, I really do.