Is The Cyber Ninjas Audit Of The Arizona President Vote Going To Start A Civil War?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Short answer: No.

Long Answer: How long do you have? If you look at the chatter among the MAGA people interested in the subject of the Cyber Ninjas audit, you will see that they can’t bear to bring themselves to say what they believe: if Cyber Ninjas “prove” Trump “won” Arizona, they want a violent overthrow of the government.

They have come to combine the Cyber Ninjas bullshit with The Durham Report which is sort of the last vestiges of Trump’s attempt to get back at all the people connected to the Mueller Report.

So, if the Cyber Ninjas report ever is released and they uphold their end of the bargain and “prove” that Trump “won” Arizona then this would greatly destabilize the United States to the point that there might be decertification conventions, which become nullification conventions which become secession conventions.

Or, put another way, the conditions are there, yes, for a civil war because of the Cyber Ninjas bullshit audit. But at the moment, it seems as though they’re choking big time. They’re blowing it, which is good for the sake of the long-term stability of the country.

And, yet, we have to accept that under the surface the United States is so politically unstable and the MAGA New Right glorifies political violence so much that all we need is a unexpected pressure on the system and the whole thing could come falling down in a rather dramatic fashion.

All the conditions are there.

But, I’m beginning to think it’s not going to happen anytime soon. We’re just going to drift through things until about January 2025. Then all hell will break loose.

Trent Reznor, You Are So Derivative — Why Did You Have To Rip Of Tori Amos On Halsey’s New Album?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In this instance, I don’t really anything untoward happened, but Trent Reznor was definitely thinking of straining a Tori Amos song through his NIN sensibilities.

Listen to this song by Halsey:

Then listen to this Tori Amos classic:

The only reason why this is even an issue for me for is when I hear the Halsey song, my mind finishes the song with the lyrics from Cornflake Girl and it causes some cognative dissidence.

Otherwise, lulz. I think it’s just a wink and a nod to Amos’ brillance.

But you would think that Reznor — who is no slouch himself — could be a little bit more creative.

I Know What You Did On Halsey’s Song ‘You Asked For This,’ Trent Reznor


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Ok, I really — really — like Halsey’s new album. But there are a few points in the album where I sit up and take notice at how…derivative some of the songs are in their production. The entire album has the usual NIN vibe to it thanks to producer Trent Reznor. That’s a gimmie. But there a few other tracks that make you go what the what?

Listen this all the way through.

I want you listen to the whole thing, then listen to these two songs. First, listen to this classic by Blur.

And then listen to this song by Garbage.

The Blur song is provides the very beginning of the Halsey song. But it’s the latter song that is ripped off the most. The two songs have a very similar macro beat structure. The only reason why I even mention it is to my ear, the echo of the Garbage song in the Halsey song is so potent that it kind of drives me crazy until I can get some closure.

Anyway. I gotcha, Trent! (To be fair, I listened again and it’s not THAT obvious. But the two songs definitely seem similar if you know them both.)

My Conflicted Relationship To Magazines Is Comical


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

On one hand, I love, love, love magazines. I love them so much as an art form that I keep wanting to start a zine just so I can enjoy the opportunity to actually work for one.

But.

On the OTHER hand, I never read them — even when I subscribe to them.

I guess like creating them and the idea of them, but when it comes to consuming one…meh. That’s been a real problem for me the last few years. I’m so obsessed with being A Creator that I almost never actively consume media. This is a real problem when I’m trying to develop and write four novels because, lulz, I need to keep an eye on the competition.

I can only conclude that, but for the want of a nail, I would be in NYC pounding the pavement trying to start up some sort of vaguely Village Voice type publication. It’s sad that barring something pretty dramatic, I’m going to die never fulfilling my dream of starting a magazine in, say, NYC or LA.

Ugh.

FOX News: We Have Seen The Enemy & They Are Us


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing about how fucked up FOX News is — we really only have ourselves to blame. There’s a market for batshit Right wing propaganda and so it exists. If they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t exist. We live in a free society with free speech and a market-based economy: it’s not really FOX News’ fault.

In fact, my case is strengthened by the growing popularity of OANN and NewsMax. A huge swath of the viewing audience wants lies. Negative polarization is so intense now in the United States that if you’re not lying to a certain group of people then they will find someone who will lie to them.

That’s why media outlet that purports to be “objective” about the news — like WGN’s NewsNation — leave me very weary. How can you legitimately tell news straight down the middle when a huge group of people willfully want to believe the sky is green. If you don’t hold that lie up as equal to the sky being blue, then they think you’re just another liberal media outlet.

Anyway, the point is conservatives are growing every-more willfully detached from reality and they wrap themselves in lies to the point that their is no longer any shared reality.

And that, my gentle reader, is how we’re going to end up with an autocracy. Or a civil war. Take your pick. The United States is so politically unstable at the moment that this is a situation that can’t continue indefinitely. At some point, we’re either going to become consumed by the lie or we’re going to end it.

Let’s Talk Halsey (& NIN)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Thanks to Spotify, I’ve found myself obsessively listening to Halsey the last few days. I’m surprised how good she is as a singer and song-writer. Her latest album, “If I Can’t I Have Love, I Want Power” suits my middle-aged white male musical sensibilities quite well.

LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Halsey attends the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography)

I do have one quibble, though — a number of the songs sound….vaguely derivative? But the only reason why they do so is my age. If you were the intended audience of a young tweener girl, you would never catch one song’s reference to NIN. There’s so much NIN drifting through this album that I wonder if Trent Reznor is her producer. (I checked: HE IS. Which explains why I keep hearing NIN musical cues throughout the album.)

I will note there’s a little bit of Tori Amos dripped into this album, too.

Anyway. If you were too young to know The Downward Spiral, you would never catch how Reznor is plagiarizing himself. His influence is so noticeable in the album that it’s at times rather distracting. But Reznor is a great producer and the overall product is exceptional, given how shitty most modern music is. I applaud Halsey for picking Reznor and Atticus Ross to produce what is otherwise a pretty mainstream pop rock album.

Anyway. I really like this album. The thing about Halsey is she has an extremely unique vocal sound. Her voice really sticks out for how unique it is. It’s like that one hot chick in college you knew who had stunning eyes — Halsey’s unique voice is her greatest strength because of its distinct personality.

It does seem as though we may be slowly, in fits and starts, drifting towards what I call “Rona Rock.” This would be the traditional pop rock that dominated the charts for about 50 years. It died out about 20o8-ish. It would be cool if it came back. It would make me so happy.

One way for that to happen would be for some sort of girl supergroup to be formed with one of its members being Halsey.

Cyber Ninjas, The Arizona ‘Audit,’ A Second American Civil War & My ‘Hysterical’ ‘Doom Shit’


Ender

As it stands, for a lot of MAGA New Right cocksuckers, the idea of a “civil war” is simply the worst possible thing they can think of. They talk about how liberals are “forcing” them to radicalize and to want a civil war, but all that’s going on is they’re snowflakes and a civil war is just the worst possible thing they can think of that might happen.

They’re politically pouting, in other words.

And, yet, as January 6th showed, there comes a point where overwrought rhetoric causes something to actually happen in the real world. In other words, things continue to be pretty frothy within the MAGA New Right. Even though the majority of establishment Republicans have moved on to Ron DeSantis, Trump continues to have an absolute lock on his personality death cult. They can’t wrap their minds around the very liberal democracy concept of if you don’t get enough votes, you don’t get to have power, so they suck their own cock thinking up ways that Trump “really” won.

Where things get dangerous is when things in the real world begin to have a momentum out of the control of the establishment that just wants to sit back enjoy that plutocrat tax cut and young hack MAGA judges and think about how they’re going to finally strangle American democracy and rule as a minority.

So, in a sense, Trump is now a lingering, festering political problem that Republicans would rather just use an ointment on. He just won’t go away. And if he runs again in 2024, he’s going to win the nomination either by co-opting DeSantis or destroying him.

If Trump can just get out of the way, America is going to peacefully transition into an “lite touch” autocracy that is at first is an autocracy because the disconnect between the will of the people and who actually runs the country will be so enormous that all this talk about “don’t boo, vote” will be looked back upon as quaint. Voting will be meaningless and Republicans will so rig the system that they always win, no matter what.

People will stop voting and we become an autocracy.

Of course, as I keep “hysterically” saying, there are two things to consider with my “doom shit.” One is, this process could be bungled — probably because Trump tries to be the one to finish the transition into autocracy — or form follows function like it always does and the fascists of the MAGA New Right will become…fascists. They’ll realize they now have absolutely no checks on their power and they’ll start to knock heads –specifically, probably mine.

(Thankfully, I have a passport again, but, lulz.)

Anyway, let’s pause for a moment to ruminate on how “hysterical” I’m being. The type of person who calls me “hysterical,” probably is a traditional conservative who is so worried about “woke corporations” that they simply want to nullify any political argument they don’t like. They can’t comphrend my “doom shit” happening in the United States, so, by definition, it can’t happen.

Lulz!

And, in a sense, they know they won’t have anything to worry about if a MAGA New Right autocracy is established — they always follow the rules — so it’s all an abstract. They have a job and kids and a mortgage to worry about. For me, however, since I won’t fucking shut up about what a fucking cocksuckers our new autocratic overlords are, I have some very concrete things I have to worry about.

And, in general, given what I keep seeing actually happening, people who claim my belief that we have the existential choice of autocracy or civil war ahead of us is “doom shit” are living a delusion. Soon enough, either we accept that Republicans have established white Christian minority rule, or we don’t. Either the transition into autocracy is peaceful and long-lasting, or it’s not.

I hate violence, but we definitely need to start thinking about what happens if the MAGA New Right either bungles what should be a peaceful transition into autocracy or they start to believe their own press about how great and wonderful a civil war would be. (Ugh.)

Anyway, every day I see evidence I’m not being “hysterical” and my “doom shit” is just reality. Now what.

America in Red & Blue: Fears For Our Children


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let’s look at what — apparently — the two sides fear when it comes to our political future.

Red (MAGA New Right)
From what I can tell, when the autocracy comes most of the MAGA New Right will either be oblivious or not give a shit. After all, an autocracy ensures they get what they want for the foreseeable future. Reds are, however, touchy about the idea that people like me will be able to point to the autocracy and say, “I was right. We have an autocracy.” So, in a sense, they want it both ways — they want to destroy America and establish permanent white minority rule, but they don’t want anyone to talk about it. (Which, I guess, is natural for an autocracy run by a minority.)

Also, Reds have a severe abstract fear of being canceled. They think, by definition, that being conservative risks having their lives destroyed by not following the evil Blue-Liberal-Progressive Media Narrative.

I’m a fact-based person and there is some validity to this fear. But to believe that we have more to fear from woke corporations than from a future MAGA New Right autocratic government is a huge stretch.

It all boils down to traditional conservatives on a basic level hate anything and I mean ANYTHING that doesn’t fit THEIR media narrative generated, at its heart, by News Corp’s bullshit. They usually won’t admit that their talking points come from FOX News or the WSJ Editorial Page – they can get really worked up about that, in fact — but those talking points are just that, talking points. Regardless of where they came from.

Or, put another way, traditional not-MAGA conservatives feel, becuase of negative polarization, that they don’t have anywhere to turn other than the fascist MAGA New Right and so, in the end, they’ll just be Good Germans while people like me who won’t shut up will get a bullet to the head by an ICE agent.

Whenever I mention this, I’m called hysterical. Conservatives are just not willing to give any credence to my very concrete fears that because I won’t fucking shut up no matter WHO tells me to do so “for the sake of the family” that in the end they’re going to weigh their personal blood connection to me with the demands of a MAGA autocratic state.

By the time they get around to figuring out which thing is more important, I’m dead in a ditch somewhere not being “hysterical” anymore because I’m fucking dead.

And, yet, because those are Blue abstract fears, the Reds I know lulz them all.

Blue
Now, the issue is, I’m not all that liberal-progressive. But I am extremely anti-MAGA New Right. Even though I burn with a white hot rage against the MAGA New Right, on a practical level, I see conservatism as a perfectly legitimate political force in the United States.

What I can’t stand, however, is the MAGA New Right’s coy embrace of fascism that they sell to conservatives by telling them their lives are going to be destroyed by Cancel Culture or that their children will hate them because they were taught Critical Race Theory.

The MAGA New Right is based on a lie that, at its heart, is inspired by conservative white people on a macro basis being afraid of losing power as America grows more and more brown. (Oh my God, have I discovered Critical Race Theory?)

The interesting thing about the attack on Critical Race Theory on the part of the MAGA New Right is they want to make ANY discussion of the influence of race on American politics soooooo fucking loaded and touchy that you can’t even have a conversation about it with someone who doesn’t politically agree with you. Remember, the more traditional “tolerant democracy” politics locks up, the more power the MAGA New Right gets.

So while conservatives are freaking the fuck out about “woke corporations” the MAGA New Right is destroying the very basic fabric of the democracy we’ve enjoyed for 240 years and, by the way, America is a republic not a democracy so fuck you, lib.

I have repeatedly admitted that I was wrong about Trump — not that that has mattered any. Libs are always wrong and they’re going to hell, to, so lulz. I was wrong about Trump because he talked like an autocrat but in the end could not follow through.

But, on an systemic level, the Republican Party is now autocratic so, lulz, the moment they have power again — no matter how they get it — they will make it so they never fucking ever leave power again. When every election you have is existential, that’s not a great sign for your republic — or democracy.

In the end, what I think is going to happen is a lot of anti-MAGA thinkers (both liberal-progressives and #NeverTrumpers) are going to grow hysterical as we slip peacefully into autocracy. And that will be that. The media will be purged, I will be “right” but in the end because the personal lives of the conservaives I know won’t change — in fact, they’ll be happier — then, well, that’s it.

They might grow alarmed when I get “disappeared ” buy they tried to tell me near the end that things had changed and…I just wouldn’t shut up about how President DeSantis is a fucking cocksucker. What else did I expect was going to happen?

‘Truth North’ & Towards A Second Creative ‘Track:’ Fashion Photography



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We all have a precious few years on this planet. I’m old enough to know there are a few things I’m good at organically. I can tell a good story. I’m a damn good pop rock DJ under the right circumstances and….I am, organically, a great photographer.

Me, when I was still young and cute.

I’ve been struggling with what my second creative “track” would be and I’ve finally figured out what it will be: photography.

But let me put this in context.

I’m about 20 years too old to be traditionally successful. I live in the wrong place. I have the wrong background. And while I love fashion as an art form, I have the personal fashion sense of an ameba.

And, really, all of this is just another attempt to give my life some structure. I’m kind of adrift at the moment outside of the four novels I’m developing and writing and it would be nice to have a second “track” that I could turn to when I need to think about something else.

So, as far as I can tell, photography is it. My long term goal would be, like, to do something cool like do some wildcat street photography around NY Fashion Week. That would be a dream come true.

In Busan a long time ago.

But, given the things I can’t control I mentioned above, in a sense any interest in fashion photography on my part would be obviously delusional and nothing more than being creative for being creative’s sake.

My soul is that of a photographer, more than even a writer, and since I’m not going to live forever, I need to get to it and start the process of learning how to use a nice prosumer Nikon. I’m going to save up for a few months to get the camera I’m interested in (which is just the frame) then save up more to buy a nice standard lens and some sort of flash.

Then, I’m going to think about different places in my area where I can take photos to learn how to use the camera. I’m already preparing myself for the camera in question to have an unusually steep learning curve. But I really believe in photography, so it will be worth it. (At least to me.)

I surprised the haters when I DJed in Seoul and I can do it again with photography. A lot can go wrong — I’ve had this urge before, after all and that went bust — but it gives me something to think about, some direction in my life.

I have an eye for beauty, if nothing else and it’s nice to finally figure out what my second “track” will be.

Now, to be patient.

Such a great photo.