Wargaming Our 2025 Fourth Turning Clusterfuck


by Ender

Who knows?

I don’t know what to tell you, folks. I still can’t get a handle on what’s going to happen in the 2024- 2025 timeframe. Are we going to slip peacefully into autocracy or we going to go tits up? At the moment, I lean heavily towards our democracy having one last death rattle and we become an autocracy.

I say that because, at the moment, the people who should be preparing for autocracy are still stuck in an extreme online naivety about what’s going on. I’ve started to listen to Steve K. Bannon’s hysterical podcast — featuring Peter Navarro! — and it’s pretty clear he wants to sucker punch us all in the real world where it counts.

He’s not even on fucking Twitter (thank God) and yet growing numbers of people are taking his marching orders. And, I think, that is the reason why we won’t have a civil war. It really would take a come-to-Jesus moment for a lot of very otherwise level headed people for the Blue States to strike back when Bannon’s plot works and it has become impossible for us to administer free and fair elections.

But I will note that we all need to start thinking on an existential basis. This is very much the quiet before the storm, in a sense. I will also note that I’m wrong all the fucking time. I’ve been so wrong — especially about how effective as an autocrat Trump would be — that I think the issue is more one of perception more than anything else.

The thing I compare America to is the Roman Empire. The Romans never had an actual “king” and when the Lombards named a king, that was the end of the Western Empire. So, too, Americans feel that some form of free democracy is their birth right and the idea of the United States being nothing more than an autocratic Russia clone is not something that would sit well with the average American.

So, it’s very possible that — at first, at least — we will fit the technical definition of an autocracy, on a practical level the average person will just shrug and not even notice that anything has changed. It won’t be until President DeSantis (or whomever) has had a few years to consolidate power that we all wake up and the issue of the day is if we should have a Constitutional Convention or not. Or, even more ominous, it won’t even be if we should, but what the one we’ve called has decided to do.

There are so many known unknowns right now about the Fourth Turning that I just can’t wargame things out with any degree of certainty. All I know is the conditions are there for either civil war or autocracy (and maybe a military junta).

Or, to say it another way — the United States is going through an lingering existential crisis with no ready endgame. It could go either way at the moment. I’m leaning towards a peaceful transition to autocracy. That seems a pretty safe bet right now.

But there is plenty of time for the specifics of the political equation to change in some pretty shocking ways. As such, we could very well have an actual hot Second American Civil War that would, in turn, lead to the Third World War and billions dead as the result of several limited nuclear exchanges across the globe.

It’s going to fucking suck.

I hate violence, so I’d much rather we slip into autocracy. I’m survivor, I’ll think of something. But I’m also not going to be cowed by threats of a civil war by the fucking cocksucker MAGA New Right.

Bring it.

Jesus Christ Durham Report Star


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

When it comes to The Durham Report, the Far Right nutjobs of Twitter have made it something of a totem as to everything they want to change about America. The amount of hope that MAGA New Right cocksuckers pin on The Durham Report is identical to what the comically naïve “Resistance” of the Trump Era thought The Mueller Report would be.

As I understand it, Twitter MAGA New Right people believe The Durham Report is going to be bring down the entire “Deep State” so completely, so totally that Trump will be reinstated by Jesus H. Christ when he comes down from heaven and anoints Trump his replacement as The Son Of Man.

I wish I was joking. I’m not. From what I can tell of the MAGA New Right Twitter cesspool, that’s pretty much what they think. It’s reached Waiting For Gadot levels of asperation. All of their problems will be washed away like sin by the Blood of the Lamb if only The Durham Report would come out and “prove” that evil liberals really were, well, evil.

It makes you wonder what they’re going to do when, well, it doesn’t do just that but instead is, at best, a somewhat smug legal attack on some of the people who hurt Trump’s feelings.

Delusional Talk About JLaw & A Movie Adaptation of This First Novel In The Series I’m Working On


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve wasted an embarrassing amount of paper and ink spinning my wheels on this huge creative project I’m working on. But I think, maybe, it’s possible that now that I have a better handle on the characters in this series that I may be able to sprint forward.

But I’m still very much deep in the delusional phase of all of this. Because I’m both very delusional about what’s going on and I have a huge ego, I find myself thinking about who might play different characters in these various novels. The whole four novel series hinges on the extremely poor life choices of a young woman in the first novel .

Anyway, I’m basing this tragic young woman on the late, great Annie Shapiro. It’s kind of my homage to someone who really changed my life, to essentially try to tell her story in a garbled, muddled, extremely fictionalized fashion.

It occured to me recently that Jennifer Lawrence would be the perfect person to play this tragic young lady in any movie adaptation. I have long thought Ms. Lawrence would be great to play the late Annie Shapiro in a movie about the fucked up events surround ROKon Magazine, but these four novels draw very heavily from what happened in late 2006 – early 2007 in Seoul. I feel very sheepish saying this because I haven’t even finished the the first draft, but it’s fun to think about. The only reason why I’m even writing this is 100% extroverted and I can’t help myself.

Annie Shapiro will find life again in fiction.

It goes without saying that I really need to put up or shut up. I’ve been talking about this project for years now and still don’t have anything I can really show anyone other than one or two really strong outlines.

I hope to make a first pass at fleshing out one of those outlines — the one for the first novel — in the next few days. This is a huge, huge creative project, but I love to challenge myself with such things. But I really do need to shut the fuck up and write.

Mulling ‘Mare of Easttown’ & Its Influence On The First Novel In The 4 Novel Series I’m Writing


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Something about the strong character development of Mare of Easttown lingers in my mind as I work on this first novel in the series I’m developing and writing. I have a hunch why — it’s a story about family in a small, tightknit community.

Given that this first novel is more about character than some sort of fast paced thriller, I find myself dwelling upon what made Mare of Easttown so compelling. If I can just crack the nut of creating, not just characters but people, then I will at least not embarrass myself.

Anyway. At this point, it’s all about focus. No one believes in me, but me. I don’t have anyone to tell me “no,” so I can do whatever the fuck I want. I can’t even get relatives to help me out with this project. They give me lip service support, but sometimes, I wonder if they even believe me when I say I’m hard at work on this.

If I had someone, anyone, in my life who cared about me, I might not have even started this thing because they would have told me to “just write a short story” and I would have gotten mad.

An ‘Ah-ha!’ Moment


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I am beginning to believe on a tentative basis that I may have figured out something crucial about the plot of this first novel in the four novel series I’m working on.

I think I know what this story is about.

I had two choices and I decided to go with more emotional, more visceral option. The one with heart that would probably appeal to women readers more. There’s still the other stuff that I’ve wanted with this story as well, but the primary focus is something so basic to the human condition that I think people — especially women — are really going to like it.

But I’m still just on the first draft, but knowing what the novel’s point is, it’s goal, helps a lot with how I lay out characters and their motivations. I must note that I say shit like this all the time then everything falls apart and six months later I say something similar, thinking this time the decision will stick.

Yet, I have to have hope. I have to believe.

Burn Hollywood Burn: I Know Why The Caged Tay-Tay Sings


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Taylor Swift probably has a 30 or so year career ahead of her. She could, in her own way, be as long-lasting as Madonna. But, to paraphrase one of her hits, she is never, ever going to be a Hollywood star.

The reason is simple: she’s never going to allow herself to appeal to men in any traditional manner.

While it sucks in a lot of ways, if Tay-Tay wants to replicate her musical success in Hollywood, she’s going to stop dressing on stage like she’s performing at Branson. Just look at what Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo are wearing on a regular basis then look at the relatively chaste Tay-Tay.

Imagine if Taylor Swift wore this dress!

The question is — does she even want that?

Given her actions of late, I would say while she obviously thinks about going Hollywood, she just can’t bring herself to pull the trigger. She would have to burn her fanbase to the ground if she wanted to make it big in Hollywood. She would have to act like she’s had and liked sex. She would have to start acting like the male gaze wasn’t all that bad, afterall.

I only keep writing about this because there’s something annoying with this situation. You have someone who otherwise could very easily make the transition to the double threat of musician and Hollywood star…and she can’t / won’t do it because to be a Hollywood star she might have to show a lot more skin than she’s currently comfortable doing.

So, in a sense, it would just be too big a risk to destroy her musical fanbase in order to go Hollywood. She may still somehow pull it off, but for the time being it looks like she’s going to be stuck in shitty roles in shitty cat-themed movies.

Shrug. I’m not her audience.

Why The United States Will Slip Peacefully Into Autocracy In January 2025


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

  1. It’s not in our nature to have a civil war.
    For all the hateful rhetoric on the part of the MAGA New Right, it’s possible that in the end, they manage to pull off a peaceful transition to autocracy. In fact, at first, at least, the chance from democracy to autocracy could be so subtle that only a few hysterical people like me even notice. For the average person, it will just be a replay of 2000, only worse: it will simply be accepted that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if that party also control Congress. People will say “the system worked” and move on.
  2. Republicans have gamed the system.
    It could be that by 2024 – 2025 the actual administration of elections will be so corrupt that it will be a fact of life that people shrug and take for granted. It will be the first step towards Americans becoming Russians in that they will no longer feel as though the government expresses the will of the people. And that will be that.
  3. Not Trump 2024
    Another reason why we could slip peacefully into autocracy is it’s not Trump who is the Republican nominee, but someone other than Trump. If this is the case, when I honestly don’t see why we would have a civil war. Autocracy is so popular within the United States –and the opposition to it is so weak — that our transition to an actual autocracy will in the end be so easy to pull off that there will be no need to resort to violence. Blue States will get angry, but, lulz, they always get angry, right Mr. Eastman?
  4. Autocracy is very popular in the United States
    A sizable portion of the United States’ electorate wants an autocracy. They want one so bad that they seem like a cult to people who aren’t all that thrilled at the prospect of one. So, it’s possible that they will wrap up the transition into autocracy without any violence at all. By the time people realize what they’ve lost, it will be way, way too late. The United States will be nothing more than a Russia clone with an identical political dynamic. There will be a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and we’ll still have President DeSantis (or whomever) 30 years from now.
  5. Anti-MAGA forces are just too weak willed.
    Again, it could be that when push comes to shove, the whole thing will be over before it even starts. There will be a lot of angry tweets on Twitter, but in the end, because Twitter liberals aren’t willing to risk anything in the real world, we slip peacefully into autocracy and that, as they say, will be that.

Why The United States Will Have a Second Civil War No Later Than January 2025


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Here are some reasons why we could have a civil war, which apparently a lot of people who show up at this blog want. I’ll do another post as to why we’re going to slip peacefully into autocracy.

  1. Republicans have come to glorify political violence
    Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
  2. Republicans no longer believe in democracy
    It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely distablizing things that help push the country to the brink.
  3. Trump 2024
    Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
  4. Steve K Bannon.
    Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
  5. Extreme negative polarization
    We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
  6. A lack of shared values
    As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
  7. A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
    It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.

My Hot Take On Steve Bannon’s War Room Podcast Episode: ‘Elon Musk Satanic Dreamworld’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve decided to listen to Steve K Bannon’s shitty War Room podcast to get a sense of what we’re up against. The latest episode I’ve listened to on Spotify was interesting for a number of reasons, one of them being how completely fucking bonkers Peter Navarro is. That guy is nuts! Or, at Hope Hicks would say — a hot date.

Peter Navarro believes the Chinese government owes the United States ELVENTIY TRILLIAN DOLLARS. He also, apparently, wants to have a celebrity death match with Dr. Fauci. That, or he wants to hate-fuck him. I can’t quite figure out which one.

Steve K. Bannon

But the thing that shocked me the most was my personal nutty idea of “digital telepathy” made an appearance on the podcast in the third act. To hear someone ELSE say such a bonkers thing in the wild was both unnerving and somewhat validating. Too bad it came out of the mouth of a neo-Luddite.

Speaking of which, I also felt validated by how Bannon is toying with neo-Luddism as a potential political talking point. I have repeatedly written that if Trump was smart — which he isn’t –that he would make common cause with the Far, Far Left and embrace neo-Luddism. But for all his being dumb as a stump, Bannon is kind of his “brain” so I guess it’s possible that at some point Bannon will embrace neo-Luddism.

Overall, Bannon is a very, very bad podcast host because he lies to his guests about having them on again in such a breezy casual manner. And, yet, I guess if you think NewsMax and OANN are liberal shills, then you’ll probably love Bannon’s piece of shit podcast.

The Curious Case Of The Unrung Ding-Dong: Trump As ‘Family Man’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We were so blinded by the astonishing shit-show that was the Trump Era that something you would think would be a gimmie — a massive sex scandal — never happened. I guess Trump was so busy destroying our liberal democracy that he didn’t have time to bang Hope Hicks (the most obvious candidate.)

And, yet, Hitler was faithful to Eva Braun, as best I can recall. And he didn’t drink, just like Trump.

It does make you wonder, though. What would have been the reaction had Trump cheated no just before the election but afterwards? Would it have made any difference at all?

No. I don’t think so.

Our political system is so fucking out of whack that the MAGA New Right would have seen Trump’s in-office cheating of yet more evidence that he is an Alpha Male and, fuck you, soyboy lib. But if a any Democrat did the same thing it would be The End Times.

At this point, I honestly can’t think of anything Trump could possibly do that would cause the 38% of the electorate that constitutes the MAGA New Right base. And, what’s worse, even if you did somehow get rid of Trump, there are a dozen other would-be autocrats in the wings waiting to do what Trump was to stupid to do.