Magical Mystery Webstats

by Shelt Garner

I am completely consumed with studying my Webstats. This blog gets very, very few views a day and, in general, I’m just another rando drunk Internet crank. As such, for ANYONE to look at this blog for ANY reason gives me pause for thought.

Of late, I’ve been getting a trickle of traffic surrounding John Mulaney and his ex-wife’s struggles. I haven’t seen his latest special all the way through yet, so it’s doubtful he may any direct mention to the stuff I wrote about. It could be that people are just interested in what happened between he and his wronged ex-wife and so they endup at this dark corner of the Web.

Meanwhile, someone from Washington D.C. showed up in my Webstats this evening and they made a beeline to the posts of January 2021, which makes me think maybe they were curious about what I may have written about January 6th. Then they went back to the first month this blog was in existence. Very interesting and intriguing. The only reason why I even bring any of this is up is I’m a nobody and ANYONE giving my writing ANY interest for ANY reason is a big deal to me at this point in my life.

This is all very flattering unless it’s not. It’s flattering if some third party in the nattering nabobs of negativism class has made note of my political rantings here. It’s NOT flattering if, like, the FBI or NSA is aware of my existence and is keeping tabs on me.

Then there continues to be that one person in California who is fucking obsessed with me for some reason. I find this persons interest in everything I write starling because I’m just not that interesting. If Annie Shapiro was still alive, I would assume it was her, fucking with me. (She was known to do shit like that.)

Taylor Swift: A Modern Day Lesley Gore?

by Shelt Garner

Let me be clear, despite all the breathless speculation on the part of any number of Swifties on Tik-Tok, I’m just not willing to take seriously the idea that Taylor Swift is some sort of modern day Lesley Gore.

Gore, as you my recall, was a huge ‘mo back in the Bad Old Days. She had a brief, spectacular career in the 60s.

Before I continue, I’m not any sort of Tay-Tay superfan, so I’m going to just give you what I know off the top of my head. This whole subject just isn’t that important to me.

Here goes nothing.

My current theory of the case is, given the available lyterical evidence, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s at least possible that Tay-Tay is “queer.” She’s not gay, but she has, on occasion, fooled around women and formed significant emotional bonds with these women that she has, in turn, written about.

Tay-Tay, being a heartfelt artist, uses these feelings to power her art. The reason why Tay-Tay keeps what’s going on so oblique and obscure is she wants be just another high powered, wealthy member of the elite who fucks who she wants to fuck without 10,000 word think pieces in The New Yorker about “What Does It All Mean That America’s Sweetheart is Gay?”

I don’t think we Poors properly understand how blase and accepted same-sex relationships — especially between women — are among the Elites. To even make note of it is gouache. As such, I suspect that within her small circle of friends, her “Squad” if you will, her bi-sexual proclivities are well known and never spoken of.

I will note a few things from Tay-Tay’s lyrics. One, it definitely SEEMS as though the song “Dress” is written about her wanting to fuck a woman — probably Karlie Kloss if I have my sequence of events right. Also, it is very interesting that Tay-Tay would make reference to “Lavender Haze” when the term “Lavender Aunt” is well-known euphemism for a gay aunt.

Very curious.

So, I think what’s going on is the whole “Gaylor” issue comes from a “lost in translation” situation between the Elites and the Poors. We rubes want to ascribe to Tay-Tay some of the meta elements of her potentially sleeping with the occasional woman which simply aren’t really applicable. There’s no deeper political or cultural element to what’s going on with her and women. She’s just a wealthy, culturally powerful woman who, on occasion, shares her bed with a person of the same sex.

If it’s even happening.

Day 30: Race For The Prize

by Shelt Garner

I spend a number of hours this afternoon fucking with different variations of the “Fun & Games” portion of the novel’s outline. I must have worked three or four solid, intense ours on this. And things have stabilized, I suppose. I say that then turn around fuck with all over again as I’m writing this.

Anyway, I’m on track to wrapping up the first half of the novel within about a week, I think. If things continue to work as well as they have recently. The story continues to “breath” growing and changing as I see different ways to improve it. I know this story very, very well at this point.

I have to prepare myself to pivot to something else writing wise once the Beta Reader process officially begins.

That is going to be…a change. It’s going to be interesting to see how difficult it will be to switch gears after having obsessed over this particular story for so long. The obvious temptation is to start working on the second novel in this projected six novel project.

And, yet, I also think I should probably work on one of the several stand-alone novels I have rolling around in my hand at the moment. Regardless, things are going to change pretty dramatically for me on the creative front once I actually finish this second draft. I’m going to switch from struggling to finish the second draft of my first novel…to struggle to get people to actually read the second draft.

THEN, of course, I have to save up money for an editor while also cramming to learn how to write a query letter. I could go through all this hard work, only to see any success I might get squashed because I’ve been too much of a drunk crank all my life.

But it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

Day 29: Stuck In The Middle With You

by Shelt Garner

Things continue to move at a pretty fast clip at the moment with this novel. It may take me a few more days than I’d prefer, but no later than by the end of the week — I hope — I will be at the midpoint of the novel. Then I can start to work on the second half of the novel with an eye to how I’m going to edit the whole thing a few times before the Beta Reader process begins.

The heroine of the first novel in this projected six novel project in my mind kind of sorta looks like a younger version of Olivia Munn combined with a younger version of Nicole Scherzinger.

All I can say is, whomever is playing me in the simulation has gotten better. Or maybe I have a new user because things are really flowing with this novel. I feel a sense of urgency and focus that I have not felt before. I definitely feel more inclined to “shut up and write” than I have in the past.

The only reason why I keep writing and talking so much about this novel at this point is I’m 100% extroverted and I can’t help myself. Maybe when I make it big I will finally get the self-control to stop talking and writing about writing so much.

Anyway, yesterday, Saturday, I was feeling very restless so I went to a stripclub. It was very cathartic and even though it was VERY EXPENSIVE relative to how much money I have on hand for the month, it was totally worth it. And, really, that’s what makes going to a stripclub so appealing — I never feel cheated, even by the end of the visit I barely have enough money left to eat.

But one thing that happened has left me uneasy. It’s somewhat murky on an ethical basis and that makes it even more troublesome. I was talking to a very attractive young woman when I, in my infinite wisdom — told her she was my type — a “high yeller,” also known as a “rebone.”

Yikes, am I dumb when drunk sometimes.

The thing is, I feel queasy that I said these words, and, yet, I don’t honestly know if they’re all that offensive or not. I think it all depends on the context. Yes, I think I was a drunk idiot for using these terms, but in real terms, in the South at least, they’re usually seen as a dumb, somewhat comical method of describing an African American with light brown skin.

That doesn’t make me feel any better, though. I could totally get if the young woman had been offended. I just shouldn’t have said those words. I have to take the L on this one, I’m afraid.

Anyway, this reminds me of how over the course of six projected novels in this project I’ve managed to come up with two heroines who are “brown.” I have a hunch why this is the case, but, lulz, sometimes you just have to accept what you have to work with and move on. If anything, my dumb screw up with the stripper has given me pause for thought going forward whenever I’m asked how to describe my “brown” heroines.

I could totally see some well-meaning smug Twitter liberal freaking the fuck out if I slipped up and used either one of those terms to describe my “brown” heroines.

But, as I said, things are really moving fast at this point. I don’t know how much of this is I just turned 50 and I’m feeling some pressure to put up or shut up and how much of this comes from I just know the story so well that things are flowing a lot better.

Anyway. Wish me luck.

Welcome, Bytedance

by Shelt Garner

Given that Bytedance, the owner of Tik-Tok, has gone so far as to track the location of Forbes reporters, I suppose it was inevitable someone from that company would check me out since I keep ranting about I suspect their app can read people’s minds.

So, today, sure enough, I saw someone from Bytedance in my Webstats.

I don’t really think that Tik-Tok can read our minds. I don’t. I swear. But repeatedly, again and again, I have been pushed very, very specific videos that seem to track with my internal monologue and I simply don’t have any ready answer for it.

Usually, it seems to happen after I think about something really hard in a concrete way. I like, I see an image in my mind for an intense moment or two. Then, usually within 24 hours, I get pushed something along those lines by Tik-Tok.

It’s eerie. It’s inexplicable.

I suppose it’s all just a coincidence. It has to be. Right? Right? Big Tech can’t read our minds — yet. I mean, if Big Tech had the ability to read consumers’ minds wouldn’t that be, by definition, one of the biggest advancements — and secrets — in modern history?

I know we’re working towards having some primitive ability to read people’s minds, I call it “digital telepathy,” but for the time being such stuff is the stuff of cranks like me with too much time on my hands.

I suppose AI might has something to do with what I’m noticing? Maybe? But for me, the point is, be it digital telepathy or AI, whatever it giving Tik-Tok the ability to figure out what I’m thinking in such a concrete manner fucking needs to be banned or regulated.

I don’t care which.

Anyway. No one listens to me.

Day 28: Cautiously Optimistic

by Shelt Garner

While I have time and again thought I was just about to wrap up the second draft of this novel, it definitely seems as though it’s at least possible that this time it might actually happen.

What’s more, it might happen with some slack in the chronology to the point that I will have some wiggle room. I will be able to edit the entire second draft myself one or two times before I actually hand it over to someone.

At least, that’s the dream.

Of course, if I should happen to successfully — at last — wrap up the second draft, then the NEXT step in the process begins. I will begin the Beta Reader process which is going to be a pretty dramatic change because things will be out of my hands to some extent.

I probably am going to piviot to other novel ideas while I wait for people to read the novel. I also have the looming prospect of querying to deal with.

But that was the whole point of this to begin with — I simply want to see how far I can get in this process before it becomes clear, one way or another, what is going to happen.

It could be that I simply won’t be able to get this first novel published and I’ll have to work on another novel, using the skillset I’ve developed.

Who knows. I know I don’t.

Tucker Carlson: The Most Dangerous Man In America (2024 Presidential Cycle Edition)

by Shelt Garner

I can attest that Tucker Carlson has a fucking stranglehold on the minds of the MAGA base. And we know that he hates Trump. As such, Carlson is now a wildcard when it comes to the 2024 presidential cycle.

I say all of this in the context of how bad Tiny-D seems to be flaming out as he attempts to jump on the national stage. So, Carlson 2024 is pretty much a turnkey solution at this point.

All he has to do is announce and he’s at least Trump’s equal in the minds of the MAGA base. And it’s very easy to imagine that the death-by-a-thousand-legal-cuts could finally bring Trump down to the point that someone like Carlson could step in to replace him.

The two men are both cowards and bullies. And remember, Trump is very lazy and very stupid and he serves as nothing more than an avatar for fascists who hate that America is not only browning but women are growing in their economic agency.

So, as such, Tucker wouldn’t have to do anything. He’s got the name recognition, the “brand,” if you will. And there are plenty of people who might see the Tiny-D implosion and glom onto Tucker because they get everything they want from Trump in a younger, more coherent package.

Only time will tell, I suppose.

Day 27: Moving Apace

by Shelt Garner

Someone is using something called “Zenlayer” to hide the fact that they’re looking at this site, though I suspect they may be out of Maryland. Or not. Who knows. Anyway. Hello! Hello? I wonder what their motives are. I’m a nobody who gets drunk and rants a lot.

The only notable thing about me at the moment is I’m zooming towards wrapping up the second draft of my first novel.

Speaking of which, I’m feeling A LOT of momentum. I’m hoping to that by early next week I’ll be in a position where I can read everything up to the midpoint so I can lock things down.

I’m not 100% sure yet that that is going to happen, but it’s at least POSSIBLE.

If that’s the case, then I will have all of May to wrap up the second half of the novel. There are a number of reasons why this is working out this way. One is, I have a lot of scenes already written that I can just rewrite or edit rather than having to think up out of whole cloth.

But I do, on occasion, realize that the only way I’m going to make my vision a reality is if I come up with totally new scenes. One thing I’m growing worried about is the third act. I’ve changed so much at the beginning of the novel that I may have to rework the third act a lot more than I realize at the moment.

And, yet, who knows.

I’m really pleased with how things are going.

The Looming Battle Over ESG

by Shelt Garner

It is very interesting that the very people who “just want to be left alone” are the same people who bitch and moan about things like “environmental, social, and corporate governance” scores. If the free market thinks ESG is something to strive for the what’s the problem?

The “leave me alone” people who otherwise think the we should leave everything to the hand of marketplace, suddenly get all freaked out that that very thing is happening. And, what’s more, these are the same people who get REALLY upset over “woke” corporations.

So the very people who think the state should stay out of the way are the very people who would support a Federal ban on ESG scoring. The issue is, of course, that lulz, nothing matters. The siren call of fascism is so powerful in American politics that the obvious hypocrisy involved in wanting the state to intervene with the work of the free market is a lulz.

It just doesn’t matter.

The fascist concept of the “corporate state” is growing in popularity amongst people who should know better. There’s no going back. It definitely seems as though my prediction that we will face the existential choice of autocracy or civil war.

Matthew Belloni’s Shocking Hot Take On The Future Of Late Night TV

by Shelt Garner

I was listening to the most recent The Town podcast and was taken aback at how…bad…Matthew Belloni’s take on late night TV was. He, essentially, proposes that as TV transitions into the streaming era that some basic elements of the formula should be ditched.

The reason — the monologue that typically opens these shows has a very short shelf life and doesn’t work well on streaming. As such, the entire idea of what a late night TV show should be re-imagined.

I find this a very, very bad hot take. If we did as Belloni suggested, it would mark the end of late night TV unto itself. Yes, topical humor is ephemeral but that’s kind of the whole point. The point is there is a cultural potency to topical humor that is essential to people watching late night TV, be it a talk show or SNL.

Belloni’s suggestion does make one wonder if there is any future for Saturday Night Live. It seems possible that if someone as influential as Belloni is talking like this, then it seems reasonable to assume that there may come a point when the fate of SNL is very much up in the air.

There may be a luminial moment between the transition to streaming and the advent of AI generated entertainment when whenever may be everything up in the air. Who knows.

Anyway, it could be that things are going to be very bumpy as TV transitions to streaming. The idea that something as basic as dumping the traditional late night talkshow format simply because it doesn’t play well on streaming is mindblowing.

But, then, maybe I’m just an Old.