I Just Wish MAGA Republicans Would Be Honest

by Shelt Garner

It is clear that in late 2024, early 2025, America will find itself at a crossroads. While I suppose it’s possible that we may somehow manage to find a “third way’ whereby we punt our problems down the road another four years, I will be flabbergasted if that actually happens.

What is more likely to happen is we slide into a MAGA themed autocracy, or we have a civil war (Reds) or a revolution (Blues.) It is clear that the next Republican president the United States has — no matter who it might be — is going to be a fucking fascist.

The MAGA has gone septic within the Republican Party to the point that the moment Republicans control the presidency again, that’s it — we’re going to have to make a decision one way or another as to what is going to happen to America. Are we going to become a white Christian ethno state or not? Are we going to have a complete and total ban on not just abortion, but any form of birth control or not? That’s just the beginning of a litany of extreme policies that are now MAGA Republican orthodoxy.

What will be interesting to see is if our new MAGA autocrat fucks with freedom of speech or if he / she is smart enough to wait a few years for the MAGA consolidation to take effect to move on something so important to Americans. Trump, despite everything, is still too stupid and lazy to actually implement a lot of his fascist dreams.

So, it’s probably going to be his immediate Republican successor who gets to play Augustus Caesar.

I do think, however, that Trump’s incoming agenda during his second term will be so radical that there will be a lot of talk within Blue ranks about some sort of “Resistance Revolution.” But Blues have a far different collective temperament than Reds and I think, in the end, about 1 million smug, wealthy Twitter liberals will leave the country, leaving us Poors to fend for ourselves.

Enjoy this peace before the storm, is all I gotta say. Late 2024, early 2025 is going to be fucking lit.

The Potential Implications Of Google’s Gemini LLM For Hollywood

by Shelt Garner

Apparently, Google is coming out with a next-generation LLM called Gemini later this year, in December. It’s allegedly going to be four times as powerful as OpenAI’s ChatGTP4.

The thing I’m interested in is the implications for Hollywood. It’s well within the realm of possible that the two strikes that Hollywood is experiencing at the moment will still be going on. If Gemini turns out to be as powerful as Google claims, I wonder if it’s possible that Hollywood suits might begin to turn to Gemini to make the strikes…moot.

Or, put another way, it could be that all my “hysterical doom shit” about the future of Hollywood could happen a lot sooner than we might think. It could be that the Hollywood suits will simply sit on their hands until Gemini is up and running. Then, this spring, they will start to spit out the first AI-generated movies.

Or not. I don’t know enough about what’s possible. But the point remains — things are moving very quickly with LLMs and I think we have to begin to understand that Hollywood is about to go through a massive technological shift in ways that we can barely begin to understand.

The Second American Republic is Collapsing

by Shelt Garner

I look back upon American history and it seems to me we live in the Second American Republic. It was founded upon the death of Lincoln in 1865. But now, we come to another moment in time when either we slide into the ditch of autocracy or find some sort of rebirth.

And it could definitely go either way at the moment.

The key issue, that people too often ignore, is even if we defeat Trump in the general election, there is a good chance that he will unto himself, will spark a civil war. Trump has a vested interest in a civil war because he will see it being his get out of jail card.

That’s the thing that people continue to assume that if they can just defeat Trump that somehow magically everything will be fixed. I’m really nervous that we might somehow defeat Trump, only to have to go through a secession crisis.

So, in general, 2024 is going to be a shit show.

I can’t predict the future, so I suppose it’s possible that we might find some magical, mystery “third way” that will allow us to punt our problems down the road another four years.

But I really find myself worried.

What I Mean By ‘Managing Our Expectations’ in 2024

by Shelt Garner

Every once in a while, I run into some earnest liberal on Twitter who gets upset when I drolly say that we need to “manage our expectations” for 2024. They get really excited and say that only “WORK” will defeat MAGA.

And, in general, I agree with this sentiment.

But what I mean by “manage our expectations” is we have to accept that when it comes to Trump becoming POTUS again no amount of WORK on an individual basis means jackshit. Yeah, it makes you feel better, but the die is cast — it’s autocracy or civil war (Reds) / revolution (Blues) starting in late 2024, early 2025.

We have to start figuring out what we’re going to do when the time comes. Even if all your WORK manages to single-handedly stop Trump from winning in 2024, there is a pretty good change that that, unto itself, could spark Trump to start a civil war.

Then what are you going to do?

That’s what I mean by the era of hope is over and the era of preperation has begun. We all need to do a gut check. We all need to figure out if we’re going to stay and fight or leave the country if necessary. America right now has very late Roman Republic vibes.

America is at the crossroads and either we establish a Third Republic from the ashes of the Second, or we just give up and turn into a Russian-style autocracy. At the moment, I still don’t know which path we’re going to take.

But what I do know is everyone has to pick a side — or a side will be chosen for you.

For Better Or Worse, Vivek Ramaswamy Is The Future Of The Republican Party

by Shelt Garner

We continue to underestimate how potent the forces of fascism have become within the Republican Party. They are so bad at the moment that by the time Election Day 2024 rolls around, we will enter put up or shut up days. It is clear that Republicans now only see an election as valid if they win, so if they don’t win, there is a real risk of civil war.

The issue with Vivek Ramaswamy is he gives Republicans what they want — he’s all personality and he makes people like me angry. So, he’s perfect. We are in a post-truth era — especially when it comes to Republicans — so, lulz, as long as someone like Ramaswamy conforms to the “truthiness” that Republicans demand, he’s going to be a success.

Republicans’ white-hot need to “own the libs” is so all powerful that they are willing to ditch everything — especially any connection to reality — in order to get the lib owning they crave. So it doesn’t really matter to Republicans if Ramaswamy has no idea what he’s talking about — he owns the libs.

I just don’t think we appreciate how dire things are, how absolutely cataclysmic late 2024, early 2025 are shaping up to be. The entire Republican Party has been so consumed by the MAGA cancer that if it’s not Trump, then it’s probably going to be Ramaswamy that they turn to. Republicans want a white Christian ethnostate so badly that they’re even willing to turn to a Hindu to make it a reality.

History does, you know, usually take the most ironic course possible.

Anyway, there are macro trends at work that are beyond our control. There are a few major unexpected things that might happen to divert the possible catastrophe of late 2024, early 2025, but, in general, either we turn into a MAGA themed autocracy or we have a civil war.

I just don’t think Blues have it in them to have any sort of “Resistance Revolution” if Trump wins. The people who would be the leadership of such thing will be too busy flee the country to help us Poors out.

But who knows. Anything is possible, I guess.

Right Wing ‘Truthiness’ About Abortion Rights & The Prospect of Civil War

by Shelt Garner

We’re now in an era where the America Right is so untethered from reality that not just reality but any sense of propriety that they are willing to say fucking anything in furtherance of their bonkers cause. The most recent example of this is Newt Gingrich saying that abortion rights advocates want to murder infants.

Suggesting such a thing is ridiculous in the extreme, and, yet, here we are. They keep blathering on about such something that simply is not true because it “feels true” to them. The Right is so consumed with their hatred of the “woke cancel culture mob” that they are willing to believe anything, say anything because it “feels” true.

This is very similar to the Christian persecution porn that occasionally pops up when some Christian claims they were accosted for praying in public. Even though this never fucking happens, the Christians in my life act like they “feel” like it could be true.

This is very disturbing for a number of reasons. It seems to me that it’s a short jaunt from proposing that liberals want to murder infants to accepting the Qanon conspiracies surrounding Hollywood stars.

Such bullshit from people like Gingrich is part of a broader macro trend on the part of the American Right to dehumanize the center-Left to the point that when the time comes, some pretty dark things may happen. It definitely seems within reason that either we slip peacefully into MAGA autocracy when Trump wins in 2024 and ICE starts murdering people like me or Trump loses and we have a National Divorce and civil war.

Or, put another way, a lot of macro trends look like they’re coming to a head in late 2024, early 2025, one way or another. We can’t keep punting all our problems down the road. We’ve reached the “put up or shut up” stage for both sides of the political equation.

Either Trump wins and Blues have to figure out if they’re going to do anything about it, or Trump loses and Reds have to figure out if they’re prepared to continue to stay in America since they don’t believe they can get a “fair shake” anymore.

But I am wrong all the time. I suppose it’s a least possible that somehow, someway we will, in fact, do a Third Way like we did in 2020. I have my doubts about that possibility, but I can’t predict the future.

Bevis & Butthead In — Tooth Problem

by Shelt Garner

I’ve been living in denial long enough — I have a cavity. I’m also very, very poor. And I also have a novel I want to finish before I croke and / or The Fourth Turning happens.

So, there is a growing sense of urgency. But anything to do with one’s teeth when you’re poor usually is expensive and takes a long time, so I face the looming prospect of having to go through a certain amount of hell between now and whenever the situation gets fixed.

The whole thing sucks so bad. It makes me wish we had socialized medicine in the United States so poor people could at least afford to get their teeth looked at when something went wrong.

But here I am. Poor and having to process that it will suck to be me for the immediate future. I guess I can be grateful I’m still alive.

MAGA is Such A Bunch Of Snowflake Crybabies Over ‘Sound Of Freedom’

by Shelt Garner

For a political movement that accuses anyone who disagrees with them “snowflakes,” MAGA sure can be a bunch of fucking crybabies. There latest reason to pout is, apparently, the refusal of Netflix and Amazon to stream the Qanon-ish movie “Sound of Freedom.”

Now, I’m the first to admit that the movie deals with a serious topic and deserves to be seen. And, YET, the REASON why the movie is so successful is it taps into the Qanon belief that Hollywood is run by a bunch of baby eating satanists who traffic children.

I would compare it to how, when I was growing up, occasionally Playboy would have pictorials of supermodels. The models would pick the best fashion photographers in the world to do the spread and so they felt they were “artistic” while Playboy’s audience of dirty old men were just excited to see a naked supermodel.

The same goes with Sound of Freedom. You have a lot of people — mostly Christians — who are really concerned about child trafficking who have seen the movie and YET you also have a bunch of fucking MAGA Qanon fucktards who wack off to the movie because they believe in confirms what they already believe about Hollywood.

Of course, all of this plays into the general paranoia of MAGA. When people point out the obvious appeal of Sound of Freedom to Qanon jackasses, they get all worked up and talk about how the elites can’t handle the truth.

Everything is so fucking dumb.

Contemplating My Heroine

by Shelt Garner

Now that I finished “Part 1” of the novel, which I added because I felt I needed to establish character and world building more, I am going to turn around and read it all so I can edit it. This is probably going to lead to me rewriting a few scenes entirely.

In my mind, my heroine looks sort of like a younger Olivia Munn.

As such, there are some new elements to my heroine that I have come up with that I will be adding. One such element is risky for a number of reasons, but I feel compelled to at least put it in. If, when I show this third draft to a professional manuscript editor, they suggest I remove it, I will.

I just feel this addition to my heroine adds to complexity to her personality that people might find appealing. But, like I said, there are some problems. I can totally see how it might come across as gratuitous. And I can totally see how it might seem a bit like I’m trying to hard to have my heroine be like Lisbeth Salander.

That last potential problem really rattles around in my mind some because that is something I definitely don’t want people to think. And, yet, this particular thing is such an interesting addition to my heroine’s past that I can’t help myself. I want to write it into the novel and see what happens.

I am being vague because I’m embarrassed that this particular addition to my heroine’s life might seen a little too much like Lisbeth Salander. But I *think* I’m overthinking things. My heroine is so different than Salander in every other way that it’s one of those form follows function type situations.

The whole thing is risky. But, there are a number of other elements to the novel that could be seen as pretty risky, so lulz, here I am.

Growing Concern About The Dog That Hasn’t Bitten yet

by Shelt Garner

It seems clear to me that we have to take seriously the prospect of some sort of significant political event happening because of the 2024 presidential election. Whatever it is that happens could be the biggest domestic event in American history since 1860.

The Right is chomping at the bit to have some sort of excuse for political violence, while the Left is so busy fighting over pronouns as to be waiting for a sucker punch.

The key thing I’m worried about for the more immediate future is the prospect of severe political violence that would indicate that far worst things are in store for late 2024, early 2025. In fact, I would go so far as to say it has been, in general terms, eerily quiet on that front.

Not that I want any such thing to happen, but the Right can only freak the fuck out in rather absurd ways for only so long before some idiot decides to act on it. It’s possible that the convictions associated with the January 6 insurrection have given a lot of fascists pause for thought.

Maybe that’s what’s going on?

But I really worry that soon enough that will change and we may have some sort of co-ordinated political violence that would definitely make it clear that the country is in for serious trouble in late 2024, early 2025. Or not. Maybe I’m really over thinking things and, thankfully, we’ll somehow manage to muddle through like we have so many times in the past.

I dunno. I really don’t. I’m still worried.