Rage Becomes Me (On A Creative Level)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

After some though, I realize the rage that generated the energy to write this novel is still there — only in a new form. What used to be rage over the staggering amount of hypocrisy, racism and misogyny in the age of Trumplandia is now replaced by rage over how there’s been no closure. Trumplandia came and went…and nothing.

The first draft of this novel isn’t going to be very good.

It’s like it didn’t exist.

So, I’m enraged. I’m enraged with a white-hot anger. And that’s the engine I need to finish this novel ASAP. It’s still going to take physical time to actually write a first draft, but the structure of the novel is complete. There’s a lot of reading I need to do for character development, but I can do that as I work on the first draft.

I hope to push forward very quickly now. I just have to get over myself and allow myself to write crap. I’m just not going to write the anything that satisfies me at this point.

You can’t edit a blank page, as they say.

As such, just about right NOW, I’m going to use the completed outline I have to write a first draft as quickly as possible. I’m going to read as I write and going do a lot of prep work for the second draft.

I thought I was going to write a first draft that was so good that I could skip right to beta readers, but…no. I may have a few alpha readers that I allow to see what I’m writing as I write it for no other reason than I’m such an extrovert that I need an audience to get anything done.

Other than that, I’m going to keep things to myself.

The ‘Lady Bird’ Solution To The Changing Context of My Novel


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The more I think about it, the more I realize the movie Lady Bird provides a solution to the conundrum I find myself in — how do I write a novel I can sell after the era that conceived it is over?

On the face of it, it’s a serious, existential problem.

The energy to get this far with the novel came directly from my white hot rage against the Trump Administration. And what’s wild is now that Trump is out of power, the Trumplandia era now seems surreal, but very much the past. I am acutely aware that novels, in general, need to be “timeless” so they have more shelf life.

But this novel I’ve been working on for about three years now was always meant to be very “of the moment” and of the zeitgeist. Now, of course, I’m going to try to sell it during the Biden Era and not Trumplandia. Yet the movie Lady Bird is set in a very specific moment — the early 90s — and it manages to pull that off in a timeless fashion.

As such, that’s how I’m going to fix this problem.

I’m going full speed ahead — unless something fucks those plans up — and just write the damn thing. But write in such a way that I lean into character development and entertainment — in short, write a great story — to such an extent that people will forgive me if I wallow in things that now seem completely moot.

And, let me be clear, when I saw “wallow,” all I mean is had Trumplandia at the forefront of my mind as I mapped out the structure of the novel. Hopefully, it will, unto itself, just be a great story and you can read it as that without realize being all that aware of how enraged I was by Trumplandia as I developing and writing it.

Really, the point now is to write something, anything. I hopefully can read a lot and write a lot starting in the next few days. But I have to admit that I might have to break down and do some character studies of my major characters so I have a “legend” to reference as I write.

We’ll see.

Hollywood, ‘Fleabag’ & The Strange Case of The Dog That Didn’t Bark


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Looking back over all my ranting about Trumplandia, there’s one thing that really shocks me — we never got a “Network” for that era. It’s surreal. It’s almost as if Hollywood was scared to touch the epic shitshow that was happening all around us for four years.

For much of Trumplandia, the case could be made that it just takes time to develop and produce a movie. But in the four years of Trumplandia, we never once got a movie that directly referenced the insane situation we were in. And, really, in a sense it was Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ “Fleabag” that gave us the catharsis we needed.

How many times during Trumplandia did we collectively want to look at the camera of life with one of Fleabag’s expressions?

Now that Trumplandia has fallen, it does raise the question of will art ever address it. The novel I’m developing and writing hopes to do that, but the context growing very, very different every day. I struggle with how to tell the story I’ve always wanted without it seeming extremely dated.

The issue, I think, is to make the story a good as possible and also to really lean on character. If I can just make it a good story set in a specific moment in time — like, say “Ladybird,” then some of the more potentially dated aspects of the story will be “hidden” by how good the story is unto itself.

I really have a huge amount of reading to do, but I also have to put-up or shut-up. They say your first draft is meant to be shit, and so now that I have the structure of the story down pat, as soon as I’m mentally in the right space to do so –which should be very, very soon — I’m going to sit down and start writing a serious first draft. One, I hope, is the best first draft I’ve attempted to date.

But I must admit that I’m on a hair trigger to do something different if I feel I’m forced to. I have maybe three or four solid novel or screenplay concepts rolling around in my mind and if this current novel becomes untenable, I’m going to move on — even if it sucks and will hurt like a bitch.

Yet, that hasn’t happened yet. Gotta keep moving on.

I still think there will be an audience for a novel that wallows in the conventions of Trumplandia.

Trumplandia Has Fallen — Now What


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of the stranger political events of my life is what didn’t happen — Trump turned out not to be an autocrat, but just a lazy idiot with autocratic impulses. Or, put another way, everyone — even me — fell into the trap of ascribing to Trump political acuity that he obviously did not, in fact, have.

So here we are.

Within a matter of days, something we all assumed was the “new normal” — Trumplandia — has vanished. The person who was in the center of the American experience for about five years, has dropped off the face of the earth. What I think will happen is we’re going to be in political neutral for about two years until the Republicans come back to power in Congress and the whole cycle starts up again.

An would-be autocrat (Trump? Pompeo? Cotton? Hawley? etc, etc, etc) will arise, use their base of support in Congress to win the election one way or another. All our fears will come true, just a few years late.

Enjoy your liberal democracy while you’ve got it — barring something pretty historic, the macro trends that caused Trump in the first place will cause a Trump-like figure (only this time younger and more focused) to win election and strangle it.

I keep saying — we’re an autocracy without an autocrat.

The moment the inevitable autocrat takes over, then, well, that’s it. We’re going to be no better than Putin’s Russia. And loudmouth people like me, who, to date, have had the luxury of a liberal democracy to allow us to shoot off at the mouth without the fear of the jackboot…will just fade away.

Why I Play The Lottery Even Though I Think Doing So Is More Obscene Than Porn


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I would much rather be seen buying porn than a lottery ticket, and, yet, I keep playing the lottery. The lottery is a tragic regressive tax on poor people like me. But I will say that the lottery pays for itself in the amount of hope and entertainment it gives me.

Take today, for instance — the Mega Millions payout is about $1 billion. I know I’m not going to win, but I feel the itch to at least play so I can daydream about how I would make the world a better place if I won.

I have some very specific (big) ideas about what I would do if I won.

But, alas, it’s just daydreams.

So, in general, I would say don’t play the lottery. It’s designed to soak the poor by giving them hope.

The Implications Of Big Tech Concealing A ‘Soft Singularity’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me qualify what I’m proposing — I’m simply looking at what appears to be happening (Big Tech can read our minds via our phones) and then playing out the implications of such a theory.

I could be totally wrong. It’s very possible. But some of Tik-Tok’s apparent abuses of digital telepathy have made it seem so obvious to me that some sort of Soft Singularity has happened without anyone telling us that I have to talk about it.

Let’s review the evidence as to why I think a Soft Singularity has happened. First, Facebook some time ago patented mind-reading technology. Second, repeatedly over the last year or so, I’ve noticed being pushed ads that are so specific to what I’ve been THINKING about that no possible algorithmic explanation makes any sense.

What’s more, especially with Tik-Tok, there is an abstract nature to some of the things I’ve been pushed that is alarming. If you work on the assumption that my mind is being read by my phone, it’s not like they know the word “GIRL” is at the forefront of my mind, it’s as if they actually are rooting around my mind to the extent that they can push videos of “GIRL WHO LOOKS LIKE ANNIE SHAPIRO.”

The prospect of that going on with millions of Tik-Tok users, not just me, is extremely dark and surreal. It starts to make you think about the moral implications of Big Tech (especially a Big Tech company so close to the Chinese government) knowing that much about a big chunk of the American population.

Not, at this point, let me be absolutely clear — if I’m missing some way that they can simply figure out that I like girls who look like a specific woman that I think about a lot via algorithmic assumptions, then, so be it. I will feel a lot better. But, even then, the algorithms would be so good at their job, that that, in itself, would be cause for alarm.

So, I guess what I’m suggesting is it’s at least possible that technology has advanced a lot further than we think.

The Thing About Space Aliens


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing about space aliens is I suspect that there is some sort of growing down low consensus in the scientific community that the universe is probably full of life — much of it intelligent and space fairing.

But, to date, there have just been very tiny clues that indicate this is the truth.

What’s more, you could actually know this to be an absolute fact and if you don’t have any proof to back you up, absolutely no one will believe you.

That’s the wild thing about this subject — unless you have absolute proof that aliens exist, then, lulz, you’re a crazy person.

This makes you wonder not only what the aliens may be waiting for, but why we’re having growing a bit of evidence here and there that they exist in the first place. Are we reaching a point in our technological advancement that we’re interesting to aliens? Are we seen as a threat to them or ourselves?

Anyway.

I don’t expect any First Contact any time soon. But it is something to think about. It’s a least possible that there’s a lot more going on out there in space than we might think.

Only time will tell exactly what.

Sometimes, They Come Back


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As of Monday (at the latest) I’m throwing myself back into the novel I’ve been working on the last few years. Everything is in place — I should be able to write the first draft very, very quickly.

I’ll always be the guy in the circle. Me, 2032

What started as me raging against the Trump Era now has a very different context — it’s going to be a lot more character based, a lot less preachy and…also a warning of what might be to come.

I really just want to forget the Trump Era ever happened. And, yet, given Trump’s apparent interest in the “Patriot Party” concept, I have decided to read up on Hitler. My fear is because of the “megatrends” that caused the rise of Trump in the first place, that he and his movement will come back in a big way far, far sooner than any of us might otherwise believe.

So, in preperation for the rise of honest-to-God-American MAGA-Nazism, I’m going to start to study Hitler, his rise and his use of power once he got it. My fear is that Trump — or a “velvet fist” of, say, President Lara Trump and Vice President Mike Pompeo — may finally turn us into an autocratic managed democracy like Putin’s Russia.

America is currently an autocracy without an autocrat and something pretty huge would have to happen for our democracy not to go the way of the Weimar Republic within no more than 10 years. But, let me make it clear — Trumplandia’s Fourth Reich wouldn’t be expansionistic. It’s not like Trump or Lara Trump would want to take over the world.

It would be an implosion, not an explosion.

The United States would collapse in on itself, maybe even to the point that there was a complete re-imagining of the world order. The United States would leave NATO, pull all its troops out from South Korea, etc and also have some sort of “Final Solution” for the “Liberal Problem.”

Or, to put it another way — there are some fucking dark forces at work on a macro level in the United States.

Weirdly enough, there really hasn’t been much discussion about how Elon Musk is just a few years away from ending the trucking industry as we know it. When 3 million high paying blue collar jobs fashion overnight, there are going to be a shit ton of angry men and women who might embrace neo-Luddism. And that would cause a massive jiggling of our political economy.

The Patriot Party might fuse the far Right and the far Left into an anti-technology party while the corporate elements of the Democrat and Republican parties might fuse together in response.

Anyway.

The point is — Trumplandia ain’t dead yet. Sometimes, they come back.

Holy Shit: Trump May Found His Own NSDAP — The Patriot Party


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Well, if you want to get in on the new Trump grift, I suggest you become active in the founding of The Patriot Party. History may not repeat, but it does rhyme, so it’s very possible that Stephen Miller will ghost write a Trump book called “My Struggle” then in four years we’re going to look back at the events of January 6th as Trump’s “Beerhall Putsch.”

Trump — or some member of the Trump family — will win in 2024 and we’ll go full Nazi. Though, I doubt The Patriot Party will be expansionist. It will be more about the country imploding into itself and doing away with the “liberal problem” once and for all.

Now, history rarely goes in a straight line, so it’s very possible that the Republican Party is going to tear itself apart for one election cycle. So, in that case, it would be closer to 2028 or even as late as 2032 when Der Fuhrer assumes control.

Though, at that point, Trump himself will be so fucking old that it might be something more along the lines of a the “velvet fist” — Lara Trump as POTUS and Mike Pompeo (or whomever) as Veep. There are now a half a dozen would-be autocrats waiting in the wings to finally strangle American liberal democracy.

It’s only a matter of time before one of them becomes president or vice president. No more than, say, a decade. Probably closer to four years. The macro trends that brought us this point of being an autocracy without an autocrat aren’t going anywhere.

The United States is going to be in political neutral for about two years no matter what. We’re just going to be in something of a political daze until the Republicans — or Patriot Party? — take over the Congress and we really REALLY have something to worry about.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, if Trump was smart — which he is not — he would put his political puck where macro trends suggest we WILL BE not where we ARE: he’d really try to rearrange American politics by banking hard LEFT when it comes to technology — become a neo-Luddite. Remember, Elon Musk is just a few years away from destroying 3 million (!) high paying trucker jobs via self-driving semis. If Trump — or someone in the extended House Trump — could make saving those 3 million jobs part of a political platform, well, you got yourself a powerful political movement.

It would have to be Steve Bannon to think that up, though. Trump, himself, is an idiot.

We now know what’s potentially ahead of us now. All the overblown fears that people like me had during the first Trumplandia Reich will be a lot closer to coming true once Trump founds the Patriot Party and we have our very own Red Hats (as opposed to Brown or Black Shirts) running around, beating the shit out of people like me around election time.

Pray.

Some Idle Biden Era Predictions


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Biden Will Be Impeached
The moment the House flips, Biden will be impeached over simply being Biden. That’s an absolute at this point.

Kamala Harris Will Face Pressure To Use The 25th Amendment
As we grow accustomed to the Biden Era, Biden will set the tone of his era, just like Trump did. And, as such, we’re going to notice that he IS a little bit senile. The FOX News bullshit echo chamber will latch on to this, and turn it into a regular Benghazi 2.

President Harris?
I have high hopes for Biden, but he’s old as hell. I wish him a long life and eight years in office, but he IS 78. So, somehow, some way, I just don’t see him lasting through his first term. I hope I’m wrong. I usually am. Harris will be a great president that will really shake things up — and, as such, get her into a huge amount of political trouble.

A Jarring Transition
We’re just not prepared for the Biden Era. It’s going to be a bumpy first few days and weeks after Biden is sworn in. We’re just not going to know what to do.

The Trump Deep State
One of the biggest problems for Biden will be The Trump Deep State. All those MAGA hacks now “burrowed” into the Federal government are going to come after Biden and his policies in a big way. By July, that could be what we’re all talking about.

Runaway Jury?
If Trump doesn’t play his cards right, his second impeachment trial in the Senate may serve the purpose of a Trump Era Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the sense that before we know it, folks like John Bolton and Don McGahn will be testifying at it in a new political Trial of The Century. The whole thing will drag out as each side throws more and more firepower at the issue.