The Slush Pile (A Review)

So without really even trying, it feels, I hit 35k on my current work in progress, Nowhere. It’s a dystopian Western set in the flat, wastelands of our Apocalyptic future. So that’s been a ton of fun, but it got me thinking. My slush pile, the stack of first drafts and half attempts every writer accumulates, is starting to look a little crazy, almost like it could just topple and spill all over the carpet. It would probably grow eight hairy legs, eat the asbestos tiles in my downstairs office, and just walk away to some other coffee soaked writer’s den. Oh if I could only be so lucky, anyway, so yeah I got thinking why not do a little review of the slush pile, to determine which of these monsters I should give my attention to and finally finish and distribute.

The Books

Pomegranate Lane-This was the last first draft I wrote, in November of 2015 for National Novel Writing Month (#Nanowrimo). It’s a murder-mystery novel set in the future. The protagonist Dorothy (ignore the hackery) is a detective, working the first real murder case anyone in decades has had, due to the impressive surveillance state which has been achieved. She wakes up the morning of the gruesome murder, alcohol drenched and one foot over the edge of an existential crisis. What was her job? Why did she want to do it? What is this strange world she took for granted? All these questions become compounded when there are failures in the security state itself, which provide ugly glimmers of a reality right next store, that threatens to overwhelm her secured world.

Interludes-I’ve been distributing this on here. I won’t go into too many details since you can just go read it if your interested. It’s a first person story, told by a version of myself, it unfolds in a place I call La-La-Land. There’s weird cults and rituals, a werewolf who sexually assaults me and tries to eat me, tricky mythical-poetical entities, and overall a deep and hopefully humorous study of Art itself. I am about three quarters of the way through the edit on this, and hope in the future to finish serializing it on this blog, so stick around.

Dawning of the Werewolf-This draft sits short of full novel, 45k words. I think I worked on it before Interludes, but I’m not sure. Overall, the slush pile gets a little scattered here in my own chronology. This story is a first person confessional about a guy who discovers he’s a werewolf. All I really remember is a lot of running, and this cool vibe of a man-beast racing up the edge of Lake Michigan. Oh, and I did like the ultimate hack move and had my creature help steal The One Ring, from Lord of the Rings, for some baddies. Again some cool stuff, but with that level of hack I think this one may be a dud.
Mech Suits (Totally working Title)-Science Fiction, first draft right at 50k words. This one may have potential. Basic story, in the future robotic technology is so far advanced that the use of machines suits, think the thing Ripley from Alien wears to kick that alien’s ass, is common place. There is an updated version of football which is played with these suits. The youngest boy gets roped into an international terrorist situation, through his connection to an very rich, corporate executive, who was aware of his skill, and had allow him free reign of his workshop.

 

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Something sort of cool about this one. The story follows three brothers. The youngest is a technical genius with machines (think Hephaestus), and his two older brothers are Mechball (think I just made that name up) all stars on the high school team. An interesting detail for me is when I wrote this book I only had two boys at the time, but now I have my own trio of sons. That personal relevancy definitely bumps this one up on the priority list. I also liked the big, entertaining story that took place. It was sort of like Golden Era 80s-90’s action flicks (think half Karate Kid, half Die Hard), mixed with a heady batch of Orwellian musings.

Sumer, previously Robot Academy Funtimes– I stalled out on the second draft of this work, a little over 66k words. Again there’s a personal component that makes me want to finish-finish. Basic plot came from my brother years ago, in a far distant future, robots rule the Earth, they have decided to begin reproducing humans, because they have lost their sense of humanity. My story follows one of these new-humans, a girl named Echo.

This one presents a number of critical and complicated issues. For one the story takes places in a holodeck/scientific lab of sorts. This sort of reeks of amateur hackery again because you end up in a sort of dream sequence explanation which isn’t very good. If it’s all a dream or a simulation then who really give a damn, the argument goes. Of course, traversing prickly fields of contradictions and ego destroying logical conundrums sort of destroys the pursuit of digestible narration.

More over, what was a stunning philosophical insight from my teenage brother, was a fairly well established Science Fiction trope. In my own reading aI have become more aware of this issue, via Asimov and others. That said, my draft was done with mostly clean hands, and since there really is nothing new under the sun, I don’t automatically discount this story. I feel like this definitely has the feeling of a fruit not yet ripened, so I continue on.

The Siege/Winterset-First draft, Speculative Fiction, right at 47.9k words. This is a weird one for me. What started out with the thought experiment, what would a people’s revolution look like in small town mid-West United States, led by a somewhat quixotic youth protagonist, similar to the idealized concept the Author has of himself. Think farm animals released on Main Street and the bouncy ball pit at high noon on a Saturday.
I didn’t like how it ended up though, in chaos and murder, and low-down outlaws. No one was supposed to get hurt…I thought about this book a lot later when I when I watched things like the Occupy movement, or the recent riots in Baltimore. I realized that the bullshit, Mayberry sense of revolution I depicted in the book was naive, in the meanest and truest sense of the word. This sort of development in my thinking leads to it having a permanent position in the slush pile.

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Tom’s Episode-I believe this is the first book I wrote, and it sits at a monstrous 95,829 words. Wow. It is sort of crazy to go through all these stories. They connect and bring back so many memories of when I wrote them. The basic idea of this story is what happens if someone became an atheist while in heaven. Again, just an awful, typical beginner’s premise, a story set in heaven. I wrote this over five years ago. I’d taken a class at University of Iowa, on Science and Religion around that time, and I remember I was deep into the Atheist, Creationism vs. Evolution, Dawkins, sort of stuff. Of course, Tom is an allusion to the so-called doubting Thomas of the Gospels.

Caravaggio_-_The_Incredulity_of_Saint_Thomas

Strictly speaking I would label myself an Atheist, in the strict I have seen no evidence for the positive claim there is a God, but in all the ways that count I’m still a dirty old apostate Catholic. I pray Our Fathers then Hail Marys, am in dialogue with the Holy Spirit, and ultimately abide a messianic eschatology (and I am the one I have been waiting for). But yes, it’s those sort of Gnostic drenched ramblings that make up this book. I also recognized later that it’s Interludes Part One, but that seems to form some sort of psychological singularity which I don’t really care to deal with (we’re all writing the same shit over and over and over…). I encountered Tom Robbins, and Christopher Moore’s Lamb later, they do masterfully, what I did very shoddily in this one, but again know, I wait for the day I may have the capabilities to birth this monster. Consider yourself warned.

 

Novellas/Shorts Stories

 

Kill The Television-This is a novella right around 17k words. I consider this my Parvus Opus (Small Work). Simple story, thirteen year old, Ronald lives on his Grandma’s couch at her senior living center. One day, he decides to start head hunting flat screens. Cool little story, hero’s quest sort of thing, set in my home city. I love the themes of this one and definitely want it to have some readers someday. Hard to place it exactly, not big enough to hold its own as a book, think I would like it to make it the title work for a collection of other short stories. I got hung up finishing it on a pacing issue, there’s a break away story told during the climax, which interrupts the flow, but I love it too much to cut it. Why not just shorten it the mind pushes.

Story of Roger Meeks-Science Fiction, 14k words, again cool idea, but not enough for own book. Seventy something year old is a nobody, from Nowhere American. He works as a cashier at a local gas station, and lives alone in the same house he grew up in. When a spacefaring race shows up, it is Mr. Meeks they want to talk to.

I like this one a lot. Didn’t quite get over in the version I got now, but definitely potential in this. I love the original Twilight Zone, and this is my attempt at something like that. I would love to see this in a collection of short stories.

Gnomes. Or How Martin Gardner’s LIfe Was Ruined By A Clan of Gnomes with Big Problems-Fantasy, right around 22k word, this has got to be the strangest of all the slush piles specimens. The general idea I had was, sort of like in Toy Story, what if your garden variety gnomes were actually alive, and their owners formed a shadowy underground railroad of magic. Fun idea, silly story, but not really enough for a whole book. But again, it so sort of absurd and simple, something still gets me about this story. Might need to revisit it…then again maybe not, just remembered a bit of hackery taking place in this one too.

So the main character is named Martin Gardner. I’m pretty sure the Martin is ripped right from Stephen King’s man in black, Flagg-type guyand I had some idea of this being like an alternative origins story for that character or a character like him. Normal average person that got suck unknowingly into a magical world, and ended up powerful, ruined and corrupt in the process. I think this is so out there it could be good, but would need extensive rewrites and a commitment to the absurd.

The Last Virgin of Hollywood-Fiction, a little under 10k. The premise of the story is in the title, Norma a twenty something year old make up artist of the stars has somehow retained her virginity. The shorty story follows her as she tries to hold on to it. It was a rushed story, scattered with cliches, the overconfident rich guy, the hobo with a soul, the decadent evil Brad Pitt type. I like the idea, and sort of feel in love with main character. I think this one had potential to be a great story.

Jar of Kisses-Fantasy, 13k words, another story with a good premise and hook, but not enough to warrant a full book. This was a simple story. We have this little jar, with the words “Kisses” on it, that prompted the idea what if there was this magical jar, that if you took an invisible scoop from it with your hand, and took a drink from it, would give you the greatest kiss you could ever imagine. Ended up being a decent story, middle-schooler gets it, bully classmate discovers it, decent portions of horror and sentimentality. Definitely worth edit.

Formation of the White-God awful title, clearly Tolkien hackery. Very strange feeling, sits a little over 10k words and I have absolutely no clue what the story is about. No characters, no scene, no anything. Vaguely, I am prompted by the title, I think this was when I started wanting an intertextual thing with my books, like Stephen King and Terry Pratchett have done, where characters and story lines can pop up in different books.
I read an excerpt from it:

…“Oh come on, I swear you think everyone is a sexual predator these days.”
“He’s a lame.”
“I swear Claire. This is the exact problem we’re up against. Everyone is too worried about how they look, and being cool, and all that shit. A guy like Chris Davis, a good man, is seen as a schmuck. I think that’s just wrong. Now they asked for a light, and we are going to get them a light, all right? And Davis is our light.”
“Fine, lame it is.” She took a drink of her coffee.
Her brother paid the bill; he always paid the bill.
They sat in silence for some time. Connor hated silence and finally broke it. “What is it?”
“Nothing,” she said.

And it all comes back to me. Claire and Conor are angel figures, representing Intuition and Righteousness, the story follows them on a heroes quest of still murky specifications. I imagined some sort of occulted initiation ritual into the Good. The protagonist, not the lame in question, is a bastardly bookish type like the author himself. I think this story was a bit of wishful thinking, hopefully not conjuring, on my part. Anyway, this work gets a big question mark. Could it be an Interludes sequel?

Rock Art Salesman-This was another one in line for weirdest premises. Right around 8k words, story is about the greatest Rock Arts salesman in the world. He’s entrapped in the selling of an exceptional piece, to a odious and shadowy party. I liked this story, but felt it was part of a larger tale. I have another start of a story, which I feel has a connection to this story, but haven’t flushed the either one out yet. Liked the characters and idea though.Also weird synchronicity, but I was later encounter just such a Rock Art Salesman in On a Pale Horse, by Piers Anthony.

Scrubber Boys-This is probably my best and favorite short story. Right under 7k words, the main plot points and characters came to me in a dream. I woke that morning and took notes in my journal and had a draft fast. Definitely needs a rewrite and an edit, but if I ever have a shorty story collection this will be in it.

It follows two scrubber boys John and Pinto, who work as child laborers on a giant battery complex in a strange world. Surreal, challenging, this story runs out of the dream into reality and back. I love this story.

We Troll-Fiction/Horror. Another strong short story premise. 5k words. Set in the future, the story follow high schooler Roger, as he experiences a surreal amount of bullying. Exaggerating the trend of online trolling and abuse, I speculated what would happen when this behavior ingrained itself into a society and festered for a century. I imagined a website were bullies could get together and make a sport of the process. The result is this terrifying glimpse into a possible future.

Escape-Fiction/Fantasy, 997 words, spawned in early parent hood when 2nd child hopped out of his crib one night, about a toddler who sneaks out on his parents, to discover a magical world outside. Dense, exciting, and frightening, probably worth finishing.

Changeling-Fiction/Fantasy, around 3k words. Decent story, again produced in newly acquired parenthood. Tells a modern story of the ancient myth of “the changeling”, which is a surrogate fairy child, the fairy/gnomey people leave while they take your child and train it in their magical ways. This story takes place on the night the human child is returning to the home. Can you guess the ironic twist? Strong enough to be given further consideration

Agent or Standard Operating Procedure-Fiction/Speculative Fiction, 4.6k words, written in a 1st person perspective, confessional, telling the story of how this agent ended up violating protocol. Strong story, but overdone. Energy comes from the first person story, and with things like Interlude, I have gotten that urge out of my system. Strong enough to consider for the short story collection.

Arms in Ankeny-Short Story, Science Fiction, 6th draft, 5k words, this was the first piece I sent to a paid editor. I wrote about that experience here. Definitely has legs, and I need to work a final version. Would definitely be in a collection. This one taught me how hard it is to write a great short story. It was like overworking the dough, the whole thing began to crumble in my hands as I played with it. Still, I have the sneaking suspicion one day I will find myself in the perfect spot to finish it. Again, I am reminded thinking of this one, that my problem is letting of the bad parts in the story, the stuff that doesn’t work.

The Case of Bill Mimic-Fiction, 4k words, interesting story Kafka-like, basic premise what if a person had a condition where they lost their unique personality and merely mimicked whoever they came into contact with. Don’t remember if I pulled this one off, but think I need to go back and reread. Candidate for the collection.

Rich’s Autoland-2,850 word, a brief sojourn into a realist Fiction vibe. Story follows a newspaper writer working on a story about the National Wresting Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Ia, and a champion boy wrestler whose the focus of the story. That is the back drop, it takes a surrealist bent in the end, something I of course really like. It’s like I just couldn’t play it straight and had to let it out in the end…Don’t know the viability of this as a story, but definitely some potential.

3 Ways-7k words, Science Fiction, another one that could be expanded or chopped. Basic premise, in the future sex is highly regulated, you have to get a ticket. There are only three way to get it, everyone is given one to begin with, they can be bought (no one can afford them), or they can be given, and that’s it. Story focuses in on one man as he wrestles with this system. Strong story, definitely worth urther development.

Conclusion-

This was a great time splashing around in the slush pile. Though I have to admit it does leave an unpleasant after taste, and maybe a little gunk between your toes. Writing is an easy task for me, finishing writing is something else all together. I have to admit a sense of confusion when I look at my slush pile. So many half baked schemes, just sitting there, if I let my mind wander I could start feeling it was a waste, a byproduct of a desperate attempt for attention, and self realization. But I don’t do that.

Tomorrow, come heaven, hell, and high water, I will wake up and try to put up a thousand words, and add another layer to my slush pile. And I’ll tell you why, the secret if you will, it’s not because I don’t care whether it is good or not, or whether I will succumb to crippling debt, and my children will starve in the streets or not, no it is none of those earthly concerns, it is for the greater, heavenly concern, the desire to be great, to be great at creation…creation of what you could ask…a story for another time, I’d advise. Thanks for taking a dip with me. I would love to hear what in that mess sparks your interest. And I hope you stay paddling on top of the slush pile.

What Is Going On?!?! (Interludes Prologue)

I had a very strange experience, and I don’t know why I feel compelled to write about it here, but I do. I anthropomorphized “The Muse” in previous posts. I did that as an intellectual tool, a thought experiment. For me to have written about the concept at all demonstrates how much time I had already given to it. You can imagine my frustration, when after the idea was out there, I did not get the usual relief I do in these situations.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hogarth_painting_the_muse.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hogarth_painting_the_muse.jpg

Instead, the whole thing of an anthropomorphized muse stuck with me. Anytime I had a free interior minute, like washing the dishes or before bed, I would find myself drifting towards the thought of the Muse, as a full fledged, living person.

Here is how the thoughts sort of went. What is really behind being in that artistic zone? How does the artist just turn over to this other force and have it produce such intelligent, cohesive products? If it is some sort of a power of the subconscious (thinking something like Jungian psychology), then how do we make sense of it being more creatively intelligent and complicated then our regular modes of thinking?

But further my mind would snap, and here is where the fissure starts, because I can almost hear a voice, her voice to be exact. Who says you have anything to do with it? So bold, right there, right smack between my eyes. The language and orientation seemed so strange. Why would I say such things to myself?

She always seems to have an answer, and be tired of my shit. She is also sick of me taking credit for her ideas, and wants her share of recognition and goodies. Now I know this sounds like I am losing my mind, but this is what happened. So I found myself down in the office this morning about to write. Now I have been writing somewhat seriously now for at least four years, and though I have days were it might have take longer to get going, I can always get the job done.

In other words, I had never known writer’s block. It also is important to note that I was in a fairly positive frame of mind, breakfast, coffee, free time, etc., but right as I hit my seat and started the computer a dreadfulness bombarded me. It was so strong and disorienting that I jumped up out of my chair, and in a panicked spastic response I flung my arms wildly around the room.

I was overwhelmed with paranoia. It was in there deep. I wanted to dig it out of myself somehow. I heard my kids playing upstairs. My wife was telling my oldest son that she just needed to finish the dishes and then they would all go outside. The normalcy of the moment snapped me out of it and I sat back down, but my hands were still shaking and I was so scared.

I opened up my work in progress and read the last sentence I wrote. There were a number of grammatical errors, which I tinkered with for a second. Somewhat disinterested, I went to write the new words and again a feeling of death and dread, and magnanimity overwhelmed. I felt stomach sick. I closed my eyes and laid my head on the desk.

An unending stream of existential crisis tore through me. What was I doing writing anyway? What did I have to say? I was a nothing and a nobody and just a loser like everybody else. There was nothing great in me. Compared to those before me, I am an inexperienced moron. All this obsession with art was so much inconsequential madness. It was sickening and shameful. A danger, to myself and others. I was a coward who had hide and ran and taken the path of least resistance and I would continue to be that, forever. It was over for me.

How can I describe the sensation of feeling that your thoughts are not you’re own? It’s like a person entering the room and beginning to talk to you, not quite yelling, but loud enough that you cannot ignore it. It’s an alien voice too, almost like reading words on a page, you have to sort of interpret character, inflection and tone.

It isn’t good at bluffing or bullshitting. It is just like the wind; it blows or it doesn’t.

The wind was blowing hard through my head. It was almost like drowning, but the nonstop stream of ideas filled the deadly world. I probably laid there for twenty minutes in this state before I popped out of my seat again, panicked. I was asthmatic too. I couldn’t get a deep enough breathe. The feeling of sharing the room with someone came back hard now. So hard that I grabbed my wallet and went running out the house, terrified that some physical or even metaphysical brain “popping” was about to occur.

It was a godawful hot humid day, and the heat and bright light just smashed me in the face. It was like I had ran right into a yellowish sweat bubble. The wet sickness pushed through my eyes balls and down into my guts. I could feel my morning breakfast gurgling there.

I should have gone inside and laid down, but I was too scared to go back into my house. I started walking. Everything wa cartoonish, blocky, almost lego-y. I began to hear what sounded like a choir singing, but I couldn’t find the source. I walked for a while until I came to a gas station. I stood outside, pacing, totally out of my mind. I was so worked up, angry and for what appeared to be nothing. I felt stupid about leaving the house like that, and I was sure my wife was wondering where the hell I went.

A woman pulled up in a white Nissan. I saw that it was an older woman, heavy set, and in business attire. We made eye contact for a second and I looked away. But as she walked passed, I looked back and now the woman was young, slim and shiny blond hair ran down seventies style lime green dress, which fit her perfectly. So weirded out, I walked around the building but was stopped by three youths. Two boys were on their bikes, and one little girl was standing on the curb, watching the others riding circles in the parking lot.

As I went passed them the little girl began to talk to me. “Oh professor ass dude, weirdo, lame type predator.” I couldn’t believe what was I was hearing. “Pussy,” she said. I turned around and they were all lined up staring at me. I felt like I should say something, but they were all smiling and what could I say? The oldest couldn’t have been nine, and the girl was no more than five. I couldn’t believe something like that coming from such a young child, but the way they were smiling told me they thought it was real funny.

I stared at them for a second so dumbfounded and weirded out that finally I just turned and walked away. As I got to the edge of the parking lot I looked back for them and they were gone. I kept walking, wading through this lingering dread. I walked until I came to a Dollar General. I had the urge to buy some candles, some candy, maybe even some flowers. I walked through the aisles and every person I went passed had some negative words for me. Vulgar, high school type trash. Pencil Dick. Faggot. Cocksucker. A Grandma in a red hat called me a cunt.

I got my chocolate bars and candles and headed for the checkout line, which was packed with people. I waited for an eternity. The whole time this voice in my head just kept going and going, like standing under a waterfall.

I couldn’t imagine another world existing outside of the pounding, pulsating, internal voice which was just having a freak out, in perfect, controlled, monotoned persistence. You suck you know that, you really suck. You sucks eggs. You suck dicks. You can suck a golf ball through a garden a hose. A carburetor out an engine block. You’re like black hole level suck. Bending matter to your empty black suck. Abortion vacuum suck…

I watched the checkout lady as the line crept. She was an older woman, late forties, early fifties. She had thinning hair and the look of a smoker. She had an air of a look of dignity though too, as she rang everyone’s crap up. Something told me she had some other career experience, like a horse trainer or something. But that was before, when she had something she loved, but that didn’t work out. She took this job out of necessity.

I finally made it to her, but right before, a viscous, emergency type, stomach pain kick in. I leaned against the counter and tried to close my eyes and take some deep breaths. When I opened my eyes, my things were being rang up and a voice broke into my head. “3.33, Sir.” I struggled for my wallet and when I brought it back up and looked the cashier in the face she had changed. It was the beautiful woman who was outside the gas station, but now she was in the Dollar General uniform. For the first time, I got a look at her face.

I love and am ever faithful to my wife, so I feel bad writing this, but she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Normally I am a burnet man, but her ocean waves of shimmering blond hair and lightening green eyes left me floored and overwhelmed with lust. It was her smell too! It was like cool wind on a warm day, through a lavender field, mixed with the earthy scent of woman.

She smiled and said, “3.33, you sick bastard!” As if she read my dirty mind. She said the last words full of both sexuality and insult. I dropped my wallet and banged my head on the counter as I went to grab it. I was full of apologies, even though she had just insulted me. All flustered and blushing, I opened my wallet and there was nothing in there! I was a ramble of sorries and she just kept smiling at me.

“You’re fucking great,” she said. “I can’t wait to get my hands on you Austin. You’re a screamer, aren’t you? I can always sense a screamer. Hemingway never broke; I hated that. You don’t have a fiver on ya? You broke, chubby, son-of-a-bitch. Take the candy asshole, consider it a last meal. Fucking candles.”

You know the phrase deer in the head lights? Now I literally know what that feels like. It was like a decked out, glossy Escalade appeared from the ether and was going to plow right through me. The sick, twisted thing is as I basked in her presence I was still aroused, seduced even by her destructive forces. For some (possibly profound) reason I began to think about the blank page back at home, and how I needed to be doing my words.

The whole word froze and the lights went dim. The store began to shake and drywall began to sift from the ceiling. I looked at the folks behind me, all lined up and waiting to pay for their stuff. They were now statues. Their still shoulders collected the falling dust.

I looked back at the new woman. She was frozen too, smiling like the sun. I had the most awesome realization. This was the Muse!!! Right in front of me. I could hear this indecipherable, yet oddly familiar hum emanating from her. Think it clicked in my head, I had heard this same effect, sometimes deep in the writing zone, when the words were just gushing out beyond my control.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Félix-Nicolas_Frillié_-_Kiss_of_the_Muse,_c._1863.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Félix-Nicolas_Frillié_-_Kiss_of_the_Muse,_c._1863.jpg

This was the source of that hum and she was standing right before me. I had the strange thought to try to capture her, bottle her up somehow and hide her back in my house. There was a loud boom of thunder in the store and a web of lightening broke out across the ceiling. With another boom, a giant appeared behind her in the next aisle.

The first thought that came to mind was Gandalf, because of his long white hair and robes, but the man was black, like deep of night black, so black that it was hard to even make out any features on his face, and he was a giant. I’m guessing probably twelve or thirteen feet tall, at least; his head almost touched the ceiling.

He stood there arms crossed for an awful minute. A chrome scepter, capped with a flashing diamond, was clinched in his left hand, and poised to obliterate me with one smack. Thankfully, there were no words passed between us. He just stood there, staring. Then I passed out.

I woke up back in my chair, a small Dollar General store bag with the candles and candy in it on the desk. It was like waking up from a nightmare. I felt so disoriented and insane. Worst of all, I looked up at the screen and all that you have been reading was already up there. As I reread it, memories of the whole experience came flooding back.

I think I might have gone insane. I need to talk to my wife about this, but I don’t know what she’ll say. Has anyone had an experience with this? Please share with me if you have. Thanks for reading. She exists!

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Next Chapter

Confessions of A Conspiracy Addict: A Journey Into the Darkness and A Moment of Clarity 

*Names and Details Changed to Protect the Broken 

User name Cluster’s been holding court for at least six hours in the  Archaix Community’s Discord Voice Chat. I left the half a dozen people here earlier in the day Tuesday. A new batch has now filed in, except for one of the Administrators of this particular Discord; he is always here. We’ll call him Shale. Shale and I had a blow up the day before. It caused me to be timed-out for a week from the Discord. Another Administrator, we’ll call her Eve decided Shale was a little heavy handed, and let me back in. I left Cluster earlier in the day, he was beginning a rant on “Jew-Matria” a sort of goofy pun on the word Gematria, which Wikipedia defines as “the practice of assigning a numerical value to a name, word or phrase according to an alphanumerical cipher.” There seems to be some obvious malice in his use of the word, yet he goes on to explain he’s a “student” of it, and sees it in his life and spins his incoherent theory. The irony doesn’t seem to give anyone pause. It never does here. I only catch part of the ramble before I go. It doesn’t make much sense. Most of this doesn’t make much sense. 

I come back later to listen in. I’ve changed, the group has not. Cluster’s still going. I’d say he is late forties, early fifties. Somewhere in smaller town America. In his back and forth with Shale and the rest, I learn he’s a broke (economically and otherwise), a busted down ne’er do well type, with a raspy, manic voice, hardened by the world. He launches into a quasi-sovereign citizen type rap, about how before Shale’s heads to Morocco, he should sell his identity over here. That this would be some Master scheme to escape the surveillance of them. That “they” would think Shale is over here just living his life, but in reality he’ll be killing it over in Morocco.

Eve is from Morocco. She apparently has some land in Morocco, and it is her and Shale’s plan, that in five months he will leave his home base in Alabama (to be held down by his 22 year old son) and then they will begin a community. They will live in this paradisal community, while the world comes to a horrific apocalytpic end in seventeen years. This end is going to be brought on by a technological superstructure in the sky called the Phoenix Phenomena. It’s up there right now, in the sky, but you can’t see it, because the sky’s not a sky. We live in something more like a planetarium, and all of reality is a simulation, and this Phoenix phenomena is on a destructive 138 year cycle (that occurs or doesn’t without explanation). More on this later. Shale laughs along with Cluster’s highly illegal idea, but pushes back a little, “no one is gonna want to pay a million dollars for my shitty life.” It makes me actually physically sick to my stomach. A profound personal epiphany hits me. I am these people and these people are me.

Jason Breshear’s is the forefather of the Archaix. His story is fascinating. He states that when he was seventeen years old, him and a friend essentially kidnapped a girl. He says that his friend started getting real dark, and he thought the girl was going to be murdered. He says that he somehow tricked his friend into leaving him in the car with the girl, and that after that, he fled right to the police and turned himself in, saving the girl. This is in some dispute. Some people say he is a convicted sex offender. I try to verify the claim either way, but can’t find definitive proof. I don’t search too hard either. It feels sort of gross. He shares the story himself on his YouTube channel of the same name.

The story goes that, with a deep seated love of reading that was seeded by his super devout, fundamentalist-Christian adopted Mom, who made them go to the library every week, he begins to read book after book in his 27 years in prison. These are obscure books too, he somehow finds. He says he doesn’t trust any book before the 1930s. He claims his bibliography runs a thousand books long. He says somehow in the dusty back rooms of the Texas penitentiary system he was able to take all these books and create, what he calls his “Chronicon”, which details the appearances of the Phoenix Phenomena. In his videos he does have an impressive ability to to recall information, and does appear to be well read in regard to a number of matters related to history and the occult. From all these readings, he pushes a number of “theories”, things like Jesus was actually Apollonius of Tyana, or that the patriarch of Judaism Abraham and his wife Sara are actually the Hindu gods Brahma and Saraswati, or that the Annunaki of Sumerian mythology and well known Zechaia Sitchen books are actually super advanced humans from a previous Golden age, which came from the underground, and which suffered a reset at the hands of the Phoenix phenomena. It’s a lot.

Jason Breshears claims to have done a deep study of all these various calendars in existence and created his own which he compiled into a “Chronicon”, what the rest of us would call a chronology. He has a number of nifty charts on his site archaix.com that he provides as a visual tool to study this material. He now has close to 70k followers on YouTube at the time of this writing. It’s an active and popular page, and a cult of personality has formed around him and the material in just the last five months. I like many other Conspiracy Addicts, felt a special ping of recognition in the material, there seems to be a “there” there. Jason not only provides these hard hitting data dump as it were, but also provides a self-help style of video. He has created the term “errants”, which are sort of free thinkers, who don’t want to follow the agenda of the “collective”. His motto is break free or die trying. Up until a motorcycle accident a couple years ago, the over arching narrative of all this was distinctly fundamentalist-Christian in nature, but after that accident and some sort of out-of-body experiences, he claims he came to see simulation theory as the true nature of this reality. He waffles somewhat about the certainty of this angle, but it is becoming more and more the crux of the more self-help type videos. And is why Shale is going to Morocco. 

Jason presents an idea called an informed field. He says we are all living in our are own little reality tunnels. And that this simulation doesn’t want you to move out of your informed field, because it requires too much energy. That like in the Oprah popularized work “The Secret”, you can have whatever you want out of this reality, but first you have to break free from the collective dungeon programming, which has you stuck in a bedroom in Alabama, talking in a Discord chat server. 

I started my own Youtube channel back in October. My plan is to share and talk about the books I am reading, and even share some of my own writing from this blog on there. My plan is to use this as sort of a networking tool for people that are interested in books and other art. I also hoped to maybe touch on these more risqué subjects of conspiracy and the occult variety, as they arose I guess in a round about way, or in the books I read. I had made eight videos or so before I heard Jason mention the Discord in one of his videos, and decided to check it out. I knew nothing about Discord, and outside of this blog and my new Youtube channel try to stay away from most social media sites. 

Where did my interest in Conspiracy theories begin? Like many people it was four or five years after 9/11/2001 with the release of the film Loose Change, and Alex Jones, and people like Luke Rudkowski with the We Are Change group and that whole era. The general idea put forward then is that there are a shadowy group of aristocratic global elite, who are orchestrating world events from behind the scenes. That all national identities are sort of a rouse and that this group has dark, evil, intentions and a knowledge of esoteric matters, which empower them even more in their pursuit of human domination. 

The now infamous Alex Jones originally cut his teeth by “sneaking” into the Bohemian Grove, an admittedly strange “old boy” club in the redwoods of California, and filming their Cremation of Care ceremony, which appeared to portray a mock human sacrifice. He started on public access TV show in Austin, Texas, but blew up in popularity and infamy over the years, to the level he even became a talking point in the Presidential Elections of 2020, when Donal Trump appeared on his show.

Alex Jones could be a whole other chapter in this essay, but we will stick to this line of thought. I believe it was in 2018 when Alex Jones was officially banned from all social media platforms, an unprecedented event at that time. Up until then he had had one of the most popular Youtube channels. For about a decade or so I would say I was a fairly regular listener. It wasn’t really until the Donald Trump era that I think I really began to question his material, motives. The era I had been listening to he had been exposing the false dichotomy of the left-right political paradigm. But then slowly he began to slip into a defense of the right, or at least the new strange right we are dealing with now in the wake of the Trump era. This made no sense to me. Surely, elitist Donald Trump would have to be in on it as well? Then what came to light in the recent Sandy Hook hoax lawsuits, namely the true lack of real research and fact verification they apparently did in that whole terrible tragedy, then I really couldn’t  stand him anymore. 

The removal of Alex Jones from Youtube I believe left a vacuum of sorts for this type of  material. And things have gotten increasingly bizarre from there. It’s all sort of a whirlwind, and partly why I am writing this, to make sense of it all. We went from now what almost seems a parochial idea of a globalist cabal, to flat earth theories, a mud flood, and this idea of a Reset, a la the film Dark City,  which was connected to the World Fairs which happened all over the place in the 19th and 20th century.

This included much talk about a civilization called Tartaria, which was alleged to have been hidden, and was sort of a lost Atlantis, which had been in possession of advanced technology, and was responsible for much of the magnificent architecture that we find around the planet. And there were people like Santos Bonnaci, who seemed to be well versed in esoteric and occult knowledge, New Ageism on steroids, and it was all very fantastical and overwhelming, and it is easy to get carried away in it.

I got deep in all that, as a reader and lover of knowledge, and someone who does feel there is something sort of peculiar about world events, and I read these books and watched these videos and it does sort of, maybe, seem to build to something, I’m just not sure what, and that’s the fun, its endless, and there’s always that next tasty knowledge bump, the theory of all theories, we will finally crack the code, and all will make sense…

But does it make sense, really? Somewhere probably back around the 2010, I’m doing a deep dive on religious history/theory and this brought me into Atheism circles. Something I had never really considered. Raised Catholic, I had my own unique experience there, and never really took to that belief system fully, I wasn’t confirmed Catholic (a tale for another day) but I did have a strong intuitive spiritual sense of a God. I take deep solace in saying my Our Fathers and Hail Marys. But swimming in these Atheistic circles I began to learn the power of questioning those beliefs. And being a genuine free thinker, I came to see that yes, in the strict sense, we cannot through logic or empirical evidence really prove the existence of God. Now we are all free to believe whatever we want to believe, and I have my own special flavor of woo woo, but I can’t really in a scientific, materialistic way provide sufficient proof for the truth claim, God Exists. And in these atheistic circles, I learned how to spot fallacious logic, circular logic, the power of the scientific method, and what a theory means (not an educated guess) and I learned the reasons that extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence. And I learned about how the person who makes the claim is the one who bears the responsibility for proving their claim, and that the neutral position is a lack of belief. 

But still I am fascinated by these conspiracy related subjects, and have a number of peculiar life experiences that though they are subjective, they sort of reek of the supernatural. And I read people like Carl Jung, and I see how these things might have their origins and effect, so I am constantly dancing between two camps. But above all Truth is my goal, so it’s hard not to follow all these little rabbit holes and engage in the intellectual pursuits. I read wild books like “The History of Magic” by Eliphas Levi, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Koran, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, “The Secret Destiny of America” by Manly P. Hall, Carlos Castenda’s Don Juan series, Nazis and the Occult by Paul Roland, The Morning of the Magicians/Eternal Man by Pauwels and Bergier, Meditations on the Tarot: A Christian Guide to Hermeticism, Faust by Goethe, Elkhart Tolle, and on and on, exhausting amounts of information, and videos, all the videos, mostly from Youtube, just an endless stream of information, lectures by Rudolf Steiner, Jon Levi, etc. etc. the list just never stops…I’m a full blown goddamn conspiracy occult junky.

Here I am Brotherhood of the White my actions scream, come pick me up! And they sort of do, I see a triangle UFO on the day my wife is about to have a critical spinal surgery, its floating perfectly silently, right there in the business district at 4AM as were about to go to the hospital, we can’t stop cause its such a monumental day for us, but the UFO is a huge distraction and oddly a relief, we coast thru her successful surgery, and around then I start seeing 11:11 everywhere like so many others, and then the Mandela effect starts, and I do remember in Star Wars it was “ Luke I am your Father” and it was “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall” in Sleeping Beauty, and there did use to be a denouement in that Queen song “We Are the Champions” were they sang “ of the world…” as the song trailed off. And I did dream about my surprise fourth child, and prayed in the Grotto of Redemption for him a week before we even suspected we were pregnant, and why right as this online conspiracy community started talking about the idea of reoccurring resets, suddenly there was Covid and that Klaus guy at the World Economic Forum started talking about the need for a Great Reset, and why are things so wonky these days…

You get the drift. It can be exhausting. Back to the narrative, so all this is going on. Jason and Archaix comes along he seems to have a lot of knowledge, and a theory that makes sense of it all. He’s oddly self assured and sympathetic. I’ve stopped debating anyone online, about anything, almost a decade ago, I realize the futility in that. I also recognize that when it comes to these matters, they are hard to prove in a scientific sense, and that the person proposing the theory, doesn’t necessarily need to be torn down in every way possible. I don’t give up my critical thinking, but it can’t hurt to listen. And I am a conspiracy theory addict. So he mentioned his Discord a week ago in a video. I am now getting back out on social media, so I figure hey, here our my people let’s swim among them. 

This is actually a fairly big step for me. I am not all that social of a guy. I know that’s a big surprise. This Discord thing is sort of slick, with the ability to drag and drop links, and easily do voice and video chat. There are all these interesting real people in there, talking about all this weird stuff, that I love. I create an account, same name as my channel, I figure if nothing else I can meet a few cool people, and steer them to my channel, and get those views. I try to raise a couple issues I see in Jason’s work, but Shale sort of rebuffs me. I want to make this thing work, so I fall back, but then on Saturday Jason puts out a van vlog video asking anyone intelligent enough to step forward and provide a critique. It seems like a synchronicity. So the next day, I decide to ask the Discord if anyone is willing to debate some of these matters on there, before I go after the big dog….

Shale is rather dismissive. Shale has signed on to group-think. Shale thinks he is moving with Eve to Morocco in five months. I wonder to myself if Shale even has a passport? Shale thinks I’m being presumptuous, that I couldn’t possibly poke hole in the theory. Shale gets pissed when I point out he has created a sacred cow around Jason and his material. Shale gets real pissed when I call him sycophantic. Shall doesn’t know what sycophantic means. Shall ends up timing me out for a week.

Now in all this I do make several connections, what I think are new friends. And it bums me out that I have been cut off for seemingly nothing more then engaging in the spirited critical thinking behavior which the group is founded on in the first place, this is my incorrect assumption. A cultic acolyte has cut me off from the cool kid club, and now it is time for war! 

I make a video. Its an hour and half long. I tear Shale apart line by line, and I bring Jason and the Archaix theory along for the ride. I put on my super logic, rationalist kit I acquired in the Atheist-Creationist wars of long ago and I go to town. And the fact is rationally speaking, Jason hasn’t provided sufficient proof for a single one of his theories. It is all one big exercise in confirmation bias, like so much of this conspiracy dope.

You really don’t have to go farther then that to see right through it. It is a mirage, an illusion, based on a sympathetic character, with a big appetite for reading. And my dark side, low frequency video works! My views shoot up, ten fold! Hemingway, he got a measly eight or nine views and that was mostly my family. This video had almost a hundred in a day. And comments! I finally got comments, and followers! I go from six followers to twenty in just a day or so. I got some people’s attention now. I get let back in the Discord group the next day and suddenly I got the stage and am at the center of a controversy. And I get in contact with another YouTube channel and they got like 30-40k followers and they had beef with Shale and this Discord and they are down to bring me on as a guest, and here it is, all I got to do is keep pushing hard in this way and I can grow my audience, I can grow my channel…

Then I talk to my new fiend, Conclave, I meet him on that Discord too. We talk for two hours on Tuesday. He doesn’t tell me what to do or anything. Just a couple weirdos having a human heart to heart conversation about a ton of stuff. He’s an open ear. He reads me a beautiful poem he wrote when he was fourteen. I encourage him to start posting his writing, to get paddling on top of the slush pile. This is what I want.  

This is actually after I spend about two hours that afternoon talking to Eve the other administrator of the Discord. She wants me to pull my video down, says it’s gonna make things awkward in the Discord live chat with Shale. Then she sees I’m talking to this other channel in the comments of my video, and this gets her even more concerned, says things will definitely get awkward if I go live with them, that it’ll likely lead to my permanent banishment. And I try to humanize our interaction and fight the good fight, like pointing out that it doesn’t seem to make sense that my saying Shale is being noncritical and creating a cult of personality around Jason is offensive, while the whole theory and community believes the masses of 8 billion people on this planet are mind controlled zombies, and that isn’t it a matter of scale, and aren’t I at least giving Shale a chance to defend himself, while he/we just write off the faceless masses.

And isn’t it a little messed up to kick me for guilt by association, isn’t that the exact cultic behavior I was pointing out to begin with and, got kicked for? Eve can’t see it, or so she says, but she is calm and fairly rational so I think she sort of got it. And I get it’s her house, and she’s trying to build her own thing there, and this sort of thing can derail it all. But isn’t that wild, the power difference. They want to control my voice on there and now on my own channel?  And I thank her for her having this human moment with me and ask her to reconsider, yada yada yada.

Yeah, so I talk to my new friend Conclave he is in Louisiana, and we have such a great talk, and it feels like the first time I have really spoken to a friend in so long, and our families say hi, and its so cool. And I get off with him and go hang with my family, and get them all to bed, and come back to the Discord and Cluster is still ranting, holding court, it makes me sick and sort of sad. I see the thing clearly. I believe addicts call this the moment of clarity. That this is me, these are alternative versions of me. And we are broken, and we are disempowered and we are desperate for a place to belong and friends to talk to, and someone to hear our theories and humor us, and join us in a fight to change our realities, to escape the dark forces which we see manipulating everyone else…

I delete the video right then. Leave the Discord and delete my account. I will not do it this way. I will not punch down. I will not weaponize my need to belong or my need for the Truth. My name is Austin, and I am a Conspiracy Theory Junkie. 

Fall Ramblings on Self and Season 

There is something about this Fall, I think I’ve felt it before, each year, but it’s hitting extra hard this year. Being in Iowa, we experience four distinct seasons. Each of these seasons brings a different sense of reality with it. Spring brings a freshness, a newness, a time to hatch big plans. Summer is about action and activity, biking, swimming, running, getting out there and accomplishing those things you planned in Spring. 

And then there’s Fall, everything slows down, needs put away, things begin to die, the days get short. There’s a beauty in this falling away, but its doesn’t seem to last long, you have to be mature enough to see it, like these beautiful yellowed leaves that we saw when we visited the Maquoketa Caves last week, fluttering down from the maple trees. I stood there watching them in this almost mountainous area in the middle of flat Iowa. It was like a setting that could be perfect for  a Kung-Fu flick, these caves and slow moving leaves, staging two masters in their death battle. 

Fall has the best smells. The smells of burned leaves, and that warm air, that isn’t pushed by the blistering, nullifying sun of summer, but instead is served up by the last lingering rays of that giant orb, which is also going through its own demise. It seems to struggle for one more decent day, before darkness overtakes it. 

I turned 39 this year. I know many will moan that’s still young. And for the most part I still feel fairly young. I am probably in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically, but there’s a tiredness thats creeping in. I started taking naps this year, something I’ve never done. 

It’s my new little guy too, Kato Pearl, who just turned 7months old, a couple weeks ago. I do the math on that, 18 years, makes me 57 when he’ll likely be out on his own. That seems to date me, a count down of sorts. 

And really, I don’t feel all that old, but it’s just a future sense of it, like Fall brings, that this all will come to an end, and that I’m essentially okay with that, but it’s interesting and challenging, this feeling youth is wasted on the young. I don’t think you really know yourself until this midlife phase and by then, you start to realize how much time you wasted earlier on, in your own apathy and insecurity, made especially more intense if you have a dysfunctional origin story, trauma in your life. 

My oldest son Chay, is twelve. I get a sense of all this watching him, in contrast to my baby. How quick that time went. How quick it’ll go until he’s a man. He’s already sporting some peach fuzz on his upper lip. His voice is losing that awkward tween crack, and is starting to deepen into a man’s voice. I hear him sometimes and I don’t recognize it, thinking there’s a stranger in my house. He’s been taller than his Mom for some time, and he’ll likely be taller than me by the time he’s done growing. 

Everyday he become more my equal, more a friend than my child, and that brings with it its own challenges and realizations. We oriented our lives around our children, and humbly I think we have done a pretty great job. My children are exceptional. They always require a new evolution though. You have to change to keep up, just like they are changing.

As the primary parent, aka stay at home Dad, I have fallen into the trap of domesticity, that I was well aware before I entered it, thank you Sylvia Plath. That you would lose yourself in your children, in the routine of the domestic life, and that at some point like the housewives of the 50s, your children will leave and you will be left in a void of sorts. Frankly, I think this will be easier for me as a man, with my temperament and my inclinations, but still I’m not free from moments of depression and resentment that spring from that. 

I’m writing in my yurt, my new sanctuary. I started a YouTube channel this year, “In A Yurt With Books”. The yurt has been invaded by lady bugs. This bug invasion happens every year around this time, as the farmers bring in their fields. It seems to stir up all the bugs, sending them in a frenzy to find a new warm spot to live. They know what comes next too, and there’s nothing they can do about it either. They crawl up my leg and when I pick them off, they go super still and pull in all their legs, waiting to see what I’ll do. When I set them on the table next to me, they wait for a minute, a little popcorn kernel, so light, nothing, like the air, and then when the coast is clear their legs pop back out and they flutter away. 

Winter. When I was younger I loved Winter. I like how snow storms shut everything down, forced us to stay home, forced us into simpler ways, destroyed the mechanizations of civilized Babylonian man. But now as I approach my own Winter, the cold seems to hit harder, whispering that sooner or later I won’t like it too much. And isn’t it a waste, that you can’t do as much, travel and adventure. And wouldn’t it be nice to have an eternal summer, always warm, able to do whatever you wanted outside. But that’s not reality either.  

The routine of our home life can get especially repetitive in Winter. Homeschooling becomes a bore. Last year, November was spent climbing mountains and exploring Colorado. My wife Britney was pregnant, and it truly felt like we were cutting new grounds, and we were/are. There is no greater treasure for a man than a pregnant woman. There is something so beautiful in that, round and poignant, it defines your purpose as co-creator, protecter. Those moments laying in bed with her, my hand on that huge globe, feeling a future self rolling against my palm…

That’s the key to getting over the Fall and Winter, seeking novelty, adventure, but maturity makes you aware that you are eating your time up even faster with all that. A horrible catch twenty-two, either stay boring and routine and the time will pass a little slower but be a waste, or go for novelty and let time fly while you’re having fun. I’m firmly in the second camp. Climbing those mountains last year changed me, it brought me very close to my final form, and I am thankful for the person I have become. But there are times like last week, watching those leaves fall, filling my lungs deep with that delicious Fall air, that I would have given anything to make it stop right there, just freeze it, like a photo, stay there forever, walking with my family. 

Dispatch #2

.Batteries Not Included (1987), what an odd movie, it was a Hail Mary snatch as I packed for my stay in a place, which had no internet. The plot and story are insane, boring, borderline predictive programming, especially odd are the self-replicating nano bots thingies, which are never really explained. Nor is it explained how they could help save the old brick buildings, or is that even the point of their presence?  The buildings are being destroyed by low level mafia types, to get the tenets to leave, on behalf of an alluded to gentrification/development type money interest, which is also dropped quickly. 

The little steam punk multi-dimensional robots seemingly want to help society preserving the building/history , pouring the coffee, whirling around, delivering existential angst. The long haired Artist guy is dumped by his blond Madonna type girlfriend, who tells him to get with the times. The guy’s name is Mason.

The old world is falling away from them. They just accept the self replicating micro-tech as self evident, while crying in their crumbling apartment, ad infinitum. This is right along with a larger part of the written existential classics, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Dostoevsky’s The Stranger

The whole movie is one big “Reset Mythos” download, this drive to destroy a perfectly useable building, society.  Why were things, so hopeful, the Gilded Age, big money industrialists/developers, sanctified from on high, glorious early 20th century, with the radical surges in technology, electricity, globalization, but then also a complete forgetting and stalling out in the middle and end, misunderstanding and forgetting history, and the subsequent lost sense of self in that. The apartment descends into an Apocalypse.

I’ve been listening, watching the trial of Darrel Brooks. He is the guy who allegedly killed six people and wounded sixty-two others, at the Waukesha Christmas Parade in November, 2021, with his SUV. Brooks has decided to represent himself, despite vigorous appeals from the Court, that he utilize a public defender. 

He’s represented himself as a “Sovereign-Citizen” type, for example questioning the exact status, whereabouts of the Plaintiff of the case, trying to make some jurisdictional type of argument, that the Corporate State of Wisconsin, and its elected Judges and Courts etc. can’t be a Plaintiff, based on an understanding of that word. And apparently, the word “understanding”, is controversial to Mr. Brooks as well.  

The Defendant is evidently guilty, the Prosecuting Attorneys have videos, eye-witnesses accounts, moments before, one who allegedly had to dive out of the way of Brook’s SUV, the parade attack. The police capture him minutes after the attack. He looses one of his slides as he tries to flee the SUV in an alley, near the crime scene, a modern world Cinderella’s post-apocalyptic slipper. 

He was out on bail on another vehicular assault case, where he drove aggressively towards the same victim/witness. He is so obviously guilty, in my ignorant, Know-Nothing opinion, that one wonders why we have to do this charade in the first place? Cant it be, that it was all so simple babe? 

Back when things were all smooth and calm…back in 1987…everything was lovely– Rza Can it Be All So Simple

But in his herky-jerk way, he muddies the waters and for the briefest second, if you’re getting a coffee, it can seem, momentarily, to make a point. He belabors these arguments though, for instance about first two of the witnesses/victims of his assault having consumed alcohol that day, and this being a reason to question their credibility. In his over working this point, it begins to only lay bare, even worse, the obviousness of his own crimes, and his subsequent lack of credibility. You punched a drunk woman, and her courageous friend for standing up to you. Then went and murdered, injured and ruined hundred of people’s lives…you are now badgering this traumatized person on the record, grilling them with “ask and answered” questions to the point the Judge has to order you to move on…

He seems to not be registering the concept of proportionality. If the witness, the Mother of his fifteen year old child, loses credibility in proportion to her account, on how her eye was swollen, what she experienced, and how we come to have video of Mr. Brooks being physical with her and her friend, just because she had a drink, then how much more is his credibility in question, based on his actions?

Brooks pre-trial shenanigans were handled nicely by the Judge. Judge Jennifer Dorrow is the worst thing to happen to Mr. Brooks. He may have fared better with a more reactive judge. She has a supportive, not quite Motherly vibe, more an enduring feminine type of support for the Defendant.

The belief is he is setting grounds for future plays in the Appeals game.  The Court has gone out of its way to display patience and a willingness to assist Brooks in his Defense. While debating case law, the Judge confirms to the Defendant, who again doesn’t seem to be understanding, that his own work is ricocheting into him, with the case law cited, describing how a court is operating under its own discretion in maintaining decorum, and in handling unruly, disruptive Defendants. The two options in precedent, are being held in contempt, meaning just sit in jail as long as the Judge says so, or being bound and gagged during the entire prosecution and subsequent defense, a tough place for someone representing themselves. 

The Defendant Brooks is right to point out that it doesn’t set the precedent for the sophisticated audio, visual systems they now employ, but the Judge, under her powers, now makes new precedent. And it’ll fly in Appeals. The mute button and ample screens will serve as the modern gag, perfectly. Brooks was forced to use a large blue cue card which said “Objection” on it, from another room. Where in perfect Panopticonic effect, he is able to see everything relevant, and the spectators can see him, but there is no direct contact between the Court, the Jury, the Prosecutors and the Defendant, and us the social media audience. He got tired of holding it and held it up with the waist band of his orange jail pants for a while. He gave this up after a day.

The court reputedly pleads with Brooks to change into a suit he was previously wearing. He refuses it as some sort of protest, over not getting a Covid screening fast enough, and not getting treated for small cuts and bruises on his body. 

Jeremy Bentham Panopticon Prison

We can’t speculate on Brooks exact motive for this line of Defense. It’s a weird experience to recognize that he likely thinks, he has made some progress in his way, but he hasn’t. He’s playing the part of a amateurish lawyer. A mock trial level of court is good play for all, but the more he gets used to it and improves, the more he is held accountable to it. The Justice System is like an extraterrestrial symbiote suit in that way. This is what Brooks fails to grasp. Truth isn’t about being right or wrong factually, though thats the evidentiary football tossed about and counted, but it’s really about right or wrong morally. 

That to be truly intelligent, you have to be truly moral. And the truth you have to grapple with, defending yourself in multiple reckless homicide charges, will by its very nature strengthen your truth and morality muscles. Therefore, you will only condemn yourself even more as you grapple with it!

The other possibility is you are a true sociopath and it won’t matter in your case either. 

Fighting the court like this, is like boxing an old ring rat on your first day of training. He knows all the ways of the sport, the tricks and customs. Truth is a force and to fight against it, is to fight against nature itself. Brooks finds himself having to note to the court he is just learning, again not seeing that in a Truth-System this too cuts against him, because he denied counsel and the Judges instructions. His acknowledgment on record now, that he is learning the consequences, the causes and effects, of their recommendations and orders, builds against him… 

Later…5AM, about to go on morning mile run. Original Superman show playing in the background, episode titled “Jolly Rogers”, gang gets abducted by pirates.  While being forced to cover the dinghy in sand, Newsboy Jimmy Olsen says,   “Why you going to just cover it up with dirt, and then just have to clear it out again?” Everyone ignores him.

Another question, why is Lois always emasculating Clark Kent? He’s like 6”2, thick necked, calm, clearly in control of the situations. What power does this His Girl Friday, Hildy Johnson-clone, Lois Lane have over an Apollonian God? Why does he put up with it? Trauma? Isolation? The failure of self replicating nano-tech….