Mail Chimp

Friday, November 6, 2015

My eBooks are Free This Week

From the 5th to the 9th on Amazon. Download, and share the link, please.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Brianna checked the time on her wrist implant, still ashamed at her lack of proper display lenses. Forty-six minutes. She could do it in forty-three.

She stepped in front of the Irix reader, and after the briefest of pauses, heard the chime signaling acceptance. The hot iron door rose into the three second arc couriers were give to pass into the outside world.

As always, the heat and light were both pummeling and exhilarating. The antechamber was kept brightly lit in consideration of this, and the walls themselves radiated plenty of heat. But nothing that could prepare you for this.

Most had never experienced it, and never would. She liked being elite, even as she labored for a greater elite. In a way, she even pitied them. They would never know what it was like to face your own mortality, to survive by your own wits and abilities. To live.

Before the door had reached its pinnacle, she was off like a shot. Hot sand battered her face and cheap polarized eye protectors. The short notice, big ticket runs were always the roughest, with good reason. The flares were always so close by then that the weather was already being affected.

And this was going to be be a big storm, she could tell. But not by the service she was subbed to. Brianna could only afford the basic level, which only told couriers the arrival time (plus/minus one minute).

But after four years of running, she knew far more about the storms than any Information Officer. 7.4, maybe 7.6.

Everything on the surface was about to get fried.

At the first gulch, she instead hooked right and ran alongside it. As far as she knew, it was a route only she knew about. While the common path was clearly marked by the footsteps of countless couriers, to her knowledge, she was the only person who ever deviated.

When she had a trip with a comfortable cushion, she had struck out this way on a whim. At worst, she thought she would turn around and take the financial penalty for an undelivered message. What had actually happened was that she had found a way to shave five minutes off of her run.

The regular footpath down into the gulch was treacherous. Taking it at anything beyond walking speed would have been fool-hardy. The route back up the other side was at least as daunting, requiring two hands in several places. It added ten minutes to a forty minute run.

Brianna spotted the landmark she used, a rock outcropping that looked vaguely like a finger pointing the way. At the end of the gully, she dropped down on her ass and let he feet slip out in front of her.

The first time she had done it by accident. In an attempt to walk down the steep incline, she had slipped backwards and hit her head. She came to at the bottom of the ravine with her scalp bleeding, and her skin starting to sear from the coming solar storm.

But now she was prepared. She had even worn padding, making the slide down fun. She hit the ground running at the bottom, and came right back up the other side. She shook her wrist as she ran, and got a fix on her remaining time.

She was about one minute ahead of schedule. The pain in her chest was sharp, her exposed skin red. It occurred to her, casually, that a twisted ankle, a broken bone at this point would be fatal.


Brianna entered the zone, and within twenty minutes, the neighboring sister city began to grow on the horizon. Showboating, though she was her only audience, when she reached the long shadows of the edifice, she began to walk.

At the entrance, the door opened automatically. They were designed to keep people in, not out, of course. There was no one out there. It was only when she got inside that she checked the time again, and saw that she only had thirty seconds before it would have been sealed against the radiation influx.

The boarded the elevator that would take her to the level and sector her message was intended for. Her presence was announced, and the chamber door slide open silently.

Her eyes grew wide at the opulence. In stark contrast to the featureless concrete walls, the interior of the elite's living quarters always amazed her. This one was all gold and green tapestries, billowing window treatments (the windows were artificial), and lush, inviting rugs. Unlike the plebes, the elite used real candles instead of the synthetic electric ones.

She handed over the envelope (couriers weren't allowed to speak to clients), and felt the buzz that indicated she had been paid.

The woman opened it, smiled, and wrote a brief reply. She remoistened the point of the envelope and gave it back. Then she turned and walked back into her home without acknowledgement.

Back at the foyer, the display indicated that he current storm would pass in another hour and ten minutes. Time to take a nap.

Brianna contemplated the envelope in her hands. What could be so important as to justify the exorbitant expense? Not to mention risking someone's life.

She turned it over and noticed that it wasn't sealed...

Although the room was empty, and there were no cameras save for the eye scanner, she looked around nervously. She had to look.

She pulled the card out, and on it was a printed message of a single word.


Written below it was the woman's reply.


Monday, October 19, 2015

How to Ebay

So, as someone who does a fair amount of eBaying, a few
observations. There are ways to make money, if you're into that.
1. Large lots. Find what you specialize in, know about, can value, like, think you can sell, something. It almost doesn't matter what. Then, obviously, check the unit price. I've found, say, 12 Mcfarlane Dorothy figures for, I dunno, $125. I can sell them all day long for $35 plus shipping. Most of them were going for around $45.
2. Mixed lots. For what I fool with, classic game carts, mixed lots can be a real boon. Most people collect for a few systems at best. So there might be a cart or three in there they want, but not enough to buy a bunch of stuff they don't want. Because they're not resellers. So I got nearly forty carts for $50. Three of them alone, for the Tandy Color Computer, a system I don't collect for, are worth $30-$40, together. Granted, this might not apply to any field out there, but it certainly works in my case.
3. Lowball. I find that it doesn't hurt to just bid the minimum, or a few dollars more than that, on a lot of stuff. You won't get all of it, but you definitely will get some of it, and always at a great price. It's pretty low to no risk.
4. For non-video game stuff, I know a woman who, among other things, does extreme low-balling. She finds all the auctions that are ending where the people miscalculated, and started with, say, an opening bid of a penny, and free shipping... She doesn't get everything she bids on, but she can make $100 stretch a LONG way, a penny at a time. Then she resells it for whatever in her flea market shop. And they actually lose money in the process. Oh, well.
5. Get a store. It's less than $20 a month. Plan on keeping it forever, expense-wise. But I think you can sell 100 items from the basic store. You should be able to make at least that much from sales in a month, or you're simply not trying. But it is slow to build traffic, which is why the sooner you start building a presence, the better.
Anyway, I got an unopened case of Colecovision River Raid carts, and shrink-wrapped Gremlins for the Apple 2. Holla.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ouch. Be careful with the number of digits in the price when you're goofing around with trading crypto. I've been making a little churn with Reddcoin by sheer volume, and its predictable patterns.

So the price was .000000004 (I believe. Not counting zeroes.), I put in a little sell order. 15,000,000 Reddcoin, for .000000049 or something like that, and boom.

It rounded to .00000004 and they all instantly sold. I don't think it wiped out everything I'd made with it, but I could have made 25%, obviously, if I had set it to a proper price, like .00000005

Meh. Live and learn. So I've got another order in for 30,000,000 at .00000003. But it goes to show you, a coin with very little actual monetary (Bitcoin) value can make you money.

And, Reddcoin, as I've talked up before, occupies a unique slot in the cryptocoin pantheon. It's what's used on the site Reddit to tip other users and contributors, etc.

So it has a real baseline. Almost so cheap as to be valueless, but it's probably been going from .000000003 to .0000007 or whatever for...a year? Years?

Worst case scenario, Reddit dismantles the tipping system, and the price collapses to zero. Bad news if you're trying to make money off of volume, and get caught with your knickers down.

On the other hand, it could conceivably go up in volume, if Reddit continues to grow. Or even take off in a big way, if we're into being pie-eyed optimistics.  (Protip: Never be optimistic.)

So, if you're holding, (heh),  and it creeps up past your ordinary sell price, you might not want to profit take right away.

Not that I think it's going to go up significantly at any time in the near future. But nor do I think it's going anywhere. Even if it's not widely adopted and used, it costs almost nothing to maintain the already written code. In fact, one could safely assume that the owners of Reddit are heavily vested in Reddcoin themselves, and would lose money if they discontinued its use.

So, what the hell. There's money to be made on these little pissant cryptocoins that are ultimately destined to fail, for the most part. Treat it like gambling at, and just go all in every time.

In other words, flip everything you make from churn back into buying more on the next round. Much like compound interest, the growth is, I believe, exponential.

That's a good thing when it comes to making money, I suspect.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Too Long For Facebook

If it wasn't for the color of law, they'd be some dead ass muhfukkasz.

How's that for shit-stirring? I should start a database of cop names and information. Seems completely legal, but, oh, the implications and ramifications. I'd have to move into an empty concrete bunker.

I'm fine with that. As long as people Sirius Cybernetics Corporation the shit out of them if it ever goes down.

Thinking about it, it's "legal" for them to investigate us in any number of ways. If we, as citizens (dutiful citizens, say I), attempted to investigate their lives, it would be deemed illegal. But i'd like to see a lot more cops lose their jobs and go to prison, for sure. There's gotta be ways to make it happen.

G. Gordon Liddy is God. At least he is if you read his autobiography. He says that while in the DC prison, he obtained a linesman's handset, That's the telephone receiver (the thing you talk into) connected to a pair of wires with alligator clips.

With analog phones, you can just physically tap into the line and listen. So, he started setting the guards up, letting them know what other guard their wife was sleeping with, etc. Using insider information to cause chaos.

But there will always be hundreds of thousands of people in line to be police officers. There's really not much better than that for a psychopath. In fact, what the ultrarich do along those line, they have to do in secret. Not cops. They can just beat the shit out of you or kill you with impunity. In broad daylight. With cameras running. Even though you're innocent.

All I'm really saying is that they should be held accountable to the same laws we are.That's not asking for much, is it? They're also bankrupting cities and counties around the map. Making cops carry their own personal liability insurance would solve most problems overnight.

(Meh. I was blabbing away on Facebook to no one in particular, and thought, why not start putting crap like this on my mostly dead blog? So, not really read or edited. I honestly don't care very much.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Author's note: Some of the beings in this story communicate via high level symbols, mathematical jokes, and other esoteric forms. All anthropomorphisms are entirely mine, and should not be construed as accurate.

I went in. DMT is really hard to talk about. How can you explain the unexplainable? The experience is entirely other-dimensional and often non-verbal. A lot of times, it's telepathy. There's no time, no physicality. Everything we know as humans is grounded in our own reality. So we're forced to explain things as best we can, using terms that are for the most part inapplicable. If we should even be discussing them at all. But what the heck. I'll give it a shot.

I took the third hit, the breakthrough hit, and the room began to transform. Color intensified as if someone had cranked the gain on a television set. The edges of everything became more sharply defined. The world suddenly became more detailed. And dirty-looking. But that's pretty common on psychedelics.

Then everything resolved to polygons. This is what made begin to take simulation theory seriously. Later events only solidified these initial impressions.

My own pet theory in regard to that is that we're not necessarily in a digital simulation. I suspect the universe might be a sort of organic internet, and DMT hacks our own analog computers, our brains, removing the blinders that keep us from seeing the whole of reality.

Digital and analog are just concepts that constrain our thinking, as is the concept of simulations themselves. All I know is that there's more to reality than we can perceive, or even conceive.

So, after the images intensified, things began to change. The ceiling and walls took on the qualities of jewels and precious metals. The utilitarian berber carpet started to look more like an intricate Persian rug. A magic carpet, even.

The trip might have ended there. Beautiful, compelling. But ultimately superficial. By then, I was immobilized with wonder. Luckily, I had a plan. My beautiful and loving girlfriend was there as my babysitter. When she saw me drop the pipe, she administered the last hit to me herself. A pretty big one at that.
I closed my eyes and saw the chrysanthemum. 

God, it's beautiful. It's a mandala of geometric shapes in every possible color. Sort of like the world's biggest kaleidoscope, but far more complex. I could stare at it for hours. But it represents the membrane you must pass through. I had become a creature of pure thought. I took as much of it in as I could and plunged forward.

I heard the crinkling. It sounds like the world as we know it being discarded as a frustrated writer would throw away a bad draft. Then I experienced something akin to light speed, and I was in the cathedral. It makes the chrysanthemum look like a finger-painted portrait by comparison. Breathtaking. Not that you breathe on the other side.

We call it the cathedral, but it's also bizarre. It's sort of a bazaar as well. Like a trans-dimensional Grand Central Station. Sort of a domed structure, impossibly huge, and made of, well, stained glass is the closest thing I can use to describe it, but more than mere glass.

Something entered me.

Not physically, of course. I had no body. But in the same sense that I had passed through a doorway, I had become one myself. I wasn't alarmed. Just another aspect of the experience. In all of my journeys, I have never experienced the least amount of malevolence. Not that it never happens, of course.

When I felt this entity enter me, I heard it say, “I'm going in.”
The sensation was brief, and not somewhat disturbing. I got the distinct impression that I was being used as a gateway or a portal in the same sense that DMT acted as one for me.

No big deal. I'm used to a certain amount of curiosity when I arrive. I've felt things enter me, and worse. Sometimes they make...changes. Very casually, much as you or I would adjust a painting or a vase of flowers. In fact, I credit these others with helping me to quit smoking.

So I paid this no more attention than a giant waterslide would its riders. There was too much going on at one time, anyway. Which is a funny concept. Time, I mean. When you're there, you're acutely aware that time as a concept is meaningless. Time dissolves into the ever-present now.

At the same, uh, time (see how hard it is to discard that concept?), the clock in your head ticks on as always. You're in the most wondrous place in the universe, and you keep thinking, “How much time do I have left? Four more minutes? Five?”

It's a very incongruous thought process. I try not to sully that place with emotions, particularly negative ones, but I can't break my connection with time entirely. Can you even imagine a place without time or dimensions? I suspect you can't.

In a bigger sense, all the time is there, and more than our three or four dimensions, as well. As I've said, it's hard to explain. I get the impression that that's what the DMT elves do there, among other things. They manipulate time. Or, rather, they manipulate objects within time, often leading to what we consider coincidences.

I think they do this out of some sense of purpose we can't discern. At the same time, they appear to love what they do. When I encounter their work back on Earth, I can't help but grin at the thought of some magical inter-dimensional elf placing some item in my path so as to create an amusing situation.

It's a long way to go for a joke, which is why I suspect there is more to it than there appears to be upon cursory examination. I do wish I understood their purposes. For whatever reason, questions of that nature are discouraged, there.
“You are,” they often say. “Be, do.”

Which should be enough for most people. For travelers such as myself, it's a little suspicious and unnerving. I mean, hear I am in the presence of these other-worldly beings with access to more knowledge than we can hope to comprehend, and they discourage asking questions. It's sort of an affront to them that you would spend your visit interrogating them instead of just being there and experiencing it. So I'm patient. I'm pretty sure I'll have all the answers eventually.

The dimensionality is also hard to grasp. There are directions, forward, up, etc. but there is no real fixed point of reference. We all seem to gather on the same plane, often vaguely humanoid, upright in the same direction, out of convenience. Etiquette, even.

I've been there enough to know it's really more akin to cyberspace. I just don't seem to have the same amount of control they do. There's no doubt to me that they could assume any angle or elevation they chose to. More than that, I'm also pretty sure that they can chose whatever appearance they want. Everything you encounter is sentient.

So after that thing that passed through me or whatever happened, I saw my buddies. The brothers, I call them. Each of my eight visits, save for one, included an encounter with them. They're artists, really. You might even call them hipsters.

Unlike the elves, they don't see to have a strong sense of purpose. That's probably a faulty perception on my part. But they behave a bit like traveling entertainers. I'd say minstrels, but they don't sing. Cosmic jugglers is the most apt description I can come up with. In appearance, they remind me of characters from a Rene Magritte painting.

The show me the most amazing things, as casually as you or I would point out something mundane. Even so, I get the sense that they realize they are blowing my mind. And they constantly try and one-up each other.

One would say (think), “Watch this,” and toss the arc of a rainbow from palm to palm.

“Watch this,” the other would say, and our little solar system would orbit his head.

“Watch this,” and in his palm, a thunderstorm.

The ultimate moment for me was when one of them crumpled up three-dimension reality like a piece of paper and tossed it over his shoulder. Even his companion seemed impressed with that move.

I started to hear the rushing sound that indicated I would be leaving soon. My two performance art buddies tipped their hats to me as a farewell.

As always, I hated to go. Not that I had a choice. I didn't feel sad, as such. I carry that sense of wonder with me always. I also know that I'll be back. Via DMT, but I'm also convinced that it's the afterlife as promised by various religions. And it's better than we can imagine.

What made me write this, though, is what happened at the last few moments before I returned home.

I felt the entity whose presence I had detected earlier, this time moving in the opposite direction. Their voices faded out as I left, but I heard them talking to each other.

“What was it like?”
“Only three dimensions. Linear time. Fixed reference points. Physicality.”
“That's crazy.”
“It was...”

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Just to let you know
I still love you
I love someone more
Because she
Loves me

Friday, September 5, 2014

She Speaks To Me On The Wind

She speaks to me on the wind
If I listen closely
That red-headed, freckle-faced girl I once knew
It's the only way I can hear her, now
Little girl
Of life's harshest lessons

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Future Past

Howard was going mad, he was sure of it. Of late, each time he sought the solace of sleep, he awoke terrorized, drenched in sweat, trembling. These were no ordinary nightmares, he felt. Quite often, he was unable to allow himself to return to slumber, the visions frightened him so.

His wife offered little consolation.

“Try some warm milk, dear,” she would opine. He spared her the grisly details, lest she too become affected.

Subsequently, he occupied two hells, a waking one, and a dreaming one. The conscious one, in which he was perpetually tired and cross, was still infinitely preferable to what lay beyond the wall of sleep.

En route to work each day, he found himself intensely annoyed by the presence of a multitude of filthy foreigners, and began to imagine a connection. Perhaps it was voodoo being practiced upon him. He had no proof, but this seemed most likely. Arcane black magic conducted by the never-ending stream of newcomers to his once proud neighborhood.

After weeks of distress, he sought out the opinion of a psychiatrist. In secret, of course. Psychiatry struck him as the white equivalent of voodoo, at some base level of thought. But it was here that he began to unburden himself. It was here that the madness touched his soul in full.

He saw a future world occupied by gigantic sentient beetles, humanity no longer extant. A desert mad man enacting dark rituals. A breech in the fabric of time and space that resulted in a flood of indescribable creatures issuing forth to creak a havok heretofore unthinkable.

But most of all he saw...It. Chanting men in robes, undoubtedly foreigners, summoning a great beast from beyond the dimensions we can perceive. An entity so foul and alien, it was entirely without motivation as we understood it. To look upon it, to feel its thoughts radiating outward, a rapid blast of unknowable symbols, was to lose your humanity. The creature didn't feel hate toward us, or even contempt. It simply destroyed without emotion, as though its very nature was death.

And it had a name. Cthulu.

This is what frightened Howard the most, lending it the air of truth. Never a creative man, he felt it impossible that such in-depth realism could be the creation of his own tired mind. He might ascribe it to the very powers of Hell themselves, except this alternate reality seemed to dwarf Christian Hell in terms of horror. In fact, it made the very idea seem comforting.

He longed to die and vanquish his suffering. To end it all before his visions of the future began to come true, as he surely knew they would.

Putting these things into words for the doctor did, in some small way, comfort him. They made his somewhat abstract thoughts concrete, thus painting them with the brush of reality. He realized that he was, to his relief, not going mad, as such. In fact, he felt he was to be commended for dealing with the enormity of the situation as well as he had. Lesser men would have crumbled, collapsed, begging for the safety of the asylum.

The uncomprehending doctor of the mind prescribed him an opiate sedative.

“No dreams with this stuff, no sir. You'll sleep the sleep of the dead.”

If only he could trust death to be without dreams.

Howard walked home, deaf to his wife's inquiries, and sat at his desk, putting pencil to paper for the first time in response to his situation, and began to write.

Somewhere in a future time, members of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society posted endless pictures of Cthulu to Facebook, transmitting them to the past.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Using Musical Themes In Your Writing

Long before I got serious, um, serious-ish, about writing, I was a musician. And before I was a musician, I was a music fan. Consequently, I find my writing infused with musical themes, on various levels.

I have always been struck by Stephen's King's work ethic. Write ten pages a day, he points out, and you'll have a novel every two months or so. I don't work like that. But he has also stated that he loves to blast music while he writes, often metal or classic rock. The Talisman, for example, has an extended sequence during which he listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival's “Run Through The Jungle” as he wrote, and it seems to have had a noticeable influence. The text doesn't give it away, but when you learn about that and read it, wow. He sort of transcribed music into prose.

I also don't do that. I tend to write in silence. But at the same time, my books are usually not too removed from the world of music. I've done that in several different ways, now that I think about it.

Least often, I just write about music. In Pageburner, Paige attends a Bad Brains concert in New Orleans. This afforded me an opportunity to talk about one of the best concerts I have ever attended, while at the same time, driving both the plot and character development.

But music is also a part of Paige's life. She listens to The Cure at home alone, wallowing in self-pity. Her friend Bryce sends her MP3s of his nerd raps. When she goes clubbing, it's retro night, where she gets down to Lords of Acid and other bands that invoke feelings of nostalgia in her. I think these details add an air of realism. Consider how many novels you've read in which no one ever listens to music at all.

On a slightly more sneaky level, I interjected bits of old school rap lyrics into the text itself. It's seriously understated, but if you have a depth of knowledge about that genre, you'll encounter little phrases throughout the book that might make you smile. It's sort of a secret club. I'm not sure if any such fans have read that one, but still. It's nice to know they're there, just in case.

At other times, I have used a song as the basis for an entire novel. Radar Love is sort of an expanded telling of 'Life in the Fast Lane' by The Eagles. I'm not even sure how that happened, but I use snatches of verse to introduce chapters, and there's an amazing correlation there, however unintentional. This is sort of the main theme, but there are also leitmotifs that support the overall arrangement. One of my favorite parts involves Don Henley himself, actually. I'm pretty proud of the way that one worked out. I really need to get a copy to him so he can sue me or whatever.

Hurricane Regina can be said to be my Bjork novel. The character herself is named for The Sugarcubes' song 'Regina', and there is the additional use of a Sugarcubes song in the course of the romance that develops as the story progresses. Rapture is a location in the book which comes directly from that lyric. A record store in Iceland, in fact, sets the stage for a pivotal scene, which was originally the ending. It turned out to be the mid-point of the story, and I'm glad I pushed on. And if you're really paying attention, Bjork herself makes a tiny cameo appearance.

One of my later, unfinished-as-of-yet experiments is a retro piece set in the 80s thrash metal era. Chapter one is purely Mercyful Fate's 'Don't Break The Oath', and I think I listened to that album twenty times in between writing that single chapter alone. The music helps to define the character of the female protagonist, and also serves as a friction point between her and her ostensible love interest.

Perfect Me has a few nods to comedic genius Rappy McRapperson (the character President Gorlax), and my own former metal band, Gortician, which has evolved into a planet and a race of people. The sequel, Cure for Sanity, takes a slightly more serious approach in a sub-plot, which involves some lyrics invoking nasty Lovecraftian beasts from beyond.

I guess this is an extension of 'Write what you know', or perhaps, 'Write what you love'. I think music can be an effective shorthand in conveying certain feelings, and finding a common ground between author and reader. There is a danger, I suppose, in placing too much burden on such devices, and having the meaning lost on readers who don't know what you're referring to. But I strive to find a balance that doesn't make the story dependent on them, but instead uses them as enhancements.

Do you have a favorite piece of music that invokes feelings within you? Explore it in your work. Properly employed, they can add a rich layer of meaning to your writing. At worst, you might get a cease and desist letter from The Eagles. Win/win, I say.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Crypto Everywhere

I am reminded daily that most people have no idea of what cryptocurrency is, or why it matters. By now, you may have heard of Bitcoin, the leading crypto. But even that is questionable, and chances are you don't know what it is, if you have heard about it at all.

I didn't write this to explain crypto to you. But in a nutshell, it's a new form of currency, electronic in nature, and anonymous. It is basically credits that you can purchase with paper money, and spend online, or later convert back to paper money. But it can also be 'mined', or earned for performing tasks. It also works well for tipping and micro-transactions. 

It can increase or decrease in value based on things like availability and demand, which can be quite nice. There's a lot to like about cryptocurrency. But whether you like it or not, it's here to stay, and will only gain more prominence. 


Well, it's incredibly bloody useful. Beyond that, it's about to become the de facto for things like 'Coke Reward Points' and frequent flyer miles. But it's really about branding.

When Coke realizes it can create CokeCoin out of thin air, for an investment of a few million, it is going to do it. Everyone will, at some point in the future, have their own currency. Corporations, universities. Yes, even people. Each currency will have a value assigned to it that is derived at least in part based on reputation. A dollar from Joe might be more valuable than a dollar from Bob.

Don't worry. All of this stuff will be handled invisibly, for the most part. If I want to buy from you, but you only accept Flappycoin, and I only have Dogecoins, we'll just go through an exchange without either of us having to do anything.  

My point is that the prevalence of cryptocurrencies is only going to increase. I can easily imagine it exploding in a way most people can't imagine right now, as is often the case with new technologies. Get ready. Or not. Meh. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Has the Online Conspiracy Scene Been Co-Opted?

Of course it has. Anyone familiar with, say, Mockingbird, knows that this is just as logical as the feds co-opting the media. And that's common knowledge, for those who think. See, for example, the CIA's office at CNN, or Anderson Cooper's admitted CIA ties.

This has been sort of a hobby of mine since before the Internet. I used to study every book on the JFK assassination that I could get my hand on. And early Internet conspiracy research was a vast, fascinating wonderland. There was a lot of wide-eyed alien and UFO-related crap, but there were also fabulously fascinating things about things like Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, AIDS, etc. You had to be discerning when reading these things, and have the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Looking at the Internet now, it's pretty obvious that, while there is an even larger community now, the entire scene is pretty heavily controlled from within. Ain't that some shit?

Want some examples?

85% of the entire online conspiracy scene is Alex Jones. He runs Prison and, with millions of hits each month. Alex Jones is a bit of a Chicken Little, using his pulpit for fear-mongering, and often urging people to violent revolution. A bit like the FBI-backed racist Hal Turner. Furthermore, Alex Jones has admitted that half of his family are CIA connected. Curiously, Alex Jones avoids any discussion of Zionism in regard to world affairs. Odd, that, when it's a big part of normal N.W.O. discussions. is another long-time conspiracy site. It's a real mixed bag, with lots of UFO stuff mixed in with virulently racist articles, making it easy for many to dismiss any valid stories they might happen to publish.

Michael Rivero's is a pretty good link aggregator. It mainly assembles news stories from around the world, both mainstream and underground. It does often veer into vaguely anti-Semitic rhetoric at times. But there's another curious quirk at work here. Michael Rivero insists that a 767 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, despite zero evidence, and a ton of evidence indicating the opposite.

Then there are the message board sites. and seem to be the biggest around. Having studied them in depth recently, I noticed a few odd things about them as well.

Above Top Secret recently hosted an "Ask Me Anything" with Lt. Col. Michael Aquino. As many long-time researchers know, Satanist/Setian Aquino was tied to the Presidio and McMartin-Buckey child sex scandal. Curiously, this subject is never raised in the AMA... Just wow. The majority of the posters seem to be doing damage control for the government.

Something else that was very telling was the reaction on ATS and GLP when the congressional stenographer made a remark about Freemasonry and Godlessness. While you would think conspiracy sites would be all over this, instead, she was mainly mocked as a Christian, and Freemasonry was defended. This even extends to Alex Jones' site, which called her diatribe "bizarre". Really, Alex? This is the bread and butter of conspiracy theory.

I think that collectively, these sites are both a pressure valve, providing entertainment for the conspiracy set, and a great place to introduce disinformation. And the huge amount of scare-mongering that never seems to actually come true tends to taint all information on the sites, valid or not. It's also a great way to collect info on every anti-government activist in the U.S.

Conspiracy theory used to be an exercise in intellectualism. Since the scene has grown, the overall quality of the research has declined. Even conspiracy theory is a conspiracy, and I think that's awesome.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nerdapalooza Quest 2013 - Album Review

I am not giving you the backstory on nerdcore here. B-Type is a rapper and producer from the UK who wants to perform at this big nerdcore show in Orlando, FL, so he's released this "pay what you want" compilation album to help pay for it. A noble gesture, and one he hopes you'll return.

There are thirty tracks, many of them quite good. I'm just going to mention some of them.

The first, appropriately enough, is by B-Type himself, "Party Robot". And, oh, yeah, B is a British MC. I sort of forgot about that somehow. I don't really dig British MCs. I never even listened to The Streets. I like that sort of thing best in small doses, like on The Shamen's albums. But, to his credit, what he does is pretty listenable, and also nicely nerdy. The track itself is classic nerdcore, instrumentally, and sets the tone for the rest of the compilation.

Next up is The Great Divide, by Dual Core. I love the instrumental, which is a slow dubsteppy track. Intense The MCing is sort of frantic but cool. The whole thing is utterly dominated by the instrumental, though, and that's not too bad, in this case. Cause I love the instrumental. I'm not "down" with the latest "lingo", but I think this officially makes DJ Roborob a "beast".

"Digital Nightmares" by Equivox is pretty amazing. I guess this qualifies as chiptunes? It's an instrumental that would be a great soundtrack for an R-Type style shooter, preferably on the Amiga. But to call it mere videogame soundtrack music is to do it a huge disservice. It's actually more like a video game itself, if that makes any sense. The music actually does a great job of making you actually see the game in question. While the graphics are supplied by you, the actions of the game are well described by the music. There is simulated laser fire and explosions. Not sounds effects, but the music implies such things. So it's overall subtle and compelling. They're really packing a lot into a three-minute instrumental, conceptually. Bravo. 

Breakbeat Heartbeat 's "Breath" is a slower, non-techno instrumental. It's vaguely Asian in feel. A bit repetitive  but it did make for nice background music as I wrote the previous review. Excellent video game music, though.
"Palette" by Skin Walker comes pretty hard. Very Octomed/Tracker in feel, it's bouncy and varied. The bridge is wild. I really like this track. It's hardcore. I could dance to this, but people might get hurt.
SK8BIT - "Thats What You Get" (Paramore Remix). Couldn't do it. Not a fan of Paramore, and I couldn't listen to enough of it to say anything about the instrumetal aspect of it, and I never heard the original, so I can't comment on the remix aspect. Great if you like upbeat, female vocals in your techno. Just not my thing.
Superpowerless - "My Dinosaur". Ha! I've got this bastard now. Oliver is one of these scene cats that just makes everyone sick. Everything he touches is golden. He's made some insanely good tracks, is immensely popular, by most accounts good-looking, a phenominal artist and humorist with an ever-growing following. And I think he dated fanatical? We all love him so much we hate him. Yes, I can speak for everyone, here. That's why I am ELATED to say I don't like this track very much. Fuck. That's what I was going to write. But I'm listening to it again because I need to write this review. And it's grown on me. It'd be perfect on college radio. Hell, it would make a good intro to cartoon on PBS. Bah, you bastard, Oliver. You have a weak point, somewhere. I'll find it. A perfect example of someone who would have been snapped up by a label back in the days when there were record labels.

On the other hand, I wanted to like Ham-Star's "Moral Turpitude" more than I did. Of course, it's a sort of niggling complaint I have with it, anyway. I don't mind the somewhat tinny backing track. This is kind of like a white kid "Nature of the Threat", in feel and conceptually, to a lesser degree. The flow is cool, the lyrics are an example of Ham-Star's command of the lsnguage. I like what he's saying, furthermore. I just don't think the track got as extrene as it could have. He even makes note of this in one of the last verses. Since it's all about moral outrageous of the past, it feels a bit like preaching to the converted. I'd like to have had it tackle controversial issues of today, as well, for maximum impact. I would almost compare this to Consolidated, except it's not whiny and annoying. 

8bit Duane - "Party In Space" (feat. Shammers and B​-​Type) is great. It's just a fun party track, and the backing instrumental is sort of subdued. A lot of clever lyrics.

And that's just a few of the whopping 30 tracks included. This is a great compilation, especially if you're not a nerdcore snob and also like non-hip-hop nerd music. I gotta hand it to B-Type for helping to keep the nerd music scene alive. 

I should also mention that Torrentz, a crew in part also from the UK, are trying to get to NPLZA, and have a compilation effort of their own, toward the same end. My man Milk Plus.

Best of luck to all involved. Nerdapalooza looks to be massive this year.