Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Net Assholes and the Nuclear Option

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

This is a supplementary response to the article 5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet by David Wong from Cracked.com.

The source alone would be the equivalent of Mark Hamill’s Joker finding that the Batman is just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and Daddy. “I’d laugh if it weren’t so pathetic!”

It should be more telling than it feels when a humor site is more insightful than most more respectful internet sites out there.  Which just comes to show how widespread trolling has spread.  You don’t have to look long to find examples of this.  You type ‘encyclopedia’ on Google, and the first suggestion (and until recently, the first site on many searches of names including my won) would be the infamous troll site Encyclopedia Dramatica.  The Random board on picture site 4chan can totally screw someone over if they can get enough yucks out of it.  Just ask the parents of Michael Henderson, Lori Drew, or any Scientologist.  The creme da la creme on troll behavior has to deal with Jeneane Garofalo when she called everyone who attended any Tax Protest party people who get their jollies out of putting someone’s scrotum in their mouths.  I guess we should thank her for not calling us “Faggots” as well, like she likes calling people when she cruises the net under anonymity.

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And the way the left use the label “Racist” all the time, they would probably switch to “fucktard” and probably be just as effective these days.

And you don’t have to use Fifth Grade style vocabulary to show this dynamic.  There’s plenty of web comic forums where the users just rag on the artist, rag on the artist, rag on the artist, and eventually by the constant ragging even the thickest of skins just get grounded raw.  It’s because of this a plenty of would be web comics lose heart in their projects and even their skills and talents.  I think that’s what happened to me with the Decade of Failure I had.

This is one of my choice topics that I watch over, the trend on real life troll activity and how to combat them.  Granted, you had dicks before, but their online actions were far worse these days than they were before the WTC attacks.  My theory is that the mainstream media and the elitists in Big Government and Business trolled down the reconnectiveness most of us went through after the attacks (the dynamic that the 9-12 project wants to recover) and the tendency to see another person—either across the country or across town or in come cases across the fucking room) and not see him or her as a fellow countryman or even a person for that matter.  And they turn on that person with vitriol that could rival anyone with Bush Derangement Syndrome, or can I say that the Shrub would have been gotten off easy in comparison?  (Chris-chan.  Enough Said.)

“I can’t tell you who I am, but I have to tell you—” [CLICK] [BLOCK]

An actual online conversation I had.  (I do not converse with anyone without a working identity, even if it is an alias.)

By far the best thing to do with trolls is not to address them directly; that never ends well for you, but to have your own little corner of the world and keep the trolls away from it.  That means using your own web site instead of social networking sites, stomping flames flat the instant they come on your web browser, and never going anywhere where people are acting like total dicks.  Go ahead and lurk at forums and comment lines, and all that, but if the comments start reminding you of /b/, bail out like Ba Rock at an Auto Show.  (I’m not the only one who says this, Bill O’Riley has a more general—and real life—version of this in “Who’s Looking Out For You?”

(Note:  Yeah, yeah, I know you’re not supposed to talk about /b/, but I can’t find of a better yardstick to measure dick activities by.)

Back to the Cracked.com article.  David Wong lists a whole lot of actions people can take to deal with Net Assholes.  Some would be more effective than others.  A true troll will listen to his remarks recited by Microsoft Anna and masturbate to her voice.  Filters and real-time bleepers can only go so far.  Not everyone has a cadre of moderators at the ready to deal with flames 24-7, but they’re quite effective, and having the forum users police themselves with the Karma system makes a fine alternative.  (People do care about those stuff.)

Why do I feel like stripping off a troll’s vowels to make him look totally retarded on the screen is going to end in tears?

By far the best way of keeping the trolls away would be to create an online environment where they’re just not welcome.  Most of the time, it’s requiring them to put a screen name with an e-mail address that they’re actually going to use.  Like what I said above.  If you’re going to talk to me, use an identity I can reference, even if it’s a fake one.  If a user comes on with an e-mail that just bounces back to me when I verify it, it’s going straight into my banfile, do not pass Go.  This might make me feel like there’s tumbleweeds in my forums, but at least not every response I get to everything I do online would be abrasive.  And SomethingAwful really did themselves a service by requiring people to pay to register, although financially putting them out of the reach of trolls who won’t pay for their fapping material would be a bit much.

A lot much, on the other hand, is what was in the bottom of the list, at the Number One way to deal with trolls:  Make Anonymous Internet Use illegal by law.

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Folks, this is the online world’s version of the Nuclear Option, a real life Superpowers Registration Act.

Oh, sure, they’ll try it.  Nothing like Big Government and Big Businesses to get together and show the little guys how to effectively screw somebody.  Not only is it going to be trampling on someone’s right to free speech, but this said act will be open for abuse.  And the RIAA and MPAA would just love to be able to track down anyone they think is downloading anything.  To me it’s just about as difficult, if not more so, for this to go through than bi-partisan Health Care Reform.  You’ll see a mass of people in Gothic Lolita outfits and Code Name V masks on the National Mall, it’ll be sizzled over the media and the internet, and you can bet that the real trolls will make it their lives work to make the lives of any proponent of such legislation a living hell.  They’ve done it before.

But the thing that got me worried is that, something like that might actually be attempted in today’s congress.  Especially if they do pass Health Reform.  And there’s no guarantee that having the Republicans take over congress in 2010 is going to keep it at bay.  They come for the cigarettes, the cars, the food, and now your right to exist.  (You’re on your hands and needs begging for your worthiness and only hearing masturbation noises regardless of it’s an Insurance Company or a Death Panel.)  Your right of Anonymous Internet use, something which can be considered a First Amendment issue, might be next.

You’ll know where I’ll be.

“Treat each other with kindness, fairness, and friendliness; because the world outside and life in general has a tendency of not being kind, fair, or friendly.  Any person’s lives is hard enough without you adding to it.”  Eric Krockett, a future BAM story.

If the people online would consider each other as actual human beings and don’t think of them as less of a person just because you don’t know them, we would never have to think of what I’ve just talked about.  The best way to keep both the trolls and the government out of our lives is to be connected to each other.  Or at the least, not treat each other like shit.  Cracked.com has many an article on this, and if I have my way, so will the 9-12 project.

Why can’t America have all the Good Cartoons.

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I have weird tastes in animation and movies, at least to the 9-12 crowd.  You all know I’m looking out for shows that would show what Disney would look like if it was made like Adult Swim. We’re talking the kind of show people would watch when they’ve outgrown Power Rangers and Jetix. I’ve found one in, of all places, China. If you liked Kung Fu Panda and knows the Chinese Language, then you’ll love this series called "Hong Mao and Lan Tu," or translated "Red Cat and Blue Rabbit," from Hunan Greatdreams [link] . An animation company that can give Disney a run for its money [link] .  Say all you’d like about that country’s government and export goods that just gather dust at dollar stores’ as long as China supplies me with tasty dishes and fireworks and puts out a translated version of this series, I won’t bitch to them one iota!

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May I introduce you to Hong Mao, or as I prefer to call him Red Cat.  (Please ignore the tag of Homer in some of these pics:)

(In all honestly, folks, what would me and Blood and Metal’s intended audience would think if we heard of the name ‘Homer?’  Hmmmmm. Lo Mein.)

A friend of mine, Ivan Mayne, got me interested in a Chinese animated series titled ‘Red Cat and Blue Rabbit’s Seven Knights" (虹猫蓝兔七侠传) by Hunan GreatDreams.  Not only was I fascinated by the quality of the work, but the style appealed me greatly.  I wanted to make a cartoon that can be described as "Disney Magic, Fox Attitude," and this series hits the mark exactly.  Think of a classic Saturday Morning Cartoon or something from Disney, Warner Brothers, or Hanna-Barberra, and crank the settings up to Adult Swim levels.  But you don’t have to believe what I said; check out the series for yourself.

  1. Series One:  http://www.youku.com/playlist_show/id_197709.html
  2. Series Two:  http://v.ku6.com/special/index_2509290.html
  3. And the reason I’m posting this, The Brand New Series Three:  http://www.tudou.com/playlist/playindex.do?lid=6703042&iid=34070300&cid=9

Yes folks, those are cute anthro cartoon characters doing wuxia.  Yes folks, that’s blood.  And yes folks, that Pig is a real @$$#*£&.  The Happy Tree Friends can’t hold a candle to this series.

One of my better online friends and fellow BAM contributor, Ivan Mayne from Singapore, said this about the series: 

"The neatest thing is that the cutesy style underlies the fact that it’s more violent than similar Western cartoons might be…characters die FOR REAL, the heroes can resort to some quite violent means to achieve their ends, and the villains aren’t exaggeratedly silly as to be non-threatening upon close examination, they are quite dangerous. The Chinese child is exposed to quite a bit of harsh realities compared to the American child when one looks at it this way."

You know what I love about this series so much?

Character.

It’s got a level of character I have not seen in most American cartoons of late. There’s gorgeous fight setpieces, lovely background art, some pretty good music, but the characters, oh man, the characters are where it stands out.

Honor. Courage. Heroism. Kindness. Sacrifice. This series has it all. The main characters are complex, understandable, with clear motivations and quirks and eccentricities. They’re team players, friends, and look out for each other to the end. They grow, change, develop, and really shine as they surmount the obstacles that are thrown their way. They have formidable martial arts abilities, but they’re approachable, down to earth in a manner that I rarely see in superheroes these days. They don’t indulge in hip-cool patter like the Ninja Turtles or the Loonatics [“CAN’T UNSEEEE!” –David]. When there’s humor in the series, it’s a result of character interaction, rarely as forced or contrived as it is in American cartoons.

So the story strains credibility at times, but hey this is a cartoon after all.

And as far as that’s concerned, it is one that grows on you and stays with you,and offers you more than a few laughs and a good time, and truly brings it across without any heavy-handedness, that character counts. That’s more than can be said for most American cartoons these days.

In other words, when you see the series, you’ll think of two things, in order. One: "Holy Fucking Shit! Kids in China watch THIS after school?! :o " And then Two: "Holy Fucking Shit!  David Foxfire would have a field day with this. :devil: He’s probably loving this series five ways from Sunday."

In fact I do.  So much that I’d love to see this series translated into English for the states.  Heck, I’ve even designed an ‘International’ Red Cat series for Hunan Greatdreams to consider:  http://sites.google.com/site/redcatinternational/Home .  The series has had an impact on BAM, and you’ll see a major player in the game inspired by Red Cat in book two.  (Heck, Ivan allowed me to port some of his characters into the story right form the start.  When Eric—Spoiler Alert—gets unceremoniously dumped into Maatla in a less than grand style, the first person he meets is a character from Ivan’s Enraptia Series http://foxfirestudios.net/ivanmayne.shtml )  Expect to see a lot more of international influence in what some would call an All-American book.

After all, I wanted to focus on world building as well as character development anyway.

Microsoft breaks out their new toy.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

As most of you know by chatting with me on 9-12 chat rooms or over IM-s or by reading this blog, I’m using the next generation of Windows, Windows 7, and unlike the Linux-head I was in the earlier parts of this decade, I am very bullish for Windows 7. Especially when they invited me to try it out in both Beta and the current Release Candidate versions. Windows 7 is very improved over Vista, and their Mac-like Power Bar is easy to customize and use. I liked 7 so much that I bought a preorder when they came out (at $50, the price was right. At least for me) and that is something I’d thought I’d never do in my life when XP was all the rage. (I still detest that operating system, considering it like Carson Kressley considers pleated pants.)

 

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Well, their current marketing process of letting people try out their betas hoping they’d become customers is at work again, this time for their office suites. Earlier this week, I was invited to try out the Technical Preview of Microsoft Office 2010, their next Office Suite.

I can easily send you a link to the added features and tricks these programs can do. However, with one exception you won’t see me harp much about the suite. I’m more of a Word Perfect guy, and I prefer the old school drop down menus and static tool bars to MS Office’s Ribbon interface. And Word Perfect’s Reveal Codes function allows me to go down to the actual markup of the file I’m working on and chance it’s formatting on a minute level. All Word Perfect needs is a real-time word counter like what Word has—a nice toy for NaNoWriMo writers—and it’ll be, well, perfect. Nevertheless, I’d have Microsoft Office as a nice replacement for Open Office, which is what I did.

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The one exception I have with Microsoft Office is one of the MS programs that I’m very bullish over: OneNote. I love OneNote because it takes the best of both forms of note keeping, offline paper and electronic note programs, and combines them into a perfect match. One Note puts your notes into a binder like format, where you can have notes clip and pasted, divide into Sections and Subgroups, add sketches, side notes, pictures and links at will, and do things you’d wish you could do with a Moleskine. It’s a lot more intuitive venue for notes then Evernote’s tape format, or any off-line loose-leaf binder. I’m already planning Blood and Metal book 02 with One Note, and will intend to work on my NaNoWriMo 09 book with Office. (What can I say? It’s why I asked to be invited into this Preview)

You’ll probably be seeing me use One Note more often than not as I show screencaps of the planning stage of Book 02, but little much else with the rest of the suite as far as novel writing is involved. Office 2010 is not a bad suite, they did good on it. I just can’t work with Word as good as I can with WP. That’s not saying that the programs won’t be good with other projects, mind you. You’ll never know what comes up between now and October 2010, when I’d no doubt have to buy the program just to keep One Note :)

Finally Angus has come back to Mickey Dees!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’m a picky guy when it comes to political topics.  Iran might not get me on my soap box outside of stating that Neda’s in paradise right now being waited on by, how many butlers, Seventy Eight of them?  Forget about being someone’s wifu, Allah Ackbar, that woman’s got a harem!

But this week, I experience another chapter in a topic that’s near to me.  It’s about a group I flat out hate.  Should be outlawed within 50 feet of a restaurant.  I can’t stand food cops.  Nothing pisses me off like a busy body who can’t think of anything better to do with their lives but nag on people over what they’re eating.  I think that if I get a coronary five seconds after I eat a Big Mac, it’s my own Radio Edit fault, but I don’t care because I’m going to eat it anyway.  Of course, I have to flick them one finger, because I’m going to be taking a huge bite out of that Big Mack right in their face with the total lack of manners.

Hardee’s had the same thought I had about the topic when they break out their deluxe burgers.  Personally, I thought they were just doing basic marketing until they came out with the Monster Burger:  Two third pound burgers, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, and a buttered bun.  I looked at that sandwich ad along with my mother and I turned to her and said, “Mom, that’ ain’t lunch.  That is political speech on your plate.”

And it’s true.  If you order a burger like that, you’re saying a “FSK You!” to the Nanny State.  That, and they’re just plain tasty to boot.  While a decent slider fits well once and a while, there are times where nothing but a XXL burger would do.  Of course, I have my own limits.  Meet as a condiment burgers.  No Thank You.  I want actual condiments to go with my burger.

Which is why Mickey Dees finally listened to me during my part time job there and came out with The Angus Third Pounder, complete with three styles.  My personal favorite is the Deluxe, it’s the perfect burger to me.  It’s a perfect balance of constitutionally protected speech, (Your choice of eatery should be penciled under the first amendment.) with good taste, and I do hope you try it out.

Even if you have to cut that sucker in half and save part of it for later.  That’s one big burger.  I love’n it.

Update and a link.

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

For those who’re waiting for the rest of Book 1, I just want to let you all know that I’m hammering the climatic chapters hard, making some major changes and all that. I should be able to get to the public beta of the book by July.

In the meanwhile, I’d like to show you this link, from The Fox Nation:

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/06/12/shuler_public_discourse/

Not only would this be a great help in public political discourse, but it would also be a well guildeline for online discourse, which is something I’m (and I’m guessing you) know more about, especially when trolls show up. And I know a lot about trolls.

The Aeris Report

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I have GOT to show you this!  This will make a surefire vision of what kind of a dude I am:

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And if you even think about lawsuits, Steven, I will write that Beck/Colbert Slash Fiction and post it here.  And you will know where I got that bad rep from the trolls.

Pictures of the St. Louis Tea Party

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Links to local reports on the Tea Party at Kiener Plaza:

 

The Tea Party was your standard run of the mill gathering, as what I’d suspect Tea Parties go.  I expected other places to be more elaborate.  I’d suppose the ones in Texas would have reenactments of the battle in the Alamo, and in Philly, there’ll be plenty of cosplayers to go with the Hawaiian guy who does Tomas Payne over at Beck’s Show to have a group hug.  I don’t want to know what happened in Callie.  But in the heartland, we had about 10,000 people making their voices heard in a vocal, yet conservative, rally over at Kiener Plaza.

I came there early and took a lot of pictures:

 

Kiener Plaza

 

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Kiener’s located at the center of town, just shy to the north of Bush Stadium and within easy reach of a still-operational Metrolink.  The location includes the open air Morton D. May Amphitheater with a dramatic view of the Old Court House and the Gateway Arch, and what I call the Runner pool, made by sculptor William Zorach.  You’ll really need to see the fountain in motion to fully appreciate it.  You’ll notice that the water in the Runner pool is blue for Child Abuse awareness.  Although with little signs over the reasoning, it just looks stupid on it’s own.  But what can I say, it could be worse.

I’ll be seeing if I can get something like this place in the books, in front of the Knothole Palace.

 

Horse Drawn Carriages

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A major addition in the scene is the horse drawn carriages that go throughout the blocks downtown.  It’s a nice image from the city’s historical nature.

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And of course, if you have horses, you get, naturally, horse shit.  The natural kind.  Not the kind that comes out of congress, which can be worse.

 

The Usual Suspects

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As you could expect, our Fox Affiliate would be here to report on the event.  Where the news comes first . . . then rolls over to smoke a cigarette.  Just kidding.  KMOX (CBS-4) was there too.

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Not to mention the requisite news chopper.

 

When you have a political rally, sure enough, you get signs!

 

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Here’s some of the better ones:

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The ones you wear with you as well…

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And the ones I flat out LOVE!

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ZERO WING REFERENCE!

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If you know what this means, you need to get out more.

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TRIPLE COMBO!

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Sweet!

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I didn’t know Foxworthy had his representatives in this rally.

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Ditto with Gaico!

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The political version of RTFM!

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I can just hear Vader yelling this out, don’t you?

“I believe I will take my antioxidants.”

Something Rosharch could say in these gigs.

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And Rosharch did not die in vain either.

Or Mr. A for that matter.

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And we have our Sick Freaks out here in force as well.

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Not to mention the signs Eric Krockett could get into…

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Let your freak flag fly!

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Not that I’d call the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag a ‘Freak Flag,’ to the face of someone flying it, but that’s just me. I’m a stinker.

 

And remember folks, Cosplay is Love!

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Someone who was really in the proper spirit of things.

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Colonial era haute couture

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Me:  HEY!  Ain’t you supposed to be dead?!

Cap:  You can’t kill a symbol.

Me: . . . oh . . . right.  Silly fricking me.

Cap:  Besides, Winter Soldier’s doing well.

 

(And don’t get me started on Steve Roger’s death.)

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And this one takes the cake for the most imaginative.

 

And of course, if you’re reading this in English, thank a soldier.

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Circle of Concern props

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Circle of Concern is a local charity the ran a drive for a food bank during the rally.  As someone who had to use food banks on occasion, I can’t give them enough props.

And some props for the Volunteers

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We could never have shindigs like this without people taking time from their busy schedule over it.  Even if you don’t see yourself in this pic, take a bow.

 

And as the crowd really gets together and the rally is really getting underway, the darn batteries in my camera starts to go out :P

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Something tells me that I need to get a better camera.  But I made a lot of contacts and got some needed publicity for my book.  This will include several groups that I’ll be visiting in the coming weeks.

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Welcome to Terran Franklin

Monday, March 30th, 2009

. . . the official blog of the coming novel series “Blood and Metal.”  [Sometimes abbreviated as ‘BAM’]  My name’s David Gonterman alias David Foxfire, the author of these books, and main blog writer.  I’ll be using this blog to not only promote, and in time even tell, the stories in these books, but also to talk about the topics and themes behind this madness I’m writing.

banframk For example, what does that title of this little slice of digital heaven mean?  “Terra” is a second name for “Earth,” which is where Eric Krockett, the title character, came from.  The people of Maatla, the Redwall-style world this story will take place on, will prefer to call his home world ‘Terra’ because ‘Earth’ sounds just too silly.  And ‘Franklin’ would be the name of the magazine Eric will make to share where he came from and what his homeland is all about.  It’s named after one of that country’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.

It’s part of the theme I was playing with when I decided to dig up the old fanfict from ten years ago and recreate it in an all original world.  But instead of anything copyrighted from any company, I dropped on this all-furry character world the ultimate in “The Gods Must Be Crazy” style Coke Bottles:  The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The idea was the commutation of a long brewing desire for me to see America get away from what this country has been doing for well over a decade—I’m not going to pick a side here, BAM isn’t a Left/Right/Red/Blue/Republican/Democrat story, not by a long shot—and back to the values and spirit that helped founded this country.  Not everyone would be on the same side politically, but I think everyone can agree with me when I say that, by the time the 2008 election was going on, which began at around Thanksgiving 2006—OH MY GOD!!—I was wishing I could reboot America with a Control-Alt-Delete.  I’ve destroyed several keyboards trying to do this.  In fact, when I got my new laptop over at E-Bay, I added a second USB keyboard so I won’t break ‘my precious.’

I started the first book last November during National Novel Writing Month, but I didn’t know whatever or not I wanted to move any further beyond it.  It was just something I used to see if I could write a 50,000 word book in under 30 days.  I did.  Shattered that deadline by 9 days.  But by the time some people would want to start he second draft of this story, I ran into the major inspiration to make this version of BAM my major project:  Glenn Beck getting on Fox News with his 9-12 project.

Man, Fox News, your pictures are so exploitable.

I might have been a wee too jaded by the sordid way Bush won the election—through the courts!  I consider the 2000 election a draw—to have seen it, I merely saw it like this:  A bunch of Islamic Assholes (Please note, I use that word a lot.  If that requires me to put up a PG rating, please advise) parked two perfectly good, loaded, and booked airplanes two-thirds the way up the World Trade Center, and half the people in the world cheered, the other half was wanting to execute Bush for that deed.  I wondered if there was something I missed, and Mr. Beck, that pasty faced, double chinned, ADD up to his eyeballs, would cry worse than Tammy Faye—HEY GLENN, JOESPH SMITH TOLD ME TO TELL YOU TO GET BACK ON THOSE M&MS—saw something on the day after that I kinda forgotten.  The people of America, from many points on the political spectrum and from all walks of life, came together as a country.  People were settling their differences and supporting each other.  They recognized their petty differences for what they were and realized that we’re all in this together.  It was something that was lost by all the rhetoric and vitriol that would come, and it was a lot of it.

I doubted that we could get to that place again, even after another attack.  Too many people would be too scarred by the time between 9-12-01 and today that they’d blame Obama for it.  But that didn’t stop Glenn for starting his 9-12 Project where he set up a way for the Nation to return to what really matters to them.

I grant you, his way won’t be the only way to that place.  When I signed up on a 9-12-themed forum, I put down that I believed in a personally-remixed version of his 9 Principles and 12 Beliefs.  I’ll be showing the remixed foundation here so you can see where me and Glenn differs, but I’m convinced that, although we might have differencing points of view, we’re definitely looking toward the same goal.

Dittos with the way I’ll be participating in this movement.  I’m an 40-something Aspergers-ridden ne’er do well who stays in his apartment all the time.  I was the kid in school people would think that I’d just snap and shoot up the school at any moment in my youth.  (During the 80s!)  I could very well be the kind of guy you’d be scared of, that quiet guy who keeps to himself while he’s giving his Dexter Morgan starter set the needed service.  I might not be able to lead any demonstrations and probably won’t be able to attend any protests because the busses don’t run at that time.  But I can write a good story.  At least some people would say that.  And if I can write a story where an All-American young man ends up in another planet and starts his country over, and hopefully makes that country even better than its original, and if that story inspires others to improve their own world or at the very least, lifts their spirits or even enjoys reading it, it’ll be worth my time writing it.

Right now, as I’m typing this, Book 1 of Blood and Metal is in the second draft, and the web site is in its ‘Soft Launch’ phase.  As I finish up the nooks and crannies of the code and graphics and have a book that’s more in a presentable light, I’ll be able to make regular posts here with the hopes that I can have my own little group in this thing much larger than myself, or any of us for that matter.

And if it earns me enough money so that I can pay my bills and not have to worry about finances anymore, more power to me.