2021/03/31

The Great Bookshelf Hunt

great library

Superversive SF announces their Great Bookshelf Hunt of 2021.

So here’s the drill: Write in the comments the name of any work that came out in 2020 that you enjoyed. Then, read our list. If you see works on the list that you didn’t think of but that you have read and enjoyed, put the title of those works into a comment, too.

List anything you enjoyed that fits one of the categories. You can say why you liked it if you wish. Please list the title and, if you know it, the author’s name. Finally, please share this list around! Urge others to comment. The more people participate, the more chance we will all be able to find a hidden gem on the list!

The final list will be compiled such that the works with the most recommendations will go at the top. This is not like a nomination form. You may list as many works as you wish, but please make sure that they are works you truly enjoyed.

Please list your selections in the comments on Superversive SF's original post.

It's an honor to see Combat Frame XSeed: S on the suggested list. My goal with CFXS has always been to make a positive cultural impact on an underserved market, and every sign indicates that we're succeeding. 

A major indicator that augurs well for XSeed is the smashing success of our crowdfunders. Combat Frame XSeed: SS became our fastest-funding campaign on day one, and now it's just 4% away from overtaking XSeed: S as our biggest yet.

As of this writing, XSeed: SS has just 16 hours left on Indiegogo. Help make mech history, choose from our vast selection of sweet perks, and unlock the revolutionary new Print-a-Mech perk.

Don't miss out! Back it now:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/30

Gen Z Blackpilling

As a counterpoint to some of the recent blackpilling about Generation Z, I went back and dug up some data pointing to encouraging trends among Zoomers.

Look closely at this chart by Audacious Epigone. Pay particular attention to the generational trends in attitudes toward pornography.

Porn Chart

"This is terrible!" you may say. "More Zoomers want porn to stay legal than any other generation polled!"

But on closer inspection, a couple of remarkable data points stand out:
  1. More Zoomers than Millennials want porn banned outright.
  2. This stat marks a reversal in the trend that started with the Boomers of each successive generation favoring porn bans less than the last.
Perhaps most fascinating is how split Zoomers are on the porn question--more than any prior cohort. Factor in people's reliable tendency to grow more conservative with age and the high likelihood that many pro-porn Gen Zeds are having their freshman fling with Libertarianism, and odds are good that their green bar will shrink to the red bar's benefit.

Lest you still doubt the Zoomers' budding reactionary streak, take a look at another AE chart, this time on gun laws.

Georgia Gun Law

Note that the age categories above lump Gen Zeds in with some Millennials. It's a good bet that support for C&C is even higher among 16-20 year-olds.

Now, a common mistake older folks make is to impose their Left vs Right filter on groups that eschew that paradigm. By and large, Zoomers who reject the Death Cult's vision are ambivalent or even hostile toward Classical Liberalism, unrestricted free marketism, and government noninterventionism. The see those 20th century ideologies as failed pipe dreams that have no relevance in the post-Western world they've been relegated to.

What does interest Zoomers on our side is the family and faith life their grandparents took for granted and they themselves never had.

I can hear the objection. "But Zoomers are the most irreligious generation ever!"

Allow me to cast glimmers of hope on that dire pronouncement.

First, in terms of religiosity, Zoomers are tied with Millennials.

Zoomer Affiliation

Just as the decades-long trend toward greater acceptance of pornography stopped with the Gen Z, the Zoomers have also arrested the decline in religious practice. The fact that Zoomers aren't less religious than Millennials, in spite of how they were raised, qualifies as a minor miracle.

And those numbers are a couple years old. They don't take into account the rising interest in religion due to Covid

Nor do they show people's general tendency to become more religious with age. Consider that Zoomers as a group are much more religious than the Boomers were at their age.

Religious Intensity

And yes, I know that chart doesn't mention Gen Z by name. It does lump them in with Gen Y and the Millennials. But as we've seen, religiosity among those cohorts is pretty much the same at present. Given that piety among all generations trends upward over time, and factoring in the severe hardships that are almost certainly around the corner, we can expect Zoomers to surpass the Boomers as they navigate the Clown World hellscape.

No more Gen Z blackpilling. Our duty is to guide them through the spiritual minefield we've made, and that means leading them into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

For a glimpse at a post-future where most people take religion seriously, check out my thrilling mech saga Combat Frame XSeed. Our latest crowdfunder is nearing the finish line, so don't miss your chance to get the whole CFXS saga thus far for less than you'd pay on Amazon. Plus, backers get the new book before anyone else.

Time's almost up! Back the project now:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/29

9Volt 3 and Test Pilots Wanted

9Volt3
Cover by ArtAnon Studios

Not only is he an epic mech designer, our own ArtAnon has a number of quality comic book projects under his belt. 

Here's the latest: a star-spanning indie anthology featuring work by ArtAnon himself, as well as a talented stable of other indie artists.

Action ArtAnon Studios
Credit: ArtAnon Studios

Support indie comics. Check out 9Volt Comics #3 now!

And in other ArtAnon-related news, you guys smashed our fifth stretch goal on Indiegogo, giving the XSeed: SS campaign a second wind. We are now accepting applications to test pilot the official Combat Frame XSeed: Pocket War card game.

Combat Frame XSeed: Pocket War
CatholicLancer, ArtAnon, and our expert dev team have put in a couple years' work creating the official CFXS card game. Now we need your help refining it to perfection. Claiming the Card Game Test Pilot perk entitles you to build your own custom deck for play in the official beta test. You choose 40 cards from our robust selection, we ship you your deck, and you join us for our live online playtest sessions.

Everyone who's sampled earlier builds of this game has had crazy fun, so don't miss out. Claim your place in the pilot seat, play the game before the general public, and make your mark on Pocket War history!

2021/03/26

Top Tic Tac

Tic Tacs

The following report of high strangeness comes courtesy of a respected reader of this blog, whose identity will remain anonymous. You'll soon understand why.

So we've got a lot of government UFO stuff coming out of late, with the testimony before Congress that unidentified things keep buzzing our bases and ships. We also had the "Top" and "Tic Tac" F-18 gun camera videos that leaked a couple of years ago and were confirmed by the DOD late 2020. Some of these thing are described as conventional drones (possibly China, Russia, some private group screwing with us, testing readiness, etc.), others are odd things like the Tic Tac, Top, or the odd ball of light.

My dad was a military airlift pilot for an entire career in the USAF, then flew civilian night cargo for a whole second career until he aged out of flying. The UFO topic was mostly a joke to him. He says he's never seen UFOs, but he knew some guys who insisted they'd seen things. The Phoenix Lights incident was about the only one he really bought into until recently. They were never really a joke to my late mother though and sometimes she'd talk about UFOs in relation to her time in the USN.

Before my mom met my dad, she was Navy, working as an Air Traffic Controller at Lakehurst in the 1960's and 1970's. By the time she was in Project Bluebook was officially over, but they still had an office somewhere in a closet in the bowels of the Pentagon and were taking reports. They just weren't doing the active research and debunking in the press thing like they were at the start in the 1950's -the period you see in that History docudrama Bluebook show. Mom was the base's Bluebook reporting contact by random assignment for part of that time.

Most of her calls on that front were easy for her to confirm as regular traffic. Someone saw the glint off an airliner. They fired a missile in a training op offshore and some fishermen 15 miles away saw it. Someone spotted a prototype being tested. One old lady called every morning reporting "Unidentified Japanese Aircraft". It was a regular flight of P-3 Orions, if memory serves, that would fly out over her house on the way to the ocean on a patrol route.

Sometimes they would get head-scratcher reports by their pilots, which initially got official filings, but a couple year into her duty tour is when officially reporting UFOs became a career ender for pilots. They'd still talk to her unofficially though.

The two recurring primary unexplainables were the now infamous "Tic Tac" and this intense blue ball of light.

One of the things they did back in the day at Lakehurst was test the prototype fighters. It wasn't the primary proving grounds, but it was one of the places they'd do random test flights to and out of because the base is like 8-10 miles from the ocean and you could run out there at night with minimal exposure. She never said what fighters specifically they tested, just that it wasn't uncommon for them to have test birds. She also talked about this one F-4 unit a lot generally (I forget which one), so I think they were stationed there. If not, they rotated through frequently.

Both the test pilots and the F-4 guys ran into the "Tic Tac" occasionally. It seemed more interested in the test planes than the F-4's based on her descriptions. The F-4's would chase it and it'd out-speed and out-maneuver them, then eventually shoot off. It would sometimes show up and actively mess with the test planes though. It'd do things like buzz them, 'dogfight' with them (no weapons fired), form up on them and not be able to be shaken off. She said this thing was definitely some sort of craft based on what the pilots told her. Some sort of big jet-sized metal thing shaped like a pill with no discernible holes or windows. They had some radar tracks of it screaming in, doing all kinds of impossible maneuvers (the usual UFO maneuvering wonkery of instant stops, jinking sideways at a 90 degree angle without slowing, doubling back on itself at the same velocity it was going forward, going from a dead stop to zipping off at thousands of miles an hour instantly until it was off-scope). I don't think she ever saw this one herself, other than the radar return, based on what she's said. She just got a string of reports about it.

When that Navy gun camera footage of the "Tic Tac" was released then officially confirmed, dad said "Well, I guess she wasn't pulling our legs after all, huh?"

The other one they had pop up multiple times was a blue ball of light that didn't seem to be anything but light. Some of the pilots would see that occasionally but it seemed disinterested in air traffic based on what people reporting it told her. Sizes varied, but it was always a blue intense light. It messed with avionics of aircraft that did get close, but nothing that would cause a crash. They had one incident where it appeared hovering over the nuclear warhead storage bunker, stuck around for a few minutes, then zipped off into the sky. She told me about this years before I ever heard something similar about a similar story about the event at Rendalsham in England. She said it messed with their radars and radios. She talked like she actually saw it herself that time.

The interesting thing to me now about all this, in retrospect, is what she was telling us sounded out there at the time. More out there than the usual UFO stuff. Bear in mind, I started hearing about this back in the mid 1980's and what she said was consistent through the 2010's when she passed. When she first started talking about this stuff, the light orb accounts weren't a thing in the media. Neither was the now-infamous "Tic Tac". Everything you saw in shows like Unsolved Mysteries or In Search Of until the last 15 years or so was like the 1950's B movie flying saucers, or a diamond/wedge shaped thing (probably Have Blue and F-117 sightings), and the occasional flying wing (probably B-2 sightings mostly, but there's a few like the Phoenix Lights that don't match the B-2). Mom's stance on all of it wasn't explicitly that it was Aliens; but that it was a "load of weird" and "nobody, not us, not the Russians" could build what they were running into.

So what's going on now? A lot of that is probably foreign powers using drones to mess with us. That's n issue, but can be dealt with by using electronic warfare suite and intercept systems like the OICW if we really feel like enforcing exclusion zones around our ships and bases.

But there's a subset of all of that that's been going on for at least 50 years that I know of (probably longer given WWII Foo Fighter accounts). And that subset is odd not just in its performance and shape, but in its consistency over time. If the oddballs like "Tic Tac" are made by some country or cabal, they've got better security and tech than any other nation on the planet, since the tech hasn't been leaked in any way, shape, or form in all that time and it's still confounding our pilots and strategic planners. It probably doesn't help us on that front that this is one of those crazy verboten topics in professional circles, so the pilots running into it back then haven't relayed it to any but a few trusted confidants, so the new guys just keep repeating the same encounter whenever they see it, not talking about it, rinse and repeat down to now.

Reading MomAnon's account of the Tic Tac's impossible exploits reminded me of gravity drives used by the Metatron and the Ynzu of the XSeed saga. For a gripping vision of future combat employing these fantastic--possibly not so fantastical--technologies, get the whole saga thus far through my Indiegogo campaign.

The crowdfunder countdown is on the last six days, so don't wait. Back Combat Frame XSeed: SS now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/25

Lovely People

Lovely People - Holy Bible 2.0
Art by Minna Sundberg

This just came across my desk. It's a short online graphic novel about bunnies living under a social credit regime.

The artist behind Lovely People, Minna Sundberg, is an unapologetic Christian, which probably won't win her much acclaim in her home country of Finland.

Here's a representative sample for review purposes:

Lovely People - Minna Sundberg
Art by Minna Sundberg

What's most striking about this delightfully dystopian comic is the fluffy bunnies. Its next most impressive aspect is how the creator nailed the cloying, effeminate nature of Death Cult coercion.

The Cult won't be satisfied with you mouthing the right platitudes, signaling the right virtues, and conspicuously consuming the right product. Just as Christian missionaries genuinely hope their new flocks will enter into personal relationships with Jesus Christ, the Death Cult's anti-evangelists want you to really love Big Brother.

Or more aptly in this case, Big Wine Aunt.

The antidote to rule by micromanaging DMV ladies is a renewal of the traditional masculine virtues, especially fortitude.

Our enemies are weak and stupid. How much worse are we if we can't summon the courage to stand up to their lunatic demands and simply say "No"?


And be sure to back my Combat Frame XSeed: SS crowdfunder. It's the best way to get the whole CFXS saga thus far. Every backer gets XSeed: S and SS, plus a free short story. And for authors looking to bring out the best version of their story, the Pro Editing perk offers a $100 discount on my expert editing services.

Just seven days remain, so don't wait. Back the book now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/24

Backsliding

backsliding

Any honest man who's found his way into dissident politics will admit that seeing the Left-Right paradigm he grew up with unmasked as kabuki theater was one of the hardest red pills to swallow. With the exception of the Zoomers, every living generation of Americans was conditioned to support the Red Team against the Blue Team or vice versa. Learning that Team Red was long ago paid off to take a dive came as a shock.

Finding out that Republicans are the Washington D.C. equivalent of Hollywood ninjas paid to take on the Democrats one at a time before taking a fall naturally leads thinking people to ask why. Pulling that thread enough unravels the whole sham of Conservatism and Liberalism as opposing ideologies. Liberalism attempts to enshrine freedom as an absolute divorced from objective good. Conservatism accepts the same basic premise but adds sundry temporary restrictions based on taste and social mood.

Thoughtful readers will spot the fatal flaw intrinsic to all Liberal ideologies, including Conservatism. Establishing personal freedom as the ne plus ultra of human action precludes any possible limiting principle on self-expression. Taking away objective value reduces everything to a matter of preference. 

You see this dynamic at work in the common internet straw man which reframes a moral claim as opposition to "something you don't like." It's a clumsy substitution of an arbitrary preference statement for a value statement, but most people are so mired in Liberal assumptions that they fall for it. That's how moral idiots reframe opposition to pedophilia as curmudgeonly hating on just another form of self-expression.

And it works, because by accepting the Liberal moral frame, Conservative objections to any exercise of personal freedom are automatically rendered arbitrary.

The shameless grifters of the Lincoln Project step up to provide a perfect example. Their tweet is a Frankenstein patchwork of anachronistic slogans. It's how you'd imagine a Current Year blue check with a time machine trying to blend in at a 1950s GOP convention. But that's essentially what today's Republican party is: conmen throwing rhetorical spaghetti in hopes of activating Boomers', Jonesers', and Xers' conditioning.

Unfortunately, that conditioning runs deep. A phenomenon that's been creeping into dissident circles lately is the sad spectacle of formerly redpilled folks falling back into Liberal modes of thought. A lot of these guys came out of Libertarianism during the Trump years, so their backsliding is understandable, even though they should know better.

Trump's failure to achieve much of anything may have driven many Ys and Xers into a form of nostalgic despair. Perhaps they're convinced that if they spout the same Barry Goldwater quotes they used to in high school civics class, Ludwig von Mises will appear and set the clock back to 1995.

It's magical thinking fundamentally no different from the cargo cultism of the Left. Like religious converts with buyers' remorse, relapsed Libertarians think that reciting the old formulas and performing the familiar rituals will deliver them into a promised land where they can homestead--and probably grow weed--far from the watchful eye of Big Government.

Of course, Big Government is no less an amorphous bogeyman than White Privilege. The former results from primitive speculation on cause and effect applied to the observed reality of the government perpetrating evil. "The government does evil. The government is big. Therefore big government is evil."

What you never hear from Libertarians is precisely what "Big Government" means. Nor do they propose any realistic means of making it smaller. They closest they come are pie in the sky allusions to rolling federal spending back to 1995 or 1985 or 1955 levels.

All of this is just smokescreen for the fact that government's size isn't the source of our woes. It's hard to think of bigger governments, in the sense of the scope of government power, than monarchies. Yet not even the most tyrannical king would seriously entertain the notion of replacing his subjects wholesale with a foreign people. A king ruled a nation, which was a large extended family. He had skin--and blood--in the game.

The scourge besetting the West arises from the fact that our leaders no longer have the least thing in common with us. The democracy hailed by the Lincoln Project has enabled the ruling class to insulate themselves from all accountability for their actions. After all, their logic goes, you voted for them, so you deserve the blame for their misrule.

It's not the size of the government that counts. It's the quality of the people in it and their degree of attachment to their constituents. Our corrupt oligarchs won't voluntarily part with one iota of power anyway, so the solution to the size and malice of the government is the same.

They seek to replace us, so we must replace them.



My military thriller saga Combat Frame XSeed gives a stark--and increasingly accurate--glimpse at a post-future where oligarchic tyranny has run its course. For a vision of what's to come, and the chance to claim some fun rewards, visit the XSeed: SS crowdfunder page on Indiegogo. Backers get a free short story and can claim discounts on my editing services. These offers are limited, so don't wait.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/23

Get off the Bench

The Bench

Accurate information is required to engage in any kind of conflict, be it social, spiritual, or--and this is best avoided--physical. To paraphrase Sun Tzu, if we lack a realistic understanding of ourselves and our enemy, we can't expect victory.

Time to face reality. The enemy spent the last hundred years on a long march through our institutions and now controls all of them. Don't expect any help or support from the mainstream media, Hollywood, New York publishing, academia, big business, or even most of the Church's hierarchy. In fact, you should expect to be attacked and resisted by all of these.

Before we delve into options for fighting back, we must define our terms, specifically, ourselves. The enemy has done the job for us, since they are the ones who have initiated an unprovoked war of conquest against a foe they are all to eager to name. The boogeymen they seek to destroy are straight, white, Christian men and the civilization they sustain.

But even more vital to knowing the enemy is identifying the enemy. Who is it that's actively campaigning to destroy Western civilization? There is far less consensus on who or what is ultimately driving the war on the West. It is tempting to simply invert the enemy's checklist, but the strife between factions of the Death Cult and straight, white, Christian men is an effect of enemy action; not the root cause.

Others point to the recently emerged elite class of rootless, cosmopolitan managers. Look at who really controls the American and most European governments, and you will find the same kinds of people from the same kinds of well-off families who attended the same tier of prestigious schools and live in the same class exclusive neighborhoods. Our managerial elite inhabit an incestuous hive mind where the desirability of multiculturalism, socialism, and globalism is taken for granted. They cannot comprehend anyone having a contrary opinion. Therefore cognitive bias compels them to dismiss those who reject globalism--most of the people they rule over--as backward rubes. And because rejection of the elites ideas is taken as an affront to their shared identity, our rulers respond with hatred.

As a result, our ruling class imports waves of incompatible foreigners from cultures with no concept of individual liberty, the intrinsic dignity of human life, or merit-based achievement. Seeing highly skilled but clannish and nepotistic invaders taking our high end jobs, low-skilled invaders taking our blue collar jobs, and unemployable savages beating and raping our women gives our rulers a rush of vicious glee. They firmly believe we have it coming, so they double down.

And yet, not even widespread noblesse malice fully explains the reckless hate directed at us by our rulers or the sadistic cruelty with which they not only seek to disenfranchise us, but to systematically remove all sources of joy from our lives.

Regular readers of this blog are aware of the premeditated alienation of their own audiences currently rampant in Hollywood and the comics industry. There can be no other motive for throwing a rock through a stained glass window than diabolical hatred of Beauty itself and the Truth that beauty reveals. 

We now know what we're ultimately up against. The enemies are sin and Satan.

Now that we know the enemy's definition of us and we've defined the enemy, here's what you can do to fuck up his malevolent, democidal plans.

1. Stop Giving Money to People Who Hate You

Quit the Pop Cult. The Death Cult high priests in charge of all major brands know they're alienating their core audience, and they don't care. Making money isn't their chief concern. Their primary aim is to make you miserable. As a result, they'll eventually destroy their industries, but they'll do catastrophic cultural and spiritual damage on the way down.

Hasten their demise and mitigate the fallout by simply not giving these reprobates the money their government cronies make sure you're earning less of. Do not pay to see any new Hollywood films. There is, bluntly speaking, no excuse for paying the major studios, Netflix, etc. to insult you.

Entertainment alternatives abound. Archive.org has a free library of classic movies you couldn't exhaust in a lifetime. They've also got tons of music and even books and short stories from the pulp era. If you'd like more contemporary reading material, find and support indie authors like yours truly.

2. Take creative political action

Hat tip to the commenters over at the Z Blog for this one. Perhaps the most important fruit of Trump's presidency was the full public exposure of the Samp/Deep State/Military-industrial Complex's control over the government. The curtain has been torn down, and the small, petty men pulling the levers of power stand revealed for all to see.

Only binary thinking dullards still labor under the illusion that there is an essential difference between the Republican and Democrat parties. Only Boomers wearing rose-colored glasses still think it's just "a handful of bad apples" disrupting operations at the DOJ, FBI, State Department, and CIA.

Representative democracy in America is a farce. We are ruled by unaccountable globalist bureaucrats whose desperate efforts to ensure our votes don't matter are growing increasingly brazen. Their endgame is to dissolve the people and elect another.

Options for fighting back at the ballot box are limited but not nonexistent. If you live in a district that reliably goes red in national elections, primary out GOPe traitors in favor of candidates running on an America First platform. All other policy considerations should be placed on the back burner until the present crisis has been dealt with.

If you live in a reliably blue district, vote in the Democrat primary for the most psychotic, intersectionalist candidate on offer. Choosing your guy's opponent is a patented Democrat trick that we should co-opt.

In either case, donate to the campaigns of populist nationalist candidates across state lines--always in conformity with all applicable election laws.

3. Get off the bench and in the game

As mentioned above, decades of infiltration into our institutions and national bureaucracy have greatly limited the effectiveness of dissident political action. But politics is downstream from culture, and it has never been easier for sane men to make effective cultural contributions.

If you have the talent and inclination, I strongly encourage you to begin producing works that will assist in preserving and rebuilding Western culture.
  • Self-publish a science fiction novel in the tradition of the pulps.
  • Get some friends together, rent a camera, and do some guerrilla film making.
  • Record and release a rock album that retains the genre's blues roots.
  • Produce an independent comic featuring virtuous men performing acts of real heroism.
  • Start a podcast or a vlog dedicated to some aspect of traditional Western culture.
  • Blog daily, offering constructive criticism aimed at helping other artists improve.
  • If you're not artistically inclined, support the creators who are.  
4. Get your ass to church

We contend not with flesh and blood, but with powers, principalities, and spirits of the air. Even our destruction is not the enemy's ultimate goal, but a means to his real aim of striking at the Christ. And without Christ's help, we cannot prevail.

Yes, much of the church's leadership is corrupt. Many of them enforced state-mandated restrictions that posed obstacles to church attendance and sacrament reception. But they are just the earthly tip of a vast transcendent reality that descends iceberg-like from heaven. However many Judases in the Church Militant the enemy corrupts, he cannot touch the Church Triumphant. If the temple is a den of thieves, go and cleanse it. A great cloud of witnesses cheers you on.

For the unbelievers among us, understand that you are walking unarmed into a spiritual battle. Your rejection of God is not sufficient cause for the enemy to spare you. The civilization that Christians built has afforded you the freedom you've abused to attack its source, and if Western civilization is destroyed, your license will perish with it. You can spend an hour every Sunday LARPing for the sake of Christendom instead of being the NFL's paypig.

The battle before us seems daunting. We face relentless attacks on all fronts from an enemy that cannot be appeased, dissuaded, or bargained with. But since they have us surrounded, there's no way the enemy can escape.

I understand that many people cannot take all, or even most, of the steps in this post. That's fine. Do what you can where you are with what you've got. If only ten percent of normal people stood up, we'd win the war tomorrow.


Support indie science fiction. Claim sweet perks, including paperback bundles, memorable character deaths, and deals on pro editing.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS 603
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2021/03/22

Reaping the Whirlwind

Fr. Kosco

Gen Xers and older may remember how the name Joe McCarthy used to be invoked as a warning against political conformity run amok. It is not insignificant that the Left made McCarthy a curse and a byword with lots of help from their nominal opposition.

More than one self-described Libertarian or Conservative has breathlessly lectured against Tailgunner Joe's evils. "That man ruined lives!" they declaim.

Aside from the wrinkle of being unable to name anyone whose life McCarthy ruined - he himself died of complications from alcoholism, a man broken by his enemies in the media - citing McCarthyism as a warning rings hollow today, as the spiritual descendants of the people who destroyed McCarthy now gleefully ruin ordinary people's lives every day.

One target of the hate mob that's got the Death Cult salivating is Fr. William Kosco, pastor of St. Henry's Catholic Church in Buckeye, AZ. The Reverend's crime against the Cult? Correctly applying Canon Law to another guy in politics named Joe.

Watch the homily that set the Witches on the priest:


In sum, Fr. Kosco stated that he would deny Puppet Pal Joe communion unless Biden repented first.

Cue the Cultists accusing Fr. Kosco of "injecting his politics in the Mass" and "preaching hate". In actuality, what he's doing is following Canon 915.
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin* are not to be admitted to holy communion.
*Emphasis mine.

That is what we in theology circles call a slam dunk. There's no question that Biden is a persistent, manifestly grave sinner. His presidential platform, which includes support for legal abortion, satisfies that criterion by itself. 

Nor is Kosco the only member of the Catholic hierarchy to acknowledge the obvious conclusion.

We're talking about a priest who went undercover in his parish to work as a dairy farmer, a dishwasher, and a supermarket bagger - returning the cart guarantees citizenship. Yet it is Kosco who's being singled out for cancellation by an online coven urging their fellow Death Cultists to flood the Diocese of Phoenix with hate mail demanding he be punished.

It's a shame that courageous priests like Fr. Kosco now have to face mobs of frothing heathens that call for their heads anytime they speak the truth. Likewise, it's an equal sham that speaking the truth now requires heroic courage.

Yet it can't be overlooked that the Catholic hierarchy spent much of the past several decades sowing the wind. When dissidents - some of them within these shepherds' flocks - warned them that the Left had curdled into a parallel, hostile religion, many prelates instead clung to the polite fiction that Death Cultists are sincere but sincerely wrong political actors.

It's hard to see how honest priests would now be facing the hate mob if their brother priests and their bishops had stood in solidarity to enforce Church law. Instead, too many of them chose accommodation. Now they get to spend the decline reaping the whirlwind.

But just as excommunication is a medicinal penalty meant to get heretics back on the straight and narrow, God's chastisement serves to renew His Church. The more priests and bishops get hauled onstage to wear the devil horns in Death Cult morality plays, the sooner the scales will fall from their eyes.

If you'd like to voice support for Fr. Kosco, his parish's contact info is here.


The Death Cult's control of all major media outlets doesn't just impede priests and politicians from speaking the truth; it increases the burden on counterculture artists working hard to entertain you.

Support indie science fiction Back Combat Frame XSeed: SS now, and choose from a wide selection of sweet perks, including 5 runs of trading cards, XSeed S and SS in paperback, and a live chat with the author, AKA yours truly.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS - Brian Niemeier

2021/03/19

Abusive Parasocial Relationship

Zack Snynder Justice League Abusive Parasocial Relationship

Before he was driven into soft exile from every major streaming platform, the internet's court jester Mister Metokur declared that the typical YouTuber's career lasts roughly five years. Happily, that window is closing on one of the more odious byproducts of Hollywood's fealty to the Death Cult--nerd culture outrage channels.

For those who've had better things to do, the past few years have seen the rise of YouTube accounts dedicated to obsessively nitpicking the manner in which the Cult manages pop culture's collapse. Watch any episode of a Pop Cult outrage channel, and you'll soon hear the hosts beating their chests about fighting Walt Disney Studios or DC Comics. A quick glance at said channel's video backlog reveals that if Disney went bankrupt, the guys supposedly fighting them would wind up in the welfare line.

It's a dynamic the nerd rage merchants share with big lobbying groups. One reason infanticide remains legal is because the heads of the pro-life movement would have to get real jobs if Roe v Wade were overturned.

You've got to credit the Pop Cultists with picking a time-honored and reliable grift:
  1. Find a problem that will never be solved.
  2. Con people into giving you money and attention to solve the problem.
  3. Repeat.
The takeaway: Never trust anyone whose income depends on the problem you're paying him to solve.

The internet got a sharp reminder of this lesson yesterday when Zack Snyder went on a charity stream and delivered a ritual condemnation of some YouTube nerds who'd previously feted him.

Now, it's not entirely fair to fault the nerds in question for thinking Snyder was their guy. He's been a notorious hack for years. That's no insult. Hacks abide by a profit motive. We could honestly use a lot more of them in Hollywood. 

What wasn't clear until the fateful stream was that Snyder has now submitted to the Death Cult. He announced his conversion with all the subtlety of his direction style, too--smearing a bunch of geeks raising money for suicide prevention as a hate group and taking his turn in the limelight to bandy his kids about as diversity props.

Surprisingly--who am I kidding? This kind of pathetic behavior is all too familiar by now--many of the rage nerds refuse to release their clammy grip on long-dead IPs.

One of my esteemed Twitter mutuals aptly diagnosed this loathsome behavior as, "Abusive parasocial relationship with childhood fantasy products bordering on sexual dysfunction." 

Star Wars is dead. Marvel and DC Comics are dead. Nor are they coming back. The Death Cult clings greedily to its conquests.

Good riddance. A legion of indie creators are consistently producing work that's far superior to anything that's come out of Hollywood or New York in years.

Take action that will make a real difference. Support indie science fiction.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS

2021/03/18

Moral Panic

Left Solutions

Spend enough time staring into the abyss toward which the Left is hurtling us, and you eventually notice that political ideology is just a thin layer of scum coating the surface.

Politics is, after all, the art of properly organizing society toward the greatest good for the most people. It's a strictly practical matter.

But listen to the Left long enough, and you realize that they never speak in practical terms. Their pitch is never, "Let's marshal these resources in this way to solve that real problem."

Instead, the Left always and everywhere speaks in strictly moral terms. To the extent that they express any concern for practical issues like pollution or poverty, the material problem is always ancillary to some moral panic.

To them, poverty is bad--not because people are hungry or homeless--but because they believe that poverty is a symptom of systemic social inequality between the majority and various sacred victim groups. The same goes for crime, education, and even healthcare.

Politics is just one tool the Left uses to advance its moral vision for the world. And an organization whose main purpose is spreading a particular moral vision based on a specific cosmology is called a religion.

When that religion's fervent aim is destroying the cultural bonds that hold civilization together, you call it what it is--a Death Cult.

Conservatives have missed this for years. They've stubbornly restricted their criticism of the Death Cult to the political realm. This fetish for practicality is why Conservatives disregard art, among other culture war fronts, and why the Cult runs rings around them.

Conservative Value

Politics - to the extent it even exists in a one-party state - has been stripped down to the pitiless business of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Unfortunately, most of the current regime's enemies have no idea they're the objects of our rulers' enmity.

Even more to be pitied are those who know they face the elites' ire yet have no faith to sustain them.

This Lent is a particularly good time to deepen one's relationship with Christ.


A distant second priority is supporting the unapproved artists who seek to honor God and please patrons. Support indie science fiction while spending your Biden Bucks on someone Puppet Pal Joe would just as soon gulag. Back Combat Frame XSeed: SS now, and unlock the card game beta at 700% funding!

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2021/03/17

The Biden Boom

... has nothing to do with Corona-chan stimulus checks.

Biden Boom

The picture above looks like a cheap green screen effect from a local TV station weather report. In fact, it's a still from what the Cult media is presenting it as legitimate footage of Joe Biden. With a boom mic that would have to be larger than his head. 

Watch the original video to get the full, unconvincing, effect:


Now, some are claiming that this obviously doctored footage is a deception to hide Biden's conjectural incapacitation or passing. Others say that the fake is so obvious, it must have been released on purpose as some kind of psyop.

As usual, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

In this case, that explanation is that Americans--including those who work for the government--are getting dumber.

This brain drain should surprise no one. Geezers like Puppet Pal Joe aren't exactly renowned for their intellectual aptitude. The up-and-coming generation of Washington leadership is notable more for hailing from corners of the world with sub-90 IQs than any actual accomplishments.

The ability to convincingly use Adobe After Effects will be among the least significant competencies lost by our rulers in coming years.


The post-future of Combat Frame XSeed grows closer every day. Get the inside track on the Collapse with the five thrilling novels, the top secret short story collection, and the newly unveiled roleplaying game!

Combat Frame XSeed RPG

2021/03/16

Pope Remains Catholic

... to the consternation of many CDS sufferers.

Pope

Lifesite News reports:
A question to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about whether or not the Church has the “power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex” was answered in the “negative” by the congregation’s prefect, Luis Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer. The congregation’s statement was assented to by Pope Francis. While the statement was signed Feb. 22, it was only released today.

February 22 is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Was the statement's timing a coincidence? Possibly, from a purely human viewpoint. But God knew what day it was. 

The Congregation stated that it is “not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the statement read.
Scripture, the teachings of the Church Fathers, and the consistent doctrine of the Magisterium are unambiguous on this matter. Even if a pope were to make statements in conflict with solemnly defined Catholic sexual morality, he could be safely ignored since the older and more authoritative magisterial teaching would trump his personal heterodox opinion.

Happily, not even Pope Francis flaked on this one, despite enormous pressure to cave to the World.

Speaking of popes ...

Unicorn Pope

This tweet from a Death Cultist seething over the pope remaining Catholic illustrates a number of useful points.

First, he drops the mask and claims papal authority. It's phrased as a joke, but every Cultist really does run his morality grift this way. Each one tries to set himself up as the ultimate moral authority--his own pope, if you will.

Second, note how the Cultist simultaneously undermines the source of the moral authority he's trying to usurp. "The pope isn't even mentioned in the Bible, which is a fake bronze age fairytale anyway!"

The Witch Test exposes the Death Cultists' false dealing to everyone, which is why they have no answer for it.

Dear Catholic Church


In other news, our Combat Frame XSeed: SS campaign is closing in on its fourth exciting stretch goal! Claim sweet perks, including a slot as a CFXS roleplaying game playtester, and help make the RPG rulebook a reality at 500% funding.

2021/03/15

Chasing the Puck

Chasing the Puck

Trying to jump on the latest big trend, what folks in showbiz call chasing the puck, is a misguided business strategy that all-too-many authors fall for. And not necessarily for the reasons you think.

The conventional oldpub wisdom held that an author simply couldn't get a book to market fast enough to cash in on the new hotness. Not that their own rationale stopped them from publishing a slew of Harry Potter and Twilight clones.

Some newpub gurus claim that Amazon and the resurgent pulp work ethic have broken the trend-jumping barrier. Now that an independent author can write and publish a pro-quality book in a month, they say, it is indeed possible to catch that pesky puck.

There's no question that newpub authors enjoy a tremendous speed advantage over the ossified New York houses. The folks who point to this advantage and declare that they've cracked the code miss a key aspect of the challenge facing authors. 

Riding a trend doesn't merely require catching the wave in time. Speed is just one horn of the dilemma. The other problem is visibility.

What everybody overlooks in their haste to join the next big thing is that a million other writers have the same idea. Getting your book into a hot new market means competing with the glut of other books vying for the fad consumers' attention.

Here's something else everybody misses. A new blockbuster trend doesn't just attract fans from adjacent genres. It creates new ones. What happens when the public moves on from a prior fad to the next? Do fans of the old fad go away? Some do, but not all of them. That leaves a large, but not too large, audience underserved.

Vampire fiction: perfect example. Which name authors are writing new vampire books now that Twilight has largely faded from the scene? The answer is nobody. Stephenie Meyer remains the biggest fish in that shrunken but still cash-rich pond. Are there still readers who're interested in vampire books? Almost certainly. Is competition for those readers as stiff as it was a decade ago? Not even close. A smart author would capitalize on this situation.

The problem with chasing the puck is just one publishing conundrum that author David V. Stewart and I tackled this past Saturday. Check out his show for a rollicking conversation about the writer's craft, the latest Death Cult enormities, and more.



One topic David graciously chose to discuss is the currently running crowdfunder for my mecha thriller Combat Frame XSeed: SS. We just smashed our third stretch goal and unlocked the CFXS short story collection, which is available as a perk through the campaign. Mecha and RPG fans alike will be enthused to hear that our current stretch goal is an official Combat Frame XSeed Roleplaying game rulebook.

Combat Frame XSeed roleplaying game

The RPG manual will be confirmed when we reach $5000. Support indie sci fi, choose from a ton of sweet perks, and help make the Combat Frame XSeed RPG a reality.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS 423

2021/03/12

The eDrama Egg Timer

Egg Timer

The total conquest of all cultural institutions by the Death Cult has given rise to a robust counterculture, even as it presents dissenting artists with serious challenges. Chief among those challenges is the problem of discoverability. If you're a talented creator whose personal convictions make you anathema to the fanatics that run the media, how are you to build an audience?

One answer our guys have come up with is eDrama marketing. The basic idea is to pick out a representative of the establishment and find a way to sell yourself as the plucky little guy crusading against the man. People - especially Americans - love an underdog, so playing the put-upon victim of megacorp ticket-takers is an effective way to drum up sympathy.

No doubt about it, eDrama can make for rapid gains. I've used that approach myself. If the popularity of professional wrestling has taught us anything, it's that kayfabe works. People love to root for the face against the heel. The ringleaders of certain dissident art scenes have ridden outrage marketing to modest e-celebrity and small fortunes.

Now, stirring the pot can be an effective way for a newcomer to get visibility. Most people reading this post can think of multiple now-established brands that made their bones by feuding with the big boys when they first hit the scene. The problems inherent in eDrama marketing come to the fore when creators let outrage tactics drag on too long. That way risks developing a dependency on ginning up outrage. Astute observers will note the baked-in weakness of that approach: If the growth of your brand relies on picking fights with the man, you always need to be punching up against bigger and bigger fish. The fate awaiting those who choose this path is inevitable defeat by their own success, as they in turn become the man. After that, there's nowhere to punch but down.

On the other hand, a rabble-rousing artist could in theory grow his brand to a comfortable level and carve out a niche there. But then he runs into the problem of diminishing returns. Maintaining a given level of notoriety in the outrage game means jousting with the same set of moderately bigger brands ad infinitum. Since you can't let your efforts make too big a splash, you've got to trade constant mid-level coups for intermittent big ones. Time spent tilting at online foes cuts into more profitable activities like drawing, writing, or composing. In practice, nobody can keep up that level of drama forever, so taking this route is a ticket to burnout.

Either way, following the eDrama road past the initial breakout phase sets an egg timer on your career. The countdown to irrelevance has begun.

The same goes for attacking big IPs as opposed to personal brands. Posting essays and making videos about how the latest installment of Big Brand X is woke garbage still boils down to riding Brand X's coattails, no matter how thoroughly you DESTROY its lame characters and hackneyed plot. 

Again, if you decide to continue with this approach beyond a certain point, you'd better hope Big Brand X never falls out of favor, because your gravy train will go with it. For counterculture artists, building a brand off of attacking globomedia franchises is no less a setup for failure than the GOP running against the Democrats. By defining your brand as anti-Brand X, all you're doing is signing with the Globetrotters.

Which works if all you're in this for is to make enough scratch to stave off a day job. Readers who've been watching the indie arts scene for the last few years could name a number of creators who are now making a living as social media firebrands or YouTube critics.

The elephant in the room, though, is that everyone outside the velvet rope makes obligatory noises about changing the culture. As has been explained, waging flame wars with oldpub purse puppies and giving Hollywood studios free advertising disguised as poison pen reviews does exactly nothing in the long run to accomplish that goal.

George Lucas didn't make Star Wars a household name by attacking Flash Gordon.

J.K. Rowling didn't turn Harry Potter into an international sensation by sniping at George R.R. Martin.

You could say that the socioeconomic conditions that enabled Lucas' and Rowling's success no longer exist, and you'd be right. That doesn't mean other avenues aren't available and more won't become available with time.

Here's a simple and relatable story about a guy who got a successful side business up and running by selling pineapple-themed products. Starting from where a lot of you are now, he did his market research, found his niche, and made sure people associated positive shopping experiences with his easily identifiable brand.

Anybody in any market can do the same. How?

I'll answer with another question:

Who makes your water heater?

Chances are, unless you just bought or renovated your home, you didn't know the answer off the top of your head. That's no slight against water heaters or their manufacturers. Both are rather low-profile because water heaters are expected to be reliable. We only interact with them on the rare occasions when they don't work.

Follow up question: What brand of TV do you have?

Bet you knew that one right away, didn't you? That's because, unlike your water heater, you interact with your TV all the time. And every time you do, you see the manufacturer's logo emblazoned right there on the front.

Which is entirely deliberate, by the way. Watching TV gives you a dopamine rush. TV manufacturers strategically place their logos so you'll associate their brand with your dopamine hits.

How do you build a brand that actually has a chance of making a cultural impact?

Be the TV.

That means consistently giving customers positive experiences and making sure they associate those experiences with your brand.

Of course, TVs aren't the only example. My hit mech thriller series Combat Frame XSeed has earned a loyal readership of satisfied customers. It got there because I promise readers a quality experience, and I always make sure to deliver.

Just like I've delivered on every promise I've made to my XSeed crowdfund backers. Experience the edge-of-your-seat thrill ride for yourself. Back XSeed: SS now, and get every book in the hit series for a bargain you won't find anywhere else! Plus, help us fund the CFXS short story collection when we hit 400%.

Welcome to the post-future. Support the campaign:

Combat Frame XSeed: SS 350%

2021/03/11

Death Cult Seminaries

That's what Death Cult priest  R. Tolteka Cuauhtin is openly campaigning to turn California's public schools into.

Next week, the California Department of Education will vote on a new statewide ethnic studies curriculum that advocates for the “decolonization” of American society and elevates Aztec religious symbolism—all in the service of a left-wing political ideology.

The new program, called the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, seeks to extend the Left’s cultural dominance of California’s public university system, 50 years in the making, to the state’s entire primary and secondary education system, which consists of 10,000 public schools serving a total of 6 million students.

Failure to home school is child abuse.

R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, the original co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, developed much of the material regarding early American history. In his book Rethinking Ethnic Studies, which is cited throughout the curriculum, Cuauhtin argues that the United States was founded on a “Eurocentric, white supremacist (racist, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous), capitalist (classist), patriarchal (sexist and misogynistic), heteropatriarchal (homophobic), and anthropocentric paradigm brought from Europe.” The document claims that whites began “grabbing the land,” “hatching hierarchies,” and “developing for Europe/whiteness,” which created “excess wealth” that “became the basis for the capitalist economy.” Whites established a “hegemony” that continues to the present day, in which minorities are subjected to “socialization, domestication, and ‘zombification.’”

The religious narrative is even more disturbing. Cuauhtin developed a related “mandala” claiming that white Christians committed “theocide” against indigenous tribes, killing their gods and replacing them with Christianity. White settlers thus established a regime of “coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide,” characterized by the “explicit erasure and replacement of holistic Indigeneity and humanity.” The solution, according to Cuauhtin and the ethnic studies curriculum, is to “name, speak to, resist, and transform the hegemonic Eurocentric neocolonial condition” in a posture of “transformational resistance.” The ultimate goal is to “decolonize” American society and establish a new regime of “countergenocide” and “counterhegemony,” which will displace white Christian culture and lead to the “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.”

To translate that wall of Death Cult ritual cant into English: "Aztec demon-gods are our friends. Christ and His Church are our enemies."

Don't believe me? Check out the diabolical litany these demon-ridden scum came up with:

ethnic studies chant 1

ethnic studies chant 2

ethnic studies chant

ethnic studies chant
Attention, parents who still send their kids to the state-run indoctrination centers anachronistically called "schools": You've had years of warnings. If finding out that the fanatics you entrust your kids to for seven hours a day plan to brainwash them into hating themselves, hating you, and worshiping demons isn't enough to wake you up, you deserve what is rapidly coming your way.

"But that story's from California!" I hear you rationalizing. "Everybody knows they're crazy out there!"

As California goes, so goes the country. State-mandated devil worship is coming soon to a school near you. Our satanic rulers won't stop until public schools in all fifty states are Death Cult seminaries. It was inevitable once they'd banned prayer to the One, True God.

Your family has two choices: home school, or die.

Yes, you might have to go down to one income.

You might have to share one car.

You'll probably have to cancel all those streaming services.

You may not be able to eat out every day.

So what? How is the choice of keeping all of those dubious luxuries or ensuring your child's intellectual and spiritual health any choice at all?

It's not as if creators who don't hate you aren't working night and day to provide you with quality alternatives to debased mainstream entertainment.


Combat Frame XSeed: SS 350

2021/03/10

Pacing Lessons from Fury Road

Fury Road

Many writers labor under a common misconception about what makes a book feel fast-paced. Slamming chapters together with no space in-between doesn't necessarily give readers a sense of speed. In fact, it can do the opposite by bringing on action fatigue. Pacing has less to do with keeping lots of balls in the air than with with motivation.

Consider Mad Max: Fury Road. It's been described as a nonstop car chase, and George Miller is said to have storyboarded it that way, but look closely and you'll find several points where the action slows down or outright pauses so the characters can take stock of the situation, lick their wounds, and plan their next move. It just feels like the action never stops from the audience's point of view because the characters are so well-established and their motives are crystal clear.

Always remember:
  1. Storytelling is about manipulating the reader's perceptions. It's primarily emotional. Intellect is secondary.
  2. The physical nuts and bolts of a story rarely if ever have a direct 1:1 effect on readers' perceptions. In fact, the effect is often the opposite of what you'd expect. The relationship is almost like dream logic.
So counter-intuitively, a story that actually is nonstop action feels like a slog, whereas a story with one explosion every 5000 words can feel like a runaway roller coaster ride if you've got your characters and their motives clear in the reader's head.

To put it in wordsmithing terms, the element that fuels the plot and keeps the reader on the edge of his seat furiously turning pages to find out what happens next is dramatic tension. Conflict builds tension. Note that conflict and action are not the same thing. Conflict arises when a character in pursuit of a goal encounters an obstacle to getting what he wants. Action often releases tension by providing a measure of conflict resolution.

What this means is that the tension isn't necessarily where you think it is. Here's a simplified example.
  1. Max and his allies are trying to get their truck out of the mud.
  2. A wave of goons shows up to kill them. This is when the tension spikes.
  3. Max slaughters the goons. The tension is relieved.

The longer a fight scene, the more tension is reduced, Think of action as a tension release valve.

That doesn't mean you should pull an Indiana-Jones-shooting-the-swordsman routine every time. Balancing dramatic tension with satisfying conflict resolution is a delicate high wire act. Having the hero just blow through every challenge quickly desensitizes the reader until the appearance of new obstacles stops raising the tension entirely.

The trick is to have an overarching goal for the protagonist, regularly introduce new obstacles--and new kinds of obstacles--that ratchet up the tension, and have the hero believably overcome the obstacle without releasing all of the additional tension. Following every action scene, the dramatic tension should be at least a little higher than it was before the scene began. Think a series of peak and valleys where each peak and valley is higher than the last.

Dramatic tension should reach a crescendo in the third act climax. At that point, the story should downshift from rising action to falling action as loose ends are tied up and the last conflicts are resolved.

Since action scenes tend to actually relieve dramatic tension, there's no reason breaks in the action can't maintain or even heighten tension. These scenes are where characters can discuss the story's stakes, which is a great way to heighten tension. Think of any scene in an Ocean's movie where the characters are planning a heist. Showing you all the complex security measures they must defeat to succeed turns up the tension, even though the only action is a conversation between characters,

For the ultimate example of non-action tension building, look to The Empire Strikes Back. Many viewers erroneously think Luke's lightsaber duel with Vader is the movie's climax. It's not. Their discussion afterward is. It doesn't get any more dramatic than Vader's pivotal revelation. The resolution comes when Luke makes his choice and jumps.

Where to place the breaks? A piece of advice my editor Jagi gave me that I try to use in every novel is to give the characters a chance to rest and reflect on their situation at least once per act. This serves as a recap of the story thus far for the reader's benefit and can build/maintain tension as explained above.

For some added action genre structural help, check out Lester Dent's Master Pulp Formula. It was devised for short stories, but it scales up to novels easily. Just divide your total word count by four, and replace the 1500 value with that number. It maps to three act structure pretty well, too.

To see these principles in action on both the novel and short story scales, back my new mecha thriller Combat Frame XSeed: SS to get two novels and a free short story at every perk tier. We're close to funding a complete XSeed short story collection, so claim your rewards and help make the anthology happen now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS 331

2021/03/09

Aughts Nostalgia

The accepted wisdom among creators in the new counterculture holds that there will be no aughts nostalgia movement as there is for the last decades of the 20th century.

Western cultural development stagnated and finally started eating itself circa 1997. Therefore, the lion's share of media products after that point are necessarily debasements or hollow derivatives of 80s and 90s IPs.

Nevertheless, this week I came across a Millennial attempting to stir up nostalgia for post-Ground Zero culture. 

Here's the best he could come up with:

Aughts Nostalgia 1998-2000

You might ask how I know the anon who authored that greentext is a Millennial. Besides the time window he picked, which would have coincided with Millennials' childhood and adolescent years,  he displays that generation's defining attitudes toward the past. That being marked ignorance of and glib disdain for history compounded with delight in seeing what came before them destroyed.

Let's go down the list:
  • Normie-free internet - Clearly he never saw MySpace. The real golden age of the internet as exclusive nerd social club was the 90s. But narcissists dislike contemplating the world before they existed.
  • 80s nostalgia - is 80s nostalgia, not aughts nostalgia, but he has to reframe pop culture icons predating his birth in terms of their Reboot Phase.
  • World Peace and economic stability: Here's the dead giveaway. The decade this anon cites coincides with the War on Terror. He has no memory of the world before the Forever Wars, so he takes the current state of low-grade global chaos as his baseline. This point perfectly demonstrates why lumping Generation Y in with the Millennials produces a useless generational model.
  • Poz, just not as much - Note that anon approves of the nuclear family's demolition; he just preferred it when the wrecking ball hadn't yet been turned on his video games.
  • Piracy and porn - Here's a glimpse at the deep evil festering beneath Millennial's worldview. Petty theft and onanism are not culture. They are infections that sterilize the self-propagating faculty that is a major defining mark of culture. You're seeing the greased slide that leads straight from the Pop Cult to the Death Cult, folks.
  • More porn - this guy is so blinkered and conditioned not to think past his own crotch that he can't see how the degeneracy he pines for ruined everything else he loves.
  • ICQ - invented in 1996
  • Facebook as we know it didn't exist in the 80s, either.
  • OK, he has been on MySpace. If he considers that the high point of internet culture, he's suffering from far more severe historical ignorance than I thought.
  • Michael Jackson - yet more co-opted 80s nostalgia
  • The Simpsons - had stopped being funny by 1998, and it's been scientifically proven.

The bleak self-portrait painted by Millennial Anon's greentext shows an atomized, solipsistic child forever looping in the Corporate IP Death Cycle with no idea where he came from or where he's going.

But anon and countless Millennials like him are not to be scorned. Rather, they are to be pitied. Generations Y, X, Jones, and the Boomers helped make and perpetuate the spiritual wasteland to which younger generations have been condemned. It's incumbent upon us to do what we can to salvage them.

What concrete action have you taken today to rebuild authentic culture?

If you can't come up with anything, my first suggestion is to take a minute and pray for guidance.

Then, take stock of your skills and resources to figure out positive steps you can take in your corner of the world to support the flourishing of healthy culture.

Patronizing artists who are making new culture rooted in tradition is a simple and impactful step you can take right now. My latest military thriller is currently funding on Indiegogo. Back the book now, claim sweet rewards, and help secure publication of an exciting new short story collection.

Back it now!

Combat Frame XSeed: SS 330