Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The animal at nightfall

"Montgomery told me that the Law... became oddly weakened about nightfall;
that then the animal was at its strongest;
a spirit of adventure sprang up in them at the dusk;
they would dare things they never seemed to dream about by day".

H. G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Profound bullshit

Fortunately, another christmas is now definitely done and tons of more rubbish is spouted by the defenders of this beyond shitty holiday.

The quote below is on example of the quality of the criticism I and others received when we pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of it all. The person in question even claims to be an atheist, which is somewhat typical for the problem humanity is currently facing. Christianity and religion obviously have deep hooks in us all, even in those claiming to have left it behind.

«I love Christmas ~ it has nothing to do with religion ~ it is a celebration of the core of goodness & light in everyone ~ Merry Christmas»

What profound bullshit

Christmas symbolizes greed, hypocrisy, oppression and the horror of religion. There is no viable excuse for defending this vile practice.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The invisible Palestinian liberation struggle



Today is the second anniversary of the Gaza massacre. Two years has passed since the beyond brutal attack by israel on what is basically a defenseless population, two years since israeli military and paramilitary forces murdered men, women and children, even young children and bombed to dust hospitals, schools, community houses, ambulances and just about anything both moving and not.

The obviously correct and meticulous Goldstone rapport offers a detailed and horrible picture of what happened. The Norwegian surgeons Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse and others present gave their personal account of «wading in blood», all of it pretty much ignored by western news media.

The Genocide of the Palestinian people, by israeli forces, ongoing since 1945 took yet another dramatic turn for the worse.

Let me once again remind you of what genocide is, according to Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948):

Article 2

...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Make no mistake, this is what is happening in Palestine.


The official international reaction to the massacre in Gaza was as predictable, as it is sad and inhuman. It was a shrug, really, and yet another attempt at blaming the victims for the acts of their oppressor and occupant.

Private citizens, like myself got totally fed up, though. I had been aware of the situation in Palestine for years, and written several articles about it, but I hadn’t actually engaged myself in its activism. Many felt like me. Thousands joined the various Palestine-friendly groups in Europe, United States and the world.

Western governments, however continued their fence sitting, continued being «friends with israel», a completely disgusting and unacceptable stand.

Anything putting pressure on israel, like the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and South American nations recognizing Palestine as an independent state (worrying to no end the israeli cabinet minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer) is a good thing, but far stronger measures are sorely needed.

The attack on the international flotilla and massacre onboard the Mavi Marmara elicited pretty much the same reaction, the same lack of response. The Turkish government was pretty livid… for a while, but now says it wants a return to «normal relations» with israel.

There are the massacres, a new one every second year or so, but even worse than that is the ongoing, deliberate erosion of the Palestinian people from Palestine. Look at the map from 1946 and look at the same area today, and an undeniable truth appears even stronger than it does in the daily independent news.

Palestinian farmers on the West Bank have to beg Israeli soldiers for working on their own land. Practically every day they have to put up with hours of humiliation and degradation to do even the most simple of tasks. The Palestinians are terrorized while, israeli citizens are stealing ever more of their land.

Today Palestinians lack even the most basic of human rights, in Gaza, on the West Bank and within Israeli borders. It’s an intolerable situation that the world community is mostly ignoring and allows to deteriorate further.

More articles about Palestine on Midnight Fire:

Hasbara

Britain's unions commit to mass boycott

I believe it

Israel's inhumanity in Palestine exposed yet again

Definition of Genocide

Blood on their hands and worse

Israel reveals its true face time and time again

Israel's wanton killing of children

A land given them by God

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My christmas tradition

This is a tradition at least as old as the Internet.

Each year, or every second year I publish or republish three poems to give my thoughts on christmas. This year, as an added bonus I've added a fourth.

Enjoy...

Christmas is finally over

I shit my pants today

The Burning

Nothing happened - a ballad

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Author’s word - Night on Earth

The novel Night on Earth grew out of London’s streets and back alleys…

Calling it «a London story» is indeed more than correct.

And even though I have also used London as a backdrop in other novels, it’s the first where the entire story takes place there.

I’ve always felt grateful, almost indebted to London because of all the inspiration it has given me. An artist, any type of artist gets a lot for free just by walking its streets. It’s a great city for most people, but for artists and storytellers it is an amazing place, filled with stories and moods and settings.

It’s a bit of a coincidence that I arrived in London the first time during the summer of 1983. I needed a European city, setting for my novel The Slaves, and I chose London, and I traveled to London because of that. I will always be twice grateful because my life as an artist enriched my life in general. It didn’t just help bringing me to London, but to all over the world. My life and art became even more one and the same.

Not many authors or filmmakers go deep into a setting today. If they describe a character’s surroundings at all it’s very often in a more technical, clinical way, lacking the depth and thorough effort the setting deserve. London makes it easy, at least to me, to describe it properly.

I’ve often visited the town, and I’ve lived there for five years. If I have a home at all, within civilization it’s there.

I had a quandary before writing the book, since I didn’t want to be too kind to the setting. The present day London, as it was, when I lived there, from 1988 to 1993 was difficult for me to describe in a bad way. So I struggled a bit, before I had the idea of moving it into the future, a strategic move that also fit well into other ideas I had about the novel.

And the thing is, many of the bad things I describe, like the extensive surveillance and oppressive police presence has already come to pass. The bad stuff was there in the early nineties, too, of course, but not as prevalent as it is today.

For one thing there were countless truly alternative and radical bookshops and venues. Now, there is hardly any left. You could also find radical books in ordinary bookshops, something that is very unlikely today. The horrible and pervasive pressure from above has more or less made any free expression that much harder. That the free expression and wild human being is still present says a lot about both London and the prevalent human spirit.

This is as close to a genre book I’ll ever come, I guess. It has some of the elements of the horror story and some of the Gothic, dark fantasy elements, more so than my other stories, perhaps.

But on the other hand it has a lot of other elements usually not used in those genres. I abhor genre-stories, really…

I’ve been told before that I do write Gothic stories, even though many of the classic trappings are missing, because my characters often have wicked and unsavory traits. To me that means I’m merely describing human beings, not the paper dolls so much present in mainstream storytelling. My main people are just that, people, not heroes, not anti-heroes or anything fitting into any preconfigured notion of how they should behave.

Btw I wrote this between 1992 and 2004, long before vampires became super-popular…

It’s a classic vampire and London story without being a classic vampire and London story. The word «vampire» btw isn’t mentioned in the novel at all. I’m quite proud of that.

I’ve always loved vampire stories, their nocturnal and feral nature, vampire stories with bite, that is, not the diluting, ruination of the legend we’ve witnessed the last twenty years, in both film and books. This is a far cry from the countless «young adult» vampire stories we suffer the presence of today. I have also totally removed the religious trappings, and returned to basics, far removed from the christian morality that has also ruined many a potentially great story. You won’t see my vampires recoil from the sight of crosses or being unable to enter churches and such. To me they’ve always been enhanced humans and not supernatural beings.

I feel a little ambiguous writing this, at least publishing it on the Internet, since I would prefer that you have read the story before reading this commentary. It takes a while before the presence of the vampires becomes apparent, as it should. As always I let the reader dive slowly into the story and discover the puzzle in his or her own way. I would guess that the presence of vampires doesn’t come as a shock to the aware reader, however. It is certainly not meant to be a secret, or a surprise, for that matter. Many people that are into paranormal literature and art would know or at least suspect that vampires are present by reading the blurb, the back cover description.

It’s a Mystery of the mind and the flesh, slowly unfolding and exploding, one more story about the Wild Man in the modern world.

PS: I’m always surprised by the thought and contemplation that has to be done in order to write even a brief commentary like this...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The christmas sickness

I usually do an annual or at least biannual attack on christmas and its sick celebration, both with (gallows) humor and seriousness, and this year, by a bit of coincidence I started early. It usually results in some controversy. When people are told a truth they don't want to hear, they grow angry, of course and so also in this case.

During my first years on the Internet, when I sent out mail to the people on my mailing list, all fairly radical I could receive replies such as this:

«Why did you send this message to me? Many of us were very distressed by it. Please remove me from your mailing list immediately».


I told her I couldn’t understand why she was on it in the first place and obliged. I got rid of lots of dead meat that way…

I’m gonna document it, in a bit more detail this year, to see if it leads anywhere.


The first person has blocked me on Twitter because of this subject already and it’s just the 11.

@StephenBBagley I know it's not sophisticated or smartly cynical or even snarky, but I love Christmas. Despite the darkness of this December, I still do.

@HoodedMan @StephenBBagley christmas symbolizes greed, hypocrisy, oppression and the horror of religion http://bit.ly/8plWl9

@StephenBBagley You must be fun at christmas parties

@HoodedMan @StephenBBagley I don't go to any, of course

And that was that.

The latter link is to an excellent article by Maxine Montserrat ( @LucidGlow ) on the subject and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Beyond insane

There is no nation on Earth where Freedom reigns, just tiny pockets of it besieged by the armies of oppression. The insanity is pervasive, everywhere, and on all fronts. It’s easily identified, almost no matter where you go, from top to bottom in society.

It takes a series of minor and major forms every day and night.

Humanity has, for a while now dug deep holes in the ground to find poisonous compounds, compounds they knew early were poisonous. And we continue this horrible tradition today, when our knowledge about its poisonous «qualities» is better known than ever. We make ever more poison, more artificial chemicals in addition to those we dig from the Earth, thousands new and beyond dangerous every year.

This wretched stupidity goes beyond even insanity, into suicidal behavior.

We live in a society where both the leaders and most of its people are both deeply ignorant and irresponsible, where humanity, as a species is committing collective suicide.

Alternative information is suppressed.

Any truly alternative way of living is sneered at and its proponents are persecuted.

Our extensive use of coal and oil is about to transform Earth from a fairly pleasant globe to an inferno. Coal brings death below to the people digging it up and disaster once we start using its «bounty».

Our equally extensive use of chemicals in all parts of our life is making us sick and threatens to make most of the life on the planet infertile.

What is currently seen as viable alternatives, like nuclear energy is even worse. Its fuel is the most dangerous compound in existence.

Advanced technology makes us ever better in the art of destroying nature, ruining all life. We have transformed 50 percent of the wilderness into cities and other lifeless, truly desolate areas. It’s a process speeding up year by year.

The modern human society is steeped in oppression, intolerance and devastation. Civilization is destroying everything making life worth living. If not all the physical aspects of the present day horror make you stop and think, this aspect of modern existence should definitely do it.

Current humanity is totally fucked up!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks (I)

Let me first start with what a great thing it is that Wikileaks has released and is releasing United States’ classified information in unprecedented quantities, and that the United States government and industrial/military complex seems helpless to stop it.

Governments lie, lie through their teeth, lie all the time and this will inevitably let more people realize this.

What has been revealed so far, about the US and NATO brutal warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan and also elsewhere isn’t really that much new stuff. The detail of it is impressive, but radical people like myself have been well aware of far more disturbing facts for decades.

It has even been in the public room, fairly easy to come by for those seeking them.

United States has made 132 invasions since its inception, an unprecedented track record very hard, if not downright impossible to beat. They have been carrying out genocide against the indigenous population. They have instigated, directly and indirectly a rule of terror in Central and South America. The entire world has felt its terror.

They have assassinated heads of state, toppled governments and generally speaking contributed a lot to today’s fucked up world.

These are facts, not a matter of opinion.

Has the United States contributed anything good to humanity at all? Yes. But nowhere enough to counter all the bad.

Anybody buying the establishment’s criticism against Wikileaks should have their head’s examined. Somebody should have done this and more decades ago.

My only objection so far concerns what hasn’t been published so far. There should be no holding back what so ever here. As long as there is, there will always be a justified suspicion that this is all a controlled leak from some faction in the forces behind the government.

A frank, honest man.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Celebration times four

There will be at least four reasons for celebration when I arrive in London on Sunday.

I have completed my novel "At the end of the rainbow", the fourth installment of my series The Janus Clan tonight. It will be published next year.

The Slaves, the second book in the series is officially published on Sunday.

Being in London is, in itself a reason to celebrate.

It's Samhain Sunday night, an ancient All Soul's Night where Life itself is celebrated.

At the very least those four. But I'm convinced one or ten more will easily manifest.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Machine not

«What is it that makes us human? It isn't something you can program. You can't put it into a chip. It's the strength of the human heart, the difference between us and machines».
Marcus Wright - Sam Worthington - Terminator Salvation (2009)

There are those who would disagree with the above statement, claiming that humanity can be quantified, can be measured and defined like a chemical solution in a dish. Most people calling themselves scientists would make that claim without hesitation.

Such an approach to humanity, to life itself is certainly one major flaw with science in general.

One of several disastrous results of such a horrible outlook is the society civilization and its advanced technology has created. The society previous humanity has made, current humanity is making is a Machine, and humanity is its nuts and bolts and wheels, one where many scientists and techno-freaks speak about artificial intelligence being potentially superior to mankind’s, where people like Hans Moravec boast about their desire to download human consciousness into a machine and brag about its advantages.


What follows is my review on the movie Terminator Salvation and related subjects, translated and expanded from my original Norwegian article:


I watched the film for the second time tonight, re-experiencing the greatness, the experience further enhanced in my mind, one motion picture many professional reviewers have called «painfully bad».

The film is a masterpiece from the first to the last frame. There is something about the Terminator movies bringing out greatness in everybody working with them.

John Connor has been played by at least four people. Three directors and several writers have contributed to the story. Quality remains high throughout the series. All four films are up there with the very best. They say so very much about fate and what it means to be human, and are rare gems of deep, intense action-films.

Before each new installment I have been pretty much without high expectations. I don’t know quite why that is, but I guess I have feared that it would be impossible to repeat past greatness. Each and every time I have been beyond pleasantly surprised. There is something about the theme and story that obviously bring out the best in the various crews working on the films. One can see and sense, easily notice how thorough they are.

We’re finally watching John Connor, humanity’s «leader» in the war against the machines, follow him in the future, a part of the story we believed we would never be told. We know a few things about what happens, about what must happen, before the film starts, but the excitement and tension is still high, in spite of that. Connor is no longer absolutely necessary for the war against the machines to continue. Kyle Reese is, but not John Connor. And we’re kept on the edge of our seat to the final frame. The story is about Man and Machine, literally. In a time where humans become ever more organic machines, robots, puppets hardly doing anything but dance in strings a film like this is increasingly valuable. Marcus Wright says that humans can’t be programmed. I don’t know if I share his optimistic view there, but what’s certainly true is that not everybody can be. The fire burning within all humans cannot be extinguished.

Reviewers are, as I often say the art community’s parasites. They have no true function. They have no true knowledge of film, what is great film, or rather: don’t have any better knowledge than most people and far inferior compared to those of us burning for a great story, an experience beyond description inside and outside the theater or living room. Reviewers state their ignorant view and present it as a bible of what movies (books, music, art in general) are supposed to be.

In a strange and startling and very telling way they remind me of scientists. Both groups are beyond eager to classify, define everything. If they can’t label stuff, they grow very cranky and self-serving, and even desperate and yes, dangerous.

I’ve always made sure to watch movies slaughtered by reviewers and they have, practically without exception shown themselves to be great films.

That these people are paid to publish their shit is absolutely incredible.

You’ve just read one man’s opinion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Author’s word - The Slaves

The Slaves, the second installment of my series The Janus Clan is my most violent novel so far, one that takes the art form of transgression far and beyond, I'm proud to say. A friend of mine told me that reading it had been an ordeal, and I said thank you. He said he had a hard time dealing with all the wounds it opened, and I beamed at him. I want my readers to have a hard time with it, want them to ask themselves the hard, the truly hard questions.

But it’s also, in many ways an upbeat tale, one about empowerment, liberation from enslavement, or at least the start of the long road to true Freedom.

It is extremely violent, an attack on the senses, both mentally and physically, but it has to be, with the story it's telling. It's a tale for adults, in all meanings of the word, one hardly subtracting anything from the horror that is the current human society.

I remember once when I discussed it over the phone with a representative for a publisher. «It’s so rough, so beyond brutal». I could virtually see him sit there and shake his head.

«So what»? I asked him.

He never really replied to that one, except in hopeless generalities. I discovered a startling truth that day, in my youth and naiveté: A story that explicitly revealed the horrors of modern life just wasn’t feasible to established publishers.

Eventually I would discover that a lot of stuff wasn’t feasible to any established publisher. They would speak a lot in public about the need for fighting censorship, but when push came to shove… they would turn away. The obvious reason for this is that they’re an integral part of the public censorship, one bastion of several erected to keep troublesome and truly alternative material from reaching the public.

I am a Storyteller, I want to tell stories, but I’m also a very engaged, passionate human being. I look at the current world and want to change it, change it dramatically, also through my art. Censorship, in all forms has always been one of many pet peeves of mine, and I certainly don’t hold back when I’m writing in fear of what timid, domesticated people may think.

Thanks to David Huxley for the crowd picture, one which turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Thanks also to Obskur (not Obscure). I didn’t end up using his picture, but it still helped me in the process.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A better world (I)

I want a better world, a much better world.

A good start on our path to such a distant place in time and space would be to let go of the pretense and blatant hypocrisy dominating today’s global society, locally, nationally and internationally.

There are very few good things about the current world. We, humanity live in a hell of our own making, and we claim it’s a good thing.

A better world wouldn’t celebrate something like Columbus Day, but would call it the horror it was and still is, and always will be. In a better world most people wouldn’t say good things about bad people in the bad people’s funerals. They wouldn’t feel the need to hide real problems because of convenience and fear of losing face or influence or stature.

The white Europeans exterminated millions of native «Americans». You would believe that a fact like that should have a greater impact on a society claiming to be more evolved and «civilized»… right? Yes, it has happened, it can’t be undone, but that isn’t really the issue here. You see, instead of being condemned Columbus' arrival in the land now called America is celebrated, yet another sign that nothing really has changed, and that the same mechanisms are still present today. The forces driving the state of israel are allowed, openly to do the same to the Palestinians, and the rest of the world shrugs in its indifference. There are countless other examples.

Might makes right.

You might claim that the custom of never saying bad things about anyone after they’re dead is a minor thing, a way of softening grief, but it isn’t really. It’s one example of many of how pervasive hypocrisy is today.

Hypocrisy serves the tyrants, obviously so, keeping important issues from being discussed. It’s one major type of oil keeping the wheels of the Machine going, like fear on the keys to the Kingdom to those people thriving in this thoroughly unjust, unequal and destructive society.

This as a modest start…

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Multicultural

It suddenly occurred to me, when I first published this article a couple of years ago that I hadn’t written this before, at least not quite like this. There is too much that stays unsaid, because it’s self-evident, but perhaps it should be said anyway, and far more often. The way the world works today, one should definitely do that.

I’ve traveled quite a bit, a lot in my life. The places I enjoy the most is filled to the rim with cultural variety. London is such a place. The city is a smorgasbord of cultures from all over the world, both residents and visitors, travelers. One million people that aren’t residents are visiting the city at any time. You’ve never quite experienced the true value of the multicultural society until you’ve visited or lived in London in spring. Growth is everywhere, and the plants are just a minor part of that. You hear dozens of languages and witness virtually an infinite number of behaviors. I used to live there, and have visited countless times beyond that, but every single visit is still an experience. Even whatever may exist of daily routines become a great experience there.

New Orleans is another city with similar pleasures. It enjoys Spanish, English, American, French and native roots, and has for centuries been a melting pot of cultures. You notice it easily when you walk through the distinct streets, the amazing mood virtually assaulting you. New Orleans is a poor city in financial terms, also before Katrina, but aside from that it isn’t really poor on anything.

These are two cases. There are many more, all over the globe.

The obvious truth, heard and stated rarely, way too infrequently is that this, in such melting pots is where true creativity and display of humanity is exhibited in earnest. To a true seeker and artist such places are a fabulous inspiration. Throughout history they have been an ever-growing source of growth, the reason a group of people have moved on from possible stagnation, while people living in isolation and being full of themselves have ended up on the graveyard of history.

I’ve never truly understood racists and people hostile to strangers, and I never will. They’re scared and sad creatures, a fact that’s easy to understand. But what’s going on in their heads aside from that is impossible to guess. They close themselves off from life, and wish to do the same with everybody else. They give me the creeps.

But in melting pots like London and New Orleans one forgets those kind of humans, dismisses their narrow view on reality like the bad dream it is, and remembers easily, beyond memory… what it means to be human.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Hooded Man

«The greenwood is the outlaw's friend. Now, the orphan boys make us welcome. No tax, no tied, nobody rich, nobody poor. Fair shares for all at nature's table. Many wrongs to be righted in the country of King John.»
Lady Marian - Cate Blanchett - Robin Hood (2010)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Celebration mighty and true

There has been a lot of celebration this summer. In fact, except for a sixteen-day and night binge-drinking Tour to London in 1995 and a wet month in Thailand in 2003 I’ve never celebrated more.

The best reason for this, except for Life in general is that I’ve started publishing my novels, finally started in earnest. It hard for me to truly convey how much this means to me, what a thrill, a savage joy it is. Doing so is a reward in itself, but doing it, knowing the long and hard struggle behind it makes it thrice worthwhile and precious.

Yes, celebration is its own reward, but knowing the long walk behind it, makes it that much more explosive and fun. I’ve danced around the campfire in the wilderness, drunk myself into a stupor on Guiness and left pubs in ruins, in the deepest, darkest night and even in the grayest of days and sorrow. Lives have been ruined and transformed in the course of my wild celebration…

It has been a great summer.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Real

Timothy Joyce is real.

This is a warning to all you complacent tyrants and would-be tyrants out there.

This is a blinding flash of shadow to all of you fighting for true justice, equality and freedom everywhere.

Timothy Joyce is the shadow lurking at the edge of our vision. He has always existed. There is always a Timothy Joyce somewhere. He will always be here. Timothy Joyce is something, someone beyond rebellion, beyond hope and wretched abandon. If you’re looking for a decent, peaceful and nice opponent to today’s horrible regime, he isn’t it. He’s what all complacency fear, a fire burning on the coldest of rock.

I am Timothy Joyce and so are you. He’s a man, a woman, a human being that has let go of all bullshit, all pretence, of all hope that present day human society will ever be right.

He’s the ultimate rebel, one that has thrown all inhibition to the wind.

If you’re a poor public servant or corporate office rat or an ordinary, average obedient citizen that just wants to be left alone, forget it. You have no right to any kind of peace. If you think you have Timothy will soon rob you of that pleasant illusion.

If you’re lucky or unlucky enough to spot him with your closed eyes, terror will strike you to the bone.

Timothy Joyce is a force of nature rising from the deepest pit. He’s frustrations turned to rage and rage turned to a storm, one raging all shores, all fields and towns.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Author’s word - Your Own Fate

My friends jokingly and affectionately call this novel «the leaflet» because it’s «only» 88 000 words. My stories are usually approximately twice that or more.

This doesn’t need to be any longer than it is, though. I knew it would be fairly short before I began writing it. When I wrote the final chapter first it was always Chapter 12. Everything, every scene, every event or detail fit well into the others. It needs neither more nor less.

There are a few more additions I didn’t include, that I ultimately felt was unnecessary. They’re here, though, on these electronic pages, adding spice to the story.

The story is a riddle, a mystery of sorts, the only one I’ll ever write that will even approach a detective story, a crime novel. Like all of my stuff it’s a hybrid, everything and nothing of the above. But a mystery, a puzzle to be solved, somewhat. So I needed to leave clues for readers to ponder, but not be too obvious about it. I wanted to give people a change to solve the riddle before the end, but not making it too easy on them. Based on the talks I’ve had with people that have read the book, I believe I have succeeded. Most of them didn’t find out the startling truth until Jeremy Zahn himself did.

This is the first book I wrote completely on a computer, without having written any of it before on my old, derelict typewriter.


There’s no longer a Hotel Schirman in Amsterdam or a Plaza Cinema in London, among other places described in the novel. Which is perfectly fine with me. I can describe in detail what used to be real places in a present tense, without giving them free advertising.

London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and places are described like they were around the turn of the millennium, when I wrote the novel.


As usual, there are many sources of inspiration, even some surprising ones, among them Bruce Willis and Hollywood in general, in a backwards kind of way. You’ll understand why…

Without revealing too much or anything, really: If I had made Die Hard, the cop hiding inside a building full of «terrorists» would have been killed early in the film.

After I watched that film in 1988 the process began in earnest, I believe. Other movies after that with the usual, beyond silly Hollywood bent pushed it further along. Other movies before had helped a lot, too.

The ending of Under Siege 2 would have been quite different, of course, and Casey Ryback (Stephen Seagal) would have been dead in the first movie.

In River Wild with Meryl Streep the murderer would have slaughtered the family quite easily and moved on to other victims.

Stuff like that.

River Wild and Under Siege 2 really clinched it for me, I think. After an ongoing and persistent and increasingly LOUD buzz in my head, I started on the novel two years after I had left the theater with foam on my lips.


Obvious sources of backwards inspiration also include lukewarm environmentalists, non-violence advocates and all those police programs and crime stories on TV and in books…


But first and foremost, like many of my stories it’s a tale of empowerment and freedom, about people breaking free of all shackles, all confines, about winds of change running wild and great.

I'm happy to report that it’s vastly different from The Defenseless, like most of my books are different from each other.


Sometimes I fear I could have written an entire book about my writing of the leaflet…

If you look at the material I’ve put on the Internet already it’s obviously true.

Friday, July 30, 2010

True independence

This place, this Sherwood Forest is for everybody seeking true freedom, true independence from oppression and censorship, seeking to express themselves freely, without constraint. This includes, but aren’t limited to self-publishing authors, musicians, filmmakers, artists and human beings in general. True art surpasses art and has a deserved place in human society as a whole. Art is politics, because politics is everything, whether or not you choose to go left or right when you leave your home. Art should be radical, should be controversial, both because there is am undeniable need for it in today’s world, and because the Human Being should always seek to break boundaries and imposed realities.

Monday, July 26, 2010

True Artistic Freedom stage 3

My novel The Defenseless is now indeed available all over the world, for virtually anybody to enjoy. The Print on Demand (POD) process is exceeding my wildest expectation. There are no disadvantages compared to offset printing, only advantages. And if a store or a retailer wants to buy 3000 copies of my book and I want to offer them lower prices my printer Lightning Source (LSI) offers offset printing as well.

Self publishing and POD is the way of the future. The old ways are dead. Good riddance. The only way the tyrannical established publishers have any hold of authors anymore is if a given author gives them that hold by clinging to the old and horrible ways. Everybody, generally speaking going through the old system of sell out and censorship should ask themselves hard questions about what they’re doing.

I’m becoming, like I have for a long time. And this is just the beginning. I have lots of novels to offer you in the coming years, all among the most controversial the world has ever seen published, and totally unacceptable to the before mentioned old and horrible system.

And the next step is evident.

I’m now ready, more than ready to take that next step.

There has been an increasingly strong need, for some time, now, to counter the propaganda issued by established publishers of books and music, producers of films and art dealers in general. Young, hopeful authors and artists are still caught by that destructive establishment, still told by «authors» and «artists» that have already submitted themselves and their work to be ruined that the old system is best. Those established authors lie through their teeth to protect their hard-won vanity and their corporate masters, a process very common in all professions. They call themselves professionals, but are little more than hired thugs for the power still exploiting and ruining art for a quick buck or for personal satisfaction.

Do I see any value, any value at all in the vast majority of art published through established channels? Of course not! How could I, or anyone searching for true freedom of expression? It’s all the same tedious mash, a narrow template hardly deviating from itself at all. I was asked if I support authors/artists attempting to find acceptance in that horrible system and I certainly don’t.

So, I’m starting up True Independence in the hope that it one day will grow to become something major and great, but never established.

No matter, it’s worth pursuing and has its own rewards. The attempt itself makes it worth it. Self publishers are the true authors and the true artists, and even though they are a diverse bunch, they’re far less prone to be boxed in and limit their work through self-censorship. By rejecting the censorship and hacking process of established publishers, producers and similar we’re also, many of us rejecting the overall tyranny so prevalent in society at large, inevitably, because established media, the fourth estate has always served the general established society, tyranny of the world.

I have been very frustrated, also as a reader all my life. One casual glance at a given book or article, and I see censorship, see the skeleton hand of established publishers and a society filled with oppression, of both the printed word and speech in general.

Wild, unbound creativity should be celebrated, not frowned at and persecuted, like it is today. There is no country in the world where true freedom reigns. A society with a justified respect for itself should be encouraging creativity and free expression, not stifling it or merely tolerating it.

Say goodbye to dogma, to oppression of thought and speech and life in general. Live your life, as close as you can possibly come, like it should be lived.

The story so far:

Independence

Modern slavery

The Storyteller

True Artistic Freedom (II)

Reading it again

The chores of an independent author/artist

My fifty cents

True artistic freedom

Labeling and genre writing

Alarums of reality

The difficulties in describing a complex storyline

Other links:

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web

My writer «CV»

The Janus Clan

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Independence - My best advice to new writers or/and artists

One thing is more important than any other. My foremost advice to burgeoning authors or burgeoning anything is this:

Independence.

It takes precedence over virtually everything else.

You do things your way, or you don’t do them. If you can’t or won’t be original, can’t or won’t do something that hasn’t been done before or done that particular way… don’t bother.

That leaves out any traditional path, leaves out anything even smacking of the average, the safe and acceptable. Any artist or human being’s duty and right are to blaze a trail in blood and guts and wild abandon.

Forget about agents and of being accepted by established, traditional publishers. Don’t be a slave. Be your own publisher.

Further advices:

Don’t edit your story to death. Frown at editing, but do change what you’re not pleased with from the original manuscript, and consider without prejudice suggested changes by people you trust, accept them or not, but stay loyal to the original idea.

I tend to compare writing and subsequent «editing» with a bank robbery. If you plan too hard and long, nothing will ever be done. You may stand right across the street from the bank, and mutter to yourself: «Why didn’t I think of that before»? And you turn back and go home…

And years pass by, and you may no longer be in the necessary mental and physical shape to commit to the robbery and all plans remain in your drawer.

Incidentally, most of the advice young authors/artists receive today is still infested by the old, stale and tyrannical system. They tell you you have to submit, to bow to guidelines that has always seemed quite insane to me, now, more than ever.

I knew from the very start that my books would be published one night, somehow. I confess I didn’t know how, but I felt it in my bones. And with the onset of digital publishing and the Internet they were. And now I have the pleasure of being able to publish my backlog, publish twelve books during the next two years.

Many great manuscripts have remained in the drawer because of the tyranny of the established publishers and the system of tyranny they established, but that system is now, increasingly so in tatters. And what great news that is.

This is Your time, the age of the truly independent artist/author/publisher.

You should read the links below. They provide you with a step by step history of my evolution as an author/artist/publisher, and also technical advice.


The story so far:

Modern slavery

The Storyteller

True Artistic Freedom (II)

Reading it again

The chores of an independent author/artist

My fifty cents

True artistic freedom

Labeling and genre writing

Alarums of reality

The difficulties in describing a complex storyline

Other links:

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web

My writer «CV»

The Janus Clan

Monday, July 12, 2010

Modern slavery

I read about modern human slavery, what I call the modern human condition already in my early teens, and it quickly became a part of my writing. It’s present some way or another in almost every story I’ve written, but most of all in my first novels, The Defenseless and The Slaves. I read about people being kidnapped to distant lands and started to dig deeper, and then I found stories about people, refugees, immigrants coming to Europe, United States and the West in general that were turned into slaves, in many ways, not only as sexual slaves or cheap labor, but in far more fundamental ways… joining those already there.

This was a time when I, in ever more fundamental ways found that the description of modern society as basically fair was a base lie. I can’t recall exactly when that thought first struck me, but I would guess it was a slow realization, as I gathered more knowledge and more basic understanding of how the current world works.

I decided, made a conscious decision early on, on many things, to focus on the story, but also to include what concerned, excited and enraged me, both on a personal level and with society as a whole, no matter where it might lead me and the stories I wrote. This fit well into my early disgust for any kind of censorship. I watched how unpleasant truths were edited out of the main news stories and on every level of society. That before-mentioned modern condition was a non-issue.

It still is.

My books are political, of course they are, since everything ultimately is political. Not party political, mind you, but about the lives we live or don’t live. They tell an engaging story, but in that story is everything that I am and care about. Yes, art and the person making it is the same. Most current stories told by established artists are as bland and boring and non-engaging and shallow as the person writing it. When a slave is embracing his or her existence as a slave, like most present-day people do and writes a story about any given subject the result is doomed to be rather bad.

My pledge to myself and the world, both as an artist and a Human Being has been and is quite different. I attack life head on. As a review in Green Anarchist wrote years ago, about my novel ShadowWalk: «This is full-on reality. Blood and sweat and shit - nothing's toned down or dulled. The intensity of life comes through strong and meaty. Real life bursting off the pages».

I love that, of course. It’s nice to have confirmation that you are on the right track now and then.

Slavery, the obvious and the non-obvious is the modern condition, and we’re all its victims, and I will always fight it with everything I am.

«Approximately a million people are each year sold to forced labor, prostitution or quite simply slavery. It’s a common myth that slavery is abandoned in our time.

It’s shameful that we in 1993 are faced with a world encompassing slave-trade, from Brazil to Bangla Desh, in China, Thailand, Pakistan and Europe, in San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Boston…»

Excerpt from speech held by
Joseph P. Kennedy II
In the American Congress, Thursday, July 15th 1993


«None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Errico Malatesta, "L'Anarchia", 1891

1984

Joke

A varied and good life

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A frank, honest man

"The system should be changed, I think, to begin with. It's very hard, really, the way our system operates, now, for a truly frank, honest man to stay in that system indefinitely without being weeded out or fired or made apathetic or in fact corrupted in the end".
- Daniel Ellsberg, interview with Walter Cronkite June 23, 1971

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Storyteller



I’m a Storyteller. It’s the one thing I have always been good at. There will always be storytellers around the campfire, and I will always be there, to tell my stories, and shake up and stir the gathering.

This was one of the earliest things I noticed about myself, my skill of weaving stories. The current world, society, school, civilization did its best to destroy that fire, like it does all things. But it failed. Even though my ability, my need to create sort of hibernated during early school years of forced learning, it never went away. And it never will.

I know that, now, and I rejoice, because this, among other things, above all else is what I do, what I want to do. I won’t call it a gift, because that implies that someone gave it to me, and no one did. It’s a potential I was born with, and made to grow on my own. After the first tentative steps it flourished. I’ve written millions of words since then, played a lot of music, spoken a lot of words, told many a story.

And I always will.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Getting rid of fat - How to become a truly mobile human being - (I of IV)

If you want to know how, I'll tell you. It’s easy and free and liberating beyond words. It’s about running into the forest and the wilderness, and make sure to sweat a lot while doing so.

I am not talking about a Sunday stroll here, not even every Sunday. It has to be more than that. You must do it at least three times a week through wet moors and exertive terrain, running up and down steep hills. At the start of an intense period of exercise you may loose five kilos (ten pounds) through a two-hour run. That will beat any artificial means, drugs and diets and all those methods so popular in today’s alienated society easily.

If you have never exercised or moved around a lot before, you need to be patient, very patient. Believe me, I know. The first twenty years of my life I hardly moved around at all. I was quite simply not used to do that, and I had to learn from scratch what all human beings should learn from an early age. It hurt, hurt easily, something I realized later it was supposed to do, though. It took time, a very long time. I just walked at first, took «Sunday strolls» or similar. It took me two years until I started running. I know now, in hindsight and with my increased awareness that it’s possible to speed up the process. But both my body and myself, the entire carcass, mentally and physically had to be dragged from the mire I found myself in. On the other hand the process itself was certainly not without advantages. By now I have a long list of pretexts a lazy bastard may use to not exercise that particular day... I remember using all kind of excuses, both to myself and my friends eager to help me get in shape. I’ve always been a very creative person...

Long story short, the process taught me to discard all those downright harmful voices whispering in my mind, and that has helped me in other ways, as well.

Slowly but surely I removed the waste, the results of years of abuse from my body and my mind. My awakening wasn't merely physical. I discovered that the saying «a day without exercise is a day without meaning» is true. You become an exercise junkie over time, inevitably. When you reach a certain level your body starts releasing «the body's natural drug» into your bloodstream every time you exercise, and you feel down if you don't get your daily fix. At least if you take a two-day break. And everything becomes easier. You notice it if you take it too easy when you feel cold and increase speed just to feel better. After a while everything just happens by itself without further thought, a conscious decision on your part. You become closer to your instincts, to what the human being should be.

I've never had any major problem with obesity, but I changed from being fairly squishy to be slender and muscular at the same time, and I never proceeded, deliberately to competition levels. I'll say this to a person that has tried on hundreds of ridiculous and expensive and useless diets: if you exercise quite moderately you may eat whatever you want, also of «bad fat» without getting fat. You should never forget that most of the food we eat in present day society is bad for us, though.

But, as stated I lost five kilos during two-hour exercises trough the wilderness at close to full speed without breaks. A heavier or fat person will loose far more. And you have to eat a bit before you exercise and a lot afterwards. You need nourishment, preferably meat, definitely meat after a major exertion because you would want to build your muscle mass, not lessen it, as you would do if you didn't eat. If you don't eat after a major exertion you would build your fat, not your muscles. Most people with limited knowledge of nutrition misunderstand this, with results completely opposite of the intention.

One final matter: this worked and works for me. Each person should do his or her own thing, should adapt all this to what works for them. Trial and error work just fine. I'm no nutrition expert, not at all, fortunately not. These are things I've learned over the years, on my own. Experience is the best teacher.

Part Two

The Unmoving

Friday, July 02, 2010

True Artistic Freedom (II)

I finally printed my novel The Defenseless. I finally did it.

Publishing date will be July 21.

The novel Your Own Fate is also printed and will be released August 21.

So it begins.

It feels beyond great.

I’ve printed at lightningsource.com and am publishing through its extensive network of distribution partners, retailers and wholesalers.

I’m quite pleased with Lightning Source so far. Quite frankly, when I read what they had to offer, I thought it was too good to be true, since when something sounds too good to be true, it very often is. But I found them to be very much on the level. They’re non expensive and fairly easy to use, and they have that great collaboration with those retailers and wholesalers around the world. Their costumer support isn’t that good, especially not the technical part (they don’t offer technical support). LSI is a printer with inherent distributor abilities. You need to know what you’re doing (they assume you do, that you are or/and have the ability and know-how of a publisher and staff), but I found it much easier then I had expected. Some of the information on their website is outdated or invalid or inaccurate for my purposes. I make a color cover and a black & white «bookblock» interior and for that you need to be able to use only two applications, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat Pro. That’s all. And in Acrobat you only need to use one single function, namely the creation of a technically correct PDF file.

My previous experience with Pre-Media, digital printing helped me tremendously, though, made it easier to understand the technical stuff. You need to read all the technical instructions on their site, but don’t despair too much while doing so. It’s easier than you fear, even though it takes time, and you should take your time learning the craft of modern printing.

You make the cover with a template provided by Lightning Source in Adobe Photoshop, save it as a PDF, following the instructions on their site. The cover to The Defenseless turned out, in real life to be exactly as I imagined it in advance. I write the content in Microsoft Word, set the desired book size and save that, too, as a PDF, using Adobe Acrobat Pro, using the easy to follow instructions at the Lightning Source site.

That’s it, really. That’s all there is to it. It works tremendously well for me. I could have made several covers a day, if I had wanted to, and it gets easier every time I’m doing it. Saving the Word-file in PDF takes a minute (five or fifty the first time, while you’re rechecking the technical specifications to be on the safe side).

If you want to make books, magazines and stuff with colored interior you’ll have to use Adobe InDesign Pro or Quark Xpress. That isn’t my department, even though I’m learning.


Costs for setting up one title are between $100 and $200, depending on your preferences. After that you pay only $10 a year for that title to remain in their digital catalog, «storage» and No More, for anything (except if you want to buy physical copies from them). From then on they just give you money for each new copy you sell. I paid about $1500 a year seven years ago for storing physical copies of each of my titles. The difference is staggering.

I should point out that I haven’t sold a single copy yet, but everything is in place. In a three weeks' time my book will be available all over the planet, for anyone wanting to buy it, and that fact alone is great beyond imagining.


This is my current publishing schedule:

The Defenseless - July 21, 2010
Your Own Fate - August 21, 2010
The Slaves - October 31, 2010
Night on Earth - December 10, 2010
Amos Keppler Collected Poems 1989 - 2003 - February 29, 2011
Birds Flying in the Dark - April 30, 2011
Dreams Belong to the Night - June 21, 2011
ShadowWalk – August 21, 2011
Alarums of Reality - October 31, 2011
At the End of the Rainbow - December 10, 2011

Afterglow Dust - February 29, 2012
Amos Keppler Selected Essays and Articles - June 21, 2012
Black Dragon - October 31, 2012
Lewis of Modern York - February 29, 2013
Thunder Road: Ice and Fire - June 21, 2013
Season of the Witch - October 31, 2013

Amos Keppler: Secrets - A collection of poems 2003 - 2015 - October 31, 2015

It will probably fail at some point (it usually does), but this is a fair approximate at this point…

I'm a man with a plan, and it's great to have a plan.

This calls for a GREAT celebration (and it will be). History will note the shaking of the Earth.

The story so far:

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web

My writer «CV»

The Janus Clan

Read also these articles:

Reading it again

The chores of an independent author/artist

My fifty cents

True artistic freedom

Labeling and genre writing

Alarums of reality

The difficulties in describing a complex storyline

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The World Grinder part 2


On the left you see the Earth as it is today, quite polluted, with an ecosystem pretty much wrecked by human activity, but still vibrant, alive in spite of that, a wreck not beyond salvaging.

On the right you see the Earth as it is destined to become, picked clean to the bone, an inevitable result of civilization.

The picture lies, of course. There is no meat grinder hovering in Space, no second planet formed of Earth’s raw materials by an external World Grinder. The Machine, the grinder is here, on Earth, transforming it into a dead thing. We call it civilization.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hasbara


Israeli word for how Zionists explain themselves to the world, to be kind. In truth it is propaganda, the most outrageous and ridiculous lies, as we suffer through yet again these days.

It’s so beyond stupid that the only reason it’s even close to working is because western media is biased beyond belief.

This has become abundantly clear yet again when the Israeli military boarded a flotilla of aid ships to Gaza in international waters (and even possibly in Turkish waters). Unarmed people bringing aid to the hard proven people of Gaza were killed and mistreated in ways that is hard to grasp for most people. And western media presents the event exactly like Israel wants, distracting from what the case is truly about.

This isn’t about Israel’s «right to defend itself».

It isn’t a matter of two equal parties making war.

It isn’t about Al Qaeda.

It isn’t about a few thugs, pirates and brutal murderers stubbing their toes or being stabbed by kitchen knives.

This is about those countless thugs, pirates and brutal murderers serving the tyranny of Israel being given a free reign by an indifferent world society, about them being allowed to execute, deliberately unarmed and defenseless people. It’s about double standards, about state terrorism and bowing before tyranny, making each and every one of us ashamed of being human. It’s yet another clear-cut case of Israeli aggression, of war crimes, state terrorism and genocide. No, Israel isn’t being singled out. We, all of us reacting with contempt and rage simply hold them to the same standards as everybody else.

It is about perceived respected liberals like Ray Beckerman, @RayBeckerman being eager tools and proponents of Zionist hasbara (propaganda). People like Ray here are just as guilty as the Israeli police, military and government. They could just as well have pulled the trigger themselves and have blood, lots of blood and ruined lives on their hands. I refuse to link to his lies (he calls his blog Fairness), but they aren’t hard to find. They are basically a rehash of the Israeli press releases and military briefings. Why am I singling out Beckerman? Because he’s the typical sick and sly Israel supporter, and because everything else he’s doing is put into question with his callous support of callous acts.

It’s about cowards like Barack Obama, parroting the same old party line about «being a friend of Israel». No, being a friend of Israel is not okay. How can it be? It’s exactly like standing beside a murderer, torturer or rapist and cheering them on.

There is no need for an international investigation. We know what happened, no matter how much Israel is faking images. The facts are not in dispute, not among fairly sane people.

To me it’s irrelevant whether or not activists onboard the ship fought back against the boarding and piracy or not. It’s good that they did, of course, but Israel’s guilt is just as big anyway. Of course it is!

It isn’t even about the piracy in international waters, not truly. To me it would have been just as bad if it had happened smack in Gaza City.

And it does, all the time.

Let’s not forget: what the unarmed and basically defenseless people onboard those ships experienced was no more than the people of Gaza suffer through every day of their lives.

And Palestinians in Israel and on the West bank are hounded and killed all the time, treated like dirt under the Israeli’s shoes, in an Apartheid state, a system that clearly is one of the worst currently in existence.


I have written about Israel’s naked aggression for years, decades even and now and then, after yet another brutal, callous act like this one expressed hope of a breakthrough, that the world at large will draw a blood-red line in the sand and say no more.

It didn’t happen after the massacres in Sabra and Shatilla, not Qana, not Jenin or after Qana again, or after the massacring of hundreds of children in Gaza last year, and I doubt it will happen now. I ask myself all the time, how far Israel will be allowed to go before the world and humanity at large will tell itself that it no longer has a choice and must put a stop to its totally unacceptable and beyond horrible acts.

This is what should happen, for starters:

Israel should be totally isolated, being treated to an economic, academic, military, cultural and political boycott until they pull back to the borders before the war in 1967 and all their settlements in occupied territories are abandoned.

Then the pressure should start in earnest.

You don’t speak with insane people, but dictate terms.

Israel is the bad guy, the villain, the horror of our times and should be treated in kind.

More articles about Palestine on Midnight Fire:

Britain's unions commit to mass boycott

I believe it

Israel's inhumanity in Palestine exposed yet again

Definition of Genocide

Blood on their hands and worse

Israel reveals its true face time and time again

Israel's wanton killing of children

A land given them by God

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A visit to the dentist

I sat down in the chair. The dentist’s assistant prepared to x-ray my teeth.

- This is the equivalent of one year of natural background radiation, I said.

- It isn’t dangerous, the dentist assured me, in a very patronizing and relaxed way.

He had obviously practiced that line a lot.

Before they turned on the heat both he and his assistant left the room.

They repeated the procedure for the other side of mouth, and they left the room again.

Case closed!

The casual use of dangerous practices is abundant in today’s life-hostile society.

I usually deny the use of x-rays, but every fourth of fifth visit or so, I feel compelled to give in. At least I get far less radiation than most people. This time they found a broken tooth. Any dentist could have found that without burning me with unnatural radiation, of course, but they are lazy, depending on technology, even obviously dangerous technology to aid them, not really giving any true thought to what they are doing.

Like most people today, slaves of the easy, dangerous way out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Destroyers (III)

Re: the current, unfolding ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the worst ever.

In that light it’s very interesting and revealing to look at another disaster and another, typical oil company.

It’s now well over 20 years ago since the grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in the sound of Valdez, Alaska. Both during and after the «incident» we have been subjected to many acts humans should have been without.

When the news first reached us, it sounded dramatic, of course. Even braindead news reporters realized that something important had happened. The more information we received in the subsequent hours, days and weeks and years, the worse it turned out to be.

Whales, millions of birds and fish and other animals died during and after the grounding.

The oil company Exxon Mobil, a company with an already justified bad reputation got an even worse one.

Presenting, for all truth-seeking readers many of the world’s foremost groups of destroyers, of industrial companies and corporations.


The local Eskimo tribe calls it «the day the ocean died», a very fitting description, and one crushing any attempt from Exxon Mobil and industrial-friendly people to explain away the disaster.

People have moved from the place in droves. It’s quite simply not possible to properly live there anymore. Those still there suffer from despair, severe depression and boundless aggression on a daily basis.

It looks better, now, compared to just after the grounding, but the poison stays in the system, in the area’s ecology. There is still oil on the beaches and the responsible company is still denying responsibility. Experts say that it may take decades, and even centuries until nature in the area regains its balance. The disaster is ongoing, also because Exxon Mobil continues to terrorize former and current inhabitants with their lawyers and monetary power and its all-powerful influence in the modern society.

One talks about this disaster as an accident, but it wasn’t really. The Alaskan Oil Spill Commission puts it this way:

«The grounding of the Exxon Valdez was not an isolated, freak occurrence. It was simply one result of policies, habits and practices that for nearly two decades have infused the nation's maritime oil transportation system with increasing levels of risk. The Exxon Valdez was an accident waiting to happen.»

Three minutes past midnight the crew failed in the attempt at correcting the ship after passing an iceberg and was grounded, and enormous amounts of oil, as much as 40 000 tons began leaking into the sea. There have been bigger disasters measured in amount of oil, but not when considering the environmental destruction and also taking into account what Exxon Mobil has or hasn’t done in the disaster’s aftermath.

Several documentaries list step-by-step the extensive array of mistakes and mistaken politics leading to the disaster. Exxon Valdez is yet another well-documented ongoing «accident». Nothing has changed. If anything companies like Exxon Mobil has gained an even greater power to destroy the last twenty years. Since Exxon Valdez Big Oil's power has just grown further. Things have gone from bad to worse, like it has in the world at large.

The accidents continue. The spills continue. It has, since 1989, in major and minor accidents been spills akin to three Exxon Valdez disasters in the Valdez area alone.


The compensation «awarded» after the disaster is in itself very telling. The amount Exxon eventually was ordered to pay in punitive damages after twenty years of court proceedings is hardly even small change.

Exxon has also been very active in its attempts at working against any measure to counter the human created Global Warming and in undermining the climate change research. The research group Union of Concerned Scientists has in a report published three years ago documented that company has used 16 million dollars to create confusion and spread disinformation about the human created Global Warming. They’ve fabricated (in Norwegian) uncertainty about the warming and its causes the same way the tobacco companies did with smoking. They’ve financed countless organizations and also started some from the ground up to create an impression of a disagreement that isn’t there.

«Doubt is our product».

And they’ve used their enormous political influence to block all extensive legislation reducing their power and profit and that may decrease the Global Warming.

On the Alaskan tundra oil keeps leaking from their operations, several hundred thousand liters the last few years alone. The company ships keep polluting the seven seas.

All in all, Exxon Mobil deserves a prominent spot among the worst of the worst when the most negative influences in the current world are mentioned.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why and how and everything in-between and beyond

People ask me why I write what I do, ask me why I don’t write about something pleasant instead.

I write about the world, I reply, and the world isn’t very pleasant. I write about human beings, and human beings are in serious trouble these days, and most of them aren’t very pleasant either (are dead people pleasant). I, for one wonder why you guys want to read about something pleasant. I guess you want to hide from the world, from the very reality surrounding you.

I, for one also believe (firmly) that any true artist should do controversial works and cover controversial subjects. Most people calling themselves artists today do work encouraging people to fall asleep. I have slightly more ambitious goals. My desire has always been to encourage thought and independence, where there is none, and encourage further flight and boundless freedom in those that has taken the first step on their own.

One derogatory word among many dead people use today when they attempt to describe people and artists turning stones, revealing secrets and dreaming big is «grouch», or party pooper. Most people today want those bearing bad news to shut the fuck up, and not disturb whatever peace they have in their ivory tower, which is, incidentally yet another reason to disturb that peace, of course.

There has never been a greater need for party poopers than today. People should be roused from their slumber, whether they want to or not, because they, by their inactivity and also negative attitude towards those before-mentioned party poopers are an important part of the machinery that is destroying the planet and all life on it.

For me it has always been natural «to mix politics and art», because politics is everything and art is about everything. I can’t imagine not doing it, in fact.

I write about what excites me, disturbs me and enrage me, and I have no desire to be pleasant.

Consider yourself warned.

I lurk outside your bedroom, giving you well-deserved nightmares in the middle of the day.

Reading it again

I’m reading through my soon to be published novel The Defenseless for the third time this year, and I mean reading, not skimming. The book is pretty much ready. I can send it to the printer whenever I want, but I started reading again. This time I’m doing it in brief intervals, to make sure I’m not distracted. I want to catch the last few bugs, those that neither I nor others have caught in our proofing during the years.

It’s mostly polishing now. I hardly catch any mistakes, even though there are some, amazingly so, even after a zillion read-throughs. It has always amazed me, how they seem to be able to hide from everyone hunting them.

Once again I marvel at how everything is connected, how it fits with later books in the series I’ve already written or am writing. I see the Janus Clan as a slow-moving train slowly gaining substance. That’s certainly how it has been to this point, but no longer. By the end of the year four of ten books will be complete and all of them will be published during the next two years. It feels good.

Both The Defenseless, the book and Janus Clan, the series were born long ago. Now, they’ve grown up, ready for the world.

I will read The Defenseless one more time before publication: when I receive the proof copy from the printer. Experience tells me that it’s far easier to catch those final, pesky mistakes when you search for them on paper. It makes sense, of course. Reading words on a computer screen or any similar device will never be natural for human beings.

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web

My writer «CV»

The Janus Clan

ShadowWalk

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My fifty cents

True artistic freedom

Labeling and genre writing

Alarums of reality

The difficulties in describing a complex storyline

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The nice police officer

I and a friend of mine were having an email discussion about the police and «its place in modern society» when she came up with this mindless and very common «argument» and automatic defense of «our protectors».

«But there are nice police officers, too».

This was my response:

Like most people you fail to see the deliberate intent behind this. It doesn’t really matter in the big picture whether or not the police officer is crooked or not, traditionally speaking. They are all eager servants of a tyrannical system. What happened/happens in Seattle, Gothenburg, Genoa and countless other places besides isn’t about a few police officers going too far, but about a deliberate policy to keep people from protesting, from voicing their opinions and act according to their convictions.

A police officer is just as much a threat to freedom if he or she is «nice», if they help old ladies cross the street and such, as one who is obviously violent. You, my dear, like so many others need a crash course in elementary revolutionary thinking and acting. You, like most people haven’t really thought it through, thought about the repercussions of the very existence of a police corps. You think: «Crime» - oh, boy, we need police to protect us, protect our hard won property, our poor lives, and don’t realize that all law, all order is designed by the rich and powerful, to protect the rich and the powerful, against those who have little and nothing. Who is guilty when a poor man is doing the breaking and entering thing into a rich man’s house? I have no doubt whatsoever concerning the obvious answer. The real thieves aren’t those stealing scraps just to survive, but the people at the top not just stealing money from people at the bottom of the pyramid, but their very change for a decent life as well.

And this is what it is about when people in uniform, with their shields and clubs are beating the living daylights out of protesters, shooting random people, and the protesters and surviving victims are convicted for «inciting insurrection», and the police officers, the establishment’s thugs are given medals in the weeks and months to come. Your nice policeman is as eager to beat the shit out of everyone as any other thug in uniform.

This is what it is about.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Just another oil spill

This was no accident, no random event of technology gone wrong, not even a direct human error, but yet another incident in a tailspin, suicide run.

Now, when the far-reaching and dramatic consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill become apparent we, the entire humanity should once again ask ourselves what the hell we are doing. This isn’t about a single oil spill, about drilling or even our use of oil. It’s far worse than that.

The massive amounts of oil hitting the coastline of south eastern United States is ruining life in an area already taxed beyond endurance by human ignorance and horrible lack of even the simplest awareness and blatant stupidity. The chicken has once again come home to roost.

Of course it can happen «here». It can happen anywhere, and it does, every single second of the day and night, all over the planet.

Oil exploration has been a disaster from start to finish. Oil has, in smaller and bigger quantities contaminated the soil from every single rig, on land and sea that has ever been. The countless smaller spills have been and are just as dangerous and lethal to all life on Earth as all the bigger ones. Rigs and tankers and ships and vehicles and human life in general have poisoned the Earth for so long, now, an Earth where life is fading wholesale, on a scale previously only happening during major upheavals and cosmic disasters.

When a liberal United States' president, a fairly intelligent man says that «rigs don’t usually spill» that is telling beyond words. When he displays that ignorance, that blatant lie he’s an excellent representative for present day humanity as a whole. We are that ignorant, that stupid, that filled with deception and self-deception.

US President Barack Obama had okayed another bout of drilling at sea only weeks before this most recent technological disaster. Big Oil had won another big victory in its war against the planet, and life and humanity in general. Everybody okaying that new «exploration» knew it to be harmful, at best, but they still did it, once again allowing beyond shortsighted economic interests to triumph.

President Obama has also recently declared a re-emergence of nuclear power as a major energy supplier, an act even more insane than betting on oil-drilling. The British Labour government and quite a few others have done the same.

Industrial waste and poisons continue to ruin life from the Arctic to Antarctica. More and more waste are produced and nothing, absolutely nothing is done to stop that, to stop that either.

The emerging picture after just a cursory research of modern human affairs is clear, is distinct beyond doubt: We are killing ourselves, are slowly, explicitly committing suicide and that is what we should address. To not do that would be insane… right?

This is what it is about.