Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A laughing matter

It’s completely ridiculous when a christian criticizes islam, of course. That cracks me up every time.

They keep pointing at islam as the worst belief system in the world, but that just isn’t so. That honor goes to christianity itself and its more or less insane proponents.

I dislike all religion. I am convinced it is inherently bad, that it is a pox on mankind, but christianity takes the prize. There is no competition, really. No matter how many times christians make the claim that islam has the worst zealots it doesn’t ring true. It’s just more of the same of the general deceit they are so good at.

A few examples of beyond insane christian zealots:

We have the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa. They work from Uganda and several other countries, raping and killing children wholesale and making the rest into soldiers. We have the people blowing up United States’ abortion clinics, killing and terrorizing people working there. There is the general treatment of everybody they don’t see as part of «God’s plan», among them homosexuals and atheists. We have the countless past and present genocide of various primitive tribes by missionaries and their henchmen.

Then we have perhaps the very worst: What goes on in daily, regular life, how they set out to destroy children, all children, including their own, by doing their best to hammer into them christian narrow perception of «morality». It’s pretty much a pervasive, organized insanity beating any other in human history. Identifying oneself as a christian is pretty much on par by admitting to be a part of any of the worst cults in existence.

In other words: Yes, every single christian is responsible for all its atrocities. Its crimes are so pervasive and prevailing and so well known that guilt by association is valid in this case.

Christianity does nothing good to anybody, and it would serve mankind great if all shreds of it vanished from the face of the Earth.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The magnificent seven

I and hundreds of Norwegians volunteered to travel with the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. Two main reasons made us unable to send more than seven.

One was financial and the other was the fact that the israeli government has used and use every single method in and out of the book, short of open assassination to stop the ships from sailing, which in turn makes those financial difficulties even more pronounced. Intimidation and sabotage against individuals, the various Ship to Gaza groups and by the aid of their thug, their tame dog the United States a massive pressure against Greek and other governments in their pockets and under their thumb, like the Norwegian and most Western nations show the importance Israel place on this, on upholding their Hasbara, their propaganda.

So, we had to settle for seven to join the 350 from all over the world. We drew straws for the remaining seats.

I was disappointed when I was told I couldn’t go, but I quickly shook it off, since this isn’t about me.

All of us travel with the seven, the 350. We all agree that just the fact that the Flotilla is sailing is a victory in itself. It’s a win/win situation. Either the Flotilla will reach Gaza, which will be great beyond words, or israeli troops will attack again, and once more be revealed as the thugs and tyrants they are. That, too, will be «good», in a backwards sort of way.

We are all worried about those onboard the ships. We know that Israeli forces are capable of anything, because they know that they will practically get away with anything. At least that’s how it has been so far. This is a long struggle and we might just be at its beginning, or at least be fairly far from its end.

Israel seems to hold all the cards, military, financial and the blind support of important governments.

Gaza and Palestine and we activists have «only» each other. For sixty years the various Israeli administration have been allowed to do just about anything, been allowed to go from bad to worse in their warfare against children and the what is basically a «helpless» population.

No more! We speak for ourselves and we shout enough to what is still a more or less indifferent world population.

The slow, painful genocide of the Palestinian people reflects poorly on us all.

There has been one Freedom Flotilla. The second is about to sail. Let’s be prepared to send hundreds or thousands, whatever it takes to Free Gaza and Palestine and free ourselves from the shame and horror the forces behind the Israeli government have brought on all mankind.

More links and articles about Palestine on Midnight Fire:

The invisible Palestinian struggle

Friday, June 17, 2011

The joy of rebellion

Rebellion is always valuable, even in the best of societies, to keep everybody sharp. It should be alive and present against anything smacking of being an imposed reality.

Today, in a totally fucked up world, where tyranny is virtually anywhere it is crucial, beyond necessary. There is no country on Earth today where freedom reigns, but only tiny pockets of it here and there, and in people’s dreams and longings.


Many tell me that rebellion isn’t for them. It’s too much hassle, the risks are too great and it’s very disruptive to a somewhat orderly existence. My response is this:

Yes, there are risks, but what is life without risks? Those never taking risks aren’t really doing anything and have never truly lived. The biggest risk of all, in my eyes is to never take a risk at all. And what is so great with an orderly existence? Are life mere drawers to put your little bits and pieces in?

What I most of all do my utmost to convey to them is how great it feels to stand up for yourself as a human being, to release yourself from the shackles keeping everybody accepting the prevalent and enduring tyranny down in their private gutter, how it feels to feel the blood boil in your veins. Average people live only half lives and hardly even that. The sad truth is that we today, in all countries have a choice between insanity & less insanity, while life on Earth is fading. I believe in confrontation, in a confrontational approach to life. Accepting what you detest isn’t compromise but appeasement.

There is that, the sheer necessity of it all, and then, as stated there is the pure pleasure of feeling yourself waking up from a walking nightmare, to make yourself aware, to pull your spirit from its murky depths, to discover what it means to be human.

Dried blood



I woke up in the morning with the familiar sweet scent in my nostrils. It is a warm, dark summer day where no birds are tweeting and everything is silent. I rise from the bed and walk nude across the floor. Semen drips from my half erect cock. I look out of the window. A long, long row of bloody corpses hang outside. Birds with bloody beaks serve themselves from the bountiful table. I glance back at the bed. The bird still slumbers in her beauty sleep. She is a cold botch. Nothing can disturb her rest. I stumble into the hallway. There is a lot of shit on the floor, dried blood and lots of stuff blocking my way and make my walk more like navigation than anything else. My feet keep hitting something. Several severed heads have been dumped into a corner. I ignore their watery, accusing eyes.

The kitchen is generally speaking very dirty. There are lots of hair and pieces of skin everywhere. I finally find a table that is somewhat clean and sit down. The food is still on the table and is still warm. It was warm last night and is still warm, now. I wolf it all down. It tastes like heaven. Eggs, bread and ham are all first class. The hot juice sates my thirst in a way I hadn’t dreamed possible. The hotel is quiet. I can’t hear a single sound anywhere. Both guests and employees seem to have abandoned the place. Or they’re still sleep, like the hot cunt I spent the night with. Some people can sleep through anything, I guess.

I return to my room, pick up my jacket and the little suitcase and continue my wandering. The bodies are still dripping blood. They hang in two rows, on both sides of the little alley of tall trees. The branches bend slightly and make the stiffs dip up and down, up and down, and the quirts of blood to reach a little farther than they should have, logically speaking. The birds stare at me with their cold eyes and I enjoy lovely trickles down my spine. I pull the camera from the suitcase and snap many pictures. There are fabulous opportunities for excellent composition here and I apply every single one. I imagine how the photographs will look after a stint of two in the electronic darkroom, in Photoshop and others, and I almost jerk off on the spot. I’ve used a pirated copy of Photoshop for ten years, now, and I am quite pleased with it.

The photos practically snap themselves, like they did during my first session last night. I’ve got many Gigabytes of storage on hand, but everything sadly comes to an end. I put my stolen SLR camera and equipment away, and make a final content sweep at the many works of art surrounding me, before I carry on on my eternal walk.

The sun is rising slowly above the horizon. This will be yet another beautiful day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I see red

Censorship has always made me see red, always offended me and it always will.

There are blatant and subtle censorship and both are equally wrong.

The Friday Flash initiative on Twitter and on Internet certainly becomes very wrong because of this.

Here is what the organizer says in the guidelines:

«Please, no explicit erotica or gratuitous graphic violence. You can post them, but they will drive readers away and will not be included in the weekly wrap».


He evidently wants timid and sexually and morally inhibited readers. I, myself, and others fortunately set higher standards.

During my editing of my novel Dreams Belong to the Night I got lots of creative energy released and started writing short stories on an assembly line, and the Friday Flash seemed, at first glance to be a suitable arena for them. That was what I figured… until I read the before mentioned misguided guidelines.

I write all kind of stories and don’t have to write «gratuitous violence» or erotica, even though that part of my creativity is stimulated every time I come across shit like this. I know all the arguments people like the organizer are using and they’re all wrong or irrelevant and dangerous. Dadaism and Transgression and similar have been my guidelines since I started making art.

People usually ask me questions like these on these occasions: «It’s his thing. Shouldn’t he be allowed to decide the rules»? «Why don’t you let this one go quietly and go elsewhere»?

And similar stupidity.

The answer is simple and obvious:

No, we shouldn’t leave censorship in peace. Never! We do not live in a vacuum, in our own self-contained world. Censorship in one place supports it everywhere.

Freedom of expression should be total, everywhere, of course. Anything contributing to diminishing that, contributes to diminishing life itself. Censorship is very common today. That doesn’t make it right, but even more wrong.

Any artist not seeing the crucial value of free expression isn't much of an artist, or much of a reader, for that matter.

I will call my stories «My Thursday short stories» instead. Having your own blog and your own countless ways of expressing yourself freely is a great thing about Internet and the digital revolution. I and others may come back to you with some sort of collective platform here.

I have unfollowed the before mentioned organizer on Twitter, of course. I kept using the Friday Flash «logo» for a while, as an added protest, but not anymore.

Translation

An editor I worked briefly with didn’t have much good to say about one of my novels. I will relate one of his objections as an example of their quality.

«The women in the story are so dangerous that they scare the hell out of the men».

Translation: The women scared the hell out of him.

I just looked at him, and in that look was everything I didn’t need to say. He understood my look perfectly, understood that at least. I was really amazed, though (in my youth and naiveté), that he was there, in that position at all. He wasn’t old either, but rather young, in his late twenties or so.

It wasn’t the first or the last time this or similar crackpot objections have been voiced to me. After some brief deliberation the following reasoning presents itself: Women weren’t really that strong and independent and should certainly not be presented as such in books or films. And if they were, it shouldn’t be done by a male author. I think he saw me as a traitor to my sex or something… if there was any reason behind his reasoning at all…

The fact that I dared question his holy judgment didn’t help me any either.

When I think about how he and others like him have fucked with young, hopeful authors and blocked countless great stories from getting published I get very, very pissed (again). The sad and horrible truth of the matter is that this is the typical editor and gatekeeper in various art director jobs at established publishing houses and movie producers and record companies and any similar position.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ten days in and outside Nottingham - first report

I write the words as they come, as the thoughts and impressions keep rushing through my mind. Sunday October 9th there was a major protest in Hyde Park. On Wednesday 19th people gathered outside the parliament against the new legislation debated inside, the Criminal Justice Bill.

I haven’t all the details yet, but the law seems first and foremost to be against squatters, protesters in general and people protesting against fox hunting (Hunt Saboteurs) in particular and in favor of nobles, fox hunters, property speculators and factory owners. For instance, walkers in the wilderness and elsewhere can, according to the proposal be arrested for being in a given place. The right to roam is drastically reduced. And you will no longer benefit from staying silent after being arrested. It can, on the contrary be used against you.

That I came to find myself at Parliament Square this hot afternoon was a bit of a coincidence. I was told the conference had started early and felt very uplifted.

The ruckus started almost before I arrived. It was a strange experience. I’ve never experienced it quite like that before. Time seemed to be crawling (even though I didn’t look at my watch, not once). I saw everything in an eerie slow motion, and I felt my blood boil.

The attack started imperceptibly. Then they came like a tsunami, the police, in full body armor, and started beating up on us. I saw blood flow from skulls, saw people crouch on the ground and scream in pain, and I wondered when the same would happen to me.

I was hardly more than a step away when a police club hit an arm. I heard the bone break. There was hardly a conscious thought in my head when I ran and ducked and howled in savage rage.

Some claim that what happened in Hyde Park was worse. That is hard to imagine. Raw, brutal memories keep flowing through my mind. I don’t know how many we were, but we were many. In spite of this, the cops, the «anti-terror» cops quickly gained the advantage, or rather kept the advantage they had from the start. They have the power and the armament on their side. We fled to all sides. After an indescribable run I jumped off a tall wall and down to the Embankment somewhere and I saw only a few others around me. I was limping a bit after the rough landing. Except from that I had escaped without a scratch.

Words… fail me even more than usual. Everything feels like finding yourself above a ravine. You’ve already jumped from one side and don’t know if you will reach the other.

I heard later on the radio that the police, after having removed «the worst troublemakers» gave those remaining an ultimatum. They asked people to «clear the area» and those still there complied. At ten o’clock there were only cops left. What an anticlimax.


In an unknown, dank apartment later that night:

I try to sleep. It isn’t easy. I don’t know where I am and don’t care. What matters is this evening, this night, how excited it has made me. There are others here as well, other strangers. Their eyes twinkle like mine. Their blood is boiling like mine. I feel sleep come in the tiny apartment, but I am more awake than ever. I am, and they are, too. We chuckle in our ecstasy and compare ourselves with sardines in a box, but we feel like eagles.


I don’t think it has dawned on me yet how big this is. It’s Friday morning and the first meeting starts 7.30 tonight. This has already surpassed what I dared hope for in advance. Doubt sinks in, if it’s the right thing to do to go deeper into this cauldron of rebellion and fire. Well, the warrior poet shouts, it might not be wise… but it is right.

Not for other’s sake, not even for the sake of the planet.

For my sake.


Amos Keppler

London October 21, 1994


Arrived yesterday.

Looking forward to live today and tomorrow…

If tomorrow comes.


This is a translated version of an article first appearing in the Norwegian magazine Nemesis in 1994.

It is my first account of several, old and new from the «Ten days that shook the world» an anarchist conference of workshops and protests all over London.

A record speaking for itself

1984

Saturday, June 11, 2011

An amazing feat - Provocation (II)

I find it amazing that I’ve managed to get and hold on to over 2000 followers on Twitter. As I’ve pointed out earlier I will sooner or later piss off (almost) everybody without even trying. I don’t need to do anything but to express my opinions. Since I detest virtually everything about the current human society very few will agree with me in any given case, and if you combine my views on various issues there will be even fewer agreeing with me, of course.

The cumulative effect of that, if you ponder it is quite staggering.

Some may agree with me on my strong environmental stance, but be very set against my anti-Zionist and Pro-Palestinian view, or the other way around. One environmental activist may be set against Big Oil, while another, for some incredible reason may support Big Nuclear.

I’m firmly set against both.

I’m a militant atheist and anti-religious, but contrary to many atheists and anti-religious I am also a pagan witch and shaman and very much certain, by experience and conviction that the paranormal presence in the Universe is proven, proven scientifically beyond doubt.

And so it goes. I could have gone on for quite a while. My radicalism reveals itself in all areas because it reveals itself holistically, in the big picture. I don’t pick and choose from present day human society, but reject all of it, even though I may engage in the smaller truth as well, now and then. There is way too little protest in this tailspin suicide run of insane priorities we find ourselves. My dominant view on society and mankind and life on Earth in general is inherently controversial.

I believe in confrontation, in a confrontational approach to life. Accepting what you detest isn’t compromise but appeasement.

Not all 2000 pay attention, of course. Those doing that regularly evidently appreciate me for who I am and even share some of my views, or/and main outlook.

And then those not paying attention suddenly do, drawn in by a specific case or by coincidence, and then it’s often goodbye @HoodedMan…

Again: I don’t have to provoke deliberately. My very existence and I expressing my views do that, a fact making me very proud. Most people today, once anyone moves beyond their comfort zone are easily provoked.

Today’s society is a very bad place, with very few redeeming qualities, with none if you look at the big picture, and I believe strongly that we should all do that. A more or less dormant population should be rocked to their core. I do that, do that at every turn, by my very nature and most fundamental convictions. Some people grow more conservative, more set in their mold as they grow older. I continue to reach out and seek what is misplaced, fighting to reawaken pieces of humanity’s lost «treasures». During discussions and even casual conversation with most people I’m reminded of the deep philosophical differences between them and myself. What is important to them isn’t important to me and the other way around. Name any major building block of civilization and I want it gone. Mention many components in almost forgotten human life you want gone and I will savor and cherish it.

This is no whim, no result of casual thought. I'm very confident in my position. It's one I've reached after many years of contemplation and seeking alternative thinking and action, something I will continue to do for as long as I draw breath. Being arrested for participating in an illegal protest will be a great way to celebrate my 90th birthday. Rebellion is necessary, but also very satisfying on many levels, filled with joy and many a great moment as it is.

So, for all these reasons and more I appreciate those not being put off, including those hardly sharing my views at all, but that still accept me and value my input. It’s a great thing that humanity is so diverse, so vastly different from each other. We should be far more so. My favorite, currently non-existing society isn’t one where everybody shares my views, but one where everybody is truly independent and fairly self confident and living without the kind of fear eating us up from inside, one that encourages diversity and not does everything in its power to strangle it at its inception.

Fire boils inside me, fueling everything worth burning for.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

She who Dances in the Forest

She Who Dances in the forest pauses for a moment in her dance and looks at a bunch of old, worn photographs and newspaper clippings. There’s one of a man with a gun in a dank room, one of many taking her breath away, making the catching in her throat grow. One single drop falls from the corner of her eye and hits the images like a waterfall, making them all fade away like tears in the rain.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Author’s word - Dreams Belong to the Night



  During 1987 I started musing over a story I initially called, with heavy emphasis on irony The Great European Novel. It was only a working title, of course. I never intended to actually call it that, even though I played with the idea. It would have been even more beautiful irony and even sarcasm (and it was).
  I was writing on another novel at the time, of course, and knew I wouldn’t start on The Great European Novel for at least a year, so I had quite a lot of time when it came to developing this one.
  In those nights I didn’t write on a thousand projects simultaneously.
  There were just a few phrases and disconnected ideas. Sometimes I get almost the entire story in a flash. This wasn’t one of those times.
  I got the pieces one by one, really. It felt amazing as it happened and even more so in hindsight. I knew, as the months and years passed by that I wanted to do something More with this one, raising the stakes and do an EE, an Encompassing Everything story.
  In September 1988 I moved to London, and stayed there for five years. Ironically (again) it was on one of my trips back to Norway a few months later a friend of mine asked me to join him on a trip to Copenhagen. He was chasing a girl, and the girl wanted to go with him, but she wanted to have her girlfriend with her, so he wanted to have me as a balance, I guess. I was amused, but intrigued, and we Went.
  It soon came apparent to me that his efforts were quite hopeless, even though the reality of the matter didn’t seem to get through to him. You see, the two girls were lesbians and clearly intimate, and just weren’t interested in becoming romantically involved with a male at all.
  To make a longer history shorter we ended up at a gay bar called Pan in the Copenhagen entertainment district. While he attempted all night to get in the pants of the girl, I sat there and studied my surroundings. It was my first time in a gay bar and it was quite a revelation. Everything looked very similar to an «ordinary» bar, except that the couples dancing together and having intimate conversation at the tables were of the same sex. Everything felt casual, so perfectly natural. The place had a great mood and was a fantastic setting in many ways, very inspiring. It did feel slightly awkward when males checked me out, but I just smiled and shook my head. It just was no big deal. Any preconception or bias I might have had about homosexuality faded away that night, and with less prejudice my mind opened further to new possibilities.
  The book would have been a lot different if not for that brief trip to Copenhagen. It’s hard for me, in hindsight to even measure how different. I realized that I had never touched the subject of homosexuality before and that I wanted to. Homosexuality isn't really a main subject in the story, though. Some of the characters just happen to be homosexuals and bisexuals, no big deal, really, except for those haters who want to make it one.
  But with that visit to Pan and the two days and nights in the city came something more, the scenery and setting I had consciously and subconsciously been searching for. Copenhagen had been one of «my» cities for a few years, since I had first visited it as an adult in 1985, and I knew its streets and back alleys well. There was the entertainment district, there were its wide avenues… and there was Liberty City.
  BANG, the stage was set.
  I joined the Green Party in April 1989, first the Norwegian branch and then, later the British. Both were nascent organizations, given birth and momentum by the relative parliamentary success of the German sister party. I began writing Dreams Belong to the Night on March 1. Right from the start I wanted to make the book a kind of documentation of the process.
  You see, I was already well aware of the pitfalls of a political party when I joined, against my better judgment, but hope against hope, and yearning for Change in a totally oppressive and destructive society made me join anyway. During the next thirty months I had the pleasure of having illustrated the truth of Ibsen’s word on the matter almost constantly:
  «A party is like a meat grinder. It grinds all the brains into one stew».
  At first it was quite fun, or the fun lessened the aggravation. A lot of different people joined, everything from anarchists to true greens, like me, from people being in favor of legalizing all drugs to syndicalists. It was in many ways amazing, really, those first few months. As I shared my time between London and Bergen things proceeded in an amazingly similar manner.
  In the novel I wrote about how it should have been, while struggling to deal with the very disappointing reality. To make the story shorter again: The good people, as they deserve to be called either quit in frustration or were driven out. It happened quickly, during just six months or so. I held out the longest, in thirty ever longer months. It was an ordeal, at least the Norwegian chapter. Things were slightly more open and tolerant in London, of course.
  But my main lesson during my time as a politician was a confirmation of what I already knew: that the parliamentary system is an integrated part of the tyranny and can never be reformed, only destroyed. Democracy is the slickest tyranny in history, because it gives people the illusion of participation, on them being the part of the decision-making. If I hadn't spent months away from the circus I would surely have turned insane.
  I started doing my street theater thing with a bunch of like-minded people, in and around London, and in Europe, and I wrote Dreams on the derelict old typewriter I dragged with me everywhere. The script was in stark danger many times, in many a squatted house, but survived.
  My time with the Greens ended pretty much in September 1991. The novel, my Great European Novel and party diary was complete in August… When I returned to Europe and London in late September I felt totally wasted, used up, drained of energy. I felt like I was awakening from a nightmare, as I slowly realized that I had truly lived one. The members of the Norwegian Green Party were more like tea drinkers, doing their «rebellion» when they didn't have anything important to do, and they grew angry when anyone reminded them of that fact. They didn't want to change the world, but were perfectly happy with things like they were. They were small people, thinking small. Their British counterparts less so, but I pretty much drifted away from them, too, upon my return to the City of Cities, seeing the same horrible lack of desire for Change there. They were more red than green, stuck in a past that was never much to write home about. My life as a «politician» was over, and I rejoiced.
  All this, a thorough documentation of «failure» is in the novel, albeit mostly in the first hundred pages or so (or perhaps in the hundred, mostly untold pages before the Copenhagen part of the story begins), before taking off in a completely different direction. The book is from the start a rejection of established truths, a story about true fighting spirit in a global society almost devoid of it, about seeing through illusions in a world filled with them, about leaving those illusions in shambles, as the shambles they are, leaving them broken, without possibility of repair. It’s a guide for advanced rebels, for those who have rejected the deception and illusions of modern life and are ready to take the next step.
  Judith Breen, the main protagonist in the book is part myself, part Ulrike Meinhof and part anyone who has ever stood up and fought with razor-sharp claws and fangs against oppression, and totally rejected the «values» and validity of the established society.
  Put a bit simplistic Dreams is about politics, about radical politics and rebellion, while ShadowWalk, written practically simultaneously is about religion (and its vast antithesis rebellion and truly free and independent thinking), and the yet to be completed Phoenix Green Earth, the last book in the Janus Clan series… is about both.
  I saw Dreams pretty much as my masterpiece, because it is a self-contained piece «with everything in it», just like I intended. It took years before I believed I could ever write anything that great again. It was the first time I felt that I was competing with myself, a strange notion many artists experience eventually.
  I saw flashes of young boys and girls being initiated into the mysteries and joy of rebellion. I watched them clean their guns, saw them take their first nascent steps in a Norwegian forest and also in the streets and rebellious venues of Copenhagen, and I saw them as vastly different from a bunch of tea drinkers with delusions of grandeur, as people liberating themselves from all confines, confronting head on the vast corrupt forces ruling this world.
  This is a story for rebels, warriors in all forms. The proud leaders of our society and Joe Public and others «enjoying» average books will in all likelihood puke if they read it. It’s a kind of alternative history of the late Eighties and the Nineties, a parallel reality where scores of aware and passionate and truly rebellious activists and Human Beings run around destabilizing and creating havoc in the ever more modern day oppressive society. It’s what should have been real, should be real.

  One more thing to note about SW and Dreams is the high number of females and/or people with a darker hue of skin. I got sick and tired of the one female, one Asian/African-American/European quota in films/novels and decided to go completely overboard in order to distance myself from it.
  It felt perfectly natural.

  And yeah, the following is one reason why I feel grateful for the censorship of the established publishers. If my first three novels, the first three books in the Janus Clan series hadn't been rejected, I would probably never have written Dreams Belong to the Night, and not taken yet another step forward as an author and Human Being…
  That was me being ironic and even sarcastic.
  With the rejection of the first three I saw no reason to start on the fourth, though, not then, or for a long time. So I started writing one book, self contained stories, and that brought me eventually to the circumstances described in this article.
  The reason I grew, also in this matter was because of my inborn stubbornness, not because I was encouraged to do so, in any way, except in the backward way it happened.

  This is basically a translated, corrected and revised edition of the Norwegian edition, published in 2002. It’s a strange thing to work on a novel I was very pleased with when I published it and see the need for improvements, now. During those nine years I've clearly grown further as an author and the demands I place on myself have grown subsequently. It is the same story, but those having read the original will notice the changes, and might also find them interesting.
  So, after an evolution spanning twenty years, this is the ultimate and final version of the book.

  The exterior and interior of the Gothenburg shopping mall Nordstan, with surroundings is described exactly like it was, June 6, 1997. I was there, that very day, making extensive notes.
  Except for this and other markers of time, names and events linking the main parts of the story to the late Eighties and the Nineties, it’s really a timeless tale.

Friday, June 03, 2011

3 minutes+

Three years in a bind, three minutes in a rush. She glanced at her watch again and once more feared it had stopped working. Her pacing picked up speed. She stood still in the silence of the quiet rain. A shadow moved away from the window at the top of the tall building in front of her.

She pushed a button. Her watch showed 03.00, and then not long afterwards 02.59, 02.58 and counting backwards. She pushed her dark glasses back up her nose and unbuttoned her coat with slow, deliberate moves.

A man and a girl walked down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. The man pulled the girl with him, ignoring the girl’s simpering protest. The bloody face of the girl glared at her.

The woman ignored them, not allowing herself to be distracted, but they never truly left the edge of her eye, of her attention.

Her watch showed 02.00 and for a long, long time the numbers didn’t change, didn’t change at all, and when they did, they were just a blur, and she was unable to actually read them.

A man walked past her. She more than sensed the draft when he did. The rain hit his umbrella in an even stream. The drops weren’t drops but a waterfall of ice-cold fluid. The man walking past her wore dark, round John Lennon glasses, a funny hat and a gray coat with a missing button. The edge of the coat was soaked in water and the fabric there looked more black than gray.

Her watch showed 01.00, 00.59, 00.58, picking up speed as her heart slowed to a crawl.

The man and the girl had disappeared. She recalled that the girl had a ponytail, a red shirt and a green skirt. The woman also saw a pair of pink shoes before her inner eye, but wrote that off as a part of her overactive imagination. The square glasses and the pale skin seemed spot on to her, though. The girl wore a deep red, red coat. The bloody visage of the pale face stared at her with its dead eyes. All their dead eyes did.

The man, for some reason had a number of faces and she couldn’t decide which one was the right one. She made the exercise in her head, calming down, and his face, a detailed painting, appeared slowly in her mind.

Her watch showed 00.10, 00.09, 00.05 and she stopped watching it and her inner clock counted down the last few seconds on her own.

A taxi stopped in front of the main entrance. A man walked through the sliding door, tensing, preparing to cross the broad sidewalk in a rush to avoid most of the pouring rain.

The woman wearing glasses and a trenchcoat drew the gun with the silencer from its hiding place in the exact moment the car door opened and the man charged the taxi. She shot him twice in the chest. He yelped, but didn’t scream. He fell and hit the ground. She stepped close to him and shot him twice in the head. He rested unmoving on the wet sidewalk.

She walked away with fast, measured steps. The taxi door remained open. In a few seconds the driver would realize something was amiss and he would turn his attention from the front of the car to the open door and after a few uncertain glances discover the still body bathing in the gray and red pool.

But by then she would be far gone.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

One year

Yesterday I paid the $10 for the second year for The Defenseless’ presence in the Lightning Source’ digital library and then it struck me. It has now been about a year since I started my new publishing initiative in earnest.

The year has been so satisfying in so many ways. I’ve finally found an outlet for thoughts and desires grinding through my head and self for decades, a method of presenting it all to the world, to humanity at large.

The Lighting Source digital catalogue makes my books available all over the world, to anyone who would want to sell or buy them. Ten books are $100 a year. It is almost too good to be true, but it is true. During 365 nights I haven’t found any major wrongs with this setup, and I am always looking for such babies by default.

There are frustrations, too, both inside and outside the world of publishing, and there will always be, I guess, but they are less, now.

I’ve learned so much, and keep learning. It seems like each new twilight brings new insight and skills these nights. My life has been like that for at least twenty-five years, but now that effect has multiplied even further.

It’s also very satisfying to me that I’ve been able to do it with small means, means I quickly regained by selling quite a few copies anyway. I had expected and actually been somewhat comfortable with the thought that I would need to lose quite a lot of money to do this, but I discovered to my joy that there was no need for that. I’ve even earned money on it, more than enough to keep publishing. Win win, which it was from the start anyway, so win win win would be a better description.

I’ve earned several new internet stalkers this year, a fact I’m quite pleased with. Two of them claim to be employed by established publishers. They have provided great exercise for future dealings with the establishment of publishing. Because this tiny ripple in the pond of vicious attacks is just a firecracker compared to the atom bomb if I should ever become a better known, infamous writer and artist, as I keep telling the world what a bunch of worthless assholes established publishers are.

I can honestly say I would have kept writing, no matter what, since Storyteller is something I am, not something I do. I would have done it, even if I had never been able to publish my stories, but now I am.

It feels great celebrating this with the release of the Hardcover version of Dreams Belong to the Night.

Amos Keppler has had a good year.