Sunday, July 29, 2018

Summer Plans - Crackpot Podcast 39

James and Lynn talked back in May about summer plans and current events.  I hope you enjoy this short episode.

The Crackpot Podcast features compulsive writer James LaFond and compulsive editor Lynn Lockhart.



00:40  Request from Brian Jewell
01:10  2Kevins podcast, how the Crackpot got started, Lynn seeks validation, fails to obtain
07:23  Elusive Big Ron update, Let the World Fend for Itself
10:05  Tribes Yarns, James' estate planning
15:30  The World is our Widow
17:25  Ghetto Grocer news
22:50  Baltimore Police Chief indicted
27:40  Single Combat, Baruch's comments, The Deadliest Men
38:25  Industrial warfare, Napoleonic Wars
45:30  Summer plans

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 35

Your weekend links are a little late because we had a family obligation to sit in traffic for four hours today.

Coming soon from Crackpot Books: Banned by Amazon.

Extracting the obscure history of Plantation America in Texas cattle country.

Of Baltimore flop houses.

Equating skill and fitness levels to weight classes, co-ed!

Open borders are slavery, this is LYNN LOCKHART'S OPINION ONLY.

Attention auto enthusiasts, your submissions are requested for future fiction projects.  Related story, a Belgian couple drove through the Congo, Toyota Land Cruiser is the vehicle of choice for that.  Read their story and compare and contrast James' Harm City life.

More on tribalism and the faint hope of solidarity among Europeans.

James is on the road but still keeping up with the 2018 Murderbowl.

The history of slavery is larger and more complex than even James expected.

A man question from Tony, a father's opportunity to teach honor, threat assessment and survival to his sons.

Oliver and James correspond on the threats that limit our discourse.

James describes the recipe for the salad of civilizational collapse.

You thought hitting people over the head was caveman stuff - well it is, but there is a science to it.

If you are going to live with a junkie and his mice, at least make sure the junkie is fastidious about using clean needles so you can avoid getting AIDS.

To be fair, 8am in Baltimore is 6am in the Rocky Mountains.

Buy a book, many fine titles are available as pdf books through his main website.

You can buy James' books through Amazonbut they are rapidly falling to the censor's hammer.  Now some -banking- troubles have held up his royalty payments.  

We are slowly working on Amazon alternatives but in the meantime, support James by becoming a Patron, or donate straight to the man through Paypal, because you love James and his work.

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Hero of Mine

A Memorial by Riley

I met him back in 1983, while I was running around with this ASTSE union sound man I'd met on a movie about diving.  He is a photographer and all-around artist, but his vision is poor, enough that he'll never get a license to drive.  We were driving around in my pickup to airshows.  We both loved the old war birds, for the sound and the shapes. He took the shots, and I watched. I had a Sony Pro Walkman and good microphones, and I was looking for characters and engine racket.

We stopped by my sister's in Vicksburg, and she said she knew a war bird guy.  Lived across the river a dozen miles or so in Talullah, Louisiana.  She called ahead, and the next day we were sitting, drinking iced tea with Merle Gustafson in his living room. Merle owned a Corsair Sky-raider, and we were soon sweating bullets at a tiny airstrip doing photos of his planes.

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

It was tiny, but Talullah is tiny.  There was the old two story Delta Airlines building, but it was in haunted house shape: toilets busted off at the floor and lots of missing glass.  Critter nests.  He had small open hangars spotted around with his stuff.   All his stuff was squared away and ready.

He was a known man in his community, respected by most I'd presume.  When you live far from the seats of power, you might think of yourself as a hick.  Out of it and of no import.  But there is always a Merle out there somewhere so satisfied and accomplished that it just polishes your soul to know a man so pleased.  It improves your life to watch him live his.

While pictures were being taken, I talked with him, taping it all.  A great story about landing a twin engine bomber while watching both engines tumbling alongside raising dust clouds. He was a problem solver and lover.  Joyfully making it all work.   There wasn't a Mrs. Merle around that I saw.   Something about judging a beauty contest.

He died too young, a year or so later.   It wasn't flying though, but a gas vapor explosion while welding on a friend's fishing boat.  I would have given a lot to have been there when they planted him.  That was a wake to remember, and I wasn't even there.  I just know how it is when good boys die.  We lose so much.

I don't think he died needy.  The tiny airstrip now holds a museum with good planes and hot rods.   His boy flies the old T-6 for the AeroShell Aerobatic Team.  The Angel of Okinawa is sitting in a museum in Florida.  Talullah is another roadside attraction, the first since Grant tried to canal around Vicksburg during the recent unpleasantness.   I gotta go find his plot.

(c) 2018 Riley

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Nero the Pict - Crackpot Podcast Ep 38

Special guest from north of Yo Adrian's Wall, Nero the Pict.  I didn't remember to bring this up during the podcast, but this is my favorite nom de James, partly because of my interest in Hadrian's Wall but really because it is perfect.

Nero tells us about the restaurant and social scene in Baltimore, which may be in your city's future, so pay attention.  He talks about his interest in history, including the riots of 1968, restrictions on trucks in the city, and many funny stories.

The Crackpot Podcast features itinerant writer and laborer James LaFond, and sleep deprived motherslave Lynn Lockhart.



0:00:45  Baltimore restaurant scene
0:03:55  Restaurant workers in Baltimore don't get hazard pay
0:07:20  Early 2000s gentrification movement
0:08:55  Opening second locations in the county
0:11:15  Banning trucks in Baltimore, Nero, historian of Baltimore, library denizen
0:16:30  Nero's interest in the Baltimore riots of 1968
0:18:35  2015 Freddie Gray riots continue today
0:20:05  Baltimore PD, see the Hell's Angels Myth 20 episode, cops in MCs
0:25:05  Contrast with toothless PNW cops
0:26:45  San Francisco PD
0:28:10  Working in downtown Baltimore, food trucks, restaurant
0:37:20  Famous Baltimore bartender story
0:43:05  The Bel-Loc Diner
0:45:25  Starbucks open bathroom policy
0:50:05  How to interact with persons of color
0:53:48  Sean's road sign (see above)
0:54:40  Kanye
1:00:50  Women voting for Trump
1:03:50  Loudon Cemetery post
1:06:00  Jitterbug phone
1:09:20  The Poor Tour, Pat Dixon

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 34

Here are your weekend links!

James has published a new book on the Crackpot label, a short fiction book, Supplicant Song.

Training advice for slow sparring with heavy sticks, videos to come.

When firsthand accounts contradict your thesis, you can always rely on false consciousness to get you out of a jam.

If Working John ever does need an amputation, he will probably do it himself, no electrical work involved.

James is tracking the coalescence of racial taxonomy through the colonial era for Plantation America.

A warrior's weapon seems to carry a glimpse of his shade.

James describes a spiritual alliance.

I would never encourage readers to have some fun with these types of census forms, that would be wrong.

The path of a warrior people.

Slavery's most important modern legacy - prison.

Coaching slow sparring with heavy sticks, three new videos.

A road trip that could have been much worse.

Majority white countries are nice, the same is true of cities and neighborhoods, as Sam J. knows, but don't attribute racial solidarity where none exists.

Buy a book, many fine titles are available as pdf books through his main website.

You can buy James' books through Amazonbut they are rapidly falling to the censor's hammer.  Now some -banking- troubles have held up his royalty payments.  

We are slowly working on Amazon alternatives but in the meantime, support James by becoming a Patron, or donate straight to the man through Paypal, because you love James and his work.

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

‘Unx Yim’

The League of Cross-Chronological Orphans

On my last weekend in the Harm City vicinity, I paid a visit to the Redneck Riviera to see Megan, her daughter Niki, and Niki's daughter Emma. Since both of Emma’s grandfathers are deceased and her father is a junkie, alternately skulking 'round Baltimore drug dens and government institutions, I help fill a gap in the little girl’s life. I always recall that three kindest souls I ever knew were my grandfathers LaFond and Kern, and my great-grandfather Kern. Maybe it’s just a family tradition and not a general rule. But my urge to shed small kindnesses on small children is largely frustrated as I suspect my own grandchildren have been taught to fear me like a creature from deep impenetrable swamps of yore, running and hiding and adopting a rigid silence as my son reluctantly takes my hand with quaking voice and his wife offers an obligatory shoulder hug…

Emma and I are orphans of a sort, passing on either ends of a similar alienating trajectory as our parent society dissolves along its wavering internal lines.

My normal duty, other than play, is grocery shopping with Megan and Emma and carrying the groceries home through the gravel path in the woods while Emma dances along jerkily in her pink rubber shoes singing, “Oh no, lions and tigers and bears! Unx Yim, save me—me scared…” and then she smiles and turns on her heels, spinning and grinning at the tree tops where the turkey buzzards perch, shouting, “Go 'way bad birds!” her finger pointed stridently at the looming top branches. The entire thing is an ordeal for Megan as Emma wants this and that.

So as we sat on the Friday-nighted couch I said, “Emma, wouldn’t you like to go shopping with your own little cart and get anything that you want, no grownups telling you what to do?”

[They have tiny “customer in training” carts at this grocer.]

Megan groans, “That wallet better be fat, old man.”

Niki chimes in, “I’m curious as to what she’ll buy. It might be totally random.”

Confident that the cart could not hold more groceries than the $40 in my wallet and that Emma, having about the same effective IQ and language range as most of the grocery store employees I once managed, would impress us with her mature choices, I said, “Emma, whatever you can fit in that cart you can have.”

Emma curled up next to me as her grandmother got up, rested her head on my gut and recoiled, saying as she touched her ear, “You belly so big—and hard!” patting it so it sounded like a drum. Then she grabbed the hem of my shirt and lifted it and said, “Hairy, like beast!”

I then deepened my voice to a rumbles and made my eyes monster big and intoned, “And when the moon comes up the hair on my back sprouts like grass!”

That sent her scurrying with a playful scream towards the kitchen to begin a game of beast and zombie girl hide and seek.

At the courtesy counter, her tiny cart veered unsteadily yet unerringly towards the candy counter and Megan snarked, “ATM here we come.”

As we watched, Emma very responsibly shopped the rack, weighing the size and appeal of each item and eventually chose one package, a combination toy, candy pack and flavored drink.

On she marched, overwhelmed by the responsibility and potential decisions, without a gluttonous impulse to choose two of any one thing.

She chose a value pack of freezer pops from a seasonal bin display.

She headed down the candy and bread aisle and remarked, ‘Me smell bread,” and did not choose a single bag of candy, mentioning how “pretty like flowers” one bag was.

She then found the toy rack, with about 60 skus on it and examined the tray of rubber balls, chose one pink and one gold and then placed the balls other children had scattered about into the tray, wiping her hands off as if knocking off dust as she stood.

Veering into the meat aisle she picked out a bag of miniature “white ‘oughnuts,” and then a pack of chocolate peanut butter cookie bars, saying, “Yum.”

Rounding the next corner she spotted a jug of cheese balls as large as her body and limbs combined and seized that, “Help, Unx Yim, so big for me.”

A box of cereal and a juice drink with toy sipping cap completed the purchase and Emma strode meaningfully, with full shopping cart, to the register, and began dutifully heaving and stretching to place every item on the belt two feet above her head.

Bagging the order, which cost her Unx $22.19, Emma decided that since she had relied on my beast strength to place the jug of cheese balls in the cart and on the counter, that once it was in a bag she would drag it home, and she did, giving me a tour of the experience, narrated at each turn of our path:

“Trucks dangerous…”

“Swamp so scary…”

“Under trees so cool…”

“Sun so hot…”

“No me flowers,” as she points to a flower pot arrangement.

“No me flowers e-or,” as she points to a bed of red-petaled plants

“Dese me flowers, so sad,” as she stopped teary-eyed before the hydrangea bush where, a month ago, she had stopped to sniff every colorful ball, pointing to the burned brown remnants of the sun-singed flower clusters and explained, “the sun ruin dem, burn dem brown.”

Then, with a widening of her eyes, she sees her apartment door and says, “Me show mommy me grossies,” and we were soon inside, her proudly unpacking, folding up her dollar bills and stuffing them in her pink piggy bank and soon back on the couch with us, her in the middle on her mother’s lap and Megan and I on either side as she said, “Unx Yim, me love you. You my Grandpa. Be careful in West place.”

Those who walk evermore woodenly on the declining path sometimes learn the most from those just beginning the climb on the other side.

(c) 2018 James LaFond

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 33

Here are your weekend links, a little early because I will be out and about this weekend.  Enjoy!

Reviews for your viewing convenience: The Last Kingdom, Paracas Skulls of Peru, MK Ultra, and an unnamed film on the life and death of Gordon Kahl.

Are you in the Baltimore area and looking to train?

He can ball but his tax planning is awful, especially for a rank materialist.

Censorship news: Are they messing with Kindle editions?

Keeping the residents of Baltimore safe, the epitome of public service.

Crime in Baltimore must remain unsolved.

The king who wins his crown with the sword slowly loses his power to the budget committee.

The LaFond version of the Dewey Decimal system.

Managing your own life in a decent way is more than most people accomplish, start with that.

Is your time machine working?  Here is how to fight cowboy and Indian style.

Going to lunch in Baltimore is like going on safari.

When both political parties, the media and experts of all kinds are in agreement in their hatred, I feel pretty good about things.

Nero the Pict tells us about living in Baltimore in the 1990s.

Buy a book, many fine titles are available as pdf books through his main website.

You can buy James' books through Amazonbut they are rapidly falling to the censor's hammer.  Now some -banking- troubles have held up his royalty payments.  

We are slowly working on Amazon alternatives but in the meantime, support James by becoming a Patron, or donate straight to the man through Paypal, because you love James and his work.

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Foreign Diplomacy

An alternate history of the Singapore Summit from the Checkered Demon

Joltin' Bolton sat at the conference table, his head tilting right, then left from the weight of his mustache, nine hours into talking to one of the most enigmatic problem-children the red, white and blues brothers had ever faced. These rice-heads, while taking time out from naming their babies after the sounds of falling cutlery, and starving, had whipped up the big banana. The A bomb. The radiatin' flesh-eatin' horror that "responsible governments" had been hectoring each other with since forever.

At Bolton's mention of the Libya model, Rocket Man had driven a Mont Blanc pen into his own thigh, screaming, "Rebar up my ass and a bullet to my head?" (in Korean). His entourage scuttled out, with him limping on their arms. Dennis Rodman got the door.

"John, you got an unfortunate way with words. You should only let that mustache grow and garble your delivery more," Trump told him.

"I don't know what's so bad about the Libya Model. He allowed everyone in to look, and got certified nuke-free," Bolton said.

"Yeah? And then the next thing Daffy knew, Jug Ears, Ms. Clinton and the French were strafing and bombing him with UN planes in support of the rebels. The rebels who sodomized him with rebar in a drainage ditch, then mercifully put one in his head. He knows the ones who want him wouldn't stop so quickly. His zombies would cook him on a spit and eat him."

"Okay, boss. I hadn't thought the whole thing through."

Trump was pacing, in a flyweight tropic suit and one-off shoes that managed to click quietly. "Just fade back a bit. Let Mike take the lead for now, and we can groom him some. Did you notice his eyes? The service guys say he's stoned. Probably pot."

"Really?"  Bolton was incredulous.

"Yeah, his father never told him drugs are an exit on the highway to success."


Kim stood in his Commander's tunic and skivvies, bare footed on the cold tile as two doctors hovered around the hole in his thigh: swabbing, poking, muttering apologies. "I must dial back with the reactions. Like Dennis says, chill. Trump frightens me though. He really doesn't care, and he doesn't baffle himself with drink, tobacco or anything! He is his own dragon and I am not."

All patched and in freshly pressed trousers and shod, Kim stood with Dennis and rolled a Spinner 2 vaping battery in his fingers, eyeing the light through the 500mg cartridge of Somalian Taxi Ride screwed into it. "So this is the shit?" Kim asked.

"Oh yeah, brother. New Sativa vape," Rodman replied. 

Kim took a hit. Four count and stop. The light went out. He exhaled as pressure built in his temples. His vision scrambled a tad, then things settled. "Very nice Dennis. Many more of these."

The next morning Kim and his party entered the conference area, and Trump jumped up and took his hand, directing him to his seat like a butler. Bolton faded as Sec State moved in. Trump faded back, asking, music?

(c) 2018 The Checkered Demon

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

‘My Flowers’

Three Hours with a Nearly Three-Year-Old Girl

June 9, 2018, a day of sun and storm, the Sparrows Point waterfront lush from two months of almost daily rain.
Emma will be three soon.

Her head comes up just past my knee and her brass-colored hair is piled high after Mommy brushed it.

Her eyes are big and expressive, her mouth small and pensive and her energy such that it makes this old man feel like mortals speed up every time I crack the lid on my coffin.

Her shirt is pink, with white lettering reading HERSEY PERSEY.

Her shorts are pink with white trim.

Her shoes are those hideous knit rubber-banded things that Velcro on—pink of course.

Adventurers do not always dot every i and cross every t, so one might forgive our adventurette for putting her shoes on the wrong feet and having to stop, snarling to get them each to their proper foot.

One grandfather is in Heaven, the other in Hell and daddy has found a new drug—made in a former Soviet Republic—guaranteed to cure him of his addictions to opiates, cocaine, Suboxone, Ambien, lithium, Xanax and at least one other reality buffer I surely cannot spell either.

So Unx Yim is on deck as HERSEY PERSEY bodyguard.

Off to the steamship playground with Mommy and Mum Mum, for teenagers have destroyed the apartment playground.

The steel wire and plastic playground, set in a quarter acre of wood chips outlined by railroad ties, is quite a workout for Unx Yim and Emma is determined to master it, despite lacking the reach and strength for some parts of the design made for 8-year-old bodies. I hold her when necessary, offer a hand when she asks, stand close enough to grab her when she waves me off to conquer the next step and otherwise behave like the crusty castle Steward for a young princess.

A 4-year-old boy, well knit and athletic in his soccer uniform, shows up with an escort, a man who does not appear related by blood, other than the Irish look of both. The man is nearly 30 with easily $20K in ink on his wiry frame and a $500 smart phone to which he is wedded like Saruman to his palantir, hypnotized but polite as we say hello. For an hour more Emma and I play, the man ignoring the boy who keeps looking jealously at Emma and me. I hear from snatches of conversation that a parent will be coming to pick him up. All I hear is “your…ther” whether mother or father I do not know. The man is kind to the boy in his dismissive way as he peers ever deeper into his phone…

Emma takes a break and dances on the adjacent field with Mum Mum, who is teaching her dance steps and songs. In the meantime, as Mommy makes her grocery list on the bench, I did pull ups and pushups and stretches on the bars. Unable to get the attention of his chaperone, the boy sees that I am not occupied with Emma and leaps at the chance to show off, selecting all of the portions of the ship-themed monkey bar and catwalk maze that Emma had difficulty with and tearing across the course, spending one of every three steps or handholds looking at me, to make certain someone was witness to his ability to navigate the uncaring world.

His hair was bronze in the sun and I waved goodbye to him when we pulled off.

We go to the auto supply store and the supermarket and then stop by the snowball stand for a treat. Emma was utterly horrified at my “a broccoli snowball, yuk!” which I did not bother explaining to her was diet spearmint and found out the next morning that Emma was right after a sense, as the snowball acted on me as if I had eaten a blender full of broccoli.

Back at the apartment Emma wants to explore the near world, around the corner and out of sight of Mum Mum on the porch. We start out with some ‘ombie tag, with Emma as the ‘ombie, which gives me a chance to work on my pivots and triangle steps. I am informed the that she will have a “Hallaween birfday” and that I will be the werewolf and must keep the gampires away from her cake. Looking at my Duke Nukem sleeveless shirt from some 20 years ago, she points in disapproval at his faded image and wags her finger imperiously, “No Wankenstein!”

She then takes a drink of juice back at Mum Mum Base Camp and points to the chokecherry tree which she wishes to investigate. The chokecherries on the ground have been gotten to by birds and she wants me to hold her up so she can inspect unplucked versions. The resulting sprig and berry sample must be taken back to Mum Mum.

What follows is a mania of gathering. Where my sons spent their toddling years gathering weapon materials and reinventing the knife, spear and club and hunting and herding bugs and yard critters, Emma is all about the plants, off on a quest for berries and flowers.

The little flowers down the way are described by color as she walks around on the stained four-by-fours that line the flower bed.

A neatly trimmed hedge earns her attention until a mosquito lands on her wrist and the hedge is declared a “gampire bush,” and we beat a hasty retreat.

Another chokecherry tree is almost too high for her to reach, but I grab her by the hips and she manages to grab a sample sprig and berry.

A cat lounges on a small hammock in a window and she stops and wonders at its golden eyes.

A third chokecherry tree is too high. Across the lot where the buzzards nest in the nighted treetops, the mulberries at the woods’ edge are too wet and stain her hands and arm and knee and she requests an airlift over the intervening puddle to civilization—the land of flowers and concrete paths.

She begins her toddling run, part hop, part stride, part dance step, part questioning foot, her hands waggling up around her shoulders and ears in an ecstasy of rediscovery. Within a few yards she finds, stops, points and says, “My flowers,” as she stands beneath a raised flower bed, which is home to a deep-green leafed hydrangea about a yard wide, round and festooned with balls of opening buds, white, frost, pink, yellow and purple. Emma holds out her hand and takes mine so she can use it as a pull assist to step up on the two-foot bed. She then waves away my hand and does her balance-beam walk all around the woodchip flowerbed.

Having satisfied herself that she can come and go as she pleases, she stepped gingerly down into the bed and approached the bush which hulked before her like I would stand before an SUV and stalked closer, obviously conscious that she was visiting a living thing and pointed at the flowers, “See, Yim, it okay to sniff—no bees to sting,” and leaned forward delicately and sniffed first one flower ball, then another, and another until they had all been scented. Satisfied after some minutes, she looked coyly over her shoulder at me, smiled, “Booiful, no pick—my flowers.”

She then held out her hand and I took it, stepping around the planter housing with her as she leaped two feet down into a squat, and with a curled lip of determination ran for the porch to deliver the news that the flowers smell nice, a somewhat dead thing following her, wondering if he would ever share such a moment with the world again.

(c) 2018 James LaFond

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Lockhart's Top LaFonds Volume 32

Here are some weekend links, everyone!

James' best work is on the early history of North America, Plantation America, this week writing on the ethnic affinity between Indians in the hills of the Eastern United States and early European settlers.  He appeared on the Myth of the 20th Century podcast to discuss the topic.  He is developing both non-fiction and fiction books on this topic.  Here he describes how he evaluates and uses primary and secondary sources

Amazon platform hostility: James' suppressed books now number FOUR.  Four books that CreateSpace fears to print.  As more of James' books get banned, the best way to support him is by becoming a Patron.

How to spar with a heavy stick for mobility and conditioning.

Social media sucks.

Tony's childhood world was simple, stick with your gang and beware of the Skirt Man.

James has a gander at the Tartan Tornado, a man question from John Paul Barber, a follow up question on the safety jab for - or against - the lefty fighter.

James has consistently advised people NOT to participate in these street demonstrations-cum-melees.  Stay away.

Movie review of Badass, the race reversed fictionalization of Epic Beard Guy's story.

On Independence Day, Jeremy Bentham signed off from the LaFondiverse one last time, and I won't say I didn't shed a tear.

The Harm City Diarist will soon become the itinerant and pseudonymous journalist.

Nero the Pict describes the means by which he preserved his soul, particularly, the luck of important friendships.

The Baltimore Boyz are giving James a proper final home season for the Murderbowl.

Movie review:  Unconquered  offers plenty of hints at the once unremarkable and now completely obscured truth.

Buy James' books through Amazonpdf books through his main website, become a Patron, or donate straight to the man through Paypal, because you love James and his work.

(c) 2018 Lynn Lockhart

Friday, July 6, 2018

Memorial for Lost Molecules

by the Checkered Demon

When my Son graduated from high school, I saw him as weakened and he was. As a latchkey kid, he'd fallen in with a few tweakers in the California apartment block he and his Mother lived in. They'd buffer the speed with beer, and the alcohol snagged him. He became his Grandfather's grandson, lost in the jug at 18. He lived there until 27.

I'd told him he could use a hitch in the military and he'd laughed. It was in fact laughable, since he would never have passed the physicals. I'd hated the military myself, so why would I advise my own Son to take that route? I'd seen how many fuck-ups they've sorted out maybe? Me for one. Well, maybe I wasn't sorted totally out, but It DID at least set me off in that direction. It was, I think, that I would rather have seen him honorably dead somewhere in Arlington than where he was then.

Many a parent's boy or girl lie out there, or as debris in foreign soil, or as molecules no one ever could find. There really are heroes in the seaweeds and the mountains and deserts, in the air that we breathe. Mostly they live in the minds of those who bred them, or loved them and those who were there when the bitch-God of war took them.

The last Monday in May we honor them, or maybe mock their naïveté for being stupid and dying for the man, man. The mockers are always the ones who've profited the most from their loss. No one can ever convince me Democracy is pretty. It slaughters the brave and abets the lame in return. We obsess over cow farts when cows don't fart. We don't educate all children, because criminals are easier to manage than revolutionaries. Our situation isn't pretty, but still we fight for it. Obviously there's some sort of madness afoot.

So on Monday I'll raise a glass to them all, and have another with my amputee friend who claims he sometime wishes the medics weren't so good. We owe them our thoughts.

Note from Lynn:  My apologies to CD and to readers for the tardiness of this post, it's entirely my fault.  The sentiment is every bit as valid today as it was a few weeks ago, I hope you enjoyed the piece as much as I did.

(c) 2018  The Checkered Demon

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Monster to Boss

The Heroic Visons of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard by James LaFond

Most people are nothing more than propaganda clay.
-Gina C.

The drive to extinguish heroism from what remains of human culture, in its washed-out mongrelized form is an actual obsession with the media and academia, the two mind control strands which serve the power elite. As a counter to this we might consider the strands of heroism and which strand is most unacceptable to the Leviathan Polity and which strand is relatively abundant, in order to deduce the fear of the collective beast that dines upon our scattered souls.

Robert E. Howard and J.R.R. Tolkien were the two greatest fantasy writers of the 20th century, Edgar Rice Boroughs being the third. I place Boroughs third, despite his superior output, due to his relative reluctance to paint human superstructures as evil. He was a nationalist, who did what he could to place the villain as an aberrant or even alien force. Tolkien painted the picture of power itself as a morally corruptible force. Howard, likewise, depicts virtually every ruler, prince, lord and priest as a monster in the making, with civilization itself sketched as the very womb of evil. So, despite their very different approaches to heroism Howard and Tolkien paint political power with a black brush.

The Hero King

The quintessential Tolkien hero is Aragorn, the scion of the returning blood line, a hero who spends all of his time slaughtering the nameless minions of his evil counterpart, a hero never able to lay hold of the Dark Lord, unassailable in Mordor, a man who is nothing but a piece on the chessboard of strife, not the player. It is significant that Aragorn never even has a showdown with the Lord of the Nazgul, rather he is slain by a girl, and that the Dark Lord himself may only be defeated by a hairy-footed child. In medieval terms, Aragorn is a knight who never slays his evil equal—he is a living symbol of a restoration, a moral beacon, not a direct actionist in the fight against his evil opposite.

Today, the Lord of the Rings franchise in print, video and gaming outsells the combined works of Howard by billions of dollars. Furthermore, the chief pastime of young men, video gaming, is dominated by the convention of the “Boss,” the idea that many levels of the combat ladder [a frustrated effigy for the social ladder, so inaccessible to the honorable actionist] must be ascended until finally a showdown with the boss villain is the reward for learning the game. A video game is essentially a restorative Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn finally gets to fight the Dark Lord.

The Usurper

Of all of the Howard characters, Conan is the quintessential king, a more brutally crafted figure than his literary predecessor Kull, also a barbarian hero king come to the throne of a preeminent state via the violence of his own bloody hands. Most of the Conan adventures are set before his kingship, with only three treating with the barbarian monarch’s trouble holding his heroically gotten throne. Where Aragorn is the benighted heir of a right upheld by the hands of others, Conan is a pure heroic force who has carved his own place in life and must hold on in like fashion, with nothing but the loyalty to him imbued by his own heroism and good deeds to buoy his continued claim. This is well illustrated in The Hour of the Dragon, the only Conan novel.

Rather than a collectively toxic right, Conan has might. The other striking aspect of the Conan series in terms of heroism, is it is a return to ancient epic poetry, hero sagas of figures such as Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Achilles, Odysseus, Herakles and Beowulf who all go directly for the throat of evil by accessing the chief villain and puppet master directly. This is only reflected in modern and postmodern media by the Lone Wolf hero, such as Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name and the various very popular adventure films starring his more muscular heirs to the movie throne.

For the above reasons I prefer man against machine stories and movies for boys, and am against video games and suggest that table top gaming follow the direct actionist in the Howard tradition, rather than the compromised heroes of Tolkien. I prefer the Tolkien mythos in many ways, but in terms of media for modeling the inner mind of men, Howard’s hero—which is to say the traditional Aryan hero—who confronts evil directly rater than through its proxy minions, is an entire level above the slavish king of Tolkien’s mind’s eye.

Note from Lynn:  James asked for a picture of a CEO and an evil wizard to illustrate this piece, but this was the best I could come up with, an evil CEO and President Frothy Latte:

(c) 2018 James LaFond