Who is Hal Brandt?

I think I’m getting the hang of Twitter. It’s for those news stories that don’t merit a full blog post, just a quick one-liner. Those where the idiocy speaks for itself.

This post is not about smoking or politics. It’s about the inner workings of a writer’s mind and where ideas come from. It may bore you to tears. You have been warned.

My job at Local Shop requires little thought, most of the time. It has been most helpful in showing me how happy, compliant drones think, which is very useful for ‘Panoptica’.

Stimpy, the new guy, is absolutely perfect. He switches off if the conversation gets away from his narrow comfort zone. Literally. It’s like watching a robot go into power-saving mode. Bring it back into his comfort zone and he’s fully animated again. I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. You can turn him on and off like a light bulb, with just a few words. Imagine a society full of people conditioned to do that. You don’t have to imagine very hard.

Since the job is on autopilot I can let my mind wander and hope it comes back. Sometimes it comes back with ‘Hey, what about this then?’ It did that today.

One of the other stories in the works is ‘Channelling’, about a TV fake-psychic who finds the ghosts can really talk to him. This is the one I wrote as a short story, but then found I had a ‘Chapter One’. The first part ends with his total mental collapse. The ghosts can talk to him but he cannot control or filter any of it. He is in a permanent shouting crowd.

In the hospital, he is dosed up with drugs that stop ‘the voices’. This stems from a thought I had years ago when hearijng about such drugs foir schizophrenia. The drugs stop the patient hearing the voices – is that because the voices aren’t real and the drug fixes something? What if the voices are real and the drug just blocks the patient’s ability to hear them?

If he takes the drugs he doesn’t hear or see the ghosts. The hospital won’t let him leave with the drugs at the strength they are using. He has to be on a lower dose or no dose to get out. If they lower the dose, he sees and hears the ghosts again. No way out.

This is where two ghosts come in. The psychic manages to reason with the ghosts. They want him to get messages to their families. He can’t do that if he can’t get out of the hospital. They have to leave him alone so he can convince the doctors to let him go.

The ghosts agree. All but two leave him. One of the two is called Hal Brandt.

That name has a history. Years ago, when rummaging through EVPs posted online (recordings of claimed ghost voices) I came across one that had sparked an argument over what it said. To me it sounded like someone saying, very slowly and clearly, ‘My name is Hal Brandt’. So there might actually be a ghost of that name out there.

I had this fictional ghost introduce himself in the same way. He spoke slowly and clearly. I had no idea why, other than that was how I heard it all those years ago.

There comes a point in writing a story where it’s not work any more. You are no longer struggling to work out what happens next or what a character would do. They come alive and the story wrirtes itself. Motivations and histories just appear. All you are doing is documenting it. This does mean that the beginning will often change completely.

That happened with ‘Channelling’ today when the thought came –  ‘Who is Hal Brandt?’

I realised that he has been doing things that mark him as ‘different’. He has a plan. An agenda. He has a very big use for this psychic and he is not yet telling what it is. Even that introduction – the name spoken slowly and clearly in a ‘Remember this’ kind of way. Hal Brandt is up to something.

Who is he? Where did he come from? How did he die? What is he planning? Hal Brandt has a very interesting backstory and it is linked to the story’s bad guy. This is where a lot of new stories come from. Offshoots of existing ones. It’s why the Blackthorns keep showing up, and why so many stories take place in or near Marchway. One day I will see how all the bits join together – if they do – and the result will probably keep a whole team of psychoanalysts occupied for a very long time.

I think I might have my short story for Halloween. The origin of the ghost called Hal Brandt.

Enough talk. I have plenty of finger-fuel but not much time tonight (early start tomorrow). Still, the wind is howling beautifully, the rain sounds like teeth on the windows and I hear the sound of things breaking in the distance. It’s a perfect writing night.

Have to make the best of it. I might even take the little Acer to work tomorrow, for those quiet patches.

ISIS takes on the ice kingdom.

Apparently ISIS have declared war on Russia.

Great move, guys. You already have America bombing you, among others, and soon you’ll have to contend with Russian bombers too. Well, you started it.

The timing of their statement of intent to fly the squiggly flag over the Kremlin is historically perfect too. Just at the onset of winter. Just like Napoleon and Hitler. The difference being that Napoleon and Hitler came from countries where they actually had a little experience of snow and ice. Not from a hot desert. Both Napoleon and Hitler thought ‘Oh, it’s just snow’. No. it’s Russian snow. Colder and deeper and thicker.

The Russians will do what they did last time, and the time before. Let the invaders come and let the winter wipe them out. Then pick off the last few stragglers.

ISIS are convinced they are going to win despite taking a hell of a hammering at Kobane at the moment. They really believe they will defeat Russia. As far as I recall, the only ones to bring down Russia were… the Russians. Then they turned it into a Communist hell-hole for many years but they still lived there because nobody else wants to. Nobody wants to invade Russia. It gets seriously bloody cold there. If you’re going to invade somewhere that cold, try Antarctica but do it quickly before Obama arms the rebel penguins.

The problem ISIS have is the same as all those previous holy-war nutcases. They genuinely believe God is on their side and if the creator of all… um… creation is on your side, you cannot possibly lose.

That belief leads to such supreme overconfidence that they will walk straight at the machine guns of the enemy. They cannot be killed, God is on their side and all those others of God’s creation are all God’s mistakes. Rejects. Miscasts. Bubbles in the moulding. It is the duty of God’s chosen ones to remove these unfit and unworthy creations from the world and God is going to help them every step of the way.

They really believe that. They are not the first, and won’t be the last. The Crusaders believed it too. Not too many of those around these days, are there?

Not many Viking Berserkers or Celts around either. They believed in predestination. If today is your day to die then it doesn’t matter how much armour you strap on, you will die. If today is not your day to die, you can fight naked with a sword and you’ll be fine.The logic is beyond circular. It’s spherical. It is also impossible to argue with.

After the battle: ‘Where’s Sven?’

‘Dead. It must have been his day to die.’

‘Well, he did charge the archers naked…’

‘If it wasn’t his day to die he’d still be here.’

‘But if he had worn armour he might still be here.’

‘Not if it was his day to die.’

It cannot break, no matter what you say. ISIS have this mentality. Same as the Celts and Vikings. Death while fighting for the God(s) sends you to eternity in Heaven/Valhalla/a lap dancing club in Chelsea, depending on your beliefs. God is on your side. You cannot lose and if you die trying you get to spend eternity with 72 internet Warcrafters virgins.

Oh yeah, Allah has a sense of humour.

Losing Kobane should break the mentality for many of them but not all. Many will think that one loss proves God is not looking after them. Some will just say ‘Oh well, it’s God’s will’ and move on to the next town.

A lot of those who stay will have doubts. They will be less keen to run at the guns and less confident of winning. When you set an army up to believe they can never lose, one loss will break them

Kobane could well be that loss.

If it isn’t, Russia will be.

Coincidences.

I’m a bit jet-lagged. This week I will be on morning shifts. Not all bad, the shift finishes at 2:30 pm so I can access all the shops for a change. Aldi sold me a very nice saw rail for a fiver the other day. It’ll be good to not be limited to Tesco or the Co-op for a week.

In theory, the promised pay rise that enticed me back to the job (but didn’t happen) will actually materialise in next month’s pay. If it doesn’t I’ll be working somewhere else for Christmas. Getting a job in this town, especially at this time of year, is not at all difficult as long as you aren’t fussy. In fact, if you are a slow shopper you might get press-ganged and wake up with a uniform on. The only ones not working here are the ones who physically can’t, and the ones who don’t want to. Even being as thick as iced treacle is no barrier here.

Anyway.

There are two UK nuclear power stations closed down because of cracks in the containment thingie. Obviously nobody wants another Chernobyl so it makes sense to shut them and fix them. Today, Didcot power station (fossil fuel, coal I think) caught fire. So that’s going to be on low to zero output for a while. No defined cause has been reported, apparently it’s not arson or terrorism.

But hey, nothing to worry about. We have all those windmills and it’s been windy so that’s all fine and dandy. Except… Hurricane Gonzo (it’s some Spanish name or other even though it isn’t going to hit Spain) will hit the UK tomorrow and require the closing down of all the windmills.

Just as this hurricane arrives we have three power stations out of use. What a coincidence.

Speaking of Spain, Josie Manual Barrackobama of Spain, currently the head honcho for the EU, has humiliated the Cameroid by telling him that the immigration controls he wants to negotiate are not negotiable. The best the Cameroid can do is wave a red cape at those incomers and shout ‘Ole’ as they pass him on the way to the benefits office. He does not need the EU to negotiate on migrants. He just needs to stop paying them to come, so those who want work will come and those who want freebies won’t. Then again, he probably can’t do that either unless he takes us out of the EU, and he won’t ever let that happen. He almost lost Scotland. He won’t risk losing an entire continent.

Coincidentally (oh no it isn’t), the Tory rag, the Daily Mail, has now focused on the desperate state of the NHS in Labour-run Wales and the imminent stomping of Labour by the even-leftier Scottish Nannying Puritans in Scotland. I’m sure this isn’t all just to deflect attention from yet another Cameroid screw-up. Must be just a coincidence.

Incidentally, those Lefties who insist the Mail is a ‘right wing’ paper are missing the point that the Mail hate UKIP as much as they hate Labour. Forget ‘left and right’. That’s all crap anyway. It’s a Tory paper.

The WHO’s Frantic Conspiracy for Total Control meeting has passed, in secret, plans for a global tobacco tax which will have organised crime sending them ‘thank-you’ notes and bunches of flowers with smiling horses’ heads in them. They also (in secret) demand total transparency from everyone else. They must close their meetings with a rendition of Black Sabbath’s ‘Irony man’.

Well you can demand whatever you want in secret. If I don’t know about it I don’t have to conform to it. Not that I would anyway.

Giddy with power and possibly with Russian vodka and a bad case of intelligence deprivation, these spotty goblins plan to extend their silliness to food and drink. They will dictate to governments what these new taxes must be (they will be big) and also what the taxes will be spent on. They will be spent on providing the WHO with free booze, baccy and burgers.

Many are quite justifiably outraged. I think it’s wonderful. It’s the sort of thing that can bring down a government overnight. Forget about that ‘occupy democracy’ shower of shite. Never bother pointing out that if a small group of people ‘occupy democracy’ then it’s not democracy at all any more. Don’t concern yourself with explaining that sitting on some grass and droning some damn hippie dirge to the accompaniment of an out of tune acoustic guitar, fairtrade bongos and a tie-dyed triangle accomplishes no more than flattening the grass. Oh no, none of that will have any effect.

Even Rusty Bland and his one-man directionless revolution won’t do a single thing.

Just wait until his pizza has a 300% tax added to it. Wait until Dwayne and Chantelle find their case of Red Stripe now requires three benefits cheques and a month’s proceeds of their sole-trader shoplifting enterprise rather than just a few quid. Wait until the queue at MacDonald’s find that the 99p burger now has an asterisk that leads to small print that says ‘plus £3 WHO tax with VAT on top’. Wait until cigarette prices jump overnight from ‘just plain silly’ to ‘fucking hell, what?’

Then you’ll see some rage.

Coincidentally, in the UK you can now be jailed for two years for being angry at someone on Twitter. ‘Trolling’ is a term that originated in fishing. You row your boat upwind on a lake, drop your. line in the water and let the wind slowly take you across the lake. Basically, you drop your baited hook and wait to see what bites. To a fly-fisher, that is the epitome of lazy fishing. Almost as lazy as ledgering and almost as boring as sunbathing. But people do all those things.

The internet took that term and used it in much the same way. Trolls would drop in a comment on a forum and then sit back and watch the Offended swarm in a frenzy, like goldfish around a pile of maggots. These trolls made no threats. They just stirred up trouble – but only where there were idiots willing to play.

Now, a troll is someone with the wrong opinion. There are a lot of us now. The drones are already calling for re-education camps because they don’t think for a moment that they could ever end up in one.

Actually I could have ended that last sentence at ‘moment’ and it would have been grammatically and factually accurate.

What a piss-weak species we have become. We crumble at an insult, we retreat into a tearful foetal position at a threat from an idiot on the other side of the planet, one who does not even know where we live or what we look like and who is too far away to do anything about it anyway. We must have laws to track them down and put them in prison, lest they offend some other feeble bastard who needs to concentrate to breathe.

Children keep getting eaten by zoo animals because they have been taught that all animals are cute and friendly and just like the ones in that Eden they are not allowed to believe in because that would offend religions that don’t believe it.

They are allowed to believe in Santa, naturally.

Children are also taught that all adults want to poke things into their bottoms and then kill them in horribly inventive ways. This is not true. Some adults are like this. We call them ‘sick bastards’ and when the courts get hold of them, they tell them that have been very naughty and then send them on their way because they have not threatened anyone on Twitter. You cannot call modern British justice a joke. It’s not even remotely funny.

I can assure all children that I have no wish to poke anything into anywhere as far as they are concerned. Children are disgusting. I prefer you all to be somewhere else, thank you very much.

Stewart Cowan thinks that part of the new control freakery will be a one-world religion. I agree. Religion is a massively effective means of control and includes the delightful side-effect that its adherents can be induced to spontaneously exterminate any free thinkers without Those in Control bothering to do anything

However, Stewart thinks it is Satanism that is the New Religion. That’s because Stewart is a committed Christian and Satanism is the diametric opposite. It won’t work because not all religions have a Satan. There is only one thing that can convert almost all adherents to all religions to one New World Religion and that is proof that transcends belief.

Does the proof have to be real? Of course not. The last few decades have shown that the people will believe any old shit if it has ‘expert’ in front of it.

The new religion will be scientifically proven. No religion can compete with data against belief. No vicar’s description of Heaven will ever match up to a CGI reconstruction. Not with the  drones.

So science has to change to ‘prove’ an afterlife. Well now, science has ‘proved’ third hand smoke and ‘proved’ that red wine both causes and prevents cancer so this will be easy.

Coincidentally

 

It’s a fun game, isn’t it?

Crafting clues.

There are no deep meanings in the stories I write. They are just there to scare the pants off people in a hopefully entertaining way. ‘Panoptica’ is my first attempt at writing something that actually has a meaning, which is why it keeps getting rewritten. I’m in new territory here.

It’s useful for me to look at how others have inserted hints and clues. Orwell’s ‘1984’ isn’t such a hint-filled story. It’s quite obvious what that story was intended to warn us about.

The films of David Lynch, on the other hand, are full of hints and clues although these generally refer internally to the story. Fail to grasp the clues and you’ll have no idea what the hell is going on. ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Lost Highway’ took a few viewings to get the storylines, and I’m still not entirely sure about ‘Lost Highway.’

‘Eraserhead’ was a lot of fun to watch but with that one also, I still haven’t quite managed to ‘get’ it. And ‘Twin Peaks’ was a total WTF? on first viewing. Great entertainment but I need that film+series repeated a few more times.

But this is not about David Lynch. As I said, the complexities and hidden clues in his work referred internally to the story. They are like puzzles you try to decode while you watch – I doubt anyone gets the whole lot on the first viewing.

What I was looking for was someone dropping hints external to the story. Someone coding the real world into a storyline.

I’ve watched many of Stanley Kubrick’s films without catching on to a single hint. Yet the first hint is always there right away. Where he has adapted a book for the screen, he has always seemed to mess it up. Things in the film that weren’t in the book, sections missing from the original story – as in ‘The Shining’ for example.

‘2001 – A Space Odyssey’ was different. The book is not the same as the film but the book was written as the film was made so changes in the film didn’t always make it into the book.

Incidentally, while rummaging, I came across the interesting snippet that the widescreen format used for ‘2001’ matched the monolith’s dimensions. The monolith showed images and took Dave to an impossible place. There seems to have been a message – this is just a movie, the monolith that fascinates the characters is the same as the screen that fascinates the viewer. It’s not real, it’s all make-believe, don’t just accept what the screen shows you. That’s something for another time, as is what Kubrick did in ‘The Shining’. Thanks for that interesting version, Roobedoo, by the way.

‘A Clockwork Orange’ is Kubrick’s film version of the book by Anthony Burgess and he didn’t change very much in terms of dialogue or action. A few scenes were cut but it was already a very long film from a very short book so that’s understandable.

It always looked like it had links to the present with its gangs of ultra-violent yobs, indifferent to any rule of law and indeed, usually just given a beating by police rather than them having to bother with all that tiresome paperwork. It always had political undertones too, the writer and his friends plotting against a government so far up its own arse it can lick its tonsils. I didn’t see any more than that in it though.

I did not expect to see an analysis linking that film to the then-infant EU, with the screen format now in the shape of a flag and a colour-coded opening sequence that can make sense, if sense is still in the world.

It’s in three parts. I won’t embed them because I am not at work until the afternoon tomorrow so am grabbing the chance to swill down some fine whisky. The good stuff does not cause hangovers like the cheap blends, I have found, as long as you take your time and don’t go nuts. Still, embedding three videos gives me three chances to mess the blog up again. I’m good at that.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

What struck me was the colours. I am not good with colours, and it gets worse with age. If you want to wipe me out at snooker, put the brown ball among the reds. I can’t find it. When I check out the lie of the balls in pool (with a stripes/spots set) you’ll think I am lining up a shot. I am looking for the numbers on the spot balls because 6 is the same colour as 8. And there is no such thing as ‘navy blue’. It’s black.

When I was young we didn’t have colours. The world was black and white. I have photos to prove it. Then someone invented a shitty brown colour called sepia, and then there were seven colours, now there are 64 million according to the manual that came with my monitor. I’m still working on the seven. Indigo is not real, I am certain.

So that sequence at the start of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ starts with a red/blue alternation. The video maker claims it represents alternately the Nazi flag and the EU flag. Kubrick inserted a lot more Nazi imagery into that film than was ever in the book. He might have been saying something, or maybe it was just what they had in the wardrobe department at the time.

Then the sequence becomes red-blue-red-blue-green-magenta.

I thought magenta was some kind of spice but apparently it’s a colour. Specifically it is a mix of red and blue, something I would call ‘purple’ but which is diametrically opposed to green (and now I’m dropping hints too).

I know, you know, we all know that we are being royally pissed about by those who think themselves important. It’s all a sham, a stage, a game they play where they throw things into plain view and nobody notices. Then they snigger and point at the dopey drones.

Never mind whether Kubrick was really trying to tell us about the EU being Nazi-inspired, it clearly was anyway. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’m sure we could point to some event in the 1300s that ‘predicted’ this. Maybe the YouTube guy is right, maybe Kubrick was trying to plant a subliminal warning, maybe not.

What interests me is the colour purple (to me, magenta/purple, meh). A mix of red and blue. An in-between, neither far right nor far left. A safe colour. The colour made from the opposite ends of the visible spectrum. The colour that brings it full circle.

If we really do have some bunch of self-righteous ‘intelligentsia’ thinking it’s clever to drop blatant clues in our faces while turning the screws ever tighter, then the colour purple should cause us to stop and think.

It’s the colour of UKIP. The colour of our political saviours. Who have been doing rather well despite the MSM and Triad parties ‘doing their best to put us off’. Are UKIP here to sweep away the oppression or are they just the next stage? And does Farage know about it? If there is anything in this, my bet is that he doesn’t, because he smokes and the Elite hate us for indulging in something that should be their privilege alone.

David Lynch’s Log Lady once said, ‘The owls are not what they seem’.

‘2001’ might have been telling us that what we are shown on-screen is all illusion.

Or maybe it’s nothing and we can all go back to sleep.

Maybe.

Flummoxed

Posts are disappearing from view. If you have the title of ‘Pestilence! War! Famine! Death!’ halfway up the screen, then press ‘refresh’, they reappear. They are wrongly formatted and then they disappear again.

I have no idea what’s going on. I do know that WordPress have meddled with the post editor so maybe that has something to do with it. The posts are not deleted, they are intact in my list but refuse to appear.

First I tried editing and updating to see if they’d come back – nope. Then I tried putting in a ‘read more’ tag to see if the abridged version would appear – nope.

Maybe it has something to do with the link to Twitter which auto-tweets the post title. Twitter is a recent addition. However, I don’t see how there could be any back-interference there.

Any ideas welcome. I have no idea what I’m doing here.

It might be a good idea to back up the whole lot before messing around further. I see a total disaster looming on the horizon. Especially as I tried to clean up the texts on my phone the other day and accidentally deleted the lot!

Update: I think it’s fixed now. The problem wasn’t in the missing posts at all. It was a little bit of stray code in the ‘Chaos Reigns’ post.

Copying text from the Mail inserts a load of code. If I’m quoting a few lines, I paste into Notepad first then copy the text while ignoring all the code. When it’s just the one, I delete the code in the WordPress text-view. This time I missed a bit.

So it should all be back to as near normal as it gets around here and we can get back to ranting against the Nazis.

Chaos Reigns

Quick ones tonight and tomorrow – I am on early shift. So much for ‘only doing weekends’ eh? Currently it looks like I will be changing jobs before Christmas, which is fortunately an easy thing to do in this town. It depends on an event that will happen in three weeks, but I’ll keep quiet about that for the moment.

Tonight then, a quick round-up of the collapse of Order.

Frank has some interesting information on the WHO’s priorities. That organisation has nothing to do with health and everything to do with the World – as in ‘domination’. They have decided they will impose a worldwide tax on tobacco that they say will make smokers quit. In fact, it will send the illegal market into overdrive.

Who do they think they are? The World Government? Do you know, I suspect that that is exactly who they think they are. A bunch of petty dictators pretending to be a ‘health organisation’ while imposing taxes and ignoring Africa’s ebola problems. As long as they aren’t smoking while they die, that’s all the WHO care about.

The WHO is not fit for purpose. It is of no further relevance and all governments should stop wasting money on it.

Picked up via @mardconsult on Twitface is the (not really) news that Greenpeace have morphed into an actually evil organisation. They were formed to try to put a stop to nuclear weapons but now they pirate oil rigs and harass Japanese whalers.

For the record, I don’t think the Japanese should be killing whales either but I wouldn’t be fouling the propellors of ships hundreds of miles from land because that is tantamount to murder. Greenpeace do not care about people. In response to that criticism, their spokesman said:

He said: ‘When we do campaigns, we look at influence, we look at impact and we are very, very mindful to incorporate social and economic issues into what we do, because otherwise campaigns won’t work.’

Influence, impact, social and economic issues are important to Greenpeace. People? Nah, don’t care about them. They are just saps who donate. Then we make them sit in the cold and the dark because they all have to die to save humanity.

Greenpeace is now worthless. Stop giving them money.

Real Conservatives are realising that not only is the Cameroid a closet socialist, but Boris the Spider is no more than a Stalinist control freak too. If a committed Conservative like Simon Cooke is starting to question his affiliation, the party are in big trouble.

Don’t cheer too hard, Lefties. Moribund and his Ed Miller Band are no better. They want to utterly control every aspect of your lives too and they don’t care what anyone out here thinks either.

I would mention Norman Clegg and his ‘ooo, careful not to cause a fuss’ party but… why bother? They’ve never been any use and their latest stint in part-power has served only to prove it. ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt’, as someone I’ve forgotten once said. I’ll look it up sometime.

None of those three do what it says on the tin any more. They are all useless. The only one left is the untried and untested UKIP. Might as well give them a go, they can’t possibly do any worse than the ones we have now. Hell, you could vote in 650 woodlice and things would be no worse.

Things would actually be better. Woodlice can’t speak.

There is more. Much, much more. Unfortunately I am expected to rise at an unseemly hour in the morning so the rest will have to wait.

Maybe it will all collapse overnight. I hope not, I don’t want to miss it.