The University Prisons

Well, the mechanic is getting all the parts and I should be rolling by Monday, maybe sooner if he gets them by tomorrow. This guy could be a regular for fixing the car (assuming lockdown makes the inactive metal box seize up something else, which is likely). I’ve used one tank of petrol since March and flat battery has happened twice already, despite having a new battery last year. This car is used to driving between Aberdeen and Cardiff, it doesn’t like the sedentary life. Still, it’s all part of the Boris plan to eradicate personal transport, I suppose. Might need to rebuild that old stable.

On the plus side, we are all up to date on story editing for the next anthology and there’s still a week left for submissions. Last minute submissions will pose no problem. I’ll be sending out contracts as soon as I think of a suitable title, then payments, and we are on course for a first week of October release. I can’t use ‘lockdown’ again even though I have a story about where that leads in the book. I can also use the time to dream up a cover – perhaps making use of that plague doctor mask, or the skull mask… I have so many now, and not one single overpriced and useless surgical mask. ‘Maskquerade’ might be a contender.

Nine stories so far, including one new author. I’m delighted to note that every anthology has introduced at least one new author so far. Not bad, considering this is number 12. There’s still time – and I have another story brewing.

My mother had scheduled a visit in October but of course that’s not going to happen now. She’s rescheduled for November, if the twats in charge come to their senses by then. It’s now public knowledge that both the CSO and CMO, who are running this through a grotesquely compliant Boris, stand to profit from a vaccine. I thought everyone knew about that months ago but the news is treating it as if it’s a scoop.

So we have to suffer until they can sell us a vaccine that won’t work. The annual flu vaccine is being pushed again, it’s that time of year, and that has an estimated success rate of 40%. The real rate will of course be a lot lower since some of those who don’t get flu wouldn’t have got it anyway. You might as well rattle a gourd at people and claim that if they don’t catch the disease, it has worked. You’d probably get very close to a 40% success rate.

No vaccine against any coronavirus has ever worked. Vaccines against stable viruses work. Smallpox was eradicated using a vaccine, it is still the only disease to be truly eradicated from the planet. Even the Black Plague is still around although now we have antibiotics and can deal more effectively with its major vector – rats.

Cholera is easily controlled by water supply treatment, even my tiny treatment plant here (filter and UV) will deal with it. All the diseases, apart from smallpox, are still around and this new cortonavirus is going to stick around too. Get used to it. It’s currently killing a lot fewer people than the annual flu and a hell of a lot fewer than cancer, heart disease and the rest.

Yet people are going around in plastic tents and someone is selling a space helmet with a pump sending air in through filters. Idiots are paying a lot of money for these things. I have a plastic Bane mask that is just as effective (as in, not at all) but a lot more fun. Especially as they can’t make me take it off. I’ll carry around my Saw puppet mask in case they insist I change it.

Now, in Scotland at least, Wee Nippy has confined thousands of university students to their rooms, enforced by police patrols. They cannot go to the pub, they cannot go to the shops, lectures are all online and they cannot even visit each other’s rooms. They’d be better off in prison.

Why even let them go back? Well, they are paying fees (unless they are Scottish or EU students, which has mysteriously never included English students who do have to pay fees – but the SNP aren’t anti-English despite their ‘go home’ signs at the border) and they are paying rent. Yes, they are all paying a lot of money to be in prison while rapists and murderers get it all for free. Isn’t that fun?

Even the non-fee-paying Scottish students, who I suspect are a major part of the SNP’s core vote along with their parents and families, are in the University California. No pubs, no going home for weekends even if they live a short bus ride away, no visits from family or friends or other students, lectures all online. Which all those students could have done equally well at home. They might not be paying fees but they are paying rent. I hope this devastates the SNP vote next election. If it doesn’t then the Scots are idiots.

Imagine being a first year student, possibly away from home for the first time ever, and being told you cannot go home and your family cannot visit you. Just think about how that would feel. Doesn’t it feel rather like being imprisoned for no crime other than breathing? You’re in a cell, can’t even talk to those in the other cells, and you’re fresh from home. You’ve committed no crime. How do you feel? I finished writing a Halloween story linked to this last night and it was true even before I typed the last word. It’ll be in the book, and on the blog when the book is published.

This is a taste of an independent Scotland under the Spiteful Nannying Party, headed by Kim McJong Nippy. Note that not a single one of those students has needed hospital treatment or any doctor’s attention. Not that there are any available anyway. If you really want this world you are a total bloody idiot.

Once my car is fixed I will have to take it for long drives. Even if it’s just to buy more petrol for the lawnmowers, the generator and the new brushcutter which I have dubbed the Petrol Driven Bastard. You’ll know why when you see it. This year the garden tools have used more petrol than the car.

I have some battery driven ones too, but the battery strimmer is a gentle stroking massage device compared to the Petrol Driven Bastard.

Better get in some more scythe practice. It’s going to be cutting edge technology again soon.

If Boris the alleged ‘libertarian’ gets his way, soon we’re going to party like it’s 1499.

Stupidity update

I am an idiot.

Subrosa casually mentioned on Twitter that if I was an AA member (the car one, not the booze one) I could get them out to fix it.

Well I am an AA member. How could I have forgotten? Those were the guys who dragged my immobilised car home when the transmission cable snapped at the start of lockdown.

Anyway, I have the home-start part of the package so I called them today. He arrived in a little over an hour and while it wasn’t an easy fix, he was able to tell me what’s wrong. Unfortunately the piston seal is broken so the piston is full of crap. I have to get a new caliper. He was able to free it for now but it’ll soon lock again.

Well, it is possible to do it myself but I’d only do that in a dire emergency. I’d much rather have an expert look at it. Anyway, I looked up the price of calipers and was pleased to see they are available as third party parts. Not that I’d refuse a genuine Toyota part but the dealerships don’t seem to want any business at the moment. I haven’t even been contacted about getting it serviced. So it’s not going to take weeks to have a part imported from United Arab Emirates like last time (and even with import duty it was still cheaper than the local dealership’s price).

The strange thing is, prices for the part range from £50 to £250, yet they all look the same. Surely the low priced ones must be safe, or the manufacturers would have had the balls sued off them by now. Is there any real benefit in paying five times the low price? I see no clear difference in the parts as shown onscreen.

Also, does anyone know, should I get both front calipers replaced at once? They’re both the same age so if one’s gone the other probably won’t be far behind.

There is one other small issue. If the local garage is indeed (as I suspect) closed, the nearest one is five miles away. Along a road with no bus service, no pavements and no lights. Taxi? Hahahaha. The nearest taxi rank is at least fifteen miles away so would probably cost more than the repair. So I can’t leave the car with the garage overnight. Also, thanks to Wee Nippy, nobody will be allowed to give me a lift home and back to the garage from Friday. Car sharing is on her latest Do Not Do This list.

Another option is to get the parts and get the mobile mechanic to do it. He did a good and fast job on the transmission cable and at a reasonable price.

Well, I guess tomorrow I’m phoning garages. If there are any still open.

One ray of sunshine. My daughter has offered to take CStM and I to see New Grandson tomorrow. It’s now going to be garden only, since going into family members’ houses is once again a Do Not Do This. It’s going to get interesting to see how much compliance they get in the snow.

So, fixing is on the cards. I suspect the rash of car problems is due to its lack of use over lockdown. It just sits there rusting quietly in the corner. Boris won’t care, he’s already planning to ban petrol and deisel cars by 2030 (although there will still be fossil fuelled transport for the Big Nobs and for Greenpeace’s pirate ships).

Maybe I should stock up on spare parts and get a few more jerry cans. Also, consider getting a steam engine suitable for fitting into a car…

Buggeration

Well, I have not been to visit New Grandson yet. It’s not because of lockdown, well maybe partly. My car, the cantankerous bastard, has now decided to lock the front brake caliper on. I suppose it’s the car’s revenge for being neglected all year but it doesn’t believe that’s not my fault. It might be a bit upset by the cobwebs and my refusal to remove the green garden spider eggs from under the driver’s side door handle too. But… I like baby spiders. They feast on baby ticks. The ticks have been very active this year so any tick predator is to be encouraged.

I can drive it, it gets warm after a visit to Local Shop (two miles away) but going to the nearest Co-Op (five miles away) makes it heat up so you can smell hot rubber and can’t touch it. New Grandson is 15 miles away and while it would be cool for him to see his grandad arrive, for the first time, in a car whose wheel arch flames are not just painted on, I think it might turn out to be somewhat expensive and possibly a tad more dangerous than even I am comfortable with.

Local Garage has been closed since this silly virus game started. They were trying to sell it before, so I suspect they’ve just taken the furlough money and let it slide. Can’t blame them really.

I’m not confident about messing with brakes. I’ve always held to the feeling that if I mess with the engine and screw up, the car doesn’t go. If I mess with the brakes and screw up, it doesn’t stop. The latter seems by far the biggest risk.

So I have to find a garage that’s open. There might be one near the Co-Op that’s still running and I’ll phone them tomorrow. Otherwise it’s tamperin’ time and that doesn’t always work out as I intended. Might have to carry an emergency anchor and be ready to throw it out of the window.

Visiting has to be soon because another lockdown is coming. It won’t work, just as the last one didn’t work, and the masks don’t work, but they’ll do it anyway because starting lockdowns meant they never had a way out. Sweden was right, but no other government seems to see it.

Well, in the meantime I have started the editing on stories for Underdog Anthology 12. It’s still ten days to closing for submissions but there are always one or two last minute ones. Best keep up to date, especially since there are other books in the queue and the Christmas anthology will be starting soon.

Tomorrow I might be driving slowly to an expert or playing lunatic grease-monkey outside my house. One or the other will happen.

I’m determined to say hello before the next ridiculous lockdown.

Another one

I’ve been a bit distracted today. I had thought that my son and his wife were seeing the doctors today to set a date for the Caesarian birth of my second grandchild. It had to be Caesarian because of reasons.

Well, he phoned at shortly after 8 am, at which point I was barely awake enough to be coherent, to tell me it was under way. It wasn’t a ‘set the date’ meeting, this was the Great Unzipping.

So, I now have a grandson, and my granddaughter has a baby brother. She hasn’t met him yet and neither have I because the current farce does not allow hospital visits. We’ll both have to wait until he comes home.

I’ve seen photos of course. He’s definitely one of us. He looks like he disapproves of the whole planet already.

The docs thought he had an intestinal blockage so he promptly had two massive shits and cleared it. They then thought he had breathing difficulties so he coughed up a load of mucus and cleared that too. He is going to be a master of ‘I can fix this myself’ and ‘Don’t worry, it all grows back’. He might end up with a medical record even shorter than mine.

There’s only one dark cloud today. My father had three great-granddaughters and doted on them all but he wanted a great-grandson. He died before seeing his fondest wish come true.

Well, it came true, and I hope that wherever he is now, he can see it’s happened.

Of course, if he’s been reincarnated as his own great grandson then my son and his wife are in for a very interesting time 😉

What is really happening?

‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’.

This new virus looked really scary at the start. The Chinese were boarding up homes and apparently burning corpses at a rate that would have made Hitler’s jaw drop. And yet…

Once testing spread to the non-sick, it became apparent that for most people it was a bad cold or nothing at all. China has returned entirely to normal. Sweden ignored the whole thing and has a health outcome almost identical to everyone else’s and a far better economy. It’s clearly over, even in the paranoid West there are now very few hospital admissions due to this virus, the hastily-built backup hospitals saw mostly nobody and our hospitals are largely empty.

Yet we are all supposed to wear masks (that cannot work) in shops, can’t meet in groups of more than six and there are threats of curfews. Apparently the virus has mutated into an entirely nocturnal form. Or the curfews are going to hide something we’re not supposed to see. Which option is sillier, do you think?

The NHS has, mostly, shut down. If the Tories really planned to sell it off they won’t get much public outcry now. It’s no bloody use to most of us anyway. Let it go.

If it was a prank by China to destroy the West, it has worked. There is almost nothing left of this virus, you are now 13 times more likely to die of the regular seasonal flu than Covid, it’s turned out to be a damp squib of a pandemic.

So why are our governments continuing with this farce? It makes absolutely no sense at all.

The other big news of the day is, of course, the unscheduled arrival of boatloads of men in Dover. Hardly any women or children, just tens of thousands of men who, if they had stayed in their own countries, could have transformed them. Instead they ran away, leaving their families behind, so they can complain about fancy hotels most of us have never been able to afford to visit. We are supposed to be afraid of these whinging cowards.

If there is any truth in the rumour that they are an invading army, the lawyers currently preventing their removal are accessories to an enemy invasion. They might want to look up their legal standing in that respect. I’d also suggest that any lawyer blocking the removal of an illegal invader should have that invader live in their house while the case is being heard. Why would that be a problem? The lawyer believes they are beneficial to the country, after all.

Look, this does not make me anti-immigrant. Only anti-illegal-invader. But hey, if you want to play the Outrage Game, you have fun with that. I’ll let you know if I start to care.

Then there was the story that police are intercepting a terrorist attack on the port at Dover. Again, this makes no sense. If the ‘enemy’ are piling in their troops through Dover, why would they want to blow it up? It’s their main landing point. Any other port and it could be credible but Dover?

It’s all distraction. Something is happening behind the curtain and we’re being enraged by alternatives so we never calm down and look.

Calm down. Drink tea. Smoke.

And… look behind the curtain.

Puzzles

Something has been niggling at the back of my mind for some time now. It came into focus when I saw one of the ‘senseless violence’ videos circulating recently.

I don’t mean the feral protestors. Of course everyone was videoing that. News channels (those that admit it’s even happening) and almost everyone present with a smartphone. Something was happening, people filmed it.

In this particular video, a man ambles along the street then takes a seat on a low railing. Another man, on a bike, passes him and as he passes he smacks the seated man across the head, knocking him to the floor. There was no logic to it, it was senseless.

But… why was anyone filming the man in the first place? Nothing was happening. He wasn’t doing anything illegal, he wasn’t protesting, in fact he wasn’t doing anything at all. There really was nothing to film until the second man showed up. The film was also remarkably steady. It wasn’t a hand held phone – no matter how steady your hands are, there’s going to be some movement. This was a fixed camera in a mount or on a tripod.

Clearly it was set up for the camera. The man who was hit might not have known it was coming, but someone did. A gang initiation, a vicious prank, who knows? It’s not that particular film that matters here, it’s the thought it triggered.

Remember all those videos of masked Chinese people in Wuhan, just falling down dead in the street? It caused speculation that a second infection could be fatal, that the disease worked like Dengue fever – a bad flu first time round, increased lethality if you catch it again. There was later speculation that it was the mask that caused them to asphyxiate and spontaneously die. It’s never happened anywhere else.

But again, these films showed nothing happening at first. Just people walking along a street, with the one about to collapse centre frame – and a very steady camera. There was no reason to be filming at all.

Then the victim simply poleaxes and lies still on the ground. That’s the event – but how did the camera operator know it was about to happen? Was it all an act?

A stable camera filming a nondescript street scene in which the person centred in shot suddenly collapses. Not just one, but several such films appeared. These have to have been staged.

Then there were all the reports of Chinese hospitals bagging up still-living patients and sending them to the incinerators. Videos taken by Chinese journalists in which they try to alert medical staff that they’d seen the body bags move and yet nobody responds. Were the body bags loaded with actors for effect? Drive them around the corner and let them out, then burn a load of pigs so you get the effect of a massive rate of cremation. Could that be?

Wuhan is back to normal. Films of huge parties are coming out of there. Nobody is sad, nobody is in mourning for thousands of dead people. It is, literally, business as usual. And nobody wears masks.

The boarding up of homes, the roadside tests, the silly infrared thermometers (these are not a reliable way to assess body temperature, they only measure skin surface temperature and if it’s cold outside, you might only register 25-30 oC). Was it all a massive practical joke to send the West into lockdown? It has certainly made a hell of a mess of Western economies.

The virus is real, it’s nasty and it has killed people. Nowhere near as many as claimed, since we’ve known for some time that doctors were pressured to put ‘covid-19’ on death certificates even if the corpse had been rolled off the tarmac after a passing steamroller and no test was performed. It now transpires it has killed mainly the elderly and infirm and has had much the same effect as a bad seasonal flu.

It’s now simply called ‘coronavirus’ as if it’s the only one. Every flu virus is a coronavirus. MERS, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, seasonal flu and many common colds are coronaviruses. If they are testing for coronavirus this is never going away. Vaccines are futile against coronavirus and always have been. The only thing those vaccines achieve is profit for the company making them.

Vaccines against stable infective agents such as polio, tetanus, measles etc – they work because the target doesn’t change much over time. Although I see there is a resurgence in polio in Africa that was actually caused by the use of a live vaccine.

A live vaccine contains an attenuated (not dangerous) version of the virus. Your immune system sees it, kills it and remembers it. That vaccine virus is not supposed to be able to set up much of an infection, just enough to set off your immune system. However, it’s still active and it seems this one managed to mutate back to its original form, or repair the damage done to it. It’s really best to stick to vaccines containing killed virus.

Coronaviruses mutate too fast to allow development of a reliable vaccine. That’s why there’s no vaccine against the common cold. There never will be. Treatment is the only option.

So here we are, six months into a two week lock down to ‘save the NHS’ when nobody can see a doctor and ‘protect the elderly’ while anyone over 60 entering a hospital was issued with a ‘do not resuscitate’ notice and the virus was deliberately introduced into elderly care homes. I’m begining to feel like 23-David with all these contradictions, all of which I am supposed to simultaneously support.

We are now to wear masks while the virus has declined to the point where even the doctors can’t attribute more than single figure deaths to it. The NHS is still largely closed and demanding a pay rise. Boris has declared he wants a curfew, people cannot gather in groups of more than six except when they can and he’s going to employ some Stasi to enforce it. He hasn’t yet gone the Australian route and installed full-on Panoptica monitoring. It’ll come.

Meanwhile, China is partying as they import all the coal they can get while the rest of us declare we have to manage on ridiculous solar panels and windmills. Boris wants to ban all cars except the fancy dodgems and you can’t have a gas boiler to heat your home – and no, you can’t have a chimney either.

This is becoming a very silly game. In so many areas now. It’s clearly all been orchestrated and it’s ramping up as if those running it are panicking. Which they probably are.

The real climate change is about to manifest. The next few years will make it clear that all of this ‘preparation’ has not been preparing people to survive climate change, but to be wiped out by it. That’s why they are moving so many people towards the poles. People who are going to struggle to cope with a level of cold they have never experienced.

I have seen people claim the virus isn’t real. It is real, but it’s a vicious flu. I have seen people claim that there are long lasting effects. This is post viral syndrome and it’s not common and certainly not exclusive to this virus, but it does affect some people. I have seen medics attribute almost everything to this new virus which, as a smoker, does bring a touch of relief. It used to be that every disease was my fault, now your cough, dry eyes, dandruff, middle ear infection, anything that afflicts you is coronavirus.

Basically, our governments have all been pranked by China and so have most of the people. I don’t know what China has on our politicians and scientists – it’s probably money – but only Sweden has said ‘Ah, screw this, it’s nonsense’ and Sweden has come out of all this in better shape than all the lockdown countries.

Yet the farce continues. Wee Nippy has now introduced the ‘Rule of Six’ in Scotland. Outside my immediate family and CStM I don’t think I know six people so it’ll be hard to keep to that rule. It’s an arbitrary and stupid rule to apply at this stage but then arbitrary and stupid seems to be every government’s modus operandi at the moment.

There is no natural end to this post. The puzzles and contradictions in the world today could fill a book. So I’m just going to stop.

Let’s just hope the idiots in charge do the same.

All except one part

If you haven’t seen the film ‘V for Vendetta’, I recommend it. Most entertaining.

The plot, basically, is that a fake epidemic is engineered to bring the population under total control. There is a curfew, there is a ban on large gatherings, and it’s not the police who enforce it but the Fingermen, directly employed by government.

Laws are brought in without parliamentary process. There doesn’t seem to be a parliament any more, just one ruller called Chancellor Sutler. Sutler makes the law, there is no parliamentary process at all.

Everyone lives under repression, everyone is watched all the time and one step out of line gets your house raided and you disappear. The thing that jarred with me was that this was all brought in under a Conservative government. I didn’t think the Tories would do all that, but here we are.

In the film, the character known as ‘V’ eventually brings down the goverment (one man, Sutler) and frees the people. V has no eyes and yet is able to navigate his world perfectly. He is horribly burned, he was one of the subjects of ‘vaccine testing’ under the new regime. And yet he manages to destroy the system single handedly.

Now, in real life, Chancellor Boris is bringing in new laws without recourse to Parliament. You will now be arrested if there are more than six of you in a group unless you are on a packed dinghy from France or tearing down a statue or glueing yourself to something in the name of climate change.

He has already mooted the idea of curfew and of ‘covid marshals’ (prototype Fingermen). These will come.

All for a virus that has run its course. Sure, ‘cases’ are increasing but ‘cases’ are just positive tests. Not necessarily actually sick people. Hospital admissions are well down, deaths are barely registering, and the test has been slated by its inventor because it was never designed to be a diagnostic test. It will find dead virus.

So we are fast moving into the world of ‘V for Vendetta’ apart from one detail.

There is no ‘V’. There is no mystical warrior coming to save you. No cunning manipulator willing to sacrifice himself for the common good. He is the truly fictional part of the story. And that makes him the most dangerous part of it.

People are going to sit around waiting for a superhero to save them. Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, ‘V’… none of them exist and none of them ever will. They are stories. The background of the stories can come true and indeed is coming true but the one part missing from reality is the Great Superhero. He’s not coming.

If you want to get out of this you’re going to have to do it yourself. Nobody is coming to save you.

Or you can sit back and wait for some costumed superman who doesn’t exist.

The game is on. It’s your move.

Normalising Bagboy

Five years ago, my son’s stag do took place in Frankfurt. We had a fine and drunken time there. A couple of his friends smoked, and some of the bars in Frankfurt still allowed smoking indoors.

Well, put that together with Frankfurt’s tobacco prices – roughly half of UK prices – and it was a particularly excellent weekend all round. Scotland had banned smoking in pubs nine years before that. For me it was like the old days – a beer and a smoke at the same time. Indoors!

I noticed, however, that my son’s friends didn’t seem too comfortable with this indoor smoking. Their actions were almost furtive, as if they were breaking some law or other and expected to be told off at any moment.

That’s when I realised they would have been around 16 when the smoking ban happened. They had never experienced a pub without the smoking ban, never had their beer along with a cigarette, indoors, in comfort. What felt entirely natural to me felt strange and uncomfortable to them.

Everyone born after them will feel the same way. Smoking indoors will just feel ‘wrong’. They won’t rebel against the ban. It’s all they have ever known. It’s their ‘normal’ now. Smoking inside a pub is never going to feel normal to them.

Well, assuming there are any pubs left after this lockdown. It’s not looking promising.

Now consider what is being done to children from a very young age. They are terrified of climate change. They are being told that masks and isolation are essential. They are actually being taught that contact with another human will kill them! At the same time, they are being taught to consider changing their gender and/or engage in a same sex relationship whether they are gay or not. Quite how that’s going to mesh with the ‘human touch is deadly’ lessons isn’t really clear. Then again, confusion is all part of how this game works.

Still, these kids are going to grow up terrified of everything, even hugs. They are going to consider any human to human contact as an assault. They are going to think masks and curfews and isolation are normal. That gender reassignment is normal, even desirable, and the eventual deletion of gender altogether will come as a great relief to them.

Within a decade there will be no need for a virus to enforce compliance. Comfortable compliant conformity will be normal. They will grow up knowing nothing different.

Oh the masks are not permanent. However, they will not be taken away by relief, but by a new terror. That’s yet to come. I won’t spoil the surprise.

See, the authorities have already realised that masks mess up those expensive facial recognition cameras. So the masks will have to go. All at once, not in some piecemeal slow release program. They’ll use the terror of the mask wearers to enforce mask removal. Same people, same idiots, same method.

Someone, I know, is going to point out that teenagers always rebel. Always. Every generation. It never fails. It’s true and it won’t fail in the future as it’s not failing now. Look at today’s teenagers. See how they rebel.

They are taking up school strikes for climate change. They are burning stuff for Antifa and BLM. They are dressing like steampunk nightmares and demanding the destruction of the businesses that made it possible to dress that way. They rail against capitalism on their iPhones. They buy ‘smash capitalism’ T-shirts from… well… capitalists. Basically, teen rebellion is driven by the same thing it’s always been driven by.

Idiots.

Idiots are easy to control. They don’t think they are being controlled.The big difference in the modern world is that teenage idiocy now continues into their twenties, thirties and beyond. They don’t grow out of it. They’ve been conditioned not to. They’ll accept money for protesting against capitalism. Money supplied by very rich people. They won’t question it. They have not been taught to question, only to accept what they are told.

So they will not fight against the masks nor against the constant threat of a degree change in temperature, they will accept that they are white and therefore guilty of some mysterious undefined crime, they will never understand what carbon dioxide really does and they will welcome population reduction because they will never imagine it would ever apply to them.

The masks are here for some time yet but they will be removed by a new terror eventually. While everyone is masked, we can all enjoy living in the world of Bagboy. In that video, notice something about all the adult animals’ mouths? Also pay attention to the ‘judge’ figure’s face towards the end. The video is from 2013.

It’s like they were trying to warn us. Cover your breath.

Rebooting Panoptica

Currently I am battling Amazon. I loaded Wandra Nomad’s book yesterday and Amazon responded with ‘There is stuff in this book that’s already been published by someone else’.

The only issue Wandra and I can think of is that one of the stories in her book -Dust Mote Meanderings – was published in Tales from Loch Doon (UA11). All the rest is previously unpublished. If that’s all it is it can be resolved, hopefully, very quickly. I just have to wait for Amazon to respond.

I have another Mark Ellott short story collection and a book by Gastradamus in the queue now, and those might also throw up the same issue. Just have to deal with it when it happens. There is also another book on the way from Wandra Nomad. Well, it’s not as if I’m going anywhere for the foreseeable future…

The Halloween anthology (UA12) is also getting stories and so far Mark Ellott is the only male author in there. Him and three women authors. Come on guys, where are you? Six stories in and submissions are open until September 30th. Yeah, I know, I have to write one too. I have some ideas.

Panoptica, though. I started hard on this one last January, then it stalled when my father died and the world has gone to hell in a handbasket since then. It did give me time to think though.

I was concerned about 10538’s brain chip. It could block memories and insert false ones. It seemed maybe a bit too far fetched. Recharging all his chips was easy. Cybermen (Dr. Who) and the Borg (Star Trek) had that covered for me. They stood in alcoves to recharge – and interestingly, they were doing this before real life wireless charging had been invented. Now it has been, maybe they will be too.

Still, had I gone too far with the brain chip? Had I crossed from plausible into absurd? Here are some quotes from a real world article –

And the goals were striking: a mass-market brain implant that could be installed by a robot via same-day surgery.

The device looks like a very thick coin or miniature hockey puck, and it contains all the hardware needed to keep the implant functional. This includes a battery large enough for all-day operation and the hardware needed for wireless inductive charging.

– It’s absolutely necessary for a device that will be communicating via a low-bandwidth interface like Bluetooth.

The chip will also allow the electrodes to be used to stimulate neurons,

I needn’t have worried. The Brain Chip is real and ready to be tested on humans. Sure, it’s being developed with good intentions, but then so was nuclear power. Someone is going to hack this thing and once governments get hold of the controls, well… then everyone needs to worry because once it’s in, you can’t just dig it out. Not unless you want an inch-wide hole left in your skull.

Well that’s that problem sorted. The genderless society is well under way too and I now have a solution to how children have no idea how they were born and adults have no concept of death, other than through accidents. The real world is following the fiction very closely… unfortunately.

Within the writing lay the problem of 10538’s recovered memories. As he explained them to Doc, it meant repeating earlier chapters. That was starting to get tedious.

So I have to restart Panoptica. Not entirely from scratch but some rearranging is needed. I’ll use the lead in stories to start the book, showing how the world developed, and start the book proper when he gets on the train to Pensionville. All the backstory can then come out as his brain chip is sequentially shut down. I had already explained why it can’t be simply removed. That backstory will, of course, come out in reverse but that’s not an insurmountable problem.

I already knew where the story was going, the issue was in how to get there. Now I think I have a better idea of how it all pans out, thanks to Elon, the Billy Gates Gruff and the other maniacs making this all come true.

Let’s see if I can get to the end before they do.

Well that didn’t work

Early in the Big Covid Scare I dropped the prices of ebooks on Leg Iron Books to 99 cents. There was a small effect in the latter end of the first quarter (to the end of May). Subsequently I put all novels and single author ebooks back up to $2.99, still a good price. I can’t do much with the print books, almost all the money goes to Amazon anyway. That free shipping? It’s not free. The seller pays it. We get pennies per print book and putting up the price just means the cost of postage goes up in proportion. Sneaky…

So, this quarter (June to August) is a disaster. I’ve been plugging Leg Iron Books on Twitter, Parler and Gab (the latter two are mostly political so I don’t know how much use they’ll be for marketing, and the rampant ‘Da Joos Did It All’ on Gab has somewhat put me off going there).

There’s a Leg Iron Books page on Facebook that gets a few more likes every day but that doesn’t mean they’re buying anything. Linking to all the writers I can find on social media isn’t working. They want to sell books, not buy them. I have to find where the reading addicts hang out.

Goodreads does not have publisher accounts. You can get an author account on there if you want to jump through hoops. It’s a pain of a procedure and I’m not sure how much good it does. I have an author account and don’t think it’s sold a single book.

I thought lockdown would be ideal for selling books. Seems most people have taken it as their cue to actually exercise as an excuse to go outside, or to stay in and make banana bread. Okay, I know a lot of people are suffering financially but hell, I made those books so cheap! The anthologies are all still at 99 cents and even they are only trickling. It’ll be a long long time bnefore I see a return on those.

This quarter’s sales have been disastrous. The only book that sold was a print book that didn’t even have an eBook version! So, cutting prices didn’t really work. I won’t do that again. At least I learned another marketing thing that doesn’t work.

Sorry, authors, I have failed you this quarter. I’ll try something different in the next quarter.

What I really need is a scandal that gets the Daily Mail interested. That’s the most effective book selling device I’ve ever seen.