Another ending

There is a theory, not entirely without merit, that humanity has reached impressive levels of technology in the distant past and then lost it all and regressed to pretty much caveman status. The big issue with this idea is – where did it go? Why are there few, if any artefacts of that past civilisation? Where are the books, the buildings… the statues?

The idea that they destroyed it all themselves before falling back to a primitive state has always been the source of ridicule. Why would they do that? What possible motivation did they have for abandoning the pyramids, including the buried ones in other parts of the world? Why was Gobleki Tepe deliberately buried? Did the hunter gatherers of the time suddenly develop extensive stonemasonry skills, or was it the other way around?

Civilisations have risen and fallen throughout currently recorded history. Many have conquered the known world of the time, only to lose it and fade into obscurity. You don’t see a lot of Byzantians or Romans around these days. So many great civilisations, fallen into dust, in just our short record of human history.

Every one of those past civilisations believed they would last forever. None of them did. So why do we believe ours will be the ‘special one’? Because all the old ones did. It’s human nature. And yet every civilisation falls in the end. They become complacent. They become tolerant. They become weak.

This time feels different. It’s not just like the fall of Rome, it’s global. The whole shitshow is falling all at once. They are smashing their statues, renaming their past, destroying their history. Burying their monuments and closing down their civilisation. They have nothing to replace it with.

Most of modern knowledge is in digital form. What if it was in that form in the past too? Paper books will rot away anyway, but digital? How can that be lost?

Who has a BBC computer with a Cumana disk drive and Cub monitor? (hint: me). 5.25-inch floppy disks. The bee’s knees 40 years ago, hardly anyone would know what they are now. How about cassette or even VHS tapes? Betamax? Laser disk? 3.5-inch disks? All gone, a whole generation has no idea what those things are and yet none of them existed when I was a teenager. CDs. Invented and gone. DVDs losing out to streaming. Vinyl, tapes and CD music… are there many households still using them? (hint: there’s one, it’s me)

What will future archaeologists make of CDs? Some kind of decorative mandala perhaps? They will have no means to play them so they are likely to assume them simple jewellery items made by primitives. With that in mind, look at what they consider ancient jewellery now.

People now store information, documents, photos, in ‘the cloud’. When the power source fails it’s all gone. No need for mass burnings and destruction. Flick a switch, all traces vanish. Nothing for a future archaeologist to find other than some mysterious boxes with wires and disks inside. Well, those that haven’t rusted into dust, if any. There might be an Antikythera mechanism still around.

Will they be able to figure out how to read them? We have 8-inch disks and reels of computer tapes from the past we cannot access now, and we are talking much less than a century. I personally have files in WordStar on 3.5-inch disks that no modern computer will accept, much less read. I’ve already burned a lot of them, they are of no use now.

I have lost whole years of digital photographs while my mother has traditional film and print photographs from before I was born. Digital is so very easy to erase. One solar flare and this world is lost. The paper photos will last a few hundred years but not much longer.

What if it was like that before? An information storage system we cannot access because we have no idea how it worked, nor even that it existed? We have lost so many of our own information systems in a few decades, how can we hope to guess how the builders of Gobleki Tepe stored theirs?

Oh sure, we can say ‘but they were primitive people’ and pretend it’s not simple arrogance. Those ‘primitive people’ built enormous pyramids with geographical precision in a way we ‘advanced’ people can neither replicate nor understand. The temples of the Incas were built on top of stones that were laid in a way far more advanced than they were able to replicate. Even so, we cannot even replicate the Inca methods of building now. Can we be really sure we know all there is to know about those ancient people?

There are many theories as to how, why and when the pyramids and other structures in Egypt and all over the world were built. Not one of them stands up to scrutiny. They were not tombs, that is now clear. They would have taken a very long time and a hell of a lot of work to build, so they must have been important. For what? We might never know.

Gobekli Tepe is an intricate structure with many carvings, some of which are echoed on other ancient monuments. The ‘handbag’ image is particularly interesting in this regard. What is it? I have no idea. And neither does anyone else, including those who have spent their lives studying this stuff. Maybe the 3.5-inch disk will gain similar notoriety in ten thousand years. Already it’s hailed by the young as a 3D print of the ‘save’ icon. Its real purpose has already been forgotten.

Many times, including in recent memory, we have not just forgotten our past, we have actively deleted it. Iraq pulled down Saddam Hussein’s statue. How many of the under-20s even know who he was? When the Soviet Union collapsed, many statues of Stalin fell. Germany refuses to allow any mention of Hitler and model planes of the second world war have no swastika decals for the tailplane. Every second world war plane of the Luftwaffe had that insignia. It’s history. Deleted. They have deleted the past, so future generations are doomed to do it all again.

Now we are in the process of deleting all of it at once. All power generation failing due to an imagined apocalypse that has been ten years away since at least the 1950s. All food production to be deleted because ‘why do you need farms when you can just buy it in a supermarket?’ I am not kidding, that is a genuine argument.

The world has gone insane. Except in parts of Africa, that reservoir of humanity that still lives in the old ways and is ready to repopulate the world once this all falls to the ground. They will once again meet neanderthals, the residue of the white race in the northern lands and it will all start again. Different technology, most likely. Maybe it will work out next time, or the time after that.

It is not inevitable. People could still come to their senses and see they are heading back to massive starvation and a residual hunter-gatherer life. They could still avoid it, although the signs are not good. They seem to want that ending, they want to go back to primitive life but they want someone else to pay for it. They are going to be unhappy to find that that is not how it works. They have brought their own destruction on themselves.

I have lately written about a character called Moros. This character is not fiction, it’s mythology. The difference is that fiction is entirely made up, like my dishwasher goblins or the genie in a beer can story. Mythology is often based on a fictionalised remembrance of something in the past. A story passed down like a Chinese whisper, embellished and sensationalised on the way.

Moros is a character in Greek mythology. He does not kill you, he drives you to destroy yourselves. In this modern world he might have accumulated enough wealth to simply pay you to destroy yourselves while taking no part himself. He might even use a twist on his name.

I know, I know, take out shares in tinfoil companies but do you really think the human world isn’t in a super-self-destructive mode? Do you believe history is not being rewritten and deleted before your eyes? Do you have to wait until the Empire State Building is felled and buried?

There is much talk of ‘people will rise up’ but you know they won’t. They never have. So many believe in the indestructibility of their way of life and consider history ‘the past’. The Fall of Rome. the destruction of the Library, the collapse of the Pharoahs, it’s history, it can’t happen again. Even though it has happened every time before.

The ones who take over think it can never happen to them too. It always does.

Then you get the global one. The ultimate deletion. The one that wipes out everything right down to knowing how to grow plants. As in Seattle’s ‘death zone’ now. Not one of them will survive a reset but that is what they want.

I think the reset is coming. I also think it will not be what those who demand it expect it to be.

The secret is, bang the rocks together, guys.

Career suicide

You want to be published by a big name publisher? Here’s how it works.

The likes of Penguin Random House are not going to talk to you. Send them your work, they will ignore it. They will only talk to agents. Why? Well, any agent will tell you why.

A good agent is going to get a bag full of submissions every day. Just imagine what Random House would get if they were open to authors directly! The agent does not read the submissions. They go into the ‘slush pile’.

The slush pile readers will then sort through the submissions and will pass the good ones on to the agent for consideration. The agent will sort through the filtered submissions and pick maybe one or two to answer.

Now, those slush pile readers have a big mound of stuff to get through. They are actively looking for a reason to ditch every one they pick up. That’s not malicious. They might have a hundred, and the agent wants five or less. They have to sort out the dross quickly. Is the cover letter slapdash, is the first page full of spelling errors and bad grammar, is it a tedious opening? You could go in the reject pile in the first three lines of your story.

You have to get past those overworked slush pile readers. Then you have to get the agent’s attention. Then, if the agent takes you on, they have to try to persuade a publisher to take you on. All this is hard to get through. You have to get through layers of filtration before you get to the big publishers. Even then, if the book flops, they won’t be interested in your next one.

So, getting into a big name publisher is hard. It’s worth it, you’d get a big marketing department, seriously professional editors and cover artists, all for free. But it is really, really hard to get in.

It’s also worth considering that agents and publishers are a fairly small industry. They mostly know each other. If you behave like a dick to one agent, your name will be mentioned over coffee and other agents will recognise it when you try submitting to them. Agents are busy people. They don’t have time to assuage egos or play politics or deal with dicks. They have so many submissions that having a name they can ditch at the first hurdle is really helpful to them. Don’t be that name.

Given that it is murderously difficult to get a foot in that door, who would be so stupid as to throw it all away over a tweet?

These four authors just did exactly that.

They think they are making a point but they are not big names. There won’t be a huge list of agencies begging them to sign up – and they have just marked themselves as ‘difficult to work with’. One of them has three novels published. Well… so do I. So does Mark Ellott. Three is not a big number. When you are at Neal Asher’s level of output then maybe you can afford to be a bit shirty at times (he never has been, as far as I know) but three novels? No, you are not a big earner for the publisher nor for the agent. You could have been if you hadn’t bailed over a hurty tweet.

These four authors were signed up to the same agent as J.K. Rowling. I quite like the films, never bothered with the books or merchandise. CStM is a big fan though. J.K. Rowling, loathe her or hate her, is a big name in the publishing world. Being with the same agent is a big win for any author whether they like her or not. It doesn’t, or shouldn’t matter what she thinks of trans people to the other authors.

Heck, I don’t like Stephen King’s ‘woke lefty’ attitude. I still read his books and I would love to be taken up by the same agency. Stories are not real, sometimes authors are not the wonderful people you want them to be, but this is your career here. Are you really going to throw it all away, after getting over those massive hurdles, just because you’re a bit miffed by what another author has said? Well, apparently so. I wouldn’t. These authors just cast themselves adrift over a tweet. Good luck getting another agent.

Heck, I don’t even want them at Leg Iron Books. I am not going to play political correctness, I am not bending my knees unless I drop something. I frankly don’t care about anyone’s sexuality or melanin quotient or whether they have all their limbs in the right order. Leg Iron Books is about writing. If the writing is good, it’s in. If the story is good but the writing needs a bit of work, still it’s in. So far I have enough submissions to keep me busy but not enough to need slush pile readers to filter them.

I am only interested in the writing. I do not care if the author writes while candles burn at an altar to Satan. I don’t care if they have posters of Hitler in their kitchen or Che Guevara in their bedroom. Not my business. Only the story matters. Naturally, I will not publish either white supremacy nor black supremacy nor any colour supremacy nonsense. I will not publish anything that deliberately sets out to incite hate or division.

But… if someone sends in a ghost story they wrote while cross-dressed and listening to Stalin speeches and the story is a good one, the author’s personal preferences are not my concern.

Would I publish an overtly religious book? Sure, but there are religious publishers far bigger than me who would take it on and it would do better with them. The same is true for an overtly gay or gushily romantic novel. They sell really well but there are much bigger publishers specialising in those books. So if you were to send me a story in those genres I won’t reject it (unless it’s a crap story) but I might recommend you try the bigger boys first. They aren’t all tied to agents like the top presses.

The point of Leg Iron Books is to get new authors into print. To give them something they can put on a CV when applying to an agent. To get them noticed by the big names. It’s never going to develop into a rival for Penguin Random House. It’s a starting point. If a big publisher ever wanted to buy out an author contract I am not ever going to say ‘no’.

I don’t care what authors do in their private lives. I am not going to police their social media and I will not be impressed if other authors do that to them either. I am not going to install any kind of ‘diversity programme’ and I am not interested in re-education of any kind. I have a PhD. There is no more education I need.

An author walking out on an agent is of no consequence whatsoever. There are a hundred in the queue behind every single one of them. Every day. It is not only a pointless gesture, it is an incredibly stupid one. These four have just trashed their hard-won careers for no benefit at all. Nobody will even remember them, the agency will take on four new authors and those four ‘woke’ ones will disappear into obscurity. J.K. Rowling continues unaffected.

Still, if you are an author looking for an agent, this one has suddenly acquired four vacancies.

Discordia

It doesn’t make sense.

In Reading today, some lunatic went on a stabbing spree. Three people are dead, three more seriously injured and more have minor injuries. As far as I can tell, all those stabbed were white British.

Some linked it to the Black Lives Matter protest that happened in the same place earlier in the day, but that protest ended a few hours before the stabbing.

Then it emerged that the knife-weilding loony was Libyan, some say ‘fresh off the boat from Calais’ but I have not been able to confirm that. He’s not black. He’s Arab.

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Still being linked to BLM, even though the killer isn’t black and the protest ended hours earlier. It could be race related but I suspect it’s more Islam related.

The thing is, Libya has a current slave market trading in black slaves. Not two hundred years ago. Right now. They are buying and selling human beings today, yesterday and tomorrow. So I really don’t see a Libyan supporting Black Lives Matter because in Libya, they don’t matter. They are a commodity, and a cheap one at that.

I’m not buying this ‘black on white race violence’ in this case, the attacker isn’t black and is from a country that actively enslaves black people. And yet the media have a dilemma. Do they make it a race issue or an Islam issue? Nobody falls for the ‘mental illness’ shit any more. They’ll have to pick one.

I think they’ll call it a race issue to fan the flames of the race war they are trying to provoke.

Now, Black Lives Matter don’t really care about black lives either, as shown by their destruction of black peoples’ businesses all over America. They are a Marxist group intent on installing communism, they say so themselves. The children in Seattle who made mini-farms have set up a ‘black only’ area now. They have also designated one of the mini-farms ‘black only’. That’s right. In addition to a border wall, border guards and strict rules they have now installed apartheid. White liberals treating black people as pets, same old story. Communism in action. You know, nobody ends up free under communism. A lot of people end up dead. Every time.

Twitter is full of black-on-white attack videos. No context, just black people hitting white people. In some cases it’s clearly unprovoked, in others it’s not so clear. Some are not recent, they have been ‘outed’ as past videos. It looks like a setup to enrage white people into retaliation.

There have also been many videos of black people just talking, and they are condemning this whole race war narrative along with distancing themselves from BLM and Antifa, the thug club for the soyboy wannabe Stasi. They are talking sense but I fear few are listening.

The real bad guys are the media. They hyped up COVID19 to sell papers, never grasping the reality that the only reason people bought newspapers in recent times was because they couldn’t get toilet paper. The news has become worthless. It’s sensationalist nonsense and it only serves to cause more fear. Now they are hyping up their race war because they think it’ll sell papers. I don’t think it will. I think this is the hill they die on.

The Grauniad, indeed, was already in dire financial straits before it started the whole ‘delete the ancient slaveowners’ narrative. Now it turns out that it was founded by a slave owner. This must be why handguns were banned in the UK. Lefties kept shooting their feet with them.

It has all become very, very silly. If only these hysterical children would take a moment to google the statues they are destroying, they will find that half of them were on their side. Well, assuming their side is really about anti-slavery and not just about deleting history to fit a Marxist loony-tune idea. It isn’t about black lives, it isn’t about slavery, we all know it.

We know what the real aim is here, kids.

What a pity you don’t.

Street battles

Well, just to add to the delays, our water supply shut down last night. It happens once in a while, the pipe from the well gets an airlock which has to be cleared. The pipe delivers water by gravity feed to a large storage tank in the house and then it’s pumped through filters and UV treated. If the pressure in the tank drops too far the pump can’t operate. Since it happens about once a year we always have reserve water to hand.

It’s fixed now, and it shows one of the benefits of renting. If I bought this house I’d have had to pay Sunday rates for someone to come and fix it. Fortunately the landlord is well versed in the mechanics of this system so was able to repair it quickly.

Right, I am behind with editing and still have to put those novel prices up. It’s complicated by Amazon’s web crawlers which, if they find the book cheaper anywhere else, will flag it up and possibly get it withdrawn from the Amazon site. So they all have to be changed on Smashwords first, let those prices filter through to the outlets they distribute through and then change the Amazon prices.

In case I was feeling a shortage of distractions, the internet is full of stories about the ‘riots’ in London and elsewhere. They aren’t really all that big as riots go, nothing like the Tottenham ones a few years back. Still, people have been getting hurt at them.

It is all starting to look like a clumsily engineered plan of sorts. Last weekend, BLM and Antifa were allowed to vandalise a lot of things and the police pretty much gave them free rein. In Bristol, police stood back and watched as the mob pulled down a statue of someone nobody outside Bristol has heard of and dumped it in the harbour.

This triggered a nationwide demand for statue-smashing. In response, London sealed Winston Churchill in a box.

Yes, really. He doesn’t even have a window.

You see, all of a sudden, Winston Churchill is a Very Bad Man. I’m sure the Wehrmacht thought so too. However, our side thought he did rather well. We did end up winning that war, although it is increasingly starting to look like we needn’t have bothered.

Google even removed his picture, as well as any reference to the period 1940-1945, from their search results for British Prime Monsters. He also no longer appears on a list of world leaders in that war, although Hitler and Stalin are still there. Google likes them, apparently.

Statue smashing is not a new sport. Americans have been playing that game for some time. It’s new to the UK and… well sir, we don’t like it. Okay, I’ll admit to having paid scant regard to statues and monuments, other than Cenotaphs, throughout my life, but a lot of people like them and even a Philistine like me doesn’t want them smashed. They are, for better or worse, part of our history, and once you delete history, what is left? Pol Pot’s ‘year zero’, that’s what.

Those hippie squatters in Seattle’s breakaway state of Soymalia, aka Chaz, seem to be practicing for just that. Although they are really going to have to improve their farming techniques. They might also want to consider what a Seattle winter can be like. Tents are going to be a tough call in December over there.

But I digress.

Last week it was all BLM and Antifa and most of it was just people marching around with signs on sticks. They were protesting about the brutal actions of a policeman in America and many have now been led to believe that the same things happen in the UK. The rowdy element was allowed to have a little tantrum and threaten a lot of monuments and pretend that they have only just been freed from slavery.

There are a lot of bona-fide slaves in East Africa and around the Middle East right now who would trade places with them in a heartbeat, but the protestors don’t care about them. The rowdy element don’t even care what the protest was really about. They have their own agenda which they were allowed to get away with.

Was there a reason? The BBC and Sky and the Scale Model Mayor all lauded the protest as mostly peaceful. I doubt the injured police would agree, and neither would those who had to clean off the graffiti afterwards. Emboldened by their consequence-free tantrum, the rowdies drew up a list of statues they wanted destroyed, some tenuous link to past crimes was devised (usually slavery even though they targeted abolitionists too) and bragged they were out to smash them all.

The Scale Model Mayor of London joined in with this. He thinks all the old statues should be replaced with new ones to reflect London’s diversity. If he suggests one of Mohammed, the resulting collective sharp intake of breath would suck all the air out of the city. So, History and its tangible residue, the statues, are under threat. A few token ones were removed to rile the public and move to the next stage.

What happened next was entirely predictable and, I suspect, exactly what was supposed to happen. A load of enraged people went to London to defend the cenotaph and the statues. All of these people, including many military veterans, were labelled ‘far right’ and ‘football hooligans’ determined to ‘stop legitimate protest’ because they are ‘racist Nazi bigots’.

What has been glossed over is that these ‘far right’ people did not come to attack the BLM marches. They did not come because they are racists who despise black people. They did not come to tear down the notion that Black Lives Matter.

They came to defend the statues and monuments. That’s their only motive. Having seen the police back off, run away, bend the knee and generally let this toddler tantrum escalate out of control, of course they decided to defend the statues themselves. Any idiot, even Khan, saw this coming.

Tommy Robinson (NHRN) saw it coming. He declined to attend. He saw the jaws of the trap and decided not to walk into them. I have to admit, that’s a smarter move than I expected from him, but thumbs up for seeing his opponent’s next move. He’s getting the hang of the game, I think.

So, last week the police were in shirtsleeves, no armour, no helmets, no protection at all. Around 30 were injured (numbers vary), some seriously, in that ‘mostly peaceful’ event.

This week they arrived in full riot gear. Six were injured. The BBC, Sky, and Mini-Mayor described it as ‘carnage’. These far right thugs spoiled their toddler-tantrum fun!

It was set up. They tried the same thing in Glasgow with predictable results. Glasgow turned out in force and the rowdies ran away. Antifa have also threatened to invade Milwall. Good luck with that one. If we ever have nuclear war and run out of bombs, then we will escalate it and send Milwall fans over. I suspect Antifa are all talk on that one.

Why are the police standing back from the Rowdies of Antifa and the militant wing of BLM? They’ve been told to. The same is true in America. Seattle police are not allowed to enter the Soapless Zone, not because the inmates demand it, but because their mayor will not allow it. There are Hell’s Angels and others on the way. I bet the police will be told to stop them, and I’m sure I know which lot the police would rather deal with.

Meanwhile, politicians everywhere insist we stay home, don’t meet even family members, we cannot see dying relatives, we cannot attend funerals or weddings, now we have to wear masks on public transport (well those of you who actually have access to public transport).

Every other toilet is taped off, bus seats are taped off, you have to stay two metres apart and Boris’s ‘experts’ are threatening to resign if he relaxes that rule.

At the same time, mass protests are allowed. No ‘social distancing’. No control at all. You can forget contact tracing. That’s right out of the window now.

The virus was dying out. Scientists were afraid it might disappear before the highly profitable vaccine was ready. It needed another surge.

Brexit is happening. The government have refused to extend it any more. Remain need chaos, pain, suffering, a reason to make an extension inevitable.

The Marxists want to bring down government and delete history. This is the perfect opportunity.

All of this is happening at once. Every faction sees their chance. Every player in their own particular game sees advantage in this. Every maniac is let loose, every scheme for profit, power and gain is running at full tilt now.

Sometimes, two and two really do equal four.

On Kafka’s furrowed brow

Kafka could not have written this reality. Even he would shake his head in confusion at this.

Boris is still reciting his mantra of ‘you can visit family as long as you only meet in the garden and stay six feet apart and you can’t use the toilet in the house’ while thousands of protestors mob city centres all over the world. From the 15th June we are all to wear masks on public transport, which won’t affect me at all since we don’t have any of that around here. It will have no meaningful effect on anyone else either. Meanwhile tens of thousands have travelled all over the country to attend protests, pick up a viral souvenir and take it home.

In Scotland, the Chief Goblin of the Spiteful Nannying Party has declared we can’t travel more than five miles. Well, sod that. A five mile radius around me is farms and fields, the nearest supermarket is 15 miles, even the nearest pharmacy is 7 miles and the doctor’s surgery is another five miles further on. A five mile radius might get you everything you want in Glasgow or Edinburgh but out here it gets you farms and fields.

Boris has a new trick too. He wants to boost the Green God’s new Church of Climatology. Well, Boris, it is now the sixth of June. Two weeks to midsummer’s day. It is currently 7 degC outside and in the daytime tomorrow it is forecast to reach the giddy heights of 12 degC. This, you tousle-haired arse impressionist, is not warming. Twenty years ago I’d have had every window open by now.

I thought Boris or at least his carer, Demonic Cummings, had some sense. This new obeisance to the Green God has blown that out of the water. The sun is dimming, it’s at the bottom of three cycles at the same time. It’s getting colder. Shutting down your power stations and replacing them with shiny suncatchers and spinning lawn ornaments is exactly the wrong thing to do now. You want to cut emissions without killing large swathes of the population? Nuclear is the way. Lots of small plants rather than a few big ones. Small ones have less risk of meltdown and if one does go wrong, it wouldn’t contaminate the entire country and while it’s closed, the rest of the stations can take up the slack.

Chopping down every CO2-absorbing tree and replacing them with concrete and steel and fibreglass blades and toxic waste is suicide. You won’t be able to power anything at all on a windless night.

Then there is the alleged vaccine for the new Flu Manchu. Well, scientists are concerned…

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Scientists are worried that the virus might disappear before they have a vaccine for it. This, apparently, is bad news. Really. It’s only bad news if you were expecting to make a fortune from a vaccine that nobody now needs. It’s also bad news for those who delight in ultimate control of the population (yes, Wee Nippy, I’m looking at you). For the rest of us, it’s good news.

Flu Manchu is dying, but the restrictions are increasing. The rioting over a career criminal being killed by a dirty cop is on the wane. Only the daftest of the Woke are now kneeling, their replacement displacement activity from clapping on their doorsteps, and it’s time for something new.

Or, perhaps, the resurgence of an already established fearmongering scam.

Yes, we are back to the imaginary ‘global warming’. It’ll do, until the Chinese release another virus.

Waiting for King Charles

That’s all it needs now. King Charles III will preside over much the same mess as the first two. We might need to be saved by another William. Like last time. Fortunately we have one ready to go, and this one isn’t orange.

At least this time we get to skip the James part.

Well, we have all been under pretty vicious restrictions for months. CStM and I can’t shop together and I can’t be trusted to go on my own (trolley full of just the essentials, whisky, power tools and baccy) so we’re getting used to having the shopping delivered. It’s working well so far.

However, nobody can visit a dentist or optician, nobody can get a haircut (none of these bother me all that much) and anyone with a mysterious new lump dare not go to hospital to get it checked. I managed to get the part to fix my car from United Arab Emirates in under a week, the dealership 50 miles away couldn’t get one for a month. And then they wanted me to collect it. It’s the transmission cable, I can’t come and collect it unless I have one. Idiots.

In the face of mounting evidence that hydroxychloroquine is an effective antiviral, the WHO denies it. In the face of mounting evidence that nicotine has a protective effect, the WHO denies it. The WHO also claimed the virus wasn’t a big deal at the start of this, now they inist their vaccine must be mandatory.

Well, now we know that China owns the WHO, it all makes sense.

The pointless protests all over the world make any vaccine irrelevant. In the coming weeks we will know whether the virus is a serious danger or whether it’s all been overblown hype. There are mass gatherings, everywhere, of those who are most likely to be killed by it. If they start dropping like flies then it’s too late for a vaccine. If they don’t then there’s no need for one. The vaccine story is dead in the water.

We can also forget the whole ‘track and trace’ thing. Mass protests make it impossible. How the hell is anyone going to figure out who they came in contact with in all those mass protests? Track and trace is dead in the water.

We now have rules that state you cannot meet your partner indoors if you don’t live together and cannot have sex with anyone who lives outside your home. I wouldn’t do that anyway, she’d kill me. So there are likely to be a few six fingered banjo players in the future. And yet you can go on a rampage and loot a store called Target (not the best choice of name) and that’s all fine and dandy.

People have not been able to be with dying family members in their last moments, nor attend funerals. Couples have been separated for months. These restrictions still apply and yet mass demonstrations, vandalism and violence are allowed. It’s almost as if it’s a deliberate design to provoke uncontrollable fury.

Against who? Let’s not dwell on it. Let’s have an imaginary scenario instead.

___

Pure fiction follows. I just made it up.

An experimental bioweapon escapes a lab in China. The Chinese government try to hush it up at first but then realise they can make use of it. So they stop travel between the infected region and the rest of China, but not between the region and the rest of the world. Let it spread awhile.

Their pet WHO plays it down at first, but then the game ramps up. Videos of Chinese people being sealed into their homes. Videos of people just dropping dead in the street. Huge hospitals built in days. Reports of mass cremations.

The West is, naturally, scared shitless and starts getting ready. Huge hospitals built and never used. Nobody dying in the streets. Absolute lockdowns that have made no detectable difference. Economies destroyed. Everyone out clapping like performing seals, wearing pointless masks and now kneeling like trained dogs. Everyone scared of everyone else.

Neighbours snitching like East German Stasi. Police arresting people for sitting on a bench. Supermarkets using customers as chess pieces on the Board of Shame. The virus is dying, it can’t spread. The Plague has failed.

And then, suddenly… mass protests and violence. Over one bad cop in America, one bad cop with a history of being a right arse and getting away with it. No other country can do anything about this and the cop has already been arrested and charged anyway.

It’s not an isolated nor unusual incident. Police violence has been the norm in many countries, including European ones, for a long time. Ask the Gilet Jaunes (who do not loot) in France. Or the protestors (who have never looted anything) in Hong Kong. It is not, and has never been, the norm in the UK. Police stupidity is rife but violence isn’t.

So, you have a bioweapon, released accidentally but you want to make use of it anyway. What do you do?

Stage massive precautions and terror in your own country for the press. Let the rest of the world destroy their livelihoods by following suit. Let them live in terror.

Ah, but the Plague is failing. It’s not spreading any more. What to do?

Pick an incident, any racial incident, and blow it into International Outrage. That will get your targets to mass together and spread the plague once more.

The target? Consider. China has been extremely unpleasant to Muslims. They round them up and put them in camps and ship them around as slave labour. They have also been exceptionally nasty to black people. The virus hits BAME people a lot harder than anyone else. White people are hit less hard but are more likely to be spreaders. The demonstrations are mostly BAME people and their lefty white servants. I’m sure it must be all a coincidence.

By the end of this month we will know one of two things.

Either the virus is deadly, especially to non-whites and they’re all wiped out or…

The virus is all hype and the government’s lockdown and restrictions were all pointless bollocks.

Either way, vaccines and track and trace are pointless now. Lockdown is pointless now. Either way, the governments of the West do not come out looking good.

Either way, China wins this.

Lockdown collapses

I see the press are still trying to take down Demonic Cummings over his trip to Durham, in which he might or might not have met someone else. Meanwhile they seem unfazed by the huge crowds in London protesting about a man killed in a part of the world our government has absolutely no jurisdiction over. The same thing is happening in Berlin, in Copenhagen and other places too. What do they expect their governments to do about it?

Have they fallen for the ‘EU is everything and controls the world’ mantra? Nobody outside the EU gives a flying fuck what the EU thinks and, increasingly, neither do those inside it.

Even Donnie Trumpton has no say over the US police. That’s down to individual states. As far as I know he doesn’t control the FBI or CIA either. Police matters seem to be controlled by state governors, even by city mayors. Like in London. Saddo Khan controls the metropolitan police. People blame Boris when the Met do stupid things but he’s not in charge of them. The mayor is.

So what can anyone in the UK do about a police force in another, faraway country, where even the president has no power over them? Not a damn thing.

Italy, naturally, is different. They are currently having big protests over something else entirely. Something their government actually can do something about. Something ours is supposed to be doing something about.

Richard Burgergone, the noisy lump of overpaid MP, has been on Twitter complaining about kids going back to school. It’ll be a disaster! The Plague will kill them all! I haven’t seen a word out of him over gatherings of hundreds of people shouting slogans and presumably spouting potentially infected spittle by the bucketload. Perhaps he’s okay with all that. The BBC seem to be. So do the rest of what passes for news these days.

So am I, really. It’s very nice of these people to act as coal mine canaries for the rest of us. Is it safe to gather in groups of more than six now? Is it safe to hang around with a huge mass of strangers, like in, say, pubs? Is it safe to travel the country to attend a mass protest and then travel back again? There’s only one way to find out and these people are kindly doing it for us.

If, two weeks from now, the bodies haven’t started piling up in the streets, then there’s no more danger and everything can go back to normal. If they do pile up, it’ll only be these lunatics and nobody needs them around anyway.

One thing these protests have done for sure. If there is a resurgence of the virus when lockdown eases and they try to blame Boris, all he has to do is point to video of those crowds. There’s where the blame lies, and that’s the funniest part. In trying to bring down Boris they have given him an easy way out of lockdown. He could cite those crowds as a reason to just drop all restrictions and any second wave of virus won’t be his fault. It’s the fault of the loony Left.

It will never cease to amaze me how they manage to backfire every single time.

_____________

In other news, Leg Iron Books is still holding eBook prices at 99 cents (US, the price in other countries will vary because it depends on the exchange rate and local VAT) until lockdown is over. Then they will go back up to sensible prices. The eBook anthologies might stay at 99 cents because well, they make no money anyway. They are there to advertise the authors and Leg Iron Books as a whole.

It’s also time for quarterly royalty payments and this time, everyone has at least one sale. Including me, at last! Okay, the amounts will be tiny because of the bargain prices on the eBooks but the authors are getting that little bit better known. Financially, it’s not great but in terms of promotion it’s done quite well.

Soon though, I’ll have to put the novel/single author prices back into a decent payback for those authors. They can’t all stay cheap forever.

Stop that. It’s silly

Some may remember Graham Chapman’s ‘colonel’ character from Monty Python. Another comedy team that wouldn’t be allowed near the airwaves in this time of political correctness, in which people get offended by tea.

He would have had to shout his line ‘Stop that, it’s silly’ until his throat was raw. The human race has, indeed, descended into a pit of stupidity it might never climb out of. Forget about diseases or crashing economies or wars. Humanity is heading into a race of drooling idiots who are offended by the mere presence of all the drooling idiots around them, never noticing the drool on their own chins.

I was in Local Shop on Saturday. My first visit for a month. I had to post a mug and pick up some minor essentials. This little shop has toilet paper, pasta and flour again. Any kind of flour you want. I can’t remember the last time I saw a not-empty flour shelf in any shop. Somewhere there are people with stacks of flour, pasta and toilet paper, all just waiting for the mice, mould and flies of summer to ruin the lot. We didn’t stock up with anything and didn’t run out of anything – but then we live far away from civilisation so tend to have a few weeks’ worth anyway.

You would think that people, especially the British, would now look at those immense stacks of pointless stocks and think ‘Well, we have been a bit silly. Let’s calm down and try not to do it again’.

No. Now they are arguing over masks. One side says nobody should wear a mask ever, the other says everyone has to wear one all the time. Which side is right? As is always the case, neither. Oh, and there are regular spam emails trying to sell overpriced cloth masks that won’t do a damn thing.

Actually that’s not true. Wearing a cloth mask all day virtually guarantees a repiratory infection. Medical masks have a hydrophobic layer because every exhalation carries a load of water vapour. The hydrophobic layer means the condensation resulting from that breath does not leave you with a damp mask over your face. Also, medics do not keep the mask on all day and they don’t put the same one on all the time.

A cloth mask will gradually get damp as you breathe through it. It won’t stop a virus. You might as well wear a sieve. What it will do is provide a damp environment, warmed by your face, that will delight any airborne bacteria or fungal spores that land on it. Keep that on for hours, let the populations grow, and inhale all those lovely infections. You’re going to feel a bit silly when you’re stuck in hospital with a fungal or bacterial infection caused by your futile attempt to stop a virus.

Those masks are to make you feel better about having other people around. That is all they achieve. They also achieve increased CO2 rebreathing, restricted oxygen intake, and a risk of other kinds of infection. All while doing sod all to stop a virus.

Okay, getting hold of proper medical masks isn’t going to be easy. If everyone stocked up we’d have the flour, pasta and toilet roll situation all over again (which I fully expect is happeneing now). Even the medical masks won’t stop a virus, which is why everyone wants an N95 mask.

However, N95 masks have to be properly fitted and they are, due to their fine pore size, hellish hard to breathe through. Keep that on all day and you’re going to pass out from CO2 toxicity long before you have to worry about any kind of infection.

Right, so let’s say a cloth mask is all you can get. You must get more than one and they must be washable. Minimum 60C wash. Forget about the bloody virus, the detergent will kill that at 30C. What you are trying to kill are the bacteria and fungi that your mask has been collecting while you wear it and you need at least a 60C wash for that. So no masks made of fleece that won’t survive a 60C wash.

Only wear it when you are around other people – and not the people you live with, it’s too late to worry about that now. Take it off whenever you are alone. Do not wear a mask of any kind when driving, there is a real danger of wooziness due to rebreathing CO2 which means you can’t concentrate. The virus cannot penetrate your windshield, trust me on that one.

If I am forced to wear a mask in a shop I will put it on when I go in and it’ll be straight off when I come out. Not that I’m likely to be visiting many shops, since CStM and I cannot shop together at the moment and we’re quite enjoying having the shopping delivered. Supermarkets are not likely to be much fun for a long time yet either.

Put the mask in the wash after ONE day of use. No, it is not okay to use it for three days in a row, those bacteria and fungi are still growing while it’s hung on a hook in your centrally heated home. Next day’s outing will add more. You need at least two masks so you can have one washed and drying and the other ready in case you want to go to the shops again.

If you are in a car alone or with members of your household you do not need a mask. The driver absolutely must not have one on. If you are cycling or running about in the countryside, well away from everyone, you do not need a mask and should not wear one. If you pass out, who’s going to find you?

Look at your memories of being in hospital. Admittedly I don’t have many of those but in the few I do have, none of the medical staff wore masks. Not the doctors, not the nurses and certainly not the patients. Masks were for surgery, and their purpose was to avoid contamination of an open wound by anything breathed out by the surgeon.

Suddenly everyone in hospital is wearing them. There was never any ‘PPE shortage’. Hospitals were stocked on the basis of normal use, not on the basis of every bugger in there wanting one. Stocks were not low. They were depleted rapidly because of a surge in demand. Restocking was hampered by that surge in demand happening in a hundred countries at the same time.

I could make a virus-stopping mask but I’m not really seeing the point any more. Well, I’m a special case I suppose, I have never really interacted with people very much and live where they can’t find me. If you live in a big city you can’t avoid that interaction. You also cannot escape the virus. Many of you have already had it, it can range from a cold to a really bad flu, but not many of you needed hospital treatment.

Not wearing a mask is about to become the New Smoking. They will point and scream at you, some shops will refuse entry, you’ll get nagged and harassed every chance they get, they will try to shame you because you are not one of the herd. You will need one, but do not wear it all the time. Especially if you have asthma or any kind of lung condition or have just recovered from any lung infection of any kind. That mask will restrict your breathing no matter what it’s made of and if your lungs are already struggling it will make that worse.

The mask is futile. Even N95, if you aren’t trained in its use. I note that all the mask wearers wear no eye protection even though we have known from the outset that this virus can get in that way. Yet it’s all about the mask.

There is no mention of taking supplemental vitamins C and D and zinc supplements. Watch it with the zinc, extended use can lead to anaemia but taking it for a few months while this nonsense rages won’t harm you. Vitamin D is cheap, and an orange a day will get you nicely loaded with vitamin C. Oh, I might get some Haliborange. I remember that from childhood, it was the only medicine that tasted like sweets. All these things help against a wide range of viruses and other ailments. As does being a miserable antisocial swine, but that’s just me.

Hydroxychloroquine… well, there are almost no lupus sufferers in the hospitals. That’s the drug routinely used to treat lupus. It does work although I’d only take it under medical supervision. For most people it’s fine but some do get an allergic reaction to it. You can get some quinine into you with a small daily glass of tonic water. Proper tonic water, not this modern trendy ‘no quinine’ shite. That’s why tonic water exists – gin and tonic was originally designed to get quinine into the Brits who had moved in on countries where malaria was endemic.

However, the mask is the new polarisation. Some see it as an oppressive thing, others see it as the only thing that will save humanity. It is neither. It is a fad, a sop to the terrified, a feel good farce. It will not protect you and will not protect anyone around you. And yet, if you are seen without one you will be treated as smokers have been treated for years.

The amusing part is that smokers, like lupus sufferers, are hugely underrepresented in hospitalisations from Flu Manchu. Nicotine is also protective and you don’t even have to smoke it. Several places are trialling nicotine patches as a treatment. I find this hilarious because it’s rather like this…

Smokers are excluded from most places now, places where everyone else gathers to spread their diseases. It’s just the icing on the cake to find that nicotine is the preventative they will all refuse to take.

If I have to go somewhere where masks are compulsory I will wear one, but it will not be a standard medical mask. I have a plague doctor mask and several ‘Are you my mummy?‘ style gas masks. I will only wear one where it is compulsory. While I could potentially make a virus-proof mask I no longer see the need. The virus has turned out to be far less dangerous than it’s been hyped up to be, although it could still be an issue in highly populated cities. It’s all about the percentages. If, say, ten percent need to go to hospital, then ten percent out here is a lot less than ten percent of London.

But still, if I have to wear a mask, it will not be a medical one, it will be outrageous. It will be scary and yes, I will have to hype up the scariness. Can’t help it, it’s what I do. I might even put a pointless posy in that plague doctor mask, just as in the old days. What the hell, they’re already primed for a scare. I just can’t let that pass.

There is no point telling people they are being silly. They are too scared to accept it. They have to be shown just how silly it all is and they have to realise it for themselves. Before it’s too late, before they hand their lives over to total control because there will be no way back from that.

How silly has it all become? Well, this is a modern baptism…

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I think it needs a clay pigeon launcher. The priest gets one shot and if he misses, the child belongs to Satan. If you’re going to be scared, let’s take it all the way, eh?

The Mask

I have sourced a replacement transmission cable for my car. It’s in United Arab Emirates. There were a couple that were closer – in Lithuania – but they were second hand parts. I’d use them in a pinch but I don’t have very good past experiences with second hand parts – and this is a critical part. The car has been absolutely immobilised for over three weeks.

So the cable is on the way from UAE. I have a friend also trying to get one in Wales and there is still the possibility that the local dealership will come through, although that seems increasingly unlikely. If I end up with three I’ll sell one and keep the other in case it ever happens again.

Of course, the UAE one could end up in a catch-22. There are bound to be import duties, I’ll probably get a card telling me where to go to pay and collect it, and then I’ll have to try to explain why I can’t come and collect it until they bring it here. Hopefully I’ll be able to pay those import duties online, otherwise I have to wait until one of the other two channels come through before I can collect the part I need to fix the car so I can collect the part.

This is normal life for me, it doesn’t even raise an eyebrow any more.

Anyway, masks.

Everyone wants N95 masks because they are fine enough to stop the virus. You need training and fitting to wear one of those masks properly. They seal around your face so the only air you breathe is coming in through the mask. No doubt you’ll have seen pictures of the nurses who have been wearing them on long shifts, day after day. They chafe your face.

They are also very difficult to breathe through. Any mask will be, but these especially so. Most of the air you exhale into the mask fails to leave the mask and you breathe it back in. Some new air, sure, but you’re also breathing back the CO2 you just exhaled. Keep it on for too long and your blood oxygen is going steadily down while your blood CO2 is going up. Eventually you’ll pass out and if nobody nearby thinks to take your mask off (I guarantee they won’t because they’ll think you have the virus) you might die of asphyxiation. Those trained in the proper use of the masks know to watch for the early signs in themselves and others, but the general public do not.

Any mask of any kind will have the same effect, the finer the pores the worse the effect will be – but then too open and it won’t stop the virus. Flu or asphyxiation, make your choice.

Masks with exhalation valves are better for you but these are not going to stop someone with the virus from breathing it out. And that is what the mask is supposed to achieve. It’s not to protect you, it’s to protect those around you.

Doctors and nurses are trained in the use of these masks. They know not to keep them on all day. Get to a safe area and take off the mask, get yourself oxygenated and then put the mask back on. The general public are not trained. They will have masks on all day (I even hear of people driving alone, wearing a mask) and some will even have them on at home. That is when you get people suddenly collapsing in the street, as in all those Chinese videos.

It’s called hypercapnia.

So, should you refuse masks? Well, no. You do not need N95. If you don’t know how to fit them properly you might as well wear a standard dust mask. A badly fitted N95 mask is an expensive waste of time.

A mask made of a salted layer and a HEPA layer cut from a vacuum cleaner bag will do, but don’t even wear that all the time. Do not wear at home or when driving (both pointless) but masks will help in places like supermarkets or on busy streets. You don’t need a mask if you’re hiking up a mountain and there isn’t a single person within sight. In this idiotic age, I fully expect a police drone to order you to put one on and I am counting the days until someone smashes one of those things. It’s bound to happen.

Really, you shouldn’t wear any kind of mask if running or otherwise doing any kind of strenuous exercise. CO2 at 10% is enough to kill you (yeah, it takes a lot more than parts per million but let’s not spoil the Church of Climatology’s beliefs with facts) and you can definitely get the level high enough to make you sick with any kind of mask. Especially if you are breathing heavily or already have asthma or any respiratory condition.

So, should you wear a mask? Only when absolutely necessary. Never at home. Absolutely never when driving since passing out at the wheel means you won’t have to worry about any virus killing you. Not while doing any form of strenuous exercise (have one handy in case a jobsworth wants to insist you wear it and take it off when the jobsworth is around the corner). Alternatively wrap a loose scarf around your face, so you can still breathe. It won’t stop the virus but that’s far from the only risk in this situation now.

Soon we will hear Boris’s plans for the current lockdown. I hope he doesn’t do what the Miniature Scots Idiot has done and extend it, because people will simply not listen any more. Surely Boris has known this from the start, lockdown has a limited compliance span and it is already starting to fail.

I can see why, especially in London. Some years back I lived in the highest flat in a small town. Very nice flat but it was four rooms and up three flights of stairs. Then I moved out to this big farmhouse with a huge garden – at cheaper rent but isolated. If I had been in that flat during lockdown I would have been stir crazy by now. Especially if every time I crossed the street to the shop there were jobsworths demanding to know if my 40-yard journey was ‘essential’. I’d be getting very close to decking one of them by now. Many people have less patience than I do. At least five.

People in flats with no gardens are having a really hard time of it, and they are out of work too. The stress I am under is as nothing compared to theirs (to be honest, apart from the difficulty sourcing car parts, life hasn’t changed much) and of course they can only stand it for so long. That time is up now. Lockdown cannot be maintained. Sturgeon is going to find out the hard way. I hope Boris has enough sense to take the easy way.

It’s not going to affect those who want to live in eternal lockdown. They still can. It’s likely to cause a surge in cases and the inevitable ‘I told you so’ but those who want to be totally safe will still be safe. Voluntarily. Social distancing will continue for quite some time; the fear instilled by the government and media isn’t going to just vanish.

Of course, CStM and I will still be in lockdown even if Wee Nippy comes to her senses and relaxes it. Involuntarily, until the cable I need to fix the car arrives.

Even if they abolish it completely, we’re going nowhere any time soon.

Viral smokiness

I’m seeing a lot of reports that smokers and vapers are very under-represented in cases of the new virus. I haven’t seen solid studies yet, just admissions/deaths numbers but then there really hasn’t been time to study mechanisms in detail.

There are a lot of possible mechanisms. It seems regular intake of nicotine represses a protein called ACE2. I’m not going to bore you with biochemistry, suffice to say that this is a cell surface protein that has a few jobs to do, but it’s also the one Flu Manchu attaches to when attacking cells. So, cells that have a lot of this protein are highly susceptible to the virus.

If it is reduced in nicotine users then those using nicotine patches and gum long term should also show a protective effect. I haven’t seen any data at all on that though. If it does turn out that patches and gum have an effect then nonsmokers don’t need to take up smoking. During flu season, slap on a nicotine patch.

Of course, that route has been effectively blocked by Public Health, who have spent years convincing the gullible that nicotine is harmful, carcinogenic and addictive. It is none of those things but the public won’t believe that now and I have long given up arguing with the indoctrinated. ‘Harmful’ and ‘carcinogenic’ can be applied to other chemicals in smoke just as well as they can be applied to the chemicals in vehicle exhausts. Nicotine plays no role in any of those things.

There are, of course, other, potentially simpler reasons why smokers are under-represented in the current Mao Tse Lung outbreak. Smokers, long term ones anyway, tend to cough quite a bit. Often with phlegm, which will make it harder for a virus to get in. Viruses can’t swim, they have no motive power at all, they just go where the wind takes them. If they get stuck in mucus and coughed back out, they can’t get you. Also, an infected cell releasing new viruses into a layer of phlegm will slow the infection of neighbouring cells and give the immune system a better chance of dealing with it.

Then there is the whole social isolation thing. Smokers have been ostracised harder and harder for many years and really, a lot of people stay well away from us anyway due to the ridiculous fearmongering around second and third and nine hundredth hand smoke. Our social lives have been so curtailed that we must surely be at far lower risk of catching anything at all.

Incidentally, Amnesty International have been on social media to declare that calling it ‘the Chinese virus’ is racist. I’m sure they won’t like the names I’ve been calling it. However, having now seen multiple instances of black people in China being evicted, turned away from shops, turned away from hospitals when in labour, and not a peep from the Champions of Anti-Racism, Amnesty can go in the same bin as the WHO, UN and Public Health. They have all proved themselves as useless as the EU in this outbreak. Just nannying and virtue signalling and pushing agendas. ‘Never mind the sick people, this is our chance to get what we want.’

Quite a few organisations are showing their true faces now. The Masque of the Red Death (I’d make it a competition but can’t get to a post office anyway) did that too, and the title seems appropriate here.

There has been a sudden switch from ‘Ban all face coverings’ to ‘Cover all faces’, hasn’t there? I need a mask with a cigarette sized hole in it, is that allowed? I doubt it. Anyway, if you have to make your own masks, get some hoover bags. The HEPA ones, they look like white cloth, are best although the paper ones will do at a pinch. Cut those up to make a layer in the mask, they are not quite as good as N95 but pretty close. Oh and don’t forget the salt-encrusted cloth layer. It’s in several earlier posts.

If you have a gas mask or spray paint mask or one of those rubber dust masks with filters in it, you can replace the filters with the HEPA layer and salt layer. Make sure there are no gaps.

Oh, and getting back to racism because ma, papa, we’re all racists now (that would have been too easy for a competition), the Mayor of London, Napoleon something, has declared that because BAME people are disproportionally represented in infection rates, there must be something racist going on. It can’t just be that they are ignoring lockdown and social distancing rules, someone has to be to blame. Someone white and male, naturally. Well, viruses have no gender and since they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have no colour either. Good luck accusing them of racism.

Maybe it’s those BAME gatherings that are behind their enhanced infection rate.

Or maybe they just didn’t smoke enough.