Just drop your tribe for a second. Drop your political affiliations. It’s just you in the void.
Do you think it’s a good idea to let the general public have unlimited access to fully automatic weapons?
To have clips on belt-feeds?
Just… pretend for a second you’ve never heard a litany of arguments about this. Do you want to see machine guns when you go to the grocery store? Do you want to fear death by bullet every minute of every day?
They tell me I can’t talk about gun violence today. Just like I couldn’t the day 20 first-graders were massacred, or a bunch of people out watching Batman were slaughtered. But guess what? We won’t talk about it tomorrow, because tomorrow will bring something new. If we don’t talk about it today, we never talk about it at all – until, of course, the next time. And one of these times it will affect you, or it will affect me.
This is the first time, that I recall, that one of these massacres has affected people I knew. One person’s mother was in Vegas today. Another person’s son was there. Both are okay. But that’s two degrees of separation. That’s far too few for my taste.
We entered the stage a long time ago where a sharp, sudden noise at Target makes me look for a shooter and pull my children to cover. I’ve never been in war; I don’t have PTSD; I live in the richest first-world country in the world. Why is this my automatic, first response to a sharp noise in public?
And still, they tell me not to talk about it. It’s wrong to “politicize” this. The icy hand of right-wing speech oppression is long. It extends even to this, even to the natural and automatic desire to protect yourself and your kids. Don’t you dare talk about it. Don’t you dare politicize this massacre.
Just sit there, silent, and wait your fucking turn to die.
Couple big writing updates:
1) It’s been awhile since I posted an update on my current project, A Season of Rendings. I have been busting my butt on this book this year, and in the last month or so I’ve really gone into overdrive. Last time I think I said I was planning to have it out this year. This is usually about the time I crawl back and have to admit that I won’t make my goal. Not this time.
Barring acts of nature, A Season of Rendings will be available on Kindle by the end of December. This is me, reiterating the previous goal and even doubling down on it. Mark it in the history books! And just to put my money where my mouth is, watch for it to become available for pre-order right around the end of September.
2) I’ve decided to make it my primary goal for next year to produce two full-length novels. That might not sound like a big deal in a context where self-published authors are producing 6 – 15 books a year, but these will not be formulaic romance novels designed to turn a quick buck. These will be real Adam J Nicolai books, of the kind you know and love. I’m not just pulling this goal out of my rear, either: I did real maths!
I see that look on your face. I wouldn’t believe me either, given my track record. But this is me, promising: by end of December next year, there will be three new books on Kindle written by yours truly. One of them will be A Season of Rendings. One will be book 3 in the Redemption Chronicle, tentatively titled Of Dark Things Waking. The last will be something new. I’ve got four ideas for that last one. I’ll let you know which one I go with as the time draws closer.
“Sea level rise” is such an innocuous phrase. It sounds like the coming in of the tide, like it will creep up on us slowly. Like we’ll be able to look out our windows and say, “Yep, it’s higher. Might be time to think about building a levee . . . or maybe moving.” It implies all the time in the world – or at least enough to safely react.
I spent my early adult years thinking this way. Now I realize it’s not like that at all.
The sea level won’t rise calmly, like a filling bathtub, and our coasts won’t recede gently. They will spasm beneath the onslaughts of storms like we’ve never seen before, suffering devastation that leaves them permanently deformed. The sea won’t “rise” so much as it will pounce, borne inland by superstorms and Cat 5 hurricanes.
When I saw pictures of New Orleans underwater during Katrina, Haiti and New York underwater during Sandy . . . when I see the pictures today of Houston underwater because of Harvey and as we all brace for the horrors sure to be delivered by Hurricane Irma, I don’t think, “My god, look at the flooding.” I think, “This is a glimpse of the future. This is what the new coastline will look like.”
It is happening. It is happening as we speak, before our eyes, the world over. It is happening just as the world’s climatologists predicted it would, and it is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.
Twin Peaks: The Return is over. I didn’t think it could affect me like it used to. I thought I was older and more grounded now, and that’s still all true, but I won’t lie: the ending left me profoundly unsettled. My mind is whirling and I’m actually reticent to go to sleep tonight for fear of what I might dream.
The horror of Twin Peaks is its power to meticulously dismantle every norm, to deconstruct reality and turn things literally backwards until you are left wondering what is real; if anything is real at all. And not in a cool Matrix-ey way but in a horrible, “Oh my god the shattered pieces of my mind are crumbling through my fingers” kind of way.
The show’s final episode forces you to ask, “Is he real?” “Is this really happening?” and “Are they actually there?” until you abandon your demands for a rational reality, just digging in your fingernails and hanging on for dear life. It’s a precarious state to enter, and you can’t just turn it off when the show ends.
For the last 25 years Dale Cooper’s doppelgänger’s last question (“How’s Annie?”) has haunted me. For the next 25, the last question of Dale Cooper himself may very well do the same.
Well played, Mr. Lynch. Well played indeed.