Fear Training!

By Kyle B. Stiff

I had an intense flashback to my childhood and it put some things into perspective.

Any other old people out there ever freak out to THIS record back in the day?

great ghost stories

Great Ghost Stories… from 1973. I used to have this record when I was six or seven (this was in the 80s), and it was so terrifying that I thought it was like a portal to hell. My house already felt haunted, full of dark corners, ancient orange carpet from the 70s, and surrounded by thick woods. I spent a lot of time alone, and for some reason, instead of doing things to try to make believe I was in a happy, cheery world, I was drawn to this record. I had a burning curiosity, and even though I was convinced that playing this record was no different from stepping into a bleak nightmare with very little possibility of escape, I felt like I had to understand the nightmare. Only a person who could survive the darkness was capable of achieving godhood!

It might seem like I’m playing up the drama, but that’s really how strongly I felt about it! I couldn’t even hold this record without feeling as if I was standing on the brink of an endless abyss. The funny thing is, I found this thing again on youtube, and it’s dumb as hell. It’s just a bunch of goofy ghost stories. He put the tooth under his pillow… but the next day… it was gone! That kind of thing. Years later (but before I was a teenager) I watched Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and experienced only a kind of robotic, autistic understanding of what was happening. I didn’t feel any fear, really, but just a vague curiosity. But this record! This record!!! Just hearing the crackle and hiss of this thing spinning made me think the evil spirits were going to come through and take me to their horrible world of endless darkness!


Looking back on it, I think maybe that stupid record gave me some really intense fear training, and maybe even helped me “incorporate my shadow” as Jung would say. I’m sure it shaped a lot of my writing. Most of my stories have a force that’s so dark and powerful that most people can’t even imagine it, and the people who take the risk of facing it must have something heroic in them (and also be a little bit crazy).

Then again, I don’t know if events shape us, or if we seek out the things that fit our souls. Whatever the case, if you give this goofy thing a listen, I just remembered that there’s a real spine-tingler in there about a guy who meets a series of cats that keep getting bigger and bigger. Finally the biggest cat of them all comes along, and then… and then… and then…!!!!!!!

(Kyle B. Stiff clutches his chest and falls over dead.)


Behold I Am the Only Man Who Understands Beyond the Black Rainbow

By Kyle B. Stiff

Bring home the mother lode, B. Stiff…”


The key to understanding Black Rainbow is to have some knowledge of MK ULTRA and the CIA’s involvement in hippie culture. A little understanding of modern ufology also helps. You don’t need thousands of pages of heavily redacted government documents complete with blurry photos proving that JFK was on the set of the fake moon landing, but you need to know that they happened. Otherwise it’s like not knowing what a gun is and never having heard of World War II, and then watching Dunkirk or Saving Private Ryan; you’d think you were watching a random montage of fever dream images with no basis in reality, rather than a fairly straightforward story!

MK ULTRA… the condensed version. So in the 60s the Central Intelligence Agency ran a lot of strange experiments testing the limits of the human mind. One of the objectives was to find a way to keep a soldier from divulging secrets during interrogation; another objective was to try to make someone follow orders they had no conscious awareness of (this is where the idea of a Manchurian Candidate comes from). Those are both really the same objective, and the idea is to fragment a person’s mind, give information and orders to one facet of consciousness, hide that facet from the conscious mind, and then be able to recall that hidden facet using trigger words or phrases.

It might sound crazy, but in the 70s a bunch of documents about it were discovered. They were remnants of documents that were supposed to be destroyed when the CIA was covering its tracks in the wake of Watergate. There were hearings in the senate, and the whole affair is far stranger than anything you can imagine if you’ve never heard of it – look into it if you’re at all curious about the bizarre world you live in. One important thing to keep in mind about MK ULTRA is that drugs were a large part of the program; when you’re trying to bend and shift and fold and stretch the human mind, drugs are the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

Of course, hallucinogens like LSD were in heavy use by the CIA, and plenty of agents were involved in the drug scene in America in the 60s. The hippie movement was not as organic as it would seem. Maybe any scene that moves young and impressionable minds is orchestrated to some extent. Whether some rogue branch of the CIA were the puppet masters or just another pawn in the game, I have no idea. But there’s a reason why the FBI was adamant about looking for Communists in the CIA, and why you don’t find too many Republican hippies!

That’s enough background. I’m getting old and I don’t have the patience I used to. Let’s move on to the actual film!


Beyond the Black Rainbow takes place in a secret MK ULTRA facility where a girl named Elena is imprisoned. She has psychic powers, much like El from Stranger Things, a story inspired by the same interdimensional muse. Both stories also take place in the 80s, during the Satanic Panic, a time similar to our own when a large pedophile ring is rumored to be operating just under the radar (remember, if you can drug and record a politician having sex with a child, you can control said politician). Though Black Rainbow takes place in the 80s, its roots are in the 60s, when Dr. Mercurio Arboria founded the Arboria Institute. There were a lot of places like the Arboria Institute in the 60s, where funding was given to hippies who got blasted on psychedelics and talked about how All is One and we were on the verge of a utopia. Sorry if I’m trampling the mystique but I’m trying to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

Dr. Arboria had an assistant named Barry Nyle (the last name is probably indicative of nihilism). Barry made the ultimate sacrifice by taking part in Dr. Arboria’s experiment to push a human beyond all limitations. First he took a concentrated dose of LSD, then he submerged himself in a pool of hallucinogenic goop. Barry crossed the abyss of Da’ath and was stripped of everything, including his humanity, and the thing that came back from that trip was no longer human. There was an unnamed woman helping out during this experiment; Barry loved her, but Dr. Arboria had already scooped her up. The human Barry would have been content to stifle his jealousy and cover it with a sad smile, but the demon living in the shell of Barry did not hesitate – he killed her.


Dr. Arboria was so swept up in his own narrative and his sense of being on a mission that he didn’t turn Barry in to the police for murder, and thus jeopardize his Institute. Instead, he assumed that Barry’s actions were informed by a higher intelligence beyond mere human understanding. He probably saw Barry as an avatar of the New Aeon, and he named Barry as his successor to the Arboria Institute.

Of course the idealistic 60s gave way to the “business first” ethos of the 80s, replacing rambling jackoffs like Bob Dylan with charming psychopaths like JR Ewing. The hallucinogens of the Arboria Institute were replaced with mood altering pills. In many scenes Barry looks like he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but after a few shiny pills (“Half a gram is better than a damn!”) his frown turns upside down.


Barry (or Dr. Nyle) is undoubtedly the antagonist of the film, but he’s also a victim himself. He is clearly young and impressionable in the 60s flashback. Moreover, I believe the woman he lives with is not necessarily his wife – she is his handler (though she may play the role of his wife). In modern conspiracy mythology, all victims of MK ULTRA mind control have “handlers” – that is, one or more people who provide upkeep, reconditioning, and jobs for their fragmented subjects. It is worth noting that Barry’s handler is also a victim of MK ULTRA herself. When her handler calls to provide verbal triggers and instructions, she’s too zonked out to answer the phone; Barry answers, and he knows that he’s listening to his handler’s handler. He is crushed to find out that he is not a paragon of enlightenment and power, but only one link in a chain of command. The phone call marks the beginning of his desire to break free from his prison.

Barry’s bizarre and disturbing transformation at the end marks the final shedding of humanity. Taking off his wig and eye contacts are a way of removing his mask of humanity. He puts on a leather suit because, to a demon without a solid identity, a body is merely a “leather suit”, or something one wears to go on a joyride. He talks to himself in the car, as both driver and passenger, a fragmented consciousness that can never be made whole, utterly narcissistic and beyond any moral limitation (“You’re doing so good!”).



When Elena collapses outside of her cell, she has to be safely transported back inside. Barry activates a Sentionaut to do the work – that is, an android controlled by a computer program. At the end of the film, when Elena is escaping from the facility, she shuts down a Senionaut using her psychic powers.


What is a Sentionaut? They’re a common staple of modern alien mythology and ufology. In fact, lots of conspiracy types figure that your typical “Gray alien” is an android meat-puppet. They seem to have no will of their own, low intelligence, abject fear of those higher on the pay scale, etc. The Sentionaut shown without his mask even looks sort of like a Gray alien. Also note that the Sentionaut implants a homing beacon in Elena’s neck. How many stories have we heard of Gray aliens putting implants into abductees?


Barry uses an ominous pyramid to dampen Elena’s will and knock her out. The image of the pyramid of course brings to mind the idea of the Masonic pyramid, or Egyptian influence on many other secret societies. I don’t have anything solid about this, but I think it’s the basic idea that people can be controlled by future-tech, especially if it’s informed by any kind of “sacred geometry” that points toward higher intelligence. Is it hard to imagine someone turning up the dial on a machine causing people to go into a frenzy after the last Presidential election in America? Discourse is no longer occurring on a rational level, as those parts of the brain have been dampened by our theoretical machine. The debate now occurs in angry, emotional circles where neither side can even sense the inherent humanity of the other side.

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I almost forgot! Keep in mind that Elena was submerged into the same hallucinogenic goop and travelled through the abyss just like Barry, but she did it as a child! Sometimes the very things that we think create villains, like traumatic events, can also bring out the best in us. Being stripped of pretense doesn’t make a person into anything, it only reveals what is already there… the truth hiding beyond the black rainbow!

* * *

Panos Cosmatos is working on another film, MANDY, which also takes place in 1983 and is a spiritual “sequel” or companion to Beyond the Black Rainbow. It will feature the internet’s favorite freak-out king, Nikolaus Kage, star of Daniel Linch’s Wild at Heart!

Meanwhile Kyle B. Stiff is continuing work on VOIVOD, his epic historical fiction series about the life of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula!

The B. Stiff Flies from One Victory to the Next (Life of Privilege Continues)

Thought I’d send a smoke signal to let you guys know I’m still alive!
I’ve finished the first two books in my new Voivod series. It’s a historically accurate (but fictionalized) account of the life of Vlad the Impaler, the real-life Dracula. It has nothing to do with vampires or pasty fashionistas, and everything to do with medieval warfare and one man’s struggle against the Islamic slave trade in medieval Eastern Europe. I’m working on the third book in the four-book series, which is called Forest of Spears. It’s dynamite! The first two books are already available in hard copy, so there’s no reason to be jealous of the rich kids with their fancy e-readers.

saint stefan voivod of moldavia

I’d like to write some more historical fiction later, but first, I fully intend to finish Demonworld after Voivod. That’s right! Demonword books seven, eight, nine, and ten are going to launch one after the other, BAM BAM BAM, like a literary machinegun tearing apart everything in its sights.


I’m also writing for a few video games. I had an unexpected insight the other day that if a creator doesn’t keep a full plate, then depression comes as a natural consequence. A creator has to keep his to-do list so full that it becomes overwhelming. I don’t think the tricks we use to make our minds go quiet and harness our will are necessarily fool-proof; humans are born to do things, and creators especially are born to make things. So I’m pushing myself to do more and create more. Depression will be the first casualty in this sort of violent engagement with the enemy, but that’s a casualty that I’m willing to accept!

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In closing, if I could leave everyone with a piece of advice regarding time management and achieving goals, I can only say that if you’re on a bunch of drugs and you accidentally run over someone, you should keep driving as if nothing has happened. That usually works for me!


Godzilla Is Jehova, the Old Testament Kaiju Demon-God

I loved Shin Godzilla because it broke me down psychologically and forced me to reexamine everything I ever believed was true. You see, the lesson of Shin Godzilla is that the best representative of the human spirit is… bureaucracy?!?!


This seemingly crazy assertion isn’t that much of a stretch. The movie jumps from one bureaucratic agency to another, in effect telling the story of Godzilla’s rampage from the perspective of government employees who have to deal with the chaos. I’ve never seen a movie told from this perspective; it’s some Criterion-level experimental film-making. Any other movie would have followed one bureaucrat, even going so far as to show him or her with their mate, their kids, dealing with the hassles of life, thus forcing the viewer to acknowledge that yes, indeed, this person is a human being – I’d better empathize with them.

But Shin Godzilla races from suit to suit, never really caring if the viewer has a chance to pick out their favorite bureaucrat. The characters aren’t shown as humans first and bureaucrats second, but as bureaucrats first and foremost who happen to have human responses to the situations they’re thrown into.


I remember in one of the older Evangelion movies, someone said that humanity was the “eighteenth angel”, or that the collective sum of us was a godlike being. Shin Godzilla has a similar lesson, with the spirit of humanity shown as a meta-organism, with bureaucratic organizations as limbs of the meta-organism. Humanity’s strength doesn’t come from the individual, but instead, humanity dominates the planet because each individual can cooperate on a level that no other animal can compete with (except maybe Godzilla). In the older Godzilla movies, they would show military guys tossing out a few missiles, then the camera would zoom in on their horror-stricken faces as Godzilla would take a missile in the ass and not even notice. Then Godzilla would wail on some other monster, get winded, then leave on his own, and the credits would roll while some kids with Stockholm Syndrome would cheer and thank Godzilla for all his help. But in this movie, Godzilla really does face his most dangerous opponent… Godzilla vs. The Human Species.


Shin Godzilla is a morality tale, a lesson for humanity. I’m not sure when exactly the idea of the “individual” was born historically (maybe the Renaissance?), but Shin Godzilla is an alarm, and it’s warning us that it may be time to prune the tree of individuality. Maybe the human meta-organism starts to look foolish if too many limbs start to mimic one another in a strange caricature of individuality. Just think of all the hardcore “rebels” out there, all fighting “the Man”, all wearing the same edgy clothes and listening to the same music. Unless someone is an artist, or an intellectual, or a wizard, or a diehard eccentric, then maybe it’s better to find a good spot to sit within the bureaucracy and then simply tend to the species in whatever way best suits the temperament of the “individual”. We are certainly in an age when people are getting more entrenched in their respective ideological or ethnic camps, after all.


As a dude who’s always been a hardcore individual – and I say that without pride, as it has its downside – Shin Godzilla was a powerful psychedelic brew designed to destroy all my childish ideas about how the world works. It’s like when Paul Muad’dib took the Water of Life; before Shin Godzilla, all I saw was darkness, but now I see the big screaming lizard within, praise praise praise his name!

Which brings me to my Godzilla as God point. Before Shin Godzilla, there was an American-made Godzilla film back in 2014. It had a lot of beautiful shots, and there was an unforgettable sequence where some military guys jumped out of a plane and fell through a dark, dusty, burning hellzone while a bunch of giant demons were fighting one another. So good.

godzilla poster

But it also made the mistake that a lot of Godzilla movies make; actors with hefty price tags demanded a lot of screen time, which meant we spent too much time learning about so-and-so’s baby mama drama, which is hard to engage with when you really just want to see a giant monster squat and take a shit on a city in flames.

However, this was the film that gave me the idea that Godzilla truly is God, or at least, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god-being. If enough people believe in a thing, and meditate on it and speak to it and sing to it, the thoughtform must become real out there in “the internet of spirits” or the world of abstractions or the astral plane… or whatever you want to call a higher realm that affects human behavior, but can’t necessarily be seen or measured. Just think of all those humans circling around the black cube of the Kaaba, or gently smooching the Wailing Wall, or twitchin’ and flailin’ in one of those American megachurches. All of that human intention goes somewhere, and if it’s not being eaten by a hyperdimensional being beyond our comprehension, then it’s surely creating such a being. Either way, it exists!


So when I was watching the American version of Godzilla, and seeing his raw power, the pure reptilian hatred turned up to one thousand, and fifteen 9-11s happening every minute or so, I couldn’t help but think that GODzilla must surely be a stand-in for that ancient idea (or thought-form) that we’ve been feeding for thousands of years, and which in turn controls our behavior and, many times, ends up destroying or mutilating people beyond recognition. There are surely other such beings. Sports would be a powerful god-being for Godzilla to meet in a “versus” setting. Any political -ism would also surely have its own kaiju equivalent.


It’s also interesting that Godzilla has represented different things at different times as we transition through the human story we’re in. In the first movie he was like a force of nature punishing humans for their wrongdoing, and it was kind of sad when we had to put him down. Then he became a pro-wrestler, and he was even a little heroic (sort of like an angry drunk belittling you but also giving you good advice). Now he’s like a dark mirror showing us where we are today, but it’s from the perspective of the gods, so neither of us can understand what the other is trying to say, but the atrocities and works of art that result from our attempts at communication make for an interesting story all the same.

Kyle B. Stiff Update: Vlad the Impaler

Hello! Kept you waiting, huh?

Sorry for the long absence. My life went through a big shakedowns in which god-level cosmic forces steamrolled through every aspect of my existence. Everything that wasn’t nailed down was carried off only to be flung into a raging inferno. When my team of doctors finally let me out of the resurrection chamber, I was unrecognizable even to my own mother, with an elbow on my forehead and a spinal column dangling where my you-know-what used to be.

But I’m all better now! In fact, I’m in a situation where I can write for your enjoyment for hours and hours, each and every day. I really lucked out! In a few months I’ll start writing DEMONWORLD BOOK SEVEN: THE DEMON WAR. But first, I need to finish this short series of historical fiction books that I’ve been researching for so long. The series is called VOIVOD, and it’s about the life of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula. I’m going for historical accuracy, which means there’s not going to be any vampires, or frankenfurters, nor any bigfeets or Loch Ness Monsters from the Black Lagoon. But don’t worry, the life of Vlad the Impaler was way more interesting than a bunch of drama club queens biting each other on the neck and collecting “swag” and “merch” from Hot Topic.

Mircea the Elder

Vlad was at the forefront of a war waged for slaves, and he took a stand that most people will never know about. His life story was written by his enemies. Once you strip away the propaganda, you’re left with a story about a man who was taken from his family, fought a war against child slavery, and was remembered as a monster. I’m going to release all four books fairly close to one another, all before the end of 2017 if things go according to plan. (Don’t worry, things never go according to plan.)


For readers of Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder, forgive me for the delay. I had to write this Vlad series because I was starting to become obsessed. I was reading book after book and having strange dreams and waking up overcome with emotion. I had an intense sense of betrayal, and after studying Vlad’s life, it made sense. The good news, for my regular readers, is that Heavy Metal Thunder Book Three: SLAUGHTER AT MASADA, is already written. The wizards and warriors at Cubus Games will begin work on the app any day now!

Mihael the Brave
Also, after my recent life changes, I’m a lot more aware of the fact that any of us can go at any minute. After I finish the series about Vlad, I might just go ahead and finish all of the Demonworld books. You guys have waited long enough!

Infinity Turd, a Moebius Strip that Smells Like Shit on Both Sides


I’ve been catching up on my Marvel superhero movies and having a blast, but guys, I gotta tell you, this upcoming Infinity War stuff is not as cool as people think it is. At the end of every Marvel movie, we see a little glimpse of Shrek’s cross-dressing brother look at the camera and say something that’s supposed to be incredibly exciting, but there’s a few key points that Marvel’s writers are fumbling.


Thanos by kudoze on deviantart


ONE. There is such a thing as too many superheroes on screen (or in a comic). We tend to think that if seeing X number of superheroes together is great, then more would be even better, more exciting, and make for a more complex story. It doesn’t. Too many superheroes means nobody gets a significant amount of screen time. When the Infinity War begins, your favorite hero will be way, waaaaay in the background while Iron-Man carries most of the story. Your guy will say one or two things while Iron-Man whipping his head, snapping his fingers, and saying Joss Whedon-approved lines like, “Oh no he di’int!”

When it comes to team movies, you need to stick like like four, five, maybe six characters, so there’s a balance between every individual getting some screen time and adding some complex character interaction.


TWO. There is such a thing as ratcheting up the power level too high. We have this idea that if you take a normal person and give them superpowers, it makes them more interesting, therefore if you keep upping the ante until you have a character who can fly through outer space and shatter planets with one blow, he would be even more interesting, right? Wrong! Dead wrong, you big nerd. If a character is slightly more powerful than a really strong human, then the mind can grasp that character’s actions. We understand the danger level that that superhero is in when they jump over a car or knock a guy down.

But when you’ve got someone as powerful as Thanos wielding a bag of glass beads that turns him into a god, any battle against him is just going to be colored lights. Any character interacting with him in a battle will inevitably have to be entirely CGI. I hope you like cartoons and weightless, rubbery physics, because that’s what the ultimate battle of good against evil is going to look like during this Infinity War fiasco. You people are going to think I’m crazy, but so far the most exciting moment in the Marvel superhero universe has been Captain America and Black Widow getting ambushed on the highway by the Winter Soldier and a dozen heavily-armed military guys. That was so intense! So intense! Throwing a Power Rangers villain in there isn’t going to add anything. Which brings me to my next point…

THREE. Thanos’s appearance could maybe pass in a comic book from the 80s, especially if you were reading it in private, but for an older audience that’s going out into public to watch this movie, seeing Barney’s evil cousin grimacing and straining to hold in a fart is embarrassing. We can watch superhero movies now and not feel like absolute degenerates mostly because their appearance has been updated. They look cool now. Flip through an old comic book if, for whatever reason, you think superheroes looked cool in the past (they didn’t). People already made fun of Apocalypse for looking like Rita Repulsa’s fuck buddy, but Thanos is no different. Call me completely batshit, but if Thanos is going to be anything other than a joke, he’s got to be recast as a normal actor (yes, a human actor) who just happens to be big and scary. A little makeup is okay. Tint his skin a smidge purple if you have to. Now put a cool outfit on him, something that looks like a space viking’s frost-covered armor. It looks like he got his current outfit at the Big and Tall Fabulous Mardi Gras Expo. That’s not scary, that’s a fun night out on the town, followed by a hangover and texting people and begging them not to post any pictures.


FOUR. The final showdown! What’s going to happen?! How will our heroes survive when Thanos acquires the magic gems that give him the ultimate power?!?!?!!??! Well, it’s pretty obvious, so I’ll go ahead and tell you. Things will look dire as Thanos and our heroes shoot colored lights everywhere. Then Thanos’s colored lights will become brighter and even more colorful, and our heroes will really be pinned to the floor. Thanos will tilt his head back and laugh. Then our heroes will hold hands and make a new kind of colored light. What power is this?! That’s right – it’s the power of love. The colored lights of the heroes will push against the evil Christmas tree lights of Thanos. The music will be really loud and if you’re watching the movie at home, you’ll have to turn it down a little (kind of an inconvenience). Some sort of gateway will open… I guess they have to throw the Infinity Gauntlet in there. If Joss Whedon is writing this one (unfortunately he probably will) then one of your most beloved characters will be like, “Bros, I gotta take that gauntlet and jump in the hole with it.”

“Don’t do it,” another character will say. “That will like totally kill you!”

The audience favorite will sort of smile and be like, “But I like, totally have to, don’t you know?”

The audience favorite will grab the gauntlet and jump into the transdimensional CGI meat grinder gateway with it. He’ll die, and it’ll be “sad” but it won’t really be that “sad” because when is the last time Joss Whedon ever killed off a character that didn’t come back? They always come back.

Sorry if I sound like a whiny little turd, but I’m a fan of superheroes, and I don’t like to see silly, predictable stuff. The human mind is an incredible tuning fork for all kinds of unbelievable stuff, and the universe rotates within itself like a bouquet of donuts twisted into an impossible shape. Please, highly paid Hollywood writers, I beg you – use the human mind to tune into something interesting!

Left and Right Working Together?

I was watching Daredevil last night and I had this idea about politics, and it’s not super well-thought out but I thought I’d run it by you guys. The idea is that conservatives and liberals both have their own spheres of expertise, and arguments happen when they overstep their boundaries and get in each other’s way. I had this idea of nations (or even villages or whatever) as a soft center with a hard defensive ring around it.


A liberal’s sphere would be the soft center. The liberal makes sure the village (or whatever) is nice to be in. Everybody has a good time, life isn’t extremely unfair, people have rights, there’s public works and projects you can put money into, artists get looked after, the old and the weak are taken care of, stuff like that. A conservative’s sphere would be the hard outer ring, and their job would be to defend the soft center. Being hardasses, sending out warnings to outsiders who get too close, making judgment calls on who should be killed or detained, deciding how raids should be carried out, questioning ideas or plans made by people outside the ring who want to come inside the ring, enforcing rules with the right amount of severity so that the group is protected, that would be their area.


Both groups are perfectly suited for their areas, and totally unsuited for the other’s area. A liberal working in the outer defensive ring would let their empathy run away with them and let outsiders do what they want to the outer ring, thus endangering the entire village. A conservative who dicks around in the soft center would start trying to “lay down the law” on shit he has no idea about, like reproductive systems, Dungeons and Dragons, who’s bangin’ who in an unorthodox manner, what music people can listen to, and pretty soon the soft center would become hellish and unfit to live in.

I think this might be a good system because no one “side” has to beat the other “side”. As it is now, liberals and conservatives are in a desperate deathmatch, but it’s like an MMA fighter against a WWF wrestler in a rap battle. They’re thinking and acting using completely different sets of rules because they see the world in completely different ways. No side can ever “beat” the other side; the only thing they can do is ramp up the intensity of the argument and make things uncomfortable for someone like me. Of course, in order for an idea like this to work, people with opposing views (actually, opposing brain types, I think) would have to be able to chill out and see the value of the opposing side. That doesn’t mean you have to “give in” to the other side, you don’t even have to agree that they might be right, you just have to see their potential value to the tribe.


Like I was saying, I was watching Daredevil (beginning of season 2 so, SPOILER ALERT and also DON’T SPOIL IT FOR ME) and saw the incredible second battle between Daredevil and the Punisher which is followed by a great argument that made me extremely uncomfortable but was so inspiring. Of course the whole thing is Daredevil’s “don’t kill people” philosophy versus Punisher’s “kill bad people so they don’t kill good people” philosophy. Punisher said something incredibly insightful: “You don’t get to pick what makes you whole.” Bam! Right there. It doesn’t matter how much Daredevil argues with him, or how sane and rational he thinks he is, in the end, the Punisher is made for living in the outer defensive ring of the village. He won’t feel alive unless he knows he’s protecting the soft center though incredible acts of unbelievable violence. The series does a great job of showing how disturbing the Punisher’s life is, with crime scene photos of mutilated bodies covered in gore, which is also counterbalanced by seeing criminals running and hiding and fearing for their life (loved seeing that one guy shit his pants when he realized the Punisher really was going to walk into a hospital with a shotgun and blast him – there was nowhere he could hide).

Daredevil made some good arguments too, though – as long as you live in the soft center. There is always good in people, and you have to trust your species and see the good in them. Everyone deserves a chance. Of course, his argument is a little awkward, because he’s fighting crime but not killing anyone, which only makes sense if you have superpowers (most people don’t), and doesn’t really work on the outer defensive ring.


Oh yeah, I also thought this might be a good system to work within just in case of alien invasion, which I think is inevitable. And yes I mean the UFOs from Mars variety (“They said alien and Vasquez thought they said illegal alien…”). It would be better if our different brain types (in this case, liberal and conservative) each knew their appropriate area so that we could work better together against alien invasion, rather than let aliens play both sides against the other while they divide our resources among themselves. I see people having meltdowns now, but in the future, every living person will live deep underground and they’ll look at old photos of us strutting around on the surface of the planet, and while they work on assembly lines to make laser rifles and mini-nukes they will wish that they could have lived in our time – yes, the very time that everyone is currently complaining about. They will wonder what everyone was bitching and moaning about because they will be worried about creatures burrowing down from the surface and possibly attacking one of the child care centers, which is the worst possible scenario for any underground bunker city.