The Chaser Solution: Chapter Twelve: Months in a year, hours on a clock, it all comes up to a dozen. We mark time, but never make the most of it.

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IV

Petty shits.

Who was worse this week?

The New York Times for publishing family gossip that was unsubstantiated, or NBC for not correcting the record when they knew they were wrong?

Even the Washington Post is cautioning them to be careful of not spreading fake news.

Should anyone care about the Times’ story? I don’t recall too many modern presidents being soldiers or enlisting. They still got voted in. Canadian universities still have those Left-wing American draft dodgers as professors, and no one is getting upset about that.

The same people who were marching in anti-war protests are bitching about someone who didn’t fight a war? You assholes didn’t, either; so just shut the fuck up.

The middle class don’t care about much.

Not even if the news has no connect to reality.

Take CBC here in Canada. They puke bullshit how the Canadian economy was “resilient” in 2018, but for whom? We had a lot of stores closing. We had factories closing.

We have a homeless crisis, and in traditionally middle class safe havens such as the Golden Horseshoe. Real estate is rapidly cooling off, and household debt is at very bad levels. We have an opioid crisis, and that’s not a sign of prosperity.

Yet like a dubbed foreign film, the voice over doesn’t ever match up with the moving lips.

V

So what’s going on?

On the one hand, it is a confirmation bias: choose a self-serving narrative, and look for evidence that supports your narrative as you ignore evidence that refutes it. In the US, the press is anti-Trump all the time. It is pure insanity because they had power to be kingmakers until the day they weren’t. They are mad at him for showing them the reality of their situation.

They should have been grateful.

They should have seen what happened and how to re-invent their profession. Instead, they veered into rank propaganda and haven’t stopped as their fortunes go further down.

They hate Trump. They also hate Facebook for the same reason. They hate “populism” — again, for the same reason. They got mad at poor people for expressing themselves, using social media to do it, and voting for the only candidate that spoke to them during the election.

Once upon a time, journalists wouldn’t be hating those people: they would be writing about them and speaking to them, but then they got full of themselves and got lost in narcissistic fantasy.

You used to inform these same people. You used to publish their letters to the editor. You used to get outraged when they got hurt in life, and the Establishment tried to screw them over.

What happened to those people? Where did you go wrong?

In Canada, the press betrayed the people, but in a different way: they lied to them, but are lulling them into thinking things are better than they actually are. They mimic Soviet-style propaganda where the news told citizens how great the economy was, and it was in the toilet. People laughed at the news because it was bullshit and they knew it.

They believed it for a while, until they imploded. Regions broke away, and the fragmentation spelled the end of that system of governance.

It happened to the Soviet Union. It happened to Yugoslavia.

Would it happen to Canada? It depends how badly things go. Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta would leave. Toronto would, too. The US would greatly benefit because they could gain access to natural resources easily and quietly. It is not as if Canada would be a match for the US, but why do it loudly, when you can do the same thing silently without fuss?

But Canada was always an impossible country: it is too big with too few people spread out too far apart.

What holds them together? Fairy tales.

The kicker is that if this country could face reality, it would leave other countries in the dust.

VI

The US is in the same position. There is nothing wrong with their president. He is no worse than his predecessor. You cannot fault Donald Trump for seeing reality that you can win a presidency by stumping and going directly to the people in person — and by using Twitter. Kudos to him.

He exposed that the media has no teeth. They have been gumming at him for so long that you’d think they’d get tired of their own temper tantrum.

The press should have just stood back and saw their own arrogant and oblivious childishness.

I remember talking to one US reporter about Trump before November 2016. He thought Clinton would win it. I said no way. He was absolutely certain, citing polls. I said look at the polls for Brexit, and even for Toronto’s mayoralty race where Rob Ford handily won. He said it was an apples to oranges comparison. I said it was apples to apples.

Trump won.

I could see what Trump saw: a dead media. The model was no longer aligned with reality. If the strongest of the media — the US — couldn’t do it, then neither could anyone else. People can get offended all they want, but no other country had the journalistic muscle saved for the UK. They are having the same problems, and there is no relief in sight.

And what you have is a hamster wheel that marks nothing.

What you don’t have is news anymore. North, East, West, South.

No one minding the times. No one minding the place.

For example, child exploitation is a serious problem in Canada. So is human trafficking. We have a serious problem with First Nations women vanishing and being murdered. Lots of child pornography and prostitution going on here.

And the laws here are a joke.

With a press that aids and abets these people.

And in the US, the hate on Trump is so out of control that the US will pay for it for decades to come because no one is paying attention at the things that are actually important.

How many people can live well? How many people die needlessly?

What are the dangers?

That’s news.

It is not a fairytale. It is not campfire story.

It is a clock. It is a compass.

You know where you are right now and where things are going?

When you know, you are F.R.E.E.D.

What should you be going after?

That’s Chaser.

The strength isn’t in the One.

It is in the Infinite.

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And, darlings, that is your message to ponder very carefully, courtesy of…

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The Chaser Solution: Chapter Nine: Let 7.4 billion people focus on Trump. I have a life.

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VII

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VIII

The unworldly motherfuckers over at the Guardian make me laugh:

The US is on the edge of the economic precipice – Trump may push it over

Oh, you crazy kids. That’s the whole point.

He plays Go. How many times do I have to tell you dumbass knuckle-draggers? The point of Go is to surround your enemy and drown him in your swirl of stones.

If you are stuck in quicksand, you don’t fight. The more you struggle, the faster you sink.

The Left are spoiled brats who are not used to doing their own thinking. Mom and dad did it all for them. They threw fits, and there is a penalty for it.

7.4 billion people and the majority don’t get it.

I knew he was going to win, and I prepared. I didn’t get upset. I got to work.

Because it really doesn’t matter who is elected in office. The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

Yet the press doesn’t report on that. People would get distressed if they came to grips with the fact that they will die on a hamster wheel.

I had to make a decision when I decided to resurrect Chaser: who is my audience, and what do I actually cover?

With 7.4 billion people on the planet pretty much fixated on one man.

Imagine that. That is one hell of a lockstep.

One person I will always be covering is Alexandra Kitty.

You will get to know me. There is a person here, and it is important to know who you are dealing with. Society has lost its ability to connect, and in order to foster connection, I am the conduit for this site, just as I am a conduit for A Dangerous Woman Studio.

I do hear snarky remarks about my choice of subject. I have had people say, “You always talk about yourself,” to which I answer, “And you always talk about Trump, and I am much more interesting.”

People focus on his typos more than they do on anything or anyone else. What the fuck is wrong with people?

Fuck you.

But people do not like when a woman talks about herself without trying to appease some guy, put herself down, or is eccentric.

A woman can have hundred of DC action figures all over her house like a museum, thousands of comic books, and an entire room of Lego with working trains and cars that are made into a city, no one notices.

A man plays with dolls to cope with life, and they make a documentary and movie about him.

I can’t even say not every man gets attention because the Atlantic gave a platform to a former journalist who now delivers for Amazon. Even a down-on-his-luck guy gets more attention than a woman who had the world collapse around her.

A man created the Intercept, and even woman who think they are feminists wonder why there is no feminist Intercept when there was long before the Intercept.

I can tell you about the Blue Beetle or about the jewelry of Josef Hoffmann. You want to know about various Japanese playing cards? I am your woman. I can tell you about female magicians, rabbits, metalworking, and Clarice Cliff, among other things.

It is not as if I think I am the only person who does her own thing, but how many woman do their own thing and no one gives them any notice?

So when I decided to launch Chaser, I made a few big decisions: the focus will not be on what the locksteppers are obsessed with. Fuck that shit.

It will always be on information and stories that are important to know.

It will be the place where you find out about mindsets and rigs.

It will be the tools you need to navigate through information so you do not fall for propaganda of any sort.

And it will be from someone who has a life!

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The Promises of Theodore Nathanial: Knock, Knock

In this debut installment of The Promises of Theodore Nathanial, Theo decides to keep his word to his mother Bunny as she has a most unusual client for her latest masterpiece...

I

Theodore Nathanial was a great guy, thought Katriel Pepper as she looked at her childhood friend. He was the founder of Dreaminate computers and made a truckload of billions before selling his company and then buying Queen’s Heights’ entertainment district Carnivalia, where Kat now worked as a children’s performer in the wildly popular The Whimsy’s Monster Show.

Theo was sensitive, sweet, funny, brave, wise, daring, innocent, smart, talented, strong, creative, and an amazing dancer. No one wanted to miss a step when he went on the dancefloor. He was a natural, and had no inhibitions when he busted a move.

He was cute in other ways too. For one, he was an unrepentant eccentric. He would be hanging upside down fixing something in his pajama bottoms while he was singing, just as he was doing at the moment. With Theo, you never could tell.

But there was one thing you could take to the bank: if he made a promise to you, he’d keep it. His word was his bond. If you were in trouble, and he promised to get you through it, the problem was as good as solved.

Everyone in Queen’s Heights loved Theo Nathanial to pieces for infinite reasons, but his honesty and honour made him the great friend and guardian that you could trust with your life – and be grateful to do so.

It was the reason he was hanging upside down from the ceiling of Kat’s house she built in a tree: her electrical wiring was acting up, and he promised he’d take a look at it and fix it the first chance he got, which happened to be three o’clock in the morning.

“Gotcha!” he said triumphantly as he signalled to Kat to turn the power back on. The second she did, the lights in the living room returned to normal.

“Thanks, Theo! Can you get down from there?”

“Sure,” he said cheerily as he grabbed a rafter from above, took out each leg from the rafter he hung from, and then hand-over-hand, moved close enough to a bannister, carefully placed himself on it, and then slid down as he shouted before landing on his feet, shouting, “Ta da!”

Kat laughed as she jumped up and down, clapping her hands, “Bravo!”

“My pleasure.”

“Thanks, Theo. I mean it. You didn’t have to do that.”

“I promised that I would. I have to get back home. Mom has some big shot client for her art who is flying on from Tokyo; so, I want to help her get ready for that.”

“Do you ever sleep?”

“I get my rest, just not today or tomorrow.”

Kat ran over to give him a hug. “You’re the best, you know that? There isn’t a single thing wrong with you. Don’t ever change.”

II

“Theodore Nathanial, what’s wrong with you?” his mother Bunny scolded him the next morning when he told her of his previous night’s excursion at his loft condo in Carnivalia while they were having breakfast. “A gorgeous woman like Kat Pepper throws her arms around you as she’s wearing a nightie in the middle of the night, and you just leave it at that?”

“We’re just friends, Mama. I’ve known her since we were toddlers. She’s like a sister to me.”

“Are you sure you’re not gay?”

He rolled his eyes as he was accustomed to the question. “Absolutely certain. I’m not gay. How many times do I have to tell you? Why would I hide it or keep it a secret when I come from the place that had gay marriage legal since the day it was founded in the late 1800s? There are no closets in Queen’s Heights. If I were gay, I would be out, proud, unrepentant, and you’d be the second person to know.”

“And who’d be the first?”

“The guy who I asked out on a date.”

She gasped. “Your own mother wouldn’t be the first person you told?”

“My hormones come first.”

“When they work on occasion.”

“They work all the time…”

“Still single after all of these years…”

“I don’t want to get married.”

“What’s wrong with getting married?”

“Mama, I ran a company I founded from scratch. Dreaminate was my wife, and it would have been profoundly unfair to have neglected a person wife when I put my heart and soul into my company that thrived beyond all my wildest expectations…”

“First of all, you’re smart, and a Hoffding, of course it would be that successful…”

Theo rolled his eyes at the Hoffding mention. He and his mother were descendants of Dr. Darda Hoffding, one of the seventeen young women who founded the city-state of Queen’s Heights. Dr. Hoffding was a brilliant scientist who came up with countless inventions, founded the local renowned university Queen’s Heights College that refused to call itself a university as it would ruin a great motto, and came up with the Hoffding Equation: one plus one equals a bigger one, and all equations equal infinity. Whenever he retained any modesty about his intelligence, his artist mother flipped her lid.

“…And second of all, you divorced your wife Dreaminate when you sold your company.”

“I bought Carnivalia. That also needs my focus, love, and devotion. This place is what brings in tourists and makes the arts community here profitable.”

“Oh, so you are denying me grandchildren so I can make a buck?”

“Yes, and every other artist here. Besides, since when did you want to be a grandmother? You throw a fit if someone asks if I am your son and not your brother.”

“You know how much Sassy Goddess Night Cream costs for a jar? It had better make me look like your younger sister…”

“Ma…”

“Look, I don’t want to leave you alone in the world…”

“Alone in the world? You’re not old. You could pass off for a thirty-five-year-old with the way you dress.”

“Distracting me with accurate compliments won’t make me change the topic…”

“I’m content with my life, all right? I don’t need a wife to make me happy.”

“But you were made to be one half of an adorable power couple…”

“Do not set me up on a blind date again, all right? Because if you do, I promise not to go…”

“That’s playing dirty…”

“Besides, why don’t you get married? You’ve been a widow since I was a kid. I don’t see you rushing to the alter again.”

“Your father Joel was all I ever wanted or needed. You can’t have an encore like that.”

“I wouldn’t object…”

“Look, I’m in demand, and my art career keeps me…” Bunny made a face as her only child’s triumphant smirk told her she had made a fatal tactical mistake in her argument with him. Just as she was about to forbid him from holding her to the same standards, her smart phone rang. She looked at the screen and groaned.

“Damn, it’s Bingo Bailey…”

“I thought she was your bestie…”

“She is! And I forgot we were supposed to design the new studio for her children’s show before going to Toronto to go shopping…”

“Go then…”

“But I have a…”

“Tell her you’re going. I’ll handle it.”

“But…”

Theo grabbed the phone from his mother, and swiped it. “Hi, Auntie Bingo! How are you? Great. Mom’s right here…” he said cheerily as he gently fended off his mother trying to grab the phone from him. “What did you say? Of course, she’ll be there. She wouldn’t miss it for the world. Say hi to Annie for me, and remind her of our own lunch date on Friday. I will. Love you, too. Bye.”

He hung up the phone as his mother smacked the back of his head as he guffawed.

“Theodore Nathanial!”

“What?”

“Have you forgotten?”

“No, I know about Mr. Yanaihara coming here to pick up the statue he commissioned from you, and you hoping he picks up a few more pieces for his collection.”

“I have to be there!”

“No, you don’t. I’ll do it.”

“You have a job running this place, young man.”

“No biggie. I have a big staff, and I delegate. Mama comes first.”

Bunny looked concerned.

“Mama, don’t worry, okay? I promise I’ll be around when Mr. Yanaihara comes by to pick up your sculpture, and perhaps a few other pieces of yours. Go have fun with Auntie Bingo.”

“Are you sure? I know you’re busy…”

“Absolutely. I’m never too busy for my mom. I promise I’ll get him to buy you out. Now go and live it up – even if you aren’t married because your career takes precedence over wedded bliss.”

“Oh, hush up, smarty pants,” his mother groused as his infectious laugh made her smile in spite herself. She got up, gave him a kiss on top of his head before wrapping her arms around his shoulders and giving him a big hug. Of all of her creations, he was, by far, the best one she ever created, and her favourite masterpiece by far.

III

Theo had an hour to form a plan, and he didn’t waste a second. He made his various calls, and was furiously typing on his Dreaminate laptop when he his thoughts were interrupted.

“Knock, knock,” a sultry voice said as a familiar beaming face popped her head inside and winked with an equally sultry air.

Dr. Cleo Hughes was a world-renowned experimental psychologist, brunette glamour puss fashion plate and one of Theo’s childhood friends that made his mother question his sanity for not slobbering all over her, “I’ve arrived for our latest little top-secret mission.”

“You don’t mind?”

“For you, Theo, anything.”

“I just don’t want you to have any regrets.”

Cleo smiled. “My only regret in life was when I was a kid and I went with my sister and cousins to Somerset, Pennsylvania when you and Elah Ganet founded the Birch Tree Science League, and I missed all the fun of sliming your entire backyard with some strange goo that turned your mother’s birch tree looking kind of wonky. My niece is devastated that our family wasn’t one of the founding members of that years-long tradition around here...”

“Knock, knock,” said another female voice.

When Theo looked up, two other gorgeous women and childhood friends sauntered in: Alma Montgomery, the owner of the local newspaper and former investigative journalist, and Victoria Darling, owner and captain of the town’s cruise boat. “So, what’s the mission, if we choose to accept it this time?” asked Alma as she gave Cleo a hug and sat down with Victoria following suit.

“Here’s the deal,” said Theo, “My mother sold one of her sculptures to some loaded businessman who is flying in from Tokyo to pick it up. She had a work and play date with Bingo at the same time, and I thought she shouldn’t wait around, but then I got carried away and I said I’d get him to buy a lot more.”

“You promised? That’s so sweet,” said Alma.

“No problem,” said Cleo, “Just tell me about the guy, and I can tell you how to approach him…”

“Knock, knock!”

When everyone looked toward the door, two more voluptuous women popped in: it was Lucky and Mia Eckhart, the town’s resident business tycoons who always made their own powerhouse corporations from scratch.

“Theo!” they chirped in unison, “Sorry we’re late!”

“We just started,” said Victoria, “Grab a chair.”

“So, where are we?” asked Lucky.

“Cleo’s devising the strategy,” said Alma, “I’m going to do research on the man who is going to be buying every one of Bunny Nathanial’s works of art.”

The Eckhart Twins perked up. “Oh, I just love a good business strategy,” said Mia, “Remember when Cleo devised our first one, Lucky?”

“How could I forget? Our lemonade stand turned into a lucrative franchise chain and we were barely six-years-old.”

“Yeah,” smirked Alma, “And, you took your money and invested in my little newsletter I put together in my bedroom.”

“It was a great investment,” said Lucky, “We tripled our profit, and then things really took off from there.”

“So, what’s the plan?” asked Mia.

“Alma is going to find something about my mother’s client that can help Cleo,” said Theo as he passed around a dossier, “You two can consult with Cleo, while Victoria takes our strategy and helps me set up her ship for the lunch I throwing together for him when he arrives.”

“Sounds like a plan,” said Alma.

“Anything for Bunny,” said Lucky.

“She’s such a doll,” agreed Mia.

“After that’s all over, I owe you ladies a big one.”

“Nonsense,” said Cleo, “I owe you for your ideas for renovating my labs at Queen’s Heights College and the Bonhomme School in Somerset.”

“Don’t worry, Theo,” said Alma, “We’re always doing things for each other. We’ve always been more like family than friends. Let’s get to work.”

IV

When Mr. Yanaihara arrived to the Queen’s Heights airport, Theo was there to greet the stern-looking and forlorn man. He introduced himself and explained his mother’s absence, but as the man immediately recognized Theo from his Dreaminate days, he was anxious to talk shop as he himself own a thriving social media company in Japan.

The man was young, while exuded confidence in his business acumen, his demeanour betrayed that there were other areas weighing heavily on him.

Theo promised the man a whirlwind tour of the best places in the city-state, and they immediately boarded Victoria Darling’s finest boat where a feast from the Magician’s Roar was waiting for them – but used the recipes of the once iconic restaurant Viand that was no longer in business as the family who owned it no longer had anyone who were chefs. Mr. Yanaihara had mentioned that he had heard of the fabled Viand from his girlfriend who was a fan of the Heights, and immediately sent her photographs through his smart phone to show her everything she was missing. He guffawed at her jealous responses as he happily translated to Theo who merely smiled cherubically and said that merely meant he should bring her here the next time, and would shortly give him the perfect pretence to come again.

They had their lunch and chatted animatedly, but as they left the boat and entered a limo, Theo quickly excused himself to make a quick call to another gorgeous childhood friend Miranda Tenney who laughed at his request. “Nana Jolene will kill me if I said no to this, and she missed a great story. She adores you. She says you’ve got spunk.”

“The adoration is mutual.”

“Don’t I know it. I think I am the only person in the world who runs a nightclub where her granny is one of the regulars. She’s always crowing how she taught you all of your dance moves. No worries, Theo, I’ll get everyone ready when you arrive. Twenty minutes is all I need. Too bad she can’t be here when this goes down.”

“Yeah, but it’s her poker night at the Greatest Show. Thanks, Randi.”

After he hung up and got in the car, they drove around several iconic places where Theo explained the history, including the iconic hammer and nail clock tower at the still in business Weavers and Tenney Tool Emporium that was still owned by the original families. Mr. Yanaihara was familiar with the Weavers and Tenney line of tools as they were popular in Japan and they had a factory in Hiroshima, and he mentioned this his current girlfriend’s love for Queen’s Heights began when she was a little girl and her mother worked for the Weavers and Tenney factory as a single mother. He looked down sadly, and confessed that he was beginning to feel as if he was losing her to someone else, and the statue was his way of trying to understand her and connect to her.

Theo smirked boyishly. “Then you have come to the right place, and the right person. We have one more stop before you pick up your statue.”

“Which is?”

“Carnivalia’s best-kept little secret that has been in my family for generations – from the days of one of its founders, Dr. Darda Hoffding.”

“You are her descendent?”

“Since the day I was born. We’re going to her old science lab.”

“Sounds intriguing.”

“And all top secret. Darda had her own ideas about the place, but then her grandson – my great-grandfather – Dieter Menzel changed a couple of things.”

The limo stopped in the middle of a secluded area of Carnivalia.

“In four…three…two…” Theo said to a confused Mr. Yanaihara until the car suddenly seemed to fall into the ground, causing Mr. Yanaihara to scream and Theo to roar with boisterous laughter. “I never get tired of that,” he chuckled as the car landed safely in complete darkness before lights came on one by one from all sides and the chauffeur left the car nonchalantly and opened the door for Theo and his guest to exit.

Mr. Yanaihara seemed duly impressed. “Now, I am more than intrigued, Theo. What secret scientific experiments you have stored here has piqued my curiosity.”

“Science? Oh, that ship sailed decades ago.”

“Knock, knock,” Theo shouted through the door as soon as they reached it.

“Come on in, Theo!” a group of excited voices shouted back.

He opened the door to a wide-eyed, but very pleased Mr. Yanaihara who saw his statue in the middle of a very busy dancefloor as there was music, dancing, and cheering as there was a large banner greeting him.

“Mr. Yanaihara, let me introduce you to the Nethersphere, the hottest nightclub of the Heights.”

“I may never wish to leave. It is a technological wonder I have never seen before.”

“You can tell your girlfriend all about it.”

“Your mother’s statue is stunning up close.”

“It’s not as swanky as some of her other work.”

Mr. Yanaihara made an intense face as he was already furiously plotting his next moves right after he busted a few himself on the dancefloor. Now he had more than a fighting chance to secure his relationship as he suddenly began to understand the enigmatic ways of the Heights that until that moment, he always assumed was a staid and girly place that played it safe.

V

When Bunny returned to her studio, she gasped at the sight. There was not a single piece of her work in the now empty room.

“Theo!” she shouted as he nonchalantly sauntered in.

“Hey, Ma, back from Toronto?”

“Where is all my work?”

“Being packed and crated out in the back,” he shrugged.

“Why?”

“Because Mr. Yanaihara bought them all.”

“Everything?”
“You no longer have any stock.”

“But how did you…?”

“A promise is a promise.”

“That’s all you’re going to tell me?”

“He likes your work.”

“That much?”

“He likes your work, he has money to burn, and has a hip and good-looking girlfriend who wants to open a feminist art museum in Tokyo, and he didn’t want to lose her to a rival. He thought buying a token statue was enough, but I convinced him she’d see right through that, and then when he called her to tell to run his revised plan, she was so happy, that he bought you out, and not only are they tight, they’re opening a gallery together. She knows her art, and he knows his business, and now they’re opening a feminist art gallery that turns into a secret night club in the evening. They’re both so excited that they can’t see straight. Oh, they’ve invited the both of us for opening night.”

Bunny began to laugh. “You’re kidding. You found all of that out about him, and got that far on it?”

“Ma, I ran a multi-billion-dollar company all by myself without compromising, joining some horrific cabal, or offering potential clients illegal favours, substances, or hookers to grease them over. I promised I’d do things the honest way, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to get what I want some other way. He had a problem; I had a goal, and we worked it out in a mutually beneficial way where we both came out with equal gain.”

“You’re something else.”

“What can I say? I got to be me. I had a couple of long days. I am going to check myself in at the Verity Lake suite at the Grand Empress for a couple of days to get some undisturbed rest.”

His mother nodded in approval. “Good for you. You earned it. Don’t worry about things at Carnivalia. I’ll look after it while you veg out. It gives me a chance to get inspired for all the work I will have to make now. In all my years, I never just sold out. I need to think things through.”

“You sure?”

“I promise. That you got from me, young man.”

He smiled as he nodded. “If anyone needs me…”

“They’ll wait until you get back. Go, you earned it. I love you, Theo.”

“I love you, too, Mama.”

He gave his mother a kiss on the cheek, and walked out of his office and made it across the street to the marquee hotel The Grand Empress hotel where his reserved penthouse suite was waiting for him. It had the most beautiful view of the place he called home, and nothing gave him peace the way the little haven did when he came there to unwind. His life may have been hectic, unpredictable, and one that had no rules, but it was one he was grateful for as he lived it to the fullest with no shortage of those to share it with.

But tonight, there was also the Nethersphere where he could kick back, flirt, mingle, let loose, and dance to his heart’s content. He had it all, whether he chose to be peaceful or wild. It was his call, his life, and it was just the way he liked it.

The Goditor: The Hellrigs

I

I was editing the latest manuscript from the publisher I worked for from my home in Milton late one night as Opie and Strahinja were playing a game they made up on the floor in the living room by my feet. I had asked what they game was about, and what were the rules, but neither seemed to or even care.

“Well then, how do you know who wins?” I asked.

“If we are both laughing and having fun, we both are winning,” said Strahinja, “We double the victory and the celebration afterward. I do not know why those scummy humans haven’t come up with such a brilliant idea.”

“That’s so true,” agreed Opie, “People are always trying to win something so that other people have to lose.”

“Gods do that, too,” I reminded them, “And when that happens, I have to audit them, and often take away their powers; so the end up losing everything even if they win a false victory.”

“But mostly scummy humans,” said Strahinja, “They are so dumb. I wish I could audit them, and then give them a few lessons in learning to share winning with others.”

“Remember the Wood Kicker?” asked Opie as Strahinja nodded. “That was one of the strangest audit’s Mommy ever had to do.”

“I do, remember because it did involve a scummy human. The level of arrogance of that person who thought they were more powerful than a god, but then kicks wood, injuring innocents and then blaming them was enough to get one of the victims to plea for you to audit the kicker in question.”

I sighed. “She was right to call me to audit the Wood Kicker, who then tried to kick wood at me, then blamed me.”

“Boy, were Love and Truth angry,” said Opie.

Strahinja nodded. “So enraged that they made gratuitous wood kicking forbidden among anyone who wishes to be a god or equivalent.”

“They also made it up to the last victim with unprecedented good fortune and few other gifts of consolation. Standing up for your rights even when you’re limping is always the best action to take.” I looked at the clock. “It’s a school day, Opie. It is time to go to bed, and you two can play your winning game tomorrow. I am sure by then you’ll think of a few new twists and turns. As for me, I have had a long day, and I need to sleep.”

“You don’t usually sleep, Mommy.”

“I know, but some reason I feel the need to do it, and that may be some sort of way for Hypnos or Morpheus to come to me with something I need to see.”

II

Not all who are in the Otherworldly sleep or need their slumber. I was one who need not usually need rest, but on the rare occasions that I felt the need to sleep, there was either a god in distress in need of my assistance, or one that had tried to distract me. In either case, I would listen to my instincts and rest.

As soon as I closed my eyes, I began to sleep, but though I was aware that I was lying in bed in the darkness, no dreams came to me.

I moved in my bed and heard a creek, and then a voice whispering something.

“Strahinja? Are you in here?” I asked, but there was no reply. I could feel my feet on the ground, became disoriented. “Strahinja? Opie? What’s going…”

I tripped on something hard that began to vibrate and yell, jolting me awake.

I opened my eyes and looked around my room, and gasped when I saw a familiar figure standing forlornly holding a book in my room. He was no enemy, but an ally who had fallen on hard times, but his presence signaled what I had experienced was a dream, and one of the utmost importance.

It was Doros, once known to the Otherworldly as the Keeper of the Seeds, but was now the current Dream Detective.

III

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“You summoned me.”

“I did? I don’t remember doing so.”

“Dream Detectives always know.”

“You’re right. I don’t usually dream, but I had a compulsion to do so, thinking it was either a trap or a deity asking for my assistance, but tonight something else, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.”

“What happened?” he asked as he sat down at the foot of my bed holding his book of bed time stories.

“I wouldn’t even say I was dreaming, just sleeping, but then I heard a whisper, and then bumped into something that felt like a stone that yelped as it vibrated. Then I woke up.”

“I have never heard of such a thing, and I know I never heard Lexy mention anything like it…” He trailed off looking devastated. It was not that long ago when he was dating Lexine Lark, known as the Sparrow who was the original Dream Detective. Just as he proposed to her on the Ninth Cloud, they were torn apart, and he had become the current Dream Detective as she had other new duties to occupy her time. While she remained in Eden, he was banished to live in the Dangerous Realm until he was summoned to solve dreams. I could see this case was most likely over his head, but he was the only one who could be of any assistance to me. Yet his sorrow came from losing his true love and not the treacherous nature of his latest case. Usually, he dealt with mortals in the waking world and not powerful entities from the Otherworldly.

“Well, we might as well face it tonight. If I can get myself back to sleep you can enter my dreams with me.”

He nodded. “All right. Do you need a bedtime story to get back to sleep, Cinnamon?”

“No, but do you sing? Lexine also sang lullabies besides telling bedtime stories. Somehow I think a story might take me away from whatever is hidden in my dreams.”

He sighed. “I never tried. Here goes something.” He began to sing a forlorn song about lost love, though seemed surprised at his own deep and rich melodic voice that betrayed his every pain and sorrow.

I fell asleep quickly and within moments, I was still standing in the dark until I heard Doros speak.

“This is very interesting. I cannot believe this.”

“What is it?”

“This is the Place Below Hell. I’ve never been, but I know it. It speaks to me.”

“But I have been here because Strahinja used to live here. We barely got out alive with all the souls buried here.”

“There is no soul in here left.”

“What do you sense?”

“We have gone back in time to this place’s beginnings.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I wish I were. This is the foundation of Hell, Cinnamon.”

“I don’t sense anything.”

“Because you can sense gods. I sense fortune.”

“Fortune?”

“I used to plant seeds of good fortune before my afterlife was torn to shreds in the Otherworldly. I was struck on the Ninth Cloud at the happiest point of my existence, and I now I am wondering if something here was summoning me.”

“But why did I end up here?”

“I don’t know, but it is time for us to find out.”

IV

“So how do we see anything in here?”

“I don’t know because God had his fiat lux everywhere else.”

“We are that far back in time?”

“If I am not mistaken, we are at the point where Lu peeked and saw the original Eve, and snuck away…”

“And then she flew the coop when she saw Adam, left Eden to become Belle Eve right before the understudy took over, and then the floor above all broke loose.”

“This place exists, but doesn’t.”

“That yelping stone exists; so if we can hear each other, there must be a way to see each other.”

“Sound came here already. So did touch.”

I crouched down and felt the rough ground beneath us, touching the stones that yelped as I ran my fingers over them. “You’re right. I can’t smell anything. Taste I am not willing to try.”

“You must have some powers, Cinnamon that can be of use. They do call you Motherlight.”

“That’s right,” I smirked, “They do. Here goes something.” I sprang up, steeled myself and willed myself to be true to my name. After all, whatever was hiding here at the beginning of time could harm my son and the reason that I became the Goditor in the first.

My form became of light, and I could immediately see an impressed Doros, and a place that looked like a cave with the most peculiar bumps around us wiggling.

Doros ran to one and touched it as it yelped. “This is serious business.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“I can feel its thoughts and intents. They are crude and unsophisticated, and, and…they are seeds of some sort.”

“You used to plant seeds of good fortune in people’s dreams.”

“These are not those kinds of seeds. Mine always giggled and were happy to thrive in the hearts of kind dreamers, chattering about all their hopes and dreams for the world and those in it. These are angry and hateful seeds that want to cause harm to the waking world, the Otherworldly, and just about any place they can find. These have a mission. They’re soldier seeds!”

“General Rem’s doing?”

“No, but they have his essence. He must have begun as one of these things. They are made to be planted and then grow like weeds with one specific purpose.”

“You can tell all that by touching it?”

“I know my seeds, Cinnamon. When I was a young man alive in the waking world, I was the son of a farmer.”

“I never knew that.”

“My father was cruel and callous man, and my only refuge were the animals and plants that loved me as he hated me. I looked after them all until the day I died, and it was their kindness that brought me wisdom about the beauty of flora and fauna, and both come from very different kinds of seeds. These are some sort of hybrid of it.”

“And you said they had a single purpose?”

“They are meant to infect the mind of an Otherworldly to rig a place for evil without the sleeper agent being aware of it so that no matter how strong or powerful the goodness is, somehow, evil takes those good intentions and brings its defeat by any cheat possible.”

“Are you serious? Are you saying I am a carrier?”

“Yes. These can only survive in the soul of an Otherworldly, but is meant to infest the waking world.”

“That explains everything about General Rem. He has been trying to break through to the waking world.”

“And Lexy always stops him, but until now, I would have never known his origins. I wish she was here.” He paused sadly before he had look of determination and reached into his satchel opening it as what seemed like countless glittering grains of gold touched everything around us, causing the stones to scream before they vanished, leaving a tiny creek of clear water amid the ground.

“Good thinking, Doros. That has to take care of all the bad seeds here.”

“In you, Cinnamon. These were the chords of this time and place that were meant to infect you.”

“I am free of this disease?”

“Yes, completely.”

“What about my son and Strahinja?”

“If they dream, I can enter their dreams and do the same thing for them, but for what it’s worth, I don’t think these are in everyone’s dreams. Just the most powerful of beings.”

“I won’t be spreading things rigged to harm goodness?”

“No, these Hellrigs are gone from your system.”

“Hellrigs? That’s what they call themselves?”

“Yes. They are meant to rig the universe in order for evil to win over good.”

“One infestation gone, and by the looks of things, it was a serious one. Who knows how long I have been a carrier, and how many more of these there are to clean.”

“That’s another mission. You are coming out of your dream. My job for now is done, and I can honestly say this has been the happiest case of my career. It gives me hope.”

V

After I thanked Doros, he vanished as I got up and opened the door to my bedroom to see Opie in his pajamas looking at me as wide-eyed as Strahinja who was wagging his tail and wiggling his ears and whiskers.

“So, what is it, Mommy?” asked Opie.

“Yes,” said Strahinja, “We heard a voice from your room.”

“Do you mean to tell me you two were eavesdropping this whole time?”

“Of course,” said Strahinja, “As you never sleep, the services of a demon Dachshund and an Otherworldly boy may be needed at any moment; so, we were readying for any deific or demonic emergency.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Really,” said Opie with an air of an emperor, “We’re always ready for any adventure.”

“Well, it was a strange adventure. I just found out why so many bad things happen to good people. There are Hellrigs hidden in the dreams of those who are in the Otherworldly.”

“I have never heard of them, and I lived Below Hell,” said Strahinja.

“They exist in the dreams in those of the Otherworldly. There is no way to see them when you are awake.”

“Sounds like a very horrific cheat.”

“That’s the reason they were set up that way.”

“What does it mean?” asked Opie.

“That every person in the Otherworldly may be a carrier of Hellrigs.”

“How do we get rid of them, Cinnamon?”

“The Keeper of the Seeds can find them and replace them with seeds of good fortune. I don’t want to take any chances with the two of you. Both of you will have to dream for him to be able to get rid of them if you are carriers.”

“He cannot do all of it alone. He is the only one.”

“There is the original Dream Detective Lexine Lark.”

“But I thought they broke up,” said Opie.

“And maybe it is time they found a mutual reason to get back together, first as friends working toward a common good.”

Strahinja looked excited. “I bet that’s how they got torn apart in the first place! Hellrigs!”

“We’ll explain it to her,” I said, “Right now, she is away on a mission. At least Doros has finally found a way to heal his broken heart, and he can gain some experience before we find Lexy. Once that happens, we just might change the essence of not just reality of the waking world – but of the Otherworldly itself.”

“It may be a dangerous mission,” said Strahinja, “But well worth the risk.”

“But not for tonight. Get back to bed, the both of you. When the time comes, we’ll all be ready.”

BONUS

From the Case Files of the Goditor:

Wood Kicker

 

Deity Name: Wood Kicker.

Status: Removed from Deific Power with a single kick to the backside.

Initial Cause for Audit: Wood Kicker is an unnamed person who believed they were more powerful and intelligent than gods, though they had caused many problems and were unrepentant for their harmful actions, particularly kicking heavy pieces of wood that often resulted in serious injury to innocent parties, whom the Wood Kicker not only refused to apologize, but would find convoluted reasons why it was the victim who was at fault.

Facts of the Case: The Wood Kicker kicked a thick piece of wood toward an unsuspecting individual, and the air born plank landed on their foot, causing bruising and pain. When the injured party was blamed for the incident because “they moved their foot”, the individual summoned the Goditor to audit the Wood Kicker as they suspected Wood Kicker saw themselves as beyond reproach, and hence, a “god.”

Respondent’s Account: Blamed others for being injured by flying wood that was gratuitously kicked, and kicked a piece of wood in defiance, narrowly missing the Goditor, and then blaming the Goditor for the incident, infuriating both Love and Truth who made their decision an unprecedented one: that all gratuitous wood kicking would be reason enough for severe punishment.

Results: Removed from both the deific power and forbidden from kicking wood for eternity.

The State of this Website, 2018.

The number of hits here is much higher than I was when I was using WordPress.

The readership is modest, but steady, and growing. It is a step in the right direction.

So in the beginning of the year, the domain name was DangerousWoman.Org.

Now it is AlexandraKitty.com, a domain name I had over a decade ago, but let it lapse, lost it, and recently got it back.

I had a very bad year.

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I mean, just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad.

It is getting better, but yesterday was a real bitch, and today is not that much better.

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Yes, I am a saint.

And it drives my enemies crazy.

But even though the last two days were nasty, I had great news, too.

And it is the first time in a long time where there was great news at all.

Even by random chance, there should have been some good with the bad, but it was bad, bad, bad, and then horrific.

And then even worse.

Saint Alexandra, indeed.

But enough about those cryptic comments, let's discuss this site, and what how it has evolved.

The most popular posts, strangely enough, have no or little mention of journalism, which may surprise you.

Or not, since journalism is off the rails.

It is all the ones about war strategy.

From Sun Tzu to Saul Alinsky, the bulk of hits comes from those entries, but by a ridiculously wide margin, and it surprises me because I am known for writing about journalism, and not war strategy.

Then the Who is She? section, The List of People Everyone Should Know, and then A Dangerous Woman’s Manifesto.

If I were to switch course, drop the journalism talk altogether, and stuck to war strategy, I would probably see the numbers I had in my Chaser heyday, if not better. It is that much of a difference. It certainly gives me something to think about.

I put all of my current short fiction here as well as Ello, but my Ello numbers are far more robust in that category.

I do have people who come here just for the fiction; so I will continue to post them here as well as well as offer them in ePub format through Amazon and Kindle, which has other offerings as well.

So as I am weaving in Chaser and A Dangerous Woman, I have to come to grips with the fact that talking about journalism isn’t working as well. I should just flat-out do F.R.E.E.D. and show, not tell.

That just leaves my artistic endeavours. I want to bring back Cavewoman Graffiti. I used to draw it with a Sharpie (no sketching), scan it on the computer, upload it to my tablet or phone, and then tweak it with software before posting it.

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I used to post them to Ello, but I am thinking of bringing it here — hairy legs and all.

I want to get back to my other arts and my music — yes, I do music, but as you might guess, my music is eccentric as I love the theremin.

I used to play the lefthander’s tuba, but so far, I am having a hard-time finding a tuba for lefties.

I want a snazzy one, too.

I would like to resume podcasting and start videos here.

But that needs to be rolled out, and done so with a firm plan. I want this site to be an entire experience.

When I did Chaser a decade ago, I tried to team-up with European researchers who were experimenting with AI, and I wanted to have a blog run on AI and not be a linear scroll. It didn’t work out, but now I can see that I don’t actually need to do it because there is another way to achieve it without it.

So 2018 brought many elements. I gathered all of the elements I want and need. It is now just a matter of putting them together.

I have been distracted, and some of that is on me. If 2018 had standout lessons for me, it is that you can be too responsible and honourable. Sometimes, the answer isn’t “no”, but an eloquent, “Fuck you.”

So I doubt that the 2019 version will have any resemblance to what I have going right now.

This entry is one of my proudest moments, and the writing, subject, analysis and content have nothing to do with it, and then this one for the same reasons.

So there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

Chaser used to be a cocktail party for the intellectual badasses with great taste in music.

AlexandraKitty.com is the culmination of a lot of deep and relentless soul-searching.

And I am lit about that, darlings…more tea to spill about it all later!

Online journalism's dirty little secret: it was never truly profitable. It relied on sugar daddies who are starting to wise up to their snarky charms.

Online journalism was always a sham in that they never did the journalism differently, even though they could have, and easily.

Now investors are starting to balk at giving more money to these snarky and swaggering leeches.

Crunchbase is an interesting hub to see which online publications got money, type of rounds, how many rounds, and the like. While businesses raise capital as par for the course, the idea of bootstrapping never crosses their minds.

Bootstrapping is a superior way of doing things. For one, you live and die by your own investment. There is no cushy delusions that you are doing well. You are beholden to no one, and that means your outlet is your own lab to connect to audiences to see what works, and what doesn’t.

Bootstrapping is for the honest folk. It takes longer to grow your business, and it is slower, but that an advantage: flash in the pan is fad-driven, and it doesn’t work in the long-term.

But people who would to brag and gloat don’t like the idea of earning their keep. They want to crow about their success, even though it isn’t real success.

Journalism should have always went by means of bootstrapping. I did Chaser News that way, and had life been reasonable, I could have weathered it out. I pulled back, but now I am re-inventing it…but through bootstrapping. A Dangerous Woman is the same way, and I am now actively experimenting on business models through the theory that bootstrapping is the superior way for an alternative to journalism to find the grit of traction and grow.

You can’t keep pouring money into a venture that is not producing income without the help. It is the reason I do not believe in donation or government-funded journalism: if you are useful, people will buy your product. You buy aspirins. You buy gasoline. You buy food.

You will buy information that is relevant to your progress and survival.

I have more books on my shelves than I care to admit. I have books in mountain of boxes right now, on shelves, and against a wall. I have read almost every one except the ten I bought just before I moved, and I will read them all. I have a Debrett’s manual. I have DSM 5. I have books on Clarice Cliff. I have books on educational psychology. I have a manual on cultivated plants. I have a book on aerogeology. I have a book on the genocidal mentality. I have a book on the history of jewelry. I have a book on scientific fraud. I have encyclopedias on games, philosophy, famous authors, weapons, and fictional characters. I have a book in Japanese right on my desk, and it is hardly the only one. I have books in German, French, Serbian, and even Latin.

I have an atrociously vague Serbian cookbook whose instructions are knee-slappers:

How to make Blueberry Jam:

The same way you make strawberry jam.

Gee, thanks a lot!

It never tells you what temperature to crank up your oven, or how long to cook, let alone the amounts for various ingredients, yet my grandmother used it, and made fabulous things from it because it was for people who had an innate feel for cooking and baking.

Those books I bought for the most part, from Amazon, bookstores, library book sales, church sales, the Re-Store, and some I got for free at one campus library that was giving away books, sized me up as a book lover as I stumbled in to look for a reference, and then the librarians grabbed a bunch of bags and then ordered me to take as many books as I could, even though I insisted on buying them, but you don’t argue with librarians.

My mother thinks that I am a book addict, but I love learning. Tsundoku is not a word to describe my habits. I read my books, and remember things from them, and when I do research for the books that I write, those books are heavily used. Some are not even obvious.

For example, when I research on deceptions, I read my books on stage magic, and method acting, looking for the scaffolding in order to look for the nuances of deception.

I just bought a book an hour ago on Amazon.

I use search engines, and databases, but I pay for books. I pay for information.

So what the hell happened to journalism?

Why can’t they get people to pay?

Simple: there is nothing there to buy.

That’s the real problem in democracy: the legacy media is horrid, and so is the online versions.

And that’s where my journey into bringing an alternative to life begins…

The World's Most Dangerous Woman: Me Ne Frego

I

Miss Lyme and her friend Anala Gupta were sitting in Miss Lyme’s basement that had been converted to a metalwork studio. Anala was a goldsmith and a professional jeweler by trade, and while Miss Lyme like to work with silver clay and was a capable metalsmith, she used her talents to make artwork.

“Maggie,” Anala said after she soldered a gold bracelet, “You have a fine work space here.”

“Yours is far superior to mine and is a delightful place to make the finest of jewelry.”

“Because that is my livelihood. Yours is a mere indulgence…”

“I used to teach it, or have you forgotten already?”

“Will you ever go back to it?”

“Not likely. I was blacklisted as a journalist when I began teaching, which lasted a year or so, and then I began my consultancy business as it was more lucrative, and in tune with my talents and strengths. Metalworking is the way I express myself creatively, although when I began to dabble in it, it was the way I thought out my cases when I was infiltrating the Circle in the Sky.”

“It is a pleasing solitary undertaking.”

“I never quite ever did it alone. My former boyfriend Hunter Colby used to watch me before he partook in it himself, though he would make art pieces, while I made jewelry. It was the way we spent quiet time together.”

“It sounds lovely.”

“It was.”

“Is there any improvement with his condition?”

Miss Lyme shook her head sadly. “No.”

“I am rooting for him.”

“As am I, yet nothing I can think up has helped.”

“It is possible that you need to find a new perspective elsewhere to ponder it.”

“Yes, but perhaps I ought to consider a trip to Latvia to go watch the White Wagtail. I do enjoy watching their beauty and grace.”

“I’ll join you. I would love to meet one of your former boyfriends to compare him to your current one, and it would be more interesting if he is conscious.” Anala got up to stretch her legs, and went over to the shelf to pick up a book that caught her eye. “This is a fascinating book, yet I do not recall seeing this in your collection before.”

“I lost my original run of them when I was forced in bankruptcy, and just recently re-acquired the entire set. That is Eugenia Voight’s book on the sculptor Edmonia Lewis. Ms. Voight was a scholar who studied female artists and wrote biographies on them…”

Just as Anala was about to reply, there was a loud banging at the front door.

“Ah, the frantic sound of a client.”

Miss Lyme nodded as she pulled her black turtleneck sweater. “Yes, I will have to see what the tintinnabulation is about this time.”

She walked up the stairs and answered the door where a cowering man in a business suit looked wild-eyed at her.

“Welcome to the Path to Paradise,” she said, “Where the greatest of fears are chased away with the kindest form of bravery.”

“You’re the Red Queen?”

“I am.”

“I need you to read the Tarot cards for me.”

“An economic crisis plagues you? Come inside for a cup of tea and we’ll discuss your impossible quandary with sensibility.”

II

“My name is Barry Stone, and I work for a banking president in New York City. Hatfield and Littlejohn,” the client said as he began to compose himself, “To be precise, I am a speechwriter and personal liaison to the press for my boss.”

“I am listening,” replied Miss Lyme as Anala sat beside her and listened intently.

“My job was simple: try to negotiate positive coverage regardless of whether the reporter was just a reporter, or was affiliated with either La Nuit du bas or the Circle in the Sky.”

“I see, but how would be in the business of discerning them?”

The man smirked. “My graduate thesis was on those two groups.”

“That is very intriguing.”

“I went the Bonhomme School – a private university in Somerset, Pennsylvania, which, you may be aware, are something of renegades who have a tangential connection to Queen’s Heights.”

“They are a tiny school founded by one the sons of the celebrated Hughes Brothers,” replied Miss Lyme, “It was Ethan Hughes’ son Morgan who opened it, and it is still in the family. Ethan’s eldest brother Hammond was the famous science fiction novelist married to Dr. Verity Lake and he lived in the Heights.”

“Ethan was an architect who designed his son’s vision, while the youngest brother Dr. Garret Hughes helped found the university’s psychology department that was similar to the one he guided in Queen’s Heights.”

“And you went to school there?”

“For both my undergraduate and graduate degree, but as you know, they are unconventional, and part of our education is to be aware of such cabals who wish to subjugate us.”

“But you took your talents to a bank.”

“My boss was paranoid about them both. He knew he had to do business with them, but in such a way that he didn’t have to be blackmailed or subjugated himself. I was his secret strategist, showing him how to avoid becoming their servant. I was fairly good at the job, but as I never was in either cabal, I didn’t know things the way you know them. I have both of your books, and they filled in gaps, though I understand both your books are required reading there now.” He looked at the walls nervously, until he saw something familiar on the wall and pointed at it. “They had that prose on the wall in one of the buildings at the foyer. I always thought it was odd, and never thought about it until I seen it just now.”

“That was Alena Love’s second to last musing,” Miss Lyme said warmly, “It was inspired by Hammond Hughes.”

“I had no idea who said it, but that it has a connection to a Hughes makes sense.”

“Alena was particularly fond of him as he was as eccentric and sensitive as Verity. He wrote later they were discussing what the best way to start a conversation was and how to set oneself apart from the others honestly and without gimmicks, and that was her answer to him.”

“I guess I missed that nuance back then.”

“Yet you are here because there is something else you missed.”

“I am not sure who is behind things or why, but someone has figured out my real job within the bank, and is trying to isolate me.”

“Go on.”

The man took out his smart phone, swiped it several times, and then gave it to Miss Lyme, “That is my brother Nevil. He is the black sheep of the family, and a musician, who is sporadically employed. That’s him getting into a drunken brawl, and somehow, someone thought to record it, post it on social media, and now a newspaper is running an article about it.”

Miss Lyme read the article. “Mentioning you, though there is no reason for the connection.”

The man took the phone back, and then swiped several more times before giving the phone back to the Red Queen. “Then, forty minutes later, here is a video of my ex-fiancée having a row with her husband who is accusing her of having an affair, which I seriously doubt, but again, this hidden video goes viral, and another major daily reports on this non-story, and again, out of the blue, mentioning me, and even speculating that the ‘other man’ may be me, even though I live in another state, and haven’t had anything to do with her since she and I parted on good terms because our careers took us in different directions.”

Miss Lyme watched the video linked in the article, read the article, and returned the phone to her client. “It is a coordinated attack, and an opening salvo. It is a game of Go where the point is to surround you until you have nowhere to move.”

“Both newspapers are fronts for La Nuit du bas.”

“Yes, both had once been properties of the La Croix family, until they were killed in a plane crash a few years ago, and then both were sold to separate La Nuit-backed media companies, which makes this attack more insidious than you realize. Usually, they will pick a single media company, and have them disseminate information as to insure a highly-choreographed campaign.”

“Will you take my case?”

“Yes, of course, Mr. Stone. I will need to know of anything that your employer had asked you to do recently, and I will begin to make my inquiries from there. I would strongly recommend you stay here until I can get a firmer handle on your case.”

The man nodded as he kept looking at the musing that until minutes ago, was a mere quaint enigma.

III

You can just start at Hello

There are so many people spinning around the world.

There are so many faces to meet on your journey in life.

But some of those faces move you speak and you want to open up your heart so they can hear the chords of your heart roar their name.

How do you start talking?

How do you show who you are to those faces?

Should you be clever, funny, witty, wise, profound, gushy, or detached?

It is not the words that guide you.

It is the motive in your heart that brings you to the places you want to go.

You don’t need a plan or a script.

You don’t have to fret about the first word to say.

Because all roads begin at a single word.

Hello.

Hello is the word that takes you everywhere you want and need to go.

It is such a simple word to say.

But it is the key that unlocks new worlds as it touches hearts.

Just say hello and your heart will take care of the rest…

IV

As Miss Lyme was in her office making phone calls, and scouring her databases for information, her client burst in looking ashen.

“What has happened?” she asked.

“I just got a phone call from a journalist wanting to know what I had to do with funding some group to fund their use of a biochemical weapon that creates some virus! What is happening?”

“Who is the reporter? What group or virus did he mention by name? What did you tell him? Just write down everything that’s transpired so that I have information I can verify and follow.”

Mr. Stone sat down quickly wrote down everything as he then gave the notebook to Miss Lyme as he looked desperately at her.

“I’m doomed!”

“Nonsense, we will clear the matter up in a day or so. Whoever is behind this attack on you is in a desperate bind as well, and wishes to terrorize you because if you were rational, you would be able to easily figure out the scheme, its motives, and who was behind it.”

“I can’t even think straight.”

“That is the entire point of this exercise. Do not answer your phone or check your email. If you behave impossibly, this tintinnabulation will explode out of the control in short order, which is the point of this charade. I am sensible, and your tormentor doesn’t want sensible reactions. There is a guest bedroom, and I advise you lie down and rest. When it is time for action, I will let you know.”

Mr. Stone looked sad as he nodded and left, just as Anala returned with a notepad and sat down on the sofa in the office.

“He is terrified.”

“He is.”

“I have found out much about the newspapers who have printed those peculiar canards.”

“I am listening.”

“They are both La Nuit properties that are in much debt, and there is a rumour that they both may be sold to another La Nuit company that specializes in squeezing assets by selling their real estate holdings. It seems as if there are factions within La Nuit that are at odds with one another.”

“That is a very telling common thread.”

“Is it enough?”

“It gives me a map to the motive, here is the problem,” Miss Lyme noted, “Two embarrassing videos crop up within the same hour at two different newspapers – neither of which are owned by the same company, and the one newspaper that should have debunked both stories was completely left out of the loop and caught unawares.”

“Which newspaper?”

“The Somerset Ortgeist. While it is not owned by the Hughes Dynasty, they are neither a La Nuit nor Circle-owned paper. They have always been neutral and many of their students graduated from Bonhomme, and I am willing to bet, someone there would have been a cohort with Mr. Stone.”

“You think this is significant?”

“It is crucial to understanding this peculiar dilemma. Whoever benefits the most from this scheme managed to distract the Ortgeist. When I called the editor, she had no clue that one of Bonhomme’s alumnus was being targeted by other newspapers. She has assigned a reporter to look into the story, but they are having an uncharacteristically busy news day.”

“Do you know who is behind this complex game?”

“Mr. Stone’s ex-fiancée’s current husband is a likely player. He set up an argument with her in order to film it, or he was set up by someone else who did.”

“He is with La Nuit?”

“Or he is an affiliate to someone who is, but I have nothing as of yet to confirm or refute that theory. They are all about theatre, and this game reeks of it.” Miss Lyme took her laptop and loaded the video of the argument as Anala got up and came over to watch. Miss Lyme studied the video intensely before stopping the video and pointed to a hanging coat that was barely visible in the video. She enlarged the frame, and then typed in the address of a web database as she began scouring images before nodding confidently.

“What is this image that has gotten your attention?”

“It is a tactical morale patch.”

“I have never heard of such a thing.”

“They are military emblems to boost morale, always an inside joke to keep the insiders feeling smugly superior to the outsiders who do not know their Shibboleths.”

“Is it a clue?”

“It is a red herring used to confuse me, as whoever is setting this up knows that my grandfather Douglas Oxley was a renowned professor studying militaries.”

“You are certain it is a false clue?”

“Yes, I am. It is peculiar for a banking scandal to come along with the threat of a deadly virus, and a smear campaign, and someone with a coat that has a morale badge. It is overkill.”

“Meaning it is all a choreographed siege.”

“Precisely.”

“So how do we find out?”

“My cousin Danny had done stories on morale patches when he was a journalist in London, and he may know something about this peculiar one. Even though it is a false clue, whoever planted it had to have insider information all the same, and we can begin to see how this man is connected to this game. We can pay him a visit to see if there is a nuance to this one we need to know.”

V

“Maggie!” Danny Leo said happily as he greeted his favourite cousin with a hearty embrace, “It is great to see you! You are looking as lovely as ever.”

“I always like to visit my absolute favourite cousin,” she replied as she touched the sleeve of her form-fitting white dress. Danny turned and smiled at Anala. “I see your partner in mischief has come for the wild ride.”

Anala shrugged her shoulders as she gave a cherubic smile. “Each time I come, I am inspired in my goldsmithing, and come up with a bold new line. When I rescued that group of hostages from a king’s secret dungeon, I created one of my most popular line of bangles with chain links that open in various ways. One can sit and wallow about all the injustices in the world, or one can do something about it in such a way to bring levity and bravery to others.”

“Wallow? That has never been a Carrington trait. We are a family of proud adventurers.”

“Most of mine family is of the same ilk, save for my cousin Najina who wallows that she has not yet found a way to become enviously wealthy without having to earn it as she believes her beauty should have already done its magic trick.”

Danny chuckled. “Oh yes, I have heard about your cousin. She has quite the reputation in New Delhi, and, like many others, I have sympathy for your uncle Ritesh Gupta, especially after she auditioned for a reality show…”

Anala shook her head grimly, “Many still talk about the unfortunate incident. Needless to say, she did not make it to the program.”

“But we did make it to Toronto to ask you about this morale badge,” Miss Lyme said sweetly as she took her tablet and swiped it to show her absolute favourite cousin a clear image of it. “Do you know anything about it?”

Danny nodded, “That’s a very dodgy one.”

“How so?”

“Because represents two groups: the official military one, and the secret group of neo-fascists called the Foresight Bundle.”

“I have heard of them,” said Miss Lyme, “But as they do not have affiliations to either the Circle or La Nuit, I do not know as much about them as some of the other fronts backed by those cabals.”

“The Bundle began about ten years ago, when several US soldiers were dishonourably discharged. They murdered a Jane Doe, which our Jane Doe solved as part of her second article, but while their original leader is in jail, they are still operating as far as I know. I recognized that morale badge, and found out it had its origins in the division the founding member of the Bundle. He appropriated it as a secret code in his group.”

“And now they have some plot that is targeting my client. Of that I am certain.”

“They need money to stay in business. That’s why their founding leader killed that Jane Doe: she was tricked into bankrolling them until she stumbled upon the truth. Unlike other groups, they like the finer things in life.”

“Anything finer thing in particular?”

“French cigars. There aren’t many, but they smoked Robuste Chaud, which isn’t just expensive, but very hard to procure.”

Miss Lyme and Anala looked at each other and smirked. “I do believe one of the Feather Duster may have a clue for us. Arjana happens to be working for someone in the Parisian arm of La Nuit who is one of the owners of that peculiar brand of cigar. Perhaps the link is more intimate than what would first appear, and Monsieur Abdou Faucheux would have much to gain if Mr. Stone is out of the way as that company is hardly on solid footing itself.”

Anala nodded. “I am certain we will discover that Robuste is a money-laundering front for the Bundle.”

“I wish I could come along,” said Danny as he grabbed his blazer, “I’d like to see how this case of yours ends, but Jane Doe is going undercover for her latest story, and she won’t be checking in until tonight.”

“I am sad that you cannot come along, but we must make a point of doing a case together,” Miss Lyme said warmly before she and Anala headed for the airport where Miss Lyme’s private plane was waiting for her.

VI

 “Arjana! How wonderful to see you,” Maggie as she gave the beautiful and svelte African woman in the maid’s uniform a big hug and kiss as they entered the Faucheux mansion in Paris, “You radiate even more these days.”

Arjana pulled back while holding Miss Lyme’s hands, “Maggie! I am so happy to see you. You look beautiful in your yellow dress. It means a solution is just around the corner.”

“We are trying to cut a problem off at the pass. You know Anala.”

“We have met once before.”

“Arjana is quite the Renaissance woman,” Miss Lyme said proudly to Anala, “She specializes in Picassiette mosaics, speaks six languages fluently, and when she is not working as a translator, she is a professional welder.”

“A welder?” gasped Anala.

“Oh yes,” giggled Arjana sweetly, “I am autodidactic by nature and the strangest things catch my attention. I learn, master, and then I work in the field to learn more.”

“She makes her own cars to drive, too.”

“Wow,” Anala said impressed, “You can build motors, as well?”

“It was a challenge until it became child’s play. My brothers were all jealous at first, but now I make each one a new car for his birthday every three years.”

“And when you are not making cars, you are having another sort of escapade as One of the Feather Duster.”

“It is a fun and delightful adventure and more entertaining than watching television or surfing the Internet,” Arjana replied, “I watch the buffoons pretend to be important, and after I finish laughing, I tell Maggie, and then after we all laugh for another good long time, we protect the innocent and hold the guilty accountable for their games. It is like watching a play except I do not sit around and do nothing – I can make a difference by jumping right on the stage when the actors are too busy remembering their scripts and fixing their costumes.”

Miss Lyme smiled. “I need to know Monsieur Faucheux’s role in this current farce.”

Arjana led both women to the den where she pointed to the computer. “I already keyed in his password. All of his files are there.”

“Thank you,” the Red Queen said politely as she went through the files. “These are for blackmailing people within La Nuit.”

“It is how he maintains his wealth,” replied Arjana.

“Now, this is very interesting,” Miss Lyme replied as Anala looked at the computer screen, “A Mr. Renforth Arvin is part of that very dubious group of neo-fascists who is connected to this case.”

“Who is Renforth Arvin?” asked Anala.

“The elder brother of the man who staged that fight with Mr. Stone’s former flame, according to this file. His is the first file, and is marked a priority.”

“And yet the Bundle uses Robuste as a front to fund their operations. Why blackmail Mr. Arvin? To get a bigger piece of the profits?”

“Perhaps it is greed, or something an emergency has arisen requiring to cover the expenses quickly.”

Arjana nodded. “Faucheux has invested in a winery that hasn’t been accused of fraud.”

“That would do it,” replied Anala.

“But that would leave Mr. Arvin in a bind,” said the World’s Most Dangerous Woman, “They would need to replenish those funds themselves, and would go to a bank to cover their immediate debts, did not want the bank to do any digging and discover the connection between Mr. Arvin, the Bundle, and Robuste – or La Nuit, whom they would not want to be made aware of their games and vulnerabilities. Mr. Arvin knew of Mr. Stone through his brother’s current love, and saw an opportunity to find a bank not affiliated with either cabal, but to make certain their expert was removed or too distracted to see the ruse or who was behind it.”

“And so they began a campaign to discredit Mr. Stone.”

“Mr. Arvin went to a La Nuit bank, they would have forced him to use one of their banks with much higher interest rates where they had enough to blackmail him and keep him in place by making him do their bidding on far more dangerous games. He was trying to secure the best deal without being pressured or threatened. He must have heard about Mr. Stone through his brother’s significant other, and began to plot.”

“And then he planted the seeds of distrust in him, and they had their fight where Mr. Arvin recorded it.”

“He choreographs the optics, in such a way as to place Mr. Stone in the crosshairs, clearing the way to line his own coffers at La Nuit’s expense.”

“It is a risky way to become wealthy.”

“What about the virus?”

“That would be something the Bundle would seek, and Mr. Arvin most likely thought connecting Mr. Stone to them and their plans would make him panic. It did, but he came straight to me instead. It was the only flaw in his plan.”

Arjana nodded. “He needs funding to feed his ego and gain fortune. He thought he had so many wrinkles and tangles, that no one could follow the trail to him.”

“And yet we did,” replied Anala as she looked at Miss Lyme. “The remark about his single mistake in his plan reminds me of one of the musings on your wall from Alena Love.”

“About perfection? Yes, it is one of my favourites, as it reminds me to not become obsessed with flaws.”

“Mr. Arvin was obsessed with hiding the flaws of his plans to the point of having one that would be his undoing.”

“And that is the reason it is about to all unravel. I have a red dress to put on, and we have a scheme to stop as soon as our plan lands.”

“What should I do?” asked Arjana.

“Make a copy of these blackmail files, email them to me, and I will go to La Nuit with them to humble them and your now-former employer. You have cars to make and beautiful artwork to create. Your job here is done.”

VII

The Persian Carpet weaves the riddles of time and space

For the Persian Carpet is wise enough to keep inside its very fibres the intentional mistake.
One wrong.
Deliberately so.
For only the Creator can be without flaw.
A beautiful carpet.
Intricate, complicated, colourful, and beautiful.
But one wrong. 
Intentionally so.
So not to offende the Creator…

VIII

The two women arrived at Mr. Arvin’s office building as Miss Lyme wore her usual red dress to signal that the game was now over. He worked in a high-rise, but when she entered the building, there were screams of “The Red Queen!” as people began to run.

Anala whistled. “They know of you.”

“This place is crawling with La Nuit members. We must remember to keep a note of who is doing the running as they must have their own sins to hide.”

The two took the elevator to the top floor where the running and yelping continued while Anala used her smartphone to videotape those doing the screaming for future reference. When they reached the boardroom, Miss Lyme flung open the door where there was a meeting take place.

“Mr. Arvin, we have much to discuss,” she said sternly as the other executives in the room began to tremble and blanche, “You cavort with fascists who wish to unleash a virus on those who they erroneously see as inferior to them.”

“What are you talking about?” he said angrily.

“The Foresight Bundle. You and your brother are both members.”

At this comment, the executives ran out of the room.

“You’re going to destroy me!”

“Nonsense, you’ve done that to yourself.”

“Those brutes always want more, and I can’t do anything unless I keep them happy!”

“No denials?” asked Anala.

Miss Lyme looked unimpressed. “I do not care one whit about their demands or needs.”

“Don’t care?” shrieked Mr. Arvin.

“Or, as your defeated kind once said, ‘me ne frego,’” Anala quipped defiantly as she realized Mr. Arvin had no inkling about the Black Shirts or even the roots of fascism in the first place. She sighed and shrugged her shoulders, though she knew the effect was not lost on the Red Queen.

“They’ll kill me if I don’t deliver them each a Mercedes!”

“I have informed the authorities of their plans, and now federal agents are introducing them all to a holding cell. They will be too busy fighting for their freedom to worry about what kind of cars you can afford them. My concern is my client Mr. Stone…”

“They’ll kill me,” Mr. Arvin screamed, “Why did the moron Stone have to come to you? He was supposed to think he was smart enough to handle it himself! The Bundle will kill me…”

“Mr. Arvin, you have nothing to fear from the Bundle…”

“The hell I don’t! They’ll kill me!”

Before either woman could say anything else, a screaming Mr. Arvin grabbed his suitcase, smashed a window open, and jumped to his death just as security ran in and saw the scene.

Anala shook her head. “He feared murder by the Bundle so much that he saved him them the trouble.”

“He panicked when he saw me because he forgot that Mr. Stone had me as an option. He had planned everything meticulously.”

“Not quite. He allowed Faucheux to blackmail him.”

“The stress was too much for him. The police were supposed to be here in a few minutes to arrest him.”

Anala sighed. “And now they can remove what his left of him from the sidewalk. So much spectacle, and yet Mr. Arvin dies for no reason at all.”

“It is a dreadful end to any man, yet his fate was entirely avoidable.”

“He wished to harm your client and shame him into a grave. The human race has much to answer for, Maggie.”

“It does, yet the answers they give are as maddening and nonsensical to the questions they create. Do you need a ride to the airport?”

“Yes, if you do not mind.”

“Of course not. I do have to fly off to Toronto, but after I send you off back to India before then. I do cherish our time together.”

“As I do. It is never a boring visit. We must make it a point to go to Latvia to see the White Wagtail. After witnessing something as distressing as this turn of events, sweet birds would restore much serenity.”

“I will give you a list of dates when you return. Let us leave this depressing scene. My client is safe, my fee will be paid by his employer, and there is no reason to stay here.”

IX

Her case was over, and she had one more stop to make before she returned home. She still wore her red dress as she made her way to the nursing home in Toronto where the staff knew her by sight, but did not understand the significance of her dress or the nature of her job. They greeted her warmly as she made her way to the room carrying not her usual briefcase, but a large bouquet of white roses.

Miss Lyme placed the flowers inside the vase beside the stand next to the bed, and sat down in the chair as she sighed sadly at the comatose Dr. Hunter Colby. She picked up his hand to feel his wrist as she did whenever she visited him. She would always begin by asking if he had enough of her, or did he wish for her to stay. His pulse would race until she asked if he preferred for her to stay. He wished for her company, and she complied. This time was no different.

“Hunter, I’ve come to see you again. Your father is doing well, though he wishes you were out of this horrible state, as do I. You and I worked on quite a few cases together when I was infiltrating the Circle, but why you cannot awaken is a mystery still beyond me. You indicate that no one is artificially inducing this condition in you. You express a strong desire to awaken, and yet, there is nothing I have been able to do to pull you out of this wretched slumber. If you awaken, I would be more than happy for you to stay with me. You’ve expressed as much yourself. Do you know why you’re stuck in this vortex?”

She felt his pulse and sighed. “You’ve no idea, either. I’ve asked my mother, and have spared no expense looking for an expert who could shed light on this horrific travesty. This is profoundly unfair. There must be some solution.” She shook her head. “It is beyond odd, Hunter, that this should happen to you, given we interviewed more than one person this way – and I had never done it while I was infiltrating La Nuit du bas. Hunter, I am going to ask one small favour from you. I am absolutely convinced someone is inducing this state. I have moved you to the finest and safest facility outside of Queen’s Heights, and I am trying to convince your father to move you to into a facility in Queen’s Heights because if there are dark forces harming you, then it is in your best interests to be there so no more harm can be done to you. If there is some way that you are being harmed, try to take some sort of note of it. I don’t think it is a hypnotic suggestion, for what it is worth. If there is a common person, phrasing, anything at all, try to remember. You know I will do my absolute best for you.”

She watched him sleep as she wondered how to undo the damage, and bring peace to his troubled soul as he was a kind-hearted man who did not deserve to be stuck in the horrific prison of sleep. All she could do was talk to him with kindness and fondness, knowing it lifted his spirits, yet it always felt like failure, no matter what she said or how kindly she said it to someone who touched her heart and moved her soul.

December Update

Just finished the final assignment for my course and am waiting for my final grade; so that is a big thing out of the way. I am still in the process of moving, and that’s going to be two weeks in mess until I get everything settled, but it’s coming.

I am on the last sections of a One Shot for the World’s Most Dangerous Woman, and hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow.

I have a year-end review to do here as well, but that’s not exactly hard to do for me.

2019 has me starting to write an art book with a US publisher, and I am very excited about that because it is about one of my all-time favourite art forms. I get to do a lot of photography which I love to do, but don’t usually get a chance to do a lot of it as part of my job.

Chaser is on the back burner for the next week or so because there is a queue, and it can wait.

I have some other things in various stages, but I don’t have much to say at this point.

I have to get back into shape. 2018 ran me ragged. I have my theremin here next to me, and I want to start playing it again. I have a lot of my art supplies in boxes, and I miss my encaustic painting and my metalworking.

Teaching this year was out of the question given what happened, but it is something I am focussing on for 2019.

It’s funny: when I tell people what happened to me in 2018 in its entirety, their faces blanche; however, life has a funny way of introducing you to those who had a more horrific time with no relief in sight. I am not one to be relieved that there are people who suffered more. I don’t want suffering of people, period.

But 2018 really was the Year from Below Hell for me, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I am Batman-prepared by nature, but there was no Bat-plan that could have prevented things. I prefer when I have control and can be proactive, but that wasn’t happening.

Yet I got through it. I had my book published, and so far, have a 98% average in the course. I secured another book deal on a completely different topic, and I am healthy.

I have been settling my affairs one by one. A Dangerous Woman is still active, and I did not think I would be resurrecting Chaser, of all things.

But I have managed to see the big picture, and am working toward it.

All I can say is that I didn’t give up. I became more dedicated to my goals, not less.

And that says a lot, and I am relieved…

The Chaser Dilemma, Part Six: Writing while female. Writing while eccentric. Writing while radical centrist.

We have no female equivalent to Steve Jobs.

We have no female equivalent to all sorts of other Great Men.

How many Great Women with grit and gravitas do we really have out there that are labelled as such?

We have great women, but not Great Women.

The truth is we also have Great Women, but they don’t get their due or labelled as such.

We are starting to see a shift, and thank goodness for that, but it is still not natural or automatic. Grant Morrison can be seen as a Great Man for comic books, for instance, or David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino for movies, but they can forge a new path, rather than have to get distracted from having obstacles being thrown at them in the first place.

We can glorify men, such as Witty Ticcy Ray, the musician with Tourettes as recounted by Dr. Oliver Saks in his book The Man Who Mistook his wife for a Hat.

In 2014, Ray inspired a show about him.

That is the reason Ray is #27 on the List of People Everyone Should Know because much of his identity came from having TS.

And he was celebrated for it. He became depressed when his meds prevented him from his improvisations as a drummer, and the solution was not to take medication to suppress his tics on the weekends.

But Ray was a man. We don’t exactly celebrate women whose idiosyncrasies stand out and are used to an advantage. We just don’t give women that chance — not even other women.

It is the reason I went ahead and forged my own paths with both Matriarchal Storytelling with A Dangerous Woman Story Studio (created long before the Ariana Grande song, thank you very much, motherfuckers), and F.R.E.E.D. with the soon-to-be relaunched Chaser (the feminist Intercept before the Intercept, Open Democracy).

I am someone who has specific ideas that are well-researched on multiple levels, including me running myself as a test subject.

Something you do not see in either fiction writing nor journalism.

But I am writing while female. I am not writing patriarchal stories about a male Chosen One like J.K. Rowling.

I am writing matriarchal stories about The World’s Most Dangerous Woman, The Doyenne Assassin, Dr. Verity Lake and her sister Holly, the Mothers of the Mosaic, the Goddess Una et Dilectos, the Sparrow: Dream Detective, the hacktivist graffiti artist Danni La Croix, the Goditor, and many others.

All interconnected. They are standalone, or you can read them in conjunction with other stories, and the order you read them alter the effects of the stories.

I am not inventing stories, but re-inventing them.

The same goes for journalism and its education. It is not a matter of invention, but re-invention.

And I am not an armchair analyst.

We forget how much we need to update and re-invent things. The world recently said goodbye to a hero of mine, and #28 on the List of People Everyone Should Know — Chuck Harrison.

chuck_0.jpg

He reinvented many everyday conveniences for Sears, from the riding lawnmower to the see-through measuring cup. His book A Life’s Design is a must-read.

He was behind the scenes for many years, but he was a Great Man.

Because he saw where there were places for improvements.

That’s what journalism always needed: embracing a re-designers.

That’s what I am doing all on my own.

Even while female.

Even while Radical Centrist.

And even while eccentric.

On my own.

But it needs to be done, and I might as well do it…

The strange world of Reality Deniers.

I find Truthout to be very silly.

Here they are slagging a dead president in an article, and then beg for money because fewer people are reading their slagging.

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You are not “independent news.” You are Left-wing propaganda, and it costs no money to say something easy like George 41 was an Establishment president. Duh.

But welcome to the world of the Reality Deniers who do not know what is real and what is fake.

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They think they know, but they always run to the lie.

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I had my fill as a teenager of the lies of the press, and I said enough.

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People treat Reality Deniers with kid gloves, lest the snowflakes are inconvenienced.

Never mind the kind of hell the rest of the world endures in the name of protecting a few psychopathic and manipulative cowards.

The fortresses Reality Deniers have created are huge and thick, but they are built on lies.

They rigged the battleground, and then covered up the battleground with distorting mirrors.

Enough is enough.

It is time to uncover the battleground, and show the rigs, but not in the old ways that no longer work.

The Reality Deniers are getting brazen, thinking they can just do whatever they wish. See drunk drivers ride around, and one police department want to shame them because nothing else is working.

Because Reality Deniers are allowed to throw tantrums, feign victimhood, misdirect by villainizing people who they destroy, and rig laws to work in their favour.

But there is another method to dealing with Reality Deniers.

And it is more than just exposing them.

It is turning over their own rules, and being the Nightmare of Reality.

But not in the traditional way that journalism once did.

That doesn’t work because that profession got infected with Reality Deniers, and fucked up the profession.

So, there comes a time when you have to get the joke, and find the right mindset to deal with those cowards and liars.

And turn the world into a laboratory, and a stage.

That’s what I intend to do.

And that is your message from…

Chaser.png

A Dangerous Woman Story Studio update

It looks like there will be one more One Shot coming in a week.

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It is one that was half-written since about 2014, and was patiently waiting its turn in the queue, and now seems like a good time to finish it.

I didn’t think I would have the time, but there is actually one more One Shot from this series, along with a couple of stories in the magazine, but I want to finish them all in 2019 because I want to get to the next leg of the story arc.

As for the first wave of Magnus Lyme Mysteries, there are three more in the popper, and I am working on the next one called Chick Bait. I am eager to get through these as well so the second wave of stories can be done — ones where Miss Lyme is infiltrating the Circle in the Sky and romancing Dr. Hunter Colby. We know a lot about her first love Dwennon Garrison as he has been spun-off into his own mystery series of short stories, but very little about the enigmatic Dr. Colby. Dwennon wasn’t supposed to be a character: he was to be her unnamed first boyfriend with his older brother Felix in one of her short stories; but then Dwennon seemed to speak to me, and my plans had changed.

I make no secret that I adore four male characters: Dwennon, Hammond Hughes, Phil Lipton, and Theodore Nathanial, and out of that list, Phil is the most patient as I had him in an unpublished manuscript since my early twenties with no connection to Magnus Lyme. Eventually, when I began writing in a Matriarchal-style, the two characters clicked, and paths opened wide for me.

I have an art book I have to do, and that means A Dangerous Woman will most likely be on hiatus until June, and it is the reason I want to squeeze in one more short story.

I have another series in the works that is structural in nature, and the novella will have two separate and unrelated stories told in the same novel style. When this will come out, I have no idea.

I have a course to finish, a move, and a book to write, among many other things, but I am still actively working on Dangerous Woman stories and venture in general. My problem is to find a profitable way to take it to another level. There is a definite readership for them, and there is a supportive base for them, but I need to shore up and settle a few things after surviving a shocking, unpredictable, and horrific year.

I need to look after myself, as well. It has been a shitty year, but I triumphed. It is hard to believe that I got through everything that fell on my head at the same time. You heard of the trope “dropped a bridge on him”?

Well, someone dropped a universe on me, hoping to keep me dead and buried, but never mess with an eccentric Serbian punk.

We survived holocausts and oppression, and we are still around to tell you how much all the Establishments suck.

And we don’t forget. We are stubborn little punks.

So there is much in the cosmos that has a lot to answer for to me personally, but my life still goes full steam ahead.

The scoreboard this year?

Universe 0, Alexandra Kitty ∞.

And I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was looking to teach others innovative and important things as I write books, and do constructive and kind things in the world as I looked after my family and animals.

C’est la vie, motherfuckers.

I go on with my life with my favourite character of them all, a prim and proper punk by the name of Magnus Demeter Lyme, who is there with her adoring creator all the way.

Stay tuned…

Bad journalism and why Chaser has become my driving force.

I have been writing about perception misaligning with reality for a long time — since 2005 when my first book was published, and multiple times here.

My undergraduate thesis was on the topic, after all, and it is something I know well.

After all, my book through A Dangerous Woman Story Studio Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations studies the phenomenon, and her signature course is Truth, Perception, and the Nature of Reality.

So the Atlantic’s inferior copy of my musings were of interest to me.

Reading and listening to this ignorant bullshit from oblivious motherfuckers reminded me why journalism needs an alternative.

Because journalism is akin to reading a medical book, and then deciding that you can now be a doctor.

That’s what we have, and that’s not acceptable.

Not anymore.

Chaser is empirical. It is more than just an art or craft — but an actual science.

And when I read bullshit from the Atlantic, it makes me more determined to combat their kind of cancerous garbage that pollutes the information stream to do it in a more professional way…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Forty-Two: People will talk. It's just that I don't give a flying fuck.

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My favourite film of all time is an obscure little picture with Cary Grant that did not do well at the box office, and then faded away.

People Will Talk.

I stumbled on this movie accidentally years ago, and love it more with every viewing.

Dr. Noah Praetorius is a truly maverick and eccentric, and he does what he knows is right, not what the gossips around him think is proper.

I understand Dr. Praetorius very well. I do what I feel is right, and if you do not approve, fuck you. You aren’t calling me to see if I can pay my bills, and may very well be tattling on me because you are a weasel.

I am not looking for approval.

Just remember that come February.

You have been warned…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Forty-One: I am not a follower. No, I am not a leader. Oh, and I am not your mother, either.

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When I was in grad school, I took a creative writing class, and for my short story assignment, I wrote about something that happened in my childhood.

I had a classmate my own age who always called me Mommy.

I wasn’t his mommy, nor did I want to be the mommy-figure in his life.

It was a pain in the ass. I was a nice kid, but I didn’t want to be a superheroine or a social worker to some kid.

I was an explorer and an adventurer as much as I was a thinker, a philosopher queen, and an inventor.

Having a kid cling on to the back of my coat all recess long, calling me Mommy cramped my style.

It also cramped my style that my First Grade thought it was a bright idea to use me as a “buffer” in the class, meaning I was stuck in a separated row of students, right in the middle of the class’s naughtiest boys because she thought I would have a “calming” effect on them. The entire class faced the blackboard, but The Row was apart and faced the desks.

With me stuck in the middle. When my mother asked my teacher about it, she gave her reasons.

And right beside me was the boy who called me Mommy. He would hold on to my arm and declared that he loved his mommy, and then the teacher would yell at him and then try to pry him off my arm, and I fell down once because of it.

That is not the way you punish good students.

But the lesson stayed with me.

Young, well-behaved girls get no support and will be repeatedly thrust in baby-sitting roles for enabled boys.

And I wasn’t going to have any of it.

Nor was I ever going to be subservient to anyone.

Because either way, it is always rigged for women to be maids and nannies to a collective at the bottom — or at the top.

But the radical centre is a different story, and the place I decided to create mine.

IV

I do not believe in being a follower. You need courage by entourage, you have problems.

I also do not believe in being a leader. You need courage by entourage, you have problems.

I don’t like to mom people. I deal in truth. I deal in reality. My dreams are my own. My theories are for me to test to see how closely aligned they are to reality.

People do not want to take risks. Part of the reason is mental laziness, part is cowardice, but there is that conniving little part that likes to get things on someone’s else’s work, and you get to ride on the coattails thinking you’re smarter than the genius whose sweat and grit paved a road for you to take.

I am on to you, you worthless little motherfucker.

And not happening.

I do not have a messiah complex.

I have an Alexandra Kitty Complex.

Why?

Because I am Alexandra Kitty.

It is reality.

And thats’s what my material.

I make better realities. I have dreams, and I have reality, and I use both.

But I am not a follower, and I am not going to lead people to the promised land.

You make your own map and go there on your on blood, sweat, and tears.

But I will deal with reality here.

Not as a leader or a follower.

But as someone who chases out in front.

And that’s where Chaser will be, from the radical centre…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Thirty-Seven: When NATO bombed Serbs every night, they threw concerts on a bridge. The West needs to learn a few lessons from that. I did.

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When the thugs of NATO bombed Serbs in the late 1990s, the Serbs didn’t whine and botch like the American loser youth who are demanding pensions and wasting their fucking pathetic existence on social media rehashing propaganda memes all in the name of getting their own way, never having to admit they are wrong, and trying to get everyone to agree with their selfish assessments and demands.

You know, if you get perpetually offended because you want to rig a conversation to get pity and validation as you micromanage and find fault with the words you measure, then the best course of action is not stop talking to people. Just shut up, and deal with your own problems, and break the cycle.

Or just learn a few lessons from Serbs.

Serbs, when they were being murdered by your various governments as you and your parents cheered them on, held concerts out on the bridge where they could be bombed.

You have snowflakes of the West write articles how people should talk to them because heaven forbid someone call them on the carpet for their manipulative woe is me bullshit.

Fuck you.

The Greeks protested the bombings at their own concerts, and called it out for what it was.

But the Leftist West could bomb people without batting an eye, but when their candidate lost an election journalists did their best to rig, the howling, screaming, and tantrum-throwing just turned people in North America into spiteful little trolls who no longer use a single brain cell nor moral, but will just opposite to whatever someone who didn’t vote for Clinton just to prove some nonexistent point.

Fuck you and your bad lying.

If a person who voted Republican likes ice cream, you will see endless trolling on social media about how bad and immoral it is to like ice cream because by the default delusion, the opposite has to be the right answer.

If Republicans want to permanently fuck up Democrats — you should all praise sex as beautiful, having children as glorious, being happy as wonderful, and having a life in a nice house as something to cherish.

Just do it. Watch what happens.

Watch as journalists declare having sex as demented, ensuring the next generation as fascist, being happy as immoral, and living in a home as treasonous and most likely some nefarious Russian-backed propaganda campaign.

They are miserable, and want the whole world to be as bitter and worthless trash as they are.

I sit here and have a very good laugh. I went to a place worse than hell in 2018, and my life was hell for two years when I had to basically give up everything to look after my grandmother when the paramedics dropped her in her own home on a hard floor in front of my mother who developed Post Traumatic Stress.

People who know me and my family can attest to what we went through. Nurses and social workers who came to our house to look after her were so impressed, that my mother won an award from CCAC two years in a row.

And the second time she received two different nominators independently of one another.

That was hell.

2018 was below hell.

And I fought back.

And happily so, grateful, smarter, wiser, and better than I was before.

And here are people in their twenties, staring at their godphone like a bunch of cowardly dummies, who have no idea what life is about, making royal decrees as if they were authorities in the matter and not a bunch of ignorant motherfuckers who didn’t get enough love as children.

They are collectively depressed, but too gullible and conniving to know why.

They should all be placed on a bridge and told that bridge is going to be bombed, and they aren’t escaping or going home as their godphones are cut off.

Okay, we are giving you an hour. Tell me of all the things you did on social media that will bring you comfort.

Tell me about the trolling on Twitter that will make you feel like you didn’t waste your life.

Explain how posting your ugly pouty mug with an animal face on Instagram will influence future generations.

Who is going to give a flying fuck a year from now about the propaganda memes you puked out on Facebook?

No one, that’s who.

And then, with a loudspeaker, make bitchin’ explosive noises with your mouth as you then shout, “Punked!”

Watch the trauma those little brats will have, and the lawsuits, and the sad, doe eyed Instagram pictures they’ll post with doggie nose and ears.

An empty shell.

Serbs threw a fucking party.

People in the West should be ashamed of themselves.

I clawed out of the place below hell. I was thrown in even though I never did a thing to warrant that kind of cosmic abuse.

And yet, when my grandmother needed constant care, I spent time with her and began an epic venture A Dangerous Woman as I became an art teacher. I have no regrets. My grandmother was loved until her final breath, and she knew it.

And even though 2018 was even worse — I came out with a published book, one new one, and a new lease on life. I am still transmuting, but I have new ideas and I am ready to take on the world with a big smile on my face.

No mid-life crisis for Alexandr Kitty. No wallowing or cowering for me. I am eccentric and I don’t have a single flying fuck to give to my haters.

You’re miserable. I am not.

I call them as I see them. I am not your cheerleader or ass-kisser, If you are fucking up or fucked up, I am going to tell you it to your face.

I am not wallowing or pining for socialism. I am not a bigot who is blaming Russia for random shit.

Life tried to bomb Alexandra Kitty back to the Stone Age, and I took those stones and built a brand new castle, fusing it with gold, and made it out of Kintsugi.

And there is a saying among us Kintsugi artists: broken is better than new.

I am still an upbeat, perky person who is enigmatic, eccentric, and filled with silliosity. I write outrageous stories, and live a Bohemian life as I have grand and futuristic visionary ideas about what the world can do with idealism and happiness.

Those stones I built my castle are precious ones. They weren’t just rocks.

Each one had a history, and I got to know and love them all.

And some of those stones were known as Chaser.

And I looked at them, smiled fondly, and said, Alexandra, try it again.

Chaser is going to be a party.

Shitty and petty losers can sit in their soiled underpants and stew in their stink.

Not me.

I am excited and happy that I could land on my feet, and when I couldn’t, I learned how to soar.

I am a tough little Serbian punk.

The West was always envious of Serbs. They always hated our spirit, reverence for our families, and stubborn nature that compelled us not to be ass kissers.

So to all you moral masturbators: get over yourselves. I am not buying your bullshit. I didn’t buy it when the Catholic Church pulled that shit, and you’re no church.

Chaser is going to be a wild ride.

The smearing of WikiLeaks is pathetic, but WikiLeaks went about it with too much seriosity, and they played it wrong.

Chaser is not WikiLeaks.

I get the joke.

I understand the psychological and propagandistic bombing the overlords has done with impunity.

You don’t fight bombs with bombs.

You become bomb-proof.

And then you gain strength by getting bombed.

If 2018 left me with one amazing gift, it was to teach me how to gain knowledge and power with every kind of bomb people in power throw at you — as well as the ones life throws at you.

I am a very good learner.

You now have a generation of Reality Deniers and Life Wasters who think they are playing it safe, when they have done nothing but gamble their blessings and opportunities away living in their self-imposed bubbles and prisons.

Fuck that.

Chaser is coming…

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Get the party started because the world’s most dangerous woman is ready to arrive and deliver…

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The Latest A Dangerous Woman is out

It is here.

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On Kindle and Kobo.

This is the last one of 2018, unless I can sneak in a One Shot, perhaps another The World’s Most Dangerous Woman story, but I am not sure I will have the time. I have a book to write in five months for a US publisher, and three more lessons to finish, and I am taking my studies seriously, as usual.

And other stuff.

As usual…

The Gospel According to Belle Eve: War is Deception.

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The archangel Michael was my closest friend and partner in mischief, and we had oodles in common. We both were around since the very beginning, and we still were immortals living in the Otherworldly While I had my office with every war manual ever written, Mick divided his time being an angel in our realm, but then went to the waking world for two things: teaching underprivileged children fencing, and coming along with me to solve a war mystery.

We were in my office where many of our escapades always began as he scoured my shelves, looking for a book to challenge as it always meant an antic in the staid old waking world, and then a story when we were done.

“Looking for a mystery?” I asked as I put my feet up on my desk and relaxed in my chair.

“I was just in a bad mood because someone prayed to me that their favourite reality show contestant win a competition by devious means. Can you imagine a more wasted prayer?”

“What did you do?”

“Not answer the prayer.”

“So, you did something by not doing anything.”

“Well, I do not like to be vindictive, but if there is a queue of prayers, that person’s priority goes down the list. Angels cannot be expected to grant wishes like a genie. I protect people from harm with integrity and truth, not rig contests and rewarding deceits. So now I am looking to your books to work out what is bothering me so much.”

Mick kept looking until he nodded and took out the original copy of Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War.

“Ah, here it is,” he said cheerily, “The book that was the first to declare that war is deception.”

“No, no,” I said as I rolled my eyes, “War uses deception as a weapon, but war is fear.”

“That makes much more sense,” Mick said as he nodded, “I always said as much, but really, we need to prove our mutual theory.”

“Great idea. So, let us test how much truth is there about the game of lies, peaches,” I said as I hopped up, “And then when we’re through, I will just have to tell you a story.”

Mick jumped for joy. “I love a good story! It gives me strength. Let’s go!”

II

“So how will we prove it?” asked Mick as we found ourselves in Los Angeles and were walking around feeling rather groovy.

“Well, since you had the prayer to meddle in a reality show competition, we might as well find one that has players telling lots of lies to win.”

“That would be Everyone Loves a Scoundrel.”

“Not everyone loves a scoundrel.”

“There’s the first lie right there. The point of the program is for contestants to lie to their friends, neighbours, coworkers, family, and even strangers in order to get certain peculiar items in a scavenger hunt without getting caught, and the person who gets away with the most lies and items wins.”

“You watch this show?”

“No, the person who prayed thought to tell me all of the details including the biographies of all the players threatening the odds-on favourite to win.”

“How helpful, but if the person is on the show and is recording everything, then all of these people must know this person is lying to win.”

“No, it is all hidden-camera, and the faces of the unwitting victims are blurred.”

“The person praying told you this, too?”

“So that I wouldn’t accidentally protect the person who was being lied to by the scoundrel.”

“We wouldn’t want to protect innocent victims from being exploited, now would we?”

Mick roared with laughter. “And now that we are both on the case, that is exactly what we will do.”

“Let’s get to the studio to start the case.”

“I know where it is.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I was even informed in the prayer who was the executive producer.”

“That must have been a very long prayer.”

“You don’t want to know the longest one I ever received, believe me.”

“Not even a clue?”

“It involved a yo-yo, a spurtle, a sprue, seven rancid lemons, a will, and revenge on a sibling whose supposed transgression happened when they were toddlers.”

“And you say I have all the great stories.”

III

When we reached the studio where they filmed the show of conniving deceivers, we were immediately let in as our exotic and distinctive looks had given people the assumption that we were actors who were auditioning for very specific role, with more than one smitten employee wondering if Mick was a famous male model.

“What now?” asked Mick.

“There are four contestants left. Point them out to me one by one, and I will take care of the rest.”

Mick’s angelic tracking skills were superb and it did not take long for him to find the first who was the one the person who prayed had asked for him to help win. I walked over to her and shook her hand as I looked at her with utmost seriousness.

“What would you say if I told you that there could be a very important director looking for his next big star by watching how well you tell lies?” I asked as the woman squealed.

“I knew it! Just wait until I tell the biggest lies ever! I’m gonna be a movie star!”

As the woman ran triumphantly out of the room, Mick looked at me and shook his head. “You told a lie to her! Evie!”

“I did not tell any lies. I just asked what would she say if I told her that. She never answered me or let me finish my thoughts.”

Mick roared with laughter. “That was skirting a very fine line, Evie.”

“She heard what she wanted to hear because she has been telling so many lies, she doesn’t know how to see truths; so she doesn’t realize that she’s setting herself up to believe them, too.”

“And she is hoping for a big payoff.”

“If we asked the same question of the other three remaining contestants…”

“Our case will get solved. You are a fun detective.”

“Remember, peaches, I was originally put on this Earth to amuse you angels with my antics.”

“And you’re a natural.”

IV

It was the final episode, and thanks to the executive producers seeing Mick and wanting to increase their ratings by writing in an attractive and strapping black man with broad shoulders and a handsome face, they decided a live finale was what the ratings doctor would prescribe. The network was excited at the last-minute prospect, and Mick insisted that I was his assistant, and that we were a package deal.

“What is your role in this finale, Mick?”

“The producers have decided they all must lie to me in order to get access to a night club where the final challenge takes place. Unbeknownst to them, I have already been informed that they are to deceive me.”

“And unbeknownst the producer, they have all met you and think you have an in with some A-list movie director. So, how did they tell you to choose who gets in?”

“They have already decided who the final two contestants will be.”

“And one of them is the prayed for woman?”

“No.”

“No? What an interesting twist.”

“If she won, it would be too predictable; so they want her to lose because many viewers despise her. It was the reason she got that prayer in the first place: that viewer knows the formula of the show, and was hoping this time would be different than the last ten.”

“Are you going to listen to their advice?”

“You can do whatever you want.”

“Me? I thought you were the fake decider.”

“I never said to them I would do it. I just nodded and told them I understood them.”

“I am surprised at you.”

“They interpreted my actions as compliance. I never agreed to their terms. Let’s see how far these fibbers will go when they realize they may be lying so much that they can no longer see a truth that hits them in the nose.”

We were instructed to go stand on our marks in front of the nightclub as the program was live to air.

The first of the four contestants ran up and began to dance in a modern style, shocking and confusing the director who could not stop the camera from rolling.

“Is that good enough to be in your movie?” he asked.

“You’ll have to get in the nightclub to find out, peaches,” I said.

“I don’t have to lie to you?”

“It wouldn’t be very nice of you. How will anyone see your natural charm if you tell lies?”

“Oh.”

The contestant ran inside just as the second one did – the devious one who had the prayers of a fellow deceiver, but not of the executive producer.

“I knew you really wanted me!” she said, “Do I get to go inside now?”

“No, the executive producer said they didn’t want you to win,” I replied.

“What? How dare he?”

The director glared at us as we waved for the camera.

“He thinks you don’t have star quality, peaches.”

“I have star quality! I was destined to be famous! Well, I’ll show him! I am going inside that club to have a date with destiny!”

“Hello, America! We’re letting in the other two contestants,” I shouted to the camera, “How boring is it if we always have to decide between two scoundrels, instead of four…”

“What are you doing?” screamed the director who marched on camera, “You’re ruining everything!”

“How so?” asked Mick, “Isn’t television supposed to be exciting and unpredictable?” Mick suddenly looked mischievously at the camera, “And to Rachel Bigelow, of Sandusky, Ohio, the one who prayed for her deceptive contestant to win, you really should use prayers for real emergencies, and not frivolous games! The next time you pray to me, make sure it is for a good reason!”

“Are you insane?” shouted the director.

“No, I am the archangel Michael, and this is Belle Eve, the original Eve from Eden who left before she had to marry Adam.”

“You are insane!”

“No, he’s telling the truth…”

Just then, the third contestant ran up, asked if he could go inside, and I nodded as I pointed to the door.

“You can’t do that, you loons!”

“We already did, and here is the last contestant…yoo hoo! The party’s inside!”

The last one ran in as the director began to swear and curse.

“I know this show is all about lying, but you shouldn’t be lying!”

“But why not?” I asked.

“Because, it’s just crazy! Losers lie and we exploit those idiots!”

Just then, the four contestants marched over to the director and surrounded him. “We heard that!” shouted one of the contestants, “How dare you lie and exploit us like that?”

“Who are you to talk? You lied to your daughter about getting her a pony if she gave you her favourite toy for you to break on the immunity challenge!”

“That was different!”

“No, it wasn’t!”

“You called us losers in front of America! I’m going to sue you!” said another contestant.

“You’re all a bunch of cowards who scheme and backstab people for five seconds of fame!” roared the directors.

“Cowards? We’ll show you who’s a coward!”

The five began to brawl as Mick and I looked at the camera.

“Well, darlings, that is the reason we should never deceive anyone or exploit them.”

Mick nodded, “And to prove how fearful they really are…”

He clapped his hands, and the sunny skies turned black as a bolt of lightning hit an inch away from the brawlers, who all screamed and ran away.

Suddenly, it was sunny once again.

“No one won today’s game,” I said, “But it is a victory for one bolt of lightning. Goodbye, and watch something more constructive next time!”

The cameraman gasped as he stopped filming. “Great special effects, guys! This is classic and the ratings will be through the roof. I don’t know how you managed to pull off that lightning gag, but I was impressed! And I loved the whole Eve and Michael angle – it serves all those cowardly fibbers right! What a bunch of babies.”

The crew left without the contestants or director as we looked at each other and went back to my office where a promised story was about to be told.

V

The truth about war is that it is fear and not deception!

War is deception who will hear the mindful muse time and again. War is all about lies, they decree as they tell more of them, hoping to win and conquer battles, games, and bloodbaths.

But lies are a weapon of war, for war is nothing more than fear.

For those who fear being weak and insignificant, they do all that they can to run away from their vulnerability and insignificance.

People draw all sorts of silly lines in the sand, and make enemies with children and strangers just because they are fearful.

There once was a game where scoundrels waged war on each other, all afraid of being obscure, poor, and weak.

So, they betrayed all those who loved them for fear tells you to hate those who love you, and love those who wish to exploit you.

They began to lie to themselves before they lied to others, until the day they thought they heard a truth, when it was merely an echo from their empty hearts that told them the same lie.

For to wage war on others, you must declare war on yourself first.

And those who do not love themselves will always spread their fear through war, until those with brave hearts fill it with love and truth, and end those wars with the bravery that comes from kindness!

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Thirty-Five: Social Media is dead. Chaser may begin here, but it is not going to stay here.

Recently, I quit a website called Metafilter.

I was on it since about 2007, on and off, mostly off, and when I left, I had a bit north of 1600 posts. If you do the math, you see 2.5 posts a day isn’t a place where I had much of a presence.

I was quoted once by the Telegraph way back in 2010 about computer games that looked as Excel and Word programs, but Metafilter never did a thing for me. They have Projects section where I placed my various web sites for one reason: to establish provenance.

It was never my favourite site, but it was average, and I had a few things to say on a variety of topics over the years, some things people agreed with, some things people ignored, and there were some people who were abusive toward me, and the moderators didn’t do anything about it.

I never reported any of it, either, people I believe in free speech and preserving a record. I had gotten personal emails from people who were irrationally abusive, and one who I did threaten to report because he or she took offence that I thought Plan 9 from Outer Space was a stupid movie, and they repeatedly hurled nasty emails my way.

I had a couple of nice emails, but in the span of a decade, the net effect is nil. I have been on Ello a lot less than that, and have better feedback there.

I had all but abandoned Metafilter, and I may have posted a couple of responses in the last couple of months, two of which had to do with journalism — which is obviously my expertise.

I had for a while posted about A Dangerous Woman Story Studio, as it related to publishing and fiction stories.

I can say with absolute confidence that I have never gotten any sort of “lift” on any of my books or websites from Metafilter in the decade I have been on it.

So I never see it as some sort of free advertising, but when I know something or have experienced something, I will talk about it.

But recently, Metafilter did something that angered me enough to deactivate my account for a second time (the first was years ago, and I wasn’t upset: I just wasn’t going there, and then deleted it due to my own apathy, and had a change of heart).

In the span of a week, I replied to two threads about journalism, and, as usual, explained my background with links…

The same way I do here. If I am talking about one of my articles, I post the link. If I talk about one of my books, I post the link.

Just as I post links to articles and books other people write. I don’t consider it free advertising for me or them.

If you are going to talk about something specific, you give your evidence. It is common curtesy.

Every once in a while, I may be on a forum, and decide it is too much trouble, but then immediately people would rather ask me directly than google it.

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I should also mention that only my latest book has a publisher that is still in business. The Disinformation Company is no more. bluechrome is no more. Zer0 Books is still in the game.

A lot of magazines I have written for are also dead. Presstime is no more, for instance, and I was their Canadian correspondent.

As for A Dangerous Woman, I have my short stories up on this web site, on Ello, and, until I can find the proper venue, many of the eBooks on Kobo are downloadable for free.

And I mention my books and stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Ello, but those venues are not what sell my books.

It is word of mouth.

So for one post, I had mentioned over at Metafilter what I have mentioned here, other places, and my books: the journalism needs an overhaul, it is antiquated, and should be replaced by an alternative.

No problem.

And then came the second one about George Lakeoff’s stupid ideas about Trump, and one poster made some uppity comment along the lines that reporters are already savvy on Trump, and then I said, what I always do.

That they don’t because he keeps playing them, and they keep getting played.

And, as I always have had to do because I am Writing While Female, give my qualifications on it.

That’s when the temper tantrums came out.

It was perfectly fine for me to mention my qualifications when people agreed with my sentiments, but when they didn’t; so tattled like cowardly little children who didn’t get a lollipop, and I got this vexing email:

Hey, I know media and in particular Fox propaganda is something you've done a lot of work on, but people are starting to flag your comments about it as spam and self-promotion. It would help a lot if you could engage with others' discussions; I think right now people feel like you're posting formulaic advertising for your books rather than engaging in a conversation with other posters, and it's picking up a lot of flags and bringing the conversation to a screeching halt. I'm sure that's not your intent, but that is how people are taking it right now.

So I get censored because a few snowflakes don’t like what I have to say, and are looking for excuses. If the accusations weren’t so misogynistic, they would be hilarious, especially considering how few media interviews I have done over the years, and the kind of year I have had to battle for my very survival, and what my priorities have been. Accusing me of self-promotion is akin to accusing a recluse of being a media whore.

But the message was interesting: we know you are not self-promoting, but complainers are twisting logic to say as much, and we’ll take their dishonest side, without ever giving you the opportunity of giving your honest side.

And Lakeoff honestly believes in truth sandwiches.

Peter Pan may want to muse from Neverland, but Tickerbell was all booked up today.

I gave my response:

They are picking on me because they do not like what I am saying, and are finding any excuse to censor me. If I don't post a link to what I am referencing, then I get abused. If I post a link to what is my expertise, I am accused of self-promotion.

And if I wanted to shill my work, I would be doing it in a larger forum than Metafilter. I would be doing interviews on larger platforms, which I turn down, and I would be writing fawning books to appease the press. I hardly post on Metafilter anymore, and there is a reason for it.

So I venture out twice and talk about a subject I know something about, and now I am getting a warning? When I don't, people get rudely patronizing and ask how would I know, and now that I do, they have rigged it so I am some sort of self-promoter? Nice try.

If they want to flag me and run away from life, I don't actually care. If you want to erase my comments, go ahead. If Mefi want to ban me or censor me in any way, go ahead.

I am an easy target because I am a female who is not marching to some sort of preset script, and I am fully aware of it.

I have been abused on Metafilter numerous times over the years, and took the hits in stride. I believe in democracy and free speech.

If I am getting in trouble because I am merely proving I have expertise in a subject area, and this is condoned by Mefi, then fuck it. 

I had added an extra line that for all I knew, those who were complaining had a vested interest in censorship and controlling a narrative.

After all, I am not given any information of who is doing, their identities, or why.

So, I deactivated my account, and gave the reasons why.

The same reasons I gave here.

But I am not on social media much these days. Twitter and Tumblr have been reduced to posting links automatically from here. Ello has the same Story Studio fiction as this site and eBooks do. Facebook I use to mostly check-in to various Starbucks as I once posted whatever things I thought would amuse my mother who recently signed up, and now left because she finds Facebook boring and keeps to using my Pinterest account as she has discovered documentaries on YouTube — until that bores her; so even my Facebook is barely used.

So, in all honesty, this is pretty much the only place I post other than the private Harvard forum where I am taking an online course in teaching. Another three weeks, and that’s over.

I have been thinking a lot of about the Internet, which is a transitory medium. The digital is the present, but it is not the future.

And the reason is simple: it is far too much a “me-centred” medium that shelters people and gives them the impression that it is all about them, that they are never wrong, are perpetual victims, and they are owed something for free without effort.

It is the reason we suddenly have ideological stagnation and regression. We have educated youth who want pensions are talk about socialism as if it were the answer when it wasn’t the answer for millions of people who tried that experiment, and failed.

And when you are young and educated, you are not owed a pension because you have not significantly invested in society.

The fact that these unoriginal thinkers cannot come up with a brand new ideological or political system is all you have to know.

We have an old, reactionary, and Victorian group of script-followers who having fainting spells when someone has an original idea that does not involve applauding their sophistry.

That’s not going to be Chaser.

It will be about presenting new ideas, and challenging the uninspired Establishment, regardless of their age.

It will not censor reality or give in pressure. It will not care about your insults or how offended you are, or whether you think I am about self-promotion.

I never installed a flying fuck storage area; so I have none to give.

So maybe it is time I went all out with self-promotion. I have never actually gave it a whirl.

Because what people have been promoting lately is propaganda and garbage.

But I have never been either of those things.

And it is time for me — and the rest of the world — to experience a change in the right direction.

I don’t need Metafilter to do that because I have another medium in mind and at heart for it…