Monday, September 26, 2016

The Jake Timber Manifesto

Note: the above pulp magazine cover is not Jake Timber. He did, however, select the depiction as indicative of all he stands for.

Like many others who have lived in shacks amid rural areas, Jake Timber has written a manifesto.

In the (dubious) honor of this being the eve of the publication of his first book, I have poured said manifesto into a somewhat cogent form for your perusal. Once more, I post this under duress and it is not my fault. So enter, if you dare, the mind of Jake Timber:

The Way I Feel
by Jake Timber

-GOD. You will get NOWHERE in this world without a belief in God. How small your mind must be if it cannot include the idea of an invisible man in the sky who loves you and demands you go to a designated building to talk to him. I don't care if your life is a steaming pile of sheep dip, you go thank Him for it. Get with it, will you?

-Class. The heart of America is the white, working class man. Yet he's the one who is always oppressed and downright downtrodden. Yeah, yeah everyone is all about "no more racism" and "no more anti-feminism," but what about the straight, white, Christian man? I'll tell you what. Nothing. He gets nothing but blame for everything. Kids, I hate to break it to you but the real discrimination going on in this country is by class. And it's being done by elitists with letters behind their names.

-Political correctness. It's killing us. Pure, plain, and simple. People are so hyper-sensitive these days about what other people get called. Ask your average black guy or Mexican guy and they'll say they don't care. So who does care? Social justice warriors, that's who. They got no skin in the game but they obviously just need something to do so they wants to police what we say and how we think. That's a slippery slope, kids. I've seen that future. It ain't pretty.
And most of these SJW types don't really believe what they say. They're just out to score points for themselves.

-Rural America. It's natural, it's wholesome, and it's all about values. I love the smell of manure in the morning. Smells like 'Murica. Chances are, if a land has farmer fields growing crop, has country songs playing from its radios, and big ol' flags of the U. S. of A. a flyin', then it's what I call "real America." Yeah sure, you'll see a Klan rally every now and then, but that doesn't speak for everybody. Cities have way too many people and way too many college types. You can't trust them. Besides, I've seen the future. When things start to really hit the fan, you don't want to be in those cities. Get out and get into NATURE.

-Don't hate America because we got faults. Sure, there were slaves, we killed a whole lotta Indians, and we propped up a dictator every now and then because we had to, but look at all the positives. I can think of at least a hundred right off the top of my head. 
For example, our National Park system is the envy of the world,

-While you're at it, stop thinking socialism is all that great and start looking at its bad points. Sure you get health care, education, guaranteed minimum income, blah blah blah. But think of the TAXES! Ever tried buying a new set of snow tires while your paycheck has a 50% tax cut? GOOD LUCK.

-On a related note, stand up for the Special Song. ALWAYS.

-Two and a Half Men. Like I said, I'm from the future. Do you want to know the exact point when America started to slide down the stink hole? It was when Charlie Sheen was forced to leave Two and a Half Men. On that dark day, we really turned away from Jesus.

-More Trump. That is all.

-The Dallas Cowboys are America's team. Period. And them cheerleaders are nice too.

-Puppies. I like 'em.

-Never, ever, under any circumstance, underestimate what you can do with beef jerky.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Jake Timber excerpt

It's official. Book One of Jake Timber Lives will drop on Amazon Kindle Single on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016. So that you'll know exactly what you might be getting into, I have provided an excerpt for you below. It is somewhat NSFW.

Again, this is not my fault.


Jake Timber lost himself in a most delicious daydream.
The naked body pressed to him matched his idea of female perfection, an ideal formed as a child from seeing a sexy silhouette on a truck’s mud flap. Ample breasts, round-ripple ass, shapely legs. He could feel her. Skin on skin. Yes, let the love begin. He touched her everywhere and took her breath with kisses. Her touch caused his manhood to swell and grow to even larger proportions, all while taking on the attributes of a titanium rod. The way she sucked and bounced on him, that sense of completion as he settled in deep inside her and let those velvety sugar walls caress his most vital organ.
His mind snapped his reverie and forced him back to business. He stood at the tree line, looking out over the wilderness like some kind of mighty pagan god. His Kevlar body armor only added to his already massive and muscular frame. Biceps with the density of Pittsburgh steel bulged as he brought the binoculars up to his eyes. Those pale blue orbs watched the bridge over the gorge below, waiting.
It was a perfect morning in Colorado. Cool air settled on what little of Jake’s skin was exposed, a pleasant sensation that kept his virile male metabolism from overheating. Not a single noise could be heard, save for the faint rustle of Ponderosa pine needles and the soothing sound of birdsong. Chipmunks played amid the trees. Snow glinted from the mountains overhead. It was a perfect morning.
Perfect to blow things up.
Word came to Jake Timber via the woodchuck messenger system. In order to avoid detection, the true patriots hiding in the Rockies needed to live completely off the grid. This meant no Internet or radio communication. Instead, the survivalist enclaves sent written messages to each other by taping them to the backs of trained woodchucks. Jake’s last woodchuck bore disturbing news. Two militia woodsmen spotted an armored column of PC (People's Co-defense) troops moving through the mountain passes. No doubt they searched for possible resistance fighters. In doing so, they might even learn the location of the Lodge, the hidden city that Jake and so many other like-minded freedom lovers had worked so hard to build. Yes, the PC would no doubt love to find it.
Instead, they were going to get nothing but Jake.
Duke Goldhammer stayed on his stomach, a detonator in his meaty mitts. He was a burly man, bigger even than Jake. His blue Army Cavalry hat, a memento of his time in the service, seemed to forever stay atop his bald head. An alpha male by personality, one might find it odd that Duke yielded command of the combat unit to Jake. But when Duke first saw Jake arrive at the Lodge, walking tall out of the radioactive wasteland, his hair as long and blond as a 1980s heavy metal rocker and not a scratch on his skin, Duke could not contain the surprising and overwhelming sense of respect he felt well up from his heart and loins.
“Ready?” Jake asked.
“The bridge is wired with enough C4 to blow the bad boy twice,” Duke answered. “Opposite side is lined with Claymores.”
“Weapons?” Jake asked.
“Checked each and every one myself,” Duke said as he took a lollipop from his mouth. “If there’s a damn thing wrong with any of ‘em, I’ll suck a broke dick dog.”
“Must it come to that?” someone asked in a British accent.
It came from Reginald Hastings. He squatted in the brush, wearing his trademark brown bomber jacket. “Reg” as the team called him, was a former agent of MI6, caught in the U.S. after the terrorist strikes. Stocky and mustached, he was a short man…but a decidedly lethal one. He took a moment to look around his wilderness surroundings.
“I simply must undertake a dig here one day,” he said. “The area must be a treasure trove of archeological findings. What with the Ute and the Chemehuevi in the area…”
“Shut up with the fancy book learnin’,” Jake interrupted.
Reginald Hastings fixed Jake with a glance that held no ire, only his typical frozen gloom.
“Of course. How inconsiderate of me to forget your allergy to all things intellectual. I’ve committed an atrocity,” he said.
“Ha!” Jake scoffed. “The joke’s on you! That’s not even a real word!”
Combat boots crunching against the soil, Jake made his way over to Rusty Squarejaw’s position. Rusty was by far the youngest member of the platoon. Though young, his unusual height placed him above most men twice his age. He also possessed the roundest head anyone at the Lodge had ever seen. His few thin strands of hair atop his head only increased its resemblance to a cue ball. Jake put a rough hand on Rusty’s shoulder.
“Rusty, you be ready to put the hammer down with that RPG when I say so,” Jake said.
The young man hoisted the tubular rocket launcher onto his shoulder.
“Hey, I’ll give that a try!” he beamed.
“Good kid,” Jake said, patting the boy’s thick shoulder.
Behind the tree line sat the rest of the platoon. A full 30 men sat poised for battle at Jake’s say-so through the headset mic. A sound echoed out across the chasm, unnatural and mechanical, standing out as an ugly and glaring mar on nature, like a blob of black ink on a gallery painting of beautiful and pastoral landscape. It grew louder. Heavy engines. Thick treads. Jake looked out through the binoculars. He pressed the toggle and zeroed in on the opposite side of the bridge.
“There they are,” he said.
Tanks appeared. A column of updated versions of the M1A1, complete with flame throwers and rocket launchers, rumbled onto the bridge. With their treads concealed by reactive metal plates, the mechanical beasts almost appeared to float above the paved surface.
“Bought by a 50% tax rate,” Jake remarked as he watched. “Liberal tanks.”
“Goddammit, Jake!” Those are the worst kind!” Duke said.
“Stay cool,” Jake cautioned.
He lifted up his personal weapon: an auto shotgun he named it “The Punisher.” Close to the size of a .50 caliber machine gun, it almost looked small in Jake’s hands. Like insects marching along a log, Jake watched the green tanks make their way across the bridge, the drone of their engines growing louder. In particular he eyed the figure clad in typical PC black fatigues, poking himself out of the top of one of the tank turrets as it neared the midpoint of the bridge. Like all of the other PC, the unknown guy looked like somebody in Darth Vader’s army.
“Don’t blow the bridge until I give you the signal,” Jake told Duke.
“What’s the signal?” Duke asked.

“This,” Jake said.


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Duck and Cover

Maybe it's because of Jake Timber, but war has been on my mind lately.

It might also be a number of other factors whirling in both zeitgeist and headspace. A colleague just brought up the Cuban Missile Crisis, Putin threatens to return Russia to a dictatorship, thus raising once more the specter of nuclear war, and the frightening possibility of herr Trump's election likewise casts a pall over existence. I sit daily within this penumbra. Plus, if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you likely know that the threat of nuclear war has never been far from my mind ever since I was a child. Anyway, my musings here in pre-apocalyptic America have brought me back to my 2015 visit to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. While visiting that fine institution, I got to see the famous (infamous?) "instructional film" Duck and Cover, pretty much in its entirety.

The pic above is of the film's mascot, Bert the Turtle.

He manages to survive an attack from a monkey armed with dynamite while a cheery song skips along in the background. Good on ya, Bert.

Once the cartoon is over, I'm actually shocked at how foreboding the film's tone really is. True, it attempts to convince children naturally ignorant of nuclear science that diving under a school desk is going to save them from a warhead's detonation, but there's a grimness present. "This could happen at any time, kids," is the subtext of the narrator. "Without warning it could be here, a bright flash of light followed by a sweep of nuclear fire. If you're lucky, you will die instantly. If you survive, well...that's when the real pain starts."

That's life though, isn't it? Something horrible could come crashing down and everything is changed within a matter of seconds. You are then left to wander blind and maimed in the aftermath.

What's worse? Such an actual occurrence or living under the constant threat of it? I leave that for you to decide.

Don't kid yourselves. Our memories have grown flavescent with age and neglect. Any of the horrors of Hirsoshima or Nagasaki. As an aside, check out these recently found photographs taken just one day after the Nagasaki blast. Shocker: General MacArthur ordered also such photos confiscated to prevent the world from seeing the true horror of nuclear warfare. Might make the good ol' U. S. of A. look bad, y'know. Bad for "the business." But I digress...

Fall of communism, stockpile reductions, I don't care. Don't tell me the threat is gone.

Especially with herr Trump around.

Here's the film:

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Free Form: commodity

"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
"Drifting through the wind"

Yes, those are Katy Perry lyrics.

I heard them while flipping between radio channels. Candyfloss bubblegum pop, but even the thickest log of manure might have kernels of sweet corn embedded within it. No doubt she's channeling American Beauty, but the sentiment is still valid.

We are commodity. Or at least I've realized I am. The acquisition of capital seems to be what delineates just how much of a commodity you are, how much of a plastic bag you are or at the very least your degree of wind resistance. This is nothing new, really. It stretches throughout history and at my late age I really should know better. Shame on me for ever forgetting this.

I've been reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In it, he speaks of "losing his body." Now, I want to make clear that there is no way I could ever have an understanding of that phrase comparable to his own. Coates, along with so many others in America, came to such an understanding through plunder and systemic loss of primacy. My privileged self has experienced nothing even close. I believe that I can, however, come to something of an understanding.


I have, at least, come to a total realization that my body is not my own and that in modern society we are commodity.

"Today, in American imperialism, the commodity has reached its most grandiose historical manifestation." --C.L.R. James

I am not my own. I am, in the current context, only as valuable as what the "free market" decides. Right right right. You can cry all manner of transcendentalist philosophy about the nobility of the human spirit, but the LAPD of economic reality will, in time, pull that over to the curb and do a Rodney King on it.

I could bemoan the very existence of commodity, but it would be fruitless.

Wait! You say. Everything hinges on commodity. We have to move product or the world doesn't turn. Don't you see the advertisements? What are you trying to do? Bring down society?

Cry all you want about "unplugging from the Matrix" but that in itself is commodity. Can't sell video games otherwise.

You know I'm all down with technology but I feel its whiplash. Hoisted by my own petard.

"It's just a business decision. You understand, right? Plenty of places in America for a clever guy like you."

Nothing else to offer "the free market?" Enlist. Wait. You're too old.

If only I'd studied a "marketable skill," devoured the recommended daily allowance of fast food, embraced the advertising, placed enough patriotic ornaments on my car, reveled in sports, read the Left Behind series, bought more products I didn't need but would impress people I don't care about, kept track of benchmark correlations between age and earning, and kept careful track of celebrity doings and if anyone has "seen any good movies lately."

I went wrong. I went so wrong.

"Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside." --William S. Burroughs.

But at least you're American. Living in the "greatest country on earth."

"All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do." --Leo Tolstoy

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rethinking the art show

What is an art show?

If there is a pat answer to that question, artist Craig Drake wants to change it. I saw an article that featured him and his upcoming installation at the Hero Complex in Los Angeles. I was immediately drawn to his work due to his obvious Nagel influence (see above). Drake's work features clean lines, negative space, movement, and predilection for alabaster women...just as Nagel did. The show itself is described at the article in these terms:

“The sight, the sound and the manner in which you view and experience the artwork will be completely different,” said gallery co-owner Adam Smasher. “Think mood and atmosphere, special lighting, a soundtrack for the experience.”

Looking over his work, Drake's main motif seems to be pop culture, specifically geek culture. I was somewhat disappointed by it. The subject matter, I mean, not his renditions. I would rather see an artist with his obvious talent really explode on the media and create new work. I mean be truly original, abstract even, and not parrot back what we're seeing every day in movies and video games and so forth. Why add to what's already out there?

Then it hit me. What did the artists who might be termed "the old masters" once do? They painted scenes from the bible and from classical mythology. Might that not be the popular culture of their time? If they were lauded for holding a mirror up to their culture and rendering the reflection to canvas, can I fault Drake for doing the same? What's more, wasn't Nagel doing the same in his own way?  That's what artists do. And if I can stop scratchy the elbow patches on my tweedy blazer for just long enough, I can see that fact.

I also hadn't realized how many of his Star Wars renditions I've admired and downloaded. They are indeed smart, fresh takes on my favorite mythos, combining the somewhat purity of my Star Wars with the decadent and somewhat dirty sensibilities of my upbringing in the Eighties.

So he is creating something new. I don't know what I was complaining about.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Jake Timber Lives

About two years ago, I had a chilling encounter.

On a frosty morning, I prepared to head to campus for class. I found a note on the windshield of my car. "Meet me at the Eat n Sip" the note read, scrawled in what looked like a blue Bic pen from a gas station counter. Who left this? And why? The invitation doesn't even include a day or a time, so how do I know when to even be at that greasy drive-in north of town? Crazy. I crumpled up the note and threw it away.

In hindsight, I should have kept it as evidence.

Because a few days later, I was at the coffeeshop here on campus and I suddenly felt the sharp point of steel in my back. A deep voice growled to me in a Southern drawl.

"I told you to meet me at the Eat n Sip," it said.

I looked over my shoulder and saw the biggest white man I've ever seen in my life. Steel blue eyes, long blonde hair, and beard of similar color and length, and an overweening demeanor. He was decked out all in camo and smelled of sweat, cordite, and venison. He was also holding a really big knife to my back.

Later, I would learn that it is called a Ka-bar. It's military issue, painted black so as not to cause a glint in sunlight and give away your position. But I digress...

He to sit and talk with me. So as I drank my latte, he introduced himself as Jake Timber. He loves the Dallas Cowboys and going to church on Sunday. He is also a combat veteran.

From the future.

A future where "commie liberals" have taken over, sparking him to spend years fighting to "take his country back." I asked him just how he was able to time travel.

"Doesn't matter," he snapped back.

What did matter to Jake was that his story gets told. That way, the people of our time would wake up and prevent the "wussy libs" from taking over, thus preventing decades of war, strife, and free college education. There was only one stumbling block to his plan.

"I'm a good ol' American country boy," Jake explained. "I'm not so good at the fancy book learnin'."

As such, he needed a writer. He needed someone who could take his story and pour it into a text that is at least lucid and coherent, even if lurid and mind-numbing. I was selected for this task because I "look easy to push around."

He's right.

I spent a few days at Jake's house. Well, "house" is probably overstating it. I'm not allowed to tell you where he lives, other than it is a survivalist hut somewhere in the woods/cornfields/pasture thingies outside of Medaryville, Indiana. Here's a photo of a similar structure:

Jake lives "off the grid." He has no connection to the Internet or anything digital. This is so that he can't be tracked. He will even wear disguises to throw off facial recognition software and duck underneath things to avoid spy satellites.

"Someone's always watching," he'll tell you. "Someone's always tracking. You don't think they are but they are."

"Actually Jake," I began. "We all know about it since Snowden."

"Then you're all just rolling over like pussywimps!" he bellowed. "Typical college professors!"

However, "living off the grid" poses something of a problem for Jake. If you want to get information out these days, you pretty much need the Interwebs. Also, if you're a writer and you're releasing a book, social media is a non-negotiable need.

Jake Timber recognizes all of this and is quite content exploiting my own social media connections.

So I spent all this time with him, writing down his tale. It was hundreds of pages of graphic, military combat action, lewd liaisons with women harboring insatiable desires to please men, and long diatribes against socialism, gun laws, and clean water. I felt my brain cells dying with each keystroke. Not only that, but Jake kept coming up with these wacky side schemes that somehow involved me, only to make my life more miserable. It was the beginning of the rout of my sanity.

Then as suddenly as he appeared, Jake vanished.

I thought I was free. I thought in time, Jake would become a dim, unpleasant, alt-right memory. For a time there, that's exactly what he was.

Then it all went to shit.

Two weeks ago, there was another note on my windshield. "JAKE TIMBER LIVES," it read. Then another knife point in my back at the coffeeshop. I sighed, defeated.

"When do we start writing?" I asked without even turning around.

"Now!" he barked with almost a trace of fear in his voice. "We've got to stop Hillary! If Trump doesn't get in office, we're all screwed."

So I went back to the survivalist hut. He has a portable generator now, allowing for at least a few conveniences. While writing what felt like grade school-level adventure, I looked up at Jake and asked what happened. Why did he disappear for so long?

"I went to the woods to take a dump and..." he trailed off. "I'll tell you about it later."

He has yet to do so. The narrative is on the way, no doubt, and I will post it on these pages. I'll also give samples of the first brief, Kindle Single in the series, Jake Timber Lives. Unfortunately, my social media channels will also be laden with broadcasts of his "message," warning us all of what will happen if the "libs" get control of "the gubmint."

Stay tuned if you want, but remember that I am not responsible for your mental well-being.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets