The depthful wall grid of 3 x 3 where the 1 x 1 space is a shelf for a book entitled “Shadowburn”

In the early twentieth century,

after the Allies had won the war, a dictatorship of democracy was empressed upon the losers. The most important nation to be made democratic was also the most powerful: Germany, and its democratic effort was given the name the Weimer Republic, named after a place where the framers met. It would fall — teetering this way to the Left Wing, then that way to the Right. The final collapse would occur when the worm of power rose up from within — the National Socialists.

Fast forward to the 1970s, many decades on, and there is a change of power of presidents of the USA. One reporter notices how quiet the capital is, and how there are barely any guards in front of the White House, just like usual. In America, there is no political confusion over a change of power. It has long been institutionalized. Not so in Weimer Republic Germany, between the Second and Third Reichs.

Nothing is more important, in relations between men, than to know where you stand. Even gorillas in the jungle need to understand their position up and down the status pole and, more generally, what the situation may be. Men cannot escape the fear of uncertainty.

When Reagan was injured in a shooting, Alexander Haig — a reasonably high-level politico — wrongly assumed command of the White House. His gaffe was incredible and made to incredulous reporters. But the point is he had zero chance of imposing his will on the process. Zero.

There are several elements that go into manufacturing stability and warding off political confusion. Noam Chomsky talks of manufacturing consent; I’xx X talk about manufacturing certainty. Here we go.

  1. That the democracy has been tested before
  2. That the men involved have democracy at their heart
  3. That there is a written constitution, or, in the case of Britain, a constitution so familiar and so old it may as well be written
  4. That there are men of good will involved and not power-mongers
  5. That chance does not knock out 2 or more critical men, as in a bombing

These 5 conditions, if met, will soundly secure a nation and prevent political confusion from raining painfully over the land.

I laughed loud and darkly for “no reason” this morning. It was a laugh of the future — a laugh of my future self.

It was delicious, amid all that tiredness. It was remarkable.

Dear Jabberwocky Literary Agent(s),

I feel as though I already know you.

I  have three books lined up for evental writing in my mind. They are, in order from first to last:

(1) Shadowburn

(2) The Bubbles of Obsession

(3) Patterned Emptiness

I feel confident that you will see SHADOWBURN as an appropriate vehicle for a first release (collect those first editions and prepublication handouts, kiddos!). Shadowburn is about the collection and culling of a leafy suburban neighborhood — serene on the outside, screaming-on-the-floor and twisting-body on the inside of those Potemkin surfaces.

I have need of Jabberwocky because it is lighthearted like myself and a bit inappropriate too — that makes you guys top notch in my book.

Don’t get your collective heads too inflated, though. I want you to work for that 15% commission!

Your future partner-in-bookfare,


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