: : PREQUEL : :

Prequel

“I’m mad as hell…and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
– Howard Beale
 
Wednesday, November 9, 2016  1:15 AM
 
“I’m mad as hell…and I’m not going to take this anymore!” shouts Howard Beale erupting during the middle of his newscast in a beige rain coat, his wet, gray hair plastered to his forehead. 

Because I was so disgusted by the flagrant demagoguery, the outright mendacity and obfuscation during the rancorous national election campaign I was desperately seeking some touchstone of reality, some validation of the legitimacy of my anger, indeed rage, that I was not just being consumed by some hormonal mid-life meltdown. Not just a fleeting moment of rage…but a Whole Howard Fucking Beale Year…of a steaming pile of equine excrement.

So, I was about half way through the timeless political parable for about the 10th time, the 1976 film Network brilliantly written by Paddy Chayefsky, when I paused my DVR to check on the lopsided margin of victory Hilary Clinton (D) held over Donald Trump, the (R)epugnant nominee for president of the United States.

In the film, Beale, the anchorman for the UBS Evening News, struggles to accept the inequities of the world he reports. It concludes with the murder of Beale on national television; a voice over darkly proclaims him “the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings”. It is the beginning of his transfiguration into a mythical cult hero, now an enduring totem crying out against social injustice. A film classic—both a commercial and critical success winning four Oscars. Good stuff and my go-to balm when I begin to doubt my grasp on political reality. 

I had just finished viewing this eerily prescient scene, now more relevant than ever, which perfectly captures and distills the algorithm if you will, of the theology of neo-liberal corporate hegemony.  Arthur Jensen, President of UBS is reciting the Sacred Scripture of the Holy Corporate Gospel to Howard Beale, giving him his marching orders:
 
JENSEN
You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal…that is not the case! 
 
The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! 
 
There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! 
 
And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?…
 
(pause)
 
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state Karl Marx? They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and miniMax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. 
 
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality. 
 
One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.
 
HOWARD
(humble whisper)
Why me?
 
JENSEN
Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
 
So, I tuned to the election coverage on lefty MSNBC to check on the overwhelming, indeed humiliating Electoral College margin of victory Hilary Clinton, America’s historic first female president, held over Donald Trump—Putin’s Poodle, the Buffoon with the Bottle Blonde Bouffant. 
At last, the demonstrable triumph of truth over demagogic trope! Hu-rray and Halleluiah! 
 
Hillary Clinton (D): 227
Donald Trump (R): 304
Donald Trump is projected to be the 
45th President of the United States!
 
W-T-F! That’s right…What The Fuck!

: : INTRO : :

If you, as I do, have a feeling of general malaise, indeed despair because of a profound sense of chaos and cacophony that pervades the culture, drowning out basic civility and reasonable and rational discourse, you’re not alone—these books were written for you.

The overarching message of all three books of the Trilogy is that hope…and help is on the way!

So I’d like to tell you a story, more of a parable really, the true facts of which are so unbelievable, as to defy even fictional plausibility.

Sorry, but it’s not a feel-good story with a Capraesque Mr Smith Goes to Washington ending….not yet anyway—that’s where you come in…that’s the hope and help part of the story—and THE HOW we get to control how this story ends.

It is the perpetual, indeed eternal tension through the millennia, exacerbated even more now with the ubiquitous reach of technology of today’s culture—the constant never ceasing battle of truth…and hope over fear, cynicism and demagoguery.

Hope is about growth…fear is about limits. Hope points ahead, working for a common good. Cynical fear lives in the past pointing at others, assigning blame. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. For our children’s children and generations to follow, the death of hope would mean the ultimate demise of democratic civilization as we know it.

These novels attempt to explain how:

  • Since the 1980s, some very rich, very smart, and very evil people—Evil Geniuses—have skillfully executed an insidious assault on the American democracy through the promulgation of radical right neo-liberal social and economic policies.
  • Powerful anti-democratic forces, including the state-sponsored Russian Media Mafia and government, and Alt-right propaganda mills though social media platforms by spreading fear, anger and tribal hate, of which I include Fox News channel, could again execute a pernicious concerted canard to surreptitiously and indiscernibly affect, and illegally influence/modify voter behavior.

And to ensure that it can never happen again. Requiring a collective social recalibration, from ME…to WE…and the return to a sense of shared sacrifice and community.

We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

But that arc does not bend toward justice by itself…without the constant and vigilant guidance of those who are willing and percipient participants in the sometimes violent, oftentimes messy process, of the defense of democracy. Without your help. To that end, the first step is to vote responsibly not just in national elections, but it is imperative that local, and county elected officials, and most importantly the state executive, legislative and judicial offices,  be elected who will faithfully, fairly, without political bias, administer and regulate the bedrock of democracy, the vote.

As the sagacious Irish Priest tells Maria Caravaggio, filled with despair in the jaws of the Great Depression, “And when ya pray, lassie…don’t ferget ta move yer feet. Noli timere, child…be not afraid”

: : PREAMBLE : :

Preamble

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
– U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The AMERICAN ENTROPY TRILOGY, is a series of three sequential novels.
The term Entropy is used in the context of a measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system, in particular, the gradual, not necessarily inevitable, steady deterioration of a system or society to collapse.

This oeuvre of 3 novels, humbly attempts to explore the causes, and possible prevention and cures of an AMERICAN ENTROPY through fictional parable. While as a novel it strives to entertain, it’s primary raison d’ etre, frankly is to inform. It is inspired by the eternal literary verity:

Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.
– Albert Camus

 AMERICAN AMNESIA          Book 1: 1900 – 2000  443pp – Now available on Amazon.com
The origin of the title AMERICAN AMNESIA, in this context as a metaphor for the failure of contemporary American society to be cognizant and indeed, heed the lessons of history. History is unkind to those those who abandon it, and can be especially unkind to those who make it ignominiously. It traces the history of how American democracy has become the obsequious servant  of unfettered capitalism and neo-liberalism, resulting in colossal and catastrophic  failures of the economy,
and irreparable harms done to the middle and working class.

AMERICAN ALGORITHM   Book 2:  2000 – 2004 338pp – Now available on Amazon.com
The origin of the title AMERICAN ALGORITHM, derives from the complete proliferation and increasing predominance of virtually every aspect of distinctly American culture by the computer-driven Digital Age, which utilizes algorithms to instruct the CPU(Central Processing Unit), essentially the brain of every microprocessor controlled device, including computers and “smart phones” etc. The good, the bad and yes, the very ugly of the Digital Age. 

AMERICAN ANARCHY         Book 3:  2008 – 2024 Spring of 2022
The title AMERICAN ANARCHY is an avatar to call out, through fictional depiction, the alarming sociological and political pandemic intended to sow discord, divisiveness, and a basic distrust of American governmental institutions. Its primary virulent vector, is unfettered, uncurated and unregulated social media platforms of the internet. It contains scenes of a graphic nature, strong language and depictions of wanton social and political deceit and obfuscation by some very rich, very smart, and very evil people—Evil Geniuses—and their assault on the American democracy.

Admittedly a literary primal scream, it is my hope that in  some small way I may have contributed to an awareness and better understanding of the tremendous positive potential of the internet for promoting socially beneficent innovation, and empowering and promulgating democratic ideals. 
But, that it must not go unsaid, it’s well past time to break the glass, sounding a shrill siren, warning  of the long-term pathological consequences of:
    • Existential global threat to humanity of widespread deliberate distortion of facts and disinformation promulgated on the essentially unregulated, uncurated internet through opaque social media algorithms and artificial intelligence;
    • Unregulated/unfettered corporate surveillance capitalism, aided, abetted and enabled by the U.S. Government;
    • Existential global threat of neo-liberalism/fascism to democratic forms of government;
    • Radical right nativistic nationalism and alarming rise of populism and domestic violent extremism in America; and
    • Anthropogenic Climate Change causing catastrophic Global Warming.

The TRILOGY, through fictional depiction, attempts to remind and reinforce the lessons of history, replete with inspirational, courageous acts of heroism, oftentimes against great adversity including extraordinary personal sacrifice and physical harm, to advance the cause of freedom, justice and equality. 

So in someways, this is my Russian Novel—a dark, Slavic melancholy morality play, panoramic in scope with lots of characters over an ambitious time line. My contemporary take on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel “War and Peace”…as may have been told by Mel Brooks.

Grandiose? Perhaps. Middlebrow? Probably. Pedantic? Sure. It’s a gift.

This is not a drill...

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AT NO CHARGEUNTIL FURTHER NOTICE…

Your comments greatly appreciated!

The film Network (1976), an excerpt included below, now more relevant than ever, which perfectly captures and distills the algorithm if you will, of the theology of neo-liberal corporate hegemony which through the primary vector of deliberate disinformation on  the internet is the prime causation of THE AMERICAN ENTROPY.  Arthur Jensen, President of UBS is reciting the Sacred Scripture of the Holy Corporate Gospel to Howard Beale, giving him his marching orders:

A video overview of THE AMERICAN ENTROPY TRILOGY – RT 7 min.

To view video full-size click the link to Watch on YouTube

: : KOZ : :

 

Confessions of a Media Mafia Hitman…

THE AMERICAN ENTROPY TRILOGY  1900 – 2024
A Long Day’s Journey into Light:
A Cautionary Parable in III ACTS.
 

From the Great Depression through the turbulent 60’s at Berkeley, the 2008 Great Recession to the 2024 national election, comes a raucous saga of corporate conspiracy, intrigue, greed and…murder over three sequential novels:

AMERICAN AMNESIA 1900 – 2000
AMERICAN ALGORITHM 2000 -2004
AMERICAN ANARCHY 2008 – 2024
 
Michaelangelo Kozlov, Koz, a self-satisfied plutocrat and successful “media hitman”— for the Media Mafia, a contract assassin…of character—is livin’ large, when his idyllic lifestyle is shattered by a putative attack by Islamic terrorists a month after 9/11 provoking a painfully honest re-examination of his callow core values.
 
A cautionary, yet sometimes playful parable of the 6th Mass Extinction from Climate Change…unless…
 
Does the aging artist Mickey Kozlov, a once strident 60’s counterculture activist have the courage, conviction and guile to again oppose, by any means necessary, the canons and ruthless plutocrats of the same mighty machina ex corporati that made him very rich?
 
Based on a true incident —the horrific 1999 petroleum pipeline explosion in Bellingham, Washington that claimed three innocent, young unfinished lives and inflicted mayhem on a pristine environment. 
 
Certain liberties were taken with the facts, including causation and dates for literary and dramatic purposes.
 
Grandiose? Perhaps.  Middlebrow? Probably.  Pedantic? Sure. It’s a gift…
 
With the exception of notable historical figures, all the characters are fictitious–any resemblance to the bad guys, living or dead, is purely coincidental…unless it ain’t. The main protagonist Michaelangelo Kozlov bears more than a casual resemblance to the author…insofar as the similitude and abundance of disturbing foibles and irritating eccentricities
 

: : about the author : :

m i c h a e l   a   k o m i n s k y

MetaMEDIA Communications

  • Owner/operator
  • Media designer
  • Producer/Director of Independent Films
  • Bellingham WA
  • email contact

Visit The Online Gallery to view michael alonzo kominsky’s art..

 

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read thus far—hope that you enjoy the read.  I’d very much like to hear from you…

Enjoy!

~ mak

 This painting, “Fragile Status Quo,” which was completed several days after the explosion of June 1999 Olympic Petroleum Pipeline in Bellingham Washington, less than a mile from my home. It is an elegy; an expression of my personal grief for the innocent, three unfinished lives lost, and the mayhem inflicted on a beautiful, very special place.

Fragile Status Quo

Fragile Status Quo…