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"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What Was the Name of that Chris Elliott Show From the Nineties?

You reading this right now are doubtless so familiar with the football kneeling issue you're probably sick of hearing about it.  For posterity's sake, then, a brief explanation: a football player named Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last year during the pre-game national anthem as a form of silent protest against police brutality, specifically race-related police brutality, and just the general inequitable nature of being a minority in the United States today.

What followed was a transcendental moment in the history of this great nation of ours.  Police forces across the nation took deep stock of their behavior and began taking steps to be more conscientious, to root out the corruption within their own ranks and end institutional racism, or at least begin making incremental steps to do so.  Liberals and conservatives united in their desire to have more accountable peace officers, admitting that it wasn't honest cops that anyone was upset about, only the corrupt ones.  A period of difficult, but fruitful reform efforts followed, and today we finally have the police force in this country that we deserve.

Nah, I 'm just fucking with you.  Conservatives declared it some kind of war on police, because, presumably, being a corrupt fuck who guns down black kids is just as good as being an honest cop.  I mean, both are cops, right, so why differentiate?  Then, Donald Trump, just weeks after declaring that both sides were really to blame when a bunch of neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville and killed a woman, decided to unequivocally state that anyone kneeling at a football game should be fired and was probably a traitor.

Everybody checking in from a few years from now caught up?  Okay, cool.  I don't have much to say about this issue that hasn't already been said, but here goes anyway:

Get a life.

Get a life.

Seriously, get a fucking life.

You're upset that your enjoyment of the pre-show to a sports game is being "ruined" with politics?  Ruined, because maybe you might have to think about unpleasant things like racial disparity and institutionalized murder in this country?  Because some guy on your TV set reminded you that maybe not everything is perfect and hunky dory like you like to pretend it is every day?

Get.  A fucking.  Life.

Try being a minority in this country.  Try not even getting a callback for a job because your name is too ethnic.  Try working hard all your life, twice as hard as anybody else, and getting told you only succeeded because of affirmative action.  Try getting pulled over because of your skin color.  Try getting shot for "looking dangerous."

This is what we awful leftists are talking about when we use that much maligned term "white privilege."  This.  Right here.  You are so fucking privileged that you get all insane in the membrane at the idea of (let me see if I can parse this correctly) being reminded of negative things in this country by someone's silent protest during the national anthem prior to a sporting event, which you probably didn't get up from your goddamn couch for either.

That drives you nuts.  That's what upsets you.

You will never, ever have to deal with the reality of being black in this country.  Shit, I'll never have to deal with it, but I'm not frightened by the idea of having a discussion about it.

And let's be clear: that's what's going on here.  Conservatives are terrified by the prospect of having to even admit that racism might still be a problem in America.  Why all the dodges?  Why all the, "It's about the troops" or "It's about respect" or "It's in the NFL rulebook?"  Why not just admit you don't want to face harsh reality?  You'd rather pretend everything is great because it keeps you from having to admit things that make you uncomfortable.  I mean, hell, if things are bad in your home country, maybe you're partially culpable for that.  A mortifying prospect, no doubt, for someone who doesn't even see color.

Let's boil it all down.  Colin Kaepernick wanted to start a conversation.  That's all.  Kneeling during a national anthem doesn't hurt anybody.  It really doesn't, kids.  It's a silent, and (dare I say it) respectful form of protest.  He didn't burn a Bible, flip off the skybox, or punch somebody in the face.  He said, "Look, I'm not sure I can stand and honor the flag of a country that's been pretty awful to me and my people, and I have the courage of my convictions."

He did that shit in public.  He knew he would probably get booed, probably be ostracized, probably lose his job, all of which happened.  And he still did it!  That's courage, man.  That's personal fortitude.  And not that I'm a fan of whataboutism, but, since he decided to insert himself into this controversy, why can't fucking Trump show that level of courage?  Why can't he condemn the shit out of some neo-Nazis?  Why this mealy-mouthed, "Oh, er, um, both sides are to blame, you know" shit?  Hell, I'd have more respect for him if he just admitted he admired white nationalists and was on their side.  At least that would be taking some kind of stand.  At least that would be showing some goddamned backbone.

But, no, Colin Kaepernick showed some backbone, and he suffered for it.  But he got something out of it: a conversation was started.  Conservatives would love nothing better than to obfsucate the matter and shut that conversation the fuck down.  They want to portray this peaceful demonstration as some kind of cut against the troops or something.  Yeah.  Okay.

Look, I can't speak for every vet.  Obviously.  But I didn't go over and get mortared in Iraq so a bunch of jackboots could stick a gun in your back and force you to stand for the national anthem.  I mean, that's what Saddam did to his people.  He shot them for having their own opinions, especially unpopular opinions.  In America, despite the current administration, you're allowed to have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience.

I mean, I think Nazis and the KKK are the absolute bottom-dwelling, shit-eating scum of the earth.  But I joined up so those reprehensible fucks could say whatever they want, because it also means that the rest of us can say whatever the fuck we want.

And look at this!  A free exchange of ideas!  People talking about race in America!  And, predictably, conservatives trying to shut that conversation down.

Get a fucking life.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Release Day: SLASHVIVOR!

It's heeeeeere!

SLASHVIVOR! is now live!  Grab your copy on Amazon now (or click the cover above or below.)

Try Not to Die

TV-XXX (Salty language, Sexual innuendo, Vomit-inducing ultraviolence)

TBA. Pirate transmission.

North America's number one reality television show returns with instant fan favorite Dawn Churchill, a plucky, hometown girl from the irradiated ruins of the former United States. Will she survive the night in the electrified, booby-trapped arena or will one of the serial killers pitted against her come out on top?

Returning slashers include evil animatronic Abraham Lincoln, eight-year-old “Daughter of the Devil” Abadonna, and all-time undefeated champion Denney the Killer Clown. (Plus surprise appearances by mad surgeon Doctor Feelbad, silver-tongued “Charming” Charlie Whitmore, and steel-clawed firebrand Razortooth.)

A night of chills, thrills, and endless buckets of blood. A must-see for Dawn’s innovative use of a shotgun alone. Fun for the whole family!

Host: Mark Winters
Producers: Marisol Martinez, Amy Green, Jacob Graves, Derron James
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