Saturday, February 24, 2024

Twin Peaks Day

Since it's Twin Peaks Day, I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest that if you're a Twin Peaks fan, you might very well enjoy the wonderfully strange tales collected in my latest book, CRYPTOPOLIS & OTHER STORIES

"The stories in Cryptopolis feel like the bloody, star-filled lovechildren of Burroughs and Delany, with each tale ostensibly one part of a greater whole; abstract limbs and organs tethered together by strained flesh. Cryptopolis will take readers on a hallucinogenic journey through worlds fractured by time and place—slipping through liminal dimensions with seamless abandon to unveil unsettling illusions and heartbreaking realities—and totally worth the trip."

--Philip Fracassi, author of Boys in the Valley

 

"If you're tired of the same wines and you're curious about the vintage only just whispered about, have a deep draught of Robert Guffey's CryptopolisYou don't have to descend with Fortunato to the deepest cellars to find this bottle of Amontillado. Here it is! If Poe collaborated with Robert Anton Wilson...if Borges had a lovechild with Lovecraft, which was subsequently adopted by Kafka...you might get Cryptopolis. I think too that Clark Ashton Smith would admire this collection. Written with the obsessive precision of a mysterious staircase descending into the abyss, Cryptopolis will take you to strange epiphanies..."  
 
--John Shirley, author of The Feverish Stars

 

"Once upon a time, weird and speculative fiction had an underground full of stories that were not written as calling cards or as film treatments or as extended internet memes. Guffey's tales resist genre gentrification; they move into your mind to turn it into a punk house squat!" 

--Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground and The Second Shooter
 
"Guffey brings together 25 horror shorts that swing wildly between terrifying mindtrips and gritty realism. Throughout, Guffey’s blunt prose lends a sense of normalcy to the fantastic as his cast of losers from all walks of life face the cruelties of their existence—sexual violence, drugs, war, parenthood, and poverty [...]. Though not for the faint of heart, this bizarre and over-the-top collection is sure to thrill devotees of weird fiction."

--Publishers Weekly

TWIN PEAKS SEASON 23!

In honor of the 35th anniversary of Special Agent Dale Cooper arriving in the town of Twin Peaks on February 24, 1989, I present to you my favorite scene from Twin Peaks Season 23....

Friday, February 23, 2024

MARKETWATCH: "DWAC Updates SEC Filings"

From Ciara Linnane's 2-23-24 MARKETWATCH article entitled "DWAC Updates SEC Filings to Reflect New Risk Factors in Plan to Buy Trump Media & Technology Group":

Digital World Acquisition Corp. said Friday it has updated its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its planned merger with Trump Media and Technology Group, former President Donald Trump’s social-media company, to reflect new risk factors [...].

Trump “is the subject of numerous legal proceedings, the scope and scale of which are unprecedented for a former President of the United States and current candidate for that office,” said the update.

DWAC said it cannot guarantee that opponents of Trump may make moves aimed at preventing the deal from closing.

“We cannot assure you that the claims asserted against TMTG or Digital World are without the financial and/or human capital resources of operatives representing the interests of political opponents of President Trump focused on thwarting the business combination to prevent President Trump’s potential financial gain, which focus could further delay, or prevent, the completion of the business combination,” DWAC said in the update.

The update also cautioned that the deal could be delayed by Trump Media’s co-founders, Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss, whose investment company, United Atlantic Ventures, has threatened to block the deal.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Mark Epstein on Donald Trump

From Natalie Korach's 1-10-24 THE WRAP article entitled "Jeffrey Epstein Shunned Donald Trump ‘When He Realized He Was a Crook,’ Disgraced Financier’s Brother Tells Piers Morgan":

Jeffrey Epstein’s brother Mark Epstein joined “Piers Morgan Uncensored” to discuss his suspicions surrounding his brother’s death, telling the British TV host that Epstein halted his relationship with Donald Trump once he “realized he was a crook” [...].

Morgan [...] pivoted the conversation to Jeffrey Epstein’s powerful and wealthy friends, asking whether “one of those people who may have had a vested interest in shutting him up and not talking about what he knew about them potentially may have played a part in his death?”

“Yes, that’s what I think happened,” Epstein replied with confidence.

Morgan also asked about whether Epstein possibly had information on Donald Trump and Bill Clinton “that was so incendiary that the 2016 election would have been canceled if that information had come out.”

Epstein corrected Morgan, saying that his brother was referencing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, not Bill Clinton.

“I never heard Jeffrey say anything bad about Bill Clinton,” Epstein said. “Jeffrey always liked Bill Clinton.”

“What information do you think he had on Donald Trump, for example, that could have disqualified him?” Morgan asked.

“I don’t know any specific information,” Epstein responded. “But I’ve also heard Jeffrey say that he stopped hanging out with Donald Trump when he realized Trump was a crook.”

Epstein noted that his brother’s statement of that nature is on videotape, which he has seen.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

MARKETWATCH: "Cha-ching!"

From Brett Arends' 2-17-24 MARKETWATCH article entitled "Cha-ching! How Trump Is Making $4 Billion from His 2024 Campaign for President.":

Away from the legal headlines, Donald Trump has just made a staggering amount of money, all of it driven by the publicity from his campaign for the White House. (A terribly, terribly cynical person might even suggest that is part of the point.)

How much? Forget these fines, which add up to less than $500 million. Trump is suddenly on track for a windfall of nearly $4 billion. And he has made most of it just in the five weeks since his big win in the Iowa caucus put him in pole position for the Republican nomination.

The windfall is from the forthcoming IPO of his social media platform, “Truth Social,” which he launched – amid massive derision from the liberal media, I might add – in 2021 after he got kicked off Twitter.

Truth Social got approval for its IPO from the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

It will come to the stock market through a merger with a so-called blank check or “shell” company known as Digital World Acquisition Corp [DWAC, -4.00%]. (Bank check companies are paper companies that list on the stock market first, then find a business to buy or merge with).

Under the terms of the deal, which has been in the pipelines since 2021, Trump personally will end up with 79 million shares in the company when the deal is complete, possibly as soon as this quarter.

Or so reports this SEC company filing, on page 309.

The value of those shares today: $48. They dropped $2 on Friday, but only after a phenomenal run that has taken them from just $17 in early January, just before the Iowa caucus.

That makes Trump’s personal stake valued at $3.8 billion: A rise of $2.5 billion just since winning the Iowa caucus. Who says it costs money to run for president?

To read the entire article, click HERE.

NPR: Christianity in Crisis

From Scott Detrow, Gabriel J. S├ínchez, and Sarah Handel's 8-8-23 NPR report entitled "He Was a Top Church Official Who Criticized Trump. He Says Christianity Is in Crisis" (hat tip to Conspirinormal's Adam Sayne for bringing this article to my attention):

[Russell Moore] criticized Donald Trump and the Southern Baptist Convention's response to a sexual abuse crisis. Then he found himself on the outside [...]. Moore was one of the top officials in the Southern Baptist Convention. When Donald Trump came on the scene, Moore criticized him publicly and found himself ostracized by many other evangelical leaders who embraced the former president [...].

Moore spoke to All Things Considered's Scott Detrow about what he thinks the path forward is for evangelicalism in America.

On why he thinks Christianity is in crisis:

It was the result of having multiple pastors tell me, essentially, the same story about quoting the Sermon on the Mount, parenthetically, in their preaching — "turn the other cheek" — [and] to have someone come up after to say, "Where did you get those liberal talking points?" And what was alarming to me is that in most of these scenarios, when the pastor would say, "I'm literally quoting Jesus Christ," the response would not be, "I apologize." The response would be, "Yes, but that doesn't work anymore. That's weak." And when we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us, then we're in a crisis.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Censorship Corner: The Hugo Awards Controversy

From Zoe Guy's 2-16-24 VULTURE article entitled "The Hugo Awards Scandal Is a Mess":

The Hugo Awards are facing a controversy of intergalactic proportions. According to emails leaked on February 14, the volunteer body that administered the 2023 Hugo Awards appeared to have directly engaged in self-censoring the nominees over political concerns about the host country, China. The emails allege members of the Hugo administration team succeeded in keeping certain books off-ballot because they wanted to operate under Chinese laws related to content and censorship, Hugo-nominated sci-fi author Jason Sanford and Hugo-winning fan writer Chris M. Barkley wrote in a special report on February 14. “In addition to the regular technical review, as we are happening in China and the *laws* we operate under are different … we need to highlight anything of a sensitive political nature in the work,” Dave McCarty, division head of the Hugo Awards Selection Executive Department, wrote in an email dated June 5, 2023. Talk about the call coming from inside the house. Following a round of voting that left four writers, including former Hugo Award winner Neil Gaiman and Babel’s R.F. Kuang, out of competition during the latest awards season, fans are accusing the Hugos of being book-award thieves [...].

Speculation that the Chinese government played a role in censoring the votes grew. Comic-book writer Gaiman has previously voiced criticisms of the government for incarcerating writers. Both Kuang and Zhao were born in China and now live in the West, and their books tackle social issues in allegorical fantasy worlds. However, McCarty denied the notion in a Facebook post in the days following the release of the nominating-statistics release. “Nobody has ordered me to do anything …” he wrote per the Guardian on January 24. “There was no communication between the Hugo administration team and the Chinese government in any official manner.”

Based on leaked information from committee member Diane Lacey obtained by Barkley and Sanford, the censorship occurred at the selection committee’s own behest. 

To read the entire article, click HERE.