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June 9, 2024 32 mins

Margaret reads Robert Evans a novella about the near future of tech, surveillance, and teenage rebellion.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Cool Zone Media book Club, book Club, book Club, book
Club Club Club. Welcome to Coolson Media book Club, the
only book club that starts with asynchronous chanting, unless your
book club is as cool as ours.

Speaker 2 (00:23):
Yeah, the New York Reviewer of Books does that, but
because they're all a bunch of fucking East Coast elites,
they don't let anyone hear their asynchronous chanting. Yeah, so
find the staff of the New York Review of Books
on the Internet and harass them at their real homes
until they send you audio of their chance.

Speaker 1 (00:41):
Or go on an epic journey to find the staff
of the Book of Reviews or whatever it was, which
is an ancient artifact and not a person's job. You
have a lot of options. So, as you probably guessed,
because you all are creepily aware of the sounds of
our voices, I'm your host, Margaret Kiljoy, and my guest
today is Robert Evans.

Speaker 2 (01:01):
You'r gosh darn toutin rutin right, So.

Speaker 1 (01:06):
I hope you all are ready because we're starting a
whole new actual book. Today is gonna be another four parter,
which is how he started this whole thing.

Speaker 2 (01:13):
That's right, we're finally doing the Bible.

Speaker 1 (01:16):
Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2 (01:17):
When the Abrahamick God reached out to you a couple
of months ago saying, you know, I've got this thing
that I wrote that might fit for your book club.
You and I kind of hesitated a little, but I
think he's put in the hours at this point he
deserves a shot, you know.

Speaker 1 (01:31):
You know, it's like kind of inconsistent in a lot
of places, and some of it's downright means spirited, other
parts shine.

Speaker 2 (01:37):
Yeah, I think this guy, I think he's got like
a temper, right. I feel like, you know, when he's
his best self, there's some pretty good moments. But man,
he really needs to take a nap or something.

Speaker 1 (01:47):
You know, we shouldn't judge people based on the worst
things they've ever done consistently over the course of millennia.
That's right, only on the best things. But no, today
we're talking about our other god, Cory Doctorow, who probably
doesn't want to be considered a deity at all.

Speaker 2 (02:08):
No, but I think he might fuck up some money
changers in a temple if he got the opportunity.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
He would absolutely. Corey doctor Row is one of my
favorite science fiction authors and has been for a long time. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (02:20):

Speaker 1 (02:21):
I have yet to read a Cory Doctor book that
I didn't like, but there's a lot of them, and
I haven't read them all.

Speaker 2 (02:27):
Yeah, I have not read his entire Ouvra. I've read
at least a dozen of his books, including walk Away,
which I understand this is related to. Yeah, walk Away
is one of my favorite books that I've read in
the last ten years, like top three or four, probably
somewhere in there, along with your new book, The Sapling Cage.

Speaker 1 (02:45):
Oh, you mean the one that actually kickstarts tomorrow at
one pm Eastern and if you look for it by Monday,
June tenth, you will be able to back it on Kickstarter.
Is that the one that you're talking about?

Speaker 2 (02:58):
Well, Margaret, to me, time is a flat circle. I
have come unstuck from time like Billy Pilgrim from another
one of my favorite books by Bonnagat, which was not
written in the last ten years, and thus I am
unable to account for when things are. But that does
sound accurate to me.

Speaker 1 (03:14):
Okay, Well, it's not a lot I keep track of,
but I keep track of the fact that I just
got out of a meetum with my publisher to do
the last minute getting the Kickstarter stuff together, and I'm
excited about it. But what I want to get people
excited about is a novella, which is clearly if you
look at what I've written, my favorite form of writing,

which is basically a real short novel.

Speaker 2 (03:37):

Speaker 1 (03:38):
It's called Party Discipline and it's by Cory Doctro.

Speaker 2 (03:42):

Speaker 1 (03:43):
It was first published by Reactor, which was then called
tour dot Com in twenty seventeen on their website. This
is set in the same universe as walk Away. For
everyone who's listening. If you haven't, go read walk Away.
It's way longer than this this one short.

Speaker 2 (03:59):
Is there any background we need to give the listeners
so that this will make sense?

Speaker 3 (04:03):

Speaker 1 (04:03):
This one it stands on its own.

Speaker 2 (04:05):
Okay, cool?

Speaker 3 (04:06):

Speaker 1 (04:07):
Party Discipline by Cory Doctor. I don't remember how we
decided exactly to throw Communist Party. It had been a
running joke all through senior year, whenever the obvious divisions
between the Semizadas and the rest of us came too
close to the surface of Burbank High have fun at Stanford,
Come drink with us at the Communist parties when you're

back on break. The semi Zadas were mostly white, with
some Asians not the brown kind for spice. The non
Zadas were brown and black. And we were on our
way out out of Burbank Hi and out of Burbank too.
Our parents had lucked into lottery tickets buying houses in
Burbank back when they were only ridiculously expensive. Now they

were crazy. We'd be the last generation of brown kids
to go to Burbank High because the instant we graduated,
our parents were going to sell and use the money
to go somewhere cheaper, and the leftovers would let us.
I'll take a couple of mid range MOOCs from a
big ten university to round out our community college distanced degrees.

It was nearly time for finals May, and it was hot,
over one hundred degrees every day, and we were all
a little crazy. There were the Romeos and Juliets who
are feeling the impending tragedy of their inevitable breakup. The
kids who knew they weren't cut out for university or
couldn't afford it, had no clue what they would do next.
The ones who had kept their noses to their screens

for four years, busting their humps to get top marks
and were just now realizing that none of it mattered
for shit. And then there was me. I like to
hang out with my bestie Cherell at the back of
the portables, by the old basketball court, where there was
a gap in the CCTV coverage that the school filled
with intermittent drone flybys. It was where the vapor kids

hung out, But I wasn't one of them. Even decaf
crack wasn't my idea of a good time. I just
like to be a little off the grid, because your
business is your business.

Speaker 3 (06:00):
You know.

Speaker 1 (06:01):
My cousin got laid off. Cherrell's smart fingernails were infected
with ransomware, again, refusing to work on payment touch points
and blinking in seizure time. She was awkwardly trying to
patch them, pressing each one's hard reset while tapping her
phone to it. But it was a job that really
needed a third hand, and since I'd told her that
this was going to happen, I refused to help. She

was sitting against the portable wall with her knees drawn
up and her phone balanced on them. Mikhail no Antoine,
the sheet metal guy. It had been decades since Lockheed
Martin left Burbank, but there were plenty of remnants of
its glory days, including all the metal shops that had
supplied it. Antoine had worked at three or four of these,
hopping around as they got shut down. Then he'd got

a job in Encino that meant a long commute but
was supposed to be a steady check. And Robert Evans,
do you know what you can do with your steady check?

Speaker 2 (06:55):
Spend it on the thing that gives us a steady check,
whoever happens to be advertised for this podcast.

Speaker 1 (07:01):
At the moment, it's almost like a cyberpunk thing itself
that this is cut through that.

Speaker 2 (07:06):
It's almost like we live in a cyberpunk dystopia, except
for I cannot get a move by wire system installed
in my central nervous system or titanium bone lacings, and
I'm livid about that. Not yet, not yet, not yet.

Speaker 1 (07:21):
I'm sure someone will do a terrible version that play
ads inside your skull.

Speaker 2 (07:24):
Yeah. I would much prefer the shadow run version where
we randomly turn into mythical creatures. But we also have
laser guns, so somebody make that happen.

Speaker 1 (07:33):
It really is the best of both worlds.

Speaker 2 (07:34):
It really is. I want to vote for a dragon
for president. We had so many presidents that are more
depressing than a dragon.

Speaker 1 (07:42):
I know, at least it's interesting.

Speaker 3 (07:44):
Yeah, like these ads, unless you skip them.

Speaker 1 (07:57):
And we're back. That job seems too good to be true.
Turns out they had a five year tax holiday from
Encino and it ran out this year. If Antoine had
been smart enough to look it up, he'd have known
that they weren't going to last pass July. She got
one fingernail done, moved on to the next one. What's
happened to the factory? She got another fingernail done, then
dropped her phone. Fucky darn. I kicked it back to

her thanks. I think she wedged the phone again and
tried to reset her third nail. That they're doing it
up and out. That was when a company's tax incentives
ran out, and then the company ran out too, shutting
down an arm's length subsidiary through fast bankruptcy and leaving
its creditors. The people who worked there say to sort

out the sale of its assets. Up and outs made
sense because companies were hollow. They leased everything and contracted
everything out. The leasing companies didn't beef because they had
a sweet loophole they could take a write off on
the equipment that was based on the full replacement value,
despite having already taken depreciation and fees for the whole
time the plant had run. We'd done a CIVIX for

Business unit on it as part of the curriculum on
generally accepted accounting practices. Of course, the people who worked
there often found themselves shot out of luck when it
came to their last paycheck, and sometimes that least equipment
would walk out the door. In the days running up
to the out and up and out, I was hungry
like always. Mom didn't believe in SCOP and I didn't

want to piss her off, so I wouldn't eat out
of the vending machines at school. But that meant if
I didn't remember throw an apple in my bag, my
stomach would growl all the way to lunch. Got anything
to eat. She finished the fifth nail in her left
hand and fished in her purse and passed me some
leptin gum, which was supposed to enhance satiety and help
people like Charelle stick to the diets they had no

need to be on in the first place. I didn't
like to chew it, but my stomach was rumbling. I
unwrapped a stick and chewed it. It tasted like caramelized
hemi proteins, which is to say, cooked blood in a
good way, like a burger. Thanks to the transgenic yea
it was cultured with. My stomach stopped making noise. Maybe
it worked. Maybe it was the placebo effect. You sure

about that? Up and out? I tried not to sound
too interested. Cherrelle had a severe case of risk aversion.
Girl her side, I could have cut a thousand yards,
but I had been immune to it since ninth grade.
Come on, Charelle, just asking. It's a daydream. Communist parties
were one of my favorite daydreams to dream me and

my revolutionary comrades, and are funny Karl mark S beards,
liberating a whole factory under the noses of cops in
the town, running all those machines, and giving away free
shit until the feedstock ran out. My dream parties didn't
usually take place at a sheet metal factory. I liked
the idea of taking over a scop factory where they
made burgers or candy or ice cream, because then I

would be the person who gave everyone free candy or burgers.
Or ice cream, but I take sheet metal. This is
the only thing going. I could learn my skills there.
And also Mama wouldn't kill me for the scop thing
if she found out. Damned health food crazies, Linney. She
sounded like her own mama when she warned, but I
wasn't scared of her mama. I was scared of my mama,

and her mama sounded nothing like mine. Really, the whole
basis of our lasting friendship was my immunity to all
her secret weapons, which would otherwise burn you down in
your shoes the first time she spatted with you, it's
a daydream like. Saying it twice would make it more believable.
You're gonna ask someone else if I don't tell you,
aren't you? I didn't deign to answer. I'll hold your

phone while you do your other hand. She tried the
side eye again, then she put it away and patted
the ground next to her. Hold my phone, then go on.
Once she'd done her right thumb, she said, it'sn't up
and out. Yeah, And a lot of the workers there
aren't happy about it. Wages have been really delayed lately.
Lots of people owed a lot of back pay, especially

people who are out on sick pay. People got injured
on the job, can't go down to the payroll office
in person. O, there's talk talk. She shook her head.
You're going to make me spell it out talk. They're
going to run some shifts after the place shuts down,
sell things out the back door. Whatever they can make
back the money. They know they're going to be burned for.

In case you don't understand, Missy, that means no communist parties.
I sighed and moved her phone to the last finger.
No party, then, nope, forget a girl. Concentrate on graduating.
B students don't get scholarships. This was a running joke
between us, because A students didn't get scholarships either. I
mean they did, but at a rate you'd have to

be nuts to count on, like basing your life plan
on winning the lottery every ten years. Because there were
way way more kids with brokeass parents and sharp minds
than there were spaces left behind by the dullards who
made it into the university on quote merit and by
taking the quote no assistance required box on their applications.
I was an a student anyway. She called me that

night after mama's lights out, no phones, blackout time. My
little sister Tisha stared at me from her bed when
I took the call and mouthed, I'm telling I rolled
my eyes at her. She wouldn't tell. Titia was still
developing her low cunning, and there was plenty of stuff
i'd caught her in that she didn't want me blabbing
to mama. In retaliation, it's late, I whispered, your mama's crazy.

Cherrell's mama was strict too, but not about bedtimes. She
was an insomniac, and so were her kids, and she
taught them her coping skills of doing all their homework, showering,
laying out their clothes, and packing their lunches at two
am so they could rise twenty minutes before first bell,
pee and wash their faces and be on campus with
seconds to spare. You call me up after curfew to

tell me that. Send a text next time Antoine called us,
all thought you'd want to know. I almost said, who's Antoine?
And then I remembered her cousin, the sheet metal worker.
Oh you want to know what he said? Don't play game, Cherill.
I'm not trying to wake up my Mama Tisha staring
at me like she caught me strangling a cat too. Hi, Tisha.

It was loud enough that Tisha heard it through the earpiece.
I winced high, Cherrelle, she mouthed and grinned. She says, Hi,
Now what is it? Cherrell? Antoine called you said that.
He said, the reason the plant is shutting down so
fast isn't just about the tax credits. He said, there

was a wobbley in the shop, someone trying to get
everyone to sign a union card. Union organizing was a
fireable offense, had been since I was a little girl,
but that didn't mean it didn't happen, and if enough
of the workers signed a card, the factory wouldn't be
allowed to stop paying taxes until the California Labor Board
had completed its investigation. Antoine says the other workers are

pissed at the wobbley, not stupid at the bosses. Antoine
says that before all this, most of the employees didn't
really give a damn about the wobbley in her nonsense,
and now it's got everyone thinking, got them thinking about
making an example of the plant. They get away with
this next time, they'll be even worse, hold up, get

away with what? Just listen okay. I realized she was excited,
really excited. The wobbly got deported born in America on
everything they sent her to Guatemala. Said her parents were
undocumented when she was born here, so that makes her
an anchor baby. Everybody is pissed, Like I said, they

know it's just bullshit, an excuse to get rid of
her because she'd come sniffing around the shop. Antoine says
none of them gave a damn when she was talking
about helping them, but when she got deported for trying
out comes all this corny talk about it being on
American to shut her down. They're gonna let us have
a communist party. She made a sound between a squeal
and a cheer, and Tisha's eyes got wild. I cut

her my sternest look so she didn't jump right out
of the bed and tell Mama when she just heard.
And I realized with a sinking feeling, that I was
going to have to get my little sister involved. If
I didn't wanted to wrap me out, Mama would kill me.
The gravity of it fell down on top of me.
It was one thing to daydream about this another to planet.
I'd have to do a lot of googling. He's one

of those darknet googles that I can't even remember how
to reach, So that meant i'd have to get one
of those brainiac nerds at school to explain it again,
which meant they'd know I was looking up something forbidden,
which meant that I'd be even more exposed. And you
aren't even listening to me, are you? Line uh nu
huh no, Sorry, chill just thinking it through. Damn are
we really gonna we are? You don't get us caught first.

Antoine met us at the Froyo place off San Fernando,
the sketchy part near the dead Ikea that had been
all cut up for little market stalls that were mostly empty.
I hadn't seen him since we've been freshman and he'd
been a senior, and in the years since, he'd got
strangely grayish, his skin sagging off his face and his
hair shot with white, like he was an old man.

He looked like he hadn't been sleeping much either. He
made a sign at us, a thing with his hands
like the kids had done to pass messages around the
classroom back when we'd been kids. It took me a
second to remember that this one meant phones down, school
cops coming. I couldn't figure out what that was supposed
to mean. But Charrell got it and reached into a
purse and shut her phone down. Now I got it.

I did the same. We'd both been infected before, of course,
drive by bad wear. That let some creepy Rando spy
on us through our phones. But then we got more careful.
But he wasn't worried about Rando spying through our phone.
He was worried about cops. You think Burbank PD is
going to bother with you? I wanted to ask, but

the fact was maybe they would. Why not, once they
bought that kind of thing, why wouldn't they want to
use it every chance they got? I probably would. Damn.
He looked us up and down, not like a perf,
but like a grown up judging a little kid. You
two are so young. I don't know if this was
such a good idea. Schreelle gave him an up and

down of her own. Antwine, we're only five years younger
than you. Fool smart too. Besides, it was Linai's idea,
not yours. That was news to me far as I
knew he'd had the idea told Cherrell and she'd said, oh,
Linaise said the same thing. But the way he shook
his head, I knew it was true. He'd got the

idea from me. That made me feel pretty badass. Tell
the truth. Okay, okay, your mama will kill me though
a twine. Okay, there's he lowered his voice. Forty five
of us and one guy. He says he spoke to
a wobbly and they're pissed about what happened to that girl,
and they say they'll help. We got all skills in hands.

We need to get it running, but we don't know
how we get the word out without getting popped. Who
do you want to reach? I've been wondering about this myself.
I didn't really know much about sheet metal except it was,
you know, metal that came in sheets. What would you
do with a bunch of that stuff around the house.
We don't know either. Antoine looked anxious, more anxious. He

dry washed those big knuckled hands. We can make just
about anything we got a file for, and there's plenty
of files out there. You want a fireplace around or
a new truck, bumper. We got you covered. Don't know
many people who need a truck bumper, Chrell said, I know.
Antoine gave her a shut up look that was brotherly,
reminding me that they'd been close since they were little.

There's all kinds of toys we can make, too, little
cars and shit. He looked at us, like, you think
that'll do it. I don't think we're going to strike
terror into the hearts of the investor class by giving
away little cars. Antoine, sorry, because that was the point, right,
give us all part, give them sorrows. I hadn't really
thought about where sheet metal fit into that framework. He

shook his head. He knew it too. What were you
making Uber parts? He shrugged. Mostly for the vans, you know.
La Metro had been using the vans for most of
my life, though I could still remember when there had
been city buses before the contract went out to Uber.
The vans were boxing and indestructible, covered in some kind
of slippery treatment that you couldn't write on or mark,

which gave off a funky musty smell, like old socks
when the sun baked it. But you know what won't
give off a funky musty smell Robert.

Speaker 2 (20:18):
While the Washington State Highway Patrol might that's true. Some
complaints have been made, but yeah, nothing else, no one
else who advertises for us.

Speaker 1 (20:27):
We apply special cool zone media covering that anti bad smell.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
And we've been told that the Chumba casino people have
excellent hygie.

Speaker 1 (20:37):
So I'm always too afraid to name them by name,
but that is stuck in my head.

Speaker 2 (20:43):
I have no reason to doubt the Chumba Casino people
on this, Margaret.

Speaker 1 (20:47):
No, isn't it?

Speaker 3 (20:48):

Speaker 1 (20:48):
I would never tested them.

Speaker 2 (20:49):
As a general rule, casinos are known for being incredibly
good at not having you smell things that are unpleasant.
That's why you can chain smoke indoors in Vegas.

Speaker 1 (20:59):
Yeah, they are known as plaices of hygiene.

Speaker 2 (21:02):
Palaces of hygiene, and incredibly expensive air filtration systems.

Speaker 1 (21:10):
And here's an ad for probably that, And Rebecca, I
watched the people mill around the Hawker's stalls, smelling the
Korean tacos and the papoosas cooking, and wondering whether any

of it was real food instead of scop. I'd skip
breakfast that morning, and I was hungry. The food was
probably scop, judging from the clientele, who were mostly homeless,
and Mama wouldn't approve, so I didn't eat, even though
my stomach growled. According to my science teachers, single celled
organic protein was safe and healthy. According to Mama, it

was a large scale experiment in feeding mutated bacteria to humans.
Mama liked to point out that rich people didn't need stop.
They didn't drink coffee m either, but that never stopped Mama.
She also had a lapel pin that read, a foolish
consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Mama is one
of a kind. The homeless were accompanied by their inevitable companions,

be lovingly tended rusting ancient shopping carts. It had been
years since it was possible to remove a shopping cart
from a grocery store without being caught, but the number
of people who used the carts as home locker and
pack mule had only grown in the years since, creating
fierce competition for the old dumb carts. These ones looked
particularly raggy. Antoine and Cherrell had kept talking while I

stared at the carts, but eventually they followed my stare.
I looked at them, and they looked back at me.
Those would be easy. Antoine sounded dismissive, so Cherrell said,
you want to make something hard or something useful. I
put my hand on his shoulder. Antoine, you make those,
You'll be making something that everyone will see every day

for years and years to come. His eyes glinted, Yeah. Yeah.
He looked at the sky for a minute. I bet
there's all kinds of ways we can improve him too.
Bet there's designs for better ones like crazy too, from
the refugee camps.

Speaker 3 (23:18):
I know.

Speaker 1 (23:18):
I saw him in a news clip or something that's amazing.
He grinned, and he was as handsome as he'd been
when I was a freshman and he was the captain
of the senior swim team. I told myself that the
flip flops in my stomach were hunger, not crushing. It
was only five minutes before final bell when the school
went on lockdown. We all groaned as our homeroom teacher,

mister Pizitken, sprinted to the classroom door and swung down
the bar, slapping the button that pulled oar eyed the
classroom windows, including the little one in the door itself,
plunging the room into darkness. The groan made Pizitken glare
at us with his finger on his lips. Rule one
in lockdowns, no words, rule too. Silently build a shelter

of bullet absorbing furniture, and then hunker down. Nearly everything
in the classroom was made of waxed cardboard and wasn't
about to stop any artillery, not even crossbows. Yeah, some
fools actually went on school shootings armed with crossbows. But
the room had once been a science lab and there
was a big work bench running the length of the
wall made of steel and concrete, with long plugged hookups

or burners along its length. Previous lockdown drills had established
that this was our designated shelter, so we shuffled behind it.
It's not that we weren't worried about getting shot, but
we also knew that lockdowns were nine times out of
ten hoaxes. Some fool center texts said gonna be at
school later, and it got auto corrected to guns be

at school later, and that tripped burbank SWAT's paranoid fusion
Center security AI. Then we all had to hide behind
the lab bench for half an hour while the toy
soldier squad did a sweep of the school, we hunkered
down and texted each other. The school deactivated its network
filters during lockdown so we could text status updates to
the cops or our last words to our loved ones,

and made dumb jokes. Our messages were interrupted every thirty
seconds by reminders to stay silent and vigilant broadcast on
the school's administrative emergency channel by the school Safety Office.
On top of that, there were the actual status updates,
officers en route, officers on site, North Wing sweep complete,
South Wing sweep, complete, portables sweep complete. More of this,

then all clear, All clear, All clear, followed by an
announcement out of every phone speaker in the room. Only
phones that ran the school Safety app would work on
school property, so we all ran it, But dang, it
was some creepy shit. I left the classroom thinking about
my homework and whether I was supposed to pick up
Tishae from band practice. And I was so lost in
my thoughts that I didn't noticed the guy in the

suit until he put a hand on my shoulder as
I was heading for my locker. Linney Walker just the
way he said it gave him away as a cop.
I felt my heart rate triple yes, please come with me.
He steered me to the administrative office. The secretary on
the front desk pointedly didn't stare at me as he

led me into one of the VP's offices. The first
thing I noticed was my backpack on the desk, surrounded
by its contents, and next to it Charrell's bag and
its contents too. That was when I noticed Cherrelle sitting
on a low sofa. The cop indicated the spot next
to her with a tilt of his head, and I sat.

The late afternoon sun slanting through the window caught the
huge fart of dusty air that escaped from its cushions.
When I settled in, Charrell coughed a little and caught
my eye. She looked scared, really scared. Which seems like
a good place for a cliffhanger, and therefore the place
that it ends this week. Yay. I think it's interesting

how this was written in twenty seventeen.

Speaker 2 (27:09):
Yeah, I wouldn't have guessed that just from the actual pros.
But you know, it's also like a lot of the
stuff about the expansion of homelessness, like the fact that
the like shopping carts have turned into these ancestral items
as the number of people in the streets have expanded,
and you know, the kind of acceleration of mass shooting

culture and the responses to it, particularly the bit about
a kid accidentally tripping the local pds AI scanning thing
or whatever by accidentally tweeting something that sounds like gun.
I guess all of that is stuff that like, yeah,
I mean in twenty seventeen, if you're looking ahead, I
can see how Corey you know, kind of picked that

stuff out in a way that feels kind of prophetic.

Speaker 1 (27:55):
But yeah, yeah. And then also the person who gets
deported for labor or organizing, you know, as like an
anchor baby or whatever is like, I mean, that's the
kind of thing that I mean, the right wing has
been on about for a long time, right, I.

Speaker 2 (28:08):
Mean it happened in the twenties, right, Like you had
like wobbly as and anarchists who were like various kinds
of you know, organizers get deported under some of the
laws at that time.

Speaker 1 (28:19):
Yeah. And then also just like specifically that like the
anchor baby thing, the you know, guaranteed US citizenship to
people born here is a thing that the right wing
is always howling and yelling about how they want to
get rid of and I hope that one doesn't come
out true. I hope none of this comes out true
except people throwing communist parties where they get weird three

D printers on factory level to pronount free things for people.

Speaker 2 (28:47):
Yeah. I mean, I guess I would prefer kids with
crossbows to kids with ar fifteens, but not because either
is good. It's just one of them is going to
kill fewer people.

Speaker 1 (28:58):
Yeah. I wonder whether that's like a you know, oh,
this is what they had access to. People will do anything,
or I wonder if at this implication that the way
that school shooters develop as like such a meme. Now
some people are just trying, like clever ways to go
be the worst kind of person.

Speaker 2 (29:13):
Yeah. I think there's probably a point there about how like,
if somehow, in some inconceivable way, we got rid of
all of the guns tomorrow, mass shootings like attacks like
that are still such a part of the culture that
people would find ways to carry them out. You know,
I think they would. Yeah, Basically, anything I can imagine
is less deadly than what we currently have. But now

because it's a part of the culture, people would carry
out kinds of attacks with shit like crossbows that like,
if this hadn't developed into a meme the way it would,
they probably never would have started doing because this isn't
uniquely America. You know, Serbia's had a recent spate of
mass shootings, But like Serbia's mass shooting, I think every
country's mass shootings really are at this point patterned on

the way they work in America. So we don't need
to go into too much of a aggression on that.

Speaker 1 (30:00):
Yo, American exceptionalism. We're number one. We're number one about this.
No one else is really in the running. Well, next
week we're going to find out not the conclusion, but
part two of four of Party Discipline by Cory Doctor.
But you know what else, Corey Doctro wrote, He wrote

a really sweet blurb for my book.

Speaker 2 (30:23):
He did.

Speaker 1 (30:24):
I wrote a book called The Sapling Cage that we
talked about beginning and Monday, June tenth, twenty twenty four.
It is available for pre order through Kickstarter. Comes out
in September, although one of the backer tiers is actually
you'll get sent a copy early because there's a couple
advanced reader copies left over. But what Corey Doctor wrote
about my book, The Sapling Cage is a cracking, first rate,

epic coming of fantasy novel where the crisis of gender
identity only heightens the stakes and suspense of a propulsive,
page turning tale. A nice blurb just to talk about
how writing is this weird thing of networking. Like I
know Corey Doctro and we met when he taught at
the Clarion West Writer's Workshop in Seattle that I went

to in twenty fifteen, And at that I had a
long conversation with him about my writing. You know, I
had a couple of books out, but I was like
still kind of just finding my feet, you know, as
a writer. One of the things that I really like
is he talked about how with science fiction and fantasy,
authors pride themselves on making sure that there's this plot,
there's this like engine that drives the story forward, and

you can talk about any ideas you want, and if
you attach it to plot, you're able to like keep
the reader engaged. In a way that has really stuck
with me and made me think about how I write.
And it's one of the reasons I like how Corey
writes so much. Right Like this story is about some
teens who want to get into some trouble, and it
also is like, here's the way that factories fuck over

poor communities, you know. Anyway, anyway, so y'all next week.

Speaker 2 (32:04):
We'll be back in seven days.

Speaker 1 (32:08):
It Could Happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
coolzonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can
find sources for It Could Happen Here, updated monthly at
coolzonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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