Cast of characters page added to the KINDLE edition
The time is 2018 and the place is Real America
Gov. Lawrence C. “Demon Seed” Bowie – Bowie is the leader and co-founder of the Real American Party and elected governor of The Real American Republic of Texas. A proud Mad Hatter politician, Bowie vows to eliminate government and privatize every government function including his own office. He is in a political fix because his ‘War on the Poor’ economic plan isn’t working and his corporate sponsors aren’t happy.
Col. Rufus T. Fairbush – Chairman of the Militia Committee of Real American Patriots, Greater Texas Chapter, Fairbush challenges Bowie in the 2018 gubernatorial primary and runs on platform to outdo Bowie and abolish the idea of government. He plans to take Bowie out by the bullet or the ballot. Fairbush became a legend by standing his ground and killing two federal agents by shooting them in the back.
Jason Bravtart – The visionary conservative reality TV producer and Ayn Rand disciple who came up with the history-changing idea of The Execution Channel. Bravtart prays daily before a seven-foot statue of Rand, the goddess of Real American liberty, and vows to create daily monuments to his genius. He was called a hero for his moocher-bashing series Foreclosure Justice but he seeks redemption after the scandalous flop of The Real Homeless of Malibu Beach.
Sandy Bravtart – The wife of Jason is the chief marketing officer for the 1st John Galt SoCal Militia. Sandy believes that the success of The Execution Channel will give her the opportunity to purchase one of the lawless western territories in Real America and establish her own militia.
James “Big Stake” Frimmer – After cornering markets in foreclosures, bad mortgages, drug money laundering and gun running, reclusive billionaire Frimmer seeks another big score to cement his political control over Real America and prove that democracy can be bought on the cheap.
Penelope the Psychic – The most popular psychic in the SoCal Liberty Territory, Penelope is forced to become a confidential informant for Mr. Jones, the most feared security operator in Real America. She upholds her entrepreneurial spirit by retaining her status as a double agent for the British and German secret services.
William Notman – The first condemned prisoner executed on the premiere of The Execution Channel’s flagship show, Execution Night in America. Notman is innocent which only increases publicity, public outrage, and ratings and proves that for justice to be profitable in Real America, guilt or innocence are less important than profit margins.
Real America – The secessionist new nation which prides itself on eliminating government and trimming back democracy at all levels to enact the priorities of the profit-making Guardians of Galt. The goal is to promote prosperity and liberty for all who matter.
Guardians of Galt – Rich, free market heroes (See Frimmer, James) who believe their genius propels the universe and that government must be privatized and serve their every need and whim.
Galtian Imperatives – The new economic religion is enforced as revealed gospel but understood by no one. When government is eliminated, austerity enforced and moochers are put in their rightful, irrelevant place, the Galtian Imperatives promise that paradise is close at hand.
Imbecile Caucus – Led by Bowie when he served in Congress, this band of renegade Mad Hatters prided itself on destroying the economy, using fact-free-statements only and in shutting down the government at every opportunity.
What is the RA on the book cover flag all about?
It stands for Real America, the emerging new country in The Execution Channel: A Political Fable.
I've never heard of Real America? How is that different from, well, the United States of America?
Sorry, you need to read the book to find out.
What are these John Galt references such as Galtian Imperatives and Guardians of Galt?
As you may have heard, John Galt is the fictional hero in novelist Ayn Rand's popular book Atlas Shrugged. In Real America, Galt is embraced as a 21st Century deity that inspires all Real Americans to scale new heights of non-enlightened self interest.
What are the Galtian Imperatives and can I buy some locally?
The Galtian Imperatives are a powerful faith-based approach to economic policy that promises prosperity for all through extreme austerity measure, tax cuts for the "Guardians of Galt" (i.e., the makers and job creators in the top .05 percent income bracket) and innovative entertainment and investment schemes like The Execution Channel in which the public subsidizes private sector profits. What makes the Galtian Imperatives amazingly effective is that no one really understands them or can explain how or even if they work. Yet, the Galtian Imperatives make people feel righteous that they are doing the right thing as they create widespread economic devastation for an ultimate good.
Gov. Lawrence C. "Demon Seed" Bowie of the Real American Republic of Texas can't be real, can he?
That's the secret to Bowie's political success: he's so incoherent that his opponents continually underestimate him, even to the point of doubting his existence.
What prompted you to write this fable?
I started in the pesky real world with questions inspired by contemporary headlines. What if politicians were rewarded for being incoherent and vowed to create a government worth hating before eliminating government altogether? What if political majorities were denied the right to have their votes count due to a new mathematics of democracy and destroying the economy became a political virtue? What if lawmakers were required to secure corporate sponsors and every sector of government was privatized, including capital punishment, education, and public safety? Given that our current political environment keeps reaching ever greater heights of absurdity, it seemed natural to imagine a uniquely American parallel universe playing out over the next few election cycles.
The igniting spark for this satirical romp came from a 2011 Republican presidential primary debate when some of the audience cheered at the notion that if people without health insurance died, there was nothing anyone could do. I then made the leap to a perfectly sensible investment scheme of publicly televised executions in which guilt or innocence matter less than profit margins. From there, the theme menu grew to include the cult of Ayn Rand, political ambition, incoherence as a political virtue, greed redefined, secession, free market economics with no restraint, the primacy of sperm, backyard rocket launchers, psychic readings, reality TV mortgage foreclosures in which the banks are the heroes, and monuments to austerity. The book aspires, as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) so eloquently put it, to believe six impossible things at once, if not before breakfast then certainly by supper.