Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter
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Foreword to "Starving the Monkeys"
This book is a work of political analysis, illuminated with fiction, and is written for entertainment purposes only. Although most of the autobiographical events in this book unfolded exactly as they are described, nothing in this book should be presumed to be any advice for any course of action whatsoever. If you follow what you perceive as advice in this book in your own life, business decisions, and relationships, then don't blame me when things go sour. I warned you.
On the other hand, if you follow what you read in this book and things turn out great, then I'll be happy to take all the credit.
I came up with the idea for this book several years ago when I wanted to examine the results of some of the business decisions I've made over the years. And how, with very little energy applied, these decisions, and their results, might have been twisted. Sad to say, many of these decisions were based on ideas which have no validity in the modern world, but which seemed at the time to have some merit. I thought that these ideas might be cast as a satire to illustrate their foolishness, but could not find the vehicle in which the story would make sense.
The catalyst for this book came when I read "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Patriot", by Naomi Wolf. From my reading of her book, Ms. Wolf casts her political opinion as a letter to a relative, and yet doesn't warn the reader that it is satirical. Similarly, I realized I could cast my ideas in the form of a self-help book for budding entrepreneurs. The critical link having been made in my mind, it was just a matter of fitting the puzzle pieces together. For this book, I choose to warn the reader up front.
While writing it, I realized that the principles of the collectivists who lay traps for the unwary entrepreneur happen to be the same underlying causes for all of the increasing, deliberate misery which we see around us. The destruction of the individual is at the heart of all our problems as a nation. Yet, there are simple actions which we as individuals can take to defend ourselves from, and ultimately defeat, the collectivists who are destroying everything of value in our civilization. And none of these things involve scribbling on a scrap of posterboard or waiting breathlessly for the next word or marching order of a false prophet of the collective.
I also enjoy asking myself what might happen if some small detail is changed in the world around us. Fans of Harry Turtledove will understand the fun this idea can generate as he twists and manipulates history in perfectly reasonable ways to create surprising results. While he uses history and cultures as his canvas, I choose the world of small business, and the battle for the individual spirit, as mine.
Often, as you watch a thriller you might become engrossed in the subject so much that for a time it seems real, at least until the credits roll. Likewise, portions of this book are written as an entrepreneurial satire, cast as an autobiographical narrative which might be a small business owner speaking to a close friend. It was my intent that the ideas in this book also sound real, as if they were the result of that narrator's own experiences.
The narrator's ideas are his own, I am merely the conduit, while the autobiographical portions are taken from my own life. The events the narrator describes from his life actually happened to me, simplified where necessary to make a better read. Sadly, in the case of my Virginia Tech experience, the events happened exactly as described. Other experiences may have slight changes to improve the narrative, to simplify description, or to conceal classified information. Where possible and appropriate, I provide unclassified public domain references to help make the points. Or at least provide clues to the points.
After reading this, the more literary among you might agree that Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite horror writers. Most of his stories begin with relatively benign descriptions which draw the reader into an increasingly disturbing unfolding of the misery and terror which lies at the end. While I can't come close to his classic, ageless work, I have to admit that he is a key inspiration. And yet, a reader today can easily distance himself from Poe's stories. No one lives in ghastly, drafty mansions at the end of a wooded drive anymore. We live in a world of computers and instant communication within clean, bright drywall boxes with identically manicured lawns at the end of a stub of a concrete slab for a driveway. And so, Poe no longer has the raw primal impact which he once did, because it is harder to relate to the setting of the story.
Yet the battleground which we face involves precisely those drywall boxes and manicured lawns. These are the things which have enslaved us as a nation. That and our collective unwillingness to see the truth and to speak it, unless we are careful to use the correct tone and diction. As if we have become a nation of little girls at a tea party.
Instead, this battle requires that we begin to think differently about the world around us, and that requires recognition of the growing horror which is around us. A horror which many of you may feel, but not have the words to describe because the vocabulary required has been stolen from you. Among other purposes of this book, I intend to restore that vocabulary and to illustrate the horror which we face, and its simple, well-meaning origin, so that we won't ever make this mistake again.
The best in the world for handling modern horror in my mind, without question, is Stephen King. He can take you from the average guy to a buried alien mind-controlling spaceship without your questioning why at any point along the journey. He is also one of my favorite modern authors. I chose this model to illustrate how simple foolishness easily mutates into civilization-destroying nightmares. On the other hand, this book doesn't have any alien spaceships, time travel, virulent diseases, pits or pendulums, or for that matter any blatant descriptions of spurting goo. But it is intended to project a sense of lingering ill-ease of the kind which can only exist within your mind. And to do that it must twist the commonplace around you into the horror which it might actually be.
This isn't a feel-good yes-you-can sort of book, but it could be, if you put it down soon enough. Like right now. Because if you don't, by the end of this book you will be wishing I were an Islamic fundamentalist.
Or an atheist. Or anything other than what I am.
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