Urban destruction scene with camera move and flying birds.

Today I’m going to do something a little different from what I normally do on here and give everyone a small taste of my creative writing for a change. I have done this before just not very often and I got bit by the writing bug again last night where I went full on freestyle in what can only be deemed a sort of real world reboot of Mad Max. Today I give you a piece of that opening, call it Chapter 1. This counts entirely as fan fiction I suppose. I hope you like it and I will be giving you more of this tale as time progresses.

The year is 2022 and the world is quite a different place than it used to be. Most of us who are left have banded together in separate groups for the safety in numbers that hiding alone can’t offer…..At least not from the other groups of raiders interested only in taking what others have. A few like who really don’t give a fuck have been wandering the wasteland alone taking in the mess of the whole thing. We never were allowed to get past the social distancing by the time the pandemic of 2020 had ended people had succumbed to a different disease altogether fueled by desperation and anger, the first of the raiders busting into people’s houses. Protests became skirmishes and outright terrorist attacks as the have nots decided that if they couldn’t have electric neither would the haves of the world. The grid went down and the world fell into a shitstorm of chaos that would follow. Even now I place the makeshift grave marker on the grave of the first person I have had a conversation with in almost 2 years…..Poor bastard….Me, not him…That son of a bitch left a steaming pile of thoroughbred horseshit of his own right in my lap before dying. Now…….

2 Days Before.

Found a nice natural gas well traipsing around in these mountains. Green living via necessity while many fought over what refined gasoline was left, the smartest one learned how to adapt engines for alternate and in many cases easier to obtain fuel sources….It’s what kept people like me out of many a deadly fights, that centered around the old crude way of doing things. What had once been gas stations became death traps after the grid went down. Pirates and raiders would keep watch on them for unsuspecting fools, naive enough to think finding a standing fueling station meant God was looking out for them…..Someone certainly was…And it certainly wasn’t God.
In the mountains you’re surrounded by kindling and generally safer in starting an honest to God fire as opposed to eating into your stores of canned heat. In my experience, the mountains housed the better people, not raiders, but survivors and they often allowed loners like me to pass, though it was never without risk, while ruled by better intentions the survivalist tribes were still paranoid as fuck. But today I was alone heating up the spring water for my morning coffee. Alone with my thoughts of life before the world went to shit…..My bad, my company was more dangerous than I thought. For people like me, the still moments can be worse than running into a pack of hungry raiders. I let her image flash through my mind. “Not today Goddamn it.” Stamping out the fire I decide it’s time to get back to the car, back on the move. Just a quick fill up and go, with no destination in mind, but no reason to be late getting there.

A few hours later….

I always found it hard to explain to people what happens between being a part of the civilized world and getting thrust into the natural world. Over time your body becomes wise to the situation and as it does your mind unlocks certain abilities you may never knew you ever had. Concentration at peak level, a sense of hyper awareness to your surroundings as you sleep in the open. And while you don’t necessarily sleep with one eye open you do reach a point when you can be both in a deep sleep, yet mentally aware of every tiny change in the physical world, a sound, a smell can have you up in an instant surveying the situation…..We spent so long trying to teach ourselves that we are something we’re not that when you first experience these things, it feels almost like you’ve gained superpowers when in fact they are just natural gifts that you forgot how to use or never were privileged enough to face anything that made you aware you had them in the first place….. And so it was I KNEW without knowing how I could that something was amiss as I approached the car…..That was when I met him…..Damn him for that by the way. The storm I would learn was coming by the knowledge of that dying bastard put me at a crossroads…..And also in the crosshairs of the type of crazy motherfucker you never want to deal with…One who’s crazier than even me. Not gonna lie I’m a little scared now…..Not gonna lie, I’m a little excited too.

I pointed my hand cannon in the rear window of my car where the sorry bastard knocking on deaths door lay in backseat. “Who the fuck are you and why are you in my car?” I asked. Barely able to raise his head to look me in the eye with his steely gaze he replied with the simplest of requests….”Help me.” He said. Deciding we were still safely tucked away in mountain militia territory I went ahead and set up camp after filling the tank and as I went to work to dress the stranger’s wounds from my stock of medical supplies, he shocked me with his refusal for the aid and told me to save my supplies because he already knew he was dying. Abashed, I could only stand and stare at the stranger. If not for his health, what then had he requested my help for? As night fell and I began to cook insisting that he at least accept a last meal if not medical aid, an old trait passed onto me from family who knew of harder times and would never let even a hated enemy die hungry before putting a bullet in them. He thanked me and told me his name was Madan and asked me mine. I met him with silence for a time before finally saying. “My name is Max.” It isn’t you know, but I had hardly had any contact with anyone, much less someone I knew in almost 2 years and with the world being as it was who was I to give a fuck what I or anyone else called me….We are past such trivial things.
“I’m CIA….or I was before Covid-19 turned the world upside down and everything went to Hell in a handbasket. They still exist you know…The government. They’re the equivalent of a skeleton crew protected by Last Outpost.” I had heard of this fairytale before, but never from someone claiming to be inside. Rumor had it as disease and infighting during Martial Law when the people first rose up took it’s toll on the military they had rounded their survivors up and retreated, content to allow the world to take care of itself, but the knowledge of government that still existed was a twist I hadn’t heard….Apparently their retreat had only been tactical, a way to learn the inner workings of the new world they had been presented with as they plotted to restore order. And so it was that spies had been sent out to infiltrate the various groups and factions of what was left of society. “I never imagined anyone like him could exist.” He said. “It’s like something out of a comic book or bad sci-fi 80’s film. He’s crazy, and he believes this world is better off ending. He even calls himself Lord Nihilist, Lord and Keeper of The Great Empty…He has been cultivating the virus from the dead and tinkering with it. He aims to unleash his new version in order to finish the job. I infiltrated their compound and he has managed to amass his own private army of cult followers determined to see his will done. He is not like the raiders. His mentality is singular and Hell-bent on ending all of humanity.” I struggled to take in what he was telling me. “Well look around, it’s not like we have much else going for us anyway.” I said. “Nor will we ever have the chance to have again if he manages to carry out his plan.” He replied……Did I say damn him? I meant DOUBLE DAMN HIS ASS FOR PLAYING THAT CARD. “What do you need my help with?” I asked. “I infiltrated them and was caught, they’ve been on me ever since I escaped…They finally delivered the death blow when they caught me hiding in a convenience store 6 miles up road. I shook them and stumbled on your car…I meant to steal it, but I can’t….I’m not going to make it. I need YOU. I need YOU to get this information to the Last Outpost. Lord Nihilist, his cult is huge, but not so huge that he doesn’t fear the outpost. They are the only thing that can stand in his way…I need YOU to get what I have learned to them.”

Morning comes and looking out over the horizon I see the dust rise from a caravan…..A hunting party of five vehicles. Something in my gut tells me they are looking for my new found friend. With urgency, I stuff his ass in my passenger seat and fire up the engine. “Which way is this outpost?” I ask. “EAST” He shrieks in agony as I fire up the engine and ride in the direction pointed. It isn’t long before we get spotted and the caravan abruptly changes direction to lock onto us. Dedicated I think to myself. There is no way for them to know I hold the person they are looking for yet on a whim they decide to leave no stone unturned in their search. They are closing. While safer in terms of not relying on standard gas this baby just doesn’t have the ass to outrun those gas-guzzling fuckers…Luckily I equipped this bitch with a few surprises of my own. Never have I been in this situation. Never has the opposing side ever made such a concentrated effort for a single ride and as I gain 5 tails, it dawns on me that I am in the shit now. I pop a release near the visor and suddenly my windshield becomes a bulletproof armored shield as the first of 5 approaches. Slamming hard on my breaks and ducking the hail of bullets that followed, the first of the caravan shoots ahead. Hitting a button on my dash a net of metal spikes fires from under my front bumper and tangles itself in the rear tires of my former pursuer causing their main rear-drive system to lose control as the speed and pressure cause the spikes to rip through their rear tires. I blast right through them as they spin uncontrollably in my path and their vehicle flips….One down.
There was no time to even adjust, the other 4 vehicles were closing in fast. Shots were fired pinging off the armor plating I had installed. Reaching out the window I flipped out a wing plate attached to the driver door as a bullet zinged past my arm. The closest was nearly on my back bumper, the passenger was crawling out it’s window a twisted visage of rugged black makeshift armor and black and white face paint. They were close enough now that even over the roar of the engines I could hear the driver as he half leaned out his own window firing his automatic and belting out an annoying war cry “Li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li”
Eyeballing all of this in my side mirror I took a shot with my hand cannon at the extended armor flap. The ricochet shot caught the driver just above his right eyebrow cutting off his war cry as he slumped back into the truck causing it to veer to the right making the passenger who was now on the hood drop to his knees to hang on. The truck had veered too suddenly for the car behind it to change course and clipping the back corner the truck took to the air throwing it’s armor-clad passenger a good 30 feet as it tumbled end over end. It would again get directly in the path of the car that just hit it only this time the car would not be so lucky as it was made to start it’s own flip roll. “HOLY FUCK! I DON’T THINK I COULD DO THAT AGAIN IN A MILLION TRIES!”……No time to celebrate the drivers of the remaining 2 cars deftly swerved around the devastation and was quickly bearing down on me.

This is meant to be a lighter post than normal, but ironically I seem to have put it off until again I have to inform you that ten hours ago crowds were being broken up on Bourbon Street in New Orleans as the restrictions tighten up in the interest of squashing this bug that has swept in and taken the world by storm. Everyone knows it’s serious when Twitter, which is normally a political battleground between “Conservatives” and “Progressives” has seen most of everyone turn their attention to a far bigger enemy to the world than a reality TV star public official and on some level for that I am grateful. It’s almost like this thing is forcing us to break down certain barriers that have kept us going at each other nonstop for almost four years. As of yesterday it’s been reported that Louisiana has had 77 cases of Corona with a single death resulting from that. Bourbon Street being shut down makes things seem far worse than they are, but I feel it’s important to remind people that these are preventative measures at this stage. I wanted to note this because getting this information out there as fast as this virus spreads is likely to be as important a factor in bringing this historic mess to a close as making a vaccine. Here is the link to that recent news story. Cantrell Tweets Big Crowds Being Broken Up, Hash Tags Bourbon Street As Restrictions Tighten.

That’s it for the spooky news of current affairs. How about something a little more fun? A few weeks back I had decided that it was time to make my presence known on YouTube as I am getting back into the swing of things after a long hiatus and I had a little performance piece in mind when it was brought to my attention that Mardi Gras was happening the following week. Now I don’t know how many out there are aware of the term busking or what it entails, so I will tell you that it is the act of either performing on the street or posing with people for pictures that garner tips from those who appreciate giving them a memory to take with them. New Orleans has always been one of the biggest places for this type of activity and it was my thought to go during its biggest celebration of the year and try my luck at something I have never done before.

Setting out at 6am.

Getting in touch with an old work friend from one of the times I was down here before moving, I managed to get a ride all the way into New Orleans on Lundi Gras, The Monday before Fat Tuesday during the Mardi Gras celebration. Both as I entered the downtown area and I was left, I was met with the very sobering sight of the collapsed Hard Rock Cafe Hotel that’s debris still harbors the remains of two of the workers since there has been no safe way to retrieve them without putting even more lives in danger. It was quite the sight and not exactly what I would have wanted to see first thing as I was rolling into the biggest celebration of the city. I know I said no more spooky stuff, sadly it is unavoidable in life, but I promise, the rest is just good old fashioned fun…..After a while anyway..

By 9:25 am I was on Bourbon Street where I came to realize there were not many people at all. I had forgotten that, between the night before and the early morning clean up of the street and alcohol restock trucks that I would have a bit to wait. My intent in coming here was to make a little money, but not five minutes in I had already given a homeless lady a dollar she had asked for and another twenty minutes saw me cave into the restrooms for paying customers only stipulation of the few places opened that actually had one. Thirty minutes in I was already down thirteen dollars, it was not looking good, nor would it for the rest of the day. My mission failing, I decided let’s just take in the whole experience and not worry about the business aspect. From there the day went pretty well.

Near empty streets during Mardi Gras was not what I was expecting.
New Orleans bookstores remind me of Diagon Alley. They also remind me of what a fire hazard looks like.
Look Ma! Fake White Castle!
The Rarely captured backside of the St. Louis Cathedral, Where artists come to draw inspiration.
The fine window shopping fashion of The Trashy Diva. LOL
The world-famous House of Blues.
There the people are finally. From about 11 am onwards the streets started filling up.
But then I found it. The house in New Orleans, they call The Rising Sun….And that was it, I was RUEENED!!!!RUEENED I SAY!!!! Like the song tells us.
It’s not every day you get to watch a brave elderly lady celebrate her birthday……By riding a mechanical bull. It’s a good thing it was happy hour and I had a few Corona (The Beer of our Neighbors in Mexico, not the virus.) to adjust to what I was witnessing.
One of the many parades.
I could have sworn I had a better shot of the plastic five-gallon bucket drummer. Everyone has a gig in The Big Easy.
The face you make at the end of your half-successful day when an older lady who was a spitting image of Talia Shire grabs your backside and pretends to talk on her phone. Yo Adrian! What the Hell?!?!

So that was my day in a nutshell. I went with a dream of making some cash, left with far less than I came in with, but I saw a side of things that I don’t usually get to see. All in all, I can’t complain. It was a much-needed change of pace to my normal too quiet life. In afterthought, I could have done far worse, I could have come out of it far worse if what happened last night was any indication. And I think it will help to show everyone an idea of the normal we are seeking to get back to. It’s always good to know what you are fighting for.

It is a growing business that promises affordable accommodations, but is it really worth it? Sure bad things can happen anywhere but the thing that sets Airbnb apart from a standard hotel is how almost anyone, it seems, can become a host putting up customers in their home. A lot of perfect strangers sleeping in the same house is a recipe for bad things to happen. That is not just a statement of paranoia, it has been a proven fact time and again, Even as I write this a report came in nine hours ago of another murder at an AirBnB Chicago location and I will place the link to that story and many others in the course of this article for reference points. Man Found Dead After Shooting At Airbnb Party In Barring 

In August of 2017, the company was sued by a guest for having been sexually assaulted by their “super host”. Airbnb Sued by Guest Who Says a Host Sexually Assaulted Her. This was an Airbnb California location in Los Angeles. Roundabout the same time this lawsuit was happening a 19-year-old was raped at an Airbnb Melbourne Australia location by yet another “super host” The man was convicted of said rape in December of 2019. Airbnb ‘superhost’ Rapes a 19-Year-Old Guest After Threatening To Leave a Bad Review If She Didn’t Get Drunk and Party With Him.

I could go on forever, virtually article after article dating back many years, the point is, Airbnb never acknowledged the genuine safety concerns. They never acknowledged the need to overhaul whatever process they use, at least not until the media attention for a mass shooting at another Airbnb California location that left 5 people dead on Halloween in 2019 became front and center. Airbnb Pushes New Safety Measures Days After Deadly Party-House Shooting.

New safety measures they say even though a Florida woman was murdered while on vacation at an Airbnb Costa Rica location by a former Airbnb security guard no less back in 2018. The trial for that one began in January of 2020, just this year. New safety measures, yet Just in January 2020 3 people were shot dead at an Airbnb Toronto location. Also in February 2020 a woman was fatally stabbed to death at an Airbnb San Hose location. On March 4th 2020 another Airbnb host admitting to killing his guest in Melbourne Australia.

Here are all the links to articles covering the above incidents.

Murder Trial Underway For Florida Woman Killed on Vacation.

This Was Not The First Time: Renewed Calls For Action After 3 Shot Dead at Toronto Airbnb.

San Jose: Man Charged With Fatally Stabbing Woman at Airbnb Home.

Airbnb Host Admits Manslaughter After Killing Guest Over Unpaid Bill.

The list is long and varied and ranges from the destruction of property, theft, sexual assault, outright rape, kidnapping, and murder, of both the individual and multiple varieties. Later I will show you two cases where discrimination plays in, with one of those posing a serious safety concern for an out of town actress and director attending a film festival hundreds of miles from home. For now, I think I have covered enough that a serious question needs to be entertained before going on. Why is Airbnb not being held to account? Before that company came along every bed and breakfast was its own business. They were treated like a business by the homeowners who took care in considering things like a location for instance. They have business licenses. Airbnb is a ragtag collection of anyone, anywhere who wants to make a buck opening their doors to perfect strangers and despite the screenings of both hosts and guests they claim to make and safety measures taken it is too loosely structured for a business that by its very nature sets an intimate stage for both perpetrator and victim. To say nothing of what any particular neighborhood maybe like at some of these locations. Because of this fact, every death, every sexual assault, rape, kidnapping is on that companies hands because nearly every crime that happens at an Airbnb, they facilitated by putting the perpetrator with the victim. They are nothing short of criminals under the guise of a legitimate business… And it’s irresponsible to let it continue, just as it is irresponsible for companies such as Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity and the like to enhance the problem by promoting their listings rather than scrapping them on account of the risk. There are 1000’s, literally 1000’s of cases with Airbnb providing the location for it to take place in. When is it ever going to be enough?

Okay, last point. Airbnb and the ugly issue of discrimination. Here is a case from June of 2019 that was caught on camera where a host harassed her five guests using racial slurs before kicking them out at 2am in the morning in New York… Which I am certain is just a fabulous place to be stuck outdoors in the early morning hours. That group managed to get new accommodations right away thankfully, nevertheless, I state again these hosts, are not required to be B and B oriented, they aren’t business owners, they are just hired renters that need only pass whatever flimsy screening system that Airbnb has in place. The title of this link might offend you, so fair warning, I tend to use the title of the article to link you to the source. See It: Airbnb Host Asks Black Guests ‘Which Monkey is Gonna Stay on The Couch?’ Before Kicking Them Out.

The last story I will direct your attention to under the Airbnb and discrimination category happened this past Tuesday again in San Jose California. In this particular case, a filmmaker who was in town attending the Cinequest film festival for the premiere of their latest film was put out by her host on account of how she dressed, which you will see in the article of the outfit worn was maybe the host had an issue with bright colors… Who knows, it actually was not very revealing at all. All the same, she found herself stuck with a situation of not knowing where she could go and not being familiar with the area, a valid safety concern for a 12 day stay in a place over 300 miles from home. She has been set up in a hotel until today. Now it was just announced yesterday that the film festival is shutting down its second week on account of the Corona virus scare so she will only have tonight to worry about and hopefully they just let her stay put, but again, it never should have come to this in the first place and likely wouldn’t if Airbnb were more responsible with who they allow to be hosts under their companies banner. Here is the link to that article before I give my closing thoughts on all I have researched since taking this article on. Actress Jessica Cameron Sent Packing By San Jose Airbnb Host Over Her Clothing

Dear Readers, it the humble opinion of The Unspoken Ethic that Airbnb is grossly reckless with the safety of both it’s hosts and it’s guests. I think what the company had was a great idea, in theory, but in practice, it really has facilitated crimes by the 1000’s that otherwise may never have happened if that company did not exist. We’re not talking a shooting a Walmart supercenter here, Airbnb literally has put the lives of both it’s hosts and guests at risk and heartbreakingly more cases than there should ever be, with tragic results. I know everybody wants to praise the way it has ‘revolutionized travel’ and all those cute little corporate buzz phrases, but it does not change the reality that 2020 is not the era to run a business where anyone can open their doors to just any perfect stranger any more than it is an era suitable to sleep in the home of a perfect stranger, as I have repeatedly said, they signed up with an app, they didn’t get a business license to operate like legit bed and breakfast places have. We really need to start thinking about how we hold businesses such as this to account.

I told everyone there would be a match up today……..Heh heh, Do you all believe everything you read on Twitter? What’s the wrestling term for that….A mark? While everyone goes and blows up the Box Office today for the opening of The Avengers: Endgame, I’m choosing instead to show my support for multiple topics of importance. Not only does my refusal to spend money on the big Disney machine act as a personal stance against putting all of our corporate eggs in one basket, but it also gives me a moment to show you, through my own version of geekdom, my support for other topics and projects. Enter…. My VUDU wish list of other things I fully intend to spend my money on and you will get a picture of what this post is going to be about.

On April 18th Jason Mamoa put up a video on his Youtube channel to raise awareness for recycling and limiting the pollution caused by plastics. On the level, I tend to be more of a naturalist than an environmentalist. It seems with the type of coverage we get of the topic that no one with sense could even know where to begin. Activists paint a picture of a massive death toll attributed to climate change, while the U.N. tells us that the hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic is slowly repairing itself. Activists follow one branch of scientific belief that says things like climate change will increase the number of deaths from insect born diseases, while other statistics show that since 2000 the number of global malaria infections are down 37% while malaria related deaths are down 62%. Activists will tell us we are one or two generations from certain death due to climate issues that the government needs to step in and do something about. 11,000 years ago we had an era that is called The Ice Age, so while climate change is very obviously real, it is also very clearly a natural process that can lead to massive changes. What it ultimately begs the question of is, how much stock do we give 200 years of scientific development and political power playing in the study of something that has been constantly changing for literally millions of years?

So why am I all poo poo on the “We’re ALL gonna die over the climate change.” argument while supporting Jason Mamoa and his stance. The answer to this is because I believe in the power of arguing visible viewpoints over hypothetical scare tactics. I lived in the state of West Virginia for over 25 years from 1990 until 2015. One of the most historical tragedies to ever hit the state was the Buffalo Creek flood of 1972 in which the collapse of 3 coal slurry dams caused a massive flood that killed 125 people. In the years that I had lived in WV there was another accident involving the mines and that was the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 miners after a coal dust explosion caused collapse. The CEO of the company would go on to be sentenced to a year in federal prison when it was found that he had willfully violated mine health and safety standards, cutting costs that had ultimately contributed to that disaster and the death of 29 people.

Had enough yet? Fast forward to January 2014 to the incident known as the West Virginia Water Crisis. On January 9th, 2014 over 7,500 gallons of
4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was leaked into the Elk River a few miles upstream of the West Virginia American Water intake which left over 300,000 residents in 9 counties without potable water for 9 days. The incident also saw 169 people end up getting checked with non-fatal illnesses, 14 of those, bad enough to be hospitalized. The DEP investigation would find that negligence in the storing of the chemicals was the biggest contributing factor. Are we seeing a pattern here? I have seen and experienced firsthand the ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT left behind by big corporations when they want their greater profit over conducting their business in a responsible fashion and while it may not be the death of us in a handful of generations…..Maybe, it has been both fatal and costly to the health of the general population surrounding them when the straw breaks the camel’s back so to speak. These were just a couple examples from one area, that I could personally speak to my knowledge of from being present when they occurred. In short, I am not so quick to dismiss the “tree huggers” when they are RIGHT. Which is also why I believe making the environment a political issue is rather asinine. The moment you take scientific findings and apply this one left and this one right, you ensure that the purpose behind the study loses it’s meaning. All of these findings are meant to be taken in as a whole to help science piece together the puzzle.

A can of soda can be bought for about 50 cents out of a vending machine in a lot of places, and a lot of times, the price is generally dictated by the brand rather than the cost to produce. A plastic bottle of water from a vending machine tends to cost about as much as a bottle of soda, or about a dollar to 1.50 now while it’s true you get more, about 8 ounces more, usually, there is little showing a justification for that price difference. What does price indicate? It indicates just how cheap both forms of packaging are, only one is 100% recyclable, the other is chemical based and is not 100 percent recyclable. Sounds like a practical solution to me and what is even better is that, not only is aluminum better environmentally than plastic, but because it counts as scrap metal, even just bagging your cans and setting them out for scavengers to collect also gives a hand to people who are generally in need of money, so that gives it bonus points in my book. So my take is a simple take from a simple geek…..I stand with Aquaman.

Goodbye Drogo I SHAVED