The Gonzo Journals
April 26th, 2023
Ok. I’ve dropped the kid off at school, had my coffee, fed my snake (no, that’s not code), and answered a few dozen emails. Let’s do this.
So, one day I’m just cruising along minding my own business when a conundrum presents itself. My employer Six Flags Over Texas calls me out of the blue, after hours, and tells me someone has made me Tik Tok famous for all the wrong reasons. I check it out and, sure enough, I’m a pedophile according to a social media platform molded after the dumbest parts of Idiocracy. I’m livid.
The park claimed it was a guest but interactions with the owner of the account revealed it was a fellow employee. I invoke my legal right for protections against a hostile work environment, and I’m denied. I was terminated on the spot for writing a novella three years ago under a pen name, and that’s supposed to be the end of it.
Dude. I was so wrong, that if “wrong” were a person, and if he were here, he’d be like, “Yo, that dude is WRONG.”
Starving Zoe was released on September 11th, 2020 – Irony. Worst day + worst year = worst Splatter Western – and it was immediately met with a one-star review by an influential fan within the community. They didn’t review the book. They reviewed ME. They called me a pedo, a misogynist, a wife beater, and a narcissist. Me, not my character. Me. It placed me in a downward spiral of depression which engulfed my entire life for two years. Meds and all. I named a horse after that person in the sequel and killed her lol. Unfortunately, that novella will never see the light of day. I sold the story to a videogame company. Be prepared to fight Zoe in a couple of years on Playstation, X Box, Switch, Steam, and iiRcade. Don’t ask questions. I’m under NDA and I’ve already said too much. Love ya, though!
Anyway, time passes, I get better, I stick my toe into the waters of the literary world once more, and now a theme park wants to strip me of my decency, steal my dream job, and support a fake Tik Tok account which ceased to exist the minute their agenda was realized. I am officially one day away from being a year sober. You don’t think that rainbow Bud Light doesn’t look good sitting on the shelf at the 7/11 across the street? It doesn’t, by the way. The rainbow can is bad ass, but Bud Light sucks. I was always more of a Smithwick’s or La Fin Du Monde kind of guy. If I wanted water, I’d drink water.
Now, Starving Zoe is famous for all the wrong reasons, according to my dreams and delusions of grandeur. I wanted it to be a top seller because it was a product of literary genius, not because that dancing, bald guy on the bus took a sentence out of context. The dedication page clearly states it’s a fucked-up book. Why does no one read the dedication page? That being said, if no one reads them, why do we have dedication pages at all? To dedicate the work to the person you’re currently banging so it will curse the whole damn thing at some point. No? Just me? Yeah, you got me.
The horror community has arrived at my doorstep like a parade! Support is flowing from the deepest, darkest corners of the internet letting me know I’m not alone. Unfortunately, only a select few from the community I so recently belonged to have spoken up, but I expected nothing less. I still don’t think I’ve heard from my publisher either. I mean, I may have, but I don’t even know who runs that thing anymore. Sure, I could look at emails, but that requires work, and work is hard. Just speak up, in the end. It’s so much easier. Social media writing communities seem to pride themselves on cryptic announcements and controversy. Just speak up, for fuck’s sake! If you need to borrow some balls, I can shave off a few inches for you. I’ll even pick out the curlies!
I can’t even begin to thank everyone – minus a few self-absorbed pricks who I refuse to name at the expense of them creaming their pants for the mere mention – and it has really shown me that I still belong to the literary community. More than anything, I want to speak to Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul face to face over a coffee. A civilized conversation between two intelligent grown men instead of a Human Resources staffer who obviously accomplishers their daily agenda by a tattered, Starbuck’s ring-stained decision tree that was hanging on their desk before they were even hired. It’s probably from 1977 and written in a Star Wars font.
This is no longer about me. It is about the writing community as a whole. This can happen to anyone, anywhere…and it needs to fucking stop. Now. If I must be the martyr for literary cancel culture, so be it. If my girl Zoe becomes the poster child, I can dig it. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I hope it brings edibles and a Def Leppard album with it. I do my best thinking when I’m in 1989 mullet delusional mode.
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