The Gonzo Journals
May 19th, 2023
This is just your Friday reminder that this actually happened, and it will be happening again to another author or artist soon. The entire community was hell bent on stopping this type of thing for a week, and then it faded into obscurity. That’s how they win, folks. That’s how all the wrong shit in this world continues. We get all up in arms about something on social media for a week, and then suddenly get sidetracked by the next big thing. If you need validation, check out arguments on Facebook and Twitter about mass shootings, gun control, black lives matter, cancel culture, politicians who lie about being Jewish, Presidents who try to overthrow democracy, etc. Something bad happens, and we, as a society, care hard core until we don’t. The powers that be know this, that is why nothing changes. They bide their time until we forget, which is usually quite sudden. At some point, we must prove them wrong. I know my situation is nothing compared to the death of another human being, I’m just giving examples of how quickly we forget. Peace, love, and happiness to everyone. Contrary to popular belief, those are basic human rights.
It’s been a month…
I’m re-posting this for all the people in the cheap seats who may not have heard the first time. I’ll probably keep doing this once a month so get used to it.
To my Six Flags family,
On April 20th, 2023 I was contacted by Six Flags Human Resources stating a formal complaint had been made against me as an employee by a guest. This guest read one of my novels, became offended by the content, and began a smear campaign against me as a person on Tik Tok. Six Flags was tagged in the video.
I have been a regularly published author, producer, journalist, song writer, and video game writer for over fifteen years now in the horror/extreme horror/splatterpunk community. I am known in circles all around the world and a quick Google search will reveal my level of intensity. I also do this under a pen name rather than my legal name, which is how I’m known at work. If I recall, all of this information was listed on my employment application, and no one seemed to have an issue with it at the time. My most popular novella, Starving Zoe, is a period piece from 1865 when things were perceived quite differently from how they are today. As an artist, I made the book period accurate, drawing from the insane ramblings of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Ed Lee’s Header. I clearly state this on the dedication page. Unfortunately, no one reads the dedication page, and this person dove into my work completely blind.
The line in question is from the main character Robert Jack, sexually fantasizing about his cohort and partner Zoe Telos who is only fourteen years old. In 1865, fourteen year olds could get married and have children. No one would think it odd or out of place. Again, this is a period piece, and it is historically accurate. If you continue to read further, the character confesses he despises pedophiles and is disgusted by the thought of acting on his intrusive thoughts. People only see what they want to see.
This person – who ironically has several ties to my ex-wife and many of her friends – is rallying support from pedophile watchdog groups. I have recently filed a civil suit against one of these individuals for mail harassment and feel this trigger was done in retaliation. They cannot seem to separate reality from fiction. I’m certain Stephen King doesn’t dress up as a clown and stalk the sewers of Maine for unsuspecting children. I’m positive George Lucas has yet to yield a real, working lightsaber. We are authors. We make stuff up for a living.
There is nothing illegal in Starving Zoe, otherwise my publisher wouldn’t have released it and Amazon wouldn’t agree to sell it. Disgusting? Yes. Repulsive? Sure. Illegal? Never. I am a married father of five and a grandfather of seven. I am also a disabled veteran. I freelance from time to time for various media organizations and have several legal and media connections. This has the potential to be horrible for everyone involved. We live in a world now where books are banned by the government for containing material they deem “unfit”. Art is subjective. It is open to interpretation individually.
Since being contacted by HR, the person headlining this assault has publicly revealed that they are NOT a guest of the park. They are a fellow employee and claim to be gaining strength to have me slandered and terminated. I have officially requested legal protection from Six Flags Over Texas Human Resources due to a hostile work environment and fear for my personal safety. Since there is nothing illegal taking place in the novella and I have done nothing illegal as a real, flesh and blood person, my artistic expression is protected under the United States Constitution. If what I have done is truly illegal, then every person who has ever killed anyone in any novel or movie is a murderer.
My only reason for gaining employment at Six Flags Over Texas was to drive the steam locomotive. It is something I promised myself I’d do as a child, and I feel as though I have surpassed the expectations of the casual employee. I receive regular commendations from both my coworkers and guests. That is why this case took me completely by surprise. My employment was never about monetary gain. It was about fulfilling an oath to my younger self. I would work on the Six Flags & Texas Railroad for absolutely free. I love my trains, my coworkers, and the guests. I make them smile. I make them laugh. Most of all, I make them remember.
I have spoken to my attorney in length as to the next steps. Writing is my profession and my livelihood. Lawsuits are on hold against all parties involved for my personal and professional defamation and await my motion to file. Their Tik Tok account is now set to “private” and I have been personally blocked to prevent me from seeing any further defamation. Unfortunately, the damage is done, and the video was viewed thousands of times.
I just got off an HR conference call with Six Flags Over Texas and, regardless of the obvious falsities in this employee’s statements and my protections as an artist underneath the United States Constitution, I have been officially terminated. It doesn’t matter that I write under a pen name and introduce myself under my legal name in the work environment. Six Flags claims that my art is not associated with the brand they sell, even though I’m not selling anything on their behalf. I am literally in tears right now.
Thank you all for dozens of wonderful memories I will carry with me to the very end. I love you all. Hopefully, the most realistic and sensible among you will remain my friend through the potential legal nightmares ahead. I really need to sleep on this and consult with my maker regarding the path ahead. On the bright side of things, I am selling a TON of Starving Zoe copies via Kindle, Amazon, and Audible. There’s no such thing as bad publicity when you’re an artist.
If any of you out there can offer any solid advice or bring this to the attention of someone who could make a difference, I would be eternally grateful. I just want to drive the train.
C. Derick Miller, author
Chad Cloud-Miller, railroad dreamer
The Tik Tok account was deleted mere moments after I was terminated. I never found out if it was truly another employee or someone else who pretended to be. Regardless, this never should’ve gone down the way it did with no chance of retort or reconciliation. The company just waited until the heat died down on social media and went on with their life. Same as they’ve done before, and same as they’ll do next time. Yes, there WILL be a next time.
If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone in regard to anything.
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