: : A M E R I C A N : : ENTROPY : : TRILOGY : :



A Long Day’s Journey in to Light


A Cautionary Parable in III ACTS
(Available on Amazon.com in Kindle eBook and Trade Paperback in December 2021)


“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
– U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The AMERICAN ENTROPY TRILOGY, is a series of three sequential novels:
AMERICAN AMNESIA         Book 1: 1900 – 2000
AMERICAN ALGORITHM   Book 2:  2000 – 2004
AMERICAN ANARCHY        Book 3:  2008 – 2024 Spring of 2022
Admittedly a literary primal scream, it is my hope that in  some small way I may have contributed to an awareness and better understanding of the tremendous positive potential of the internet for promoting socially beneficent innovation, and empowering and promulgating democratic ideals. 
But, that it must not go unsaid, it’s well past time to break the glass, sounding a shrill siren, warning  of the long-term pathological consequences of:
  • Existential global threat to humanity of widespread deliberate distortion of facts and disinformation promulgated on the essentially unregulated, uncurated internet through opaque social media algorithms and artificial intelligence;
  • Unregulated/unfettered corporate surveillance capitalism, aided, abetted and enabled by the U.S. Government;
  • Existential global threat of neo-liberalism/fascism to democratic forms of government;
  • Radical right nativistic nationalism and alarming rise of populism and domestic violent extremism in America; and
  • Anthropogenic Climate Change causing catastrophic Global Warming.

In AMERICAN ENTROPY, the term Entropy is used in the context of a measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system, in particular the gradual, not necessarily inevitable, steady deterioration of a system or society to collapse.

The TRILOGY, through fictional depiction, attempts to remind and reinforce the lessons of history, replete with inspirational, courageous acts of heroism, oftentimes against great adversity including extraordinary personal sacrifice and physical harm, to advance the cause of freedom, justice and equality. 

While as a novel it strives to entertain, it’s primary raison d’ etre, frankly is to inform. It is inspired by the eternal literary verity:

Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.

– Albert Camus

So in someways, this is my Russian Novel—a dark, Slavic melancholy morality play, panoramic in scope with lots of characters over an ambitious time line. My contemporary take on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel “War and Peace”…as may have been told by Mel Brooks.

Grandiose? Perhaps. Middlebrow? Probably. Pedantic? Sure. It’s a gift.

This is not a drill...



 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
 is for good men to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke
Wednesday, November 9, 2016  1:15 AM
“I’m mad as hell…and I’m not going to take it anymore!” shouts Howard Beale erupting during the middle of his newscast in a beige rain coat, his wet, gray hair plastered to his forehead. 

Because I was so disgusted by the flagrant demagoguery, the outright mendacity and obfuscation during the rancorous national election campaign I was desperately seeking some touchstone of reality, some validation of the legitimacy of my anger, indeed rage, that I was not just being consumed by some hormonal mid-life meltdown.
So, I was about half way through the timeless political parable for about the 10th time, the 1976 film Network brilliantly written by Paddy Chayefsky, when I paused my DVR to check on the lopsided margin of victory Hilary Clinton (D) held over Donald Trump, the (R)epugnant nominee for president of the United States.

In the film, Beale, the anchorman for the UBS Evening News, struggles to accept the inequities of the world he reports. It concludes with the murder of Beale on national television; a voice over darkly proclaims him “the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings”. It is the beginning of his transfiguration into a mythical cult hero, now an enduring totem crying out against social injustice. A film classic—both a commercial and critical success winning four Oscars. Good stuff and my go-to balm when I begin to doubt my grasp on political reality. 

I had just finished viewing this eerily prescient scene, now more relevant than ever, which perfectly captures and distills the algorithm if you will, of the theology of neo-liberal corporate hegemony.  Arthur Jensen, President of UBS is reciting the Sacred Scripture of the Holy Corporate Gospel to Howard Beale, giving him his marching orders:
You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal…that is not the case! 
The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! 
There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! 
And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?…
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT and T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state Karl Marx? They pull out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories and miniMax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. 
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality. 
One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.
(humble whisper)
Why me?
Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
So, I tuned to the election coverage on lefty MSNBC to check on the overwhelming, indeed humiliating Electoral College margin of victory Hilary Clinton, America’s historic first female president, held over Donald Trump—Putin’s Poodle, the Buffoon with the Bottle Blonde Bouffant. 
At last, the demonstrable triumph of truth over demagogic trope! Hu-rray and Halleluiah! 
Hillary Clinton (D): 227
Donald Trump (R): 304
Donald Trump is projected to be the 
45th President of the United States!
W-T-F! That’s right…What The Fuck!

: : Michaelangelo’s : : Renaissance : :

a   n o v e l  —  m i c h a e l  a  k o m i n s k y

Confessions of a Media Mafia Hitman…



An epic allegory of REBIRTH–Revelation–Redemption…and REVOLUTION !

From the Great Depression through the turbulent 60′s at Berkeley to the Great Recession, comes a raucous saga of corporate conspiracy, intrigue, greed and…murder.

Michaelangelo Kozlov, a once self-satisfied plutocrat and successful “media hitman”—for the Media Mafia, a contract assassin of character—is livin’ large, when his idyllic lifestyle is shattered by a putative attack by Islamic terrorists a month after 9/11 provoking a painfully honest re-examination of his callow core values.

A cautionary, yet sometimes playful parable of the 6th Mass Extinction from Climate Change…unless…

Does the aging artist Mickey Kozlov, a once strident 60’s counterculture activist have the courage, conviction and guile to again oppose, by any means necessary, the canons and ruthless plutocrats of the same mighty machina ex corporati that made him very rich?

Based on  true events—the horrific 1999 petroleum pipeline explosion in Bellingham Washington that claimed three innocent, young unfinished lives, causing millions of dollars of damage to a pristine ecosystem.

So this tragic incident became the inspirational and aspirational genesis; a roman à clef, (Fr. a novel with a key) or a novel about real life, overlaid with a facade of fiction.

Certain liberties were taken with the facts, including causation and dates for literary and dramatic purposes.

Grandiose? Perhaps.  Middlebrow? Probably.  Pedantic? Sure. It’s a gift…

With the exception of notable historical figures, all the characters are fictitious–any resemblance to the bad guys, living or dead, is purely coincidental…unless it ain’t. The main protagonist Michaelangelo Kozlov bears more than a casual resemblance to the author…insofar as the similitude and abundance of disturbing foibles and irritating eccentricities.


Michaelangelo’s Renaissance (2016 – 682 pp)  Trade paperback and eBook on Amazon.com


AMERICAN AMNESIA         (Scheduled release date – Winter of 2021)
AMERICAN ALGORITHM  (Scheduled release date – Winter of 2021)
AMERICAN ANARCHY        (Scheduled release date – Spring of 2022)

And if you, like many others are  “…mad as hell…and I’m not going to take it any more…” please visit howardbeale.org for more on what you can do for your fellow man and  the planet.


“Be ashamed to die until you have scored some victory for humanity…”
– Horace Mann

To View Sample Chapters

 One, Two & Three…please [click] here…or scroll down


Download your eBook

Download Complete eBook

 DOWNLOAD at NO CHARGE — for your Kindle, Nook Kobo or Adobe PDF Reader


eBook & Trade paperback at Amazon.com

: : Preamble : :

– Preamble: So, What’s the Point?  –


Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.
– Albert Camus

Everyone in Bellingham Washington remembers where they were on that lazy, innocent summer afternoon of June 10, 1999. It is the local equivalent to September 11th 2001…if you’re of my generation, the day of the JFK assassination:

 A gasoline pipeline operated by Olympic Pipeline Company exploded in Bellingham, Washington’s Whatcom Falls Park. The gasoline vapors exploded at 5:02, sending a fireball down Whatcom Creek.
– The Bellingham Herald

My first impression was, because of the magnitude and the obvious involvement of some kind of petroleum accelerant, perhaps it was the aftermath of a commercial jet crash. But a gas-filled time-bomb-pipeline? Impossible you say? Out of the realm of possibility?
I would not experience that same level of violation…and outrage until 9/11…

For more on the topic of corporate greed and governmental malfeasance…and yes, outrage, and what you can do about it, please visit: http://howardbeale.org “Outrage is Contagious…Catch It Here and Become a Carrier”.

With the exception of notable historical figures, all the characters are fictitious–any resemblance to the bad guys, living or dead, is purely coincidental…unless it ain’t. The main protagonist Michaelangelo Kozlov bears more than a casual resemblance to the author…insofar as the similitude and abundance of disturbing foibles and irritating eccentricities.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia…
– E.L. Doctorow  (January 6, 1931– July 21, 2015) RIP

So the story is somewhat of a hybrid…between non-fiction and fiction…or fiction-ish. Hence, a novel-ish.

It is a microcosm expanded to the what-if larger scenario of man’s indefatigable hubris. A cautionary parable of the worship of industry, technology and oblivious reliance on fossil fuel, despite imperative warnings of 97% of the credible scientific climate community. The idiot light on the dashboard is now frantically flashing red, admonishing us to shut down the engine of greenhouse gases…before any more irreparable damage is done. It is the tragic replay…over and over again…of the Greek mythos of Nemesis, (Gr. to pay what is due) divine retribution for man’s hubris as he blithely allows the slow systematic Matricide of Gaia.

And in someways, this is my ‘Russian Novel’…a dark, Slavic melancholy morality play…panoramic in scope with lots and lots of characters over an ambitious time line….my contemporary take on Boris Pasternak’s brilliant pre/post-revolution epic Dr Zhivago…as may have been told by Mel Brooks.



– Preface…A Brief History Primer –


Woo ah, mercy mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Woo mercy, mercy me, mercy father
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas, fish full of mercury…
– Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye 1971


Renaissance (Fr):
Renaissance, Original Italian: (Rinascimento, from rinascere “to be reborn”) was a cultural movement that spanned the period roughly from the 14th to the 17th century considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history.
It started as a cultural movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period, later spread to the rest of Europe and finally ended in the Early Modern Age. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the later 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced.

In politics, the Renaissance contributed the development of the conventions of diplomacy, and in science an increased reliance on observation.

Michelangelo Caravaggio:
( 1571–1610) The Bad Boy of the Renaissance Italian painters was active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily, during The Italian Renaissance, between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.
Caravaggio led a tumultuous life. An inveterate, promiscuous rascal, he was notorious for brawling, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace. The transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fill several pages.

The Gilded Age in United States history is the late 19th century, from the 1870s to about 1900. The term was coined by writer Mark Twain in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873), which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding.

The Gilded Age was an era of rapid economic growth, especially in the North and West. American wages, especially for skilled workers, were much higher than in Europe, which attracted millions of immigrants. The increase of industrialization meant, despite the increasing labor force, real wages in the US grew 60% from 1860 to 1890, and continued to rise after that. However, the Gilded Age was also an era of poverty and inequality as very poor European immigrants poured in and wealth became highly concentrated. Railroads were the major industry, but the factory system, mining, and finance increased in importance.

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; however, in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century.

Worldwide GDP fell by 15% from 1929 to 1932. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world’s economy can decline. The depression originated in the United States, after the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).

The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%.

The Great Recession was the general economic decline observed in world markets around the end of the first decade of the 21st century. The exact scale and timing of the recession is debated and varied from country to country. In terms of overall impact, the IMF concluded that it was the worst global recession since World War II. According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of U.S. recessions) the U.S. recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, and thus extended over 19 months. The Great Recession was related to the U.S. financial crisis of 2007–08 and subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–09.

Global Warming and climate change are terms for the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its related effects.
Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming caused by human (anthropogenic) activities. Although the increase of near-surface atmospheric temperature is the measure of global warming often reported in the popular press, most of the additional energy stored in the climate system since 1970 has gone into ocean warming. The remainder has melted ice, and warmed the continents and atmosphere. Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

: : Prequel & Sample Chapters One & Two : :

© 2007-2015 Michael A. Kominsky
MetaMEDIA Communications
all rights reserved


– Prequel –

On a clear day
How it will astound you
That the glow of your being
Outshines every star
You’ll feel part of every mountain sea and shore…
– On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) – Alan Lerner/Burton Lane

Moody Seaport, Washington State
October 10, 2001 Thursday 3:01 pm – 1 Kilometer from Ground Zero

A perfect Pacific Northwest Fall day…brimming with promise and expectation. So clear, Mount Baker, the great alabaster volcanic sentinel looming on the horizon is caressible.

Maple, Cottonwood and Alder are ablaze with riotous slashes of crimson, copper and rust against a backdrop of the same unsuspecting super-saturated cyan sky of September 11, 2001.

The Blue Beemer convertible top is down when the beautiful and bright mother of two, Professor Jessica Kennedy-Allison, drives away from the conspicuously opulent Lakefront McMansion on Cascadia Lake—for the last time.

Sample Chapter – 1 –


Those who do not follow willingly…are dragged by the gods.
– Ancient Roman proverb–anonymous

Moody Seaport, Washington State
October 10, 2001 Thursday 3:10 pm – .5 Kilometers from Ground Zero

Jessie Allison has been racing around all day in preparation for tonight’s VIP affair. It’s a beautiful Indian Summer day…she opts to park the requisite au courant Range Rover SUV of the arrivste, and take the convertible, a 2000 BMW 323Ci, to pick up her twin daughters Meghan and McKenzie from the prestigious and very exclusive Arcadia school.

The twins love riding in the backseat with the top down. They squeal with delight as their father Jack, District Attorney of Cascadia County, takes a corner hard, experiencing the lateral “Gs” of a roller-coaster. Because the Beemer, with the ‘DA BMR’ plate is Jack’s toy, she seldom gets to drive it.

After picking up the girls she is running late, and afternoon traffic is starting to get heavy.

She punches in her husband’s mobile number, “Honey…I’m stuck in traffic here…so frazzled, I forgot the wine…don’t have time to stop and pick it up. Can you stop on the way home from work?”

“Dammit, Jessie…I got so damn much on my mind…getting ready for this dinner…why the hell did you leave this to the last minute? I shouldn’t have to tell ya this is a B-F-D for me…uh us. Just handle it!” John says with a bite.

“Okay…okay…sorry…just thought…never mind. If I take the shortcut…the Moody Creek overpass, I can probably bypass some of this traffic.”

“And pick something with an expensive sounding French name…at least 10 years old.” Click.

She could not have anticipated the road construction zone at the overpass…or…

She is immediately stuck in the afternoon bumper to bumper traffic idling on the middle of the overpass that crosses Moody Creek. Impatiently drumming her fingers on the steering wheel, she is waiting for the light to change. Dammit, this light is taking an eternity…I’ve got so much to get done before tonight...as the forces of fate are silently starting to compound.

Picking up her children from school is a pleasant diversion from running errands and frantic shopping all day for tonight’s important affair. She listens distractedly as the girls, immaculately dressed in identical brightly colored floral print jumper suits, with matching day packs, share with great gravity, the daily minutiae so breathlessly important to a sixth grader.

“Mommy…do you know what that Maya Tarnowski did today?” says Meghan.

“Well…I’ll tell ya mommy…she brought her lunch in paper bag…a yucky paper bag!” chimes in McKenzie finishing her sister’s sentence as twins often do.

“And she was wearin’ some like sooo yesterday…totally uncool…like Walmart…thing.” Meghan finishes.

“Well, not everyone is born with a proper sense of fashion…in some it must be cultivated.” Jessica patiently counsels.

“Mommy…what’s a Muslim? Amber Ashton said that Maya’s mom is a Muslim…and that all Muslims are terrorists.” MaKenzie says.

“Hmmm…well…Muslims don’t believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior as we do. Even though they’re different from us and don’t believe in the Bible like we do, I don’t think all Muslims are terrorists…I work with Maya’s mother…and I don’t think she’s a terrorist.” Jessica says.

“Oh. Uh…mommy does that mean that they can’t go to Heaven…like us?” Meghan says.

“Well according to the Bible…yes…” Jessica says.

The girls drone on about Trevor this, and Tyler that, but her mind is elsewhere, as she ponders tonight’s haute cuisine bill of fare intended to duly impress the Executive Director of the Washington State Republican Caucus.

Her husband, John “Jack” Allision is young, handsome and bright…and nakedly ambitious. With his high conviction rate, he is carefully honing a politically appealing “no-nonsense” tough on crime reputation. He and Jessica, and their twin daughters, strike an inviting camera-ready All-American conservative Christian family image. He is being groomed for Washington State Senator, the first, but necessary step, of many toward becoming a serious mover and shaker in Washington state politics counsels ExDir, Jake Rossitor.

Jessie, is a ready for prime-time beauty–tanned, long legged, athletically lean with lustrous long blonde hair and wide-set luminous indigo eyes. The full package. A tenured Professor of Humanities at Moody University, where she herself graduated, she has graduate degree in Greek Classics–her Master’s Thesis was on Aristotelian Tragedy.

Both Jack and Jessica come from families of considerable wealth, prestige and privilege. A small-town golden-boy quarterback used to getting by on his looks, his family’s considerable wealth flowed from the plains of Wyoming black gold oil bidness. Having flunked out of Harvard, eventually a graduate of conservative University of Wyoming, his checkered and unremarkable academic achievements eventually led him to Seattle University Law School, where he barely qualified for admission, which in time would lead to meeting his future wife Jessica and settling in Moody Seaport where she was in grad-school and ultimately professor. He has chosen to practice criminal law as a D. A., a traditional gateway to higher public office…in ‘big fish-small pond’ Moody Seaport. He is a driven man–with aspirations one day to be Governor of Washington.

Her family amassed their huge fortune the old-fashioned way–they inherited it. During the Great Depression her predatory paternal grandfather, a distant cousin to Joe Kennedy Sr., the patriarch of the Kennedy’s of Hyannis Port, had bought up hundreds of distressed commercial properties in foreclosure for pennies on the dollar; prime real estate in central urban centers, like New York City and Chicago.

The light finally turns green, as the cars in front of her begin to move…


Jessica’s reverie is abruptly interrupted by a deafening explosion, violently shaking the overpass and the eight cars traversing it. Startled by the explosion, the driver of the car ahead, brakes hard skidding to a complete stop. Jessica slams on the brakes, nearly rear ending him. Because she’s accustomed to driving the Rover with an automatic tranny, she neglects to depress the clutch…the engine sputters and dies. The twins are immediately quieted, then in unison, begin crying hysterically. The driver of the car ahead is now scanning the horizon for the origin of the blast, turning his head, first to the left then, when his attention becomes fixed to his right, he immediately floors the accelerator, leaving the pungent smell of burning rubber.

As she turns her body to reach behind her to try to comfort the girls with a mother’s touch, the driver of the car behind her is now frantically honking the horn…first intermittently, then a constant, irritatingly loud din. How rude! Okay…buster…calm down…I think I’ll just take my time…teach him some manners…

She is now looking to her right, up Moody Creek, when her eyes are assaulted by a vision that can not be possibly be real…a massive angry ball of fire is rolling toward the overpass…directly at them. A fire-breathing malevolent Medusa…like something from an end-of-the-world sci-fi movie. But the reality of this surreal mirage of mayhem, the speed and the size of it, as it roars inexorably toward them is validated by the extreme heat blast that precedes it.

She frantically slides the stick shift into neutral, and turns the key. Nothing. Paralyzed with fear, she is too terrified to look up, but her peripheral vision senses the impending fireball racing toward them. The constant, offensive blare of the horn unnerves her. It is getting closer. Closer. She is now in full panic mode. She turns and releases the key, again nothing. Nothing. But, in her panic she has forgotten that the clutch pedal must be depressed before the ignition can engage the starter motor.

Jessica knows that their only hope now, is to get her and the children out of the car. But traveling nearly 60 miles per hour, within just a few seconds, before Jessica can even release her own harness, the voracious Monster has already pounced upon them. The last sounds she and the girls will hear is the blaring horn over the snarling roar of the ravenous Beast. Jessica and the girls, their shoulder harnesses still fastened–this is how they will be found, frozen in place, after the fiery tsunami has washed over them, incinerating every thing and every one in its path.

For many years later, almost nightly, John Allison would bolt upright, sheets soaked with sweat, haunted by the same endless loop horror movie of his beautiful wife and two darling twins helplessly watching the wall of fire as it descends upon them. Torturing himself with the same question: If only I hadn’t…if Jessie had not taken the shortcut..that deadly shortcut…

Was it just bad luck that had snatched my promising future and my beautiful family? How could my omnipotent God allow this to happen…was he asleep on the job?

Or…was it one of the endlessly repeating Greek Tragedies like Nemesis, the Greek mythological spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris and greed…playing itself out again, as she had expounded in her undergrad Humanities lectures, so many times.

  Sample Chapter – 2


DoubleSpeak: First they steal the words,
then they steal the meaning.
– George Orwell in his novel (1949) – 1984

Moody Seaport, Washington State

October 10, 2001 Thursday 3:08 pm -.5 Kilometers from Ground Zero

I go by Koz. Michaelangelo Kozlov—to my close friends, Mickey, or MAK. To my Ex, ATM.

I’m a filmmaker. In my past life, representing mostly Fortune 500 clients, like Big Tobacco, intent on shaping the discourse of the vox populi. A merchant of doubt, I had specialized in the dark art of manufacturing consent, creating hundreds of poisonous position campaign ads and “documentaries” with a tendentious, often polemic political Point of View. A mercenary paladin—have camera will travel.

That is, until about a month after September 11, 2001. Up to 9/11, I was still very angry, very bitter and had grown gratuitously cynical, from having lost everything I thought mattered most, including the love of my life—brutally murdered back in 1985, when I was sucker-punched by a Misanthropic Miz Kismet. Karmic blow back is a ‘bitch’.

9/11 more than demolished the Dual Phallic Monuments erected to American Capitalism, massacring 3,000 martyrs on our home court— orphaning all of us. Violated in the promising morning light of day, in the safety of our own house, now and forever held emotional hostage by jihad. A testosterone laced attempt at a Grand Emasculation, a macho kick in the gonads, to render the Great Satan impotent. Was God asleep? Even Allah must have wept.

A Day of Infamy 2.0. The date now belongs to history as, A Tuesday Mourning, the eleventh of never, forever dismantling American Invincibility. The Western Deity of technology had empowered the powerless, the ignored. New rules. Welcome to the world of asymmetric warfare, the new equalizer against ‘superior force’. The delivery of blow back with no small irony through the democracy, the off-the-shelf availability of technology. A technological Frankenstein released into the wild, against its Western Creator. The new normal.

Almost immediately, the media began inflicting massive sensory mayhem through a constant 24-7 bombardment of our senses. Great Balls of Fire, over and over again, shamelessly appropriating the solemn and sacred into a vulgar obscenity—all on the pretense of news. And in some perverse twisted way, those flying silver marvels, monuments to Western innovation, on 9/11 became the guided missiles of misguided Muslim misanthropes. Delivering Air Mail, a mega-business opportunity—Special Delivery paranoia in perpetuity—a windfall of profane profits to the sacred bottom line of Corporate media.

Inviting and inciting a simplistic Cineplex reality of causation and Rambo revenge—the commoditization of fear and paranoia. Evil as a brand is created, competitively marketed, inanely sold like soap, non-stop on cable news channels—in the process paralyzing our humanity, resurrecting the Crusades and spawning wholesale Islamophobia.

Frankly, it was the genesis of my epiphany, the opening of my eyes, to the reality that I was nothing more than a propaganda pimp—a dissembler and purveyor of the same skewed, unreality that was driving the collective paranoia and fear mongering of the masses.

It brought into painfully clear focus, that I was a charter member of the Unreality Industry Inc. that was manipulating and exploiting the fear and anxiety of an emotionally traumatized post 9/11 public—for cynical political advantage and yes, personal monetary gain. Big time. Eventually, making it pretty damn hard to look myself in the mirror.

My dubious gene pool is half-Italian, from the neck up, half-Russian, and the third half, according to my barely over 5 foot tall Russian Babuska, zhiraf, or giraffe. Christened after Michelangelo Caravaggio, the great Renaissance painter and rascal of Milano, Italy, by way of my maternal grandfather, Michael Caravaggio of South Philly. Also, birthplace of moi and the Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa, Patron Saint of Philadelphia. Yo Adrian! On the paternal Kozlov side, the Cossacks of the Don region of the Ukraine and Southern Russia, the pre-revolution Tzar’s barbarous mercenary militia.

Both branches of the rather tall family tree sprouting inveterate Philly Philanderers, begs one of life’s more persistent questions. Does a uh…bad apple always fall not very far from the tree?To perfectly mangle a metaphor. Your call.

Since my internet nom de guerre is the portmanteau kozmick, naturally it’s Kozmick Productions. Yeah I know, a little too cute by half. Just about what you’d expect, from a narcissist.

If all fiction is essentially, a lie, then it would seem to me that a good storyteller, must first be a good liar. If that’s the requisite bon fides, standing at six and a half feet, uniquely qualifies me to tell decidedly tall tales. After 1985, I had been a professional propagandizer—a fixer, at times, I admit bordering on the pathological. First producing banal “soap” commercials for the top 10 Broadcast TV markets, including The Big Apple and El Lay, for last 9 years now infomercial docs. Selling soap or lies, the process is all the same.

But the Big Bucks had flowed into Kozmick Productions on two year cycles from campaign ads for so-called elections. Since the Kennedy-Nixon era, TV had become the increasingly dominate medium for political advertising—from the 70s, exponentially so. Why? Because it works. Big time. Statistically, the best ROI, Return on Investment, per dollar spent per vote bought. Nationally, about sixty percent of all advertising and marketing $$$$ are spent on TV, mostly negative attack ads. Predominately on broadcast networks, but now increasingly on satellite networks, like CNN and from 1997, obscene ad revenues in particular for ultra-right wing Fox “News” Channel. Not only do the Networks make huge profits, but everybody has their snout in the trough—it’s non-stop feeding time at the pig pen.

From the early 90s the proliferation of TV as the preeminent medium for political campaign ads began to even insinuate itself into elections for state and local governments, like city and county council, mayor, local initiatives and referenda, including the negative scorched-earth brand of attack ads. Some would later cite this profound change in the advertising media landscape as the genesis of the wholesale polarization of the political process, which had even seeped down to the local government level. Even though the negative attack ads tactically in the short run achieved the desired victory, in the strategic long term, the strident radicalization of the ideology often burdened the ability to effectively govern—to allow any form of compromise for fear of the third-rail accusation of being labeled a flip-flopper—or a RINO, Republican In Name Only.

The local cable companies could now offer relatively inexpensive spot TV advertising, because of low operational overhead at a relatively low CPM, or cost per thousand, narrowly targeted by specific cable system demographics. This allowed the advertiser for the most part, to only pay for their target demographic CPM. Inserting political ads at a local level for state, regional and local elections became a huge profit center for essentially selling air, on local ‘avails’, where the cable company inserts an ad over the national feed, about 3 minutes per hour allocated on satellite networks like CNN that cost them absolutely nothing. Exploiting the vanity of the local mom-and-pop businesses ‘to be on TV’, with those charmingly cheesy :30 ads. Pure profit capitalized by pretend populism.

The ads could be customized almost to a granular level to appeal to specific demographics inherent in each cable service area heavily correlated with increased efforts at redistricting, or gerrymandering. It reinforced the tried and true campaign axiom, that “all politics are local”.

The Big Ad and PR Agencies, could charge exorbitant rates for the “creative” and on top of that, receive about a 15% commission on all media placed, on radio, TV and print, on millions of $$$. About six months before the actual election during primaries, because we had become very good at what we do, we had started getting calls from the Big Five national ad agencies, cueing up for production work. Mostly writing and producing :30 ads, our niche, the specialty of the house—nuanced euphemisms for borderline slanderous, but still exceedingly effective; “Are you lying now…or were you lying then? Do you still beat your wife?” kinda stuff. Our job description was hit-men for the Media Mafia—contract assassins of character.

With the rationalization ‘Just responding to the invisible hand of the market‘, like the rest of media we’ve had our snouts deeply submerged in the trough. We justified our piranha participation with, Hey…if we don’t, somebody else will pickup the obscene amounts of money just laying on the table. And by the way, it had made us a very nice living.

My dubious storyteller skills aside, although I’m certainly no Melville, Herman and I do have a few things in common—one very big thing in particular, an exceedingly large, and very angry, hairless albino mammal, Hawkus Shapirus. More later on the corporate ship of fools of the doomed Pequod and my inevitable collision course with its tyrannical monomaniacal Captain.

So, it’s just about a month since the attack on the Twin Towers of Power, and it’s coming up on the second anniversary of the WTO, The Battle in Seattle of November 1999. The whole week before, there had been very heavy social network traffic, buzzing with activists postings. Social justice advocates planned to trek to Seattle en masse from all over the U.S. to disrupt and attempt to stymie the conference through non-violent civil disobedience. Because Seattle is only about an hour and a half away, we had decided to ‘spec it’—as an indy news stringer.

After viewing some of our powerful verite in-the-trenches footage on national broadcast news, we were contacted by an ad agency representing a consortium of NGO Big Business PACs to produce a doc. Not normally a good ideological fit, but because of post 9/11 collective anxiety and mass uncertainty, the bottom had fallen out of the economy, literally overnight with many clients canceling production work.

The phone was so dead, a few times a day, I’d pick it up to listen for dial-tone just to confirm it was still working. The job was not exactly our cup of tea, more like hemlock, but because we had bills to pay, and a mortgage etcetera, we reluctantly bent our increasingly malleable scruples to stay in business. So, we took the job. Besides, the money was very good.

As a business operator, during slow economic times, it’s amazing how basic economic survival can so easily twist one’s high-minded principles, insinuating itself into every facet of American business life. In commiserating with our contemporaries, it seemed that the only organizations with money, indeed lots of money to spend on production were, as always, the far right conservative PACs.

It was supposed to be a seemingly harmless political position piece, to create a new snappier melody for the same old tired libretto. The intent was to enter it into some of the national film festivals in the category of documentary, including SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival the city where the first major shot had been fired in opposition to Globalism, and the WTO, the World Trade Organization. We didn’t figure there was a chance in hell SIFF would even consider it, so it seemed like a safe proposition, that no nobody we really cared about would even see the damn thing, thus preserving our simpatico progressive image with some of the more liberal NGOs and PACs. So this was to be billed as the real story behind the Battle in Seattle that exposed the dark and sinister forces of the anti-American, unpatriotic radical left.

The title of this one hour shameless infomercial is “Globalism-the New Capitalism—Get on the Train or Get Out of the Way”. The client, who refers to abortion rights advocates as ‘baby killers’, does not do nuance.

So it was time to play offense. They decided to go “all-in” while they still owned the White House, since trade policy, free or otherwise, delegated and controlled under the powers reserved to the Executive Branch, nominally, that would be Dubya’s job. The film would devolve into a zealous and relentless jeremiad for International Free Market Capitalism, which some of the leading liberal elite intellectuals, lefties like Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn deemed tantamount to domestic imperialism.

Where to start? When in doubt, wave Old Glory while sprinkling a few, now Faux News coined epithets, like ‘liberal’ and ‘social programs’, hurled like a cat spitting up a hairball. So what started out as a relatively innocuous documentary, as the wave of client change orders started coming in from the rough cut, evolved to a rather strident ultra-right tract. But there was no turning back now for us. Out of a professional ethic, we needed to see it through. The worst negative rap a small production company can suffer is that it did not meet the standards of the client. The client is never wrong even when they are a total jackass. The production community is relatively small, and bad news, like being considered hard to work with, especially when it is promulgated with the help of your competition can travel literally at the speed of light. In our business, reputations are like pianos—hard to lift and easy to drop.

So for the client it was gloves off. Time to spin the colossal WTO PR disaster into some Socialist anti-Capitalism UN-American narrative that would have legs.

Me and my partner, Ad Hoc Shapiro, aka Hawk, were just finishing up the online edit at our production facility in Moody Seaport. Aside from the obvious derivation, from Hoc, the Hawkster also sports a considerable aquiline beak—not a big nose…just a small face, he explains.

“Koz…man, don’t even want my name linked with this dog. If Daddy ever saw a Shapiro connected to something like this, he’d probably disown me…again,” Hawk says in his incongruously high almost castrato voce.

“Hey Hawk, it’s not that bad. So I take it you have some fundamental…ideological disagreements with the content of the message?” I say.

“You could say that. To paraphrase da man, Marshall McLuhan, ‘the medium is da ma-ssage‘ of this shameless radical right screed,” Hawk says.

“Well don’t hold back, man. Whattya really think?” I ask.

“Man…the only question I have for you, is how come you don’t have a major problem with it?”

“I didn’t say I agree with it. But hey, it’s a livin’. It’s payin’ the rent and keepin’ us a float at least until the economy turns around and it’d be bad, no very bad for bidness if we didn’t finish it. But if I’da known what we were gettin’ into with all the change orders and such, and the extremist POV, yea, I probably would have passed on it. The good news is that I doubt any major film festival would even consider this shameless tract,” I say.

Jezus man, now that the right is emboldened by the recent Coronation of the witless Dauphin, King George the Younger, they ain’t wastin’ any time,” Hawk says.

“Yeap…gotta admit they’re pullin’ out all the stops, way over the top. And Dubya’s the perfect foil, for the tres far right agenda of “Bush’s Brain”, Carl Rove, the Maestro of Mean,” I say.

“Doublin’ down on the mass jingoism from 9-1-1 “

“And the Battle in Seattle.” I add.

“Amazing. That Rove could sell an ex-frat-boy town clown, a notorious party-hearty guy, some BS burning bush, pun intended, religious conversion,” says the Hawkster.

“Born again…and reinvented. So I take it you’re not enthralled with our new Commander in Chief?” I say.

“An affable dunce,” Hawk says.

“Thereby insulting the whole of uh…dunce-dum. So…not buyin’ his faux John-Wayne complete with the macho saunter?” I say.

“Not on yer life, Pilgrim,” doing an uncanny Duke. “Sometimes your laser-like logic is just…stupefyin’,” Hawk says.

“Tsk tisk…just a lucky guess. Got some issues with his qualifications I take it?” I say.

“Ya think? His main asset is he’s raht neighborly. Dubya’s the kinda good ol’ boy ya’ll ‘d like to hang out with at a Sunday tailgatin’ at Dallas Cowboy Stadium,” Hawk says.

“As the Texans say, ‘all hat’. Well, I would have to concede that he’s not exactly, a uh…towering intellect compared to the smarts of the previous prez, Bubba Clinton,” I say.

“Ha…his low-bandwidth, one notch above a V-I, the other V-I, the Village Idiot. The guy’s a former college Ivy League silver-spoon cheerleader. A transplanted Brahmin now Tex-Mex. Born-again, for Chrisakes. New meaning to C-i-C, Cheerleader in Chief,” Hawk whines.

Moody Seaport’s a tony maritime enclave strategically situated on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, Washington state, about 50 miles South of YVR airport Vancouver B.C. and about 100 miles North of SEATAC airport, Seattle.

It was dubbed from the eponymous first mate James Paul Moody of the maiden and only voyage of the “unsinkable” luxury-liner, The Titanic. Moody was a young Junior Officer who heroically perished with over 1,500 souls in the frigid waters of the Atlantic on that April night of 1912. He had selflessly declined to board a lifeboat to make room for some steerage class women.

Formerly known as Cascadia City, ‘the City of Subdued Excitement’, it was renamed as an homage to honor the heroism of the Mayor’s nephew. It is now the home of the Moody University “Fightin’ Titans”, the Titanic Bookstore, Titanic Tiny Tots Daycare, Titanic Body Sculpting and Weight Loss Clinic, not to forget the Iceberg Bar and Grill, billed as your last stop before going home. You get the idea.

It seemed a brilliant strategy at the time—a masterstroke of marketing by the City Fathers to capitalize on the zeitgeist of romantic fascination of the heroic self-sacrifice of young Moody on that ‘Night to Remember’. Perhaps even becoming a magnanimous magnet to attract ‘the right kind of people’ to settle and develop Cascadia City. To transform it from just another backwater lumber mill, commercial fishing town with all the enchantment of a Rotarian Destination Resort, to an upscale Arcadia by the sea..

But a series of calamitous bizarre local disasters, only added to the ‘Moody Blues’ of melancholia from the dark, rainy interminable duct-tape-blue-tarp winters, with the only half-joking shibboleth ‘the Repository of Repressed Emotion’. There were some of the pallid Moody Moon-tan Elders, that believed perhaps the name of the town would have been better left unchanged.

The most recent of which was the massive escape of chlorine gas from the local paper mill in 1989, in which some middle-management genius thought it would be the highest and best use of resource, to capture the gas used in the manufacturing process of paper, store it in large railroad tankers, and sell it. A brilliant example of the economic efficiencies and maximization of capital resources, that was ‘perfectly safe’, they had told the City Fathers. A position they steadfastly championed, even after the sirens at the mill began screaming the warning of the escaping lethal poisonous chlorine gas from tankers cars that had ‘somehow derailed, a regrettable and unforeseeable, therefore unpreventable accident.’

Twelve people died, and thousands of were sickened, with some nearer to ground zero, requiring long-term hospitalization for permanent respiratory damage. “Bhopal Light”, a variation on the theme of the ’84 Bhopal India chlorine gas escape—which ultimately killed almost 19,000 with severe respiratory injury to over 550,000 “unlucky” innocent men, women and children. Had Moody Seaport inherited the curse of The Titanic? Or was this just another tragic example of man’s unsinkable capacity for hubris?

Sorry…some obvious Attention Deficit issues here. With my dyslexia, a potent cocktail for cognitive dysfunction. As you may have already noticed, I’m easily distracted. Not good in my line of work. Gawd…I hope they find a dyslexia for cure…soon.

Now…where was I?

Okay, so we’re in the final stages of tweaking and fine tuning the production in time to get it on FEDEX overnight for submission to the SIFF.

Hawk is running the non-linear video editing software. His thick meaty hands and knotty fingers, belie his dexterity, flying unerringly over the keyboard with the casual virtuosity reminiscent of another masterful keyboard artist, the brilliant Canuck pianist Glen Gould.

I am manually sliding the audio level fader on the sound board, for ambient audio track 2, while watching action on the huge preview monitor, a process called ‘sweetening’ the audio. I am momentarily distracted by the glare of reflection, the glistening sweat of the back of Hawk’s immense shaved skull. Absent a neck, it begins at the ears, at the massively developed trapezes muscles which only serve to accentuate a large dent, a divot. It is adorned with an angry-looking six inch transverse scar garnished with a very realistic tattoo of a zipper, with a crude cursive inscription, “in case of a seizure, open here“, a souvenir of the Free Speech Movement protests at UC Berkeley in 1964, where we had first met.

The day before, had been anything but typical. On that Thursday morning in early December, the UCB campus was crackling with political fomentation—lots of FSM speeches, student protests, chants and placards.

A twenty-two year old philosophy major, a charismatic orator named Mario Savio had just given his now legendary impromptu impassioned “Bodies upon the gears” speech at Sproul Hall.

On our way over to the Student Union to commiserate with some fellow activists—the unmistakable pungent odor of tear gas. Suddenly a crowd of about fifty students, were running pell-mell towards us from Sather Gate, being pursued by cops in riot gear, brandishing batons. Two cops had cornered one totally defenseless guy, straddling him, they were whaling on one Ad Hoc Shapiro, mercilessly with their batons with no indication of let-up. Sensing the potential lethality of the blows, my roommate and I exchanged a wordless “oh shit, bad idea, but I guess we better stop this” glance of affirmation and intervened.

Now, we were all irrevocably committed. Eventually—Goodbye basketball scholarship. Goodbye Berkeley. Goodbye student deferment. And Hello Draft Board.

So, we’re about five minutes into the film, where the protestors have overturned cars and buses, torched SPD police cars, good stuff, lots of folks, many with black ski masks, manically racing around with anti-WTO banners and signs, screaming slogans like “Down with Capitalism!”, and my personal fav “TAX-iderm the Rich!” looking every bit like violent anti-capitalist, anarchists thugs with fire and smoke and explosions—lots of orange explosions made even more dramatic against the ink black night sky.

“Back up 60 seconds…and hit record.”

“Okay…audio track 2…pre-roll, five-four-three,” says Hawk, then a silent two-count, with a hand cue signaling the in-point.

I am slowly ramping the fader up, to emphasize the incredibly loud noise from the chaos and pandemonium…


The deafening roar of a massive explosion much, much louder than the audio. The whole room shudders and shakes reverberating about 30 seconds with secondary shock waves and more explosions. The windows rattle—the lights are flickering.

Oso, a mixed Great Pyrenees-Newfie, my constant companion is startled from his sprawled slumber, in his customary spot usually near, more often under my feet. He springs up to his full stature of over three feet, nudges my right leg with his huge white Great Pyrenees head seemingly grafted on to his enormous black Newfoundland body, and starts to whine then his signature basso profundo “what the hell is goin’ on?” bark. Yeap, well said, boy.

“Now that’s what I call realistic sound effects,” says the Hawkster.

“I’m not that good goddammit! Something’s happened! Something very big and very bad…maybe The Big One. Let’s check it out!” I say.

We scurry outside, with Oso in tow. Immediately we see a huge plume of black smoke, angrily bellowing skyward already several hundred feet high. It is very close…scary close, maybe half a klick, or kilometer.

“What the fuck could cause such a massive explosion?” says Hawk.

“Gotta be some kinda accelerant…gasoline…maybe a commercial jet cratered. It’s close…real close…let’s get over there. There’s gotta be some serious casualties…see what we can do to help. And throw the cameras into the truck,” I say.

We sprint to the pick-up, and as I open the passenger door Oso automatically leaps into his accustomed place, the passenger seat. I pull him out by the collar, to the rear tail gate, where with a muffled whine of disapproval, he effortlessly jumps into the rear bed of the truck. Hawk throws the video camera, and a digital still camera into the crew cab. I am barely able to jump in, before Hawk slams it in drive, burning rubber as we race toward the now huge black ominous plume. In less than 3 minutes, we are at the entrance of a public park which appears to be ground zero of the blast, Moody Falls Park.

We skid to a stop in the parking lot. The classic Depression Era stone bridge with graceful arches that traverses the stream, just past the waterfall normally viewable, is barely discernible in the roiling oil-black smoke. As we open the truck doors, the intense heat of the fire assaults us, like stepping into a blast furnace. The sooty smoke is now starting to engulf us—we’re having a hard time breathing. We can now hear a series of not-so-distant secondary explosions. I’m beginning to wonder if this is such a good idea. I look at Hawk. He just shakes his head.

“Let’s get the hell outta here man, before this whole thing blows…there ain’t nothing we can do for anybody in that,” yells Hawk over the roar nodding toward the fire.

“Okay…guess you’re right. Poor bastards. Whatever caused it, like 9/11…fire’s a lousy way to go, man,” I shout.

Then, as a hopeful afterthought, straining to see, fighting through the stinging tears of my smoke-filled eyes, I think I detect some movement on the bridge. Then it disappears in the smoke. Then it appears again. Yes, there’s someone on the bridge, coming towards us, moving very slowly, carrying something.

“There’s some movement on the bridge…someone might be alive,” I yell.

I throw open the door, and start to run toward the bridge when suddenly out of the smoke a car comes barreling out of nowhere. Tires squealing, it barely misses me as I leap out of the way, it’s brake lights are the last thing I can make out as it speeds off, casting a ghostly red glow on to a wall of dense black smoke.

I run toward the bridge, coughing and choking. Just as I get to the bridge, I can see this charred black mass, staggering like a drunk, very slowly toward me, carrying something unrecognizable in its arms.

When I am within about 20 feet from this thing, I can begin make out that it is a human figure, or what’s left of it, skin hanging from its bones, no hair and where a face used to be, an indistinguishable charred black mass. The mass screams out something I can not decipher, but I know that it’s not English.

Sera don nee!…sera don nee!” it yells.

“What-the-hell happened?” I yell over the roar of the fire.

Then, a rapid long string of words that I do not recognize—they sound Aramaic.

“I can’t understand you…can you speak English?” I shout.

“In the name of Allah…I…” it cries back.

Then as I get closer, it collapses in a heap as the charred mass in its arms falls to the ground in front of it. I am close enough now that I can make out the forms. In front of me is the charred obviously lifeless body of a young child and from what remains of the jeans and sport shoes, expensive Air Jordan’s probably a boy. I immediately realize there is nothing that can be done for it.

I kneel down beside the other charred mass, which I can now barely discern is a young man, now laying on his side, writhing in pain, screaming in agony, third degree burns over most of his body.

His body is so burnt I can not even find an undamaged location to grab on to…to try to move him.


He screams, “Allahu-u-Akbar! There is a long exhale, as his body goes limp. Then the unmistakable death-rattle.

The concussion of the shock wave of a huge secondary explosion catapults me backwards 15 feet into the air. I land flat on my back with force of a platform high dive into an empty pool, on to a huge mid-river boulder knocking the wind out of me, hitting the back of my head hard. Although I am completely disoriented and immobile, I now have the vague sensation of being underwater, face down, the icy cold water of the stream snaps me back to semi-consciousness, but I still can not move. I become aware of a tugging on my right pant leg, pulling me backwards forcing the cold water up my nose, and down my throat into my lungs. I am now half on the shore, with my face still in the water, when I am flipped over like a dead fish, and dragged completely out of the water. Gasping for air, coughing and sputtering, I force open my eyes and see Oso’s immense white head, whining, his big pink tongue slapping against my face.

As I push him away, I hear Hawk’s familiar falsetto voice, “Oso, good boy…back off now boy, I’ve gott’em.”

Then I have the sensation of being effortlessly lifted up like large stuffed Panda Bear, walked up the river bank, then being gently laid out in the back of the truck with my head laying on the open tailgate. I briefly pass out.

Like one of my 60s bad LSD trips, my desperate attempt to reconstruct what happened is futile. The intense heat—a blast furnace—the cloying smell of burnt flesh, dominate my consciousness. Every breath feels like a blow torch turned on my lungs.

Like a getaway driver at a bank heist gone very bad Hawk floors it. In a daze, laying on my back, I am starting to see a few patches of brilliant blue sky. My left ear pressed against the hard-steel bed of the pick-up amplifies the din of squealing tires—the high rpm whine of the engine drowning out the ambient pandemonium. Then the surreal sensation of a lightness of being, as an eerie equanimity washes over me, floating ever upward, looking down at the inferno. But my mystical migration is rudely interrupted by Oso’s, half-barking whimper in my right ear. Then, again with the big wet sandpaper tongue lapping my face summons me back to reality, activating the deep primal instinct to survive—evincing in me a sense that it is not yet time. Then, all black.


Its appetite for death and destruction momentarily satiated, The Monster, re-gathers itself, accelerating down the creek toward the unsuspecting populace of downtown Moody Seaport.

As It greedily races unimpeded down Moody Creek, through the car-laden overpass, and ultimately to the Moody Bay estuary, with no warning other than a rumbling, some would later describe as a bestial growling. It will engulf several buildings down by the waterfront. “Spontaneous combustion” is the technical term of art used by the Fire Chief Ted Frawley. His hair, somehow perfect, dressed in his official polished brass-buttoned department best normally reserved for parades and awards ceremonies.

Within less than two hours after the initial blast, in front of a hastily assembled cluster of microphones, tangle of wires and TV cameras, the ceaseless click and flash of cameras punctuates the Chief’s “media moment” debut. Mustering his most serious game face for the cameras, he obliges the media—the unspoken duty to provide disaster reality TV worthy of prime-time.

Behind a practiced expression of empathetic gravity, barely able to conceal their prurient lust for a good “if it bleeds, it leads” story, “Spontaneous combustion levels town” will become the lead line sound-byte of the perfectly coiffed broadcast carbon-copy news anchors and eye-candy anchorettes. Within three hours, sleepy little Moody Seaport is massively invaded by legions of ravenous mass media, dozens of huge semi-trailers each with several satellite dish uplinks.

By the time the gasoline finally burns itself off, several hours later in the Bay, 26 innocents will have been senselessly killed and scores injured, some of whom months later would still be hospitalized with horrific second and third degree burns.

 (End of Chapter – 2 – and sample chapters…)

© 2007-2015 Michael A. Kominsky
MetaMEDIA Communications
All rights reserved

: : about the author : :

m i c h a e l   a   k o m i n s k y

MetaMEDIA Communications

  • Owner/operator
  • Media designer
  • Producer/Director of Independent Films
  • Bellingham WA
  • email contact

Visit Kozmick Arts to view michael alonzo kominsky’s art..





Thanks for taking the time to read thus far—hope that you enjoy the read.  I’d very much like to hear from you…


~ mak

 This painting, “Fragile Status Quo,” which was completed several days after the explosion, is an elegy; an expression of my personal grief for the innocent, unfinished lives lost, and the mayhem inflicted on a beautiful, very special place.

Fragile Status Quo

Fragile Status Quo…

: : Coming in the Spring of 2019…The Mickey Kozlov Series : :

: : Michaelangelo’s : : Rennaissance : :

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JUST KOZ – The Mickey Kozlov Trilogy:

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: : Epilogue…Some Final Thoughts : :

– Epilogue…Some Final Thoughts –

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
– Edmund Burke


I have no illusions that my meager literary talents even belong with the literary giants listed in the Preface.

I have attempted to deliver my humble oeuvre at weaving an entertaining, hopefully leaven with some humor, allegory. Even though it is, perhaps an overly ambitious epic time frame, I wanted to give the reader a broad historical perspective from the Great Depression, and through literary sequels, to the Great Recession…through a wide angle lens.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
– George Santayana

It is important to remember that even though this is a work of fiction, and strives to entertain, it’s primary intent, frankly is to inform. The overarching purpose of it is to leave the reader with a macrocosmic understanding of the fundamental issues surrounding anthropogenic climate change including a vision for radical reformation of the irreparably broken political system that precipitated it.

As such, it should be viewed more as a philosophical dialectic, rather than on its dubious technical merits. Even though I have tried not to overburden the reader with gratuitous technical jargon/nomenclature including acronyms, unfortunately the inherent complexity necessitates the use of much technical terminology.
While I have attempted to mitigate technical errors through conscientious research, because I am not from academia, nor do I not represent myself as any kind of an expert on climate science, nor am I an economist or political scientist or any kind of expert on the Internet and cyberspace, I hope the reader can transcend any technical insufficiencies. The technical elements presented in many cases are a distillation/simplification for dramatic purposes. As such I take full responsibility for any technical inaccuracies, omissions or deficiencies.

With unabashed passion, I have endeavored to proffer the scientific, legal and pragmatic portent of the lethal consequences of the coming 6th Massive Extinction of life form on the planet from climate change…unless…and that’s where you come in.
The most problematic and difficult, yet imperative component of all–the politics of a massive shift in the collective consciousness of humanity…simply stated…from the Me to WE.

To survive this unprecedented global threat to our very existence will require a radical reordering of civilization’s deeply devolved and perverse priorities:

  • our connectedness with our one, and only planet,
  • our sense of social justice and community in the brotherhood of man; and
  • our compassion for one another.

In the process I hope that you find this parable an entertaining read. Despite the gravity of the topic, I have tried to at times introduce a playful and whimsical take on this ‘collective global suicide’; sorta redefines oxymoronic.

Sadly, the highly developed, virulent strain of Capitalism particularly prevalent in America over the past century has evolved into a Sociopathology. Through Globalism it has now metastasized all over the world, indeed tout le monde, with the disparity of wealth rivaling even the excesses of the mythical ostensibly unregulated Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century.

We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. But we can’t have both.
– Louis Brandeis – Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.

The notion that the solution to climate change is through more Capitalism is a naive myth promulgated through the slick dissembling of the euphemism ‘marketing’ by corporate mainstream media—the sycophantic handmaidens of the Corporacy. Even the well-meaning mainstream environmentalist have failed to grasp that the current mutation of Capitalism is incapable of self-reform—it is the problem…not the solution.

Modern-day Capitalism’s sole mandate is the creation, accumulation and retention of wealth, a positive feedback loop of self-interest and self-reinforcement based on the exploitation of the productivity of the working class. It is this exchange of excessive unequal values that creates surplus, exorbitant profit, predominately percolating up to the obscenely asset rich plutocracy: Neo-Feudalism.

Since 1978, adjusted for inflation, workers wages have essentially remained stagnant while worker productivity has almost doubled, with most of the the exponentially growing surplus accruing to the Corporacy, and eventually the richest one percent.
Through the systematic attack and successful de-certification of collective bargaining units by the Corpocracy along with the tacit ever-present threat of cheap unregulated labor of Globalism, workers have been coerced into a perpetual state of fear and anxiety—petrified to take action, for fear of short-term tangible loss in exchange for some conjectural long-term gain in the abstract.

The great tragedy is that the American working class for the most part is ignorant of the fact that they are essentially slaves to a rigged system where our democracy, or what’s left of it, like a defective gene run amok through incest, has mutated into the obsequious, antithetical servant of Capitalism.

I freed thousands of slaves, but I could have freed thousands more…if only they had known they were slaves.
-Harriet Tubman – African-American abolitionist, humanitarian

My exhortation is particularly directed at the exploited working class, the dispossessed working poor, college graduates laden with heavy student loans many of whom are unemployed/under employed, journalists, artists, poets, writers, the clergy and teachers…anyone who gets it…irrespective of age, political or religious stripe…and is willing to engage; to take it to the streets. For as history has tragically repeatedly demonstrated time and again, meaningful social change can only come from the bottom up.

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
– Mark Twain

You will form the nucleus for leadership of the movement to deal with the most daunting human existential crisis in the history of the planet–to rise up to resist the hegemonic corporate forces that are causing the essentially irreversible devastation of the ecosystem through unbridled release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Starting with you, then through geometric progression like a benign virus, multiplying exponentially until the tipping point of critical mass is reached. It will not be easy…the oligarchs will not go quietly into the night:

The most important dilemma facing us is not ideological. It is logistical. The security and surveillance state has made its highest priority the breaking of any infrastructure that might spark widespread revolt.

The state knows the tinder is there.

It knows that the continued unraveling of the economy and the effects of climate change make popular unrest inevitable. It knows that as underemployment and unemployment doom at least a quarter of the U.S. population, perhaps more, to perpetual poverty, and as unemployment benefits are scaled back, as schools close, as the middle class withers away, as pension funds are looted by hedge fund thieves, and as the government continues to let the fossil fuel industry ravage the planet, the future will increasingly be one of open conflict. This battle against the corporate state, right now, is primarily about infrastructure.

We need an infrastructure to build revolt. The corporate state is determined to deny us one…

– Chris Hedges – author and essayist; excerpted from:
The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies
January 26, 2014 – Truthdig.com.


– Now What? –

Be ashamed to die until you have scored some victory for humanity.
-Horace Mann


The four primary elements, or The 4Rs for the Great Re-Awakening…the Neo-Renaissance of Humanity:

RESIST! – Peaceful non-violent resistance, protest and demonstration

REMOVE! -The Big Money paid by Corporations/PACs from elections and the politicians who accept it

REGULATE! -The financial and banking mega-complex and protect the planet

REBEL! -Take it to the Streets! See you there!

michael a. kominsky

July 2015


Kozmick Press, a subsidiary of MetaMEDIA Communications, is a publisher of social justice and environmental conscience media.