Ephemera by Jeffery M. Anderson
Nester Cab, a second rate magazine writer, goes about his mundane life, disenfranchised and hiding from the city he lives in. But, a mysterious note left in his office awakens his ravenous curiosity and sets him on a journey to find a missing soldier. In his travels, he becomes entangled with a clandestine anti-government organization, witnesses a delusional and violent American society and stumbles ever deeper into unfathomable government conspiracies. Inspired by Internet conspiracy theorists, talk radio, and the media, Ephemera explores the visions of the ideological voices in American society and speaks to all of us through the extreme that permeates modern life. With satirical humor and sorrowful sentiment, Cab encounters a bizarre set of madmen, killers and megalomaniacs. He struggles with his search for truth as he flees for his life and the right to reclaim it. Where the forces of good lie is never clear, but, with certainty, Cab’s journey will lead to an ending that is epic and unforgettable.
Adorable Agents of Sedition by Jeffery M. Anderson
Writing a novel about strange conspiracies has given me something of a conspiracy theorist’s eye that, at times, it would be helpful to turn off. The truth about conspiracies is that they can be found in anything. All it requires is a vivid imagination. It is not hard to understand that some imaginative and, possibly, unstable individuals can convince themselves of the nefariousness lurking behind even the most innocuous events and media presentations.
So, it is with the theorist’s eye that I’ve made a game of spotting the conspiracy behind any message I come across. Recently, most of the messages I am exposed to come from the horrific annals of children’s television. There I have discovered conspiracies abound. Evil is afoot, and a little known war is being waged for our children’s minds and souls. I may be killed for revealing these plots, but it is imperative that you, parental reader, know of the existence of the adorable agents of sedition. They are legion.
One might watch this creepy, daily melodrama and assume that the writers only want to give kids a little art and culture. But, it has a darker purpose. As an adult, sitting through an episode can be an uncomfortable experience. Ocean dwelling musical instruments and strange fairytale characters are surreal enough to make an adult’s skin crawl and a child’s brain pliant and suggestible. The little Einsteins themselves seem oblivious and dedicated to their cause as they soar the skies in their rocket, a machine with a personality that they are mindlessly loyal to. For some unsettling reason, all of the animals and inanimate objects the kids encounter shriek the sounds of stringed instruments, reminiscent of something from an alien horror film. The adult viewer half expects insect appendages to burst from their bodies. The theorist must ask what the ‘real’ message here is.
Indeed, the true intent of this show is demonstrated in the repeated appearance of the villain character, a military jet that has mechanical appendages bursting from its body. This demon of the skies is known, coldly, as “Big Jet.” The Einsteins obviously want children to hate the government and the military industrial complex, to grow up and revolt against a working life and all become wandering minstrels of peace. Not if I have anything to say about it, Einsteins.
Thomas and Friends
Who doesn’t love those adorable and ‘useful’ engines from the island of Sodor? I don’t, because I know that the Marxists have taken over the Awdry empire and want to turn your children into the red youth. Sir Topham Hatt may resemble Winston Churchill, but his speeches about being useful and not causing confusion and delay are echoes of Stalin. Sodor is the communist utopia where an engine will only end up causing trouble should it decide to think for itself. The message to kids – you are single purpose machines and must serve the collective, or chaos will ensue. I’m on to you, Thomas.
Go, Diego Go!
This is obviously the propaganda arm of PETA and the animal rights coalition. Diego wants your children to stop eating meat and go commune with wild animals, sacrificing anything to help them and make their lives better. Diego wants your kids to know that humans are the oppressors and owe restitution to other animate life-forms around the world, even if your kids are killed and eaten for their good deeds. Young people must be saved from these backward lunatics.
There are many more evil forces behind the shows children watch. I did not get into the violent fascism being peddled by the happy creatures of Yo Gabba Gabba! Neither was there time to outline how Jerry Falwell was actually covering up the anti-gay propaganda of the Teletubbies when he made his accusations about Tinky Winky. These are for another post. Be wary, parents, of the intent behind every voice reaching your children’s ears. Barring that, try to amuse yourself with the conspiracy game. It makes sitting through these shows just a little more tolerable.
Jeffery M. Anderson is a former publicist, stay at home dad and author of the recently published novel, Ephemera. www.theephemera.com
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