Category Archives: Current Affairs

What’s the point of pouring endless money and weapons of war into civilian police forces if they consistently fail to protect the communities who are funding them? I think we all know the answer.

From Slate:

The tiny Uvalde school district has its own seven-person force; the 15,000-person city spends 40 percent of its budget on policing, and in 2020, the Uvalde Police Department proudly touted its nine-person SWAT team that was getting to know the layouts of local schools. Not only did the police spend an hour preparing to enter the school on Tuesday, but there was also this, from a fourth grader to local CBS affiliate KENS, presumably about the police’s first attempt to get into the school:

“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” the boy said.

Each of these failures shows the absurdity of the GOP’s two-pronged policy response to school shootings—armed teachers and more support for law enforcement. (There was also an armed guard at the Buffalo supermarket, for what it’s worth. He fired at the suspect and was killed.) If the town SWAT team can’t stop a school shooter before 19 children are dead, what’s the point? Republicans have since moved on to other innovative proposals, like building schools with only one door, or giving up on schools altogether.

The more I learn about the deliberate inaction of these police, the angrier I get. I am so incandescently angry right now, you may want to stop reading. I’m going to do my best to seethe instead of exploding in a way I’ll regret.

I don’t know if these cops were unable to stop this murderer, because it sure looks like they chose not to try, and the department keeps changing its story to protect them.

An entire classroom was gunned down — 19 children were murdered along with their two heroic teachers who did more than any of these cops to try to protect them — while these fucking cowards tased and handcuffed the parents who were begging these useless men to do their fucking jobs.

What kind of fucked up piece of shit do you have to be to fucking HANDCUFF a parent who is begging you to do your fucking job and save their child’s life WHILE THERE IS AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IN THE CLASSROOM? What kind of fucked up piece of shit do you have to be to use a TASER on a parent who is begging you to do SOMETHING to save their child’s life? What kind of monster does that? I’ll tell you: A piece of shit who isn’t a cop to serve the public, that’s who.

Stop telling me I’m supposed to blindly support cops no matter what. Stop pretending your Blue Lives Matter shit isn’t just a racist dogwhistle. This doesn’t happen when people become cops to protect and serve the public. This is what happens when people become cops so they can bully and harass people with impunity. These cowards aren’t going to risk their lives for anyone. This police force gets FORTY PERCENT of the city’s budget. This tiny town has a SWAT team. That wasn’t enough to save these children and their teachers.

What’s the point of pouring endless money and weapons of war into civilian police forces if they consistently fail to protect the communities who are funding them? I think we all know the answer.

This is stochastic terrorism. It is deliberate. It is by design.

It is easier to get a gun and body armor in America than it is to get medical care, and that is by design.

Tucker Carlson can get on TV every night, spout racist lies about a paranoid conspiracy, and inspire his viewers to commit acts of violence against innocent people. There will never be a meaningful consequence for his actions. This is by design.

Republicans have done everything possible to put weapons of mass murder into the hands of paranoid people they have agitated with racist lies and conspiracy theories.

It is not a coincidence that the latest white supremacist mass murderer is 18 and a heavy consumer of Fox News and far right online forums.

Republicans have not just made this possible. They have encouraged it. Oh, they’ll scold any of us who say it out loud, but we all know it’s true. They love it when Black people suffer and die. They love it when the people who killed them get away without any consequence.

This is all by design. Don’t let them wring their hands and offer their thoughts and prayers. This is what they want. This is the plan. This is all working EXACTLY the way they want it to.

Republicans want the rest of us — the majority — to live in constant fear of their violent, heavily-armed, racist followers. From encouraging them to brandish their assault weapons in public to allowing anyone to carry an instrument whose only purpose is to kill people. See that angry dude in the MAGA hat? See him ranting and raving at some innocent BIPOC who just wants to live their life? I’m going to think twice before I jump up to support my fellow human, because that MAGA guy is likely armed and will get away with murdering me, because reasons. Maybe I’m considering volunteering to work an election. But then I remember my neighbor who was doxxed by MAGA terriorists and had to flee for her safety because they were showing up to stand around outside her house with their guns.

This is all deliberate. This is what they want. It’s stochastic terrorism. So when they pretend to be horrified by this, don’t believe them. They’re celebrating in private. They love this.

Tucker Carlson shares responsibility for the mass murder in Buffalo yesterday, as do his producers and the advertisers who have continued to support his show while it has dropped all pretense of not being openly white supremacist. He’ll be back on the air tomorrow night, and somehow this will be Hunter Biden’s fault.

The entire Republican caucus in both houses of congress have even more blood on their hands today. They will experience zero consequences for their role in the racially-motivated murders they inspired and enabled. If they haven’t already, the MAGA fascists will be fundraising off of this by the end of the weekend.

I’d say don’t let them get away with this, but they already have, and they will again. And again. And again. And again. Until somehow the Democrats get their shit together and make ending gun violence a priority the way the Republicans have made controlling women a priority. It’s going to take a long time, and we need to get to work.

I am a New York Times Bestselling Author

Yesterday, around noon, I posted on my Facebook:

I’ve been doing these very long days of press and promotion for Still Just A Geek. It’s a lot, and it’s exhausting, but it’s awesome and I’m grateful for all of it. I haven’t had this much fun doing late nights followed by early mornings since I was in my 20s.

I’m also still doing Ready Room, so today is a day that featured me getting up at are you fucking serious o’clock, putting myself together for a webinar I was part of for Microsoft, then going straight to the set, where we did a couple episodes for Strange New Worlds (OH MY GOD I WANT TO TALK ABOUT STRANGE NEW WORLDS SO MUCH IT IS KILLING ME THAT I CAN’T).

I am so happy, y’all. I am content, I am grateful, I am proud of the work I have the privilege to do.

… and I am so physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I’m going to cry.

I’m taking the rest of this day off for religious observance, and I really hope I can find a nap in there, somewhere.

After I posted that, Anne and I had lunch together, and then I went into my gameroom, where I could sit quietly and just … not do anything.

Some time passed. I’m not sure how much, but it was enough for me to start feeling sleepy. I leaned my head back, closed my eyes, and did one of those long exhales that starts in your shoulders and rolls down your body.

Then my phone rang.

Okay. In 2022, few things make me as suspicious as my phone ringing. Nine in ten times, it’s bullshit. This time, I saw that it was my lit agent.


“Do you have a minute to talk?”

“I do.”

“Okay. I am connecting you to a conference call.”

Over the next thirty or so seconds, literally everyone at my publisher announced themselves. Then my manger announced himself.

Oh fuck. I thought. I’m in big trouble. I dont’ know what I said or did, but I must have REALLY fucked up.

You’ve seen the title of this post, so you know that I was mistaken. My editor told me he had news. Still Just A Geek is on the bestselling indie bookshop list, and it’s on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list, AND it’s in the top ten on the combined hardcover and ebook nonfiction list.


Wait. What?

Yeah, I heard it correctly. Still Just A Geek, one week after publication, is on THREE bestselling lists. OMG.

I thanked everyone for being part of this. It’s a blur, but I think I said something like, “it’s important to me that everyone who can hear my voice right now knows how grateful I am for your support and for everything you’ve done to help me get here. I know this isn’t the first time for you, but it is for me and I just don’t know what else to say or to feel.”

I called Anne and told her. Then I called my sister and told her. Then I texted my TNG family and told them. Then I walked around in a circle for what felt like an hour while I tried to process what this all means. I’m still working on putting it all together.

When I wrote Just A Geek in 2004, I knew it wasn’t ever going to chart, but I still held out hope, you know? Like, maybe if this book charts, it will Prove To Everyone and so forth. So there was this disappointment baked in from the very beginning that was identical to the disappointment I allowed to infect everything I did back then. Feeling like you aren’t ever going to be good enough for your dad will do that to you.

So when I wrote and did all the work for Still Just A Geek, I redefined my expectations, and my conditions for success.

I decided that I woudn’t have any expectations, at all. I just hoped that we would somehow communicate to anyone who would be interested in my story that it existed. I wasn’t going to let sales or reviews define for me whether it was successful or not. Just getting to tell my story was enough for me.

But I’m not gonna lie: I’ve been joyfully walking around for about 18 hours, obnoxiously reminding Anne and Marlowe that they now live with a New York Times bestselling author. I have every intention in the world of signing my friends’ cards and stuff, “New York Times Bestselling Author, Wil.”

This is objectively cool and exciting. It is a big deal. I get to update my bio, and for the rest of my life I get to carry this achievement. I love that, and I love that this means my chances of having another book published went up. But more than anything, I love that this can be amazing, and wonderful, and exciting, and such a beautiful gift, without it affecting how I fundamentally feel about myself or my work. I was already proud of the work, and grateful I was supported while I did it, and I am so incredibly happy that I didn’t need this to happen to get there.

When I turned in the final draft, what feels like forever ago, I wrote myself a note that says, in part, “Whatever is going to happen when this is published has already happened. You just haven’t observed the results. What is important and what matters is everything you did to get here. Don’t fall into the trap of letting someone else’s definition of success affect how you feel about your work. No matter what is in our future, we did something special that nobody can take away from us.”

I am so glad that past me consistently looks out for future me. It’s such good advice! I love that guy.

May His Memory Be A Blessing

Late yesterday afternoon, I saw that Howard Hesseman passed away. I didn’t know him, but I worked with him once, and he was wonderful. It was in the 90s, when Anne and I were still dating, in a tiny movie a classmate of mine wrote, produced, directed, and starred in. We filmed it up in San Francisco. Howard and I played rival drag queens. Oh, how I wish I could find a photo of us. It was magnificent.

It was so long ago, I can’t recall much about the movie, but I loved the story and I loved getting to do full-on drag (in a Peg Bundy wig, 10 inch platform thigh-high boots, showing way too much flabby belly God it was glorious) and I loved the unvarnished grind of making an indie movie in the 90s. I’m pretty sure Howard and I were in the same scene at least once, but I can’t recall if our characters interacted at all. I don’t think they did.

I also remember that one day on the set, we were sitting in cast chairs, talking, and the subject of jazz came up. I confessed that my familiarity with jazz musicians was ten feet wide and half an inch deep, but

I enjoyed Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Chet Baker. He asked me if I had ever listened to Charles Mingus. I told him that I hadn’t hear OF him, much less heard him play music, so Howard walked to his car, which he’d driven up from Los Angeles, and came back with a cassette of Mingus Ah Um that I still have today.

“You will love listening to this while you burn through the 5 on your way back to LA,” he said.

I loved the image of burning through interstate, just setting it afire and letting it turn to ash behind you before it blew away, having served its (your) purpose. It was so much more romantic and rebellious than the reality of trudging through mile after mile of “are we there yet” and cattle yards during seven monotonous hours.

“How can I get this back to you?” I asked him.

“You won’t want to,” he said. “I’ll get another copy. Forget it.” I can still hear the glee and enthusiasm that was in his voice. He was giving me so much more than a cassette tape.

Anne, Nolan, and I listened to Mingus Ah Um on the way home, and Howard was right. We loved it. I still love it. And I have Howard Hesseman to thank for it.

Rest easy, Howard. Thank you for being kind to me and my future family. May your memory be a blessing to others, as it is to me.

one year later

January 6 is going to be one of those Never Forget days for me, for a long time. Maybe for the rest of my life.

One year ago today, a violent mob of domestic terrorists, inspired and commanded by an impeached fascist who lost a free and fair election, overran the United States Capitol in an attempted coup.

The coup failed in part because the defeated president was and is surrounded by people who were and are as incompetent as him, but by the end of the night, the fascist movement he leads had successfully assumed complete control of what had been called the Republican party, finally bringing into the open its enthusiastic embrace and promotion of white nationalism after keeping it hidden behind dog whistles for decades.

That was the most shocking thing for me, when I think about it. After all that violence, after the horror of it all, after we all watched our Congress come within a doorway of the unthinkable, they still stood by him. I mean. Wow.

I remember, in the evening of January 6 last year, listening to Lindsey Graham — Lindsey Graham, of all people! — declare from the floor of the Senate that he was done with Trump. Lindsey Graham! I listened to Mitch McConnell — the Senate Minority leader — remind everyone, for the Congressional record, that Trump bore responsibility for the attack. I remember watching two powerful, privileged, coddled men who were clearly shaken by what they had experienced. They seemed like people who had felt, maybe for the first time ever, a real threat to their lives, and they knew who was responsible for it. I remember feeling the faintest hope that, now that it was personal for them, the appalling violence of the insurrection would give Congressional Republicans an opportunity to actually put America first (not in the fascist slogan way, in the patriotic way), and purge Trump and his supporters from government. The McConnells and Grahams in the party got a lot out of him in four years: disatrous, unpopular tax cuts for billionaires, the most cruel and inhumane immigration policies imaginable, three SCOTUS seats, countless unqualified political operatives confirmed to lifelong seats in the federal judiciary. They got so much, moved the Overton Window so far to the right, surely they’d celebrate their victories and cut out the malignant cancer that was rotting not just their party but the entire political system in America. Regroup, and come after the Democrats in the midterms with a message that was aimed at the suburban voters who were appalled by Trump, but remain inexplicably cool with all the GOP policies that created him. A clean break was so easy and right there for the taking. I remember thinking, “If Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell are saying this on the record, it’s finally over. Thank God. It’s finally over. They are done protecting him. They’re still repugnant, but at least they aren’t full-on fascists.”


As it turned out, instead of forcing Trump and his fascists back to the fringe of their party, those Vichy Quislings put him in charge of the whole thing. It’s almost like they never had a problem with the appalling behavior that repulsed so much of America and the world: his embrace of white supremacists, his embrace and celebration of autocrats and dictators, his cruelty, his corruption, his belligerent refusal to do a single thing to protect us from Covid. It wasn’t until he almost got them killed that some of them were like “Hey, wait a second,” and even that only lasted for a few hours before all was swept under the rug. 147 Republican members of Congress, just hours after hiding from a violent mob that was there to kill their colleagues and hang the vice president of their party, stood with that mob and refused to accept the election results, as commanded by their defeated leader. When he was rightly impeached (becoming the first president in history to be impeached twice) a few weeks later, so-called “mainstream Republicans” [sic] had their clearest opportunity to reject the violence, the man who instigated it, and his movement. It would be a heavy lift with a lot of their voters, but they could do it. They EXCEL at coordinated, disciplined, communication. They could reasonably claim that maybe they got out over their skis a little bit, but now they could at least bring the country back from the brink of civil war. They could have made a vote to convict all about the Constitution. They could have made an argument to his supporters that they still thought he was awesome, but laws are laws and we all have to follow them. They could make the very reasonable argument that instigating that kind of violence and lawlessness was a bridge too far, even for them. It would have been tough for some of them. Some of them would likely face difficult conversations back home with people who believed the Big Lie, but the future of the country was at stake and like John McCain telling that lunatic woman that President Obama wasn’t a terrorist, show real leadership.

But all of that is predicated on what turns out to be the entirely incorrect presumption that there is any daylight at all between Trump and so-called “mainstream Republicans” [sic]. It would require us to believe that Trump and Trumpism was an outlier, not the logical and anticipated consequence of fifty years of Republican policies and Southern Strategy lies. Holding Trump accountable presumes that Republicans respect their oaths of office, that they hold some fundamental values other than the preservation and expansion of their own power, that they are willing to do the hard work of governing a diverse nation during extraordinary times with a commitment to improving the general welfare.

We all know how that turned out. All but seven Republican Senators — forty-three of fifty members in the upper chamber — protected him and embraced his Big Lie. In the year since, they have doubled down on it, and they have not stopped insisting that we did not see what we saw one year ago today with our own eyes.

Depending on one’s point of view, it’s either a bug or a feature, but FIFTY-NINE PERCENT of Republicans still believe the Big Lie. Fifty. Nine. Percent. The next mob is all primed and ready to go. They are even asking when they get to use their guns to go shoot Democrats. Years ago, it was Republican pundit David Frum who said that when Republicans couldn’t win votes in a democratic election, they wouldn’t change their policies to win over more voters, they’d just reject Democracy entirely. That sounded nuts at the time, but holy shit was he right.

I hope that the people behind the coup attempt will be meaningfully held to account, so this never happens again. I hope they’ll go to prison, all of them. Hannity, Meadows, Bannon, Eastman, Gosar, Boebert, Cawthorn, Hawley, all the Trumps, all of them. They are all traitors. I hope that all the Democrats, including the execrable Joe Manchin and the loathsome Krysten Sinema, do whatever it takes to secure free and fair elections in America at the federal level while they still have the chance. Because if they don’t, the next coup, which is already in motion, will succeed.

So on this one year anniversary of Trump’s failed coup, as we continue to hold him to account, do not forget for one second all the Republicans who enabled and continue to enable him. They’re evil, not stupid. They won’t fail a second time.