Hello Shitstorm, Hello Meatgrinder: Installment #1, Dispatch from the Farm

By Adam Gnade

The mood around the farmhouse this past week has cycled between manic productivity and end-times dour. When you run a radical press out of your home you automatically have a voice and a platform of distribution. That doesn’t mean you have answers.

I’m in the same place a lot of people are — angry and scared and frustrated but at a loss for solutions. The odds we’re up against are disheartening to say the very least; and if we’re not trafficking in “very least”s let’s admit this is like being eaten alive by a river full of carnivorous shit. We are in the middle of a fascist coup, the leader of which could be the next Napoleon if not the second coming of Adolf Hitler. We tend to think scary shit like this doesn’t happen here, that there are check and balance systems in place and a strong oppositional voice in our government but all of those things can be taken away. Regimes change. Empires fall or go dark. Oh, wait. Who’s that at the door? The pizza guy? Oh, sorry, folks, it’s someone called the Evilest Fucking Meatgrinder and he’s here for your basic human rights.

What do we do in the face of that? How do we find direction when we’re all in over our heads? The question most of us are asking is some variation of, “Holy FUCKING FUCK, what do we do next?” I’m not going to bullshit you here and give you a list of answers. I would if I had them but I’m clueless and scrambling as much as anybody. I feel like we’re living inside a blender — that the whirl and motion is prohibitive to hope, rationality, or constructive progress.

I never planned to be an activist. My heroes are all poets and novelists and old long-dead country singers. In the past I’ve wanted nothing more than to write literary works about life in America and be left alone on the farm but the shitstorming affairs of the world have a way of dragging you in. Now I want to put away my guitar and my manuscripts and fight for my country, even if I’m uncertain of what that means.

Plan at the moment is to keep informed and support those on the front lines. The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild are on your side. Pay attention to them because they’re here to get you out of trouble. Read the news but don’t get it all from Facebook. If you have any connection to nations outside our borders do your best to remind them we’re not all money-thirsty, blustering nationalists. Tell them we’re trying to make a difference and ask them to have faith in us. We’ll need their help at some point, especially as Trump’s inner circle continues to isolate us and threaten their way into war and embargoes.Just the same, don’t isolate yourself. You need your friends right now and you need your family. No matter if you have one good person in your life or 100, bad times are better spent with a support system.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Community is more important than ever. Keep talking even if you don’t have solutions. We may not have answers but having questions is a good start.

ADAM GNADE is the author of three books of fiction, Hymn California, Caveworld, and, most recently, Locust House. His series of novels and connected “talking records” are released by Pioneers Press and Three One G. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin‘ Sad. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, he now lives and writes on the Hard Fifty Farm situated in the hilly countryside between Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS. He is currently working on a “large and substantial novel about Americans at home and away” with a late-2017 release. His work is available at http://www.pioneerspress.com.