Category Archives: politics

Chapter 5, novel-in-progress, “COVlD-1984, The Musical”

Chapter Five of “COVID-1984, The Musical” takes place in Russia.

I live in New York, ground zero of the two major crises this century,  but I was away from home on 9/11 and when Covid hit.

On 9/11, I was in Santa Fe. Planes were grounded and I was stuck. I wouldn’t  have been able to get to my home in Tribeca near the towers even if I had driven back to NYC because the whole area was restricted, with armed guards on every corner checking IDs, and my ID had an old address. So I stayed in my little casita, which had dial-up internet, no television, and I missed all the media coverage.

When the Anthrax scare quickly followed, I was in Belagio, Italy–at the Rockefeller Villa of all places, hobnobbing with a UN delegation–for the entire month of October 2001. Also no TV and no outside news. I didn’t even know about the Anthrax until I returned to the U.S.. Weird that it never came up in conversation at dinner.

And once again, in 2020 when the Covid lockdown commenced, I found myself far away from home, in St Petersburg, Russia. Again planes were grounded and I was stuck, but safe and not subjected to the U.S. news cycle.

I did not experience first-hand any of these traumatizing events.  I was never afraid that I would die.  I missed the 24/7 fear porn.  That may be one of several reasons why my perspective is different and I  seemed to be immune from Stockholm syndrome.

In this Chapter, I place my hero, Winston Smith, in Russia, so that you can see through his eyes how different the situation was there during lockdown.  I’m not saying their government is any better, but the people, the Russian people lived Orwell’s 1984 and they were not inclined to let the boot get back to stomping on their faces.

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Chapter 4, novel-in-progress, “COVlD-1984, The Musical”

I’m posting Chapter Four without an introduction. It’s been a tough few weeks in the anti-totalitarian trenches and I only have enough energy to work on the actual novel, not the chapter introductions.  The Covid Cultists are really ramping things up, which means they know they are losing.  Hang on.  The darkest day will come soon (literally on Dec 21) and after that, I promise, more light will come.

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Chapter 3, novel-in-progress, “COVlD-1984, The Musical”

Isolation is a form of torture. It’s dehumanizing.

George Orwell chose to create characters for his dystopian vision who had been dehumanized after generations of living under a totalitarian regime. When Winston first sees Julia, he fantasizes about smashing her brains out with a rock. Julia is portrayed as having simple animal instincts, surviving only to enjoy a few barnyard pleasures before slaughter. As compelling as Orwell’s narrative is in other ways, it’s often difficult to relate to Winston and Julia on a personal level, and it’s hard to imagine them as heroes.  The reader wonders, Will they be able to regain a sense of human dignity?

Today, many people are being pushed into isolation. How do you date during a lockdown? How do you share a kiss when you don’t even shake hands anymore? How do you smile behind a mask?  There’s a new Puritanical campaign against human intimacy and physical connectedness that could irrevocably harm a generation or two.

In Chapter Three, I introduce my idea of love in a time of totalitarianism.

(Need to catch up? Go to Chapter One.)

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Chapter 2, novel-in-progress, “Covid-1984, The Musical”

Preview of Covid-1984 The Musical, Chapter Two.  (Not ready yet? To catch up, go to Chapter One.)

This installment is dedicated to Thomas, Heather and Valerie. Thank you for your support.

Orwell fans will appreciate Chapter Two as I begin to follow the outline of 1984’s opening scenes. As I noted in my introduction to the first chapter, I’m releasing this novel in installments even though I haven’t yet written the final chapters.  I hope to provide us “proles” with a way to imagine how to bring down the Big Brother machine, because bring it down we must.  Let’s make (up) history together. I still don’t know exactly how my Winston Smith is going to overcome the propaganda and the torture, but I’m getting some ideas when I look around me and I see all the people in the streets and online standing up and saying, I will not comply.

Keep up hope. Keep  your sense of gallows humor. Keep singing. Danser Encore.  It shows our strength, and it’s really disconcerting for our would-be tyrants. Continue reading

Chapter 1, novel-in-progress, “Covid-1984, The Musical”

I’m writing a novel, Covid-1984, The Musical, relating to events that are currently underway. It usually takes me more than a year to complete a novel (then it takes another year for the publisher to edit and print), so I’ve decided to release this one in installments in order to try to help alter the course of history as I write about it.  How? you may ask. Well, by being optimistic and by humbly offering a way to imagine how we can climb from such a low point to a happy resolution. Orwell’s novel, 1984, starts low and descends even lower. I want to break the spell of his narrative.  He didn’t have any faith in the proles. I do. I am inspired by the powerful protests that are going on all over the world, where people are singing, and some, like the French and the Maori, are even dancing.  In contrast, the dances of the medical professionals during lockdown were so inappropriate for the situation that these scenes will go down in history as symbolic of the perversity of the psychological manipulation we were subjected to during that time.

Will we continue on the suicidal path charted for us by monomaniacal technocrats? or will we say, Pfuck that, and exile them to their island bunkers forever? and, once that’s done, how do we make healthy new lives for ourselves? It’s up to us. It really is.  We are many; they are few. This is the sequel to my 2015 novel about 9/11, Locus Amoenus. Continue reading

Free Range Humans

In my latest paper, “Free-Range Humans: Permaculture Farming as a Biosemiosic Model for Political Organization,” I apply the lessons of my field to governance and economics.  The title is a mouthful, I know, but it’s actually a pretty accessible read. I offer this as an alternative to the Great Reset, which proposes to centralize all assets under the control of a Corporate State and, essentially, make us into livestock. The first thing the Big Ag Farmer does is vaccinate the herd. Check.

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Strange Recital podcast features Chapter One of Locus Amoenus

This month the Strange Recital features Ben Jorgensen reading Chapter One of Locus Amoenus. Following the reading, the show hosts, Tom and Brent, interview Victoria Alexander about writing that novel and working on the sequel.

“As you drive northeast through Dutchess County in upstate New York, farm scenes strike calendar poses: leaning barns, well-tended white Victorians, winding roads tunneling through overhanging maples.”

A pastoral paradise… but is there something dark under the surface? Troubles in America manifest in the personal. Let Hamlet tell you about it.

Should we let Artificial Intelligence decide for us?

“AI, Stereotyping on Steroids and Alan Turing’s Biological Turn,” by V. N. Alexander, in The Democratization of Artificial Intelligence

The fact that AI has not yet passed a Turing Test has not prevented it from being sold to the public as a superior kind of intelligence capable of handling vast amounts of data and therefore capable of making “evidence-based” decisions about human behavior. There is no basis for this claim. AI uses advanced statistics to fine-tune generalizations; it is a glorified actuary table, not an intelligent agent. At the time of his death in 1952, Alan Turing was exploring the differences between biological intelligence and his initial conception of AI. This paper focuses on those differences and sets limits on the uses to which current AI can legitimately be put.

Live reading of “Terrordise” at Socially Relevant Film Fest March 20, NYC


There will be a live 10 minute reading of an excerpt from “Terrordise,” comedy screenplay by VN Alexander, on March 20 at 1:15PM at Cinema Village, 22 E 12th Street, (between University Place and 5th avenue), New York, NY 10003. The reading is free of charge and open to the public. RSVP required.

Synopsis of Terrordise. In this slightly surreal comedy, the Schwartz-Johnson family can’t wait to get to their new home in Paradise, a high-security gated community in Dallas, believing it will be worth sacrificing their privacy for the ultimate in safety against any kind of terror threat—-until Mr. & Mrs. Schwartz-Johnson are accused of terrorism themselves.

SRFF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit film festival that showcases socially relevant films with human interest stories as a response to the proliferation of violence and violent forms of storytelling. SR believes in promoting positive social change through the powerful medium of cinema.

Propaganda & Art: How we process information when we aren’t thinking

We have been hearing a lot about “fake news” and “propaganda” lately, and it is as important as ever to use our critical thinking skills. But we also need to understand how propaganda works and why it is so difficult to counteract with logic. Propaganda takes advantage of the way our brains function when we are not paying attention. When we are paying attention our analytical skills are engaged. When we are not, our brains go on processing information in a non-analytical way, using what might be called a poetic logic, based mainly upon similarities, coincidental patterns, associations, repetition, and emotion. There are sound biological reasons for this mindless type of processing, which actually helps us learn faster, retain memories longer, and make appropriate decisions without really thinking. In this presentation, we will explore how and why art and poetry may actually be more helpful in developing critical thinking skills. Art also works with the poetic logic of subconscious processing, but does so in a way that is not manipulative, deceptive or dishonest.