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Thomas Wictor

Paint it red

Paint it red

One of my favorite movies is The Cowboys, starring John Wayne. Those of you who think he’s a bad actor are idiots. Sorry. I can’t sugarcoat anything anymore. Stop relying on what others have told you and think for yourself. Wayne acts mostly with his face, not his voice or body. He was a master, which is why he had nearly a fifty-year career.

Bruce Dern plays one of cinema’s most heartless, merciless predators. He targets people he thinks can’t defend themselves, and he enjoys it. Boy, does he get off on inflicting harm and stealing property, stealing happiness, and stealing lives.

When Dern is torturing children, Wayne intercedes and asks Dern what he can do against an adult.

“You’re a pretty old man,” Dern smirks.

Wayne folds his arms in a sort of avuncular, musing, agreeing posture and leans back.

“Yup,” he says. “I’m thirty years older than you are. Had my back broke once and my hip twice. And on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you.”

It’s a great moment, even if what ultimately occurs isn’t what we’d hoped. Still, Wayne was unafraid.

I’m unafraid.

You’re about to learn a whole lot more about me than I ever intended. If I’m right, my life is about to change dramatically. My privacy will disappear. This wasn’t at all what I wanted.

But it’s what I agree to. It’s for the greater good. To stop the predation, somebody has to be the face and voice for all those who can’t endure what I’m about to. I’m the perfect candidate. No wife or children, not in danger of financial ruin, and I’ve got the goods. I’ve really got the goods. It looks like I’m going to have some major allies too.

I know a lot about warfare. An operation is about to begin. it has a specific goal, and as we speak, the tactics for implementing the strategy are being worked out. No military operation can be successful without reconnaissance. The tools we have at our disposal now allow us to learn much more about the enemy than the enemy knows.

Today I wrote a document similar to this one and sent it to one of my allies.

“Order Ia No. 176; Divisional Order No. 2, Royal Saxon 19th Ersatz Division.”

1. Operation “Rheingold” will probably take place during the night of April 16-17, 1918. Time of beginning of operation designated “X.”

2. Target of attack: The enemy’s shelter constructions at 97r1-4, 97t, 97r.

3. Purpose of operation: Determine enemy’s tactical distribution; take prisoners and spoils of war; destroy enemy’s buildings within area of attack.

4. Management of infantry attack: Lieutenant-Colonel v. SEYDLITZ, commander of Ersatz Infantry Regiment No. 32, at regimental observation point. He will lead Trench Mortar Company No. 164 with Captain SCHULZE. In charge of artillery tactics: Artillery Commander 137.

5. Assault Party:
Leader: Captain SCHMIDT, Battalion Commander of II/E.I.R. 32, in Battle Force Commander observation point.
Combat Group:
five details of II/E.I.R. 32, a total of six officers, six sergeant-majors, 25 noncommissioned officers, 168 men, and three machine guns;
one raiding party of the divisional assault school, comprised of one sergeant-major, one NCO, and 12 men;
four pioneer detachments of Reserve Pioneer Company No. 22, a total of one sergeant-major, three NCOs, and 24 men.
Also: two flamethrowers.

6. Machine gun 08: Operational action according to regimental setting-up.
Task: To suppress enemy’s machine guns and trench garrisons.

7. Artillery: It will be supplied:
a). for preparation and defensive barrages;
b) for artillery duels.

8. Trench Mortars:
All men appointed for the operation, the 19th Ersatz Division, and the neighboring divisions will come under the uniform leadership of Trench Mortar Company 164 and the commander of E.I.R. 32.
Commander of the Trench Mortar Company: the most senior officer.
Commander of the trench mortars will be at the regimental observation point from X minus 2 hours.
The most exact shooting must be observed, and the artillery correction group will supply statements on the day’s wind direction every two hours.

9. Practice shooting of artillery and machine guns: To be unobtrusive and to inform the machine-gun groups through the artillery liaison officer; practice shooting must cease on the evening of April 15. Notice given to Division through Artillery Commander 137 and Commander E.I.R. 32.

10. Time for the beginning of the operation (X hours) decided by the Commander of E.I.R. 32 is to be given to the Division in writing by the morning of April 16 and then forwarded to the artillery commander and neighboring divisions.
The day of the operation is to be kept from the raiding parties for as long as possible.

11. Directions for assault troops:
The way through our own obstacles is shown with white panels of cloth. In addition, Pioneer Battalion No. 519 will erect two searchlights on Marien Hill for the benefit of retreating assault troops, in accordance with the following from E.I.R. 32:
With the appearance of the Very signal “green-red double star” blinking lights will begin (about three seconds of light and 20 seconds’ pause) aimed vertically to the sky and continuing until the order to stop has been given.

My Meniere’s disease keeps my head from working right when I’m under stress. I was under the worst stress of my life in 2013. By blogging, discussing Ghosts and Ballyhoo, and assuming that what engaged me in conversation were humans and not animals, I provided the enemy his own strategy, which he used brilliantly… except for in a couple of places. You know the hull of the Titanic was breached in only a couple of places. The rest of the ship was fine. And yet the whole schmageggy ended up on the bottom of the ocean.

I’m old and sick. Here’s my nightly repast.


These keep me alive. It’s seven pills altogether. Thank God for Big Pharma, or you wouldn’t have me going on to this next exciting phase of my life.

Though it isn’t what I wanted, it’s what I’m choosing to do. It’s going to be really fun because it’s so improbable. The dark side of it is that you’ll see the true nature of my never-was life. In that sense you’ll appreciate the Ghosts trilogy more.

Georgia Thunes gave me a great compliment tonight.

Shit, my head is spinning. The web disaster alone is enough to make me want to put my head in an oven. I’ve got the flu-shivers just contemplating it all… and all the money… it just kills me. No words. I’m glad you’ve got your writing as a weapon and catharsis, otherwise it would certainly drive one to madness. Congratulations on not letting the fuckers get you down.

I’m not down at all. My carefully kept privacy will likely disappear. But if you can’t hide it, paint it red. I’m not at all embarrassed or ashamed. When the full extent of the story is told and you see the castle from which the targeting was done (Google Street View is amazing), you’ll think that I should feel humiliated.

This is how I feel.


Through illness and medication, half my brain is tied behind my back, and it still wasn’t a fair fight. The real fight is just about to begin. I think it’s going to be a lot like this.

I’m older and sicker than they are. Had my arm broke once and my nose broke twice. And on my worst day I can mustard the hell out of their holes. Never in my life did I think I’d get to have such an experience. Plus, it’ll save others from what was done to me.

And, as at so many pivotal points in this cycle, Scott Thunes was there. I wonder if he and I were married in a previous life? Now there’s a thought. A thought worth casting into the deepest pits of Mordor.

At any rate things are going get really exciting fairly soon. You won’t want to miss it.