Haisley and De’ontay Jones are ready to start a family. Then. . . they move to Florida. Horror ensues.
DEMOCRACY JONES is a science fiction-horror & dark humor podcast:
Ten years before July 13, 2040, when American Democracy was overthrown in a military coup, the seeds were sown when a Biological Physicist and Mitochondrial Engineer unearthed new software technology named “Rhetoric.”
A breakthrough in software technology for neural chips called “Rhetoric,” and continued political upheaval combine to create the most explosive day in American history, Friday the 13th of July, 2040. A day that would live in infamy as 7/13.
If a pregnant Haisley Jones can survive, the simulations created by Rhetoric prophesies that she, De’ontay and their child will galvanize a movement to overthrow General Schenk and bring back democracy to a post-apocalyptic America. contact: email@example.com
Haisley Jones is a hero. But not the chest-out, I’m a bad-ass type hero. She doesn’t want to be a hero at all, actually. She just wants to be normal. You see, Haisley Jones grew up desperately poor in Florida where a girl of mixed race is invisible.
Born Haisley Barnes in 2013, she never knew her mother and grew up in a rundown apartment complex called Pinebrook, commonly known as “Crimebrook” in Ellington, Florida.
At 17, Haisley was arrested for the murder of her father, Lt. Barnes, a local police officer. According to reports, she stabbed him to death and dumped his body in the Everglades. Out there in the swamps, a wake of turkey vultures devoured him. All that was left of him was his Ellington PD badge.
The local newspapers called her a cop killer and a kin killer. There never was an investigation as to why she killed her father. Captain Dick, Lt. Barnes’ partner, wanted no part of an investigation.
Sentenced to life in prison, Haisley accepted a plea deal. Per the terms, she became a CP Grunt, or a Conscripted Prisoner.
Trained at Parris Island to become a Marine, she saw combat in the Seoul War (2030-2033) where CP Grunts were thrown into suicide and diversionary missions.
To avoid being redeployed, Haisley committed suicide while on leave.
Or so she thought. She woke up in a white room as a man with a salt and pepper afro walked out.
Little did she know, Dr. Owusu had brought her back to life when he installed a neural chip in her brain. The software in the neural chip was called Rhetoric, a banned technology due to the great danger caused by misuse. Often described as a thousand times stronger than any thermonuclear weapon, Rhetoric supposedly died with its creator. Other than Haisley, there is only one person has Rhetoric, the five star military general, Alexander Schenk.
Alive again, Haisley chose not go back to Ellington. Instead, she moved to New York City. There, she connected with De’ontay Jones, a member of The Crowned, a militant Black nationalist group made up mostly of college sororities and fraternities.
By 2040, Haisley and De’ontay are ready to start a family. Then. . . They move to Florida. Horror ensues.
Not all heroes are confident. Haisley Jones, in fact, is one of the most humble person you’ll ever meet.
Which makes her the type of hero America now desperately needs.
Check out the Opening Crawl for DEMOCRACY JONES PodioBook, it’s only 2:26 long. Afterward, go HERE (on Apple Podcasts) to listen to the Teaser, then A1E1 – Haisley, and so on. Season 2 has just begun! It’s been fun creating this show and I am so, so very thankful for all of you who have subscribed on Overcast.fm, Google Podcast, Podcast Addict & Spotify.
Twitter critics who suddenly found this show have been asking, ‘why write a horror podcast about Democracy?’ Well, Jan. 6, 2021 was a pretty horrifying even. I bet it scared you too. It caused me to think, “what if we lose democracy, like the Romans did? Is this the beginning of the end? How can I bring attention to the incredibly scary comparisons between the Late Republic period in Rome and the decline in American Democracy now?”
The answer to that question was, “Write a Horror, of course”
Here are some of the justifications: If the founders of US Democracy turned to the Roman Republic as an example, why wouldn’t we turn to its fall as an example to AVOID the collapse of US Democracy? DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast does.
By comparing the Late Republic period of Rome with near-future American Democracy, DEMOCRACY JONES PodioBook seeks to disseminate awareness of the things that brought Democracy to its knees in Rome and what is happening today in the US.
The horrors the citizenry experienced while losing the Roman Republic were real. The society essentially split in two and the people were forced to choose a side. But there are very clear consequences involved in a zero sum game. If you choose the right side, you become a part of the new government’s totalitarian control. If you choose the wrong side, you die or go into exile. Lost are the great, although imperfect, benefits citizens enjoy in a democracy. Even if the new government claims to be democratic, it’s lost its legitimacy. Look to the example of Roman General Marius’s very partisan purges and reforms of the government after he took control, and the opposing Roman General Sulla’s equally partisan actions after he swept through and undid all of Marius’s reforms.
As most Anthropologists will tell you about the collapse of complex societies, it is hardly ever one thing that spells ruin. The Republic of Rome was no different. And although we have made great technological breakthroughs since then, we are still just as susceptible.
By telling this story, and having the audience witness the crossing of the threshold from Democracy to a coup in a small American town, I hope that we can begin to come together, Conservatives and Liberals, so that we can figure this out before it is too late.
“Above all else, the Roman Republic teaches the citizens of its modern descendants the incredible dangers that come along with condoning political obstruction and courting political violence. Roman history could not more clearly show that, when citizens look away as their leaders engage in these corrosive behaviors, their republic is in mortal danger.” ~Edward J. Watts, Mortal Republic
Horror Pod DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast (DJP) is excited to share that episode AIE9 – Run For Your Life has obliterated all previous records for downloads. We have also received a number of media and interview requests, though I’m a little hesitant about such things. Instead, I offer direct links to the episode and some information about the show for its growing listeners.
Recommended: listen to AIE9 – Run For Your Life, then go to the beginning of the podcast.
On the surface, DJP is a Horror fiction pod, and a character-driven audio drama with ambient, scary music. Some have compared it to Mad Max, Blade Runner, Neuromancer, Handmaid’s Tale and The Walking Dead. It’s a Psychological Thriller with heavy doses of Horror & Science Fiction.
For a detailed look at the characters and important backstory elements, go to this page: DJP Characters & More
If you’re interested in the nerdy, deeper-level aspects of DJP (most people aren’t), well, here we go:
DJP is speculative fiction that utilizes cross-cultural, Political and Socio-Cultural Anthropology to compare the Late Republic period of Rome and near-future American politics. Content Warning: it’s very scary with plenty of cursing.
Inspiration: Basically, here’s what happened. On Jan. 6, 2021, I was as shocked as everyone else to see political violence in America. But there are many historical precedents. Namely, the Late Republic period in Rome (133-27BCE). Particularly, the time period between the Social War and Sulla’s death (91-78 BCE).
The political violence we witnessed on Jan. 6 was a wake up call. In Rome during the Late Republic period, political arguments became as polemic as our current politics. But when the Conservative Senate refused to give in to the progressive/populist political demands of the increasingly powerful Liberal Tribunes, it got ugly. So ugly that the Senate essentially had gang-like followers murder the leaders of the Tribunes (see Gracchi Brothers) in the streets. This caused the Liberal Tribunes to step up their rhetorical and physical threats through the military general, Gaius Marius, whose populist power increased the tension since he had half the military supporting him. Then the Conservative military general Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who had the other half of the military on his side, then came to power, and Rome was essentially split in two militant sides.
On Jan. 6, the similarities to Late Republic Rome struck me as dangerous and threatening. There is no horror movie, novel or television series scarier than a real-life coup, so I decided to write a realistic horror. In a whirlwind of inspiration, I completed a 60-page pilot script six days later.
Around that time, Marc Eliot Stein, a good friend, talked me into starting a podcast after I had, over the years, five novels and a book of poetry published. I thought I’d give it a try since I could incorporate my music as well as some of the voiceover tricks I learned reading my books and poetry in front of large crowds.
On an even deeper level, DJP is a critique of Rhetoric. Structural Anthropology teaches us that there are deep, cross-cultural similarities among all human species. It welcomes us to see ourselves as similar to other cultures, rather than different. We can learn about ourselves and predict the future through historical research and forecasted probabilities. Rhetoric, during the Late Republic period in Roman, was a weapon politicians like Cicero used to convince followers that the opposing side was evil. When both sides use Rhetoric, the result is increasingly volatile anger and violence that grows from a simple argument to name-calling to fist fighting to gang fights and eventually, such as in Rome, entire armies fighting against each other in civil war.
I don’t want that for America’s future. DJP is a warning that Rhetoric is more dangerous than any thermo-nuclear weapon.
Episode AIE9 – Run for Your Life. It’s actually a great place to start. Afterward, I suggest going to the beginning and listen to “Teaser,” then “Opening Crawl” then AIE1, AIE2 etc. in order by the release dates, since this is a serial podcast.
Episode Description: De’ontay runs for his life as he is being hunt down in the Everglades by Zeke, a tracker. In the horror, Abra’s emotions become displaced and she blames her father for everything, then runs away only to find herself in the warzone of Chatham Projects Town. Captain Dick and the BATAs celebrate victory in downtown Ellington when something mystical and unexpected changes everything.
Eamon Loingsigh (sounds like Lynch) is a critically acclaimed author of five novels and a book of poetry. He has been shortlisted for the Langum Prize and was featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times among many others.
Kendall Reviews has taken up DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast as a favorite and gave it a very positive review. Unfortunately I am unable to share it, so I copy/pasted it below. Please visit their link HERE to view the whole thing.
Blending the historical fall of Late Republic Rome, American politics, science fiction, horror, and satire is the mind-bending fiction series Democracy Jones. Set in the year 2040, a violent coup rips the United States apart, leaving millions either killed or uprooted. Survivors, including a pregnant Haisley Jones, fight together to revive democracy.
If you enjoy biting social commentary and the sharp wit of satire, Democracy Jones needs to be on your playlist. Along with an uncanny resemblance to current global political attitudes and an examination of deep division between right- and left-wing parties, you’ll find creepy turkey vultures, scenes reminiscent of Mad Max, and a neural chip programmed to sound exactly like Maya Angelou.
Written and narrated by the very talented Eamon Loingsigh, this serialized story is not only thought-provoking but also highly entertaining. I recommend beginning with the “Teaser” episode, then “Opening Crawl” (noted as the trailer on Spotify), and then proceed to the numbered episodes. Alternatively, you could start with the episode titled “It’s Not Too Late” where Eamon talks about the inspiration behind the story and his real-life hopes to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
Currently the series is in Act 1 of 4, so it’s a great time to catch up on past episodes, plus with an average runtime of less than 20 minutes it’s easy to listen to each installment without interruption. You can find Democracy Jones on most podcast platforms or listen directly on the Art of Need website artofneed.com
JA Sullivan wrote this review. Come see her blog HERE.
If the founders of US Democracy turned to the Roman Republic as an example of how to create a Democratic society, why wouldn’t we turn to its fall to AVOID the collapse of Democracy? DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast does.
By comparing the Late Republic period of Rome with near-future American Democracy, DEMOCRACY JONES Podcast seeks to disseminate awareness of the things that brought Democracy to its knees in Rome and what is happening today in the US.
As most Anthropologists will tell you about the collapse of complex societies, it is never one thing that spells ruin. The Republic of Rome was no different. And although we have made great technological breakthroughs since then, we are still just as susceptible.
By telling this story, and having the audience witness the crossing of the threshold from Democracy to a coup through the eyes of citizens in a small American town, I hope that we can begin to come together, Conservatives and Liberals, so that we can figure this out BEFORE it is too late.
A Parnassian is an archetype of the middle/upper middle class, even elites, who had an uneventful, sheltered childhood and received a respectable education who nonetheless believe they are entitled to have something eventful, relevant or important to add to the literary canon. Every generation in the book industry has a very large Parnassian clique who dominate discussion concerning what is, or is not relevant, yet are often remembered in hindsight as stifling or censoring the writers who come to embody their generation’s writing posthumously due to their conflict with the Parnassians.
The Parnassian poets, where the term Parnassianism derives, were a group of mid-to-late 19th Century bourgeois writers with connections to the French monarchy. They defined French poetry for a while by excluding the likes of Arthur Rimbaud, who famously agitated against their mundane, impassive values and came to epitomize the type of breakthrough poetry the Parnassians could never have imagined the public would embrace. Parnassians instead inspire great poetry via revolt against their established vision. The Parnassians were known for, “stories which the Madame could read whilst her maid was putting on her stockings, or which the Monsieur could devour when, hat on head and cane in hand, he waits till the Madame has buttoned the last button of her gloves.”*
Through the generations Parnassians have been known for their careerist value system when it comes to writing and maintain a loose semblance of power over the writing community through hot takes on social media, editorial or professorships and their presence in the industry’s establishments of public relations, marketing, publishing, reviews etc. Parnassians treat writing as if it were any other capitalist venture, and view their “product” as a brand. Much of their power over the writing community is obtained or retained by their outing of supposed inappropriate writers or topics, and loyalty to the industry’s categorization of writing by genres. The smug, exclusionary tactics they use are often exercised by means of ignoring the pleas of ambitious writers, who they see as attempting to replace their status in the writing community. To cover up their obvious capitalist, corporate-friendly establishmentarian value system, Parnassians often identify as bohemian, liberal-free thinkers.