Hello, my name is…
1 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Indian Nations commanded real political and practical power during the Second Great Depression. Many called for full independence from the United States of America, and there was little the reduced Feds could do to stop them. But most believed a more measured option was appropriate. Whether they liked it or not, our worlds were intertwined far more than in the past, and fully divorcing themselves from America would result in even more chaos. So when the States moved to reform the Federal government, the Indian Nations sent their own representatives to the Constitutional Convention. Most were quickly accepted by the State delegations they nominally belonged to, though some fought for their own separate acceptance. Despite their lack of official Statehood. Constitutional scholars continue to point to their acceptance by the convention as a major point for challenging the reformed Constitution that came out of it, but court cases based on that did not succeed in the decades that followed.
2 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The new Second Great Depression-era Constitution allowed local areas to formally leave the States they were part of to form their own States. They would need Federal recognition, which generally came swiftly if they had a large enough population base. The Indian Tribes of the time did not have enough population to match the requirements, in individual terms. They were certainly large enough as a whole, though, and the Indian Nations quickly joined the America Federal government as a non-contiguous Nation State with small enclaves all over America. Many have become States in their own right as their populations increased in the centuries that followed, and The Indian Nations command immense wealth and power in Jack’s day. They are certainly one of the great “State alliances” of the time, even if they never use the term State in their own internal documentation. They are Nations, and proud of it. They are simply allied with other nations to promote the common security of all.
3 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Large States like Old California and Old Texas ran into a number of interesting problems during the Second Great Depression. They were host to some of the largest cities in America on the one hand, and some of the largest stretches of sparsely populated ranch and farmlands on the other. There were few places in America where the divide between cityfolk and countryfolk was more pronounced than those two old States. The truly interesting bit is just how amazingly different their breakups were. They helped create a fundamental transformation of the very idea of Statehood in America, but simply acknowledged the new effective power structure that had developed during the decades leading up to that time. History repeats itself, and it did so in both California and Texas. You can see the results of that into Jack’s time. Yes, they have more Federal Senators, but that was a happy coincidence. According to them. Other changes were far more radical.
4 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The dissolution of Old California was an unfriendly slide. California had been suffering from decades of one party rule that emptied the State treasuries and dumped most of their water reserves straight into the ocean. Crops were dying in the fields and several major cities suffered from plagues thought lost to the Dark Ages. Add a combination of natural and manmade fires burning down forests the size of other States, assorted other natural disasters, or nearly weekly stories about another manmade mass casualty event or domestic terror attack, and people were comparing California to the Biblical stories about Egypt back in the time of Moses. Leaders in the big cities looked down on the country bumpkins as too deplorably stupid, racist, and backwards to have any say in how they lived. And those outside the big cities were just plain done with being told how they were going to be allowed to live. The divorce between urban and rural districts, when it happened, was not a peaceful one. And as often happens in cases like that, the suburbanites got pulled along for the slide into chaos. It was not a fun time to be a Californian.
5 - Medron - The Boys - “You should have been raised by a loving mother and father, not some scientists in a lab.” The enduring lesson of The Boys.
I would like to say that Amazon Prime has created a fresh, new world for their recent superhero mini-series, but I can’t. Well, it IS a new world, but it is hardly fresh. It is filled with the same villains as most major movies and series of the last few decades. Selfish heroes, greedy corporations, and hypocritical Christians. Otherwise known as the Hollywood Trinity of Villainy.
Now I understand. Hollywood has been Weinsteining themselves for so many decades that they simply don’t understand John Waynes, John Carters, or Luke Skywalkers anymore. Look at how badly they wrote even Superman in the recent reboots. They can’t seem to understand what a healthy family is, or how people can be nice to each other. They haven’t seen that in Hollywood for decades, and they write what they know. Even if that is exactly the opposite of what most normal people in America know.
I will note that the MCU has been a rare exception, actually showing us real heroes in action that we could cheer for without reservation. And the movies were just fun to watch. A sideline studio came out of nowhere with second-line heroes and made so much money that their style of fluff and fun became a standard against which other movies were measured. They were successful at building a billion-dollar movie franchise out of almost nothing. Then Disney decided to buy them out. I greatly hope Disney doesn’t take the MCU in the same direction they took Star Wars.
But back to The Boys.
On the one side, we have a sociopath not-Superman, not-Batman, not-Wonder Woman, not-Aquaman, not-Flash, not-Invisible Man, and not-Stargirl. Basically the not-Justice League. Though the major difference is that they have contracts with a major corporation which they work for it and it negotiates contracts for them to go to cities all over America and protect them from criminals or other bad things.
Supes (yes, they don’t have an r in there) have TV shows and movies. They run charities and rescue organizations. Most of them don’t even wear masks. They are a central part of American society, and are pitched as really nice people. They have agents who handle them and speechwriters to tell them what to say. They are basically spokesman for the corporation or whatever charity or organization they run. Spokesman who can go out and throw a truck or stop a missile or whatever when the time comes.
On the other side, we have the people who were injured themselves, or had loved ones killed by Supes who didn’t care enough to not injure or kill people. The catalyst of this story is exactly that. A Supe runs through a nice girl and explodes her while she’s holding hands with her boyfriend/fiance and keeps going. He had something important to do, you see. And later he lies to say that she stepped out in front of him, so it wasn’t really his fault. That sets the kinda/sorta/notreally hero up to be recruited to try and prove to everyone just how sociopathic and nasty all those Supes really are.
And on another side, we have some Hollywood Christians doing there thing. I say Hollywood Christians because they are Christians that act the way Hollywood says they act. And let me say, I grew up in the Pentecostal movement that these guys are patterned after. I’ve been to the tent revivals, I’ve been to churches where people dance in the aisles, and all that stuff. I have never been someplace where the speakers make the kind of teachings and preachings that they did on this show. I would go as far as to say that the Hollywood Christians portrayed on this show run so hamfistedly counter to what the Bible really says, and what is actually taught in the Pentecostal movement as to be really bad parodies.
Of course they are portrayed with straight faces as if that is what the writers THINK Christians act like. I’ll also note that they very slightly renamed one of the most famous Christian charities in a way to leave no question at all who they are using, and then make them a central part of one of the major corrupt conspiracies the entire story is built on. So close that if I was that charity, I would be talking to my lawyers to see if there is a libel case to be made. I know in America those are hard to bring, but it really is that close.
The rest of the series would be something I could see coming from Quintin Tarantino. Violence. Language. Sexual situations. Darkness and humor mixed into a stew of dark humor and violence that left me feeling depressed with humanity when I was done. I went to see what other people thought of it, and the most common refrain I heard is that it was like what heroes would be like in the real world. Which I think says something really dark about the worldview of the people saying that.
Me, I went and watched Good Omens to renew my faith in humanity. Yes. A story about Armageddon and the Anti-Christ was more joyful and fun to watch than The Boys. Of course, Neil Gaiman did have a part in writing it, so there’s that. He makes stories about dead people funny and joyful.
Do I recommend the series? Well, if you really like dark and “realistic” stories, you will probably like it. It’s well acted, and the special effects are movie quality. And there was some great care taken in crafting it. It is a well-made series. Myself, I don’t want to see it again. And I most likely will not watch the series when it comes back for season 2. I will probably read the cliffnotes to see what dumpsters they go down next time. I simply don’t want to watch shows where bad and angry people do bad things to other bad and angry people.
I want to see heroes doing great things and winning. That’s why I like the Star Wars trilogy and the books that followed it. Why I like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica (the original), and Buck Rogers. It’s why I write my stories that way. I want to put goodness into the world with my creative endeavors. And I want to watch stories that do the same.
The Boys is simply not for me. If it is for you, I hope you like it. But for me, I give it two thumbs down.
6 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The transformation of Old Texas was greatly different than what happened in California. Yes, there were big city bastions like the tri-border El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces and the more central Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that were worlds onto their own, but Texas still had a strong rural tradition and the two worlds had not yet gone to war with each other over the future of the State. Perhaps that is because they had a common enemy in the Mexican Drug Lords that they continued to fight. Big city central police forces and distant county sheriffs worked together on a daily basis to interdict powerful drugs and sex trafficking rings. There were many other reasons of course, but the combined result was that Texas did not break up the way California did. They did break up, but it was a far more political break up than a societal one. More than one of the new Texan States came into existence simply because they wanted a pair of Federal Senators that represented only them, in fact. Not that they admitted it at the time. That would have been an overabundance of political honesty, you know.
7 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Republic of California was born in rebellion and anarchy during the Second Great Depression. The big cities were drowning beneath the weight of homelessness, rampant diseases, and drugs wars that shattered the minds and bodies of their residents. City and State budgets alike completely collapsed, and the inland rural sections of the State simply walked away. When city or State forces tried to bring them into line, they got shot. Or they turned. Some of the cities managed to maintain order, but the majority of them fragmented and millions of people were displaced in the economic chaos that followed. A combination of inland counties and major Indian Tribes worked together to promote law and order. They had little coastal presence, as they didn’t consider the Left Coasties to be rational enough to live with by then. Though they were happy to accept the various military bases around San Diego in their little alliance of order that eventually formed the Republic of California that Jack grew up with.
8 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Republic of California did not include all of San Diego, Tijuana, or the other major cities around them upon original formation. Those cities had fallen into civil war as the Mexican Drug Lords took advantage of the Second Great Depression to shatter the local governments’ internal controls. There were numerous military bases in the area though, including the largest American port on the western coast. They served as good bases for security and police forces to operate from, but a lack of Federal funding greatly reduced their reach. It was the wild wild west outside their security corridors, and Republic forces tried very hard not to spend much time in them. Note that there were a number of military housing neighborhoods that were basically extensions of the bases, and the Drug Lords did not enter those areas. Well. They didn’t enter twice. And those who wanted to live learned from the examples of those who tried once and didn’t walk in their very bloody shoes.
9 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - When San Diego, Tijuana, and the other major cities fell into chaos during the Second Great Depression, their surviving leaders declared martial law in hopes of restoring order. The local police were simply not enough, though. Their ranks had been too harried, and they lacked the firepower to deal with the Drug Lords. So the cities looked to the Old Border Patrol agents hunkered down in San Ysidro. It had been the largest port of entry in America before the depression hit, with sufficient infrastructure to support the small army it took to man the Old Border. They became the San Ysidro Peacekeepers, and sent heavily armed squads through all the neighboring cities to deal with the Drug Lords. Local judges accompanied them in person or via digital presence to pronounce sentences on the spot. No trial. No jury. Just the judge. It wasn’t pretty, but they were living under martial law. They managed to restore law and order in time, and martial law was ended, but not before the San Ysidro Judges became a permanent part of the local culture.
10 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The San Ysidro Judges helped restore order in San Diego, Tijuana, and their closest neighboring cities during the Second Great Depression. They accompanied the San Ysidro Peacekeepers on their patrols, and judged and sentenced Drug Lord smugglers and fighters to instant punishments in their quest to restore order. They succeeded in time, martial law was lifted, and their emergency powers were greatly curtailed. They did not disappear, though. They had found a niche and the cities agreed to maintain their jurisdiction throughout the entire megacity. They continued to investigate, judge, and sentence on the spot, though if one or more citizens disagreed with the judgment, they could demand a bench trial. That has actually helped keep them from becoming too corrupt on their power. Most bench judges dislike presiding over San Ysidran cases, and tend towards swift punishments against those who did wrong, whether they be judge or common citizen.
11 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - By the time the San Ysidro Peacekeepers and Judges restored order in San Diego, Tijuana, and the other nearby cities, they had informally become the southern edge of the new Republic of California. They official joined as San Ysidro, San Diego, Tijuana, and all of several other cities. It’s a long name. Never used except in the most painfully formal of situations. Most people simply call it San Ysidro, after the council that represents them to California and the United States. Each city elects representatives to that council, and agrees to work together towards the common good in public, all while trying to tip the balance towards their own good behind the scenes. It is a seemingly chaotic mix of cooperation, competition, and cheating as each city tries to pull one over on all of the others. But the San Ysidrans have mostly kept the peace. And there are always Judges and Peacekeepers ready to step in if that peace is broken.
12 - Medron - Good Omens - Good Omens is a fun, joyful romp through the birth of the Anti-Christ, the rise of the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse, and the coming Battle of Armageddon. Add in a dollop of temptation in the Garden of Eden, and a few thousand years of an angel and a demon working together to counter each others’ work so their higher authorities think they are doing their jobs on Earth, and you have a delightfully satirical look at the End Times on Earth.
I’ve read the book, and now I’ve seen the show on Amazon, and I have to say that it is a good rendition of the story. And the actors nailed the characters dead on. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see the characters any other way again. And the music is delightfully jolly for a hop, skip, and a jump through the decidedly crazy trip that is Revelations. Not that Good Omens is a faithful reproduction of that book. Oh no. Good Omens takes what it likes and tosses the rest on its delightful path. Yes…that is the third time I’ve said delightful. Four now.
I mean it. It really is a de….enjoyable story. De…liberately irreverent and enjoyed most if you go in with a sense of humor and an expectation that sacred cows will be slaughtered with great del…glee. It is a story of friendship in the end, and how it can change the world. For angels and demons who learn to see the good in the world around them. For children forced to see the evils of the world too soon.
Good Omens tells a del…oh the heck with it…a delightfully humorous and surprisingly serious story about the coming of age of people of all ages.
I give it to two angels dancing merrily on the head of a pin. Because they can.
P.S. - That doesn't mean I forgive the demon for inventing the evil that is tie-dye. He is a sick and twisted individual, and I hope he receives the punishment he deserves for that. ;)
13 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Republic of California did not include Los Angeles when it was originally formed. That city suffered much when the Second Great Depression hit. Honestly, it had been suffering for decades, and the depression simply accelerated the city’s downturn. The Cybernetic Wars and the Islamic Jihad brought more chaos to the city, and the Los Angeles Blackout is still considered a seminal event of the time period. It brought the city all the way down and shattered her governmental structure. Riots rules the streets and there wasn’t enough of a government left to join anybody or asking anyone for help. Los Angeles was the largest city that utterly failed during those years, and it has proven a cautionary tale in the centuries since.
14 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Los Angeles got it bad when the Second Great Depression came over America. First it had the gang violence that weakened law and order. Then the Islamic State of Detroit sent agents to sow chaos there. Including Rogue AIs that made a particularly nasty hash of the local networks. An alliance of technogeeks and friendly AIs finally drove them out, but not before they sparked off the Los Angeles Blackout that brought the city low. Worse than the New York City Blackout of 1977. There were riots and arson and the city burned like a bonfire. Like the funeral pyre of civilization. The second largest city in America died that day. Oh, the fires went out. And some neighborhoods even began to rebuild. But the city as a whole died and refugees fled into the desert in hopes of finding more hospitable places to lay their heads.
15 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Japanese Home Islands fell to a Chinese invasion during the Second Great Depression. As did most of the nations surrounding China. There were a lot of refugees from those nations, and many went to their neighbors, trying to get just a little bit further from the Chinese invaders. Whereupon they would have to run again when the Chinese expansion continued. The largest single refugee fleet crossed the entire Pacific and landed in Los Angeles. This was after the Los Angeles Blackout, and Los Angeles was not in good shape. But it had always been home to one of the largest Japanese populations outside the Home Islands, so when the new Empress of Japan set sail, Los Angeles was her destination. She put all of her surviving resources into rebuilding the new home of her people when she arrived. They called it New Nippon or New Nihon. Outsiders never did fully figure out when they would use one name over the other. Americans just took to calling it New Japan because it was a name they understood.
16 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The fall of Los Angeles left a power vacuum. The new Empress of Japan filled that vacuum by walking through the streets after her refugee fleet arrived. She met the people. And then she worked to rebuild her new home on the American mainland. Her people brought with them the surviving riches of the Japanese Home Islands, and a boundless determination to rebuild what they had lost. And so New Japan quickly became the center of Japanese power in the world, and they remade it in their image. Cherry blossom trees and Shinto architecture dominate much of the city in Jack’s time, though you can still see the older Spanish influences beneath the Japanese veneer. And both of those influences are tempered with Americana of all ages. New Japan isn’t a pure recreation of what they lost, but more a mixture of everything that survived the Second Great Depression.
17 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - New Japan is a melting pot of all the cultures that lived in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities. The New Japanese are the dominant culture there, by far, but they have absorbed much of what came before. In both genes and culture. There are those of Mexican, American, Indian, or Japanese descent in the area, but more and more as the centuries passed, they mixed into something new. The Japanese schoolgirl is mixed with the California surfer girl. Or valley girl. Dark skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair is common. You can see anything in New Japan. It is a land of new beginnings and new ideas, anchored in a culture that enshrines the old and calm. It brings a unique perspective to the Republic of California that is seen in few other nations of the world.
18 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - New Japan is a nation where new and old live side by side. A genuine gengineered teenage catgirl can walk by a Shinto temple built out of stones carried from the Japanese Home Islands aboard the last free fleet. Powerful warships and starfighters are decorated with cute anime girls or bunnies warning you about the explosives. Glasses or cybernetic eyes can reveal an entire electronic virtual world that floats over and through the nation. A man in t-shirt and jeans may be wearing a virtual tuxedo on a first date, or body armor as he hunts virtual vampires. You might see Godzilla roaring in the bay, and a virtual King Kong or Gundam may stride out to fight him. Much of that died when the Shang dropped Yosemite Station on Los Angeles, but the Free Japanese have learned how to rebuild in the face of catastrophe. The War tempered them and made them stronger than even they had thought they were.
19 - Medron - Star Wars - I watched some Star Wars movies this weekend. For reference, that would be Episode II and Episode III, along with the original Clone Wars cartoon. The one by the Samurai Jack artists, not the later CG one. Then I watched Episode I. Yes. I watched them out of order.
The thing is, I remember liking that movie when it first came out. I saw it at a midnight showing in a theatre that no longer exists, and still have the ticket in my wallet to remember it by. Yeah, Jar Jar was kind of stupid, but I liked the rest of the movie. It was fun. Like Star Wars was supposed to be. A bit light hearted. Some adventure. And the bad guys get crunched in the end. Even if a good guy bit it. But that happened in Star Wars as well.
Now Episode II and III showed a neverending sequence of idiotic moves by the Jedi as they failed to do the smart thing again and again until they died. Not nearly as much light heartedness. Or adventure. And the bad guys don’t get crunched in the end.
And suddenly it dawned on me that Episode I is more a Star Wars movie than Episode II and III. Considering how much time I’ve spent looking on it as a failed movie, it’s a bit of a surprise to suddenly think of it in that way. Now there’s Solo which I enjoyed a great deal, but none of the other movies that have come out since Jedi really nailed the simple FUN of Star Wars.
Does it have problems? Absolutely. Did it get things factually wrong based on what was in the Star Wars trilogy? Yup. But is it fun to watch? Also yes. Which means that Episode I has suddenly jumped into fourth place when it comes to just being fun to watch. Maybe fifth. I haven’t rewatched Solo yet. And there’s Rogue One as well. Both of those have their own issues when it comes to matching previous lore, but fun to watch? Solo is a yes. Rogue One…I’m going to see it soon again and see what I think.
But one thing I noticed in this watch through is a difference in how Episodes I through III handled special effects. Episode II was the worst in my eyes, with massive amounts of CG that didn’t always look good next to the actors. The Clonetroopers didn’t have weight to them, and felt unreal. And I saw that again and again with so many different CG characters where the actors were having trouble interacting with them. Right down to vehicles and everything. It’s like they tried to do everything in CG with the actors on sound stages the whole time, and it just didn’t feel real to me.
Episode III did it better, and the Clonetroopers looked more real in closeup shots. Either the CG was better, or they had actual actors wearing the suits in those shots. It still suffered from the sound stage feel at times, but the integration between CG and real was much, much better.
Episode I was actually the best of the three when it came to special effects. It used more models, more location shots, and there were more of the CG characters with standins that the actors could work with and “look at” during filming. They almost never threw me out of the story. It’s a very interesting thing to look at all these years later. How the special effects have aged. Episode I’s have aged well. Episode II not so much.
Next it will be time to watch the original Star Wars movies. Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi. It will be interesting to consider what I think about the Star Wars trilogy after watching the prequels and side stories designed to work with it. This is going to be a a fun week for watching movies.
20 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Jefferson, Lincoln, and Franklin have all been States that people have tried to create or formed and then let fade away over the centuries of American history. There were plans to make both Jefferson and Lincoln out of Texas for a time, and there was an operational Jefferson Territory in what is now Colorado for a few years back in the 1800s. There have additionally been numerous movements to create a State of Jefferson out of the Northern California and Southern Oregon counties since the 1940s. They had their own Jefferson Public Radio network by the 1980s, and a 1990s referendum in favor of the idea easily passed in 31 counties. Some 21 California counties had actually sent official proclamations to the California government informing the State of their intentions by 2013. That made it one of the most organized secession movements of the early Twenty First century. Though most people considered it more a vanity project than something that could really happen. The California government would simply never support it. But then the Second Great Depression came along and changed everything.
21 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Jeffersonian Federation, often called Jefferson by her citizens, was one of the less volatile creations of the Second Great Depression. They were a largely rural society with few large towns, and were one of the most sparsely inhabited States in the Union upon their formation. They did have some seaports and cities on the coast, but those were small by California and Oregon standards. Nothing compared to the megacities north and south of them. Most of their territory went into inland forests and mountains where the country folk didn’t care too much about being told what to do. And the trained hunters out there were the perfect definition of the “well regulated militia” called for by America’s Second Amendment. They weren’t much in the way of the heavy combat formations used by the modern American military, but they made good light infantry at need. They simply weren’t needed much at first. They were the definition of flyover country, and most outsiders didn’t care what they did. Just like they didn’t care much about outsiders. When the big cities north and south of them fell into chaos, they simply decided to make their own way and wave off everybody else. It was one of the least dramatic secessions of the entire era.
22 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Jeffersonian Federation did not join the Republic of California on day one. They had left the rest of California on purpose, and did not want to be entangled in their problems. But as the Second Great Depression moved on into the Cybernetic Wars and the Islamic Jihad, they grudgingly accepted that it would be best to have allies. The shattered cities north and south of them were out of the question. But the mixture of inland counties and Indian tribes working to secede from the coastal Californians were Jefferson’s kind of people. If there was anyone they were interested in standing beside, it was those people. So they signed on the dotted line and joined up. I’ll note here that they were never a primary source of men and arms used to defend the Republic, or to attack her enemies, but they became a quiet and efficient ally when they signed up. And they have maintained that quiet competence ever since. Outsiders may worry about gang violence in San Diego, or what a cybernetic freak out would do in Los Angeles, but Jefferson? No man. No troubles ever come out of Jefferson.
23 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Jeffersonian Federation’s secession from California was about as quiet as it could be. And their joining the Republic of California was equally quiet, sealed with the ink of a pen and a few shrugs of interest from her people. But when it came time to rebuild places like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana, Jeffersonian citizens were always there and willing to help. They showed up with blankets and building materials. Beer and guns. They setup shelters with a quick efficiency that governmental relief organizations boggled at. They sat back and shared beers with the locals while talking about sports and weather. And they found the people who could be trusted with firearms, and took them out to the ranges to train them. They usually had to build the ranges first, but the locals helped with that once they had a stable place to sleep in again. The Jeffersonians left quiet efficiency in their wakes and moved on to help other areas recover.
24 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Jeffersonian Federation is not some kind of utopian dream come true. They have their problems. Coastal and inland citizens still don’t much like each other. But they keep their problems in house. They don’t air their laundry in public. And honestly. Their coasties or country folk are better than other people’s coasties or country folk. In the end, they have a great big tradition of not caring what other people do as long as they leave other people out of it. No drama. No problem. Live and let live. That’s probably one of the most defining parts of Jeffersonian culture in the end. They have mastered the art of other people’s lives being “not my business” in a way that few other cultures have anywhere. Other people see that as them being easygoing, but that’s not really the case. They are immensely hard working when “on the clock,” but they take their time away from work seriously. There isn’t any job or people who can’t be quit if they are annoying enough. And if the quitting isn’t accepted, they are not shy about escalating their level of quitting until everybody knows a quitting just happened.
25 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Jefferson shares much more in common with other Northern States like Minnesota and New York than with the various Old Californian States south of her. They are classically liberal but with a largely rural infrastructure. Most of their closest neighbors are trees, not other people, and most citizens see more wildlife each day than other humans. Even those cities that exist see deer or wolves walking through their streets while looking for something to eat. Small rodents, like squirrels, and birds are common sights, and various farms and ranches dot their mountain valleys and hills. The most excitement they generally get is hosting vacationers from the big cities. That brings in some needed money, as well as some new blood each year as various city folk try their hand at living in the country. Most of them go back to the cities within days or months, but those who adapt to life in Jefferson tend to be accepted real quick. Jefferson’s always looking for new blood.
26 - Medron - Wolfenheim Emergent -
27 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Large States like Old California and Old Texas became the cores of new Republics during the Second Great Depression. The much smaller Eastern States came together to form alliances that roughly matched many of the geopolitical lines of the era. The New England Federation and the Confederation of Dixie were the largest of them, and their formation helped influence the future of America all the way into Jack’s time. While the breakups of California and Texas were obvious ploys to gain more Federal representatives, New England and Dixie were a consolidation of like-minded States into political alliances that could stand toe to toe with each other. Much like in previous centuries, the two alliances generally stand on opposite sides of any major issue, and a long cold war rages between them. They each consider themselves the future of America, while those who live outside their borders often just wish the two would stop fighting each other and get on with life.
28 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - Pacifica was born of Silicon Valley’s profound wish to have nothing at all to do with the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and whatever other additional phobics they could think of, foulminded deplorables surrounding them. As the rest of America fell into the Second Great Depression that was its just punishment for electing some of the more egregious Presidents of the last few decades, San Francisco and the surrounding cities charted their path on a new and better course that would forever eclipse the cesspool they left behind. The more enlightened regions of Western Washington and Oregon soon joined them, as well as the newly reborn Kingdom of Hawaii. Many other islands all over the Pacific followed their lead in time, helping to create one of the most exclusive State alliances in the United States of America. It has the smallest landmass by far, but covers the largest amount of ocean property, and Pacifica is second to none when it comes to building artificial islands or underwater facilities for their very exclusive population. They also specialize in various cybernetic and collegiate industries, and are home to some of the best cyberspace worlds in existence. Very few nations on Earth and beyond can compete with them in the cybernetic fields, and most of the very best personal assistant AIs are coded by Pacifican cyberneers.
29 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Old American Midwest is the uncontested breadbasket of America in Jack’s time. They run from the Great Lakes States in the east to the Western States of the Rocky Mountains, and from the Minnesota Northlands to the wheat fields of Kansas in the south. They are a political and cultural middle ground in America, beholden to none of the major State alliances. They are split into three major alliances, and tend to go their own way, though the Northlands do often vote with New England and Pacifica. And the Westerners usually caucus with Dixie, California, and Texas, though are too independent minded to be relied upon. Their land is covered in forests, pastures, and fields, broken up only rarely by big cities and the suburbs around them. The handful of large cities that have maintained an association with the surrounding States tend to be hard working company towns of one kind or another. The vast network of roads that once crisscrossed the States had all but disappeared by the time Jack was born, the old groundbound cars having long since disappeared from common use. They are true Flyover States, and they like it that way.
30 - Medron - Jack of Harts Commentaries - The Old Mexican States, the Central American States, and the Caribbean States collectively have more land and water mass under their control than any other part of the United States. They nearly doubled the population of America when they joined, and converted America to a solid Catholic majority, to the annoyance of many Protestants and Evangelicals. They also made Spanish the official Second Language of the United States of America, even if the various dialects are something no native of Spain would call Spanish. Most government business is conducted in Spanish, though some places like Belize continue to maintain American English as their primary language. The single most defining trait of the region that most northern Americans notice upon arrival is that they tend to be more laid back as a culture. Life is lived at a slower pace, and they are favored as a vacation destination. Disney World Mexico is the largest Earthbound amusement park for instance. Many Americans also retire to these States after building up a nice little fortune in the big cities, bringing in some much appreciated money to the regions.
31 - Medron - Wolfenheim Emergent -