Reds! Official Fanfiction Thread (Part Two)

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) (By Miss Teri/Mr.E)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
    Directed by Robert Zemeckis
    Written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale

    In 1985, Marty McFly is an average American teenager living in the Hill Valley commune in California. However, after his failure to get his band to play the annual school dance, he admits to his girlfriend Jennifer that he fears that he might go down the same path as the rest of the family.

    Marty’s father George is a small functionary at the local computer planning facility, having failed to avoid military service during the Horn War due to low grades and lacking the confidence to go to college afterwards. McFly, while embittered, still lacks the confidence to stand up to old bully, Biff Tannen, now a major nomenklatura in the facility, who takes constant credit for reports that McFly ghostwrites in exchange for minor benefits. George resents that Tannen got his position due solely to nepotism and trickery. His mother Meg, meanwhile, works as complaint operator for the local government, and has succumbed to alcoholism. His brother and sister mostly coast through life, with Marty the only one with real ambition. At dinner, Meg recounts how she first met George when she ran over him with her car, and nursed him back to health.

    Marty excuses himself to meet his friend, Doctor Emmett “Doc” Braun, a former government scientist who now lives off his patents and is regarded as an eccentric by the locals. Marty goes to Doc’s lab, only for a note to tell him to meet him at a former nuclear test site nearby by 1:16 AM the next morning, October 26th.

    Marty heads over to the testing site (now long abandoned) to see Doc testing a time machine made from a 1983 Studebaker Phoenix. The two watch a successful test of the time machine with Doc’s chimpanzee Lomonosov. Doc explains the secret is a “flux capacitor”, which increases the energy of the car when it reaches a velocity of 140 km/h[1], allowing it to go back in time. Doc offhandedly mentions that he had stolen the plutonium fueling the capacitor from a group of Afrikaans terrorists who wanted him to make a bomb with it.

    Doc comments that he first got the idea for the flux capacitor after observing the last nuclear blast at the facility as an overseer for the Atomic Energy Commission. Thus, for his first human experiments, he intends to travel back to the date of the explosion, November 5th, 1955.

    The Afrikaans terrorists suddenly appear, having caught on to Doc’s lie, and proceed to shoot Doc. Marty flees in the Studebaker (in the process, changing the date to October 26th, 1955), as the terrorist chase him, and manages to reach the velocity needed to travel back in time.

    Marty arrives in 1955 Hill Valley, full of atomic age agitprop and early Second Cultural Revolution changes. Marty has some trouble when he tries to exchange “credit” for a soda. He eventually meets a young George McFly, nervous that he’ll be drafted into the war after his militia training. The young Biff Tannen still bullies George, getting away with it through his father’s position. Marty saves George from a car accident, and is knocked out himself.

    He awakens to find a younger version of Meg tending to him. She and her Russian immigrant family welcome Marty to sit with them, and Meg becomes infatuated with him.

    Marty tracks down Doc (still working for the Atomic Energy Commission) and convinces him of his story. With no plutonium, Doc and Marty realize that the only way to reach the amount of sufficient power is through an atomic explosion- like the one scheduled for November 5th. Doc tells Marty that he needs to find a way to siphon the energy from the explosion to create the necessary acceleration

    Doc also makes another realization: Marty has inadvertently caused his mother to fall in love with him instead of George, which will likely mean Marty will cease to exist.

    While Doc works to modify the flux capacitor and ensuring the Phoenix can be on the test site, Marty tries hard to ensure his parents still fall in love. However, George’s inability to stand up for himself (which is causing his low grades) and Meg’s continued love for Marty makes the task difficult. Not helping is Biff Tannen’s antagonism, which Marty tries to thwart. Marty also attempts to tell Doc of his impending death, but Doc refuses to listen, fearing its effects on the future.

    Doc manages to modify the flux capacitor to absorb the shock of the explosion. However the launch turns out to be on the same night as the “Under the Sea” Dance, where Marty hopes to bring his parents together.

    Doc tries to delay the launch, claiming various problems with the bomb, while Marty makes a final play. He appears before George as “Darth Maul from the Planet Solaris”, and convinces him to go to the dance, and devises a plan. Marty would make inappropriate advances towards Meg, which George will save her from.

    Just as Marty is about to initiate his plan, Biff barges in, and actually tries to assault Meg. George, unaware, comes to her rescue, but gathers the strength to punch Biff, which reveals his indiscretion (controversial in the midst of “Limelight”[2]) to the public, ruining any chances of advancement.

    His existence secured, Marty races to the test sight, where the general has finally ordered the launch despite Doc’s warning. Marty manages to make it on time, and gives Doc a letter explaining what happens in 1985 before positioning the Studebaker.

    Marty manages to outrun the explosion, which gives him the energy to go back to October 26th, 1985. However, he arrives seemingly too late to watch Doc get killed by the Afrikaans. However, as he grieves, Doc is revealed to have survived, having read Marty’s letter and came to the test with a bulletproof vest.

    Doc drives Marty home (where it’s revealed that Doc’s inventions have made the world slightly more advanced), and uses the Phoenix to go into the future. Marty finds the McFly house to be significantly larger and nicer, and sees his father, the head of production at the planning center (due to his college education), and his wife, a local councilwoman, much happier. He also learns that, after the scandal at the dance, Biff ended up losing all future prospects, and ends up a minor functionary, working under George.

    Just as Marty and Jennifer are about to enjoy time at a communal center, Doc reappears with the Phoenix from the year 2015, revealing that Marty’s son is in danger, and requests the two join him in traveling to the future….

    [1] 88 mph converted to the Metric system
    [2] The scandal surrounding Charlie Chaplin and various allegations of sexual improprieties, starting in 1955.
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    IN DARK TERRITORY (1995) (The Jovian)
  • In Dark Territory (1995) [1]

    Directed by: John McTiernan
    Produced by: Steven Seagal and Steve Perry
    Written by: Matt Reeves and Richard Hatem

    Michael Ironside as Andrew Delacroix
    Eric Bogosian as Tycho Danailov
    Steven Seagal as Marcus Penn
    Michelle Hurd as Bobbie Zachs
    Michael Shanks as Charles Delacroix

    Andrew Delacroix (Michael Ironside) is a former Canadian soldier going back to Vancouver for the funeral of his twin brother Jacques via a train from Chicago with his nephew Charles (Michael Shanks). The two's relationship is strained by Andrew and Jacques' political disagreements (Andrew was opposed to the Red Turn while Jacques supported the move towards communism) resulting in them not talking to each other for years and leaving Charles with the impression that Andrew didn't love Jacques. As the train approaches the Canadian Rockies it is boarded by an Anarcho-Communist militia led by Yugoslavian-American computer scientist Tikhomir "Tycho" Danailov (Eric Bogosian) and former WFRA Spec Ops soldier Marcus Penn (Steven Seagal). Tycho was formerly employed by the UASR government as one of the designers of Grazer One, a secret satellite weapon deployed by the WFRAF in secret even from the Congress of Soviets, capable of striking anywhere in the world with its mass accelerator cannon. He tortures two government analysts on the train for the control codes of Grazer One and then takes control of the satellite away from the WFRAF by remote hacking several radio telescopes along the Rocky Mountains to transmit his control signal into orbit, his goal being to use it to incite a war between the Third Communist International and the Alliance of Free States, having come to see UASR's current CLP/SEU coalition government as too soft on the capitalist bloc. Penn and his men secure the train and take much of the passengers and staff hostage except for Andrew who climbs outside the train to avoid capture and train porter Roberta "Bobbie" Zachs (Michelle Hurd) who hides among the luggage. The two meet up and plan to retake control of the train by taking out the militia members one by one.

    Andrew is captured by Tycho's men attempting to rescue Charles and Tycho recognizes him as a member of a bourgeois Canadian dynasty only for Andrew to rebuke him by saying that his family fortune was all but completely spent by the Red Turn (hence Jacques' support for communism). Tycho then lets Andrew watch as he uses Grazer One to destroy a secret Rhodesian nuclear research facility as a test in preparation for a direct strike on the FBU's nuclear capabilities. Once he cripples the ability of the FBU to effectively attack the Comintern with their nuclear weapons he'll give the UASR government an ultimatum, declare war on the AFS or Tycho will use Grazer One to destroy the White House and the Capitol Building killing the Central Executive Committee and the Congress of Soviets as well as thousands of innocent people in the process. Andrew protests on the grounds that a war with the AFS could result in millions of deaths to which Tycho responds by saying "a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the revolution." He orders Penn to shoot Andrew as a bourgeois counter-revolutionary only to be rescued by Bobbie causing a distraction and Andrew escapes with the CD containing the targeting codes for Grazer One. Meanwhile Charles manages to sneak out of the hostage train cart and after meeting up with Bobbie and Andrew uses his technical skills to restore power to the train's phone and sends a message to the WFRAF HQ informing them of Tycho's plan who order an air strike on the train. However Tycho gives Andrew and Bobbie an ultimatum, surrender with the CD or, with the train having switched tracks, the train will eventually collide with an incoming fuel tanker due to entering "dark territory" where there is no way to contact the train. Andrew and Tycho talk over the train's PA system and Tycho accuses Andrew of being a counter-revolutionary, insisting that otherwise he would be going along with his plan to facilitate a global revolution. Andrew responds by saying that what the Red Turn has proven is that capitalism will slowly collapse in on itself if given enough time but Tycho's unconvinced. Andrew and Bobby separate the train car holding the hostages from the rest of the train but Charles is captured and Andrew surrenders the CD to ensure his safety only for Penn to double-cross him and shoot Andrew. Tycho then uses Grazer One to destroy the WFRAF stealth bombers just before they can bomb the train.

    With only ten minutes to go before Grazer One fires on the FBU nuclear missile base in Newfoundland, a wounded Andrew and Bobbie manage to fight their way to Tycho's makeshift command center at the front of the train eventually overcoming Penn in a brutal hand-to-hand fight that leaves Andrew's leg crippled but Penn knocked unconscious. With less than a minute to go Bobbie distracts Tycho and Charles breaks free and attacks him. At the very last moment Bobbie manages to shut down Tycho's system with Charles' instructions, allowing the WFRAF to trigger the satellite's self-destruct mechanism and prevent the FBU base from being destroyed, averting the war. Bobbie and Charles then escape from the train with an unconscious Andrew just before it collides with the fuel tanker, killing Penn, and the local people's militia arrive on the scene and apprehend Tycho as he tries to get away.

    With the crisis resolved, Andrew and Charles continue on to Vancouver and visit Jacques' grave, affirming to themselves that even though they were raised as capitalists, they are now committed to the revolution. Meanwhile Bobby is now a member of Chicago's people's defense militia and Tycho is imprisoned in a rehabilitation center for his mental instability.

    The film was conceived during the start of the Long Detente and the ascent of the CLP/SEU coalition government. Its mandate of peaceful coexistence with the AFS proved controversial among many proletarian internationalists as they were adamant in their desire to strike while the iron is hot and push for more confrontation with the capitalist world while the FBU was still weakened by the 80s economic crisis. In this culture clash was the film conceived with the two opposing viewpoints being showcased in the form of the characters of Andrew and Tycho. Tycho being the Liberation Communist Party avatar, pushing for war with the AFS at any cost even directly quoting Liberation politician George Bush's infamous "small price to pay" quote while Andrew represents the Ereist viewpoint of just letting capitalism collapse in on itself on its own using himself and Canada's Red Turn as an example. In the end the film takes the side of the Ereists believing that war is best avoided with the villain's plan to incite war being foiled, which angered Liberation considerably, with the party issuing a condemnation of the film as pro-government propaganda.

    The film was originally conceived by producer Steven Seagal as an anti-war film and originally planned to star in the role as Andrew Delacroix but felt he was wrong for the part and that a Canadian actor would better capture the part, with Michael Ironside cast in the role. The script was written by Richard Hatem and Matt Reeves but much of the dialogue was collaboratively improvised by the cast and director, including Penn's character being also a professional cook ("Nobody beats me in the kitchen.") and several improvised back and forths between Andrew and Bobbie designed to establish an odd couple-like double act.

    Director John McTiernan was adamant about making sure the villains had depth and motivation resulting in several instances where he had to rein in Eric Bogosian's "cartoon character" performance as Tycho and get him to deliver a more somber performance, eventually reaching a compromise where Tycho's manic persona in the film's first and second acts was a coping mechanism to keep himself on task regardless of the morally reprehensible things he's committing a facade that breaks down by the film's climax.

    The film's action scenes were an especial challenge to film due to the cramped corridors of the train restricting cinematography but director of photography Michael Goi was able to add as much variety to the shots as possible, almost destroying the train set in the process due to his shots requiring pieces of it to be cut out to make room for the cameras.

    The film would be decently received by critics and moviegoers with the direction, action scenes and Ironside and Bogosian's performances being praised in particular. Newcomer actor Michael Shanks would also be singled out as a rising star due to his performance. The script however was criticized as too simplistic and basic, Seagal's performance as Marcus Penn would likewise be criticized as too flat and one-note, further contributing to the actor/producer's decision to abandon acting altogether in favor of being a producer and/or stunt coordinator on future productions. The film as a whole would be remembered mostly as one of several 90s Steven Seagal-produced action films, disposable entertainment with just enough depth to stick in the memory but nothing too remarkable.

    [1] OTL's Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
    Quotes about Life Under Capitalism (from the perspective of Reds)
  • I haven't made a contribution in a while. So today, you get another quote section.

    Quotes about Life Under Capitalism (from the perspective of Reds)

    The rulers of the FBU call themselves "defenders of the faith", "defenders of God's kingdom", "defenders against Red immorality." But underneath these self-righteous shrieks are nothing more than the words of Mammon himself. These rich capitalists, these overstuffed fat cats, are Satan's forces. There are no greater caricatures of greed, gluttony, and sloth than these so-called men of god celebrating their excess as blessings from the Lord himself. These money changers would've been the first to expelled by temple. If they lived in ancient times, they wouldn't have merely been the Judas, trading salvation for 30 pieces of silver from the corrupt Roman aristocracy, but they would've happily sold the nails that were used to torture Jesus for even more silver.

    I say when the End Times come, and they are just over the horizon brothers and sisters, these "holy" capitalists and their dens of Mammon will be the first to burn in the Holy firestorm.

    -Marion Gordon Robertson, March 7th, 1982, Sunday Hour

    There was probably only one thing I genuinely liked when I was a Havana Princess: the down time.

    Being a good comrade can be exhausting. Participating in boring meetings, family events, flat games. When your daughter of an ex-capitalist who is also a Liberation member to compensate for his past, the amount of free time you have can be counted on a few fingers.

    As a Havana Princess, in between the galas and receptions, I could hide in my cocoon (as I called my oversized bedroom) for hours at a time, happy to know there weren't any annoying flatmates to interupt me.

    It was nice. At first.

    But I realize that me hiding in my room wasn't out of exhaustion. It was dissatisfaction. It was misery. It was Hell.

    In history books, we learn about life before the revolutions: the slums, the lack of clean water, the corruption. But that's not really the Hell. Hell isn't something external. Hell doesn't come from the things you have or don't have. It is who you share it with.

    I think I would enjoy the fire and brimstone if I had good comrades to share it with.

    In the blue world, no one shares. No one loves. The competition between different capitalists goes into daily life. Everything you do is scrutinized, everything you do is judged. In school, there is at least one girl who is a bitch. One girl who likes to dominate and bully.

    In Havana society, that seems to be the rule. Even old ladies act like immature bitches, bullying you into behaving a certain way, and then mocking you and drinking your misery for not meeting their capricious standards.

    I realize why you get so much down time in the Blue world: because there's no one in life you trust. The concept of sharing doesn't exist outside of some cheap kids book.

    Money really doesn't buy happiness. But in Cuba, the people who have the most money seem to be miserable. It's like they all have a disease and they can't admit it.

    -Havana Princess, Patricia Hearst

    You wander the world, looking for more and more cash. That's not living, that's like being the most greedy amoeba ever.

    -George Carlin, March 10th 1982.
    An Unauthorized Dianetics Children's Musical Nativity (Miss Teri/Mr.C)
  • (Co-written by @Mr. C . Special thanks to them)
    An Unauthorized Dianetics Children's Musical Nativity

    An Unauthorized Dianetics Children's Musical Nativity is a British stage show with book and lyrics by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton and music by Phillip Pope. The musical retells the story of L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Dianetics done in the style of a children’s Christmas pageant. The musical has its origins in the EBC sketch programme The Rowan Atkinson Show, (which Elton and Curtis were head writers of) and the 1993 special A Very Special Dianetics Christmas


    On a 1991 sketch of The Rowan Atkinson Show, Hugh Laurie played Dianetics president David Icke opposite Stephen Fry’s EBC reporter. Icke was portrayed as a lunatic who was erratic and incomprehensible, making bizarre claims of how “communist aliens” were melting people’s brains and making chicken soup from them.

    Shortly after the sketch’s airing, the EBC received a letter of protest from the Church (a previous attempt at litigation against the EBC for negative coverage in Panorama ended in failure), which prompted Atkinson and Curtis to ramp up their criticism with a sketch specifically skewering the Church in vengence. However, the sheer amount of information on the Church and its history (especially criticism) prompted the writers to expand the sketch into a full-on holiday special, done as a parody of Doctor Who Christmas specials.

    The special features Geena (Emma Thompson) and Jerrods (Rowan Atkinson), two Dianetics skeptics, being lead through the history of the Church by none other than an immortal Hubbard (Stephen Fry) (dressed as the Eighth Doctor) in a red telephone box. The special largely looks at Hubbard’s life in a critical, sarcastic way, including his alleged service in the Civil War and World War II (the real facts of which are twisted to suit Hubbard’s needs), the early years of the Church with John W. Campbell (Tony Robinson), his battles first with the NBI and Cuban Internal Revenue Service and later the Entente Revenue and Customs over unpaid taxes (which Hubbard claims to be the plot of “psychiatrists and communists”, and his final years in Monaco and Spain, including his relationship with socialite Marianne Hughes (Miranda Richardson), and finally his “death and ascension”, with David Icke (Hugh Laurie) taking over.

    The most memorable segment of the special was the retelling of the Xenu story, with Tim McInnery playing the titular galactic general, and many Doctor Who sets and costumes used to portray the Galactic Federation and the Red Robots. The scene had deliberately cheesy effects and parodies of the Daleks and Cybermen in its portrayals of the Red Robots.

    The special was released in 1991, to general positive reception. The Church refused to release any reaction and banned any coverage of the special in Church publications. With this success, Curtis and Elton decided to expand the parody to the stage with the help of composer Phillip Pope. Pope took influence from Hubbard’s albums Space Jazz and Mission Earth, and used heavy synths in the soundtrack. Tying to the Christmas origin of the musical, they made the decision to make the play into a children’s primary school nativity play, with an all children cast.


    After a child reminds the audience that the terms “Scientology” and “Dianetics” are trademarked and that the makers of the play are not affiliated with the Church of Dianetics, the children gather together to discuss the story of L. Ron Hubbard, “sailor, soldier, author, inventor, nuclear physicist, and smartest man who ever lived!” (“What Does The L Stand For?”) Hubbard is born in a nativity scene in Montana, surrounded by parents, pigs, and a Blackfoot Native American who tells the elder Hubbard “A billion years of human evolution has led to this!” We then cut to 1932, with Hubbard seemingly lazing about in the Bahamas. But Hubbard tells the audience that this is a ruse: he’s actually working as a spy against communists. (“The Spy Song”) In Cuba, he befriends John Campbell, who encourages him to write stories for his magazine Amazing Stories. Feeling unfulfilled by this new job, he is struck by a realization after a trip to the dentist: “Man is a spritual being!” During World War 2, as he contemplates the nature of man while captain of a Cuban naval submarine, he is besieged by mutineers who are hostile to his ideas (which are causing “understandable errors in judgment, like shelling an island owned by the British”), and get him discharged to prevent his ideas from spreading. (“Sailors, Onward!”) Undeterred, he begins writing what would become Scientology and teaches people about eliminating the reactive mind, sailing around the world to spread the new teachings. (“A Spiritual Being”) The first Church of Dianetics is founded in England, and the audience is demonstrated how an e-meter works through a puppet show (“Dianetics 101”). Soon, more and more people join the Church of Dianetics. Famous celebrities such as Errol Flynn (“the original action hero”) and Marianne Hughes (“the maker of great television programs such as Fat Camp USA”) start joining. The audience is then taught about Xenu, and his heroic attempts to defeat the Red Robots, in the form of a Jamaican toast. (“My Main Man Xenu”) Hubbard is soon attacked by the Entente tax bureau (“You Got A License For That?”) before he successfully convinces them to join forces against the communists, pointing out the great work the Church has done in Rhodesia. In the final song (“What Will Happen Next?”) the children help Xenu break out of jail and destroy all Communists regimes, finally leading to peace on Earth.
    MASALA MOVIE (1994)
  • Masala Movie/मसाला मूवी (1994)

    Directed by
    Durga Pallavi, Sukhbir Bao
    Written by Sukhbir Bao, Rajani D'cruz, Mohini
    Produced by Sukhbir Bao

    Sukhwinder Chaudhari (Sukhbir Bao), a once-great film director, is now recovering from a drinking problem and down on his luck. He and his sidekicks Vikram Singh (Jitender Chaudhary) and Uttar Singh (Inderjeet Patel) pitch to Big Pictures Studio's Chief (Rajani D'cruz) the idea to make an historical epic film. The Chief rejects the idea at first, but Sukhwinder convinces him that if he can get investment, it could save the studio from a take-over by the Anglo-Indian conglomerate Mhasalkar & Myles (Brijesh Anupam and Arlen Smythe). The Chief assignes a young accountant by the name of Ravi Kiran Vemulakonda (Jeetendra Damodar) as Sukwinder's 'chaperone'.

    Sukwinder, Vikram, and Uttar proceed to obtain funding from various banks and financial institutions, however Sukwinder's reputation along with the dismal prospects for Big Pictures of paying back the loan leads to them being thrown out each time. Also shown is each bank receiving calls from Mhasalkar & Myles advising them to turn down Chaudhari. Vikram and Uttar suggest they visit their Aunt to obtain a loan, which leads them to the slums of Bombay and the mansion of Kasi Joshi (Aditi Niya), a local madam. Seeing a way to launder her profits and become legitimate, Kasi agrees to fund the film in return for her daughter Nithya (Kashi Rina) being cast as the heroine. Sukwinder agrees to the terms and returns to Big Pictures to begin filming.

    Mhasalkar & Myles learn of the project, and try to sabotage it by sending voluptuous nightclub sensation Malini Rina D'Cruz (Mohini) to seduce Sukhwinder. He falls for her, but returns to drinking when he learns that she was part of the scheme. He buys a huge bottle of liquor and drinks himself into a stupor, surrounded by fellow "winos". But Malini has genuinely fallen for Sukhwinder and refused Mhasalkar & Myles money, and helps Vikram and Uttar find him and restore him to sobriety. During the filming Nithya, despite being beautiful and an excellent dancer is cruel and snobbish to the cast and crew and even her own mother. When a fire is delibertly started on the set by a saboteur she is saved by Ravi. When she begins to abuse him for touching her he finally loses his temper and begins to berate her saying that because she is a beautiful woman, rich and talented does not mean she gets to be cruel to anyone, especially to her mother. Nithya slaps Ravi who does not respond and walks away.

    Sukwinder finds out that Mhasalkar & Myles has completed a similar historical film to positive reviews, which has lead to the Chief calling Sukwinder and cancelling the filming. They also discover that while Nithya can dance her singing in off key and is too aggressive to be a 'damsel in distress'. However her comedic timing and mimicry is excellent, leading Sukhwinder to suggest changing the film to a historic comedy and satire of the typical masala film. Facing the loss of the studio and few options, the Chief agrees.

    Despite some other attempts at sabotage the film is completed, but the only copy is stolen by Mhasalkar & Myles just before its theatrical premiere. Malini stalls the audience with her nightclub act while Sukhwinder, Ravi, Vikram and Uttar successfully steal the film back and discover the financial records of the company. They are cornered by Mhasalkar & Myles thuggish executives and get involved in a chase using Tuk-Tuks. The head to Kasi's house where they discover Kasi visiting with a local police inspector. Ravi reveals to the Inspector that Mhasalkar & Myles are receiving large amounts of investment from questionable sources in the Middle East and are hiding assets to avoid taxes. The executives are arrested by the police and the local goons. Nithya attempts to talk to Ravi but he ignores her. After everyone leaves Nithya breaks down and apologizes to her mother and her staff for her behavior and that she loves Ravi. In the course of hurrying to the theater, Vikram gets wrapped up in the film, and has to be rushed to the projection booth to show it.

    The film is a huge success with the audience, which erupts with over-the-top applause. The studio is saved and the Chief takes everyone out to celebrate at a local restaurant. While eating there, Kasi and Nithya arrive and ask to speak to Ravi. Ravi reluctantly goes to speak with them. Kasi thanks Ravi for standing up for her as many people do not respect their mother, she also thanks him for saving Nithya from physical danger and her dangerous attitude and that she blesses them. Ravi states that he grew up without a mother or any parents so he feels anyone with parents are blessed and he was doing his duty. Nithya also apologizes and says that she apologized to her mother and the people she was cruel to and wants to marry Ravi since she cant stop thinking about him. Ravi admits he cannot stop thinking about her also but she must walk away from her mother's business. They embrace.

    Vikram narrates the epilogue as Ravi and Nithya perform the wedding ceremony. Sukhwinder has now become the new Chief of Big Pictures after the retirement of the previous Chief with Uttar and Vikram as his assistants. Malini and Sukhwinder are also now a married couple. Ravi has been promoted to a Senior Accountant and Nithya has become a comedy film star. Kasi has left her old business and has become a producer of films, especially musicals and crime dramas. Due to her help arresting the Mhasalkar & Myles executives and having some 'personal' information about several important people she receives a pardon for previous crimes. Both Mhasalkar & Myles are arrested while trying to flee the country by the CBI and reveal that they wanted to purchase Big Pictures in order to flood India with counterfeit money. The film ends with Ravi and Nithya married as an on-screen caption identifies the film as a "mostly true story".

    While not a huge success compared to other comedy films the film would receive good reviews and become a fan favorite on many television channels. While the film industry would officially deny some of the implications of the story like favoritism towards particular actors/actresses and connections to organized crime later articles and books would highlight many of the secrets of the film industry.

    OOC: Based on Mel Brooks's Silent Movie
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    The New Spirit (1941) (The Jovian)
  • The New Spirit (1941) [1]

    Directed by:
    Wilfred Jackson and Ben Sharpsteen
    Produced by: Walt Disney
    Story by: Joe Grant and Dick Huemer

    The short film begins with Donald Duck marching to a revolutionary anthem on the radio ("The Proletarian Spirit") [2] before the radio program begins to talk about the ongoing war effort and the Comintern's full mobilization against the fascist menace. Donald, a veteran of the May Day Revolution is more than keen to fight again for the revolution only for the radio to insist that he doesn't need to actually participate in fighting. Instead he could help the war effort with praxis, the concept of putting communist theory into practice. The radio then goes on to explain that a war effort doesn't just need fighting men, it needs equipment, provisions, guns, bullets, all these things and more. Donald's job can be to figure out what he can do to aid in the production of these vital supplies to ensure victory on the front lines. Donald is unconvinced but the radio manages to get him to come around with the phrase "Praxis will beat the Axis" The radio then lists examples of what Donald can do to aid the war effort set to an animated montage of how said actions can help and ends with the radio quoting a line from William Z. Foster's Red Dawn speech over an animated footage of Comintern troops marching to the Internationale.

    Background and Development:
    Secretary of Labor Emma Goldman contracted Hyperion Studios to produce a series of educational animated shorts about what ordinary citizens can do to aid the UASR's war effort against the Anti-Comintern Axis in lieu of signing up for service in the WFRA, WFRMC and WFRN. The short was co-written by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer and directed by Wilfred Jackson and Ben Sharpsteen with Disney himself producing. Initially Emma Goldman wanted the short to feature a character called "the Comrade" to represent the average American, but Disney was able to persuade her to use Donald Duck instead [3] due to his various appearances in animated shorts set during the May Day Revolution and centering on his humorous exploits during the conflict. It would be released in theaters in February 12th, 1941 and would be shown before feature films some times in place of newsreels.

    The short would prove to be very popular and well regarded by both contemporary viewers and retrospective reviews of Hyperion's wartime productions and would be credited with popularizing the phrase "Praxis will beat the Axis." in worker's circles during the war. It would also prove successful in its goal of encouraging people to volunteer for various programs to recycle scrap metal, grow crops in backyards and pots on apartments' windowsills and various factory work to produce war materiel among other actions to further the war effort and would be the first in a series of educational shorts that focus on one specific activity that anyone can do to aid the war effort.


    [1]: Based on OTL's The New Spirit:
    [2]: Based on OTL's "Yankee Doodle Spirit":
    [3]: Much like how OTL's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. wanted the short to feature "Mr. Average Taxpayer" instead of Donald Duck.
    The Lost Revolution (1999) (The Jovian)
  • The Lost Revolution (1999)
    By S. M. Stirling and Sergei Lukyanenko

    The novel takes place in an alternate timeline where Norman Thomas is killed during the events of Biennio Rosso, an event witnessed by a young radical by the name of Dylan Halsey who subsequently fights during Biennio Rosso in New York on the side of the SLP and becomes a committed member of the party's ultra-left faction. The novel then shifts forward in time to the 1930s Soviet Union. Rayna Petrova, the young teenage daughter of a prominent Soviet politician sees him caught in Stalin's purges and sentenced to death for treason and counterrevolutionary activity. Rayna's belief in the revolution is shaken by this act but she remains loyal to the Soviet Regime, largely out of fear.

    In America, the Great Depression is in full swing and the Worker's Communist Party wins a landslide victory in the 1932 election with the electoral support of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. President-Elect Upton Sinclair is subsequently assassinated by US military personnel under the orders of General Douglas MacArthur and much like the timeline we know, arrests the leadership and congressional members of the WCPA, leaving Vice President-Elect Earl Browder and Provisional First Secretary William Z. Foster as the undisputed leaders of the Popular Front. Without Sinclair's moderating influence over the provisional government the Popular Front collapses as Browder and Foster's attempts to force the DFLP and the loyalist Democrats and Republicans into towing their ideological line cause them to splinter off and pursue their own constitutional restoration agenda resulting in a protracted three-way civil war that ends with the Whites still in control over the Deep South and all political factions in the nascent UASR save the "Vanguardist" faction of Browder and Foster-dominated WCPA purged and many anarchist, democratic socialist and left-communist figures like Floyd Olson and Emma Goldman end up arrested on counterrevolutionary charges for trying to create something resembling a political opposition to the increasingly authoritarian Browder administration. Even Foster eventually finds himself sentenced to hard labor. In the middle of it all Dylan experiences the harshness of Browder's policies. His union is forbidden to strike, his worker's soviet delegates are dismissed and new ones approved by the party apparatus installed in their place and working conditions deteriorate as Browder imposes the same hierarchical management bureaucracy as the USSR and he and the rest of his fellow workers are completely cut off from any decision making in favor of rigid five-year plans. Any hope of a worker's democracy dies when the so-called "insurrection of the cadres" in Detroit ends with hundreds of dissenting party cadres nationwide being executed as the Browder faction cements their control over the party.

    Eventually World War II begins with Nazi Germany invading the USSR, leading Browder to declare war on the Anti-Comminist Axis. Dylan, now a man in his early 40s is recalled to active duty as a Sergeant in the WFRA and sees fighting on the Soviet front alongside a now adult Rayna. Over the course of the war the two bond together over their common dissatisfaction with the way the revolution has gone under Stalin and Browder lamenting the limitations of political freedoms and the workers' being increasingly isolated from control over the economy or the party that's ostensibly supposed to represent them, one of their conversation is overheard by a commissar and Rayna has no choice but to kill him to prevent them from getting into trouble for their beliefs. After the war is over Dylan convinces Rayna to move with him to America, which she accepts out of hope that America will be more tolerant of her homosexuality than Russia. A hope that's short lived as Browder's attempts to placate the rural proletariat see him re-criminalizing homosexual acts and adopting a very cultural conservative stance that sees UASR lagging behind many AFS nations on the issue of civil rights. Dylan and Rayna have an impromptu wedding to cover for her sexual orientation and as the 50s come and go, the revolution becomes more and more stagnant, every socialist nation has become a single-party vanguardist republic where the people are subordinated to the whims of the ruling party's leadership. After Stalin's death from a heart attack in 1956, Lavrentiy Beria becomes general secretary of the VKP(b) and relations between UASR and USSR begin to deteriorate with both leaders accusing each other of "betraying the revolution" with Beria eventually being ousted by Nikita Khrushchev who implements market reforms and integration into the AFS economy to combat the USSR's economic stagnation. While ostensibly remaining a communist nation, the USSR becomes de facto a capitalist economy as the Soviet proletariat becomes cheep factory labor for AFS companies. With the Comintern torn apart, the world experiences more and more stillborn socialist movements and revolutions as they receive little to no support from actually existing socialist governments, leaving them open to FBU-backed military intervention or coups which in turn isolates the socialist states from any potential economic allies and further stagnates living conditions in the communist bloc.

    Dylan and Rayna adopt and raise two children together but as they grow up in the increasingly rigid and conformist UASR society as both cultural revolutions are stamped out by Browder for reasons of "securing the revolution", and the Quarrymen become and underground hit in the UASR, Their son Jack gets into trouble for listening to them and begins expressing pro-capitalist sympathies, believing that capitalism is genuinely better than the stagnating, perpetually rationed American society. Their daughter Anya meanwhile begins to exhibit tomboy behavior and mannerisms and is likewise struggling against the conformist Browder's America.

    After Browder dies in 1969 from a stroke, an inter-party power struggle sees Richard Nixon appointed Premier, the resulting the "Nixon Reforms" see UASR liberalizing and allowing for foreign trade and imported culture from AFS nations. An adult Jack is now a middle-manager in a factory collective, his dreams of becoming a musician unrealized, and Anya is now a party member trying to climb the ranks of the party in an attempt to institute real change. However she discovers to her horror that most party higher-ups are now no longer interested in furthering the revolutionary cause but rather in opportunistically providing themselves with as much personal comfort and privileges as possible. Her attempts to get reforms implemented from within as a member of the Congress of Soviets almost see her arrested for going against democratic centralism by casting dissenting votes. Nixon is assassinated in 1973 and his successor Sean Cinnéide implements further liberalization reforms and re-introduction of market-based economies and limited private property. At first Jack supports the reforms, believing that they would improve people's lives, however eventually it leads to an increase in income inequality and many party politicians become business owners and proceed to support further market liberalizations.

    Horrified by what the party has become and how utterly corrupt and disconnected from the proletariat it is in practice, Anya attempts to organize a popular movement against the party to attempt to force the system to reform into a multi-party democracy like FBU's only to be arrested for her efforts but Jack, determined to bring the system down, picks up from where she left off and leads the movement in forcing the government to step down. New free elections are called in a multi-party system and the re-branded Democratic Socialist Party of America narrowly wins the 1976 election against opposition from newly formed pro-capitalist parties backed by the FBU but capitalism is restored to the UASR eventually as the corrupt DSPA works with them to gradually privatize the economy largely against the will of the majority who still support communism and wanted it reformed, not replaced.

    Anya is freed from prison in 1980 and discovers a world completely alien to the one she grew up in. Poverty is everywhere, capitalist advertising covers every surface of every building, what used to be thriving communities are now squalid ghettos. She manages to find Jack who brings her up to speed and explains to her what happened as far as he understands it. The new generation came out in droves to vote but unaware and uneducated of alternative communist ideologies to Browder's Bolshevik-Leninism, simply assumed that communism can't be done in practice and voted for capitalist parties out of the misguided belief that the plenitude and cultural freedoms that they thought existed in the FBU would also come here. That if maybe the UASR was democratic from the start people would've been far more willing to defend the revolution rather than watch this happen with at best apathy and at worst expectation of a better life under capitalism. The two then watch as the old American star-spangled banner is once again flown at masts across the country with the new President Joseph Biden announcing that the "true US government has been restored across the land". Jack remarks that he's grateful that their parents never lived to see this nightmare come to pass and that all their struggles amounted to nothing.

    The novel was written by renowned alternate history writer S. M. Stirling and Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko as a scathing critique of what they saw as a resurgence of vanguardist thought in the USSR and some corners of the UASR and a restoration of Joseph Stalin's cult of personality most notably from Soviet politician Vladimir Putin of the VKP(b) in reaction to the upsurge in support for more culturally libertine, libertarian communist parties like the SEU and RFPSU. So the novel was written to showcase an alternate timeline in which vanguardist one-party states and Stalin's nationalistic "socialism in one country" policy became the norm throughout the Comintern, depicting a world where the revolution stagnates while capitalism continues to grow and where the ruling party becomes increasingly disconnected from the proletariat and begins to act to further the interests of the party elites rather than the workers.

    Stirling and Lukyanenko would form a unique writing partnership with Stirling writing the chapters focusing on Dylan and Jack while Lukyanenko would write the chapters focusing on Rayna and Anya and the two would then revise each other's chapters to ensure consistency in the writing style. The resulting novel would be 700 pages long and tell an epic century-spanning story.

    The novel would become quite popular especially among the more culturally libertine members of society for its critiques of authoritarianism even for a revolutionary cause but would receive mixed reviews from professional journalistic outlets, with many critics criticizing the alternate history as "implausible" while others would take issue with the novel's pacing and long time jumps. However critics would mostly respond positively to the dystopian final chapters and the depiction of an America where the capitalist order is restored with all the horrors it would entail but found Jack's final speech too preachy.

    Both CLP and VKP(b) condemned the novel as counterrevolutionary for its highly negative depictions of Stalin, Foster and Browder and the elderly Sean Cinnéide also took umbrage with his portrayal in the novel as a corrupt bureaucrat but despite calls to ban it in both the UASR and USSR, the novel has remained in circulation and contemporary reviews remain divided on its overall quality to date.
    '79 in '97
  • ‘79 in ‘97: A Cinematic Exploration of the Crisis of 1979 through the films The Last Night and Never Tell Me the Odds, c. 2013

    Crossculture is a film site that features analysis of international cinema and their connection to pop culture and history.

    The Crisis of 1979 would have lingering effects on media on both sides of the Atlantic coming up to the present day. The graphic, controversial EBC film Threads was a direct response to the threat of nuclear war. Films like The Last War, The Day After Tomorrow and Wargames brought the threat of nuclear war to the forefront of their plot, whether directly or indirectly. Even films like The Last Starfighter alluded to the idea of distant wars becoming deadly to civilizations.
    Of course, some of the events of ‘79 itself were eventually covered in film. A mere 3 years later, in 1982, PBS-5 aired The Crisis of 1979, which was a general view of the crisis from the perspective of the world leaders. In 1989, Command saw the Crisis through the perspective of HMS Duke of York, stationed in the Falklands. 1991’s Sneakers dealt with a JSB agent and a Section 1 agent in a war of wits as they work to get the upper hand.
    Finally, the Crisis was viewed from the perspective of those who were outside the power structures or the militaries. 1986’s Quebec City told the story of 8 individuals during the Crisis and their reactions to the impending bombing of the city. 1994’s The Storm focused on several Metropolis U students (including a French transfer student) as they deal with the Crisis. Recently in 2009, the PBS-4 television drama Synergy about the rise of the internet, featured the 1979 Crisis prominently, and the characters reaction to the “end of the world” and the role of computers in it.
    Of course, this article focuses on the most prominent examples of the latter films, both released in 1997, making them films set in 1979 released in 1997. One was Franco-British, the other American, marking a contrast in how the Crisis was viewed on both sides
    The Last Night, the British film, is a distinctly social realist look into British working class life in the mold of Ken Loach. It focuses on Raj Navaneethan in his small English town in the 1978-1979 school year. While he deals with racism from his peers and cultural tension with his traditional Indian parents (including his Indochina veteran father), he escapes into the local music and counterculture scenes. He visits the discotheque at first, and shows off his dance moves. Eventually, he moves on to the local punk scene through his girlfriend and eventually becomes an amateur Toaster.
    While the film focuses on this journey through the scenes of the late 70’s and their implied racism (based on director Sivakaami*’s experiences as an Asian Brit and music journalist), the latter half has the background element of impending nuclear war, which sees the tensions in the community increase and the increasing depression of Raj. EBC coverage of the Falkland War is juxtaposed to Raj getting ready for a punk concert. The titular Last Night is the event meant to celebrate possibly the last major concert before civilization ends in nuclear hellfire. One of the characters has a brother serving on a warship in the Falkland as the fighting escalates
    The steady decline of the community in the lead-up to the Crisis, and its final collapse with the downturn following the crisis provides the final impetus for the main character to leave his small town, especially as the Punk establishment closes. The characters experience a heavy depression as they realize the government are indifferent to the slow death of the community, and their brutal repression of a communist backed strike makes for a haunting scene.
    Raj gradually becomes ingrained in the Toast scene of London, who are reacting against the increasing foreign involvement of the newly Lion dominated government and the subsequent persecution of immigrants and leftists in its aftermath. Toasters express hatred for the police, the government, and especially the white establishment that enables both. Raj becomes involved in anti-government activism and is even arrested. The film ends with Raj giving a Toast detailing the futility of the capitalist experiment and trying to succeed in it.
    The Last Night is a brutal film, exploring the true failure of capitalism and how the Crisis of 1979 and its aftermath exposed and exacerbated these problems, hurting many who don’t have the fortune of living in luxury or those who opposed it.
    Ironically, no such major political theme is prominent in the American feature Never Tell Me the Odds. An ode to Star Wars and the fantastik culture of the late 1970’s, the film sees a small band of teenaged filmmakers in Phoenix trying to make a fan sequel to the blockbuster smash Star Wars, before the official sequel comes out a year later, but with characters from other series, including old fantastik magazines, Marvel comics, Tarkovsky films, and Star Trek. The film, with a prominent theme of atomic energy, soon becomes entangled with the respective filmmakers’ personal lives and especially the ongoing fear of nuclear war with the outbreak of hostilities in the Falklands.
    The director Ernie Fosselius, drawing on experiences writing his own parody Hardware Wars, sees the ‘79 Crisis as a prominent backdrop as the film is being made. The main character, Eric, sees the Crisis as the perfect climate to launch his fan sequel, as a “commentary on current events.” Indeed, the plot is changed to reflect the Crisis, as the threat of a “intergalactic war” threatens to wipe out all sentient life. The other lead, Cary, however, fears the Crisis on a personal level (her father is in the WFRAAF), and nervously follows the Crisis as it unfolds.
    The climate of fear is shown in one scene, where the main Housing commune goes through a nuclear drill, heading to an underground chamber. The chaos of the scene provides a lot of comedic moments, as does the infusion of dated 70’s culture and music.
    The film culminates at the premiere, where news emerges that a plane is carrying a bomb towards Quebec City, right at the climax of the fan film involving a fight for a nuclear station. Local Red Guards try to warn off the patrons, and events begin to blur between the film and the chaos.
    Ultimately, Don’t Tell Me The Odds is more optimistic in its outlook. The film becomes a resounding success after they screen the rest of the film out of the nuclear bunker, and news emerges that the bomber has been withdrawn. The film ends on a note of hope as the filmmakers look forward to the recently announced sequel to Star Wars, and the relief that nuclear war was averted.
    Kaguya (By Libertad)


    Since its debut in March 2015, the series popularly known as Kaguya: Love is War became one of the decade’s most critically-acclaimed Nipponese animation series, the series becoming a reflection of people’s general anxieties behind the coming end of the Long Détente and the possible escalation of the Cold War into another set of conflicts reminiscent of the Long 80s that may certainly conclude the conflict within the century, if not ending civilization in the process.

    As of writing, the first episode of the animation’s third season Kaguya: Love is War 3 has been released. A few manga volumes connecting the first and second seasons have been also released that expanded its international audience. The main series soon developed into a loosely-organized shared universe reminiscent of many TCI-originated artistic works, generating official spin-offs, one was made by Akasaka himself adapting the television episodes, and adapted alternate universes from fan-originated doujins.

    The Main Characters

    Kaguya Shinomiya –
    The titular character and the main female protagonist of the series. Youngest of three siblings, she is the daughter of a wealthy Australasian magnate of Japanese descent and was brought to Nippon by her divorced and now deceased young mother in a highly publicized political asylum three years before the start of the series. The Shinomiya family in-universe is considered one of the old pre-revolutionary zaibatsu families that fled the country after the Global Revolutionary War and the family continued to be wealthy in their new home in Australasia generations later; investing in finance, mining and electronics.

    Her strict and sheltered aristocratic upbringing during childhood and attitudes to sexuality that she acquired from liberal Australasian society, among other things, stood in stark contrast with prevailing proletarian norms and general attitudes to sex and romantic relationships of Nipponese society in combination with the more egalitarian gender norms. The story detailed many of the character’s “culture shock” moments and her continued struggles to adjust to a more proletarian lifestyle in a comical but also sympathetic manner, reflecting real life struggles of repatriated Nipponese diaspora from Alliance countries, particularly Australasia.

    Her class background being from a zaibatsu clan should normally be a hindrance for political advancement in socialist Nippon but she was able to endear herself to the student body, along with receiving the open support of other characters of the story.

    She is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Youth Deputy Chair.

    Miyuki Shirogane – The male protagonist of the series and Kaguya’s love interest. Oldest of two siblings, he is of unremarkable proletarian social background. He is a son of a Cybersyn-based entertainer that also works in a local office space and is a political apparatchik, allowing Miyuki to maneuver himself to a position of political leadership within the polytechnic.

    His father is a widow while his work ethic and dedication to studies and to public service is through the inspiration of his deceased mother.

    Shirogane’s work in making Kaguya more acclimated to Nipponese society along with his own defense of her character in front of more suspicious students when he was running in the polytechnic soviet elections endeared him to the titular character.

    His proletarian background and upbringing and his ideals on sexuality and romance that has been defined by the socialist society surrounding him stood in stark contrast to that of Kaguya’s, which provides the conflict in the story.

    He is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Youth Chair.

    Chika Fujiwara – One of the main heroines of the series. Her own class background closely resembles that of Kaguya, except that her family did not flee the country during the revolution but rather chose to endure their proletarianization and “purification”. Second among three siblings, she is the daughter of a long-standing right-wing member of Nipponese Congress of Soviets. Kaguya’s election to the Central Committee was partly made possible by a coalition-sharing agreement between Miyuki and Chika, with Kaguya being their mutual friend.

    She is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Youth Community Relations Secretary.

    She is also a well-known classically trained pianist and polygot; speaking her native Nihongo and Sin Esperanto plus English, Russian, Standard Chinese, Italian and Spanish.

    She has political ambitions of becoming Nippon’s Premier one day and she pragmatically moved her politics to the mainstream communist left, estranging herself from her more reactionary father in the process.

    Ai Hayasaka – One of the main heroines of the series. She is Kaguya’s closest friend and is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Youth Public Safety Secretary.

    Kaguya and Hayasaka live in the same house, with the Hayasaka family handling Kaguya’s adjustment to proletarian life from their residence and surrounding neighborhood.

    An only daughter, her widowed mother is currently dating Miyuki Shirogane’s widowed father, complicating her relationship with Miyuki and Kaguya as well as with Chika. Hayasaka is also aligned with Chika’s political faction in the student body despite her friendship with Kaguya, who belongs to Miyuki’s political faction.

    The Hayasaka family has also been secretly reporting on Kaguya’s activities to the Nipponese political police, and of Chika’s activities to a lesser extent, which Chika and Shirogane have long suspected but cannot fully confirm as to why and to what purpose.

    Yuu Ishigami- The story’s deuteragonist. He is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Financial Secretary on Youth-Specific Activities.

    Youngest of two siblings, he is a son of a florist and a trade unionist leader affiliated with the country’s toy manufacturing workers’ union.

    His personality, back story, character development, romantic interludes and hilarious interactions with the other characters in the Student Central Committee also included an explicit deconstruction of themes surrounding the Australasian and Indian “harem” animation genre, giving him a sizable fanbase. A popular character within the fanbase, he is featured more in season two of the series and the last two episodes that detailed his back story of being involved in a scandal amidst public criticism and his rise from that debacle catapulted him even further to popularity.

    In relation to the harem genre deconstruction, Akasaka and Aniplex has teased the fanbase with two or more characters with romantic interests for Ishigami during the season 2 of the anime and in Aka’s manga spin-off, triggering a shipping war within the fandom.

    Miko Iino - One of the main heroines of the series. She is the Polytechnic Central Committee’s Youth Liaison to the Faculty.

    Her backstory is tied to Ishigami’s pre-story scandal.

    She is the only daughter of a civil servant couple working in the TCI headquarters in Pyongyang.


    The project started out as a brainchild of little-known illustrator Aka Akasaka, who has been working on a few lesser-known projects with East Asian animation collectives early in the decade. He was able to successfully pitch the project with Nipponese animation collective Aniplex, whose main administrators got intrigued with one of the main character’s fascination with astronomy and space exploration, in hopes of attracting government grants from across the Third Communist International that are currently funding the Mars mission. The administration was also intrigued with the project’s storyline being a modernized and proletarianized deconstruction of one of the country’s earliest fictional prose narratives, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

    While the series is defined by Aka Akasaka’s general vision of a romantic comedy detailing the main characters’ exploration of their feelings for each other; the series also explored other themes beyond its main subject matter that allowed it to gather a wider audience like free love, polyamory, inter-bloc migration, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, espionage, class privilege, gender roles, cosmology and a frank (if not controversial) discussion of embarrassing topics within Nipponese society and the rise of postwar Nippon, in relation to the class background of one of its main characters. This exploration was partly made possible by Aniplex’s plethora of other writers and illustrators that made minor contributions to the project during its first two seasons, following the democratic centralist model. The series also did not resist in making direct jabs against commonly recycled (but arguably poorly executed) themes found in many animated and illustrated romantic comedies originating from the Alliance bloc, particularly within Australasian and Indian animation scenes, allowing it to form a cross-bloc fanbase. It also gave occasional jabs to the more overtly sexual romantic comedies originating from other parts of the TCI, in particular from UASR and Pan-America, giving a unique East Asian perspective to the Comintern bloc’s sexual revolution.

    Setting and Impact

    The story is set in one Shuchiin Polytechnic within Tokyo, Nippon Socialist Republic. In the current school year of the story, the student body is being led by Miyuki Shirogane as its elected Youth Chair. Working along with him in the Central Committee is Kaguya Shinomiya as the elected Youth Deputy Chair. The two are often regarded by the student body as a “perfect couple” despite the two of them not being romantically involved with each other, to their own consternation.

    Nevertheless, as time went on, their public service work is what allowed the two to develop deeper romantic feelings with each other. Unfortunately, both of them are unwilling to acknowledge their feelings and confess about it. Thus, the two have embarked on a quest to do whatever is necessary to extract a love confession out of the other, often with very hilarious results.

    While fan-works and even a few adapted official spin-offs already featured the two as a romantic couple, including Aka Akasaka’s own spin-off; the main story is yet to see the two officially confess, leading to a lot of hype surrounding the release of the third season, which hinted it as confirmed by Aniplex.

    After the first episode’s release, various polls conducted within Cybersyn consistently put Kaguya: Love is War 3 among top 5 animation releases of the current season.
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    Vertov Collective (By Miss Teri/Mr.E)
  • The Vertov Collective (VC) is a film collective founded by a group of communist filmmakers in the Franco-British Union in 1969. Originally meant as a Franco-British version of the Workers’ Photo and Film League from the pre-Revolution period, focusing on documentaries it rose to more prominence after getting the main rights to many American films. By the mid-70’s, with commercial success, they began to branch out into making their own films, notably the 1976 film Stern, based on the works of Maxine Kaplan. While the early 80’s saw them suppressed and blacklisted, they bounced back thanks to several adaptations of Marvel Comics and distributing major American films through VCD.


    The Dziga Vertov Group was originally founded by a group of French communist filmmakers, including Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, and Jean-Pierre Gorin in 1967, with the explicit focus on making films with Marxist themes, focusing on the socialist style pioneered by their namesake, Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov. Their first feature Loin du Indochine was a documentary condemning the war in Indochina.

    Within a few years, the collective began to expand, incorporating Chris Marker’s SLON and with Godard’s exile to the UASR, the collective was placed under the lead of English filmmaker Ken Loach. Under Loach, the Group was reorganized into the Vertov Collective and was given more of a dual power act reminiscent of the pre-Revolution American Workers’ Photo and Film League.

    Under Loach and fellow central committee members Chris Marker, Alain Resnair and Agnes Vardas, the Vertov Collective largely focused on social realism, focusing on contemporary issues surrounding the Franco-British Union and the lives of average everyday workers. Loach’s film Kes was heavily influenced by local Yorkshire culture and contained a heavy use of the local dialect. À bientôt, j'espère focused on a strike at a textiles factory. Family Life explored issues like abortion and sexual repression. In 1973, the collectively directed film Stark Night (Nuit Sombre), which followed a platoon of Franco-British soldiers as they suffered massive losses and see the full horrors of war, garnered both praise and controversy with its brutal depiction of warfare and destruction.

    To keep these projects funded, Vertov also took to distributing American and Comintern features . Prior to this, most American or Comintern features were heavily censored and reedited to tone down the fact they originated in communist countries. Starting with Free Love and Solidarity Forever in 1969, the American Culture Secretariat and Vertov cut a deal where Vertov would keep the films intact (with occasional concessions to ratings considerations) and release them. The idea of a collective distributing the films was palatable to American propaganda efforts.

    Most of the American films distributed by Vertov were either historical epics detailing the proletarian struggle prior to, during, and after the revolution, or contemporary pieces of social realism from the growing “American New Wave” of filmmaking, both relevant to the sorts of films that Vertov was making. In 1975, however, the Culture Secretariat insisted that a movie about a “great white shark terrorizing a seaside town” be distributed by them, noting that it was the biggest film hitherto released in Comintern. While the Central Committee didn’t care for the movie (and felt a plotline about corrupt nomenklatura covering up the shark attacks for political gain was counterintuitive), CulSec insisted on the potential success and propaganda value a blockbuster like it could bring. Sure enough, Vertov was caught off-guard when the film would become one of the biggest hits released that year in Europe.

    . With massive success of Jaws and sudden attention brought to them because of their distribution of it, the Collective sought to adapt a similar mass appeal piece of American literature, whilst still keeping with their mission. Luckily, Godard, still in his American exile, managed to get involved with a favorite property of his, the Rachel Stern series by Maxine Kaplan. He was to direct a new adaptation on behalf of Melrose. He promptly enlisted Vertov as co-producers. Stern would be the first Franco-British adaptation of the Kaplan novels (Howard Hawks and Edward Dmytryk directed American and Soviet versions in 1951 and 1963 respectively), and Kaplan’s personal favorite film version of her character. Starring Katherine Ross as Stern and Jean-Paul Belmondo as archenemy Nikolai Balabos, the film was a reimagined version of the first Stern story The Hunt, updating the novel’s setting of World War II era Tibet to Thailand during the Indochina Wars, seeing the character foiling Balabos’ plot to send gold and weapons to nationalist militias in Communist Indochina (instead of the Azad Hind in the original novel). While many purists were shocked by the contemporary setting, it paved the way for later “updated” versions of the Stern series such as the TV series Agent Stern. Among general cinephiles, it’s most infamous for its opening scene, where Stern kills a misogynistic JSB agent implied to be James Bond. This symbolized the general tone of the film, which directly repudiated Bond style adventurism and glamorous jet setting in favor of scenes depicting the Bangkok slums and the intense poverty that enabled Balabos’ scheme and the horrific warfare in Cambodia.[1]

    Stern would get the attention of executives at Eastman-Kodak International (impressed by the success of Jaws), who struck a deal with Vertov and Melrose for distribution and additional funding for location shooting. With Kodak’s help, the film would become a massive hit in the FBU, both financially and especially critically, with the Mirror stating it was “more [David] Lean than James Bond” and praised by the Franco-British Daily Worker as “the first European communist blockbuster.”

    By 1979, there was an increased focus on distributing American blockbusters as part of American propaganda efforts (Vertov distributed films like Watch the Skies (from Jaws director Steven Spielberg)[2], Star Wars and The Star Beast[3], which would all become big hits). This gave the Collective enough money to continue doing social realist films and documentaries.

    Vertov would return to this realm after the Crisis of 1979, which ended American imports for a time, and Loach and the returned Godard (shortly before his ascendance as Chairman of ESCI) would direct several acclaimed films which explore anti-nuclear activism and the military ramp-up, which were meant to help the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. However, these would not be widely distributed because of the renewed Blacklist, and many were shown in underground venues. Vertov would also occasionally host “Anti-Reaction Nights” to mock overly propagandistic films.

    One major avenue for film that opened up was the relatively new technology of Video Compact Disks (VCD), which were used to smuggle both native socialist productions and American films into households away from the attention of authorities. The result was a massive bootlegging operation where films were traded in secret. Mary Whitehouse would cite this as one of the main ways "video nasties" spread. It would also create a generation of fans who adored the more explicit, more political movies that were a forbidden pleasure, as decreed by the government itself.

    By 1987, most of the hysteria died down. However, the Collective was running low on cash, resulting in another bid for a big socialist project based on a mass-appeal American work. Alain Resnias used his friendship with Stan Lee to promptly bring Spider-Man to the big screen in 1987, with Vertov and Olive Street producing. Filmed in Metropolis, the film focuses on the webhead’s origin and his battle with the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. The film was a hit in the detente era, causing Vertov to commission a few more comic properties (including Tales from the Crypt and The New Gods ), and put their films back on the map.

    In 1997, Ken Loach used the leverage of their co-productions to get work on a dream project. The Land and Freedom cycle told the story of a British socialist, who volunteers in the American and Spanish Civil Wars (first film Land and Freedom), later becomes part of the IVA during World War II (The Good War), but is persecuted as a “premature anti-fasicst” in the Smithers era. (Premature) [4]. Despite the blatant socialist slant, the films would garner acclaim in both spheres, becoming a favorite at the Oscars and BAFTAs.

    In the 2000’s, as mainline studios began picking up American films and releasing them uncut, Vertov returned more towards its original goal of providing good socialist media for a Franco-British audience. In 2010, they released DVDs of both their most iconic films and some of the American productions and co-productions distributed, including Jaws and Stern.

    [1] Again, Stern and Kaplan created by @Mr. C . Special thanks to them for writing parts of the description

    [2] Science fiction film dealing with strange occurances across the world tied with UFO sightings.

    [3] Directed by John Carpenter, starring Sigourney Weaver and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon as part of a spaceship crew terrorized by an alien and existential dread. Think Alien, but with Dark Star’s themes.

    [4] a reference to MP Waldron Smithers, notorious for claims that communists had infiltrated the state organs of the Franco-British Union.
    Cautious Canuck (Bookmark1995)
  • Time for another contribution: namely, for our old friend, Tvtropes.


    Cautious Canuck

    Laconic: Canadians are portrayed as the most normal, down-to-earth, and/or bland.

    Media often portrays Canadians as the boring Straight Man in whatever movies they are in. Whether as the reluctant, but snarky, allies of Americubans and Rhodesians (Pre-Red Turn), or the baffled and frustrated allies of Red Americans and Russians. They exist to comment on whatever strange thing occurs, are often the most competent, and exist to provide commentary on society itself.

    There is an element of Truth In Television. In the immediate aftermath of the Second American Revolution and the early Cold War, Canada remained a bastion of moderate bourgeois politics. Prime Minister Louis S. St. Laurent promoted what he called "Proudly Stable," and famously declared Canada "The Last Bastion of Sanity in the Americas", and was known to be cool toward General MacArthur. Canada at the time had a large community of American exiles who equally despised the MacArthurites as much as they did the Reds.

    Canada, up until the late 1960s, was imagined to be a stable nation where the proletariat had been placated by welfare capitalist policies.

    In the immediate aftermath of the Red Turn, many Canadians suddenly found themselves aligned with the UASR, a nation with vastly different social and economic mores. The struggle for Canadians to adopt the vastly different social mores is also Truth In Television, and has lasted well into the 21st century, though this is more prominent among older generations than new ones with no memories of Blue Canada.
    The New Order: Last Days of Europe(Redux) (DanielXie)
  • Note: This is a rewrite of this post, it contains major TNO spoilers from the OTL game so I decided to cover it in a spoiler tag.

    The New Order: Last Days of Europe(Redux)

    The New Order: Last Days of Europe is a Hearts of Iron IV
    mod dealing with the ramifications of an Axis Victory in the Second World War/Great Revolutionary War. The mod was created as an anti-fascist and anti-nazi response to the far right apologia and outright neo-nazism present in FBU politics, as well as the growth of Trump's America Forever movement in Americuban politics. This is evident in how the mod portrays the utter depravity of the Nazi system, as well as it's inherent economic inefficiencies that would guarantee collapse.

    The Point of Divergence is Stalin being more resistant to the UASR's growing strength and influence in the Comintern, as well as pro-Axis Fascist Unionists and the pro-Axis elements of the Tories gaining an edge in British politics. This eventually leads to a Anglo-German alliance against the Comitern. The Great anticommunist crusade is launched against a disjointed Comitern and lead to the fall of Moscow during Operation Teutonic, the Nazi seizure of everything to the west of the Urals, and the collapse of what remains of the Soviet Union into warlord states. France is then invaded, with the British taking Normandy, Brittany declaring Independence, and Alase-Lorriane being reintergrated back into Germany. The UASR manages to defeat Canada, and was planning to liberate Europe on it's own, only to be nuked and forced to sue for peace. In Asia, Japan, under the mad rule of the Kodoha, establishes their co-prosperity Sphere. In the South American theatre, the war ends in stalemate; the Intergralists defeat Argentina and Columbia, but could not defeat the rest of the USAR's allies. The Intergralist regime would collapse later on due to internal strife and infighting in the 1950s.

    The anti-Communist alliance quickly dissolves in the wake of the Second World War, with Nazi efforts to exert complete control over their allies and satellite states meeting with resistance and their economic mismanagement leading to a crash in the early 1950s that leads to the dissolution of the Axis alliance. Britain and it's bloc break free and form the Imperial Commonwealth, while Italy, Spain and Turkey form the Trivirumvirate to contain Axis ambitions in Europe. Nazi political instability leads to a temporary halt in their extermination policies, with slave labor being used to keep the Reich afloat until economic stability is fully achieved, at which point extermination policies will resume. Seeing this as a betrayal of Nazi racial ideology, Himmler and the SS attempt to mount a coup; said coup being preempted thanks to the timely intervention of Hans Spediel and the creation of the Order State of Burgundy in what was French land to appease the SS. Himmler survived the coup, and created a nightmare world of occult madness, destroying French culture and entire generations of French and Belgians. At the same time, he developed an even more extreme form of Nazism--Ultranational Socialism, also known as the Burgundian System. The ideology calls for extreme totalitarian rule combined with extreme racial purity, with Himmler planning for a "Final War" that will clense mankind of it's degenerate races.

    Japan itself, being relatively isolated from European affairs has managed to maintain a degree of internal stability. Such stability however, is not to last. The UASR has been working against the Japanese government in revenge for the lost treaty ports. They've been funneling leftist revolts against Chiang's unpopular collaborationist government and in Japan's allies. The Kodoha led ultranationalist government is planning for a final struggle with the UASR, along with the Commonwealth members of New Zealand and Australia to "remove the taint of the white men from Asia" in the 1960s.

    As the 1960s being, in Germany, while the economy has struggled forward, the nation has fallen behind. The military is in shambles, the slaves increasingly restless, and a generation of Germans has grown up relying entirely on this caste, never having had to work or serve in the military. Influenced by a black market of British, Italian and even Comitern media, as well as large amounts of imported literature banned by the state, they have taken to the streets to vent their frustration against the regime. By 1962, the nation has been locked in almost 6 months of constant protests and riots.

    As 1962 begins, Germany soon announced the first good news for the nation seemingly in decades. Its space race with America and Japan, at least according to German authorities, has come to an end. German Raumsonauts have landed on the moon. As the celebrations at this victory began in Germania, however, a Burgundian-backed assassin struck at Hitler. While the Führer has survived, it seems that the Reich may be facing its greatest challenge yet.....for few months after the assassination, Hitler dies and the Reich dissolves into civil war.......

    The German Civil War:

    The main contenders for Hitler's throne(which a German player can choose to be the successor before Hitler's death) include:
    • Hermann Goering, the leader of the reformists(Speer dosen't have much notoriority TTL I feel with Ford ururping his role), whom seemed to argue for economic liberalization and a degree of political freedoms, due to influence by a cabal of anti-Nazi politicians called the Gang of Four(Henning von Treskow, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, Helmut Schmidt). Through it seems that perhaps Goering and this gang dosen't see eye to eye. If Goering wins the civil war, he will try to implement political reforms liberalizing the economy and even dismantling slavery; after restoring German hold over Europe, he and the Gang of Four focus their attention on dismantling the corporations profiting off the slave system, amoung them Ford Motors' German Branch. This sets off a slave revolt, and, it is revealed that Goering never agreed with the reforms in the first place aside from piggybacking on the gang to gain power and preserve Fascism in his own interpretation of Nazism; the conservative and militarist base he wanted that was taken by Bormann and Goebbels.
      • The slave revolt can lead to the Gang of Four containing the revolt on their terms, destroying Goering's political power and making him a powerless figurehead. The Gang of Four will try to liberalize further and mend ties with Britain, through far-left parties are prohibited from entering the Reichstag. They will prepare for the "Eurasian War" against a reunified Russia by forming a European Defense pact, and working with Britain to form a "Organization of Free Nations" to counterbalance the UASR and the Japanese. They also have to make tough decisions about how to deal with the Nazi bureaucracy, with the actions that show more leinancy causing more stability. While the gang started out as anti-Nazi, this, along with their anti-communism, can potentially lead them to become the monster they sought to destroy. However, if they stick true to their values, they can lay the foundations for a German democracy
      • Alternatively Goering can succeed if the negotiations are supervised by him, making Kiesinger his deputy Fuhrer, sidelining the rest of the gang with the intention of picking them off one-by-one starting with Schmidt, and remake Nazism in his own image. He will cast off the most blatantly murderous parts of the regime or make them more subdued, but maintain the totalitarianism and the rampant racism. He will use the goodwill generated by the Gang of Four's previous reforms to lure radicals in Eastern Europe out and neutralize them in a dirty war resulting in thousands of deaths written off as disappearances. He will still try to form a "Organization of Free Nations" to counterbalance the UASR and the Japanese with the British....but use it as an excuse to spread fascism and Nazism worldwide to those willing to take that message. People have noticed how unsettling this route is, not only because it provides Nazism with a path to win the Cold War, but also with it's commentary on West German militarism and apologia of the past
      • Both Goering and the gang destroy each other, Germania rises in revolt. This, along with the Slave Revolt, leads to a successful socialist revolution in Germania.
    • Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, who calls for "Total War", a "Aryan Grand Crusade", against the entire world. He will militarize the entire German society and instigate war plans that could lead to Germany's collapse into a four way civil war between Goebbels, ultra-militarists led by Ferdinand Schörner that believe he isn't going far enough, Wehrmacht moderates led by Hans Spediel, and a Communist revolution by surviving elements of the KPD backed by the UASR. If he manages to suceed in his conquests, then it will cause the destruction of the world in nuclear war when he implements "Plan Endsieg" and attacks Britain, America, Japan or Burgundy(This is War Plan C OTL).
    • Martin Bormann, the canon victor for the Civil War. He can ally with Militarists or the remnants of the Goeringites to secure his power, eventually purging both factions once they've outlived their usefulness. He will then escalate Hitlerite policies during the "opulence" period: enacting polygamy and launching a kulturkampf against the church. This only escalates the Reich's collapse as revolts and bombing happen all around. A collapse that he does not see due to his lung cancer killing him not long before the Eurasian war, but his sucessors are left with the burden of his mistakes it guarantees the Reich's collapse regardless of if they win the Eurasian War or even prove to be the last man standing
    • Reinhard Heydrich, the canon choice for sucessor but not the victor of the Civil War. He has no chance of winning the Civil War under AI control due to the unpopularity of the SS(if he makes any progress, the other factions will temporarily join forces to turn against him, and Spediel will declare war on him as he approaches Germania) but if he does, he will be made aware of Himmler's plans and turn against him, seeking to get the rest of the SS to his side. If he succeeds he will try to consolidate power: only for him to be killed by either another ambitious SS leader or Speidel and Germany to descend into a bloodier warlord era.
    • Anarchy Descends on the Reich: If none of the potential Fuhrers win the civil war in time, the German Anarchy occurs with all of the candiates popping out their nuclear arsenal, plunging Germany into further devastation. Heydrich is killed by Himmler for "failure" and Burgundy annexes the Rhineland. A massive slave uprising emerges in Germany seeking revenge on their masters. If this slave uprising succeeds, they can seek to create a egalitarian society, or go off the deep end in their pursuit of revenge, particularly against a population that has been indoctrinated for so long; this route is noted for being particuarly depressing along with a similar route in the Ostland War, with the main theme being the concept of "revenge just brings more innocent bloodshed". If the war enters this stage, Germany's time as a world power is over and any Fuhrer that takes over will have a hard time and a extremely uphill battle to regain international power.
    Chaos Descends over the Reich:
    • With Germany embroiled in Civil War, the Unity-Pakt falls into chaos. The "Model Colony" of Ostland(the Baltics+Belarus) also falls into a civil war divided into many factions:
      • The Ostland government under Franz Walter Stahlecker, whom represent the continuation of mainstream Nazi policies in the region
      • The Byelorussian Central Council led by Michal Vituska, fighting ostensibly to free Ostland from Nazi rule but in reality, a means for Vituska to rule over what was Ostland
      • Otto-Heinrich Drechsler, a militarist that has aligned himself with Goebbels and Schörner, but is more loyal to Schörner and may cause problems for Goebbels' rule
      • Reformists led by Andreas Meyer-Landrut seeking to restore native rule to Ostland, the Gang of Four is sympathetic to his aims, but Goering wants total compliance and a playthrough as him usually ends in invasion or puppetting by a Goeringite Germany.
      • The Free American Republic, which has grown to encompass all of Belorussia, a Burgundian System nightmare led by SS commander Joseph P. Kennedy Jr(replacing Jeckeln), whom has succeeded Pelley as the leader of the Free American Republic. Believing that the UASR and Americuba have both been contaminated by Jews, Kennedy seeks to build a new America through the purification of all of Ostland and on the corpses of millions of "undesirables"
      • The Baltic Partisan Organization, a Slave Republic that could emerge from the ashes of Meyer-Landrut's faction if the Ostland war enters the anarchy phase
    • The General Government falls to an uprising by the Polish Underground, while this uprising usually succeeds, they have to deal with a vengeful Germany. The best Poland can hope for is status as a puppet under Bormann or Goering's rule, with a second invasion possibly casting Poland into the dustbin of history once again....
    • Sweden faces a Norwegian uprising by the Milorg(which can embrace socialism or liberal democracy) that sends the Lindholm government into chaos. This chaos can see the end of Nazism in Sweden as a result of Norwegian victory in the "Scandinavian Brother Wars" or the consolidation of Swedish rule over the region. If Nazism survives in Sweden, Lindholm may maintain power, be overthrown by other fascists such as Göran Assar Oredsson or Per Engdahl, or even fall to a Burgundian coup under Hans-Gösta Pehrsson.
    The Fall of the Triumvirate:
    • With a weakened Germany, the Triumvirate starts to drift apart and succumb to pent up disputes over land. Their collapse is inevitable, and ushers in a power struggle between the liberalizing leader, Ciano, and hardline Fascists led by Carlo Scorza. There are plenty of paths for Italy to take during a game. If Ciano suceeds in liberalizing Italy, they include becoming a pro-British government, going socialist and either keeping the monarchy or removing it if they've been able to successfully link up with the UASR and gain their support discreetly, avoiding a coup(This is impossible OTL). If Scorza suceeds, they can also ally with Britain or form a independent Italian bloc replacing the Triumvirate. Scorza's rule however will be maintained with violence, with the more peaceful options leading to collapse if not handled well, this will cause the "Years of Lead" in the 1970s starting with the Venetian uprising, and it can lead to Italian collapse, a Communist revolution, or Scorza being overthrown by worse, ultra-hardline Fascists(they would be ultranationalist ideology wise), or even worse, Burgundian System adherents centered around Julius Evola.
      • Italy's main crisis is the Oil Crisis in the 1970s as it loses it's colonies, which both the Germans and the Americans, as well as the British are taking advantage of by funneling arms into the region to their allies(through it is eventually revealed that the Burgundians kickstarted this crisis), this would trigger the Years of Lead under Scorza's government or the rise of the socialists as an electoral force under a democratic government
    • The Iberian Union, formed through a Spanish invasion of Portugal, is facing problems that are to rear their heads once Sanjuro dies, could see the restoration of the monarchy, stabilization under Sanjuro's sucessor or total collapse....which Britain, the UASR and the Nazis(regardless of Bormann, Goebbels and Goering) are willing to exploit. The sucessor states of the Iberian Union range from a restored Portugal, a restored Red Catalonia, to fascist, democratic and pro-Nazi breakaways, with the worst being an ultra-Intergralist breakaway led by Carlos Arias Navarro: the ultra-theocratic National Redemption Front, arguably the worst contender in the Second Spanish Civil War(through a Blue Division that has embraced the Burgundian system under Spanish SS member Miguel Ezquerra Sanchez can match them in awfulness).
    The Lion's Last Stand(Britain, British Africa, India, Oceania):
    • As a result of Britain coming out of the war weaken: Having lost Canada and it's Caribbean colonies, it feels it has lost out of their alliance with the Germans. Their politics are now polarized with various anti-establishiment political parties emerging and odd electoral alliances being made against the governing National coalition(Tories+right wing of Labour+Far-right Unionists that have defanged themselves a bit following the German-British split) that has governed for years(NPP analogues). If British politics spirals out of control, these groups can take over, with most extreme of these on the far right, the "Jordanites"(Yockeys expy) named after their leader Colin Jordan, seek revenge against the UASR, militarization against Japan and a second alliance with Germany. On the left, you have the Labour party, whose more radical elements seek to unban the socialist parties and even seek detente with the UASR, while preparing for a war against Japan
    • South African Union, made up of Rhodesia and the Dominon falls apart not long before Hitler's death, into a deadly war war between the British dominionists, the Fascist Boer Republic and Rhodesians, as well as the UASR backed ANC if it does not support racial equality in the lead up to the war. Nazi occupied Africa will invade in the form of the Afrika-Schild and this invasion can provoke a major UASR or Commonwealth intervention if the most extreme of the Nazi leaders, Hans Huttig, uses chemical weapons, leading to the occupation of all of Africa. The UASR will install socialist regimes, while the British will enact client states on Africa first governed by British officers, with the latter potentially leading to collapse if handled poorly. If the Afrika-Schild wins, Huttig kills his allies, embraces the Burgundian system, and merges all the African Nazi colonies into one, which guarantees the collapse of Nazi Africa. The collapse of Nazi Africa is unavoidable regardless.
    • Not only is South Africa on the verge of collapse, so is India. The collapse of India sees a three way war between Bose's pro-UASR socialist India vs Savakar's pro-Japanese Azad Hind(which can embrace Burgundian System under Devi) vs. the Dominion government, which may go Ultranat in an attempt to reestablish control
    • Australia and New Zealand have to not only defend Dominion rule against Japanese incursion, but also against local pro-Unity Pakt fascists and pro-UASR socialists seeking to leave the British Sphere and align with Debs DC.
    Trouble in the Co-Prosperity Sphere:
    • Japan's troubles start with the death of longtime leader Araki Sadao, plunging the nation into a major power struggle. The nation could remain ultranationalist, liberalize to a degree under Takagi Sōkichi and form a anti-Communist bulwark with the Commonwealth against the UASR in preparation for the Second Great Asian Liberation War, or remain totalitarian but modernize under Kaya Okinori, who leads the Nazi-esque reform bureaucrats. A major plot point is the "Zhou Enlai Conspiracy", which is a plan put into motion by the late Chinese socialist Zhou Enlai to destroy the co-Prosperity Sphere. If this plan gets out of hand under Takagi's governance, it is possible for them to be removed in a violent coup, leading to Japan embracing it's worst possible path, the Burgundian System under the "purist" wing of the Kodoha, led by Kishi Nobunuske.
    • Vietnam is facing a UASR backed Communist insurgency. They can remain a monarchy, either liberalize under Nguyen Ton Hoan, become a far-right Italian-style dictatorship under Ngo Dinh Diem (not as bad as he is in the original diary, more of a vanilla fascist rather than a drug Nazi) or fall to a socialist revolution under the Ho Chi Minh led Vietcong.
    • Not long after Sadao's death, Fascist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek is assassinated by a Communist. He is suceeded by Gao Zongwu. Zongwu secretly opposes the Japanese, and wants to build up Chinese industry and military in secret to fight them. He will also have to deal with pro-Japan hardliners under Dai Li, remnants of the socialist wing of the KMT and the Communists, as well as ultranationalists under the National Protection Army, and eventually unify China after completing the Five Modernizations
    The Ashes of Russia:
    • Russia itself fragmented into many warring nations, which could reunify Russia under not only a communist banner, but also a democratic, neo-tsarist, fascist, or even nazi and ultranationalist banner.
      • The main socialist force backed by the UASR is the West Russian Revolutionary Front, led by Mikhail Frunze. After his death, Marshal Zhukov, the more militant Tukhachevsky, as well as the more USAR-governance aligned Valery Sablin can take over. Each route will have it's own challenges(Buyatia dosen't exist TTL) as they seek to unify Russia
      • The tsarists include the Romanovs in Vtyaka seeking a return to power, but a hardline faction led by hardline elements of the White Russians exist far in the East in Chita, using Mikhail Romanov as their puppet..regardless of whether he likes it or not(the ultra-evil "Tsarist" route dosen't exist here since I think the royal family escaped excecution and they would be understandably VERY irked by Tabby's genocidal ravings and actions). A third monarchist faction exists, that of Rurik II in Kemerovo, who can be suceeded by his more liberal son or his more autocratic daughter.
      • Apart from Chita, the other factions in the far east include the Christian Anarchist Alexander Men, Nazi Fantatics under Rodzhevsky in Amur(who will respond very well to continued ultranationalist rule in Japan, Kaya or Kishi, through reformists may cut off support for Amur), as well as pro-British fascists led by Mikhail Matkovsky in Magadan.
      • While most of the Communists have rallied around the WRRF, there is one Communist breakaway, Tyumen, that has not, and operates on an ultra-Stalinist regime decrying the USAR and the WRRF to be revisionist traitors
      • The collaborationist Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia have holed up in Samara, they can liberalize to a degree under Miletiy Zykov and renounce the Nazis, renounce the Nazis but maintain their junta under Sergey Bunyachenko, or become a corrupt pro-German state under Mikhail Oktan.
      • The most unstable Russian breakaway is Komi, a young but nightmarishly chaotic democratic Republic formed in the aftermath of the West Russian War. Based around the city of Syktyvkar, Komi boasts a democratic constitution and a multi-party democracy. However, despite its multi-party democracy, the political situation in Komi is more comparable to a city-scale civil war; former Soviet officicals, sidelined Russian democrats, far-right radicals, and all other sorts of political exiles have found a footing in the Komi Republic and started gathering forces, aiming to use the Republic's weak democracy to their advantage. Depending on the gameplay, Komi can go socialist of varying stripes and take over leadership of the WRRF, become a far right Eurasianist dictatorship, embrace a weird hybrid ideology of Nazism and Stalinism under Serov, or worst of all for all of Russia, embrace a variant of the Burgundian System under either Andrey Diky or Valery Yemelyanov, the former seeks to fully emulate the SS, while the latter views Russians as the true Aryans and the descendants of Hyperborea(AB dosen't exist TTL), and Germany and Burgundy as rivals to Russian racial supramacy.
      • The most violent of the Russian breakaways is Omsk, a fortified city broken off from the Western Siberian People's Republic. It is led by the ultranationalist All-Russian Black League, a militant organization aiming to reunite Russia and prepare it for the Great Trial, a final conflict between Russia and Germany that will decide Russia's ultimate fate.
      • A subplot tied to Russia is the Ural war, which involves the efforts of the Ural League in protecting the Orenburg Commune and themselves from the SS Black Legion, which was forced out of the Free American State and into the Russian wastes during the West Russian War, led by Richard Heinz(Effinger being long since dead), along with Trofim Lysenko, a mad scientist seeking to create an army of Super Soldiers conducting inhuman experiments in Magnitogorsk. Heinz has the most death events out of any character showcased in the mod.
    The American Bloc

    • The UASR, as the home of the Communist Internationale, has to find ways to spread socialism and defeat the Nazis and the Japanese without triggering Nuclear War. Various elements of it's government seek to militarize the state and act aggressively to stop Fascism everywhere, even if it means risking nuclear war. A key feature of UASR gameplay is funding dissidents and revolutionaries in the Unity-Pakt, Commonwealth and the Sphere, this could lead to a socialist coup in Germany, Japan and even Britain in the even of war, perhaps allowing the UASR to establish world Communism without a nuclear war.
    • Americuba, following the Second World War has become a political battleground between various superpowers. In order to consolidate power and fight the UASR-backed socialist rebels, some Americubans are gravitating towards the Reich, and there is more effort by elements of the National Salvation Government to push for the continuation of Fascism. After MacArthur's death, Americuba can reform under RFK as it did in Reds, but there is more difficulty in doing so. Alternatively, in most games, it falls to a socialist revolution or can maintain Fascism under Charles Coughlin, whom has more influence due to the even further right tilt of the far right in Americuba in Reds!TNO. Perhaps more cursed, it can also embrace a more outright Nazi movement influenced by the ideas of William Dudley Pelley and Virgil Effinger that is led by Francis Parker Yockey, with a even radical wing of said movement led by William Luther Pierce that has embraced Burgundianism that could take power. Both wings seeks to create a purely white and Americanized Cuba and possibly retake the united states.....regardless of the consequences, and Pierce has far darker goals than what Yockey has. A far right government friendly with the Unity-Pakt can request the Reich place nuclear missiles on Cuban soil, potentially triggering a diplomatic crisis that can escalate into nuclear war.
    • Brazil is now divided between various warlords waging a massive civil war against each other. These warlords include regional secessionist groups, various socialist groups, Christian Fascists led by Gustavo Barroso, the monarchists, various republicans and military juntas, the remnants of the Brazilian Intergralist government under Miguel Reale, and the most extreme far-right faction: the remnants of the Guarde Verde
    • Argentina and Columbia are led by unstable far-right governments installed by the now collapsed Intergralists about to collapse into civil war, with leftist insurgence and terrorism occuring daily in these countries

    The Black Spot of Europe
    • Himmler's Burgundy is a hellscape seeking to destroy the culture of the French and the Walloons while having ambitions for global genocide. It instigates wars and conflicts around the world, trying to bring the various powers into the conflict to enact nuclear war. It builds bunkers and the means it will achieve it's goals through "skilled workers": slaves to be worked to death
    • Even without Heydrich giving Burgundy the knockout punch to the world, every nation that embraces Burgundian System: SS controlled Sweden, Evolian Italy, SS controlled Brittney, Pierce led Americuba, Devi-led India, Ultranazi Blue Division led Iberia can help Burgundy in it's efforts for world destruction. Through these nations, Burgundy can acquire expertise and a large number of slaves, and eventually work to get a nuclear arsenal of their own that can be deployed against the other powers.
    • While Kishi and especially the Germanphobic Yemelyanov are not aligned with them despite adhering to the Burgundian System, Himmler can try to provoke them into taking the harshest actions possible against Germany and the UASR respectively during the Eurasian war and the Great Asian War, potentially leading to a nuclear war.
    • Burgundy itself could be destroyed. It either collapses on it's own with the 1982 death of Himmler or could be invaded via focuses and event chains, through there is a danger of starting a nuclear war with the latter. Upon collapse, France will try to retake the lands Burgundy has taken from them in WW2 and later on in the German civil war, and Germany will try to reintegrate the rest of Burgundy if still alive. If a player is playing as Burgundy, there is the chance for the SS-Langemarck and the SS-Wallonien to revolt if Himmler botches their suppression, along with ultranationalist French SS divisions, as well as the UASR-backed Red Poppy Movement.
    Possible Endings
    • In the worst case , Himmler succeeds in his plans and brings about a nuclear war that causes the total devastation of human civilization. Through many of the endings paint a bittersweet tone, as humanity survives, overcomes racial hatreds and rebuilds to a spacefaring civilization that has no idea the Nazis ever existed or destroyed the old world, with some postapocalyptic societies even establishing socialism.
    • World communism is achieved, with all corners of the Earth becoming socialist in the wake of the collapse of the Nazis, Japan and the Commonwealth
    • The canon ending, Heydrich is chosen as sucessor but Bormann wins the civil war, the WRRF reunifies Russia and defeats the Nazis, which falls to a socialist revolution, the National government maintains power in Britain, and the UASR and China winning the Great Asian War. The Red Poppy movement takes over North France and establishes a Socialist Republic, while South France aligns with the Commonwealth. This is followed by a UASR-Commonwealth Cold War which the mod team hopes to explore in a future mod, where they hope to deconstruct myths and apologia pertaining to the FBU
    • Various other endings including at the worst case, reformist Nazis under Goering-led OFN winning the Cold War, all of the blocs collapsing(due to most likely Bormann knocking them out before his Germany collapses), Europe falling into a "post-Goebbelsian metahorror Dark Age" due to the Second German Civil War, a more democratic Organization of Free Nations winning the Cold War led by the Commonwealth and a Gang of Four Germany that hasn't given in to the temptations of Fascism, Japanese victory along with a Commonwealth dominance, the possibilities are rather endless
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    Diary of a Southern Town (PT.III) (Traveller76)
  • So now that I have introduced you to Jake and Elwood I must include the two other major characters of my story, my mother Naomi and my cousin Tamar. My mother Naomi Merob Macy was also born in Sparta to a family of tobacco farmers. She was the youngest daughter with an two year older sister. Being the 'baby' meant she did not have to do as many of the chores that her sister did. Both sisters did not lack for anything and both received educations from the local school, books at home and my grandmother's Bible.

    My mother was 18 when the Second Civil War broke out. My grandfather was a respected man in the town and that made him a target for the Whites. The whites attacked the then 'colored' section of town with a mob looting and burning down various houses and businesses. My grandfather along with a group of military veterans resisted until a group of local Reds came to the relieve them. It was then that my mother met my father, Roscoe Cowden, who was a militiaman at the time. Normally I do not believe in love at first sight but my mother says she thought he was the most handsome man in the world. They wrote each other during the war and then married after the end. They stayed in Sparta and my father helped my grandfather manage the local tobacco cooperative.

    Mother lost some of her faith in people during the Civil War when she watched neighbors and families turn on each other. Everyone knew the tensions were coming but no one expected the results. I think it was part of "It Can't Happen Here" and that belief we were different that the Europeans or say the Chinese or others. When the World War broke out my father re-enlisted again and was sent off to help train the new troops since I was born and father was also married so thankfully he was not sent overseas during the war. Mother started working at a restaurant that her sister owned with her husband as a waitress and cook while taking care of me. I was born with a difficult delivery so my parents decided to stop having children. Mother said that if things were the way they were when she was born I might not be here.

    After the war things went back to normal somewhat. My grandfather passed away after a heart attack and my father took over management of the cooperative. Mother still worked part time and I grew up along the other kids attending school. Mother still read her Bible and attended discussion groups with her sister and my cousin Tamar. No one bothered them, I think out of respect for my grandfather and the kindness their family has shown others. My father I think tolerated this but he did not attend any services. He listed to gospel music and liked music in general. He had a huge collection of records that I still play to this day. He died in 52 when his car was hit by a drunk driver, both drivers died in the accident, which was lucky for the other fellow because mother would have killed him on the spot.

    So the restaurant and I became her world, she rediscovered some of her faith since the community came to help us after dad died. Tamar was and is my best friend but mother never remarried or dated. There were a few men who tried but she deflected them quickly. She wanted me to get and education, travel and see the world. She never expected me to marry a preacher.

    Adwoa "Mama" Grayson, Diary of a Southern Town, 1988.
    Michael Brooks tribute (Libertad)


    Excerpts from the Daily Worker’s front page news report on Michael Brooks’ death (July 22, 2020)


    Michael Jamal Brooks; famous American talk show and television host, comedian, satirist, and commentator, died suddenly.

    His sister, Hollywood actress Lisha Brooks, revealed the cause of his death, an inner jugular vein thrombosis (IJVT), a rare form of blood clot, found in his throat. He will be 37 years old on August 13.

    Lisha gave the following statement to the press that gathered outside the hospital, quoting; “Michael believed in bringing people together in the struggle for freedom, love and world peace, fighting for all the toiling masses of the world, a struggle that he always understood to be multifaceted in scope. But he knew that the only way we could do this was by bringing people together from all over and he made it his life’s work to bring people from different backgrounds and countries together in this current democratic struggle that will not take us back to the dark times of the 1980s again. We hope that you join us in honoring him by continuing that work.”

    He is currently famous for being the host of The Tonight Show with Michael Brooks, a Cybersyn-based talk show that airs regularly during UASR weeknights and is syndicated and broadcasted on numerous television channels and social media platforms throughout the world and has received a wide international following; particularly in South America, the Middle East and Central Africa. His show covers a wide range of topics, but made its mark among other famous talk shows in the UASR by his impeccable coverage of foreign policy topics and educating his audience on labor figures and intellectuals from the Alliance of Free States that is rarely covered by state-based and private commercial press of their countries of origin due to de facto censorship, many of which he invited to his shows.

    A Buddhist of Jewish heritage and member of the Social Ecology Union, he developed close friendships and working relationships with various celebrities and figures from across the spectrum; most notably his mentors Sam Seder and David Pakman and fellow comrades Kyle Kulinski, Abby Martin, Jesse Ventura, Chris Hedges, Saagar Enjeti, Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Bill Maher, Cornel West, among others.

    His interviews with Chinese actress Dilraba Dilmurat in 2019, American musician Peter Gene Hernandez of the band Hooligans in 2017, American rugby star Peyton Manning in talking about his retirement in 2016, Australasian-born UASR-based basketball star Jeremy Lin in 2016, and the former FBU Prime Minister Anthony Blair when he visited Metropolis in 2016 on a goodwill tour as a “private citizen” are among the most-viewed videos of his ViewIt channel.

    He also published several books. His latest is Battling the Minitel: An Internationalist Answer to the Neoliberal Right , focused on the growing popularity of far-right anti-communist commentators in the Alliance of Free States, which he feature regularly in the Tonight Show often spiced with comedic impersonations.

    His show currently has 22 million subscribers in ViewIt.

    Tributes to him were offered by various individuals from all over the world and by many prominent figures from all across the political spectrum at home and abroad. UASR Premier Dina Gilio-Whitaker made an official statement on Michael Brooks’ death the following morning on Cedar Hills, quoting; “His influence on the American polities in directing people’s focus on our foreign policy commitments and his commitment to a humanist socialist internationalism and a peaceful resolution to our global revolutionary struggle is unparalleled. Our political disagreements are deep and profound. But he always held our administration accountable to the people in our actions at home and abroad and he is a healthy voice for our proletarian democracy.

    The suddenness of his death that has deprived us of his wit and charisma is a trauma that has yet to be fully processed. I will always consider our debate on the heating Sino-Indian rivalry, on South American geopolitics, on my working relationship with Christine Lagarde, and on America’s conduct on the Third Bush War when he and his planning committee invited me to his show for his coverage of the 2016 elections as a highlight of my political career. His voice will be sorely missed, by me and by the United Republics.”

    The Metropolitan City Central Committee passed a resolution, agreeing to have an official memorial be held in honor of him, to be announced in the next few days. Lisha mentioned that his family intended for his body to be cremated and his ashes be scattered to the Atlantic Ocean after the memorial.

    Rest in power, Comrade Brooks!
    Last edited:
    The Infiltrator (2018)
  • The Infiltrator (2018)
    Based on Witness by Robert C. Byrd

    In 1988, Robert C. Byrd is honored with the Order of Red Banner of Labor medal for his diligent work infiltrating the True Democratic Party over the past 30 years. As Premier Angela Davis praises him and his counter-intelligence work, Byrd reflects a little on the accomplishment and what brought him to this very moment.

    Byrd grew up in poverty in Virginia, and is inspired early on watching his uncle (and adoptive father) walk in a Klan parade. At age 18, he joined the Klan’s successor, the Sons of the Confederacy, inspired by their unsuccessful raid in Charleston, seeing it as “proud opposition to communism and race-mixing”. However, he is placed in the propaganda section, distributing anti-communist leaflets in white sections of New Afrika and attempting to organize new sections in those areas. Even as the group gradually declines from government infiltration, Byrd is able to elude the authorities and manages to rise through the ranks.

    Eventually, Byrd is promoted to becoming a liaison with the True Democrats, stumping for them in the 1938 general election. He formally leaves the Sons after their split, encouraged by Georgia member Richard Russell to become a “leader” outside the flailing Sons, becoming a full-time volunteer for the True Democrats.

    His tenure ends with John Rankin’s arrest and the trials of the True Democrat Ten. Byrd is arrested as party members are rounded up, and is sent to Joliet Prison in Illinois for both his True Democrat membership and his activities in the Sons of the Confederacy. While still remaining anti-communist, his racism softens, as does his devotion to the cause. His wife Erma visits regularly.

    After the release of political prisoners and the reversal of the ban in 1946, Byrd finds most of the leadership has abandoned the party after the True Democrat Ten trials and their long prison sentence during the war, leaving only Russell as the party leader of an extremely small remaining bloc in the Congress of Soviets, and South Carolinan Strom Thurmond as Chairman. Byrd becomes Thurmond’s assistant, and by 1949, becomes his Chief of Staff. However, the stress of being an enemy of the state weighs on Byrd as he and his wife are followed as they walk their children to school and his phone bugged. Further, because of his past with the Sons of the Confederacy and his current work, he finds he is unable to vote, and because of his meager salary, undertakes several odd jobs to keep him and his family afloat. He also attends night school.

    In 1952, Bull Connor, Rankin’s successor as Grand Wizard, is finally arrested. Due to the fallout, Thurmond asks that Byrd, with his Sons past, resign from his post. Luckily, Russell asks Byrd to serve as campaign manager in his 1954 campaign- which ends with Russell’s arrest for “inciting racism”. Byrd once again serves a short jail sentence, and finds his position in the Party even more tenuous now, with him having to work longer for extremely low pay as the editor of Party newspaper Common Sense.

    In 1958, he finally confronts a Public Safety officer monitoring him. However, the agent , instead of arresting him, decides to invite him to dinner. The agent explains that he had been observing Byrd since he had become Thurmond’s assistant, and sees not a dangerous reactionary, but a family man still stuck with a choice he made 20 years ago. The agent, an African named Alfred Spencer, offers Byrd the chance to turn informant, reporting to StateSec everything that happens in the inner circle of the True Democrats. Byrd accepts, with StateSec paying for his college education.
    Byrd is able to get back into Thurmond’s good graces, and in 1961, assumes his old role as Chief of Staff. Byrd diligently reports every observation of Thurmond and the inner circle of the True Democrats, including head of the youth wing Anita Bryant and new Congressional leader Lester Maddox to Spencer. Spencer survives the shake-up following J. Edgar Hoover's 1960 retirement and the appointment of longtime Party bureaucrat Morris Childs to replace him.

    In 1962, Byrd was sent to Key West to meet with “The Frenchman”, who gives him several million on behalf of “Vauxhall Cross”. Realizing the connection with the Joint Security Bureau, Childs orders Byrd's role be deemed top-secret, with only a handful of agents knowing his identity, Spencer being chief among them for “Operation Sparrow”.

    Byrd soon undertakes several missions to Key West to meet The Frenchman and receive money. He eventually is sent in London on one of these excursions. There, the Frenchman gives him a fake ID and sends him to Havana to meet with an NBI agent named Lewis Coates, who gives him information about money laundering schemes used by the Cuban mafia and Jamaican drug lords in Florida and Louisiana as a means of “investing” for the party. Childs uses this information to a pretext to raid several of the locations to dismantle drug trafficking.

    Byrd soon becomes well-regarded in the party and as “Sparrow”, the top informant for StateSec. Thanks to his secondary government income, Byrd completes his law degree, and becomes a legal adviser for the party (if only to feed anything he hears to his government handlers). He also befriends fellow infiltrator, the new editor for Common Sense James Moseley, who fills the paper with bizarre UFO conspiracy theories fed to him by military sources to further discredit the party, though to keep his identity secret, he cannot reveal himself to Moseley.

    Byrd and Spencer also become close friends, and Byrd gradually becomes uncomfortable with Thurmond and Maddox’s unhinged racism, which he gives tapes of to Spencer, allowing it to circulate in the press. Byrd also convinces many of higher ranking members to become government informants in exchange for better pay. When Bryant is demoted due to her backing a “New Blue” faction in the party that favors a more progressive agenda and reconciliation with the government, Byrd manages to recruit her as an informant, and gets her back into a position of power as vice-chair.

    Byrd makes several more trips to Havana as Childs retires in 1968 and former Stavka bureaucrat George Bush takes control. Byrd becomes well-regarded among Cuban and FBU political and security figures, and accompanies Thurmond as he makes several appearances on FBU television. In a ceremony in London in 1972, he’s secretly given a medal by Cuban President Hamilton Fish IV to honor his “commitment to the continued struggle against communism”. He also has a meeting with Franco-British Prime Minister Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, with Thurmond.

    Slowly, the old guard in the True Democrat lose their grip as Maddox loses his seat in 1978, and Thurmond’s mental acuity gradually deteriorates with age. Bush encourages Byrd to ferment the rise of the New Blues, believing that it could potentially lead to a split. While Bryant takes Maddox’s place as the leader of the extremely small True Democrat contingent in Congress, and Albert Brewer becomes Vice-Chairman, Thurmond steadfastly refuses to give up his position as chairman of the party, leaving him mostly an out of touch dinosaur stripped of his power as the party shifts left in the wake of the 1979 Crisis and with many of its top members government informants. Moseley is transferred away to infiltrate UFO communities and cults (in light of “security concerns” over secret Air Force projects they may have witnessed).

    Byrd undertakes one final trip to Havana in 1982, where he learns (unintentionally) that Lewis Coates is leading a new NBI program to smuggle weapons to Neo-Integralist terror groups in Brazil. He also meets the Frenchman for one final time that same year and catalogs his transaction, marking over 2.8 million in financial transfers between the Franco-British and Cuban governments and the True Democrats over the past 22 years.
    Alfred Spencer suffers a heart attack in 1983, and retires. With his departure, Byrd, now 66, retires both from his long time position as Chief of Staff and as government informant. Bryant leaves the True Democrats in 1985 and resigns her seat. Through a declassification council approving documents regarding “Operation Whisper” (regarding spy hunting operations near the Canadian border during the 70’s), Bryant is revealed to have been a governmment informant (as she had reported a 1976 meeting with a Canadian operative to her government handlers). Further declassification and investigation from The Daily Worker reveals that Byrd was the one who had initially recruited Bryant, and eventually detailed his near 30 years working as a government informant within the highest positions of the party.

    The fallout is quick: Byrd and his family are scuttled into the Witness Protection Program, as is Bryant. Before this, Byrd is awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for his extensive work infiltrating the True Democrats and exposing their ties to the Franco-British and Cuban governments. Thurmond, in his increasing dementia, only vaguely recognizes Byrd as “that Klan boy”, and doesn’t realize that he was a spy.
    Byrd and his family live quietly in Witness Protection, staying in a small California town with other Witnesses. Despite Lewis Coates rise as a prominent reactionary terrorist and financier, Byrd remains safe from any illegal attacks. The revelations about government infiltration give a devastating blow to the True Democrats, causing younger activists to leave and form their own party. Thurmond would continue as Chairman up until his death in 2003. Government infiltration would decline as other, more prominent groups take priority.

    In 2006, Robert Byrd begins to write his memoirs, though because of continued security concerns, he can’t get it published. Still, under a pseudonym, he writes some acclaimed works on the evolution of American constitutionalism. In 2009, “Operation Sparrow” is declassified, and Byrd comes out of Witness Protection briefly to testify in front of the declassification jury. After his death in 2010, his memoir is published, showing his full actions as government informant
    Fierce! Magazine
  • Fierce! Magazine
    Editor-in-Chief: Lila Sri Misra*
    Categories: Women's Magazine, Lifestyle
    Frequency: Monthly
    Publisher: Sarasvati Media Group
    Year Founded: 1969
    Company: Sarasvati Media Group
    Country: Greater Indian Commonwealth
    Based In: Mumbai
    Language: 10 languages (Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu)
    Website: Fierce!
    Slogan: Behold the power of a woman


    Fierce! was originally named the Ladies' Journal, a monthly supplement for the Bombay Illustrated Press that was published in English, Hindi and Marathi. While the Journal was designed to cover women's issues such as advice columns, childcare, cooking and healthcare it soon became well known for reporting on various social and national issues considered important to women such as food and drug safety, maternal leave and workplace discrimination. The magazine would be one of the first to mention social issues such as sexual harassment, eve teasing and domestic abuse which would soon picked up by other national publications. Under Jaya Anand* (Editor-in-Chief 1969-1981) the magazine would establish itself as a serious publication dedicated to women's issues. The subscription fee and cover price of the magazine would be kept as low as possible through advertising and popular content. The magazine would refuse advertisements from tobacco and alcohol companies along with any medications not certified by local and national health departments.

    Jaya Anand would retire in 1981, and Assistant Editor Khushi Mhasalkar* would become the new Editor-in-Chief. The magazine would adopt a more 'modern professional' look by including sections for book, cinema and fashion reviews along with asking for subscriber ideas for content. The magazine would also begin to include stories and poetry from women writers and would be the launching pad for several writers such as Kirtida Ritu Patil*, Apurva Sharma* and Pallavi Lata Rao*. While the modern look would help keep circulation healthy the magazine would face more and more competition from foreign and local magazines and television programs. Jaya would petition the Illustrated Press to launch the Journal in a variety of languages in order to gain more subscriptions and to market the magazine outside of urban locales and to increase the amounts of money awarded to contributors. The magazine would enlist the aid of local women in many rural villages to distribute free copies with half the regular articles and to set up lending libraries of past issues for those who could not afford the magazine. Khushi would remain Editor from 1981-1991.

    By the 1990s the magazine had launched versions in ten languages but still had tough competition from other magazines, television programs and a changing demographic. After Khushi Mhasalkar's retirement the Illustrated Press would sell of the Journal to the Sarasvati Media Group, a major media conglomerate, in 1992. Under SMG, a new younger Editor-In-Chief by the name of Lila Sri Misra* would be installed an the magazine would be revamped and renamed to Fierce! in order to win younger readers. While the layout would remain the same the material would be geared to educated women from 18 to 50 and would include interviews from prominent women from a variety of professions. Fierce! would also begin to be shipped and distributed to South Asian communities across the Alliance of Free States to take advantage of the Indian Diaspora. The magazine would continue to distribute free copies in rural villages but now would include transit stops, colleges and beauty parlors. It also launched sister publications in Arabia, Ethiopia, Nigeria and the South Philippines in English and the local language. It has also gone online with its own website allowing subscribers to access past and current issues.
    The Swamp Don (Mr.E/Miss Teri)
  • Review of “The Swamp Don: The Death of Santo Trafficante, Jr. by Sarah Vinchovsky”, Alan Jefferson, Labor Literary Review, 1997

    On midnight of August 23rd, 1976, Santo Trafficante, Jr. left Boris’ Borscht in Tampa, Florida, to go home. At 12:17, he was seen walking some 7 miles away with two men in black coats. This would be the last time anyone would see him alive. His body turned up on a local beach several days later, several bullets in his chest.

    For over 20 years, the unsolved disappearance and death of Santo Trafficante has fascinated true crime enthusiasts and investigators, not the least because for 23 years, Trafficante was the leader of the Tampa Mafia, and was effectively one of the most powerful figures in the rump mainland Italian Mafia. “The Swamp Don”, through his Cuban business interests established by his mob boss father, was also effectively an ambassador between the Havana Mob and the largely fragmented mainland Mafia families, unable to form a cohesive organization after the purges of the 30’s and 40’s. He was also an instrumental figure in the illegal drug trade in the South, importing heroin and cocaine for the Havana Mob (and, secretly, the NBI). His death, the best known Mafia death after Charles Luciano’s execution, would generate discussion on which of these elements wanted him dead.

    Sarah Vinchovsky’s The Swamp Don seeks to explore these possibilities and come up with a plausible theory as to who did the murders and why, looking to Trafficante’s life and the various forces he grappled with.


    Santo Trafficante, Sr. used the Revolution to wipe out his Tampa rivals and seize control of the rackets left vacant by other families in Florida, becoming the de facto boss of Florida and one of the most powerful bosses in the decimated mainland mob. Having already established himself in Cuba during the 1920’s, his business interests helped the mob cement itself within the new exile regime. Thus, he was able to keep up connections with the newly established Havana Mafia even as the latter largely cut ties with the mainland during the purges of the 30’s.

    Trafficante, Jr. helped with his father’s operations, which, at this juncture, centered on underground gambling and people smuggling, as well as being regularly smuggled himself into Cuba to check on their casinos. In 1951, Trafficante and Angelo Bruno of the Philadelphia family were invited to Caracas to attend a Mafia conference of the surviving leaders. Ties were formally reestablished between Havana and the mainland families, and the two were tasked with creating a new mainland commission.

    However, the new Commission (consisting of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tampa, Kansas City, and New Orleans) failed to have the same influence as its predecessor due to years of state repression and the fact that very few markets remained. By now, the mainland mafia had become mostly focused on underground high gambling, with side ventures like dog- and cockfighting, bribing public officials and forging documents. (Bruno lamented in a letter to Meyer Lansky that the Mafia had become a “sideshow bureaucracy”). Mostly, it acted as a mediator for the small, independent cells to not interfere and cause inter-organization wars. Because of their proximity to Cuba and their remaining interests on the island, the Trafficante family became the main transporter for illegal goods or money from Cuba.

    Trafficante Sr. died of natural causes in 1954, leaving his son in charge. Jr. kept tabs on the family’s holding in Cuba and worked to keep imports secret from StateSec. In 1961, he was approached by Havana boss Vito Genovese and a representative from the Cuban secret police with an opportunity.

    Heroin had declined in use in America, during and after the war, primarily because wartime measures during the Revolution and the Great Revolutionary War, and the destruction of the traditional Chinese sources. Steadily, an impure Mexican product was the only source, and addiction rates were extremely low by the late 50’s. However, the Union Corse, who had been operating the Marseilles drug labs, had been granted leeway by the JSB to help prevent Labour-Communist forces from taking over the city in exchange for quiet continued heroin trading from exiled Greek and Turkish smugglers.

    Then, during the Indochina War, returning French soldiers brought back high quality Thai and Burmese heroin, which caused the market to explode. Already, the JSB had begun to take advantage by having heroin sold in left-leaning urban neighborhoods to disrupt organizing. The Cuban Mafia soon cut a deal, allowing French Connection dope to reach Canada and Cuba. The NBI, the Cuban secret police, soon got the idea to team up with the Mafia and disrupt the United Republics, in however small a way.

    Trafficante was effectively deputized by the NBI to distribute heroin in the South, and eventually moving in cocaine. However, the scheme was significantly less successful than planned due to rehabilitative strategies made during the 1930’s that helped reduce heroin usage. Still, the venture was profitable enough to keep Trafficante and his Cuban investments afloat, as the Cuban Mafia was targeted by the newly installed Kennedy administration.

    By the mid-60’s, Trafficante and New Orleans boss Carlos Marcello operated many illegal gambling and drug dens across the Deep South (though in competition with the New Afrika crime syndicate of “Bumpy” Johnson). These would keep the Florida and New Orleans families afloat as their Cuban casinos were seized by the police, and the NBI ended the relationship in light of a new pro-Kennedy regime (forcing them to buy drugs directly from the Union Corse)

    These establishments would also buy surplus Red Army weapons and provide them to reactionary anti-Kennedy Cuban terror groups, continuing the relationship between the Mafia and reactionary terrorists, as well as newfound antipathy towards the administration of Robert Kennedy.

    Eventually, a second, much smaller anti-Mafia wave would hit during the late 60’s and early 70’s. This began with the arrest of Los Angeles underboss Johnny Roselli in 1968, who promptly turned informant on the threat of deportation. Los Angeles boss Frank DeSimone was arrested in 1970, after Roselli pegged him as orchestrating the murder of Havana Mob representative in Los Angeles Bugsy Siegel in Tel-Aviv (allegedly because Siegel had been skimming money from extortion schemes and giving false reports to his taskmasters).

    The collapse of the Los Angeles family would have reverberations across the country, as other families saw their enterprises shut down. For Trafficante, his troubles started early on, when his biggest Cuban investments, the San Souci and Tropicana Clubs were seized by authorities in 1968. A warrant was issued in Cuba for Trafficante’s arrest after a cache of drugs emerged in the clubs, forcing him to fully divest from Cuba by 1971. His fortunes diminished as a result, and as the Cuban mob moved underground, he struggled to maintain the remaining Florida casinos.

    In 1974, he was finally arrested for illegal gambling and financing of terror (the right wing Cuban groups he had funded in the 60’s having slowly made their way north) after several of his lieutenants turned informant, and was threatened with deportation to Cuba. With the threat of possible harsher consequences in Cuba, he managed to cut a deal by revealing his own involvement with the NBI’s illicit drug trading ten years prior and current drug dealing from France. In exchange for information on that (to help with Section 3’s seizure of illegal Cuban goods), he was given three years in a rehabilitation prison. When he was deemed largely harmless, he was released in 1976.


    The official explanation eventually released in a 70 page report by the Secretariat of Public Safety in 1983 was that the murder was ordered by Angelo Bruno and Carlos Marcello and carried out by New Orleans hitman Tony Trucetti* and Sicilian exile hitman Ezio Buratti*. While the former normally shied away from extravagant measures like murder, he relied on Cuban illegal goods, and rumors of Trafficante revealing the scheme made business increasingly difficult. Bruno and Marcello also felt that he might also gradually reveal other information to the government, and that a new boss unconnected financially with Cuba might be more effective now that it had become unsafe.

    SecPubSafe believed that Trafficante was being followed when he was last seen by the two black clad men (one short, one tall and tanned, matching descriptions of Trucetti and Buratti), and was shot and left on the beach as a warning to future Tampa bosses.

    The main evidence was the bullets, which matched Burcetti’s gun; the murder method, which matched others done by Trucetti and Buratti; and several bugged meetings between Bruno and Trucetti, where they discuss Trafficante potentially turning informant while in prison. Marcello also saw Trafficante as a threat to his operations, and was jealous of his success with the Cubans.

    In 1990, several bugged phone conversations between Trafficante and Marcello were uncovered, showing the tension between the two over territory and continued support for Cuban terror groups now they were attacking cities on the Atlantic seaboard.

    By the time, getting any actual confirmation from participants would be nigh-impossible. Trucetti was killed in 1977 in a dispute with Russian mobsters over territory. Buratti, ironically, killed Marcello later that same year in an attempted coup, and eventually fled the United Republics and disappeared. Bruno, because of his low profile, was one of the last bosses to be ensnared in the new purges, eventually arrested in 1978 and himself pleading guilty to charges of treason and aiding and abetting reactionaries (through his own donations to Pennsylvania Sons off-shots the Real Sons of Liberty and the Liberty Bell Organization), ending up in a SPA prison. He would neither confirm nor deny his involvement in Trafficante’s death, before his own death in 1984.

    This uncertainty and the fact that the investigation had issues (SecPubSafe failed to secure the crime scene, and didn’t release the autopsy until 1987) led many to believe the true killers to have been covered up or misidentified. Vinchovsky explores each of these claims and examines their merits.

    Trafficante’s friend Frank Ragano has consistently held that the Havana and Sicilian Mafias had Trafficante killed, in retaliation for him ratting out various drug dealers and ships they had used for years to traffick drugs. Purportedly, he had heard Meyer Lansky confess as much, while visiting him in prison. This theory is plausible, but ignores the increased difficulties they would have in carrying out such an assassination.

    Ragano also implied that the NBI helped the murders to cover up their own drug dealing. While also plausible, Vinchovsky believed that this was already known, and Trafficante had already given up most of their secrets.

    Other theories emerged: Pan-American intelligence (Trafficante, in addition to the South, helped with drug trafficking in Mexico and Panama); Section 9 (Tampa True Democrat and Trafficante ally Joey C. * believed that that Secretary of Public Safety George Bush and Secretary of Labor Jimmy Hoffa conspired to have Trafficante murdered); even the JSB, to again cover-up the drugs.

    Vinchovsky explores all theories, and comes to the disappointing conclusion that the official explanation is the most likely one. She notes that Marcello had a lot to gain from Trafficante’s elimination, allowing him to expand into his territory (which he had begun to do before his murder), and Bruno, as the de facto “Godfather” on the mainland, wanted to keep operations smooth.


    The Trafficante case possilby intrigues us most because it represents the last gasp of the American Mafia of the mainland. It gradually faded even more after his death and the deaths and arrests of his colleagues. By 1990, according to SecPubSafe, only a handful of cells still operate, mostly as appendages of the larger Sicilian Mafia. His death came simultaneously with a fatal blow to a once feared organization.

    Then again, he in and of himself was merely another functionary in larger organization. His death merely came as the mainland Mafia were themselves destroyed.

    In Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Trafficante and Marcello were combined into the Orlando based Canto Tramboni. One character remarks that Tramboni was "a lesser don. Someone whose importance is geographic."

    Indeed, perhaps his death can be simply attributed entirely to geography. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Edward Bernays: The King of Spin (Miss Teri/Mr.E, Mr. C, Rise Comics, Aelita)
  • (Special thanks to @Mr. C , @Rise Comics , and @Aelita for writing parts of this)
    Edward Bernays: The King of Spin

    Of the first generation of American exiles in Cuba, Edward Bernays may have been the one with the biggest influence outside of the island. Bernays has been called many different names--“the father of PR”, “the king of advertising in Cuba”, “Douglas MacArthur’s Court Jew”, and “the master of bullshit”. But none can deny his influence on the field of marketing and propaganda. Legend has it that even governments in the Comintern had studied his methods.

    Bernays was born in 1891 in Vienna, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Ely and Anna Bernays. He was a self-proclaimed “double nephew” of Sigmund Freud (his mother was Freud’s sister, and his father was the brother of Freud’s wife Martha Bernays), and he would draw on his uncle’s theories for his work in the field of advertising--his protege Richard Finlay later would describe Bernays as “a psychoanalyst for troubled corporations”. Barely a year after Edward was born, the Bernays family would move to New York. As a child, Edward excelled academically, and in 1912 would graduate from Columbia University with an agriculture degree. After brief stints working for the New York City Produce Exchange and the Louis Dreyfus company in Paris, he eventually found work as a press agent for various performers and performances in New York.

    With America’s entrance into World War I, Bernays signed up with the United States government’s Committee on Public Information to drum up support for the American war effort both at home and abroad. It was here that Bernays began formulating his methods for effective propaganda, using techniques of crowd psychology and psychoanalysis that he took from his uncle. In an interview with the Havana Times, he stated “There was one basic lesson I learned in the CPI—that efforts comparable to those applied by the CPI to affect the attitudes of the enemy, of neutrals, and people of this country could be applied with equal facility to peacetime pursuits. In other words, what could be done for a nation at war could be done for organizations and people in a nation at peace”. In the twilight years of the Second Republic, he would outline his methods and views in his books Crystallizing Public Opinion and Propaganda. To him, mass society was irrational and subject to herd instinct, and skilled marketers could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in desirable ways.

    One of the first successful applications of his techniques came in the form of Ivory Soap, in which he worked with Procter & Gamble to create an ad blitz, in which he claimed that Ivory branded soap was medically superior to other brands. Though the actual veracity of the claim was tenuous at best, it was an overwhelming success. This led him to be sought out by other major companies, including General Motors, Lucky Strike, and even the presidential campaigns for Leonard Wood (organizing a pancake breakfast at the White House to combat Wood’s image as a stern military man) and Herbert Hoover. A few common tropes among his various ad campaigns of the era were the extensive research into the various markets and demographics, the covert use of third parties and public figures to promote products and ideas, and a more scientific method of opinion molding, which he called the Engineering of Consent. In his 1947 essay, The Engineering of Consent, he goes into more detail on how it works. “This phrase quite simply means the use of an engineering approach—that is, action based only on thorough knowledge of the situation and on the application of scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs.”

    Bernays, more mercenary than pure ideologue (having done work for the NAACP and other non-profits), did consider staying after the Revolution, but on the advice of his CPI mentor George Creel, decided to instead flee to Cuba and help rebuild the corporations there.

    His first client after resettling operations in Havana was the newly formed National Motors, a merger of General Motors, Chrysler, and various other car companies whose CEOs had fled to the island following the revolution. Chairman Alfred P. Sloan wanted to promote automobile demand on the island to help build an automobile industry on the island.

    Bernays organized a car show in 1935 to demonstrate that “American industry was still strong”, and invited car makers from Britain, France, Italy, Germany (ironically, represented by employees of Sloan’s old rival Henry Ford) and Japan to further spread the prestige of “American-made cars.” He would accentuate this image with jingoistic imagery, including painting cars with American flag patterns and patriotic names like “Liberty Bell” and “Grand Old Flag”.

    The show was a resounding success, allowing Sloan to make deals with Rolls-Royce and Alfa Romeo (Ford was resistant towards allowing what he saw as an alliance of his old enemies anywhere near Germany) to build factories in Britain and Italy respectively, and helped the prestige of National Motors in the capitalist world.

    However, its biggest impact was getting the attention of Douglas MacArthur, who noted the international success, and sought Bernays as an advisor for his new propaganda agency: The Department of Communications. Led by former Vice-President William Randolph Hearst, the new agency was focused on suppressing dissent and promoting the exile American government both internally and abroad. Bernays success at advertising could be key in getting said support.

    Bernays utilized his trademark skills at promoting the Cuban state. He combined the “exotic” image of Cuba with traditional American imagery to increase tourism to the country, particularly from Canada, Britain, and Germany. He heavily promoted Americuban products across the world, and even arranged for King Edward to tour the country with his American fiancee Wallis Simpson. He was also instrumental towards getting Cuba favorable press coverage, especially with exaggerated anti-communist rhetoric about life in the mainland. All of this effectively boosted investment into Cuba, both from a strategic and business perspective, guaranteeing a steady flow of capital to remain a regional power.

    Bernays’ power of persuasion would be deputized during World War II, when the Department of Communications was tasked with patriotic, anti-Brazilian propaganda. Bernays would take the lessons of the CPI to new levels, selling the war effort to the Cuban populace and selling the exile regime itself to their new Communist Latin American allies. He was also instrumental in turning Cuba against the Nazis. He would emphasize the atrocities committed by the Integralists and Axis in his propaganda.

    Because of his tireless work promoting the MacArthur regime and as part of its propaganda system, Bernays, alongside others like Jack Warner and Bernard Baruch, were dubbed “MacArthur’s Court Jews” by commentators like John Gates and Milton Wolff. Serving the exile government alongside anti-Semites like Joseph Kennedy and Charles Coughlin.

    Towards the end of the war, Bernays worked with the United Fruit Company to streamline coverage of their newly acquired territory in Brazil and Venezuela, arguing that United Fruit was building the foundations for a “large trade relationship” between Cuba and the newly liberated countries, while downplaying rumored labor abuses and connections with former Integralists. This would allow United Fruit to gain a foothold in both countries for decades. Bernays would also promote extensive tourism to the two countries. Leftists accused Bernays of trying to colonize both countries on behalf of American corporations.

    Towards the end of the war, as Truman Aid and International Red Aid helped Europe rebuild, many corporations in Cuba would either be consumed by bigger British competitors or simply move across the Pond for more opportunities in a larger market. Bernays sensed this movement, and decided that the economy of Cuba (mostly upper class exiles and native elites, and middle class mestizos and immigrants) was not conducive to his brand of public relations. To that end, he himself would shift operations to London in 1949. And with that came many new opportunities for him to influence the nascent AFS, and perhaps his biggest impact, when he was approached by noted Conservative lawyer David Maxwell Fyfe.

    The Labor-SFIO government under Clement Atlee and Leon Blum had successfully led the newly formed Franco-British Union to victory in WWII and enacted pro-labor economic policies to rebuild the postwar ruin of both Britain and France. Most notably, they had led the successful “Union Conference” in 1947, which formalized the Entente, merging the British and French systems and establishing a “State Council” with King George as its head. For the new “National Assembly”, elections were to be held in 1948. Labour and the SFIO merged into an all-encompassing “Labour Party/Parti d’Ouviers” ahead of this, and won handily. This did not bode well for the British Conservatives-Unionist Party (colloquially called “The Tories”), who had been in a wartime alliance under Winston Churchill, but hoped to make an electoral comeback. They had grown concerned over the increasing popularity of the Communists on both sides of the Channel and what they viewed as increased appeasement of “pro-American elements” (notably, the appointment of communist Maurice Thorez to the delegation at the Union Conference). They had sacked the aging Churchill and much of their wartime leadership (regarded as too pro-American), and placed popular former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden as the new Party Leader. To expand their reach, they quickly entered negotiations with the “Rally of Popular Republicans”, a merger of the French centre-right following a massive post-war restructuring, and announced that they would challenge Labour together as a new right-leaning bloc, called “The People’s Alliance/Alliance Populaire”.

    Fyfe hoped Bernays’ skills might increase the popularity of the new bloc and bring it to victory in 1950, having seen some of his work with the Department of Communications. In his first political campaign since 1932, Bernays released a quick internal strategy, emphasizing the association between Labour and the Communists, and by extension America, and stating that a key part of ensuring victory was emphasizing their commitment to “democratic ideals” against “Bolshevikism.” Bernays also used the growing “Red Scare” to create a rift between Labour and the Communists, splitting their votes.

    Most importantly, Bernays helped the Tories and the French right deal with their lingering image problem as the party of the aristocracy for the former, and as the turncoats of the old fascist regime in the latter. Bernays banished talk of conservatism from public diplomacy. The new public relations line emphasized democracy, hard work, and rugged populism. Prospective MPs were coached in dropping manners of speech and physical affectations that would mark them as part of the gentry.

    The campaign would be a resounding success, increasing the profile of the new bloc and distancing them from their pre-war reputations. The People’s Alliance would end up sweeping the 1950 election that year, partly from Bernays successful management but mainly from other factors (the growing Red Scare following the fall of Greece and Berlin, the increasing conflicts within the Franco-British colonial empires, and the divisions in Labour itself between its left and right factions). The People’s Alliance would gain a majority in the National Assembly, allowing Eden to become the Prime Minister, and to set a new course for the country and the world. With this, Bernays and his strategies were effectively deployed onto a political arena, and would influence how the People’s Alliance retained power for generations

    Bernays himself would gain a second wind from this in the FBU. He would get many offers for various other corporate and political campaigns, and his techniques would be adopted by various PR departments and companies in the new “Alliance of Free States”.

    One of his Havana students and top protege, Richard Finlay, who worked on the 1950 general election before founding his own ad firm, would go on to start the fast food giant Maggie Pie in 1962. Finlay would deploy many of the techniques he had learned from Bernays to sell the signature pies across the globe. Bernays himself advised some of their early work.

    National Motors would approach him again to help with various ad campaigns in the FBU, hoping to gain new markets as Cuba and Canada were inundated with British and German cars. Instead of a repeat of the Motor Show, the new medium of television allowed them to directly show their cars as powerful and far more efficient than the competition. Bernays also showcased the cars across the Global South as a good alternative to more expensive British cars.

    In the 1920’s, he was famous for his promotion of Lucky Strikes cigarettes (including the infamous “Torches of Freedom” campaign, tying feminism to smoking to get more women to smoke). However, by the 1960’s, the dangers of smoking became well-known, as research revealed a link between lung cancer and smoking. Despite this, in 1962, over 70% of the population of the FBU smoked. Bernays, ironically, was a non-smoker and in 1962, would lose his wife, Doris Fleischman, to lung cancer from smoking. This prompted him to support the “Action on Smoking and Health”, which, with other groups, would culminate in the 1965 Legislation calling for labels, and the 1971 ban on public smoking.

    This would be his final involvement in public life, and he would enter semi-retirement by 1972. He would spend his final 23 years expanding his philosophy and explaining it in lectures across the world (turning down offers to represent Rhodesia and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Project, among others). However, his biggest legacy was the very idea of public relations. Much of his philosophy was normalized in the capitalist world, with his use of psychology and the idea of “spin” and creating consumers becoming the main mode for many companies. In an ironic twist, even Comintern took notice. Propaganda and Engineering of Consent are given out in Public Safety and Agitpop courses, both as indications of how capitalist advertising and propaganda works- and as guides in and of themselves for the most efficient, wide-reaching forms of propaganda.

    “He was a bourgeois piece of shit, a capitalist Goebbels,” one Culture Secretariat advisor told the Daily Worker after Bernays death in 1995. “I’d be lying, though, if I said he didn’t have a few good ideas here and there.”
    Diary of a Southern Town (PT.IV) (Traveller76)
  • Most people have an image of life in a small town as neighbors knowing each other, saying hello in the morning and helping each other during difficult times in life like a fire or a loss in the family. This is partially true, what they do not tell you is that in a small town everyone knows you and your family. You attended the same schools, went to the same shops and played with the same kids. So any scandal, any embarrassments or scandals would eventually be found out and talked about. Now Mama was not one of those that liked to sit and gossip. Her thoughts were that if you had time to gossip you had time to take out trash or to be helping in the kitchen or doing something productive. She had a few friends from her school days or from the restaurant but most of the time she read, listened to the radio or worked on her garden. My Aunt and cousin Tamar were the complete opposite.

    I was tall, fair and slim while Tamar was shorter, darker and rounder. I was the quiet girl in school while Tamar had friends in every class and every teacher knew her. She is kind and caring, especially with animals and planned to go into Veterinary school when she finished Militia training. She also is one of the biggest gossips I ever met and she could recall personal and family histories and scandals of families not just in the town but the neighboring towns. I was amazed she did not join the police or the CSS since she must of had a network of informers they could only dream about. So one day while we were mopping the restaurant floors she tells me that Mama was asking her and her mother about Elwood. 'What about Elwood' I said?' She replied that Mama had seen Elwood come by every Sunday evening to have two slices of pie and some coffee and that he and I would talk. Mostly it was about books, or movies, or places that Elwood had been during the War. Nothing romantic or anything. Looking back on it now I think he was trying to gather courage to ask me out or something.

    Since Jake and Elwood arrived they had become popular with many of the women and girls of the town. Most of the girls I knew in school had dated some but the boys were ones they had grown up with. So it was like going out with a cousin or brother. Some of the girls would go to other nearby towns on the weekends for movies, dancing and dating but Jake and Elwood had been in the wider world, were educated and were musicians so that make them desirable. Despite all the work of the Cultural Revolutions there were some women who wanted to be good wives and take care of a family and house. Then there were those widows and others who were just lonely. Jake took advantage of this, visiting with several women and their families for meals, playing games and other things. I think several of them thought they could catch or reform him but that never happened. Elwood was different, he was respectful and while there were offers of company he turned them down. Some people thought he liked men or something, maybe he already had someone but no one knew. All they knew was that every Sunday evening he would come by, have his pie and coffee and visit with me. So naturally people started to talk.

    Now Mama did not listen to all this gossip but when it involved her family she paid attention. Her family had a good reputation and she was going to put these rumors to rest. Tamar told me that she had asked everyone that knew Jake and Elwood about them and where they came from. She even called the local Trintarian churches to find out about them and their reputations. Little did I know that she was preparing and offensive the Army would be proud of.

    Adwoa "Mama" Grayson, Diary of a Southern Town, 1988.
    Bond Addendum (Mr.E/Miss Teri)
  • This is something of an addendum to my Bond piece.
    The Making of Casino Royale

    In 1953, Casino Royale, written by former Naval Intelligence Officer Ian Fleming (a veteran of the Spanish campaign during WW2), was a massive hit across the Franco-British Union, combining the hard boiled style of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe with the spy adventure stories of Richard Hannay. With this success came offers for the film rights. Fleming turned down an offer to adapt Bond for Cuban television, instead ultimately selling the rights to exiled Russian-American producer Gregory Ratoff and MGM, both now stationed in Britain.
    Ratoff would do uncredited work on the script, while MGM would find a director. Ratoff himself found the character of Bond unbelievable, and attempted to find a way to work around that, including making Bond a woman (“Jane Bond”), one set in WW2 era Spain (to parallel Fleming’s own experiences) or even a draft where Bond was absent, replaced by an Americuban gangster working for Franco-British intelligence. MGM would have none of that. MGM initially tried to move forward with popular British directing-screenwriting team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, (“The Archers”), who had helmed pictures like Black Narcissus and The Elusive Pimpernel (starring David Niven) for MGM and their partner London Films. However, growing money troubles and MGM’s insistence on changing Pressburger’s script led to their departure. They would eventually commission a script by Charles Bennett, who had written the 1935 Richard Hannay film The 39 Steps. Bennett would largely stick to the novel, though one draft combined the characters of Bond’s fellow JSB agent Rene Mathis and love interest Vesper Lynd into the character of Valerie Mathis, another combined Lynd with the novel’s secondary villain, American agent Felix Leiter. More importantly, Bennett’s previous major credit and its director would give MGM and Ratoff an idea.
    Alfred Hitchcock was struggling in the early 50’s. Hitchcock had a successful contract with Cuban producer David O. Selznick, which saw the two produce hits, including Rebecca (1940), Greenmantle (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), and Notorious(1946), even through Selznick’s departure from Warner Bros. and the war. After their final film together The Paradine Case (where Hitchcock grew to dislike Selznick), Hitchcock attempted to start his own production company with Sidney Bernstein, Transatlantic, to do his own films. However, by the early 50’s, it was experiencing financial difficulties. Hitchcock also had the headache of having to appear before the Franco-British National Assembly’s “Select Committee on Communist Activity”, over one of his non-Selznick propaganda films, Saboteur, which had been commissioned as pro-American. While Hitchcock was cleared, it would strike a blow to Transatlantic, which dissolved. Hitchcock soon attempted to get support for a project he had developed with writer Fredrick Knott, Dial M for Murder, when MGM contacted him.
    Hitchcock had considered doing another spy thriller and had conceived of some ideas to that end, but, ultimately, he agreed to do Casino Royale, if MGM agreed to back Dial M afterwards. Hitchcock did an uncredited rewrite of Bennett’s script, restoring the characters of Rene Mathis and Vesper Lynd. However, he made several changes, including removing DITR8R (Fleming’s attempt at transposing the Soviet SMERSH to American intelligence) from Leiter’s origin, instead making him a simple Section 1 agent, and moving the action to Monte Carlo. He also left Lynd’s suicide more ambiguous in part to skirt censorship. Another move to mollify censorship was the change involving Le Chiffre. In the novel, he had run a profitable brothel venture in Paris (which is where he invested the money given to him by Section 1 and Comintern), before the newly formed Franco-British Union shut it all down. This was why he needed to gain the money back. The film instead alludes to “bad investments” from “government intervention”. Hitchcock also changed Leiter carving the Cyrillic symbol “ш” unto Bond’s hand to carving the letter “S”, to make it clearer to Anglophone audiences.
    With Hitchcock on board, other actors were in talks. David Niven, who had his career stalled after his war service and falling out with producer Samuel Goldwyn, was Fleming’s first choice for the role, and Hitchcock's name ultimately led to his interest and eventual casting as James Bond. Ingrid Bergman, Hitchcock’s leading lady on Notorious, would star opposite Niven as Vesper Lynd. Jean Gabin, the star of Pepe lo Moko, whose career had also stalled after the war, was cast as Mathis. Another veteran French actor, Jean-Louis Barrault was cast as the villain Le Chiffre. Hitchcock’s frequent collaborator Leo G. Caroll plays the JSB’s head M.
    The biggest challenge was Felix Leiter. Hitchcock and Ratoff considered several British, Cuban, and Canadian actors for the role, but none were satisfying enough or had the right quality of leading man but menacing when need be. While in Canada auditioning actors, Ratoff caught a late night CBC television production, and contacted MGM immediately after it ended to say that he had found their Leiter. Thus, at 28 years old, Leslie Nielsen would make his feature film debut.
    Hitchcock would utilize his trademark style in making the baccarat scenes intense and the effective centerpiece of the entire film, especially the tension between Barrault and Niven. He would combine the Shepperton Studio sets with location shooting in the South of France. Hitchcock approached Bond himself less as Fleming’s cold, efficient killing machine and more in the vein of his other spy protagonists: a mostly everyman worker who approaches his duty the same way any other worker does, and has a fascination with their leading lady. Much of Bond’s cold detachment is instead transferred to Felix Leiter, who was shown as a standard androit American killing machine, hyperfocused on the mission at hand.
    Released in late 1954, the film was a massive critical and financial success, harkening Hitchcock’s return to cinema and introducing cinema-goers to the character of James Bond. Ratoff was convinced by Irish playwright Kevin McClory and Canadian producer Harry Saltzman to pool their collected rights to Bond in a new venture, Eon Productions, who would then option “Live and Let Die” as a sequel with MGM. Hitchcock would decline directing duties (focusing on finishing Dial M for Murder), though Niven, Nielsen, and Caroll would return, and the “Bond” series as known today would start, eventually leading to a 2009 remake of Casino Royale with Idris Elba as Bond.

    Leiter: Agent of DITR8R

    Leiter: Agent of DITR8R is a 2015 comic miniseries by Kim Newman and Jane Addlers*, based on the James Bond character of Felix Leiter, created by Ian Fleming. In the vein of Newman’s 2011 miniseries Professor Moriarity: The Hound of D’Uberville,[1], the stories are parody reversals of classic Bond novels and films, with Leiter fighting different versions of Bond villains (sometimes retellings of classic Bond books from Leiter perspective) , told in his unpublished memoirs shortly before his 1967 “death”. As per Newman’s signature, the book is full of characters from other works of fiction, including Newman’s own Diogenes Club. The story is an homage and parody of the American/Soviet/North Italian “anti-Bond” spy genre popular in the 1960’s and 70’s

    Prologue (Issue 0): In 1946, Felix Leiter, a former Captain in the Revolutionary Marines, joins the Proletarian Guard to continue serving the International Revolution. Impressed, his commander gathers the credentials for him to join the “13th Regiment” or Main Directorate of State Security. Leiter is assigned to Section 1, and excels at training. In 1948, for his first assignment, he’s sent to war-torn Greece with higher ranking agent“Comrade Turner” (Jonathon Turner, from the works of Maxine Kaplan) to meet with an asset moving weapons for Comintern.
    The asset, a heavyset Polish-Greek man nicknamed “Scarface” is an arms dealer recruited during the war. Leiter gradually realizes that Scarface and his “No. 2” (Emilio Largo) are secretly selling weapons to both sides, hoping to profit. Scarface promptly tries to kill the two, only for them to barely escape.
    In 1951, Leiter is tapped by a new division of Public Safety, inspired by the Soviet SMERSH: DIETRAITOR (a riff on “Death to Spies”) shortened to DITR8R, a counter-intelligence agency for “secret affairs”, which deal with both “extraordinary” foreign and domestic threats.
    Issue 1, “Royale-les-Eaux”: 1953- Leiter, with Polish SMERSH operative Hans Kloss [2] is sent to the Casino Royale in France to help “the Cypher”, an American asset within a communist affiliated trade union, win at a baccarat tournament to recover funds lost to bad investments in brothels. Leiter learns from Vesper Lynd, his informant in the Joint Security Bureau, that two agents, one French and one British, are sent to try to keep the Cypher from winning. To “even the odds”, Leiter kills a JSB agent sent to kill the Cypher,( an ex-Nazi named Herr Flick, from Allo Allo), and poses as an Americuban businessman. He has a brief encounter with “a very vigorous Hoagy Carmichael look-alike” at the bar, who he later sees at the tournament, suspecting him as one of the agents, dubbing him “The Man in Black” (or “007”, as he remembers the code name given). Kloss offers the Cypher back-up funds (“Truman Aid”), which the Cypher takes immediately to up the stakes. Leiter warns the Cypher that if he loses, his “services will no longer be required”. Leiter sends one of his own agents to kill 007, but he survives and wins the tournament. The Cypher promptly kidnaps Lynd as a bargaining chip for Leiter. The Man in Black pursues the Cypher, while Leiter quietly follows both parties. He watches as the Cypher tortures 007, hoping for the money. Leiter walks in and despite the Cypher’s pleas, shoots him in the head. Leiter briefly considers killing 007, but decides against it, instead marking him with the Russian letter “Ш” for шпион (Spy), and leaves. He observes 007 and Lynd in a seaside French town. To prevent her from turning, Leiter and Kloss head back to Poland, where Leiter calls Lynd- from the cell of her imprisoned husband. Leiter threatens to kill him if she reveals her informant status. Lynd kills herself, leaving Leiter with no choice but to release the husband in a spy exchange (with North Italian agent “Juan Mirro” from the works of John Cromwell)
    Issue 2 “Die and Let Live”- In 1956, Leiter is sent to investigate Harlem based black nationalist “Ras the Exhorter” (Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison), whose flamboyant protests and “Afro-Socialist” political organization have been causing problems with Public Safety. Posing as a “jazz critic” (an occupation Bond used in Live and Let Die), Leiter is captured by Ras’ organization, who interrogate and torture him. Ras has a mambo[3] named “Fatima”, who follows the “practices of Papa LaBas” (from Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo). Fatima calls out Leiter’s cover, and Ras has him dumped into the East River with weights. Leiter escapes and is eventually rescued by local Harlem crime lord “Madame Saint-Marie” (Mario Puzo’s The Godfather), who has been having trouble with Ras. Saint-Marie gives Leiter some key information: Ras has been selling 17th Century gold coins given to him by Garveyite supporters in Cuba and Jamaica to fund his operation. Leiter heads to a warehouse near the still under-construction Epcot complex in Florida, where the coins are being imported in the bottom of fish tanks. Leiter is caught and held over a shark tank with Fatima (revealed as a traitor). Leiter and Faitma escape, and the former promptly dispatches the owners (Cuban Garveyites associated with the NBI), and has the warehouse raided by Public Safety units. He learns that Ras has been injured in a bizarre protest in Harlem (as depicted in Invisible Man). The warehouse is turned over to DITR8R, and the coin operation placed under their asset: Mr. Big.
    Issue 3 “Moon Loon”- 1959: Leiter investigates an anonymous threat to a moonshot attempt by scientist Reed Richards and his crew. He goes undercover as an ASEDA commissar, and is joined by a young WFRAAF officer named Gloria Pussey. Together, they interrogate various members, until they encounter the culprit: Samuel Steal (Silvery Dust[4]), a scientist working on behalf of his boss, ex-Nazi Kurt Steiner (Jack Higgins, The Eagle Has Landed). Leiter kills Steiner as he attempts to bomb the flight as it takes off. Leiter subsequently learns that Steiner was secretly on the payroll of “Bill Tanner”, the right hand man to the notorious JSB head “M”.
    Issue 4 “DiamondFinger”- 1961: Leiter takes on a diamond smuggling operation exploiting African miners, run by Cuban mobster Joe “Joey” Diamond (Maxine Kaplan, The Diamond Affair) and casino owner Tex Whitshaw (portrayed by Slim Pickens on the television series Havana Vice). The two hope to bulldoze a Cuban neighborhood to build a large exclusive casino, where diamonds are gambled. Leiter manages to stop the scheme by killing Diamond and destroying the fleet used. The silent third partner mentioned throughout the issue, Michael Corleone (The Godfather), has a conversation with Bill Tanner, revealing they had a deal to give some of the diamonds to the JSB as payment in exchange for safe passage. Corleone subsequently puts the Sprang brothers in charge of the diamond operation after Tanner cuts ties with them.
    Issue 5 “From Britain, With Love”- 1963: Leiter balances his protection duties (and perhaps more) for English defector Elizabeth Gold (David Cromwell, The Coldest Night) from an assortment of brutal JSB agents (mostly parodies of various Franco-British villains from American and Soviet media) sent by Bill Tanner and his burgeoning romance with Tatiana Romanova, a young Soviet cypher clerk who previously had a relationship with his rival 007. Leiter manages to dispatch the villains, but finds one agent, Harry Palmer (Len Deighton, The IPCRESS File) frustrating to get rid of. Eventually, Gold is nearly killed by a third party, who both Leiter and Palmer pursue, but can’t catch. Later, the same assassin attempts to kill Tatiana, but Leiter dispatches him. He sees a letter in his pocket revealing his real affiliation: SPECTRE. In the end, Felix, Gold, and Tatiana live in a communal apartment, with Tatiana’s child Natalia being born soon after.
    Issue 6 “Dr. S”- 1964: Leiter is sent to Thailand by his mentor Rachel Stern (Maxine Kaplan’s iconic character) with a young Nipponese agent named “Tiger” Tanaka during the Indochina conflict to investigate the disappearance of certain advisors in Khmer. They are captured and held by Indian scientist “Dr. S” (played by Peter Sellers in French Eurospy film The Island of Dr.Sin), who experiments on captured Indochinese soldiers and tries to sabotage the influx of American weapons. However, in a twist, he is then assassinated off-panel by the French operative Francis Coplan (created by Gaston Van den Panhuyse and Jean Libert, and also played by Peter Sellers in the film version), and it’s revealed he is also a SPECTRE agent, who had managed to steal a nuclear weapon for the organization. Leiter is also stunned to find that the leader (who sends a message) is none other than “Scarface”.
    Issue 7 “The Man with the Silver Gun”- 1967: Leiter has increasing thoughts of retirement, especially after his allyship with his hated enemy 007 to take down SPECTRE in the Bahamas. He has one final assignment: track down John Drake (portrayed by Roger Moore in Danger Man), a JSB agent “reprogrammed” to execute political dissidents using a silver gun. Leiter tracks Drake to Vauxhall Cross, where he’s captured and brought before Bill Tanner. It’s revealed that Tanner is in fact the notorious spy master Nikolai Balabos (again, Maxine Kaplan), who uses aliases like Tanner to hide his wide array of exploits under “M” (boasting that he served under the first “M”, Mycroft Holmes and his “strange little club”). He also goes by “Control” or “Mother”, depending on the situation, adopting different identities for those. It’s also revealed that “007” is in fact several agents, who take the same codename and identity to confuse the enemy. Balabos in fact has wide reaching powers in Franco-British intelligence, and has been manipulating conflicts to distract agents like Leiter from larger goals of political subversion and helping domestic enemies. Leiter is imprisoned, but rescued by a traitor in the JSB named “Haydon”. While he fails to capture Balabos, he does have one final confrontation with John Drake, which ends in the latter’s death. Stern, concerned for his health, has him reassigned to a minor contact in the Caribbean.
    In an epilogue, Balabos is in a meeting with M, confirming that Leiter was killed by the latest “007”, but that agent had been severely injured. They casually suggest replacing him again, and Balabos notes he himself has donned disguises to go as 007, and had fought the likes of Leiter. Finally, Balabos comments that he has a potential candidate- in the form of Bill Haydon.


    [1] Real book by Kim Newman, btw. No Pictures, though:'Urbervilles
    [3] Haitian Vodou priestess

    Maxine Kaplan and Havana Vice courtesy of @Mr. C