Monday, July 27, 2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

What is modern-day Samizdat?

About the Author

But first:

Celeste Young is Collaborative Research Fellow at CSES. She is a sustainability/climate change professional who works as a communication and operational specialist with a particular interest in innovation and the use of creative and business processes.
Her primary work focus is with trans-disciplinary projects across diverse stakeholders to build a greater understanding and capacity. She has worked for organisations such BAE Systems, the Western Alliance For Greenhouse Action (WAGA), the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) and most recently, Victoria University as a Research Manager and Researcher with the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) project 'Valuing Adaptation Under Rapid Change'.
Her collaborative program Council Connections was featured in the State Adaptation Plan (2013) and she has been the recipient of a number of awards including Highly Commended Poster, NCCARF 2014, Best overall poster at NCCARF (2012), University of Melbourne, Vice Chancellor's Staff Engagement Excellence Award 2014, (VCCCAR group award), and BAE Performance Recognition Award 2009.

D.W. Walker, the author of this text, is a cranky old guy who lives in a cheap hostel in Iquitos, Peru. He is a bum who makes a living by begging donations from friends and strangers so he can continue writing medium famous books. So far, thanks to friends, this month's rent is almost paid and Mr. Walker had a couple of baloney sandwiches for dinner last night. Mr. Walker is an operational specialist with a particular interest in innovation and the use of creative and business processes of finding a box of Kraft Dinner.

His primary work focus is on making money by writing travel books for the world and newspaper articles about topics of interest to those visiting the Peruvian Amazon jungle. He has worked for organisations …. Well, no. Most recently, uh, he's still a bum traveling around the world writing books. Celeste Young is simply important, though not related to this book. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New Book by D.W. Walker coming soon

Yes, folks, Dag's latest book, Snootom, is coming soon. Here's a preview.

It should be available at It is not a book of "Motoons" and it is not a book about Mohammed. It is Snootom, and it is about Demmahom. Relax, censors, no crime committed here.

Meanwhile, here are other books available now.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Head Hunting, Amazon-style, in the Middle East

Funny thing is, no one thought I was joking when I suggested that I would go into the Amazon head-shrinking business by selling heads of jihadis to anyone who came up with sufficient cash to satisfy me.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Ashley Collman, "Fresh agony for James Foley's family as sick ISIS militants 'try to sell them his headless body for $1million'." MailOnline. 11 December 2014
The family of beheaded American photojournalist James Foley are  facing fresh agony after sick Islamic State militants tried to sell them his headless body for $1million, according to a new report by Buzzfeed.

The website spoke to three middlemen trying to broker the deal, who
say they can prove the body is Foley's with a DNA swab and will
deliver the remains across the Turkish border once the ransom has been paid.

Foley was the first American hostage to be beheaded by an ISIS
militant in a graphic video recording this summer. Since August, the
terrorist group overtaking large swathes of Syria and Iraq, has
beheaded two more Americans and a Briton in similar displays of


Holding Western captives for ransom is one of the main ways terrorists groups like ISIS raise money. A New York Times report published this year found that Al Qaeda has made at least $125million from ransoms since 2008, with $66million raised in 2013 alone.

Read more:


War is war, regardless of the sentiments people espouse these days. It's as real as living and dying. War trophies are real.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New book coming soon-ish

Remember, folks, that you read the news here first.

I'm finishing my book on Rubber Boom architecture in Iquitos, Peru and once that is complete I will turn again to writing a new Jockk Brand novel, this one with the absolutely pithiest title I have ever come up with:

Jockk Brand vs. the Man at the Top of the Stairs and Other Men Hiding in the Shadows in the Garden. 

In my new novel, the western world is in flames as jihadis rampage across the lands of former freedom, and an awe-struck leftist middle-class cheers the destruction of their nihilistic way of life. Self-annihilation is the order of the day for many, but the new president is unmoved by the mass jubilation shown on television and You Tube. He's fighting back, using one of the the most dangerous weapons in his arsenal, Jockk Brand.

But even Jockk Brand must sleep sometimes, and when he does he must then wake up and continue his one-man showdown against world-wide jihad and the grand gesture suicide of self-loathing, moralistic Left fascism. First, Brand has to get out of bed. Not so easy this getting out of bed, as Brand finds when he encounters the Man at the Top of the Stairs and Other Men Hiding in the Shadows in the Garden.

Can Brand save America from the most evil foes of our time? Only if he can first defeat the most oppressive enemy he has ever encountered in a lifetime of murder and mayhem: Jockk Brand himself.

Meanwhile, my first Jockk Brand novel is available at this link.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dag Walker and the Jivaro Tsantzas Masters of Iquitos, Peru

I have been busy in Iquitos for this long time, writing books, of course, but also learning new and interesting things about life outside the norms of middle-class American living. Recently, I have learned that I am now fully qualified as a tsantza master. This is to say, I am a qualified "Head-shrinker" according tom my Jivaro buddies in town. I can now cut off a man's head, skin him, boil his stuff, stitch him up, and shrink his head down to the size of a clenched fist. I'm a qualified Head Hunter of the Amazon rainforest. I see on my horizon a new and lucrative career. 

I look at shrinking heads as something worthy of our reflections. Look, if you will, at the Qur’an, particularly at the "Sword Verse" Qur'an, 9:5. 

One of the most frequently quoted Quranic verses is chapter 9 verse 5. This verse is known as "The Verse of the Sword." Muslim terrorists cite it to justify their violent jihad. Correspondingly, critics of Islam claim that it commands Muslims to act with offensive aggression towards the non-Muslims of that period, and contributes to Islam’s final theological doctrine of aggression towards all non-Muslims of all times. Apologists for Islam claim that 9:5 is purely defensive. Which side is right?
As the Islamic source materials are examined it will become evident that verse 9:5 is part of the theology of jihad and is meant to be both offensive and defensive. It is directed against Pagans living both near to and far away from Muhammad.

The first premise of this blog is that dhimmitude is slavery and therefore a bad thing. The term slavery is, here, dhimmitude. Islam allows the non-Muslim to live if he pays jizya, or an extortion tax. Otherwise, the kufar, meaning us, must be killed. Here is what the Koran says:

9:5 When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.
Convert to Islam, pay the jizya, or die. Get your head cut off, like so many people we have seen on videos. 

Well, living in the Amazon jungle I took some things to heart, like learning ancient native customs, one of which is the art of tsantzas, shrinking heads. Muslims don't do that. They just cut off our heads and forget about them. I am more akin to the locals here. They and I share some Viking traits and feelings about freedom that I particularly value in myself and them. Some of my buddies here are Jivaro. Another, more p.c. name for them is Shuar.

1599, the Shuar were one of the few groups to successfully repel and maintain freedom from colonial rule. In that year, the Shuar killed 25,000 colonists during a revolt. From then on, the tribe lived as it pleased in relative isolation from the rest of the world, warring with one another.
This isolation and the Shuar's practice of creating shrunken heads -- called tsantsas -- has given them a fearsome reputation with the rest of the world.
The culture of vengeance largely characterizes the Shuar. Not simply violent death, but death by natural causes is attributed to an unseen, remote enemy attack. The concept of revenge is deeply rooted in Shuar culture. From a very young age, boys are drilled in the standing feuds his family has with other families. He is also taught that not exacting revenge in the form of violence is to welcome retribution from his fallen ancestors [source: Jandial, et al].

I can relate to much of that, especially when I'm visiting my friends and we sit in the kitchen and they show me how to skin a head and shrink it. Relax. No people shrunk.

This is what I have learned. 

Shrunken heads are an actuality. A single tribe, the Shuar, who live in a region of the Amazon basin that straddles Ecuador and Peru, are the only group known to shrink heads. They continued this practice until as recently as the 1950s.

When a family member dies -- regardless of the cause -- a tribesman consults a member of the spirit world under the influence of natema to learn the culprit. The answer comes in a vision, and the family sets about recruiting other nearby households to join them in a loose confederation with the purpose of exacting revenge. Over the course of several weeks or months, the group prepares for war, at times even alerting the intended target of its plans.

At each of the stages in preparation, the party leader -- called the curaka -- presides over the process. The members of the raiding party are attentive to each step, reinforcing the curaka's actions.

I sometimes see the world in terms of 9-11. I see that many Muslims are all too happy to support the murder of almost everyone, even other Muslims, if the man with the sword deems it just. This makes me anxious. I don't need ayahuasca visions to tell me more about who is responsible for 9-11. I got that part quickly all on my own. The question is how to react. Should I return the Muslim practice of cutting off their heads? If so, then what to do with the bulky, bloody, unsightly mess? I deal often in antiques and fine art, which a bloody head is not any of. But maybe, with some effort and skill and thought, one could adapt....

Thought to harness the spirit of an enemy and compel him to serve the desires of the “shrinker,” the practice of shrinking heads is known to have originally held a spiritual significance.

From the 19th Century until very recent times, however, the practice of shrinking heads was extended to trophy hunting, exotic trade, as well as simple curiosity seekers willing to pay exorbitant prices to possess the head of another human being.

I live in the Amazon jungle. My friends are Jivaro in some cases, and I need a job. I hate Islam. All of this makes me think, and made me seek out, some resolutions to my concerns, which in turn led me to learning how to shrink heads for fun, profit, and social justice. I asked my buddies how to shrink heads.
The only known head shrinkers are a group of indigenous people from the northwestern region of the Amazon rainforest (Ecuador and Peru) collectively known as the Jivaroan peoples. Their most notorious tribe, the Shuar, live at the headwaters of the Marañón River.
Shuar people are Jivaros. The Marañón River is just over there a few blocks away.

Known as creating a tsantsa (or tzantza) to the people of this region, head shrinking [and] decapitating and then shrinking their enemies' heads also served as a highly dramatic way to warn enemies of the fate awaiting them should they venture into Jivaroan territory uninvited.
It is so right for me. I go totally native when we get into this kind of groove.

I can now kill all birds with one stone: Defeat jihadis, cut off their heads, shrink them, sell them to collectors, and have some fine satisfaction that I'm doing good things in the world.  People were dismayed when I said I was going to South America to carry on the fight against jihad. They asked what on earth I would do there. Now we know: I will return to the Middle East and go into the head-hunting business. War trophies. 

There must be a God. How else could I have ended up here learning this stuff so I can return to the world of Islam to take it to them in such a fashion and at the same time make a fine living? Yes, there is a God.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Down and Out in Iquitos and Peru, (2)

I am seriously hampered in writing my newest book book here, the life of a struggling writer having come to full bloom.

Yesterday I got some bread from my friend David's kitchen out back of the house. Kitchens in Iquitos are usually out back, away from everything, because ants come, by the millions, and devour everything, including the kitchen. Ants might not ceramic tiles and stainless steel pots, but they eat wood and food and other organic stuff. The humidity eats more solid things, and the soil eats cement. Nothing lasts here for long but the continuous renewal of life itself. The seeming slow pace is a disguise for the most rapid turn-over of life on this planet. Watch, and things will dissolve before your eyes. Life is a frantic scramble to stay ahead of death just long enough to replace life. Life has to be replaced so other things can eat. It is somehow frightening to witness this extraordinary pace of turning over.

Last day I found some bread and a dozen black and tiny bananas on the table in the sunlight. I peeled the tough and sticking skins off the bananas and wrapped two of them in bread. That was lunch. I spent the rest of my day writing about the old steamship companies who, in part, make Iquitos the city it is today.

One reason, aside from my obsession with completing this book on deadline, that I didn't make a greater effort to find money to get food is that I was supposed to pick up some ayahuasca from a fellow across town last evening. I wrote and thought and did my usual routines till 5:30, at which time I walked to my destination and waited for the next three hours. The man didn't come. He seems to like me, and I was put out that he stood me up. I borrowed $0.35 and got a bottle of no-name soda for dinner as I went home to fume.

Today, sitting at the computer to work further on the history of Iquitos, Peru, he came by and dropped off a bottle of ayahuasca with wambisa. Then he left without a word. I had some coffee this morning, thanks to my friend David. Tonight I might sit alone when the others have gone to bed, and then I might drink this ayahuasca and find out things.

Meanwhile, I continue to write this book.

If you are coming to Iquitos, or if you have been here and want to know more about it, I suggest you look at my books from here:

Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close.

If you are a curious person, you might want to know more about ayahuasca:

 Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic.

If your taste in books is literary, then I hope you will read my novel set in Iquitos:

 Jockk Brand vs. the Toe Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

Next time I might write about how this ayahuasca treated me. I will also continue this report on writing for my deadline. I don't know if I will make that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Down and out in Iquitos and Peru

My new book, Blood and Splendor: Rubber Boom Architecture in Iquitos, Peru, ca. 1863-1929, is running up to the deadline. I must finish this by Dec. 12, 2014 if I am to publish five books in one year, the first being Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close. Will I make it?

I ran out of money in Jan. last year. I carried on writing, suffering badly as I went from my happy home to a hostel where my kitten boys and I could live and work in relative peace without the landlord screaming about cat pee. No money.

I work in Iquitos as a guide to the city's historical architecture. I am the expert in this limited field. I love doing it. But I don't spend as much time as I should being a tour guide. In fact, last Feb. I spent no time at all being a tour guide: I had severe bronchitis, and I laid in bed gasping and nearly drowning for the month that my rent went unpaid. Word came that the boys and I had to find a new place to stay.

I packed up my stuff and the boys and off we went to live deep in the jungle for the next three months. I got a deal in which I could live rent-free and edit my next book, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic.

Of course, being deep in the jungle with no money meant I had to find a way to eat. Being sick and 40 minutes hike from the nearest village made that difficult. Worse was when I could no longer stand the isolation and the hunger. I got dressed, got my gear, my boys, and as soon as I reached the stairs down to the ground, I passed out and fell eight feet to the ground, landing on my side, my side landing on my machete, resulting in five broken ribs.

I left the boys behind in mid-June and returned to the city, I being by then 60 pounds lighter. I was invited to stay, without the boys, at my friend David's place, to sleep on his living-room floor so I could come in to town to make some money. I stayed with David and his family, and with Adrian and his girlfriend there as well, while Adrian had some kind of massive mental break-down and got the impression that everyone on earth is stupid. He told us the most preposterous lies he could imagine, and he has a fine imagination. He is also a serious drunk. He is also broke, which meant he was forever borrowing money to get more beer. When drunk, he and others close by got loud. I put my head down in the living room and edited my ayahuasca book, with help from Peter Gorman.

I went back and forth to the jungle till I finally could not stand it longer and returned to David's place to edit and publish my third book in Iquitos, A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism, Vol. I.

Adrian's madness intensified, along with all the other madness one would never suspect of people in a house in the Amazon. I put my head down again and for the next 20 days I wrote -- a novel. I wrote Jockk Brand vs. the Toe Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.

What I had meant to do was write my book on historical architecture in Iquitos. I'm finishing that now. I am penniless, living on Dave's floor in the living room still, thank God, while Adrian has been kicked out of every place he's gone to and is now living outside. Drunk still. I work, so I manage to live. I don't make enough money from book sales as yet to survive, so people like Dave and Peter Gorman and Pedro and Doug and John and Ivonne and many others are helping me out so I don't lose even more weight.

I don't know what I'm going to do about dinner today. It's not looking good so far. I'm busy putting out copy about street names in Iquitos so I can move on to finish writing about steamship companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

With illustrations I have 287 pages as of now. The question is not whether I make dinner, but whether I make my deadline.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Iquitos, Peru: Where the streets have old names

I'm working hard and long on my new book, Blood and Splendour: Rubber Boom Architecture in Iquitos, Peru, c. 1864-1927. It's an in-depth book about the history of the city and a close look at a selection of Rubber Boom Era buildings. Below are some old address plates, some of which were supposed to be removed and replaced with new names. Jiron J.C. Arana, for example, is something of an oversight like Austrians forgetting to replace Strasse Hitler with Adenauer.

Iquitos is not an old city. It doesn't have a lot of old buildings. It's not Athens or Rome, not even a Manhattan. But it does have its charms.

It also has its Rubber Boom history, a story worth knowing.

Iquitos is the only city in South America with a Condamine st.

For movie buffs, this is the only city that celebrates the subject of the Werner Herzog movie Fitzcarraldo.

It's not only a Rubber Boom era city, it is also a city founded by and for the Peruvian navy, some streets named after 19th century steamships.

Some steamships named after cities.

And some plaques are named after formerly famous locals, like Garcia Sanz.

Some signs are old and forgotten, replaced with shiny new plastic signs. Jiron Lima, for example, has been Jiron Prospero since 1964.

No need to rush into changing everything, though, because it's pretty hot here.

One need not move too quickly either if all one is doing is replacing a rubber baron with yet another soon to be forgotten name.

S. Lores, F. Lores? Who'd know?

It pays to have excellent friends. My friend Edwin points out the following from the also excellent José Barletti:

The street is named after Sargento Fernando Lores Tenazoa (Sargento = Sergeant). Lores was a Peruvian army sergeant who fought in the Peru-Colombia War, He died during the Güeppí Battle on March 26, 1933 when he was 26 years old. This war started after the "Toma de Leticia" by Peruvian civilians.

Two months after his death, the Town Hall changed the name where his family live and Fernando Lores grew from Jirón Pastaza to Calle
Sargento Lores.
An article by José Barletti:

The street was originally Jiron Pastaza, named after one of the first ships to arrive from England to establish the Port of Iquitos. Locally, The Pastaza was one of the most important names in the city's history. To replace that is to rise pretty high in the land. Where, I wondered, was Pastaza street? Now we know.

Antonio Raimondi is Raymondi. Perhaps an interested Italian can add more to the story of Raimondi.

Hurtado? Calvo Arauja? These old names refer to the city's past, and they add a dimension to the city that makes it ever more magical if one knows. The city would still be lovely even if the streets had no names.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Toé Master is Here

My novel is out.

Jockk Brand vs. the  Toé Master and the Suicide Kings of Iquitos, Peru.