Why I wrote this book
Although I was teaching at Cromer High School as the cold case disappearance of Lynette Dawson and the male teacher and schoolgirl sex rings were unfolding, and although I had first heard of the allegations of murder in the 90’s this intriguing case has nothing directly to do with my reasons for penning this tale.
In fact, the only and indirect reference to Cromer High in my story was somewhat a matter of chance. Much of my novel, “Brownout-666: or the real meaning of the swastika,” is based on real events. I could have written part of the story as a nonfiction work but, aside from the constant danger of being sued for liable or defamation, I also wanted to include my take on what is happening to human society and its disastrous consequences around the world. Political inaction on climate change, corruption and how greed and abject stupidity, along with short sightedness on many levels have all long concerned me.
In addition I wished to explore exploitative sexuality along with the passion of Eros and romantic love – hence the graphic sex scenes. In Australia of the 70s and 80s many young men were sexually frustrated. That in addition to the prevailing culture of the time probably caused a sexually exploitative and conquest attitude amongst many males. It is these themes that are common to “The Teacher’s Pet” podcast and my novel.
The word “Brownout” appears many times and has meaning on numerous levels. When I lived in the Philippines in the late 80s and early 90s I told people that one day I would write a book called “Brownout.” Brownouts or the sudden cutting of electricity supply were ubiquitous during my sojourns in that country. On another level the term has metaphorical meaning. Cultural clash or inability to deal with problems in a logical and systematic way is just like the dying of the light. Many of the problems that I experienced in the Philippines, including the massive corruption, exist everywhere but in more subtle forms.
Truth and justice are almost impossible to achieve but every year our world seems to slip further and further from those ideals. My novel is both a warning and a call to action for humanity.
Theresa May’s Brexit obsession is a recipe for disaster
Despite a number of prominent leaders in the UK, including two former PMs stating that a 2nd Brexit referendum is the only sensible thing to do, Mrs. May erroneously thinks that another referendum would further divide the nation. Perhaps her aim is simply to go down in history in a big way. The nation is already bitterly divided and headed downhill fast. A second referendum with all the options on the table is the only way to move forward.
Carrying on with her chosen course is only likely to divide the nation further. Scotland and Northern Ireland will demand independence referendums (the 2nd for Scotland and the first for Northern Ireland) and the breakup of the UK is a likely result. If this is not further dividing the UK then what is?
China’s uncompromising plan to take over much of the world
China, under President for life, Xi Xing Ping, has set a course to “conquer” as much of the world as possible, covertly (with bribery and bullying “loans” to small and vulnerable nations), overtly such as the takeover of much of the South China Sea and simple denial of historical fact as is the case concerning Taiwan.
The really terrifying aspect of China’s march is an apparent total lack of a moral compass. The current trial of China’s social credit system is “1984” stuff. Everyone is photographed and a file kept on the entire population. Those who are good Party members etc. can travel wherever they like and can afford. Others who might buy too much liquor or criticise the government, suddenly find themselves unable to even travel to the next town. They are stopped from boarding trains or buses etc.
The recent admission of genetic alteration of human embryos by a Chinese scientist could even be scarier. It is not a huge stretch to see a future where human embryos are altered to create model citizens and die-hard supporters of the Chinese government.
We should be afraid, very afraid.
The Teacher’s Pet, Chris Dawson and me
John Spencer, author of “Brownout-666: or the real meaning of the swastika” was a teacher at Sydney’s Cromer High School between 1979 and 1981 and personally knew many of the protagonists in this cold case probable murder and story of lust, schoolgirls, betrayal and improper sexuality that is currently grabbing headlines around the world and is the subject of The Teacher’s Pet podcast by Hedley Thomas of the “The Australian” newspaper.
John’s novel is largely based on true events and, while only making one indirect reference to Cromer High School, explores in depth many of the themes apparent in this podcast, including male predatory sexual behaviour from that era, changes to such attitudes over the decades and the legal ramifications thereof, older men pursuing young girls, and the particular socio/sexual problems of Australian men at that time that may have led to their hunter/conquest at-all-costs attitudes.
John’s book is available on Amazon and elsewhere.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his website is http://www.creativityandpower.com