"Catawampus" is a borrow from the American folk lexicon. A handy, if arcane, descriptor, it designates something as "backwards," "upside down," or particularly "vicious."
Catawampusland the book became a vision of America as a twisted, cruel, idiotic, and out of control place set on a lethal trajectory. I used it to encapsulate my collected non-fiction for the years surrounding the 2016 election.
Including various screeds, essays, opinion pieces, and errant thoughts drawn from work published in the LA Times, LA Weekly, Salon, a couple particularly divisive Medium account, and the ruptured sewer of discontent known as Facebook, the book exists as both a time capsule of America at a vital pivot and a record of my evolution as a wordy misanthrope.
Paul Gosar, Putin, sex offender Dan Cilley, civil war re-enactors, dancing Trump girls, OP Smith, John Winthrop, Robert Hanssen, DW Griffith, Thomas Jefferson, Fred Durst, and William Jennings Bryant all lurk amidst a book set in the rundown fairground of dive bars, brownfields, thrift stores, and battlefields where the pus oozing off the mortally wounded American Dream gathers.
Best of all, the book features cover art and illustrations from Nick Knudson. The key image is built off the central theme of an "American Ostrich" that would rather bury its head in the sand than change.
Inside, each chapter features a key image drawn from the darker recesses of my brain. Topics include John B. Calhoun's "behavioral sink" theory, the ghost of Budd Dwyer, Dunning Kruger keyboard warriors, and King Kong preventing 9/11.