Our Tribal Circles
Set in a world of violent protests disrupting the personal lives and careers of a growing list of interesting people.
When the managing partner of a mid-sized literary agency abandons the business to deal with personal illness, elder partner Margo Douglas decides to come out of retirement. She mentors disenchanted journalism drop-out Carol Porter to run the agency in order to get her last author published.
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Ben is struggling to stay in university with bad influences and easy options leading him to dark places. A run in with the cops and desperate times leaves little choice but to pull himself up and make it work somehow. Parents won’t help and he quickly realizes being homeless isn’t a lot of fun.
Max’s relationship with Carol is evolving. What begins in friendship, blossoms into teamwork and ultimately love. After realizing the true motives behind the Sisterhood of Womanly Concern, both Max and Carol find themselves disenfranchised. Finding new purpose turns out to be the best thing to happen to either of them.
Controversial middling author Jay Andrew’s books appear to provoke protests and endless scorn from Social Justice Warriors. His last book, Love Everlasting, published decades ago, attracts renewed attention from an alt-feminist campus movement leading to Jay being mobbed and seriously injured at a speaking engagement. This instills doubts about publishing his new work, “Our Tribal Circles”, though Margo convinces him to go ahead. He’s an artist and the show must go on.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Justice is having its own problems when a local Cree girl, Trisha Brownbear, attacks a police officer in the run up to a close federal election. Anxious to maintain the political support of the Assembly of First Nations, a new band controlled facility called Nêhiyawak Rehabilitation Circle is optioned, essentially a private jail, and Trisha Brownbear is sent to a gray jurisdiction made possible by tribal law. First Nations partners give political cover, but its only a matter of time until the press gets wind. The Ministry wants to direct the narrative to the Ruling Party’s advantage, but it needs an industry partner at arms length who can keep quiet when it counts.
Detective Chris finds himself doing more and more babysitting duty these days. His partner Frank, is close to retirement. He went to college, he’s an investigator, not a security guard. When they take Trisha Brownbear to the Nêhiyawak Rehabilitation Circle, he knows things are changing. Opportunities open up for an enterprising man of ambition.
Mash is lost in life, wanting nothing more than to find that perfect someone. Enter Officer Kate. When Mash comes to Kate’s rescue, saving her life, a roller coaster of emotion for both begins. As Kate wrestles with her own insecurities and personal trauma from such a violent close call she rejects Mash’s attention. Mash moves on with his life, finding direction after reading, Love Everlasting.
Gordon Libnezin is rumoured to have died years ago. However, the truth is Prairie Press Publishing, has been under his steady control since his own father passed on decades earlier. It’s set up perfectly to conduct business under monolithic policies that haven’t had to change since his family was fighting the Fuhrer. His propaganda press practically turned the course of the war as he tells it. Yet, old partners are long gone, and the industry doesn’t care much for legacy anymore. Just when he thinks the best is behind him, a new book by an old friend comes across his desk.
WARNING: SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT - Summary Of Story Ahead with critial plot reveals.
The Ministry of Justice starts activating old files searching for propaganda allies it discovers the successful war time collaboration with Prairie Press Publishing and asks for help forming a narrative to cover their partnership with the Assembly Of First Nations and the upcoming election. Gordon has the perfect solution. If they want to change public perception toward private jails to shore up support from the Ruling Party base then it needs to be a rehabilitation story involving a marginalized minority. By transferring the money directly through Indigenous and Northern Affairs they can run their own facilities and the revenue goes back to the tribe.
As a bi-product of social movements exploiting lack of internet regulations, There’s a massive devaluation of traditional long form content in favour of click bait inducing derivative work affectionately referred to as user generated content. More agencies and publishers are going under all the time. They can’t carry operational debt on dropping sales and previously negotiated royalties. Douglas & Porter keep the doors open by having low overhead and relying on Margo’s personal wealth during hard times.
Ministry of Finance responses to a continued economic downturn which a damning internal report connects to brain drain fuelling lack of talent incentive. Skilled jobs are disappearing while being replaced with unskilled options which generate less revenue and ancillary commerce. Immigration pressures brought on by corporations desperate for workers exasperates the problem. The Sitting Government considers Gordon’s Bill 17 which even the Ministry of Labour supports. A potential boost to local producers. Anything to soften the narrative for the Circle; ensuring reelection.
If it improves conditions for traditional authors, perhaps it could be a model for other forms of content as well through an expanded mandate which only re-election can secure. The narrow focus for now reduces the strength of the Opposition; keeping the interest fairly obscure and improves the odds of positive news leading up to the vote.
The Sitting Government tables the law stating any author will automatic share in revenue generated through ads or service fees where content is displayed or referenced in part or in whole. This applies to the Internet and commercial private networks as well. The Ministry of Finance spells out a tax structure for ad companies where revenue enters a tax pool based on a recommended formula and data analysis. Adjustments can be made later if required within a three year limit.
Several simultaneous publications from Prairie Press Publishing and its network re-enforce favour for the Sitting Government, touting its strong stance on crime through its Circle rehabilitation system and dedication to the arts through regulatory reforms. Though it pulls out all the tricks, the election is still quite close.
The Opposition readies its attack on the Sitting Government’s use of private jails and surrounds the police HQ with protesters when the government tables Bill 17 triggering a viral election issue derailing the narrative they’d spent so much money on already. To turn the narrative in Ruling Party’s favour, the private jails, operating openly on treaty land, get vocal support from band leaders for generating jobs and improving community conditions. Crime statistics seem to back up the claims of improvement.
After the violence inflicted on Jay Andrew by their “friends”, Carol and Max grow increasingly suspicious of the Sisterhood Of Womanly Concern and its source of funding sensing that online ads alone can’t explain their virulence. There has to be a connection to donations or a big donor. Something to explain how they have so much influence and operating capital. They discover a series of extortion videos rests at the centre of their power. A multi-campus scandal.
Margo and Gordon carefully crafts the profit spread and establishes Jay Andrew’ new work “Our Tribal Circles” a detailed expose on homeless issues and its connection to mental health in the indigenous community as the first work to be published directly under the new model. Past controversy finally pay off as royalties are generated every time his old works like Love Everlasting is mentioned. Pennies a page add up just like it used to for ad companies and their agitators. With a well funded effort, Our Tribal Circles takes off. Douglas & Porter attract new authors interested in traditional publishing again now that the “internet problem” seems to have been solved. Authors and other artists are encouraged to write confident they will benefit fairly for their contributions even if someone else republishes their work in part or whole without direct permission.
Not everyone benefits from the new regulations. The Sisterhood and other Social Justice Warriors notice the loss of income immediately. They become more aggravated as they helplessly watch their business model disappear and with it the interest of a fickle audience no longer able to promote themselves vicariously through their cause. The risk of escalating their less legal activity is too high, so other options are explored.
Threatened by the possibility the gravy train is ending, the Sisterhood allies with local unions to form the United Front. A consolidated option for millennials the world over who find themselves broke in their parents basements again, contemplating returning to school to complete their degrees in order to get jobs. By sending money to the United Front super PAC, the Opposition has a chance, the Sitting Government can be defeated and status quo returned.
Max investigates the Sisterhood’s old HQ on campus and discovers several compromising videos of professors with undercover chapters sisters. They have clearly been using such techniques to extort people for financial gain and political power on campus. Carol plots an economic response thanks to Margo’s advice while Max hires a student, Paul, to administer the Douglas & Porter website at Carol’s direction.
A local TV station revisits the campus attack story and reveals that Jay Andrew and other authors have made good money on royalties paid for ads on feminist websites who have been trying to leverage him for their own profit. The Sisterhood loyalists are determined to use the United Front to make the Sitting Government pay by supporting the Opposition in its bid to unseat the Ruling Party.
Jay Andrew’s latest book, “Our Tribal Circles” inspires Gordon’s plans for the Circle; a new movement of progressive policies tackling issues related to mental health and social crimes. The United Front struggles to find relevance as real issues start seeing funding again. Gordon masterfully ties the First Nations narrative into a new war on Mental Health vastly expanding the mandate of the private jail system into a more full service rehabilitation network.
The heavy influence of tribal elders has revealed effective techniques for handling all kinds of behavioural dysfunction, saving the Country billions in derivative expense. Job gains accelerate while reducing overall incarceration rates through practical re-sentencing which the Sitting Government approves as a measured process to transfer as many prisoners and mental health patients as possible to the Circle and its rapidly expanding network.
As election day arrives, Mash convinces Jay to host a BBQ. In the end Gordon tries to stop the shooter but he isn’t fast enough. Taller Two pulls the trigger on Jay Andrew in front of all the main characters. The bullets go wide but the first one hits Jay in the chest and the second one hits Mash in the shoulder. Jimmy takes the shooter down.
Officer Kate and Officer Robert respond to the call and arrive on the scene discovering Jay Andrew dead and Mash bleeding out. Kate finds herself in the position of saving Mash, as he had done for her. The emotional walls break down and Kate finally accepts her feelings for Mash. The ambulance arrives.
Detectives Chris and Frank arrive to arrest the shooter, one last bust before Frank retires.
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