A blog about writing and all things story…
This blog is about storytelling – well, this is a hum-dinger;
A few months ago, a man named Greg Faull was found murdered in the tropical paradise of Belize, but nobody’s interested in his story; instead they’re fascinated by the bizarre story of his famous neighbor, and ‘party of interest’ in his murder, JohnMcAfee (Antivirus Tycoon).
After a whirlwind of conspiracy theories, border crossings, incarcerations, fake heart attacks and so on, JM landed in my hometown, Portland Oregon – a long way from Belize.
Enter, my brother Clark Kohanek, a screenwriter who recently left cranky LA in his rear view mirror and moved back to our friendly albeit quirky
hometown to finish a film, and who was just recently asked by John McAfee (JM) to write his screenplay.
Clark meets frequently with JM in Portland hotels, coffee shops and other clandestine locals to amass his story. A story that by many accounts, is erratic, difficult to believe and so far out there that nearly everyone older than a 16 year old boy (his target audience) thinks JM has permanent brain damage from years on drugs, or he’s had a psychotic break. There are numerous other opinions; I have just narrowed it down to the two most repeated.
However, Clark’s opinion differs greatly.
Clark went into the situation guarded, but has come to like and respect JM. I think he meets with a very different man when cameras are not rolling. He tells me JM is kind, considerate, respectful, funny and so youthful it is hard to believe his age. So, did JM find the fountain of youth somewhere in that Belizean jungle? Is it his ‘connection’ with all his young (teenage) girlfriends? Because let’s face it, if he can live, eat, sleep and run through the jungle and from the law with several teens he’s got a lot more energy than I do and I’m 20 years younger.
Truth or editing?
Based on what (little) I hear from Clark I can’t help but assume JM is half show and half controlling and manipulating the media because he knows who his target audience is, how to reach them, what gets them excited and anxious for more. Hell, that’s just good marketing. Check out his blog at Who is McAfee.
On the other hand, he just may be an aging, paranoid, delusional narcissist with brain damage – hard to tell. So, is JM using the media or is the media using him? I think it’s a mutual dance that’s about as healthy as Pentecostal serpent handling, but what do I know. We will see whose left standing, or laughing all the way to the bank, when the dust settles.
It is also possible Clark sees a different man when they meet because Clark is a chivalrous, courteous, and honorable man who seeks to understand human behavior, and to recognize and honor the wounds of others. Above all, Clark always brings the best behavior out in others. And that’s not big-sis-speak, anyone who knows him will say the same.
Either way, JM’s an interesting man/story and my brother is the guy to uncover that story, and I mean uncover; peel back the jungle, the years of drugs, the narcissism, the paranoia, the losses, the gains, and the many lives of JM to find the core story. It’s what Clark does, and he does it well. Clark tells me it’s an opportunity to tell an unbelievable story, with unbelievable characters and experiences. And Clark has the skills to rise to that occasion. He says it’s ending up to be, “James Bond meets Scarface with a little bit of Indiana Jones.” Now that’s a story!
|Clark, JM, BBC Reporter|
How the press often works: In this BBC interview after an extensive interview the interviewer mentions only Clark’s trilogy, The blood of Angels, instead of the other numerous projects Clark has worked on in an attempt to slant the impression of Clark, and discredit him as someone who only works on supernatural stories about “gypsies and circus magicians who battle for the fate of humanity.” And because I used to be in charge of doing press interviews for a major corporation and because of the many times I was misquoted, my words twisted and turned, and me made out to be saying the opposite of what I actually said, I too, don’t trust the press to give us the whole truth.
So, that leads me to wonder; is this as big government conspiracy like JM says? Is John McAfee a crazy, delusional liar, or is he telling the truth and the press is twisting it all into headline banter???? Has he lived his life so big, so on the edge of what most consider normal that he’s irresistible to the media? Or is he really good at dealing with the media and headed for Hollywood? After all, truth is often stranger than fiction.
I’ll keep you posted when I can. Clark swears me to secrecy and
often says, “I’m not at liberty to divulge that information” – even
when I pull out the heavy artillery and say, “But I’m your sister” – I get nothin’, nadda, zip! That’s the problem with gentleman, they know how to keep secrets.
BTW since there is still the issue of Gregg Faull, it’s worth mentioning that in regard to the forgotten victim, JM has offered a reward of $25,000 (in Belize currency) to anyone who can conclusively identify Mr. Faull’s killer.
Not that I think any of my readers can, but hey, some of you travel a lot and may have heard something. Ha!
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By Miri Elm
(re)Living History, with occasional attempts at humor and the rare pot-luck subject. Sorry, it's BYOB. All I have is Hamm's.
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