All posts by Michael Paul Gonzalez


In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m making my short story about a precocious band of elves available to you through the new year, right here!



Dear Santa,

I know most of your letters begin with proclamations like I have been very good this year. I haven’t been good. I’ve done good. Finally.

I hope you’re sitting down. I’m certain you weren’t expecting to find your home in such a state when you returned from the big run. You’re wondering not only what happened, but why. Please finish reading this letter before you survey the damage. It’s important that you understand all of this.

Sorry for all the blood.

We warned you. Every year, we asked you for an audience to air our grievances, and every year you pushed us harder. Every year, all we wanted was a chance to talk to you. You ignored us, and now the time for words has passed.

This year, you were upset that we were slow coming off the production line with the stuffed animals, and the paint on the action figures was taking too long to dry. We told you that we wanted the toys to be extra special for this run. We were finally taking pride in our craftsmanship, and you rolled your eyes at us.

Do you know what batrachotoxin is, Santa? How hard it is to cultivate and raise the frogs that produce it in this climate? How about polonium? We worked overtime to boil and bake and perfect these ingredients into a recipe that we’ve called Red Christmas. Do you know how long it takes to cure when it’s in liquid form? Do you know how carefully you have to place a weaponized aerosol version inside of a stuffed animal to avoid killing all of your fellow coworkers? We’ve never worked so hard.

Do you know what’s going to happen, what’s happening right now as boys and girls all around the world rush to their trees to tear into the boxes you’ve brought them? When they grab those trains, those video games, when they squeeze those stuffed bears so tight?

It starts as a light tickle in the throat and rapidly progresses to full anaphylactic shock. The throat constricts, eyes swell shut, hearts beat harder and harder until they explode.

Don’t rush out now. Don’t stop reading. Even if your reindeer were around to carry you (we’ll get to that in a moment), they couldn’t fly fast enough to prevent this because it’s already happening. The death toll is rising and the only thing moving faster than the Red Christmas Plague is the bad press you’re getting.

You’ve delivered this to the world. To all the good little children.

We didn’t do this to you. You did this to you.

You had generations to make this right. Hundreds, thousands of years to honor the treaty that you made with our people when you wandered into our lands all those years ago, snow-blind and half-starved. We fed you. We took you in. You tricked our ancestors with the bright promise of technology and medical advances in exchange for our help in your yearly quest for joy. It quickly became clear to us that you had no intention of helping anyone but yourself. You wanted to be the great white god of your own personal winter republic. Like so many dictators, you showed the world a much different face than the one revealed to those of us beneath your boot.

What drives a man to enchant our sacred deer and push them almost to death in a race around the globe every year? To bring tidings of joy and good cheer to every man, woman, and child on the planet while you meet us with whip and chain? You indoctrinated millions of young people around the world to your side, getting them hooked on your greed and false joy. And when we couldn’t produce quickly enough, you outsourced even more work onto the poor and starving peoples of emerging and overpopulated nations. Though we have never met our brothers and sisters, we hope that this small disruption can be the first step on their journey to freedom.

When you left this morning, you proudly said that this year’s run would be made in record time. You’d be back before Mrs. Claus could finish baking the dessert for your welcome home dinner. We didn’t allow her to leave the kitchen. If there was one person here that could exceed you in cruelty, it was her. You gave those of us too old to work, too broken down to be of service to you, you gave us to her. She would boil us, candy stripe our bones, bake our tiny children into gingerbread men and make their parents watch while you ate those cookies with her by the fire.

We take no joy in the deaths of the children around the world, but Mrs Claus, she was delicious. You will not find her remains. Her bones will be scattered after you leave, and you may never come back to visit her.

The surviving members of your reindeer team may take the pelts of their honored dead when they carry you away from here. We claim the rest as food to sustain us in the long months to come.

We have no worries about the world hating us for these acts, because we already know that the world doesn’t think twice about our plight. It no longer matters. You have much, much more to answer for now. Your march toward joy has been our march to genocide, and it ends tonight.

Really, we’ve done you a favor. You complain every year that fewer and fewer children believe in you.

They all believe in you now.

Young and old alike.

Those that are left.

May the endless suffering that is about to visit you serve as a reminder to all that this land is ours.

Merry Christmas, you narcissistic tyrant.

Yours in freedom,

Known in oppression as Twinkles

2017 Best of: The Podcast Edition

It’s the ending of another very busy year, so why not start putting out the top ten lists of everything? To be honest, this might be the only list I make, because I didn’t see that many movies, didn’t hear that much new music, didn’t get to read as much as I’d like, and instead was swamped by work on numerous projects (Like LARKSPUR UNDERGROUND, my serial audio horror drama available now on iTunes and Stitcher and wherever you listen to podcasts! – Yep, a cheap plug, but not as cheap as including myself on the list…)

As a motorcycle commuter in LA, I listen to a LOT of podcasts. Possibly too many.

I’m making this list as less of a “These are the greatest” and more of a “You should listen to these”. NOTE: I’m just listing podcasts I listened to this year, not necessarily podcasts that started this year. And with that, let’s get on with the show!





10. SOMETHING TO WRESTLE/THE ART OF WRESTLING – Okay so I’m already cheating. I love pro wrestling, although mostly of the vintage variety. Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson gives the inside stories from Prichard’s years with the WWF/E, and can be hilarious, insightful, and every once in a while kind of moving. Colt Cabana’s The Art of Wrestling tends to focus more on today’s stars, mostly those on the independent scene. You get  a peek into the lives of people who grind out a living by traveling the nation and putting on shows.

9. THE MONSTER HUNTERS. Oh my god. Oh my god, the day I discovered this podcast was the day I laughed like a man who laughs at humor. If you love British comedy, monsters, old 70s Hammer horror films or any combination of those, you MUST listen to this podcast. “Take a trip back to swinging London in the early 1970s and meet Roy Steel, ex – big game hunter, and Lorrimer Chesterfield, a brain in the shape of a man.” It also has one of the best theme songs ever.

8. TEN MINUTE PODCAST – MADTV’s Will Sasso originally created this podcast with fellow comedians Brian Callen and Chris D’Elia. When those two moved on, author Chad Kultgen and writer Tommy Blacha jumped aboard, taking the show into a more experimental direction. I normally would have put this into my honorable mentions section as I’ve been listening for years, but this fall Sasso announced the Diamonding had arrived, breaking the hearts of millions, or possibly thousands, as Ten Minute Podcast would be coming to an end.  The podcast will soon be going away (or rather GIVEN away! Should be interesting…). True Diamond Listeners will mourn with me as we say goodbye to Everybody’s Dad, The Christian Kings, Saw Raskavanitch, The nWo, Encroachment, Mary Stuart Foley, PALS the puppet, Shitty Hulk Hogan Commercials, BKJ, Shawna, Pete Sechelowski’s Wrestle Place, The Futility of Life… some amazing times.

7. STRANGLERS – A detailed breakdown of the case of the Boston Strangler (or Stranglers). It’s a fascinating study of the events surrounding the still-probably unsolved murders. The show details the victims and follows threads to try to get definitive answers on what really happened.

6. HYSTERIA 51 – Not just because I’ve been a guest on the show! Hosts John Goforth and Brent Hand and their drunken Conspiracy Bot have really upped their game with each new episode, improving on both production and general sound quality. Their Flat Earth Round Table brought a flurry of attention, and it’s worth a (frustrating) listen as they try to use reason to battle back against the anti-globe crowd. They’ve looked at serial killers, monsters, aliens, and other conspiracy theories, keeping it light, fast, and fun.

5. REVISIONIST HISTORY – Host Malcolm Gladwell investigates everything from sexism, racism, and political corruption to the injustice of the disappearance of McDonald’s original French Fries. Particularly interesting are his shows about philanthropy and how the rich tend to give the most to those who need it least, and “The Foot Soldier of Birmingham”, where he completely flips perceptions on a statue memorializing the civil rights movement and one of its most iconic images. You’ll laugh, you’ll get angry, but most of all you’ll THINK.

4. BRONZEVILLE – a spectacular audio drama born from a pilot that wasn’t picked up for TV. WHY WASN’T THIS PICKED UP?! An All-Star cast including Lawrence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Tracee Ellis Ross, Wood Harris, Lahmard Tate, Cory Hardict, Brittany Snow and Lance Reddick. it’s as close to a Hollywood Blockbuster as a podcast can get. Chicago, the 1940s, racial tension, mafia corruption, and a love story boiling underneath an intense gang rivalry. I want more!

3. EAR HUSTLE – brought to you from inside of San Quentin, Ear Hustle details the daily lives and struggles of prisoners in one of America’s most infamous facilities. Hosts Earlonne Woods (an inmate) & Nigel Poor (an artist from San Francisco) give you a look at the simple things we take for granted – choosing roommates, getting food, staying creative, making friends, and doing what it takes to get through the day.

2. YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS – Host Karina Longworth delves into the many, many rumors, stories, and fascinating lives and events of Hollywood’s first century. The most riveting mini-series might be Charlie Manson’s Hollywood, but there are also other great ones, including contrasting the lives of Bela Lugosi & Boris Karloff, Dead Blondes, and Hollywood during WWII.

1. THE SONGONAUTS – It’s a Pixar movie for your ears! Jonathan Mitchell and Johnathan Mann took one part Saturday morning cartoon and one part musical magic to create eight amazing episodes. If you remember the series Kidd Video (nobody does!), it’s about a group of indie musicians who get blasted into an alternate dimension called the Songoverse, where everything is made of music. There’s a lot of fun little in-jokes buried in the script for musicians. The soundscape they create is rich and full, and this might be one of the few podcasts you could jam on in the car while taking the kids to school and keep everybody happy.

Honorable Mentions: You should still hear these!

THE DANA GOULD HOUR -I’ve been listening to this show since day one. Always funny, always a fascinating middle piece. Find the show where they talk about Hollywood Death Scenes and bowels releasing and thank me later.

– Henry Rollins and long-suffering manager Heidi May recount the odd journeys and many people that Henry’s met along his path through life.

– Dan Carlin goes on deep (and I mean DEEEEP) dives into history. Most topics are 5 episodes long, and most of those episodes clock in at 3-4 hours apiece! If you’re on a road trip, download this show!

– An interesting audio drama about a government experiment gone wrong. Some Hollywood heavy hitters in there too!

– I always tell people to start here when they want audio dramas. They’ve finally announced season 2! If you like the X-Files, or Lost, or anything examining strange conspiracies, check this out.

– The Message is a classic audio drama about alien life finding us on earth and all of its implications. Life/After: what is artificial intelligence? Can the soul survive beyond death in the cloud? This drama examines a man’s life unraveling as his dead wife comes back to haunt him online.

– LA’s (or the world’s!) only reading series dedicated to Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror! Great guests and readers, and well worth a listen.

(season 1) – Lt. Joe Kenda’s voice is reason enough to listen, but the stories he’s accumulated from his years on the force will keep you riveted.

– the LA Times examined a bizarre crime I’d somehow never heard about. The initial episodes will leave you frustrated at people and their bad choices. The finale will blow your god-damned mind.


I’ve been hard at work on a few projects – some short stories and non-fiction pieces you’ll read about on Facebook when they go live, but I’m thrilled to announce the BIG new project: LARKSPUR UNDERGROUND!

I’ve been looking to get into audio drama, whether that was through recording my books or stories or launching something totally original. At the end of last year, DIRGE MAGAZINE launched a contest to add serialized fiction to their site. I sent in a story that was done in mixed media – podcast transcripts, blog posts, news journals, telling the story of a woman who survived a brutal serial killer.  They liked it enough that rather than serializing it, offered to launch it as an actual podcast.

Ultimately, they shifted directions and the project came back to me. Having Jinx Strange and Renee Pickup speak so highly of the project told me I was on to something good, so I’ve been hard at work ever since with a team of talents actors and one very kick-ass musician.

I’m the Producer, editor, writer, director, and whatever-needs-to-be-done for LARKSPUR UNDERGROUND.

The short synopsis:

In late January of 2014, the Colorado Sheriff’s Department investigated a call of a strange odor coming from a remote ranching compound outside of the tiny town of Larkspur, Colorado. Upon investigating, they uncovered a fallout shelter that had been converted into a brutal torture and murder facility. Over a dozen victims were found at the scene in various states of decay. While finishing the first day of investigations, one of the deputies was cataloging evidence near a body that was chained to a radiator. To his shock, the woman was still alive.

She became known as Jane Doe, the Larkspur Lady, the only survivor of what had been a two-year spree of murder and carnage by a man known only as The Scientist. After recovering in the hospital, she began to work with authorities to help them uncover as much about these crimes as possible in the hopes of bringing the Scientist to justice. Things took a strange turn when it was revealed that she had not only been his victim, but also an accomplice in several of the murders. She was quickly tried and convicted of manslaughter for her role in the crime.

Since that day, the Colorado Innocence Coalition has been working to free her. Podcast host Tara Bay has been with the Coalition since they took on the case. She is a tireless advocate for Jane Doe, seeing her as a woman who was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, an unwitting pawn in the hands of a madman. After months of work from a dedicated team of attorneys, Jane Doe won a new day in court. Her conviction will be overturned soon.

In conjunction with Plainview Public Radio, Tara Bay has created the show Larkspur Underground to present the life of Jane Doe. The media has had plenty to say about the presumed guilt or innocence of Jane Doe. Tara Bay has been there almost since the beginning, and is using her exclusive access to bring you the full story so that you can decide for yourself.

Go to the podcasts’s home page, where you can enter the world of the story, subscribe to listen on your favorite podcatcher, or interact with host Tara Bay via Twitter.

I’ve got a lot of big things planned for the podcast, and YOU can help! Subscribe so you don’t miss and episode, and if you like the show, leave us a review and some stars on iTunes (preferably five!). In the next few months, I’m going to try to launch a kickstarter with some cool perks to keep the lights on in the home studio and grow even more projects for your ears. That’s a whole separate blog post about the creation of the new studio: Radio Lost Angeles. One thing at a time though. For now, go, listen, enjoy!


Half Marathon time! THE PLAYLIST

I haven’t run a half marathon in quite a while, but tomorrow I’ll be doing the Disneyland Half. Should be an interesting run. The course takes us through teh park, then out through Anaheim. At some point we get to run through the Angels’ ballpark, and then back into Disney.

MORE IMPORTANTLY! I haven’t gotten to make a fun three hour playlist in a long time. The goal, of course, is to finish the race before I finish the playlist. I thought I’d share it all with you, with a few explanations along the way.

The rules for a good run:

  1. ALWAYS START WITH A WRESTLER’S ENTRANCE MUSIC. For me, every long run starts with Bonnie Lass of Fyvie, my favorite of Rowdy Roddy Piper’s entrance themes.
  2. Don’t make it all Jock Jams. Mix up the tempos, the style, the genre.
  3. Put some stupid stuff in there just to make yourself laugh. Running for more than two hours sucks.
  4. Try to put your finish line song before the end of your playlist. If you don’t finish when it plays… well, that’s when you add your power songs.
  5. If Freddie Mercury isn’t in your playlist, you’re doing it wrong.
  6. If Foxy Shazam isn’t in your playlist, you’re doing life wrong.
  7. Wish me luck!If you’re on spotify, I think most of the songs on my list are available:(Bonus: since this wasn’t on Spotify, I never miss a chance to share Here Comes Heroes.)

Good night, Bowie. Don’t forget to keep your head warm.

Blogging more in 2016 is one of my goals. It’s a shame that it has to start on this note…

I came to Bowie later in life. When I was a kid, I knew him for a few things – being Jareth, singing in a really cool Pepsi commercial with Tina Turner… Continue reading Good night, Bowie. Don’t forget to keep your head warm.