Never Taken Alive Now I don't know if you know this or not, but the United States Marine Corps has an actual division dedicated to subverting content seen on the internet. Yeah. No word of a lie. My good mate Rob Black told me this useful piece of information only the other day, whilst penetrating a cabbage with a ten foot hippo. Allegedly.

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KPIX 5 1) What are your own origins, Rob? Plus what path did you take in life before you got to where you are today?   I was born and raised in Northern California. My Father was a Radio and Television engineer, and worked for KMEL106 FM and CBS affiliate KPIX 5 in San Franciso for most of my youth.

At a young age, I started to assist him on 'Remotes', which is when a radio station sets up a PA system in a public place or an event and promotes the radio station with music, swag, and celebrity appearances. I was fortunate enough to meet a plethora of stars who now are footnotes on VH1's 'I Love The 90's', like MC Hammer and Boyz to Men. CBS and the yearly marathon 'Bay To Breakers' was better. David Letterman is the only name that comes to mind.

My mother, however, was a stay at home mom, but she had an interesting family, a family of Marines one of which was my great uncle H.C. Westermann, who is a fairly famous Artist and sculptor in certain circles. 

Marine Corps
2) How did your ‘Never Taken Alive’ blogsite come about? It’s ‘secret origin’ as it were.   I left the Marines after working with another unit that reported to civilians, followed by working for them directly. During the training I messed up big time, and was mustered out. I was compensated, and was offered a unique opportunity. An 'Officer' -- or civilian equal -- saw some of the writing I did while still in the Marine Corps.  I accepted his offer, and now I write as part of a loosely confederated group of other people.

The only requirement is to propagate at least a minimal amount of misinformation across the internet, to confound foreign groups trolling for certain keywords. By say, inserting the words "NOFORN" (No foreign disclosure) or "CNWDI" (Critical Nuclear Weapon Design Information) and mixing it with fiction or semi-autobiographical stories of important people. I was struggling with it for a while, particularly when I had an addiction that I didn't beat until last year. During that addiction, I heard a warped audio clip of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team playing a match very, very fast.

I became obsessed with a sport played by people who all possessed "Super-speed," and realized the DC Comics Character -- 'The Flash' -- was the only character that could service the role, and rebooted the origin story and wrote a spec script.

It was a mess. But since beating my addiction I have revisited it, and it is getting a decent amount of buzz on the internet, and is a fun side project either way. What's important, though, is that I've found my voice with a project called "Siege," which is about a stand off between the US Marines and the US Army that changes the course of history. I really enjoy writing it.

Hunter S. Thompson
3) In five words or less, how would you describe your style of writing?   'Twisted Perspective; A Tad Gonzo'. As in the writing style of Hunter S. Thompson who, coined the phrase with his works, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', "Gonzo" meaning exaggerated view and self insertion in your own stories.

Fun Fact: Jim Henson named a muppet after Hunter S Thompson. Can you guess which one? That's right. Gonzo! Who's nose was originally bent upward, to resemble an erect phallus.

4) What theme tune taken from pop culture would you assign to your style?   Eric Lynn Wright -- aka Eazy-E and N.W.A. -- play a pivotal role. In fact, the song 'Gangsta, Gangsta', off the album, 'Straight Outta Compton', is used as a misdirect by the Marines to confuse the Army; and continues to play throughout the remainder of the story. So, I'm going to nominate that song, and the entire album, as the tune for 'Siege'. Everything else would be the song 'Civilization' by Justice.

5) If you could get a celebrity -- either living or dead -- to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Eric Wright, also known as Eazy-E. He is my 'mental cellmate'. When I came back from the war I heard NWA for the first time. I heard OF them as a youth -- agreed --  but I never heard their songs, uncensored, and in their entirety.

I noticed a few things. For starters, each of the first four tracks have a marching tempo. Seriously, try it. Unlike hip hop of today, of lets say Lil Wayne (I'm a big fan of his) NWA allowed me to formulate this twisted world; by closing my eyes and seeing Marines marching to the rhythm of songs that were, in fact, desperate pleas of four young black men to the American public.

 "When something happens in South Central Los Angles, nothing happens. It's just another nigger dead"

That's a quote from Ice Cube off the extended version of the title track. When I was a kid I saw Eazy with a pistol on the album cover and thought 'That's pretentious'. But when I came back from the war I saw a Paramilitary Operations Team. Dre, Ren, Yella, Ice Cube and Eazy were 5 young black men, thrust into a war they didn't sign up for.

FlashLastly, Eazy would say...

'I don't smoke crack or run with gangs. I just sleep with ladies and be Eazy'

 When I did my research I learned that he died from AIDS. A sexually transmitted disease. I cried. I cried every time he says in the song 'Gangsta Gansta': "I'm talking to you [women]/ We want to fuck you eazy! [Eazy] I want to fuck you too!". He died from having to much free love. He's been with me ever since; my mental cellmate in my own mind.

6) Taking into consideration your previous answer, what would you say you've learnt the most from being a writer?   People are morons. They don't know with good entertainment a little effort goes a long way. Instead, they scan anything with more than three words and no 'lolcats' looking for continuity errors or grammatical mistakes. However, it's worth it when you find just one person who gets it.

7) If your had a motto, what do you think it would be?   'Never Taken Alive', is a terrible motto in the context of an actual armed conflict. However, it's catchy and I'm sticking to it. Never Taken Alive dot com!

8) Anything else you'd like to mention, Rob?   Yeah. I update a Flash related facebook page daily, and offer a chance to win a $15.00 iTunes gift card for participation in certain posts at least once a week. Also, when you're readers have the time, it'd be great if they check out my Never Taken Alive Introduction, my prelude to 'Siege', plus a heavy handed statement on recent government shutdown, 'Barack's Boner Birthday'.

Go on. You heard the man. Eyes front. Fingers at the ready. And prepare to click on his website, his facebook, and his twitter pages. Go! Go! Go! Go!

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