“The world had gone to shit in an instant, and Jim Depich snarled as he pulled his Ford Bronco onto Route 376, his gut frayed from stress, wanting nothing more than to vent to anyone willing to listen,” Andy Lazris writes in his new book, January 6th and the Millennial Horde. “…(Jim) believed in choice, he said; representing a Western Pennsylvania district as a rare Democrat, he had to tread the line between libertarianism and social responsibility. So, he said to his constituents, he would wear the mask, in the car, even in his toilet, for Christ’s sake, because he wanted this thing to go away, and he believed that you couldn’t be too careful. But never would he force others to do the same.

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Jim took it upon himself to show how to be a good citizen but not coerce others to follow his path. As always, he led by example and by science.” So begins both a rollicking good yarn, and an interesting, simultaneous meditation on another Covid-related event that shook our democracy to our core. When I read Mr. Lazris’ opening description of the character of Jim, under a chapter heading grimly titled Deepening Crisis: January 3, 2021, I felt like I was reading about an incarnation of Lazris himself. He has made it no secret that his writing is deeply personal. All of Lazris’ books are reflective of the man’s own, evolving philosophy – coupled with his background as a doctor, and his disillusionment on injustices related to the upheavals caused by Covid-19. “As the great philosopher Agamben said, our leaders and doctors took our lives away under the premise of saving them; they took our freedom away under the illusion of saving democracy. And none of the vitriol, falsehoods, and scientific butchery has yet to be completely undone.

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The thick air of COVID’s maleficence remains with us and has transformed liberalism and science into their binary enemies, air so porous and toxic that not even their magical masks can block it,” he has stated. “…people, educated but clearly not smart, (became) hypnotized by a narrative that bewitched them and flicked off the critical thinking and humanistic switches in their brains…(they) became…Joes of Man in the High Castle, the anti-Semites of Phillip Roth’s book, the progressive good-doers when times are good and Nazi-like sycophants happy to destroy society in the name of a myth during the era of COVID. They are Edith Keeler, good people at the wrong time, whose purported single-minded purity did more damage to the world than January sixth ever could. It is this phenomenon that triggered my desire to write this book.”

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Whether or not you agree with the nature of the aforementioned statements, there’s no denying the passion Lazris has is infectious. January 6th and the Millennial Horde instantly pulls you in. There’s never a sense of narrative or even ideological slack. Everything is tightly wound, all coiled up like a spring, maintaining a sense of tension that strangles you in a psychological vice. The result is something that, provided you have an open mind and a willingness to hear, entertains, thought-provokes, and even can enrage (in a good way).

Garth Thomas