Mike Harvkey will debut his novel, In the Course of Human Events, Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at Bookbug in Kalamazoo along with friend and author Josh Weil. Harvkey's book is about a 20-something man named Clyde Twitty living in the Midwest in the shadow of an economic recession.
When he meets charismatic karate teacher Jay Smalls, Clyde begins to feel like he has more control over his life. But there's a dark side to Jay's teachings and soon we see Clyde drifting into radical, anti-government extremism.
Real Life Experience with 'The Militia'
Harvkey grew up in a small town in Northwest Missouri and knew a couple of people who would slip into this anti-government extremism from time to time. Harvkey says one of his closest friends was heavily impacted by a book called Behold A Pale Horse. The book warned of things like the repeal of second amendment rights (gun ownership) and that every U.S. citizen would one day be tracked by bar codes on their skin. Harvkey says one conversation about this book lead to Harvkey's friend pointing his new handgun toward Harvkey's head. Harvkey says situations like this sparked his interest in how a book or a pamphlet can lead to extremism.
Control and the Key to Happiness
Harvkey says that, as humans, we either want control or to be controlled. He says being controlled is often the easier way to live because everything is taken care of for you. Harvkey has a black belt in karate. And he says, even as a teen, he saw how martial arts could be used at its worst to direct students to the teacher's own ideologies.
What Freedom Means
Harvkey says, for him, freedom means having the time to pursue whatever interests you want to do. He says we all have to work, but we have lost some of that free time we had a generation ago - for fishing, reading, spending time with our kids. Harvkey says with all of the technology at our fingertips, even sitting in silence is sometimes off limits.