In 2001-2007, I wrote a weekly column that appeared in several newspapers in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. The following piece was a newspaper column published in May of 2005.
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An Octagonal Peg
My great, great, great grandfather came to America from Sweden and settled in Minnesota among the mosquitoes and Chippewa Indians. His surname was Bergqvist. Since most people in the new land had trouble spelling his name, he changed it to Burquest. It didn't do much good though, almost everyone still misspells it.
To my knowledge, everyone named Burquest in America is somehow related to me. My grandfather's brother's son (second cousin?) is named Bret Burquest. My parents, short on originality, thought it was a neat name and gave it to me. The other Bret Burquest is a psychiatrist who resides in North Carolina.
I did an Internet search on my name and found it on 208 websites. About 70 of them are related to Bret the psychiatrist; the rest refer to me. If there's a third Bret Burquest out there somewhere, he's keeping it a secret.
When my four novels were published five years ago, they were listed on amazon.com. Now they're for sale on dozens of websites. Unfortunately, no one reads novels anymore – they're too busy surfing the Internet.
However, the most interesting discovery about tracking my name on the Web was finding some of my newspaper columns reproduced on other websites. Obviously, certain individuals have found my columns on the website for The News (areawidenews.com) and copied/pasted them elsewhere. I started writing weekly columns in February of 2001 – a total of 230 so far. About half of them are now archived on the newspaper website.
In May of 2004, I wrote a column titled Conspiracies in High Places about the connection between the sighting of flying saucers in Washington State in 1947 and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. This column has been reproduced on many websites, including Wiccanweb.ca (a site supporting Wicca beliefs which include the religion of witchcraft) and VirtuallyStrange.net (a site that includes the latest UFO sightings).
In June of 2004, I wrote a column titled Bilderbergers and Hackensackers detailing the recent meetings of an organization called the Bilderberg Group which is made up of the most influential and wealthiest people on the planet who meet secretly every year to manipulate the world into a one-world governmental system. My column appears on bilderberger.org and other websites that monitor the activities of this nefarious organization.
In September of 2004, I wrote three columns leading up to the 2004 presidential election where I encouraged consideration for third-party candidates. Portions of these columns appeared on various political websites that included feedback from readers. Referring to the author of the column (me), a respondent on badnarik.org, the official site for the Libertarian Party candidate, wrote, "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The round pegs in square holes. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius." Very perceptive indeed, however I'm more like an octagonal peg in a trapezoidal hole.
In October of 2004, one week before the presidential election, I wrote a column titled Bonesmen and Barbarians about a secret society at Yale University called "Skull and Bones" where George Bush and John Kerry, the two major presidential candidates, each had been selected for membership. It seems our choice for leader of the free world was between two rich guys who belonged to a cult of devil worshippers.
In December of 2004, I wrote a column titled Albert Pike chronicling the life of the infamous Civil War general and supreme leader of the freemasonry movement in the United States. The column is displayed on freemasonrywatch.org, an impressive website that apparently attempts to expose freemasonry as evil.
It's flattering to learn that strangers find my column interesting enough to reproduce them on other websites, even if they skew my ramblings to fit their own point of view. My scattered thoughts and words of wisdom will now be floating around on the Internet in perpetuity, or until we run out of electricity, whichever comes first.
Pushing the human race forward is a heavy task but someone has to do it.
Quote for the Day -- “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." H.L. Mencken
Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where life is what happens when you can't sleep.