What’s John protecting these things from? Authority. With the capital A. These are stories about what authority does to people. about the poison in its foundations. You can substitute Authority for Government, for the Establishment, even for God, and it all means the same thing: someone exerting control they did not earn and do not deserve, grinding lives into sh-t largely because they feel like it. This is what Garth and Steve found the anger, in people using our fear on us, locking us in the black iron prison of mediocrity and ignorance.
Saving this as it’s a theme I want to come back to. Themes of power and the abuse of power have always interested me and tend to find their way into my writing in one form or another.