(with apologies to Harlan Ellison)
I was about to go off the reservation with my blog.
In creating this blog my chief intention was to use it to help myself with my daily writing process, while making connections with other writers who might be going through some of the same struggles. Since then, however, I have strayed into movie reviews and a few other topics that struck my fancy.
But the last few days I’ve been tempted to really go off the deep end and blog about one of the two topics I never talk about at work– politics (the other topic is religion, which means that in some company I am left totally speechless)– in particular, the current three-ring-circus/inexplicable dumb-show/unbelievable cluster-fuck known as the US government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling crisis. There are times when it is just embarrassing to be an American. You find yourself wishing for a comparatively effective parliamentary system, like, say, Liechtenstein’s. This is one of those times.
But I suck at writing about politics. I mean it. I’ve tried it before in a couple of different venues and I always come off sounding like a pompous bloviator– and God knows we don’t need more of those right now. I can do fiction, but current events, uh-uh.
Besides, other people have already basically said what I would have said, only better. This is Bill Moyers from October 4th–
“Secession by another means” about sums it up.
So I’m going to leave the current political train-wreck alone. Suffice to say we live in interesting times, when I’d much rather be living in some quiet Golden Age. The only problem with our stupidity is that it ripples out to affect the entire world.
Now, as a writer of fiction, I have thought that I should be trying to express myself on this subject through stories. I have written one novella that relates to what is essentially the ongoing breakdown of American democracy, but it has gone basically unsold (I guess people find the topic off-putting). I have in mind a couple of ideas for novels, but they are far, far back in my project queue. Part of the problem is that I have a feeling that the different sides have become so polarized that they essentially stopped listening to each other years ago. I doubt any fiction right now would change anyone’s mind.
It leaves me depressed, and I wonder what’s going to happen next.