Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Writing


I should've written my novel when I was young and arrogant and foolish.

I should've written my novel when I thought I knew how the world worked and I understood the evil that lurked in people's hearts.

I should've written my novel when I had the audacity.

In some ways, the Bush Administration (yes, I know... WTF? But hang in there with me, it'll tie in) has shaken me beyond belief, rattled my self-confidence in so many ways that whenever I start writing fiction, I question whether I can capture that je ne sais quoi factor that has so mystified me these past few years.

When Clinton was elected in 1993, there was a hope kindling in me that compassion towards your neighbor would once again be the hallmark of what makes an American. When Aaron Sorkin came out with the TV series, The West Wing in 1998 five years later, I felt that hope growing.

Not only was the series basically a fantasy of an ideal Clinton Administration, it was intelligent, compassionate AND popular! Yes, hope was in full bloom inside me.

And then... and then... America went and voted for this imbecile, George W. Bush.

My reaction was EXACTLY the same as my reaction to the re-hiring of Jeff George. WTF?!?

You see, I'd become a somewhat political junkie during the Clinton years and so I'd been keeping up with Time and Newsweek. And I knew that in the Bush family, the one being groomed for the Presidency, was Jeb, not Dubya. Dubya was the most charmiing of the fuck-ups, but fuck-up he was. Out of the four Bush brothers, Jeb was the shining star.

And yet, because Jeb wanted more experience at GOVERNING, he decided not to run in 2000. For some strange reason, McCain scared the Republican establishment. But with so much momentum behind McCain, only someone that had "name" quality could knock off McCain? So the Texas Republicans all stroked Dubya's ego and got him to throw in his hat.

Hardly anyone remembers this anymore. Hardly anyone remembers that when GWB's name was first floated in, the CW snickered collectively.

Surely the American public could see through this... I thought.

But those of us in the sane world, we didn't understand the indignation and ruthlessness of the ones who lost in the last two elections to Clinton. We saner people saw those events for what they were, elections in which the people dictated their will. Apparently, those who lost, saw defeat and humiliation. We apparently forced them to take this cool, jazz saxophone playing, pot-not-inhaling, womanizer as their president.

Well! If they had to accept Clinton, well then we had to accept this drinkin', cussin', good ol' boy Texan Oil Man who actually OWNED a team that was America's favorite past time. Every time we pointed out this man-child cheated, or was a bully, or a liar, or was illiterate, all we did was add to his cache.

The first time Bush was elected, I thought okay, they cheated to get their man in there - (Are you enjoying Karma, Katherine Harris?). But nothing too bad could happen, right?

I never expected America to collectively shit in its pants.

I never expected that America would EVER EVER EVER start a war pre-emptively. PERIOD. I was going to add, without cause, or without just cause... but then I realized, no. I NEVER thought America would publicly start a war pre-emptively. Oh yes, I didn't it put it past the CIA and U.S. government to start clandestine wars, but for the public to cry out for blood in Iraq?

I wonder if I can ever get my mind behind what's happened to America this past decade. I see pictures of Katrina's devastation and reminders of my government's abandonment of the poor whilst creating more and more poor with their destructive policies, and people STILL voting for them.

I just don't get it... and if I don't get it, how will I ever write fiction in a way that's true?

*sigh* I should've written my novel before 2000.

 
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