November 17th, 2003

Vote Six

"We're For Good Things, and Against Bad Things!"

I happened to spot a headline on The Washington Post on my way in this morning, which was something to the effect of "London Prepares For Protests on Bush Arrival" ... like this was somehow newsworthy. There are so many people protesting everything that it's like the Bodypolitic That Cried Wolf; nobody's listening any more. I suppose it makes the people doing the protests feel better, like somehow they've struck a blow for their version of Goodness and Light, whatever side of the political fence they sit on, but really all it is, is a very public and rather distasteful temper tantrum.

Aside from the more-effective method of contacting your representative personally (letters to congress have a lot more pull than people give them credit for, especially in large numbers), there is a process for getting your way in the political system ... it's called "voting" and/or "running for office." Trying to influence the government via protest is closer to trying for mob rule, and when the mob doesn't get its way (and/or the government stops listening to people making spectacles on the street, as it basically has), people start turning to riots and bomb-throwing to get attention. Color me unimpressed.

-The Gneech
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Thoughts on Writing

Every Autumn, my muse gets into "written word" mode. There is a particular type of story that I would like to write, a kind of quirky light modern fantasy thing along the lines of Dirk Gently or Harry Potter. Something along the lines of Cup of Coffee, but with a lighter touch ... maybe a cross between that and P.G. Wodehouse, say.

For a long time, I had in mind the character of "Michael Macbeth, Paranormal Consultant" for said project, but the problem was that beyond the almost-perfect short story "Stray Cat Strut," I never managed to come up with another story about him. Not for lack of trying! I've got about 100,000 words of notes, abortive rough drafts, character studies, and so forth ... but no solid plots.

Recently, I decided to take up the Word Processor and try again, and started rereading some of the stuff I had come up with about Michael ... and the character had become a stranger to me. I don't think I can use him in his original conception now ... I've lost my interest in the bagpipes, and my nostalgia for Richmond has been tempered by the way the city has morphed in the past few years. Those two components are important elements of Michael's chemistry, and with both of them being out of whack, the whole character is thrown off his stride.

So now, I'm looking for what to do next. I have toyed with the idea of a written incarnation of NeverNever, probably as a kids' book ... but so far that's just a brainstorming notion. Not sure if I could pull it off.

-The Gneech
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