Politics and the Writer

Given the current political climate and the incredible and unbelievable news out of Washington, D.C., it's been just about impossible to write fiction. I mean, really, life is just a huge novel at the moment - not a very good one, but incredibly scary at the same time. I can't help but see Trump everywhere I look. Saw the Napoleon exhibit at the Virginia Museum, and all I could think was, "Trump before there was a Trump. Egomaniacal, chauvinist, narcissistic, self-aggrandizing little jerk - could apply to either the Little Corporal or the Orange One." Didn't really enjoy the museum, given the depressing similarities to Napoleon and Trump. Though Napoleon sure made sure his syncopants were splendidly dressed!

Garrett Epps, originally a Richmonder, wrote the ultimate political novel, THE SHAD PLANKING, many many years ago as a grad student in creative writing at Hollins College. Henry Howell's campaign was the backbone of the book. I've never forgotten the scary shenanigans he described in the novel, and it's terrifying to think it's only gotten worse in the years since its publication. Why anyone would want to subject him or herself to the political machinery is beyond me. They must have a strong masochistic streak is the only explanation I can swallow. Doing good stuff for God and country can take many forms, most of which don't try to destroy a candidate all in the name of winning. Remember the rumors about John McCain's black child circulated in South Carolina during the 2000 primary? His adopted daughter from Bangladesh became a political hot potato that led to her father's primary loss in the still racially divided South. 

All of which goes to show how my mind is twirling these days - down the primrose path of politics, and it's ain't good, folks. Not good at all. I need my fictional world where I control the characters and good guys win, albeit after a hard time. And the bad guys take their sleazy comb overs off into the sunset.