Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Writing in November 2015

1.  I would never make a journalist.  I can't write the way journalists are expected to write (if I can write at all).  All interesting interviews or long articles in politics weave the ideas into a story with trees, sunrises, hard beds, the smell of exotic cooking, openings which set you into a place and time and which flavor what's to come.

I can't do that.  I dive straight into the swimming pool of ideas and chase them (or they chase me).  That's boring, antiseptic and smells of chloride.  So I tried to do an imaginary interview article with some wingnut governor at his mansion:

There is a sun in the sky, there are trees.  They are vertical.  There is a building with a door and a parking area for my ancient car.  My hands are gripping the worn steering wheel, my cheaply-shod feet walk up the stairs to the office of the governor.  He wears silk pants, his belt has a golden NRA buckle,  dandruff lies gently on his shoulders.  He has eyes and they are aimed at me.  Other people come and go, speaking of Donald Trumpo, with automatic weapons hanging off their belts.

You see, my hands and my feet are in the story to keep me in the story but peripheral,  and to focus on the pants and the belt buckle and the hairy backs of the hands of the governor (not yet mentioned above) is to make him central, to cast a harsh light on him.  All that is to prepare you so that you are ready to dislike his ideas, whatever they might be.  The hint of my ancient car (he can vote!) is to make you side with the poor (i.e. me, though goddesses of course are not poor).  All that can be reversed if you wish to write on the side of the capitalists or fundamentalists or whatever.

2.  The innocence of my archives twelve years ago!  I want that innocence back, that time when writing didn't make me feel that I was hanging my laundry out to dry so that all neighbors could come with magnifying classes to see if the underwear has any stains on it, to see if the shirts have been laundered too many times, to assess the cheapness of my clothes, and the number of rips and tear they have.

The past always looks more innocent, of course, and I'm sure that most people simply admire the astonishing cleanness of my drying laundry!  So.

3.  Sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving.  It is an abomination:  A turnip hiding in a dessert dish.  I always eat only the edges of sweet potato pies, even though doing so is extremely uncouth.  But serving turnip-wannabes instead of chocolate cake is a real crime in my books.  I don't care how traditional it might be.  Stoning people is also traditional and also utterly loathsome.