Skip to main content

You Want It Darker

That Leonard Cohen passed away yesterday is a terrible shame. He was a singular talent and a true artist. I also can't think of a single voice more appropriate for the times we've entered. Still, it would be worth your time to give his last album (released only a couple of weeks ago) a listen. Bleak, soulful stuff.

At the moment I'm still of the mind there is no hope beyond hope itself. In my last post I suggested resisting everything. That's, more or less, where I still am. I think we need time to think of an appropriate and humane and elegant approach to the challenge of Trump's America. I think we need to grapple with this loss and investigate its causes and repercussions. The last thing I think we should be doing is simply fold up and let Trump, Ryan, Gingrich, and the rest of the deplorables have their way with this country.

So, do what you can.

If your way of refusing is signing a petition, do it. It can't hurt.

If your way of helping is joining on the conversation about remaking the Democratic Party or the Greens or any other force for Progress, I think you should. Argue passionately and don't accept convenient excuses or pleas for calm.

If you are an activist, go active. Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of tyrants like millions of people in the streets.

If you want to help people, find ways of supporting those most at risk to the new administration: women, people of  color, friends in the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, muslims, or simply people that have managed to attract Trump's ire.

If you are a politician that survived the Great Purge, resist, filler buster, reject, and refuse to budge. Be prepared for loss after loss. The Republicans in 2009 were more than happy to obstruct in the face of the gravest economic collapse since the Great Depression despite set back after set back. The least we can do is return the favor.

As for me, I'm going to continue doing what I do. I teach and I write. I'm not going to suddenly start teaching what a mistake this country made. I am going to help as many students I can be successful. The more young people there are empowered to dream, the better this country will be.

I am not going to suddenly become political in my writing, either. Writing, for me, is about expanding the range of human experiences available to an individual. I think there is an inherently progressive dimension to speculative art, but it is not my role as a writer to tell you what to think.

I might suggest though a few things to consider. It's up to you to decide if they're worth your time. I'll write them regardless.

***

With that in mind, I do have a new chapter of "Agent Shield and Spaceman," available for reading. Thank you for your continued support.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Writing Horror

I'm wary offering advice to other writers. 

First of all I've got the whole imposter syndrome thing and whatever advice I give feels like a good way of revealing how little I know about anything. Second, what I've learned mostly relates to solving problems in my own writing. What advice does a dog have to offer to a duck on how to swim? 
However, for Arisia 2018, I'll be participating on a panel of doing just that - giving advice to aspiring horror writers about writing horror.

So, what truths can I impart?

Some advice feels absolutely true, if a bit self-evident.

You must read. If you're trying to write horror then you must read horror. Not just one novel. Not just one author. You should make a sincere effort to read everything by everyone. The more recent the better. The classics are always going to be there, but if you want a sense of where your stories could fit, you need to see what is being published out there.

You must write. I do not think you have to write …

Reading Response to "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Reader Response to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Morgan Crooks I once heard Flannery O’Connor’s work introduced as a project to describe a world denied God’s grace. This critic of O’Connor’s work meant the Christian idea that a person’s misdeeds, mistakes, and sins could be sponged away by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice at Crucifixion. The setting of her stories often seem to be monstrous distortions of the real world. These are stories where con men steal prosthetic limbs, hired labor abandons mute brides in rest stops, and bizarre, often disastrous advice is imparted.  O’Connor herself said of this reputation for writing ‘grotesque’ stories that ‘anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.’ This is both a witty observation and a piece of advice while reading O’Connor’s work. These are stories about pain and lies and ugliness. The brutality that happens to characters …

We Have Always Lived in Haunted Houses

As my final pre-Arisia post, I'd like to tackle ghosts. Metaphorically, of course, because ghosts are intangible and also don't exist. 


I don't believe in ghosts. Not the sort of ghosts, anyway, that float around decaying old mansions or scare impressionable media personalities. Physics, at least the way I've grown up understanding it, precludes the existence of energy that cannot be detected reliably. Put another way, physicist Brian Cox stated that if ghosts existed the Large Hadron Collider would have almost certainly found one by now.

So, when I say I'm a fan of ghost stories and tales of haunted houses, am I being hypocritical? Possibly, but I also think one can appreciate ghosts and haunted houses in a different way. Even though they might not exist in a 'peer-reviewed' and 'experimentally replicable' fashion, phantoms absolutely exist as a potent symbol of the past.

When we talk about ghosts what we're really talking about is that annoying…