Princeton’s Epitaph to Democracy

weathy toys small

The Luxury Yacht  Karma

That Princeton Study says the elite having captured the political process going back all the way to the 1980’s. The powerful have ended democracy in the USA. The novelist is always looking for a working model of the world. Billionaires, corporate titans and their paid operatives are running riot now. This is the paid for crowd. Fox Television isn’t a political ideological operation it is an oligarchic operation. Lower taxes, less regulation and free trade isn’t a consensus economic perspective, it is an elite belief system. Privatization of everything isn’t always the way to go. Our water systems, prisons, and national security agencies are best left in the public sector. Do we really want Wall Street setting our water rates? Do we want incarceration rates set by judges drumming up more business for privately held prisons?

Creating narrative is fun. Down at the personal level, human to human, a multitude of interesting storylines can be developed. But, if we really don’t have a democracy it means the fish are no longer swimming in the same ocean that Steinbeck or Sinclair Lewis imagined. I give a lot of thought to Buddhism’s model of mind. I don’t find dreams or childhood trauma always helpful in development of a character. Similarly whether we like it or not capitalism or some mutant ascendant version of some form of economics has escaped from the regulations used to constrain its most vile tendencies and here we are left to wonder when the next shoe is about to drop. I am pondering a narrative set in the wine country, and a man who makes wine being chased around the valley by a super wealthy woman. As he explains to her, “I can’t make love to you. It would be like going to bed with Lloyd Blankfein in drag…”

Trouble in Nevada

Fletch's cabin small

Hot Spring Honeymoon

Just Enough Trouble to Call it Fun

Life imitates art. The recent standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and Clive Bundy is a more radicalized version of the politics I hinted at in Hot Spring Honeymoon. The free grazer movement depends upon more magical thinking than my character Garrett Harwood. My character is more or less disposed to free trade, less regulation and lower taxes. He’s a privatizer type and wants everything left to the private sector. He’s plenty angry but he influences things by means other than at the end of the barrel of a gun. I’m heartened by what I’ve heard on talk radio shows. Most folk as I’d anticipated prefer to see their community remain whole and healthy. People want their freedom but they’d prefer working from within the law. Garrett Harwood is a businessman and his temper while hot runs more or less to the civilized side of the road. He is not a secessionist and not a member of a militia. We do have a bulldozer in the book. There is also talk of “second amendment remedies,” but for reasons of comedy my villain only needed to quarrel and fistfight. I wanted a more nuanced conflict than this latest headline would allow. I prefer a man that still believes in democracy and capitalism. Once you draw down to the level of wanting everything your way and not any other way you have left the room of reason and are floating around a few French fries short of a happy meal…


 

Available Now click on picture 

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover

“Bachelor scared of his own shadow,” Sharlene said, “makes love like the executioner’s waiting for him at sunrise and we’re his last meal.”

Slaphappy brains

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“I drove up Pipe Dream Mountain today,” Glenna said, “took the road up to Fletcher’s mine, and turns out I have a lot more feelings for that man than I knew.”

Hazel burst out, “For the love of tequila and sagebrush, we have all lost our slaphappy brains.”

Hazel walked toward her car, she turned and shouted, “Let’s get to work here, I’m sick and tired of men ruining our lives, every time I look up, I got a man looking down my blouse trying to get his hands on my phone number.”

Walking into the New Year

???????????????????????????????Hawaii for the last two weeks. Editing and organizing all sorts of various details to this journey in publishing and authoring. Here a steep footpath up the side of a North Shore O’ahu trail for purposes of self-revival. Hot Spring Honeymoon’s manuscript is on schedule. We’ve been working on three elements: first physical descriptions of characters, second physical descriptions of the town the story is set in and last cognitive and dialogue clues to the state of mind of our most important lover. Because so much effort has been put into the comedy I have tried to not dilute this aspect of the novel in favor of more narrative or description. I’ve tried to remain bare boned and fast paced. It is a tricky balancing act. Ultimate proofing of such an approach is how many can access the book, start and stay with it and finish.

Here at the end of 2013 I could not be more satisfied with the journey. It has been amazing.

 

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow…

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You say you want a revolution

The long term fallout to the disaster known as the global financial crisis is playing out on the right sided spectrum of the political scene. Economic anxiety translates into a turbulent, unpredictable, heated voiced, violence prone mob rule. Let’s go first to a little nugget from Andrew Sullivan. (for those not in the know, he is a gay conservative, if that is even possible.)

“In other words, this is not just a cold civil war. It is also a religious war – between fundamentalism and faith, between totalism and tradition, between certainty and reasoned doubt. It may need to burn itself out – with all the social and economic and human damage that entails. Or it can be defeated, as Lincoln reluctantly did to his fanatical enemies, or absorbed and coopted, as Elizabeth I did hers over decades. But it will take time. The question is what will be left of America once it subsides, and how great a cost it will have imposed.”

In other words not only do we have to worry about our ice caps melting and climate change sparking an extinction event, but wait for it, now we get to worry about the primitives and tribalists who are so sure that they don’t like what they see that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to insure that nobody likes what they see.

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Where to get your food while the tribes quarrel

But, all is not lost. Politics is one thing, but a skilled economist is another, and for this we turn to John McCain’s economic advisor during his run against Obama, punching way above his actual weight, let’s listen now to Mark Zandi, a man working for Moody Economics

The stalemate in Washington also may have long-term economic consequences for the U.S. as international investors grow wary of investing there, Mr. Zandi said.

“You will hear increasing calls and actual efforts to diversify away from the U.S.,” he predicted. “It could in fact impair this very strong economy that we have.”

The solution? Washington should “do nothing. Literally nothing,” Mr. Zandi said. “No change at all for the next three-four years. Let the private economy do its thing.”

Once the economy starts growing at a faster cliff, policymakers should consider making changes to rein in government spending and cut the U.S. debt, he said.

Nothing trumps something when if you try to do something what crawls out of its hole looks like Sarah Palin, spits nonsense like Grover Norquist, and has the face of Joe McCarthy (hi Teddy Cruz). The vast sea of ordinary citizens trying to enjoy the ride of one lifespan here on earth have literally been drawn into a grand coitus interuptus.

I can explain in shorthand what needs to happen, anybody can. Raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, get control of health care spending, and do something about climate change.

There, see, it isn’t that difficult now is it?

But, as it sits at this moment the mob would become so flipped out by anything other than getting their way or the highway that we can go back to Zandi’s prescriptive and of course even that milk toast proposal, the do nothing proposal will not be easily sustainable against the right wing heavyweight championship of the post-confederate-cause that will be playing out across the country.

Nothing really here that a few decades on holiday in Costa Rica might not cure…

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/10/16/corrosive-political-conflict-is-holding-back-u-s-growth/ http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/16/the-tea-party-as-a-religion/

No, But We Are Working On Bringing This Book into the World

Flyer 2A

Editors are editing, the author is revising, but it is coming soon…

There is a very intricate process to preparing a manuscript on its journey into the world. In the beginning there is the outline. Next come’s the first swing at a chapter. I prefer to polish and revise and balance that process with the initial composing. The early manuscript is always raw and the sentences always ask to be smoothed, but in this initial outburst we are looking for life, for the blood and sweat and tears of the thing to be in the work. Finding the comedy in a scene is sheer time at the desk. You may or may not find it, but seldom does it leap out on first swing of the bat. It seems to come when the moment allows slipping out when least expecting it. Here is a glimpse at a mockup of a flyer style card I’ll hand out.

Place and Person

Catalina

 

Fletcher McCrea looked out over the vast Great Basin Desert. His mind was spinning. He was in the tightest corner he’d ever bumbled into. After Glenna left him he set off on foot. Together with Bambalina he walked off the mountain. He needed his time. He had to gather his thoughts, come to grips with the Gordian knot he’d let come untied. He figured what he needed was a good long soak.

Hot Spring Honeymoon

jiggsNevada3

 

From the Comedy Hot Spring Honeymoon my latest novel….

“I happen to find something new in the book of bachelor wisdom. I found there comes a point in life when the best thing a man can do is the thing he promised himself he never would.”