Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Days of the Dead: Making Good Art in Bad Times

Puerto Rico hurricane devastation: New York Times
How can a fiction writer continue to work in a made-up world when so many bad things are happening in the real one? Why should we even bother? This has been on my mind as I somehow manage to work on my next novel, despite the daily bad news.

First, a list of the bad things.

The mass shootings in Las Vegas terrorized our nation. But what's more frightening is how quickly people and the media fell into the trope of 'the lone gunman' because he was rich and white. 

By now, it's been forgotten, politicized, de-politicized, churned and turned from empathy to apathy. And the NRA remains as emboldened as ever. Gun sales, including gun shows only steps from the scene of the horror, have risen sharply. Since the, half a dozen shootings killed two, five, or more people, registering merely a media blip.

Only yesterday (October 31, Halloween), a terrorist rammed a rental truck into a school bus of disabled children in Lower Manhattan. Here in San Francisco, while Halloween is no longer officially celebrated in the Castro district because of a shooting rampage, yet another shooting took place nearby that night.

In politics, indictments have finally been doled out to Trump administration lackeys for Russian collusion in fixing the 2016 election, and yet the self-delusions and massive lies continue unabated, from The White House to the wonky-eyed press rep, to their official propaganda arm at Fox "News."