December 15, 2008

Writers & Politics

I always thought the saying that politics was the organization of hatreds seemed a bit hyperbolic, but maybe not...

I recently read of an author who complains of writer's block over the past seven years due to the policies of the Bush administration. I suppose he'll sue for lost wages.

Then too I was reading Lyrics by Sting, who describes his song "Every Breath You Take" as anti-Ronald Reagan. (So if politics ruined the first writer's muse, it seemed to have helped Sting's.)

I think politics have hurt Garrison Keillor since now he can't write about small towns without hating them for the way they tend to vote. John Petric, in "The Other Paper", is withering concerning a recent Keillor appearance in Columbus, saying "His shtick is to stick it to Small Town, USA, while condescendingly pretending to admire it. The crowd of uber-liberal ancients ate it up like free inaugural sushi." He continues:
Keillor bites the hand that inspires him:

His mythical Lake Wobegon is loaded with dopes who believe in God, own guns, ice-fish and do stupid things like own businesses, get married and exhibit human idiosyncrasies. But to this second rate Hal Holbrook, it just serves as a platform for exhibiting liberal elitist superiority.

To Keillor, 'small town' means 'small mind' - except for his and, by inference, the minds of his sad, pathetic viewers who desperately want to feel superior to someone...

"I dared to disobey," intoned the Great Gray Four-Eyed Creep, who surely is a reincarnated Catholic priest from some kinked-out diocese. As I sat there, mirthless amid a roiling raucous crowd that seemed to find him funnier than the Three Stooges, I thought it was one of the least heroic stories I'd ever heard.

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