Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Politics
At the risk of tipping my age, there was a string of commercials when I was a kid that lamented "Your chocolate is in my peanut butter! No, your peanut butter is in my chocolate!" As you might know, it all ended up okay, as peanut butter and chocolate make an excellent combination.
Unfortunately, not everything mixes so well.
For example, politics don't mix well with.....anything.
Over the past few years, I have stopped watching the NFL, NBA, MLB, and virtually any new TV show. The sport or the story of a TV show is no longer the focus. Instead, they have become vehicles to force feed their ideologies down the viewer's throat. It's not just sports and entertainment, as politics is polluting everything from social media to pillows.
Literature is not immune to such contamination. In fact, one could argue that literature is the original political media, subliminally (or not so subliminally) delivering the author's ideologies to the reader.
Last week, I started a book by an author whose past work I have enjoyed. Unfortunately, after 110 pages (about 1/3 of the book), I had no idea what his newest book was about. He kept regurgitating the same thing, over and over, making his far-left liberal leanings not only evident, but intolerable. I am sad to say I gave up on it.
I then started another book by a writer I haven't read before, but the synopsis sounded interesting. It was just as politically dumbfounding, except on the right winged end of the spectrum. Two books in a week went to the shelves of my library, incompletely read.
Reading, as well as movies and sports, should provide an oasis to the turmoil of the rest of the world, not an extension of it.
Now, I am not naïve enough to believe that a writer's personal feelings and beliefs will not be represented in his work, but I still expect a good story to be the star of the show, so to speak. I need to remember how I felt when I wasted hours reading a couple of political infomercials, so that I avoid those pitfalls in my own writing. That being said, "Dead Man's Breath" had some political undertones and the sequel certainly has some as well, but I would like to believe that I am not cramming my viewpoints down the readers' throats. It's definitely an aspect I need to be mindful of in the future.
Take care, HAVE FUN, and I'll talk to you soon!