In Jon Stewart's defense, this is comedy gold at the end of the comedy rainbow. It's too good to ignore, and there is a year's worth of parody and satire and punchlines that will honor the idiot who tweeted his stuff to some female constituent.
|Ugh, make it stop.|
An interesting way to gain votes.
I was going to post video, during which I tried to come up with some clever way of saying something which hadn't been said. After all, this isn't a political blog, by any stretch of the imagination.
Which got me to thinking...
Our history as a culture is filled with government scandals. There's always a mistress, from Henry VIII to John Edwards. Where now we have CNN and Jon Stewart, even the Greeks had parodists, the Romans had cryers, and medieval times had bards.
Senator lifts his toga and flashes his stuff at a young female thespian in the alley behind the Parthenon. Did it happen? Seems very likely.
Scandal. Bloody scandal. There was even a Discovery episode about such things. Missed it? It's on DVD: Scandals of the Ancient World.
When I write, I try to not to go for those melodramatic conflicts. I like purity of intent, of action, and in my mind, that creates a more dramatic conflict, because (in theory), the reader should empathize with both sides, and in that, they must either choose a side, or sit back and see what happens.
It feels false to me when there is some melodramatic love triangle, when someone is being wicked just for the sake of doing so. To me, it's more compelling when a character is driven into temptation. "Bad" people should have serious motivations, and be well aware of the cost of being naughty.
Then, I watch the news. Pick up the newspaper. Read the headlines on my web browser. Watch a little political satire show. It stares at me, reminds me, that humans are very flawed.
I've been revising Catalyst, and there's multiple character arcs. The arc that I'm currently reworking seemed a little bland to me, so yes, I've had to go back and tighten up the older protagonist, give him a little edge to reflect his experiences. I've had to purify the younger protagonist, so that he would be a little uncomfortable as events unfold that he's never experienced.
But the other arcs seemed fine to me. More organized and coherent peoples, the conflict is more direct, and they all unite - it's pretty standard epic stuff.
Yet, here is the Universe reminding me that people are flawed. That even in Congressman Wiener's perfect life, with his new wife and his secure political position - he goes and mucks up his entire career for no apparent reason. With no sense of logic or responsibility or grace, this otherwise relatively successful man is essentially a fool.
It seems so cheap and vulgar to include this sort of failing in fiction. It's so ridiculous and cheesy. Yet, history is full of these anecdotes. Modern society can't go a week without a scandal.
What's a writer to do?
Do we imagine a world where honor and a person's truth and integrity actually means something - where two people who claim to love each other, actually do so (without either one of them enteraining offers and suggestive notions from another outside the relationship)?
Or do we reflect the decay of organized society? Men (and women) who rule counties, countries and worlds, are simply base peoples, with the same lust, greed and self-indulgent motivations of their constituency?
On the one hand, a perfect paradise is potentially very boring.
On the other, epic heroic fantasy still sells today - because when we are surrounded by war, greed, lust and government scandal, it's nice to escape into a world where people are exactly what they say they are, and that they will fight against all odds to uphold those beliefs.
What do you think?