Blog 31 by novelist Jeremy Logan -- CYCLES
I try to avoid commenting on politics, governing, religion and foreign affairs; however, my novels include these subjects. Lately I've gotten comments from readers that believe my stories promote ideology that chooses sides. My honest response is that there is no intention on my part to promote a particular ideology. I try to capture conflicts that are occurring in real daily life and world events in their actual time period, and then place them in my the stories so that they might impact the motives of the characters. An example of how this works can be found in both of my novels.
In DGT I infuse the events of two criminal elements that were noteworthy at the dates the action took place: The end of the Medellin drug cartel in South America and the growth of the Russian Mafia in worldwide drug trafficking. These were factual events that allowed me to borrow from them to enhance the plot of that novel. There was no attempt to disparage Russians or natives of Bolivia, Columbia or Peru. Had the same conditions been true to other nations, I would have used the criminal elements in those countries as the setting for the novel. Got it?
The same is true in TRM. I envision a fictional hawkish, right wing of the U.S. political scene as the motivation for some of the events in the novel. I do not mention a political party agenda, nor was I trying to demonize anyone that espouses right wing politics. I was mirroring the politics present at the time, and how they were being manifested in our culture. Had the U.S. not invaded Iraq after 9-11 based on faulty information that was exaggerated due to fears by hawkish elements influencing the Whitehouse administration, there would be no reason to set the story in that time period. I simply used the existing political environment to make the conspiracy work in the plot that I invented. Why use that controversy, you ask? I used it because it was there, and it was still topical at the time I wrote it. I wanted to make the story as plausible as possible. The fresher the backdrop, the more readers can relate to the times.
But now that I have commented thusly, I feel compelled to offer thoughts on the times we live in right now. About fifteen years I thought the world was beginning to make a little more sense. The iron curtain came down, the U.S. was not involved in any wars, spending deficits being were replaced by surpluses, and household incomes around the civilized world were on the rise in proportion to the costs of living.
Since then we seem to be regressing. It's as if attitudes are becoming more primal again. All the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) seem to be dominating the news. Are we all competing against each other to show off our lack civility and restraint? I cannot remember a time when so many people in the news act proud of their ignorance, prejudice and lack of common sense. There doesn't appear to be anything that started this trend. I blame the media for aiding and abetting the movement. In the race for ratings, the media leads and dwells on stories that evoke our most primal reaction, and then they spin or couch the facts and images to accentuate those anticipated reactions. Can the drama. I just want the news, please!
Cycles! It's all about cycles. We try to tolerate bad behavior until it gets so bad that we get mad, overreact, and send the pendulum in the opposite direction. We are constantly out of balance, except for those brief moments when the pendulum is occupying the middle.
For every two steps forward we take one backwards, and that is where we are right now. Political leaders prey on our susceptibility to give in to the seven deadly sins. They stir them up. Right now, too many world leaders are politicians of this ilk. So few seem to lack the wisdom to control themselves.
Everyone wants to be noticed. Is there a worldwide identity crisis? Look at me! I might be egocentric or insane, but I'm on the front page. Look at me!
Here's my final words on all this - let's try to see things in a logical perspective. Try to avoid being offended by every event that doesn't strike your mood. Chill out. Be more patient with other humans. Cut them some slack. In the end you'll discover that whatever bothered you yesterday shouldn't have bothered you in the first place.
Cycles. Just as we get into moods, so do segments of the population. You can do your part to end the constant pendulum mood swings of the country by not reacting immediately to everything that bothers you. Thanks in advance for your consideration.