Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hey, Writers!

Wanna keep your fiction-writing muscles supple between books? Sure you do!

You can ghost-write letters to the editor for the McCain campaign!

Yes, as journalist Margriet Oostveen discovered when she signed on with the McCain campaign, they really know how to put a writer's gift for fiction to good use:

The assignment is simple: We are going to write letters to the editor and we are allowed to make up whatever we want -- as long as it adds to the campaign. After today we are supposed to use our free moments at home to create a flow of fictional fan mail for McCain. "Your letters," says Phil Tuchman, "will be sent to our campaign offices in battle states. Ohio. Pennsylvania. Virginia. New Hampshire. There we'll place them in local newspapers."

Place them? I may be wrong, but I thought that in the USA only a newspaper's editors decided that.

"We will show your letters to our supporters in those states," explains Phil. "If they say: 'Yeah, he/she is right!' then we ask them to sign your letter. And then we send that letter to the local newspaper. That's how we send dozens of letters at once."

No newspaper can refuse a stream of articulate expressions of support, is the thought behind it. "This way, we will always get into some letters column."

She tells how she creates a character on a day when VP nominee Sarah Palin is the subject du jour:

"...most of all, she is just like any mother of a child who deploys to Iraq in the service of this country."

Now we are getting somewhere. I look around. I type:

"My son, too, is there."

Oh god, you liar. Now build up suspense. New paragraph.

"And my heart needs him back safe so much."

Yes, yes. Well done. Another paragraph -- why not? Now let's pump some iron in that mother, for after all, we are not with the Democrats here. Look up the right, patriotic phraseology in the model letters.

"But when I see him again, I also want to see his face glow with pride. Just like the day he told me he enlisted."

Yes, like that. And now full speed in the direction of McCain's plans to continue the war. Sell that war. With a mother's heart.

"That is why Senator John McCain could count on my vote from day one."

So THAT's where those dingbat letters come from....


Jim Hetley said...

But is it a paying market?

"Money flows *to* the author."

pattinase (abbott) said...

My assessment of today’s events. Brother Dem calls Brother Rep and says, “Let’s buy mom a tv for her birthday.” Brother Rep calls Mom without consulting Brother Dem and says, “Hey, Mom, guess what. I’m buying you a car for your birthday.” Am I being too opaque?

Tom said...

You know what the real problem is? We don't give Those People enough credit for imagination. And then it's hard for us to get past the audacity or obvious insanity of the actions to believe these things are really happening.

The problem is that Those People imagine a distorted version of America. But they do *use* their imaginations, and they're gifted with the audacity to put their imaginings into action.

Naomi Wolf has it right; war has been declared by non-nationals on common citizens, and especially on uncommon citizens:

What she describes is the application of the John Boyd's principal of the OODA Loop as a means of managing combat. Observe, Orient, Decide, Act; do it faster than your opponent and you win.

This is just scary as all hell. And we have to trust our own eyes to believe what we see happening is really what's happening. Events are so unreal this is hard to do.