Friday, October 24, 2008


Stephen King in "On Writing" often referred to writing, or the process of writing as I believe "excavation"; "sculpting."

Ray Bradburry in an interview on the 50th anniversary of "Fahreinheit 451" noted a lot of his stories "wrote him," and that he relied on his "secret voice" to make sense of the worlds he created.

There is a boldness in penmanship that you otherwise would find yourself tongue-tied to express. In politics, that makes you "unsure," 'unsteady," "not ready." In academia, you may just be thinking of a reply.

I do not know this writer at all. He is/was a black republican. I respected his views as I read them even if in many cases I did not nor could I not agree.

He (the writer), like a lot of pundits and republicans, struggled mightiliy to excavate the "2000 maverick McCain" from now distant memory. Once labeling the religious right as "agents of intolerance," McCain embraced them at Jerry Farwell's Lincoln University. Once saying he "fought for the stars and stipes, not the stars and bars," McCain allows the vilest vitriol to emanate from his supporters: "terrorist, kill him, socialist, communist," evidence of a campaign that like the man at the helm of the ship has clearly lost control of the rudder that should guide it. A cool iceberg, unrelenting is in front of him off the bow of the sinking ship. He need not hit the behemoth: his Titanic is sinking.

The writer knows this, and I sympathize with him because of the mention of the pending death of his father. Mortality has a way of taking the sureity out of your lifespace, the inevitable memory of the last conversation you had with your loved one before their demise, the helplessness of staring at a coffin when the essence of themselves - their laughter, their warmth, their smile, their hugs and their tears - no longer exists in this realm. Reviewing the tape over again in your mind: "this person used to be alive, and I loved them." It births anger and raises doubts.

What is poignant is the evolution of his whole person: political, emotional and yes spiritual.

Like Bradbury, this blog "wrote the writer." One of the reasons I [personally] voted for Obama was frankly how well he wrote in "Dreams from My Father." I feel if you can write, you can think, therefore reason and then apply critical thinking skills to a myriad of situations. The political and sadly, the American education system "soundbites" this process into meaningless "gotcha" momemts.

I also voted on a cool Monday morning at 7:10 AM in Cedar Park, Texas because is more than my story now. It's no longer just me and doubts about whether I "played the game" or "pleased the right people." No. The system is broken, and someone needs to fix it.

Writing is almost a lie detector test even in fiction: the worlds you create must have rules, "make sense" in those rules and follow them to the end. In nonfiction, you try to be narrative and honest and trust where the story leads. The writer swung wildly from blind support, to doubt about Sarah Palin, to applauding her speech at the RNC, to doubt again and to switching his support.

He has excavated the corridors of his mind and found more questions than answers. The whole blog, good points and not-so-good, irreverant, reflective and sometimes funny, is a scuplted masterpiece. Don't just read the most recent post: take time to paruse them all.

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