Friday, November 11, 2016

The novel I've been writing is set in a Drumpfian world of science under attack, which will be closer to reality now that Clinton conceded to the orange Babadook

Protesters in Seattle on the day after Election Day (Photo source: The Atlantic)

Protesters in San Francisco on the night after Election Day

Since August, I've been working on a manuscript for a sci-fi comedy novel that I first outlined in 2012. I've described it elsewhere as a cross between The Big O and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, without giving too much of it away because it's a work-in-progress, and this work-in-progress has taken up so much of my time that it's been difficult to write new posts for this Blogspot blog. It's all I can talk about to anybody. My brief mentions of the manuscript always seem to put people on Facebook to sleep (except one person who has similar interests in comedic sci-fi), and their lack of interest has become one of 4,080 reasons why I hate Facebook.

The manuscript is why this blog has consisted of nothing but reposts of previously published shit in the last few months. I've got nothing. I'm all out of new content for this blog. Meanwhile, I'm having a ball running Accidental Star Trek Cosplay over on Tumblr, because 1) ASTC isn't as time-consuming as a.k.a. DJ AFOS has always been and 2) ASTC gets more responses from readers. Both the new Tumblr and the manuscript are why I've been considering putting an end to this blog in the future and writing a farewell-to-Blogspot post.

The Black Lives Matter movement and the scientific community figure prominently in my prose novel. They're two things the future-dictator-whose-name-I-will-not-say-properly-because-I-dislike-the-fuck-out-of-him doesn't care for, along with any person of color who disagrees with his policies; immigrants; Muslims; women's rights; Jews; China; universal health care; gun control; journalists who actually do their jobs; the concept of paying your own employees; the concept of having a sense of humor about yourself; the environment; and women older than 16. Whether or not he was going to win the election, the novel, which has a title I won't reveal to people outside of my friends until I finish the manuscript some time next year, was always going to take place in a contentious big-city milieu that's been affected by the damage Fuckface Von Clownstick's rhetoric has done to both race relations and the lives of scientists who are being harassed by the same brainless constituency that put Fuckface Von Clownstick in the White House (right-wingers' bullying of scientists was the recent subject of a frustrating-to-listen-to but eye-opening Science Friday installment I highly recommend).

And whether or not he was going to win, the novel was always never going to mention Fuckface Von Clownstick or make any references to him. Yesterday, I was briefly tempted to start mentioning him in the manuscript. But it's better if I never do. The major antagonists in the first half of the novel are not Fuckface Von Clownstick and his cronies in the business and political worlds; they're the anonymous idiots who worship him from afar and are given the okay by their fascist, misogynist and xenophobic idol to make life miserable for people of color and any sensible person with a brain who criticizes their leader. Fuck supervillains who want to blow up Gotham City or Star City. Fuck foreign terrorists from spy movies and counter-terrorism shows like 24 and Homeland. The trolls and white nationalists who helped bring Fuckface Von Clownstick to power and weirdly despise science or any other form of intellectualism are more terrifying to me than either of those kinds of antagonists, especially when incidents of racially motivated bullying have increased since Election Day (for a few examples, see New York Daily News writer Shaun King's Twitter feed or don't, because reading things on Twitter causes stress). Their behavior causes the apocalyptic trouble that occurs in the novel's second half and then continues in possible future novels.

Remember Stephen King's The Mist? Everyone's familiar with the extremely bleak movie version that starred Thomas Jane and Andre Braugher, but I was a fan of The Mist back when it was just a King novella and a radio drama full of weird and lamely written product placements for shit like Ragú and Skippy Super Chunk. Mrs. Carmody, who was portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in the movie, always left way more of an impression on me as an antagonist than the Lovecraftian kaiju in King's story because I've never encountered Lovecraftian kaiju, but I have encountered Carmody-ian religious zealots. Well, my novel takes place in a city that ends up going through the same kinds of shit that were experienced by the New England town of Podunkaville or whatever-it-was-called in The Mist, except there's a lot more humor, Mrs. Carmody is the cause of all the horrible shit outdoors instead of the military (or as Stranger Things likes to call the military during its season 1 riff on The Mist, Firestarter and It, the Department of Energy), and there are not one but two Mrs. Carmodys, who were both supporters of Fuckface Von Clownstick, but I imply in the manuscript that they supported him instead of outright stating that they did.

Just like everyone else who didn't vote for Fuckface Von Clownstick, I didn't exactly sleep well on Election Night. My frustrations about feeling powerless after trying to help prevent (via mail-in ballot before Halloween) President Luthor's conquest of Washington turned into a day-long depression that made it difficult for me to get back to writing the manuscript because of how closely the material in the manuscript is related to Drumpf's depressing-ass America. (Because I was too bummed out on the day after Election Day to start writing the manuscript's next chapter, I instead got caught up on season 1 of Donald Glover's Atlanta.) But now that depression has turned into anger.

The people who are either bumping YG and Nipsey Hussle's "FDT," which ought to be the national anthem for the future nation of California, or taking part in #NotMyPresident protests, especially high-schoolers who are organizing campus walkouts all across America--as well as Sam Bee and Politically Re-Active hosts W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu--are all beautifully articulating my anger right now. Seeing tweets and pics from the anti-Babadook protesters is making me feel a little better. And the protests are exactly the kind of creative fuel I need to get back into writing and to take an already angry novel and make it even angrier. Now it's going to be a fucking scorcher.

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