Tuesday, September 18, 2018
“Boy it’s getting bad when you have to con your own horse for a ride.”
- Bret Maverick
- Bret Maverick
No one is defined by one moment. Any fiction writer will tell you characters are constructed from dialogue, action, choices, and limned by the reflections of others. That’s why we have these ridiculous Supreme Court confirmation hearings. So we can all piece together a character, without the guidance of a good script. Was that candidate the top of the list or a late entry? Did he fudge, or maybe lie, under oath? Does he have some confusing debt issues? Is he the kind of person who pissed you off so bad in high school you remember 35 years later?
Anyone can be a Supreme Court Judge. Anyone. The Constitution makes it perfectly clear. They don’t even have to be a citizen. Sure, we like Ivy Leaguers. Why, I don’t know. A judge gets a staff of their choosing and they can all be super educated. All we really need is someone who can make a fair and honest decision. We’ve got to have more than one of those milling about the country, right? A Supreme Court nominee does not need to pass for 554 yards in a game, hit a high A above high C or run a marathon in 2:02:57.
He or she does not need to be special, probably shouldn’t be special and certainly shouldn’t be treated that way to begin with.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 12:50 PM
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
I’ve written two novels now about a post-government world. (This may make me the world’s leading expert. Google search turns up no one else interested in the subject.) In such a world, corporations control everything, every aspect of life on the planet. They need workers and consumers, so they keep the water mostly clean, grow plenty of food, pick up the trash and educate everyone. Corporations don’t have much choice but to fulfill the needs of the people because they are for and by the people. Human well-being is a byproduct of profit maximization, but the end is still the same. Humans go to work, go out drinking, watch soccer and die.
The post-government world looks quite a bit like modern Russia.
Vladimir Putin is much more a CEO than an elected official. All of Russia’s major industries are controlled by Putin associates, as if they were divisions of the same massive corporation. There is a pretense of government, but leadership in Russia has changed less than Exxon-Mobil over the same time period. Elections are for show. Communication channels are restricted.
In the US, we still treat Russia like a sovereign nation, rather than the multinational corporation it has become. Our viewpoint, and policy written from that viewpoint, have not kept up with the times. The people who shrug their shoulders at laws prohibiting actions by a foreign country do so because they know, at least instinctively, that Russia isn’t much of a country anymore. Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers get to insert themselves into American politics. Why not Russia, Inc.?
Oh, that’s right. It’s still against the law. And never will be a great idea. Corporations put the bottom line – and the power profit brings – as their top priority. Not you, not me, not even the employees as separate entities. Only the collective matters. There's no disconnect there.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 1:12 PM
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
It’s kind of weird trying to master my own first language. Still, if you’re going to write for a living, it’s best to know how. Eventually somebody’s going to ask you about a predicate and you should be able to state something about the subject.
The program is entirely online. It took a bit of adjustment. If not for my daughter Nina, I’m not sure I could’ve navigated the chats and posts. In cyberspace no one can see you raise your hand. I mostly made through the classes to date, and I’m mostly sure I can see this through to the end. I can see it in 2020. Ha.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 12:25 PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The hook of the book is the Knowers for which the novel is named: kids who feel different, learn they are different, and then come to terms with the fact that, like everything, your specialness can be a bug or a feature. They perceive time differently, which can make them seem smart and clever. And gives them the power, collectively, to rule the world from the shadows. It does not give them the power of avoid crushes, hold tempers or avoid catastrophe.
All of which makes for a really fun read. Looking forward to the next one.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 12:18 PM
Monday, May 14, 2018
Milkman by Anna Burns (Check out this review) doesn’t have anything to do with a world bereft of governments, but it is set in a tomorrow we may not altogether like.
What I do like is the growth-rate of Milkman-related speculative fiction. It doubled over night. That’s better than bitcoin.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 10:59 AM