When I first started this blog, more than a year ago, I stated in one of my posts that I don’t write about politics. It’s been hard not to disregard that comment, especially in an election cycle where one front runner has the deck stacked in his/her favor and the other front runner breaks all the rules and still comes out on top.
It’s been an exciting year, with more missteps and plot twists than Game of Thrones. Hell, even Game of Thrones looks like a Dick and Jane primer compared to this election cycle.
For those of you who do not know what a primer is–and I’m not talking explosives here–a primer is the the first book kids learn to read from. A Dick and Jane book reads like this: See Dick. See Jane. See Dick see Jane. See Jane see Dick. See Dick and Jane see Spot. See Spot see Dick and Jane. Get it?
So, here’s the thing: I’ve come to realize that all of life and all of fiction is politics. For instance, all social groups are engaged in politics all the time. Flocks of birds, wolf and dog packs, prides of lions, chimpanzes, monkeys, gorillas, they all have a pecking order. And it’s that pecking order than is political. Families are especially so. Siblings are always jockeying for position in the family hierarchy. Parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are the same. “Who’s your favorite uncle? Who’s you favorite aunt? They’re my kids, not your kids.” (This last statement is more about parents and step-parents arguing over who has authority over kids and who the kids love the most. Sometimes the biological parents are the better parents and sometimes the step-parents are better because they treat the kids with respect and love rather than as property.
Politics is all about ownership and position. Which party is the better party? Which president screwed up the country worst? (Here’s an important tangent: U.S. Presidents don’t create jobs, unless they expand the bureaucracy or expand the military. All other jobs are created by the private sector or state governments. Candidates will claim anything to get elected or re-elected.)
There’s a pecking order, that is, politics in the military (I’m not talking about the difference in rank between a sergeant and a private, or a sergeant and a lieutenant, or a lieutenant and a general, though that is a definite part of the pecking order, because every alpha male or alpha female wants to be in charge. They want to be the star. They want the lion’s share of the glory.
Authors are that way, painters are that way, musicians, doctors, lawyers (don’t even get me started on that last one), school administrators, bureaucrats, teachers, coaches, athletes, hell we’re all that way. Even friends can be that way.
However, not everyone is that way and not everyone who is that way is that way all the time, though some people are that way all the time.
Also, romance is that way. Two girls and a guy, or two guys and a girl, or three guys or three girls or any number or combination, where people want different things and feel possessive, politics come into play.
Now, this is the important thing that I’ve realized, you can’t write fiction without politics. The conflict of every story comes from either the main character wanting two different things and not seeing a path to attain both of them, or else several different characters wanting different things and each character trying to figure out how to get enough support or especially overwhelming support for his/her position.
Politics involves conflict. In fact, the best way to define it is: Politics is conflict and conflict is political.
You can’t get away from it. So, I do write about politics.
In my first electronic novel, SKY KNIGHTS, my hero, Hector, is kicked out of his fighter squadron because his actions embarrass his leaders, making them look bad. Then his knew squadron doesn’t want him because its leaders haven’t picked him out and vetted him. Furthermore, there’s a romantic triangle going on between Hector and another pilot over a female pilot, with former lover feeling he has ownership of the relationship and will stop at almost nothing to get rid of Hector.
In my second e-novel, CHAOS COMPANY, my hero, Lion Biyela, has first to deal with an untrustworthy Marine and then with an officer who has some of Lion’s memories deleted so that officer can claim ownership of information in those memories so he can advance his career. This officer literally steals some of Lion’s past so he can claim those memories as his own.
So, yes, I apparently write about politics and I will continue to write about politics, both in fiction and maybe even about the real world. Whatever world that is.
By the way, you can buy both CHAOS COMPANY and SKY KNIGHTS from Amazon.com.