Saturday, October 28, 2006

and so it goes

I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's new book so I don't hold us humans in very high regard anyway (except Cormac McCarthy) so it was a treat to come across incumbent Virginia Senator Republican George Allen's minions going through the CV of his Democratic opponent Jim Webb, and coming up with some spicy bits from several novels he wrote years earlier.
Webb is a former Republican and Vietnam vet whose military works are apparently “very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians," according to Allen's campaign. The fawning blurbs on Webb's books from Republican senator John McCain were apparently missed by said minions.
The same sort of nonsense occurred in Canada about six years back when New Democrats turned up an old novel by the late (and great) Bob Hunter that had some juicy bits in it and likely peeled enough votes away to give the NDP the byelection.
I wish Heather Mallick appeared more frequently because she'd hit this out of the park, but the idea that politicians would use novels as bait for their sleazy fishing expeditions against opponents is wholly pathetic.
The primary reason for the rise of the non-voter is because they think their vote makes no difference. The reason for that dubious but stubborn stance is because so few politicians seem able to relate to or connect with well, voters.
A good novel forces the reader to mine whatever empathy they have to care about the people in a book. Movies have virtually given up even broad character exploration, so elected representatives who don't have a novel in their house come off sounding like this.
As for me, I'm going to finish The Road. McCarthy's bleak, but I've never felt depressed afterward.

Please see Maureen Dowd for further reading
(password protected but I'll send my passwords to anyone who needs them)

Posted by Dave

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