Saturday, October 11, 2008

Real Characters, Stories, and Legacies

As a storyteller, everything I learn about or experience comes into play when I write. Which is one reason I like to watch people and everything in which they are involved, for, after all, stories are about people, even when they don't seem to be.

This is why this blog seems to be all over the place with no one all-inclusive topic but a rambling of thoughts and experiences.

I've heard there is no new story, and I tend to believe that premise, but there are different ways to tell it. This is what I like to try to do.

So isn't the current affairs page interesting right now? All that fodder for stories about Wall Street, banks, fraud, greed, and power. And who is pointing the finger but Representatives, Senators and other governmental staff? Funny stuff if it weren't so tragic.

Those representing the government speak of the banking industry or the financial markets as if they were entities in themselves, not institutions guided by people who are all too human. And yes, I know the synergy effect of many humans putting their efforts in one direction can create, and this can often turn into an institution that seems to take a life of its own, but it is never safe to assume human foibles can't get the upper hand. Nothing is as simple as it seems to be.

Then there is this exciting election, one based on race and gender. It might be one of historical significance than any other since the very first election. I'm sure more writers than me are watching all the chaos, pandering, hate-mongering, lies, shenanigans, hypocrisy, hysteria, promises and strong conviction of this election process. What anxiety for voters! What fodder for fiction!

Or how about religion? I told a friend more than twenty years ago that religious belief would become more important to the general population the closer we came to the turn of the millennium, and that it would take ten or more years after 2000 for the fervor to calm down. That was based on what was recorded about the year 1000. So what do we have -- a war in the Middle East and dissension between two of the major religions of the world. Since the first crusade was in 1095 ad, and taking into account the speed of modern society, it seems right on time. I eagerly await moderation and tolerance, although the hyperbole makes excellent drama. How many new crusade stories can you count?

Update: 2019: We are still at war, the longest in U.S. history.

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