Sunday, January 22, 2017

Be a sore loser

I have heard a lot from gloating Donald Trump supporters since Nov. 8 about "sore losers." Bullshit. If you tiptoe around the enormity of Trump's election, afraid of being a poor sport, don't. This isn't a football game. It is way more than OK to oppose him. In fact, it is patriotic to be a sore loser when what you've just lost is the assurance that you won't be living in a Fascist state in the near future. They aren't handing sportsmanship trophies for graciously accepting the theft of the First Amendment (you know, the one that doesn't involve guns).  Be a good sport when your favorite team loses the big game. This is not a game, and Miss and Mister Congeniality will wake up one day and discover, as Leo Durocher once said, that nice guys (and women) finish last.
Good sportsmanship is a laudable thing––in sports. In real life, it doesn't always work, especially if the winner can't even avoid being a poor winner. Do not engage in magical thinking and believe that the strutting, lying, bullying, racist, sexist, xenophobic, pussy-grabbing Donald Trump, the guy who thinks it's fun to make fun of the disabled, was just kidding, that he'll turn into a sensible and responsible president. Face facts. He is who he is, and he is a threat to every one of us, from the basis of individual rights to the ability to cause World War III.
Make America Great? Hell, we ARE great. Our unemployment is half what it was when Obama started dealing with it. Tens of millions have health care who did not have it before. We are less dependent on foreign oil than we have been in decades. Home prices are soaring. We have the largest, greatest military in the world. Our recovery from the Great Recession greatly outstrips that of Europe. The rest of the planet envies us.
This isn't Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush, or George W. vs. Gore, or Obama vs. McCain or Romney. This is new and dangerous ground.
Trump is the president, but he is not our emperor (yet). Oppose the tyranny he wants to impose. Work for justice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I've just finished editing changes to The Devil's Triangle (June 2017, The Permanent Press) and am about to tweak one after that, Annie's Bones (2018). Then, it'll be on to another Willie Black project. Retirement has afford me more writing time than I ever had before, but I still only spend a couple of hours a day actually writing, if that. After 44 years of newspapering, I find that I have to have self-imposed deadlines--a certain time of day to write.  Journalism might not teach you to write well, but it teaches you to write something, and do it in a timely fashion.
The Devil's Triangle is my 15th novel. This stuns me sometimes. When I sat down to try to write a novel in 1989 right before I turned 40, carving out an hour a day from my newspaper job, my dream was to write just one book worth publishing, eventually. Sometimes I sit back and think what my life would be like right now if I hadn't taken that step off the cliff almost 30 years ago and tried to do what I wasn't sure at all was possible.
As with our outgoing president, whom I would miss even if he weren't being succeeded by a demented joke, I am a big  believer in hope.