Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A disgusting idea.

I have managed to disgust myself.

Not in the way that the primitive shamen of science used in a pathetic attempt to prove their left-wing friends were superior. I've been in situations where I had nothing but the barely edible to eat so the images of people eating worms don't disgust me. I've spent most of my career dealing with faecal matter, both animal and human, and since I'm looking for disease-causing bacteria I tend to be sent samples from people or animals with intestinal diseases. So the image of a floating normal turd is actually something of a relief. What I get as samples is usually spattered in an even layer over the entire bowl.

Their right-wing test sounds like it consisted mostly of 'Do you approve of gay marriage?' to which my answer is 'I don't care'. If it's worded as 'Do you disapprove of gay marriage?' then my answer would be 'no' but since I'm neither religious nor gay, the issue is simply an irrelevance to me.

On the basis of their tests, I would have been recorded as a non-disgusted leftie.

If disapproval of gay marriage is proof of right-wing thinking, then all of Christianity, Islam and Judaism must be right-wing. It's not proof of any such thing, of course. It's a personal and/or religious issue, not a political one. If all right-wingers are against gay marriage, why are the Tories about to make it happen? I'm told I'm right-wing and yet I'm not bothered in the slightest if gay people want to get married in church. I'd be very much against the forcing of churches to do this, but if the individual church agrees, I see no issue.

Nothing in that article disgusts me at all. What disgusted me today was something I wrote myself.

There are those who plan novels before starting and those who just write a first draft and then redo it all, scrap whole tracts of storyline and drop entire chapters. I'm the second kind. The book currently being considered by publishers lost over half its weight in words before it went anywhere.

There is another kind of writer, a very rare beast that can write a novel in one go and get it entirely right first time. These are known to other writers as 'bastards'.

So today, working on that dystopia, I wanted a poster for the masses. Along the lines of 'Big Brother is Watching You' but obviously not that one. It had to be something less blatantly intimidating but just as scary. Unlike Orwell's tough Proles, in this world I have a mostly infantilised population (yes, it's set in the near future) who would be offended by such threatening words. I needed something to keep naughty little children in line.

The answer was staring me in the face every time I went into a supermarket. Santa! The poster now depicts Santa looking stern and pointing, with the words 'Have you been good all year? Santa is watching'. Ideal for the kiddie-minds in adult bodies in this (hopefully) fictional future. It also allows the CCTV-operating main character to equate himself to Santa, because he's the one watching. Coupled with a punishment that includes withdrawal of the citizen-payment Winter Bonus, which everyone needs to afford winter heating, it works for me.

What was disgusting about it was when I realised that it would work today on many people, and that most of the drones would regard it as an excellent idea. They'd also support the withdrawal of heating-money in winter because they'd think it only applies to those who break the law. It does, but then there are so many laws to break...

The story is shaping up into one of the most horrible things I've ever written. And there's not a single paranormal thing in it.

Best get on with it, eh? The Government is catching up all the time.


Woman on a Raft said...

If all right-wingers are against gay marriage, why are the Tories about to make it happen?

Surely you aren't suggesting there is anything right-wing - or even conservative - about the Tories?

There are some books you can only read once in a lifetime. I don't think I can do 1984 or The Handmaiden's Tale again. I know I can't watch Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" any more.

Leg-iron said...

Well, they're a little to the right of Stalin so relative to the other parties, I suppose that makes them right-wing.

At some point the hinge shifted so that anyone who so much as questions open immigration is now extreme right-wing. The middle ground is now in that region somewhere to the left of Putin.

Ed P said...

Rather than catching up, I think the government are actually using your scary stories as the basis for what they like to call policy. (Now that'd make a good story too.)

Neal Asher said...

The government catching up ... yeah, I had the same problem with The Departure.

Leg-iron said...

Ed P -I think they hack into writers' computers. Note that Neal had the same problem.

Neal - it didn't happen to Orwell because he had a typewriter. It was only when they got hold of his book...

opinions powered by