By Stephen Boni
Source: Ghion Journal
As a writer, especially one who tries to explore the interplay between culture, sociology, history, ecology, economics and politics, it can be difficult to focus in on common themes and common threads. In the age of the mobile Internet, where there is so much information to absorb and assimilate, so many more voices than before, I find this to be a genuine challenge.
I was experiencing some of this over-stimulated confusion a few days ago when the Twitterverse threw me a reminding narrative lifeline from the amazing assassination researcher, author and screenwriter Lisa Pease (If you haven’t read her new book about the RFK assassination ‘A Lie Too Big to Fail’, I highly recommend it).
Facts don’t reach people! Stories do. Movies do. TV shows do. If you are a writer, build this into every plot going forward. Not kidding. pic.twitter.com/ApqOJ5Bb4a
— Lisa Pease (@lisapease) July 14, 2019
This was a reminder for me because fiction has been one of the ways in which I make connections between the various insane strands of events and states of being that I study to do this amalgam of journalism and essayism I purport to do.
Lisa’s highlighting of fiction as a potential positive mode of influence brought to mind a quote from the prescient author William Gibson from one of his uncannily prescient novels about corporate espionage in our digital dystopia, Pattern Recognition:
“We have no future because our present is too volatile. … We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.”
Indeed, our present is so volatile right now in the United States and the world because something is in the process of ending and, in large part, that something is the United States cohesion as a culture and its dominance over world affairs as a political entity.
And it’s those writers who are good at recognizing patterns that see it with the most acuity. To add to that, it’s also the writers who use humor, storytelling and a natural irreverence that seem to be able to put together those patterns in a way that makes you truly feel what they reveal (as opposed to just dispassionately think about what they reveal).
All these thoughts of pattern recognition led me to connect two writers I hadn’t really put together before. One is the veritable count of collapse, engineer, author and blogger Dmitri Orlov. With him, it hardly gets more sardonic and fatalistic. The other is the ever clear-eyed,…