Thursday, June 28, 2007

Statement describing a small change in my own personal sentiment toward something

So there's a post below--which I think I might have written while drunk off a glass or glass and a half of wine--about a small passage of fiction I wrote and which I felt good about:

A line from the novel

Well, guess what?

(I just prefer that phrase as an interrogative, okay.)

I don't like it anymore. Maybe that bit at the end about her wasting away is good. And the rhythm is nice, but otherwise I diagnose that it does not, as I had previously supposed, manage to transcend the limitations of its genre. I deleted it from the pages of my novel in progress weeks ago.

Giuliani is just a dick

Bracketing out the randomness of the universe and the effect of events on the political landscape, I don't fear Guiliani in the general election. Given his troubles in the primary, he won't generate any fervor with the republican base, whose evangelical component--to grab one example out of the air--seems to be showing signs of disillusionment/fatigue with their adventures in politics, regardless of the ideology of the republican candidate.

Hillary and Obama, except in terms of rhetoric on the war, haven't made any sort of committed leftward swing, so should be ably to nimbly make the classic push toward the center in the general election. And then it seems to me that Guiliani's centrism, which he'll have to emphasize to court persuadables, will make the democratic candidate more palatable in the eyes of republicans and independants. It's not that an immoderate republican would actually vote for a dem, but that they'd be much less motivated to vote against one. Sort of like all those moron democrats who saw little difference between Gore and Bush.

More important than the above considerations, though, I would say that Rudy's primary campaign slide has less to do with his ideology and a lot to do with what people are learning about both who he is and his track record. A candidate's nature is obscured in the general election by the white noise of so many media representations, but Rudy's gaffes and his checkered past seem to me to have a flavor that punches through that veil. The rhythm of his speech is part of this. W, based on some sort of primitive instinct I think, is much cagier about not ever letting a real emotion come out. Guiliani, on the other hand, seems much more prone to feeling justified in his borishness in a way that a) he can't control and b) is personal in a way that transcends ideology.

Compared to a campaigner as blandly conservative (in approach) as Hillary Clinton, I think it would be difficult for Rudy not to come off as an erratic and generally disagreeable figure.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A line from the novel

Amy went all the way out the door and lit a cigarette and started smoking. The smoke of the burning tobacco smelled cheap and there was a thrill for her in not caring about hastening her own death in exchange for a cheap thing, like she, whatever she was, was dissipating as quickly as the smoke into the atmosphere, like she was as thin and temporary as that, but also as weightless.

Self-conscious commentary (not in the novel): Cigarette scenes as a concept, but not necessarily in the execution, frequently strike me as the result of impulses felt by inexperienced writers. It's the same thing as why teenagers smoke--there's some truly significance romance attached to it, a sign signifying something you know does not exist once you've emerged from the state of massive ignorance we, many of us anyway, and I certainly, occupy in adolescence. Another way it's a tic common too teenagers and writers just starting out is that both often don't know what they want to do with their time and feel the act of smoking a cigarette gives purpose to a moment that is, in truth, purposeless. I'm not sure that's not what's happening here, except that it does say something about Amy's character. And also I write purposeless scenes all the time, or used to back when I was writing more and sucked more, but I like this one.