As an avid reader, I finished another book today. This one was fiction, and was a collection of one author’s nine short stories compiled into book form. She was a newer author with impressive academic credentials, not to mention a few awards under her looks-to-be-slim belt.
At times when reading I thought she was very skilled at the nuances of story-telling, and then there were other times when I thought, “Oops, … she just lost me there. Her inexperience is showing—her youthfulness has side-tracked a believable sequence of events, or disrupted a once-believable character study.”
She simply hadn’t lived enough of life to make those character interactions truly believable, nor had she been in enough difficult situations to portray what likely happens to those unfortunate people who do become involved in them. Even fantasy writing has to be “believable” to fully engage the reader.
While she had mastered the word skills, she lacked believability in her accounting of the tales to make the book commercially viable and recommendable to others.
And other than as a book review, this matters here why?
In today’s world where ‘believability’ and ‘credibility’ are under constant assault by the supposed leaders of our nation, what was so offensive to me about a fiction/fantasy book that didn’t seem real enough?
Well as a writer, I know that the best quality fiction reads as though it were absolute fact—like you could walk out your front door one morning and experience those very same strange interactions yourself and relate completely to what the book’s characters were feeling, saying, and stewing-about-doing in them. Conspiracy theorists wouldn’t even have to stretch to claim that situations such as these had actually happened, because it simply seemed real enough to be a likely occurrence with believable character interactions given the entirety of the proposed situation. That’s good writing.
Whereas in this present reality-as-we-know-it, as an actual person living in this democratic country on the verge of major internal insurrection, I also know that we hold “facts” as being the basis for any federal investigation and that there are NO such things as “alternative facts” allowed in those, despite what the President’s “reality-show” counselor seems to imply.
It just doesn’t happen. Laws are well-defined. The constitution is fairly specific on possible considerations and limitations. There are evidence-based criteria for a jury to consider. You can’t just spin a yarn and expect the people who actually have the facts at hand, to believe it.
So despite the fantasies portrayed by the President and his co-conspirators in this distraction of the Mueller probe and truth-dodge of what actually occurred prior and since his election to the office, the story line for this timeframe doesn’t have to just seem believable; it actually has to be the truth.
People may have read a fiction novel and engaged with it so completely that they claimed it was factual, even when it wasn’t. That might be delusional on the reader’s part, but that is simply good writing by a skilled author.
But a President of the United States cannot spin one yarn after another nor hoist one conspiracy theory after another up the flagpole to see who salutes it then expect the judicial branch of the government to not have (or use) corroborating or refuting evidence to substantiate or dismiss the claims made.
The actual Presidency of the United States of America is not a “Reality Show” where truth is what the main character claims it to be. That’s the fantasy Presidency—and that show is PURE FICTION.
The true Presidency is the top administrative office of the land meant to exemplify supreme integrity and purposeful leadership that holds democracy and the American values to the highest standards for all—both in our nation and throughout the world.
It is NOT one man’s sandbox for building fantasy scenarios to demolish our constitutional underpinnings.
It is NOT his propaganda factory for creating a personal, bullet-proof empire guarded by the Nation’s Secret Service with intelligence and law enforcement professionals at his disposal per his every whim.
It is NOT his latest lucrative business enterprise peddling influence and commemorative coins for selling our national defense down the sewer for higher media ratings.
This President’s believability factor has bottomed out to zero. Even FOX News is disputing his latest accounts. There are many now who simply don’t buy his fictional plotlines.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the last page of this “book” to see how the story ends.
But I don’t think it will turn out well for any of us.