I have been struck by the vitriol of two political campaigns over the past few weeks. The anger, hatred and hyperbole during in the American presidential race and the British EU referendum seems to me to have become much nastier this year. The ability and ease of spreading this fury on social media has fuelled the flames of intolerance. Now there’s been the murder of a British MP and the attempted murder of Donald Trump. Will it change anything?
I’m of the opinion that most people allay themselves to a political party during their formative teen years. Their allegiance will be formed by family, background, social-economic standing and other influences. Most people will remain loyal to that party for the rest of their lives. No amount of reasoned debate or statistics will sway them one iota. So, in reality, the vastly expensive political campaigns’ only hope of success is to gain the support of the small percentage of floating voters. That small number of people who lack loyalty to one or other of the main parties. Any CEO would be appalled at the cost versus return ratio of these campaigns. I can’t help but wonder if the growing vitriol is down to the frustration of trying to persuade die-hard voters to switch.
Could it be time to re-examine the party structure and the length of campaigns of modern politics? We cannot continue to allow political parties to engender such extremes. It can only result in fracturing society more than it already has.
Our new mutt, Bruce the Beagle. I wanted to call him Darwin, but was outvoted. Barks loudly for such a short-arse.
I remember going to the Lyric theatre in Belfast to see Equus. What a spectacle, a drama that has stayed with me for over forty years. RIP Peter Shaffer. Coincidentally, he was on vacation in South-West Ireland when he passed away, so he had a taste of paradise before he died.
I wrote a scene set in a drone bar three years ago in my mystery thriller Sandman. Had to explain how the drones delivered the drinks to the right table. By coincidence, the pop-up bar I wrote about was at a technology fair held on a university campus. It’s a real buzz when your fiction becomes reality.
I harbour a dark secret. It’s my way of rating a book. I read a lot, one hell of a lot, but occasionally I will give up on a book. I don’t like doing it and rationalize it by saying that I’ve reached an age where my time is better spent in other ways than persevering with a book I don’t really like.
What motivates me to bring the guillotine down on a book? It’s very simple, if during the story I tempted to turn to the last few pages to discover how it turns out, then I stick with it. No giving in to temptation. No early reveal. But if a story fails to create temptation, then it’s the chop for that story.
Harsh, but it works for me. Admittedly, I do read a lot of thrillers and mysteries which lend themselves to end of book resolutions. One interesting phenomenon that I’ve noticed over the last year of so is the high proportion of books I failed to finish having Girl in their title. Perhaps it’s not that all that odd, as it sometimes seems every new title has the word inserted.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was one notable exception in a collection of disappointing reads.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Supreme Court Judge, Adrian Hardiman. His sudden death at home has deprived Ireland of an astute and compassionate man.
Judge Hardiman was kind enough to write a two page review of my non-fiction book Defamed! He commented that the book would do more to bring about libel reform in Ireland than twenty years of canvassing.
My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
Just to let you know that my books are 50% discounted at Smashwords for Read an E-Book week March 6 through March 12. Enjoy.