Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sara and the socialists

I couldn't read Fire Sale.

I realize that people have agendas, and authors being people also have agendas, but Sara Paretsky is pushy and distracting with hers and it took away any credit I had given to her work. Fiction is absolutely a great vehicle for the establishment of ideas and ideals but...genre mysteries? Perhaps not.

But if nothing else, Paretsky's (tame by former standards) socialist leanings are what authenticate her as a genuine Chicago author.

I happened on Paretsky's blog today and saw first hand the full force of her views.

In a post from November 6:
"I believe that Beck uses the same tactics that worked so well for the National Socialists in the 1930’s. He repeats slander and inuendo, loudly, and repeatedly, and takes advantage of a part of the population that is terrified already by change, by the economic meltdown, and the threat of terrorism, and plays on their fears. Like the National Socialists, he finds scapegoats that his listeners can blame for their own fears. When I see a ragtag group of poor people protesting health care reform, I know he’s been a success: these are the people who will become homeless if they have a catastrophic illness, but they are sure that Beck, and his cronies like O’Reilly and Hannity, are right to oppose government-sponsored health care, because all of these broadcasters have identified the real problem as belonging to feminists, or Muslims, or blacks, or President Obama, or all of the above. These broadcasters have persuaded a significant fraction of America that President Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist, that he wasn’t born in the U.S., and even that he has set up concentration camps in Arizona."

It's sad, I think, that a writer should sink to such levels, to join in with the media squabbling, the bickering. That's why she became an author in the first place, no? To eloquently show what's wrong in our country, to convey through story what the real problems are, and to illustrate with words what needs to change, that is why authors are great.

But Sara is only vindicated in her outspokenness. The great Chicago writers: Sandburg, Sinclair, Richard Wright, Algren, and Bellow all share a common bond of sympathy for the working class and of writing on their behalf.

Milwaukee had a socialist Mayor (thanks Wayne's World); Chicago never did. The culture of the working class is so evident in our literature, and I just can't figure out why.

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