Monday, January 23, 2012

The Angus Effect

My daily reading consists of having several books on the go, one for assembling information that I intend to morph in the future, one to search for a particular language that will metamorphosize this information into something relatively coherent, and one to give my mind a breath of fresh humour that clears out the guck that can accumulate in the corners.

For example, I am working on a book, a photo-journal, titled From the Perspective of a Tree. I have photographed many leafy characters that, as individuals, also have a voice and something to say – thus one book to inform me of their message. At present I am reading Gaia: an Atlas of Planet Management.

I know what I have to say, and I think I know what they, the trees in this case, have to say, but the problem is in communication and the translation – therefore, at the moment, I’m reading primarily, North American Indian Reader, as what’s left of their language is far closer to the source I’m looking for than the mind-set that we invaded with 500 years ago.

So you can see that I require a mental disk cleaner and a defrag to keep the synapses in good firing order, and for this I require humourous reading. In this case I will tell you about two books that I have just finished by Terry Fallis, his first novel, The Best Laid Plans, and the second, The High Road, so much so that I have suspended all my reading just to absorb and laugh at a superbly accurate political satire which is only the surface delivery of a very crucial message for our current crises - the disease in our political and corporate institutions.

Terry Fallis doesn’t rely on cynical, political satire as fodder for the publishing industry, but more important here is a very strong, clear and urgent message to a public that is resisting to be dumbed down. I will quote from The High Road:

*Chapter two: (Lindsay, Daniel’s girlfriend) “Was it different working with Angus?”
(Daniel, Angus’ EA in the first election) “Completely different. He’s unlike any politician I’ve ever known. He has more common sense than any politician that I’ve ever known. He doesn’t care what people think. He seems congenitally programmed to do what’s right even if it costs him support. And he’s as honest as they come. He refused to play the political game. Instead, he changed the rules. And he made it work. One man against a powerful political system more than a century in the making. There are time-honoured forces at play on the Hill that Angus simply defied. One man.”

And in the last chapter:
“(Angus to his Prime Minister) Yet you sacrificed your Finance Minister and delayed the tax cuts. Why?” asked Angus.”
“In the silence and dark of night, while the city slept, I simply asked myself the  one question that seems to have guided your foray into public life. ‘What is right for the country?’ It won’t be always so easy to answer that question, but in this case, it was quite straightforward, as you know,” explained the Prime Minister.
“Aye, the course was clear, sir. I commend your decision,” replied Angus.

The standard response to any proposal of this belief, fictional or otherwise, is ‘Yes, but it takes political will!’, in other words, ‘not bloody likely’ which is purely lazy thinking and a just plain dumb response.
What I have learned from Terry Fallis’ Angus is that simply takes ‘personal will’ so we don’t have to wait for someone else to kick this donkey in the butt because we can more readily kick our own butt, saving the time and expense of going to the farm if you are rural voter, or going to the zoo if you are an urban voter.
I highly recommend this humour-coated, political meds to put right whatever ails you or to reconnect your addled brains.
*Quotes generously permitted by the Author, Terry Fallis

1 comment:

Janet said...

I had to send this your way! I've nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. The details are here: Yes, it's like a chain letter, but I enjoy your writing.