Sunday, April 20, 2008

Double the Controversy!

As if an evil Blackwater-type corporation invading America weren't enough — now I've doubled the controversy! The new idea I'm throwing into the mix is "mad love" — obsessive and/or forbidden love that causes personal upheaval and social revolution — something I took from the Surrealists (note: there's no Wikipedia entry on "mad love" or "amour fou", surprisingly enough). I originally planned to use it for the love affair between Spanner's two main female characters, Shira Thomas and Leila Shelley, as early as 1996. But now any old yuri-manga lesbian relationship is no longer enough for the Dictel trilogy. Now:
  1. in Bad Company, Charlie's primary love interest becomes her own sister Desiree;
  2. in Black Science, Willa's husband leaves her for Dictel and is pursued by her own niece (Charlie and Desiree's older half-sister Ruby Shears?), who is in love with her, even as she turns to the older sister with whom she has had more, let us say, intense relations in the past; and
  3. the chaos in Points of Authority may begin with Charlie and Desiree publicly announcing their determination to get married despite the legal obstacles and social stigma.
The inspiration for this is a website I found called Sisters in Love [Update 11/26/2010: That site is now dead] and its testimonials from real-life sisters who are lovers, plus one woman who succeeded in marrying her one true love — her own aunt. Sound crazy? It's certainly not socially acceptable. Which is perfect for what I have in mind for the Dictel trilogy. The challenge I have is connecting/counterpointing this theme with Dictel's corporate villainy.

And if I want to push the controversy even more, I can take positions on any number of controversial issues. Here's one: gun control. I'm against it. The conventional wisdom among ruling classes is that guns must be banned, ostensibly because they pose an intrinsic threat to society. The radical position, though, is that the right to own guns, when exercised by ordinary citizens, actually reduces the crime rate, primarily because crooks have to think twice before mugging or burglarizing someone on the off chance they (the intended victim) too may be packing. The radical argument against gun control frequently takes the harsh cynical position that the true reason for gun control is to disarm the people in order to make them easier to control and even enslave.

Another: Black Science begins with a debate. The controversy: evolution. Rev. Joseph Creel, a fiery black preacher, defends creationism. The defender of evolution, a "second-string" volunteer brought in because the originally scheduled debater was wounded in a suicide bombing by the Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus, is Dr. Willa Richter-Thomas. Willa proves the better debater, and I clearly take her side.

Another controversial position Willa takes that I don't necessarily, is socialism. And not just socialism as such, but controversies within socialism. Willa tends to prefer the Trotskyist position represented by the World Socialist Web Site. Naturally, because Trotskyism is not all that popular even among Marxists, she must constantly defend her position, above all in the centerpiece debate. And, of course, she constantly debates her anarchist brother Cedric.

That's just a sampling. But the major controversies, in the Dictel trilogy at least, are:
  1. The military-industrial complex turning against the American people and trying to take over the US government;
  2. the nature of government and whether it is even necessary at all, and the proper way to get rid of it; and
  3. unconventional, and sometimes downright illegal (as homosexuality and even interracial sex once were) loves.
Or that's my list so far. It could change depending on what grabs my brain...

As for the "sisters in love" issue, my fuller statement on it is right here.

Back to Spanner‘s World...

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