I’m not a pessimist, generally speaking. Unless it’s my own life, then I am a depressionist. But lately with rise, or rather the resurgence of white nationalists, and nazi lovers, and the cruel glee they seem to relish in, as those not white, not privileged, not straight, and not christian are harmed, leaves me feeling pessimistic and depressed.
I’m afraid that this feeling will leak into my writing exercises. Will make them so damned depressive I will never pick up pen again. Yesterday (when I wrote this by hand it was 25th of June, now it is July 2nd 2017) I wrote a bit on building a capital city and at the end of the post I segue to the question what kind of person builds a new capital city-presuming there is an old one and one doesn’t “need” to start from scratch.
These days all I can see is negativity. And I find myself fighting not to attribute only negative motivations (because I can’t see how someone, who wants to throw people in wheelchairs out of homes, is a hero in any story), to such a capital builder.
Whether this person is the protagonist or antagonist, I can’t see anything positive. I am struggling here. The character is one-dimensional, and very much a clichéd caricature. This is a short coming of mine perhaps. I am so dishearten and I struggle to write anything because I feel surrounded by this black-heartedness that seems to permeate society on so many levels.
I want to like in some small measure a character who undertakes building a new capital from whole cloth. I’m trying to get to a place where I can write that person who builds a new capital city. In those better moments, he/she is a Willy Wonka type character:whimsical, a bit of joy, some crankiness, and hint of darkness (I originally wrote streak of evil, but perhaps that is too strong, yet there is something lurking there under the surface) goofy too, and bathed in weirdness, bizarro and pathological impulses to be sure.
The builder, of course, would issue decrees such as no buildings taller than the leader’s tower (if this was to be a farce could make the tower a not very impressive 6 stories tall, due to the leaders fear of heights) therefore the buildings ability to project power and prestige wasn’t much, even with a nightly light show and fireworks display which was to celebrate some made up victory or historical happening. All the buildings would light up in the countries 4 colors mauve, teal, sherbet orange and what one observer claimed was “the reddest red since the Red Plains of__ were given digitally enhanced reds-to boost tourism.
The leader wanted that red everywhere, even if like on the country’s flag it didn’t quite fit. The first designer quit when shown the color swathes. The next one wasn’t so lucky, in fact the next two after this second one also met untimely demise. (note make the deaths public, and horrific in a farcical way. Infuse with dark humor)
The problem was finally solved by using the red as the flag with splashes of the other colors, in the center. (or have the design be the poke-a-dot design the leader came up with and that the rest of the world snickered at.) In response to all the negativity the leader hired a P.R. Firm to take on the task of making the flag the most unfunny flag that people recognized.
Note:How to do this task? Brain storm ideas: slap flag on consumer goods, t-shirts, build projects and mark with flag, export goods with flag as logo, try to make it a tasty luxury good-which no one likes. Join a peace keeping mission, soft projection of power type undertaking, build a spaceship, but can only build a small one, about the size of a semi-trailer. It has a very small payload; the smallest since monkeys and dogs were cosmic visitors.
This turned out to be a really good exercise for me. I started writing about what I feared and that in turned allowed me to move past that fear. There is more work to be done. But all in all I feel much better about this exercise than when I started.