When, after a summer of dealing with hectic and exhausting family matters I finally had a few days to do nothing (what I thought retirement was really like), I found myself, between naps in this Peachtree City hotel room, glued to the pundits on the tube. I should know better.
It's not as if what Chris Matthews says holds any water, or that Bill O'Riley's leaking gibberish matters a whit. Nonetheless, I find the swirling, muddy rapids of the American political scene fascinating. Perhaps that's what can be expected after spending a quarter of a century living overseas.
And then, the debates. If you were among the undecided voters before the three encounters between Barack and John (unimaginable to me), then you probably still are. Nothing new was said, no new ground broken, no egregious gaffs were made, but we did get a chance to see them together (even though they were loathe to look at each other--a sign of weakness, no doubt). After the face-to-face encounters, Barack's lead in the polls has only increased due, no doubt, to some bubbling, convecting stew of the flushable economy, the lingering wars, and Mr. McCain's own close-to-meltdown strategies. Add to it the lovely Ms. Moose Killer's coming face to face with big-time, prime-time political hardball. We can be certain of only one thing: No matter how she struggled to slog through the melting permafrost of her inexperience and lack of knowledge, the pundits on the Right worked desperately to spin an impermeable, glowing web of support from half-truths and rationalizations. My guess is they were all, way down deep in their growly little souls, horrified.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com