Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Too Important To Ignore

As I’ve mentioned before, my motivations in life are seldom politically motivated. I’m the quintessential middle of the road independent in that regard. But, I heard something on the news yesterday that brought on a tingle of fear that to most folks may have been barely worth a shoulder shrug, considered business as usual in America.

Earlier this year, I published through ATTM Press a science fiction novel predicated on a global economic collapse that even two hundred years later had not resolved. It’s called “Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”. As a plot setting, it left the world in what might be described as a post-apocalyptic condition without a single bomb having to explode anywhere. The world plunged into survival mode with all advanced technology vanishing over time and even some basic technology is left in need of restoration. And, it all began with overwhelming and broad-reaching greed. I mention this because it is why the news story yesterday wrecked my thoughts for the remainder of the day and led me to post this.

It was reported yesterday that one of the largest banks in the world, HSBC, was basically slapped on the wrist for laundering money for criminal and terrorist organizations worldwide. Let me point out that this action cannot be more criminal. They were fined 1.93 billion dollars (thereabouts) or roughly five percent of last year’s profits with no person, persons or group within the organization being held accountable with prison or a conviction of any kind. Prosecutors said that they were “too big to prosecute”. Reasons given were that it would cost too many jobs and create too much turmoil in world markets.

Wouldn’t smaller banks move in to pick up the slack in a matter of weeks if HSBC had their charter yanked? Wouldn’t all the honest employees find other employment at other banks as soon as that happened? I’ll answer both questions with a resounding yes, of course. It’s a slap in the face of our economic system to believe otherwise.

Wouldn’t it serve humanity better to demand honesty and accountability through the law, regardless of size or influence of the accused? Were lucrative promises made behind closed doors in exchange for leniency? Were politicians threatened with forfeiting massive campaign contributions? Were government leaders promised under-the-table favors of any kind? Again, I answer with yes; in fact, I think I’ll say, “Hell yes!” There can be no other explanation for a company being given the equivalent of a traffic citation for a crime of such immensity.

A few years ago the government bail-out was given because certain companies were “too big to fail” and “too big to prosecute” is the next step toward problems of monumental and uncontrollable scope. What next? Will government willingly hand over control of certain aspects of power because the company is “too big to say no to”? From my perspective, we are there in many ways already, especially if our leaders are bold enough to say aloud, “They’re too big to prosecute” without tongues planted in cheeks.

In my novel, “Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”, the protagonist bemoans stupidity at a pivotal point in our nation’s economic history just prior to an irreversible collapse by stating, “The affairs of government was reduced to an office between the janitor’s closet and restrooms within corporate headquarters and served no other purpose than to print money on demand and make speeches on behalf of the company.”

“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy” is science fiction but the current state of our nation and world indicates it may become non-fiction in my lifetime.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Nutty Kind of Wisdom

Early yesterday morning, I sat at this keyboard, fingers at the ready, attempting to force out creativity that might miraculously advance my latest novel toward some sparkling conclusion in the next couple of months. Picture, if you will, flushing rocks down a toilet and expecting them to go somewhere. Okay, now you know how hopeless my effort was, regardless of the pain in my head that followed. That pain was the only thing created.

Later, I finally gave up, grabbed a bowl full of freshly gather pecans, snatched up the cracker and then headed for the front porch. I was wearing shorts, flip-flops and a sleeveless T-shirt in eighty degree weather and began shelling pecans. The fact that it’s December and so warm is a complaint and a post for a different day. I will say, though; if I wanted this kind of weather in the last month of the year, I’d move to the tropics and at least have a beach nearby, but, enough of that.

Back to creativity; here’s something I’ve known all along but apparently needed to be reminded of, as do all people that have anything to do with the arts: Ideas and brilliant thoughts occur only when the head is clear of extraneous influences. A mindless endeavor like shelling pecans is a good way to make ideas flow, or working out at the gym, or jogging –things that require no brainpower. Forcing creativity does... not... work... ever. I’ll debate it with anyone because my mind is firmly set on this issue.

There are extremely talented novelists that are far above my pay grade that do inspired work. I’ve read novels that were so good, I committed to following the author’s work from then on, only to discover the next one to be disappointing and, maybe, the third one as well.

Dare I go so far as to call them crap? Ooh, close call, but yeah I will.

And then, a couple of years will pass and the same author will release another inspired work. In retrospect, I’m convinced that what transpired was strictly a commercial commitment. It appeared that the author agreed to a multi-book deal – the second and third written solely to sell on the weight of the author’s name.

Would I do this? Hell, yeah! What author in his/her right mind would turn it down? But, it’s not the point I’m trying to make. It simply spotlights that inspired writing requires inspiration. Yes, a fat paycheck is one form but, again, not my point. I’m speaking specifically and only of creative inspiration.

So, here’s the thing: On those days you feel as though your brain has lost every wrinkle and glossed over like the proverbial cueball, then grab a bowl of pecans and hit the porch... or something like that.

Have a great day, y’all.