Note to readers: We are, at this time, four writers on this blog. (We are always on the lookout for new voices, by the way.) Each of us has traveled a different path to develop our own perspectives and voices. I look with great anticipation at what the others might post on any given day. Their thoughts are their own, as are mine. This particular post is a bit reachy, a step into the unknown, and I want it understood at the outset that the others are not part of the process that brings it to the fore. They got their own things going on. MT
This post is a trip into uncharted waters. I am up against a great unknown: ‘They’ appear to be manufacturing stars, musicians, politicians, academicians, scientists, in fact, makeshift people. They are given identities, endowed with unearned expertise and talent, and made to seem a natural result of the ever-ongoing search for talent.
Our friend Straight has a remarkable eye for masks and sees through them with more ease than the average person. This blog benefited tremendously not only with his written posts, but hours of behind-the-scenes help as we tried to pick up on twins, zombies, and other assorted public hoaxes. Yes, we made those rookie mistakes, but we learned so much in the process.
I was passively watching a rerun of Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday while fiddling with something else, when he announced that New England quarterback Tom Brady was on. Right away I thought spoof, and as the door opened and a fully clad football player walked out, I instantly knew, even before the big reveal, that it was Matt Damon.
Back many years ago I used to go to our local library looking for something new and interesting. I would go through the stacks looking for books that had many copies, thinking that popular meant good. I’m no literary critic, but in that manner, I discovered Robert Ludlum, and gobbled up everything he wrote. If not good, at least he was enjoyable. He had a sense of authenticity about him, and his characters, while formulaic, were not the typical American-good-everyone-else-bad type. Anyone could be a villain, duplicity was all about, and power was always hidden in the shadows.
Ludlum died having written perhaps half of his final book, and other authors took over. I could tell, reading that last book, exactly where he passed on. The writing voice changed, the characters became cardboard cutouts.
Robert Ludlum is now a trademark, and the books are written by a committee named “Robert van Lustbader.” I’ve not read another since.
Back in the 1980s, hungry for fresh reading material, I wandered up and down the fiction aisles at our local library looking for books that had multiple copies on hand. These I knew would be popular, and so worth a look. In this manner I came across Robert Ludlum. I enjoyed his work, and read every one of his books. I was impressed that his heroes and villains could be of any nationality. Americans were not singled out as good guys, which was a nice relief from the constant barrage of patriotism and jingoism we get in the espionage/thriller mode.