Σάββατο, 6 Απριλίου 2013

Isn't it Time You Read a Fun, Nanny State-Mocking Book?


Bacon and Egg ManPeer into the future. Not
our future (hopefully), but a future in which Michael Bloomberg's
most feverish dreams about saving us from ourselves have come true.
That's the premise of
Bacon and Egg Man
by Ken Wheaton, a novel
that should be satirical, but really is just an extrapolation down
the path set by smoking bans and soda restrictions. In Wheaton's
mid-21st century, the northeastern United States seceded from the
union under the leadership of a "King Mike" who was primarily
motivated by the desire to be the biggest fish in a small pond.
After years of creeping nanny-statism, the rest of the country was
only too happy to tell King Mike and his Northeast Federation of
States not to let the door hit them in the ass on their way out —
and to insist they take California with them. This set King Mike
and friends loose to mold a new nation using all of the tools
available to elitist control freaks with no checks on their
power.


Wheaton's hero, Wes Montgomery, is a journalist with a sideline
as the leading black market dealer of banned foods on Long Island.
The fun begins when he gets busted and coerced into participating
in an undercover operation against his counterpart in
Manhattan.


The premise of the book is similar to that of F. Paul Wilson's
"Lipidleggin',"
which was written when the whole idea of a diet-controlling,
therapy-mandating, Big Mother-ish government seemed oh-so
far-fetched. I asked Wheaton about that, and he'd never heard of
the story. He's a Louisiana native though, and a few years of
living under King Mike's smothering hand while working for Ad
Age
in New York City were likely all it took to have him
pining for an America that had quarantined militant aerobicizers
and haters of trans-fats.


Mean Martin ManningWhile we're on the subject of satirical
novels about the nanny-state future, let's not forget Scott Stein's
Mean Martin
Manning
. Consistently funny and, yes, mean, the novel
follows misanthropic Martin Manning, who hasn't left his apartment
in years simply because he wants to be left alone. He's not
neurotic, or phobic, or troubled in any way. But he is ill-tempered
— and perhaps just a little more than the aggressively caring
minions of the nanny state counted on when they set out to "help"
those who neither want nor need anything of the sort. What's that
about waking sleeping giants? How about pissing off  a pit
viper?


Mean Martin Manning was published in 2007 and deserves
much more notice than it has received. Like Bacon and Egg
Man
, it captures all of the awful presumption of the nanny
state, and then just sets it down its own logical road, to where
the nanny staters are not only likely, but certain, to go if
allowed free rein.


I'm a big believer in the value of both culture and fun. I
recommend these books not just because they celebrate freedom, but
because they're enjoyable to read and work in and of themselves as
novels. We have to participate in the culture and contribute of
ourselves if we're going to nudge it in a healthy direction, and
both Bacon and Egg Man and Mean Martin Manning
are worthy contributions in that direction.



High Desert Barbecue
So, of course, is
High Desert Barbecue
, the rollicking, thug-thumping
novel of outdoor adventure, penned by yours truly. Thrill as
conspiracy, arson and ineptitude threaten the desert West, and only
a misanthropic hermit, a subversive schoolteacher and an unemployed
business writer stand in the way. I may not address nanny staters
to any great extent, but my book deals at great length with
tree-huggers and bureaucrats. There are plenty of larfs and
violence. I should have added more sex.


High Desert Barbecue was a Freedom Book Club book of the
month. Like the other two novels featured here, I like to think
that it stands on its own merits.

0 σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου