04 December 2010
Day 252: Kill and Kill Again
So the premise of this book is that a country music star's sister was killed, and the murder was covered up by someone working for Manchester Arms. The bright idea that Wally Best (the singer) has is to get elected mayor of the town so he can have unhindered access to any information or shady deals. The premise is almost silly, but the campaign is actually run closer to a current day campaign.
Pentecost may have been concerned about the track politics was on, having lived through most of Reagan's two terms. And of course now campaigns are almost laughable. There's hardly any real content to campaign ads that actually allows us to intelligently select our next leaders. Instead, it's about who can entertain or charm the most, and who can provide the scariest story about the other guy or the economy or Oh God the Gays Are After Us. I think Pentecost would have considered the last three or four presidential collections very helpful in writing this; unfortunately he didn't have that help and really once Quist (the Public Relations official turned private eye...type...person...thing?) got involved with solving the crime, there was no more focus on the whole reason Quist went to Bridgetown in the first place. Yes, Wally wanted to solve the crime, but Quist was just supposed to get Wally elected so that Wally could do that. Instead Quist snatches that away and does all of the work for him.
But the campaign is not even good entertainment. If politics is going to be turned into a three-ring circus, I at least want some decent bear baiting and motorcycles in cages. What is this weak watered-down excuse for a petting zoo? There's no pleasure in watching a bunny rabbit stared down by Katie Couric, it's just painful. If we're going to torture anyone with leadership based on who can entertain the best during the stupidly long campaign, it ought to be the candidates. I think I'd much rather see a Fear Factor-based campaign than watch another attack ad which tells me absolutely nothing about the candidate running it. I think people probably know and learn more about the kids from Jersey Shore than their own elected officials. How messed up is that?
Also, who wants to bet that my blog stats will get a boost just from mentioning Jersey Shore...
According to the review from Publisher's Weekly on Amazon.com, this wasn't even a very good book when it was published. Psst, I don't like linking to Amazon either.