Here is an exampl of some short FICTION that I wrote in the wake of the Tucson shooting last year. Give it a quick read, then imagine how stinking easy it would be for me (if I was a sleazoid liar) to morph it into “deep background!” from an “inside source!”
If I was a sleazoid peddler of fiction dressed up as fact, which I am not. Then, I could really get some traction out of it, because plenty of gullible folks would believe that it was REALLY TRUE!
Professor Raoul X, by Matt Bracken
It was late June and I was sitting in a café seven hundred miles from home, doing a little web surfing. There was plenty of room at mid-morning, so I could sit at the end of the coffee bar with my laptop. I was scanning the breaking news about the new mass-shooting. Like most people I was morbidly fascinated with the deranged young man who was the killer. That is, the trigger puller. But I was looking over his shoulder for something else: signs of a guiding hand.
Why? Because I know something about the subject.
You see, being a guiding hand is my lifes avocation. My secret avocation, that is. Outwardly Im a tenured professor of sociology at a Mid-western university. A life-long bachelor, so my summers are my own. Ostensibly for writing, research, quiet reflection, bungee jumping or what have you. My summer hobby is traveling and meeting interesting people. Everything I do on these road trips can be explained under the rubric of field research, but even so I pay with cash and move like a ghost. Im old school. Its a harmless quirk. Nobody cares.
I suppose if you polled my students, theyd declare me to be left wing, but not a rhetorical bomb-thrower. Am I closer to Karl Marx than to Ayn Rand? Well, naturally. Progressive politics were part of my upbringing and education. And of course that is also the best way to get along in academia, and I do like to get along.
No question my academic career has been lackluster. That does not concern me. I have no wife or significant other to be concerned with my apparent lack of greater ambition or wealth. Seeking publication for papers that a few academic gnomes might eventually peruse does not interest me in the least. Writing some groundbreaking tome that will be reviewed in the New York Times and read by millions is not a realistic aspiration. I am no Jared Diamond in the rough. I won academic tenure, and that was enough. I have a house and a ten-year-old Beamer. I enjoy my little comforts. A small circle of friends, none close. Id be the first to admit its been a mediocre lifeoutwardly.
But my secret life has been anything but mediocre. I have engineered extraordinary events, but truth be told, there is little joy in secret celebration. So I am creating this document, properly encoded and hidden, to save for posterity. When my unsurpassed run is finally over, due either to my natural demise or other more precipitous causes, my secret history will conjure itself from millions of computer screens unfiltered, unspun and uncut. The truth will be known. This is my story, and no one can take it from me. My name will ring down through the ages, when my complete story is told!
But not yet. There is more secret work to be done.
I did not drive seven hundred miles to ponder my lifes ledger and tap on a keyboard. What interested me was the creature standing on the other side of the white coffee shop counter. The gaunt, long-haired young man by the espresso machine could have been taken for a college student in a college town. Really not too bad looking in person. Pushing six feet, skinny. Gray-blue eyes, a little too closely set. Decent complexion for his age. Maybe a few days since his mouse-colored hair had been washed or properly brushed, but overall he was quite presentable. Duncan it said on his plastic name tag. I already knew that his last name was McClaren. I wasnt in this picturesque college town by accident. I was here to meet him, but he didnt know this.
Duncan McClaren was one of the most promising prospects Id run down in years. My own students unknowingly provide me with many of my leads. We have free-ranging discussions, in and out of the classroom setting. From practice I know how to guide them toward a discussion of the weirdest people theyve ever known. Duncan went to high school with one of my female students. His first name was mentioned casually by the student, tossed off her lips and promptly forgotten. Duncan sometimes heard voices, she said. Talked to himself. And he could not stop talking about whatever obsessed him at the moment. He cut right into conversations among people he hardly knew, and went off onto bizzaro-world tangents. And what really set him off was the countrys most famous talk radio host.
(Read the rest at the link, if you care to. And remember, it’s FICTION, meant to be thought provoking, and not fiction dressed up as FACT, to rope in the easily duped for instant traction.)
you could flesh that out into a full novel someday no problem...
and you are right, you could make people BELIEVE!
Uh Oh, another blog post! How come humblegunner isn’t all over this like flies on fresh dog droppings???