fengi: (Mr. Fengi)
2014-01-21 11:47 am

Books I'm Avoiding For Now

For now, I'm avoiding fiction with something like this in the title: "Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness."

I'm tired of the chosen one narrative. Especially in an era where the Great Man narrative in real life is an obstacle to progress. It's unhealthy for a single person to represent a movement or ideal, because then it isn't strong or stable. A shit ton of people were responsible for Eliot Spitzer's legal and political strengths and his dick managed to undo or set back a remarkable amount of their work. When Mayor Harold Washington died, Chicago's reform movement just imploded. Chicago's ability to benefit from a corrupt machine rested upon Mayor Daley whose municipal loyalty eroded until he did the parking meter deal which funnels millions out of the local economy to international investors. Now Mayor Rham has no loyalty save global finance, and even if the voters turf him out there might be nothing left. And it might not happen just because the entire city turns on the concept of The One Guy. Nelson Mandela was awesome, but his party coasted on his presence while letting its future be determined by Jacob Zuma.

So the chosen one is becoming a wee grating. I enjoy stories with a single protagonist, but that protagonist doesn't have to be utterly singular to be interesting. When The Doctor was an exceptional person he was amusing, when he's constantly the focal point of saving the multiverse, it amplifies the weaker aspects of the character. Two series I did enjoy - Odd Thomas and Repairman Jack have fallen apart as their characters shift from quirky talents who stumble into an epic situation to the Once And Future Hero (particularly Repairman Jack, it was clear Koontz was going to dump some boring Jesus shit on Odd).

Not saying all such material sucks or will never be read, but I'm over it for now.