I live outside of Houston.
Hot humid summers, mild winters. The semi-tropics.
As I sit here, all bundled up against the rare cold snap that people living in the northern climates would consider normal winter weather, I realize a few things.
My house isn’t built for it.
Oh, the attic insulation is pretty good–designed to keep out the summer heat–but the rest assumes air conditioning and indulges in plate glass windows. Cleverly designed with an overhang large enough to shade the glass from the direct summer sun, but not too large! In winter the sun is lower enough to shine though, and warm the rug.
I love my house.
But if, instead of getting a deep freeze like this once or twice a decade, the climate changed and every winter was like this, we’d have to make some structural changes to adapt to the new reality.
Which is all well and good for mere architecture, but when it’s political, business, technical, and social climates that are changing, all at once, we can get pretty darned stubborn about adapting.
Now I don’t want to write a political screed, but I don’t want to adapt to the “fortified” election process, I want to change it back to something that will keep fraud under control. But government is something we are supposed to control, right?
Businesses, on the other hand, so long as they operate legally, are free to run themselves, according to their own desires. So, for instance, if Amazon decided they didn’t like the tone of my books–let’s face it they could easily find something to justify canceling me–it’s not my responsibility to change them.
Might bitch a bit, but . . . see tech changes! I could sell my stuff elsewhere, and would. What if they all decided I was beyond the pale? Website, “Downloads, Free to Good Homes! If you like them, and want to encourage me to write more? Every five or ten books, send money to . . .” PayPal doesn’t like me? “. . . send a ten spot or whatever to P.O. Box ###, Boonies, TX.”
Or I can try to hand-sell at book fairs and cons. Hang around street corners. “Pssst! Hey buddy, want to buy a book?”
Hey, don’t look at me like that! You never know until you try it!
I’ll keep my eyes open for a good trench coat, just in case it comes to that.
Other businesses? Well, I can, at worst, pick the least obnoxious grocery store and enlarge my veggie garden. Assuming the grocery stores have anything to sell. But I don’t, personally, think we’ll go full USSR-style bare shelves.
No, really the hard part is going to be Social and Cultural Adaptation.
The Leftist Environment is going to be . . . interesting, yes, let’s call it interesting.
I’ve always thought of myself as a fiscal conservative, and a social moderate. But the social currents of the last several decades have had me swimming up stream as fast as I can and barely staying even with what I used to think of as moderate. Because as far as I can tell, that current is swirling right down the toilet.
And the violent reaction to any attempt to present the other side is disturbing. Like poking a poisonous snake. Not a safe pastime, but you can’t just leave it there, where it might bite someone else.
We all know about the harmless snakes that look like the poisonous ones . . . so some people will adapt by taking on the appearance of a poisonous . . . thing. Not becoming one. And maybe trying to push a few ideas out there that might make people think a bit.
One has to be clever. Subtle.
I’m not good at faking it.
My adaptation is going to have to be consciously steering my writing, presenting the types of heroes and villains that slant the way I want the real world to go.
The Works in Progress may be a little heavy handed. The good guys are individualists, working, sharing voluntarily, helping their neighbors. The bad guys are collectivists, controlling people “for their own good.” I’ve dumped them on a rather dangerous World and turned them loose to live or die by their practices.
Now I just need to get the right people to read them.
And stay warm, in an unusual winter, that I do not want to become entrenched.