‘We had joy, we had fun, we had curry in the sun…’ Rather than the rather maudlin original ‘Seasons’, the South African (filk, parody?) version was the the ‘tragic’ tale of a fellow who drank too much ‘blue top’ (cane spirit – white rum, elsewhere) and is now suffering the consequences, by some long dead comedian.
Anyway: Seasons. We’re coming into winter here just as my Northern hemisphere friends are commenting on daffs putting their heads up and stinkbugs coming out in hordes. Oh, and winter deciding its season ain’t over yet.
Seasons used to have a huge impact on our lives, and, if you forget them and try to invade another country in mud-season, still do. But for many office/city working people they really have moved from center-stage, to peripheral. You whinge about snow on the road to work (which is a pain), you don’t die because you have insufficient winter provisions, and the spring is a slow one. It’s struck me in a couple of fantasy novels I’ve read, that either the author lives in NYC or maybe Florida – because seasonal produce is available out of season, and the seasons seem to run into one another. It is of course well done in some books, and I suppose if your market (those who buy your books) is also is unaffected by seasons (my son in the UK says all produce is always in season… somewhere. And it is all for sale there, at any time of year.) Still, very annoying to people like me.
The other aspect of ‘seasonality’ that seems to be affecting my cohort of writers, is that writers, fans, friends, influences… suddenly many seem to slipped into the autumn of their lives, and some to the final winter. It’s not a delight, even if it does come to all of us. I would take it kindly if any of you feeling late autumn-ish would take a trip to the equator. I don’t feel up to losing any more friends right now.
The third seasonal thing I noticed is that it really is cyclical. French politics is nearly as confusing to me as Australian or American, but their ‘far right’ is full of policies that the ‘far left’ everywhere else embraces. The one substantial difference is they’re very French-Nationalist. They’ve come from a tiny minority a few years ago, to losing the final run-off for president… the last twice. The first time was a 16% margin, this time 8%… and if no one over 60 had voted, their ‘far right’ would have won, hands down. France has always been something of a coal-mine canary for Europe. Like it or not, Nationalism is on the rise, and not among the old. I’ve seen similar data about gen z shifting their allegiance… I suspect as the cost of living starts to bite it’s going to get interesting, fast. The youth are going to feel betrayed by the globalism that they were told was their savior and inevitable. They’ll – if the previous seasons are any indication, be more inclined to worry about themselves and theirs and those like them than other people. So: maybe the season for actually being nice to joe ordinary in the country you write and sell in is going to come around again.