Well, as I suspect you’ve noticed, it’s comin’ up on election time. I know a lot of people who, despite complaining an awful lot about The Way Things Are really, honestly don’t care, and thus won’t vote. Obviously, I can’t tell you what to do, and equally obviously, many of you aren’t like this, but I suppose I want to urge you all to do the research on the candidates and head out there, when the time comes, to vote.
And, because I’m me, I have to do it in the most amusing way, to me, possible. Generally, that involved telling you to read something. This is no exception, as, in an election year, I feel compelled to offer up this particular suggestion: Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan.
Transmet features Spider Jerusalem, drugged out gonzo journalist in the style of Hunter S. Thompson (with notably more violence), and a fair number of volumes deal with his coverage of the election and subsequent clashes with the President as he tries as hard as he can to make an increasingly apathetic culture care about who will be running the country and how they'll be doing it.
For all the absolutely insane sci-fi elements to the story, the story definitely rings true to where we are in the world today. We live in a world where people remain gleefully uneducated about many of the most serious issues facing our nation while turning elections into a matter of “who’s the most like me?” We’re blinded by sound bites of flashy issues, ignoring follow through, ignoring compromise.
Transmet is hardly a new book, but there are a lot of people who’ve never heard of it, and a lot more who’ve never read it. It’s a frenetic, powerful book that’s wildly entertaining, and while it’s preachy at times, it’s relevant, and the scolding is well-deserved.
So, head up to your local library and ask about Transmet. Many public libraries have the full series, and others will think about ordering it if you ask. It’s a worthwhile read, especially in an election year, and if you aren’t interested in spending the money yourself, there’s no reason you can’t ask a library to do it for you.