I’m writing a story set in 1920’s, in New York during the Prohibition, mainly centered around a club called ‘Duncker’s Candle’ after the owner John Duncker, but really it’s named after the ‘Duncker Candle Problem’.
Which is a study in ‘Functional Fixedness.’ So you had a guy a candle, a book of matches, and a box full of thumbtacks, and tell him he has to attach a candle to the wall. Chances are, he will try a number of methods without thinking to use the box as a holder and tack that to the wall. Why? Because he sees the box as it is, a holder for the candle. It is functionally fixed.
The fact that so many political actions became mixed up together in the twenties is insane in the membrane. But only when the Anti-Saloon League chose to focus on one specific issue - outlawing alcoholic beverages - did they change the consitution, while in fact bringing progressives, racists, suffragists, religious, and nativists together in a common cause simply because they had their sights set on a common enemy.
The interesting thing is not that they fixed their sites on one enemy and stuck to it till they knocked out the 18th amendment into the constitution, and passed the Volstead act to enforce the law. What changed society is that in enforcing the law, the state was functionally fixed, while people on a whole were in their top form as people all over the map.
Is politics merely a kind of trading off of blow by blow, or pit for pat, in the manner of some positive dialectic, to take away from your enemy, and leave him reeling for the floor you hope to reset more to your liking?
Or if a conspiratorial view is in order, to any degree, a kind of Hegelian dance to re-synthensize a suitably anesthesized recapitulation of public trust? Are people trying to compensate for the fact that the world is not what they wish it to be, and seeking affront to the effrontery they perceive, all the while so they don’t have to witness it themselves?
I just happened to switch from my long-term writing project to take a break and write a short story for a themed magazine’s deadline, but I missed the deadline and will probably finish the story anyway… I will probably make it just about what I want it to be about anyway.
Is there no such thing as faith-based liberals, without the term actually meaning death-hoping religiose cramp-headed fools?
Anyway, I like mixing my non-fictions and my fictions and watching my characters bleed.