I recently released the second installment of my dystopian trilogy Outpost, and Lisa, the owner of this website, was kind enough to review it. Halfway through reading it, she sent me a message congratulating me on having reached the conspiracy theorist reader segment so well. I’d written a real bonafide government cover-up conspiracy story.
It was a great compliment, but the thing is—I didn’t write it from that point of view, at least not intentionally. I just saw it as a story, a series of connected events which occurred as a result of poor choices and greed. I may have set out to write it one way, but obviously, that isn’t the way it was read. So that got me thinking…
Am I that jaded toward our country’s leadership that it bled through into my writing without my realizing it? Anyone who lives in America must be able to relate to the frustration so many people feel toward our broken government. We can’t get away from it because anytime you turn on the television now, you hear about some sort of failure in Washington, and it is always the fault of whichever political party the network you’re watching is opposed to.
It’s nonstop, the news media overreporting so many issues that have nothing to do with the governing of our country, yet the party lemmings seize on those stories anyway, accomplishing the original objective of reporting those trivialities: to pull attention from the issues that truly matter, allowing our pop culture-hungry masses the chance to bury their heads even deeper in the sandboxes their political parties have built for them.
Now don’t get me wrong, and don’t misunderstand my point here. This really is not a political rant. I’m not a backer of any political party and I never have been. Call me a Matt-ocrat. No, if anything this is a morality rant, because too many of our county’s leaders—our leaders—the people we have elected, the people we should aspire to be like—base their very public actions on the petty, spiteful, purposefully divisive choices of a group of people they’re too afraid to stand up against.
How can that not trickle down to the rest of the country? How can our figureheads’ actions not change our point of view? If they can inspire us in positive ways through leading by example, as so many others in our past have, it certainly follows they can polarize us in the same way.
Is my new novel, an unintentional work of conspiracy fiction, a symptom of our government’s decaying integrity? Has our national cynicism become so much the new norm that we’ve just accepted it?
Thank you for the compliment, Lisa, but it’s a scary thought.
Outpost: Survivor Chronicles of the Great Rains: Book One – a Review
Matthew Keith Interview – Inspiration, Research, and a Deadly Rain
Outpost: Survivor Chronicles of the Great Rains: Book Two – a Review