The Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing Coach SM
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Culture Warriors
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions. We are an interactive community of authors and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre, but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing information.
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript, and are provided to the general public. Because we are an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month features information on Culture Warriors.
Bill O’Reilly, famed (or infamous) talk-show host on Fox News for the past ten years has reached the top of the non-fiction bestseller list with his latest arrival, Culture Warrior, Broadway Books, 2006. His thesis is that liberal America cloaks their liberal agenda as “secular progressives” from Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton, the Hollywood elite personified by George Clooney and Susan Sarandon who push their view of morality on mainstream America. His call is to the silent majority who have refused to get involved in politics since the 60s by invoking the term, “culture warrior.”
He quotes Teddy Roosevelt’s remarks “there are, in the body politic, economic and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them” to begin his book. O’Reilly is the master at hyperbole cloaked in soft, right-wing tones; he’s not as obnoxious as Sean Hannity, but he, nevertheless, creates a mythical Central Command (CENTCOM), complete with a mission statement and plan of action for America to survive the next culture war between the left and right elitists and egotists.
Especially intriguing is his chapter on “close encounters of the secular kind,” a spoof on Spielberg’s 1972 movie, that begins with a quote from Don Corleone on “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” His litany of Hollywood’s elitist “do-gooders” includes Alec Baldwin, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, George Lakoff, plus the liberal newspapers in the major cities of America. O’Reilly attempts to discredit the media as pontificating without the gray matter to back up their arguments, especially when it comes to the “war on terror.” The author expounds the virtues on which our founding fathers believed, that our “Judeo-Christian values continue to provide a foundation for justice and prosperity.” In all fairness to the left, O’Reilly wrongly assumes that private business and philanthropy is superior to government handouts that foster no sense of self-fulfillment and behavior change (read “get a job and keep it.”).
The ACLU becomes the “straw man (woman)” for everything that is wrong with the liberal, secular-progressive agenda. His thesis is that the majority is bashed to protect the rights of the minority and oppressed (sound familiar?). This same argument was used by Spiro Agnew who criticized the press during the Nixon years and invoked the term “silent majority” as a call to arms to stand up and be counted. It’s also the same time that the movie, “Network” appeared in which the anchor is leaning out the window in his now famous “I can’t take it anymore” invective that resonated with middle America, tired of being stomped on by the media as if some “alien pod” was going to whisk us up, up and away in that beautiful balloon.
The traditional warrior’s (T-Warrior) code of ethics is encapsulated by ten “pithy” principles:
- Keep your promises
- Focus on other people, not yourself
- See the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be
- Understand and respect Judeo-Christian philosophy
- Respect the nobility of America
- Allow yourself to make fact-based judgments
- Respect and defend private property
- Develop mental toughness
- Defend the weak and vulnerable
- Engage the secular-progressive opposition in a straight-forward and honest manner
Funny, but the number 10 reminds one of S-P’s staunchest advocates, David Letterman’s “top ten” list. I don’t know if O’Reilly’s list was to make fun of top ten lists or was, in fact, a call to arms for the silent majority to become T-Warriors. Remember the 70s TV hit show, “The A-Team” with “Mr. T” as one of the elite strike force commandos? Just a thought, but I wonder if O’Reilly’s book was intended on a more subtle level to be satirical and pokes fun at both sides of our political spectrum.
- Read O’Reilly’s book and form your own opinion about the sub textual messages intended for those of us in the center.
- Watch the various cable news programs as to slant and editorial comments; do you see a continuum from the major news channels all the way to Fox News?
- Take any social issue (ill) and see how a secular progressive might differ from a t-warrior in solving the problem.
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach and is accepting new clients. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in executive development, founded and managed Texas Community Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home services to persons with mental retardation, and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest Houston since 1990. He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate interest in helping others become attuned to their creative powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family therapy and health psychology. He has published articles, made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality