Burning Sacred Cows
Get the BBQ sauce.
You may have noticed that my sentiments lately are one part “fed up with stupidity" and a BS tolerance level that is only a few steps short of honey badger. After Italy, I was already on “Why, yes, I do want people to die, thank you,” and in May of 2020, I was #NoLivesMatter.
Which explains my Saint Tommy, NYPD series.
Those who've read it don't really need an explanation. I’ve taken my unfair share of sacred cows and threw them on the grill, still mooing.
And no, not the “sacred cows” that TV writers think are “edgy” as they pat themselves on the back for “bravely writing about.” (Even though they’re “bravely writing about” the same cardboard stereotypes for decades, no matter how false they’ve been proven.)
It helps that the sacred cows of New York City are the people with power. Since I like having my villains with all the advantages, I made them politically connected. considering where I live (NYC), that made the power politics leftist politics.
The funny thing is that, while every psycho negative review has labeled me right-wing propaganda, I probably would have done the same thing had I used a right-wing town/ city / state. I would have found… something. Totally different things, but something.
So the first monster was part of a protected political class, and had political support behind it. So was the Death Cult of #2 and the ultimate creature of Infernal Affairs.
Come to think of it, no matter what country or state I put Tommy in, I make sure that evil is tied closely with secular and political power....
Yes. This might — just MIGHT, grant you— have something to do with the fact that I think politics is borderline demonic.
As Frank Herbert said, “Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”
I’m on board that train, and it will have to derail to get me off of it
It is in part BECAUSE these people are pathological that it makes it easy for me (and most of my readers) to believe that they will do anything to keep that power. Blackmail? Bribe? Steal? Sacrifice a marriage? Sacrifice a person? Sacrifice your soul?
That's the easy part. Politicians don’t have one.
And of course, it’s not just politicians who are in politics. Politics is a path to power. Whether it's interpersonal, education, international, it’s one sort of power or another.
And the end of the day, it all comes back to making the villains as powerful as I can make them.
Here’s a villain, he’s got all of his personal and physical strengths, and ON TOP OF THAT, he's untouchable.
Stacked decks have got nothing on me.
It's why I’m amused when reviewers and fellow authors think that I can’t top X scene for my Saint Tommy novels. After all this, how can the next villain be a threat?
The answer’s easy, because it’s always the same. Just keep changing the game and raising the stakes. Here's a serial killer. Now here's an anonymous attempt at revenge. Now here’s a bounty on our hero. Here are Jihadis. Now find the sex traffickers. Fight this dragon. Go to war with a Lovecraftian Bond villain. Here’s a conspiracy from within. Here’s a cult, but now everyone has a gun, high explosives and WMDs.
Eventually, as a last resort, there's the video game trope of “Yes, here are all of the major villains you’ve defeated… but now they’re just as difficult to defeat, they’ve had a learning curve, and they’re just acting as minions to the main villain.”
So yeah, I still have some tricks up my sleeve.