A Writerly View on Recent Events

I debated whether I’d say something here or not because this is my author website, and a writing and review blog, not a current events forum. However, I wanted to say this. Writers are keen observers. How is that related? Let me tell you.

When a writer goes out in public, whether they be introvert or extrovert, they’re people watching. They’re eaves dropping on conversations and they’re watching patterns of behavior. It’s not all the time, and no, we’re not stalkers. It’s all about creating believable characters. It’s all about understanding humans and their interactions.

When a writer watches a riot, they’re not watching for the sensationalism. They’re wondering what motivated people to do such a thing. What will their lives be like when they go home. What will happen next. There is fear and all the other emotions any empathetic person would feel while observing violent events, but they ask the question why.

Plotting a novel, short story or whatever fiction narrative we write requires that question. What I saw wasn’t a bunch of angry people. I saw afraid people. I saw them fear that if they lose their enabler, they would have to experience personal growth and face why they think like they do. Introspection is terrifying to someone who would follow a man who says ‘law and order’ in one breath and then incites a mob to stop exactly that. The rioters were acting based upon emotion, not reason and logic.

The behavior I witnessed on January 6th was not akin to the French Revolution, or any revolution with righteous anger at a corrupt system. That insurrection was nowhere near close. I’ve volunteered for my children’s schools since they were in preschool, observing children and their group dynamics for almost fourteen years. What I saw on the news resembled scared children afraid that the class bully was going to get expelled and they would not be able to terrorize children they bullied all their lives. That the rioters would be held accountable for their actions and that didn’t sit well. The rioters behaved like teenagers, who broke into the principal’s office and trashed the teacher’s classroom who gave them an F, not serious adults with actual demands.

The class bully didn’t use his power to immediately shut down their actions. He gave a speech in front of the class so he wouldn’t get kicked out two weeks before graduation–A day too late. This event will go down in history, at least in my mind, as the Class Prank.

However, they are not children, and it wasn’t just the principal’s office the perpetrators vandalized. People died. Documents that threaten national security were stolen. They are adults and should be held accountable for their actions.

Painful as it might be, the country needs to grow up, learn to manage our emotions, and deal with our problems at home and elsewhere like rational adults. Hopefully, we can move forward as a nation.

©T.J. Deschamps 2021

Update: I just read that they found two pipe bombs and a cooler filled with Molotov cocktails.

Comment Section

  • I couldn’t have articulated this better. I had these same thoughts and debated writing a blog post for the same reasons you did. It inspired some musings and writing on my part just to process what I saw with my writers eye (let alone my citizen one). It was a shocking display to say the least

  • Very well stated. What we are witnessing is not just anger, I agree, it is deep rooted fear. Fear of many things that seem very real for these individuals. Emotional intelligence and critical thinking are a must when navigating ones larger world. Much care to you.

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