Hannes Artens and Pandora’s Box

With Hannes Artens coming to speak at Ithaca College February 13th, I’ve been doing some research on the author’s views and political presence, in particular looking through the presentation of his various connected websites which include CAN and the Secular Student Alliance (??). His writing about his latest book, The Writing on the Wall, has its own narrative metaphor as he attempts to break down the pretense of the American government’s path to war with Iraq as an entrenched way of walking to war with Iran.

A coalition of aching-for-Armageddon televangelists, big oil, and false prophets of democracy manipulate maverick, straight-talking Senator-become-President- in ‘08, Jim Whitman into aerial strikes against Tehran. This is a confrontation he knows the United States must avoid by all means. Yet the spirits he has cited and pandered to on his road to the White House no longer follow his command. When the cakewalk into Iran becomes a gauntlet, the Vietnam veteran- turned-dove-by-conscience is soon decried as a reckless warmonger by the public and besieged in the West Wing by cut-and-run protesters while the American Empire stumbles over the abyss into a military quagmire, economic depression and possible nuclear war.

The Writing on the Wall is as much a no-holds-barred accounting of the last six years as a forceful premonition of what may follow. With provocative frankness and an abundance of political allusions some will find too realistic to handle, this cautionary tale exposes the forces that opened the Pandora’s Box of the Middle East. Through stirring personal fates, it guides us into the gray area where today’s frightening fiction can become the future’s bloody fact. A future we may still have the power to change…”

Though I’ll wait till his presentation to decide whether our views are similarly matched, the use of such strong narrative language is something to consider. I’m not so much a fan of pulling the “fiction into fact” and “Pandora’s Box” out into just the promotional materials for a piece of literature– Pandora’s Box in particular creates a rather negative and all-consuming image of that ever-nebulous Middle East, only further perpetuating the media bias that all countries and people can be lumped into a single mysterious box of dynamite. There we go with the metaphors again.


~ by 1womanarmy on February 9, 2008.

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