What To Expect From An Interregnum

by | Dec 7, 2020 | Articles | 0 comments

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum. 

Cambridge English defines interregnum as “a period when a country or organization does not have a leader.” That certainly seems to apply at this moment.

Merriam-Webster’s definition: “the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes.” Interesting, because, although we don’t have a monarchy, we have labored for four years under the regime of a would-be President-for-Life, a.k.a., dictator.

Just for good measure, here’s one from Lexico: “a period when normal government is suspended, especially between successive reigns or regimes.”

And that also seems apropos, as we spiral through this grey, terrifying lame duck period in which seemingly anything can happen.

 

What If the Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train?

I sense that many of our allies feel like now is an appropriate time to say, “Hey, congrats. Y’all dodged a bullet.” (Well, okay, none of them would use y’all. But you get the idea.)

My thinking is, Did we, though?

I’m not so sure.

While the boy king holds more superspreader “rallies,” i.e., propaganda events, like the one he held this past weekend, he seems largely disengaged from every other aspect of doing the actual job of being President.

This might not be cause for alarm. Sadly, in the age of the orange monster, it’s tempting to say, “Hey, he’s not doing anything. At least he’s not doing any more damage!”

Again, I’m not so sure.

 

More Uncharted Territory

As we have been so many times through these horrendous four years of rule-by-sociopath, we are in uncharted territory. And as I’ve said many times recently to those around me, I won’t be relaxed until somewhere around January 21st.

Will this historically self-centered leader be able to absorb the enormous hit to his fragile ego involved in accepting that he actually lost the election? The sheer volume of unprecedented bullshit from the last thirty daysrefusal to concede, attempts to decertify, outlandish claims of fraudcertainly provide cold comfort to sane people.

And in the end, what is the best-case scenario? A nation torn asunder by a blizzard of lies? A former President living in exile in the Ukraine? Or even in prison? These are not great outcomes.

I can think of plenty of worse-case scenarios, though, from martial law and a suspension of habeas corpus to nuclear war. So I guess we’ll just have to wait another interminable six weeks to see whether one of the “better-but-not-great” scenarios comes to fruition. Whatever the case, we still don’t know what we’re lurching toward as we live through these dark days in America’s history.

Feeling A Little Bit Better

There's an old, very bad joke that goes something like this: It was Christmas, and everyone was feeling merry; so Mary went home. Then everyone jumped for joy, but Joy jumped out the window. I know those only work when spoken aloud, and in the #MeToo era, it's a...

How Authors Can Navigate Twitter

Way back in June 2016, I wrote a blog post about Facebook vs. Twitter. At the time, I had a whole six months of expertise as a guy running a business full-time, so no wonder I did such a great job! Well, okay, maybe I overstated my case. But the bottom line of that...
repetition

Insanity: Writing the Same Thing Over and Over?

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of those steps. I’ve been really lucky: I’ve had the good fortune to publish and sell four of my novels, and I run a freelance writing and editing business as well. I have great clients who love what I do and send me...
storm

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Rock With The Storm

A while back, I was having a very bad Monday, and wrote a blog post called Roll With The Punches, Baby! The idea was that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; sometimes life hands you a bouquet of flowers, other times, a punch in the mouth. On that particular...
gratitude

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...
software

How Hard Is Software Supposed to Be?

So last week I took the Memorial Day holiday off from everything: no blog, no book project...nothing. Just me and my wife enjoying the day off from work. We don't get that many of those together, so it was nice to just hang out, sleep late, and watch mindless TV shows...
holidays

Books: Great Holiday Gifts, or The Greatest Holiday Gifts?

I saw a cartoon the other day that features a character who's starting to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like..." A second character quickly and quietly puts the first character down, saying, "Shh. Sleep now." Dark stuff, right? But hey, these are dark times—in...
president

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It—Then Let It Go

​In 1994, I wrote a novel called Brothers’ Hand, in which the titular character mentions that someday working class people might very well use billionaire “Duncan Scrump’s” name as a curse word one day. Of course, I never imagined such a person could become our...
coming-of-age

Dreams, Memories, And Growing Up One Day At A Time

We use up too much artistry in our dreams—and therefore often are impoverished during the day. - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow   Boy, ole Nietzsche really had it right, didn’t he? Last night I went through mental movies that ranged from being...
self-promotion

What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I've been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me? If...
MLK

MLK Day 2023

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Twitter Tips for Authors in 2023

If you follow my blog, you probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. In 2020, I wrote a post about Twitter for fellow writers that got a good response. Three years later, the landscape has changed, but some Twitter best practices...
rails

Going Off The Rails (But Not On A Crazy Train)

Last April, I wrote a blog post called Back on Track With a Work-In-Progress. Part of that post was to talk about the difference between a “plotter” and a “pantser” (and to describe myself as a hybrid of the two, a “plantser”). Another, less obvious motive, was to...
French

Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions

Today’s blog post was originally going to be Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. III. However, after seeing parts I and II lined up, I decided to call an audible and make it something less repetitive. Somehow the SEO gods have gotten into my head. As I’ve mentioned...
scared

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. II

In last week’s post, I mentioned a pretty well-known author who has publicly reported his publisher “wouldn’t touch” a new release, in part because a character in his novel referred to herself as “fat.” I heard this story on a podcast, and I remember thinking, “Wait...
censorship

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want

I’ve been stewing on this for a while. It’s been brewing for quite a while. I could probably write a song about it (how about a rap?), but I don’t think I will. This is more of a blog post topic, and it might even deserve a series. And that’s the title and topic of...
gratitude

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...
robot

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...