Amelia started corresponding with Noam Chomsky in the 1990s around specific questions of the arts and humanities (history), educational curriculum, and state testing issues (square pegs in round holes), when she was working for the State Education and Cultural Education Departments. Amelia was completely dumbfounded by his generous letter writing to an average citizen seeking guidance. This communication was before the world of email, and his letters hang on the studio’s wall as cherished relics to remind me to be generous and giving even to perfect strangers. (Will an email ever have that kind of status?)

With Chomsky as a role model, I join his chorus in asserting “You never really know which stranger you communicate with could become a markable force for progress and improvement.” (whether it be opening a job opportunity, or a change in civility in a town or national government…) It is true that being open to the possibilities that communication enables, is better than being closed to the possibility. Chomsky assumes everyone has that capacity; the question always resided in “do they have the information they need to accomplish this.”

In my novel, these letters should come and go throughout the story with a cup of afternoon tea.

If readers are unfamiliar with Chomsky please start by renting the movie Manufacturing Consent (1980s) and move from there to some of his writings (Prof of Economics at MIT). Of course there are a ton of youtube videos including one just posted 2 days ago about Egypt/middle east dictators and US funding of them that is fascinating (thanks to wikileaks), but this one is a great starting point.

Note to self: Wikileaks is another HUGE issue at this particular moment in American history, and writing a novel about humanity and government without Wikileaks would be a grave error. I should develop an on-going theme about Wikileaks information and the trauma of reading about things like the systematic propoganda circulated by the US government about film maker Michael Moore. Since we have an elected official in our town whose family works as a spy in a foriegn country for the US government, it might be fun to develop an actual narrative thread about “local government” being informed by Wikileaks shutdown and federal CIA methodologies of character assassination on a local level.