Saturday, August 16, 2003

Mitch Luckett

A fellow recently asked me if being a good writer was anything like being a good liar. I shot from the hip and told him that I hadn't thought about the topic too much, but conceded that I considered myself a good writer and an adequate liar.

I've been ruminating on his question and all its ramifications ever since.

An essential aspect about being a good writer and an adequate liar is that you hope your hindsight is better than 20-20, and if you have doubts, you ruminate until it is.

I had to consider the fact that my questioner was, after all, an attorney, so where did he get off asking me if I was a good liar? I judiciously and perhaps generously decided that being a good attorney was not necessarily synonymous with being a good liar, even though I have seen Johnny Cochran in action. I finally concluded that being a good attorney had more to do with concocting a version of the facts that was more favorable towards a particular point of view. Which turned out to be a bad idea, because that made me think of politicians.

More ruminating, and I realized politicians concoct versions of something in their line of work, but don't rely on all the facts, the use-ratio at best one or two out of a hundred. They call this spin. Politicians are, I must admit, much better liars than writers or lawyers, but when you get right down to it, I'd rather read a good book or hear a good yarn than be harangued by a politician or cross-examined by an attorney, and if the writer, who in this case is an adequate liar and can also sing and play blue grass banjo and harmonica and has written a very strange and humorous book called To Kill a Common Loon, I think the best thing to do is just introduce him and sit down.

Please welcome Mitch Luckett

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