"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

We Are All Outlaws In The Eyes Of America

I've been noodling around with this script concept for the past couple weeks, the first purely creative writing in quite a while. The gist of it is a disillusioned political operative raising cash money from black-market sources and carrying on an outlaw lobby campaign in DC. Thinly-veiled autobiographical content abounds, but they say you write what you know. My goal here is to start with that, and fill the rest in with what I dream.

The general concept can be exciting and sexy I think, and the rough plot arc I have sketched out should be a satisfying narrative, but I need to fill in some details before I can really finish a treatment. I need to learn more about the specifics of lobbyist culture, find out where and how Republican operatives party, and maybe investigate the rampant rumors about how the Humbold County DA raises money. I want as much authentic texture in the surroundings as possible; I think it will free me up to be more fantastical with the plot.

One of the big questions is "what's the outlaw lobbyist's agenda?" I think getting into the wonk zone would probably kill the writing, so the idea here is to sketch out something in broad strokes that has mass appeal, and then find something really specific that can be part of the primary dramatic conflict (e.g. what are the good and bad guys/gals facing off over?).

I'm not sure about this yet, but kicking the whole idea around with Franz, he gave me his wish-list, which actually seemed to be pretty decent:

  • Universal Health Care. 'Nuff said.
  • End Prohibition, because it's not working out, and the prison industrial complex is a modern horror.
  • Universal Service (open internet, broadband for all), because this is kind of fundamental to a lot of other things, and it'll let us have a really positive and participatory culture.

If you can stick in transitioning away from Imperialism and Corporatism, and towards being a Republic again, and embracing Economic Democracy in as bullet points, with the implications for things like energy policy, that's pretty much the whole revolution as far as the federal government is concerned. I'm a fan of federalism, and with a country as big as this, it seems right and true for Kentucky to be different from Arizona.

I could delve into all that for posts and posts, and maybe sometime I will, but for the moment I'm trying to figure out how to fit that into a realistic narrative structure without losing the suspension of disbelief or getting boring. Should be a good challenge to synthesize like that.


I could see this as a comedy or a thriller. I'd probably stay away from the comedy thing though, it could get lumped in with all the other Washington outsider stories. I think the three issues you bring up could be really interesting drives, but why not have this be renegade lobbyist firm that works on all of it. It runs the whole revolution right from one office. They start out small time, a Barney Frank here, a Kucinich there. Then you could use one inciting incident to get the plot going, like finally crossing the line to get the money to make it happen all over. They finally get on the radar, and the corporations and other lobbyists(the evil) start coming after them. Man, you need a co-writer, this could be awesome! You'd definitely need Denzel as the head of the firm, or Will Smith, they're very good at the anti-establishment, crusader thing in a thriller:-), if it were a film. Seriously though, this sounds like a great idea that would work really well, and might just work as a script too;-)

I'm definitely thinking film in my head, but writing first, you know? Definitely less comedy, but I don't see it going the traditional route of a political thriller, which generally lean towards conspiracy and car-chases with black sedans.