Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Douglas MacKinnon: The Bulwer-Lytton of the Joint Command

 Townhall tough guy Douglas MacKinnon "is former White House and Pentagon official who spent three years working in a Joint Command."  This was back during the Reagan Administration, so I assume by "Joint Command," Mr. MacKinnon means he was in charge of ordering 55-gallon drums of paraquat refills for the Air National Guard.

But he's also a writer of tough guy, Ludlumian fiction, with titles like The Apocalypse Directive, and America's Last Days: A Novel, and with his latest book, he's facing the same dilemma confronted by every tough guy American writer from James Fenimore Cooper to Ernest Hemingway to Norman Mailer: dismissive online reviews that seek to weaken his main character's bladder control.
The Top Ten Quotes From a Fictional Hero That Liberals Already Hate

The Threshold Editions division of Simon & Schuster (the publisher of Dick Cheney, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and Laura Ingraham -- defenders of Traditional Values, all) has just published my new novel titled Vengeance Is Mine.
Because The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was already taken.
No surprise that some liberals are already attacking the book and the beliefs of the main character.
You say "attacking," we say "mocking."  Let's split the difference and just say that some liberals are "macking" on your main character, which makes your book sound sexier, and more like an Iceberg Slim novel.
The thumbnail description of the book being that twenty years after ex-CIA operative Ian Wallace watched a brutal KGB Colonel ruthlessly murder the love of his life (and their unborn child),
I hate when that happens.
he is presented with the chance for revenge. The former KGB Colonel is now part of the Russian Mafia and on his way to Wallace’s hometown of Boston.
The key to a successful blood vendetta is that it must be conveniently located, like a Denny's, or a car wash.  I mean, I'm all for exacting revenge on the ruthless killer of my wife and unborn child, but not if it involves getting on the freeway.

So I wonder if Mr. MacKinnon named his secret agent character "Ian," after Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, because that would be incredibly clever and super sly, and "Wallace" after William Wallace, the Scottish freedom fighter, because Douglas likes to occasionally mix that mass ass-baring scene from Braveheart into his regular porn rotation of Tijuana Toilet Tramps and Roughin' It.
What sets the main character Ian Wallace apart is that he is fanatically conservative and proudly wears his strong belief in Traditional Values on his sleeve.
Oh, I see.  He was named after Ian Smith and George Wallace.
As such -- and as to be expected -- some in the liberal mainstream media have already started to beat-up me, the book, and Ian.
Beating up on you, I can see -- I've done it myself at the old site.  Beating up on your book?  Eh.  As Joanna often says, "honestly, who's got the energy?"  But I do have a beef with Ian, because Dude, you're a fictional character!  You can could fire a laser beam from your tie tack, or pull an RPG out of your pants, but you can't take a little chin music from some random Amazon users?  No wonder you sat there with your thumb up your ass while a KGB colonel ruthlessly slaughtered your family.
With that as background, what follows are some Ian Wallace quotes from Vengeance Is Mine that seem to be offending some thin-skinned liberals:
• "As a proud member of the NRA and a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I nodded my head in admiration of Tommy's Remington shotgun and his belief in self-protection. With the current liberal occupant of the Oval Office and his allies in Congress and the media working day and night to take away our guns and ammunition, I sincerely hoped Tommy had more where that came from."
Well...Okay.  I'm a liberal, my skin is probably as thin as the next guy's, and I admit, I do find that passage offensive.  But my objection isn't exactly political...
• "If I were emperor of the earth for one day, one of the first things I would do would be to disband the TSA and turn the entire operation over to the private sector. In the parade of our government being intrusive and out of control, the beyond incompetent TSA is carrying the baton and wearing the shiniest jackboots of the lot.”
This appears to be a Joycean allusion to an earlier work -- specifically, the original verse of Irving Berlin's Easter Parade, which was only heard during the out of town try-outs.  When the 1933 musical revue As Thousands Cheer opened on Broadway, matinee idol Clifton Webb warbled the now familiar words, but in Baltimore and New Haven, audiences heard him sing to co-star Marilyn Miller, "You'll be the grandest incompetent/In the parade of our government being intrusive and out of control."
• "Every time I enter Massachusetts, I feel like I am entering the former Soviet Union. Creeping Socialism Bay-State style...as a conservative who believes in limited government and lower taxes, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but home is home."
If this doesn't really sound like a quote from a breathless, seat-of-your pants thriller, that's only because MacKinnon originally wrote it as a 30-second campaign ad for Scott Brown.
• "...You had to wonder sometimes if the Members of Congress worked for the American people or for those who would like to dismantle the CIA one spy at a time."
I'm sorry, but the answer is C) the Koch Brothers.  However, we do have some lovely parting gifts, including the Vengeance Is Mine Home Game...
• "I always get a queasy feeling whenever I enter Cambridge (MA). It is an exceptionally liberal city. Lots of fanatics...75% of the inhabitants consider themselves to be very liberal...I don't think Beijing comes close to that number. The only places on earth that might be more liberal than Cambridge are our own State Department and the United Nations."
Ian sounds a little bitter.  Which is fine, nothing wrong with a dark, brooding protagonist -- just look at Casablanca, or most every Harlequin Romance -- but I prefer the kind of cynicism that leads your hero to pre-empt a speech by rising from the table with an abrupt, "Gentlemen, your business is politics.  Mine is selling drinks," rather than pitching in with made-up statistics about arugula consumption.
• "As one who had worked with Mossad and the Israel Defense Forces in the past...I always became particularly incensed whenever I saw one of these spoiled, rich, never-had-to-serve-their nation liberal brats walk past me wearing a Keffiyah scarf in "solidarity" with the Palestinian people...the same "populist" idiots who wear the Che Guevara T-shirts and have no idea of the atrocities that man committed against homosexuals, blacks, and children."
You can always tell when an author is writing from personal experience, and this passage reeks of the kind of passion that only comes from the heart.  I imagine Mr. MacKinnon's own service was hard, but ennobling, although strangely I can't find any mention of it.  He used to boast of having been Bob Dole's press secretary, but lately that information seems to have slipped his bio, so maybe he also forgot about humping an M-16 through the sweltering rice paddies of Indochina.

Wait, here's his official author biography from Simon & Schuster (Canada):  "Douglas MacKinnon has written for both the White House and the Pentagon."

Ah, so when he says he worked in a "Joint Command," he really means he worked on the Commanders' Joints by providing the brass with a full manual press release.
• "Well, at least not the ones being blamed by the liberal leadership in Congress for every disaster including the fictional and budget busting global warming --- aka climate change."
"Say, Ian, brutal former KGB Colonel Vladimir Ivanchenko is in Boston.  Shouldn't we go make him pay for murdering the love of your life and your unborn child...?"

"I can't leave the house right now.  It snowed yesterday in DC and Hannity is making fun of Al Gore."
• "The kind of people who insisted in saying "Happy Holidays" at Christmas and were offended or thought you a bigot for saying the perfectly proper "Merry Christmas" in a nation that was more than 80% Christian."
"Ian, I don't want to tell an ex-CIA operative his business, but Ivanchenko's only going to be in town for a week.  Shouldn't you revenge yourself upon him now for killing your family, and argue with the Target check-out clerk later?"
• "I used to read the paper normally front to back, but all…the liberal bias pushed by most mainstream papers was starting to have a cumulative effect on my already fragile mind."
Ian Wallace: on the surface, a deadly killing machine bent on vengeance, while underneath, he's everybody's elderly, email-forwarding aunt.
Mainstream media and liberal attacks aside, I am confident Ian Wallace can take care of himself.
So am I, assuming that Ian fights his battles primarily in Usenet threads.  Anyway, the "liberal mainstream" attacking Mr. MacKinnon's book appears to have emerged from the same place as Ian Wallace himself -- Doug's asshole fertile imagination.  I can't find any evidence of a genuine (though coincidentally sales enhancing) controversy, and there are only eight reviews on his Amazon page, 5 of them favorable.  This is the top one:
Aside from being a fan of author MacKinnon's previous novels, one of the things which made me want to read Vengeance Is Mine, was the endorsement on the cover by conservative commentator Tony Blankley which said: "A Thriller for the Tea Party Generation." How right he was.
You know, I didn't much care for Tony Blankley, but I feel kind of bad that that's his epitaph.

30 comments:

Li'l Innocent said...

Jesus H. Mahoney On a Stick. This got published?

His inner monologue is so vivid and revealing, I wonder what his action sequences are like.

KWillow said...

One of the things I loved the most about the James Bond books were his –turgid– political homilies on every page.

Anonymous said...

Are we sure this is a novel and not a word cloud from a bunch of Rush Limbaugh transcripts?

-AWS

Jay B. said...

Every time I enter Massachusetts, I feel like I am entering the former Soviet Union. Creeping Socialism Bay-State style...as a conservative who believes in limited government and lower taxes, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but home is home.

In Boston, $3 million brownstone buys you!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Last time I was part of Joint Command, I was in collage.
~

D Johnston said...

Wow, Ian Wallace is the toughest American Thinker commenter ever.

James R MacLean said...

One thing that I find interesting is that the "fanatical conservative" ideology is nothing more than Wallace [i.e., MacKinnon] announcing how much he hates people who don't agree with him... particularly people who, by his insistence, can't agree with him (e.g., "spoiled, rich, never-had-to-serve-their nation liberal brats").

I mean, what MacKinnon appears to think is "conservative values" is actually a hash of incompatible, arbitrary resentments. Even if someone really has told him he's a horrible person, this is nothing more than what he does with every "value" he has.

James R MacLean said...

So a person who is attending college in Cambridge, MA is, most likely, a member of the global 1%. So they're rich, if only compared to the median human worldwide.

How many people born since 1954 have "had" to serve their country? The draft ended in 1972. What about Howard Zinn? Daniel Ellsberg? Does bomber pilot in WW2 count? How about platoon leader in the US Marines in active combat?

What about James V Forrestal? He probably wouldn't wear a keffiyeh, but he wasn't exactly a Zionist, either.

His notion of "liberal" is, quite simply, anyone who doesn't believe the exact same things he does. Could be a Marxist, an anarcho-primitivist, a member of HaAvoda, a Ron Paul supporter, an environmentalist, ad infinitum.

So logically MacKinnon ought to prefer a strictly socialist country where there are no rich people, and everyone is required to serve their country. And he reviles Pres. George W. Bush for nationalizing airport security.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Wow. For a "tough guy" this clown spends an awful lot of time contemplating life lived in mortal terror of every liberal boogeyman imaginable. In fact, I'd re-title this wad of wretched stank Help! Mom! There's a Liberal Under My Bed! Part II: Oh My Lord, They're Everywhere!!

Chapter Eight: The Next Dirty Little Punk Jew Who Says 'Happy Holidays' To Me, I Swear I'll Stomp Him A New Mudhole

And of course, the whole world's out to get him and his fictional doppleganger for Daring To Speak The Truth. Cultist-apologists for L. Ron Hubbard didn't whine this much over the critical response to Battlefield Earth, and that response was real.

"A Thriller for the Tea Party Generation."

Okay, I'll buy that much. After all, the author's Mary Sue mentions his "fragile mind;" the whole thing's a stew of persecution-complex paranoia mixed with Coulter-grade bloody revenge fantasy; and it doesn't seem to have too many difficult words. I'm sure there's a "death panel" reference in there to seal the deal.

Carl said...

The thumbnail description of the book being that twenty years after ex-CIA operative Ian Wallace watched a brutal KGB Colonel ruthlessly murder the love of his life (and their unborn child),

Thumbnail being? Is that a new way of referring to embryos?

The former KGB Colonel is now part of the Russian Mafia and on his way to Wallace’s hometown of Boston.

"Is Bruins fan. What can I say?"

What sets the main character Ian Wallace apart is that he is fanatically conservative and proudly wears his strong belief in Traditional Values on his sleeve.

Who fucks his wife before the wedding and against her parents' insistence.

As such -- and as to be expected -- some in the liberal mainstream media have already started to beat-up me, the book, and Ian.

Ummmmmm, Mac? Piece of advice: if you want people to actually buy your book, it might help if you took a few basic grammar and syntax courses at your local community college first...

If I were emperor of the earth for one day, one of the first things I would do would be to disband the TSA and turn the entire operation over to the private sector.

Self-regulation worked so well in the banking industry last decade..

William Burns said...

MacKinnon does realize that the CIA is part of the government? That his conservative thriller is about a retired government bureaucrat with a health care plan paid for by helpless taxpayers?

Jim Donahue said...

I suspect this is one of those post-modern efforts, and he assembled the entire novel out repurposed right-wing blog posts.

(Someone actually did recently get a spy novel accepted by major publishers which was entirely--yes, entirely--made up of text stolen from other spy novelists' work, with names changed. Not obscure novelists' work, either. It actually got into print in the U.K., I think, but the U.S. publisher pulled the plug before it got out. The author claimed that it was not a stunt, but that he got in over his head and couldn't complete the work.)

Jim Donahue said...

If you're interested, the story behind that is here:

http://jeremyduns.blogspot.com/2011/11/assassin-of-secrets.html

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

the same "populist" idiots who wear the Che Guevara T-shirts and have no idea of the atrocities that man committed against homosexuals, blacks, and children."

Now that, dear friends, is some grade "A" concern trolling.

Anonymous said...

OK. OK, we get "Ian Williams": One of those guys who "loves America", while hating most of the people who live there...

Green Eagle said...

Man, this guy's writing is terrible. I hope you had to read the whole book to get these excerpts, because it would be a horrible thing indeed if this much crap could be found in the first twenty or thirty pages or so.

Someone would have to be an idiot to read this and not burst out laughing every page or so.

Keith said...

Vengeance is perhaps best left to g*d. Or it transits to the remainder bin at B&N rather quickly.

heydave said...

So, this bullet headed buttfuck has a fragile mind?

Duh.

D Johnston said...

For those of you who are stunned that this dreck got published, please note that it came out under the Threshold imprint. As memory serves, that was the same division that predicted Pam Geller as a runaway success. Just sayin'.

Liz212 said...

So this is a story about the most boring CIA operative ever?

KWillow said...

"What sets the main character Ian Wallace apart is that he is fanatically conservative and proudly wears his strong belief in Traditional Values on his sleeve."

Most CIA agents being squishy-brained liberal poofs! And don't get me started on the FBI!

Weird Dave said...

You know Scott, after reading those excerpts, it is my opinion that the post title is a serious insult to Bulwer-Lytton.

Scott said...

It was deliberate, Dave, the thumbnail description being that you can't libel the dead.

TM said...

...so maybe he also forgot about humping an M-16 through the sweltering rice paddies of Indochina.

But the fantasy of humping a 16 year old that sprang up while watching Indochine... that memory shall live with him forever.

TM said...

...so maybe he also forgot about humping an M-16 through the sweltering rice paddies of Indochina.

But the fantasy of humping a 16 year old that sprang up while watching Indochine... that memory shall live with him forever.

TM said...

Well, Blogger, it amused me, but I hardly think it was worth posting twice.

Sigh.

Stacia said...

Oh good, another whiny guy who pretends to be tough but is a delicate little flower who must have every whim and thought catered to him lest he crumble in a mass of quivering emotional goo. 'Cause there ain't 'nuff of them already.

He's going to be crushed when he finally realizes that it's not his politics but his atrocious Marty Stu writing style that offends most people. Ian may be able to take care of himself, but I don't think MacKinnon possesses the same wherewithal.

negative 1 said...

I'm guessing because he's family values we don't get any sex scenes, which is too bad because given the rest of the prose they could probably win awards.
"He embraced her conservative values with his federalist arms which he had washed lest they had touched the lily livered Massachusetts liberal air..."

Carl said...

Nah, it would be more hate-sexy and rapey:

"He pierced her liberal iconography and thrust his massive right-thinking onto her value landscape, where he deposited the seeds of her conversion."

trashfire said...

Ian Wallace: Sam Spade channeling Michele Bachmann. Without the irony.