Kat Ross: Methods of Fooling an Entire Population

May 30, 2014 Author Feature, Guest Post 6

What if everything you’ve ever been told was a lie?

Today we here from Kat Ross, the author of SOME FINE DAY on Methods of Fooling an Entire Population!

Some Fine Day

Watch out for our review!

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Methods of Fooling an Entire Population

So I’ve been doing mindfulness meditation lately…Wait, come back! It gets better soon, I swear.  My point is, I’ve noticed that I hold a lot of strong opinion about things which, frankly, I know very little about. Worse, I can’t even remember how I acquired these opinions. All I know is they are right, and they fit comfortably inside my monkeysphere*.

If you scratch the surface of some of your opinions, you might realize that they are entirely constructed upon a half-overheard conversation dating back to sixth grade, or sage advice from Aunt Twitter, or that one time you were on a road trip and had to use the bathroom at a Gulf station without a Level 5 spacesuit. I’m not talking about disliking brussel’s sprouts, whose hideousness is scientifically proven. I’m talking about the fact that we are hardwired to categorize stuff based on the flimsiest of pretexts. And once it’s in the box, it stays in the box. Why? There’s probably some fancy evolutionary term that I could find on Google in a few seconds if I wasn’t so lazy…and bingo! There’s my problem in a nutshell. I’m lazy. Shiftless, torpid, laaaaazy. It’s just so much easier to have a nice pre-cooked opinion about anything that crosses my path than to actually make one from scratch. I mean, really. Who does that anymore?

Bearing this in mind, it’s not too hard to imagine the predicament Jansin Nordqvist finds herself in.  Because Some Fine Day is very much about appearances versus reality. And the underground society Jansin lives in is the perfect captive audience. They’ve been cut off from the Earth’s surface for more than three decades. Their only contact with what’s happening up there is the Hypercane Network, which broadcasts live images of the five superstorms that rampage across the planet. It’s fun to watch, and even more fun to do it while you’re safe and cozy below. Like curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and The Exorcist on a winter night. Poor, poor Linda Blair…now pass the genetically engineered tortilla chips, will ya?

The people running Raven Rock, Jansin’s underground prefecture, have developed a bad case of the bunker crazies. In all fairness, it’s wasn’t just a knee-jerk let’s throw in some fascists to spice things up, shall we? decision. I think a closed society like hers would be especially susceptible to that kind of thing. And as a young cadet, she’s had an extra helping of brain soap. But what I like about Jansin is that she switches monkeyspheres about midway through the story. This is not an easy thing to do, but it goes to the heart of why I love to read and write YA. Because young people have a greater innate capacity to question the Gospel and form opinions based on *cough* new information that comes from actual first-hand experience. Like the two sisters who recently renounced the Westboro Baptist Church (if you haven’t heard of it, trust me, you don’t want to). The truth can be painful, the truth can cost you people that you care about, but sometimes it’s worth going for anyway.

I’m working on the sequel now, so if my editor likes it, it should see the light of day in summer 2015. In plotting the story, I thought a lot about propaganda and how it works and what it might take to ignite a rebellion against the status quo. Without venturing too far into spoiler-land, I’ll just say that the Hypercane Network is a key piece of the puzzle. As Abbie Hoffman points out in Steal This Book, “Every rock or molotov cocktail thrown should make a very obvious political point. Random violence produces random propaganda results. Why waste even a rock?”

*Please see this essay by David Wong, who will explain everything you need to know about monkeyspheres. It’s very sad and very funny and very true. DISCLAIMER: I’m afraid there’s cussing. Like, lots of cussing.

 

Some Fine Day

Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She’s smart and deadly, and knows three things with absolute certainty:
1. When the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.
2. The only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.
3. There’s no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.
Jansin has been lied to. On all counts.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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6 Responses to “Kat Ross: Methods of Fooling an Entire Population”

  1. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Great post! And about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I was raised not only in a conservative Christian environment, but my parents’ particular branch of faith came with a rather intense subculture. Don’t drink, don’t eat meat, no caffeine, your body is a temple, blah blah (amongst other things), to the point that I knew people who actually thought they were better “Christians” than the rest of us meat-eating, coffee drinkers. I have nothing to do with it now, and mostly that’s b/c I DID question the strong opinions, and I found them LACKING. Will definitely be checking out this book AND monkeyspheres 😉
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Armchair BEA – Day 5, Middle Grade/Young AdultMy Profile

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Great post! It is funny how we people have the need to stuff everything in a box and label it (even if it doesn’t really fit, or if perhaps there is another box that could work). And I look forward to seeing Tabitha’s upcoming review.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…The Three by Sarah LotzMy Profile