Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCain’s Commonplace Book

Ever wondered where McCain comes up with all of his ideas for campaign trail anecdotes? It might be hard to imagine how he could come up with so many made-up stories and factoids if you haven’t heard of commonplace books. Every great fiction writer born before 1900 has one, and McCain is no exception.

Take a moment to peruse the commonplace book of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft became a cult favorite by writing books about monsters and elder gods and the like, pulling ideas from quick notations. As you can see, Lovecraft had something of a one-track mind:

4 Horror Story- Man dreams of falling—found on floor mangled as tho’ from
falling from a vast height.
5 Narrator walks along unfamiliar country road,—comes to strange region of the unreal.
17 Doors found mysteriously open and shut etc.—excite terror.
19 Revise 1907 tale—painting of ultimate horror.
125 Man abandon’d by ship—swimming in sea—pickt up hours later with
strange story of undersea region he has visited—goes mad??

On that page alone you can see 221 different ideas that, had Lovecraft lived for another several billion years, would have all become full stories. I’m not sure how much you can write about “a hideous sound in the dark,” or #17 about doors scaring people, but that was his plan. Researchers recently uncovered Tupac Shakur’s commonplace book, and with a little ingenuity and a LOT of bribery, I’ve come into possession of the commonplace book of one John Sydney McCain. Here you can see his plans for future attack ads, rally stories, and more:

1. a mans taxes are raised- unspeakable horror- he goes mad, votes republican
2. scientist gets line of viable stem cells. BUT- were they life? he goes mad, dies
3. vision of a future in which the US has left Iraq, unspeakable horror
4. unearthly dread- souls of defeated republican incumbents haunt voters
5. terrible regret- lobbyists mourn the Demise of republican washington- they wake up- it was all a dream? or was it?
6. Conservative commentator in the basement of ghastly castle- accidentally endorses Democrat- he goes mad
7. man loses his job to outsourcing, but its ok because he gets tiny tax cut? he buys a muffler
8. hideous scene in white house as black democrat from (outside of space and time? accursed terror zone? Chicago?) sits in oval office. all god-fearing Americans go mad.
9. eldritch ritual, candidate accepts nomination in stadium near Greek pillars, indescribable fear
10. Fall of Mankind after warrantless wiretapping is illegalized. Describe chilling process in which one must obtain a warrant. Not for The Faint of Heart.
11. Liberals- endless horror.
12. Dark incantations after evil forces (witches? Communists? atheists?) remove ‘under god’ from pledge of allegiance. Jerry falwell goes mad, dies.
13. prominent republican gets lost on way home- stumbles into hideous unspeakable world where intolerance and deceit are the hallmarks of the republican party- ghastly revelation- he is actually the one from another world
14. child goes to school, learns about evolution. Theory of Evolution is actually black magick cast by profane wizard? terrible possibility
15. hurricane Destroys american city- dodged a bullet- birthday cake- heck of a job.

Terrifying stuff! Transcribing these is a pain, maybe more later from the McCain Commonplace Book.


  1. 16. Democrats push for alternative fuels does nothing to halt global warming. Scientist throw hands in air proclaiming "Our bad. Guess man is not responsible." World burns in firery, then freezing terror. But...Conservative Republicans who voted McCain-Palin are safe living on the incomplete offshore platform trasformed into a shanty town after they could no longer stand to live in an America of such prosperity, higher education, and tolerance of all human beings...under a black president. And maybe, Jesus is there or something, and he's like "i'm back guys! been a long 4000 years, huh? please, please put down those guns and crosses. they BOTH make me very uncomfortable."

  2. 17. Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann and COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS plot a future of socialized medicine and protectionism at GROUND ZERO - Reagan's Ghost goes mad, drowns self in the reflecting pool.

  3. hi all