Greg Stillson for President
October 23, 2008
For a while now, the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket has been reminding me of something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Leave it to a horror writer, Stephen King, to straighten me out:
I’ve always been a political novelist, and those things have always interested me. “Firestarter” is a political novel. “The Dead Zone” is a political novel. There’s that scene in “The Dead Zone” where Johnny Smith sees Greg Stillson in the future starting a nuclear war. Around my house we kinda laugh when Sarah Palin comes on TV, and we say, “That’s Greg Stillson as a woman.”
I’ll leave it to you to track down a copy of The Dead Zone and look up the vision Smith has when he shakes Stillson’s hand. Suffice to say, you’d probably find the same mess simmering beneath the domes of Norman Podhoretz, Dan Coats and scores of other neocons who can hardly get through the day without fantasizing about yet another luverly war.
(Over the years, by the way, I’ve come to think The Dead Zone may be King’s single best novel. The David Cronenberg-directed film version is certainly the best big-screen King adaptation — Christopher Walken’s portrayal of John Smith is a career peak.)