The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 October 2005

Escape from Malibu

Found on the local craigslist:

I'm a script writer and thinking about moving to OK ... because I can sell my house here and get one hell of a cool one in your country!

Politically, I'm in the center. Left on social issues; and I'm a "soft and cuddly" atheist: I'm not an enemy of religion, I just don't believe.

My friends say I'm CRAZY for even thinking about a move to OK ... they say the religious right will "kill" me; and, there is no "culture."

I don't believe it! Should I consider a move? What do you think? Does OK want a happy open-minded atheist in their midst. Hey, I always tell my religious friends that they just could be right ... I'm always ready to change my mind.

I've been here thirty-odd years, and the number of people actually killed by the religious right during that period seems fairly minimal. There is plenty of proselytizing, to be sure, but everyone reacts to it differently; the sort of person who takes the slightest mention of any deity as a threat is probably not well-suited to life on the Windy Plains. Me, I consider it to be just like telemarketing: it can be an irritant, but nowhere does it say that I have to pick up the phone.

Our writer says he's "happy," which is a plus, and when he finds out how much of a house he can get here for, say, a quarter-million, he might well be ecstatic, though probably not inclined to attribute said ecstasy to divine intervention.

And I am not inclined to discourage someone just because he's "left on social issues"; it's a minority viewpoint around here, to be sure, but active crushing of dissent is conspicuous by its comparative absence. A lot depends on how insistent he is on being surrounded by like-minded souls.

A reply to the fellow asserted baldly that "coming here will murder your muse," which is maybe a half-truth: frustration plays hell with the creative process, to be sure, but no muse I know of takes it as anything more than a challenge.

Of course, in my idea of the best of all possible worlds, he arrives the same day as Steve H.

Posted at 7:07 AM to Soonerland

To be sure, it'll be hard to write anti-suburbia, anti-small town diatribes like "Desperate Housewives" after you see what life is really like there. Be prepared to see a lot of your blue-state biases slough off like dead skin cells under the abrasion brush of reality.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at 4:14 PM on 10 October 2005

A couple of bits from another response:

I don't agree with the guy who said coming here will destroy your muse. Actually, I found it very difficult to write in NYC because there was a large amount of distractions, and anything inspiring has been or is being exploited by a gah-zillion other aspiring writers seeing the same thing.

OKC, on the other hand is a good place to avoid many distractions and focus on your work. Also, there's plenty of "people watching" opportunities for creative resource about a region of the country few people really understand.

But there's this:

Still, it could be a decision you regret, especially if you can't maintain whatever income you're getting now as a scriptwriter. There's not very much fall-back here. Good jobs are scarce and the good jobs here can indeed be muse-destroying.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:14 PM on 10 October 2005

My muse was born and raised here.

Posted by: Sean Gleeson at 9:08 PM on 10 October 2005