Mercer has new book, says he’s ‘less interested in politics’ these days
Ex-political junkie is considering a return to writing plays, scripts
social media user who turned to Twitter for help in writing an essay on The Handmaid’s Tale has received invaluable insight — from none other than author Margaret Atwood herself.
A Twitter user identified online as Momchil Gavrilov tweeted at the Canlit giant early Thursday morning with the plea:
“My crazy English teacher is making us write essays on #TheHandmaidsTale where we are supposed to answer why @MargaretAtwood put the theme of power and control in the book,” they wrote from an account with the handle @GavrilovMomchil.
“We do not have telepathy with @MargaretAtwood so I guess twitter is a close second... Helpppp!!!??”
Atwood responded hours later from her verified account with a quick lesson on the major themes of her 1985 dystopian novel, set in a world in which women are property of the state.
“Because it’s in the world,” Atwood says in a tweet posted at about 5 a.m. Thursday.
“It’s not just women who are controlled in the book. It’s everyone except those at the top. Gilead is a theocratic totalitarianism, not simply a men-have-power women-do-not world. Lower-status men are told when and who (to) marry, eg.”
The detailed response delighted online onlookers, Margaret Atwood responded within hours to a social media user with a quick lesson on the major themes of her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale. MARY ALTAFFER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
who had retweeted the exchange more than 800 times and gave it almost 4,500 “likes” the same day.
At least one other literature fan applauded the initiative.
“I used to teach high school. I’d have totally given points for proven communication
with the author. This is not to say that everyone should bother poor @MargaretAtwood with all of their questions. Oh, dear,” tweeted Jess Faraday, with the handle @jessfaraday. Atwood is a prolific Twitter user. More at thestar.com/books Political satirist Rick Mercer has a new book and “a bunch” of projects in the works, but a run for office doesn’t seem likely.
“I’m less interested in politics now than I ever have been in my entire life,” the St. John’s native, who lives in Toronto, said in an interview for the newly published book Rick Mercer Final Report.
“I used to think about it, but I think if you’re an armchair expert in baseball or hockey, you always think, ‘Well, what if they called me up and asked me to be the general manager?’ ”
The Canadian comedian was often asked about his political aspirations throughout his career on the weekly CBC satirical news series Rick Mercer Report, which ended its 15-season run last April after he decided it was simply the right time.
Now that the self-described political junkie has the time to devote to such considerations, it seems his mind is on other things than what’s defined him for so many years.
“For the first time in my life, I don’t have an immediate plan,” said Mercer, who co-created and was previously a resident performer on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
“Now I can consider doing things that I couldn’t have considered before.
“Just the other day I said, ‘Maybe I’ll write a play again.’ It’s been 25 years since I said that out loud, so who knows.”
Or maybe that 2014 script he helped work on for a potential remake of Norman Jewison’s The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming,
“NOW I CAN CONSIDER DOING THINGS THAT I COULDN’T HAVE CONSIDERED BEFORE.”
which never came to fruition, will resurface.
The script is among the revelations in
which includes comical and touching essays on his life and career, as well as a slew of the signature rants he delivered from a graffiti-decorated alley on his CBC show.
“I’ve had my hand in many, many, many (scripts) over the years. That one didn’t get produced, unfortunately,” said Mercer, who writes in the book about his friendship with Jewison.
“But I didn’t care. Heading into it, I knew it was probably a long shot. But as I mention in the book, I would have done anything to hang out with Norman Jewison.”
Rick Mercer Read more at thestar.com/books