Just release the goddam memo already

Trump, release the motherfucking memo. Enough of this “building up suspense” bullshit. If you’ve ever read a novel in which the author tried to drag out the suspense too long, you know there’s a “breaking point” after which the reader simply becomes bored.

It goes like this:

Footsteps were approaching the door… was it her hero? Or the killer, come to take his last revenge? She cowered in terror, desperately looking for a way out, but there was only one exit.

The footsteps drew closer…

Closer…

You can keep this up for several sentences, always increasing the tension, but if you drag it on too long, the reader simply becomes irritated and bored. Imagine another ten pages of

Closer…

Closer…

Very quickly the tension is replaced by the first irritating stirrings of boredom. And the reader starts feeling angry at the author for ruining what could have been a good scene.

(For an excellent example of this, try the Harry Potter book with the werewolf dude. I don’t read these books, but I was in the room when my sister was reading this passage to her kids. Basically, there’s a long conversation in which Rowling tries to dial up the tension by not having a character make a revelation which is in his interest to reveal immediately. It’s something like “I, Sirius Black, am a werewolf!” or whatever. But the conversation goes something like this:

Harry: Why were you out that night running around?

Black: You have to understand how difficult my life is.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: All my life I’ve been different from other people.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: I’ve always been excluded, hunted, by those who don’t understand.

Harry: But why were you out that night running around?

Black: Can you have sympathy for me, Harry?

This shit goes on for literally pages. Just a little bit into it, you’re not thinking, “OMG, the tension is killing me!” You’re thinking, “J. K. Rowling is such a twat.” She won’t just have Black reveal the key fact, which he could do by just uttering one simple sentence. Plus, she’s an incompetent author, since she could have arranged for it to be too difficult for Black to reveal it by having his mouth be injured so he can’t speak or whatever. But she didn’t even bother, so she’s just being lazy, incredibly lazy. She envisions the reader desperately clutching the book, going “What will happen next!?” when in fact we’re yanked out of the story entirely, and thinking, “Jesus, just get on with it, Rowling!”)

Trump, you’ve dragged this memo thing on a little too long. But you’re still close to the optimal amount of tension, not too far beyond it. But there is the danger that this thing will be “yesterday’s news” by the time we see it. Don’t wait too long!

And the American people have the right to know what their government is doing.

Don’t overthink this. It’s not complicated. Release the motherfucking memo.

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