Date: 2010-12-13 04:53 pm (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
1. Okay, so, all of what I know about Athens, Ohio, in 1970, involves going through my mom's photo albums from when she was in college, so I may be way off here. But. It *was* a college town in 1970. I suspect there would have been students ready to say something like, "Know what my house needs? A weird drifter like you, brother! Come on home with me!"

Being adopted by a student commune wouldn't solve all his problems, certainly, but I bet it would keep him fed & sheltered for as long as you need. (Also if you want more info or interesting characters I can maybe pump my mother for stories. Although *she* spent those years hanging out in the basement of the Lutheran church watching Sesame Street and complaining that the constant riots outside the library made it too hard to study, I wouldn't be surprised if the weirdos who hung out in the basement of the Lutheran Church wouldn't be willing to take in a drifter for a few days, either. It was the early '70s...)

2. Are you still planning to set this in the 1930s? Because if so, I think you'd have to deal with the eugenics movement and the increasing ethnic tensions over affairs in Europe one way or another, since one of the themes is going to be how humanity gets defined. On the other hand, that is also probably where I would site the story specifically - the Indiana-Jones-type-stuff about the Nazis wanting magical advantages was actually based on reality. So if magical creatures started appearing out of nowhere (especially on the Atlantic coasts) in the late '30s, it would almost certainly be considered a matter for national security. And you can get away with a *lot* of othering in the name of national security...

3. My best suggestion her is to look at actual history? Most of my stories are about raising revolutions rather than quelling them, so I don't have any citations offhand. I would agree that killing the one person isn't going to calm things down, though (and that over the long term the unrest will be there, figurehead or not, unless the primary government changes too). But I would think that what you need to do is, rather than killing him, subvert him. Either convince him to support the government, or at least publically drop his active opposition somehow, or, if he's not amenable to that, do something to completely undercut his credibility - make him look ridiculous in public, uncover some scandal about him that is beyond the pale for your populace, reveal (truthfully or not) that he is being backed by the enemies of the nation, set up your waupas-princess as a rival-but-loyal pretender to induce dissension in the ranks, or all of the above in varying proportions.

None of that would do anything about the core of the opposition, but it ought to reduce his wider popular support enough that violent revolution is unlikely at least until they find another figurehead. Then to undercut the die-hard opposition, use your new status as saviors of the realm to induce the current government to make (or appear to make) some useful necessary reforms, or at least bread-and-circuses, in a way that doesn't look like conceding to terrorists, to quiet the mutters of revolution in general.

(Right now I'm fascinated by what Franco did in Spain - remove the threat of a monarchist revolution by making the pretender his legal heir - that wouldn't work for everyone, but it's 'subvert the figurehead' on the crudest level as an example.)
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