We've all heard the stories. We just pan them off as the ravings of conspiracy nuts or crazies. Who really killed JFK, RFK and MLK? What was the role of the government in Waco, Ruby Ridge or even 9/11? Do those things we think we see in the periphery of our vision really exist? You know, like Bigfoot. Does he exist or is he simply a figment of some wacko's imagination?
Bigfoot serves as the metaphor in Mike Palecek's Looking for Bigfoot, a no-holds-barred onslaught on the state of America today. The novel's protagonist, Jack Robert King, is a former seminarian who served prison time for protesting the U.S. military. He worked briefly for small town newspapers and now is a stay-at-home husband in Dyersville, Iowa. Jack and his family live in the farmhouse that was in the movie Field of Dreams and watch the tourists flow in and out of the various parts of the field that are carved up among various business enterprises.
Jack is a writer, although he isn't quite sure what he's writing or how far he's getting. Despite living in the Hollywood metaphor for heaven, Jack is convinced Americans spend too much time on banality to realize that the American dream and American history are the product of disinformation created and controlled by men in the shadows. He starts his own streaming radio program on the Internet called "Bigfoot Radio." Bigfoot Radio streams in more than one sense as it is often a stream of political consciousness from "a blue state mind living in a red state universe." Yet this is a radical blue state mind talking.
Jack becomes so obsessed with truth versus perception that his home life is falling apart. When a magazine he's never heard of mysteriously arrives in his mailbox with a cover story about the disappearance of his former baseball coach who became a Bigfoot investigator, Jack decides he needs to find the truth. And what better way than to search for his former coach and Bigfoot? Jack's/Palecek's views are reflected in what Jack tells his listeners as he prepares to embark on his journey:
I believe we are being manipulated minute by minute by a news media: television, print radio, that is based solely on profit, rather than the search for truth we imagine.