Monday, April 25, 2005
To Be Or Not To Be
As I start this, it's 1:41 in the afternoon Pacific time (or as we call it in California, "time").
This means that I'm already running behind in getting my usual Monday post posted. The reason: I forgot. That's it. No excuses, nothing. This is the way my brain works. It's already devising the plan to drive away readers by making me forget to post posts. This tells me that there is a significant part of my subconscious that was very happy with my Complete Anonymity before and is slightly uncomfortable with my brand new status of Complete Anonymity+.
Tonight is going to be a long night. It will feature my conscious mind wrestling with my conscious mind, trying to convince it that Complete Anonymity+ is a relative, arbitrary category related only to my prior status of Complete Anonymity and in the greater scheme of things, we're (I'm? I don't know anymore, there are too many voices to sort out) still on track to the ultimate goal of Failed Writerdom, despite this curious bump.
And happily, at the end of it all, my conscious and subconscious minds will agree to watch some late night soft-core porn before drifting off softly to sleep one sip short of alcohol poisoning.
As I warned people yesterday, my interests are small and self-justifying. Sure, I try to keep my posts generally interesting, but in the end I'm writing for an audience of One. I know what you're thinking and the answer is not SJ, although after I finish this you may not be convinced. The audience I write for is Me, by which I mean the actual me and not the Me who exists only in my head and goes by the stupid pseudonym "Pops". This is the Me whose insatiable interest in himself keeps this blog rolling along, six times a week, nine months and counting, in good posts and in bad.
This morning I had a good long conversation with myself as I mulled over what we/I should write about today and the answer came up: Deadwood. I realize many do not watch this show and that SJ herself has already written about it, but reading is not compulsory. But come on, you've read this far, you might as well finish it.*
I'll spare you the plot points, mostly because I don't understand them.
Last night's episode, however, was out to single-handedly achieve something I found admirable and horrifying all at the same time. Deadwood has decided that it will be the show that will reintroduce the soliloquy to American television viewers.
We all remember the soliloquy: it was that thing we didn't give a shit about in 11th grade English right between iambic pentameter and alliteration. It's when one person sits and mutters to him/herself, laying stuff out for people who are easily confused.
At separate points during last night's episode, characters found time to converse with people/things in no state to respond for the purpose of one-sided exposition. Living people with the ability to speak were partnered with a dog, the grave of a dead person and (I wish it weren't so) the decaying severed head of a dead Indian wrapped in a brown paper package.
The trend started last year with the final scene of Deadwood's first season when Ian McShane delivered a blistering, riveting recap/setup speech while the only other person in the room was occupied--as they say in what I'll pretend is Latin--in fellatio.
But now they're just beating it to death. It's obvious that even the writers no longer understand this show and have resorted to speechifying in order to save themselves having to write more scenes about murdering hookers with a straight razor.
The thing is, this is television, not the Shakespearean stage. They have 13 episode to get all the shit they want out there in front of people watching, not 3 hours in one sitting like a play. Language evolves. Dramatic presentation evolves.
The only other place I can think of where dead linguistic forms are getting a tortured attempted revival is over at McSweeney's where they are trying to prop-up the rightfully-forgotten poetic form of the sestina.
Look up "sestina" anywhere and get an idea what an insidious form this is. It's only distinguishing feature is that it is a tremendous pain in the balls. I got fewer, less severe instructions from my prom date's father.
But then it is McSweeney's where the motto is "Nothing Is Too Pretentious". Well, it would be that, except in Greek or Coptic or Aramaic or some other dead language so regular people couldn't read it. And it would include a pun.
This is the point in the post where I tie everything together in a neat little package, usually with a lame joke, but as I said I started late, which means I am finishing late. Since my oldest boy is not yet old enough to make the 10 mile walk home, I must go.
If you've made it this far, I say thanks. Sucker.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.6
* = for those of you who have often wondered why I write such long and useless introductions, I hope this gives you a little insight.