It’s been a long week, with just about everything that can go wrong doing just that (you know what Murphy? Get fucked with a huge black dildo, right in the face). With that said, lets fall back on our Short Takes as I am a lazy fuck (Ever Get The Feeling You Been Cheated)
I just broke my computer chair the day I write this. This chair was purchased from Target less then 3 months ago and it was a pretty good chair, comfortable and (seemingly) durable. Today I sat down and this incessant hisssss came from the lower section followed by the chair lowering itself to it’s lowest setting. Seems the magic smoke had been let out and well… I am now sitting on a pillow and 3 blankets to achieve the height I need to actually type anything. I have to locate the box again to check where this was made but it sucks that it was a shit product that was designed to fail. That is how we make things, we make them as automatic obsolescence. If you make a product that lasts for an entire lifetime… well then you don’t get repeat customers do you? No, you must design faults into the product so that after a designated period it fails and a new one must be purchased, therefore guaranteeing new and increased sales. Home entertainment, consumer electronics, motor vehicles, sex objects, computer technology and even political ideology. Yeah, even politics. Laws tend to get written and passed based on what is needed (or thought to be needed) NOW with no regard for how that will can (will) change things in the future or the inevitable snowball effect it may have. When it comes to laws, things usually go one of two ways; either the law spins out of control and makes matters more muddy or the law quickly becomes antiquated and out of date… or worse case it backfires and drags things down even farther. We have to fight against this built in obsolescence, we have to stop patronizing a company that deals in this kind of nonsense and most of all we must, above all, vote with our dollars (and our votes).
Supernatural Romance has to just die as a genre. It didn’t start with Twilight but it came to a head with that 12 grade fan fic bluster and this has got to stop. My wife reads these things (not Twilight thankfully) in ever increasing regularity and it boggles my mind that this genre popped up as fast as it did. The bookstore has an entire section devoted to these things and I just… do… not… understand WHY? What about the cultural zeitgeist has not only allowed but proliferated this? Vampires, werewolves and demon hunters in awkward affairs with no tension or reality to be found. Why is this the new genre to hit? In just two years this genre has gone from being niche to having a glut of material in it… and all of it is BAD, really bad. I picked up a few of the books my wife has lying around the house and I read just a random chapter of each… and these things are awful beyond comprehension. The prose is stilted and clumsy; the characters are more caricatures than anything else; the situations are ridiculous and yet… these things are top sellers. Have I actually become so jaded that I have been left behind by literature itself? Thought provoking Science Fiction used to sell pretty good. Visceral and unique Horror used to sell well. This though? This is just shit and I hope this is not the new benchmark to hit. I would say it’s a good that people are at least reading but this is not reading… this is… something else.
The unoriginality of Hollywood sickens me and this is nothing new… which sickens me even more. After seeing the trailer for the upcoming FOX series Almost Human I was struck with a startling revelation… that I had watched this exact same show before… back in 1991 when it was called Mann & Machine… and back in 1976 when it was called Future Cop… and again in 1976 when it was called Holmes & Yoyo… Are we all out of original ideas? Is everything a retread of what has come before? Has this never ending stream of remakes/reimaginings/reboots deadened us to the very notion of something that has not been done before? Have we become so barren of mind that sequels and franchises are all we have left? Are we so awash in derivative ideals that there is nothing more? Are we so bereft of the candor, honesty and pride which emerges due to achievement that we simply stopped caring? Yes, yes that is what is has come down to. I am sad now. And did I mention that Almost Human is an American version of the BBC show of the same name?
A recent discussion between myself and some friends of mine within the film industry has prompted this… as a writer can you separate yourself from the work or is that you which pours out onto the page? The impetus for this was selling scripts in Hollywood. The two sides are: is it possible to do “work for hire” where you just make characters, situations and stories for someone else and then just walk away from these things you created as they now belong (in both the legal and esoteric sense) to someone else or is part of you in that work no matter what happens? I am of the mind-set which can not separate myself from my work. When I write something, I write it with the full intent that this is mine and these are my characters, my setting, my story. I am not able to just do “work for hire”, I am unable to put so much of myself into a project just to give it away. Now, some writers can do that, I am not saying it is a detriment when this happens, I am just not one of these writers. I don’t understand how one can detach themselves but I do understand that it happens. I know writers who write a script for someone and then never look back on it which I feel (this is just my perspective remember) means you didn’t care enough to give everything to that script in the first place… otherwise it would mean more to you. One of the reasons I have not sold some of my stories to have them made into movies is I am too close to them, they mean too much to me and I would rather have them not get made then have some hack fuck them up. I want to direct these, or at least produce them so I can guide the production. One of my friends told me that having high ideals does not pay the rent and standing by these ideals will most likely result in my stories never getting made. He is correct in that as well, but I just can’t do it… I just can’t make that detachment.
Tell me to shut the fuck up at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to leave a comment even if it’s a nasty one (especially if it’s a nasty one).