Way back when I started Perception, it was a conscious decision not to give the main character a name. Partly it was to increase the you’re inside her head feel, partly because there was so much internal dialogue. Now it seems that the last few short stories I’ve worked on the characters don’t have names. Wonder if that means something, or am I just more interested in telling the story?
Yesterday, my son, the kid who has loved animals since he was old enough to know what they are, worked for the first time at the Elmwood Park Zoo. It’s on a volunteer basis, and he’s currently only doing two days a week, but he still got to work with the animals.
He was working with birds on this fine day.
First off, I’ve considered it. The cost and time involved make the consideration die aborning. Still, were I to do it, here’s what it’d be.
It’d be ship-based, more exploratory, part of the whole boldly-go thing. If there was one thing that I thought TOS had over the later shows, it was the new races and civilizations. There’s more to the galaxy than Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians.
Sometimes the ship would run into things that no one had ever seen, and it wouldn’t be understood at the end of the story. Think Doomsday Machine.
There would be at least one or two jerks in the crew, just to keep it interesting. Story lines where everyone gets along aren’t as fun to write as people who really dislike each other.
The ship would be sort of middle-sized, but not particularly significant. No saving the entire Federation every other week. Who they run into is more interesting.
The captain would probably like the rules and regulations, but they keep running into things where the rules and regs don’t help much. The rest of the crew would have to help him adapt. The first officer would be a little more adventurous, but not always the wisest person to go to. The navigator would be an Andorian who wanted to get away from Andor because he finds snow dull.
I haven’t gotten much sleep in the past few days. Thursday morning’s are USUALLY the last day of my week, but I had to be industrious and say I’d do overtime tonight. My eyelids in truth want to imitate garage doors at closing time, but they must stay open! Until 9:00 at least! Onward I press!
And Wally the Hamster came home yesterday. Why my son wanted to name his hamster after his grandfather is a mystery for a more conscious day.
All around me I run into the unpleasant people. I just deleted someone from my Facebook page because all he did was complain about the government, the police, the weather, the government….I’d become friends with him through some real friends in the music business. There’s another gent, whom I’d been friends with in high school, who has become very politicized. That in itself wouldn’t be a problem; I have a few good friends who are interested in politics. However, this gent looks down on anyone not of his ilk in either social standing, skin color, religious or political belief, or apparent intelligence. He also used to hit his girlfriend, who was friends with my then-girlfriend. So much for class and intelligence. The frightening thing is he was until recently part of his state militia, and has a barn full of weapons. He also has two kids. Not the best of combinations.
There’s a woman who’s friends with a very good friend of mine. She claims to be pro-science. However, anything the least bit outside mainstream science, and especially religion, is treated like the gravest of heresy by this woman. She also has the interesting habit of ending her barbs and inquiries with usually no less than eight exclamation points or question marks. I could tell her things that I’ve experienced directly that would make her head spin like a bicycle tire rolling down Everest. Sure, skepticism has it’s place, but not dogmatic skepticism like some people, including this over-punctuated person, subscribe to.
There seem to be an awful lot of–no, wait. There seem to be a good number of overly loud so their number seems greater people that work in TV. I’ve learned the hard way to keep my mouth shut around these people. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with them all that much.
What do they get out of being this way?
There are a couple reasons, most having to do with Superman.
Everybody knows I’m a comics fan, but as a rule, I don’t read the DC books. Sure, I’ll grab a Batman book once in a while if the cover catches my eye, but that’s it. The other books always seem too serious and often too goofy at the same time.
I grew up with the Superfriends show and the Superman movies. There was the right tone in each that the books often lacked. The Ultimate Expression Of The Lack Of Fun was in the Death of Superman series, the panel where Doomsday first pounds Superman. Superman just stands there, completely assured that it won’t hurt him.
THEREIN lies the problem. It’s like a computer game where you have all the cheat codes. You know you’ll win. Sure, I knew by the none-too-subtle Death of Superman that he wasn’t GOING to win, but…but…but he’s Superman! He’s SUPER! Of course, this particular time, he loses. Death comes to Metropolis. “But, you overtall mushroom head,” my dear readers will opine, “THAT was a BOOK! You’re talking MOVIES!”
I know that. It’s called a transition.
You can’t kill Superman. In books. In movies. Video games. Whatever.
Superman, the Movie, is one of my favorite memories. My mom went to a Broadway show with either one or both of my sisters, I think it may have been Man of La Mancha. Since I woulda been bored to tears, was the thinking, my Dad and I went to see Superman. A trip to New York, with my whole family, and me and Dad in the movie theater. With popcorn.
Now, fast forward a bunch of years. Superman Returns comes out, and it ignores the third and fourth movies. I’d watched them, and even though I thought initially Nuclear Man was kind of a cool concept, they didn’t have the emotional connection that the first did. To my amazement, though, everywhere I go people were bitching and moaning about what That Evil Movie (which is a blog post for another time) Did To Our Childhoods.
Did. To. OUR. Childhoods.
Therein lies the problem with comic book movies. Even when they’re really well done, say, the Second Raimi Spider-Man, the first two X-Men, the first Iron Man, who’d always been a personal favorite, there is a large portion of the populace familiar with the minutest detail of the property.
College. I was in the C&O wing when, as was wont to happen, Trek Trivia came up. Someone mentioned I knew a bunch, so Kwon, the peech imspedimented answer to Eddie Deezen, challenged me to a competition. Warily and wearily, I obliged. It was called in my favor when Kwon tried to get me to name a specific stardate when something happened and all those present decided it had gotten too silly. THAT is the kind of person I’m talking about.
There are still people decrying the changes between X-men the book and X-Men the movie(s). Heck, there are people still complaining because John Hammond and Ian Malcolm survived Jurassic Park The Movie. So, to avoid this, I would only write my own superhero movie. People will die. If the character is supposed to be a quasimythical figure, a la Batman, HE WON’T DRIVE A CAR or HAVE A SIGNAL. “Look, the spirit of justice is coming to get us! I just saw his car!” Doesn’t work outside of a semilousy James Brolin flick.
It seems an evolution in writing is taking place. I expect this is, largely, due to text messaging and people accessing the internet over their phones. What is this?
A large group of people, when telling about something they’re doing, leave out the subject. Rather than saying, “I’m leaving the house for the airport, where I’ll fly to Timbuktu,” for example, it’ll read thusly. “Leaving the house, and flying to Timbuktu.” If someone feels longing for another, it’s “Missing so-and-so.” WHO, specifically, is missing them? A myopic sniper?
I love words. Long words, medium sized words, and itty bitty dinky words consisting of only a single character. Put these words in. Make it clear that YOU are going to the movies to guzzle popcorn and Slim Jims. Don’t make future cryptolinguists wonder if the early twenty-first century suffered from some bizarre Orwellian groupthink.