Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dammit Hollywood

You've done it to me more times than I can count, and still I get sucked in by your slick celluloid promises. (Yes, I know you don't actually use celluloid anymore, but I like the alliteration.) Like a child hoping for a glimpse of the bearded one on Christmas Eve, I wait, breathless with anticipation until Opens June 4th arrives. I perform herculean feats of organizational genius and bend the laws of physics with my mind to procure a babysitter at a point in time that our bank balance and our schedule are in harmony. This happens slightly less often than my kids agreeing on anything, slightly more often than a solar eclipse.

The scenario is much the same with only small details varied here and there:

The big day finally arrives and I prepare carefully. I marvel at the appearance of my ass when I put on pants that are devoid of elastic. I admire the curve of my breasts when I don a top that does not bear any kind of advertising legend. I weep a little at the sight of my waist. Hello old friend. I lament that these wonder garments cannot flatten the post-partum belly that has plagued me for 8 years, and briefly ponder whether total transformation from coarsened world weary charwoman to svelte and stunning supermodel (well, somewhat less lumpy sort of good model, at least) is worth the torture of control top pantyhose. It is not. But no matter. It's still a hell of a transformation. I look like a girl.

We fight traffic that rivals the seventh level of hell on a good day to make the matinee cut-off, which we do, but only because husband slows to 30 mph in front of the ticket window so I can jump out, execute a perfect rolling drop, thereby bowling over and eliminating several line standers, and successfully purchase our tickets at 5:59:5. We get popcorn served in grocery sized paper sacks, and sodas in cups resembling barrels of crude oil. They are the smallest size offered and cost more than the price admission. But, it's all about the experience, and as far as I'm concerned, you can't watch a movie in the theatre without popcorn. We settle in our seats with our troughs in our laps and begin shoveling it in with both hands.

Ellen DeGeneres once did a sketch about how people can't eat popcorn piece by piece and she's right. There, in the dark, among strangers, we eat like snarling beasts crouching over a kill, desperately trying to devour every last morsel before some larger, scarier predator can take it from us. Or perhaps we are expecting the Popcorn Police to appear with a flashlight, wielding a kernel shaped badge, whispering "Ma'am...the condition of your thighs would suggest that you've repeatedly breached the maximum intake threshold. Please put down the bag and follow me." Whichever the case, it isn’t pretty. And yet...we can't seem to help ourselves. We are powerless in the face of hot buttered seduction.

And inevitably, after all of that, it is not very long before I realize that I have, once again, been deceived. Duped. Shanghai'd. Suckered. Bamboozled. Conned. Hornswoggled. Because this is not the story I have grown to love. These are not the characters I have imagined so vividly in my mind and come to think of as old friends. This is not the ending that made me sigh with contentment because it was just that perfect.

Damn You Hollywood! I put on lipstick and matching underwear and this is how you repay me?? With this garbage? This Sham? This perversion? can you let them bastardize your intellectual property in this way? Obviously Jane Austen had no say in Kiera Knightly being cast as Elizabeth Bennett in that farce that dared call itself "Pride and Prejudice", but Stephen King is still alive and kicking and from all reports, quite able to do battle in the name of literary integrity if need be. C'mon…Molly Ringwald as Frannie? Jack Torrance, though...I will admit...that was some casting genius. And Dan Brown....Tom Hanks...seriously? I mean, I love Tom. I really do. He is far and away one of my favorite actors, but he just is not Robert Langdon. Hollywood, I am weary of being romanced by your cinematic foreplay only to be denied satisfaction.

You may wonder what has prompted my outburst, and I will gladly opine upon the latest disappointment in a long string of box office letdowns.

The Descent, by Jeff Long is a novel of stunning complexity that explores the philosophical struggle between good and evil. It is tapestry of anthropological, historical and theological elements all woven together to form an rich and riveting epic that challenges 20th century ideals regarding the origin of man and his position of supremacy on the earth. This book is so many things, but what it is not….is a horror story.

Yes, there are moments of horrific violence and spine tingling terror, but they are intended to illustrate that man and beast are still closely linked at that we are not so evolved as to be immune from the savagery and brutality that allowed us to survive, evolve and dominate. While these moments are undeniably captivating in a deliciously gruesome manner, they are not the central theme of this book. And, I believe, that they are sufficiently barbarous as to make for a thoroughly unpleasant viewing experience.

Nevertheless, Hollywood has seen fit to bring this epic on the silver screen. I will admit that at first, I was excited, titillated and optimistic. But after viewing the trailer, it was plain that they have corrupted the story to the point of being all but unrecognizable in an attempt to make it fit the mold of horror story extraordinaire, with enough blood and gore to make Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like a children’s fairy tale. For shame.

I’ve had enough. I realize that there are no really original ideas anymore; just recycled concepts that have been given a 21st Century spin for the modern viewing audience. But please...stop plundering my bookshelves for sensationalistic fodder. Stop pillaging our literary masterpieces for box office glory.

Because in an age of super-sized, wholesale, mass-produced sameness, these tales are the only thing left that are truly unique. Unique because no two people imagine in the same way. Don’t take that away from us. Don't put your computer animated, green screened, digitnally enhanced and craptastically commercialized vision of our stories onto a fifty foot screen, thereby branding it into our consciousness, forever obliterating the images we have carried within us; personal, special and unlike anybody else’s.

For my part, I will no longer be beguiled. No more make-up and matching underwear for empty promises. No more breathless anticipation for a distortion of my beloved truth. No more money from my bank account will make it's way into your smarmy and unprincipled pocket.

Who's with me?


  • At 1:52 AM, Blogger kevin black said…

    Is it just me or has the quality of movies lately been falling faster than Molly Ringwald's acting career?

    So much popcorn; so little enjoyment.

  • At 8:59 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    Am totally with you. Am reclaiming my movie maidenhood!

    (Having just watched The Aristocrats.)

    (Am maybe contradicting myself.)

    (Can contain contradictions.)

  • At 2:16 PM, Blogger Shalee said…

    I'm with you all the way. With the possiblity of Time Traveler's Wife being made into a movie, I'm cringing at the bleak prospect of a literary wonder being turned into a hollywood blunder. Oh, for the love of all that is good, why cannot they leave them alone?

    And really, if a book is a successful story with a great following, why change it into something it was not meant to be?


Post a Comment

<< Home