June 25th, 2010

Shit My Dad Says

More comments from my dad about the Bret Easton Ellis thing since his original email proved popular.

"Bart,

Because of my job, I go to many literary readings.

There are several types of questions:

1. The boring ones like writer's block, where do you get your ideas, and how long do you write every day.

2. The ones to show the writer you know something about them and that is the point: "During your time at Princeton, Mr. Fitzgerald . . ."

3. The ones who wish they were answering the questions, not the writer, so they do anyway: "As you have reoterated in many interviews, and with which I totally agree exept for several small points that I find key to the whole issue . . . .(forty five minutes).

4. The off the wall, I'm just full of intellectual highjinks question: What is your favorite rap group? Did you ever own a kangeroo? etc.

5. An actually interesting question (rare).

The Writer needs to be ready to answer all of the above cheerfully and humorously but with just a bit of symbolic irony and social context; however if he or she pisses on a #3, the crowd will applaud.

When I saw Cornell West at the Schomberg in Harlem, West had everyone ask their questions first and then he chose what he wanted to answer. After the usual bombast from eternal graduate studies ("Professor West, when I was finishing my graduate work at Sarah Lawrence, in feral evolutionary studies, by the way, I came across an article by you which asserted, buzz, buzz buzz"). After all the droning questions, he only answered one, by a kid from the BSU who came right to the point: "Cornell, How would American be different if Dr. King and Malcolm had lived?"

Bret was good with the 1-5's, but I think The Wolverine in him might have come out if the Bookstore hadn't cut the Q. & A.

Dad"

From The Freelance Job Boards

Project Description:

Death Runs in the Family is about Gary, a ten year old who's overweight and constantly picked on. It deals with the issues of what happens when you're stuck side by side with a family member you can barely stand, especially after they've become a zombie. For an answer to the many questions surrounding Grandpa's recent zombification, Gary and his Grandfather must travel clear across the country. Not understanding the turmoil, they encounter such things as gangs, love, demon librarians, underage drinking, Frankenstein creatures, and friendship.

I basically need help with sentence structure and paragraphs.

Glee

Ok.

So at the request of several loyal blog readers I downloaded and watched the pilot episode of Glee.

I'd love to hate this show, mostly because I know you all want me to piss all over it, (which I will do a bit of) but it's not awful. I sorta like shitty shows with pretty people in them.

Remember, I like the new Melrose Place.

The girl teacher who is obviously in love with the Glee instructor is hot (and crazy, which turns me on like nobody's business) and the bit with the wheelchair kid who can slam out guitar solos is interesting.

The dude's wife is almost exactly like my ex-wife, so I could see a little joy in watching the obvious eventual implosion of their marriage. The hidden pottery barn stuff is very, very funny.

Plus, we got a bunch of cheerleaders in the show, something I'm generally a fan of.

And, I have to say all of the actors are really good and doing the best they can with the script they've been given. No complaints there.

Unfortunately it's the basic premise of the show that I can't get behind.

First off with have every single offensive teenage stereotype possible - the evil football players and cheerleaders (except, of course the one good looking football player who is a good guy and overcomes peer pressure - just like every fucking teenage film since 1982.)

The nerds are picked on, but are the secret talent of the school. The crazy coach (who, at least, for once, is female.) I could go on and on about the clicheville of this town, but you already know where I'm going with this.

The dude who gets fired for feeling up the kid is one of the most offensively stereotypical gays I've seen represented on television in a while. He's what Anne Coulter thinks gay men are like.

Then, let's get to the core of things - the central premise is obviously going to be high school kids doing show tune versions of popular songs.

I could see how that could work. In fact, when we see the other school and they do Amy Winehouse it does work. (Though, no high school in America would ever fucking allow their kids to sing about refusing to go to rehab.)

But, for the rest of the episode it doesn't - because you are not going to sell me on the idea that high school students in 2010 give a shit about REO Speedwagon, Journey and John Denver.

It's like some weird masturbatory idea of what the 40 year old writers of the show would like high school students to like. Are future episodes going to include songs by Tears For Fears, The Eagles, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and every other "safe" mid 80s MTV popular act?

I bet they will.

I am now about to write a sentence I'd never, ever thought I'd write: This show would be much, much better if it used songs by Creed, Nickleback, Oasis and John Mayer.

Hell, why not throw in Coldplay while they are at it. I'd believe that - and be interested in seeing how those groups transpose into show tunes.

But, as it is, it fails.

Which is a shame, because there is some potential in this show if they can just get rid of the shitty cliches and the absolute stupidity of the soundtrack selection.

More SCRAM Bullshit

If you thought it was bad that we sentence people on probation to wearing alcohol monitoring bracelets that can be set off you eat English muffins, you'll be interested to know that getting a tan can also create a false positive that could, you know, send someone to prison for years and years.

It's not like that could be an issue for anyone in Los Angeles, is it?

Someone should sue the SCRAM people into bankruptcy.