Actual Updates (for absolutely no one)

I am about 7,000 words from a 1st draft of Underland or Westerworld or whatever it’s going to be called. Considering I began it sometime late October, to be at 43,000 words right now is nothing to sneeze at. Rewriting will possibly be more of a chore, but maybe not — as I told Alex recently, those of us who have the rare blessing of being instinctively good at a subject (English, for example) tend to do better under deadline and with little time. We seem to revise the good out of things any other way.

I already finished a 1st draft of the screenplay to New Year’s Bleed, a slasher comedy to be directed by my friend/producer Matt Garvin. It was a little short but I think it will end up filling out more time than it seems.
Teen Age Waste Land is still in a revisionary period as I re-order the chapters and decide what to do with the vast lump of it I relatively despise.
All of a sudden this blog looks like shit, cuz, I dunno, blogger farted and now the background is above the words and nothing works right on it. I had nothing to do with this, it must have been something done to Blogger during the night.
Palace 20 has added an IMAX theater, which means Watchmen will be screening in IMAX and I couldn’t be more fucking excited if I were on fire.
My Bloody Valentine 3-D was fucking awesome. Once again, don’t go if you didn’t go slack-jawed at the idea of a totally 80s style slasher in 3-D, because you will come back with very obvious comments about how the movie “sucked” and the acting was “horrendous” or the plot was “ghostly” in that it was see-through and at times you weren’t sure it was there. Of course all those things are true. If, knowing all that, and that it’s in 3-D, you still didn’t want to go see it, then the movie just isn’t for you. In fact, if you heard the tagline, “Nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3-D ride to hell!” and didn’t both know what kind of movie you were in for and squee with excitement, then your thumb is nowhere near the pulse of the Western zeitgeist right now. You have approximately three years (if that) before you are calling the new music “the kids” are listening to “just noise.”


So, Heroes is getting a quasi-reboot thanks to Mark Verhei-can’tspellhislastname from the Battlestar writing staff around the 2nd ep of the “Fugitives” arc, and original creator Bryan Fuller returning toward the end, the latter being the only reason I’m hopeful, but that late in, it may already be cancelled. 

Heroes is a show that began to mirror comics so much that it gained all of their pitfalls rapidly and has gotten lost in a haze of X-men storylines that miss the point of the original metaphor. As fun as crossovers like X-Cutioner’s Song were in the late 80s and early 90s at the height of my comic mania, that was, to be honest, because I didn’t know any better (much like how kids growing up during the Creed and Nickelback Clearchannel Wasteland don’t know that music isn’t supposed to sound this generic until they get exposed to older stuff). The truth is that those stories were fun action romps, but the original point of X-men was that of the opressed minority, and the expanded Claremont stuff that made X-men what they are made it not just about minorities, but the far more universal theme of being an outcast at all. The stories remain relevant and poignant when they keep this in mind. Heroes lost its way when it stopped being a character piece and became a superhero show, which is not what it is. The soap operatic interfamilial drama, the ridiculous plot twists and interconnectivity without the meaning behind it of a show like Lost — and worst of all, without any semblance of a plan, like Lost
Verheiden or what have you coming on in ep 2 does not help in my opinion because the last thing Heroes needs is the Battlestar treatment. Already, Galactica is becoming an somewhat outdated metaphor that should have been allowed to complete when it was supposed to — before the election. The last thing we need now is an extremely dark, cynical Heroes where everyone is on the run, dying, and turning on one another. Those were extremely relevant in the Bush days, but now, not so much. Not to be overly optimistic about the Obama reign — I don’t actually believe its own hype. There’s only so much he’ll be allowed to change, but it’s actually the idea that my fellow countrymen elected him that makes the world more hopeful anyway. And that is what Heroes provided — it was the anti-Battlestar in season 1. Everything was about hope and sacrifice in both shows, but Hiro defines Heroes. There was an idealism, the one thing Battlestar has never been.  If Battlestar was the guy pointing out why Bush sucked, Heroes was the guy telling us why Obama ruled. (Lost is, of course, the guy voting for Ron Paul in their heart but refusing to actually participate in elections between “puppets.”)
The return of Fuller does not make my hope spring eternal either, first and foremost because his return happens so late in the season that it will most likely remind Angel fans of the last ep of the dreadful season 4, that revived hope in the show but came a little too late to save a season that probably got the show cancelled prematurely despite an excellent season 5. I also don’t think it works because just like Verheiden,  he’ll be coming in on the tail end of an arc that I think is an inherently bad idea anyway. The “Fugitives” storyline is already another X-men ripoff not true to the show’s central conceits, one that at best will result in the Battlestarring of Heroes, which is I’m assuming why you hire Verheiden to come in. 
This all started with outside forces. Networks rarely understand what they’re buying, and quickly make show creators turn what they made into something they get, because network execs are basically marketing people — creative to a degree, but they see everything in terms of demographics, which is a nice way of saying you put everyone into broad stereotypes regarding TV habits, and then make shows for those stereotypes. Heroes was supposed to be Magnolia with superpowers, and the original pilot conveys that feeling. The reshot pilot didn’t quite get there, but season 1 still had elements. Then they were cancelled, so they ended the show, planning a spinoff with Hiro. Then internet ratings came in, and they were uncancelled, but rather than the original idea to start over every season with new characters, the network told them to keep their cast, because audiences would lose interest if the cast changed. So now the discovery aspect of the show and the regular people aspect can never be reclaimed, and the Lost-like bizarre sense of destiny and interconnectivity was basically ruined before it even aired.
This is also true of everything Joss Whedon has ever created for TV, but the difference is Joss is a genius at execution and at giving the network what they want and still doing it in an awesome, creatively viable way. The guys at Heroes, when forced to deviate from their core idea, couldn’t figure out how to make a new track to the same destination, and so the show meanders aimlessly into the caverns of repetitive arcs that don’t understand their characters, won’t let them grow or change, and don’t understand why nothing’s working anymore. This is probably because those left after Fuller’s departure wrote the show through instinct and didn’t know what made it good in the first place.
But what really makes it like a comic book is that it turns all of its “fans” into comic book fans. We literally hate the show now, yet we’ve invested so much time and energy into it, we keep watching, if only to complain about it. 

Recent stuff I like:

P!nk: I like her new album so much that, given its extremely personal nature, I like Pink more as well. So much so, in fact, that I’ve grown to enjoy writing p!nk instead and not cringe whatsoever.
The fact that I figured out how to put pictures on Blogger.
Google Reader automatically synching up with my subscriptions on Blogger.
The song “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by the Wombats is being played incessantly on my iTunes right now, and if “Daylight” by Matt & Kim was available, so too would it be.
Strangely enough, and perhaps this is a sign I’m slowly becoming bi-polar, I have only been in the mood to listen to extremely catchy pop/indy music with somewhat dark lyrics (P!nk’s Funhouse, Lily Allen’s new singles, the afformentioned Wombats, She & Him, Matt & Kim, Vampire Weekend, Rubber Soul) or death metal with oddly upbeat lyrics (Black Tide, Flyleaf,  The Used’s Shallow Believer). Of course, London Calling is still perfectly acceptable, but that’s because it’s the perfect album.
My new book, titled something like Underland or something, is the most fun I’ve had writing
 anything since I didn’t know I was bad at it.
I miss Alison, and dumbass me I named my lead character Allison Lewis after Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, and the Pixies song “Allison.” Ooh! (starts listening to Pixies)
So now I have to write her name on every page. Quite frustrating. An extra L does not help.

new cheese

So, Westerworld is an alternate world in an independently published children’s series, and out of respect for the author (not fear of legal ramification), I’m changing the name to Underland, an Underworld/Wonderland pun.

It’s coming along nicely, if slowly. Two Rabbits and Allison are great foils for one another, and I’ve come up with some Gaimanish ideas already. Law of Ironies is an immeasurable source of material.

“I Was a Teen-age Prom Queen!” RealmsCon rough cut is online on on my Channel 23. It got a very good reaction at the Con, according to Matt and Des.