1. A character flaw.
I'm self-employed at the moment and have no money-making work to do today (only, you know, the work that actually matters and defines me and gives meaning to my life), and I woke up after 10 a.m., and the place I was planning to go to today to write is closed, so—and there's the problem, the fact that this seems like a "so" to me—I'm in grave danger of doing nothing today. The combination of a plan derailed and a late wake-up (itself a kind of plan derailed: I don't really feel comfortable waking up after 9 a.m.) triggers some very unattractive part of my personality (related indirectly but not too distantly to my nuclear escape plan) that says, "See this towel? THROW IT IN." Anyway, a valued friend taught me to view blogging as writing (which, at least on the most basic level, it literally is), so doing this here right now is a good step toward turning this day into a day instead of a lost calendar square. (I was about to say something like, "Yeah, but, on the other hand, really the only reason I'm writing all this is to shove the last few shitty posts under the carpet or, more appropriately [metaphorwise], shove them down out of sight" [q.v.], but then that's another character flaw: the refusal to give myself credit for anything and instead to attribute all to selfish, impure, or embarrassing motives. Gee whiz, what a doofus.)
2. Appreciation fest (TV).
Here is a partial list, without commentary, of things I've been enjoying lately: (a) TiVo, (b) The Onion News Network on IFC, (c) Portlandia on IFC, and (d) Funny or Die Presents on HBO. It is not impossible that all four of these things will factor into my evening. It is impossible that any will factor in without the first. Well, nearly impossible. The world is wide and rich with possibility.
3. Appreciation fest (film).
I watched Jackie Brown last night, which I didn't remember, and it's good! Is it the last Tarantino movie set in a non-heightened reality? (Some writers I know have lately used the term "heightened reality" in my presence, but actually I'm not 100% sure where to fix the lower border of "heightening," so the above question may be supremely ignorant—or at least jargonistically off base.) Put it this way: Jackie Brown is more in the Reservoir Dogs vein than the Pulp Fiction vein, and I hadn't even quite thought about it enough to note that those were two separate veins. It's certainly in a different section of the bookstore from Kill Bill!
I'll tell you one interesting thought I had* while watching it, and it's that on some level it was registering as a Coen Bros. film. Then I started thinking, "Huh, in a way True Grit was kind of weirdly a Tarantino film. And isn't Inglourious Basterds sort of Coensy?" (Boy was I stoned!)
Anyway, I liked it. I think Tarantino makes good movies. SORRY.
4. A thought about Tarantino.
I think that, in a very different variation on my feelings about Sofia Coppola's movies (haven't seen the most recent one, not in a rush to), I like Tarantino's style and storytelling more than his philosophy? Like, specifically, I think he has what you might call (annoyingly) an amazing eye and an amazing ear, and he sees things about people and the world (and cinema) and puts those things into his movie really well, like a real artist, but the conclusions he seems to draw about them—his sense of the value of things, and the sense behind things, and the lessons to be drawn from things—are a little... well, are less to my liking. So just about any time a character says anything that appears to resemble a moral (and this goes double for Sofia, by the way), excluding obvious ironic morals, or any time you start to get a sense of an actual world view or something the movie actually seems to be saying...
I haven't actually thought about this at all. I should think before shooting off my mouth. Is that the expression? "Shooting off one's mouth"? No I'm not going to look it up right now.
6. Relatedly, how I decided I needed to watch Sex and the City (if ever stuck watching it) in order to enjoy it.
In a Pierre Menard-y feat of creative interpretation, I need to assert to myself that Carrie Bradshaw is supposed to be a detestable idiot. As long as we're not supposed to treat her voiceover as the actual voice of the show—as long as we're not supposed to accept her and her insights as thoughtful, appealing, or valid—then I'm in. Have her be like a Kenny Powers figure, or a Humbert Humbert: lovable in important ways but essentially ridiculous, contemptible, and/or hateful.
Maybe I'll go for a walk today.
* Interesting, eh? Well, that's presumptuous. –ed.
2 days ago