Monday, March 29, 2010

Castor oil

I swore a minor oath to myself that I would post every day this week, and here I am at twenty to midnight on Monday in a slant of full moonshining with a pocketful of notes and a moody wet cat in my head where the thoughtful witticisms should be.

I've been mooching around the house like the fugitive I surely am, trapped with the superbly dull furniture of the mind, like the chipped kitchen chair you pretend you find adorably retro but really you know it's a smirking toxic space-sucking shin-barking little monster that long ago should have been appreciating the view of recycling bins from the side of the road. But somehow, instead, it's still here.

I went to a poetry reading last Thursday. Somewhere I have thoughts about that. Peter Riley was a thing of beauty as ever, crumply corduroy and rimless glasses and tufty snowy tufts, full of fun and words like flaky pastry and hilariously precious erudition worn with so patent an absence of the slightest pretension to anything that you long to go home with him and have him tell you stories for the rest of your life. He wrote with my pencil on my flyleaf. The room was full of ... the type of people who'd come to an English poetry reading in Berlin and I felt instantly dislocated. Pluvialis reminded me later that poetry readings, wherever, whoever, live to make you feel like you're not part of whatever SCENE with which the whole thing smugly implies it is involved. Mind you, Pluvialis gets to feel that way because she has major poetry chops and moreover pulls off the literary FUCK YOU with more humour and grace than anyone alive. I slunk away to ninjavideo and ... the V pilot.

I goddamn love television. I imprint on opening themes. I dream intertitles. I have decades of extremely high-end dialectical experience with which to defend my views about the no-scare-quotes, honest-to-god cultural masterpieces that go to air. But I am also a complete genre whore. I loves me some good TV cheese. And some good TV ham, for that matter. Hammy mysteries and cop shows! Cheesy sci-fi! Ham-and-cheesy action he-men!

I assure you that V is none of these. Aliens show up and attest to being for peace, dudes. Well, ahem. We were raised on War of the Worlds and Mars Attacks. And it's a remake. Their motives are sinister. Duh. The blowhard writers, however, decide that revelation of same and subsequent Narrative-Propelling Action belongs at minute forty-two of an interminably boring 46 minutes of expository talking-headitude dragging a damp cape of attempted Nameless Dread™. Anyway, in spite of mental bitch-slapping, I am placated by my fangirl delight at the presence of Firefly alumnus Alan Tudyk aka Wash, tragically lost to us by impalement on a Reaver harpoon in Serenity leading to internet underground availability of SAVE WASH lapel pins. Tudyk is your absolutely class A televisual drug. He's the sidekick of the scratchy-looking blonde FBI anti-terror agent! Awesome. He sidekicks some very serious ass.

In case you care, spoiler. So as aforementioned in minute 42 ~badoom flourish lots of brass~ the big reveal! ZOMG the aliens are Out to Get Us! But just as you are absorbing this monumental piece of not-news, ALAN IS AN ALIEN! Scratchy FBI chick grabs an iron pipe! She lays one on his temporal lobe! He's only momentarily stunned! She lays into the occipital! He's down, but she's got the red rage! She raises the bar over her head, stab-virgin-at-Stonehenge-style! And I'm all Dude they're going to impale Wash again!

No so fast! She's pushed aside at the very last heart-plunge-teetering moment by skull-crushingly boring priest character with doubts about God on account of you know, the appearance of homicidal aliens and shit. Wash is dead, but not impaled.

Wait. Was that ... was that a little joke there, V-writers? A little self-referential funny for us in-the-know sci-fi vultures? A little fourth-wall ho-ho hee-hee on the back of razor-sharp Whedon genius in your dire derivative hacky crap? Your hacky crap that makes a joke about Firefly but wastes 42 minutes of our time having all the characters earnestly/angrily/piously/angstily consider whether the aliens Really Come in Peace?

I hate you now. For you the very special hell.

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