Everyone has bumped into a news story that touches on one of their own areas of expertise only to discover that it's absurdly wrong. What I've never understood is how so few of us draw the logical conclusion about the trustworthiness of news stories that aren't in our areas of expertise.
Anyway, these kids are starting early. And what an area of expertise to start with: the mental stability of the leading American presidential candidate.
"They fixed how they misquoted him, but they didn't tell the whole story," commented Lindsey Roy, another Concord High junior.
In more "I would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids" news (via Berkeley High School alum Juliet Clark):
"Every other Bay Area newspaper just had the story of the tragic death, but we were finding out (the girl who died) wasn't even going to school and she was 17," said Megan, 16. "That made me think there was something bigger."
But probably it's best left to an uncommercial experimenter like Valeria Sarmiento, 'cause it's never going to be a popular story: it's too unpleasant to seem charming and too pleasant to seem important. And unless you maintain that sour-and-sweet balance between the character of poor fostered-cousin Fanny Price and the voice of Jane Austen, you might as well throw the book back onto the Unfilmable shelf.
In fact, they're her only real supporters for most of the book; they want nothing less than to be her Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming. But a Cinderella whose self-worth is based on moral rectitude won't have truck with black magic no matter how much bippity-boppity-boo is sprinkled on it. And, this being Cinderella's story, the villains are not only spurned but punished for their worldly, witty, forgiving ways.
There's no sense of hypocrisy in all this, mind. Instead, we're led to posit an otherwise undetectable particle distinct from both the protagonist and the narrative voice: the human being that produced them.
While Fanny suffered in the attic of her foster mansion,
it seemed as if to be at home again would heal every pain that had since grown out of the separation. To be in the centre of such a circle, loved by so many, and more loved by all than she had ever been before; to feel affection without fear or restraint; to feel herself the equal of those who surrounded her....In the most harrowing sequence of the novel, our little Lisa Simpson gets stuck with her wish:
It was the abode of noise, disorder, and impropriety. Nobody was in their right place, nothing was done as it ought to be.Insofar as a family circle exists, its centre turns out to be a newspaper, since a TV would've been anachronistic. But mostly the circle is untraceable under the dirt, and the snobbish side of Fanny quickly and definitively wins out over the sentimental side. After all, snobbery is fed by a constant flood of evidence, while sentiment is fed only with infrequent scraps.
Mansfield Park is well-nigh unique (some of Hammett's work aside) in celebrating the narrowing of horizons. Far from incorporating new friends and experiences, Mansfield Park ends with the expulsion or death of virtually all characters other than Fanny and her mate. But "my Fanny, indeed, at this very time, I have the satisfaction of knowing, must have been happy in spite of everything." She didn't mind her chains after all. She just didn't want them yanked.
.... to complete the picture of good, the acquisition of Mansfield living, by the death of Dr. Grant [Fanny's father-in-law], occurred just after they had been married long enough to begin to want an increase of income, and feel their distance from the paternal abode an inconvenience.Once the titular estate is completely emptied, the two religious caterpillars are able to cocoon happily ever after.
And that's OK by me, since I like Fanny almost as much as the villains and the narrator do. But then I wouldn't be all that popular in movie theaters either....
2015-06-09 : Regarding the "narrowing of horizons," Josh Lukin adds a contender:
You'd be surprised at how many people think We Have Always Lived in the Castle ends happily (Although I guess Constance's horizons aren't broad at the start, however much she wants to imagine that they are).And, following up:
I had in mind the feminist readings that say, Yay, productive community among women, for which one has to pretend that Constance likes where she ends up as much as does her sister, rather than having to relinquish all her hopes and become a '60s homemaker, as it were. Reflecting on it, I guess it's no surprise that some readers trust Merricat so much that they miss that part.
Eating overripe figs and listening to "Ring of Fire":(Actually, that was a couple of years ago. Last night I instead drank a bottle of Shiraz, looked at Lynda Barry stuff, and listened to Johnny Thunders, but big diff....)
Now don't tell me
I've nothin' to do.
The life of a weblogger isn't always so idyllic, however:
"today just all around sucks. my sister woke me up this morning to bitch about my lazy, lying housekeeper, who i now want to fire. but, none of the maids in the yellow pages answered the phone. i got stuck behind drivers going 65 in the fast lane, and obsessed about it all the way to work. i got to look at the new clip2 site and see the hundreds of little ways they destroyed stuff i'd spent the last six months getting right. i discover, from an email that just arrived but is 5 days old, that my resume has been harvested by *another* unscrupulous posting site. and to top it all off ...."
|Valentine and Thomas:||The lubricious is always ludicrous, and usually a little scary.
Derangement is the idea.
The most erotic of all sights: that focused out-of-focus impersonal craving in the eyes of the desired: beyond hope of communication, if not necessarily of synchronization.
Inexpressibility is an embarrassing problem for art, whether it's the inexpressibility of extreme lust or of extreme fear. One of the formal factors pushing the genres of porn and horror together is the need to depict the inexpressible, a requirement inherited from the obsession of their common ancestor, the Gothic, with the sublime.
Their tendency to depict through close-ups could be said, in another way, to be inherited from another common ancestor: playing doctor....
|"All Sublimity is founded|
on Minute Discrimination"
- William Blake
"The great goal so long sought had finally been achieved: that of making Paris an object of luxury and curiosity, rather than of use -- a ville d'exposition, a display city placed under glass... an object of admiration and envy to foreigners, unbearable for its inhabitants."
"... to illustrate an editor's difficulty in reconstructing even the simplest text from the madrigal part-books, Fellowes transcribed that song's first two lines,
from the following:
What ails my darling thus sitting all alone so weary?
Say why is my dear now not merry?
|Cantus. What ails my darling, say what ails my darling, what ails my sweet pretty darling, what ails my sweet, what ails mine own sweet darling? What ails my darling dear thus sitting all alone, sitting all alone, all alone so weary? Say, why is my dear now not merry?||Altus. What ails my darling, say what ails my darling, what ails my darling dear, what ails mine only sweet, mine only sweet darling? What ails my darling, what ails my darling dear, sitting all alone, sitting all alone so weary? Say what grieves my dear that she is not merry?||Bassus. What ails my darling, say what ails my darling, what ails my darling, say what ails my dainty dainty darling, what ails my own sweet darling? What ails my dainty darling, my dainty darling so to sit alone so weary, and is not merry?"|
... wait, just a sec, come back, uh, OK, one more thing, then that's all. If as a thought experiment (and you'll need one to stay awake through this mess) you try to separate Steven Spielberg's schmaltz and John Williams's schmaltz from what's purportedly happening on screen, you'll note that the screenplay begs to be played as black-to-the-bone satire, a kind of follow-on to Catch-22 or The Americanization of Emily: 25 minutes of first-act slaughter, then cut to some pompous general reciting Lincoln to justify a grotesquely inappropriate publicity stunt that eventually results in the third-act slaughter of pert near everyone except the guy publicly cursed by his survival....
OK, it might not have been a great movie -- none of the other war satires have managed, and Spielberg's right to be humor-shy after 1941 -- but at least it would be a movie that kind of made sense.
From that point of view, Saving Private Ryan expensively muddles the path blazed by Don Siegel's more genuinely harrowing Hell Is for Heroes, whose screenwriter began with a light-hearted romp ("He had, you know, a duck as one of the leading characters") and whose director ended with a zoom into unseeable death "so that there was nothing they could do about it. There wasn't anything else to cut to." (Don Siegel quotes via Peter Bogdanovich)
Bottom line: Great sound design. And the bullets look neat!
Ironic hardboiled updates must be therapeutic for bombastic composers. The only thing I've ever enjoyed by Andrew Lloyd Webber was his blast-on-and-off-like-a-motel-shower over-the-top melodramatic foreground music for Gumshoe....
"What is it, Lassie? What is it, girl? Little Timmy has fallen into the bottom of your food dish? And he needs more food?" (dedicated to Carol Jameson)
"Pimp president" ==> "Tipper impends" (election prediction via AnagramFun and Boondooks)
|... an' anotha thing ...||... then again ...|