Loooorrrrrrd. It's been awhile, but I've upgraded from procrastination to dithering, so that's something.
Just collecting some thoughts from the past few weeks. I love when novel writers roll their eyes at movies. Sometimes I agree with them. Sometimes I don't, like when Monte Cook wrote this blog post about writer characters in movies. He calls it an overused cliche. And when you're talking about novice writers trying to identify with their main character, then yeah. It can be a painful cliche. But when you over-generalize, you forget about some stuff. Like the fact that one of the best movies ever (and my favorite movie of all time) features a screenwriter named Joe Gillis.
Anything can be a cliche if you suck at writing, and it's distressing to see a writer not get this.
This ties back to the MAMET MEMO as well. A lot of comments on this one, and I don't want to get into it too much because then I'm just yelling at people. Dithering does not brook yelling. So I'll just reiterate a little:
What Mamet wrote wasn't necessarily wrong, although I found his rules a little strict. What would have pissed ME off is that I am a fucking professional, and would have been hired as a fucking professional. I think this business has gone too far over to the point of not treating people like fucking professionals. Too many writers are having lousy experiences on staff and really, there's no need for it. I just saw Alan Ball speak at the Writer's Guild and his attitude was that at the end of the day, it's just television. It's not worth killing people for. You work hard but then you go have a life. There are too many people who have the opposite philosophy and I gotta say, the shows aren't better. Torturing writers doesn't make them work harder, and it definitely doesn't make their work better. I think a lot of people who have this philosophy are frankly afraid of being found to be frauds (whether they are or not). People who create and run shows SHOULD understand that the addition of "manager" to their title means something.
You know what this reminded me of? The harangues fans hurl at shows. You know the type. When they bitch about how this episode took place in a building, or that effect looked lousy, or their favorite character got killed or whatever. And it always comes down to the fan in question not understanding how TeeVee works. So I do wonder if Mamet knows how it works. If he did, I would think that the executives would have gotten screamed at instead of the writers. And for me, that's kinda the issue. If Mamet really DID want to yell at the executives, then he should have done that. But he didn't. He lectured professional writers instead.
There's another Philip K. Dick adaptation coming out this year -- Adjustment Bureau, with Matt Damon. The story's great, and this is a story that may actually lend itself to a movie. But then director, George Nolfi (whoever the fuck HE is), "insists" the movie isn't science fiction. He said this in Entertainment Weekly: "Sci-fi to me conjures up lasers and spaceships and time travel. This movie is told very realistically."
What a fucking idiot.
And once again, EW's summer movie preview issue decided not to list the writers. Fuck you, EW. You're a MAGAZINE written by WRITERS. What the ever lovin fuck?
Little Miss Nomad:
I don't know how involved Mamet was in the show and yeah, Shawn Ryan ran it. Wonder how HE felt about the memo...
The book excerpt I put up is NOT from the YA book. I may put a few chapters up soon but nobody's read it yet. And your daughter's blog is adorable! I love that she's into all these genre shows.
Horace had a question about Haunted. Sadly, the 12th and 13th episodes were NOT shot. We wrote one of them. Sigh.
I MUST know what Arthur Miller said to you!
And yes, Zenyatta was glorious. I considered her other Apple Blossom win one of her best races. She didn't face much but it's the way she ran away from them that gave me goosebumps. She climbed a bit early (what's that shit in my face?) but when she made the lead, she just kept pulling away though she wasn't even running. Scary, and it should scare everyone else, too. I can't say enough about the Mosses and the sportsmanship they're showing by letting everyone see her. This just doesn't happen. The attitude they have and the way they enjoy her is the opposite of how this thing usually goes. Horses get retired the instant they reach a certain value. They could have retired her after 2008. They practically did retire her after 2009. But here she is again, tying one of racing's greatest records. Honestly, can anything beat her? She's not at the mercy of any pace. She can run down anyone and she's never been asked all that much.
I'm absolutely delighted that there are two horse racing channels so I can always see her. And I've been to the barn to see her, too. The thought of having this much access to a horse this great is mind-blowing. I really wish we had the great turf writers of old (ore yore, I suppose) to document her career. But instead we get Steve Haskin, and what a shitty writer he is. All he's done so far is complain about how Rachel Alexandra isn't getting any attention. I know that in this country, we are apparently now required to choose sides in pretty much everything -- Team This and Team That, Red or Blue, Right or Left. But geez... what Zenyatta has done over her career means SO much more than that. Can't these idiots just appreciate her? That is, after all, why the Mosses kept her in training. I feel like her accomplishments just aren't being given their due. Not just in racing, but in sports circles as well. And the reason people outside racing aren't getting it is because the people inside racing are squabbling about Rachel vs. Zenyatta. Once again, racing shoots itself in the foot. They should be taking advantage of this but instead, they have to do their boring old East-West thing.
Speaking of Rachel, she faces a pretty decent field on Oaks Day, in the La Troienne. She looked great schooling today and her last few works were more like it. She also faces Zardana again, so it'll be interesting to see how THAT turns out.
When I started this post, Eskendereya was still the Derby favorite. What a shame. He was Pletcher's first true 10F horse. But although Pletcher's down three, I think he's got a real shot in Super Saver. That colt's definitely bred to go the distance. The Derby will be interesting. Everyone's looking around for the 50-1 outsider who's going to win. I'm not counting out Lookin At Lucky, although I hope he gets home safe. Gomez hasn't exactly been the smartest rider of the year. Sorry, but I've got to throw out all those horses who jumped up and won big races after doing absolutely nothing. So no Ice Box or Stately Victor or Line of David. Although if Sadler wins with either Line of David or Sidney's Candy, I'm really fucking happy. Really frustrated that all these lousy horses are in the race when a real threat, Setsuko, didn't get in. Someone suggested that the graded earnings rule be changed to disallow two-year-old earnings. I love that. It would force these trainers to actually RUN their horses at three. And Setsuko would totally be in. Oh, well. He'll just win the Belmont.
I wonder how many of the "celebrities" attending the Derby will even see the race.
This post is all over the place. I'll try to get back on track soon. I'm just not feeling uber-witty now...