Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things to remember, things to forget, the end of content and the start of summer

I dunno if you read my previous post, but if you did, you probably noticed that I had the word "antiheroes" in the title, but nothing about it in the actual post.

That's because I forgot that I wanted to talk about antiheroes or, more specifically, how a free commuter tabloid ran an article declaring "Summer of the anti-hero". Well, you get what you pay for as far as the daily tabloids go, but this article was particularly agitating. I don't know why I let bad, lazy writing bother me so much? I read Newsarama nearly every day, and, I mean, look at this blog! It's a veritable Aztec Tomb of bad, lazy writing!

So Steve Gow, former singer for the Jesus Lizard, takes us to school in this article:

"While anti-heroes have been prevalent in cinema since the days of pulp fiction (think Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon), they only continue to increase in popularity."

Nevermind Macbeth or Oedipus, nevermind the atrocious sentence construction, nevermind that pulp fiction necessarily refers to books, there's simply no reason for this article other than it's always a good idea to run a photo from a potential summer blockbuster whose studio may or may not be shovelling piles of advertising dollars down the publisher's cavernous yaptrap. What information it contains is marginal, the misinformation is ridiculous, and the insight is insulting.

"Vengeance is often an attribute of anti-heroism. This summer, it’s best represented with The Dark Knight. Not only does that film feature the vigilante justice of Batman but it introduces an even more dubious anti-hero in Harvey Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart), a district attorney who transforms into a savage killer. Two-Face is the consummate anti-hero in that, being on the side of justice, he only kills the bad dudes — a morally complex question to be sure."

Aside from the fact that the above paragraph barely makes sense, since when does Two-Face (I loathe the sobriquet "Harvey Two-Face"--I don't know why, I just do. Interesting trivia, when the character was first introduced, Two-Face's real name was Harvey Kent, not Dent.) only kill "the bad dudes"? I've read approximately one million Batman comics, and I've yet to see any where Two-Face (one of my favourite Batman villains, btw) exclusively metes out justice. I mean, that hardly reflects the duplicity implied in his name, amirite??? Elsewhere in the 'bloid, they dutifully report that some obscure website is reporting that a long irrelevant men's glossy has named Christian Bale (aka "Bruce Batman") "one of the best dressed men in the world." I'm not even sure which part of it is News. That Bale dresses well, that Esquire recognized him for dressing well, or that reported that Esquire recognized Bale for dressing well. I should really stop reading the free tabloids. But they're ubiquitous, and I'm curious. A morally complex combination to be sure!

I remember the beginning of the mainstream internet, circa 1996, when there was the promise of limitless content! Having just settled on living my life as a writer, I believed that the info highway would create such a demand for writers writing that I would be a famous and award-winning author by my 25th birthday. I believed in what would eventually become known as the Long Tail. That mass-communication as we knew it would end, and the wealth of online options would once and for drive out cultural homogenity, and force the creators of content to raise their game in the face of an increasingly sophisticated audience. Talk about naive.
What we have instead is third-hand celebrity gossip and ridiculous features about antiheroes that assumes 1941 was the dawn of time!

But there's better things happening. I've tickets to see KEN VANDERMARK in less than two weeks, and then we're going to see JONATHAN RICHMAN at Richard's on Richards on July 2. (Nevermind all the other amazing things I've got lined up for this summer, believe you me!) I've never seen Vandermark before, so I'm super excited about that. I've seen Richman once, about 14 years ago, in Regina, at Channel One. It was then that I discovered there were better things about being able to get into bars underage than getting hammered.

mp3: "My Jeans" by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers
mp3: "I'm Just Beginning to Live" by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

NOTE: The Modern Lovers credited on the album Rockin' & Romance, from which the above two songs are taken, bear no relation to the original Modern Lovers of Velvets-inspired hits like "Roadrunner" and "Hospital" other than name.

1 comment:

Wade said...

Christian Bale (aka "Bruce Batman")
Funniest thing I have read in the past week. That's going to be my new nickname so thanks for that. Also, yeah, WTF? Two Face will kill whoever at the flip of a coin. If you were in Regina we could have nerded out to this movie together. Instead, I'm going to have to take my girrrrrlfrienddddddd and she's going to laugh at me for being excited.