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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Where I've been. 

1) I have been reading so much Alan Moore that I couldn't possibly absorb more of the man's work if you injected it intravenously. (It occurs to me the word "intraveous" contains the word "ravenous." I'm not sure why this is interesting, but it is.) I've also been absorbing the DVD set of the finest show to ever come to television, Deadwood, interspersed with a prime few seasons of The Sopranos. My ear for dialogue, right now, is superhuman.

2) So Scorsese's never going to get an Oscar. That's just the way it is. I didn't do too badly at the prediction game, though: I correctly guessed 7 winners of the 10 major awards (the 10 being best film, best foreign film, best animated film, best director, the four acting awards, and the two screenplay awards). This is my personal record, and I dunno if I can ever beat it. I was fucking positive Virgina Madsen was going to win.

3) I'm reading this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly, and on the letters page is a statement that the existence of Sin City proves that all comics are sexist and can never look beyond the whore/madonna binarity of female characters. (That all men in the Sin City books are either completely amoral sociopaths or fallen angels is of no consequence, apparently.) An argument can (and has) been made supporting that particular thesis, but holy shit, you're using Sin City to prove your point? Talk about misunderstanding the material.

4) Then there's that fucking review of that fucking overrated piece of crap The Ring. It happens about once a year: some genius critic, plainly unfamiliar with the functions and methods of the horror genre, draws parallels between modern real-world anxieties and popular horror fiction, as if the latter cannot exist without preying on the former. In this case, writer Brian Raftery draws a shaky symmetry between The Ring and motherfucking bird flu. No shit. Apparently The Ring's major achievement was to "predict" today's disease anxiety, as if we're any more sick-scared now than we were 5 years ago. Or 100 years. Or 1000. The guy even uses the word "clairvoyant." I can't remember the last time I wanted to reach through a page and smack the author quite that much.

What never occurs to these geniuses is that, in humanity, there's always a baseline of fear and anxiety about this or that Unknowable Predator. SARS, bird flu, a zombie, a vampire -- that shit's just window decoration. The entry point into the reptile brain. Horror -- good horror -- hits those same primal notes as any passing fear-fad. Usually better at it, too. So can we stop with the lame parallels between popular horror and Our Modern Times? Is it that hard to acknowledge that good horror is universal, and doesn't rely on fleeting fear-mongering to get by?

Can we get some fucking respect already?

Just checking in. Got something percolating for Monday. See you then.

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