Freewheeling? Really? That’s good, us. Let’s continue to not take this pookie-wookie adorable country seriously and see how that works out for everyone.
I am thankful for
my friends, and Twitter by Shaq
hold it together
What I’ve been chewing over lately is what if the Wiretap Follies were videos instead of text. Aside from the format in which they are delivered to the internet, there’s not a huge difference between WTF (!) and Jake & Amir. Just two parties slinging zingers, basically. But obvs people like to watch things on the internet, reading text, maybe not so much.
I guess Josh would probably want to play himself, so I would of course be Fabulous Mitchell. I could pull it off fine, so no worries on that front. Sarah and Meghan for Sonia and Eleanor Allen, or vice versa. 1 or 2 people to fill in for the odd Doctor/business owner/operator. Are there any quality character actors on Tumblr? Linds could do Marisol no prob if Amanda Lyn Ferri is unavailable.
The geographical distance between participants wouldn’t necessarily be a hindrance, since the conversations are all phone-based. You’d have to work out some basic parameters for image quality, camera angle, and lighting, but that’s it, right? I picture each episode as a split screen; on the right is the non-JGA role, barely moving, ready to die from how awful the conversation is. While on the left side is Josh, always somewhere different, wandering around outside for some reason, completely lost, squinting into the sun, holding his phone up curiously while the other person speaks.
I can put together my reel.
PS my reel is basically a home movie of me wiping out on a body board when I was like 12, hope that works. It’s pretty upsetting that there is no extant video showing my critically lauded performance as Bilbo Baggins in a middle school production of The Hobbit because I happen to know I knocked that out of the park.
This really just hits a bunch of sweet spots for me. First of all, that first paragraph is not only completely insane, it’s so not what you think. And in fact the juxtaposition of the first two paragraphs is basically what tied me up immediately. It creates this real sort of edgy surprisey sense, like, this is a story that is going to knock you down before you even know you’ve been set up. In fact it is so that way that I almost don’t want to say too many specific things about it. I will ruin your experience, I’m thinking! I don’t want to do that.
I mean, you really do think at first, this guy is psychotic, and while that feeling doesn’t end entirely, don’t you even feel yourself feeling sympathetic? Like, of course he’s wondering that—I wonder that all the time.
Constructing a story like this where you just have the narrator and “my boyfriend” and no real outside world except as pertains to the subject at hand, that’s a great way to really drive at your subject—your story. In this one we really get a chance to worry around the idea of violence, and is it violence if it’s expected, and how prepared can you be, and what if you go too far the other way, and oh my god aren’t we all kind of complicit in this fear-driven thinking, and so on. I think the only limit comes when you start thinking things like, “well why the hell is she with him, then?” because the fact is that the relationship between these two characters might be crazy multifaceted but we’re just looking at this sliver, this weird behavior relevant to the task at hand. This is not entirely a criticism, this is just, I think, the type of story this is—and in fact I feel like short fiction like this is the perfect place for it. Trying to expand this kind of thing novel-wide is a big bad idea, but people try it! But if you want to see it done right, you have to limit your word count. You just do.
Also prose dialogue is just a technique I love, and it’s really used just right here. Particularly the swearing, particularly the paramedic. And oh my god, the nurse! I loved her line at the end. Overall, really just horrifying and lovely.
I Googled Lindsay Hunter for more, and although she doesn’t appear to have a site of her own, she’s got fiction all ‘round the Internet. Here’s my search, with a little filter to remove pages pertaining to the Pistons player. Also Ms. Hunter apparently started this reading series, so there you go! Credits!
FACT: I am reading as part of a flash fiction night at KGB Bar tonight.
FACT: KGB Bar is at 85 E. 4th St., btw. Bowery & 2nd ave.
FACT: The event starts at 6.45, although the website and some emails I sent earlier this week said 7, but I’m going on as part of the second set and probably won’t be reading until just after 7 anyway, so, anyway, hope that works for you.
FACT: I am reading a modified version of that Christmas story I wrote last year, you know the one, it’s really goofy and slightly embarrassing, but that’s what the people demand.
FACT: I know this is late notice.
FACT: I still hope you’ll be there.
Recommended: 125th Street, right now.
For a little perspective, today, I looked at emails I wrote the day before, on, and after the 2004 election. Friends, it is a study in heartbreak. Terse, curse-laden heartbreak. Also there is a sequence of emails that basically goes “I just heard that Kerry is conceding” “[Ticketweb receipt for Ted Leo show]” “I WILL NOT BACK THE FUCK DOWN!” And that’s pretty much how the next four years was defined.
But also, today, I was in a public school in midtown and I paused in front of a bulletin board outside of a classroom. Students had been asked to write an essay on who they would vote for, and every single one of them picked Obama. I mean, I know, peer pressure and everything, but let me just remind you that as a young first grader I voted Dukakis in the school election just to be contrary.
Simmer down. We’ll get through it.