Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Short Stuff, Not High Enough and Lord of the Potty Dance.
Dear Lord, are there really two new Matrix movies on the way? Please, say it ain't so! And did my eyes deceive me, or did Toy Story 3 actually score a Best Picture nomination today? The world, as I know it, has officially ceased to make sense.
Sounds like a good time to pick up Jeff VanderMeer's book, The Third Bear. According to Logan's review, the short stories in VanderMeer's book are terrific, and so bizarre as to defy description. Sounds just up my alley (if you'll pardon how painful that sounds).
On the topic of "short" things, future filmmaker and screenwriter Kris has an extensive post highlighting some short films. As usual, a great collection of movie trailers anchors the post. Well worth your time, if that sort of thing intrigues you.
And I read another lengthy short story (oxymoron!) of Ted Chaing's in his Stories of Your Life collection. It's called "Seventy-Two Letters", and honestly, I had to constantly look up while reading it, since a lot of it sailed overhead. The premise is fascinating, as is his custom. Let me lay it on you, to see what you think: it takes the idea of God creating/animating things via the spoken Word, and lays out a very detailed scientific explanation for it. There are scientists who specialize in finding out the very specific "names" that can animate different objects and creatures (the names are each 72 Hebrew characters, arranged very precisely in 12 rows of six). Then these scientists are faced with a potential "end of the world" scenario which requires them to... well... I don't really know how to continue this explanation. The scientific explanations of how objects and creatures can be animated and altered based on "names" was so esoteric, it almost was too much. But the conundrum they are faced with, and how they come about their proposed course of action, was easy enough to follow.
Hard to explain in summary. I cannot imagine how hard it was to actually write. It boggles the mind how on earth Chiang even generates the concepts, much less develop them so thoroughly and convincingly. In a league of his own, this chap is.
I read an article today about a woman that tried to commit suicide by jumping from the 23rd story of a building in Buenos Aires on Monday. She ordered coffee at a restaurant, waltzed outside onto the patio, took her shoes off, climbed the rail and jumped. And survived. She landed on a taxicab, in the "seated" position. She would have landed in the drivers seat if the roof had been missing, and would have driven away or something. The driver just barely fled the vehicle before she hit, or he would have died. He saw a cop looking up, mouth agape, and followed his glance up to see the falling woman, and hopped out of the vehicle just in time.
Can you imagine jumping from 23 floors and surviving? That's gonna suck when she wakes up. You'd think 23 floors would do the trick, eh? Wonder what God will do with her now? Maybe she'll be someone that travels around telling people about the miracle of her survival and how God changed her life, etc.
How harshly will I segue out of that story, you ask?
And now, Lord of the (Potty) Dance...
Kind of a "one-joke" video, but still, made me laugh. Laughing is good. Laugh it up, I say! Enjoy it while you can! The time for weeping will come soon enough, no doubt...
If you're looking for more words to feed your brain, go see Paula's blog and Rebecca's blog. And leave a comment on each! That is your homework, class. I have links to both blogs in the links bar on the right side of the screen, in case you need them in the future... ah, good writing is like good food!
But this blog is more of a snack. Just filling enough to tide you over to your next meal...
Dave the Gump