WHY THEY'RE FREAKING OUT, LISA SAYS - Complications Ensue
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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Lisa is currently rearranging the bookshelves. I know, it's midnight. But we just got home, and we had a room built for the baby, and now there are bookshelves without homes, and there are yards of books on the floor, and she loves to decorate. So I'm blogging.

No, she isn't manic-depressive. She's amazingly sane. She just likes to decorate, is all. And I made her promise that the bookshelves would find a home, since now that we have the room, we don't need the bookshelves to make a sort of alcove for Jesse Anne.

Anyway... I was thinking out loud about the effect the Internet, Netflix, Amazon, blogs, y'all, are gonna have on the Red States. I mean, how do you keep them down on the farm when they can rent Last Tango in Paris on DVD, just to check it out, and if they don't like what he does with the butter, they can pop the DVD back in the mail That Very Same Day and in a couple more days they can have Season One of The Patty Duke Show, complete? I mean, it's all very well and good to pass hysterical legislation against gay marriage now. But after a few more years of Will and Grace, isn't it going to seem just, well, hysterical?

And that, my dear, is why they are getting so panicked, says Lisa. Their world is coming to an end. They are feeling assaulted on all sides. So they're fighting a last ditch effort to slow down the pace of Blue. An a mighty last ditch effort it is, too, but it will all be in vain, because their leaders are interested only in abolishing the right to declare personal bankruptcy, and their kids will be all, like, whatever.

(And by the way, let's give a hand to the genius who painted the Republicans Red, the old inflammatory color for portraying communists, while the Democrats got the color of the sea and the sky. (Probably a Yale man. No one really likes crimson, anyway.))

So have faith, dear people. Just keep making the movies and the tv shows that casually accept all sorts of twisted weirdness: men who love men, and black people with corner offices, and women who fight back. Keep on doing it, and if we can't get them, we'll get their kids. After all, forty years ago, for a white man to kiss a black woman on television, they had to be inhabited by incorporeal aliens who controlled their brains. And now the President's doing it on C-SPAN.

PS: Interesting rebuttal to all this from Trev. See comments!

2 Comments:

Red is, after all, the colour of danger in the Aniimal kingdom. ;-)

By Anonymous Alexandra, at 9:52 AM  

Alex, I like your blog even if I disagree with your politics. The Internet is a tool that has been used effectively by both sides of the political divide (think MoveOn.org fundraising/organizing and SwiftVets fundraising/organizing). Indeed, most conservative pundits would argue that the Internet is more useful for red-state conservatives than blue-state liberals--in that it provides alternate news sources to the liberal MSM (think conservative blogosphere take-down of forged Bush docs).

All that being said--and seeing as yours is primarily a screenwriting blog--I'm not a huge fan of inserting politics into ones screenwriting (excluding say a show like the West Wing where the focus of the show is politics). I find that results tend to be heavy-handed, one-sided and patronizing. The end result tends to be something along the lines of "Tonight--A very special Blossom."

This is not to say that I think politics has no place in writing. Certainly whether a character is conservative or liberal can matter a lot (think MEET THE FOCKERS)--and can be a great source of inspiration.

But it may be that, in this day in age, the political divisions are now so polarized that there is no room for the nuances that make a great movie.
"War is bad (never justifiable)" v. "War is good (always justifiable)". MASH & The Longest Day are both enjoyable movies but neither is what I would consider great.

Finally, I wouldn't insert poltics because I'd want to appeal to the widest possible audience. Sure Faranheit 911 made $110 million or so and Passion made $350 mill (domestic) or so last year but compare those numbers to say Lord of the Rings or Spiderman or Finding Nemo (most DVDs sold ever, IIRC). I think people go to movies, in part, to escape the everday--deliberately inserting political statements in your movie will just alienate half your audience (of course I found Team America: World Police hysterically funny--but how much did that make?)

Anyway, my .02.

Trev

By Anonymous Trev, at 12:19 PM  

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