Category Archives: TV

I am Driftwood…

It’s not often that I feel totally cut off from the world or really mind if I am. But there are times when it’s quite disconcerting to find myself adrift in a quiet world.

Lightning

Thunder storms are common this time of year in Florida. Lightning struck last night wiping out cable, wifi, and telephone service. Although I still had lights, I found myself without my normal means of connection to the outside world. Cell service was still up and running and I suppose I could have reached out through my limited and precious 3G data plan, but after making the rounds again and again, confirming that, yes, the cable was still out, I finally settled down with a glass of wine and an old familiar friend: William Gibson.

So, what to do when there’s nothing to do? Read, read, read!

It’s a sad state of affairs in my cave that I have read every book I own at least once and in some cases, many times more than once. It is also sad that when I pulled Spook Country off the shelf, I couldn’t immediately remember the plot which made it a good choice for a rainy night alone but a sad choice because I can clearly remember the story lines of Neuromancer, Count Zero, Burning Chrome, Mona Lisa Overdrive. I wasn’t sure if this was a statement about my functional memory or the book itself.  Twenty minutes later, I decided it had to do with the book as my mind wandered away from the story and back to the video I had been working on when lightning struck.

My mind was still on angels and healing and the power we each hold within ourselves. The video is a very short introduction to A Gathering of Angels. I was in the process of posting it on YouTube when my computer freaked out and I suddenly lost all control. I couldn’t move forward, I couldn’t shut down, I couldn’t refresh or even minimize. I sat waiting for a resurge of energy to kick start my programs but nothing happened.

I sat bobbing in the water, waiting for another wave to carry me to shore. I am driftwoodWashed upon the shore. Once a lover of the tides but I don’t think I can take that anymore. I am becalmed by too many years of dissonance and solitude, but harmony and love can move my soul. It moves my soul. (Paul Williams, of course. If you haven’t heard Driftwood, find it if you can. I hesitate to point you to a download site that may or may not be a bootleg.)

So, I’m back at work this morning after a very quiet night, connected, becalmed, harmonious. My wine glass, still full, was sitting on the table with my unread book this morning. I went to bed early, a rare event for me.

I am still adrift in my thoughts today, wondering if I should attempt, once again, to upload that video. For now, I’ll post it on this page and see where we go from here.  A Gathering of Angels

Just for Fun.

elephant and kitten

When you find yourself in a river of doubt, help can show up in the most unexpected ways.

Making a Good Thing Better

Book

What is it with movie and television writers and producers that in the quest to satisfy some strange idea of what the audience wants, they feel compelled–if not justified–to change what is good–and sometimes great–to schlock?

I’m talking about books and movies and books made into movies or television series here. How does a book we love become something else entirely when adapted to the screen–both big and small?

When a story is massive (such as George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series), leaving out the details and changing the sequence of events, merging characters or killing them off altogether, sometimes makes sense. But only a little. Frankly, I’d much rather have 20 in-depth chapters of a series done well (in other words, a continuation of GOT) than 10 mutilated blood-drenched sex romps that have absolutely nothing to do with the original books from whence they came. I’m thinking of True Blood here, a ridiculous perversion of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels.

Harris’ stories are funny, inventive, and original. HBO’s version is anything but. Yet it persists, fulfilling some dark, bloody fantasy that seems to have little to do in the way of story-telling and makes much ado about nothing much besides blood and sex. Is this what we’ve come to in our society? The Red Wedding of GOT pretty much followed the storyline of the books.  But with TB, we just get the red without the satisfying story-telling accompaniment.

To my mind, if a book is good enough for someone to want to make a movie featuring it’s characters and story, why is it necessary to then chop it into little bloody bits and refashion it into something that is pretty much unrecognizable? Why change it? Why reconfigure it to fit a time frame that is unrealistic? If you want to do a book justice, give it the time it needs to unfold and develop. If you want to cut it down to size, at least keep the story true to the original. I’m not saying that every book should become a franchise of sequel after sequel, spreading the story thin to make more money. But if you take on the challenge of a seven book series, be realistic about what you’re tackling.

book on fire

Popular thinking, however, seems to be this: if a book has a good following, it can be made even better! Change the characters, add blood and frontal nudity, forget the plot, and voila! An even bigger audience! Why? It seems the message we are sending as an audience is that we won’t watch unless all our baser senses are titillated. And that bothers me. Life is light and dark, clothed and unclothed. I’m all for a balanced story. But tell the story as it is, warts and wars and all without second-guessing the author’s original intent. A good story is a good story. I say just leave it alone. Setting it on fire won’t make it better.

What do you think? Are we suckers for a cheap thrill or does the perversion of good stories bother you, too?