Stop putting up photos of you at some beach with some stupid caption like, “Don’t you wish you were here?” Because my immediate answer would be, “Oh is that a beach? Then no. I don’t wish I was there.”
Unless you are on a special air conditioned beach that is not covered in dirt or the bodies of thousands of other people, then I do not want to go to there.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.
p.s. I call sun bathing “playing chicken with skin cancer”
“Sometimes I write things I am not satisfied with, and every now and then I run into people who think that thing I did that I didn’t like was the best thing in the world. I feel more uncomfortable around them than I ever do reading a scathing review.”—Neil Gaiman
Just want to share this thought I had this morning.
So, there’s this girl I vaguely know who is friends with a lot of my friends. And whenever I walk into a room or see her at a bar talking with friends, she seems really fun and really sweet and really awesome.
Then, she sees me and gets all weird and stone faced. Or quietly smug and superior.
Naturally, I’ve spent months obsessing over what I did and why she might hate me and what I can do to be her friend.
Then, as I fell asleep last night, I realized, “Oh, I don’t have to do anything. It’s not my problem she has a problem with me. Her happiness is not my responsibility.”
In short, I’d love to be her friend, I won’t be her enemy, but her weird physical aversion to me is not my responsibility.
At first, my Catholic guilt made me feel bad that I wasn’t reading these potential literary hits and trying to think of ways to support the struggling writers behind them. That soon went away when I remembered that I am not a professional book reviewer and I barely have time to devote to my own creative endeavors.
However, it’s probably for the best that I haven’t tried to earnestly read or review any of these books, because last night, in a fit of boredom, I opened one up and had this reaction:
I live in Queens, which according to some people should remain a source of embarrassment for me.
The thing about Queens, though, is I think that you get the best of both New York worlds by living there.
I often get so caught up in my life in the city and in Brooklyn that I feel so apart of New York that I can feel as though the city has always been a part of me.
Then, I’ll have a moment such as I did tonight wherein I’m riding into town on the 7 train and I get to see the famous buildings that once captured my imagination set against a pink and violet sunset. And that’s when the beautiful longing for it creeps back into my heart.
I get to be in New York and outside of it at the same time.
I’m close to finishing an acceptable first draft of a first chapter to a potentially real first novel. This means I might be emailing friends soon asking for someone to read it over and give me some feedback.
The thing is I don’t want real feedback at this stage. I just want someone to say something nice about the chapter and then add, “This is great! Keep going!”
I will accept real criticism in a few weeks or perhaps never.
Is it true to Fitzgerald’s novel in terms of tone and voice? Fuck no.
Should it be? Fuck no.
If a filmmaker adapts a work of literature, it should not aspire to be a cut and paste film version of that novel. It should be the same story, with the same characters and similar tropes, but as seen through the artistic lens of the filmmaker.
A great adaptation isn’t a shot for shot recreation of a book page by page. A great adaptation is another artist’s adept interpretation of a story, but with his or her point of view on the subject matter.
If an author wanted his story to be a movie, he would have written a screenplay.
If you love The Great Gatsby so much that you object to the adaptation, then read the book again. The book can’t be changed by a movie.
“But the world has changed since the days of Baba Wawa, and SNL’s present-day devotion to mocking its own medium feels anachronistic, a lazy holdover that prevents the show from fully satirizing society as it exists today.”—
SNL does too many talk show parodies, the talk shows are nothing but a parade of celebrity impressions, there aren’t enough real original ideas.
These are all things anyone could say and has been saying for decades. With that being said, all of the suggestions this writer gives are kind of ridiculous:
After all, despite the playfulness of “Bein’ Quirky With Zooey Deschanel,” the host remains trapped within the decidedly unquirky and restricted confines of daytime television, all but guaranteeing that recurring episodes of the show will deliver more of the same. It would make more sense for a pixie like Deschanel, who values handmade crafts and vintage artifacts, to pop up in a homespun, free-form web series broadcast from strange locations—say, a tree house or an igloo. This format would keep the sketch from growing stale by giving the indie darling more outlandish scenarios in which to operate, even if the show’s production budget might suffer as a result.
Yeah! That sketch would suddenly become so much more original if it was set in an igloo one week! Think of the hilarious things that would say about our modern culture!
They really should shake it up with more concept based sketches. No fooling.
That said, I’m not in the writers’ room or at the read-through table there, so who knows why things are picked and why they aren’t for the show.
However, here’s an outside thought based on my own experiences blogging for Hello Giggles and elsewhere. I’ve noticed that when I write humor pieces, I’ve got to stylistically ground it in something familiar. I can write ridiculous jokes about how confusing Ryan Gosling’s comments about Michelle Williams are or how I really did hope that I would get into some sort of street fight that Ryan Gosling could rescue me from, however, if my article is exclusively just me rambling insane things about Ryan Gosling, I’m going to lose my audience. Writing my thoughts first in an epistolary format, gives context to my words. Then creating a definitive list of points I want to ramble on serves as sort of fence posts for the reader to find their way back to the defining thesis. Oh, and the pop culture topic of “Ryan Gosling” is something recognizable that most women in the Western world can read about and have an opinion.
If I wanted to write an essay from the point of view of a Bodega cat who lives in Greenpoint who then turned into a unicorn—but only in its mind—because it accidentally lapped up some spilled Four Loco, um, well…it could be a LOT fucking funnier and original than “Dear Ryan Gosling” was. However, I’m not really giving the casual 14 year old (or 40 year old) audience member in rural Minnesota a lot to guide them through the jokes.
All I’ll say is that because SNL’s target demo is theoretically ALL of America, the writers (who btw, are working on a tight schedule, and therefore could use a familiar format to help themselves get the job done) have to consider they can’t get too absurd without risking losing a massive percentage of their audience. If they want to make fun of Zooey Deschanel and various other female celebs for “Being Quirky”, the fastest, easiest way to make the most absurd jokes they want about that thesis, is to couch them in a format that is recognizable, clear and accessible for their audience. I mean, Bjork could be knitting an octopus sweater anywhere and it’s bizarre. Put that sweater in a world where the average American knows celebrities are supposed to behave on their best, most PC-friendly behavior? The message that Bjork and octopus sweaters are bizarre reads loud and clear.
So, what I’ve taken a long time to say is that yes, yes, YES! They do need a bit more variety in the style of their sketches, but that there are a myriad of reasons why SNL sticks to familiar formats that make a whole lot of sense upon examination.
Also, my PIT Intro to Sketch Acting Grad Shows are this coming Sunday (5/27) and the following Sunday (6/3) at 7pm (at the PIT). I’ll be performing roles once made famous by Kristen Wiig, Kristen Wiig and Vanessa Bayer.
And, I’m doing stand up on Sunday as well at Daws of Jeath at the PIT. I’ll do stand up and then people will improvise off of my jokes. Whoa! That’s at 9:30pm (5/27).
And I’m doing stand up at Cold Soda at the PIT on 6/5.
And also on 6/5, I’m doing a weird panel thing at Buzzfeed with like, social media and beauty blogging people, because that makes sense.