Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grab Bag

Who’s scarier than the Incredible Hulk? The answer lies below!

It’s another one of those weeks where I have to write a blog but I don’t have a topic, so I jot down whatever pops into my head. None of this has anything to do with anything, so sit back, switch off the brain, and enjoy.

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This just in: Dave Hester of A&E's hit Storage Wars has been fired from the show and is now suing them. He claims the auctions are staged and the producers often “salt” storage lockers with antiques to up the suspense. In short, he says it’s fake. Wait a ding-dong minute here. Are you telling me reality shows aren’t real? That they’re just as scripted and rehearsed as any other show? I knew reality shows had writers, but … no. That would mean nothing we see on television is real. Dear God. The Mayans were right. My entire concept of the world just ended. Next you’ll try to tell me pro wrestling is fake. Go ahead, I dare you.

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Wait, I’ve got one. Wipeout. Those falls are real. And painful. And humiliating. And funny as hell. I feel better now.

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Oftentimes it takes me a while to jump on a particular bandwagon, but I catch up eventually. That’s how I finally ended up reading Twilight, and why I’m now reading The Hunger Games. The difference is, The Hunger Games is an exciting, well-written story and deserves every bit of its hype. There’s just one teensy problem, but it’s not the fault of writer Suzanne Collins. It’s the fault of me, the writer reading the book. I’m trying to read as a reader, and for the most part I succeed, but I can’t help noticing the little plot twists, how she sets up characterization, the expert use of chapter-ending cliffhangers, and other writerly techniques. You’re not supposed to see the seams; you’re just supposed to wear the dress.

I guess that’s why I’m no good at picking winners on Project Runway. To me, the outfit looks fantastic. The judges see the uneven stitching and ragged, unfinished hems and the poor fabric choices. The kids, who unlike me are the intended target audience, aren’t going to see the tricks Collins used to make the book as good as it turned out, but I can. If I paid more attention, I might just learn something here and maybe write a book that’s just as good.

I wonder if Collins is a plotter? No book comes out this clean unless all potential problems have been ironed out beforehand. Being a pantser, I tend to author haphazard stories. You can always spot the pantsers. We’re the ones with the ragged hems.

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Get two or more comic book fans in a room and sooner or later one of them is bound to ask the inevitable question: who’s stronger, Superman or the Hulk? That’s a toughie. I’m going to have to go with Superman, but it would be close. Superman is more than mortal, but the Hulk’s just too stupid to quit. Same with Hulk vs. Thor. Thor would win, unless the Hulk got his hammer away from him. Then it’s a toss-up. A Hulk/Batman fight-fest actually happened, thanks to a join Marvel/DC venture back in the ‘80s. Batman won, using knockout gas. Even the Hulk can’t hold his breath forever. Hulk vs. Wonder Woman? Definitely Wonder Woman. He’d be so distracted by her cleavage he’d forget to throw a punch.

We’ve already seen the results of a Hulk and Loki fight: “Puny god.”

My choice to take on the Hulk? Chef Gordon Ramsey. That man is flippin’ scary. “You
call that a fist? It's fucking raw! Bloody piece of shit! Piss off! Get the fuck out of my kitchen!” Hulk would run away blubbering. What could defeat Gordon Ramsey? High blood pressure. The man’s going to bellow himself into a stress-induced heart attack one of these days. On camera, if the producers can fix it.

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This being the holiday season, nobody’s watching TV, so most weekly shows have either wrapped up or gone on hiatus until January. For the next couple of weeks we get reruns, endless Christmas specials, 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We might even get “Oops, We Goofed” from the Mayans on December 22. Assuming the planet’s still here, the weekly shows will dribble back onto a regular schedule after the first of the year.

My award for the politest of these goes to Grimm, which wrapped up the first half of its season with a tense cliffhanger, then faded to black with the words, “To be continued … Sorry.” It’s nice to know they care about their viewers, even while torturing them. This will give me ample time to finish my study of The Hunger Games trilogy so I can write better books in the new year. Happy holidays and happy reading, everybody!


Savanna Kougar said...

Gosh, the poor Mayan elders are running around everywhere telling people their calendar DOES NOT mean the end of the world. Meanwhile, the crappin' TV people keep the myth hyped up. ON PURPOSE. I AM COMING TO HATE!!! TV, and I once loved it. But will the TV Controllers offer an apology? No, they'll blame those primitives who had nothing to do with spreading propaganda about the end of the world. Plus, the Mayans were actually more advanced in some ways during those ancient times, than currently.

There's such good potential with TV, but they've turned it to crap and mind-programming for the most part.

Hell, Time Warner cancelled Jesse Ventura's show, and it was getting top and good rating despite the fact they kept changing the time and day for airing. Not to mention the FEMA camp show was deleted from people's TIVOs. Without their knowledge or permission.

How about a real REALITY SHOW? Put all the corrupt elite idiots running things on one poor little island, and let them fight it out while we watch. Talk about ratings. I bet those would be SKY HIGH!!!

Naw. Mr. Angry Chef won't blow a gasket as long as he keeps himself nutritionally taken care of. That's another myth. Yeah, and now the psychiatrists are classifying ANY emotion as a syndrome. Well, I've got a way to solve any of their syndromes. Let's throw them on the island too, without any of their no-emotion prescription drugs.

How's that for a rant?

Great post, btw, Pat. Got me going. Loved all the comic book references.

Pat C. said...

But without TV, where would I steal the ideas for my books? I'd have to read, and that takes too much time. It's so much quicker to flip channels and use some idea as a springboard for a plot, then "cast" some hunky actor in your head. This may be how some writers are able to come up with plots on a monthly basis.

In a related bit of trivia, I've heard Suzanne Collins got the idea for The Hunger Games when she went channel surfing between some reality show and a news program about children fighting in wars. It worked out okay for her.

It's not going to work out for Time Warner. I would not want Jesse "The Body" Ventura mad at me. Maybe he can do a YouTube edition on why his show got cancelled.

What would we call the show? "Fat Cat Island?" With your host, Bernie Madoff.

Savanna Kougar said...

According to what he said on online radio show I listen to, Jesse actually just wants to retire and surf down at his place in Mexico. He began doing those shows because he cared about the state of the country... but cest la vie. Like he says he loves his country but hates the government.

I'm not saying don't watch TV. There's still some good stuff. I just can't take all the hype, the lies, and the behavior placement crap. It was all over when they did this 'obvious' anti-gun show on Medium, and had that stupidly fake dog fight on CSI, with an equally stupid solution.

The word came down from a friend of Suzanne Collins... because she doesn't do interviews... that, yes, she based The Hunger Games on the UN's Agenda 21, which is an absolute anti-human horror... read Behind the Green Mask by Rosa Koire... and the New World Order crowds' plans for the culling and enslavement of humanity, currently called the war on terror, and being forced on us, step by step.

Savanna Kougar said...

Or, the idea that you can get away with writing fiction based on the truth. Whereas, nowadays, a lot of good people who speak out and write an expose about the truth, are being suicided, assassinated, thrown in prison, or other nasty consequences like character assassination. But, yeah, none of that makes the mainstream news, except for the sake of a coverup.