Friday, July 15, 2011

Presumption of Guilt

Today I was at work after a six month vacation courtesy of the State of Alabama unemployment insurance I've paid into these past forty years. It was marvelous. I learned to play rock piano, wrote some songs, made some videos, and I thank the rest of you who kept the ship going while I sat at home in my bathrobe. It's good to have a job again.

The strangest thing today was reading a military technical manual specification and seeing paragraphs that I authored twenty years ago. Very strange. It's not like being J.K. Rowling; it's like being the first person to type a smiley into an email message and later realizing it may have been the most long lasting typing I'd ever done. It shows we have to treat the least we do like the most we do and that we may wake up one day to find out our high school sweethearts haven't aged but we have. You never know.

But to get this job, for the first time, I had to submit to drug testing.

I know this is common and that the fact I've held the positions I've had and never done this is a little exceptional, but I never have had to piss in the little cup.

And I didn't like it one bit.

The results weren't in doubt. Despite rumors and innuendo, I'm real middle of the road. I didn't like it because I have to piss in a cup as a pre-condition of employment. I don't like it because that is humiliating. I live in a country of free men and women who find that because a raving looney ex-first lady who went to astrologers to arrange her husband's schedules decided we could all just say no but if there was any doubt she and her class of friends had the right to make us piss in cups.
I want to go piss on her husband's grave. I know, that's nasty, but it seems to me one reason we can't stand up to the lunatics who run our government today is because they've managed over the last three decades to humiliate us into pissing in cups to have jobs. They've convinced us we must be presumed guilty and then prove ourselves innocent or we don't deserve to have those jobs they are creating for us with the money we gave them in the form of tax cuts.

I don't like it. Not one bit. If you don't like it, if you don't like their refusal to pay their fair share, if you are tired of their presumptions of guilt on our parts while they rob us blind, do this: next time you have to go piss in the cup, save some of that and go piss on their lawn, their car, or maybe their graves.

We aren't guilty of anything except working too hard for too many hours for too few people. Are they guilty of anything? Well, presume they are guilty the same way they presume we are. Piss on them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Reeka! Hooters and Shooters

“And ALERT: My character “Hollie Martin” starts her 7 episode run on Eureka July 18th - Felicia Day”

A season featuring Felicia Day that begins with footage of the launch of a Mercury Redstone is not without the irony of an inside reference to her. Cute.

On the other hand, the season premier is weak in the knees.

Leave it to Canadian production to take pieces of American history and mash them up. From the perspective of someone who lived through that history up close, the season opener was clumsy. The holes and misattributions are glaring like a 1950s pre space era sci-fi movie. I found myself laughing in all the wrong places.

As to Siffy’s season premiers: C for effort and keeping a lot of CGI types in work, but the writing is derivative and in critical need of innovative originality.

It is possible the writers are coming at this from a gamer's perspective. We've never really mastered the art of interactive character and plot development. It gets in the way of action and grinding for gold or solving puzzles that are neat in first person but terrible in dialog. When you apply that approach to a series, you get what a friend of mine calls "chicks in tank tops" or simply, hooters and shooters.

I get the same sense from the Siffy season openers and premiers as I get from gen y music; it is as if they don’t have their own experiences so they keep going to the baby boomer well and sipping shallowly. They try to make themselves look smarter or more cool than the baby boomers and simply come off as plastic heros with boob and gun fetishes. The 60s had their share of schlock too. No contest. The question is how to do better.

Felicia Day can do better as one of the most original voices of her own generation. Her best work is The Guild. She writes from her own experience as they say a writer should, but more importantly, she isn't writing a game. She is writing a comedy series that explores the foibles and strengths of her generation or gamers and in doing so, also as a writer should, reveals the universals there. How well she could craft a decent sci-fi series is up for debate but I doubt she can do worse and I'm willing to bet she can do quite a bit better. Otherwise she should distance herself from Siffy and take a hard look at offers that will enable her to develop her own considerable talents as a writer while she continues to hone her acting chops.

Give her the shot. It's time to quit imagining greater; imagine better.

Comment Policy

If you don't sign it, I won't post it. To quote an ancient source: "All your private property is target for your enemy. And your enemy is me."