October 31st, 2007
Did I really go a day without blogging? For shame! No, not really.
It’s Halloween, though I don’t have any special visuals to offer you today — I’ve been far too busy lately. But I do have many tasty linky treats to offer. Really!
Remember, Color Me Badd — famous for the song I Want To Sex You Up — they were a vocal band, sort of a boy band, from the 1980s? I just read that Kevin Thornton, one of the members of the group, went through an exorcism to remove demons from him. He is now a devout Christian. All this according to Undercover Black Man. You can listen to his exorcism — here’s the sound file from the radio show where it happens. It’s pretty freaky. Perfect for Halloween!
Harry Potter Postmodern Textual Controversy! I suppose everyone has heard now that J.K. Rowling said that part of how to understand Dumbledore is that he’s gay. Now, it’s not explicit in the books, but the author aught to know about his or her creations, right? I expect that they know what they were thinking. Here are two articles, from very different sources taking completely different viewpoints: over on FindLaw, a legal affairs website, Michael Dore has an article called Harry Potter and the Framers’ Intent which posits basically that what is on the page is on the page — the way the legal system works. If there’s no explicit memory conjured by Dumbledore, if there’s no signaling of his homosexuality in the text, it’s not there. One might argue it is too subtle, but if it’s so ambiguous, it can hardly be said to be there, yes? How subtle does something have to be before it’s not there? On the other hand, science fiction author John Scalzi takes the completely opposite position: What Authors Know About Their Characters. I think this is an interesting question. In sci-fi fandom there’s a concept of “canon” works. So in Star Wars, one typically considers only the movies to be canon — novelizations, comic books, tv shows, and other items are not canon, so are not accepted into some discussions of the work. Here’s more from Scalzi, talking about an article from the New York Times on the same subject:
if Rowling had as part of Dumbledore’s background that he was straight, or entirely asexual, his character would be different and his actions and responses and backstory would be different. He would be different. He wouldn’t be the Dumbledore he is today (or was, because he’s dead, but even so). Rothstein seems to be falling into the trap of assuming that everything that goes into a character shows up on the page. This is entirely wrong. What shows up on the page is the public life of the character, so to speak: The things about a character that a writer chooses to let you know about them. The private life of a character exists off the page, and takes place between the writer and the character.
I think in the end it is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to ignore what a creator says about a work. For example, Blade Runner, one of my favorite movies — in different versions it is clear/unclear/subtle/unsubtle whether Deckard is a replicant. I tend to skew toward interpretations where Deckard is not a replicant, though in interviews Ridley Scott (the director, and for our purposes a primary author of a movie) says with no hedging that he’s a replicant.
So what do you think of this? Can you think of other “controversial” statements other creators have made about their creations?
Self loathing ghost writers! Speaking of authorial intent, did you know that Leslie McFarlane hated ghostwriting the Hardy Boys? In fact one of his books seems to be brimming with double entendres designed to denigrate his works. The 10 Zen Monkeys blog has a post about it — How gay were the Hardy Boys? — I actually see McFarlane as a rather sad figure, reading this. I hope never to create artistic works I despise.
Meanwhile, in the
funny papers funnies – go read Cat and Girl today. I laughed!
Casual games are apparently a $2.25 Billion with a B dollar market. You know, I know there’s a lot of room for growth in casual games, but numbers like this will make you crazy I think. It’s not like you’re going to make a game and win all that market. Remember Pets.com — they were going to win the huge market for petfood. Same concept. But casual games are a great industry and a very exciting one right now. Okay, not really very Halloween-ish.
I’ll leave you with blasts from the past:
In about 1981 or 1982 I stole a Halloween mask — then in 2005 I remembered it. And actually, I had forgotten that I did that until today. I guess one does not like to think of the wrongs one has committed. I don’t shoplift anymore.
In 1987 I made great killer poster for Halloween:
Also in ’87: I designed some pumpkins:
In 1991 I won a costume contest as the joker:
In 2001, the year I started this blog, I was musing about costumes and not wearing one.
In 2003 I made this header.
In 2003 I was only talking about the fires in San Diego.
In 2005 I made a guts cake for Alex.
And last year I mused about Festium Omnium Sanctorum
Happy Halloween everyone!