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Monday, October 26, 2009

General Updates and Stephen King

Don't know that I have a great deal to say today--just trying to keep this up on a semi-regular basis.

School has settled into a general, "I don't want to deal with this shit" pain in the ass, which I suppose is better than the, "Holy shit, I can't do this, what the hell!?" torture chamber it was. Only thing that really sucks is that in my one class we've launched into group work big-time. Everything we do is now in groups. Which means now I have other peoples' grades on my head as well...which is a reason I abhor group work.

Pretty convinced teaching is not the path for me after being deducted points on a school library observation for using the phrase "resources for the blind," rather than "resources for the visually impaired," and after causing much gasping and consternation at the on-campus weekend for daring to suggest that an effective anti-bullying campaign consists of teaching kids to stand up for themselves against bullies instead of running to tattle tale to someone. I'm staying in the MLIS program, but probably switching my track to children and young adult services, which will be geared towards a public library setting rather than a school. Plus, I will get to take awesome classes that I'd never get to take in the overly-structured school library cert. track, like Storytelling and History of Children's Literature. Stuff that actually ties into my writing.

Talking of school, it's interfered yet again in my life--I am not attempting NaNoWriMo this year because of school commitments. I was pretty geared up to work hardcore on that after last year's failure, too. But it is what it is, I suppose. Probably best, since it'd require putting Charlie Morning and Mr. Night aside to work on something new that would be basically a word count grind and may or may not be worthwhile in the end. Probably better to focus on the ongoing project, given my limited time constraints.

Julie and I watched the movie adaptation of Stephen King's Desperation yesterday. I missed it when it originally aired (didn't even know it existed till last year), and I was fairly impressed. Desperation is one of my favorite King novels; I view it very much as his addition to the Cthulhu Mythos, as Tak is a very Lovecraftian entity. Certainly there are monotheistic tones in it that clash with the Mythos, but even so, every Mythos author has added their own twist to the overall cosmology; some of these are better than others. Since God never shows up literally in Desperation, it's easy enough to view the protagonists' faith as something they have within themselves and still reconcile Tak with the overall Mythos. Of course, if you're willing to add Derleth's "Cosmic struggle" aspect with the battle between the Outer Gods and Elder Gods, the idea of God-as-we-know-Him fits into the Mythos just fine.

In any case, it was a decent adaptation of the book, generally faithful, though I was disappointed they cut out all the bits with the brown recluse spiders, replacing them in one scene with tarantulas. I just kind of think that thousands upon thousands of tiny brown spiders that can kill you with a single bite are scarier than big, furry spiders whose bite is little worse than a bee sting. The use of cell phones and 21st-century references seemed shoehorned into the story--the cell phones could've been worked out by simply having Desperation be in a dead zone. There are a lot of them in the Nevada and Utah deserts. I don't recall cell phones being in the original novel (which was released in 96, before everyone had them) but I could be wrong about that. Engragian's exclamation that he "LOVED the Lord of the Rings movies!" was just out of place and unnecessary. But you'll always have snafus when adapting a book, and these were small enough that they didn't ruin the pacing or overall presentation.

Ron Pearlman did a great job as Collie Entragian, though I didn't like his delivery of the "TAK!" vocalization, which I always read (if you'll excuse the rhyme) as an uncontrolled, spasmic tic than a word snuck into his sentences. I was disappointed not to see a cameo by King; those always kind of make his movies more fun. Still, if you get a chance to give it a viewing, by all means do so. I'd like to give a more thorough review, but it's been many years since I read the novel, so I'm afraid I'm no longer qualified to do so.

I'd still love, some day, do see them do theatrical series of some of King's longer novels. The Stand, for example, was a fun TV miniseries, but an R-rated series of three or four, 3-hour movies with modern effects and for God's sake, Robert Englund as Randall Flag, would be outstanding. Or an HBO series, which would be just as good if not better. Also, rewrite the ending so that the Hand of God doesn't fix things. But that's my dream of a perfect world. King's books tend to adapt better as miniseries than 2-hour films, but they lose something in translation when network censors get involved.

Anyway, I've blathered on long enough. Happy Monday, everyone. May this week (and every week to come) for all of us be better than last, but not as good as next.

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Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, and Mary Magdalene.

I'm not a mad bible thumper--Sophia, however, is my inspiration and always in my heart