Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Shouldn't I Start Blogging Again?

Cover of "Funny People"Cover of Funny People

It's not like my words are polluting the Gulf of Mexico (which puts the bar pretty low, but at least there's a bar).

Anyway, here's a thought. Since Netflix uses one's movie ratings to predict which movies you will like, a feature I do find useful when I'm in doubt, I now find myself putting up an early "in mind" rating as I watch a movie. This corresponds roughly to the practice I assume most reporters follow of grabbing onto a tentative lead as they report a single-interview story.

(You are not at ease until something is said or seen that would work as a lead. You do not want to become complacent and cease being vigilant for something better, but your anxiety level drops because you know you have, at least, *something*.)

Point is as E. and I recover from the virus we picked up traveling in the Great American South for the past two weeks, I watched some cable TV, including Judd Apatow's "Funny People." In the first half hour it earned a tentative four stars with its sour portrayal of Adam
Sandler as a hack comic actor -- which may not have been Apatow's intended reading --suffering from a terminal disease. But then AS is cured, and it became a kind of domestic comedy of reclaiming a lost love by breaking up her family, and my rating slid back to three stars, as any surprises in the script evaporated.

That's all I have to say, though (again) it applies to certain kinds of feature writing, which I will be teaching this fall. Better a flawed mishmash with bits of sparkle than coherent mediocrity -- for me anyway.

Good summer fun: thinking about what I am going to teach in the fall and hoping this time I will get it right, though considering what I have just written, better to get it really right some days at the cost of getting it really wrong others.

I can do that. I always have.
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