The Intermittent

Why Are You Still Here?

Thursday, September 21, 2006


With all the Black Dahlia talk, it occurs to me to finally mention that what Miller is doing in All Star Batman and Robin could appropriatly be coined Pop-Ellroy. He's taking Ellroy's prose style--the staccato, repeated bursts of narration--and compulsive, worshipful misogny and playing them for comedy.

Really. Dip into, say, White Jazz, read three or four pages, and go back to the first issue of ASTB&R. The narrative rythymns are very similiar. Conversely, rent the Ellroy biopic; you can easily picture him writing the comic as lark, a way to blow off steam, barking all the while.

Incidentally, if you asked me to pick actors who should never appear in a film version of an Ellroy book, Josh Hartnett would be way high on the list. He's entirely too blank to carry the weight of Ellroy's obsessions.

A follow up to Bleg! You might remember that I needed a wedding reading. Then again, you might not. It's been awhile, and the sound of electronic crickets will only keep people coming round for so long, and its been longer than that. Anyway. I needed a reading for a non-religious wedding, though one appropriate for the usual wedding crowd, only with the added pressure of friends in attendance with the usual pretensions; it was to be a schmaltz free zone.

I got nothing from the spirit of the age, here; the internet, again, let me down.

I went through my shelves. And: success. Maybe. Larkin's First Sight, The Whitsun Weddings. A nice metaphor for change, growth, and hope, while at the same time having an undercurrent of cold-bloodedness; an acknowledgment that life can be good, but only for those that survive the indifference of the world. Shocking, I know, given Larkin. Possible downside: that I might get a whole wedding wondering why I'm reading a poem about baby sheep suffering in the snow. But it was the best option I had, so I went with it.

At least as far as Minneapolis.

Flying into the Cities, I finally got a chance to try the reading out on selected persons. The reception I got was...let's be polite and call it mixed. And when the best reaction comes from somebody who WANTS there to be a ruckus at the wedding, we have a problem. Plan B. I steal my brothers big book of wedding readings, and find The Master Speed, by Robert Frost. Which is a good poem, albeit one that I totally overlooked when I went through my Frost collection, and also one that, I think, has very little to do with weddings, though I guess the wing-to-wing language at the end is what people seize on. So Frost it was, and it was well-received, though perhaps without the bit of impromptu vaudeville the presiding judge and I did it would have gone over flatter (Judge: remember to speak up, we're outside. Me: I'll speak up AND enunciate. Judge: just don't vacillate. Me: If you make me hesitate, you're going to make my reading late. Crowd: Groan).

The wedding itself was nice. At the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden, but tucked away, just a group of people happening to get married there; not the typical occupying army of coordinators and ushers and white tenting. Then dinner, then hanging out with my family in Minneapolis, which is a damn hard thing to screw up; I never come away either from the Cities or from my family without wondering why I live so far from both.