Friday, July 21, 2017

Stars, No Stars

Happy Friday, if happy is what it is. It has turned hot, even here in the vacation state - making it a challenge to find ways of getting around the heat. I stick to my chair - it is warm. There is respite here, though, it ids always cool by the river...

I should, coming in here once a week, manage to find something to say about the world. Donald Trump is still president, though still a fool; Republican health care savagery is on hold, though it's hard to get rid of it; John McCain is gravely ill, leading to a certain amount of hand wringing, at least on left - he voted against us, he got a free pass sometimes for talking like he might vote differently, but he never did - but you still had to respect the man. I certainly suspect that if he'd managed to win the residency in 2000, we'd be a lot better off... I hope he recovers, as a person, and really - if all Republicans were John McCain, we'd be a lot better off. It is a luxury to have opponents you can respect - who can respect Donald Trump? What kind of monster would respect Donald Trump?

On the other hand, McCain did elevate Sarah Palin to prominence, and that is part of why we have the scum we have now in Washington, so... I've never quite been able to shake the conviction McCain did that to make sure he'd lose in 08 - that's a mighty price to pay for getting Obama elected though.

Enough politics. I could note the passing of another rock star, Chester Bennington or Linkin Park - however, the less said the better, lest I bring up my opinion of Linkin Park. Its too bad about him, though. All musicians are, in fact, heroes, as musicians - I don't have to be a fan to respect them, and mourn their passing. Though I'm not posting any Linkin Park at this blog...

What else? TV countdown at WITD, but I hope you know that my now. My parts of that are still a ways off, though I hope to do some writing on the subject here, too... On that score - TV? I am, for the first time in a long while, watching a TV series in (nearly) real time - Twin Peaks Return, of course. I could be watching Game of Thrones in real time - I have HBO these days, first time in ages (I had it in 2010 just long enough to watch the first season of Treme in real time - that was a promotional offer, so that was all of that.) I did watch 4 seasons of Game of Thrones in a bunch a couple years ago, then read the books - so it might be tempting. But it is on opposite Twin Peaks: it is incomprehensible to me why someone would watch GOT over Twin Peaks. (Obviously, in this day and age, you DVR both - it comes down to which you watch first.) Maybe it isn't incomprehensible - GOT is a fine show (well - the first 4 seasons were - the 5th sounded like it jumped the shark pretty badly; even though I hadn't read the books when it came out, it sounded as though the show went completely off the rails that season. It sounded like a violation of the books - and of the show that I had seen to that point, since the show still felt like it matched the books, more or less. Maybe - through 3 seasons anyway. That is a topic for another day.) But even at its best, compared to Twin Peaks - it feels like, I don't know - comparing Lord of the Rings to Ulysses. For all of Tolkien's powers, it shrivels to nothing beside Joyce.

I know that's a minority opinion, all of it - that Twin Peaks is that much better than Game of Thrones - that Joyce is that much better (and worthy of your time) than Tolkien - and, probably most of all, that Joyce is that much more enjoyable than Tolkien (though that is true: Ulysses is a joy to read; LOTR is a chore. The Hobbit or the Silmarillion, I can make a case for - but reading the Lord of the Rings would be work, and I'm not going to do it. This is as a source of pleasure alone - never mind quality...) A minority opinion, though getting back to the TV shows - one that might mark certain boundaries. Twin Peaks is probably the cinephiles' choice - it certainly seems that way on Twitter. It's a show for movie lovers - though probably a minority form of movie lover - cinephiles - taken in all its connotations... The difference tends to bring out the way TV and films are different - GOT is TV, all the way - and TV is far more literary than film. That is one of its strengths - it can tel different kinds of stories, differently - long, complex stories, with complicated relationships among characters, with the stories, relationships and everything else made explicit, explored - words are powerful, and TV allows for words to be used differently than film, as such... This version of Twin Peaks puts it all in the images and sounds, the editing, the flow of information - a film; if you were making literary comparisons, more like a poem than prose....

That's part of it, though not all. It is also simply true that Twin Peaks is better than Game of Thrones - the way Ulysses is better than Lord of the Rings. (Or A Song of Ice and Fire, for that matter.) It's art - or better art; it beats it at its own game. And to be honest, some of that is due to the fact that TwinPeaks - at least this version of Twin Peaks - is completely in the care of David Lynch. I am very fond of David Lynch - in ways I can sometimes articulate and sometimes not. I'm not quite sure I can articulate why Twin Peaks The Return is so good, yet - but it is, and it is something I can't miss.

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