Oh I am so Lame

Okay, I have to admit something:

Amidst all my snobbishness as a literary student, who is incredibly picky about who gets 5 star ratings on Web Fiction Guide (because I believe that greatness deserves better than average, duh) and all my pretensions of being intelligent... Well, sometimes I am a lame nerd.

I get excited talking about comic books and lame comedies by Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell, almost on the same level as analyzing Shakespeare. It's a weird quirk, I know! I like goofy web comics like Questionable Content, Wonderella, Daisy Owl, Qwantz.com ... the list goes on and on.

My wife often exposes me to movies and books and television I wouldn't check out on my own. I have to admit that I like Sweet Home Alabama and 27 Dresses because we watched them together. I have even worse confessions - I read the entire Twilight series because my wife liked it. And, while it's over-hyped and seems like a 17 year old wrote it, to be fair the main narrator is a 17 year old character.

What actually impresses me a little is that in the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, she adds a new narrator, the werewolf Jacob Black. And he actually narrates a little differently, albeit a 16 year old boy isn't culturally a big change from a 17 year old girl. But, the ability to change narrative voice is a talent.

Lamer still, I looked up the author's website and found a rough draft of her Twilight companion novel, written from the vampire Edward's perspective. Even though it's a rough draft, it's manifestly better than all of her other books combined -- she somehow managed to get his 100 year old narrative voice across, with better detail and precision than her other narrators. He makes a book (Twilight) that was cringe-worthy actually interesting, and casts light on things Bella was barely aware of. I think it's evidence she may be way more talented than anyone gives her credit for.

But Lamest of all, I've been watching American Idol this year with my wife, and I'm pretty ticked off at the show. I don't know if any of my readers follow Idol (I'm surprised that I am) but there's some drama this year.

There are a bunch of finalists that annoy the crap out of me. They're nice people, but not superstar material. Michael Lynche looks like a bear and sings like a chipmunk. Aaron Kelly is a 17 year old boy who wants to grow up to be Whitney Houston. Casey James is an excellent guitarist who sounds like a stand-in for Creed or Nickelback, which really doesn't impress me. I wouldn't buy their albums and fail to see how they're relevant to the 21st century. Tim Urban had some Glee/Troy Bolton High School Musical overtones, but he was genuinely funny and earnest, but he's been eliminated. Katie Price was 17 but deserved to be compared to Whitney, because she had a rich voice. ELIMINATED. Makes no sense to me.

Lee De Wyze and Crystal Bowersox are artists, with rich, warm voices and character to match. They have talent and deserve careers, as they are consistently good, and creative. I hope they go far, and one of them should win now. But they remind me of other artists -- Lee is like a Dave Matthews, Tragically Hip, Pearl Jam singer-songwriter, and Crystal is like Bonny Rait or Janis Joplin. They have a niche, and talent, but I think they're limited.

Siobhan Magnus was a chameleon shapeshifter. She changed her look every week, and came out like a performer. She didn't just sing extremely well (which she DID) but she also worked the crowd, and captured the camera. And the really amazing thing is the difference between her stage presence and her persona in interviews: humble, monotone, quiet and serious. It's the difference between Clark Kent and Superman (and she had glasses too!) but it was an amazing change, like she came to life onstage. She's a catalyst, capable of changing herself, and a song, to reach the audience on new, unexpected levels. I see her shattering expectations and walls, and creating something unique. I'm not American, and I'm not commericial, and I usually don't watch the show.

But I'm glad I did because I witnessed a real artist and creative spirit, and found it inspiring. I am so lame, to my snobbish self, but I sincerely think she shouldn't have been eliminated and I want her to get a record deal because I'll buy it. And I haven't bought an album in close to eight years. Apparently there's some weird controversy about her numbers being posted wrong on the internet so her votes went to the wrong person -- and I kind of believe it because she ROCKED the other night and the judges loved her and she's never been in the bottom three EVER. I think the classy thing to do would be for the show to have her back, redo a final 6, and eliminate two people -- the same thing they did for when the judges saved Lynche a few weeks back. He does the same sappy ballad type of song every week and didn't deserve saving. But Siobhan amazes me every week, and it's the least they could do for fans in the face of a possible voting error -- the same number of people will be gone next week, but maybe they'll be people who deserve to leave instead of a real star in the making.

Just my two cents, as lame as part of me finds them. PEACE OUT!

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Well if Bush can win

Well if Bush can win elections with dubious missing and misdirected votes I guess it might be the american way?

My secret shame: I read "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and thought it was one of funniest books ever. And although I do not at all share the protagonist's materialistic obsessions, I found the simple joy she took in them endearing.

But the way to resolve all this is to remember, as you know, Shakespeare and the novels that are considered literary classics today were considered mere lowbrow entertainment in their own times. There's lots of references to people from Regency and Victorian periods being shamed for wasting their time on novels when they should be reading the Bible or Plutarch. Or doing needlework. So your favourite comics and comedies are not lame; they're the 21st century cultural classics of the future! You can bet students of the future will be analyzing them.

Yay future readers!

I sincerely hope they find No Man an Island fascinating. Also, Dinosaur Comics should be entertaining for paleontologists.

Talking of lame...

Yowzers, I missed it, but I fear you may be right- Mr. Andrew is going to make Dylan's dad turn out to be either Peter Pan or Trouble, ala Robin Williams...and then the story is going to be all about a father and son's heartwarming reconnection (ack)- I hope not! Maybe between us we've given him the carrot and the stick to rethink that and steer the story into something more original...the cat people sounded promising.

D. And the D. Pirates

I really like his writing style, but that's why I rated it as low as I did -- Dylan's dad clearly hates pirates, Dylan looked like "Trouble," the wizard seemed to know them both, and the ship listens to the new captain... I know that I make a lot of allusions in my own writing, especially in NMAI, but that's usually to enhance symbolism and subvert expectations, not repeat derivative material.

I think he's capable of more original work, but it was a bad sign when he plagiarized Chuck Norris jokes instead of creating his own.

Trouble ahead, trouble

Trouble ahead, trouble behind.
And you know that notion, just crossed my mind.

Read all available chapters

I like how you put things, Fiona -- I finished the available chapters of Dylan, and I'm more firm on my 3.5 as a result -- the whole thing needs editing, there are mix-ups (like the difference between "neigh" and "nigh", "lead" and "led," and other little typographical things). I like the broad idea he's painting about mythology, stories and their impact on the world, but I find Dylan too competent a protagonist. Everything either comes his way for what he needs on the journey, or he figures out how to manipulate other characters to his needs -- I'm thinking of Triton, Olaf and Grimalkin, all of whom should be more cunning than a 12 year old boy, and all his conversations with them point to his relationship with his father being integral to the story.

It's tasty but it's not a whole meal.

I think you gave the right

I think you gave the right rating. I don't want to be mean, though, so I'll let mine stand for now.

Fair enough

I think he has an engaging writing style, and things might improve before the story ends. I think with your high rating, which his talent certainly could deserve, people will check out the story and their comments might help -- with mine, he'll know there's room for improvement. Without an audience, I don't know how many writers ever improve, so both of our reviews serve a function.

If it doesn't change much by the end, you can always revise your viewpoint because you'll be dealing with the complete novel.

Follow-up

Regarding my American Idol rant -- There is evidence to suggest that Siobhan was robbed. Fans claimed her facebook page had Aaron' Kelly's phone number incorrectly posted instead of hers. American Idol takes no responsibility for facebook because it isn't administered by the company, but by fans. However, Aaron Kelly was in the bottom 3 the week before, and this week he was VOTED OFF but the week during Siobhan's voting off, he was SAFE. When she had NEVER been in the bottom 3 before, that would seem to indicate he had some of her votes last week, because this week he is gone. The other members of the bottom three for the past few weeks have consistently been the same as well -- Michael Lynche and Casey James. There's not "unexpected" bottom three -- so Magnus was robbed, and no one is doing anything about it.

I hope she's so rich and famous someday that she makes Fox network executives have ulcers.

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