The Llama Scribe

April 17, 2008

Albino Black Jewish Lesbians on Zoloft

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 1:22 pm
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The above is the title of a play by Richard Krevelin.  It is listed on his website, http://www.profk.com, along with the synopses of several other plays and screenplays which he has authored.  His book, How to Adapt Anything into a Screenplay, is required reading for the Screen Adaptations course I’m taking, and I was trying desperately to take him seriously until the dear old internet revealed his credentials.

Hostile Takeover — The human genome is discovered, altered and out of control – killing everyone and thing in its path. 

His book is written for college dropouts waiting tables in L.A. while they labour over their first screenplay in their moldy one-room apartment and elaborate to their friends and families back home about “the big time.”  The first step of his seven-step process includes this gem: “Who is your main character? (You can only have one.)”  Does that count genomes?

Max Holt, Ultra-Mega-Super-Stunt-Boy! — A lonely boy who dreams of becoming the world’s greatest stunt artist, like his missing father, has to use all his stunt skills to survive once the FBI shows up in his school looking for him.

I’m heartened by the fact that none of his movies seem to have been produced, as of yet.  However, I recently re-watched The Player, and I’m assured that, eventually, one of them will see celluloid.  Maybe it will be this one:

Naked on the ‘Net — The day before Jay Birde is going to ask the woman he loves to marry him, he finds pictures of her NAKED online.

It would have been an ordinary, boring summary, but it was the caps lock that really made it for me.  His plays are even better, and some of these actually have been placed on stages:

Lazy Susan — Susan Hyman discovers a priceless painting in the attic which tears her family apart, and it is up to her to bring her family back together.

It tore the Hymans apart?  Really?  Are we in ninth grade again?

Fortunately, I’m not supposed to take his book seriously (I think).  I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to gain from reading it- although it certainly offers ample evidence of the machinery driving Hollywood (insight which I already gleaned from Altman’s masterpiece).  Krevolin may not be a successful filmmaker, but he is a successful professor, responsible for influencing thousands of malleable young minds.  May they have the integrity and intelligence to resist his hyper-commercial idiotic ramblings and find out for themselves that his body of work might have been produced by a ten-year-old overdosing on Adderall.

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April 15, 2008

Unpredictably

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 11:50 pm
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I wanted to post this last week, when I wrote it, but I was waiting for my professor’s response to it.  The assignment was a response to The Time Machine for Pulp Fictions of the 1890s, and the professor- one of my favorites, incidentally- opened it up to any format.  Very late at night, unable to sleep after hammering out a proposal for a different class, and after nearly finishing Time Machine in one gulp, I started writing this in my head.  It’s silly, but it’s also the first piece of narrative fiction that I’ve even considered displaying for public consumption in something like seven years.

For those unfamiliar with the novel, Weena is the Time Traveler’s Eloi love interest, described throughout the novel as thoroughly childlike and naive to the point of idiocy, which, to be honest, seems to suggest a child molesterish side of H. G. Wells.

Anyway, here’s Weena’s Story:

 

It was obvious from the start that he was deranged.  I just didn’t realize that he was dangerous, as well.

Try to imagine this:  You’re going about your daily business at home, watching television, eating Cheetos out of the bag, when your front door opens and in waddles a strange four-year-old kid.  You’ve never seen him before in your life, but he’s so self-assured that you’re momentarily stunned, and he takes advantage of your transitory weakness by plopping himself down on your couch.  You try making small talk, asking how he came to be on your couch, and if there’s any place that he might rather be, or anyone that might miss him back home (there isn’t).  Then he starts criticizing you for eating Cheetos, suggesting condescendingly that his disinclination towards such behavior places him on a higher evolutionary rung than you.  He is astonished when you recoil from his physical affronts, and doesn’t seem to understand that tiny fists can still inflict pain.  He makes a few feeble, exaggerated attempts to understand your culture (“Cheee-tos!  Foood!!”) and then gives up, preferring to stare intently into his navel and occasionally babble about his inventions.  He’s obnoxious, but he’s too stupid to abandon in the wild, so you let him stay.  Oh, and then he systematically destroys everything that you love and winds up getting you killed by your cannibalistic neighbors.

I’m a little bitter.

April 8, 2008

Inconclusively

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 2:46 am
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To update: I have tracked down Oronte Churm.  It turns out that John Griswold is also a pseudonym of sorts, for  “William J. Griswold,” as he is identified in the course catalogue.  I will attempt to register for his section of Introductory Narrative Writing as soon as the major restriction is lifted.  Will I be one of the sullen, unprepared masses of which he writes?  Or will this be the defining experience for which I have been searching for the duration of my mostly unwanted, tremendously long academic career?  Well, the class meets at 9:30 a.m., but I suppose anything could happen.

April 4, 2008

Obviously

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 5:48 am
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A short while ago, I wrote on the unveiling of a McSweeney’s contributer as an adjunct professor in the very same English department with which I have recently been able to align myself.  Since said revelation, I have been gradually pouring over Oronte Churm/John Griswold’s McSweeney’s writings, the Dispatches from Adjunct Faculty at a Large State University.  I have found his articles so startlingly affecting that reading them at work- and McSweeney’s makes terrific work reading, as the site has no vaguely or starkly elicit sidebar advertisements- will often lead to the kind of emotional reaction that my months-long, Everest-like conquest of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States often provoked last summer. 

More often, however, I am struck by the well-flung accuracy of Professor Churm/Griswold’s observations of this department, which after only three months I am still exploring and comparing to my prior experiences with the music school.  For instance, given my struggle to adjust and deep cynicism encompassing the entire project of higher education, this passage from “On Tenacity” seems particularly prescient:

“The mass of students I’ll see lead lives of quiet desperation. Hinterland U. attracts the best of the really-very-good students in the state, but if they could have gotten into or paid for Harvard or Berkeley, they would have gone there. Humanism is not their main concern. They are expected to go to college by their entire middle-class suburban culture and are dutifully doing just that, for the reasons told them: getting an education means greater lifetime earnings, and besides, Zane, if your Uncle Billy can get a degree, anybody can.”       

Strangely enough, I’d always concluded that the professors and graduate students tasked with furthering my exploration of and appreciation for works written in the English language were hugely resentful of my inability to fully commit to this project, the obligatory commitment that is undergraduate school.  Then again, when I do force myself to become immersed in study, I often thoroughly enjoy the work that I am given- but, of course, not nearly as much as when it is self-motivated.  I resent being forced to have my time wasted by a certain English professor of film criticism, whose largely incoherent and shrill tangential lectures rely heavily on her ability to perform in-class Wikipedia and Google research.  But, more than that, I regret that my own ungrateful disposition has resulted in the wasted gifts of the good professors, the ones who do not seem to resent their work and their audience quite as much as she.

I registered for classes today, and in performing pre-registration research, I desperately searched for classes that might have already been assigned to John Griswold.  Tragically, he was nowhere to be found.  But, more tragically, if I were able to find him, I’d probably treat his class with the same unbridled disrespect that I’ve exhibited in regard to each and every class that I’ve taken in the past three years.  And it’s different with the English classes; in place of the loathing and muddled, irate confusion which I bore for music theory and, to an extent, music history classes, I feel no need to perform to what might be a higher potential.  I’ve been told that I have the ability, but I have no desire.  

I wonder if that will change after graduation.  I wonder if I will chance upon employment which challenges and inspires me, as I’m sure about 5% of working Americans have.  Far more likely,  I’ll find a job that I don’t entirely hate, and I’ll complain about it and only apply myself sporadically, in spurts; after all, I’ve been training for that scenario for as long as I can remember.

April 1, 2008

Unfortunately

Filed under: Uncategorized — antoinette jeanine @ 3:26 am
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I go along in life, ignoring the large things that scare me as well as the small, and something triggers it.  Suddenly I am transformed from a rational, if easily confused, person, into a seething tower of irate.  I stumble around, engrossed in the one thought, unable to focus on anything else until I have found someone at which to rant.  Inevitably, this rant is met with confusion and unease, as its source is uncommon and it might appear, at its core, to be somehow biased and unfair.

But I simply demand to know: Why do old people decide to create offspring?

Do they perpetrate this action without thought or care for the day when their spawn, now entering their third decade, uses their newfound powers of prediction to create a vague outline of the future?  Twenty and seventy simultaneously are unfair numbers, because they indicate that thirty and eighty should logically follow. Unfortunately, humans have a tendency to die, if of nothing else than having lived too long.

The anger of a child who realizes that their parent created them knowing that at least half of their life has already passed is not easy for people outside of this circumstance to understand.  It is not “ageism.”  It is only resentment, and premature mourning.

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