November 27th, 2005


The Polar Express

Watched The Polar Express last night with the Child. What a weird movie.

She was entranced. Absolutely entranced. It hit all her buttons, she was locked into the plot and the characters, it worked for her.

I thought it was interesting, but I found the whole North Pole sequence more than a little strange. (And what was up with the Hobo anyway -- was he the genius loci of the train itself?) The borean city was portrayed as a sort of a neoVictorian industrial fantasyland, as if the true fruit of the labors of generations of Children working 66-hour weeks would have been so beautiful and elegant. This is Big Science, rendered via Jules Verne and Robert Oppenheimer kidnapped by elves and forced to cooperate on a different sort of Manhattan Project. And the elves themselves were very Riefenstahlischer -- the whole screaming mass ritual when Santa emerges would have made old Schickelgruber proud, not to mention Country Joe Dzhugashvili. It's industrial fascism for the grade school set. Hell, the train even ran on time.

I didn't find the animation as disturbing as many audiences reportedly did, and the realizations were interesting and sometimes stunning. But the subtexts were cockeyed as all get-out, considering the ostensible story of the movie.

Writing help needed: Latin American fabulism

My brain is going into vapor lock over Latin American fabulism. I'm trying to remember which novel it is that features as a subplot element the Americans carving up the ocean in blocks and taking it away. I thought that was Autumn of the Patriarch, but I believe I'm misremembering. Can one of youse guys comment? (I want to get the text mention correct.)

Bride of Misc Updatery

My parents took the Child and me to The Trains at NorthPark today. Also a fair amount of laying about. I got a 4,200 word synopsis done on a possible future book project called Stick in the Mud -- wanted to capture the idea before it drifted away underneath everything else. Did some editing on Other Me as well, trying to get it ready for my first readers. Out of here around 7 am tomorrow to catch our flight back to PDX. Due to the Omaha trip flipping on me, I'll actually be home for six days before taking off again, so I'll be starting work on Trial of Flowers sometime this coming week.

Back in my usual posting form on Tuesday. More erudition, wit and refinement then. Meanwhile, y'all play nice.