Monday, March 15, 2010

For the generic chief blogger:


I think this combines most of what motivates our resident sexagenarian these days...

10 comments:

Generic said...

More interested in the shirt, especailly as there's no face attached to the torso. Is this item available for purchase? And if so, where?

"Torchwood" line that belongs on a tee-shirt: "That's a poodle."

Tulkinghorn said...

Face and purchase information here:

http://www.zazzle.com/russell_t_davies_characters_tshirt-235554930212200421

The men's version is over to the right, where it says "Over 60 More!"

There's that number again.....

Christian Lindke said...

The quote on this shirt embodies everything I hate about "modern" genre writing.

Tulkinghorn said...

Interesting. You don't like mixing the colors a bit?

You must date 'modern' from about the time of the Iliad, with its flawed heroes and no taking sides.

Generic said...

Go a step further and argue that it's the prevelance of uninflected good guys and bad guys that gives popular ("pulp") fiction a bad name.

Christian Lindke said...

The key here isn't "flawed" heroes and no side taking. The Iliad is a masterpiece, which does none of what Davies recommends.

Achilles is never weak, nor is Hector. They are perfect embodiments of the same virtue, Thumos.

Agamemnon, on the other hand, is clearly a villain. He is never represented as "lovely." That would undermine Achilles wrath, and the purity of Briseis.

The key here are the uses of the words "lovely" and "weak."

Weak heroes spend more time questioning themselves, their actions, and whining into the arms of each other that nothing ever gets done.

"Lovely" villains confuse the issue of what villainy is. The fact that Hannibal Lector came across as "lovely" rather than as realistic or flawed or compelling or interesting, is something that leads audience members to make nihilistic leaps of logic in support of him as a "positive good."

This is all moral relativistic clap-trap and deserves no place in the representation of "honest" characters.

Mel Gibson in Gallipoli is an honest character who is never "weak" in the virtue he embodies, adelphia, and his friend is not weak in adelphia, thumos, or patriotism. That is what makes the friend's death so compelling at the end. If he had been "weak," he never would have accompanied his friend in the first place.

The beauty and power of the musical Hair stems from the fact that Berger's sense of adelphia, maybe even agape, is so strong that he is willing to die that another may live. There is no weakness in his character, and his is a beautiful sacrifice.

Davies is recommending the passive weakness of the modern "complex" hero who worries about the consequences of his/her embodied virtue. That is the end of myth and the end of narrative fiction. It is the beginning of self-celebrating "sophistication."

Generic said...

It's certainly true that neither Leonard nor Davies is writing heroic epics. A form as unlikely to be revived as representational painting. You could, however, write a story about a flawed modern man who struggles to embody heroic virtues, which might be more useful.

Christian Lindke said...

My point is that there is a vast, universe wide if you will, difference between "weak" and "flawed."

Generic said...

I would say that all flaws are in some sense weaknesses. Unless you mean something very specific by the word that I'm missing.

Generic said...

A bit OT, but for work I had to sit through an all day UCLA/USC conference last week on "Transmedia." My thought is that a cool ARG device would be writing an entire novel on tee shirts. Some sort of scavenger hunt to assemble the complete text -- by photographing it, presumably, rather than ripping it off people's backs.