Kissing on stage is both real and not real. Like urinating on stage, you sort of have to do it, there is a physical reality to the act, but the context renders the action fake. The actor’s body, one presumes, is flooded with all sorts of hormones while kissing on stage, but some attachment to reality keeps actors from falling in love with each other. (Except for when they do fall in love.)
Most plays I’ve written have some kissing in them. And when I come to work, sit behind a table, and watch people kiss for a job, knowing that the actors have also come to work, and are now kissing for a job… well, over the years, I’ve thought: how strange. And so I wanted to write a play about the phenomenon of kissing on stage.
The Sparrow is 400 pages and spans nearly fifty years. On trial in Rome, disgraced priest Emilio Sandoz narrates in flashback the events that led up to the Stella Maris crew assembling, reaching Rakhat, and making contact with the alien species (plural) there. We the audience have to learn about the Runa and Jana’ata as quickly and exhaustively as the crew does; on Earth, there’s the Jesuits and the mafia to contend with.
To try and cram this into a two-hour movie—even stretching it to three hours—would necessarily cut key developments. Since The Sparrow is headed for television, however, each episode could be bookended by the frail Sandoz trying to make his peers understand why he made the decisions he did. Each season could be the standard twelve episodes with a year in-between.
The Runa and Jana’ata wouldn’t suffer, either, since there could be entire episodes devoted to characters like the merchant Supaari VaGayjur. Consider the Battlestar Galactica season 2 episode “Downloaded,” where for the first time we see what happens to Cylons after they die. Suddenly, Number Six went from a sex symbol and saboteur to almost human. Most importantly, parsing out Sandoz’s story over the course of a season or two would preserve the horror of the novel’s emotional payoff.
On October 15, 2011, I moved back to my adolescent bedroom with $300 to my name; on October 1, 2012, I moved into a Bushwick apartment I’d recently signed a lease for, once more a proud, productive member of the American economy. In between, I freelanced extensively for a number of publications, usually on a daily basis — my math is very shaky, but I estimate I published somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 words in that time span, some of them terrible, some of them not-terrible, but all of them paid for. Over the last year several people have burnished my ego by telling me I’m the only one amongst our age group whom they know to be making a full-time go of the freelance thing, which is sort of hilarious/terrifying because I fell into it accidentally and had never taken the time to think about how I’d gotten to this position. Here is my stab at some of that thought process, though I’m sure I’m forgetting plenty.
(DISCLAIMER: Things I have been wrong about include the long-term viability of Kreayshawn, the candidacy of Francois Hollande, the importance of chemistry between the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers, the subversiveness of Odd Future, etc. I am wrong a lot, and if anyone reading this has found a better way to do the things I’m writing about, great! Please chase that. But this has generally worked for me, and thus I will share it with you.)
I definitely was not as devoted a reader in 2012 as I was in 2011—both in terms of picking up new novels/comics/plays, and in terms of keeping track of what I did finish. But it was a weird year. There was the necessary post-break-up period in the spring of only reading crappy chick-lit. We had to push through that.
And yet, I’m still a little embarrassed that I finished out the year with only 20 books under my belt, whereas the prior year I’d cracked 50. Ah, well. It’s another resolution for 2013. Keep up with the new list here!
1. Something from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill +
2. A.D.D. by Douglas Rushkoff #
3. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
4. 666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce
5. Tales from Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? by David Hughes
6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver +
7. Rule 34 by Charles Stross +
8. Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes +
9. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin +
10. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
11. The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach
12. Deadline by Mira Grant +
13. Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent Bouzereau
13. Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose +
14. The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman +
15. Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro
16. Lighting Up by Susan Shapiro +
17. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
18. Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
19. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
20. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn +
+ = Kindle
# = comic
Those unmarked are “real”/hard copy books that I either bought or was given.
What's this afkonair thing?? I could see for myself but I'm too lazy to click things
AFK On Air (AFK = Away From Keyboard) is a pop culture podcast that several friends of mine and I run! We discuss geek culture (fandom, cosplay, etc.) every Thursday night, wear crazy wigs, and really just have a blast. We do the podcast through KoPoint, which runs several other rad shows, too. All the info is at the site—episodes plus other news/reviews we post to the site.
Please tell your friends, because we’d love to get this out there more! We’re on break over the holidays but will be back for season 2 in late January.
Britney isn't a hasbeen. In fact she's still one of the most talked about and sought after celebrities 14 years after her debut. She had a hit album and 2 of her biggest hit singles ever just last year and accompanied them with a sold-out world tour. Meanwhile, no one knows who you are, no one goes to your site or has ever even heard of it, and you will remain a no one forever while Britney is a legend/icon loved all around the world.
Finally going through my inbox and decided the best way to purge it is to publish these. Gotta love faceless Internet commenters.
My outlet may have changed, but I couldn’t let 2012 end without continuing my tradition of listing my top 10 movies of the year. As I said when I published last year’s list on Crushable, note that these are not what I’m calling the best films of 2012, but the ones that most entertained me. And while I have a fair bit of experience as a film critic, often if the movie is more entertaining than masterful, it will still make an impact on me.
Where applicable, I’ve linked out to more in-depth reviews/features I wrote on each film, since here I can give you only a short blurb to convince you to rent all of these. Let’s jump right in!
Honorable Mentions: If I could’ve, I would’ve included all three of this year’s major superhero movies on the list, but that seemed somewhat redundant. Still, The Amazing Spider-Man reinvigorated the Spidey origin tale for me, and The Dark Knight Rises was eerily prescient regarding both Occupy Wall Street and Hurricane Sandy. As psyched as I was for Django Unchained, it hit all my expectations but didn’t exceed them.
Twice now I’ve had dreams that I slapped my ex’s new girlfriend across the face, and rather than fight back, she just nodded and said, “Yep, I deserved that.” (She doesn’t—it’s just my subconscious talking.) I think this GIF would probably be a better way to react when I next see her in public.
In the third episode of AFK On Air we discuss our favorite TV shows, movies, and other obsessions that may seem childish at first, but are often more complex and compelling than any adult would expect!
Children’s entertainment has come a long way since Sesame Street first taught us the difference between “One flower!” and “Two, two flowers! HA HA HA.” Years ago, adults would never have thought to sit down to a self-proclaimed kids’ show when not in the presence of an actual child. But now, SpongeBob SquarePants has an avid adult fan base. Entire conventions are built around My Little Pony. And Pixar movies offer jokes that could not possibly be understood or even detected by little ones. So for whom is this entertainment really being created? Why are adult audiences so captivated by stories and characters that, at first glance, seem intended for ages five and under?