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Howard Hughes looks askance...

So, this morning I'm reading an article online about the recent escalation of violent crime in many US cities, and there's this sentence here: After a night of dancing, Chiara Levin was shot in the head by a stray bullet from a gunfight as she sat in a Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Hours later she was dead. And all I can think is why the fuck are we being told what kind of car she was sitting in, what difference does it make in this chain of events, how is it possibly relevant to the story? Would her death have been perceived as less tragic, somehow, if she'd been sitting in a rusted out old Honda instead of a "Cadillac sport utility vehicle." Is this just another example of me not groking humanity, or is it me not understanding the peculiarities of journalism? Or is America now so status symbol/class conscious that the goddamn Caddy SUV is actually a point of interest for readers? It strikes me somehow deeply perverse, this specificity. It strikes me odd.

But then most things strike me odd.

I hate how May is fading so fast. I've hardly had a chance to notice it, and here June is almost upon us. My stupid birthday is almost upon me. Another year come and gone so fast it makes me dizzy.

---

The sun will rise soon, and I have not walked one step this entire night. I woke at twilight from a dream, a most terrible dream, and I have sat here all night, watching the moon in the river. It seems I have almost forgotten my reason for entering the bleak, accursed land, my purpose for leaving Lórien and Inwë, even my reason for taking up sword and shield those many long years ago. The dream has all but stricken me dumb, and should my pursuer or some wild beast have come upon me in the night, I fear it or he might have taken me with little struggle on my part. Here I have lost an entire night's travel, and I shall have to decide now whether or not to press on northwards through the heat of the day. I dreamt of a sky gone black with Crebain, as though the shadow of Sauron had returned again to haunt Mordor. And I sat here beside the Caranduin and knew that I was being watched. And then time seemed to slip quickly past me, not so differently from the waters of the river flowing down to the Núrnen, and I heard the noise of great battle and many men and elves dying and the sundering of blades, the smote and ruin of bone and flesh and steel. And I knew then that a new shadow had arisen in the west. And somehow — and I can only just bear to write this part down — I had forsaken my quest and all that which I hold dear in this world and become its lieutenant. The crows laughed my name upon the wind, and I rode a black steed of my own. I watched from the towers of Seregost as setsuled Kinslayer reforged dark alliances and built a fresh army of men and orcs to march, and in my heart I felt only gladness at the sight. Oh, Inwë, I felt his hands upon me. And I awoke screaming. It must be the unspeakable foul taint that remains upon this place, in the soil and water and upon the very breeze, has poisoned my mind and planted these visions there. This is what I tell myself, and yet I was unable to move and sat shivering while the moon crossed the sky. I do not know that I have ever felt so lost. I should not have been chosen...*

---

A decent walk yesterday, after another day of trying to write and not writing. I have spoken with my lit agent this morning, because it's good to be able to tell someone Outside when things have gone astray. Last night, we watched an episode of Nature about the various diverse ecosystems found along the Andes from Cape Horn north to the headwaters of the Amazon, and then we watched Steven Shainberg's Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006). What a beautiful, brilliant film, a modern fairy tale that's equal parts Angela Carter and Lewis Carroll. I cannot believe it hasn't received more attention. I now have to say that there were four perfect films last year, and Fur takes its place alongside Children of Men, The Fountain, and Pan's Labyrinth. Nicole Kidman delivers one of her best performances, and Robert Downey, Jr. is so marvelously understated. I very strongly. strongly recommend this film, if you are the sort who looks at what most of the world deems grotesque and sees there beauty. I loved it.

Anyway, I must try to make something good and productive of this day, and try to redeem myself for having somehow managed to squander the last five.

* Is it possible that Setsuled and I have created some weird new species of tag-team fanfic? Oh course, MySpace readers have only been getting half of this. They may read the other half here.

Comments

stephenhsegal
May. 21st, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah. One of the creepiest and most infuriating things about the media today is the way that, overseas, CNN International quite readily airs footage of horribly wounded Iraqi civilians, because it's understood that those images will "play" to audiences elsewhere -- but here in the States, CNN will never, ever, ever show that footage and risk alienating American viewers.

Absolutely indefensible. A complete abrogation of journalistic responsibility.