On the way to the market yesterday, I heard a somewhat appalling cover of the Cure's "Lovesong" by Tori Amos. Ouch. I wish she'd not done that. There are other things she might have done, instead. One cannot help but suspect that she missed the point of the original entirely.
There's actually something about Amazon.com that annoys me even more than the customer "reviews," something I find even more offensive and baffling. It's that "Our Customer's Advice" thing. What a load of dren. "See what customers recommend in addition to, or instead of, the product on this page."
Are you really going to go to Amazon to buy a copy of book Y, see that someone (you don't know who, just someone) has suggested you'd also like a copy of X, or, better yet, should buy Z instead of Y, and follow that advice? Is anyone out there that easy to lead around by the nose? Or is this just another way that Amazon.com suckers customers by providing an "interactive retail experience" that deludes them into thinking that it's somehow appropriate and good and right for them to offer anonymous "advice" to perfect strangers? For example, someone (we'll never know who) thinks that you should buy something called Pandora's Box: A Novel by someone named Allison Hobbs instead of buying Murder of Angels. Now, this is mystifying as, near as I can tell, Pandora's Box is a romance novel with pretty much nothing whatsoever in common with MoA. But you should buy it instead. Odds are, of course, Allison Hobbs is the "customer" who's offering this advice. I have more than once seen authors online bragging about using this feature to try and increase their sales. Yes, it's true. People abuse these silly Amazon features. A cursory examination of the reviews of Pandora's Box, for example, will reveal that most of these reviews were probably written by the same person. But, really, that's beside the point. This is yet another example of Amazon.com being perfectly willing to fuck over an author if they think it will net them more overall business by "enriching and enhancing the consumer blah blah blah." In truth, it's like going into a book store, (you know, the kind with shelves?) and, as soon as you pick up something you want, having some maniac in you're face "advising" you to buy something else instead. I don't really think that the "customer advice" feature will lose me a lot (or any) sales, but, Jesus, it fucking pisses me off that my novel is being used to advertise books I had no hand in writing, have never heard of, and shall never read.
Night before last, Spooky and I watched Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. It was disappointing. Very pretty, moderately atmospheric, and the last half hour was pretty good, but, overall, there's too little of quality here to have justified a third Ginger Snaps film. Basically, it's Ravenous (a wonderful and superior film) with werewolves and the Fitzgerald sisters. As Spooky said, it's as if the makers of Ginger Snaps looked at the people who liked the first film, saw that it could be divided, roughly, into horror fans and goths and decided to make one sequel for each demographic group. Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed was made for the horror buffs, and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning was made for the people who've always wanted to see what would happen if Dame Darcy made a werewolf film. It has its moments, and it might be as good as Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, but I was left, regrettably, feeling as if they should have been satisfied with the success of the first film. But if you're a Ginger Snaps fan, you'll probably want to see it. At least it's pretty, and there are some fun extras on the DVD.
Last night, we watched The Punisher, because I needed something violent. And I can say, without reservation, this is one of the dumbest, dullest films I've seen in ages. It's nowhere near as daring as the various revenge films it constantly borrows from (Mad Max, The Crow, Unforgiven, etc.), the acting is awful, the pacing inexplicable, the dialogue is mindnumbing, the plot is a confused, meandering mess, and so forth. I'm just glad I didn't pay to see this at the theatre, though it's a film that might actually have been improved by a rowdy, obnoxious audience. Blegh.
Here's something I've snurched from Neil's blog, for the three people here who don't read it, regarding Fiddler's Green: And a couple of people have told me that they'd like to come to this one, but they're too busy or too broke, and plan on coming to the next Fiddler's Green; and I've had to explain that there really aren't any plans for a next one. This is it. It's special.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Ivan has set its sights on Mobile Bay, and I expect that Atlanta will be feeling the storm by Friday, at the latest. Hang on, kiddos. It's gonna suck (or blow, if you want to get all literal about it).