Friday, April 19, 2013

Get Me Rewrite!

I interrupt my blogging of "Dilemma Games" for this critique of recent events.


Get Me Rewrite!

         I swear, it’s as if the news this taxing week were a cruddy action movie directed by Edward Wood, Hollywood’s worst director, and scripted by Cordwainer Bird, its most cynical scriptwriter. I want my time refunded. Siskel and Ebert say two thumbs down!
         I see the brainstorming scene going like this:

        Wood: I’m greenlighted for a project, and I want you on board.
Bird: Great, boss! Whatcha got?
Wood: An action movie.
Bird: Aww, maaan, I hate action movies! So crass! So stupid!
Wood: I know, I know...
Bird: They’re always riddled with plot holes! It’s like the writers don’t care! There’s no respect for logic! Or art! Or the audience!
Wood: Tell me all about it!
Bird: Is making this movie part of some money laundering scheme?
Wood: Look, are you in or not? The pay’s good.
Bird: You bet I’m in! If the producer wants a piece-of-shit script, then Cordwainer Bird can poop one right out!
Wood: That’s the spirit! So can you do explosions?
Bird: Sure I can do explosions! You want pressure-cooker IEDs or a big fertilizer bomb?
Wood: Why not both?
Bird: Okay, both! How do I tie them together?
Wood: Why bother?
Bird: Okay, a couple IEDs, and a completely unrelated massive industrial accident! That’ll keep the audience guessing!
Wood: And have the accident kill five times more people than the IEDs.
Bird: Ah, you want loser terrorists? Can do!
Wood: Can you do anthrax?
Bird: Anthrax is lame-o. How about ricin?
Wood: Ricin it is. Mailed to a Democrat and a Republican.
Bird: That makes sense. A related attack, or not?
Wood: Oh, I don’t know... let’s say unrelated.
Bird: More misdirection, good. The audience won’t know what hit them ’til they leave the theater and notice that their wallets are thinner.
Wood: Give me a carjacking, a chase scene, a shoot-out, and a city locked down for a man-hunt.
Bird: Standard fare. I could write it in my sleep. Now let’s get to the plot, if any. Time? Place? Bad guy? Good guys?
Wood: The good guys are the cops, plus a zillion citizen detectives with phone cameras and Internet connections.
Bird: Ah, a futuristic policier! Tasty!
Wood: Time and place of the money shot... something all-American. Wholesome and fun.... I got it; the Boston Marathon.
Bird: So this is a sports flick too. But why the Boston Marathon?
Wood: Why not?
Bird: You’re right, it doesn’t have to make any sense, it just has to make an impression. So: two IEDs at the Boston Marathon.
Wood: At the finish line of the Boston Marathon. On Patriot’s Day. And it’s also Tax Day.
Bird: Wave that flag, bro. It’s not just red-white-and-blue; it’s green. So who gets offed?
Wood: An 8-year-old boy, and two young women; one a local, the other a Chinese grad student. Later, a cop.
Bird: Very good! Go for quality, not quantity!
Wood: Speaking of quantity, lots of lopped-off legs. Buckets of blood on the sidewalk. Yet the wounded all survive.
Bird: A medical heroism flick too, good. And the bad guys are what? White supremacists? Islamists? Wacko loners?
Wood: Why not all three?
Bird: White supremacist Moslems? That doesn’t make any sense!
Wood: So what?
Bird: No, really, it doesn’t work! Nor does loners, plural!
Wood: Alright, already... just white Moslems, drop the supremacist. And they’re a pair of loners, like at Columbine. It’s a buddy flick.
Bird: No, they’re brothers, it’s a family flick.
Wood: A dysfunctional family flick. Their uncle despises them.
Bird: Groovy! But… white Moslems? And what’s their motivation?
Wood: Lemme think... I got it! They’re Chechens!
Bird: Chechens?! That’s Russia’s headache, not ours!
Wood: Like you said, it doesn’t have to make any sense. Besides, they’re alienated loners, meaning they’re idiots.
Bird: How to make friends and influence people. Got it.
Wood: They need names. Something weird and Slavic.
Bird: How about... Tsarnaev?
Wood: How about what?
Bird: Tsarnaev! I put tsar in it! And naive!
Wood: Ah, the magic of scriptwriting. Their first names?
Bird: Tamerlan. Dzhokhar.
Wood: Tamurlane? Joker?! Nobody will believe that!
Bird: Tamurlane’s for the supernatural fans, and Joker’s for the hipsters, they love anything metafictive.
Wood: Breaking the fourth wall? I have a bad feeling about this. We’ll need a happy ending.
Bird: Tamurlane falls in a hail of bullets, and Joker gets caught hiding in a backyard boat.
Wood: Cute detail!
Bird: Next flick; the trial.
Wood: Jackpot!
Cordwainer Bird and Ed Wood shake hands.


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