10 June 2017

Mostly bung'd by TP

As usual, ignore the title and pic.

Dear diary,

Personal space. I think of riding on a subway, how you must sit so close to other people; or stand so close, and bump into them when the train lurches; moreover you have to hold the above-head handle while someone pickpockets you. And the seating arrangement on airplanes. And apartment complexes: the door to your place is not even one meter away from your neighbors' door. Plus you have ninety zillion neighbors. Do some people find it easier to live in close quarters, or are they just faking calm and actually ready to explode in frustration?

Race relations. Poverty.

Ugh... I need to get my mind UP, lift my mood. Maybe now's a good time to vent about Twin Peaks: The Return. What did you love about the original show that made you want to revisit it and create a bunch of new episodes? I loved the wind in the trees. I loved the lumber mill, or whatever it's called: the big factory where they sawed the logs. I loved the seductively slow jazz from the jukebox, and young Audrey who would stand and sway to the music. And the bright, clear, eccentric Agent Cooper in his nice suit, eager and curious about everything the new town had to offer. The way he would report to Diane via his tape recorder.

Does the latest Twin Peaks offer any of the above? I don't think that it has much wind in the trees. It's got no lumber mill, so far. (I'm jotting down my reaction just before episode 6 of 18 is released; we're not even halfway thru yet: so I'm being unfairly, ignorantly, impetuously judgmental; on purpose, because it is fun.) Slow jazz? Not really. How about Audrey? Nope. (If you argue that Audrey died in the show's last TV episode, and therefore she cannot have a place in this most recent world, I say: Laura Palmer was dead before the show began, but we keep seeing HER and other deceased personae appear in the sur-reality of red drapes with zigzag black-and-white flooring; so why not Audrey as well, or Audrey's doppelganger? or maybe Audrey could be made to have a lookalike relative who comes to visit, like Maddy Ferguson.) And I haven't seen much of Cooper in his uniform. The nice suit. I like that uniform. One of my complaints about the lopsided second season was that some fool among the show's makers decided to apparel Cooper regularly in a plaid flannel shirt, red and black like a lumberjack (if I remember right), instead of in his iconic FBI outfit. That's like needlessly altering the costume of Darth Vader from the very first Star Wars movie. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I regret saying everything I just wrote. I hate bloggers who critique stuff from a know-it-all standpoint and who never have anything positive to say. But when I started this weblog, one of the things I wanted to do is be much more spontaneous than I had allowed myself to be in any of my books. I said to myself: You've indulged your appetite for euphuism and revision, now do the opposite. I think I've mostly failed, but at least I'm trying. I always wish I had found simpler terms, simpler sentence structures. But I also don't care. It's fine either way. And Twin Peaks is good whether it's good or not. It's fun to watch a show go up and down. I like that it's daring; I'd rather watch a failed episode from Lynch than a successful show from almost anyone else. Plus, all that stuff that I listed above, which I said that I loved about the original series – what! do I want it xeroxed and fed right back to me? what do I expect? what do I truly want? why don't I just watch the original series again, if I so love its world? would it please me to feel the same moods rehashed in this new epic? God makes his creation however he sees fit. He is all-knowing and well-informed. Perhaps he is even willing to forgive without killing anybody.

Two different players played Laura's best friend Donna Hayward: one played her in the TV series, and another played her for the 1992 movie. I think that both Lara Flynn Boyle and Moira Kelly should play Donna alternately in "The Return," like Bouquet and Molina in That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) by Luis Buñuel.

David Lynch and George Lucas are two directors who have faced similar dilemmas: they've each enjoyed majorly successful works; then spent years away from those works; and finally returned to create new material for those works. A beginner artist is intimidated by the masterpieces of artists who've come before him. Lynch and Lucas have each now reached the phase where their own previous masterpieces intimidate their own creator. What was paradise becomes purgatory: The artist must compete against his former self. Lucas formed the first Star Wars movie (1977) after immersing himself in the study of mythology; what did Lucas immerse himself in when he formed the latter trilogy of Star Wars films (1999-2005)? And what was Lynch's love or desire that became the pilot episode of Twin Peaks? What led to Lynch's realization of that very first "red room" sequence (beyond the contractual obligation to provide an ending)? What fueled Lynch's imagination for the prequel Fire Walk with Me? And what is this latest return to that realm accomplishing for fill-in-the-blank (Lynch; the imagination in general; cable series shows; art; entertainment; culture; God or Luck or Fate or the Void or etc.)?

The mood and world of the new Twin Peaks (again, so far) reminds me less of his '90s television show and more of Lynch's movie Mulholland Drive (2001), which I understand he originally intended to be an ongoing series for some other cable network. I'm thinking of the section in that film where the two sort of lowlife guys are talking about the little black book, and the tragicomedy happens with the lady in the next-door office, and then the custodian with the vacuum walks in on and then joins the ill-fated scene. Also the part where the guys take the girl out of the back of the white van. Also the grave, solemn meeting with the financiers, where the finicky executive is served a beverage that he rejects. And the part where the huge muscular bodyguard-type man enters Adam Kesher's house and his wife ineffectively assails him. Oh yes and the scene right after the bigwig meeting, in the parking lot outside of the building, where Kesher asks if this is so-and-so's vehicle and then has at it with his golf club. —All these scenes from Mulholland Drive have a mood, a feeling, a look that matches Twin Peaks: The Return far more than that fragmented epic matches the original Twin Peaks. The old show and the new one have only superficial aspects in common; if they didn't share the same characters' names, and if many of the original actors hadn't reprised their roles (a fact that has value as nostalgia but no ecstatic, poetic worth), there would be little reason to class them under a shared title. The Sir John Falstaff of The Merry Wives of Windsor pales in comparison to the Falstaff of Henry IV, parts 1 and 2. And the Jesus of Mark is distinct from the Jesus of John. It would make as much (or even more) sense to me, if they were to re-christen this new Lynch series Mulholland Drive: The Return. Except admittedly it doesn't revisit much of the sublime particulars of that film; it sticks to the ho-hum stuff; therefore, to be accurate, we should change our title to Mulholland Drive: The Return of the Mundaner Aspects Only.

If I've slipped into being too harsh, it's the blog-o-sphere's fault: it beguiled me into complaining. I'm trying to fit in to the online community; turn over a new leaf: be more rude. For I saw the fame and wealth waiting for me at the end of the rainbow of negativity.

Someone should review this diary entry and douse me with the same harsh evaluation as I am giving to...

But it's only a television series, for the love of gosh. One should be able to trash it without causing too many teardrops to its parent... or parents (plural), if we include Mark Frost – I forgot about him; I wonder what HIS contribution is to the new project. As I understood it, he was the the plot man, the character man, the man who knew all the secret tricks to make a TV show fun to watch week after week: the man who could lure the audience to keep tuning in. This new series, however, seems blessedly free from plot; or rather its plot is deep, simple, and overarching. And the characters are pretty much all already invented. The reason to tune in each week is to see another Lynchian painting that moves. I like to see how far things can go past the beyond.

Yet what is weird anymore? Where's the line? My bet is that normal becomes the new uncanny. That's why I take great interest in the purposely bland setups and nondescript entities of Hitchcock's films.

But, regarding Twin Peaks, in all seriousness, I repeat, I'm excited to continue tuning in and watching, no matter if the shows seem exuberant or uninspired; because they never lack that certain feeling of candor; or maybe I should call it artistic forthrightness – like how certain jazz greats, when they play "badly", are still at least HONEST about it: so it is with Lynch – it makes all the difference in the world. It's the importance of being earnest. The instant that any other show slips into complacency, I jump ship: no second thoughts. But I'll never miss an episode of Twin Peaks. And when I watch the newest show tomorrow night, I truly hope they give Darth Vader a cameo.

One man sits at the typewriter and masterfully codifies all the ideas that are erupting from the dreamer who is pacing the room behind him, brainstorming. That's how I imagine the making of the screenplay for the first series. I don't yet have a formulation on how they made this present series, but I'll tell you how they did it when a decent guess comes to me. I think maybe Lynch said to Frost: You know those divergent peculiar lines of dialogue surrounding the first appearance of the Man from Another Place? Why don't you write a treatment that ties all that stuff together. And I'll go film it and deviate liberally, and the best days will be when I throw the script out. And we'll both get paid for this. And remember, we'll continue receiving royalty checks from the former series; and the amount of those will increase and move onward and outward.

I'm stunned when I consider that some people earn a fortune off of uncompromising, personal artistry. Shakespeare made money, too: I must remember that.

So after we witnessed that entity in the clear cube do its work on the youthful couple, which I think occurred in the second hour (I've only seen the first five episodes one single time; I'm looking forward to re-watching it all: I hope I change my mind and learn to love it), I said to my sweetheart: Here, let me show you this very short film that Lynch made, where I think he pulled off a similar idea even better. So we screened the minute-long film that Lynch contributed to the 1995 anthology Lumière and Company, whose name I love: Premonitions Following an Evil Deed.

And, on a whim, we also watched (this was only my second time) another title included on the short-films disc from Lynch's "Lime Green Set," called The Cowboy and the Frenchman (1988). I suppose it'll only please devils like myself and never any angels, but I was satisfied with it, this time around. It's far from an Eraserhead level of sublime, but it's not attempting those heights: it does what it does in a way that I...

I wrote too much about this. I'm sick of...

Normally I start out my entries bitching about home repairs. This entry is freakishly abnormal, in that I'm ending it that way: I hereby report that two days ago I spent FIFTEEN HOURS forcing yanking prying wrenching up the floor of our (hell's) kitchen. I started at 9:30 a.m. and ended at 12:30 a.m. I only took two short breaks to eat. I worked all the way through the twelve post meridiem hours. We rented a power steamer, the kind that's designed to help remove wallpaper, yet I used it on our floor, which is a stick-on disgusting abomination of rotting orange poison: I hate it. Well, what happened is that when I pulled up the top floor layer, there was a layer of paper under that; so then I pulled up (anytime I write "pull", by the way, please feel free to add any or all of the aforesaid synonyms – force, yank, pry, wrench, jerk, heave, jolt, jump-the-ghost – especially if you're reading this entry aloud to children), I say, then I wrested up the lower paper layer, which should have been the end, and there was YET ANOTHER UGLY LAYER OF FLOORING underneath that. So I had to hoist that up, which left a further paper layer, which smelled mustier than the expletive of expletives. And the second, hidden flooring was almost impossible to budge. So my muscles are sore today. I can barely navigate the stairs. Yesterday I tried to ride my bike, and my leg just about refused to lift over the seat. I almost had to ride sidesaddle. And I'm worried that I ruined my right foot: it feels like a hunk of mass, a senseless object. It is a block of wood or cork with one flat side.

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