Wednesday, September 6, 2017

boyz II men

Mental health status: went shopping for a dress yesterday, got some absurdly expensive sweatpants instead. Also something called an ex-boyfriend shirt, because even retail has gone post-dumb. I think post-dumb retail must be middle-aged men trying to interpret the millennial sensibility? (Which is, I guess, essentially what post-dumb comics are: those guys trying to be cool.) Then I went home and watched the episode of Twin Peaks with the little kid who fires a gun into Norma's diner.

I was really struck by that asshole kid in camo, standing next to his asshole dad in camo. Both silent, same stance. Quite a heavy-handed scene, especially for Lynch, who prefers to explore these themes in a way that's more elliptical. Yet it wasn't really exaggerated; at least it struck me as a pretty literal snapshot of life in these United States (if you don't count the zombie child barfing up swamp water in the next car over). (What was that??) My little nephew is now of an age where I'm starting to see the world work on him, so I guess I worry about this stuff in a new, more viscerally horrifying, way. Yesterday morning my sister told me about how he'd come home really upset after getting bullied by two kids at the playground. My brother-in-law eventually intervened, at which point one of the bully's mothers came over and started yelling about how he had no right to butt in. Kids will be kids, I guess you could say, or maybe "it's not their fault," which seems more accurate. Either way it's hard to get too worked up about that. But I spent the entire day yesterday, and a good part of today, thinking about this fucking mother, who I hate with my life. One of the things she yelled was about how she was trying to teach her son "to be a man"--a swipe at my little nephew, who just turned three, who was weeping through all of this. Hard. Still on the ground, where this lady's (older, bigger) asshole kid had knocked him. I used to think that I didn't want kids because I don't like them, but I've come to understand it's because I would go to jail.

It's been interesting reading the Twin Peaks recaps, just seeing what people find to say. Obviously not the kind of show that lends itself to summary, so it's sort of like watching someone trying to recap a poem mixed with an episode of Blue's Clues. It's sad to me what television writing has become. I'd give just about anything to read Jacob Clifton on this show. Part of it is that this crop of writers is just working too fast, which isn't their fault, but still. I read this (by Laura Hudson, who did the Vulture recaps) a while back in near total disbelief:

I'm not inclined to berate someone for not "getting" David Lynch for obvious reasons (what he does) plus some maybe less obvious ones (I'm not a twit). That being said: some of these recappers really, really don't get David Lynch. Intellectually, at least, I try to leave a lot of room for what people find problematic? That just feels like the right thing to do. But, like, how do you not get that the entire show is an interrogation of masculinity? How do you miss that?? That whole "Lynch is bad on women" take? I'm sorry, but no. Nooo. I mean, there are some threads you could pull, sure. I'd go so far as to say Lynch is pulling some of them himself. (I think? e.g., that scene with the French escort?) But at the end of the day Twin Peaks isn't really a show that's about women; it's about sexual violence and men and masculinity. 

Anyway I've had to semi-retire from the entire internet until I can get caught up. It's unfortunate that just around the time we figured out how to let people watch television at their own pace, it became almost impossible to avoid spoilers. (I'm just now realizing this entire post is just one long complaint about getting old.) In general I'd really like to read something smart about Twin Peaks. Where is the good television writing these days? It has to exist, right? I believe.


  1. Even if I do say so myself, I thought my analyses of each episode were fairly smart :
    And I thought this was a fascinating interpretation of the finale, even though I can't decide if I agree with it or not :

  2. I'm pretty into these:

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