Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Bones

[insert 3,000 words about the summer/fall of 1998]
That was the end of that phase of my life: the part they call the beginning, I guess, but I don't know if I properly enjoyed being young. It seems like I was always just holding out for something better I was sure was right around the next bend. Some wisdom, some experience, some epiphany. But it never came and I blew those years on Kerouac and cheap wine. I didn't believe I'd be around this long. I didn't believe the world would be around this long. I was like that dog, from some old bedtime story, forever barking at my own reflection, losing all that I had in the process.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Do not be the lobster.

"No, don't be the lobster...what does that even--Why would you be the lobster?"
"I thought you were trying to make a point, Ace, that we're all just little lobsters crawling around at the bottom of the sea. We don't think French Immersion schools have anything to do with our crustacean existence but before we know it we're in a pot of boiling, turning red. Right?"
"I don't know, Al. I guess that probably makes as much sense as what I was saying."
"No, no, no. I get it. You've got a lot on your mind. You don't have to make sense here. In fact..."
Aesop turned away so that Al wouldn't see him roll his eyes.
"...not making sense is the only logical defense against the tyranny of Scientism! We're awakening to a higher purpose, right here, right now. Who's to say the Mayan Apocalypse didn't happen and we're just too brainwashed by our force-fed mainstream media diet to recognize the celestial paradise we're already living in? We just have to free our minds from the fatted-calf mentality that just waits for science to explain everything to us and for us. Science is a religion, too, Aesop, but the only god it prays to is the Atom Bomb!"
"No. I'm not doing this now. You don't call me in to look at a Superman vid and then lay into me with this...mumbo-jumbo. That's a classic bait & switch and I want no part of it."
"Okay, okay, back to Superman... Where are they taking him this time? Is he the Nietzchean ├╝bermensch or is he a Christ figure like last time? Christ on a bike. I can see it now. And what's the deal with the guy in the fedora?"
"Okay, first things first. The last Superman movie was a disappointment. It failed. To fail with Superman is to fail abysmally. Nobody involved with that movie has worked since. Not even Kevin Spacey."
"But--"
"Just go with me, here, okay? One of many reasons that movie failed was that it attached itself to the Superman movies everyone remembers fondly; it used the same music, it ostensibly picked up the storyline, but it was boring. It was forgettable. Both of which are entirely unforgivable in a Superman movie. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good, and why would anybody want to watch a mediocre Superman movie? So it tanked. It became a disaster. The studio just torched the whole Superman factory for the insurance money. 'Never again', that's what they wrote on Superman's grave, y'know?
"But now it's, I dunno, nearly ten years later, most of the crap merchandise that nobody wanted has finally worked its way out of the dollar stores that are the large intestine in the digestive tract of our consumer culture and, I dunno, maybe there's new bosses at the studio and they say, 'hey, let's make another Superman movie!'"
"They did, they did make another Superman movie, it's just like you said, Aesop!"
"That's right, Al, they did make another Superman movie. Or they're making one. And it's a clean break from all that came before, right? They're not going back to the failure, they're going forward, forward, forward! New costume! New origin! They've got a blonde Lois Lane! This ain't yer grandpa's Superman!"
"So, why then the man in the hat?"
"Exactly."
"Sounds like another Aesop Mosley Mystery!"
"Yeah. Something like that."

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Be the lobster!

"'Sup, 'Sop? You see this?"
"See what? When would I see anything? I'm walking around like my head is underwater when I'm not half-asleep, which is as close as I get to being all the way asleep lately."
"Um, okay. So you didn't see this?"
"Wait, that's not... that's the new Superman movie? Is that here? Where is that? I saw some pictures of Lois Lane outside the Empress, but I don't know...is that downtown downtown? I don't even recognize, wait, he's riding a bike? Why would Superman ride a bike?"
"Looklooklook, this is a modern take on Superman. He's a regular guy! He doesn't wear a tie, he has a blog, he rides a bike! Forget about that, look at the guy on the corner, on the sidewalk..."
"What, but that's...they wouldn't!"
Aesop recoiled from Al's computer monitor. He collapsed into the cheap, stackable visitor's chair. His left hand was over his mouth. Slowly, his hand traveled up his face to cover his eyes, his fingers splayed out so he could gawk at the unmistakable image with his right eye.
"They would, they could, and they leaked it to the Internet!" Al was dancing in his swivel chair.

"No, look, I'm not even here for...okay play that again...geez, they really did it, didn't they? I mean, what are you thinking, you drop that into your story?"
"Hey man, I thought you'd like it. It's an homage, right?"
"Al, you know I went to French school, right? French immersion? I mean, if you didn't go, I don't know how aware--I don't know if you even know it exists--anyway, I always think of the word homard when I hear homage--that's French for lobster. Did you know that? I don't know why I even know that. I didn't grow up eating lobster either, you know? Or even thinking about it. I mean, lobster to me, same as French immersion to you, right? A thing that's out there at the bottom of the ocean that has nothing to do with your life whatsoever."
"Yes, be the lobster, Aesop!"