(I forgot to post this yesterday because I am A PRO.)
WTF, am I doing a meme? Yes, because one of my favorite bloggers and virtual pals Kari from Inflammatory Writ addressed this very interesting set of questions to the internet at large, and I found them compelling.
I guess that’s how memes start. It’s like mono getting passed around in your Junior year of high school – everybody thought it was a good idea to kiss that one boy, and things just spiraled out of control from there.
Anyhow, here we go.
Novel you wish you’d written
When it comes to tone, of course I would want to have written a Douglas Adams Hitchhikers novel – either the eponymous one, or So Long and Thanks for all the Fish, which I adore. It’s not only the irreverence, but the ability to casually state ridiculous, farfetched notions as fact.
As for an entire work, tone and content and all, can we count Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas as a novel? It is semi-fictionalized, after all. That is far and away my favorite collection of printed pages bound together with a spine and a cover. I read it several times a year.
(If I can count a comic book, the original run of Gen 13, because I HAD ALREADY WRITTEN IT before it came out. Argh.)
TV you wish you could have been/could be a staff writer on
I’d say the West Wing for sheer quality, but they didn’t have staff writers, huh? In current TV, Supernatural, because I think they do a highly underrated job of combining comedy, drama, and horror.
If I can time travel, any season of The X-Files or Buffy, because they both changed the way we watch teevee and both turned out to be a masters class of televised sci-fi. Especially with Buffy, those writers now write, produce, and show-run seemingly every good fantastical show on the air.
Or, I Love Lucy, because it was the greatest television program ever aired, no matter what my wife thinks.
(That said, I’d probably want to be nowhere near the writer’s room of any show I even half-like, because it’s a maddening position to be in! Like, I wish I could go to Battlestar Galactica’s writer’s room during 4.5 and just smack them in the side of the head for every drawn out scene of Eddie Olmos screaming or crying. But, by virtue of being in the room I wouldn’t see the utter wince-y-ness of that, and would probably think it was a good idea.)
Play you wish you’d written
The House of Yes. Dark, wicked, genius.
If we can count musicals, of course I’d say Hedwig. Or, Hair, just so I could have written both “Let the Sunshine In” and “Sodomy.” What an oeuvre.
Poem you wish you’d written
I like a lot of poetry, but I don’t have a lot of favorite poems. One I particularly connect to is Sylvia Plath’s last one, Edge. I love the form of it, but also I feel like it emerged from a certain sort of resigned desperation that most people (and poets) dare not cultivate. So, I suppose I wish I could write it without visiting that place?
(I once wrote a poem to match it for a college class, and nine years later it still resonates pretty strongly. I suppose I was both desperate and resigned at the time, to a degree.)
Screenplay you wish you’d written
It’s hard to separate good movies from good screenplays in my head. Like, The Prestige is an amazing movie, but I think that’s more in the directing and acting than the screenplay. Similarly, The Fountain has a beautiful plot, but it’s hard to separate that from Aronofsky’s vision.
I am tempted to say The Royal Tenenbaums, but that’s another director-as-auteur flick. Let’s go with The Princess Bride. There’s a movie whose success is inexorably linked to how it appeared on the page.
Song you wish you’d written
Good lord, how do you choose? If I could have just one it would probably be “Poses” by Rufus Wainwright. It’s not my favorite song, but it captures a particular snapshot of me so perfectly.
Blogger with skillz (or readership, for that matter) you wish you could steal:
At the moment I’d say Seth Godin. How does one man make every post so thought-provoking? Unreal. I could write a blog dedicated to parsing his blog. I’m always sending his posts to my friends.
And, I guess, Dooce. Not because she is the most widely-known blogger on the planet – she can keep her readership! It’s more that no single person in the universe makes me laugh out loud as frequently as she does – except for maybe Tina Fey. Many of my favorite posts on CK are when I adopt a Dooce-ish tone.
(ZOMG, do you remember way back when I blogged about Dooce getting Dooced? No? Well, I do, because I am elderly in blog years. Good times. )
I think it’s interesting how a few of my answers focus on things that are funny. I claim to not enjoy funny things, but I think what I really mean is, “mainstream comedy does not typically appeal to me.” I don’t like most sitcoms and funny movies.
I do love to laugh.
When I was a child I wanted to be a comedian for a living. True story.