Sunday, June 24, 2007

Writing about pop culture...

Lin Swimmer writes:

Trying to think of what I want to say about John From Cincinnati is making my head hurt.

(Putting aside the whole issue of everything I want to say about the nature of criticism and media as they exist in my own life.... The more research I do the worse it gets. I came across a description of a press conference where Milch tried to give people an idea of where it came from or what it's "about." ::deep breath:: William James, Einstein's mathematical equations, string theory, the Big Bang, Freud, his own history of addiction, and "themes having to do with the borders and margins of things - political, geographical, and spiritual as well." I like to imagine him walking up there and just unloading like at a cattle auction. "Doawoherawowahherawahgotahjamesawwahjamesowahstring" etc. Can you imagine being an arts and entertainment journalist sent to this thing? Your only job is to return with enough information to write a one-paragraph blurb. At the end of the night you look down at your notes and all that's there are the words "Luke Perry" and a drawing of a Jesus Fish on a surfboard smoking a joint, which means you're fired.)


Steve said...

Would this list make anyone actually want to watch the series? Sounds like Milch has too much on his mind to create a decent TV show.

Jon Hastings said...

Yeah - that's one of the interesting things about the show, or, rather, about HBO going ahead with the show as its Sopranos follow-up: it is almost completely unpitchable in terms of what the audiences for contemporary TV-dramas expect.

From what I've seen, it's the kind of story you find in brainy, metaphysical sci-fi novels (like Philip K. Dick, Rudy Rucker, etc.). I wouldn't want to have to sell something like that to a mainstream audience.