Reference points

I’m acutely aware of references to moments in previous media, be it book, movie, song, TV show, specific stage performance. It’s how my brain works, which is frustrating because it’s not a particularly useful skill. Memorized minutiae. I suppose it’s why I did well in history. But since I don’t have the pedagogic instinct, it wasn’t really feasible. I also screwed up my grades freshman year so a straight-to-Ph.D. in history wasn’t in my future. At the same time, however, I’d gotten into fiction writing. I hadn’t stayed in it, but I’d spent a lot of time in it and I’d read a lot of great things. And I’d learned how to interact with all that memorized minutiae differently. I wasn’t always successful in my application of it, but I was getting better. It’s why my first novel is written in exceptionally close third. The minutiae has to function with the reader as close as possible. My second novel takes an entirely different approach. Almost regrading. What can I say—I grew up in the mid-1990s, I wrote the same Kevin Smith/Quentin Tarantino knock-offs other people did. They’re out there, I know they are. I only hope they come to terms with having terrible writing “role models.” Less Tarantino, but still. In the mid-1990s, with independent films, the talking head picture applied to so many things—dialogue-heavy, just pointless blathering (at least in terms of exposition). Then it got to comics, which actually incorporated it far better than movies did. Blathering became banter. Then banter became expository banter. Then expository banter became exposition. There’s Hollywood blockbusters since Independence Day? The bell had been rung; you didn’t need Steven Spielberg’s name on it to break $200 million on a summer popcorn movie. It didn’t even need to be a good movie. Anyway, there’s a little reference to Batman v Superman I’m making because it’s dangling on my soul and I wish I could flick it away but I can’t because it’s how the noggin works. The point of this whole post, however, is about tea. Or the lack of tea in hot water, which I am currently drinking. I’ve wanted to do it for ages, but refused because it was in that Apple-encouraged not-Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs book I hated and I didn’t want to lift a behavior from Steve Jobs anyway. Because it’s too obvious. Unfortunately, he was right. Hot water is pretty good. I’m wondering how well it hydrates though.

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