Monday, May 31, 2004

A Malenky Little Vesch(with, alas, precious little pretty polly and scarcely any of the old in-out)

After years of wondering how it would stack up to the movie, I've finally buckled down and started reading Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. And I'm pretty pleasantly surprised (well, if “pleasant” is a word that can readily be attached to this book, which is doubtful)-- if anything it's better than the movie. For maybe the first ten pages, the Nadsat lingo drove me nuts, but before too long, I felt the same weird sort of mental settling-in that I always get with Elizabethan English towards the end of the first act whenever I get all academic and shit and decide it's time for a Shakespeare bender. Out of nowhere, this shit that was all but impenetrable suddenly clicks and it's as easy to follow as the sports page of the Star-Tribune.

But back to Orange. The motivations of a couple of scenes make a lot more sense with text to explain them, and, really, Nadsat itself is much easier to follow if it's straight into your head without being mediated by Malcom McDowell's voice (although it's weird that my favorite line from the movie-- “No time for the old in-out, love. I'm just here to read the meter”-- isn't present in the book). And a lot of things that come out as nothing but gruesome in the film are actually pretty funny in print.

I guess it's easier, or more acceptible, to be a sick bastard in the privacy of your own mind than to let it leak onto the screen.

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Speaking of screen-leak, I had one of those horrible nerd-confirmation dreams last night, one of the ones where you just wake up, shake your head, and think with horror that you're no better than Lisa Simpson in the episode where Bart makes fun of her for waking up shouting, “I'll help you, George Washington!” Mine didn't fall into the earnestly-helping-the-father-of-our-country category, though; more into the earnestly-helping-yet-another-sick-bastard. After reading maybe a hundred pages of Orange, I went to sleep and dreamt that I was Stanley Kubrick's assistant or apprentice or something, and he was simultaneously teaching me how to make movies and making funof me and using me to create some sort of time-travel feedback-loop movie project that he was making. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty cool dream, but I woke up wondering what the hell sort of priorities my subconscious has, scheduling an hour for Stanley Kubrick at night when there's a whole world of Swedish models out there.

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All right, then, me droogies. It's time, oh my brothers, for your humble narrator to itty off and rabbit on this malenky little vesch I have to type-type-type for Rift magazine. Not as fun as slooshying the Ludwig Van or an hour of the old in-out, but the chellovecks at Rift did promise me some real horrorshow deng to write it, which will keep me, the ptitsa and the kotchkas in moloko. Rift, by the by, has placed their old articles online, so if you'd fancy to viddy my vesches from Rift #1, tolcheck here and here.

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