Freeform Friday: Six Things I Thought About Writing For the Launch
There’s an evil gremlin that lives in the back of my head. He’s been there a long time, but it’s only been a few years since I pulled a Shatner, lifted up the shade and peered at him as he tried to sabotage damn near everything I tried to do. There’s probably a better term for the kind of negative thinking that jerk creates. Maybe something clinical, or a stunning metaphor that conveys just how insidious he is. I’ll go PG and call it the mud colored glasses effect, and ever since I decided to relaunch this web site, the Evil Editor Gremlin(who I’ll call Eeg from now on) has been flinging the mud with a fervor usually reserved for politicians.
Eeg really took advantage of my decision to make an announcement on Facebook yesterday that I had “big news”, to say nothing of the foolishness of doing so on March 31st, making everyone think it was the windup for a ridiculous April Fool’s joke. Because nothing’s funnier than lying to your friends and either building up their hopes or making them panic needlessly!
After getting home from work, having dinner and watching the latest episode of We Bare Bears1, I sat down in front of the computer, clicked on OpenOffice and stared the blank page right in its non-existent face. I created a folder a few days ago for potential blog entries, and after two and a half painful hours, the number of files in the folder doubled, but none of the ideas panned out like I wanted to, with Eeg largely to blame. The only solace was that I spent that amount of time failing to write, rather than sitting in a theater and watching a big budget failure to write like Dawn of Justice2..
I found myself faced with three options. One, I could delay the web site’s launch. Possible, but it would only stoke the “it was a bad joke” fires I already felt. Second, I could post one of the pieces I’ve already started to build up in reserve. Third, I could use the greatest skill I learned during my time in college, and BS something together at the last minute.
You can probably guess from the title which direction I went down.
Clearly, this won’t cover all of the false starts, because a few might lead to fun pieces down the line. But there are a few ideas that I don’t think are going to lead much of anywhere, and so submitted for your… approval? No, that doesn’t seem right. Submitted for your amusement are six things I actually thought about writing for this first post, and the reasons why they got shot down.
An evaluation of why super hero and franchise action movies are struggling with their villains, and how to fix it. That’s pretty self explanatory, right? The problem with a lot of the super hero movies that have been coming out lately have to do with the villains. Quick, name a really memorable Marvel movie villain! Okay, now do it again without saying Loki. It’s not just that the villains are interchangeable, but the knee jerk reaction is to cause more and more collateral damage. Clearly, at some point you’re going to have a board with a nail in it big enough to destroy the Earth… and if there’s another sequel you just might have to do it.
Why I shot it down? For one, it’s kind of subjective. I’m sure someone reading this is going to tell me why Alexander Pierce was a stunningly complex and fascinating bad guy, Plus I had a hard time coming up with some really good villains to illustrate my point. It might be worth coming back to, but I kinda doubt it.
A review. I thought over a couple of different movies and video games that I would have enjoyed sharing my thoughts on.
Why I shot it down? I’m not a reviewer. I’m fortunate enough to know some folks who do this for a living, and it’s not an easy road to walk down. Plus I have a tendency to be really positive for the most part3, and that’s probably not a great quality for a reviewer. I’ll just say real quick that I think Unravel is a fantastic game, Zootopia might be the best film I’ve seen in a while and One Tough Bastard starring Brian Bosworth is a gem any bad movie fan should watch.
A company mission statement from Wily Industries. This is similar to a few other parody pieces I’ve done in the past, trying to apply the company speak mentality to a really ludicrous situation. Trying to come up with the core philosophy and values of Dr. Wily was kind of fun.
Why I shot it down? Because any Mega Man fan worth their salt is going to know there’s no such thing as Wily Industries. Plus I think I’ve gone to this particular comedy well too often already.
Explaining why math is cool using Tycho Brahe. When I took college algebra, I had a fantastic professor who broke up the math lessons with stories about the history of mathematics and the bios of famous mathematicians. At one point I was researching an article I might still write one of these days, and learned more about Tycho Brahe. Tycho Brahe was an amazing astronomer and mathematician who led a really fascinating life. Chances are you would have enjoyed hanging out with Tycho Brahe4.
Why I shot it down? “Hey, this guy made a post about math. We should really go check that out!”
A funny work story. I’ve actually still got quite a few funny tales from my time in retail that I’d like to work into longer pieces. Between my years in a movie theater, and short stints at two toy stores, an entertainment super store and an electronics store, I’ve heard some crazy things over the years. There’s probably also a funny convention story or two that could have worked here as well.
Why I shot it down? I blame a lot of that on Eeg, as he made me really dislike a lot of the starters I came up with.
Sapphire’s Story. I kept going back to the idea of telling the story of how our rescue dog came into our lives. It’s a classic “we weren’t planning to get her” tale, complete with a few surprising twists and turns. I’m sure at some point I will end up writing about Sapph, as she’s one of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met.
Why I shot it down? I’ve already written one piece about how we found our first rescue cat, Jackson, and while Sapphire’s story is different, I didn’t want to repeat myself so early on. Also, being completely honest, Sapphire’s story is tied in with some other pretty major stuff in our lives, and that’s something I’ll be talking about very soon here. That, and I wasn’t sure I was quite ready to get into it all, either.
The reality is, even as I finish this, Eeg is still nagging away, telling me how silly of an idea this is, and why I shouldn’t even consider posting it. That’s what he does. And while I’m aware of his presence, that doesn’t mean I’ve learned the skill of blocking him out. It’s a slog, and one I’m still trying to work on. I doubt that voice will ever be silenced completely.
I don’t think this first post is going to change the world. But in the end, it got done no matter how much of a racket Eeg is making, and I think that counts for something.
Coming on Monday – The first edition of the Monday Morning Imagineer! That’s right, Monday will be all about Disney, and the first post is all about Magic Bands, My Disney Experience, Story Maker and a few thoughts I have on what the future might hold, and a few ideas on what Disney could add in the future!
1 – If you’ve not yet seen We Bare Bears on Cartoon Network, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It’s easily one of the most delightful, charming and hilarious shows on television. We need more stuff like this.
2 – This is the first of roughly a thousand digs I will take at Dawn of Justice over the life of this web site.
3 – That “positive” comment probably makes no sense in light of the Dawn of Justice thing. Let’s just say that Superman is a really important character to me, and I think DC and Warner Bros haven’t so much dropped the ball as they threw it to the opposing team and gave them a clear path to the end zone.
4 – Here’s just one fun Tycho Brahe fact for you: He wore a false nose, most likely made of brass. Why did he need it? Because, of course, he lost his nose thanks to an argument over an equation that led, as you’d expect, to a pistol duel. See? Math isn’t just cool, it sounds like a Michael Bay movie sometimes.