Friday, November 30, 2007

Children of Men

I just read PD James' Children of Men and it gave me a lot more respect for the film. The book is good, in its own way, but it's surprisingly staid, almost sedate, and its concerns are fairly different than those of the movie. Characters are dramatically altered, the ending is completely changed. And all of the best moments of the film -- the refugee camp, the final battle, the impossibly slow car chase, the carjacking, the David -- are nowhere to be found in the novel. Likewise for the book, with its descriptions of the children of the last year of fertility as evil, emotionless bastards and the booming doll industry and the women who push dolls around in baby carriages, cooing at each other's children, etc. And that's fantastic for both the book and the movie. It's not just an adaptation, not just a reimaginging, but a reinvention. Sure, both have their clumsy moments (the diary feels forced to me in the book, as forced as much of the dialogue and the occasional overwrought image felt in the movie (the manger, the repeated exclamations of "Jesus!")), but, still, good good good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's Early

And the Pistons are 3-0.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Whither My Winkerbean?

I spent way too much time this morning -- a grading/planning day -- catching up with Funky Winkerbean, which I haven't read in, um, appromximately, say, a seriously long-ass time.

And here's the synsopsis: Holy Fuck!

Apparently, my unconscious decision to read the comics page once a month or so and even then only hitting a few guarantees (Marmaduke, por ejemplo), didn't come at the right time in Style Section History.

Holy Fuck.

Slightly more detailed synopsis: Everyone has died. There's been some kind of apocalyptic voodoo cast down upon Westview and everyone caught a bizarre babycancer and then they all died. Or imagined themselves getting blown up. Or did blow up. Or became the butt of a cranky Crankshaft monologue. And then got thrown into the future, where, presumably, they won't be dead. Unless they're dead. In which case, they might just be dead. Or on a football team that, goshdarnit, just can't win.

I dunno. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

Bottom line: the next time a student complains about the quote-depressing books that we always read in English class-unquote, I'll just suggest that he spend a couple of hours with Professor Batiuk and His Magical Winkerbeanatorial Fun Factory and get back to me. The Road looks pretty good now, eh kids?