So it’s become a Fourth of July tradition in our house to wander outside to watch the insane (and insanely illegal) fireworks display our neighbors put on every year, but to otherwise devote most of our attention to SyFy’s Twilight Zone marathon, which they run almost every Fourth of July and New Year’s. I say “almost” because one year someone got the bright idea to run a marathon of “The Greatest American Hero” instead of “The Twilight Zone” over the Fourth. I suspect that idea went over like a fart in church with the general SyFy viewership, because it has never happened again.
We turn on the marathon every Fourth but this time was different: My husband introduced me to the joys of live-Tweeting the various episodes as they aired. I knew he’d done this before, but after a couple of glasses of sangria with cherry vodka added, I was inspired to use my neglected Twitter account to join in. And it really was great fun (unless you don’t watch “The Twilight Zone” and had to scroll through all my Tweets about it), like a mass episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ in which everyone gets to be Joel/Mike, Crow, and Servo. Looking at all the reactions on the #TwilightZone tag, I was heartened to learn that most of the Tweeters despised the episode “The Bewitchin’ Pool” as much as I do. (Someday I will use that episode as a cautionary tale about writing something that’s clearly meant to be homespun and heartwarming but ends up going horribly, awesomely wrong.)
And it was a lot of fun to unload publicly about some of the aspects of the show that always bothered me a bit. Is it just me, or does this show feature one of the bleakest outlooks on married life ever? Wives are either nagging shrews or doormats. Husbands are either henpecked ninnies or abusive blowhards. (Or they’re just a little looney, like William Shatner in “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”)
(And you know, William Shatner must really fucking hate when one of these marathons comes on, because plenty of live-Tweeters can’t resist Tweeting their insults directly to him. I can imagine him logging in and seeing his “Messages” counter blow up and thinking “Ah, Christ — this again? How many goddamn marathons does this channel run?”)
It was when “The Dummy” came on that I finally decided to show a bit of restraint. Something very funny (to me) popped into mind while I was watching it, and I even put together a quick graphic for it before deciding that I didn’t want to be That Person.
That Person, in this case, is the asshole who decides to drag politics into a previously enjoyable and politics-free conversation.
You know the kind. You’re with a group of friends and/or family and you’re all having a great time catching up and then That Person has to go drop a verbal stinkbomb related to some hot-button political issue of the day, and that’s it — before long everyone’s screaming at each other about Obamacare and gun control and abortion and Karl Rove and Dubya and Monica Lewinsky and everyone’s all mad and it’s just a huge mess.
So nobody had been even remotely political during all the live-Tweeting about the TZ marathon, and I didn’t want to be That Person and set off some incredibly annoying tit-for-tat war between right and left.
I’ll be That Person here instead:
Is it just me, or is the resemblance rather uncanny?
I decided at the last second to join Camp Nanowrimo for the July session. But a funny thing happened on the way to the campground. I fully intended to do one more edit of Book One with the intention of getting it into shape to actually start sending around to agents and editors. But I happened to peek in on the novel I wrote in November of 2014, the one I met the word count for but didn’t quite finish.
I consider that one a bit of a failure, as I never did come up with a climactic scene for it. But when I reread it, I realized that it didn’t suck nearly as badly as I thought it did. It’s a Draft Zero and so it does suck, but it has promise. The story idea isn’t bad. I just need to buckle down, finish the story, and then get to the work of pulling the narrative apart and putting it back together again in a more pleasing fashion.
And so that’s what I’m doing this month. Last year, my July session of camp was derailed by an exploding appendix. I’m hoping this month will be less eventful.