My writing routine appears to go as follows: I jot down partial essays, each based on a single rant or question or supposition; Over time, I add to them as new ideas come to me; Eventually, there’s enough to support a complete thought (A complete point or thesis statement). Then I rewrite it and polish it into something cohesive. I give it a few edit passes. (Run-on sentences and sentence fragments seem to be my worst offenses.) And then you, my avid readership, see the final result here.
Worrying about publishing every day seemed to cause more fret than good for a while, so I intentionally avoided the worry, allowing my partials to sit unfinished until they’re good and ready. As a result it seems I’m posting about once a week, but long (two-thousand-plus word) essays.
Though not this week, as eight days went my since my last post. What happened?
Part of it has been my usual Wednesday trip to San Francisco. That involves prepping on Tuesday (which is non-conducive to writing), then being gone all day Wednesday, then being exhausted on Thursday.
Still, I’ve written a bunch of partials. So I’ve been writing, just nothing that has reached critical mass. This seems to happen to me a lot.
Three such partials regard the new Wonder Woman film. I only saw the first hour of it, but that was enough to make me feel it wasn’t right. There are so many positive opinions about how great Wonder Woman 2017 is. And this tells me either a) my standards for good media are rising or a) everyone else’s standards are falling. I’d say my standards for media and for storytelling are comprehensive but forgiving. Also there’s been a few discussions on how Hollywood’s risk aversion tendencies are making movies worse.
My WW articles-in-development are about:
• Hollywood just can’t seem to get women right. Wonder Woman, like Superman* is a paragon figure, there to be an exemplary model for us mortals as how to take the high road (or at least behave in a sober, adult manner) in social situations.
• [Minor WW spoiler] There’s more to making an ultimate chemical warfare agent then creating a mustard gas that can corrode gas masks. Rather, an indefensible gas is worse for military operations. We’ve long developed agents that absorb through the skin for which common gas protections are useless. And we don’t use them. Taking a page from the parable of King Canute there is a modern adage applicable to such weapons: Not even the President commands the wind.
• Hollywood just can’t seem to leave Helenic myths alone. As they’ve done in other movies, Greek mythology and Wonder Woman mythology have both been shoehorned into a crushed sole resembling the Divine Comedy, featuring Zeus as Yahweh and Ares as Satan. Originally, Aphrodite gave life to Diana of Themyscira much the way she gave life to Pygmalion’s sculpture. In WW 2017, Zeus created Wonder Woman but also humans in general (Prometheus is forgotten.) Oh and Ares killed off all the rest of the Olympians before his fall from
Heaven Olympus. WTF, Hollywood?
Also, unrelated to Wonder Woman, but rather to news:
• The Masterpiece Cakeshop trial is going to be heard in the United States Supreme Court, which has raised questions about interaction between the first amendment (specifically freedom of religion) and public accommodation laws (which mandate that business which serve the public may not discriminate against customers on account of race, religion, color, creed, etc. etc.). I put some thought into what this interaction means if the ruling on this case serves as a consistently-applied precedent to future cases (e.g. Can Mormons discriminate against Blacks? Can religious bakers choose to only serve customers of their own specific faith? Must a Jewish baker provide a cake for a neo-Nazi rally?) The Hobby Lobby ruling set the precedent that corporations may hold sincerely-held religious beliefs and these can supersede mandated employee protections and benefits. This ruling is already is causing our protections against unequal treatment to unravel, and I don’t agree with it. Based on that, I believe SCOTUS cannot be trusted to adjudicate fairly or rationally. I don’t expect its ruling will necessarily reflect the values of equal treatment that were established by our framers, and affirmed over the twentieth century.
* Or for that matter, Supergirl. Supergirl should also serve as a living example so we could ask what would Supergirl do?, but that’s not the case, at least, based on the ongoing TV series version of her.