A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Saturday, January 10, 2004


I still keep returning to the Pet Shop Boys' PopArt collection. I have the two main discs as one big file on my MP3 player, and there isn't a clunker in the bunch. Listening today while walking down to see Eyes Without A Face, I noticed for the first time the symmetry of starting with "Go West" (a Village People cover) and ending with "Somewhere" (from West Side Story). Each is a song about someplace other than where we are at, someplace where lovers can be free to love as they choose unencumbered by societal pressures. Now, most pop bands would probably decide to reverse that order, so that it ends with the fantasy, with the picture of a utopia that exists rather than merely the hope that there might be one (and, indeed, the first time "Go West" appeared on an album, it was at the end). However, that would not only subvert the Pop and the Art layout of the discs, but also go against the Pet Shop Boys' overriding feeling of needing to escape, but not yet having the perfection to escape to. "Somewhere" is more romantic in its cynicism, more real (and their mix even has police sirens on either side of the song). "Go West" is a set up for the fantasy, the statement that this is the dream, this is where we travel from, rather than to. The choice of a second track on the Pop disc is "Suburbia," naturally enough. Looking at the freedom in the boring moment, the sinister and violent turns that "normal" can take. Tennant and Lowe are too intelligent to leave their summation at a spot where, essentially, they have nowhere left to go. It's not an image they can honestly sell. Rather, despite the leaps and bounds they have made in exploring the life of the heart (and sometimes the mind), there are still miles to go before they can sleep.

Snow continues to plague us. I'm calling it a silent conspiracy. They hide it from us by having Portland's slogan be "The City That Works," but it's not true. Everything is set up so that we will shut down at the slightest breeze. Seriously. They've even painted the lines on the road with this white paint that disappears at night when the streets get wet. I swear you can't see 'em.

The new thing to watch for in the streets is now that the ice is melting, the sewer is filling and the drains are being clogged. This happens every fall when it first rains, and every street corner fills up with leaves. The drains are at that spot in the sidewalk that slopes for pedestrians, so you actually have to walk around these giant puddles to get across the intersection. But with the snow, the puddles are hiding under these chunks of slush, and sometimes you can't see how deep it really is.

I did manage to tinker around some on The Everlasting before going out to the film, though. Just a random bit that came to me, a three-page sequence that may not make the final cut. Who knows, though, with Lance Scott intended to be my Rabbit (Updike, not Eminem), my continuing protagonist in my Glass family, all these bits and bobs that may end up in a cutting room folder could be useful someday somewhere else.

Current Soundtrack: The Thrills, So Much For the City

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

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