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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nothing Sadder Than a Blank Page

I've been staring at this big empty white rectangle for several hours now, and just like the meteor shower, if you stare unblinking at it long enough you can see stuff happening even if it's really not.

Stare into the sky of a hot, humid nighttime and teeny little dashes blip across the static sparkling stars- are they meteors? Or involuntary twitches of your eyeballs?

We call them meteors and go inside, itching the bites the mosquitoes have inflicted in spite of the bug repellent.

Stare at this big empty box long enough (and with a self-imposed deadline of a midnight posting) and words appear- most of them backspaced into oblivion before ever getting a chance at being seen by more than the author- and for that the reader may be thankful.

*Trust me*.

Most of the words that appear here are involuntary twitches that flash between my brain and my fingers, and most of them are gawdawful.

So they get backspaced and disappeared and I think "Yanno, maybe this whole 'writer' thing was just a phase and I need to take up something more my speed- like Afternoon Napping".

And I guess the problem is that nothing particularly post-worthy happened today.

Some mildly annoying, momentarily frightening, but not insurmountable things.

Some very good, very happy, "This is the sort of thing that will give me a warm fuzzy every time I think about it for the rest of my life" things.

Nothing huge in either direction.

Nothing to even piss me off just enough to get all worked up about.

No. Wait.

On Saturday Night Live, right now- Weekend Update with Seth Meyers just showed a map of Australia, a big-toothed reptile and the word "Alligator" underneath it.

Are you freakin' kidding me?

There are no Alligators in Australia. None. Not one. Zero. Those big-toothed reptiles in Australia are Crocodiles. Always have been. Always will be.

That's the sort of thing that makes me insane.

Remember the movie "Romancing the Stone"? It was a pretty good flick for its time.

Right at the beginning, when the bus carrying Kathleen Turner collided with Michael Douglas' jeep full of exotic birds he'd been collecting for the pet trade (wildly illegal btw) and they all flew the coop literally? And he explained the worth of the various kinds of birds- so much for a macaw, so much for a conure, so much for a sulphur- crested cockatoo?

Ruined the whole rest of the movie for me. On accounta there ARE no sulphur-crested cockatoos (or any other kind of cockatoo) in South America- THOSE are from Australia.

If you're going to cover a story- even in a pretend news show, or write something into a movie script, make sure you've got your facts straight.

Because there WILL be people out there who will catch it if you've tried to scrimp on fact finding.

We are watching. We are listening. And we will be pissed off by such slovenly research. Because life is messy enough without our entertainment being screwed up.

I mean, if we can't trust Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live to deliver factual accounts of the weekly news in review, or the producers of a movie they purposely set in South America to find out what actually lives there, we may as well just give up all hope of seeing anything remotely resembling the real world and turn on FOX News.

Wow. Almost midnight.

That was a close one.

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