October 2007



If someone told ten-year-old me that the fat-headed kid who played Doogie Howser would be an endless delight on a TV show I watched in my late twenties, I would have said, “What? Really? Am I still married to Donnie Wahlberg?”

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After reading Foe by J.M. Coetzee (told by a third, female castaway on the island with Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday) and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (a Jane Eyre “prequel” that shows Bertha Mason and her lunatic roots) I have been imagining other metafictions that tell the same story through a different POV.

And this is totally cool with everyone. As Coetzee himself said in his 2003 Nobel Prize Lecture, “There begins to creep into his breast a touch of fellow-feeling for his imitators. For it seems to him now that there are but a handful of stories in the world; and if the young are to be forbidden to prey upon the old then they must sit forever in silence. And they can suck it.” (I may have added the part at the end).

First option:

Archibald — I tried to give this idea away to my pal Jami but she’s focusing on a different Baby-Sitter’s Club player. Any BSC fan will remember Archie as the younger brother in a family of redheads, an accident-prone charge with a special connection to mousy Mary Anne. What sort of scrapes can he get into? What can he tell us about this community that won’t let its tweens age past 13? Does Logan really like Mary Anne?

While we’re on the subject of things I’d like to see happen, how about Mark Wahlberg in a Wes Anderson movie (though Susan pointed out that I Heart Huckabees was basically the same thing)? He can play a brother. A brother who swears a lot. And has an ailing/absent parent and has to confront a life change for some reason. And I want Paul Rudd and Bruce Willis to be in a movie together. They can be brothers, too, and swear all they want. They can be a couple! And they have to adopt a recently deceased sister’s baby. There will be explosions and Paul Rudd can riff about something.

I’m really stoked about this fake movie season I’ve created. Forget about books. Books are for people who can’t handle their Netflix queues.