All posts by Michael

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Mitty on Mitty

The lights in the theater darkened so that the glowing black of the screen was the only illumination. Multiple noises began to cease, rustling candy wrappers hushing, settling shoe soles snacking against dried soda, settling fabrics brushing seatbacks. The film critic dashed off notes on a reporter’s pad.

This passion project faces high expectations. How will Stiller stretch this short story out to feature length? I doubt it can retain the core of the original. I wonder how he pitched it.

The lavishly appointed Hollywood meeting room erupts in applause and cheerful congratulation. The executive had just explained the gist of the film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, about an office worker who feels ignored by his peers, but is secretly awesome, and eventually shares his secret awesomeness with the rest of the world. The chief, able to greenlight projects without checking with anyone, smiles with round shining cheeks. No champagne is popped, but the atmosphere in the room is one of champagne-popping.

A script reader standing against the wall at the far end of the room clears his throat. No one hears.

He stands more erect and declares, “Excuse me.”
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Falkor, Longshot, and Teela Brown: A Meditation on Luck

Americans, at least some of us, have trouble with the idea of luck. John Chait once observed that “the argument that getting rich often entails a great deal of luck tends to drive conservatives to apoplexy.” Maybe this is because theodicy undergirds much of our society, or maybe because luck is a confusing and even possibly disturbing concept. After all, what is luck but a nametag-friendly moniker for that dark spirit: chance? Or, worse: random chance. Hence the derision in Obi-Wan’s sneering: “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck,” the word itself spat out from the wise beard of a man who knows how things work. Then again, Obi-Wan can deflect lasers with his lightsaber and also live, albeit with diminished opacity, beyond death.
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