Thursday, 13 July 2006

i'm coming up, so you better get this party started

it's very convenient isn't it? whenever you witness a story you always manage to follow the main character. you start watching a film, reading a book, hearing a tale and somehow, quickly, your focus is on the main character or characters. there's two things i always always think when this happens. firstly i think
who is this person? why did fate pick them to experience the following events?
why is it that particular people are chosen? the chances of this level of life changing events happening to a particular person are miniscule; but in a movie or a book someone might have one after another after another. think of wendy.. in the space of a few weeks or so, a flying boy came into her bedroom, she discovered fairies existed, she learned to fly, she travelled to a distant land with her brothers, she experienced pirates first-hand, was kidnapped, rescued and i would probably guess, lost her virginity to a 50 year old teenager dressed as robin hood.
what did she do to deserve these experiences? what led her to that point? we don't know much about the years before peter turned up, but i can't imagine she did anything that extraordinary.

the second thing i think is
how very convenient.
what a stroke of luck it is that whenever you watch a movie you bump into the main character. you always happen to come across the main event and are able to foIlow the most interesting part of the world for that period. how different the story might've been if we had momentarily found wendy's next door neighbour jeanette more interesting in the minutes before the flying boy turned up with his pet fairy. might we have ended up following an attractive young woman struggling through puberty and parental-divorce before becoming the first successful female wallpaper importer? by that time we might have forgotten that childhood dream where the next door neighbour's kids soared off into the moonlight.

i call it the Jimmy Olsen Effect. for those of you who don't know, jimmy olsen is an employee at the daily planet where superman works. he leads a pretty eventful life, he's quite successful as a professional photographer and occasionally has his work printed on the front page of a widely-read newspaper. he's had first hand contact with a demi-god and been inches from death on a number of occasions. all this before he reached 25. he'd probably make a good main character for a story except that usually at the end of a day he goes home and watches TV instead of donning a red and blue lycra suit and popping up into orbit for a good listen..
it's all very well following the exploits of Wendy, Clarke, Buffy, Ann Darrow, Bugsy Malone, Neo, Jane Eyre.. it's just.. sometimes i'd like to hear the story of the forgotten people.
-that biplane pilot who was thrown out of the air by a 200 foot gorilla; did he parachute out and survive?
-how did that 22 year old straight-A student get to the point where he was an unnamed vampire goon?
-how did the other boys at the orphanage feel when oliver, the kid with the irritating singing voice, got scooped up by a rich family and they didn't?
-that ugly henchman of Dr. No, shot without a second thought by secret agent Bond.... he had a family; now what the fuck are they gonna do? i doubt villainous henchmen get much life insurance.

spare a thought for the forgotten many. donate to their cause if you will. just £2 per week can feed a computer-generated crowd at a gladiatorial arena for infinite time. send a cheque or postal order to me and i'll sort it out for you.

tee hee, fools. (did i dictate that out loud?)

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