Some big announcements will follow, but there is something I really need to get off my chest.
Yes, the President is racist. Even the people that still like him know this to be true, they just would rather we not talk about it. Or—if we do talk about it—we work ourselves into a stupor over it and forget to vote in a year.
That much is obvious. That is not what I need to get off my chest. But now that we’ve gotten that out of the way:
Robert Pattinson as Batman will be just fine.
Now, of course I would prefer the world to bring back Michael Keaton into the role in some kind of Batman Beyond situation, but I’ve been saying this for years, and there is still plenty of time to make that happen.
Every reaction to Pattinson taking over the role from Ben Affleck is blown out of proportion. Those that can only think of him via those silly vampire movies he did aren’t giving him a fair shake. Those abuzz about the possibility in light of his recent more interesting indie work think everything will work out.
But, please, consider this:
Everyone thought Michael Keaton would be a disaster. He was fantastic. People can complain about some of the merits of the two films he did and how they may have aged, but I’ve never heard an unkind word about his performance. Now, granted, if anyone ever did, they would suddenly sound like Charlie Brown’s parents, but I think the point that people liked it at the time and have fond memories of him as the Dark Knight even now.
Everyone was convinced that Christian Bale would be the perfect casting for the role. Ultimately, he probably ended up being the weakest part of the strongest Batman movies.
Everyone thought Ben Affleck would be terrible in the role, and well… He was fine in the role. The movies surrounding him were exercises in new and interesting ways to screw up a movie.
Do you want to know who—purely on spec—was the best casting of Batman, ever?
George Clooney in 1996.
The lesson? Nobody knows anything. Let them make their batmen. Everything (on that front) will be fine.
Whew, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the larger announcements in this entry.
Last week, I published “If You Enjoyed This Book,” the seventy-second flash fiction story I’ve written in the last year and a half. It will be the last story in that series.
The original notion was to produce these for two years, but that was also when I was trying to keep the entries under 500 words, a notion that also quickly evaporated. A byproduct of upping the word-count limit is that I now—even with omitting a few entries that I either wasn’t infatuated with or might work better in a different format—have enough stories to turn them into a book. The experiment is over.
I now begin the process of re-editing and organizing those stories into a volume, If Any Of These Story Goes Over 1000 Words, This Whole Book Will Explode. What happens to the blog entries in the meantime? All the links will remain live until the book goes to press, but the blog will be removed from the site’s masthead.
This may leave one wondering about what the site will look like in the future. You may have questions
1) Will I ever write another flash story?
Maybe. Over the course of the last 18 months I had a lot of ideas and almost-ideas, here’s just a few:
A story about a group of archeologists in the future uncovers the site of a laser tag arena, and can’t make heads or tails out of it.
The story of the participant in the famed Shelley/Byron writing commune (the one that gave the world Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus). Something tells me I might actually write that one up one day.
I tried several times to construct a story about the last person burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials. I wanted it to be funny, with the executioners past their peak enthusiasm for the mass murders, but it was always a story about being burned alive. C’est la vie.
Maybe other ideas will come to me, or maybe one of the above will light my imagination on fire again, and I’ll take to a pen to make things happen. If it does, it’s entirely possible that I will post it in this space, but I doubt I’ll ever get an itch to produce stories at this rate again.
Incidentally, one of the very first ideas I had when writing these stories dealt with a cabal of shadowy figures who make sure we forget that which brings us misery, but still feel miserable about it. I could never quite work the story out, until just a few weeks ago when I re-worked some elements and it became story #70, “The Misery Vampires.” Lesson? Hang in there, pals, some ideas just need time so you can work them out.
2) Will I still blog?
Simple answer: Yes.
3) What will I blog about?
I’m so glad you/I asked. I won’t do what I had done in the past and produce a new article/blog entry every week. That was just as grueling as the stories became. I’ll probably check back in here at least every other month to offer some thoughts. Like with the stories, if the mood strikes me, I may write other pieces as well.
I will still be posting regularly to a new, third blog on the site. Last year, after taking a deep dive with old Siskel and Ebert at the Movies clips on Youtube, being absolutely wrecked by both Ebert’s memoir Life Itself and the 2014 documentary that shares its subject and title, and reading a few of Ebert’s review collections, I wanted to take a stab at movie criticism myself.
I decided I would write a review (of no fewer than 300 words) of every movie I saw from that day forward. I would have to have seen all of the movie to write the review. If I had already reviewed it for this experiment, then I could take a pass.
Given the amount of time I spend watching movies, that may end up being a tall order…
All right. I lied. I made that decision about a year ago, and have been writing the reviews ever since.
So, now I have reviews of 144 films, encompassing over 70,000 words of material. It’s like a bonus book that I’m not even going to charge you for. There are a few Batman movies, to be sure*. A lot of newer horror releases I watched for Beyond the Cabin in the Woods, like Us (2019), Midsommar (2019), and beyond all comprehension The Nun (2018). Lora and I watched every Marvel movie that didn’t feature Edward Norton**, and those reviews are ready for your perusal. Oh, heck, just take a look at the list as of today, July 22nd:
The reviews are probably rougher than what I would normally post on the site, but this keeps me in regular writing and updating without having to come up with ideas from nothing every week. I’m okay with that if you all are.
For now, though, feel free to look around the space, and check back in often. Things will be changing around here pretty starkly and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. The final season of The Fourth Wall is just the beginning…
*In fact, I became very aware that I watched Batman (1989) three times in the last twelve months, which seems right about on average for me, even if one of the times was on the the big screen for the first time.
**No particular reason. We just skipped it in our marathon. I may circle back around to it soon.