Monday, December 15, 2003

. . . Just Nod If You Can Hear Me

"High Concept" is one of those terms that actually means the opposite of what it seems to imply. That there word "High" associated with another word seems to make that other word seem loftier, better, a number one super value fun term. Like "High Road" -- it means a moral path taken at greater expense. So when you see "High Concept," you think "Hey, that must mean an intelligent, detailed soopah froody idea." But "High Concept" actually means "Designed to appeal to a mass audience, as by incorporating popular, glamorous features" according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. So High Concept isn't Masterpiece Theater, it's Starsky & Hutch or Three's Company. Anytime you can sum of a movie or book by saying "It's [Insert Drama Here] with [Insert Comedy Here]", or "It's like [Insert TV Show here], but [Insert Adjective Here]", that's High Concept.

Now, many plot-driven writers fall into the trap of focusing on the High Concept (understandably so because the mass market swallows up that crap, you unimaginative little fucks - well, unless you'll buy my novel if it ever gets published, then y'all are alright). I'll admit, I've fallen into it. Just because it's High Concept doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. Shakespeare is almost exclusively High Concept -- but he has the dialogue, themes and characterization to make his stuff more than the Elizabethan version of Sanford & Son. So Angry Yellow is a bit High Concept, which is the first for me since my prior writings have focused on incidents or dialogue first.

Anyway, I'm back on the Dayquil again which really fucks up the old neural pathways, and I was thinking about this High Concept stuff. So you wonder how these network people think up these really crap ideas that show up on Friday nights and the SciFi network. If their coked-up minds work the same as my mind on Dayquil (which is just a baby version of an amphetamine), then here's a little window into the madness. I just heard some bad remix of a Madonna song on the local dance station, which got me thinking about the so-5-minutes ago celebrity Kabalah fad. The Dolphins v. Eagles game is on in the background, and Jay Fiedler is Jewish. Then this commercial comes on for what looks to be an atrocious movie with Many Moore playing the President's daughter in a romantic romp for tweens. Kabalah-Jewish mysticism-crap movie for tweens. I looked at the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly which had a review for a comic book about a Jewish baseball team in the 1920s that used a Golem. Something clicked--wouldn't it be a kick in the pants if the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for over two millenia turned out to be some tween fluffchick in Orange County? An Asian tween fluffchick?

So here's Marty Stark's Dayquil-induced High Concept pitch to the entertainment bigwigs: It's The Prophecy meets Better Luck Tomorrow as directed by Woody Allen and written by that dude who wrote The Davinci Code. Alice Kwon is a fourteen-year-old spoiled ABC of Cantonese descent living in Newport Beach whose major concerns are the PSATs and which boys have the most souped of Hondas. She loves pork buns and carne asada burritos. Unbeknownst to her, she is the Messiah. However, a quantum physicist / cryptologist / Kabalist (played by a white dude - Hollywood racist mofos) decrypts the Kabalah and Old Testament and discovers the identity of the Messiah. Just in time too, because the Knights Templar and the Merogovingians have discovered her identity as well, which threatens the Christian way of life (she's the Jews Messiah, not the Second Coming of theirs). The current Knights Templar are all underground street racers. It just happens our quantum physicist/cryptologist/Kabalist is into Rice Rockets as well. Much multi-ethnic wackiness and hich octane action ensues as our hero saves the Asian tween fluffchick who happens to be the Messiah.

And by the way, to the asshat who sneezed behind me Friday night at the movie theater without covering his mouth and who is directly at fault for this Dayquil induced state, I hope someone takes a lead pipe to your head and turns it into squishy, pudding-like pink pulp. And after reading this entry, I'm sure the blog readers hope so too.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

John Constantine Pic
You are John Constantine.
John has a strong knowledge of the occult and at
times he appears to wield strong magical powers
but he has also become known as something of a
con-man, more likely to talk himself out of
trouble than pull a rabbit out of a hat.

What Gritty No Nonsense Comic Book Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Moon Beat

Perhaps one of the nicest things said to me, ever ever ever -- "Marty, you're going to end up marrying a drop dead gorgeous blonde." - Younger sister of PartTimeGig lawyer and half-a-week office manager. (And no, there was no sarcasm or "be careful what you wish for" tone you wisenheimers and negative nabobs out there).

Friday, December 05, 2003

Starry Eyed Surprise

Last night, my buddy Dubois invites me to go see this DJ that he's been talking to about being the music supervisor on the short he'll be filming. She has a Thurday residency at The Hollywood Standard Hotel. For those not in the know, The Standard is definitely a very urban hipster place--retro-mod '60s look, $10 jack & cokes and a scantily clad sleeping woman in glass behind the reception area.

So anyway, Dubois and I walk in and I clock the song the DJ is playing within two beats--a remix of "Words" off The Doves' import only B-Side compilation. She pulls an "Oh my God!" intake after I ask if she was playing The Doves, touches my arm and tells me that she's impressed. In between talking to Dubois about his short, what type of services he's thinking about, what she's done and other show biz stuff while cueing up tracks for her playlist, the DJ and I talk about music. I clock almost every song she plays in that first hour, Portishead, old school Primal Scream, old school William Orbit and she keeps being really impressed. When she puts on "Everything's Not Lost", the last track off Coldplay's Parachutes album, we start talking about how neither of us listened to Coldplay at first. Then I tell her that what changed my mind was "Shiver" because Chris Martin sounded remarkably like Jeff Buckley. Turns out that was the song that got her listening to Coldplay as well. Some of her pals show up so Dubois and I talk amongst ourselves. This is when Dubois says this "Well no fucking d'uh that's been what I've been telling you every since I've known you" statement that I've ever known since associated with the Mira Hershey Hall Crew.

The statement is this: "See Marty, this is the type of chick you need to be going out with." My reply? "Well no fucking d'uh, that's been what I've been telling you since ever since I've known you." I mean, aside from the physical qualities (blonde, slender) that make me weak at the knees, which I'm sure Dubois wasn't referring to with his statement, she's artistic and she shares the same love of music. We could've talked for hours about music.

OK, one fact I withheld in this entry up to know is that, after she told me she was impressed with me knowing the Doves, the DJ shows me the album and says "Yeah, my boyfriend just got me this album today." See, I didn't want this to be a friggin' "Oh poor me my life is like an Alanis Morrisette song don't I sound like a fourteen year old girl" entry, which it would've sounded like had I mentioned this up front. See, I wanted this to be like one of those anecdotes about you mentioning something to your friends over and over again, but they just don't listen until sometime years down the line and they say, "Hey you, you should be doing that thing you've mentioned over and over again but we didn't realize until now isn't that funny" type of entry.

Anyway, mad props to Dubois for inviting me. Before we headed out, he told the DJ, "Hey, if you know anyone into the music scene, let me know. My buddy Marty likes talking about music." This is definitely a flight of steps plus take the elevator on the right up from the typical male buddy trying to help you out tact of "Yo, my pal is so hard up. You got any honies you can set him up with?" The DJ said she'd make Dubois and I mix CDs and that we should all hang out again. 'Course, this is L.A., so that may be her way of saying, "Yeah, let's do lunch sometime" while doing the cheek air kiss thing. At least I know that there are chicas out there who share the same music tastes I do.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Soy Un Perdedor

Hey Ladies! Here's a public service announcement for all you fine chicas out on You should never, ever, ever utter the line "I don't go out much" in your profile. That goes triple for all you wannabe pimp daddies out there.