. . . 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.