Thursday, October 27, 2011

10/27 - Good Grief

Alas, the thread I predicted last week never came to be. Perhaps people have yet to recover fully from the last one. Today will be on the quick side.

L1:  This does not remind me so much of the Borgias as of Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple both on occasion attempt to prevent a crime, usually without much success, although, in Wasp's Nest, Poirot does manage to prevent a suicide that would have appeared to be murder. He also manages to prevent a murder in Yellow Iris. It is rare, though, for the warning to come so directly. The closest example to that of L1 is when Poirot overhears a bit of the conversation between Raymond and Carol Boynton in which Raymond insists their stepmother has to be killed.

Warning off the perpetrator might at least be have a better chance of working than warning off a murderer, as Poirot tries to do in Triangle at Rhodes. After all, as Miss Marple explains in A Christmas Tragedy, warning the victim rarely meets with much belief, and warning off the killer only results in the plan being delayed and attempted elsewhere. At least in LW1's situation, the plot must unfold in one particular place. The difficulty with whistleblowing (besides the ramifications which make this veer into the land of a Technical Question), though, is that the timing is so critical. I prefer an attempt at sabotage. As Miss Marple explained when she related how she knew, as soon as she saw Mr and Mrs Saunders, that he intended to kill her, the key was to force him to attempt the murder in a way of her own choosing. Unfortunately, he struck before she could devise and implement her plan, although she did have better luck in A Caribbean Mystery.

L2:  So, the Prudecutor would have everything undone at the end of the parents' time, which would also, in a way, punish the children for the sins of their parents? Then too, the Prudecutor's plan is redolent of a lack of charity, which, neatly enough if one takes that perspectives, manages to circumvent and offend the memory of the parents in question. Not that there is anything wrong with that per se, but can LW2 and H2 do better? One might also indulge in the typical cross-examination as to why this letter is not being written by the participant affected. But this is already well familiar.

The answer is for C2 to set aside some portion of their charitable giving (LW2 is of the oily sort who probably prides herself on her charity, however coldly in spirit it is offered, but cold charity works well in this case). After all, charity begins at home, does it not? Set aside a little fund for the benefit of H2's nieces and nephews, who will very likely need it, given their parents profligacy. Then, in the time to come so happily anticipated by the Prudecutor, who really seems highly likely to have some sort of parental issues of her own, C2 can dole out charity to their nieces and nephews while making their disdain for H2's siblings most clear.

The parallel is partially to John Gabriel Borkman, in which Gunhild attempts to drive a wedge between her son Erhart and her sister Ella (who alone emerged financially unscathed when JGB's great swindle was discovered) by reminding Erhart of how the very roof over their head was a matter of charity from the aunt who had raised him after the scandal, trying to make him subconsciously substitute charity for love. But my main thought is of Mr and Mrs Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Not only does Darcy consent to marry into the same family as the old acquaintance who had attempted to ruin his sister, he even assists Wickham considerably in his profession and financially. Elizabeth also receives Lydia on occasion at Pemberley. The Bingleys are imposed upon to an even greater extent. If that paragon, Mr Darcy, can forgive a rather greater crime, H2 may be able to rise to the occasion. Of course, one might also ask if LW2 will permit him to do so...

L3:  I am getting a vision of Helen Montressor in One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, telling Alastair Blunt that she does not want to accept invitations to the house while his American relations (who snub her) are staying with him. Of course, she is maintaining a secret identity, so that we might let that pass. But one could perhaps cross-examine all the parties involved as to why LW3 is so torn between the two of them. What was the struggle that resulted in Leah's victory over Sarah? After all, Leah is LW3's best friend, while Sarah is just close. My guess is that LW3 is really quite enjoying the situation, and only wants to make more of it than she can do decently at present. That she wants to force these two together during a time when she will be convalescing from surgery is most telling.

It might well serve LW3 right if Leah and Sarah actually ended up becoming quite chummy. Think of My So-Called Life. In the Self Respect episode commentary, Winnie Holzman and Claire Danes remark upon the moment when Angela finds Sharon and Rayanne conferring in the bathroom, Ms Holtzman remarking on the shock of discovering that two people who are in separate boxes in one's life are coming together outside of them and have an independent relationship of their own, a reasonable observation (although I can never forgive them for giggling about making out later and drowning out Mr Katimsky's best line that finally convinces Rickie to sign up for Drama Club). In the Christmas episode commentary, when Sharon grows desperate and invites Rayanne to join her at the Teen Help Line on Christmas Eve, Wilson Cruz (for whom that extraordinary episode was largely Art Imitating Life) suggested to Ms Holtzman that the Sharon-Rayanne friendship might have been a forerunner for that between Elphaba and Galinda (though he doesn't specify that Ms Holtzman was one of the driving forces in the Broadwayfication of Wicked).

L4:  This is actually my favourite letter of the week. Do not blame on any account the innocent cats. In the main, though, I'd like to cross-examine LW4 about why she's writing any letter at all here. Does she really expect anyone to believe that what she asks is her real question? What difference could any possible answer to the question of how F4 could have failed to notice the wet spot make? And now, what is her difficulty? Her friend no longer stays over, which is a plus for LW4 rather than a minus. As the logical assumption is that she really wants to dun her XF4 for the $155, why doesn't she just come out and ask the real question instead of flitting about as she does?

I am reminded of the charming independent film Grief, the cast of which includes Craig Chester, Illeana Douglas, Jackie Beat and Alexis Arquette. The setting is the offices of a low-budget Divorce Court knock-off called The Love Judge, with producer Jo (JB), writers Jeremy, Paula, Bill (AA) and Mark (CC), and aspiring secretary Leslie (ID). Mark, bereaved for nearly three years after the death of Kenny, has a crush on Bill, despite Bill's having a girlfriend, Kelly. But Bill is also having a fling with Jeremy. With not many places to go and various people they don't want to hurt, Jeremy and Bill amuse themselves by trysting on the couch in Jo's office. Eventually, Jo finds a stain on the cushion, and thinks that Mark might be behind it, as their relationship has cooled since Kenny's death. Leslie, deputed to get it cleaned, eventually reveals, when Paula asks how to get out such a stain, that she has no idea, and just flipped the cushion over to the other side.  But the stain comes in handy, finding its way into the centre of the plot of the Circus Lesbians episode.

Moral:  "It was SEMEN, Your Honour!"

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