Dis-Orderly

That's a joke Jodie and I used to have about a title for a story I was trying to write, or maybe it was my thesis. "Disorderly" would be a double play on words like the guy's job was as an orderly in a hospital, but he was bad at it and his life was in shambles, but it was also a reference to an accidental comment J once made to like the only black guy in the PhD program. She said, "Gee, Verne, your shoes sho is shiny!" I don't think he even noticed, but she felt like dying as soon as the words were out of her mouth. So the title of the story would also be racist as if someone were saying "dis orderly, not dat one."

I only thought of that conversation with Jodie because I was recently trying to figure out why I watch so much Law and Order: SVU (I have to qualify b/c of the many versions. Not a big fan of Criminal Intent or the other one, uh, Law and Order: Judgement Day or whatever it is). I must like it, right? Even though it follows the same predictable pattern. Like a somewhat more sophisticated version of Scooby Doo, quite often the person you would least suspect is the actual culprit (like the grandma, the little girl, the butler). But then I don't like how serious everyone is in the show, with the exception of the tall, craggy-faced wiry guy. Is it that hard to interject humor into hour long dramas? Can't someone on the show lighten up? I suppose I watch it because it doesn't always have a happy ending. Sometimes, the bad gets away with it and justice isn't served. However, the show can also be heavy-handed or not as smart as it thinks it is; trying to complicate issues like stem cell research or the death penalty or terrorism in these ham-handed, obvious ways. Is it just because I like the blue-eyed, unsmiling detective, Detective Elliot Stabler (I looked him up, people, it's not as if I know his name)? Yes, that's a big part of it and also how they don't make the show about a romance or go into the personal lives of the characters too much; it's mostly about telling an interesting story ("ripped from the headlines!!!!").

Read the Mary Gaitskill book before bed last night and though I like it, I did notice one kind of thing that might possibly get irritating if it continues. Like Lorrie Moore, she's good at writing unexpectedly apropos similes such as "Her rage flapped awkwardly away like a duck." Well, that's not a good example, but it's the only one I can find online at the moment. But anyway, so Mary Gaitskill is doing this things in her novel where she has to describe each characters eyes in a very particular way, often using similes. I don't have the book beside me, but she'll write things like "His eyes snapped like two hand puppets fighting in front of a group of British school children..." or "She looked at me with eyes as deep and liquid and slippery as a moray eel..." It's not even that the descriptions are necessarily bad; just that she keeps describing the eyes, the eyes, the eyes.

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