Wednesday, 5 May 2010

My empty life, and other fables

I really don't like The Road. It's the epitome of American navel-gazing, the peak of a long hill which offers such notable vistas as Six Feet Under, Heroes, Buffy, and, well, pretty much everything except for Knight Rider*. Most American drama justifies itself on one, flimsy premise**: it's about the emotional journey of the character(s). In other words, it's a one-way trip to Narcissism Village, pop: you, the most specialist person in the wholest worldz. The Road is one such 'journey', only because Cormac McCarthy doesn't want to leave it to chance that the reader might not understand this, he's made it a literal journey as well.

Woo hoo, road trip!

Except not, of course. Because this is a trip through a dying Earth, which has no hope, no life and only fear and the inevitable knowledge of death pressing down upon us. A world in which children are a burden, or a curse, or objects of pity. It's rubbish. It's rubbish because it has to go so far to set up its misery-lit premise that it tells you straight away that its concerns are nothing to do with human experience. It's a cynic's mud bath, sure, but bears no relation to real trauma, with its ocurrence in a complex, dynamic world where torture happens down the road from family dinners. It's the worst kind of navel-gazing 'ooh isn't everything really terrible, when you get right down to it, there's no point doing my homework or anything even 'cos it's all so pointless' teenage bollocks. Grow the fuck up.

Sorry, saw it the other night and it reminded me of how much I hated the book. Anyway, made a change from the election, didn't it?

*At least Buffy killed vampires and had the world's sexiest GBF. Six Feet Under had miserable talking corpses. Jesus, get over yourselves, it's only life for fuck's sake, and you're all missing it!

** [picks almost at random] Oi! The Good Wife! I'm looking at you! No one cares about you or your husband. Or your dangerously perfect kids. The only thing anyone cares about is how Cybil Shepherd's best mate from Cybil is suddenly a high-powered lawyer. Now fuck off.

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