My Life as a Teenager
By Meghan O'Rourke
I felt "remorse for civilization."
My nostalgia was buoyant,
fat as cartoon clouds.
I sang teenage French, sashaying down the street:
"Bonjour, Je t'aime, comment tu t'appelles?"
The apartment buildings leaned down at me.
I proclaimed my love for the past,
wore fitted clothes from the 40s.
I came out against pointlessness.
All night boys danced in the living room
mouthing the words to the Go-Gos,
shrugging into the night's advances,
then took their stolen kisses from girls
fat like Troy, ready for the sieging.
In the morning, the sun was a cutout in the smog.
Every window was a picture window;
the dawn grew into day, red, orange, blue,
in perfect disorder. The partygoers were outside,
building a monument out of a blowtorch
and something old and green.
From where I stood, the tree, de-leafed and nude,
appeared to bow to me,
and what had long been silent grew.
My power was out most of the morning, so I got a slow start on being productive...couldn't shower, couldn't use the computer, so I took a long walk (it was a magnificent 65 degrees) and counted chipmunks, who seem to be out in force in the neighborhood, zipping brazenly across people's yards. This is heartening because at lunchtime we met with the contractor who is going to fix our front step, finally, because even though we are attached to the chipmunk who lives under there, the step is becoming something of a hazard. I'm hoping the chipmunk has other hidey-holes, since I frequently see him all over our neighbors' yards before he dives under the steps.
I discovered Leela and Ellie Grace while musician friend-hopping on MySpace pages (Pat Egan to Laura Byrne and on); their songs "Goddess" and "Echoes of the Ancients" make me think of the Indigo Girls from the old days. And I got this pretty ring in the mail...I had seen a very similar one at the Chalice Well shop in Glastonbury, but I really wanted to get the one with the two goddesses holding up an amethyst and I didn't think I could get away with buying both. But I had $15 for doing a long Nielsen survey and The Wiccan Glade sent me a 20% off coupon, so I figured that must be a sign.
In less happy news, I heard via greenman_review that Lloyd Alexander has died. As I said on Twitter, he won't get one tenth the press Falwell did, but I bet Prydain had a positive influence on more children than the Moral Majority's hate-filled invective. Also, we're always hearing about the human risk from West Nile virus but this is the first report I've seen in the non-scientific media on the enormous loss to birds, and by extension the ecosystem. (Do Canadian geese get West Nile? Because it seems to me that we're seeing fewer goslings this year than usual.) Sigh. Speaking of birds:
From the same afternoon, a blue jay.
A red-winged blackbird in a tree around the pond where the local heron lives.
In this photo of the Montgomery Village heron colony, the foliage overwhelms the birds -- compare to these photos from May 2nd.
And a photo from Aberdyfi, because Atlantic gulls make me happy whichever side they're on.
I tried to catch up on Trek news, something for which I have little tolerance these days, between Takei, Shatner and Abrams saying the same things over and over (with me expected to cover it every time they do) and then someone writing in to complain that TrekToday is obviously prejudiced against Jeri Ryan because we didn't do a story about how Shark is moving in the fall, something CBS announced, oh, yesterday, and it didn't hit the news until this morning (the note was from a fake Yahoo! address, as I discovered when I tried to reply with links to the previous stories we've done on Shark's success). I am not at all happy about the fact that Boston Legal may move from Tuesday nights -- with my luck they'll put it on opposite Shark or one of the rare shows I actually watch. If it's on against Smallville I wonder if I will even have a dilemma!
The Smallville season finale wasn't a half-bad episode to watch; Lana grew a spine, and since I'm positive she jumped onto that passing truck just before her car exploded, she might actually have grown a brain as well. Lex brought his fundamental asshole qualities to the fore, and even though his father is the devil, it was impossible to feel sorry for him...a man who hits his lover once when he's angry will usually do it again, and with the next one, more and more easily, and if Lex thinks that Lana betrayed him, he's living on another planet (or maybe in the Phantom Zone). It's not like he's smart enough to get therapy, and it's not like any therapy will help anyway other than to stop taking Daddy's money and leave L.A. (sorry, Joe vs. the Volcano reference).
On the body count: I'm assuming that Lionel isn't dead, since we didn't see him die. I'm assuming that Lana's not dead or there would have been an autopsy of her remains, DNA testing, something to prove to us and to Clark that she was actually in that car (that is how Lex will be exonerated next season, I assume, while Clark is out searching for her and I really, really hope she can't be found). Chloe is much more of a question mark, I'd say, since we don't really know how her power works, but I don't see how the ability to bring someone back from the dead at the cost of your own life is a really useful superpower so I'm betting that she will revive (or perhaps I should say that I'm hoping she will revive, even though we got YET ANOTHER moment of "Oh, Clark, I am so happy for you and Lana even though I am YET AGAIN Dying Inside" [TM]).
Okay, I know I am evil because the one person on the show more selfish, mean and dangerous than Lex is Lionel, and I was rooting for Lionel...from the moment Lex acknowledged that Lionel has been one step ahead, getting Lana to steal that DVD for him, Lionel kicks Lex's ass across Kansas. Lex is so sure that Lana loves him, even though he knows better, he has to know better, and Lionel gets to get in that crack about how Lex knows so little about women because he lost his mother at an early age before explaining that he had to twist Lana's arm so she'd marry Lex when she's loved Clark all along. What I don't get it, what does Lionel want? He can't be doing all this just to get Martha into bed. He needs her to do something for him from the Senate, but what? Stop Lex from becoming president and destroying the world? Nah.
So it sounds like Martha is off the show except for the occasional visit home, which is a bummer, considering how long I have patiently waited to see nasty Martha/Lionel sex! If I have to sit through Yet Another I Can't Lose You Again Clark/Lana scene, it's the least the writers can do. We also have to sit through that incredibly lame discussion among Clark, Lionel and the Martian Manhunter in which Clark asks where MM was during the show's first several seasons and Lionel says oh, he was letting you grow up like your daddy wanted. Come on, Jor-El, you could do better than that! But back to Lex. Lana, of course, is wrong that Lex can't love anyone, which is the corollary to Lionel explaining that Lex doesn't know anything about women. They just don't put the pieces together and figure out that it was Clark and his deceptions that broke Lex's heart, not any of Lex's perfidious women. It's not until Clark enters the conversation that Lex hits Lana.
So there's this plot about this super-special Phantom Zone demon that takes over Damien from The Omen, speaks in tongues, then steals some of Clark's DNA and becomes Badass Clark, whom I'll call Bizarro, since, you know, that's where this is going. Lionel shows up with Kryptonite (that I assume he brought to stop Clark from killing Lex), but the Kryptonite just makes Bizarro stronger. (Note: I will always root for Black Leather Tom Welling over Red-Cheeked Farm Boy Tom Welling, and I'm sure the producers know this since they keep coming up with Red Kryptonite, Mindwash Lipstick, Phantom Zone Demons, etc.) First Clark breaks the dam throwing Bizarro around, then Bizarro throws Clark harder and says, "I'm you, only a little more bizarre." Gee thanks. They both fly away as the dam bursts -- Clark doing the Wile E. Coyote "oh no, the ground has dropped out from under me!" flail, Bizarro doing the Superman one-fisted "Daa Da da Da Da...Da DA Da Dum" pose.
Okay, fine, I admit it, I find this really fun. But does it make sense? And more importantly, do I care, if Chloe, Lionel and Martha all might be gone all or part of next season?