Monday, July 4, 2005

My mom, thank God, isn't nearly as attractive as the mothers on Desperate Housewives. She's a short, squat woman who, when I compared her to, say, Eva Longoria or Nicolette Sheridan, reminds me that she's older than the Desperate Housewives cast and her child came from her uterus instead of an open casting call. Like that's an excuse.

This bothers me, because I want to be a writer and I really feel like I could write for Desperate Housewives. I only started watching the show over the summer — I'm thinking that something better was in its time slot during the regular season — but two things are definitely standing out about the series. The first is how well I'd fit into Mark Cherry's glossy suburbia and the trite ennui of Wisteria Lane. Minus all the hot housewives, of course, because the difference between white suburban moms and white urban moms is that in the suburbs, once you have kids, wherever you go you inevitably drag around cellulite and split ends and melanoma and clothes from Target — not to mention your little brats. God, there's a lot of corpulent blob moms around here.

And I have the best qualification for the job of Desperate Housewives writer: The utter banality that defines Fanwood makes it easy to imagine my neighbors as murderers and adulterers and thieves and druggies. Ugly murderers and adulterers, et cetera, but as a writer, it's not like I'd actually have to film them.

The other thing I noticed about Desperate Housewives is how clumsy and mediocre the writing is, like the South Pacific beyond-the-grave style narration turns ordinary observations into profound observations. "When I was alive I maintained many different identities. Lover, wife and ultimately victim. Yes, labels are important to the living..." introing an episode that has nothing to do with condensing acquaintances' identities into a blurb. That's the moment I realized this was the job for me — I mean, have you read my blog?

Writing is tough, says the kid who's disappointed that a rum and coke didn't cure his writer's block for the evening, but it's a lot easier when you substitue genuine awareness and emotion for blatantly constructed and manipulative hogwash. I'm great at that, and (liberal) politicians ought to hire me to work the masses into an uncontrollable frenzy. But in my spare time, between saving the nation from dastardly right-wingers and slowly but surely writing the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, I could write lines like, "What type of person would send such a note? Was it an enemy? Of course. But what kind? An aquaintance? A stranger? Or how about a neighbour who lives a few feet away?" I'd include the baritone "DUM DUM DUMMMMM" right in the dialog for our especially retarded viewers.

Same freaking deal with The DaVinci Code, when Dan Brown ruined my dreams of becoming a hack novelist who has best-sellers at the airport. I know that as much as I try, as much as I agonize over every word and every phrase and every comma and semicolon and period, my words will never be as lucid as Michael Chabon's or Jonathan Franzen's. But I also know that even on my sickest days, I'd never puke out something like, "As a parachute opens, air resistance slows its wearer down. Little did Robert Langdon know that, within twenty-four hours, this simple fact would save his life." I know you're six hours into your ten-hour flight, Lazy Reader, Dan Brown is saying, and I know the in-flight movie is Heartbreakers, with Jennifer Love Hewitt's cleavage digitally fuzzed out, but for the love of God, pay attention to that previous sentence there! Do you need me to repeat it? Cause I will. Now, I've got tons of ideas in my head, many of them springing from my fantasies regarding my murdering, adulterous, drug-addled neighbors, that could be turned into what William Safire called a story with "multi-dimensional plot, unidimensional characters."

I could've been freaking famous, and they'd turn my shitty novel into a shitty big-budget movie starring Julie Delpy as the hot, plot-convenient cryptographer cum guardian of the divine lineage. (Sorry if I just spoiled The DaVinci Code for you, but if you didn't see the ending coming from two-hundred pages away, then I don't even know why Dan Brown bothers shoving his storytelling down your throat.) Thanks a lot Dan, you and your unconstipated wordsmithing abilities.

My only hope now is to hold out for five years or so before releasing my first mass-market gnostic suspense novel. I'm sure it will be a success. I'm relying on America's religious pseudo-revival, a paranoid and secretive executive branch, and the growing wealth gap in America to touch the inner conspiracy theorist in everyone, not to mention some sweet-ass reviews calling my book "the most suspenseful novel since The DaVinci Code."