Saturday, October 14, 2017

This all makes sense, given the proper context. (story idea)

So, for some reason I wanted to look up a story I'd once seen on TV.  I'm not even sure why, it's not my kind of story and I certainly didn't like it, but for whatever reason I wanted to look it up.

After wading through nightmares and broken dreams I was eventually forced to conclude that it was not, in fact, an episode of the Twilight Zone.  Doesn't seem to be Outer Limits either.  Nor any of the other black and white "We crush all hope in half an hour or less" anthology series that I have been able to find an episode guide for.

And while what I remember would likely be enough if I were looking at an episode guide, it's not enough to find the fucking episode without knowing what show it comes from.

Thus, that was a bust.  But I did end up coming across a picture and it made me think of a simple story idea.

- - -

The time: now.  The setting: contemporary America.

Two people are having a discussion that takes a swerve for the philosophical.  They don't know it, but they're headed straight into The Twilight Zone.

Wait, no.  Never mind that previous sentence.

Two people are having a discussion and it flows into a, "We live in interesting times," sort of direction.

One of the complains about how nothing makes sense anymore, the other lends a sympathetic ear but maintains that everything makes as much sense as it ever did.  In fact, maybe things as they stand make the most sense of any point in human history.

They talk about economics, politics, religion, education, medicine, road maintenance, and generally the entire state of the country.

The audience is annoyed because clearly this episode is a clip show that's being used to save money.  It consists entirely of two characters talking across a table and various scenes (to illustrate their points) that were probably lifted from cheap documentaries or previous episodes of the show.

The audience is also annoyed because the conversation doesn't go anywhere.

The second person agrees with the first's individual points, even adds to them and extrapolates, but continues to maintain that everything in the world makes perfect sense.  As a result the two spend the entire episode at a rhetorical impasse.

The story ends with the second person offering to prove it.  Person two leads person one to a place where several people are watching TV on a giant screen.  They arrive just as an address from the Oval Office is about to begin.

Person two directs person one to look away from the screen, the color fades to black and white, the camera pulls back to take in the entire scene, and both watch as a man in a suit and seems to speak to empty air.

Obviously it doesn't look exactly like that, because the address is on a screen characters are watching and he walks into that scene, not the Oval Office, but you get the idea.

He says something about how the time is the far flung future of 2017, or maybe it's tomorrow, and . . . some closing summation or other.

Then the camera returns to our two characters, and character two says something along the lines of, "I told you it makes sense."


Image from Wonkette.

1 comment:

  1. It's safe to look at your blog again (probably). Yay!

    Poking the fourth wall can indeed be good.

    People keep commenting on FB things like, "This timeline sure is wild!" and it's a perspective I can appreciate. I believe is sometimes related to the works of Chuck Tingle. None of which I have thus far read, but one can sort of be in the fringe of that culture anyway.

    I would maintain things make as much sense as they ever have anyway. A lot of things make sense from a given perspective, a lot of things don't, which one is which kind of flips around different POVs and scales.

    And the scale thing reminds me I was complaining about Galactus and threats on that level. I usually can't care; I have trouble believing anything on the scale of ordinary people's actions could affect the plot, but that's the scale I care about.

    And yet, that scale is always there. All the scales are always important. Magic and religion often deal with connecting to or understanding the cosmic-scale stuff. And you can tell stories where people can affect that thru relationships with gods/cosmic entities/etc., or maybe thru tech or other kinds of power. But it's tricky and if I don't feel like the story is still about basic human (or, well, person?) concerns then I don't care.