Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Bone Collector

We all have certain movies that we are ashamed to admit that we watched to the end. The Bone Collector really sucked, and yet I somehow sat here, laptop in lap, meaning to start writing something else, and just sat here and subjected myself to a poorly written crime thriller.

I'll cut myself a little slack. I've had a very stressful day, and I had no strength to resist cheap plot devices, wildly improbable investigative leaps, and paper-thin premises. In a forensic-driven story, you expect to see some brilliant deductions from tiny bits of evidence . . . but here all the clues are neatly packaged for Amelia to discover: "Oh, look, a bolt with a little piece of paper on it." "Oh, look, a matchbox with a little piece of paper on it." "Oh, look, a bone with a little piece of paper on it." Eventually we get pretty tired of congratulating Amelia for her brilliant instincts at finding small objects with little pieces of paper on them. Especially since the editing and camera work never really gave us the chance to play along, looking for the clues ourselves.

But, hey, we learned some very interesting things about forensics:
  • Crime scene analysis for a serial homicide case must be conducted solely by one untrained but good-looking police officer in an extremely dark, underground crime scene with a Mag light and two or three little baggies.
  • In order to get good fingerprints from a pair of handcuffs, you must cut off the victim's hands with a hacksaw.
  • Photographs can be infinitely zoomed to read tiny print from far away. (But then again, we had already learned that from Bladerunner.)
  • Every bolt, bullet, or pile of sand can be sufficiently analyzed to lead you unerringly, with MapQuest-y precision, to a specific intersection in downtown Manhatten.
  • Crime scene investigators pack heat.

It's a good thing that we got such interesting, accurate information about forensics, because after indecipherable clues, inscrutable motives, irrelevant rescues, and utterly unsatisfactory non-conclusions, we didn't have much else to keep us going.



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