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Sleep Aid

from Friday, December26th of the year2008.

I’ve been recently somewhat addicted to renting crime TV shows off of iTunes and watching them as a sleep aid. Unfortunately, I’m a little intense about it; I have seen all sixty-five million Laws & Order and forty-five million Specials Victims Unit, so I’ve been branching out into other delights such as Without a Trace, which focuses on missing people. The plot twists are significantly less surreal than SVU (there was one SVU in particular wherein a boy was stabbed a school, and it turned out that he was attacked because he had bullied the slightly gendery daughter of two lesbians, who then themselves came under suspicion of having provided the scissors that were used to stab the boy &c &c ““ the wikipedia entry on it describes it as…

After young Sean Hamill is stabbed in the back at the schoolyard, detectives are led to Charlie Monaghan, the older boy who had previously gotten into trouble over Hamill, but it isn’t long before their attention turns to Monaghan’s half-sister Emma Boyd. Hamill had been torturing the little girl for months because she had two mothers. After getting a nice deal for Emma’s side, Benson and Stabler are thrown for a loop when Emma’s biological grandparents accuse Zoe, who had never legally adopted Emma, of sexually molesting the little girl, and evidence seems to support their claims

…which doesn’t seem that much simpler than the way I described it), but I am watching one in particular that has already guest-starred Kirstie Alley as the mother of a vanished girl who, for her part, had suffered from Sex Addiction and then ran away to something upstate called the “Temple of Absolution” where she was then bad-touched by the cult leader which then somehow relates to Kirstie Alley having a panic attack back at home in Hell’s Kitchen “” what is better than a plot structured in little nudules such that you can gauge your awaked-nesse on whether or not you can follow along accurately? When I tried to achieve this episode this morning, at 6:30 in the departures lounge at JFK, no dice: I fell asleep with my chin on my palm. These kinds of plots remind me of Strauss tone-poems: magical, shape-shifting gestures that can imply different landscapes suddenly. What, I wonder, would the Music for 18 Musicians-equivalent TV show be? Maybe it would be an endlessly loading interactive mind-game like the one where Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (played by Ice T) interrogates one.

I am flying over the suburbs of Los Angeles: snow-capped mountains and weird, barnacly housing developments, cancerously asymmetrical.

For what it’s worth, TV shows have gotten pretty intense in terms of being able to create severe imagery. Check out these two stills from the end of the episode ““ this is a 9th grader in high school hanging himself in his crush’s backyard (this only after she and her equestrienne friends tied him up naked in a horse stall in Westchester):

Hanging! I guess we all saw those Saddam hanging videos and stills a few months ago:

That one, above, is one of the more grisly ones that wasn’t ever in any mainstream media outlets but circulated around the net like kudzu. I had forgotten one detail:

Maybe I’m crazy, but is it not a little bit weird that his executioners are wearing, like, khakis and ill-fitted leather jackets? You’d think at least a little epaulet or something; meanwhile Saddam is wearing what looks like a somewhat elegant black overcoat. My homegirl Carrie Weber has a really wonderful book about Marie Antoinette and her relationship to clothes; the most beautiful and poetic chapter in that book is about what she wore to her own execution:

She had better WERQ IT OUT with that beauty lighting.

I’m excited because tonight I am taking a car ride with a friend who has never heard CocoRosie before; they are some of my favorite favorites.

[audio:08 Turn Me On (Kevin Lyttle cover).mp3]
CocoRosie Turn Me On (Kevin Lyttle Cover)