Archive for January, 2016

Star Wars on the Pole

Posted: January 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

I know I’m supposed to be excited about the new Star Wars and honestly, it was amazing. But there’s something annoying about the marketing that’s ruining it for me.

It’s everywhere.

The car commercial where it looks like Darth Vader leading storm troopers in a pass-and-review, the fast food commercial that looks like the pub on Tatooine, breakfast cereals, coffee creamer, and macaroni and cheese. Star Wars is everywhere.

It’s the kind of saturation that Boomer marketers claim is good and I’m sure Disney’s hoping the saturation and the film’s wild success will solve its financial woes.

But here’s the thing: when everyone is using Star Wars to promote themselves, does it really promote Star Wars?

And does it matter?

Why do I feel like our beloved Star Wars saga is on the stripper pole?

This isn’t a fan-geek-dom argument about the sacred world of Star Wars. (We had that right after the film when we wondered if it was okay for Ray to be able to use the force without any proper training.)

This is about drawing lines.

It’s about selling out.

I don’t blame George Lucas for surrendering the brand. He’d done everything he wanted to do with it, creatively and otherwise. He doesn’t need to be Lee Greenwood pumping a single well for oil for millennia.

I don’t even really blame Disney, they doubled down on Star Wars and they needed to win big.

Maybe I’m to blame for being disappointed that such a thing has come to pass. Of course it’s the biggest deal since the episodes 1, 2, and 3 showed up a decade ago. Of course we can’t get enough. And of course Band-Aids wants in.

But enough is enough, right? At some point we can stop ourselves from the gluttony of Star Wars everything, right? Or maybe not. Charlie and I have Star Wars socks and Hollie has Star Wars pajamas. We buy our nephew every Star Wars Lego set that comes out. We own the Blu-ray complete set of the first six.

The question I have is whether Darth Vader on the box makes me want to buy something I wouldn’t normally buy and if so, what does that say about the choices I make?

I don’t think Disney had to stir up the Star Wars excitement. I don’t think they needed to bring new viewers to the franchise (though they probably did). We were all pretty excited just knowing episode 7 was in the works.

Maybe we weren’t enough.

Maybe it’s Disney’s desperation to gather more than just the GenX devotees and our children. Like they didn’t have confidence in our faithfulness to Star Wars and so they went out looking for Boomers and Millennials and foreigners and rom-com-types.

Whatever it is, I’m feeling a little heartsick over it. Every time a new commercial kicks up that same old John Williams tune I feel sad.

They same way I feel when I tuck a dollar in a wanna-be-actress’s g-string.

You were enough, pretty girl, when you had your clothes on.

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It’s kind of like looking at your own kid and thinking how there’s never been a prettier baby born on the planet than the one you built.

It’s like glancing around a really great party and realizing you’re the best hostess ever because people always have a good time when they come over.

Imagine listening to other people talk about how much they dread seeing their family and thinking, “Huh? My family’s awesome.”

I’ve been revising my first novel, After December, to send it to a publisher who read two pages and asked for more, then read 60 pages and asked for more. So wow. He’s actually going to read the whole thing.

Amazing.

It’s kind of like someone texting they plan to drop by and you realizing you should change from your jammies and ripped t-shirt into something that doesn’t look like you don’t give a fuck they’re here.

So I’ve been revising.

Full disclosure, this novel has been revised about 10 times since 2012 so it’s in pretty good shape (if I do say so myself). Anyway, I get into reading it and what usually happens is I stop making edits because I’m just reading.

Yep. Reading my own work. And loving it.

It’s like a really great workout makes you think you’re in really good shape or answering a couple of Jeopardy questions makes you feel wicked smart.

I read it and I say, “I mean, it’s really good, right?”

Then I look around, realize it’s just me, and stop saying stupid shit out loud.

Of course it needs work. Of course an editor will be brutal when it comes to that. Of course I’m tainted by seeing what I think it is instead of what is actually there.

But for now, just for now, I let myself feel that way you feel when someone else compliments your kid without knowing she’s yours.

Proud.