I did not watch the VMAs. However, I did “happen on by” at one point, in time to see: (1) Florence Welch sing flat for half of “Dog Days Are Over“; (2) Lady GaGa galumph onto the stage with the help of 14 men (all right, two); and (3) Taylor Swift lay her Benevolent Fingertips of Justice upon the diminished Kanye. Okay, she sang a song. A vague, clichéed, and barely applicable song . . . something about monsters and fireflies and lunchboxes. The bottom line was that St. Swift can still, somehow, see the good in the shattered Kanye that we wolverines have savagely ignored as we gnaw away at his limbs. And lest we doubt her tidings of Purity, Truth, and Light, she sang it barefoot.*
(If she really wanted to send a message, she should have sung it in a hoodie.)
Oddly, the performance did not end with Taylor and Kanye tenderly making out on stage, so I abandoned the broadcast in favor of finishing season one of The Tudors. Damn that ridiculous, intoxicating show! I began it for no other reason than Jonathan Rhys Meyers (damn that ridiculous, intoxicating man, while we’re at it). Never did I imagine that the cast would contain another who made me forget all about JRM; Henry Cavill, my hat is off to you. As are whatever other articles of clothing you choose.
Season two arrives soon.
Then it was time to break the seal on the Stieg Larsson movies, as I have done with the books. I ordered up the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on demand and settled in.
First off, no disrespect to cinematographers Jens Fischer and Eric Kress, but the lighting in this film seemed . . . off, somehow. It made everyone’s skin look worse than it was (and oftentimes, it wasn’t so hot to begin with).
Second, one thought I had while reading the book was that, given how research-heavy the plot’s ”action” is, it was difficult to imagine a very lively visual adaptation. Unfortunately, it still is. Director Niels Arden Oplev did strip out most of the phlegmatic corporate and banking details that spent far too much time stagnating in the novel (God bless him). But even so.
Also stripped (pun intended): two of the three sexual liaisons that protagonist Mikael Blomqvist indulged in throughout the book. A good thing, too; actor Michael Nyqvist’s problematic, semi-bowl-cut hairstyle would have been particularly difficult to square with a steady stream of concubines. The only babe to survive the cut (pun also intended) is the titular Lisbeth Salander, who was probably able to overlook his hair because she’s so damaged and contrary.
I only recently learned that the book’s Swedish title is Men Who Hate Women (which, frankly, makes a lot more sense than seizing upon an only dimly relevant piece of ink). Mikael Blomqvist is clearly intended to be the respectful antidote to this toxic and abusive portion of the population. Still, it’s worth pointing out that feminist warrior Lisbeth is only initially drawn to want to nail Mikael because he does not demonstrate an eagerness to nail her. I am woman, hear me indulge my psychological reactance.
A friend and Facebook fan directed me to this take on the delicate interplay between Mikael Blomqvist and one Mr. Stieg Larsson. Amusing and full of good points. I am less irritated by the literature than the post’s author seems to be; I’ve read far worse books, but as I’ve indicated before, it’s the phenomenon that bugs the heck out of me. I’m not angry at Stieg, I’m angry at them. The world. The public. The global denizens so wholly starstruck by such a run-of-the-mill piece of fiction.
Inked-up antisocials aren’t so exotic, hand to God.
* Favorite (though completely un-PC) blog comment, from Gawker-reader anchower: “Revenge is a dish best served retarded.”