Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Personal Tower Of Babel?

Today’s post is a kind of loose end.

Over the years, there are some topics I’ve posted about a lot, and there are some topics I feel I’ve posted about too much. Or, rather, at least I feel I’ve said everything I’ve got to say that’s worth saying.

For instance, parking lots. A while ago I decided to do no more posts about parking lots. That decision didn’t work out very well. I’ve talked about parking lots about a dozen times since I decided to stop, but I’m still trying to stop. I just kind of figure enough is enough. Actually, I remember exactly when I decided to stop talking about parking lots. It was the day before I did a post about Taylor Swift in a parking lot. My decision didn’t last even one whole day.

Folklore Of The Carnivore: Taylor Swift

Another topic I’ve tried to stop posting about is the TV show Smallville. I mean, what the hell, it’s been off the air for a while, and I stopped watching it after season six anyway, so it’s been more than five years now.

But for one reason or another I find myself coming back to Smallville. Usually it’s some reference to Lana Lang.

The Fons Et Origo Of Lost Worlds

This Makes Me Think Of “The Swan” Too

But I figure enough is enough.

Still, there is one more post I want to do about the show that I’ve never gotten around to doing. This is a pretty famous conversation—among fans of the show I mean—and it already appears on a lot of blogs. But I want to do it because it’s such an interesting bit of dialog. To my eyes this is a pretty unique scene for a television show: A flat out philosophical conversation between a father and son, between a supervillain and a villain.

This is from season four, the episode “Sacred,” when all the characters are chasing after the so-called “Stones of Power.” This is the same story arc I’ve posted about with Lana becoming the witch.

Love Sonnet With Piano Wreckage And Worms

This is supervillain Lionel Luthor talking to his son Lex, who so far is only a regular villain.

I’ll have one little thing to say about this after the quote:

LIONEL: “You have a ferocious desire to find all the answers, Son. But don’t let your search for those Stones turn into your personal Tower of Babel.”

LEX: “I’m not trying to get closer to God, Dad. I’m trying to solve the riddles He’s laid out for me.”

LIONEL: “Did you ever think there might be a reason why we weren’t given the answers?”

LEX: “To challenge us?”

LIONEL: “Or maybe to humble us? Knowledge comes from finding the answers. Yes. But understanding what the answers mean is what brings wisdom. Men who didn’t understand the difference have been the ruin of some of the world’s greatest civilizations.”

LEX: “Is that why you stopped looking for the Stones? Because you’re afraid?”

LIONEL: “No. No, I stopped because I realized that even if I find the three Stones, I’m not going to find what I’m really looking for. And neither will you.”

That’s pretty cool stuff.

And it’s pretty cool writing.

It is an interesting conversation in itself. And the two characters are both villains to one degree or another. So although it’s an interesting conversation, it is even more interesting because viewers know both characters are lying, to one degree or another.

Lex is searching for the Stones to become God-like. Lionel hasn’t stopped searching for the Stones at all and, in fact, soon will almost kill a woman to obtain one of the Stones.

So these characters, these villains, are having an interesting conversation and even though it’s interesting, it is only verbal fencing. It’s like banter, but it’s so well done that it is still worth listening to in itself.

That’s pretty cool writing.

Good writing is interesting even when the reader steps back, moves outside the context of the original text.

Cognitive Blur #4: Supergirl

You don’t really see that too much today in any medium—content working on many different levels, on the surface and then at another level after a little thought, and then, too, at another level after even more thought.

I miss the early years of Smallville. It was an extraordinary TV show. And I miss that kind of entertainment in general. Most stuff today in all media isn’t interesting on any level.

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