A Character Plane (And So They Fall Beneath the Bludgeonry)
The emphasis is on the second syllable. "Gin." "Blud-GIN-ry." And we'd do well not to forget it.
From the archives - April 12, 2005:
So Latigo Flint's relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, has been significantly less trusty these past few weeks. No doubt about it, he's caught the celluloid fever, the cinema aspiration infection that runs so rampant in this wretched town, and it's starting to seriously detract from his sworn sidekickeral duties.
Today, Kid Relish shambled up to my doorway, hunched over a steno pad. I watched his furious scribbling with the bemused detachment of a squinty-eyed gunslinger. His pen hand slowed and he spoke.
"Latty, I'm sick and fuckin' tired of all these goddamn character arcs you see in movies. So I'm writing a movie with no character arc. It's about a guy who likes viciously beating down random passersby with his titanium pimpstick, so that's what he does. And one day he doesn't beat people with his titanium pimpstick, but not for any particular reason--he just doesn't do it that day. Then the next day he's right back to beating people with his titanium pimpstick."
It's impossible to ever be remotely prepared for anything Kid Relish says. The trick is to repeat part of his statement back to him while you're thinking of a response.
"Sick and fuckin' tired of the character arcs huh Kid? Well you know, um, change is kind of like a common thread, uh, running through the fabric of the universe and stuff. Um, so probably on, like, a subconscious level, people relate more to characters that go through some sort of transformation or something."
He lowered his steno pad and scowled at me.
"Peter Pan never grew up, he never changed and that's like the favorite story of all time and shit!"
I sighed; I was already tired of this conversation.
"Kid," I tried to explain. "Peter Pan fell in love for the first time with Wendy. Pan learned about mortality when Tink nearly died. Pan discovered the concepts of true friendship and sacrifice. Pan came to realize-"
Kid threw his pen and me and started kicking the wall.
"Pan never loved Wendy," Kid howled. "He was just pretending-"
He paused in mid kick, his eyebrows shooting toward his hairline.
"Why that's perfect, I'm a goddamn genius Latty--at some point the character in my movie will meet a girl who disapproves of his titanium pimpstick bludgeonry, so he'll pretend to change in order to have sex with her and then afterwards he'll go back to beating people same as before."
Kid paused to furiously scribble a note in his steno pad.
"That'll be my twist ending," he mumbled. "Like in the 'I See Dead People Movie'. The audience will think there's a character arc going on but then at the end they discover there wasn't any character arc at all."
There was no way I was continuing this inane discussion.
"Fine Kid, I see it now. Yeah, you're right, that's the best idea ever."
I reopened my newspaper. Kid Relish turned to leave but stopped and looked back over his shoulder.
"You know something Latty?"
I was struck by the tremble in his voice and stared at him in amazement.
"I just wanted to do something great you know." He whispered. "You're the quickest draw in the world. What have I got?"
The Kid's eyes glistened with emotion. I was astounded and sudden compassion for the guy surged through me.
"Oh God Kid, I had no id-" I halted abruptly, every cilium in my inner ear screaming "danger!" I slowly pointed at him.
"You're pretending right now aren't you Kid? Pretending to actually have a human emotion."
Standing, I could now see what appeared to be a lead pipe wrapped in aluminum foil tucked into his back pocket. Kid grinned wickedly.
"Keep moving forward to hug me Latty and I guess you'll find out."
I sat back down, disgusted at my foolishness.
"You may actually have what it takes to make it in this town Kid."
But Kid wasn't listening to me anymore.
"How amazing I am Latty, I just got the title: And So They Fall Beneath the Bludgeonry."
He glanced at me.
"Except it's pronounced with the emphasis on the 'gin', bluh-GIN-ry."
I could hear him saying it over and over to himself as he walked away: "bluh-GIN-ry, bluh-GIN-ry. And So They Fall Beneath the Bluh-GIN-ry."
And right then is when I started to fear for producer's lives, just a bit.