Adorable Companions

I’m getting scarily obsessed with Doctor Who. I can name all of the above characters from these adorable anime versions: Susan, Vicki, Dodo, Polly, Victoria, Zoe, Liz, Jo, Sarah Jane, Leela, Romana I, Romana II, Nyssa, Tegan, Peri, Mel (?), Ace, Grace, the 10th Doctor, Rose and K-9.

Via io9

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Aaron Sorkin Is a Smart Man

I really liked Aaron Sorkin’s piece in The Huffington Post today. He starts out talking about a gay critic who doesn’t think that Sean Hayes, a gay actor, should be able to play a straight character in a Broadway production of Promises, Promises. The critic has been accused of homophobia but Sorkin believes the situation is indicative of a bigger problem — that we’ve become far too wrapped up in the personal lives of celebrities and that we’re no longer able to separate their personalities from their art.

As someone who is totally uninterested in celebrity gossip, I wholeheartedly agree. Here’s some of the good parts of the article:

The problem doesn’t have anything to do with sexual preference. The problem has everything to do with the fact that we know too much about each other and we care too much about what we know. In one short decade we have been reconditioned to be entertained by the most private areas of other people’s lives. We’ve become the family dog who’s allowed to eat anything that falls on the floor, and the press is the little kid in the family who keeps dropping food. Sandy Bullock’s life falls apart? That’s for us. A golfer gets caught with strippers? We’ll take that, thank you. Lindsay Lohan’s an alcoholic? Mmm, mmm good! When Jennifer Aniston plays a movie character who’s looking for love, her performance — always sublime — doesn’t stand a chance against the real story we’ve been told it’s okay to pay attention to, which is that Jennifer Aniston is looking for love. I can’t hum a single John Mayer song but I can name five women he’s slept with. Sean, for Setoodeh, the show began before you even showed up to the theater that night.

The volcanic eruption of tabloids, Internet insanity and — you better believe it — reality TV, has de-creepyized voyeurism. More than that, it’s made the private lives of public people — in the vocabulary of television writers — the “A” story. And in a not-so-convoluted way, the “A” story has an author — thousands of authors in an extraordinary collaboration. When I need the audience to know that a piece of information they’re about to hear is important, I can use words, a close-up, a push-in, music… when the authors of the no-longer-private-lives “A” story want the audience to know that something’s important, it shows up on our Yahoo homepage. (The third story on my homepage yesterday was that Britain, our closest ally, has a new Prime Minister. The first story was about Justin Bieber. Unless the new Prime Minister is Justin Bieber, something’s obviously gone wrong.) Is Sean Hayes’ sexuality relevant to his performance? It has to be — the “authors” told us it was important. (Though Setoodeh would have done well to have asked himself if Mr. Hayes’ performance would have been any different if C.C. Baxter was in love with a man instead of Ms. Chenoweth’s Fran Kubelik. It wouldn’t have been.) (…)

So while I would never presume to tell someone how to feel, if it were me, I would re-direct my energy away from Mr. Setoodeh. (Ryan Murphy– the very gifted creator of Glee whose cast member, the invaluable Jonathan Groff, was also smacked in the teeth by Setoodeh– has called for a boycott of Newsweek. I get it completely, but I say please don’t boycott Newsweek — it’s still one of the very last places left where we can find news. Boycott the red carpet instead. You’re going to win the Emmy, Ryan, and you’re going to get the whole publicity bump that comes with it. You and your cast should proudly walk past every microphone that’s shoved in your faces. The people holding the microphones are writing the “A” story and you don’t have script approval. Boycott In Touch and Us Weekly and Brangelina Daily and every other piece of crap that makes us feel like we’re all sitting under hairdryers.)

Red

Last night I went to see Red on Broadway. It’s a play by John Logan — that’s right, the same John Logan who wrote Gladiator, The Last Samauri, The Aviator and (most damningly of all) Star Trek: Nemesis — and it stars Alfred Molina as the painter Mark Rothko.

Set during the creation of a gigantic mural for the Four Seasons restaurant, the play couldn’t be further from a movie, despite its blockbuster-writing playwright. It is full of scenes were Rothko pontificates to this assistant, who barely has the right to speak, on the nature of art, the importance of challenging people rather than just entertaining them, and fighting what Rothko says is a creeping wave of mediocrity in art. Throughout the play, both characters have the sneaking suspicion that, for all his rhetoric, Rothko himself may be on the verge of obsolescence and took the Four Seasons commission out of vanity, not pure artistic purpose. It might all sound a bit pretentious, but the beauty of the play is that whenever Rothko becomes too pretentious the assistant is there to call him on it. The play also has some very striking visual moments, like the moment when the assitant turns on the overhead florescent lights and the paintings lose all of their power, and the moment where Rothko and the assistant prime and eight foot tall canvas with red primer as fast as they possibly can.

Anyway, it was a fabulous play and I loved seeing it. You can read New York Times review if you need more information.

Who Is Nick Skylark?

I am not Nick Skylark.

What? you ask.  Then why do you have a blog with his name?  I’ll tell you.

My name is Adam Hunault, and I’m the author of  Nick Skylark Unplugged, a series of short stories that follow Nick and his friends Allison, Frank, Amandine, Jigger, Luc, Harper, Sage and Loïc.  In the Unplugged stories I’m exploring the themes of authenticity, alternative sexuality, technology and music in the early 21st century.  The stories also tie in with two novels, The Fightin’ Syncopators and Obscenity.  All three projects are currently in progress.

The concept of the stories came to me in 2009 when I realized that several stories that I had written explored the same themes with the same types of characters.  One thing that has always bothered me about literature is that characters, unlike real people, have no life beyond the story they are currently living.  When writing short stories it is normally considered bad form to include any character information not relevant to the story at hand—which means that the characters in short stories frequently lack the complexity of the characters in novels or of real people.  My goal is to give my characters a life that spans many stories, each of which can be understood separately but which are richer when you read them all together.  If there’s something or someone in this story you want to know more about, chances are there is more to read in another story (or there will be eventually).

This blog is going to be about my writing.  Hopefully I’ll soon be selling some chap books of my stories in this space and keeping you up to date about any developments, readings, plans, etc.  I’m also going to use it as a personal blog for my thoughts and opinions about some aspects of my life.  It’s going to be pretty free form, but I’ll try not to bore you.

Please visit often or add my to your blog reader!  You can also follow me on twitter at @adamhunault.