NOTES from the ALLEY #3
a few thoughts, still steaming
Gigantic thanks this week to a dear comrade Nadia Gerassimenko, who writes the delightful and original Substackfor her special re-posting of my story BALLOONS, which “brilliantly captures the wonders and worries of children…"BALLOONS" is a wonderful autofiction piece that awakens the child in you again and opens the Pandora's box full of memories,”she said. I am grateful and humbled. 💛💚💙
Please check out the Special BURN THE WITCH Giveaway she is running through April 25th to win a copy of poet Aïcha Martine’s latest collection, details below. Subscribe tofor her gracious and perceptive takes on poetry, music, art, photography, language, writing prompts, and video games!
in no particular order…
Asked the question on Twitter: Why did Universal Pictures release the Spanish version of “Cocaine Bear” titled “Oso Vicioso” which means Vicious Bear?
One mustn’t ever expect too much from replies to these sorts of questions—it is Twitter after all—but one Tweeter yelled back in Spanish “Because it rhymes!” (¡Porque rima!) as though, Oh yes, of course, that explains everything… Another, more well meaning, suggested it was a translator style thing but for the same reason, the rhyme.
Imagine the opposite: a Spanish language film titled “Oso de Cocaina” and someone in the U.S. decides to call it “Scare Bear” because it rhymes. Are we going to take this? ¡Infierno no!
A third local writer friend mentioned “vicioso” has “vice” connotations rather than “mean” or “cruel” and I suppose I buy that explanation a little bit, but I still don’t quite get it. Cocaine is cocaine is cocaine, not heroin, not prostitution, not public drunkenness. It evokes something definite, not just a bear with shady dealings—a bear freaking out on cocaine is an entirely different animal from a bear in almost any other alarming context. (Blowing kisses to Elizabeth Banks for using a completely CGI bear in the production of this horror comedy. 💋💋💋)
And then, quite by chance, I ran across the answer in a book of short stories by Lucia Berlin, “Evening in Paradise.” In the harrowing tale “La Barca de la Ilusion” a woman helplessly witnesses her husband’s fall off the wagon at the hands of a sinister drug dealer. The whole town was talking about that guy, that “[v]icioso, the Spanish word for addict.”
Aha. This makes more sense. Why didn’t La Rima yell that in the first place? O.o
So very tempted to base a magical character on Bugs. Who else has that kind of supernatural style but a trickster god?
As a child I thought of Bugs, Daffy, and friends as just so many more “people in my neighborhood” and their humor informed much of my own. It was only as I got older that I realized modeling my jokes on them was making my parents nervous, and confusing (i.e. threatening) kids who wanted a bit more…rigid gender roles.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of interesting monster I might have been with just a little bit of that Bugs energy in my RL corner. In a hopeful nod toward “it’s never too late” writing has become the rabbit trap baited with carrots I’m hoping will lure him out.
Vaguely modeled the robot opthamologist in my flash “I Only Do Eyes” on this scene. O.o
Stumbled on this time capsule/letter to myself website, seems like a fun idea:
Link: Future Me
I did this once, years ago, in a 9th grade creative writing class. My teacher, bless her, was so sweet, but I never did get the letter I wrote to myself, it was supposed to arrive maybe 5 years later? We went through the whole operation of addressing and stamping and so forth, but Ford knows what happened.
Future Me seems like a slightly better bet, because the internet is, you know, infallible. Give it a try, let me know how it goes. I set mine for six months out. O.o