Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, May 05, 2003

Failure of the Day: Mutants

So no kidding this time, we really are going to see X-Men 2 today. No Daredevilesque cop-outs. This is one of the fewish comic book movies that I am looking forward to as much as Chris because X1 managed to accomplish the nearly unheard of: it had some fairly adult emotional content that you didn't have to deconstruct to the 17th layer to find. The first scene in the first X-Men movie was so powerful and moving to me that I about lost it right there in the Cinerama. Seriously, I was sobbing. It was amazing.

And as everyone under the sun has pointed out, there's the rub. But it's not just that sequels are so rarely as good as the original, it's that I fear that what I think was great about X1 is not the same thing that everyone else thought was great about it, so even though plenty of people are saying X2 is as good, I can't be sure they mean the same goodness that I mean.

Other Failure of the Day: Elvis Costello

OK, since I've just gone ahead and accepted that I mostly write about goddamn celebrities, I might as well round out the day's entry with this bit of strangely disappointing crap.

You'd think I'd know better than to confuse the artist with the art, but didn't "When I was Cruel" come out just last year? And didn't it have a really terrific love song for his wife on it, one of those rare breeds of love song that not only had a beat, but was a "mid-relationship" song as well? Most love songs are either a the relationship just started and I'm overwhelmingly in love with you kind of song, or a you just dumped me and I can't live without you song. Not much territory during the course of the relationship ever gets covered because I suppose it's considered less dramatic or poetic or something (which is vastly untrue, I think, but that's a topic for another day). But anyway, I think "15 Petals" is a great song about 15 years of marriage. Came out a year ago this month, as I recall.

And then this, some 6 months after the song came out.

And now this, barely 6 months later.

Maybe I'm making assumptions and involving myself more than is strictly necessary, but it really looks to me like EC was having an affair with this chick at the same time as he was releasing that great love song to his wife. And fine, artists are selfish pricks, but jeez louise, this makes me feel almost complicit the lie. He didn't just tell his wife that he loves her more than she knows, he told me that he loves his wife more than she knows. And I don't know, I don't really have a problem with serial monogamy; love dies sometimes, after all, and nobody should have to stick around in a lousy relationship, but for pete's sake, don't make a big to-do about how much you love someone if you're fixing to dump them for a Canadian tart, you know?


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