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brought to you by the letters N, C, I & S December 3, 2010

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.
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Was watching NCIS last night, a whole mini-marathon of season 7 devoured while packing and doing laundry. I’m a total nerd for the show. Not because it’s of such stellar writing or cultural quality, just a function of NCIS having carved out wide swaths of USA broadcast time during stints when I was doing after hours work support. I thought it was juvenile and nonsensey at first (it still is) but for whatever reason during that critical stage of habit development (which I think was simply due to there being a dearth of Law and Order reruns on at that time), it grew on me like bad habits will. But this isn’t about my bad NCIS habit.

It’s about the episode in particular, which wasn’t even a particularly good episode. It was cheesy (cheesier than usual) and had an improbable premise (er, more improbable than usual). It centered on a pshycho killer author-stalking Agent McGee – who’s a suspense fiction writer when he’s not investigating Navy murders. McGee had of late been getting thrashed by his teammates for his apparent analogging of them all into his stories. In this episode, a psycho stalker fixates on McGee’s fiction as being real, and starts murdering folks a la McGee’s latest manuscript. Other than any redeeming character moments and team interactions (clearly there’s a reason I dreamed of being on an investigation with Gibbs the other night, and it’s not just for thinking Zeva is a hottie), it was a dorky nonsense episode.

Because of course what whack job would go all “zomg this story is totally real” nutso on an author? Yes, seems likely there’s a 1:1 or 1: many ratio of psychos out there for any given psycho scenario, and fans do often (or so my anecdotal impressions inform me) go over board in their zeal/malice over authors’ treatment of their favorite characters. And on that latter point I’m sure I have no idea what that’s like – to be overinvested in fictional characters.

My NCIS narrative turns out to be beside the point, except insofar as my brain is a relational database, which has the function of stringing together otherwise unrelated bit of minutia and happenstance in my brain.The only reason the NCIS episode is worth mentioning (well and really, “worth mentioning” is in the eye of the beholder) is that it came to mind as I was reading the latest Harry Dresden installment on the flight today. Harry Dresden (of the Dresden Files series) is a magician/private investigator in present day/real life Chicago. Well if “real life” included a whole underworld of monsters and magic and vampires and werewolves and the like (and no – not the insipid Twilight brand of vamps/werewolves; c’mon people, I have literary standards, *cough*).

Anyway, it’s occurred to me as I’ve read of the Dresden files over time how much I get wrapped up in him as a character and someone I almost *know*. Which of course I don’t. But it makes me ponder all of the character that authors build into their er, characters, and that as coming out of the mind of the author, the characters could be construed (to a lesser or greater degree) as some bit of reflection of that author her/himself. Particularly the characters that get repeat installments or are just really well developed and multi-dimensional. For a character to be capable of whatever aspects – good, bad, noble, comedic, fucked up, or whatever all else, such clearly has to be able to at least be conceived of in the mind of the author. So often I find myself inevitably pondering the mind of the man or woman behind the characters, while comfortably and rationally keeping a grip on the boundaries between fiction and reality, and having the good sense to not actually be interested in invading the privacees of authors, no matter how wrapped up in their characters I am.

And really none of this has to do with anything, these are just the sorts of rabbitholes I fall into once I go off on a thread, even if there’s really no thread. And typing narratives on an iPad, not as easy for me as using a laptop keyboard. So I blame any thought fragmentation, nonsense, and grammar/typos on my iPad for the next few days ;).

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