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5 October 2000
Dan's personal soundtrack is Best Ever Pan-Pipe Moods.

I know the bottom, she says. I
Know it with my great tap root:
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there.
Sylvia Plath, "Elm"

Regular readers may recall an earlier article on facial morphology and related topics. It's very good, but this isn't just a circle jerk. There's a point here. And just this once it doesn't involve civil engineering.

It involves Dawson's Creek instead. Yay postmodernism.

You may or may not watch Dawson's Creek. It doesn't particularly matter either way. You almost certainly know that it involves a gang of teenagers attempting to grow into their dialogue in the beautiful Massachusetts countryside. Aahh.

One of these kids, Jen, has facial geometry very slightly reminiscent of the Lost Love. As such, I like her instinctively. I also think she is clever, prone to sulking, gets intermittently depressed and drinks too much. Never watched Dawson's Creek closely enough to ascertain the truth behind this, but hey, people with that kind of face always are.

This means she is the only person up Dawson's Creek you wouldn't want to smack in the face with a snowplough after about ten minutes. And that she is the only one whose face resembles anything other than a badly thrown Toby Jug. I mean, Jesus! Stick weirdy longface Dawson between his squishy bulldog best mates and it looks like you're peering at them through a fish-eye peephole. Weeegh.

Anyway, season finale. Weirdy Longface has seen Joey Marshmallow-head run off to Florida with his erstwhile best bud Pacey, so called because over 20 yards he can accelerate faster than a thoroughbred stallion. Fact.

He returns heartbroken to his room, to find his other friends gathered together with popcorn and sympathy. He, sensitive flower that he is, wants to be alone, but Jen is having none of it. In her refutation of the desirability of solitude, Jen wraps up with:

....I'm pretty sure of it. We're not in Capeside anymore, Toto. This is some alternate reality where our intellects are sharper, our quips are wittier, and our hearts are repeatedly broken while faintly in the background some soon-to-be-dated contemporary pop music plays.

Told you Jen was the bright one. She's twigged. She knows that she, and Dawson, and immaculate, emasculate gay boy Jack McPhee, are all fictional characters. Not just that, but they're fictional characters designed for nothing other than to suffer. To split up, split off, pair up and tap out over and over and over again, to spend their entire, limited lives expressing their agony, describing a Bucky Ballet of failure. They fall in love, but they don't really fall in love; they're just setting up the next heartbreak, because that's what hearts are for.

It's happening all over. A week earlier, Wendy the Werewolf Killer went to her prom, and received a "class protector" award for her services to kicking demon ass and taking demon names (the latter far more difficult and dangerous than the former, of course; all vowels and aspirants). And the message burning behind the eyes of the man handing over the golden umbrella?

Remember us. We're not the oblivious WASP Beverley Hellions you thought. We know what's happening, and we know our rôle in it.

Come to ourselves, snap into wakefulness in class, or halfway between two lampposts. Sometimes we hardly have a second to place ourselves before something dark is on us, and our moment-long lives end. Sometimes a little banter, and sometimes when awareness comes all is light and we are safe. For now.

Remember us. We hope. We feel. We do not hope to feel.

Remember us. We are afraid. We are - all too briefly - in pain. We are missed.

But this isn't a public service announcement. Where's your need to know? Simply this: fiction has mutated into a new strain, contracted through touch, through sex, through thought. When were you last tested? Do you have a character, or just characterisation? Do you have any memory of what you did last night after leaving the company of your good-looking, matinee idol friend?

What are you? A hero? A sidekick? The kooky best friend with the smallest breasts issued by Hollywood? Once you catch fiction, there's never any guarantee of how much of you will be left. It burrows. It hollows.

On the bright side, you never know your luck. You could be strong. Noble. Victorious. You could do the right thing. But you only do it because fiction tells you to. And, more likely than not, you'll be the one who betrays or the one who dies. Sorry.

There are plenty of places going in romantic comedy. You and a guest arabesquing through rivals, misunderstandings and Holland-Dozier-Holland classics. Happy ending guaranteed.

Problem is, as soon as the dance is done, the last let or hindrance put to bed along with the protagonists, that's it. As sure as if one of Wendy's lost boys had torn your throat out. Are you ready for the end credits?

Personally, no. But then, personally, I have a plan for the moment. My romcom is going to feature the nearest available twenty-something English equivalent to one Jen Lindley. Irresistible force and immovable objection. Eros and Eris. Love and heartbreak, world without end.

You can be immortal, and all you need to give up is reality. Is it really worth keeping?

Is it really so worthwhile?


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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