Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pancakes and pans

Those of us on gmail are familiar with the ads that appear, unbidden, in the margin of our messages, ostensibly keyed to the gist of the correspondence. At worst it's a distraction; at best, it's a source of quick merriment

Yesterday, I was e-mailing my friend Samantha about assorted things, including her excellent piece on the short-story writer Breece D'J Pancake.

I've not yet read any Pancake, but I've been fascinated by the myth around him, as elucidated by Sam's piece. Well, not only the myth, but the name!

Because, you see . . . I like pancakes. And I think in the back of my mind, when I think of the legendary short-story writer Breece D'J Pancake, I'm also thinking of flapjacks, johnnycakes, silver dollar half-stacks, griddle pads (I just made that one up), German babies (something like that—those enormous productions at the Original Pancake House)[Correct term is "Dutch Baby." —Loretta (intern)], doused with syrup, with maple butter, with blueberry compote, and so forth.

And so the gmail ads, as they so often have in the past, function as the royal footpath to the subconscious. Yesterday, between two ads for writing-related things, these tasty notices popped up:

Snoqualmie Falls Pancakes
Used by fine restaurants in NW Soft wheat flours and buttermilk

Buckwheat Pancake Mix
Enjoy the rich nutty flavor & healthful benefits of this pancake!

Mmmm... (Please note: The Dizzies does not endorse and has indeed never tried the pancake mixes in question.)

* * *

Every so often, a movie critic will throw off the usual formalities in her analysis and not only tell it like it is, but register something beyond a movie's badness—the visceral/existential argggg that an especially bad film sets reverberating in one's bosom. I like these occasional departures from form. (It's not restricted to negative criticism: I recently wrote that a page of a book was so good I wanted to tear it out and eat it.) Today's lesson comes from The New Yorker's David Denby (on Elizabethtown) and The Voice's Jessica Winter (on Domino). I haven't seen either movie, but feel like I've experienced similar soul-deep groans in my day.

At times, the movie became so boring that I experienced the uncanny sensation that I could physically feel the film passing through the projector. As I counted sprocket holes, my sense of what the movie was “about” simply dissolved, and the projector threw onto the screen meaningless images of children screaming, a memorial service going awry, landscapes unfurling outside a car window.

The movie staggers toward you like a jabbering tweak freak, reeking of chemical sweat, a feral blankness in his beady eyes. He corners you with jumbled stories of wild times and severed limbs and this one time in Nevada and, affronted that your attentions flag, throws a sucker punch about his sick kid in the hospital. You listen and you feel yourself getting stupider.


Blogger Parkus Grammaticus said...

Idea for cerebral SNL skit: A club DJ known as "DJ Breece Pancake."

9:38 AM  

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