Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cultural Appropriation


I've always been fascinated when someone takes a classic and reworks it. For instance, Grendl in response to Beowulf. Wicked in response to Wizard of Oz. West Side Story as an updating of Romeo and Juliette. Of course, the bible has always been fruit for this, and what better representation than Jesus Christ, Vampire Killer (yes, I saw this and yes, I loved it...especially the scene with Jesus and Santos the masked Mexican wrestler taking on the Lesbian vampires haunting Montreal).

Maybe there's a creative challenge in taking something you love and renewing it, making it something all your own. It explains fan fiction. Maybe it explains that's why I take to updating Lovecraft and reworking his universe. I see at as an intellectual challenge. Of course I write more than mythos, and hopefully in the next week or so, you'll have a chance to listen to some of my other writing by podcast.

Someone once asked if writing mythos is constricting. Hell yes. But on the other hand, it's kind of like playing the blues. You have a eight bar format to follow, and the joy is seeing how far you can express yourself within those parameters.

Of course, when a work is appropriated into popular culture, the author can no longer be said to truly own it.

That being said, here are some interesting permutations for future adaptations. Any other suggestions?

JOAD! The sequel to Grapes of Wrath. Joad and Pretty Boy Floyd team up to wreak havoc in the dustbowl. Yowsa.

DEATH IN A SMALL TOWN... Boo Radley has had enough. A blood drenched night that forces the people of the small town of Maycomb, Alabama to confront their ugly little secrets.

CAPTAIN'S QUEST Cap. Bly of the Starship Bounty finds himself confronted with a mutiny from a crew of clones and their pretty-boy leader Christian Christian.

6 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, how about taking some nasty ones and turning them softer:

Hellraiser Goes to Hollywood.

Saw IV: The musical.

Alien Versus Predator Versus Kiss

Zoe Winters said...

I've got a reworking of the Jeckyll/Hyde story in the idea notebook.

I wrote lots of Buffy fanfic, but of course you can't sell that. :P

Hey Charles, LMAO @ Save IV: The musical. You know, in some sense that's been done: "Sweeney Todd"

Zoe Winters said...

SAW holy hell what is wrong with me?

spyscribbler said...

I'm dying to do Les Mis.

Vwriter said...

Stewart, I swear this is your most spiritually sensitive post yet. I'll actually by you lunch at the Mongolian Barbecue if you even start the JOAD! thing. It's too, too called for. Steinbeck's dead for God's sake. What's he going to do, complain?

However, if you get a phone call with a lot of static in the background, and it sounds like an old man who's royally upset... don't tell him I egged you on.

William Jones said...

I just have to add: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" - at "play" on Hamlet.

Charles - Alien vs Predator vs Kiss sounds like a winner! :)