Thursday, September 9, 2010

Running With Scissors: The Album was Better

So despite being almost 8 years behind the rest of the world I finally gotten around to reading Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs novelization of "Weird Al" Yankovic's hit 1999 of the same name. I really think Mr. Burroughs really missed the mark here. What was a delightfully entertaining and funny album full of songs about Star Wars, Computers and even a Polka was turned into a whiny story with lots of gay sex with underage folks. Truly confusing! If you asked me Augusten didn't even LISTEN to the album and just made shit up as he went along!

Okay... so I thought i could run with that joke better and longer. I was wrong. Thank you to my readers who chuckled a little bit while reading it, even if it was a nervous/awkward laugh slightly out of pity.

I did however finally get around to reading Augusten Burroughs "memior". In 2005 there was a lawsuit between Burroughs and the family that the family "The Finches" were based on. You can read about this lawsuit here. I have some problems with this lawsuit. The character in the book is named Natalie Finch, Theresa Turcotte sued Burrough and the publishers alleging defamation of character and invasion of privacy. The first thing that I think is that it'd be difficult for MOST people to make the connection between the two names. The only way you'd figure it out would be if you knew one of the parties involved, and if you did, you'd know if what was written was true or not. Theresa has put herself in the public eye. I didn't read this memior and really know/care who these people were based on. I really didn't buy most of the "Memior" regardless. It just seems so back-tracking to me. I've written countless scripts inspired by my friends, family and ex-es. While I don't advertise these as "memiors" or "Autobiographical" scripts, still it bothers me that despite name changes and taking some liberties with dialogue I could still get sued for defamation.

I'm not even a big fan of the memior/book. I read it quickly because i found it interesting, but it came off pretty cliche' despite being supposedly a true story. As far as memiors go I'd prefer David Eggers A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius released two years previous to Running With Scissors. Eggers has fun with "memior" style and constantly is acknowledging that the dialogue throughout is 75% how he "remembers it" and 25% how he wishes he would go. All in all we have to remember that all Memiors are based on people's memory strength. My memior would be terrible, I can't even remember real events from my life vs. dreams I had.

Sidenote: Please read my tribute to LFO Singer Rich Cronin who sadly died of Leukemia.

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