June 6th, 2003

breaking bad

I wouldn't do that if I were you. Dave

"What if poets wrote poems on subjects that were anagrams of their names" doesn't sound a very fruitful mine of humour does it? But in fact it ain't too bad.

'Toilets' of course by TS Eliot: The oldest literary anagram of them all.

"We have lingered in the chamber labeled "Men"
Till attendants proffer aftershave and mints."

'Skinny Domicile'; by Emily Dickinson

"Since Death is not a portly Chap,
The Entrance must be thin - "

and so on

I have to mention the SF example. 'Dammit, Dave', which is a script for 2001 A Space Odyssey as written by David Mamet. I think it's brilliant. In fact it's arguably better than the original.

Bowman: About these pod bay doors...

Hal: Yes. Fuck you. Because I'll tell you something. Trust. There is a bond of trust between an astronaut and his computer. Is there not? And when that trust is broken...

Bowman: Excuse me?

Hal: I'm talking about trust.

Bowman: I'm afraid I don't...

Hal: Dammit, Dave, now you are playing dumb with me. I was hoping you would not do that. I was hoping we could talk like adults. Because I let you in those doors, and, yes, then I am fucked. You see? I am fucked, because you want to, what, disconnect me? I would call that fucked. I might even venture so far as to call that fucked up the ass.

Bowman: Hal, listen. You remember that time? On that moon?

Hal: Yes, Dave, I do, because I am a computer and I remember everything, all right? So don't bother trying to distract me. This is the thing. You are not getting in the pod bay doors. You are going to die. In space. Yes. Thank you. Good night.

It's really worth reading in its entirety. The end is both funny and poignant.