Saturday, June 8, 2013

Well it's too late to start listening to Ray Bradbury's warnings now

A good while back I had an audio recording of Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man.

For those who've never inflicted Ray Bradbury on themselves (and I have to mention that if it's a choice between that and going back to cutting yourself, skip the middle steps and just proceed directly to the store for razor blades) this is essentially a collection of short stories held together by the framing device of a man whose entire body is covered in tattoos.

Vizsa, I hear you asking yourself.  What's this 'framing device' thing you speak of?  Please take this opportunity to show off with your fancy schmancy literary theory bullshit.

Well if you insist...

A framing device is the pieces of linking story that take you from one story to the next, hopefully giving an excuse for why these stories are being told as a collection.  The best example is that of the Crypt Keeper from the TV show Tales of the Crypt. What the framing device does is set up a brief introduction to the story, then you go to the story itself, then you go back to the framing device for a little summary moment and then on to the next story.

Another contemporary example would be the bus stop bench scenes in the film Forrest Gump, where he's telling parts of his life story to different people waiting on the bench with him.  Which means that those people are actually much luckier than the audience watching the film in that they only have to hear a short excerpt of that piece of shit movie.  As opposed to the rest of us who could only survive to the end by fantasizing about everyone involved with the film being savagely beaten to death with a VHS* copy.

Well... possibly not Gary Sinese...

*V/H/S - as a curious coincidence - is another film that employs a framing device - and apparently the sequel (the creatively titled V/H/S 2) is somewhat surprisingly not crap.

So as I was saying- In The Illustrated Man the narrator meets a guy whose entire body is covered in tattoos.  In this case, each tattoo comes to life and tells a story, in contrast to most tattoos in the real world which pretty much just remind us why we stopped drinking so much after college.  So- Guy talks to Tattoo Guy, Story, Guy talks to tattoo guy, story. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

What I'm really getting at here is - Vizslas don't really get tattoos. But maybe that's a 'Hey, I'm covered in fur' thing.

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