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neils

two people close to my heart have been in the news lately. i'm rather shamefaced about how silent i've been. it's not that i haven't been thinking about them -- i just haven't always been thinking about them when i've actually found time to write: neil finn and neil gaiman.

i've heard good things about "stardust," the movie adapted from gaiman's comic/novel. (i admit here and now that i have not read it. fantasy hasn't really been my thing in a long time. i've never even read the hobbit, for chrissakes.) since he was actually involved in the making of this, i may actually see it one day (after i've read it, of course). i'm quite possibly more likely to see/read "stardust" before i ever get to a single harry potter book and/or movie.

it's a funny thing to me that comics -- and the san diego con in particular -- have become so trendy. i've only been there maybe 2-3 times; yet in the eyes of some, that makes me oddly interesting. my assistant was mad at me for not going this year. i was all, "um, hate to disappoint you, but i am a suburban mama now -- you're not going to catch me in sd in july with my emily strange t-shirt and my silver ankh." the coverage in the paper, in some of the blogs i read, on entertainment sites... it was just odd.

joel mentioned the con the other day via IM (hope you don't mind that i'm posting this slightly edited version of our somewhat rambling chat!):
joel: I only ask about Comic-Con because it seems like its becoming the "in" place to be, with all of the exclusive information that seems to be coming out of it this year...
joel: there's announcements for fall tv series, announcements for movies, etc
joel: I'm actually waiting for news from Comic Con about one of my favorite TV series
me: eh, when i read about the con in the la times last year, i just sort of sighed and figured it wouldn't be quite the way i remembered it
joel: yeah, things change, but its kinda fun to watch the change knowing that you've been there previously
me: really -- is that something to be proud of? :P
me: when we went, it was diff from when cam went before
joel: proud of? not really, its just more of an observational thing -- being glad that you were there before it became something you don't necessarily like
joel: i'm more of an observer about things I like these days than I have ever been
joel: partially due to getting married, partially due to having kids
joel: so I'm more or less restricted to observing anyways :)
me: har
joel: like when I started watching Japanese animation, it was when people were so desperate to get their hands on it, you got fansubbed 3rd generation VCR tapes
me: i don't know, i feel like we already spend too much time being a little sad about change
joel: now Anime Expo is huge and Borders and B&N stock all the manga titles you could ever ask for.
me: yes -- it's easier to indulge in what were once fairly obscure interests
me: and that sort of diminishes it, in a way
joel: true, but you don't feel at least a little sense of whimsy at having tread a path that is now popular?
me: not like the goal was to be new and different
joel: you were a pathfinder ;)
me: but still
joel: of course not
me: meh
joel: but you did something that now other people think is "cool" :)
me: whimsy? i don't know
me: more like occasionally resentful
joel: please, when the day comes that you do something that one of Paul's friends notes and tells him, "man, your mom is cool" -- it will make your day
me: all of the stuff that is now "cool" -- well, it makes me feel like i was rather faddish

before the movie came out, i read a rather fanboyish article in the la times about gaiman -- i found it by accident; i meant to read a story on the leading man in "stardust," but the gaiman article was right next to it. (never did get to that other article.) when i was logging into myspace (research, i tell you), gaiman was on the front page -- think it linked to a video. it's fabulous that the man is getting more good press and a name in the movie industry if that's what he wants. i'm not sure i ever want to see a "death" movie, but if one comes out we will have to see it because we haven't been doing our share of supporting the comic-book-to-movie movement. never did see "v for vendetta" (i don't like natalie portman, honestly) or "sin city" (never read it), but cam is salivating over the "watchmen" movie (i think he liked "300" -- same director, right?). cam also liked the x-men movies. (for me, i have to ask: keanu as constantine? adding tom sawyer to the league of extraordinary gentlemen? how did "from hell" turn into such a hot mess?)

on now to neil finn.

i have loved this man since i was 12. my kind-hearted cousin overheard my offkey "hey now, hey now" and lent me his copy of crowded house's debut album. off and on, for the last 20 years, i have been listening to all things finn. when plans for a ch reunion show (sort of) surfaced in 1999 for a new zealand 2000 new year's bash, cam and i were so there -- when it fell apart, well, obviously we were disappointed.

it never occurred to me that ch would reunite, especially after paul hester died. i'm happy for neil finn and nick seymour and their new drummer and mark hart (love mark hart), but the new music i've heard... beautiful as it is, it's not ch music. it's neil finn solo artist music. it's complicated stuff. i've never loved neil's work on his own as much as i loved ch, a fact which i hid from cam for a long time, because, you know, i started his own fandom by deciding that we should go to a neil finn show at the wiltern almost ten years ago. paul and i watched the new ch perform during bravo's "live earth" coverage. they played old stuff, predictably. there was a big singalong. paul hummed his own "hey now, hey now" bit for a while. i sighed and tried not to look at the "farewell to the world" poster just a few feet from the tv.

so. cam and i have tickets for a show at the greek later this month. i'm looking forward to seeing them. it'll be fun. it'll be a little melancholy. i'm not sure how much old vs. new they'll play, but i'm sure it'll be a good show. it's just a little hard to reconcile the music i remember with the men they've become. (but this is nothing new for us; cam and i have already had this conversation a few times over the years -- how often does a musician's growth/maturity/evolution actually translate into a continued successful career? (at this point i feel like i ought to be too ashamed to admit that i like new rem better than old rem.)) i hope this works for neil and ch, i really do. i'm not sure that they'll be winning new fans, but the neil fans and old ch fans will carry them through. we're all just aging fanboys and fangirls where they're concerned.

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