James Christie - writer.
Wednesday 23 Jan 2013
"You broke the bank! You broke the b***** bank!"
(based on a line of Alan Rickman's in Galaxy Quest)
There is a bank in Abington, the outside walls washed in white and window frames laced in black. It is solid and cheery and old, an image of stability and source of continuity.
People with autism like such stability and continuity and the routine it engenders, and if you think about it, that isn't such a bad thing. I didn't know I was autistic when I opened my account there, but all I asked of them was that they kept my money safe and let me bank for free while I was in credit.
But it's a neuro-typical world, and such safe and boring stereotypes seem easy prey to Ronald Searle's robot ant boys who, desperate to curry favour at board meetings, show the world their fixed grins and make changes for the sake of change, submerged that world, shattered Steagall's Glass, let Fred Goodwin tread and shred with gay abandon, and drove the bank into debt and merger via Dutch and toxic waste.
The biggest annual loss in UK corporate history (pound;24.1 billion).
84% owned by the taxpayer or they'd be bust.
Then, not long after, my bank asked me how I (the customer) could regain their trust? At the same time it knocked the bank at Abington's hours down from full-time to three mornings a week.
I decided I'd take them literally. Act more like an Asperger than I'd normally do.
Okay, I said. Open two more mornings a week and I'll forgive you.
Did they do so? Did they hell!
They no more listen to me now than they did before, but stagger on into Libor rate-rigging scandals and systems failures by the score.
We've bailed them out, we'll fine their ass, but their behaviour is, in toto, crass.
To a neuro-typical obsessed with change, the safe and boring stereotype I bought into might seem deranged.
If this to you is sanity it's mad I'd rather be. At least my money might have been safe if the Royal Bank of Scotland had had a routine-minded Asperger at the helm instead of one of thee...
You broke your b***** bank, there's no more cheer for me. That stable facade's a false veneer.
And the loss of trust? That will cost you, cost you dear.
Thursday 17 Jan 2013
Quantum mechanics, in its most simple state, could be defined as the science of probability. In essence, something could probably be either in one state or the other. A cat in a sealed box, for example, could in probability either be alive or dead and until the box is opened this probability cannot be swapped for certainty. The question the theoretical scenario of Schr?dinger's cat asks, then, is at what point can the superposition of probable states be swapped for the certain state of the cat either alive or dead.
Great way to start an article, talking about a dead cat, and Juliet Landau is allergic to cats as well...
If the tale of the last three years, richly alluded to over the last few articles or so (most notably Last Night I Dreamed a Deadly Dream), means one thing, it means that the timeline created in the early hours of October 3rd 2009 is (in all probability, anyway) valid, but is in my opinion facing another pivotal moment where the superposition of probable states must now be swapped for one certain state via quantum decoherence, the term defining what may theoretically happen when the box is opened and probable futures become actual futures, consistent with Hugh Everett's "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics in which alternate futures are created where the cat is, simultaneously but separately, both alive and dead.
So I'll say it.
And probably get shouted at.
In one probable future anyway.
In one of Everett's many worlds, Miss Landau will make a decision and the timeline which began in October 2009 will peter out. This timeline, to clarify matters, is the one where I found Juliet's "lost" email and had to decide whether or not to answer it (Dear Miss Landau, chapter 25). If I had not done so, it is highly probable that the time line in which you, the reader, are now living and reading this article, would not exist.
There would in all likelihood have been no enduring correspondence between the Hollywood star and the Rain Man from Partick, no sequels to Roses and no Dear Miss Landau. The two trips across America would never have taken place, Juliet Landau and I would not have met that day on Sunset Boulevard, the possible unfinished story arc would never have been spotted by me and so on.
However, nothing more need happen. I've stolen the Enterprise for my Helen of Troy, crossed the world for my Hollywood film star, met Miss Landau on Sunset and published Dear Miss Landau.
By some reasonable interpretations, that should be enough for one lifetime and even earn me breakfast at Milliways...
However, in truth, I don't think that's all that is supposed to happen. So here is my probable scenario regarding the way I believe things should pan out:
a) Dear Miss Landau, with its melding of fiction and reality, was published in March 2012. I originally conceived the idea as a screenplay while walking down the hill from Candlewood Drive, and it can easily be turned into one.
b) My next published book should be the Drusilla trilogy - Roses, Redemption and Revenant. The three novellas which would make up this book would give it a nice, neat length of about 100,000 words - and the novellas are already, written, proofed and edited! They're all done! One signed set is sitting in my bookshelves in Glasgow, (I just got Drusilla Revenant signed at the Vampires Ball at Heathrow) and Revenant is waiting to be read. Chaplin and I are having trouble getting this to the attention of Simon Pulse (a division of Simon & Schuster) and we need help from the Buffy fanbase to do so.
c) Dear Miss Landau should be optioned as a film. During two trips across America, virtually everyone I met either had a friend or relative with autism, or knew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - sometimes both. I've no doubt there is a large potential audience out there. The film version (with Juliet Landau's permission) would differ quite a bit from the book and is probably the only possible means in existence today by which some of the original cast of Buffy could return (albeit briefly) to their roles... Again, Chaplin and I need help to achieve this.
Incidentally, I'm also working on a fourth Dru tale, recently renamed Spike & Dru: the Graveyard of Empires, which should (I sincerely hope) be the romantic tale of love and bullets which James Marsters apparently always hoped would reunite the deadly duo.
So that's it. One possible future for the Buffyverse is sitting on a bookshelf in Glasgow like the Lost Ark of the Covenant, just itching to be revealed. A unique book which would make a unique film is waiting to be noticed.
It will be a great pity if such potential never fully saw the light of day, but I should accept everyone's right to exercise their own free will.
On the other hand, I do have a theory about why all this has happened.
As most fans will know, the 2009 Star Trek reboot featured a plot line wherein a bad guy from the 24th century came back in time and knocked the tapestry of Kirk and crew's 23rd century destinies askew.
"Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed."
It's as if, a few years ago, something went wrong. Maybe not a big thing. An opportunity was missed, a story arc unfinished, a character and a person's potential perhaps slightly overlooked. Even a small glitch can cause major alterations in a timeline. This is known as a ripple effect.
Something which should have happened, but didn't. Events and destinies not unfolding quite the way they should have. This concept was most recently explored in the 2008 Doctor Who episode Turn Left where Donna Noble's decision to turn right instead of left at a junction led to massive temporal changes and millions of deaths, including the Doctor...
Over the past three years, I've always felt that the probable scenario detailed here is the one that should be taken. The original timeline, if you will, which should be restored. It has already enabled me to change my life and redeem myself by becoming a published author. Until recently, I took a highly conservative position regarding this scenario, but not long ago something convinced me that this is the way to go and there is more to be done.
It feels like somebody up there is trying to do a repair job, and it's not finished yet.
To be clear but partisan about it, ever since Dear Miss Landau was published I've been able to say that if it all ended tomorrow, I would have nothing to complain about.
But I think fate or quantum mechanics has, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly, thrown us all a curve ball; and if we don't run with it, we'll regret it to our dying day.
The Black Man, the Asperger, the NHS and the Bigots...: Tuesday 20 Nov 2012
Scotland the Whaaaaa..?: Friday 26 Oct 2012
The Greatest Country in the World: Sunday 16 Sep 2012
Crossing the Continental Divide: Tuesday 28 Aug 2012
Things to do in Denver if you're not dead...: Tuesday 28 Aug 2012
Went looking for America and couldn't find it anywhere...: Sunday 19 Aug 2012
In Search of Smallville: Friday 17 Aug 2012
Flight of the Clara Pandy: Friday 17 Aug 2012
Meet Miss Landau, miss the President...: Tuesday 14 Aug 2012
If all good things happen in threes...: Tuesday 10 Jul 2012
What if Wakefield was Right?: Monday 2 Jul 2012
Trust at the Coach House and fulfillment of a dream: Wednesday 30 May 2012
The bitter and twisted writer in the blue silk dress: Saturday 5 May 2012
Hang the BBC Committee for Boredom from the yardarm!: Thursday 3 May 2012
Last night I dreamed a deadly dream...: Monday 9 Apr 2012
The second scoop: Wednesday 28 Mar 2012[ RSS .91 RSS 2 ]