Wuthering Heights makes more sense if you’re a teenage girl. Heathcliff is clearly hot. For starters, he’s filled with inner turmoil. He doesn’t have parents, so there’s no-one to cramp his style. His sudden violent outbursts are mostly directed at less-hot men. And he shares his name with the late Heath Ledger. It’s a crying shame there were no teenagers around when Emily Bronte wrote the book, as you could have saved critics years of wrangling over subtext. Fortunately, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was immediately understood by its readership. It’s about a Heathcliff-type named Edward, who struggles with love (and being a vampire).
Ninety per cent of New Media makes me feel like Buck Rogers. I look at something like the Second Life phenomenon as proof I’ve fallen through a hole in time. The idea of living vicariously through a computer-generated alter-ego just seems bat-shit insane to me. Call it my Gil Gerard-reflex, but when I read about a real-life couple who met through a computer game and divorced when the husband had a virtual affair, my sense of what’s real goes a bit 25th century. Admittedly, the new action movie, Gamer, is not the ideal platform for questioning the direction of early 21st century social-norms, but the story is (at heart) a Second Life parody.
Solider is one of the few jobs that make sense to a six-year-old. If your noun can be a verb – if your job implies an action – it has kid-appeal. That’s why Army Men are popular at playtime and Accountant Men stay in their original packaging. Accountancy, like most office work, is a profession that ill-suits six-year-olds. Sitting at a desk can only engage the mind for so long. But to be in the army! Think of it the way a small person does: a) you shout; b) you shoot at stuff; c) everyone gets a gun. No wonder G.I. Joe is catnip for kids. The new movie may even reacquaint a few office drones with their inner child.
If you’ve ever mooned over a girl, this movie’s for you. Yes, savour that paper-cut smile. You know the girl I’m talking about. You met her in your teens or your early twenties. She had a way of dressing just so. Her quirks were sonnet-worthy. She probably rode a bike, or played an obscure instrument. The chances of the relationship working were nil, but her cool only encouraged you. For you, love was all about delay. So you pratted about; writing a script for the pair of you, while she eyed up someone else. It ended. You met the right girl. And now you get to laugh fondly at yourself in 500 Days of Summer.