Writer's Commentary: America's Suitehearts

On Post: America’s Suitehearts

Date: January 16

My initial take on this entry was a profoundly stupid poem about seeing the movie America’s Sweethearts starring John Cusack, Catherine Zeta Jones, Julia Roberts, and others. It was so bad I am sort of enamored of it. It will probably run as part of the Special Features in February, an Alternate Take, if you will.
However, when I realized that the song is using “suite” not “sweet,” there was no really no justification at all for the poem as it was based only on the title, so I had to pick a new approach.
The approach came from two lines in the song “Why won’t the world revolve around me?” and “I’m in love with my own sin.” The “in love with sin” put me in the mindset of a person who is utterly fine with the bad they do and thus was born Illusionia. But what to do with her?
The old cliché of “Everybody talk about _____ but ______ does something about it,” (for example, the classic DC Comics house ad for Wilddog read “Everyone talks about Terrorism. He does something about it.”) was rattling around my head, as in “Everyone talks about the world revolving around them, but she’s doing something about it.” The world literally revolving around her was tough for me to organize around. It just felt too small. So the world became the universe and, voila, the monologue was born.
I wanted her to be wholly casual about this gigantic thing she just did so her tone is conversational and at ease. Also, as she is making literal—through science, I will change the focal point of the universe—a cliché of the ego-driven and insecure—why won’t people pay more attention to me—I wanted her to suffer from that very cliché. She’s a super villain, sure, but she’s kind of the Michael Scott of super villains. She’s may more invested in being known and loved then she is in doing her “job” such as it was.
The first line that came to me was the bit about Catholicism thanking her. I loved it enough I knew that I was going to write the rest of it one way or another.
What’s odd, which I’ll mention again in the next two Writer’s Commentaries, is that this kicked off a mini-Amoral People Doing Lousy Things-athon that ran into the next two days as well. Not sure the why of it—coincidence or subconscious—but I thought that was interesting and worth noting.
For those interested, this is sort of a spiritual cousin to an entry from last year’s Project called “Hide Away” in which a “hero” informs the world he’s done in a press conference and tells humanity what jerks they all are. Check it out if you liked the tone of this one.
My explanation not ring true? Do you have questions that this piece left unanswered? Reach out and touch me at tim.g.stevens@gmail.com or @ungajje on the Twitter. And, as always, spread the word.