Friday, May 11, 2018

Modern Rock

For anyone who's curious, the reason I haven't posted in a while is partly that I've had nothing to review in long form. I do plan a mid-year Top Ten, and I will post at least one review soon. The other reason is that I wrote a digital series (web series) script that is getting hits on the Blacklist, a top script hosting site, and it takes a lot of time to revise the script, per their reviews, and get it ready for script contests. 

The series is a comedy called Modern Rock. It's a satire of politics and music, but it’s more than that. It tackles ableism, and is a statement of "crip and proud." 

Remember the film and book Election, how a high school student council election stood in for the US political system? What if the same were tried with a music story? And like the film Get Out used horror to make great points about racism, what if ableism were tackled the same way? 

Now, while I use indie rock and culture as a stand-in for talking about ableism, I’M NOT SAYING INDIE ROCK IS ABLEIST. Far from it. It’s just that I know this form of art the best, and writing what you know is a writing golden rule. 

The band Modern Rock, whose leaders, Leaf and Gail, are a disabled couple, represent left-wing indie rock. They are stalked by the Alt-Alt, right wing indie rockers, the alternative to the alternative, personified by the band Bad Bliss. Simply because Leaf and Gail are disabled, they are sexy to Eliza and Olive, the female half of Bad Bliss. Bad Bliss--if Nirvana had been terrible instead of wonderful, what then? So you have songs that speak to this situation, label conflicts, and bandmates like X, the disabled drummer for Modern Rock, who's hounded by Donald and Gene of Bad Bliss. The left wins in the end, with the disabled on top. 

Where did I get the idea from? One question deserves another: Why isn’t there a #metoo movement about ableism? If you argue it isn’t the same, think of it this way: Both physically and mentally disabled people experience discrimination and abuse because of who and what we are, just like women do. We’re supposedly stupid, crazy, failures, infantile, and so on. If I were any of that, if any of the disabled were, would I be writing this? Think about it.

Lastly, this story is also a tribute to bands, some living, like the New Pornographers, some with members who are no longer with us, like the late Scott Miller, Gil Ray, who played with Scott for so long, Faye Hunter of Let’s Active fame, and Chris Cornell--all fine musicians, gone too young. Let them live again within this digital series. 


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