Thursday, September 27, 2007

Special edition

One of my stand-uppy gripes is “How about those ‘special edition’ DVDs?”
You know, the typical anti-ad-speak thing. If there is no such thing as a regular edition, why have a special or collector’s or limited edition? I’d like to go to the store and say, “Don’t you have the regular version?”
I know “they” need to make the DVDs appear special so you don’t just wait until the movie shows up on TV. Maybe “they” should call it the “at your leisure and without ads” edition.
Except, of course, that the opening credits are one big-ass ad, aren’t they? Who really needs to know the producer’s name and the by now seventeen-plus production companies defraying the costs and slobbering over potential profits?
If I were truly in touch with my inner jerk, I’d applaud at the beginning of the movie. Just stand up and shout, “Yay! Dreamworks! I loooooove Dreamworks! I was worried it might be Warner Brothers, but, OhMyGod, it’s Dreamworks! Whooooooooo!”
Anyway, back to special editions. What makes them special? The special features, of course, which can range from basic, crappy games, to out-takes.
At first I was going to say, What if authors had “special editions” of their books? But of course publishers do that once the writer is canonical or dead or both.
But how about going to a restaurant and ordering the special edition of the House Salad and Steak Frites. Would you get the dishwater in a bowl as well as various shavings and peelings? That’s what the outtakes are, after all, scraps off the editing-room floor. Or how about a “director’s cut” of the pork chop?
But, then again, I guess that’s what the “soup of the day” often is, the “director’s cut” of last night’s special.

Now that I think about it, a literary out-take might go something like this.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning might write,
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Well, there was that time on the boat…”
And she and Robert would break character and laugh, laugh, laugh.
And the next time she’d write,
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
And he’d interrupt with, “Would you like it on a boat? Would you like it with a goat?”
And they’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Pretty soon all she could do was write, “How do I…” and they’d both be in hysterics.

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