LNH: Untold Tales of the Looniverse #2

Jesse Willey cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 25 07:41:25 PDT 2006

> It takes no effort what-so-ever to pull the rug out
> from underneath the
> audience.

  But they aren't.  If you actually bother to watch it
a second time you'll see dozens of little things. 
(The bulletien board is full of them.)   Some of them
are replayed in the scene at the end.  
  It is possible that some of Verbal's story is true. 
We see 'Kobayashi' driving the car at the end.  It's
possible they did meet with him and Verbal just used
the coffe cup to come up with a fake name for his
loyal and trust assistant.  Then it becomes more
confusing which parts of the story are true and which
ones are lies.  Or they're all true-- especially the
  The origin of Soze story was almost certainly false.
 Though philosophy behind the mythical Soze wasn't.  
Again, you learn a lot about Verbal as a character
based on the type of lies he chose to tell.   The
mythic Soze he created was both an Avenging Angel and
a Robin Hood archetype.  The thing the mythic Soze and
the real Soze have in common is that they both have
the strength and the will to do what the other guy
  There have been other great unreliable narrators
though.  Including some of my favorite books:
Slaugherhouse Five, The Adventures of Huck Finn,
Catcher in the Rye and No Exit.
  The quasi-fictious Vonegutt is crazier than a three
dollar bill.  Maybe he was abducted by aliens and
maybe it was just delusions or some form of PTSD.
   Huck Finn wants his tale to be interesting. 
Furthermore, he is ashamed of his treatment of Jim
prior to the 'All right, I'll go to hell' moment and
thus has every reason to distort the truth.  
  Don't even get me started on Holdon Caulfield.  He
contradicts himself so much that I'm not even sure
Salinger knew what the truth was until the very end of
the book.  It doesn't mean I don't like the book-- I
just think at times it went just a tad overboard with
the stream of consciousness.
  In No Exit you see the characters in various stages
of lies.  They start out denying that they think they
belong in their situation.  Then slowly they tell
another story.  Then each of those stories is pepper
with truths to make themselves look like bystanders or
victims of fate.  Finally each one is exposed.   It's
almost like they're going through the five stages of
grief for themselves.            

> And yes, I know, the main appeal for first person
> with most people is
> the unreliable narrator.

  Dalton sometimes lies for comedic effect.  This is
somewhat self-referential because people (cough Martin
cough) have complained that my LNH work isn't
necessarily funny in the classical sense.  Other times
he tells the truth for comedic effect.  Why?  Half the
fun of writing him is so I can confuse the hell out of
  Is the Looniverse Nixon still alive?  Our satilite
and cable providers really a bigger threat than any
alien invasion?  I'm not going to say.

> Personally?  I think that nine times out of ten,
> it's bad writing.

  You really hate ABC that much?

> An omniscent narrator completely evades the whole
> controversy.

  Where I prefer a narrator who has an agenda.  The
character's biases are what make them interesting. 
Sometimes it is what they leave out of their story
that makes their story.  

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