My house loves Glee. It is pure joy pumped into our eyes and ears via the gargantuan television and thumping surround sound. My son, who is four, loves Glee although he gets bored during the parts where there is not singing and dancing.
That said, we're behind the times. We only recently got cable again and that's only because my father-in-law lives with us. We totally aren't used to it, though. We unplugged the cable during a thunderstorm and forgot to plug it back in for a week. And I only remembered then because the FiL asked me to. So we're only just now getting the second half of the second season on DVD. But that's why this past weekend was the first time we'd seen this:
Later, in a very awkward moment, my son started singing this song. Thank goodness he never actually got to "Do you wanna touch me THERE?" lyric. And it isn't like that was the first time he'd belted out some awkward lyrics (usually due to my love of the hip hop). But it still left his mother and I deciding not to revisit that song on the DVD's jukebox feature.
See the sacrifices I make for my child? That's Gwyneth Paltrow singing Do you wanna touch me? (yeah) and I'm not listening to it on permanent repeat. I swear, I should win Father of the Year.
Anyway, to the wife and I, that's Joan Jett's song. So we dug out the greatest hits and spun it a few times when the boy wasn't around. But I look up everything on wikipedia when I'm bored. Being able to do it on my phone means that I'm constantly wiki-ing things while doing mundane chores like cooking or cleaning or driving.
So out of curiosity, I looked that song up. Turns out it was originally recorded by a glam rocker named Gary Glitter. Mr. Glitter is a convicted child molester and owner of child pornography.
Suddenly my son's somewhat embarrassing rendition of those lyrics took a VERY sinister turn. After a day of giggling about it, it wasn't even a little funny to think about him singing it in front of his grandmothers. Now it was seedy and dirty and unpleasant. That little bit of knowledge killed what was a cute and humorous story about kids singing the darndest things and became a thing that made us feel unclean.
But this is a writer's blog, right? So, besides being amusing, what's the point? The point is that doling out the right bit of information at the right bit of time can totally change the tenor and tone of a story you're writing. Keep that in mind when you're looking for the twist ending. The whole ending doesn't have to twist if you there's a juicy piece of information that can recast the entire tale in a different light.
And that's what I learned last week watching GLEE!
This is Max Overacts. It is hilarious and sad and wonderful. It gets compared to Calvin & Hobbes a lot which is fair but also doesn't do it justice. That's an awful long shadow as well as good company. So go over there, read a bunch of them and laugh. Then tell your friends about it and watch them laugh while you stand at their shoulder and say "I know, right?" Then buy a t-shirt or a book or just donate to the creator, Cannan Grall. He needs to eat after all and the world is richer for having Max in it.