Simpler Times

I’ve been neck-deep in the 1980s these last few weeks as I work through the plot structure of my third novel. I was born in the 70s but grew up in the 80s, listening to Bon Jovi and Wang Chung on the radio and watching plenty of quality television like “Growing Pains” and “Who’s the Boss”. (I watched way too much television.) Studying Iran-Contra and the Strategic Defense Initiative — SDI — takes me right back to those days.

What I’m looking for in my 80s political reading is anything interesting that I can stick a good story to. SDI by itself is a fairly interesting concept; the idea was that satellites could be used as spaced-based laser platforms to take out Soviet nukes. Pretty cool from an engineer’s point of view, even if the program never really went anywhere at the time. From a writer’s perspective, though, it’s only useful if I can anchor a plot to it. Since this is a Terwilliger novel I’m working on, the real question is where to find the conspiracies (or where I can invent them if they don’t exist). So I have to start reading between the lines to think of ways my villain, Elmer Nosgrove, might be secretly using the SDI program to further his aim of creating chaos. I’ll be tossing that around in my brain for the next few days to see what comes of it.

I never posted my reactions to the 4th episode of Twin Peaks, mainly because I was so put off by the awful Michael Cera guest spot. He can pull off a pretty impressive impression of Marlon Brando, but I found that whole scene to be just dreadful. (And how is it that Lucy, in 2017, still has no idea how the new Sheriff Truman can be talking to her from outside the station?) I very much hope Michael Cera rides off on that motorcycle and never comes back.

On the positive side, we did get to see Naomi Watts as the wife of Dougie. Ah, Naomi Watts. She’s so lovely. But why does she not seem at all concerned that her husband has come home lobotomized? And why on earth is their boy named Sonny Jim?

And there’s David Duchovny again as Dennis/Denise. I did not miss Denise at all.

There’s a bit more Tammy Preston in this episode, but only a bit. As an important (off-screen) character in the Secret History, I’m still hoping/expecting that she will do something interesting.

The scene that made the whole episode for me was the interrogation of Cooper/BOB. He seems a bit “off” when Gordon is talking to him, with that deep demonic voice of his, and Gordon notices that something is wrong with him. Gordon and Miguel Ferrer decide to seek out a person who knows Cooper well. “I don’t know where she lives,” says Albert, “but I know where she drinks.” I really hope it’s Diane they’re talking about. Diane, you’ll recall, was the person Agent Cooper recorded messages to back in 1990. We never saw her, but we knew she existed and was not just a figment of Dale’s imagination. Here’s hoping it’s Diane they’re talking about, and that Diane is played by Laura Dern.


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