Posts Tagged ‘F. Scott Fitzgerald’

Got a Secret? About Monday Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….”

Pretty Little Liars had been a bit light on the intertextuality over the last few episodes, but it came back big-time in “Salt Meets Wounds,” or as I will forever know it as, The Gatsby Episode.

PLL, of course, executed its Gatsby theme with subtlety and class. Its thesis statement—Nick Carraway’s concluding analysis of the Buchanans reproduced on Mr. Fitz’s chalkboard and in the epigraph—wasn’t revealed until a quarter of the episode was through, and it was largely obscured by Ezra’s head:

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Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #18: Ballad of a Thin Man

I really like the lyrics to this song. I mean, I get that I probably appear to like Dylan’s lyrics all the time, but I really like them in this song. They’re caustic and clever and cogent. Just the refrain itself is a beautiful piece of simple, forceful poetry: “Something is happening here/But you don’t know what it is/Do you, Mr. Jones?”

The song is pretty clearly directed at a music critic, which may seem petty or small-minded of Dylan, particularly since Dylan himself admitted that “Mr. Jones” is a real person who would have been known by name when the song was released (although you have to take anything Dylan said to the press at that time with, like, 87 grains of salt). But it’s not petty. Not at all. Because Mr. Jones isn’t just a music critic—he’s a tastemaker, a peddler, a card-carrying member of the establishment and the status quo. Continue reading