Fire, Pulp and Romance

First the good news, the Moerdijk fire I mentioned in my post yesterday is under control. Locals are still warned to keep their doors and windows closed and not to eat vegetables grown in the open. Shipping on the Hollandse Diep and the Rhine Maas delta is still disrupted. The highway bridge over the Hollandse Diep, which is still the first image that comes to mind after twenty years, was closed as well for a while. But at least, the flames did not reach the chemical waste storage facility my Dad used to manage back in the 1980s.

I talked to my parents today and it turned out that they did not know that the fire was at Moerdijk – all they knew was the “near Rotterdam” information from the TV news. What is more, my Dad did not watch the evening news yesterday, because he was out, so he didn’t see the footage and thus couldn’t recognize the location. He doesn’t remember Chemie Pack though (who have been operated on that site since 1982, according to news reports) and insists that their neighbour back in the day was a paper factory. And come to think of it, yes, there was a paper factory. That’s where I first became aware of the term “Tetra Pack”, painted on a factory wall. According to Google Maps, Tetra Pack still is in the Moerdijk industrial estate, though in a different location, further away from the site of the fire.

In not so good news, I seem to have picked up some kind of bug during my outing yesterday and am not feeling too hot today. I’ve used any immunity system booster I have at my disposal and hope that it goes away.

And now for today’s links:

Mark Charan Newton has a good post on media tie-ins as modern pulp fiction. There’s some of the by now predictable sneering at urban fantasy and paranormal romance in the comments, though. I really wish writers and readers everywhere would stop the “my genre is better than yours” game, because it’s bloody annoying.

On a related note, here’s Sam Sykes on how romantic subplots can be an integral part of epic fantasy and how some male readers actually like the romantic elements, while some female readers actually like the fight scenes and how rigid gender stereotypes are stupid in general. Sam Sykes wasn’t really on my radar so far, but that’s a very good post. Found via Adrian Faulkner.

Finally, Promantica has a post on deciphering the language and blurbs and reviews. Very funny and oh so true.

There actually are a couple of terms and phrases that are an immediate turn-off, when they show up in reviews or blurbs. “Pleasantly slow” and “beautiful, quiet images” are a total turn-off in movie reviews, because it usually translates as “boring as hell”. And just recently, I saw a TV miniseries I had been planning to watch described as “neo-noire in the tradition of The Wire“, which turned me right off something I’d been looking forward to. Because “neo-noire” usually translates into “crime novel I don’t like” and I bloody hate The Wire and hate the whole “best TV show ever” hype surrounding it even more.

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