If you haven’t seen Serenity, yet, stop.

This evening didn’t start out as I’d hoped. Some inconsiderate jackass in a Discovery (and I’m now glad I’ve forgotten the license plate, or else I’d have asked for someone to find it and paste it with stickers that say I AM AN INCONSIDERATE JACKASS WITH A VERY, VERY, VERY SMALL PENIS) decided that he wanted our parking space, so backed up and forced the rest of us to back up so he could get it. And then the people at Circuit City were slooooooooow, which meant that, instead of a nice sit-down dinner like I’d hoped, we had to make a dash for the food court. And then we had the fucking slide show and the commercials and…

Fucking hell, Joss, you killed Wash. And I’m mad for that, and I’m mad at myself for being mad about a fictional character. And I’m triply mad for wearing this JOSS WHEDON IS MY MASTER NOW shirt like a goddamn fanboy, and…

…and then it didn’t help that we went to grab some ice cream and three generations of some white-bread, sweater-over-the-shoulders, north of Montana family of preppie bastards (and, so help me, if I ever see them in that same white Discovery, it’s going to be stickers, baby! You mark my fucking words! The Sticker of Retribution knows all!) crowded the counter, not making room as the whole movie-going world descends on the place…

…and then these fucking steroids I’m taking for an allergic rash (and thank Christ both the rash and the drugs are done, or else the next week would have really sucked) have been making me edgy and irritable, and let’t not forget to mention the spin class this morning with the shitty music and Bridget fucking Jones’s Diary II: The Whinening playing on the screen while I sit on the bike and have to keep myself from yelling, “No one, not even Lance, would ride like this! What the hell kind of perversion of cycling is this?!” and wanting to challenge the instructor to a one-on-one time trial up Mandeville just to show her what a road bike is meant for, and…

YOU BASTARD! YOU KILLED WASH! Book, I can understand, he was old, he gave Mal the push he needed to do the right thing but Wash? I mean, fucking hell, we just saw “War Stories” last night, with all that beautiful character play and the comedy and “Has there been obeying behind my back?” and dammit, it’s like blasting the soul out of What Could Have Been.

(I told Anne I needed to get this all off my chest. I also told her that, when the time comes to kill of any characters I write, it’s going to be with some meaning and not with “well, I need to knock the audience off-kilter, and boy will this do it!” I stand by that. I will kill off characters, but they’ll get a better send-off than what Wash and Book got.)

(I also feel much better now. I was never a part of the Browncoats boards, though I went and checked it out, and it’s brutal. There’re people mad at Whedon, people mad at the people who are mad, people with the “get a life, it’s just fiction,” but it’s not just fiction, man. If it were, what the hell would be the point of writing it? You know what’s just fiction? Bridget fucking Jones, that’s what. ‘Cause if there really are women like her, then, by God, the terrorists have already won.)

When it’s not just fiction, you tell a story that has weight. It has roots. It burrows deep into you, leaves tendrils, becomes a part of you. You care. You care about lies, maybe because you’re lonely and don’t know any better, but maybe because you see that there needs to be more to the world than working, eating and having sex. Religion is codified story-telling. Stories outlive us, outlive our civilizations. People still know Gilgamesh. Beowulf. Zeus. We tell stories, we love them, we help them live, they help us life. Art is life support for life, and it’s not something to trifle with just for the sake of trifling.

And I think that’s why I’m so mad and let down, because Wash’s death didn’t really mean that much to the story. Book’s death, yes. Not Wash. I expected that kind of hollow hackery from lots of other writers, but not from Joss Whedon.

I’m going to take off this shirt now, and fold it up, and put it in the back of a drawer. Maybe the man will do something cool next that will make me think he’s The Man. But Serenity wasn’t it.

I feel better now, so I’m going to go have sex with my wife.