By ice rivers
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Last night on Jeopardy, there was a category in Double Jeopardy called Literary Characters on Dr. Phil.
This was the answer "You, my Creator abhor me"; How does it make you feel to hear those painful words?
One of the contestants, Shodi, questioned/answered "Who is Frankenstein.
Trebek accepted the answer and Shodi had $1200 added to her total.
I, of course, flipped out.
The answer is not Frankenstein. The question/answer is "who is the Monster?."
Shodi was wrong.
Trebek was wrong.
Jeopardy was wrong.
Ultimately she won the game by a margin less than what she won on that incorrect answer.
Not only should she not have gotten the 1200 dollars to her credit, it should have been subtracted from her total.
I decided to do something about this injustice.
I called Channel 8, our local Jeopardy affiliate. I talked to a nice person named Tynoni who listened respectfully to my observation and assured me she would do what she could do.
I gave her my phone number and e mail. I haven't heard anything yet. Lynn says "don't expect to hear anything."
The only thing I'm expecting is a story.
This is the beginning of that story.
I'm gonna send this exact note to Jeopardy.com and see what happens next.
Today, I got this response
- Yes, I'm a big fan so I appreciate hearing back from you. While we're on the subject, however, I have another concern They got another one wrong last week, when they asked for the name of the paper Clark Kent worked for "in the original [Superman] comics." The contestant answered The Daily Planet, but in the original comics he worked The Daily Star. This is not as egregious as the Frankenstein error but still, since this great show is built on accuracy and authenticity, I feel compelled to comment.
Frankenstein is not the monster everybody thinks it is.
Frankenstein is the runaway ego that created the monster that everybody thinks is Frankenstein even though Frankenstein the creator may be the real monster and the monster just another Adam with fake teeth.
Furthermore, Frankenstein of the runaway ego created by Mary Shelley is Victor rather than the James Whale created Henry of the movies.
I've never been able to understand why they switched names when they made the movie until today.
Also, believe it or not there is no Igor in the book or the movie. In the movie, the character who we think of as Igor is really Fritz the dwarf. In the book, Victor is flying solo.
After creating the monster in the book, Victor immediately is so overcome by horror that he does his first of his several swoons rather than the jumping around 'it's alive Henry' of the movie. While Victor swoons, the 'monster' horrifed by the horror of his creator runs away and hides in profound shame and otherworldly confusion.
Upon his awakening, Victor does what many of us do, he tries to forget what he has created and pretends that it never happened. Thus begins the toll of terrible secrets with which many of us are also familiar.
The rest of the book is schizophrenic thus equally divided between the viewpoints of the 'monster' and Victor. Victor's terrible secret does to Victor what terrible secrets do to all of us. He covers it up until all of a sudden it becomes too much and he retreats into swoonland dreading reckoning.
The monster, meanwhile, tries his best to cope but it's kind of hard to cope when your first memory is that of your creator/God/father freaking out in horror at your revolting existence. It's as if before throwing Adam out of the garden God vomited on the roses before there was any tree of knowledge much less an Eve. Adam gets the message and blunders out of Eden like a teenager leaving the living room after a cataclysmic rejection and slamming the bedroom door before hurling himself on the bed. Adam, in this case, is not a man is not even a teenager but is less than ten minutes old and is a botched up version of God's image that even nauseates God. And there is no bedroom nor bed.
The learning curve is steep.
Eventually there are confrontations as the monster becomes articulate, literate and thus cunning.
Not only does he speak, he speaks with sensitive, assertive articulation which of course further horrifies and infuriates Victor on the rare occasions when they meet face to face.
The story goes on and on and along the way everybody who knows about Victor's terrible secret is destroyed by the secret.
Victor is pissed now and is determined to destroy the secret, meanwhile the secret is leading Victor on a wild goose chase up into the Antarctic. The secret is much more suited to this pursuit than is the Victor with the secret.
How ironic is the name Victor.
Maybe that's why James Whale changed the name to Henry although in the movie Henry does emerge as more of a victor than Victor does in the book. Henry in the sequel actually creates a Bride for the monster who takes one look at him and though she is only seconds old she is old enough to reject the monster in her own awkward inarticulate immolating emasculating way.
Another heartbreak for the monster and another terrible secret for Henry but not for Victor
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I'd have said Frankenstein
I'd have said Frankenstein too.
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