South Park Self

wayward puppy is wayward

Bleah. Sid the Sinus Headache is in residence again, causing me to pop Advil like Smarties for the last three days, and bite more students than I really strictly should. It's all very boring. I shall distract myself, as is traditional, with linkery.

  • Less boringly, The Roundhouse on Friday night was great. Expensive, but great.

  • This is a very chilling, very beautifully restrained, very, very good piece of writing. Zombies and politics go together surprisingly well.

  • This is a dread warning for smoczek, courtesy of schedule5. Apparently we're in for a potato shortage, and serious potato-fiends may want to think about growing their own. I've now filled all my veggie boxes with other veggies, and am out of space. Maybe I can plant some in the disused wing of the Evil Landlord's bed. The one Fish used to sleep in.

  • I'm motoring through yet another re-watch of The Lord of the Rings, which is proving instructive. Still enchanting and emotional; cast still pleasingly hot. However, at this distance the lame dwarf jokes are a lot lamer and more dissonant with the mood than they were in the heady days of first love, and the whole thing makes me realise, slightly horrified, that in purely ideological terms China Miéville was right. There's truly nasty stuff here in terms of reactionary conservatism, racism, class-consciousness, symbolic reductionism and what have you. However, Miéville appears to have recanted his earlier "wen on the arse of fantasy" comment, and apparently liked the films. He nails, I think, the reason why I could finish Two Towers last night and still love the movie, despite a ten-minute fulmination to the Evil Landlord on the bloody Osgiliath detour and how poor Faramir was shafted: it's because the adaptation takes the text so seriously even when its choices are, to my mind, not entirely defensible. Miéville argues that Jackson "cares passionately, even about something as flawed as Tolkien's work, and commits to it totally. The film is rich with this integrity." It's why, I think, I'll be returning to these movies for a happy re-immersion at regular intervals until the end of my eccentric tea-drinking cat-lady days.

    Which, of course, raises an interesting point. When I'm an eccentric 86-year-old tea-drinking mad cat lady, which I fully intend to be, I'm planning to while away my happy sunset years by immersing myself in the vast range of film, TV and books which I'm assiduously acquiring even now. As an activity it will, I'd think, occupy pretty much the same space that knitting or growing roses or climbing the Himalayas1 does for old ladies in our day and age. The question is, what the hell are all the younger generations going to be doing which will make it old and odd and passée for me to be drinking Earl Grey and vegging out in front of the internet or Buffy or Lord of the Rings? Boggles the mind, it does.

1 My view of the probable activities of old ladies has possibly been unduly skewed by my mother, who is going to kick butt when she eventually does consent to actually get old.

  • Current Mood: annoyed grumpy, homicidal
  • Current Music: early David Bowie
We are, I think, headed for new vegetable and food crop crises of almost every sort, as global warming makes our weather wilder and wilder. I think the incredibly delicate and chancy balance that is farming almost anything never quite impacts on non-farmers.

On the other hand, I think I could live without cabbage.
China Miéville was right

Yep, I remember expounding on the basic theme of "Elves are natural aristos, hobbits are the salt of the earth ... orcs are shits by birth. This is a conservative hymn..." theme back when I was an undergrad. Of course, he puts it better and I was far from sober at the time so I basically ranted about Tolkien being a fascist and it didn't go over quite so well; but still it's well-known to be true.

Edited at 2010-11-03 02:40 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the evils of alcohol make "Tolkien was a fascist" as a serious, nuanced critique absolutely indistinguishable from "Tolkien was a fascist!" as drunken shit-stirring. Even more unfortunately, the tendency towards gleeful shit-stirring in your esteemed self even without the benefit of alcohol will tend to predispose onlookers to the latter interpretation.

indistinguishable from "Tolkien was a fascist!" as drunken shit-stirring.

Wait, there's a difference? True things are the best kind of shit-stirring.
Thanks for the zombie politics link, kinda West Wing does the Undead. We have the Walking Dead starting on tv friday, I enjoyed the graphic novel, so have high hopes...
I'm hearing really good things about The Walking Dead, which is unfortunate, as I really don't enjoy zombies at all, thus making it unlikely I'll actually get to enjoy a piece of superior genre television. There are still large chunks of Shaun of the Dead which I haven't actually seen, owing to ickiness. Give me vampires every time.
I just watched the bit in Return with Faramir yearning sappily for Eowyn in the Houses of Healing: he has a kind of endearing goofiness which makes you want to pat him and go "awwww". Or possibly take him home for consolatory cuddles. But he's a much weaker and sappier thing in the film than he is in the book: in the film, Boromir is the stronger character, whereas in the book Faramir is, and should be. Still haven't forgiven Jackson for sacrificing Faramir's integrity to narrative impetus. Phooey.

The bit with Sam in Osgiliath saying "By rights we shouldn't even be here" always has me going "Hell to the yes."
By all the tenets of postmodernism, of course he hasn't. He's reading it as a fairly hard-core socialist, not as a fantasy fan/sword geek/insert other relevant preoccupations here. Conversely, while only active delusion could cause anyone to identify me as a hard-core socialist, I really do see a lot of the same issues he raises in the articles - the hopeless social stratification, the reductionist symbolism, the bigoted absolutism, the gosh-darned glorification of War as Manly Testing Ground of Moral Worth. I love LotR in spite of my own best ideological practices. I don't even feel bad about it. Well, maybe a bit.
I should add, re-watching the movies has had its usual effect, which is to cause me to want to re-read the book, Started it again last night, for probably the twentieth time - immersed in hobbit birthday parties. Happy.
I hope and trust to be knitting *and* watching Buffy, certainly at the same time, thus merging generational cliches; with luck the kids will come up with something I consider fun to do and can add another generation and cliche to the mix.