Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Notes

I am trying to cut down my intake of alcohol, chocolate and Sopranos episodes before I turn into an overweight lush who uses the word "douchebag" as a term of endearment. Regular employment continues to elude me, maybe my resume smells? I'm still trying to figure out what (if anything) to do with Twitter - all the "hilarious" one-liners I come up with are over 140 characters and as for general observations about the world in which we live, well, I haven't had a decent one of those in years. There is a paperback copy of Anna Karenina (Oprah-approved Pevear/Volokhonsky translation) next to my bed, a bookmark lodged between pages 346 and 347, marking the exact point at which I got fed up with Levin banging on about farming techniques. Last Saturday I read And Then There Were None, which for some reason we read in Year 7 English, and which precipitated in me a minor Christie obsession. I was amazed at how well I remembered the book, right down to Christie's extensive use of zoomorphic simile, eg. "wolfish" Philip Lombard, "reptilian" Justice Wargrave, etc. Watched half of Spartacus t'other night; still not convinced of Kubrick's "genius" but did enjoy this line from a review by Anne Grayson, quoted in Halliwell's: "Everything is depicted with a lack of imagination that is truly Marxian." There is a lot of truth in this post about the despair (sometimes) engendered by blogging and other user-generated media, eg. "What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. And the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks — empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen." The Go-Betweens doco on Saturday night was a rare watchable example of the form: actually informative, unpretentious, celebratory but not uncritically so, and with a minimum of ex-hippies turning recording studio knobs with nicotine-stained hands. That'll do for now, despair setting in.

8 comments:

Kirsty said...

You need to start watching Deadwood. Then your terms of endearment will really get you into trouble.

Sorry about the job situation.

TimT said...

Apparently Kubrick had a lot of wranglings with the studio and producers when making Spartacus. They basically wanted it to be a Kirk Douglas vehicle. Kubrick ended up letting them have their way, maybe because it was in the contract. Though he insisted on absolute directorial control in all the films he made afterwards.

Tessa said...

I love that quote, thanks for sharing.

genevieve said...

So the chap at Kungfu is trying to make us all feel guilty because he wasted some time? I can't feel much empathy for that position. Though it was fairly well put.

Tim said...

Kirsty: Deadwood is next on my list. I've seen the first series and loved it, but that was a while ago so I'm going to go back and watch it from the start. That's what I've been doing with The Sopranos and it's been most enjoyable.

Tim: Yes, I've read similar things. Kubrick wasn't even the original director. Since this post I've watched the rest of Spartacus. It's ok, but a bit bland and the score is really intrusive. But as you say it is not necessarily Kubrick's fault.

Tessa: No worries!

Genevieve: I read it more that he is feeling like he wants to do something more substantial rather than simply blogging/twittering/etc for the sake of it. I can relate to that, although sometimes doing stuff for the sake of it is good too. (Says the person who spent last week posting inane visual puns!)

genevieve said...

Heh, I was wondering where I had put my acerbic comment for the week, and completely forgot about this the moment I'd turned off the computer.

He could certainly have made that point without running down blogging in general, though. Some of us have only just learned how to waste time, after all (yes, it's taken me till 48). Tsssk.

Ben.H said...

I thought Spartacus was a cut above the usual Roman Spectacle but, as you know, it's not wholly Kubrick's film.

Are you young enough to have read And Then There Were None in school under that title, not either of the two previous ones? I guess so, if your English class was po-mo enough to be studying Christie.

Tim said...

It was 1991 by which time the title was long sanitised. However the island is still called "Nigger Island". Also, there's a breathtaking bit of anti-Semetism in an early chapter. My favourite non-PC moment though is when the butler's wife is murdered and he is expected to continue his duties, laying out tea and cold tongue for the assembled guests/victims. Because they couldn't possibly give the bereaved man a break and open their own fricken cans of tongue, even though they manage to do so later after the butler's been bumped off.