Daily Archives: February 20th, 2008

too much Stargate? Never!

I am lucky enough at the moment to have little bit of what I choose to call play money. My natural Scrooge tendencies are too painful to go into here, but suffice to say that splurging – even on thins that I really want and will get a lot of joy out of – is something I struggle with. So I thought long and hard, and eventually decided it would be worth it: I bought the 59 DVD box of Stargate: SG-1. This is a crazy extravagance; I know someone with them already – although theirs are pirated, and of course I don’t have easy access to them. Plus, this comes in a lovely big box, complete with tacky raised circle (aka stargate) on the front.

Anyway, it arrived on Thursday. We watched the entire first season on the weekend – my love didn’t get into show until about season 2 or 3 when we watched it the first time (oh, did I mention that I’ve already seen the whole lot?), so he enjoyed watching that; I also discovered that first time through I missed a disc – three or four episodes, including the wonderful Antarctic episode. We’re now into the second season, and we’re trying to limit ourselves to only two… or so… episodes a night. Hard, though…

Couple of things of note:
* Samantha is cringingly nerdy in the first couple of episodes. I am so glad they sophisticated her.
* Teal’c is fairly painful in these first few seasons; his facial expressions are just ridiculous. And not always convincing.
* Michael Shanks. Daniel Jackson. *sigh* Wonderful!
* Richard Dean Anderson. Jack O’Neill. As above!

I said something to my love as we watched an episode – something about enjoying the interaction between Jack and Samantha – and he turned to me, in ridicule, and asked whether I had bought 59 DVDs just for the sake of a few, frustratingly brief, interactions between the two.

Well, duh.

The Fisher King

So I’ve been listening to some BBC podcasts recently – the “In Our Time” series. I really enjoy them – the interplay between the three interlocutors, the broad range of topics they cover within the topic itself: it’s all glorious. What I do often find drives me nuts, though, is Melvyn Bragge himself. He so often seems to think he knows everything about the topic after his preliminary reading – I’m happy to admit that he probably spends a number of hours in doing so, but still, he’s talking to people who have spent large amount of their professional lives, at least, thinking about the stuff! He particularly annoyed me in this episode, but I’ll get to that.

I had a most exciting moment in listening to this episode, which has never happened before: I knew one of the people! Well, ‘knew’ in the loosest possible sense; I’ve read most of one of his books, when I was researching for an essay on Robin Hood; and I heard him speak once on the figure of Merlin – Stephen Knight. An Aussie, who teaches in Wales on Arthur-y type things, among other topics. Anyway, it was a very cool moment for me.

So, the episode itself: focussing on the Fisher King, which I think is very cool in and of itself, that you can talk for 40-odd minutes on a fairly obscure literary figure/convention. Awesome. They looked at when the Fisher King first appears – in connection with Arthurian stuff; what his figure represents, pagan and Christian; and what he came to mean, in the 19th and 20th centuries (and they did indeed mention, if only briefly, the movie – which I was waiting for!), in Eliot (I might have to re-read The Waste Land… scary thought) and others.

All up, it was a great deal of fun to read, as I pounded along the path….

You can even, as they say in the business, listen again!

Productive and critical

Watching four Roman DVDs, for school, and I think I’m going to send all four back. Three are a series – republic, empire, ‘building and empire’; the other is a stand-alone. The stand-alone was definitely for younger kids, which would be fine – since this is for yr7 kids – but the background music was appalling. The others… well, I think they’re just a bit boring. I’m sure I can find docos with more interesting narration, and less bad music. They also feel a bit dated, although I think they’re actually fairly recent; they’re just leaving me cold.

On the plus side, though, since they’re all 30-45 min long – being average, I’ve been skipping through the chapters a bit; has made it a lot faster than I expected! I’ve got a couple of French and Russian Rev (eek! They’ve just shown a clip of a picture from a brothel – one of the awfully explicit ones; really not sure if I can show this to my 7s!) DVDs to preview, too, and a couple of other Roman and ancient Greek ones – hopefully they’ll be better than these.