April 22nd, 2004

bear by san

I guess they can't revoke your soul for trying--

8 days until I have to start writing WORLDWIRED. Mostly, my reaction to this idea currently is "But Mommy, I don't wanna go to school today...."

Alas.

The good news is, my to-read pile is dropping precipitously. I guess we start our in-depth examination of communist China and Russia next, and the pile of books on spycraft. Also, I have a bunch of fiction I want to get to (Gibson, Silva, Aiken, Kessel, Atkinson, Kay, Hambly, Leonard) and a biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Ed Sanders' Tales of Beatnik Glory. And Koestler's The Sleepwalkers, although I'm reasonably certain it's going to piss me off with regard to Tyge and Sophie.

Speaking of which, Lawlor's Voices of the First Day--the book on Dreamtime/Aboriginal thought and society I tried to read today--pissed me off. It was, unfortunately, apparently written by some idiot with an agenda to press--said agenda being very New Agey and Noble Savagey and generally smarmy in that pure, back-to-nature, condescendingly worshipful sort of way that really bad caricatures of North America's tribal peoples tend to be. Who knew the Aborigines had to put up with this shit, too?

A stereotype, even a positive stereotype, is not a person/culture. I've walked a long way from my anthropological training, but I remember enough of it to carry a bone-deep feeling that respect lies in understandng, not idealization.

Also, his logic was sloppy as hell, and he kept contradicting his own arguments.

The Chatwin book was a hell of a lot better, for all it presented itself as not much more than a travelogue.

Ah well, it's all just for background information anyway.

So now I read The Search For Modern China, by Jonathan D. Spence.

This may take a while.
  • Current Music
    John Gorka--Dream Street
bear by san

Some days, I even embarrass myself. (The amazing thing is, I haven't been drinking. Really.)

I just watched the Obligatory Brainwashing Episode of I Spy. (Same plot as "Thrush Roulette," two years earlier, for the MfU fans out there. I wonder when we're going to hit the Evil Twin Episode. There must be one, right? (I don't actually know the answer to that; it's been ages since I watched I Spy. *g*))

Among the many joys of this program is, it has lots of young, buff, extremely shirtless Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. I still find it profoundly troubling, how hot Cosby was. I keep going, "I'm oogling Bill Cosby. That's like grabbing your grandfather's ass."

And yet, he was distressingly hot.

This is something to love about the sixties spy shows. (Which I love for many reasons indeed; this is just the most gratuitous of the reasons.) They make absolutely no bones about gratuitously exploiting and objectifying their pretty male leads.

I like that.

"Bill, I'm not sure I can read your UPC code through those skintight white jeans--mind hopping in the swimming pool for a sec?" And the entire English-speaking world knows David McCallum's religion, given the clothes they used to sew him into.

You just don't get those lingering crotch shots of your male leads in appliquéed corduroys any more.

It's a lack.

I'm sure I could find a way to blame feminism for this if I tried.
  • Current Music
    Tom Waits - A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun