Monday, November 30, 2009


Recently, I read the first two books in Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy, Titus Groan and Gormenghast.  I really have no idea why these books are classified as fantasy.  I shy away from the category, lest anyone think that I spend my time in dark basements playing Dungeons and Dragons.  I have never played Dungeons and Dragons and don't want to start.  Let me also say that I have never read Lord of the Rings, so I can't really make any statements about it, beyond what I know about the films.  As you might recall, I had a hard time staying awake during the first two films and didn't bother with the third.  Even typing that statement about LoR made me very tired.  This is just to say that I am not very knowledgeable about fantasy.

I came to Gormenghast accidentally, having seen part of the TV series years ago, but then forgetting about it and not remembering what it was that I saw.  Such is my sieve-like brain.  Anyway, I read the first book on the strength of some really fabulous recommendations from many respected people, including Robertson Davies and Anthony Burgess, whom I greatly admired.  To my amazement, there is very little that is fantastical about these books (or, perhaps I really do not understand fantasy).  Having just read some Dickens, I would suggest that they fit more easily into that genre.  They are gothic and grand and thoroughly Dickensian, but maybe better written.  It's clear that Peake is a poet for his prose is indeed poetry.

Naturally, I had to watch the British mini-series after reading the books.  I am somewhat disappointed.   Except in the case of Wonder Boys, I always find that the book is better than the film or mini-series.  The Gormenghast books are vastly superior to the mini-series and I was left feeling a bit betrayed.

About the series, I will say this: I liked the casting, generally, but hated the music completely.  I found the numerous plot changes to be irritating.  I realize that certain things need to be edited out to fit running times and commercial breaks, but leaving out characters and changing fundamental plot elements baffles me.  I found myself becoming irritated by these many changes and hoping that perhaps someone with a greater sense of loyalty to the books will one day make a faithful adaptation.

Monday, November 16, 2009

C@#* Explosion!

So, there I was, walking down a peaceful tree-lined street in Toronto, just minding my own business, when I shoved my hand deep into my pocket and pulled out my iPod Touch.  Ah, I love this fine piece of equipment.  It's smooth, shiny, and wonderful to hold.  I inserted the earbuds into my ears to fire up the tunes.

Remembering that wifi was still enabled, I decided to turn it off, so as to save some battery power.  As I was doing this, I noted the names of the wireless networks in this fine neighbourhood.  There were several nondescript Bell networks with boring names like BELL127; there were a few people who had applied names to their networks, like Lisa this or John that, and many such derivatives with a few pet names thrown into the mix, and possibly a superhero or two.

But then I saw a most curious wireless network called - get ready for this - Cock Explosion!  I am not lying.  Lots of thoughts passed through my head, like, what if his mother comes to visit and wants to hop on his wireless network with her little pink netbook?

Dude's Mom: "What's your network name?"

Dude: "Cock explosion."

Dude's Mom: "What?"

Dude: "Cock explosion."

Dude's Mom: "You're network is called cock explosion?"

Dude: "Yeah, cock explosion."

Dude's Mom: "Why would you call your network cock explosion?"

Dude: "Why not?  Cock explosion is a great name. It's very visual."

Dude's Mom:  "I'm afraid to ask what your network key is..."

I am sure that his dad would understand all of this, but not his mom.  A colleague told me a similar story about a network in NYC he encountered that was called something like Porn-Loving Bi-Girl.  A father would understand that too, but not a mom.

But, back to the story.  You see that I made the assumption that this is a network operated by a male.  I mean, what women would called her network Cock Explosion?  I can think of a few good names for a racy female network, and this doesn't make the list.  CG later suggested that perhaps it belonged to an escort who was very good at her job.  I am not convinced, but I give him marks for coming (if you'll excuse the gratuitous use of that word) up with alternative suggestions.

My immediate reaction is that this guy must be a porn hound.  I imagined him (but not in any great detail) ending up like Quagmire, once he had discovered the wonders of broadband.  Now, there was no way to figure out which house this Cock Explosion was emanating from, and even if I knew, I would have steered well clear of it.  There were no obvious signs anywhere as to which of these properties was home to Cock Explosion.  I couldn't see any Farrah Fawcett posters in the windows, at any rate.  I detected no one furiously closing curtain or blinds.  It was all peaceful, but I wondered, if I stood there long enough, if I would be able to hear any cock explosions.  I decided that this was not a good idea, and resumed my journey, up to a pub to meet two friends and have a beverage.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Carrie Prejean

Why is it that every loser on the planet has been on Entertainment Tonight but not me?  I deserve to be on that show as much as these other mercenary fame-hunting idiots.  Quite honestly, I don't know who most of the people are on the show, but the whole experience is like a train wreck.  I mean, the cult of celebrity has come to a point where the so-called celebrities are nobodies.  If you don't believe me, just check out Dancing with the Stars. This is the best they can do? The definition of star has fallen to such a point where even I qualify as a star.

Now, after that preamble, we come to Carrie Prejean.  I have a vague memory of Carrie Prejean saying something ludicrous and sexist about same-sex marriage.  She is a right-wing homophobe.  I just read that she had used some of her pageant winnings from the Miss USA pageant to buy breast implants.  I guess she has to prepare for a career in porn, should this beauty thing not work out.

Then there was a breach of contract and a settlement of some sort, and now she is selling her book.  I can tell you that even if I were trapped in a space ship for three or four months on my way to Mars with only her book for a distraction, I would not read it - well, maybe for a laugh, but reading it would probably lead to permanent brain damage.

Serendipitously, I clicked on a CNN video of her being a jerk on the Larry King Show.  Have a look as the spoiled brat has a tantrum on the air:

Talk about a little princess.  I have to say that the word inappropriate was an inappropriate choice or words. And then, I discovered that there is a sex tape.  Big deal.  I suppose she is trying to keep up with Verne Troyer.  I mean, who doesn't have a sex tape?  Even I have a sex tape.

I am angry with myself for giving this small-brained so-called beauty pageant queen with a face like a razor blade even more publicity.  The good news is that she will suffer the ignominy of having her book remaindered soon.