Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Half Man, Half ____.

Had I but world enough and time, dear ones, oh, I should post every day. I would probably eat a Bartlett pear every day if I could, too, or one of those russet apples, but it's just not going to happen for me. Life is grim and full of Thomas Hardy, and, the fact is, I don't have enough time or even nearly enough world to post three times a week, never mind every rotation of the earth around that gaseous ball which Isaac Asimov informs me will collapse in nine billion years. And turn into a red dwarf star, increasing the strength of everyone on earth to the power of infinity, giving them laser-eyes, icy breath, flight, and indestructible kiss-curls in the middle of their foreheads, but, also, simultaneously, tragically, turning their society into a drab repressed melange of ill-fitting tunics and V For Vendetta, until one man, whose heart is bigger than his body, in the last dying days of that world, sends his son back in time to alter the course of history and save their parents, progenitors, predecessors—us!

Hey, the semester is over!

Half Man Half Biscuit + "Monmore Hare's Running (Peel Session)" I'm just getting into this band. Wonderful. Lyrics like a literary Timothy Leary if Leary hadn't been such a dickhead. This is one of their more straight-ahead songs, though. To take another, "Prag Vec At The Melkweg", well, pragVEC, it seems, never appeared at The Melkweg, the tune opens up like "Yellow Submarine" and the verses chuck obscure references—I'm told—to old British television at the listener. One review I read compared this band to The Fall, and I think that ref is spot on. For sure, the unpredictable way this band throws spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks strongly resembles Mark E. Smith's band. This song is off Voyage To The Bottom Of the Road (1997) and it is stellar and strong, esepcially the repetition of that last line, droning on like fate, not unkind, but irrevocable. GREAT driving music.

The Final Solution: A Story Of Detection + Michael Chabon I love Michael Chabon's books. Wonder Boys was one of the most enjoyable books I ever read—I even thought the film adaptation was excellent and hilarious. But I think Chabon's Sherlock Holmes unpastiche is a waste of trees. It's a bunch of red herrings arranged to resemble a mystery. The Holmes figure is given an interior point-of-view—ALWAYS a mistake when writing about Holmes. The character loses his near omnipotence, the key to the enduring public fasciantion with this character. It's like breaking Batman's back, for godsake. No excuses, Chabon. Arundathi Roy once said something about an artist allowed to break any rule so long as art was produced. But that this allowance removed the possibility of excuses. God is not allowed to make mistakes. Well, Chabon is certainly not gaining any significance in the pantheon with this cack-handed effort. Where's my wonder boy?

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