May 18th, 2007


Reasons to be not only cheerful, but smug

Well, for one thing, and for only the second time in my career, one of my reviews made the front cover listings on the TLS, which is one of those moments when one feels vaguely that one is not entirely wasting one's time and that people do notice one's work...Collapse )

Apart from that,Jerry Falwell has gone to his reward and Paul Wolfowitz has discovered that there are limits to what you can get away with. They say Wolfowitz is personally charming and generous; they say Falwell could be kind. Consider however their effect on the world and remember two quotations.

Jesus said of false prophets 'By their fruits shall ye know them'. Falwell spread hatred and a cult of stupidity; he was the prophet of a god that it would be immoral to worship. Wolfowitz promoted a disastrous war.

As to their personal qualities, Motley said in his history of the Dutch Republics - and damn it I cannot find the quotation on line - about Philip the Second of Spain something like 'Some domestic virtues he may have possessed, but if so, it was because it is not given to humanity to attain perfection even in iniquity'.

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When a show has drifted as thoroughly into the doldrums as Veronica Mars has, cancellation is probably the best thing for a fandom which had felt vaguely betrayed ever since the first season - and, yes, I can see the case for the last episode of that season being the start of the betrayal. After all, in a few weeks, the show will be a closed canon, and that means that fanfic can run riot with it, and cross Veronica over into every fandom imaginable...She was always a very classy Mary Sue and now she has the universes at her feet to wisecrack at.

Spending Two Hours with The Real Stuff

Thanks to pirates_daily I got to go to a more or less intimate Patti Smith gig this evening - maybe a couple of hundred people in a Central London church for about an hour and three quarters. She read some poems and did some of her own songs,like 'Soul Kitchen' and covers of various other peoples - 'Perfect Day' and 'Within you. without you'. And she riffed verbally between the poems and the songs about her obsession with Jo March and her private cult of John Paul 1. I have been to Smith gigs where I jumped up and down more, and where she played good ol' standards that I love most of all her work - but you could hardly sing 'Gloria' in church, could you?

The thing is, this gig reminded me of why the current Pope hates rock music so much and regards it as a dangerous rival to traditional spirituality. Like much of the best music, this took me out of myself into oceanic feeling and sheer pleasure and a sense of the rhythm of how things are without faith and without dogma. I felt love for the people around me - I remember how Springsteen once said at a gig that he could not offer us life everlasting, but he could offer us life right now, and proceeded to keep that promise. Music gives us a sense of shared experience - that's true when it is recorded but is even truer when it is live.

There is a Schubert song, setting verses that are mediocre but true, and the song is one of the most beautiful he ever wrote.

'Thou lovely art/In how many grey hours..../have you bathed my heart in warmer air/ taken me into a better world'

I write these words and am listening to Tom Waits at the same time - 'Looking for the heart of Saturday night'sung by Holly Cole. Truely Music is the broadest church there is, one which looks after my soul without trying to own it.

Gay with Gay Sauce On Gay Toast With a Side Order of Gay

I am just stunned by the finales of both Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty. Betty has yet more queer canon, and the subtext in Grey's is now as thick, comforting and nourishing as warm soup. Collapse )

Meanwhile, watching Grey's Season 2 finale, I am interested to see how Miranda Bailey, forced to take over the High School Prom in the hospital - don't ask - announces a design for the stage and balloons based on what she has seen of NY fashion shows. Obviously, she has contacts - perhaps she was at college with someone from Ugly Betty. Now there's a plot bunny.