So, since ... gee, God knows how long, I've been reading Dickens by Peter Ackroyd. LibraryThing has a rather messed up entry on it. The reason for this is that there are three basic editions: a more than 1,000-page monster, an around 600-page abridged still-monster and a 200-page glossy coffee table book that probably shouldn't be considered the same work, IMO.

Because I consider myself a Dickens nerd, I scoured eBay for the 1,000-pager, eager to learn all there was to know. Granted, I knew Ackroyd had a belief about Dickens' life that I don't agree with, but more on that later. I also knew he read every Dickens work two or three times, as well as every bit of writing that could be found on Dickens. For that level of research itself, I wanted to see what Ackroyd had to offer.

In the end, while I'm glad I DID read it, overall it wasn't quite what I'd wanted out of such a massive Dickens biography.

Wherein I talk about Dickens' life like it's common knowledge, and also far too much about Charles Dickens' sex life and fistulas. )
Hi again. I just wanted to tell you guys I'm glad some of you read and enjoyed my review. It was an interesting experiment to write for long hours when not at work. Difficult, but interesting. And I'd like to keep it up, if possible. (First NaNoWriMo, then I have an idea for starting a review series on this blog. Tentative title: "Is it Sexist?")

But anyhow, I wanted to share a few things I found during/recently related to the review.

- There is apparently a conservative commentator named Michael Malone.

- I really love Sarah Vowell's PopHistory, and hoped I was doing some PopLitCrit with what I did, albeit on a MUCH smaller scale. While wasting time writing the article I peeped out this awesome video. But I think this one is a little bit more relevant to our interests.

- I feel a little bad that while all of the Alastair Sim and George C. Scott Christmas Carols I've seen on my research, I have fond memories of A Muppet Christmas Carol. Norrie Epstein was really down on this movie in The Friendly Dickens. She called Michael Caine working with Kermit the Frog "depressing." I guess, but then again we ARE talking about the guy who passed up picking up his statue for Hannah & Her Sisters at the Oscars so he could be on the set of Jaws: The Revenge. The guy either doesn't have much pride or he loves to work no matter what.

Besides, A Muppet Christmas Carol is fascinating in that they REALLY seem to want to be as accurate to the spirit as possible. I mean, there's no Ignorance and Want and there are more jokes but ... sheesh, the songs are really "on" you know? This song actually really gets Scrooge's character. I mean, it talks about him being "mean" but it also gets that he's a bitter person because he's lonely, you know? And who would think of putting this in a comedy movie? It's like the religious/saccharine double-threat! ... But I admit I really like it and keep listening to it.

Not that it's all seriousness. Check this out.

- But I feel a little bad about inundating you with Christmas stuff on Halloween ... Eve. So have some Scary Silent Hill Nurses!
And now we come to the end of the movie … which is longer than I’d like, but what can you do?

Read more... )
This next section of the movie sucks. Well, the whole movie pretty much sucks, but this section especially. I think this is around the part where Bill O'Reilly shows up. I hate Bill O'Reilly. Bill O'Reilly looked at a kidnap victim with Stockholm syndrome and said, "Yep, looks like a homosexual juvenile delinquent to me." He's a jerk.

Sorry, that was a bit of a digression. But the next section of the movie is basically a digression from everything.

Read more... )
And now for part two, where I stop my overly-long introduction on everything I think EVER (with some restraints), and get down to the business of the movie, at least the A Christmas Carol portion.

Read more... )
"I never knew what it was to feel disgust and contempt ‘till I traveled in America." – Charles Dickens, 1842

"I have many friends in America, and feel a grateful interest in the country. To represent me as viewing it with ill-nature, animosity, or partisanship, is merely to do a very foolish thing, which is always a very easy one; and which I have disregarded for eight years, and could disregard for eighty more."
- Charles Dickens, 1850

I wasn’t going to watch this movie. It was the bad critics’ reviews that made me do it. Not because I use the supposed out-of-touchness of critics as a barometer against what I would like or anything like that. It was because they used words that said things about my hero.

Michael Moore? Nah, Charles Dickens.

Like Roger Moore from The Orlando Sentinel:
One hundred and sixty-five years after Charles Dickens called for civic reform, compassion, humanity and charity to be watchwords in human life with A Christmas Carol, Hollywood's most rabid conservatives have rallied to make An American Carol, a comedy that equates dissent with "treason," that presents Bill O'Reilly as a model of political restraint and offers us Kelsey Grammer as the ghost of General George S. Patton.

Yeah, when I think "Blood and Guts," I think Frasier.

Or like Prairie Miller from News Blaze:
Kicking off the theatrics with a thud, is Leslie Nielsen as a senile grandpa cooking up inedible burgers at a Fourth of July picnic. When his grandchildren gag on the grub and demand a story instead, Grandpa conjures up a tall tale about a pompous, obese and unpatriotic eating disorder liberal moviemaker named Michael, uh, Malone (Kevin Farley), who hates America so badly that like Scrooge at Christmastime, he wants to abolish the Fourth Of July holiday. He also wants to get famous so badly, that Malone accepts funding for his next movie from Al Qaeda. Ha ha.

If Charles Dickens isn't rolling over in his grave by now, there's more.

Makes Dickens roll in his grave? I haven’t heard that phrase since the 1998 Great Expectations movie. Intriguing ...

But what interested me more was Roger's quote. Why bring up Dickens' "civic reform, compassion, humanity and charity" in a way that implies this movie works against or betrays those principles? It’s almost as if Roger Moore feels like the movie has stolen something from American liberals by using Dickens' story structure as a loud bullhorn for hawkish American conservatism.

So, has it? Well, that's a long story.

Read more... )
quietprofanity: (Sam Weller - Gallant Rogue)
( Oct. 16th, 2008 10:02 pm)
[Poll #1280126]

ETA: Oh crap, I forgot my "Who is your favorite Scrooge?" question. Oh well, I haven't seen some of the best so I don't have a preference ... maybe it's for the best.

But Gonzo the great is the best Charles Dickens until I decide otherwise. :D

ETA 2: Fuck, I called "Airplane!" "Airport!" I'm such a dolt.

I actually was afraid it was going to be horribly cheesy, but I actually kind of liked it, and I feel like they didn't totally avoid the more uncool parts of his life.

Although his home for homeless women? They actually mean "whores." And "much speculation about this relationship" means "They were totally fucking and you are full of shit, Peter Ackroyd."

(Also, it's weird they pointed out the raven. Yeah, they had quite a few, but the family had a bunch of pets over the years.)

The BBC also have an edu-tainment game with mournful music. I couldn't figure out how to steer the boat on the Thames and I died of cholera the first time, but the next two times went well.
But now I have an icon of Sam Weller. Friendslist, meet Sam Weller. Sam Weller, meet friendslist. I also re-instated my "Zombie!Pip from South Park" icon ... kind of ... because I'm in that kind of mood.

Yeah, sorry for the filter, flocked, flail-ing freakout. I was depressed and probably will be depressed again, but Charles Dickens once existed on this earth, so I guess it can't be all crap.

I kind of had more to say, but ... eh, later.
In my day if we wanted to kill a woman we'd just turn into giant skeletal hands and SQUEEZE!

I can't believe I watched all that. Especially into when they got all 3-D ... that doesn't look as fun. Of course, I spent most of my experience with Mortal Kombat watching others play and not actually playing myself. I think when I actually got to play MK3 myself I went, "Bah! Too hard!" and moved on. (Although I could do Mileena's moves, because they usually consisted of "hold down key for two seconds and throw your sais." That only got me past three people, though.)

But yeah ... looking back I remember the conventional wisdom, even among some of the gamers who wrote into those magazines seemed to be that the fatalities were horrific and nausea inducing (although somehow also cool). Now ... they just look ridiculous ... a little gross, especially with the detailed intestines, but mostly ridiculous. And I think around MK3 they were deliberately trying to make them look ridiculous.

And I just wonder if why all these people have such godlike powers that they can morph into animals or grow into giants why did they wait to do these moves until their opponent was useless. I mean, that's just kind of obnoxious.

This seems like a good opportunity to say that I haven't played my Nintendo DS since I got decently far into Cooking Mama and then promptly got real world guilt. ("I could be ACTUALLY COOKING." -- And no, Phoenix Wright does not make me want to be a lawyer and Sonic Rush doesn't actually make me want to turn into a little ball and collect rings. Knock it off. :-P) I haven't played it much since.

BUT -- I am happy that I got the assignment to cover the new video game store in town. I'm the one who would appreciate it the most out of everyone in the office.

More and unrelated stuff about Charles Dickens and poetry down here )
Often I will promise myself that this will be the day ... THIS will be the day I don't spent my last hours on the computer and start to get ready for bed before 11 ... but it tends to end with me searching for obscure books in my underwear.

How do I order in books from England? this book and I were made for each other. Shut up! I read the biography of his mistress. I totally know what I'm doing.


quietprofanity: (Default)


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