I have a feeling that Wagner would have appreciated Game of Thrones. I’m listening to Götterdämmerung, The Twilight of the Gods… It strikes me that there are very many parallels, and I’m sure that RW would have appreciated the sex and violence in the TV series.
The Ring has all of that in abundance, along with treachery, murder, incest, dwarves, giants, dragons and plenty of swordplay. Yes, the parallels are extraordinary…
A splendid Parker-Seal Launching Dinner arranged by Chris Neale at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club premises on Saturday night; the RNSYC is a marvellous oasis of anachronistic wonder right in the middle of Lowestoft.
And it is impossible not to record the excellent men’s urinal in that establishment. A truly spectacular example of late Victorian/Edwardian sanitary engineering.
The copper cistern has the Prince of Wales’ feathers etched over the legend “Fata huius Patriae in Vestris Manibus Est”, which translates as: “The fate of the country is in your hands…” If this was ‘aimed’ at the Prince of Wales of the period – who was to become Edward VII – then who can say that it was not apposite…
The spring equinox and with it the first day of spring came early this year, coinciding with the eclipse of the sun last Friday. Not that anyone where I was (Southwold) might have been aware of either event; the heavily overcast morning gloom was barely reduced during the eclipse maximum, and the weather demanded anyone venturing outside to don coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Naturally of course the sun came out at midday, just as the eclipse ended…
I have added a new page, Maria Martin, to this website. Currently, it contains the introduction to my new book. For time to time I will add snippets from the book to whet the appetite of anyone interested.
What a national treasure is Melvyn Bragg. A true Renaissance man who cheerfully rejects C P Snow’s ‘Two Cultures’ and embraces with enthusiasm science and engineering as well as the arts in his In Our Time series on the radio.
Looking through the programmes I have downloaded, I find subjects as diverse as The Celts, Relativity, The Diet of Worms, The Industrial Revolution, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The Dissolution of the Monasteries, Photosynthesis, The Great Reform Act and so on.
Bragg has written many novels and non-fiction, including an excellent book on the English language, The Adventure of English. I also find that he wrote the script for Ken Russell’s wonderful film on Tchaikovsky, The Music Lovers. Melvyn famously fronted the avant-garde arts programme The South-Bank Show for a number of years. I’ll admit to being a little nonplussed to discover that, according to Wikipedia, he is a friend of Tony Blair, but then no-one is perfect…
What I really like about our Melvyn, apart from his gentle adenoidal Geordie accent, is the fact that as an intellectual he treats science and the arts on an equal footing. I remember hearing Robert Robinson, Laurie Taylor and others on Robinson's radio programme Stop the Week, pompously chortling with amusement about how some fairly straightforward detail of science was completely inexplicable to them. How contemptuous they would have been of a scientist who made the same comment about some aspect of literature or the arts. Not so Melvyn; and he scores one better over some of the very good science programmes on BBC TV, in that he gets real scientists, not ‘good’ presenters to put over the explanations. These don’t always work but when they do, like today’s programme on Dark Matter, they really are more than excellent.
I tried to sign the petition to reinstate Clarkson, but the website wouldn’t accept my email address – firstname.lastname@example.org...
Having said that, I do actually quite like Jeremy Clarkson; he is an amusing, witty and well-informed journalist, but he is a terminal yobbo. It will be interesting to see how the BBC wrestle with the potential drop in revenue for their Top Gear programme vs the principle of last-chance Jeremy…
Still, anyone capable of such an intelligent take on Isambard Kingdom Brunel, as Clarkson did for the Greatest Britons programme, really can’t be all bad.
I have a very guilty secret: I really love Game of Thrones. For anyone not familiar with it, it is quite definitely post-watershed viewing. The standard menu is full-frontal nudity, Anglo-Saxon epithets, simulated sex and lots of very bloody violence. It is set in a mythical, fantasy land, but with the exception of a few dragons and the occasional witch, it is not ‘supernatural’.
Why am I attracted to a Hollywood ‘swords and sex’ epic? Well, I find that the story and the script are surprisingly intelligent, and for an American production there is not an American accent to be heard. It is a positive showcase for British actors, mainly with north-country accents, and although there are American actors, their accents are carefully disguised.
The special effects are quite stunning, the visualization of the various city-states is very compelling and the direction is such that as each episode ends, I really want to know what comes next…
Is the sex and violence gratuitous? Unquestionably. Does it treat women poorly with endless scenes in brothels? Yes it does, and there’s little justification for that, except to say that several of the strongest characters are women, and they punch well above their weight.
Well, I’m not entirely proud to admit it, but I find Game of Thrones compulsive watching.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs