Saturday, 15 November 2008


1. I put four blogs into and it thought they were all written by men:
Neil Gaiman 54%
Taking Liberties 59%
Kenodoxia 78%
and this blog 81%. I found this disconcerting til I looked at its accuracy rate.

2. This shouldn't need saying. I get so angry about the fake religion/science divide, I'm not even going to say any more about it.

3. A friend of mine who lives in Rome and is the only other person in the entire world who doesn't like the Wire told me I should watch Gossip Girl. I am enjoying it very much. But no one else will because you all love the Wire. It's one of those great US teen dramas where the actors have even sillier first names than their characters; the main four protagonists are played by people called Blake, Leighton, Penn and Chace. I think genderanalyzer would have even more trouble with those. (F, F, M, M btw). The theme is "rich people have problems too" -- it's a sort of New York O.C. but with none of that tedious agonizing (at least so far). Hurray!


  1. Oh no, I LOVE Gossip Girl! (and M loves it even more than me). It does remind me of some of my students at times, too.... I think a version of GG set in a Cambridge college would really work -- maybe we should write one and get someone to commission it?

  2. Gossip Girl is incredible; and I love the Wire too. So there.

    However, you are wrong to denigrate the O.C. so. Granted, GG is like the O.C. only better (the Humphreys slightly less annoying than the Cohens, Serena slightly less wooden than Merissa) but the O.C. Series 1 is, like, one of the greatest pieces of TV ever.

    And in other news, you really should read Javier Marias 'Your Face Tomorrow' trilogy. I tanking through vol 2 atm.

  3. Before we get too carried away, let's not forget that everything they do is repulsive on at least one level... My Cambridge sitcom would be a lot more like Big Bang Theory. How about "Country Life: the series"? For one thing the parent generation could be horsey rather then attractive as such, which would be a nice twist. And every episode could feature a different lovely girl in pearls, perhaps holding an uncocked rifle.

    The problem with the O.C. was that it went on -- I agree that the start was great. I did look at Javier Marias on amazon when you mentioned him before but the first sentence of that trilogy is:
    Let us hope that no one ever asks us for anything, or even enquires, no advice or favour or loan, not even the loan of our attention, let us hope that others do not ask us to listen to them, to their wretched problems and their painful predicaments so like our own, to their incomprehensible doubts and their paltry stories which are so often interchangeable and have all been written before (the range of stories that can be told is not that wide), or to what used to be called their travails, who doesn't have them or, if he doesn't, brings them upon himself, 'unhappiness is an invention', I often repeat to myself, and these words hold true for misfortunes that come from inside not outside and always assuming they are not misfortunes which are, objectively speaking, unavoidable, a catastrophe, an accident, a death, a defeat, a dismissal, a plague, a famine, or the vicious persecution of some blameless person, History is full of them, as is our own, by which I mean these unfinished times of ours (there are even dismissals and defeats and deaths that are self-inflicted or deserved or, indeed, invented).
    So it's gone on the wishlist and will have to wait until I have some energy. At the moment I am just rereading old Amelia Peabody mysteries.