Friday, 31 December 2010


In 2011 I am going to try to blog briefly about everything I read.  Now I no longer get to keep all my books (and I'm still finding that a bit painful) I'd like some other way of keeping track of what I have read.  (Plus I would be interested to know how many books I get through -- I've got nearly 60 things in the Finished folder on my Kindle so far.)  I might try to catch up a bit as well, and blog about some things I've read over the last few months.

Also I think I might watch the whole of Battlestar Galactica again.  I like the cylons with their side-to-side red eye lights and Greek-inspired design.  I'm more afraid of the ancient Greeks than of dinosaurs.

I am also going to develop an opinion on East Coast versus West Coast rap.  In a way I've missed that particular question, but I know there's really good rap out there that I'm not hearing.  I've given up on modern art and the theatre, but I think that if I really try to listen to rap properly I'll get something back from it.

Three resolutions is enough.


  1. I got the Battlestar Galactica mini-series for Christmas and have just finished watching it. Bit disappointing, to be honest - lots of emoting with jaw muscles, and plot developments which were visible at forty paces. Is the 'proper' series any better?

  2. It probably depends quite how much you're in the mood for a full-on DVD box-set experience. You have to accept that this is primarily starship-based entertainment, and that there are a lot of jaw muscles as you say. But I do think it gets better once it settles into the series proper. It has genuinely chilling moments. I remember thinking that there were a couple of slack episodes in the first few series, though not many. Also I do love the Greek-inspired stylings.

    The bit that really amazed me when I first watched it was the start of series 3. This is largely set among the human resistance in an occupied territory. There's also a labour movement led by one of the ship's engineers. (He gives a speech based on one by Mario Savio, a 60s student leader.) The humans come to the decision to use suicide bombing as a tactic. (They don't lay it on thickly, but sometimes in the Battlestar Galactica world the cylons are more like us than the humans are.) It's not just that it's worked through really well as a decision, but that they tackled the issue at all. I remember at around the same time Cherie Blair said something about how she could understand that some people might grow up in such powerless circumstances that they felt like suicide bombing was their only way of protesting, and she got into big trouble and had to retract the statement. I don't know if there was anything else in America looking at the Iraqi occupation from their point of view. I think Sci-Fi should be mostly about good stories, but it's excellent to see that it can still keep up the tradition of being a way to think about things with a lightness of touch unavailable to Newsnight.

    Also Baltar is a brilliant character. And every now and again you get the Cylons' point of view. Essentially, it's not high art, but I found it entertaining, and sometimes thought-provoking without being overly worthy.

  3. Well, I've ordered Series 1 secondhand for a fiver, which seemed a reasonable speculative investment. Will look out for Grecian stylings - I'm doing a course on Greek Art this semester so may set myself the challenge of working a reference into an essay.