Archive for the ‘religion’ Category
THE REVEREND TOM BUTLER:
"Jesus said1 be subtler
Than the snakes to whom Saint Pat gave the shove.
Unfortunately everyone in Northern Ireland seems to have forgotten the second part about the doves."
You can therefore blame Dinah for the tombs of the Suitov lords' "friends and family" mausoleum being furnished with a clerihew apiece.
edit: Oddly, come to think of it, if you wanted something that defines Englishness and the English sense of humour, I reckon the whole clerihew thing would have to be an excellent example. Dry, irreverent, quirky and wordy. Mine's not a great example, but look at the ones on Wikipedia to see what I mean.
Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell is a very silly film with a very good doggie in it. It's quite schlock made-for-TV horrorish with atrocious special effects and mostly low-key acting and production, apart from some scenes ostensibly in Ecuador (complete with bowler-hatted people).
There isn't much surprise to the plot, and the acting (of the dogs) is pretty bad.
I enjoyed it.
It gets minus points for the old "woman possessed by the devil becomes sex-mad because sex is evil" trope. And minus a squillion points for equating my Barghest with Christian mystical junk, but that was a given; said so right in the title.
The DVD has won a place in my hellmutts library, along with Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. (Which was even worse.)
(I don't like the whole "servants" bit. That's monkeycentrist spin. We're partners.)
The Gwyllgi will haunt your dreams. It, and its Dark Age cousin Cwn Anwn (the old Welsh underworld hounds) and Bythead y Fall (the Evil Hound), are all part of ancient Welsh myth and legend: but are more than myth – they are FACT! Look 'em up in the Sources. The Mabinogi relate tales about them going back 1,500 years. They are part of our Celtic heritage going back 3,000 years, long before Christ was born. They are our pagan deities, the servants of Rhiannon, Epona, Cornunos and the other true Welsh pagan gods. Our streams, lakes and woodland are their homes, the craggy mountains of Eryri and the broad open ranges of Hiraethog their spiritual homelands. Stone circles and menhirs, forsaken by our new Christianity forsook them; relegated them into the darkness of civilisation. But they remain, worshipped by their servants; adored by their handmaidens and revered by their true believers. Their day will come. The true religion of our forefathers will return and stand proud over the ruins of Christianity, Islam, and all other modern religions. Behold; the day of GWYLLGI will come!
Pen Dafad, Denbigh, Thu Nov 29 08:34:04 2007
In working out what mental gymnastics Weft needs to go through in order to reply to a question, I got down to first principles. Here's the first draft of my workings. St Benedict, that old advocate of whipping young boys, was a little helpful in this case, though my general reading and absorption over the last few years working in religion was probably moreso. The Mercies have a lot of (the sensible bits of!) Islamic attitude in the mix, and even some ideas from religions of more recent mainstream recognition.
I did go along to Monkey: Journey to the West, having managed to score a single ticket from someone working in the building, and it was pretty good.
I'm bad at conveying enthusiasm, but it was definitely a spectacle – lots of Chinese circus skills were given a passing demonstration (psst, the plate-twirling was fake!), and there was dancing and acrobatics. It's primarily billed as an opera, though. The singing was pleasant. All in Mandarin. Great creature costumes and some good use of sets.
Monkey's rages, screeching and bullying of the other characters were amusing. The monk Tripitaka was played by a girl (I think to convey purity), which won me over once I figured it out. Characterisation was brief; I wanted more of the main critters, especially with the fantastically charismatic artwork displayed around the auditorium and in the programme — which latter I would have bought if it had been priced more reasonably than a tenner ($20!).
Oh yeah; Charly will be pleased to hear that his favourite, Guan Yin, makes an appearance.
The artwork was more than just posters; during a few scene changes near the beginning, animations were projected onto the lowered curtain. These showed Monkey moving from place to place in between scenes, which were otherwise quite disjointed. Interesting approach; I expected the animations to continue throughout, and was quite disappointed when they didn't, but I've always been a sucker for animated pretties.
The artwork was clearly the same style as the Gorillaz art/videos, which wasn't a surprise because this is another project by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. I couldn't see the pop influence in the music, but I don't listen to much Blur or opera or Eastern music… so to me it seemed pretty Chinese and, well, pretty.
Some technical problems prevented my enjoying it too much. The performance is in Mandarin and subtitled; as an inveterate subtitle-watcher I was interested to see how this would be done. Subtitles were projected in white light onto a black strip at the bottom of the stage. Though clear and visible if you were at the front or up high, they weren't readable to us from about halfway back in the stalls; quite simply, people's heads were in the way. They were also having trouble with the pacing of the titles; they'd lag behind the action then three lines might appear in quick succession. I can read med jävla fart, and I still missed some.
The other main problem was that the performance uses the full height of the stage, with dancers on wires sailing overhead and the odd battle taking place in the air. But from where we were sitting, the gallery section above us prevented us seeing the top of the stage. So there was a certain amount of neck-craning, ducking down to see the action and up to see the subtitles.
Rehearsal photos from The Times (they may still block foreign IPs, I dunno)
Lots of Monkey images and video and stuff from the BBC site (I emailed them some corrections for the Imagine gallery captions. :)
It was fictitious mythology nite tonite. Hehe.
That's background stuff I worked out for a co-op story I'm writing with others. My excuse for this enjoyable exercise (a legitimate one!) is that one character, loosely mine but technically shared, lives this stuff and I want to add some depth to her knowledge. The other reason is that the avatars are settling into my brain and demanding attention.
Religion isn't interesting, but I love stories.
Piper was scared of the fireworks earlier this evening. Now he's near my feet, curled up on the study room carpet and happily sleepy. Not only have the fireworks stopped, he has been brought upstairs, made a flash-bang-excluding nest, fed and provided with a litter tray. This cat really prefers indoor toilet facilities. Too bad for him, most of the year.