Friday, August 12, 2005

Recent reads

Didn't get very far with Albion before giving up, I'm afraid. Which is a shame, because since the end of For Tomorrow, I've been looking for a comic to follow. Or, more accurately, borrow. By the end of issue 2 of Albion, I was just left feeling I'd missed something, and couldn't be arsed to wonder what.

So, since I was helping myself to someone else's bookshelf anyway, I picked up We3 because it had a cool cover. Blimey. That was a bit good - even the Doctor was hooked, getting cross over my shoulder 'cos she was reading faster than me. Hooray for a good comic! Seems like ages since I last read something that wasn't, ultimately, a disappointment.

Am now reading The Men Who Stare At Goats. Loved Ronson's Them, and again this manages to mix the geekily-observed funny with the liberally-minded terrifying. It can be funny, with Prudence Calabrese explaining how she got into psychic "remote viewing" and appeared on TV to reveal details of the Martian satellite flying alongside the Hale-Bopp comet, and then terrifying when Prudence discovers that her and her colleagues' predictions may have influenced the 39 people who killed themselves to join the said alien vessel.
"'It's kind of stressful to talk about,' she said. 'I don't really know what to say.'
'I guess you weren't to know that all the excitement would, uh, lead to a mass suicide,' I said.
'You'd think that if you were a remote viewer you should have been able to figure that out ahead of time,' said Prudence."

Jon Ronson, The Men Who Stare At Goats, p. 121.

Of course, Prudence is also revealed (on page 97, and then again on page 100) to have been a big fan of Dr Who...

Just getting to the stuff about the torturing of Iraqi prisoners, which is even more weird and awful all at once. Still, it's so full of weird stories, I can't help wondering it's not a massive exercise in counter-intelligence.

Thinking of that, a few chums outside of the Smoke continue to ask the same questions: What is London like since the bombings? Or, What's changed? Or, Do you feel like you're living under siege?

Well no, not really. It's not that different, though there are a lot more police around. I've seen people having their bags searched as I've walked to work, and I've had to open my bag a few times for security people to peer in to. But, well, for all this talk of there being another one due any time, I think there was more grim anticipation before July 7th. No, things are just carrying on...

Hmm. I was going to type something about "things carrying on as if normal", but that reminds me of Salam Pax from ages ago:

"A BBC reporter walking thru the Mutanabi Friday book market (again) ends his report with :
'It looks like Iraqis are putting on an air of normality'
Look, what are you supposed to do then? Run around in the streets wailing? War is at the door eeeeeeeeeeeee!"
It wouldn't be very British, would it?

And to finish, another chum has started a blog, it's hardly rocket science, which promises to deal with the challanges of the Brit surviving abroad. Already it has made me laugh, especially this bit:
"The thing is, I come from England. Although we have very poor weather, and our teeth can be pretty gross, termites don't figure in our indigenous fauna."
Right. Off to the pub.

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