Sunday, February 06, 2011

Recent Cultural Activities

It's been a big few days of culture here. Meaning culture I can do without moving from the couch, obviously. It's not like I'm going to make the effort to go to the opera or anything.

First I finished a large batch of Buffy comics. I'd fallen behind with the series. These comics counted as Buffy Season 8, a continuation of the TV show, and were overseen by Joss Whedon. I'm not really sure what to say about them. I don't love these comics, but I love Buffy and it's good to have more.

Next I watched Star Trek. This was fairly recent film, with new actors playing the young Spock and the young Captain Kirk. I've never been a huge Star Trek fan - apart from Voyager, which I liked purely because of the awesome beauty of 7 of 9 - but I quite enjoyed this film. The plot wasn't great but it all looked entertaining. And there was a green-skinned woman in a bikini. I liked her. Possibly my critical standards suffer when confronted by attractive alien women in bikinis. But I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

And this Star Trek film reminded me of an old record, from 1979 I think, Where's Captain Kirk by Spizzeneregi, which was a big post-punk favourite. You used to hear that at gigs and clubs all the time.

So I went and listened to it on YouTube, and when I was on YouTube, just browsing around, I happened across something by Eno, and I thought 'I haven't listened to Here Come the Warm Jets for a really long time.' So I listened to it and thought, as I have thought before, this is one of the greatest albums ever. It was Eno's first solo record after he left Roxy Music and it is brilliant.

I've always believed the title - Here Come the Warm Jets - was a reference to urination, and probably something to do with Eno's large collection of pornography, though Wikipedia suggests otherwise. But anyway it reminded me of a book I hadn't thought about for a long time, Story of the Eye, written by Georges Bataille in 1928. Which, as far as I remember, does contain a lot of sex with people pissing on each other. Although it is a very long time since I read this. (I seem to say that a lot these days.) I remember reading it when I was at school, right after I read The Story of O. I liked The Story of O much better than Story of the Eye. But my blog is now lurching off course into something like 'Fetish books I read furtively at school instead of concentrating in geography class,' so, getting back to my cultural achievements in the past few days, I also read The Diary of Lady Murasaki by Murasaki Shikibu in Japan around 1008. Its a diary of her time at the Imperial Palace. Murasaki also wrote The Tale of Genji, which is a Japanese classic. I've never read it, but I will have to read it now because her diary about her life at court was so interesting.

The Japanese court was really civilised around the year 1000. Much more civilised than court life in Britain, I'm sure. The King of England at the time was Ethelred the Unready, one of England's best-named Kings. The King of Scotland was Cináed mac Duib, or Kenneth III. His grand-daughter Gruoch was Lady Macbeth, as written about by Shakespeare.

Am now worn out with culture and will return to watching SpongeBob SquarePants for the rest of the week.


  1. The Tale of Genji is a very interesting read. Do give it a try.

  2. Anonymous4:32 pm

    I had to read Genji for a women's studies class and I think I still have nightmares about it to this day. 15 years later and I can still hear my professor saying "Gengi" in her odd twang.

  3. This entry has made me and my flatmate laugh out loud several times. I shall look up the Diary of Lady Murasaki.

  4. i have read the first 3 of the Buffy comics and i agree, they're just not quite as good as i'd hoped. they've started to take a direction that i wouldn't have imagined happening. I've just borrowed a book of Angel comics to try next as soon as i finish watching season 5!

  5. I finished reading Curse of the Wolf Girl and also watched Star Trek (original series) this weekend.... awesome weekend!! :) If you ever feel like watching ST if you google watch trek episodes there's a website called allstepisodes that has them all for's my new fav. :)

  6. I must say Martin, I think I would love to spend a week on the couch with you anytime.
    And by the way, I can't wait for your next book.

  7. I really enjoyed season 8 of Buffy. Some were better than others with Drew Goddard's Wolves at the Gate, Joss's The Chain and Brian K Vaughan's No Future for You being my favourite arcs. However I do think the overall story became too rambling and huge and lost partial sight of the core of Buffy and the gang, but it was still great and season 9 promises to be a smaller, more character focussed affair. Can't wait.

    Buffy forever!