Friday, March 25, 2011

Diary Issue and Ripping Yarns

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - Long Beach, CA

I'm already noticing a problem with doing an on-line diary: I'm finding myself very reluctant to write about my interactions with other people. I'm extremely aware that it wouldn't take much for me to violate someone's privacy. I also simply don't want to hurt people's feelings. We all think and feel things about others - often about those we really care about - that, if revealed in the wrong manner and at the wrong time, could create painful or at least needlessly awkward situations. For now this doesn't matter too much, as I'm so busy I'm quite isolated from others. But this state of affairs won't be going on much longer. I'm not sure how I'll handle this change. A diary where I don't write much about people other than myself would be a strange beast indeed - and probably quite boring. Curious to see how I work my way thru (or around) this potentially big limitation ...


Nothing much new going on to write about. It's been pouring rain off and on the last couple of days and there's supposed to be more storms on the way, so I've been trapped indoors. When I haven't been working I've been doing a bit of reading, mostly the Palin diaries and a bit more of Hemingway (which I'm already beginning to sour on - more later on this subject). Speaking of Michael Palin, I picked up a copy of  Ripping Yarns, the BBC series he did after Monty Python's Flying Circus. I can't decide how I feel about these shows. They're very different from Python. They're little half-hour movies really, all set in the time from World War I to the 1930s, which do take-offs on very English subjects, such as the Raj and Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries. Some very funny moments, but, I don't know, they seem a little slow and not quite on target. It's almost as if the comedy is getting in the way of the storytelling and the storytelling is getting in the way of the comedy. The result is that they don't quite succeed on either count. The series seems to have been highly respected when it came out in the late-seventies, but you don't hear much about it today (at least in the U.S.), which probably means something. I'm holding back my final judgment, though. They may be the kind of shows that need to be watched carefully multiple times before their worth comes thru. I will say that they're beautifully filmed; the scenes are perfectly framed and the color is rich and deep. In fact, they might be some of the best filmed television ever done. The acting is generally quite good as well, as are the locations and the sets. I really hope they grow on me. I can always use more Michael Palin in my life ...

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