May. 7th, 2006

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Five billion years (or something like that) of living in the US and I finally go to my first baseball game. I just knew there was a reason I'd been avoiding it for so long.

Sorry if you are a mad baseball fan, but this sport manages to make cricket look like a whirlwind of excitement. And that ain't easy. I honestly thought I would kill myself out of sheer boredom by the fifth inning (and I was at a game with people I like and enjoyed talking to). Even worse I could not have unfettered recourse to alcohol because I was driving. Moral: never offer to drive anywhere you may be potentially bored to death.

Also, Dodgers stadium lacks a really good gift shop. It has lots of small ones but nothing to match the Staples' center giant shop of hockey merchandise which is where you can usually send people when they are dying of boredom in a hockey game. Every sporting arena should have one of these as they are quite useful for people who discover they loathe watching live sports.
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Poems which are easy to dislike: the Aeneid

Most people's reactions on reading the Aeneid are a bit puzzled. As in 'what is all the fuss about this poem? You're kidding me that Virgil wrote it at two lines a day and this is what he came up with?'

It has the problem of not having a very inspiring hero. Aeneas, really, is a incredibly pallid character and also a bit of a git what with the trail of dead women he leaves in his wake.* Also he is not very bright. No, honestly, he is the dumbest epic hero ever. People give him prophecy after prophecy telling him to go to Italy and he's 'oh, right you mean Thrace/Crete/where ever I happen to see next.' Mind you, his father is just as thick, and completely one with him on the misreading of prophecy. (My favourite bit: the scene where dad sees horses and says that they are either an omen of peace or war. Right. Covering your bases a bit with that one, Anchises.)

But for all that I think it is a great and horribly sad poem, mainly because Aeneas is so ordinary. Here's this bit player in the Iliad who only wants a heroic death, who is forced by his mother, Venus, to carry the glory of Troy to Italy. And he doesn't want to. All he wants to do is settle down, rebuild what he can of Troy and have a quiet life with his son and father. He keeps trying to do this again and again and it ends in disaster until he just lets himself be swallowed up by his destiny.

And in the course of the poem he loses everything. He sees his whole world ripped away from him with the destruction of Troy. He loses the woman he loves, he abandons his mercy in the final lines of the poem to kill from sheer rage. And what does he get in return? A mother who once says she'd be happy if he died as long as she can save his son, three years with a woman who probably doesn't want him, and an empire he doesn't care about. It's all about sacrificing yourself for something which will give you no pleasure because people have bigger plans for you than you can possibly imagine or want. Which is why it is both great and horrible.

*I have just realised this makes him sound like a psychopath. He doesn't actually kill the women directly, more they sort of, well, die around him.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
So I watched this and there...was something.

cut for something or other. Oh right, spoilers and other things including my pain )

and for good measure spoilers for the Girl in the Fireplace )

ETA: Also the BBC is clearly punishing me for making fun of Who 'special' effects by making me unable to sleep. Curse you, long reach of the BBC.

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