September 12th, 2009

breaking bad

Derren Brown verdict

Someone just phoned at 6am Saturday morning - didn't get to the phone on time - number withheld. I was having a lovely dream too. Bummer.

I was going to post about Derren Brown. His explanation of 'how he did it' was bullshit, but I don't hold it against him. I find it kind of morally problematic when he gets together a group of obviously non-too-bright people and tricks them into thinking they have magic powers. H says that's his job description, and they should know better. Probably in the cold light of day they do. But somehow lying to them, in that personal way, feels more naughty than tricking an impersonal TV audience.

I'm not complaining: he's a showman, and he does his stuff. I'm just saying I get a little moral qualm when I see the innocent things saying to the camera 'I never thought I would be able to do it!' That's because you can't. I'm not even making a general point about whether strange things might not happen in real life - it's just in this case, it was a trick.
breaking bad

Wuthering Heights

I'm listening to (the novel) Wuthering Heights on audio at the moment, read by Michael Kitchen. I haven't read it since I was a teenager, and it's absolutely mental. I mean, brilliant, but completely outrageous. I can't believe people talk about Darcy, Rochester and Heathcliff as if they were similar types of hero. Heathcliff threatens to punch his wife in the face. Can you imagine Darcy doing that? He writes fake sexy love letters to a 15 year old girl to make her fall in love with a boy he knows is going to die. He's a total shit.

I kept thinking about Dude Watching with the Bronte Sisters. It's more obvious to me than when I was a kid that Emily B is writing out her fantasy. And that her fantasy is 'fuck the weak'. It would be repulsive coming from one of your Tory boys who are going to take over the country any day now, but from an impoverished nineteenth century spinster, physically weak herself, it is courageous and exhilarating I think. It's exhilarating because she is pushing her own vision so intensely. But it is surprising how extreme her vision is.

The other thing that I'd forgotten is that it's so outrageous that it's often quite funny. It might be Michael Kitchen's dead-pan delivery.