Watching Peter Gunn

An evening with a (to me, very) old rerun of Peter Gunn, a show more from my husband’s youth than mine.

Not only did the detective wear a suit the whole time, but so did the crooks: suits, ties, and hats. One of the villains even wore a hat with a feather detail in it.

The conflicts between good and bad guys were not convincing, nor were the punches that Peter Gunn had aimed at his stomach. But now I yearn for those ancient impossible days of glamorous semi-violence that never existed.

British TV and another poem by somebody else entirely

Watched an episode of the seemingly endless British TV mysteries that I seem to be well able to ferret out on Netflix: Kavanagh QC. This series stars John Thaw, who is famous in America for the Inspector Morse series that he starred in.

But I digress.

I note that fact because it explains the latest addition to my almost-never-updated anthology section here on the blog, wherein I reprint shamelessly poems by other people that I love. And what has this got to do with anything? you ask. I’m getting there, I reply.

The last time I added a poem — The Death Bed by Siegfried Sassoon — it was because I heard it recited at the very end of an episode of NUMB3RS. Five seconds’ worth of Googling got me to the poem, and it is one of the two most popular poems in the anthology section.

And now, this: South Country by Hillaire Belloc. The last ten lines were recited at the very end of this episode of Kavanagh QC.

Nobody writes poems in these striding dactylic meters any more, more’s the pity.

Trollope. Eliot. I deal with great heaps of verbiage.

David Tennant and Fenella Woolgar in He Knew H...
Image by lisby1 via Flickr

Buck and I have been awash lately in British Victorian period dramas, thanks to Netflix. We’ve just finished Middlemarch and are now working on Anthony Trollope: He Knew He Was Right. And so we are also awash in great silk and satin dresses with complicated laces.

Buck: “I thought Trollope was a comedy writer.” Nope, heartfelt sorrows abound, though not with quite the inevitability that they do in Thomas Hardy. For me, reading Hardy is like watching a cat play with its food for about five hundred pages before he kills and eats it.

Up next: The Way We Live Now. First chapter: I meet Mrs. Carbury, writing letters to editors. I want to have started it before the disks get loaded into the DVD player, to have a feel of the words in the printed book that no video can get across. In this, I am going up against (going up with?) a writer who was both prolific and verbose. Wish me luck.

Musical Thursday: something new to listen to

This is Teardrop by Massive Attack.

Sounds familiar, right? It’s also used, without vocals, as the theme song to House.

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Watching tonight…

I love a mystery.

Various people coming and going…

David Simon, co-creator of The Wire
Image via Wikipedia

For those of you who like to show up at our occasional shindig at the Mercantile Library, here is yet another wonderful thing to come to. Next year, we will have David Simon for our annual Harriet Beecher Stowe lecture.

Simon is the creator of such wonderful television series as Homicide and The Wire. Will get the date and time up for you later.

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What you can learn from watching television

I’m not an economist of any kind, and have yet to figure out what a credit swap is. However, my lack of knowledge has not kept me from noticing things… especially almost two years ago, when I was lying in my bed that we had set up in the TV room where I stayed during the first couple of months or so after I was home from my cancer surgery.

At that time, about all I could do was sit in bed and watch TV for enough contiguous hours to notice patterns in advertising (also patterns in the story lines of various true crime shows, but that’s neither here nor there). Almost all of a three or four minute commercial break was, during those days, occupied by two sorts of commercials: commercials for credit cards, and commercials for debt consolidation services and refinancing companies. After a few days of this, I began to conclude that something was up. I could get nobody to believe me at the time, that there was a great consumer demand for both acquiring credit that the consumer didn’t have, and dealing with the nasty side-effects of having that much credit extended to you.

Nobody believed me that a nasty crisis was going to happen because they thought it was “just the painkillers talking” or somesuch. I wonder if they’ll believe me now…. Stranger things have happened.