I've been spending less time online recently -- which may be why I'm finishing more books. But in case anyone has noticed -- the quality of the posts lately sucked. ;p
So, what have I been up to?
Oh, and I caught the pilot of the new Bionic Woman -- and I was bored! I do hope the show finds its direction soon. Michelle Ryan is pretty enough to look at, but her Jamie Sommers is bland. The only highlight on the entire episode is Katee Sackhoff's psychotic Sarah Corvus -- the first Bionic Woman who stalks and taunts Jamie Sommers. (Then they go fight it out in the rain like good Amazons should always do.) It's really bad when the villain in the show -- the guest-star -- has more screen presence than any of the regular cast. I really want this show to work -- because I really want to see Katee Sackhoff do very bad things on TV.
This remind me. If you can, do try to catch Battlestar Galactica: Razor this November.
The story centres around the Battlestar Pegasus several months prior to it finding the Galactica. I'm a big fan of the current Battlestar Galactica, but I'm looking forward to Battlestar Galactica: Razor for Michelle Forbes's reprisal of Admiral Helena Cain.
Admiral Cain is one of the youngest Admiral in the Fleet. She is sharp, gusty and ruthless. When the Cyclons attacked, she made a quick call that saved her entire fleet even as their homeworld was destroyed. She shot her XO (Executive Officer) in front of everyone -- because he disobeyed a morally-questionable command. She plotted the assasination of a fellow commanding officer. She also sanctioned the rape and torture of a Cyclon prisoner. Without a doubt, Admiral Cain is a dangerous, morally shady character -- the type you want to hate -- but you can't.
This is why Battlestar Galactica deserved their Peabody Award -- because of the sheer emotional brilliance of their writing. Nothing is ever easy, everything is gray, ambiguous, complicated. Because in spite of everything she did wrong, Admiral Cain was a strong leader -- the type of leader you need when the human race is near extinction. She brought the fight back to the Cyclons -- she hunted the exterminators when it should have been the other way round. To paraphrase Starbuck (played by Katee Sackhoff), who paid tribute during Cain's funeral service: As much as the rest of the fleet hate to admit it, they were safer with Admiral Cain around.
I like my TV drama complicated with no easy answers. We can't condone an Admiral Cain with her ruthlessness -- yet we want the kind of security and sense of order a strong leader like her provide. This is so human. I can;t wait for this to be released on DVD!
Finally, something a little book-related, before everyone gets bored: Books I am looking out for this October:
- The Paris Review Interviews, II -- this one has an interview with Graham Greene, whch will probably be the first interview I flip to the moment I get to hold it in my hands.
Release Date: October 30th
- War and Peace -- the Richard Pevear and Larissa Larissa Volokhonsky translation. Yes, I have decided on the baby-blue version. Actually, the fact it's released earlier than the UK version is the real determining factor. But will I be able to keep my paws off it until January 2008? Oh, the agony of the anticipation!
Release Date: October 16th
- A Time to Keep Silence, by Patrick Leigh Fermor -- I've been waiting for the re-release of this title for months. A Time to Keep Silence is about Patrick Leigh Fermor's sojourns in some of Europe’s oldest and most venerable monasteries -- the Abbey of St. Wandrille, a great repository of art and learning; at Solesmes, famous for its revival of Gregorian chant; and at the deeply ascetic Trappist monastery of La Grande Trappe, where monks take a vow of silence. It's a combination of travelogue and spiritual enquiry -- which some of you may is something of a pet topic of mine.
Release Date: October 30th
Oh, and The Guardian visits Canadian Literature.