Thursday, November 13, 2008

yeah, um, so, that Africa thing...

The New York Times has a neat "exposé" abut how everyone was fooled into believing that story about Sarah Palin not knowing that Africa is a continent. Turns out it was the guy wearing the elegant straw-weave lampshade in the above picture which accompanies the article. As far as I can tell, it was all a failed attempt to get the attention of Hollywood, where he could make teevee shows based on characters who say ludicrous but believable things like that. The woman responsible for another well-publicized hoax (a run for the vice-presidency by a semi-literate, criminally opportunistic backwater narcissist) blames "bloggers" for lying and making her look dumb. Now, the Times is her favorite newspaper, you betcha.
No mention was made of the witch-burning cult or the secessionist group or the callous, ignorant and insensitive remarks demeaning civil rights and questioning patriotism. Or the degradation of political discourse by supporters of the party that allowed her to monopolize the public's attention when it is painfully obvious that the public -- ALL the public -- deserve so so so much better.
The Times also had no problem putting an advertisement for a "Holocaust historical" right there on the webpage next to the story. The film is based on a book by the celebrated John Boyne, who has just published his own Mutiny on the Bounty fan-fic, about a fourteen year-old described as "captain's valet" or "cabin boy." First: everybody knows that any self-respecting fictional cabin boy is supposed to be a girl (cf.: starboard), but there you are. It also appears that Eighteenth Century kids had to be pickpockets and prostitutes because of the lack of texting and Xboxes. Some of the reviews make it sound like MuTEENy on the Bounty. There's nice stuff about the commander. But with "important dark elements," which I assume are sex and/or violence.
The author claims that he "...loved writing the book. There was something very freeing about writing through the voice of an uneducated 14 year old at the end of the 18th century. It allowed me to say anything, write anything, even make up words if I wanted to."
That is obviously what I'm doing wrong as a not-yet-published nautical historical fictionalist. Trying to remember all the detaily language about British Navvy boatiness, trying to recreate the actual setting and atmosphere just as my time-ravaged brain recalls it. And here's this famous author guy just "making up" his own words. You can read his journal entry here.
At least we know where they might film the movie-izement of it.


karie said...

OKAY, I am sorry, but the "random books from your library" thing, on the right hand column of your blog, next to your current entry, just worked out way too syncronistically with this blog entry. I had to copy and paste them here, because I know the next person who checks in will see "The Tao of Pooh-by Benjamin Hoff," "Casual Lex, by Webb Garrison," and "The Big House, by George Howe Colt."

That is not to say that these other three books do not have a connection to your blog entry...just, not so much... these:

Random books from my library
The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

Children of the Light: The Rise and Fall of New Bedford Whaling and the Death of the Arctic Fleet by Everett S. Allen

21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (Aubrey/Maturin Series #21) by Patrick O'Brian

steve said...

Historical nautical fiction, PJ? Write what you know! Something comic rooted in your experience AND modern times, say, "Night at the New Bedford Whaling Museum." Sounds like a book-and-movie package deal to me!

karie said...

Love it!

ThirdMate said...

You forget that I was there and here, and have exactly the same swiss-cheese knowledge of both.
All my notes and sample chapters are on a Windows98 hardrive currently serving as a doorstop. Somewhere.

Besides, Karie, you don't want to see Ben Stiller playing me, although he did a pretty good job in Mystery Men. I just don't think children's books are ready for Joshua Slocum's bunk and an Azorean shipbuilder who looks like Eliza Dushku.

I'm just saying.

steve said...

Say, surfing this morning from one wave to the next on the 'Net, I came across Portugal's Madredeus and learned that they played New Bedford at least a couple times. Have you ever seen them? Teresa Salgueiro has an angel's voice, don't you think? I read elsewhere that (some) Portuguese music lacks support in southeastern New England, which seems a pity. I can imagine New Bedford or Fall River turning Portuguese roots music into a local attraction, as Flaco Jimenz and others have done for Texas or Beausoleil has done for Louisiana.

ThirdMate said...

You know that my mum's the fado afficianada.

Allow my a namedrop session. I remember a night at the NB Candleworks bar when Johnny Cunningham cajoled Cesaria "Barefoot Diva" Evoria to sing. HOMINNAHOMMINNA

Amália Rodrigues is the family favorite, but decidedly old school. Teresa Salguiero is angelic, and by the Madredeus site, (EVERYBODY please listen by clicking) I can tell that I haven't been paying enough attention. Thanks for the heads up! Keep an ear out for our friend Candida Rose, who rawks the Cape Verde tip. DO NOT MISS HER LIVE. I'm warning you!
T'amo, mate!

steve said...

A beautiful voice has Amalia Rodrigues. I've a CD of hers and one of Portuguese guitarist Carlos Paredes. One of Madredeus would give put me in Lusitanian heaven!