Archive for the ‘Odds And Ends, Miscellaneous’ Category

Why I Hate Television

My readers, insofar as I have any, will wonder why I begin with such an obvious title, feeling that it hardly needs saying. The genesis of this piece is admittedly peculiar. None of my “African family” understand, and my French is not good enough to present ideas at that level. So I am going to […]

The Realism Of Wire-Fu

Watching Zhang Yimou’s Hero, I was struck by how the woman warrior dies in just the same way as the men. Perhaps, for all its magic realism, wuxia is more grounded than Western entertainment, which tends to treat women as either victims (those annoying idiots who try to run away in high heels) or else […]

The Demographics Of Decibels

The noise level in a Spanish restaurant is tremendous, but that is not because anybody is shouting or behaving uncouthly; what is happening is that everybody is merely talking, but quite loudly – no doubt because of both the Latin sense of the dramatic and the stadium effect of trying to be heard against the […]

The Borders Of Europe

Because there was once a lady of that name who was, er, abducted by a bull, we in the westernmost peninsula of the Earth’s main land-mass are much given to hypostatising “Europe”. Following the ancients and medievals, we imagine that the Old World must be divided into three continents and thereby three cultural units. We […]

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 11:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: CULTURAL ODDS AND ENDS, Odds And Ends, Miscellaneous

How Did “We” Become The Wonders Of Creation?

There are two ways of writing history, which I call “we” history and “it” history. The second tries to answer the questions, What actually happened, and why? The first, however, is only interested in How did we become what we are today? The “we” may be a value consensus, as in the Whig Interpretation of […]

The Land Of Kim Il Advisory

In the old days films simply had minimum ages for admission, and the reasons for the classification had to be pruriently guessed at. Now American websites are full of “parental advisories” for each movie, describing precise levels of unsuitability for children based on the nature and frequency of swear-words, bare breasts and so forth. There […]

The Japanese Porn Imagination And The World Of Yesterday

There is a lot more to Japanese porn than the justly infamous schoolgirl and rape genres. Some seems to be intended, or least unintentionally to function, as rather sharp socio-psychological commentary. I have seen a clip, for instance, about a girl who been painted the greenish-blue of weathered bronze before perching on a park plinth. […]

Cultural Odds And Ends, Fortune Cookies

The purpose of the entertainment industry is to distract you while your pockets are picked. Is it a coincidence that we talk about “staging” a coup d’etat? After all, the best coups are pure theatre, with no casualties. We might also say that the audience contributes its suspension of disbelief, and comes away purged of […]