Saturday, May 07, 2005

That Meme

Thanks to Lauren for passing the baton:
"List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"
Before I get started, I have to nod in Jane's general direction for coming up with a list of things that I could have come up with. (I hate to admit the fact that I've met too many good Jesuits to be too hard on the order.)
Here goes:
The Pre-Raphaelites
I just don't really like them. They're not bad artists in the way that most modern (or postmodern) junk is and they have to be commended for painting pictures that actually look like what they're supposed to be. But too much of it seems to consist of slightly sulky and unattractive women in period costumes scowling at the artist. I'm not sure that I can quite pin my distaste on something about the pre-Raphaelite philosophy of art, but I suspect that they don't quite 'get' the themes they try and tackle and when they turn their hands at something religious... well, in my opinion the results are not pretty.
The Fiction of JRR Tolkien
This will be controversial - EVERYONE I know loves Tolkien. I'm sorry, the fault is mine. I admit he's great, that he's written wonderful and profoundly religious fiction, I quite enjoyed the films, but I simply cannot get into the 'world' of Tolkien's books and find reading his prose like wading through a bog. (Perhaps the genre doesn't agree with me - the only fantasy novels I've ever enjoyed were the Discworld books.)
In my view - just another Italian city but with flooded streets and not as nice. The Basilica of S.Marco is wonderful, but otherwise Venice leaves me unenthusiastic. There are too many tourists, it's smelly, it's difficult to navigate (and not in a charming medieval city way) and once one has gotten over the novelty of the canals there's not too much else striking about the city. The churches are poorly maintained for such a well-visited city, food is expensive and gondolas are the epitome of tourist-trapness. (How come none of the other Italian cities have sedan chairs?) Is it worth a visit? I suppose so, San Marco is worth the trip and I guess one must see Venice at least once, but it's certainly no Rome and it's not worth the repeat visits that Florence, Siena and Orvieto demand. On my list of places to visit in Italy, I'd even put it below Naples.
I don't understand why. Okay... dogs are good companionship, cats are sleek and various other smaller pets are 'cute'. I can appreciate that. Animals are nice - but I honestly think that unless you're using them to keep vermin down, herd sheep or something else that's useful I just don't think that keeping a domestic animal (especially in an urban or suburban context) is worth the hassle of feeding them, keeping them clean, cleaning up after them, etc... I don't hate animals, but are they really worth the bother? (Also, I'm disgusted by people who do gross things like kiss their animals, let themselves be licked, etc... Ewwwwwwwww!)
Hospital/Lawyer/Police Dramas
I don't watch a lot of TV and when I do my tastes tend towards history documentaries and comedy. I have on occasion watched some of the more popular hospital/lawyer/police dramas and whist they're sometimes quite interesting, I don't like it when the focus of the show gets caught up in the personal lives of the characters to the exclusion of medicine/law/crime. Perry Mason was my kind of lawyer show - interesting trials, good plots and some very dramatic acting. And we never got distracted from the legal stuff by Perry's romantic escapades. Now, I'm not saying that these shows should be all 'shop' - but to my mind when a show starts moving the focus away from business to the usual mix of love triangles, blackmail and so-on, to me it's a sign of laziness. If I wanted to spend all my time watching that I'd switch on a soap opera, thank you very much.
Addendum: What nearly made my list of 5
Star Wars, lots of sunshine, personalism, contact lenses
Passing the buck
I'd like to see Enbrethiliel (and Antony), Jamie and the inhabitants of Laodicea do the meme if they'd be so kind.

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