Recent Neat Things: Weirdly, A Lot Of Tentacles

I began this month with the intention of writing a goodly number of blog posts. But this plan was rudely interrupted by numerous medication changes wreaking havoc on my brain, or, as I prefer to call it, The Spongy Betrayer. So here is a short disjointed post on Recent Neat Things in my life. These things are mostly film/TV because what else is there to do except watch TV when you’re trapped in a terrifyingly long stretch of Bad Brain Days?

A Young Doctor’s Notebook

Truly a masterpiece of grimdark comedy, this show is set in the rural wastes of revolutionary Russia and confusingly stars a bunch of very British actors with very British accents (excepting Jon Hamm, who fakes his way through a British accent). The humour involves syphilis epidemics, morphine addiction, and, in one searingly memorable scene, an amputation. Have you always wanted to watch Daniel Radcliffe laboriously saw his way through a young girl’s mangled leg and then later trip and fall over the discarded limb? If so, you’re in luck.

Voices of the Saints

I’ve finally branched out from my Rider-Waite tarot deck and have acquired another deck of spooky, mystical cards: Lo Scarabeo’s Voices of the Saints. Though the deck lacks my two favourite saints (Sebastian and Jude), it more than makes up for it by better acquainting me with a whole plethora of weird saints I had hitherto given little attention to. There’s the youthful St. Aloysius, the flayed St. Bartholomew who casually carries around his skin in some artistic renderings, and the sinister-looking St. Alphonsus who honestly gives me the willies but his presence in my shrine has coincided with some luck in the money department. I’m not superstitious like this normally, but goddamnit, I like money and I’ll put up with a creepy saint if I have to in order to get more money. There’s also St. John of Nepomuk who apparently chose to drown rather than break the seal of confession, which means he’s associated with watery things and there’s a statue of him languidly succumbing to the charms of two octopi.

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This is kind of unsettling.

Spectre

Speaking of unintentional softcore tentacle porn, I saw the new James Bond movie last weekend. I wonder who greenlit that embarrassing opening. In general the film was immensely underwhelming. I put up with so much boredom just for those few precious glimpses of Ben Whishaw. Bond seemed to be even more of a caricature of himself than usual, which makes sense given Daniel Craig’s hilariously disparaging interview regarding the new film. Daniel Craig is just so done with Bond, as am I. Though I will definitely continue to watch these godforsaken movies, even if the next one will surely not meet my ridiculously high expectations (Idris Elba as Bond and Sebastian Stan as a Bond Boy, please God).

London Spy

If you need a Ben Whishaw fix, this is a much better choice than Spectre. I have no idea what’s going on in this show, but I highly recommend it. The basic premise is that Ben Whishaw cries a lot while trying to figure out what happened to his dead boyfriend. I particularly enjoy the relationship between Ben Whishaw’s character and Jim Broadbent’s character, seeing how these gay men from disparate generations interact with and understand one another. Since my post on vintage gay erotica, I’ve been absently thinking how disconnected we can be from the generations of queers who came before us. London Spy hints at that disconnect quite well. Also there is some A+ shagging in the first episode, so go watch it for that if nothing else.

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