Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

Film:To Be Takei - very funny, and also very thought-provoking.

DVD: The second season of Murder in Suburbia. I went back and looked at what I wrote about the first one, and it holds true: they still have only two topics of conversation - their cases and their love lives. It's odd; I know they're not meant to be best friends, but surely they could talk about food or traffic or something. It's a minor thing, though; the show is entertaining and well made.

TV: Doctor Who's "Time Heist" was great. Nice callouts to all heist films - the crew striding in in slo-mo, for instance. Given that Clara is leaving at Christmas, I'm hoping the Doctor's 'call me' gesture when Cy left means he'll be back. And a lot of Leverage on Sunday. I do miss that show. (new things start soon! yay!)

Read: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. It's an excellent book, though Quanah only shows up about halfway through - it is the story of the Comanches and their wars with the Spanish and the Texans as well as the US, not just a biography. Very good, violent story, though marred just a bit by the author's unconscious failure at even-handedness. He describes the Comanche (all the Plains tribes - he's very scrupulous in distinguishing the Civilized Nations and other eastern tribes as different from the horse Indians) as "backward" and "primitive" and "Stone Age"in explaining their behavior, although what was going on in Texas and the US South during most of the book was just as barbaric (to use yet another loaded term). But he does try to place their violence in context, while avoiding the simplistic dichotomy of Noble Savage/evil barbarian or ruthless invader/innocent pioneer: that is, he looks at Manifest Destiny and its impact on the Plains peoples with a clear eye, for the most part. Worth its Pulitzer nomination.  Then I relaxed with Newt's Emerald, a Regency+magic romp.


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