The Dim-Post

September 11, 2016

Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:17 am

I wrote a thing about the Wellington Mayoral race for the Spinoff. You can read it here.

We finished watching Stranger Things recently. I saw a couple of astute comments about it on the internet, but cannot remember where:

  • The online response to Stranger Things is proof that the internet can’t just like things, it has to love them.
  • It’s a show that is not anxious about revealing its influences. (The show is a convergence of 1980s pop culture masterpieces. ET, Poltergeist, Alien, Stephen King’s Firestarter) 

I liked it, but it felt to me like a show designed by an algorithm to make me like it.

I just finished reading Michael Faber’s Book of New Strange Things. The only other book I’ve read of his is The Crimson Petal and the White, which I didn’t think much of. I don’t think I’ve ever read two such dissimilar novels by the same author. I liked BONST, but don’t think I understood it at all. It reminded me a bit of the Priest’s Tale in Dan Simmon’s Hyperion. If anyone wants to explain it to me in the comments, feel free.

 

15 Comments »

  1. I enjoyed it but like so many stories I feel it ended badly and that undid quite a lot of my enjoyment. The ambience (and acting) was great and fun but in the end too much was wrong with the story that I felt my time was stolen – it was only the ambience and not, ultimately the story, that was good.
    The confrontation between the teens and the monster meant nothing, achieved nothing, and it should have. Eleven’s sacrifice achieved little (there must be more than one monster) as such a momentous event ought have sealed the gate, the villains death passed quickly when it ought to have been important, the Upside down looked (when it first appeared) to me like a nuclear winter and I wanted that to be what it was – an alternative world where the Cuban Crisis had exploded and the monster a mutant consequence so it’s world of devastated buildings and presence made sense.

    I want the drama to pay off and so much today never ever does because there’s all the style in the world but not enough substance.

    Comment by Fentex — September 11, 2016 @ 9:12 am

  2. If anyone wants to explain it to me in the comments, feel free.

    From The New Republic:

    Instead, it is a harrowing, wrenching work about the intricacies of married life—one made even more poignant by Faber’s pronouncement to The New York Times that he plans on making this novel, which is only his third, his last. Faber’s wife Eva died in July, just days before he handed in his final changes to the manuscript of The Book, and “those who work closely with Mr. Faber say that his decision to stop writing novels may be a manifestation of grief,” according to the Times.

    It then goes on to say “Faber inserted the married couple’s storyline after learning of his wife’s terminal diagnosis…”.

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 11, 2016 @ 9:19 am

  3. I want the drama to pay off and so much today never ever does because there’s all the style in the world but not enough substance.

    Or, there’s no “pay off” because there’s a season 2 to come: http://www.vox.com/2016/9/7/12771886/stranger-things-season-2-what-we-know

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 11, 2016 @ 9:22 am

  4. Good piece on the Wellington election

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — September 11, 2016 @ 10:29 am

  5. I enjoyed your piece on Wellington as well – but – in the interests of transparency shouldn’t the spinoff mention your policy role with the Green Party and – I’m no fan of Nicola Young – but this line from your piece

    ” As an unbiased observer it’s not my place to editorialise on individual candidates, but Nicola Young seems awful and I hope she loses.

    seems a bit over the top – I tend to agree with the first half of that sentence and letting readers make up their own mind about the candidates – but perhaps i’m old-fashioned

    Comment by mag rodaigh — September 12, 2016 @ 11:24 am

  6. I tend to agree with the first half of that sentence and letting readers make up their own mind about the candidates – but perhaps i’m old-fashioned

    It’s been over 50 years since the “new journalism” laid the foundations for Danyl’s method … and even then they were just doing what Thoreau did in the 1850’s. So I don’t think you’re so much “old fashioned” as opposed to a particular form of reportage which is by now pretty standard practice in lots of different media.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 12, 2016 @ 11:48 am

  7. Nice to actually read something about Wellington in the Spinoff. Now if only ditch the relentless focus on bad Auckland reality TV, Auckland media luvvies and D-list Auckland celebrities…

    Comment by hamish — September 12, 2016 @ 12:19 pm

  8. In the interests of balance, shouldn’t that be: “Falkland/Malvina” ?

    Comment by Rich d'Rich — September 12, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

  9. I would like to know why we have no Green mayoral candidate.

    In the absence of one, I shall be voting:
    1. Johnny Overton, because Wellington needs a mad bastard
    2. Keith Johnson, seriously, as the only candidate who doesn’t want to take our money and give it to the construction industry
    3. Helene Ritchie, although she comes over as a trifle obnoxious, at least she’s opposed to the dick runway extension
    4. Andy Foster, sadly, seems to be the least worst of the tories.

    I find it hard to rank the remaining three crypto-tories in any sort of order. They all seem determined to ‘take Wellington forward’ by doling out pork to their various mates. Leggett seems to have spent many years turning Porirua into what it is – if people want to live there, that’s up to them, but can they leave our city alone please? Coughlan is the Vogon candidate, wanting to demolish suburbs that aren’t Wadestown in order to build wonderful bypasses all the way to the airport parking barriers. Nicola Young will probably run as National candidate for Wellington Central if she loses. Lester has large billboards with his wife and kid, presumably as a subconscious message to Khandallah and Tawa voters that he isn’t gay and has had sex with a woman at least once.

    And please, can they spare us the ‘I grew up in paper bag in middle’t road sob-stories’ We know they’re a bunch of bloody lawyers and middle managers.

    Comment by Rich d'Rich — September 12, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

  10. So I don’t think you’re so much “old fashioned” as opposed to a particular form of reportage which is by now pretty standard practice in lots of different media.

    Yes – you are right – I was wrong to use ‘old-fashioned’ – I should have said a creeping moroseness – a moroseness engendered by Danyl’s piece on Wellington’s mayoral race – in itself a reflection of the larger political scene and how I keep coming back to this fantasy theory i have of randomized candidate selection…. and then I think about urge overkill…..

    Comment by mag rodaigh — September 12, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

  11. Well done on the Spinoff piece, Danyl.
    Most enjoyable.

    However, I would have expected your editor to recommend “soporific” rather than “narcotising” to the describe Helene Ritchie effect.
    Shoddy journalism.
    I shall be penning a strongly worded missive to that effect.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 12, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

  12. “The online response to Stranger Things is proof that the internet can’t just like things, it has to love them.”

    Speaking of which, The Wire was pretty good wasn’t it

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — September 12, 2016 @ 4:45 pm

  13. I sent theSpinoff link to my wife, who appreciated it very much, and proceeded to pass it round to a bunch of other people. There does seem to be a dearth of informative comment about the mayoral candidates in Wellington… I know more about Auckland’s candidates than Wellington’s, which is a bit sad.

    As for Councillors, I’m even more lost there. Any chance of a Danyl councillor candidate review?

    Comment by MarcoK — September 13, 2016 @ 11:16 am

  14. FYI: Wellington Mayoral candidates meeting tomorrow night
    https://www.facebook.com/events/326673600997550/

    Comment by Phil — September 13, 2016 @ 11:53 am

  15. Gregor W: “I would have expected your editor to recommend “soporific” rather than “narcotising” to the describe Helene Ritchie effect.”

    That’s what I thought too, before last night. Candidates’ meeting in Wadestown: Ritchie was more articulate and credible than any of the other candidates. It completely overturned my views about my likely pick for the mayoralty.

    I would add that the audience made its feelings clear about the carpetbagger from Porirua. We do not like interlopers forcing themselves on our democratic process and telling us what’s wrong with our city; audience reaction last night left said interloper in no doubt of that.

    Comment by D'Esterre — September 13, 2016 @ 2:24 pm


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