Thursday, January 11, 2007

Looking ahead

This is my 60th post. Seems like a small milestone, a recognition that this blog is now firmly established, even if it isn't that well read. That doesn't particularly matter to me. This blog was always here for selfish reasons - it's about me and it's for me. I do welcome those that do contribute and post and I value their comments on what I've said and posted.

I haven't said a lot recently because there hasn't been much that I've wanted to say. I did consider yesterday reposting an e-mail that I sent to my friends - the Groovy Gang - on Battlestar Galactica. The Groovy Gang? Where did that phrase come from? I believe it was Jamie who first coined it but the where, when and why are forgotten to me. I am sure if he's reading this he'll drop by and let me know. Over time 'The Groovy Gang' has become shorthand for my group of friends - a particular core of individuals who I've known for many years. Of course it equally applies to me and indeed all of 'us' - we are all part of the Groovy Gang. I think it's a great little title, it sounds trendy and fun, a bit like us I suppose, sometimes!

Anyhows, I am digressing. Yes, my e-mail about Battlestar Galactica was a particularly good one I thought. When I get passionate about something I don't let it rest. The words of praise seem to flow easily and thoughtfully. Maybe I should be passionate about more things then? Here's a taste of what I said:

Most of all what impresses me about this new series of Battlestar Galactica is that it dares to take the viewer on a dark journey sometimes. Just when I am settled and content with where the story is going and the fate of the characters, it suddenly takes an unsuspecting turn. It is bold, imaginative and original story-telling that is at the heart of BG and although some people may decry the fact that it's too bleak or gritty, that is for me exactly what makes it so compelling.

Like The West Wing and Six Feet Under, Battlestar Galactica has become a cult programme in my home. I've bought the series for each avidly on DVD and I know the shows intimately, almost too well at times. The reason is they all strike a chord, a connection with me on some emotional, spiritual or intellectual level. They mean something important and I've genuinely watched episodes of each of these shows and reflected on things they said which have related to or informed parts of my own life. That's why I am so passionate about them. The downside is that I probably bore people to death about these things!

Currently I am reading a biography of Richard Nixon. You may remember from a post some months back that I started reading a biography of Nixon before and dismissed it in disgust at its uneven approach to the man. This volume by Richard Reeves, I find much more incisive and evenly balanced. It doesn't shy from exploring the dark side of Nixon but it doesn't paint him either as the caricatured demon that has become so popular, because as I am reading (and personally believe) Nixon was a brilliant man, although deeply and fatally flawed.

At the end of the month I am going to see the play Frost/Nixon, which was something that I didn't get round to doing last year. The play has had good reviews and I am eager to see it before it disappears to Broadway at the beginning of February. The ticket was a bargain - at less than £15 from

I am also looking forward to the London Symphony Orchestra's 2007/2008 season as the preview e-mail I received yesterday mentions that they will be performing the complete cycle of Mahler symphonies. While I doubt I will either have the time or money to see all of them, I've decided that there are a couple that I definitely don't want to miss. There is also a performance of Britten's opera Billy Budd included in the schedule. I've never been to an opera before but this could be the one to tempt me to give it a try. After all most things are worth doing once, aren't they?

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