Category: Literature & performing arts

writing, film, TV, radio, theatre

Identify these films

1. Produced by John de Bello, written by John de Bello, directed by John de Bello, acted by John de Bello, it was one of the early ‘so bad it’s a cult classic’ films.
2. Amazon River, Kinski
3. DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen and sharks
4. Michael Rennie, Lock Martin, barada nikto
5. Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne
6. A.J. Cook, Ali Larter, one year after the event
7. The 2nd Ranger Battalion of the 29th Infantry Division… More here ...

The Emmys

They don’t seem to understand:

Hey, who’s up for several hours of celebrities droning on about politics and how their audiences are idiots for their electoral choices? Anyone?

The article went into ratings for this year’s Emmys, then:

If this firms up in final ratings, it will surpass 2016 as the worst-rated Emmys of all time, and 2016 surpassed the previous low, and so on.

In fact, as Newsweek pointed out yesterday, the Emmys have lost 50% of their audience since 2013 and the lowest ratings since 1990, and last night’s extravaganza certainly didn’t turn the ship around.

One could blame the plethora of TV choices viewers have, including streaming, but those didn’t arrive only in 2014. Consumers have had lots of choice for two decades or more, and yet the sharp decline only started in the past few years. Why?

And so it goes on:… More here ...

Reported speech

Had a Skype two evenings ago with my old mate over in Russia and he had a question a colleague had asked him.

[18:53:37] J said, “I love Mary” = J said that he loved M.
[18:54:44] J said, “I loved M.” = J said that he had loved M.
[18:55:56] J said: “I will love M forever.” = J said that he would love M forever.
[18:58:33] J said, “I hate football”. “I told him that I hate/hated football.”
[19:07:44] The teacher said: “Water boils at 100C.” The teacher said that water boils/boiled at 100C.”

Let’s run this as this evening’s quiz. Which of the variants in bold is correct above? And is there a rule?… More here ...


The appearance of this series in 1964 in Australia would have been unremarkable but for the little matter of WW2 and in particular Changi prison and the notorious ill treatment of Allies by the Japanese.

The show appeared only 19 years after the war and attitudes were still hostile to the Japanese in Australia. However, three things – the selling of Japanese cars, e.g. Datsun, plus the Tokyo Olympics, plus a new generation who had not known those horrors, meant that when this initially low-budget and simple show appeared, it was the ancient code of the Samurai and Ninja which grabbed yoof and the fighting took care of the rest.

A historical curiosity. The other show which appeared [later] was Monkey, using British voiceovers and done in a less serious style.

More here ...

Jerry Pournelle

Many readers will know of him, many will not. Haiku alerted me:

The world is poorer for his passing.

To bring you up to speed on his life:

One of the early techies:

Pournelle is recognized as the first author to have written a published book contribution using a word processor on a personal computer, in 1977.

He’s therefore of our kind.

He is sometimes quoted as describing his politics as “somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan”.[39] Nevertheless, Pournelle opposed the Gulf War and the Iraq War, maintaining that the money would be better spent developing energy technologies for the United States.

Vox was more his style, into the SF and so on, I knew JP through Chaos Manor.

RIP Jerry Pournelle.… More here ...

The Westphalen connection

Wasn’t going to post again tonight. Reason I dipped out of the quiz after a couple of hours is that a way forward through the impasse in the novel presented itself.

There were two killer Jennys and one has herpes and it’s gone to her brain, so I couldn’t see how to go any further. The male protagonist lost his wife Jane [murdered] in Luxembourg [don’t ask] but they’ve employed another Jane to run the fishing fleet which is their up-front livelihood, the day job.

Thought I’d best make this Jane not kosher to get a bit of spice into it again and so she confesses to them and seeks asylum. Her real name derives from Jane and is the German version of Jenny, pronounced Ye-nee.  So this now gave me three Jennys if I could get the herpes one to recover somehow.… More here ...

The two Jennys

I’d like to mention a fortuitous literary accident which may well, in the right hands, become an iconic pair of characters or else they’ll fade away to obscurity – depends how well they’re written.

Thing is, I saw this pic half a year ago and thought she’d be good near the end of the first part of this story [each a novella] as some sort of killer for the government, only this time the one she bumps off is a baddy, so she and good are momentarily aligned.… More here ...