Apologies for the rant in advance, but I felt like I needed to share it.

I was really excited when I heard about Gaiman’s book coming to the small screen. It’s definitely not a movie material (although it could be adopted in a LOTR-like three part epic), but the TV looks like a better medium. So I thought.

Upon seeing the first part I realized I forgot most of the book, so I’ve read it before the next episode came up.

The second episode… well, I watched it with my fiancee who did not read the book, and knew nothing of the plot. A couple of observations.

First, the adaptation is needlessly obscene (do we really need the dick-picks and the rant about spitting semen on the unfaithful husband’s grave?) and violent. I know, Gaiman’s work is full of sex and violence, but they are not just there to be there. Here a lot of it seems to be pushed upon the viewer just for the shock value.

Second, the plot is absolutely missing. If you don’t know the book, you have no idea what is going on, even after the end of the second episode. And this is deal breaking. Why would you watch something that’s obscene, violent, and nothing much happens in it, if you don’t know what the main plot is? If you’re a Gaiman fan, you know the story; if you’re not a hard-core Gaiman follower, why would you waste your time on the third episode? I know for sure my fiancee is not going to- and she so furious about how little these first two episodes actually gave her, she lost all interest in the book itself. Not sure how general this sentiment is, but you just lost a potential reader there.

 

Third: nothing happens. There are some characters coming and going, some dialog going on, but unless you’re familiar with the book you don’t know who the characters are (they are, generally, old, forgotten gods, and it’s kind of cool reading up on them, by the way), and why these characters matter. You don’t understand who the guy with the hammer is, and why he likes his hammer so much; you also don’t get why it’s important that he joins with Mr Wednesday and Shadow, so it makes absolutely no sense for Shadow to risk his life for his support. I understand they wanted to stick to the book as much as possible, but the book made a much better job at implying what’s going on -at least-, and the TV series format kind of makes it necessary to cut up the plot, and create tight episodes with proper beginnings and endings. A seven episode cliffhanger is just not going to cut it.

 

Fourth: for the trickster spider god, Anansi, we get a pimp-Malcom X mixture who delivers an angry ham-fisted tirade about how screwed black people are, and then proceeds to get the slaves in the cargo hold of a slaver ship murder everyone, and commit suicide by burning down their ship out in the open sea. This is definitely not insolent, cheeky god who tricked the Tiger to give him his big, hairy Tiger-balls and then shifted the blame to the Monkeys.

 

Anyhow, I’m really disappointed. The camera work is fine, the cast is nice, but the whole thing just falls flat on the major issue: unless you know the book you will have no idea what is going on (something to do with gods, going by the title), and will not be interested to find out.

 

A shame, really.

 

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I tried to get rid of everything that was left over from my relationship long gone. I did throw and give away most of the reminders (except for the regrets and bitter memories which are not so easy to discard), but there’s one thing I just can’t part with. Not because of any emotional value it might have -it was never used by her-, but because of how it looks.

Just take a look at this crazy Chinese kitchen tool. Does it look like something you would use in a kitchen, or does it look like something the elite Chinese special forces would use behind enemy lines?

0h4stlh

I think the answer is clear. I kind of want to mount this thing in a frame and put it on the wall.

Moringa (or drumstick) tree is supposed to be this miracle tree that cures everything, makes you look younger, and quite possibly grants you everlasting life.

(Seriously, though, it does seem like good plant.)

Anyhow, my dearest got about twenty seeds from somewhere, and the plant enthusiasts we are, I tried to germinate them. Three actually grew into plants which we potted, and now they are sitting in our window, growing happily.

We also drink all sorts of tea, and one of them is -surprisingly or not- moringa tea. Usually I empty the previous night’s teapot into the plant’s pots when I take it out for cleaning the next morning; why waste water, right? This had the side-effect of having a couple lemon seedlings growing, but more importantly it made me ask a very prudent question: does watering the moringa tree with moringa tea make it a cannibal?

So she feels under the weather, and just wants to get under a duvet and “watch a nice, lighthearted comedy or TV series”.

 

Half an hour later I go into the room to check on her. “So, what are you watching?” “Ripper Jack”

 

 

Ooookay.

 

 

Here I am, holding the door to a lady working in the Incidents team at my office. We have been in touch during exercises (work related, not physical exercise done in a gym), we say hi every morning; you know the drill.

So I hold the door for her going back to the office from the powder room, when she says “hello Mr Cool”.

The response was a slightly slack jaw and a somewhat confused face. She smiles at me, and says “we call you Mr Cool because you’re cool”, and walks away.

So yeah. That’s me. Mr Cool.

I’m still trying to find my jaw as it dropped, hit the ground and bounced away somewhere.

Well, after two years in the Civil Service I have come to an unwelcome realization about my choices.

When I joined up I expected I would be involved in decision making- setting the course on the fight against antibiotic resistance, being part of an advisory team, you know, being part of something that has an impact on the future.

Little did I realize that I would essentially be writing briefs and lists, doing finances and managing ongoing projects. Greasing the wheels so to speak. I know, I was naive.

So now I see that what I wanted was to be able to make decisions.

I realize now my error. I did not want to be a civil servant. I wanted to be a king.