Month: September 2009

The Great Wild Things Freakout

olde-thyme3From this very nice site centered loosely around the new Wild Things movie, some perspective on how ground-breaking (and/or disruptive of the social order) Sendak’s book was on publication, from children’s librarian and scholar Sheila Egoff.

While the illustrations disturbed those adults who saw the “Wild Things” as ferociously threatening rather than humorously subservient to Max’s will, the extreme reaction to Sendak’s work intimated that there was more at stake than a matter of interpretation of the pictures. As it turned out, this as yet unformulated anxiety was justified. Sendak’s underlying theme that a child has unconscious needs, frustrations, and fears unsettled society’s hitherto conceived ideals of early childhood and the book itself broke the stereotypic mold that had held for almost a hundred years.

Europe’s Picture of Dorian Gray

George Monbiot in the Guardian:

When the great tsunami of 2004 struck the Somali coast, it dumped and smashed open thousands of barrels on the beaches and in villages up to 10km inland. According to the United Nations, they contained clinical waste from western hospitals, heavy metals, other chemical junk and nuclear waste. People started suffering from unusual skin infections, bleeding at the mouth, acute respiratory infections and abdominal haemorrhages. The barrels had been dumped in the sea, a UN spokesman said, for one obvious reason: it cost European companies around $2.50 a tonne to dispose of the waste this way, while dealing with them properly would have cost “something like $1,000 a tonne.” On the seabed off Somalia lies Europe’s picture of Dorian Gray: the skeleton in the closet of the languid new world we have made.

“I feel like I have God for a pal because no one else would have me”

For liking, nay, loving this, I have been accused of being a “great soft shite” by a friend, and the NME has weighed in on the entire God Help the Girl project in a most negative way. BUT I LOVE it. And I am especially taken with the singing of Catherine Ireton, whose easy flow from conversational to soaring is a wonderful thing, and reminds me of a Sinatra in his prime or a Merle Haggard before he wrecked the upper half of his range.

And the entire sensibility of the group and the video I find sweet in the best way. They played one of their first gigs in a small chuch, which is weirdly appropriate (see it here), and there’s a sneaky sort of proselytizing going on, but one I personally can handle.

“I feel like I have God for a pal because no one else would have me,” Murdoch writes in an online journal entry. “Maybe that’s the basis for a lot of religion. He’s the invisible friend that it’s OK to have as an adult.”

In fact I like that quite a bit.

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