Thursday, June 30, 2011

Afternoon in Eprius

Orestes murdering Clytaemnestra

In a previous posting I posted a part of a play I was writing concerning Andromache former wife of Hector and now 15 years after the fall of Troy Queen of Eprius. In that part I gave queen Andromache a long soliloquy has a prologue to the play. In this prologue Andromache gave the story of how she became Queen of Eprius and how a crisis is threatening her kingdom in the form of a Greek attack. In the prologue Andromache mentions that Orestes and Eleckra, the Son and daughter of Agamemnon of Mycenae wish to talk with her concerning this threat. Orestes and Eleckra father Agamemnon had been murdered by Clytaemnestra mother of Orestes and Eleckra who avenged their father by killing their mother. Both of them had been driven into exile as matricides. Andromache has reluctantly decided to see them. However a unforeseen guest has arrived in the form of Chrysothemis sister of Elecra and Orestes and hated by them for refusing to help in avenging their father.

In this scene it is early afternoon and Orestes, Electra are trying to justify their act of vengeance and antipathy towards their sister to the Queen Andromache. Chrysothemis is not interested in justifying her behavior, she sees her siblings as blinded by hate and delusion and utterly oblivious to actual justice.

Orestes and Eleckra see their dead father has a hero and cannot tolerate the truth about him, further they see their mother has the reason for their suffering they have and still are enduring. They see their act of revenge as justice. Their mother they see as unnatural, un-womanly and evil and thus deserving of death.

Chrysothemis sees revenge as poisonous and dangerous. She has no illusions about her father or for that matter her mother. She sees ambition as a corrupter of men's nature and sees her father as one so corrupted. Honour and nobility she sees as high ideals easily corrupted and perverted. Her mother she sees has someone corrupted by suffering and rage. Chrysothemis believes that Agamemnon's deeds against their mother Clytaemnestra and corrupted her the way ambition corrupted Agamemnon. She is also infuriated to no end by the double standard applied to Agamemnon's sexual behavior as against their mother's.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Garden Pics

Here are some pictures of my garden that I took in June of this year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

 The Archaeology
Of an Ending

Book Cover


Science Fiction books about Archaeology are frankly rather rare. Despite the romance of popular versions of Archaeology, the discipline is plain hard work and very unromantic. One of its chief characteristics is the sheer hard work and tedium involved in doing a dig and classifying and analysing what you find. Very little of archaeology is King Tut’s tomb, or Indiana Jones style grave robbing.

As an aside here Indiana Jones as an archaeologist is a pretty bad one. He is frankly nothing better than a grave robber and treasure hunter and not very good at it either. But of course Indiana Jones is great fun to watch for a bit a mindless popcorn fluff to while away a dull afternoon. As an introduction to archaeology he and the movies the character is stuck in are nonsense.

Since real archaeology is from most peoples perspectives a lot of drudgery and tedium it is rather hard to make it exciting and at the same time preserve some level of connection with the real thing. This brings us to the book I’m reviewing.

The book is John Brunner’s Total Eclipse.1 The book combines two interests of mine Science Fiction and Archaeology.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Rocks
Review of Deep Impact & Armageddon

Movie Poster

Armageddon and Deep Impact are both about BIG ROCKS hitting the Earth. The year before, (1997) we had BIG MOUNTAINS blowing up, (Volcano, Dante’s Peak), so Hollywood has another high concept fit. The laws of physics, plot probability, common sense don’t apply. teeth grinding cliches, improving on nature, and real stupid plot developments, and idiot acting, apply in abundance.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Battle of The Little Bighorn
A Note

Battle of the Little Bighorn

The battle of The Little Bighorn as produced an industry of books, and articles and has become a canonical / iconic event. This is sort of surprising given that the event wasn’t much more than a skirmish and in the great scheme of things not really all that important.

In fact the largely inordinate amount of attention given to this event is in itself a fascinating topic. However it seems to be one that attracts little attention. Instead the battle of The Little Bighorn has been dissected, analysed and evaluated and written about over and over again. In fact this small battle has been analysed to death. I suspect that the real reason for the fascination with the battle is not the battle itself but its context. By context I mean two factors, both closely linked; one is historical and the other is mythical.