Monday, January 25, 2010

DUNE 20th time and still GREAT

Dune by Frank Herbert, I think is the best ScFi ever written.

Big statement I know but I think it is true!

If you have not read it I would say to you just read the first one, even if you do not read the whole series just read the first one.

I am re-reading it for, I think and this is a conservative estimate, the 20Th time, that works out to once a year since I was 12 and I know there are years when I have read it twice.

And it never gets boring and every time I read it I get something new from it.

In the past the one of the things that has always resonated with me is the Litany against Fear from the Bene Gesserit rite;

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

That has brought me comfort over the years and has helped me be less fearful. But this time as I was reading the book a new thing stood out for me.

The first Law of Mentat is;

"A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it."

And now I have a new idea to mull over in my life and see how this helps me change.

I find it amazing that a person could create in his head a universe of such depth and layer and history. That from a place on earth, because that is the start, he could imagine a future like this for humans. Our history is interwoven in this future, bits of us make it into this realm.

Maybe that is why it is so easy to follow. Maybe we can see that our future could go something like this.

I have a deep fondness for the Bene Gesserit, a school of metal and physical training mainly for female students. I would love to be a Bene Gesserit, although I have deep reservations about their work, in their quest to keep humane bloodlines safe, they have forgot the "humane' and seek out the Divine. The Kwisatz Haderach.

I have deep feelings of love for many of the people in this book. Yes I know I just called them people and not characters, but to me over the years they have become real. I feel a savage joy in their victories and I still cry when some of them die. I feel for the Lady Jessica and her place in the world, I want a different path for the Duke Leto, I feel for Dr Yueh, knowing what the Harkonnens can do you understand how he does what he does. The Dukes main men are men I would like to drink with. And Alia, the one who was awoken early, for her I feel such empathy.

And they aren't even the main characters!! Are you starting to see the pull?

Since Frank Herbert's death more books have been added to the world of Dune. I like these books and they add to the fabric of the legend. But they do not have the touch of a Master. His son Brain Herbert and author Kevin J Anderson just do not have his tone. But that is to be expected and I think they have done a wonderful job.

I really look forward to reading some of Brian Herberts non Dune novels.

This is an article I found on line and I think it will do a better job then me at sharing one the ideas that I find most interesting in his books.

Also there is the group of Hidden Jews that are in his books, I found this wonderful and amazing. To me it rang true, that no matter what happened to them or how they where hounded they survived.

A warning though, if like me you go and google this be very careful. A bunch of wanker white power idiots and anti-Semite F&#@ers have hi-jacked this aspect of his work and you might like me end up on a page that makes you sick.

There is so much I would say about these book and why I love them, but as always my inability to express how I feel in words eloquently pulls me up and I just say to you read this book, give it a try and see what you see.

At some other point I will get on to the David Lynch movie. I really liked it but other fans hate so it will be a whole other post!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Magic in Movies.

I saw Avatar today and I loved it.
It is every childhood dream I had of different made up worlds that could just be around the corner or under a leaf.
It was the Swiss Family Robinson Tree on steroids.
It was my fairy dreamland made alive.
It was an underwater dream scape on land.
It was pretty and beautiful and grand and wonderful.
It was an imagined world made alive.
I am so happy that some very few blessed people in our world are granted the talent to be able to bring the imagined to life for us.
Do I wish I was one of those people?
Yes I do.
But I am not, so I am just happy to the bottom of my bones that some people are able to do it and that they think big.
It is a tale that has been told many times, so not a new story.
But a story told in a new visual way.
The characters are all archetypes, so not new to us.
But because they are archetypes instantly familiar to us.
It is a metaphor and didactic,
but still wonderful despite this.
It has bits and bobs borrowed from every war, love, battle, cross cultural film ever made,
but not boring.
Even the cadence of the Pandoraian Natives is familiar, sounds like North American Indian cadence.
But even that harks back to a story already told and not learned from.
We have all seen the small worthy group beat the bigger badder foe,
so nothing new there, but still not boring.
There is said to be nothing new under the Sun, and that may be so,
But James Cameron gave us a new Sun to look upon and for that I am thankful.
I love love love love love love love love love Cinema and this is just one reason why.
We as humans are not so bad I think, even though we do vile evil things at times, if we can still make beauty for others.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Love In a Cold Climate

I had read about the Mitford Girls many years ago and found their family and life fascinating. They really did live a life that seems today unreal.

I knew that Nancy was a writer but had never seen her work in print. With the new release of the classic orange and tan Penguin Books selling for only $9.95 I decided to finally give one of her books a go.

I enjoyed her work the way I enjoy Evelyn Waugh.

Both of them write intimately of a time and place and a world we will never know. They write about that world with love and disdain. They mock it and at the same time you know they have a deep fondness for it because it was their world.

While reading Love In A Cold Climate I was constantly thinking it was really a bit a of a bio, if you read any of the many books about the Mitford family you will know what I mean. The story is set in the stately homes of England and the people are all what we would call posh. It is about the relationships within a sprawling family and the journey of one, Polly, to find love.

I don't really care that much for Polly, but I do enjoy all that goes on around her and within her family.

If you enjoyed movies like Gosford Park or Brideshead Revisited or like to peak at a different world you might get into this.