Monday, 22 November 2010


Yes, as part of my new seaborne web diary series, I'll be coming up with a new lameass compound pun every week. Stay tuned for more dubious segues from early Portuguese colonialism in Asia to my new obsessions with contemporary vids and books.

So, as you may know, I left Fort Solor and, glimpsing our fort of Lifau off the port side, headed southward. What books are currently on O Capitão's shelf, I hear you cry? Well might you ask. Once I'm done with Goodbye to all that, the following are in store for me.

Comments, and suggestions for first tract off the rack welcome. And any I really shouldn't waste time on too.

* signals considerable anticipatory excitement from me, based on authors previous work

** signals added anticipatory excitement from me, based on authors previous work AND known connection with early Portuguese voyages to Asia.

  • Roberto Bolano: 2066*, Amulet, The Skating Rink
  • David Sedaris: When you are engulfed in flames
  • Alberto Moravia: Contempt
  • Augusten Burroughs: Dry
  • Irene Nemirovsky: David Golder
  • Boyd Oxlade: Death in Brunswick
  • Jose Saramago: The Elephant's Journey**
  • JD Salinger: Franny and Zooey*

Sunday, 14 November 2010

O Capitão's Cultural Caravel: All aboard!

You know, it hasn't been easy here at Fort Solor, in my self-imposed exile in the Torre de Keating, with only the annual dispatches from Lisbon, the nervy security forecasts of Lt Amilcar, and six utterly incomprehensible Mirandese foot soldiers for company. So bugger it, I'm setting sail, solo - south to Luca Antara, following the last known voyage of Eredia.

What will I find? Who knows, but I'm travelling with a shitload of ill-bootten gotty: DVDs and books mainly.

So, its ahoy and bemvindo to O Capitão's Caravel de Cultura. I've decided to turn this blog into a seaborne semi-diary of random cultural notes: primarily on books I'm reading, and films I've been watching. Partly because I tend to quickly forget films I've watched, I feel like I should start keeping records.

Beware, marinheiros, the seas ahead could be choppy, or dull and placid. I have no idea. Frankly, I can't promise we'll see land. But anyone who sails with me on BmL shall be my brother (and/or sister); be s/he ne'er so vile! etc...

Ill be back later with the first shipment.

Yeah, so, like, a few notes. Any thoughts, comments, logical next steps welcome, as I piece together Western civilization and modernity, artefact by artefact, in a ill-informed way.  

Lately, I has been mostly been.... putting a newborn to sleep, frankly. But in between:

Livros e Revistas:  Thought I'd revisit Robert Graves Goodbye to all That, which Ive not read since my teens. Erudition, and the compelling first hand accounts of WW1. Its a powerful combo. Recently I finished Matthew Condon's Brisbane, which would probably be more exciting if you weren't already a keen student of that city's history, like your humble Capitão. I read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer for the first time recently, and while I sensed the genius, it was all a bit overtaken by the genre (he had no doubt created) subsequently becoming more respectable and commonplace. I found myself a bit whelmed - although there were quite a few passages of great genius, and I loved the character van Norden. I also resubscribed to London Review of Books after a long hiatus.

Filmes e DVDs: Its been Robert Bresson season round 'ere at Chez Caravel. Is there any director who knew better how to pace a story? A Man Escaped (aka Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut) must be the best prison escape drama ever; Pickpocket is impossible to turn way from, and his famous Joan of Arc (script based on the trial records) is also a cracker. Frankly, French 'old wave' was the go. This guy was a master.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

'Jobs v environment' myth goes down in flames

I was glad to see the coal-eating surrender monkeys failed to have California’s alternative energy targets delayed. Despite financial support from Texas oil companies fro Proposition 23, it seems Californians weren’t fooled by the idiot’s parable that ‘failing to act on climate change’ means ‘protecting jobs’. 61% were convinced these measures would in fact create employment. Even conservative counties voted it down
Hopefully its the beginning of the end for the 'jobs v environment' myth. Time to kill it off!