Who's read this guy?

Probably a lot of people, but I don't know. I started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series about a month ago and finished on Fat Tuesday. They're rather remarkable; remarkably weird. But then, it wouldn't be science fiction if it weren't weird. At first I couldn't believe how outrageous his writing style was...his protagonists (most notable John Carter) are so full of themselves and land into the most hysterically funny and melodramatic circumstances that one read these novels with one's eyebrows frozen in the upward position. For instance: how many times does your princess/fiancee/beloved have to get captured in one story? At least four times, or the audience will get restless. How many red, green, yellow, white and blue men will you carve your way through to get her back? No one will ever now...but you average somewhere around a couple hundred a chapter.

Besides these classic situations, each book is uniquely bizarre (keeps you coming back for more). You've got the white guys who live down at the south pole of Mars who wear yellow wigs and sacrifice unsuspecting pilgrims to "plant-men" (who reproduce by an incredible combination of cell division and spores) and then you've got the black pirates who live in an undergroudn ocean and live only to attack the white guys whenenver it suits them. (Suits the black guys...the white guys probably wish they would cut it out).

You've got the yellow guy who live in hothouses at the north pole, and spend their time stacking their dead in caves and tunnels to keep outsiders, well, out, and hunt and grow beards.

Then...holy cow, the lists just goes on and on. The mandatory crazy scientist who transplants brains for a living, the symbiotic alien races of which one is a body without a head, and one is a head without a body...the people who live in a city and have a huge army made out of their own brain power...a city with life size (and alive) chessmen...

I think you get the idea. They're so weird and so outlandish and so outrageous...they could be the most addictive things I've ever read.


Happy flagellations!

Ash Wednesday has descended at important date for me, since I decided to give up the whole tv thing entirely and will be unable to watch either 24 or LOST. It will be a sever trial, that's for sure. LOST had just gotten interesting Scottish guy/prophet...*sigh* oh well. In the meantime, I will be reading War and Peace. Formerly I had been reading Dostoevsky during Lent (Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, The Idiot the last three Lents) but I've decided to give Tolstoy a whirl. I am taking bets as to whether I will actually finish before Easter. I'll be singing for Dominican Rite tonight...but most of the music is by Cardoso, and not very interesting. There's one Byrd motet, and Exaltobo Te Domine. But mostly strenuously boring material.


College woes

There are just too many e-mails in my inbox from crazed admissions directors pursuing my application. I can't stand it any longer....THEY'RE TOO MANY OF THEM! This isn't to say that I don't have my own personal mountain range of college brochures that have been snail mailed to me. But the deluge of e-mails really is frightening...I'm averaging about twenty a day. It's caused me to wonder if it helps them save on postage; but it can't, since all the same colleges have sent me the same standard letter by post as well. What are they hoping to accomplish? Drive me insane? Hoping that I'll visit because they were so annoying? The worst are the folks who e-mail weekly...."We noticed you hadn't replied to our first e-mail, so we want to make sure we're getting through to you" Usually if your correspondent fails to reply you should get the impression that said correspondent is uninterested. To add to this, the four colleges I actually am interested in have not seen fit to send either e-mail or brochure. I'm terribly vexed.

super madness

The superbowl was amusing, at least. I think we had to reminded after half time that this was a duel to the death between the NFL's best, not lousiest...but they both improved (if only somewhat) over the last two quarters. Except for Rex Grossman, poor lad. Maybe the halftime peptalk went something like this:'re supposed to HOLD ON TO THE BALL! no points for flinging it wherever you please. Just to prove I can write about something other than football, guess what I learned! I was reading Le Morte D'Arthur and discovered how Merlin was really undone. You see, I grew up with the version that he feel in love with a wily maiden named Vivien who weasled all his secrets out of him and then trapped him with them. Which makes you feel pretty poorly for Merlin. Turns out the maiden in question was actually named Nimue, and far from using Merlin, she was trying to escape him! Yes, Merlin was stalking her, bugging her, and generally making a complete nuisance of himself. So, to rid herself of this troublesome wizard, she stuck him under a rock. Served him right.