Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: Linky Love

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  • Islander, in reply to Danielle,

    Danielle - I've had numerous personal encounters with USA citizens (especially during the book tours I made during 1985 through to 1995, but also in Hawai'i 1978, and in many dozens of emails/letters throughout that period) questioning
    'fortnight'."That's Shakespearean" is the polite response from the literate. The impolite response (mainly from e-mailers I must say) is (translated) "wanky use of archaisms."

    Giovanni - you havent read the reviews of one, especially, of my books. A constant complaint is that, basically, I write ANZ english - and a lot of overseas reviewers dont like that.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    I just wish the yanks would get over their need to remake the rest of the world's culture so everyone speaks with their accent - provincial hicks.

    Well, it worked with The Office and All in the Family ...

    And, really, it's a damn shame that Honest, the US remake of Outrageous Fortune was a bit crap (without being nearly as crap as the British version). Had it caught on that would have been very good for its creators. So I'm alright with it in that sense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18654 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    on the subject of US TV, I'm enjoying episodes but then I'm not sure if it's the writing or than I'm a green wing fangirl, so stephen mangan and Tamsin Greig can do no wrong in my eyes.

    can i just make a big note of hooray for bookstores and the printed word. Everyone i know with an e-reader keeps telling me books are dead, but i truly believe they are so very wrong.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 469 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Islander,

    Giovanni - you havent read the reviews of one, especially, of my books. A constant complaint is that, basically, I write ANZ english - and a lot of overseas reviewers dont like that.

    You mean just American or also British? I've often been puzzled by anglicised/americanised editions that localise the spelling - as if one couldn't deal with the few differences.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7341 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I mean all English versions (there were 7 at one time - there are still 4.)
    Because of the contract terms, it is the original ANZ version (heavily spell-checked after the initial Spiral editions!) that is used in all English-language versions.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No I meant were they American or British reviewers? Or both?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7341 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Both. And an Australian.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Just for the record:

    1) When I chose the name of this blog,if I was “ripping off” anything, it was a well-thumbed copy of Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths and an entirely misbegotten university career as a classics major, not Public Address’ last culture blogger. (My taste for rather lame puns also reared its head.)

    2) When asked to pick a colour for the masthead, I went for my favourite colour – Blue. Read into that what you will, but trying to pull a Ihimaera is the least interesting (and plausible) interpretation.

    I hope that clears up a few things for the two people who care.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    I think a lot of the success of the UK Skins was actually down to the parents in the show, rather than the kids. Whoever was in charge of casting them knew exactly what they were doing: it was almost a cruel joke to see former leading lights of British TV comedy Harry Enfield, Neil Morrissey, Josie Lawrence, David Baddiel and Paul Whitehouse et al cast as out-of-touch middle-aged saddos. It was one of the many elements of the show which suggested the makers were quite aware what they were skewering, but it also helped that many of the adults-- Enfield especially, who apparently has directed and even co-written some of the episodes-- were absolutely in on the joke but actually gave their caractitures something resembling humanity.

    Also, there was a giddy irreverence that cursed throughout it, especially in the first two seasons: it genuinely let the audience revel in the decadence and hyper-reality of it, but it was refreshingly free or moralising, and- it has to be said- production placement. I think, deep down, it knew how overwrought it was, and so went out to puncture this at every given opportunity. Moreover, there were at least two superb performances in it: Nicolas Hoult as the charismatic menace Tony, and Kaya Scodelario, as the beautiful, enigmatic Effy.

    It was flawed, sure, but it had chutzpah, and I wonder whether the MTV series will have even half its nerve.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Re: The Office (US Version). I have too main problems with it. One: it's gone on way too long and seems not to know how to end. Two: it's as hypocritically obsessed with success as almost any other US sitcom. And besides, if you want the real US version of the Office, look no further than the scabrous, billious, Larry Sanders Show, which oozes awkward contempt from every pore.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    I guess my biggest problem with Skins is that I'm obviously more than two decades outside the target demographic (and at least twenty years older than most of the writers and cast). But if you really want to get right down to it, is there more filth and moral degeneracy in a series of Skins or six months worth of Corrie and East Enders?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    +1000 on Janelle Monae - I presume you've seen "that" Letterman performance from a year or so ago but I really hoped that would kick her into something huge. She actually pulled off getting caped. And with the marketing and hype backing of Puff Daddy I thought it might get big, but I wonder if he doesn't know what to do with actual bona fide talent.

    And re the libraries, my wife commented the other day that Supercitae has at least bought in the ability to request any book from any library in the whole region for, i believe, nought paid.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    I guess my biggest problem with Skins is that I'm obviously more than two decades outside the target demographic (and at least twenty years older than most of the writers and cast). But if you really want to get right down to it, is there more filth and moral degeneracy in a series of Skins or six months worth of Corrie and East Enders?

    It's probably a tie between the two, certainly the realism levels are about the same! That said I have always been quite impressed by how relatively un-patronising Skins is to its characters though, as opposed to something truly dire like Hollyoaks or Jersey Shore, which revels so much in their cretinous behaviour as to suggest the makers really don't young people at all, except for the money they bring them. Also, it's good to see a use for retired British sketch comedians that's at once credible and knowingly demeaning.

    I still think the gold standard is Freaks and Geeks though- admittedly, it's a very different kettle of fish ( Skins isn't about the "in" crowd per se, but even the nerds in it have a more bacchanal lifestyle than most teenagers). And I just can't stand how fundamentally self-serving and obsessed with winning Glee is...but that's for another rant :)

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    And besides, if you want the real US version of the Office, look no further than the scabrous, billious, Larry Sanders Show, which oozes awkward contempt from every pore.

    Word. Best sitcom ever.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    I still think the gold standard is Freaks and Geeks

    Oh yeah, that show was so good.

    And I just can’t stand how fundamentally self-serving and obsessed with winning Glee is…but that’s for another rant :)

    I haven’t seen much of Glee, but from what I have seen, I’m quite impressed at how the main character (or who I take to be the main character) isn’t that likeable. She's fairly self-obsessed, but I'm okay with that. Neither are most of the other major characters, such as Jane Lynch. They’re all deeply flawed, at any rate.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1131 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    … localise the spelling – as if one couldn’t deal with the few differences.

    On the American dialect thing, I have a few conversations on messageboards and such like with predominantly U.S. commentators, as I assume is true of plenty of others here. It is has been very, very rare that there has been any confusion caused by my dialect or generally NZ-English spelling.* So yeah, I’m surprised that it causes much fuss, these days anyway.

    * (“I bought it at the dairy,” used to mean general store did it once. And “yank” once got me accused of being racist or demeaning or somesuch, whereas I meant it no differently than “Kiwi”.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1131 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to philipmatthews,

    Word. Best sitcom ever.

    The recent Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno fiasco reminded me about how much that show got right about the backroom politics of the night-time talkshows. The way those two egos banged heads against each other- and the messy way it was resolved-pretty much played like an episode of the Larry Sanders show, albeit at slightly higher stakes and bank balances. Which isn't too surprising- the original series was based on Shandling's own experiences in that world, and the early 90s mad rush for supremacy in the wake of Johnny Carson's retirement.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Larry Sanders Show

    Our complete DVD set of this – I’ve only seen odd episodes previously – just arrived last week. Hooray!

    (But also: I don’t get why it’s ‘hypocritical’ for The Office to want to be successful. It’s a TV show. Presumably it wants an audience? And I love Mindy Kaling.)

    (ETA: Or do you mean 'themes' of success within the show itself? In which case: of course. American work culture is a whole different, weird-ass beast...)

    the gold standard is Freaks and Geeks

    I. Am. Obsessed. It’s probably in my top five shows ever. Haverchuck for President, always.

    Glee, however, can bite me for being filled with promise and then royally sucking almost *immediately*. The crash and burn was absolutely incredible.

    “yank” once got me accused of being racist or demeaning or somesuch, whereas I meant it no differently than “Kiwi”

    Interesting. I think of ‘Yank’ a bit like ‘Pom’: not particularly nice. It always calls to mind a lot of ignorant people pontificating meanspiritedly around a BBQ (and then shutting up awkwardly as soon as they work out my background). But that could just be my issues. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3624 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I hope that clears up a few things for the two people who care.

    That was highly entertaining. The colour blue and the word muse? How very dare you!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7341 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I'll accept whining from Chad about 'copyright' when his blog stops routinely flogging pictures from other publishers without attribution.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    That was highly entertaining.

    Well, kinda. It was a bit like watching people on Jersey Shore/Macaroni Rascals choose their clubbing outfits: the WTFness burned my eyes.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3624 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    And with the marketing and hype backing of Puff Daddy I thought it might get big, but I wonder if he doesn’t know what to do with actual bona fide talent.

    To be fair, he could have forced her to ditch the tux and go for a more obviously "commercial" sound and image. What I really love about The Arch Android is the kind of fearless "fuck you" to genre boundaries that made Prince at his prime so thrilling. Is every track equally successful? No, but anyone who cites "Princess Leia's cinnamon buns hairstyle", Salvador Dali, Philip K. Dick, Mary Poppins, and Bob Marley's smile as inspirations is never boring.

    And, yes, anyone who is going to invoke such an iconic moment as "getting caped" -- and pulling it off -- has serious chops.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    (ETA: Or do you mean ‘themes’ of success within the show itself? In which case: of course. American work culture is a whole different, weird-ass beast…)

    Yep, that’s it. What struck me about the US version of the Office is that it didn’t really seem like that bad a place to work in. Oh sure, the jobs were pretty menial, and their boss was a walking gaffe machine, but there was none of the soul-crushing claustrophobia and toe-curling management-beauracratise that was such a hallmark of the original version. It seemed like people actually want to get ahead in that particular environment, whereas in the UK version, the two “heroes” ,Tim and Dawn, can only fufil their dream if they manage to escape.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 442 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    If we were searching for an overly trite comparison of UK vs US television, it might be that British shows take horrible characters and intentionally make them sympathetic, while American shows take sympathetic characters and unintentionally make them horrible. Curb Your Enthusiasm is surely the exception that proves the rule.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Yep, that’s it. What struck me about the US version of the Office is that it didn’t really seem like that bad a place to work in.

    True enoiugh. But after the non-troversy over Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, here’s another question: How would the delicate petals handle an American Office that was twenty six episodes of relentless, cringe-making humiliation like the original? I’m probably going to get slapped for another ridiculous generalisation, but there’s a reason why shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development and The Larry Sanders Show are cults in no risk of becoming a major religion.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11852 posts Report Reply

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