The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
21 December 2005
  It's a Little Late for Gift Ideas, But It's the Thought that Counts...
Some off-trail items you might not have considered for gifts this year, for those whose inclinations in reading or film/music preferences often lead them to odd places. If you rush, as of Right Now (01:11 22/12/2005), some of them can still be here by Christmas!

Oh! What a Lovely War

Richard Attenborough's first film. As i recall, Len Deighton sued to have his name taken off as writer. It's almost quicker to say who of the British theatrical nobility aren't in it than to list which are.

Cast Includes:

John Gielgud .... Count Leopold Von Berchtold
Jack Hawkins .... Emperor Franz Josef
Kenneth More .... Kaiser Wilhelm II
Laurence Olivier .... Field Marshal Sir John French
Michael Redgrave .... Gen. Sir Henry Wilson
Vanessa Redgrave .... Sylvia Pankhurst
Ralph Richardson.... Sir Edward Grey
Maggie Smith .... Music Hall Star
Susannah York .... Eleanor
John Mills .... Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig
Dirk Bogarde .... Stephen
Corin Redgrave .... Bertie Smith

Views World War One through a distorting mirror as an amusement pier at Brighton, switching back and forth between realism, symbolism, and surrealism.

Began as a radio documentary called Long Trail Winding, collecting the songs soldiers actually sang, then a stage musical, then a film.

First time i saw it i was sitting in the rain at an outdoor theatre at Cam Ranh Bay, Viet Nam, in 1970.

(The link appears to be to a site that will sell you a bootleg copy; so far as i can tell, it has never been released in NTSC format for home use, though it has run a few times on cable.)

Clueless George Goes to War
Nasty, Brutish and short (30 pages).

Not unlike its protagonist, who is, of course, totally fictitious, bearing no resemblance at all to any Presidents, living or dead.

In a World War Two Afrika that didn't exist, but probably should have, Colonel Pfirsich Marie Manfred Rommel, the Field Marshall's potentially "embarrassing" brother who is, shall we say, a bit light in his jackboots, commands the 469th halftrack, support and gravedigging battalion, a place to stash the odds and sods that every army finds itself stuck with.

Some of the things that the Peach and his men get into are hilariously funny, some are hair-raising, and some are sad, with the horrible sadness that can only come in war time.

Here are the first first seven "Peaches", as Frau Barr was feeling her way into the character, the milieu and the overall story. (There are significant changes between issues 1 and 2, with Pfirsich's batman Udo becoming a bit less of an "old soldier" type, the elimination of a somewhat nasty streak of homophobia manifested by some of the troops, and making Pfirsich just a bit less of a nellie caricature, and more a real person.

I chose the "Lioness" quartet to represent Tamora Pierce's refreshingly girl-friendly YA fantasies because Alanna the Lioness is sort of an axis around whom much of the other characters and stories in Pierce's "Tortallan" universe revolve.

It is because of Alanna's example that Keladry of Mindenhall, the "Protector of the Small," decides at age nine that she wants to undergo page and squire training in order to become a knight. And it is becuase Alanna managed to get through the training disguised as a boy, and is now the King's Champion that the King has made it possible for Kel or other girls to do so.

Any of Pierce's books would be excellent reading for almost any age of fantasy afficionado, or gifts for girls or young women who enjoy fantasy but aren't content to be just the Mayden Fayre needing to be rescued from the Grimly Tower... girls who, if you don't keep an eye on them, are liable to grab their big brother's sword and saddle up a horse and set out looking for a few wrongs to right, themselves.

((And for somewhat older ladies who are more likely to picture themselves doing the Mighty Smiting of Caitiff Rogues than they are to see themselves shrieking helplessly for rescue, may i recommend Elizabeth Moon's "Paksennarion" stories, collected in the single volume The Deed of Paksennarion?))
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / February 2007 / August 2007 /

  • Baby pics; My [step] granddaughter.
  • Experiments in stereo (3D) imaging
  • Cowboy Mouth: Butt-Kickin' New Orleans Rock'n'Roll
  • Fairport Convention -- Pretty much the founders of modern Brit folk-rock
  • The Radio Ranch: Dick ("Chickenman") Orkin's freelance radio production facility
  • Laire of the Elecktronick Tyger -- my Web Page, such as it is. Book, movie, CD and comics reviews
  • My Amazon profile. Read my reviews. Buy things.
  • Long John Baldry: Arguably the most important force in the early days of British Blues.
  • Dark Star (DVD) -- See where George Lucas got some of his ideas.
  • Fallen Angel (TPB) Collects the first 6 (of 20) issues of the DC run.
  • Google News
  • The Nutbar Files:
  • 911: The "True" Story
  • A Typical "Moon Hoax" site
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