Posted by Sari
See I can still talk about other things besides skating. The problems begin if I have to talk about something other than books or skating...
Anyway, Jukka was ranting about how neither interior decorating shows nor magazines ever seem to cover homes where there are lots of books. Quite the contrary, it often seems that interior decorators are shallow morons who do not seem to think that people who own books would be interested in getting decorating tips. Or maybe they think that there are no people who own books and bookshelves are invented just so people could put their nicknacks there. This gets on my nerves. Books in quantities dominate any room they are in almost as badly as a big TV, and take up lot of space. So it would be nice if the pros would even once try to give tips to bookowners.
What brought this on was that I was watching Inno, the latest of these popular programs where a decorator will redo a space of your choise for a set sum. And fo the first time ever on any decorating show I thought the end result actually looked good. And then the decorator who designed the room happily went on explaining that they built these shelves and put the few rows of books on the upper shelves and CD's for the lower, because "you don't need the books so often".
Now, it is of course possible that the owner of the apartment had told the decorators that the CD's are more heavily in use and should be more accessible in which case I apologise and this particular the rant is in this instance misdirected. But if that was just an assumption from the part of the designer, could I please kick him in the nuts? It would give me great satisfaction.
As far as books themselves are concerned, Doris Egan's Ivory trilogy was nice reasnably entertaining SF fluff about an anthropologist who gets stranded on a planet where magic actually works and gets mixed up in the convoluted plots of the planet's aristocracy. Very readable SF romance if you have already read your Asaros and Bujolds.
Caton's cultural study of Lawrence of Arabia was a trickier case. It is in many ways excellent study of the many aspects of the film and does give lots to think about. What I found trite and uninteresting was the endless amount of time and space Caton used apologising for his interest in the film and the ways he reads it. For goodness sake, do you really need a twenty-page introduction to state the obvious? That it is possible that a work of art such as film to have more than one thing to say. That the fact that Lawrence is an orientalist epic does not mean that it is not critical of the empire, or that it can't in other ways tweak the hegemonic cultural representations. The way Caton feels he tries to pre-empty the criticism from feminist and post-colonial cultural scholars is really annoying and detracts from work's value because it is so pointless. Honestly, anyone who sees the film as an uncomplicated boys own adventure, and heroic representation of the white male among the (noble) savages needs to get his head examined.