Monday, 16 August 2010

Return to the Tubbytronic Superdome

Well, here I am again, back in the office and trying to find ways not to get on with work. The place reeks beautifully of fresh paint, as the authorities use bright colours to turn The Hegemon into Teletubbyland - the foyer looks like Cadburyworld and the next floor up is flourescent green. But hey, learning's FUN, kids, and nothing implies fun better than primary colours and the use of computers in place of people.

Amusingly, the Wikipedia entry has this to say about Teletubbies:
They have metallic silver-azure rectangular "screens" adorning their abdomens. These screens are used to segue into short film sequences, which are generally repeated at least once. The repetition of practically every word is familiar to everyone who has ever worked with young children.
The mixture of bright colours, unusual designs, repetitive non-verbal dialogue, ritualistic format, and the occasional forays into physical comedy appealed to a demographic who perceived the programme as having psychedelic qualities. Teletubbies was controversial for this reason, and also for a perception that it was insufficiently educational

I'm doing my best to resist the nurseryfication, by building a shelter in my office, made of books. Despite being on a book diet, rather many have appeared during my holiday.

Maggie Gee, The White Family - racial hatred in London families;
Michel de Montaigne's The Complete Essays ('Of Drunkenness' is particularly fine);
Hamilton's American Caesars, a pointed biography of the Roosevelt-Bush presidents;
Adam Haslett's Union Atlantic, a novel take on the finance crisis;
Balzac's Lost Illusions (country boy goes to Paris, finds out that everyone's a cynical poseur;
Claire Kilroy's All Names Have Been Changed - creative writing class drama in 1980s Dublin;
Unclay by T. F. Powys. Cost me £30 for this 1931 weird subversive spiritual satire (Death needs a break so takes a holiday in rural England);
John Ruskin's essays, Unto This Last - paternalistic Victorian social and cultural criticism;
a final Anne of Green Gables book, Anne's World: A New Century of Anne of Green Gables edited by Gammel and Lefebvre, all the way from sunny Canada;
at last, the Capuchin Classics reprint of Nancy Mitford's Highland Fling;
Terry Bisson's Fire on the Mountain, in which Harper's Ferry led not to an American Civil War, but an African-American country in America, a socialist utopia and world peace. That ticks pretty much all of my boxes.
Alberto Manguel's somewhat unsatisfactory A History of Reading (not as simple as you might think)
and finally, a free book: a complimentary copy of Australasian Canadian Studies Vol. 27 1-2 2009 - very comprehensive and wide-ranging.


The Movement Against Colour said...

Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey. Grey.

The Plashing Vole said...

Oh OK, I do sound a bit grouchy about this one. I would like some art on the walls here though. That would be lovely.