Today is my grandpa’s birthday. He would have been 102. I still remember his birthday almost thirty years after he died, because when we went to visit my grandpa for his birthday, my cousins and I always got a chocolate advent calendar from my grandparents. That said, I remember the birthdays of all three of my grandparents, even though they have all been dead for more than fifteen years by now. I can hardly forget my paternal grandmother’s birthday, because it’s my own. And my other grandma was born on November 9, a day of high importance in German history. The day the Wall fell was actually her seventieth birthday. And since my grandma was originally from Dresden, i.e. East Germany, she got the best present ever that year.
I went grocery shopping today and got lucky and bought a batch of reduced Kinder Surpise Eggs at the supermarket to hand out on St. Nicholas Day.
Finally, I’ve got a few links to share as well:
Damien G. Walters has a rather condescending post about why crap books (in his exalted opinion, of course) sell, namely because the majority of readers are stupid and don’t want complexity and beautiful prose. I responded in comments over there.
Theodora Goss responds by pointing out that simple does not necessarily equal stupid and that different writers have different styles.
The Umberto Eco interview that started this particular argument is here, by the way. Well worth reading, even if it does not serve as a commentary on the quality of literature.
Meanwhile, Theodora Goss also has another good post on her blog about how reading and watching films or TV and analyzing the stories count as work for a writer. This is one thing that always annoys me about certain writers who shall not be named, namely that they always seem to be so damned proud about the fact that they never watch TV and also tend to insinuate that if you want to be a proper writer, you shouldn’t watch TV either.
Meanwhile, Pan Am, the new 1960s retro airline show which may or may not be already canceled, continues to make waves. Here is an actual former Pan Am flight attendant complaining about inaccuracies.
Talking of television shows I don’t like, here is an interesting article in The Guardian which traces a few scenes in the inexplicably popular Downton Abbey back to the ham-fisted and sappy WWII propaganda film Mrs Miniver. Which would actually explain a lot, since I don’t like Downton Abbey and positively hate Mrs Miniver. Now propaganda films are rarely good and a lot of talented Hollywood directors and actors produced a lot of godawful propaganda films during WWII. But Mrs Miniver must truly be one of the worst examples of WWII propaganda from Hollywood I’ve ever seen. After all, Joseph Goebbels is said to have adored Mrs Miniver and apparently showed a pirated edition to selected German directors and told them to make some something like that. And if Goebbels likes your film, it’s hardly a compliment.