November 10th, 2008

Six Feet Under

We've started watching Six Feet Under.  Season 1 is available free from our cable provider. I see it was authored by the guy who wrote American Beauty- yes, that makes sense.

It's dark and crunchy on the surface, with a heart of goo. Well, that's not baaaaad. You could say the same of Dickens. People do wrong things but they're not mean- apart that is from the obvious folk demon types- like the "corporate nazi fuck" with the blue eyes and the too-thick blond hair who features in the early episodes. The view of human nature is essentially benign. This being Hollywood, everyone is extraordinarily beautiful. That's not baaaaad either, it's just unEnglish. If this were a BBC show they'd have cast people with nubbly faces.

Maybe it's difficult to take a malign view of human nature under the perpetual sun of L.A.  I dunno. Like I say, people do wrong things, but nothing mean and crawling. They also show a propensity to step up to the plate- as David does when he channels his inner-gangsta to see off  the "corporate nazi fuck".  In my experience people are sometimes as brave as this, but not always. This being Hollywood, lessons in morality are frequently being learned.

I like shows in which dead people turn up and talk to the living. There have been a lot of these recently. It seems to be zeitgeisty.

Arbor Low

My friend veronica_milvus just posted an excellent poem about Arbor Low- the Derbyshire henge. It prompted me to dig out my effort- written nearly 20 years ago- and tidy it up. Gib Hill (short for Gibbet Hill) is a few minutes walk from the henge. It's a neolithic barrow with a bronze age barrow on top of it and- yes- at some stage- I suppose in the 18th century- there was a gibbet there.

                                    ARBOR LOW


                                    Aileen stayed in the four wheel drive.

                                    This was the sensible thing to do.


                                    The wind was pure unpleasantness,

                                    Slinging the rain like fistfuls of gravel,


                                    Beating the gnarly stones.  They looked

                                    Friable, like left-over wodges


                                    Of dirty snow.  When I imagine

                                    A priesthood for these places I see


                                    Such men and women as Stukeley emoted

                                    In oakleaf coronets- not today;


                                    This weather favours no ghosts but the slatted,

                                    Air-treading low-lives of Gibbet Hill.