December Pieces Of My Mind #3

Baggensfjärden & Sumpholmen
  • I don’t really know what a Christmas movie is. I never go to the movies or watch movies at home around Christmas.
  • I’m always interested in historical and archaeological studies of social and political issues. But it’s more common to find historical and archaeological studies that name-check social and political issues despite barely being relevant to them. Always in the same over-earnest, slightly aggrieved tone. I find these failed attempts at political relevance ridiculous.
  • Confession: I’m a space fan but I don’t understand why a conjunction is a big deal.
  • We’re learning from the Norwegians! Sweden is also getting a project to check what is thawing out of our permanent snow patches and glaciers.
  • Is Pratchett’s Dune sequel The Wee Frehmen any good?
  • I’m so traumatised from 16 years in the academic precariat, that one year into my position with Uni Łódź I still catch myself feeling envious of people with university positions.
  • Was reminded that like Nerthus, like Grendel’s mom, like any Lady of the Lake, the Aesir goddess Frigg lives in a wetland: in Fensalir, Fen Hall.
  • Factories used to spew carbon dioxide that heated the planet plus particles that cooled the planet and caused lung disease. We got rid of the particles.
  • Movie: It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). Didactic story about accepting your lot and helping your fellow men. Grade: OK.
  • People seem to have had enormous problems with their digestion up to c. 1945. Or at least been super focused on it. I’ve never been aware of mine either way.
  • Awesome. In Poland there are “sworn translators”. “I swear I will translate until I drop! Nothing is going to stop me!”
  • So dark out in the afternoons and evenings. Feels like our house is on the seafloor. I half expect big fish with bioluminescent markings to swim past the windows.
  • German has lent the word Schublade, “dresser drawer”, to Swedish (skufflåda) and Polish (szuflada).
  • Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad about being judged unimportant when someone wrote an English Wikipedia article about me. I wrote an article about an indie band from Philadelphia that released eight albums, and they weren’t judged important enough either.
  • Had a 20th century moment. The keeper of the midday-empty sports bar was phoning in an order for vegetables. Slowly, one item at a time.
  • Sweden’s best rock journalist Fredrik Strage interviews musicans big and small, young and old, often in English, sometimes in Swedish. I’m a proud patron!

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

12 thoughts on “December Pieces Of My Mind #3”

  1. “Is Pratchett’s Dune sequel The Wee Frehmen any good?”

    (groan) As a fan of both authors… Ouch. I’ll need some time to let the dissonance stop ringing in my head.
    I wouldn’t actually put the Wee Free Men on top of “books from Pratchett to read.” Not at the bottom, either. Fun read, but not the one to discover Pratchett.

    Sidenote, I’m awaiting the new Dune movie with bathed breath. I was frankly disappointed by the TV miniseries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it’s middle-grade Pratchett. Also weakly rooted on the Discworld.

      I didn’t know about the 2000 miniseries. The 1984 movie is awful. Hoping three’s a charm and the new movie is good!


      1. Weird thing is, I consider the David Lynch’s movie closer to the spirit of the book than the mini-series, despite the mini-series sticking a whole lot closer to the plot and dialogue of the book.
        That got me were the costumes. Venitian/18th-century aristocratic dresses versus a coton robe with big paper butterflies pinned on it? Or Feyd and his plastic triangle which was boping him on the head every pace. Eurgh.
        Also, the nerfing of Irulan, from wannabe manipulating princess to a knock-off enamored Juliette. in the miniseries. And more generally, the young heroes acting like average careless American teenagers rather than the harshly-trained designated heirs of planet-sized fiefdoms.

        Eh, at least the movie got Sting and Patrick Steward. Whenever I’m watching some Star Trek, I’m expecting him yelling “atomics”.
        It could have been worse. Jodorowsky was planning to do the Dune movie, before the project was resurrected by Lynch. A documentary was made of it in 2013. But knowing Jodorowsky’s “metabaron” graphic novel series, whose two first tomes are a copycat of the Dune story, I’m afraid Jodorowsky’s take on Dune was diametrically opposed to my own reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I enjoyed both Jodorowiski’s non-scifi movie Santa Sangre and the documentary about his failed attempt at filming Dune. The man seems a little loopy!


    2. As a general rule, the book is better than the movie. This is mainly because the movie has to leave out details that are of medium to high importance in the book.

      Case in point: Catch-22. The movie is pretty good, but at least one major character from the book got written out completely (ex-PFC Wintergreen, the mail clerk who, because he holds that position, is de facto the man in charge), and the only hint in the movie of Scheisskopf’s parade fetish, a significant plot point in the book, is in the form of the marching band heard offscreen at the very end.

      Given the amount of detailed world building that Frank Herbert did for Dune, I expect this new movie to omit significant details as well. I just can’t predict in advance what those details will be.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Ugh, now I am wanting to do a Discworld/Dune cross-over, and I can almost see how it would work (small vignettes from gently massaged key scenes; the “Paul Atreides gets a spice overdose” seems like a good start).

      And as someone who may, possibly, have written LoTR/Blues Brothers cross-overs in the past…

      Liked by 1 person

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