I'd like to ride the 929 on this trip. Yeah, it's a full-on sportbike. That's the pleasure and the peril in one noun. It'll be so sweet in the twisties. This plan might founder on my inability to find mounting hardware for hard luggage for it. Givi discontinued theirs. Ah, well, I've spent only half an hour on this problem so far. I might yet find a solution.
In other news, spent the evening with nemaihne and husband. We had dinner, watched 300, had coffee, then I inflicted two episodes of House on them in an attempt to addict them. We also had a little incident at a bookstore, at which I bought :
- Kage Baker, The Life of the World to Come. The latest Company novel is out in hardcover now, and this is the one before. Wonderful books, if you haven't read them. About time-traveling cyborgs all over history. The first is In the Garden of Iden. Set in 16th century Spain and England.
- Larry Niven, some collection of Draco's Tavern short stories. I, um, have a weakness for ol' Larry. Hubby & I bonded early on over a shared frightening knowledge of trivia from the Known Space books. You know how they say the Golden Age of SF is age 13? This is what I read at age 13. This and Sayers.
- P. D. James, The Lighthouse. Dalgliesh novel.
- Bernard Cornwell, The Winter King. Arthurian retelling that I've been meaning to check out for a decade or so.
300 is... well, I wonder what heterosexual men are thinking when they're watching this movie. Are they aware they're watching gay porn? Spoilers? Can spoilers can be said to exist for this movie? The most important thing to know is what everybody already knows about Thermopylae: a bunch of Greeks including 300 Spartans went there; they fought a delaying action against Xerxes at a natural choke point while the main Greek army escaped; they all died.
The movie gets about a 1 out of 10 points on historical accuracy. At some points it was so ludicrously bad that I laughed out loud in the theater. The idea of Spartans, who had required by law the pederastic paedagogy that the Athenians merely had as optional custom, mocking other Greeks for loving boys! Tee hee. And of course the concept of helot-keeping totalitarian Spartans thudding out portentous lectures about freedom is... amusing.
The name "Sparta" and the martial culture they did in fact have make attractive starting points for fascist fantasy stories, though. Frank Miller wrote a fun one. Should be a staple of Marine barracks film nights for decades to come. Subtexts will not be parsed. (Why is the iconography of fascism so homoerotic? I'm quite sure that many tedious essays have been written about this. What's the one-sentence answer?)
Visually stunning, however. Just gorgeous. Lots of lovely waxed male chests to enjoy. Leather codpieces, well-stuffed. Chains and piercings on the Persians. The high point of the movie is a slow-motion fight sequence where we watch Leonidas slaughter an endless series of Persian soldiers with spear and sword and shield. Great stuff to look at. Worth seeing on the big screen just for this sequence.
Final image was interestingly Christian: St Sebastian pierced with arrows.
David Wenham was dishy. I hope he ends up with a nice career so I can look at him some more.