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Uh, oh….The Beeb is making a tee-vee show out of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Regular port-swillers will know how ol’ Robbo feels about screen adaptations as a rule.  But why should I say anything?  Let’s leave it to the fellah actually playing Dirk:

[Stephen] Mangan is a long-time admirer of the writer. “I remember recording the first repeat of Hitchhiker’s from the radio,” he says, “I imagine it was the late Seventies so I’d have been very young. I’ve been a fan of Adams ever since.”

He admits, though, that the late writer’s vaulting imagination is hard to capture on screen. “I don’t know if I’ve seen any of his work that’s translated fantastically well. It’s hard because his books are so full of amazing ideas and the scale so vast and he goes off on these tangents. You can’t just take the book and make a screenplay and film it. You have to leave some stuff out.”


DGHDA is a minor favorite of mine, appealling to my quirkier side with its combination of a time machine, a vengeful alien ghost, an absent-minded professor, Coleridge, quantum mechanics and a long, back-handed compliment to J.S. Bach.  I doubt very seriously whether a tee-vee version can capture its charms.

*And if you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s a play on the title of Adams’ (unfinished) third book in the Dirk Gently series, The Salmon of Doubt. The second book, The Long, Dark, Tea-Time of the Soul, was okay, but not as good as the original.

A surprisingly (to me) sympathetic article in the L.A. Times concerning the recent announcement that the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to a Belgian immigrant near Green Bay 150 years ago was “worthy of belief”, thus raising the status of the shring built there in commemoration to the level of Fatima and Lourdes.

One thing puzzled me: The decision to accept the visions as authentic seems to have been made, after investigation, by the Bishop of Green Bay.  I would have thought that something of this magnitude would have to go all the way up the chain to Rome.

This is worse.

What is it with the Germans and their, ah, fixation on this sort of thing?

A glass of wine with Victorino Matus over at the Weekly Standard.

My apologies for continuing to chastise an ex-equine, but the nearly constant play of holiday musick on the local classickal station is really giving me the twitch this year. [Ed. – Why don’t you just turn off the radio? Quiet, you.  I’m ranting here.]

Who, exactly, enjoys “Jingle Bells as written by Bach” or Kathleen Battle chewing up “O Holy Night” anyway?

When my plan to be crowned Global Emperor has come to fruition and the Robbo World Order is established, there are going to be some serious reforms in this area, I can tell you.  (Speaking of La Battle reminds me that there are also going to be some serious reforms in the matter of opera as a whole, but that’s a dead gee-gee of a slightly different colour.)

I overheard a young couple on the metro this morning evidently discussing their wedding plans.  The gal said at least five times that the wedding was not a joining of the families, only of the couple.

Well, good luck with that, dear.

In my experience, the old adage that you marry the family, not the person, is perfectly true.  As you would have realized already, had you given it any thought, since you spent the rest of the conversation discussing all the personal quirks and shortfalls of your own extended clan and what impact they have had on your life.


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December 2010