Sunday, August 17, 2008

An uninspired post

I'm having trouble finding anything particularly inspiring to post about, so I'll mention the following:

* for all of my reader in Osaka, there's a particularly good deal going on in the Hotel Nikko Osaka at their Beer Hall in the sky (well, the 32nd floor):
A dinner set (¥5,500) includes snacks, plates of assorted hot and cold dishes, a main dish, salad bar and bread, and unlimited drinks for 100 minutes. Customers may choose from draft beer, wine, whiskey, sake, shochu, cocktails and soft drinks.
Mind you, caution should be advised for any function which provides unlimited cocktails available for 100 minutes. Could be some spectacular results on the carpet.

* I'm nearly finished Clive James' first volume of his Unreliable Memoirs. I see it was published in 1980, and have been half inclined to read it ever since then. (I often imagine heaven as being a place where you can spend the first thousand years catching up on all the reading you meant to get around to while on earth. The second thousand might be taken up with lessons on musical instruments. Then there may be a few hundred thousand years each of learning about and spectrally observing alien planets. But I digress.)

I had heard that James was very open about his childhood sexual development in this book, but it still made me feel "way too much information" too often. At least such disclosures do something to give a clearer picture of sexual activity of youth in history. I mean, it is easy to get the impression that childhood/early teenage sex only got really going in a big way since the 1960's, but memoirs like James are a strong corrective to that idea.

Anyhow, I found the book does truly become 'laugh out loud" funny when he gets to his university years, and the chapter about his brief stint of National Service was the best in the book.

* Bigfoot is 96% possum? This is probably the most stupidly run hoax in history


Peter said...

Hi Steve
I not long ago finished unreliable memoirs and had the same feelings as to clives honesty about his childhood sexual experiences,
a great read though,
The next book is better i think and equally as funny, falling towards england.
What i like in a book, i like in a person ,Honesty .
And with clive you get it in spades
I think it must have been theraputic for him to write that way,he describes things he is not proud of very openly and in the perspective the affected person would have seen it from
I liked them both a lot
Ps If you want to borrow the second book ,let me know

Steve said...

Thanks Peter for the offer. I didn't think writing a blog would result in offers to be lent books!

I won't take up the offer just yet; I'll be off on holiday soon.

Yes, Clive's self assessment is far from generous, and the self analysis does feel very honest because of that.

Anonymous said...

Clive's style of unglamourising his past might be heavy handed but the Kogarah of his youth was not that different to suburban Brisbane as far as go carts etc etc and being clueless about how to get educated.

He certainly is not recommended for public reading as you will certainly irritate people with laughter.

For sheer construction of minature eassay, his writing for television is ideal holiday reading even though the content is decades out of date - also available at all good rundown book exchanges - a diminshing resource I'm afraid.

You'll be pleased to know that I came to a dead stop reading his huge Cultural Amnesia book which is full of the missed opportunities to save Jewish refugees when he came out in support the Howards governments immigration policy. It jarred with the tenor of everything else in the book. I love his style so much I'll get back into it at some stage.