Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bad. Idea. Disney.

Hot off the broadband from California comes the news that Disney is to try its hand at filming Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. It will be an edgy, contemporary version so they say. Ok, edgy. Like Margaret Rutherford, and Joan Hickson; Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie and Angela 'Cabot Cove' Lansbury. Utterly edgy for sure. Hey, it worked with Sherlock Holmes. Just needs a little tweaking. Here's a concept: let's make Ms Jane a couple of years younger ... Jennifer Garner (aged 38) younger!

I had thought that the point of Jane Marple was that she was a fussy old lady who knew all the village gossip and liked to knit. Nobody took her seriously because she was old. And then she trumped them all by figuring out the plot. Not only do edgy and young cut the heart out of that character, but they also feed into the prejudice against old ladies being past it when that is exactly what Miss Marple is not.

Boo! And shame on you, Disney!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Football Crazy?


The ravaj has noticed that there have been quite a lot of sporting posts recently, especially football ones. She is sorry if that turns you off the blog and would like to say that the season ends on 8th May so not long to go now. She would like to say that, but in fact it probably has less to do with QPR doing so well for the first time in over 15 years and more to do with the world outside being in such a sorry state. This evening's news included:

The father of a young woman whose body was just found after she had been missing for 10 days. She was naked and in a shallow grave and the minicab driver who allegedly murdered her appeared in court today. Meanwhile, the father made a statement to the press on camera. Why did he have to do that?

Interviews with pro and anti Gaddafi fighters with explosions and shots going on in the background.

The latest on the torso of an African child found floating in the river Thames that may have been part of a ritual killing.

The Royal Wedding - how the police may use that as a reason for greater powers to stop and search individuals.

And let's not talk about the drama re the England football team captain position! So, you see, recently I have needed to focus on less terrible events. I try my best to contribute to making things a little better. But sometimes, it is too awful out there. Back asap. Shalom.

Showboat - the Adel Taarabt Special


A bit of skill to take us through the desert of the international layoff. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jews with Horns 1

Do you recognise this sculpture? It is the head of Moses (the guy from the Book of Exodus), as imagined by Michelangelo Buanarroti in the early 16th century. And he has a lovely pair of horns growing just above his brow.

Horns? Like a goat or a devil? From where on earth did that idea come? Wikipedia has a lovely explanation:

"The marble sculpture depicts Moses with horns on his head. This was the normal medieval Western depiction of Moses, based on the description of Moses' face as "cornuta" ("horned") in the Latin Vulgate translation of Exodus. The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the Vulgate as, "And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord." The Greek in the Septuagint translates as, "Moses knew not that the appearance of the skin of his face was glorified." The Hebrew Masoretic text also uses words equivalent to "radiant", suggesting an effect like a halo. Horns were symbolic of authority in ancient Near Eastern culture, and the medieval depiction had the advantage of giving Moses a convenient attribute by which he could easily be recognized in crowded pictures."

We might deal with that last sentence later, or I could just scream APOLOGETIC and move on. So here's what I know: in Exodus 34:29, Moses comes down the mountain for the second time after getting a new set of tablets, and the Hebrew says "ki karan or panav", i.e., that his face was beaming with light. The verb 'karan' is key here. I know it from traditional Jewish texts as light shining forth, which suggests rays coming from his face.

Perhaps the horn-like protuberances are Michelangelo's attempt to portray such rays. Or not. Because in the 5th century, Jerome (who created the Latin translation of the Hebrew for the Vulgate) made the connection between the verb 'karan' and the noun 'keren' which means horn. This is what he wrote:

"cumque descenderet Moses de monte Sinai tenebat duas tabulas testimonii et ignorabat quod cornuta esset facies sua ex consortio sermonis Dei
(And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord.) "

Interesting that the latin word for horns is 'cornuta' ... krn, not unlike 'keren'.

Ok, some people therefore believed that a Jew might have horns. Moses was a good guy, so where's the problem?

Next we turn to the Gospel of John in the New Testament. In chapter 8, a conversation between Jesus and the Jews is recorded. The highlights for me are these three verses:

38 - "you do the things that you have seen with your father"
41 - "you do the works of your father"
44 - "you are of your father the devil and the desires of your father you will do"

Everyone knows that devils have horns. But in case that is not enough, have a look at First Thessalonians 2:14-15:

"the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men".

Your bible tells you that the Jews killed your god, that the Jews are the children of the devil, and that their leader had horns. What reason would you have to believe anything different?

AND IT'S STILL OUT THERE. It is a while since the ravaj was a child. However she came home one day from school and asked the father of ravaj why a kid in the playground asked to see her horns. Her father explained the background. She asked what she should answer if it happened again. Her father told her to tell them that she had shaved them for the summer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Up, Up and ...

Celebrating the first award of what QPR fans still hope will be a season of promotion - the team captain Adel Taarabt has been chosen as the player of the season in the Championship. The presentation may be seen here.

Come on you RRRRRRRRRRRRRR's!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sad News from Germany

The Guardian newspaper reports that Knut, the cute polar bear in the Berlin Zoo, has died unexpectedly at the age of four. No cause has yet been announced. Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that a polar bear belongs in the Arctic Circle rather than the capital city of Germany?

Do you remember Gus, the polar bear in Central Park (yes, the one in the Tragically Hip song)? He became news in the early 1990's when he began swimming in circles. The zoo hired an animal shrink to examine Gus's neurotic behaviour, and it was decided that he was bored and depressed. They gave him a bucket as a new toy to play with, and he swam in circles again, pushing the bucket before him as he swam.

It may be cool for us to stop off and see a polar bear on the way home from work or the shops. Not so cool for the bears. Gus is still a big attraction in Central Park. Poor Knut is dead. Save the Polar Bears!

PS Latest news from Berlin - they want to stuff Knut for posterity. Noooooooooooooooo!
Read it here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sick as a Parrot

We knew it. We knew it! It has been so hard to enjoy this season of QPR footballing superiority. All those wins and unbeaten runs were always under a shadow. We could not imagine what might be causing that shadow, but we knew that we could not trust and hope that the R's are going up. Then, last week, with his goal against Leicester, Ishmael Miller released a tsunami of belief that it was going to happen. It still may. QPR might still be promoted at the end of the season. We might be planning trips to Manchester and Liverpool. Or. OR the Football Association may punish the club and all the fans for the machinations and misdeeds of one Gianni Paladini. I do not have the words to express my disgust at what this man has done to my team and my football friends and to me. Read what Clive Whittingham has to say instead. He has some excellent words.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Ishmael Miller? Call Me Delighted!

So my beloved QPR win another match and are eight points clear at the top of the table with eleven matches to go. Today they were well-matched by Leicester City, but nicked it in the 88th minute with a great goal by substitute Ishmael Miller on loan from WBA.

It sounded on the radio as if the crowd is beginning to believe that we'll be playing with the big boys in August. Is it safe to believe yet? Is it safe? Excuse me while I go look for some oil of cloves ...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Gaga Galliano

So the fashion designer John Galliano is to stand trial for making anti-semitic remarks. As presented by Rupert M's Sun newspaper, a video is out showing Galliano slumped at a cafe table talking to people sitting nearby.

He sounds totally hammered and says he loves Hitler (yemach shemo) and something about how if today's Jews were alive then they would have been gassed. Stupid stupid stupid drunken man. Worth sending him to prison for 6 months for being a jerk? Are there not more important issues upon which to concentrate?

For example, UK Prime Minister travels around the Middle East pimping British-manufactured guns with one mouth and with the other decries Colonel Gaddafi's violent response to rebel forces in Libya. O don't get me started ...