Listening in

73. Red Raw (comedy night, The Stand, Edinburgh)
74. The Worry Dolls, Go Get Gone (album, 2017)
75. Amores Perros (film, dir. Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, 2001)
76. Crime Fiction(s): Victorian and Neo-Victorian Narratives of Crime and Punishment (conference, Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies, Edinburgh Napier University)

What to tell you about this week? Go Get Gone is very 2017 and I like the fast ones on it the best. Red Raw is the beginners' comedy night at The Stand. I am not very good with stand up comedy, but a friend was in it, so I went along and she did herself proud. Ten shiny-new comedians in an evening is an interesting window into what expectations are of the genre. How is it different from off-the-cuff one-person storytelling? What subject matter are you expecting to see? It's interesting in the way I suspect the early output of creative writing courses is interesting. Some of them were great. Some of them followed established pathways so closely that the coolest thing about their sets was seeing what they think comedy looks like. Either way (and sometimes both at the same time), an unexpectedly thought-provoking evening. Of course the biggest question is the one I was asked (I think) ten times out of ten: how are we all doing this evening?

Alejandro Iñárritu is a very good filmmaker, and Amores Perros is a very good film. It is also very long - he seems to have done the patented David Mitchell trick of taking three novellas and smushing them together. Fortunately for me he is not quite as heavy-handed with the old whimsy as David Mitchell is (yes I will read Cloud Atlas eventually, but know that every thinkpiece about it ever makes me cough up a hairball, and I'm okay with that), but I bet there are a whole lot of dissertations to be got out of this. I watched it in a darkened room on a bright sunny day, whilst also reading a very interesting essay on identity and globalisation. The essay went rather well with it. More on that soon, I suspect.

And the last one is a neo-Victorian crime conference, which was everything that conferences ought to be, and I had a great time, and may have scared a few people off by asking them about their PhD theses and then not breaking eye contact for twenty minutes. I'm pretty sure the fifth row back of an interdisciplinary literature/history/law conference is my natural habitat. But why wouldn't you want to surround yourself with people who know about interesting things? I am the easiest person in the world to do outreach at. Sue me.

Other things I've read/seen/heard this week: an awful lot of recent Critical Role (but not quite enough that I'm caught up yet); one fantastic four-hour stint of a Dungeons and Dragons game in which mysteries were solved, peaces were brokered, and one gelatinous cube got what it deserved; a lot of folk music; and a Susan Sontag essay on art that I am irrationally angry at. Doing well.