Daily Archives: February 5, 2011

Compton Mackenzie Stuff

UPDATE: It’s the seventieth anniversary of the Hebrides wreck of the S.S. Politician with a cargo of whisky during rationing time. The real Whisky Galore story continues, with seventy-year-old whisky, and a collector of artifacts.

David Rintoul has an abridged audiobook of Whisky Galore out at Audible.com, produced by Hachette. (Pretty much all the Hachette audiobooks are severely abridged, but read by famous and/or good actors. It’s both clever and kind of cruel. But even a severely abridged version of the book is pretty fun.)

OTOH, Audio Go (which was BBC Audiobooks, which was Chivers Audio, which first fully converted me to audiobooks) has an unabridged version by Ken Stott. We wants it. We wants it, my precious. The BBC’s online store has it on sale this weekend, but they don’t ship to America if it’s something I actually want. The BBC America store doesn’t carry it. Audio Go’s American website is still (currently) called bbcaudiobooksamerica.com, btw. On their retail site, you can download some free Pronzini and Gaiman audiobooks, among other freebies. Unfortunately, you can’t find Compton Mackenzie.

I’m telling you, it’s a sad day when nobody will sell you what you want to buy.

Every so often, BBC 7 runs an hour-long dramatization of Whisky Galore, in the style of a BBC radio documentary and with field recordings (or imitation ones) of Hebrides music included. Just as with the movie, the snippets of conversational Gaelic and the authentic music really make the book come alive.

They’ve also got an unabridged reading of Monarch of the Glen by David Rintoul. I’ve heard this one before, on cassette tape from Chivers Audio at the downtown library. Apparently said library has deaccessioned it. Ochon! It’s a bit hard on the American characters’ accents, as usual, but it’s a very lively and well-acted reading.


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St. Zechariah’s Church?

CBN has a very nice video report covering the Israeli discovery of a 1500 year old basilica church in the Judean hills. It’s currently believed that the site marks the birthplace and/or tomb of the prophet Zechariah. (The apse and thus the altar were directly over somebody’s tomb, and Zechariah was from pretty close around there, so it would be logical. And you don’t build a basilica for every St. Tom, St. Dick, and St. Harry ben Nobody. Also, the Madaba Map of famous Byzantine tourist attractions and shrines comes into play to identify it, along with historical sources that say that the tomb of Zechariah was discovered in the village of Zechariah in AD 415.

At any rate, St. Zechariah was one of the minor prophets, but his prophecy is read by Christians as being chock full of Christological prophecy. If you want to read the Book of Revelation, Daniel and Zechariah are your bestest buddies. Anyway, I’ve said here before that the Old Testament folks are honored as saints by the Church, and this may be a good example of that.

Either way, there’s some very nice Byzantine floor mosaics to be seen in this report. I saw what looked like quail, fish in a vivarium pond (Christians in the Church!), the cock crowing, a goose hissing (warning people like a Roman goose?), and some nice geometrics. The archeologist in charge does a nice talk. (And I didn’t know Julie Stahl worked for CBN now. Did you?) Zechariah does mention a lot of animals in his prophecies; I wonder if there’s any correspondence?

However, the tomb thing is probably going to be disputed, because there’s 1st century BC a burial complex under the Mount of Olives that is believed to hold the bones of the prophet Zechariah as well as the prophets Haggai and Malachi. This isn’t necessarily a problem, though. If the basilica church were indeed destroyed in a 7th century earthquake, they would probably have done their best to get Zechariah’s bones out. And if they had to go somewhere else, taking them to the burial place of other prophets would be convenient.

The report also said CBN has a new section of their website focusing on Biblical archeology, which seems like a very sensible move. I don’t know why news coverage is usually so scanty about these things, when they’re always so interesting.

Via CBN’s Biblical archeology blog, there’s a great mosaic blog out there called Mosaic Art Now that has some very nice pictures. That blog links to gorgeous closeups from UPI.

OBLIGATORY DEEP MEANINGFUL PUNDIT STATEMENT: Kinda interesting that they now release the news about this church, at the very time when “the scepter of Egypt shall depart” (Zech. 10:11). 😉 More seriously, his feastday in the Eastern churches is February 8, so it’s timely.

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That “Detective Galileo” TV Show I Was Talking About

You can see it various places around the Internet. Probably the most convenient link list is this one at mysoju.com.

The special is a prequel, which was released later as a tie-in with the movie of Yougisha X no Kenshin (The Devotion of Suspect X). It basically is fluff.

Here’s a list of movie links.

Btw, if you see sexual discrimination in stuff set in Japan… well, it’s usually because Japanese women do get discriminated against. A place can be very modern in some ways but not in others. (Of course, pretty much everybody in Japanese society suffers severe social pressure to conform. This should not be news. Even criminals are pressured to behave in the proper way when arrested; and the police get very indignant if you insist on your own innocence, for example.)

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