JRR Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll. Brits who feel the need to escape their own dreary land through fantasy.
I just saw a movie which did not particularly move me called 'Stardust'. It's based upon a novel by Neil Gaiman in which (as you learn right at the beginning) you have to cross a wall to enter a world of fantasy. Gaiman throws his hat in with the wardrobes, looking-glasses, and paintings his predecessors were creative enough to come up with as portals.
Just pointing out similarities. I have read and enjoy all of the mentioned authors. There is something to be said for commonplace things being a portal to a hidden realm. When I was a child I dearly hoped it was true. Eccentrics, once wealthy enough (since those seem to go hand in hand) love nothing quite so much as a good secret passage to adorn their mansion.
(Scoff all you like. If you were a wealthy eccentric what would you want? Money? You have it, and can buy eccentric things. Companionship? You have money. You're not a philanthropist, unless, of course, you give your money to quirky and amusing things. You have a pad. Why not make your wardrobe a passage to another realm, say, the scullery? Delightful.)
I will, however, grant that Stardust had one of the most entertaining sword fights I've ever seen, and Robert De Niro was quite amusing.
In Other News: There's something truly disturbing in the fact that I missed out on Wyoming's caucus. I missed it entirely, had no idea of the date, or the winners or anything.There have been, as of 1/16, four caucuses: Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Michigan. Romney has won two of those, McCain one, and Huckabee one. Giuliani must be pretty sore.
Maybe we should lay off of Tom Cruise for a bit. Yes, he's crazy. We already knew that. More empirical proof of his being crazy won't change that opinion if it just confirms what we already know. That he is getting more press coverage than Wyoming is a little troubling. I doubt Wyoming will be the key to the election race, but it will certainly be more key than Tom Cruise.
Special Other News Inside Existing "In Other News": From the BBC:
"The "darkest ever" substance known to science has been made in a US laboratory.
The material was created from carbon nanotubes - sheets of carbon just one atom thick rolled up into cylinders.
Researchers say it is the closest thing yet to the ideal black material, which absorbs light perfectly at all angles and over all wavelengths."
That's what I've got for 'ya. British fantasy, eccentricity, Wyoming and darkness. One day, in Cheyenne, a man with a Cockney accent named Alec O' Toole found a portal disguised as a hassock that lead to total darkness...