This is my rant on the TV Series and Book, The Last Ship.
This contains spoilers.
In essence my rant is this:
The story in the program has no relationship to the book at all.
Now that is a little too cut and dried you might say.
I do understand that everything in a book may not make it to a film or series. Somethings are just not directly translatable from one medium to another. I get that and I usually do not mind this if the basic integrity of the book is kept.
However, this adaption is totally different.
Okay, okay, to the ship has the same name, but a different propulsion method. Different plot lines based on this fact and different worries for the crew.
The captains name is the same, but everyones relationships are different. As in family make up of the crew (e.g. the captain in the book is single the other is married with two children). People’s relationships to each other and people on the land differ. There are NO civilians onboard and so no story line that the TV series has round these points.
Sure it is the same that there was a world crises but the nature of the crisis is different. The ships crew therefore have a totally different set of problems and adventures they face. The TV series has a virulent plague and the book a nuclear war with most places on the globe radioactive, most supplies shore radioactive and so the cannot scavenge like the TV series guys do.
And while we are on the TV series scavenging. I really, in my heart of hearts think that the navy would be a lot better at scavenging than they show. That there would be a system and discipline. They are instead sending in a small crew with a grocery bag and have them scramble round, and believe me they scramble worse than people in a grocery grab do. They thrust their hands into shelves make a fist and whatever is in their hand they pull out scattering the rest of the shelf on the floor. So yeah that annoys me. Anybody let alone Navy folks would be more thorough.
Anyhow, back to my main gripe.
The book vs the series.
In the book they sail places. In the TV series they sail places. Only there is not one place in the book that the series sails to or from. Mind I have not watched the whole series so they may in future.
Less overt but telling I think is the fact that the themes of the book are not displayed in the series. It is way less natural and of course for TV more confrontational. It is less about big ideas than of drama and conflict. Not that the book does not have drama and conflict. It maybe even has a little too many introspective musings of the captain. But for the core fibre of the book not to appear in the series is galling to me. I don’t know how the author (William Brinkley) feels about it RIP Bill (September 10, 1917 – November 22, 1993). I hope no one in the afterlife has bought it to his attention.
So that is my rant, I am trying to give there series and break. I repeat as a mantra its not the same story, let it go, its just a series with the same name as a book you just read. I am trying not to repeatedly say to my husband, that’s not how it was in the book.. oh and that, that was not either. However I think I am failing in the attempts.
in conclusion the TV series is nothing like the book, and it would be useful if they had had some navy consultants to get things ship shape and more like naval officers.
Watching people work and asking them about it is one of my favourite things to do.
Today the Plumber came, so it was a good day.
Instead of plumbing tape to put in the threads to seal them tight, he was using an older way of doing things. A way I thought dead since I was a youngling. And, I have seen half a century of life. How did that happen?
He was using hemp and graphite paste to seal the pipes threads. He replaced a valve and there is an art to the use. He had different techniques I noticed for different sized joints. Some he spread the hemp threads wide and then spread graphite on. Some he twilled the threads to a kind of cord.
It is good to see some of the old ways come back.
As much as I love technology and long for more advanced tech, I do still love the old ways.
The Plumber said it was better to have the hemp as it swells when it gets wet. So if I joint starts to leak it seals it back up.
Also the plastic tape can move around and loosen, making it an ineffective sealer.
I find these things fascinating and learning a bit of the skills involved means I appreciate the work more. 🙂
In this final assignment you are asked to pull together all of your imagemaking work and compositional experiments into a single 8-page booklet. Now is the chance to play around on the page! As described, you can complete this assignment on the computer (using InDesign) or by hand.
Assemble the images you have collected or made into one place.
If you are using InDesign, scan or photograph your images so they are cleaned up and ready to go as digital files. If you are working by hand, you might want to photocopy your work at a few different sizes so you have some options to work with.
Set up an eight page booklet consisting of three two-page spreads and front and back cover. Each page should measure 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches high, or about the dimensions of a single letter-sized sheet of paper.
Adjust or alter your existing compositions from Week 3 to this new format, trying to use at least one form of compositional hierarchy in each. How can you create a sense of narrative going from page to page through the book? Try moving images around, and consider the edges and center of the pages.
Consider and create a compelling front and back cover for your book. What images or strategies can you employ on the front cover to give readers an idea of what the pages hold? On the back cover, how can you articulate a sense of closure to your narrative?
IMPORTANT: You will be uploading each component of your book as separate image files, 5 in all, starting with the front cover, then the three (reader’s) spreads, then the back cover. You may present your page spreads as exported files from InDesign, or photographs of your final, assembled book.
Do not upload printer’s spreads for this assignment as it will be difficult for your peers to review your project. See this diagram for further explanation:
I hear poetry whispering through my mind. Thanks to my standard 4 teacher Mr Crimp. Sometimes those whispers are called up as they echo an event or emotion in my life. Sometimes they appear from nowhere just adding beauty to a day. Sometimes it crashes in deeply moving me.
I do not like all poetry, much of it never whispers to me at all. But the ones that whisper, call and seduce me I love well.
Mr Crimp was my teacher in my last year of Primary School, I would have been 9 at the start of the year and 10 at the end. He remains, for many reasons, my favourite teacher of all time. He will be dead now I guess, he was close to retirement when he taught me and that was 40 years ago. Making him near 100 if he lives still. Yet he lives still.
He asked us to memorise poems and you got some kind of reward for doing so. I can’t remember the reward, for me I remember the feeling of satisfaction at often being among the fastest to do so. That was the real reward for me. It was one of the first memories I have of competence. Of standing up in class surrounded by people wondering why I thought I’d learnt it already. Waiting to hear my voice fail as I reached the limits of my memory. Not that they were doing so maliciously, just it was the expectation based on performances of other tasks. That kind of mute sympathy you hold out for someone whose side you are on but whom you fear will fail. You feel for them and expend sympathy before they even fail.
That first poem lead me to a lifetime of enjoyment. How sad to have missed the feeling of majesty my favourite poem brings me. But more of that latter. The first poem was short and cute (The Poplar Tree) like it was made specifically for a first poem to learn. Mr Crimp had a folder of poems he had collected over the years.
The poems grew longer and more complex and we had lessons to understand the background of a poem before we were presented it.
One day my Mum shared her favourite poem. I am sure she shared it before. For the first time, though., it resonated with me. Like I had learned how to hear the cadence and rhythm inherent in the verse.
Just a few year later when reading a book of poems and quotes. Mostly for the quotes I must confess. I found what would turn out to be a life long favourite poem. A poem filled with power an majesty, threat and beauty. It had a strong rhythm that carried you along but such imagery that it burned in my chest.
Many years latter I discovered the poem was talking on the surface about an animal that turned out to be my Chinese year sign. The tiger. Although it spelling in the poem hints that it might not be deep down talking about a tiger. This association though did add a little something to my appreciation of the poem.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Can you hear the rhythm of this piece. For me it is like a jungle drum hitting each time the word Tyger is spoken. Try it out loud sometime. maybe it is more meant to echo the tread of a tigers feet. But for me these are silent. I tiger could pass you by an arm-breadth away if you were in it’s jungle. It’s striped coat mimicking shadows of trunks and branches- Its large feet spreading out to take it’s weight soundlessly are padded for extra stealth. So the beat of this poem is for me of drums, slow and deep.
Maybe it is meant to mimic the strong powerful beat of a tigers heart. I can see that.
Always though this poem stirs me deep inside, with a heart swelling power. I tried to read the poem oft quoted as it’s older sibling, having been written first. The Lamb. The lamb is in fact directly written into the poem “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”. It is harder to get into for me. What do you think?
You can see Blake echoed also the question of who made the Lamb in the Tyger. This poem though is sweet and soft and contrasts starkly against the Tyger.
Whereas Tyger stirs me, it’s strong rhythmic lines give beat to the words and power to the lines. For me this is the poem that never fails to move me. Give me the sound of the drum beat any day. Give me the sound of the Tyger.
The Haka fills me with fierce pride when I see it done, and done well.
It’s not just done at the start of a rugby game by the All Blacks. And there is more than one Haka around.
But, the Haka (Ka mate, Ka mate) performed by the All Blacks is the most iconic, and while boys are often taught it at school the girls will pick up as much as they can from overhearing them being taught or seeing them practice on the playground.
History of the haka
For me, Scottish born and moving here at age 4, it is still a huge part of what I consider my culture and heritage.
Maybe it’s as the Scots and the Maori have many similarities in their culture. I think, however, it is because I have learned the songs and dances at church and at school. Because the All Blacks perform the Haka with such fervor and enthusiasm that it sweeps you up n it.
Because I have grown up in the culture and it has thereby been part of what has shaped me as an individual.
I have been to graduations where family members perform a haka as their “child” walks to receive their certificate and it fills my heart with pride and brings happy tears to my eyes.
Whatever else the haka is to anyone else in the world, the haka to me is part of my life’s blood. It is a part of who I am, and I am glad of it and glad of all of those who have kept it alive.
When I was aged 9-10 Mr Crimp was my teacher at school. He was an all round cool teacher. You know the ones that motivate you to learn, keep good discipline and yet a sense of fun in the class. I miss those Fielding days.
One of the things he did was every few weeks he would add a poem to our poem book and our task was to first draw appropriate art work by the inscribed poem and second to memorise the poem.
Memorising was one task I took to easily in school. Nether indoor nor outdoor pursuits of any other kind could see me shine as well. Okay I could silent read well above my spelling level but teacher till then had mostly put this down to my pretending to be able to read at above my spelling level. Mr Crimp on the other hand quizzed me on what I had read and then was satisfied I was reading.
But, I digress.
Memorising poems was they way I could publicly be seen as successful in some regard. I was a late bloomer academically and maybe it was the confidence I gained with these poems that let me attack other learning skills at a later date.
I came across one of those poems today on twitter and it brought back the memories. I “lost” my illustrated book of poems many years ago in what I will call a sibling accident. Which sibling and how accidental the scissored pages and the destruction of those said pages were, I have no idea. But lets call it that.
Back to my original theme.
The poem I was referred to by twitter was contained in an article entitled “Why we should memorize Poetry” by Brad Leithauser, in the New Yorker. It was:
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
It made me want to recreate that book, at least in spirit. I remember some of the poems well even now, but some have become hidden in the background of my memory, like the eagle. Once I had the first line most of the rest of it flowed back to me, bright and pure as first I learnt it and rich with the feeling of an old friend rediscovered.So here is my reconstructed book of poems and my thanks to Mr Crimp.
The first poem in the book has never left me. You always remember your first. But who wrote it is long forgotten, remembering names has never been my strong suit. I even forgot my own once, but that is another story. If you know the author, please let me know.
I have been trying to get my creative juices going of late and produced some art works. Some of which it is obvious I am learning new skills and the piece needs work still. Others that I am quite pleased with.
I am happy to be learning new skills and I am happy to share my better pieces with the world. So I have added them to various sites on the net. The latest is Red Bubble.