Sunday, March 25, 2007

Family gathering?

Apoligies to gentle reader Bill, but this is what I feared would happen last weekend at our Utah gathering:

I love DW's family and all (and my own family-of-origin collectively is batshit crazy), but I was on my guard to keep DW from getting sucked--or jumping--into any controversies that might have arisen. Fortunately, none did, so I had myself a "whew!" glass of Cutthroat Ale at the hotel bar last Saturday night, where I was busted by two brothers-in-law in search of late night chicken wings. Oops.

Sadly, "Rome" comes to an end tonight:

I've always loved historical fiction, and "Rome" has done that on a grand scale--so grand that TPTB had to pull the plug on it. It's probably for the best--the BBC's "I, Claudius" covers the post-Augustus period. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are many what-ifs during the period covered in the show, but I suppose the biggest what-if of all is the question how western civilization would have been different but for the ultimate triumph of the boy wonder and his establishment of the Roman Empire. Rome obviously had a powerful cultural influence on the nations that later formed in the imperial territories, and the commercial/trading system that developed undoubtedly facilitated the spread of a certain tiny religious sect from Palestine into the West, despite fierce persecution early on from the Romans themselves.

Edited to add--the final episode was okay, but one thing messed it up for me. How the hell did Pullo get the dying Vorenus all the way from Egypt to Rome in that little cart before Vorenus, you know, bled to death? That was utterly ridiculous. I loved the way they handled the Antony & Cleopatra suicides. IIRC, they killed themselves about 12 days apart, and Cleopatra did negotiate with Octavian until she realized that he intended to have her dragged through the streets of Rome like a bag of potatoes. I loved Maecenas's snarky line to Octavian after Cleopatra's suicide: "you have that effect on people." Hee!

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