Thursday, February 24, 2011

In The Dark All Cats Are Grey...

Eight reasons for taking an older woman as a mistress...according to Benjamin Franklin.

1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8. They are so grateful!!

The full transcript of the above can be found here - a website I thoroughly recommend.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Forbrydelsen, aka The Killing

If you want to lose a weekend - in the way I have just done - then can I suggest there is no better way to lose it than by watching the first 10 episodes of Forbrydelsen (UK title - The Killing) which is running on the slighlty off-radar BBC4 arts channel here. I had to watch ten episodes in a row (thank god for catch up TV) to get up to present events and I have the next 10 episodes to look forward to - a double episode every Saturday night.

A colleague alerted me to this Danish serial which follows, one day per episode, the 20 days following a murder inquiry into the death of a teenage girl. I guess it borrows from 24 (which I've never watched) but it's the most dramatic piece of television I've seen in ages. It's dark, brooding and absolutely gripping.

Every one of the characters is brilliantly formed and developed as the series progresses. I really can't choose a standout performance but, if pressed, it would be Theis, the tortured father of the murder victim and played by Bjarne Henriksen. The central character, Sarah Lund, played by Sofie Gråbøl is also pretty good.

If, by some remarkable fluke, you have seen this series then please do not comment on how it might end as I'm determined not to Google this and find out what happens although the anticipation is almost unbearable.

And no, the subtitles do not detract from the drama although I suppose you might get more from it as a native Danish speaker although it'd be hard to see how as it's pretty much perfect already.