Tag Archives: Jane Austen

What is your spirit animal?

Yes, that was today’s irritating prompt, What is your spirit animal? Clearly this is a trap for the unwary, as claiming a spirit animal could be seen as cultural appropriation. I’ve been lucky with that so far, as I don’t want dreadlocks or facial tattoos. In fact, I don’t want any high maintenance hair style or painful body embellishments. OK, it’s an easy choice because I’m bald and cowardly, but I’ve never really felt the need to do too much in the way of making myself look different.

Fortunately, I am not claiming a bear, moose, eagle or mouse, which seem to be the native American ones. I am, according to one of those (extremely scientific and reliable quizzes you find on the internet) a seahorse. Seahorse? I am as lost as you are. For a man with a land-based lifestyle a seahorse would be a ridiculous choice. Land or air would do fine, or even trees. Yes,  until I got that result, I was thinking “sloth”. Julia suggested teddy bear. I’m not sure she is aware of my full range of animal magnetism, and suspect she may not be taking this seriously.

However, on the subject of cultural appropriation I may have to reconsider my tartan nightshirt (that’s plaid to Americans I believe) and my consumption of shortbread biscuits. Fortunately I’m 1/32 Scottish, so though I can’t play rugby for them, I can probably eat shortbread without being accused of being a plastic Jock.

Last night, I watched a version of Persuasion on Netflix. That got me thinking even more of cultural appropriation. I could, I feel, make a case for my cultural heritage and joint intellectual property being hijacked. However, I’m not going to, because I don’t find that bit of the cultural appropriation argument to be particularly convincing. What I would say is that it was another of those Regency dramas that would try to tell us that the streets of Bath, and the family trees of the English gentry were filled with black people.

There was a lack of Asian representation (if you want to make it culturally diverse), and a lack of context if you wanted to depict slavery/imperialism/racism in a Regency setting.

It’s the very beginning of a change in the way we do things with casting, but I can’t help thinking that this one was more about jumping on a bandwagon and rewriting history than it was about diversity and opportunity.

Bear with pansies

Cake as a Cure

Just a quick post today as I have had a lazy day eating cake and anti-inflammatories.

One of them seems to have worked as the pain and swelling in my foot has gone down. If I am attacked by joint pain in future I will try cake as my first choice of treatment.

I’m currently watching Sense and Sensibility on TV. For me, Jane Austen is better on TV, and Sense and Sensibility is also better in the Emma Thompson version. I confess I’ve always found Austen difficult to read. While I’m at it I may as well admit I feel the same about the Brontes.

I am not a great reader of classical literature, as my attempts at self-improvement have shown over the last few years, as I tried to plough through several variations of the 100 greatest novels.

Although the plots may end up tweaked for film and TV it doesn’t really matter as I’m watching for entertainment rather than as an academic pursuit.

Today’s photos are of the owl sculpture at Harlow Carr garden – it works better when you are standing there next to it, rather than in a photograph.