I read Stephen King’s Under The Dome when it first came out a couple of years ago; for me, it really was one of those books that you don’t want to stop reading. So when the recent TV adaptation came out, I made sure to start watching.
I nearly stopped watching after that first episode – the adaptation spiralled away from the book’s plot less than 15 minutes in; yes, a mysterious impenetrable dome dropped down over the town and trapped a diverse selection of Americans inside. But that, along with the names of the principal characters, was was pretty much the only similarity with the book. Characters changed drastically; for example the book-hero was a rootless Vietnam vet who just happened to be in town, while the TV-hero – while still being an ex-marine – was a hired killer who was in town to carry out a hit. More disturbing was the change to the character of the teenage boy villain; in the book he was just plain nasty, with an undiagnosed brain tumour making him even nastier. In the TV series he was little more than a mixed-up kid with bad parenting who just needed the love of a good woman– rather, girl. Not a good message to give out to young females.
I forced myself to watch three or four more episodes, but just couldn’t get involved in it. Not only did the plot carry on diverging from the book, but it was clearly just another attempt (like the pathetic FlashForward) to copy the formula of Lost. i.e., a multi-cast mystery/thriller with strong supernatural/SF elements.
The final straw came when I went online to read recaps of episodes that had already been shown in the US and discovered it just got worse, descending into outright fantasy with magic butterflies and mysterious crystals – and, moreover, a second series of the same drivel!!
Nope. Enough was enough.

….having another bout of insommnia, I stayed up. With nothing much on the TV, I resorted to my usual nighttime amusement of watching CNN with the sound turned off, trying to guess what they’re talking about purely from what’s on the screen. The culture divide and the insular nature of US news can make it an entertaining little game.
This time, I landed in the middle of an interview. The interviewer (I think he was the interviewer, he seemed to be doing most of the talking) was a fat middleaged bloke wearing a crazed-looking piece of shagpile carpeting on his head. The interviewee looked pretty normal; he was balding and his remaining hair had taken the sensible precaution of hiding at the back of his head, out of sight of the shagpile menacing from the opposite side of the desk. Underneath the shot of these two was a banner giving highly condensed tidbits of what the interviewee was saying. Some of these were so bizarre-seeming that I started writing them down:
LAUER: IPHONE IS MY ALARM (Don’t they have alarm clocks in America?);
LAUER: DAY STARTS QUICKLY (In your part of the world maybe…);
LAUER: “YOU HAVE TO SHOW YOU CARE” (About what? Why should I???? And don’t you tell me what to do!!!);
LAUER: “CURIC HAS 1,000 IDEAS” (does this CURIC person/thing collect ideas? If so, why? Where does he/she/it keep them all? Are any of them any good?);
LAUER: MEREDITH “MOST REAL PERSON” (How was this decided – by scientific analysis or by consensus? Or did Meredith win an actual “reality” show where people voted on how closely the contestants resembled real human beings? If so, what happened to the losers, those unfortunates who were judged to be less-real persons? But what makes one person more or less real than any other person anyway? Especially on TV?)

…And at that point I decided all these existential questions were getting far too much for my poor little brain and I’d better get some sleep.

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Didn’t have the TV on at all for most of yesterday. Got very bad-tempered at having my usual news programmes hijacked by the Global Jackothon (even Al-Jazeera was covering it). In consequence, I got quite a lot of reading done, plus decided to start once again brushing up on my PHP/Wordpress skills.
This morning I switched on BBC News hoping to find Jackomania dying down. But no luck – a 15-minute Jackofest lead the news. Then we got a whole five minutes of a renewable energy report. Now it’s back to the Jackofest. Gahhhhh.
“So I take it you’ll be watching Wimbledon today?” said B. He’s a bit of a tennis fan, and will watch it if there’s no football or motor-racing on; I’m not a sports fan, but will watch some finals if they look exciting. “Probably” said I. “But you can just bet that Cliff Richard will be there, singing a Jackson tribute medley!”
“You evil old witch!” he shouted. “You should have a wart on yer nose!”

….to prove it, I can spell BANANAS!
I thought I had polished off all my banana wine last night, but I’ve just discovered a bottle hiding away in the kitchen, trembling in trepidation. Never, fear, little bottle, you shall remain virginal – for the time being….
I’m now brewing a further two gallons – a big bucket of it is now bubbling away in the utility room behind me, smelling quite tempting already. But it won’t be drinkable until at least midsummer. So that bottle in the kitchen won’t last!

Ah well… since today is a normal day for us (apart from everything being shut), I’ve been getting on with some work. A walk would have been pleasant, but B is quite tired today – maybe tomorrow. Mostly, I’ve been tweaking the new Transit website, which is getting along very nicely; most of the work now will be adding and formatting content. It probably won’t be online until the end of February, but I’m so excited over it that I’m spending time now getting it right. It’s all good practice, anyway, as I intend to concentrate on WordPress-driven CMS sites, and I’ve been getting down and dirty with the coding.

Well, I caught the Wallace & Gromit film this afternoon, then the Doctor Who special. Now it’s almost time for the new Wallace & Gromit special! So toodle-ooh!