I’m watching Queen Victoria’s Empire on PBS, the second half (which is 2 hours in itself, no commercials). It’s similar to the CBC Cada: A People’s History in format…quoting from letters and editorials and people, set to images appropriate to the topic. I would say it was excellent, but it didn’t cover the expansion in the Northwest AT ALL, which, while a miniscule part of the history of the era, I certainly would have appreciated seeing a Victorian reaction to the loss of the Oregon Territory, not to mention the US expansionist policies of the era.
Although Victoria didn’t die until 1901…that would certainly explain my imperialistic dad, who is only one generation removed from imperialism himself.
Note here: the BC flag (right) has a union jack at the top and the crown (for the Empire) and then, below, it has blue lines to represent the ocean and a setting sun, because BC is where the sun FINALLY set on the British empire.
Moving on to other Empire exports…we saw Depeche Mode this weekend. There’s a review & setlist of the show here: http://www.depeche-mode.com/tourdates/01dates/dm072801.htm . It actually was one of the more intense concerts I’ve been to, in terms of not only the band being into it, but the audience being into it, which, as anyone who’s been to a concert of a band like DM knows, fuels everyone into an almost religious state. I started to feel like i was at at backwoods revival towards the end, everyone dancing and singing and chanting and waving their arms and screaming for more. It was just flat awesome. I have been to few shows where that kind of emotional fever pitch was reached.
The set design was very stirring, for being so simple…a combination giant color screen (like on the NIN Fragility tour) and shadow effects. But where Trent Reznor ran metaphoric film clips, DM ran almost snapshots of nature. Raindrops. Swimming goldfish. Except when, during “It’s NO Good”, there was a full video…Gahan in a diner, a pretty waitress, an internal debate, a sense of injustice and sexual tension, and then she goes off with two other guys who come in after he does.
But the best part was the shadow effects, where the various spotlights flashed, and the shadows on the white backdrop sceeen changed size, position, in bursts of light. That was something I hadn’t seen done before, something I wouldn’t have thought any group would have created to emphasize the music.
And then we drove out to Surrey, and slept the night on Gina and Willy’s floor. Mike just passed out on the floor, and then slapped my leg when I tried to nudge him awake with my foot. To make things worse, the airbed deflated itself during the night, and because I have extreme curves, I woke up in pain in my side from sleeping on the floor. Mike, of course, migrated to the couch in his sleep. I don’t think he sleeps…he goes into Sleep Mode, like a computer. I shut down completely & turn into furniture.
Then, when we woke up, it was officially Mike’s birthday, and we went to breakfast with the other kids, and had a great time over pancakes. After that, it was time to say goodbye, so Gina & Willy could go visit her grandmother, and we could go into the city again for more Snowjam.
The plan was that we would return to Snowjam to see Treble Charger and Bif Naked, and then meet up with Karina and Randy. But Mike had taken off his wristband, and lost it. And Molson’s only way to control event population was to require wristbands. No replacements, unless wristband defective or removed, and then it could be traded. I was disappointed, but not enough to go alone. I hate being at festivals alone. Had it been the MGB, I would have said “bye bye lion, run along”, but Bif Naked wasn’t enough, and I saw treble charger last year at Summersault.
So instead, I called K&R, and we just went over there. Randy was cooking lasagna, and he and Mike started talking about tech stuff and male bonding the INSTANT we walked in. I keep telling Mike….if he’s a bad influence on Randy, Karina won’t like me anymore. But we left the boys plotting something illegal, and we went and bought alcohol and a DQ ice cream cake, and we had a wonderful celebration of Mike’s birthday.
We stayed and talked for about five hours, and finally headed home at 10pm. Note: NEVER GO THROUGH THE TRUCK CROSSING that late on a Sunday, because they make the cars go in line with the trucks for the ONE avaliable agent. It took 40 minutes just to get through the border! And we were hoping to avoid a 15 minute delay at the Peace Arch crossing!
Anyways, it was good to be home, sleeping in our own den, and it’s back to Canada Thursday AM for area:one.