Following a little note from a USophile (or is that USophile as a name?) making a public thanks for those works of liberal progressiveness produced by the United States of America, it seemed apt to record here that Cloud and I spent much of the long weekend period (Thursday to Sunday) indulging in The West Wing Season 5 on DVD. Thought-provoking stuff, even without Aaron Sorkin over-seeing the proceedings. Complex characters - not always likeable; flawed opinions; intentions versus political realities versus the effects on individual lives. All tackled deftly. Do we do anything remotely similar over in the UK? We can sometimes get comedic satire right, but this combination of drama, comedy, thriller-narratives AND politics...? I don't think we do. House of Cards? I loved A Very British Coup --- and it was certainly in the same league for quality of writing --- but to have that combination of approaches?
On another note regarding cultural works, I am also living up to my promise to start re-reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman books, which remain as intellectually challenging and visually stimulating as ever. Have just finished re-reading Dream Country, which, as stand-alone stories, probably offers newcomers an easy road in. Then again, it doesn't allow readers to be swept into the Sandman story - Morpheus, Oneiros, Dream - or that of The Endless as a 'family'. And that seems a great shame. Start where you like, but if you have an interest in history, myth, the telling of stories, religion, dreams, or just already like narratives told with images (as well as words), then do get hold of The Sandman. It's worth the investment.