notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Monkey

You can almost hear crickets chirping when you visit the Muck these days....Ben is on vacation and the only comments seem to come from us contributors....Nevertheless, we shall blog on. Incidentally, we are considering another template change. If anyone has any style suggestions let us know.

In the meantime, I'd like to draw your attention to a book I read a couple of years ago in an East Asian Literature class. It's actually an ancient Chinese myth about an immortal monkey, named Monkey, and his journey to bring Buddhist scrolls back from India. There are many translations, but I read a recent edition translated by Arthur Waley and really liked it. I know it sounds like it might be boring, but this particular translation is anything but. The story itself is full of bizarre details and events, and Waley is apparently one of the first to highlight the humor in the tale. Monkey is like Curious George on meth, and he carries a staff that grows and shrinks as he wishes, ravages a banquet for the Gods, and was born out of a stone. He eventually hooks up with a monk who straps a helmet on Monkey which he can control to keep Monkey from getting too rowdy.

It's a very strange story, and a much cooler folk tale than Paul Bunyan or whatever. Why do I bring it up now? Well, in the late 70's there was a live action Japanese t.v. series made from the
story, and it's apparently the most successful Japanese show ever. Now a remake of the series is taking Asia by storm, according to this BBC News article. I thought it might be an opportune time to spread the love about this unique and fun adventure story. If you are looking for something to read, I highly recommend it.

Trust me, I didn't think I was going to like it either.