Thursday, December 3, 2009


Nugget writer Jeff Spry lent me the first season of the HBO series Carnivale last week and I became an instant addict.

The show is set in 1934 in the Dustbowl and in California, involving two apparently converging story arcs following a traveling carnival and a pastor in California.

It is weird, mythic, dark and compelling viewing and I highly recommend it.

The 1930s were a strange, mad time. The world was going to hell in a bucket and there is something surreal and bizarre about what W.H. Auden called “that low, dishonest decade” that makes it the perfect setting for a tale of strange, mystical, mysterious happenings.

I wonder if people will look back on the current epoch — with the war on terrorism and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — with the same sense that the world was strangely off-kilter. Moreso than “normal,” I mean.

There’s certainly enough material to populate a good freak show.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

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