Friday, August 28, 2015

Blogpost of the Week: "How to Disappear Completely" | Fascist Dyke Motors

blogpost of the week

So, while I was lamenting one of the great hardships of my young life -- the broadcast of a shitty Doctor Who story when I was about 13-years-old -- Katy, over at Fascist Dyke Motors, was blogging about how she went from being homeless from the ages 12 to 18, to achieving academic success, and being invited to speak to groups of homeless youth.

*Checking my privilege*

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When it comes to gun control, no more talk is needed. #MMWMMI

Seriously. There's nobody left to convince. We've won the hearts and minds of the public. Polling shows this. [86% support in Virginia for gun control legislation, prior to this morning's on-air shooting] Sure, there are plenty of gun nuts talking shit, but they're a vocal minority. The lunatic fringe.

In the discussion, that lot don't matter. What matters about them is the money they spend on guns and supporting the NRA.

Stop engaging them, it's a waste of time. You won't change their minds and, even if - by some miracle - you did make a breakthrough with one, changing the mind of some rando doesn't change policy. They aren't just talking, they're lining the pockets of guys who profit and set policy.

All that's left for us to do is make our politicians do their fucking jobs. The hearts and minds of their constituents have been won. But, our politicians don't work for us, they work for the money. If we want sensible gun control, we're simply going to have to pay for it. That's how this works.

Rivers of blood and the pleadings of reasonable people aren't enough to bring about change; the lever we need to push is the one labeled "Money and Lobbyists." Therefore, starting with this post, I'm going to flip $10 to the Brady Campaign each time I post or tweet about the need for sensible gun control legislation.

It's no good though unless my money where my mouth is motivates others to do the same. I'm not wealthy, I can't afford to say much. Still, from now on, every time I post something I'm going to remind you that I'm putting my money where my mouth is (#MMWMMI) and, frankly, that you're wasting your time, my time, everybody's time if you're talking about it but aren't putting your money where your mouth is as well.

There are other issues where advocacy may be enough, where we can change minds and policy with ideas and by effective communication of those ideas. Gun control has proven not to be one of those issues. To keep trying without funding the groups that our trying to change policy is to resign yourself to an unending parade of mass shootings, murder-suicides, and accidental death and injury.

Best as I can tell, there are two main lobbying organizations that have done significant work on this front: Everytown for Gun Safety and Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. They need our support. The NRA has our craven political system held at figurative gunpoint to do its will. There is no crime so heinous it will move them off their psychopathic commitment to ensuring we are awash in guns. The Supreme Court has subscribed to the delusions that money is speech and that only the words "shall not be infringed" have any meaning in the 2nd Amendment -- a pair of terrible ideas that are having disastrous effects on our Republic. 

Even if this post accomplishes nothing, I hope what I saw below does.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Announcing: Bigger on the Inside, The World's Smallest #DoctorWho Fanzine (Allegedly)

Tonight, cryptonaut-in-exile is proud (well proud-ish) to announce the launch of a new Doctor Who 'zine, the World's Smallest* Fanzine: Bigger on the Inside!

Like your regular size fanzines, it's got original fiction, useful information, original art and photography, and an essay, of sorts.

So there it is. Digital and paper copies of Issue #1 are free while supplies last!

In fact, if you're interested in contributing to a fanzine, but want to start small. Literally. Reach out to me through the comments, or on twitter, and I'll send you a template/guidelines you can use to create a piece of content that will fit. If your material meets our stringent editorial guidelines, you could be a featured contributor in Issue #2**

Honestly though, it's so small, if you wanted to monkey around and make one of your own, just let me know and I'll send you the template I created and the folding instructions so you can print and make your own.

Got a child that's a fan of Adventure Time or Gravity Falls and wants to start a fanzine with their friends? Use my template and *bam* your little one could be publishing their own 'zine (and burning through all your printer ink) in no time flat! They'll either be publishing magnates, or in trouble for littering, by the end of the week.

* "World's Smallest" claim not verified. 
** Editorial guidelines to be determined. Chances of there being an Issue #2 ... slim.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Twin Dilemma - "Our genius has been abused."

BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Twin Dilemma - Details

Season 21, Story 7 (Overall Series Story #137) | Previous - Next | Index

via Flight Through Eternity
What did we do to deserve this, any of us?

Memories are tricky. What we remember isn't the event, but the last time we remembered the event. Our memories are far less reliable than any of us are generally able to admit.

Here's what I remember. Young me, what? 13- or 14-years-old? Finally seeing the first episode of our new Doctor on the night of the highly anticipated debut broadcast on Public TV. We haven't been reading good things. Back then, nobody we knew had seen it, we could only read about reactions on the bulletin boards and in the magazines. It didn't sound promising, but it was still exciting. Youth's optimism.

Saturday after dinner, my grandmother and I watched together, every week. It was our time; nobody else in the family was into it. My grandfather and I shared a love of classic and outlaw country music that he imbued in me, and spent hours together listening in his music room. Hundreds of hours from the time I was a toddler until he passed, that was our time to bond one-on-one. Doctor Who was that for me and my grandma. She passed away more than twenty-five years ago and I still hold our Doctor Who time together dear.

Part of our ritual was that I had my own glass, a nifty little iridescent one that I've kept, and will keep, that I always had a Coke in while we watched. After my grandparents had both passed, it was the one physical object I wanted as an inheritance. It may be the one single physical object in my experience that has an almost magical property: every time I pick it up, it takes me back ... it makes time travel, from now to then, possible.

So, there we were, in our traditional spots, with our traditional beverages. (Hers was a stiff highball.) We were struggling with the opening of "The Twin Dilemma," not comfortable with how it was starting out ... and then the Doctor lost his shit and started to choke Peri. What I remember is that we looked at one another with pained frowns. It was a look that said, "this isn't going to be fun anymore. This ritual, it's going to end." It was heart-breaking. What our show had become, and what it meant for our ritual.

I don't remember how or when it actually ended. We watched more after that, and the timing of the American broadcasts may have meant we got to start over with the Pertwee stories and work through all those classic third and fourth Doctor stories again (we'd already been through them twice, I think) before it we finally stopped. But eventually we did, in any event, I don't remember watching any Sylvester McCoy stories with her. Whenever it was we stopped watching together, the moment we both knew it was to end was the night of that first broadcast of this story. It could never be the same after that night. We were on borrowed time.

That's sort of how growing up happens, right? Something changes, either in us, or in what we had perceived as the rhythm events, changes and we suffer a disconnect from a belief we used to have about how the world works and how we relate to the people and things in it. A new reality overwrites the old reality, but can never fully displace it. We're haunted by loss before loss adapting to new modes of thought that allow us to reconcile what we were and what we did with what we are and what we're doing. We keep inventing new selves, but have an internal narrative that tells us we're still our old self, a story that holds us together. A chapter in that story, the one about a grandson and his grandmother in a story together watching another story -- that chapter ended.

Damn, I hate this one.

Re-watching it for this post, much of it doesn't feel objectively any worse than several of the Davison, or even some of the Tom Baker, stories that dragged due to poor scripting, dismal performances, and dire production values. This domestic violence undertone (if we can even call it an undertone, it's so right there) makes it grimmer than most, but Colin and Nicola play the scene so broad, the choking doesn't really look very brutal, it's got a Punch & Judy staginess that relieves some of the tension. Still, there's no getting away from what it is.


  • The twins playing that "futuristic" board game, that's so obviously a backgammon board that makes no imaginable sense for whatever it is they're doing pushing those pieces around. Indicative of how they're not using the challenge of a low budget to up their creativity, instead just going through the motions of making a show because that's what they're paid to do and screw it if looks like garbage.
  • Colin Baker does as well as you could hope with what he's given. But the way they've dressed him, the lines he's given, everything around him really, it's all impossible to overcome.
  • After attempting to strangle Peri, the Doctor decides to make her his disciple. To take her to some shithole and force her to be his servant. It's even worse than light violence we just saw -- it's the opposite of regret for what he'd done, it's doubling down on destroying her life. We don't just dislike the Doctor in this moment, we're not even worried about this mental stability at this point. We loathe him and want Peri to run for her life.
  • Whoops, I think in the post for "Resurrection of the Daleks" I said something about how we'd heard, "Brave heart, Tegan," for the last time. But, Six says it to Peri here in his confusion. 
  • Asmael is a Time Lord? Wow, I'd forgotten that completely. This is similar to the experience of meeting Drax back in "The Armageddon Factor." Any rando you encounter doing henchman work could be a slumming Time Lord. 

Additional Resources:

Wikipedia transcript
Sandifer post
The Doctor attempts to choke his heavily sexualized female companion. He physically and violently assaults her in a manner that is chillingly familiar as a real-world phenomenon that happens to women at the hands of their male partners. Then he drags her against her will to what he says could be an entire life in which “it shall be your humble privilege to minister unto my needs.” She readily forgives him and grins stupidly at his charms. It’s not Nicola Bryant’s fault - she plays the material as well as it can be played. Nor is it Baker’s fault. They try to make the scenes watchable, but nobody could possibly make this work. Peri is violently assaulted by a man who overtly sees her only purpose as being to serve him, and chooses happily to stay with him. The show treats this man as its hero and expects the audience to tune in nine months later to watch his continuing adventures. 
Of course they declined to. Baker’s Doctor is completely poisoned here. There’s nothing whatsoever that can be done to make this character watchable to anyone who has seen this. And I speak from experience here. This is the story that killed my parents’ interest in Doctor Who. To this day my mother refuses to accept the possibility that Baker might be good on the audios simply because of how much this story made her hate him. That’s how bad this played to people. That’s how you kill Doctor Who in under a hundred minutes. You make it about a battered woman idolizing her abuser.
Wife in Space post
Sue: Is there a competition to see who can wear the stupidest clothes? That is insane. Even if he was taking part in the World Disco Dancing Championships, that would be insane. It’s much worse than Colin’s costume. Jesus.
AV Club review
Plot developments routinely drag things out needlessly—my favorite example is Hugo, alone in the TARDIS, deciding for no reason to change his shirt, and then later being puzzled by how to open the doors to the outside. There's no story purpose to any of that; Hugo could simply have gone with the Doctor instead. That's "The Twin Dilemma" in a nutshell: It wastes time on an entire scene about someone who can't find the doorknob.
TV Tropes page

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