O frabjous day!

Friday, 1 May 2009 11:48 am
elettaria: (18th century mullet)
Carol Ann Duffy made Poet Laureate!

They turned her down last time because, and I quote but by now can't remember from where, they didn't think middle England could cope with having a lesbian mother as poet laureate. The BBC gracefully skirts this thorny issue by neglecting to mention that she's queer at all. I'm not that bothered, it's probably better than having a headline saying "First gay person as Poet Laureate!"* Heavens only knows that we all got sick enough of the media suddenly getting the urge to inform us in every single article just after the US election that Obama was going to be the first black US President, as if that were now his defining feature.

Going back to Duffy, I suspect another reason why she was passed over a decade ago is because her poetry is sometimes quite disturbing, all the more so because she's damn good at writing effectively. There was a row when one of her poems was cut from the GCSE syllabus over fears of teenagers being unable to understand irony knife crime (good response here and Duffy's response here). Maybe this shows a move away from the trend of sugar-coating literature-for-the-masses, where they try to pretend that the last thing poetry is about is sex or violence? Or maybe it's like the policy I reckon they follow for the Booker Prize, where good authors such as Atwood and McEwan get repeatedly turned down for their greatest works, then awarded the prize for a distinctly lesser novel out of sheer embarrassment?

Duffy's Selected Poems is a book that's had quite a run for its money in my household. In my teens, I borrowed it from my best friend DT, with whom I spent many an afternoon sitting on the floor, surrounded by books, reading poetry to each other. After a while, we discovered that the copy was nowhere to be found, so after rather a lot of sulking from DT I bought him another copy. A while later, I visited my aunt's London flat and lo and behold, there were two copies on her bookshelf. She must have seen it in our house, assumed it was her copy, and quietly snaffled it. I took charge of one of those copies, and as they were equally battered, never knew whether it was DT's or Aunty D's originally. A few months ago, this copy ended up being given to my friend S, so it has now gone from London to Edinburgh to Aviemore and possibly visited Jerusalem along the way. I bought myself another copy second-hand, and occasionally wonder what its history is. I should also get another copy of The World's Wife, since my former director of studies snaffled mine.

Anyway, Duffy is a poet who's sharp, witty, sexy without being syrupy, able to do marvellous things with mythology, ditto for gender, and is very good at making you think. Read her.

* Incidentally, is she?

O frabjous day!

Friday, 1 May 2009 11:48 am
elettaria: (18th century mullet)
Carol Ann Duffy made Poet Laureate!

They turned her down last time because, and I quote but by now can't remember from where, they didn't think middle England could cope with having a lesbian mother as poet laureate. The BBC gracefully skirts this thorny issue by neglecting to mention that she's queer at all. I'm not that bothered, it's probably better than having a headline saying "First gay person as Poet Laureate!"* Heavens only knows that we all got sick enough of the media suddenly getting the urge to inform us in every single article just after the US election that Obama was going to be the first black US President, as if that were now his defining feature.

Going back to Duffy, I suspect another reason why she was passed over a decade ago is because her poetry is sometimes quite disturbing, all the more so because she's damn good at writing effectively. There was a row when one of her poems was cut from the GCSE syllabus over fears of teenagers being unable to understand irony knife crime (good response here and Duffy's response here). Maybe this shows a move away from the trend of sugar-coating literature-for-the-masses, where they try to pretend that the last thing poetry is about is sex or violence? Or maybe it's like the policy I reckon they follow for the Booker Prize, where good authors such as Atwood and McEwan get repeatedly turned down for their greatest works, then awarded the prize for a distinctly lesser novel out of sheer embarrassment?

Duffy's Selected Poems is a book that's had quite a run for its money in my household. In my teens, I borrowed it from my best friend DT, with whom I spent many an afternoon sitting on the floor, surrounded by books, reading poetry to each other. After a while, we discovered that the copy was nowhere to be found, so after rather a lot of sulking from DT I bought him another copy. A while later, I visited my aunt's London flat and lo and behold, there were two copies on her bookshelf. She must have seen it in our house, assumed it was her copy, and quietly snaffled it. I took charge of one of those copies, and as they were equally battered, never knew whether it was DT's or Aunty D's originally. A few months ago, this copy ended up being given to my friend S, so it has now gone from London to Edinburgh to Aviemore and possibly visited Jerusalem along the way. I bought myself another copy second-hand, and occasionally wonder what its history is. I should also get another copy of The World's Wife, since my former director of studies snaffled mine.

Anyway, Duffy is a poet who's sharp, witty, sexy without being syrupy, able to do marvellous things with mythology, ditto for gender, and is very good at making you think. Read her.

* Incidentally, is she?
elettaria: (Default)
Now this is interesting. I have pretty substantial memory and concentration problems due to having ME, and also have Auditory Processing Disorder which means that I have trouble taking things in by ear. For example, I get lost in conversations easily, and if someone reads out material that is dense in information, such as a newspaper article, my brain shuts down fairly quickly. So with that going on, I've always found it a bit odd that I can manage listening to audiobooks, and have assumed that it's because they're read professionally and with a narrative structure that's much easier on the ears (not as densely packed with information, for instance).

However, I've found that I can't listen to audiobooks unless I'm doing some simple visual task at the same time. I get too fidgety and lose my concentration. If I'm up to it, my first choice of activity is hand-sewing. I'll stop the audiobook if I need to apply real thought, such as making cutting calculations, but most of the time quilting is a straightforward, pleasantly repetitive task, so they go together very well. Second choice is a basic computer game with no verbal components and not much thought required, such as solitaire. Despite having been a keen musician before developing ME, and not doing much with the visual arts until I started quilting a couple of years ago, I've discovered that I'm a visual thinker.

Phone calls are trickier. If the computer is on, I'll start reading webpages without even realising that I've started to do it, and often have to put the computer into hibernation in order to concentrate. I also have a habit of pacing the flat while on the phone, and fairly often get distracted by something, informing the person I'm talking to quite randomly that I need to stock up on pine nuts for instance. The irritating thing about losing concentration when listening is that it takes about half a minute or so to realise that it's happened, which with audiobooks can mean the awkwardness of trying to find where I was when I tuned out, and on the phone means apologising to the person talking, asking them to repeat myself, and hoping they don't get offended.

So this research is very interesting to me, and shows some paths I might follow up to see if I can control my concentration and memory problems better. I was part-way there already but hadn't figured out exactly what was going on, and was distinctly puzzled since multi-tasking usually makes my concentration worse. I've never been a doodler and may run into muscular difficulty holding the pencil, but it sounds worth a try, for developing my design skills as well as for helping my concentration. You can read the original journal article here.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] capd, [livejournal.com profile] cfids_me and my journal.
elettaria: (Default)
Now this is interesting. I have pretty substantial memory and concentration problems due to having ME, and also have Auditory Processing Disorder which means that I have trouble taking things in by ear. For example, I get lost in conversations easily, and if someone reads out material that is dense in information, such as a newspaper article, my brain shuts down fairly quickly. So with that going on, I've always found it a bit odd that I can manage listening to audiobooks, and have assumed that it's because they're read professionally and with a narrative structure that's much easier on the ears (not as densely packed with information, for instance).

However, I've found that I can't listen to audiobooks unless I'm doing some simple visual task at the same time. I get too fidgety and lose my concentration. If I'm up to it, my first choice of activity is hand-sewing. I'll stop the audiobook if I need to apply real thought, such as making cutting calculations, but most of the time quilting is a straightforward, pleasantly repetitive task, so they go together very well. Second choice is a basic computer game with no verbal components and not much thought required, such as solitaire. Despite having been a keen musician before developing ME, and not doing much with the visual arts until I started quilting a couple of years ago, I've discovered that I'm a visual thinker.

Phone calls are trickier. If the computer is on, I'll start reading webpages without even realising that I've started to do it, and often have to put the computer into hibernation in order to concentrate. I also have a habit of pacing the flat while on the phone, and fairly often get distracted by something, informing the person I'm talking to quite randomly that I need to stock up on pine nuts for instance. The irritating thing about losing concentration when listening is that it takes about half a minute or so to realise that it's happened, which with audiobooks can mean the awkwardness of trying to find where I was when I tuned out, and on the phone means apologising to the person talking, asking them to repeat myself, and hoping they don't get offended.

So this research is very interesting to me, and shows some paths I might follow up to see if I can control my concentration and memory problems better. I was part-way there already but hadn't figured out exactly what was going on, and was distinctly puzzled since multi-tasking usually makes my concentration worse. I've never been a doodler and may run into muscular difficulty holding the pencil, but it sounds worth a try, for developing my design skills as well as for helping my concentration. You can read the original journal article here.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] capd, [livejournal.com profile] cfids_me and my journal.
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
The BBC has published an article about a cartoonist depicting Obama as a dead chimpanzee, which has outraged a vast number of people. The next two paragraphs are the ones I've just sent as a comment to the article, though knowing the BBC it won't get published.

-----------------------------

Cartoonists and satirists need to be aware of the connotations of images they use, including historical connotations. Using a chimpanzee to depict a black man* is the equivalent of using a sheep to depict a Jew. Both images have been used repeatedly as ways of attacking those particular ethnic groups, accusing them of being animals. These attacks have often been in the form of cartoons, such as those made by the Nazis.

The author's intent isn't really the point. The text, in this case the cartoon, is what matters. It's what's out there and what will be read by many different people in many different ways. Some interpretations may be the sort which are so far out that you have to squint to see where they're coming from and only a small handful of people will think of them. Some interpretations will be so obvious that a large proportion of people, even the majority, will think of them. The old insults about black men being animals is in the second category, and the reference to an obscure news story is in the first. The cartoonists seem to be so far removed from reality that they've got those two the wrong way around.

-----------------------------

This is really niggling at me. )
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
The BBC has published an article about a cartoonist depicting Obama as a dead chimpanzee, which has outraged a vast number of people. The next two paragraphs are the ones I've just sent as a comment to the article, though knowing the BBC it won't get published.

-----------------------------

Cartoonists and satirists need to be aware of the connotations of images they use, including historical connotations. Using a chimpanzee to depict a black man* is the equivalent of using a sheep to depict a Jew. Both images have been used repeatedly as ways of attacking those particular ethnic groups, accusing them of being animals. These attacks have often been in the form of cartoons, such as those made by the Nazis.

The author's intent isn't really the point. The text, in this case the cartoon, is what matters. It's what's out there and what will be read by many different people in many different ways. Some interpretations may be the sort which are so far out that you have to squint to see where they're coming from and only a small handful of people will think of them. Some interpretations will be so obvious that a large proportion of people, even the majority, will think of them. The old insults about black men being animals is in the second category, and the reference to an obscure news story is in the first. The cartoonists seem to be so far removed from reality that they've got those two the wrong way around.

-----------------------------

This is really niggling at me. )

Evolution, is it?

Monday, 1 December 2008 11:43 am
elettaria: (18th century mullet)
It's a few months old, but I just came across this article while browsing the BBC. It's about some research done which allegedly shows that men feel more comfortable with one-night stands, in general, than women do. This I think is probably true. The researchers then go on to say that this is an example of evolution in action. Erm, what? This is an example of the sexual double standard in action via internalised guilt and so forth, and that's a product of social conditioning. There will be biological and evolutionary elements to social conditioning about sexuality, yes, for instance the inescapable fact that it's women who are at risk of pregnancy, but overall we're talking about a cultural construct. To say that this is evolutionary is about as logical as declaring that, say, sexual cruising grounds in cities appear in certain places for ancient geological reasons. Gay men are rambling over Carlton Hill with an eye to a hook-up? Ah yes, that'll be because it's a defunct volcano, and we all know what those do to men's sex drives in that old, primitive way.

The thing I'm wondering, and I'm looking at the scientists on my f-list in particular, is how far such attempts to find biological or evolutionary reasons for something which is actually social/cultural are the norm, particularly where gender is concerned. You know, "women are hard-wired to like pink" and so on. Any thoughts?

Evolution, is it?

Monday, 1 December 2008 11:43 am
elettaria: (18th century mullet)
It's a few months old, but I just came across this article while browsing the BBC. It's about some research done which allegedly shows that men feel more comfortable with one-night stands, in general, than women do. This I think is probably true. The researchers then go on to say that this is an example of evolution in action. Erm, what? This is an example of the sexual double standard in action via internalised guilt and so forth, and that's a product of social conditioning. There will be biological and evolutionary elements to social conditioning about sexuality, yes, for instance the inescapable fact that it's women who are at risk of pregnancy, but overall we're talking about a cultural construct. To say that this is evolutionary is about as logical as declaring that, say, sexual cruising grounds in cities appear in certain places for ancient geological reasons. Gay men are rambling over Carlton Hill with an eye to a hook-up? Ah yes, that'll be because it's a defunct volcano, and we all know what those do to men's sex drives in that old, primitive way.

The thing I'm wondering, and I'm looking at the scientists on my f-list in particular, is how far such attempts to find biological or evolutionary reasons for something which is actually social/cultural are the norm, particularly where gender is concerned. You know, "women are hard-wired to like pink" and so on. Any thoughts?
elettaria: (Water-mole)
So I was reading a BBC blog about McCain losing it at the end of a speech. If you look at the ninth comment from readers, it ends with the classic statement:

As my mother use to say "Unto thine ownself be true".

This guy's mother was Polonius?! The last person anyone would suspect of mpreg, surely.

It reminds of Shaffer's play Black Comedy. The basic premise of the play is that a group of people are stuck in a completely dark flat when the power goes down for the block. There's an engaged couple nervously meeting the girl's Major of a father for the fiancé's first time, the fiancé's ex-girlfriend who isn't meant to be there and didn't think she was an ex, the gay antiques dealer neighbour who's in love with the fiancé, and a middle-aged lady who is secretly chugging down the booze and whose veneer of genteel repression is in trouble. Middle-aged lady keeps on going on about her wonderful father (a vicar, I think), to everyone's annoyance. Finally, when she drunkenly announces, "My father always said, 'To err is human, to forgive divine,'" the Major snaps back, "I think that was somebody else, madam." Great play.

Incidentally, my mother likes to say, "Everything I like in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening," but at least I don't ascribe the quotation to her originally when mentioning this. I do, however, claim that my grandmother was the Wyf of Bath, as she had five husbands.
elettaria: (Water-mole)
So I was reading a BBC blog about McCain losing it at the end of a speech. If you look at the ninth comment from readers, it ends with the classic statement:

As my mother use to say "Unto thine ownself be true".

This guy's mother was Polonius?! The last person anyone would suspect of mpreg, surely.

It reminds of Shaffer's play Black Comedy. The basic premise of the play is that a group of people are stuck in a completely dark flat when the power goes down for the block. There's an engaged couple nervously meeting the girl's Major of a father for the fiancé's first time, the fiancé's ex-girlfriend who isn't meant to be there and didn't think she was an ex, the gay antiques dealer neighbour who's in love with the fiancé, and a middle-aged lady who is secretly chugging down the booze and whose veneer of genteel repression is in trouble. Middle-aged lady keeps on going on about her wonderful father (a vicar, I think), to everyone's annoyance. Finally, when she drunkenly announces, "My father always said, 'To err is human, to forgive divine,'" the Major snaps back, "I think that was somebody else, madam." Great play.

Incidentally, my mother likes to say, "Everything I like in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening," but at least I don't ascribe the quotation to her originally when mentioning this. I do, however, claim that my grandmother was the Wyf of Bath, as she had five husbands.
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
Government considers banning free drinks for women. I should mention that I don't drink, never have, and have never even seen the appeal. So I'm having to think my way through this more than most people would, and may miss something obvious.

I see no problem with banning free drinks in general. The British public does not have a constitutional right to freebies. In the area of drinking it probably does cause a lot of trouble, and would reduce drinking a certain amount if it were stopped. I don't think the pubs would lose money - people are more likely to give in and buy the extra drinks than they are to stop going to the pub - so there shouldn't be a problem there.

What I can't understand, and what is left completely unexplained in that article, is the gendering. Read more... )
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
Government considers banning free drinks for women. I should mention that I don't drink, never have, and have never even seen the appeal. So I'm having to think my way through this more than most people would, and may miss something obvious.

I see no problem with banning free drinks in general. The British public does not have a constitutional right to freebies. In the area of drinking it probably does cause a lot of trouble, and would reduce drinking a certain amount if it were stopped. I don't think the pubs would lose money - people are more likely to give in and buy the extra drinks than they are to stop going to the pub - so there shouldn't be a problem there.

What I can't understand, and what is left completely unexplained in that article, is the gendering. Read more... )
elettaria: (Misha non-non-penguin)
BBC article discussing whether knives could be changed to reduce stabbings.

Most of those commenters seems to be unaware that the number of people stabbed on impulse by their partner is in fact enormous. Every murder counts, you can't just say "well it might make a small difference in the murder rate, but the speed at which I can prepare dinner is much more important than a dozen or so families torn apart by murder." Homicide rates are far higher in countries where guns are legal (something I truly cannot understand) compared to where they are not, and suicide rates drop when the means to commit suicide are harder to come by. From this I assume that a trend towards making kitchen knives safer would probably help the murder rate as well. (I could research this, but right now it's unholy o'clock in the morning and I've been surfing the internet to wind down after three days of setting up my new laptop, culminating in a lovely struggle with a virus called Smitfraud C. I still can't get Thunderbird to behave.)

Anyway, who needs a stabbing weapon for cooking? I used to have a lovely 8" Sabatier chef's knife which was my main knife, but a reckless home help blunted it beyond the point where domestic sharpening could restore any sort of edge, and it's been sitting wrapped in paper in my kitchen drawer for years without my feeling a strong urge to hunt down somewhere that does professional knife sharpening. My cooking knives are a bread knife which would be equally usable without its point, not to mention that it's not strong enough for stabbing; a 3" paring knife which is rather blunt; a thin 4" serrated knife which would just bend if I tried to stab someone with it; and for my main knife, a 5" rectangular cleaver-type, kept sharpened but with no point at all, although as pointed out in one of the BBC comments it could be used for other types of injury. I rarely need a point to a knife, and when I do I'm using it for fine work and don't want it to be a big, heavy knife. In other words, I am a keen cook who does fine without a single knife that would make a good stabbing weapon. Now an outright ban probably wouldn't work, but changing the general style of kitchen knives on sale might make a fair bit of difference.

The thing that strikes me most about those comments is that no one wants to admit that stabbings often happen in the home, on impulse, between people who are supposedly bound together by love. It's like rape and child abuse: people are far more likely to be raped by someone they know, and children abused by family members, but the press is such that the public fear is of strangers leaping out from behind a bush and priests. No one wants to think of these situations happening in "normal" society, just as no one wants to admit that yes, a stabbing could occur in any house in the street, and it's far more likely to be someone who had a bloody awful day at work, or a woman with severe PMS (while more violent crimes are committed by men than by women, a highly disproportionate number of crimes by women, as well as suicides, occur during the premenstruum) who just snapped, picked up a knife from the counter, and shoved it at their nearest and dearest.

Please note that all this discussion is happening in the UK, where guns are illegal, so we don't have that mindset of "I need an incredibly dangerous weapon in the house in case I get BURGLARS OMG, whom it is my constitutional right to murder" being used to justify a weapon which is more likely to end up killing the wife.
elettaria: (Misha non-non-penguin)
BBC article discussing whether knives could be changed to reduce stabbings.

Most of those commenters seems to be unaware that the number of people stabbed on impulse by their partner is in fact enormous. Every murder counts, you can't just say "well it might make a small difference in the murder rate, but the speed at which I can prepare dinner is much more important than a dozen or so families torn apart by murder." Homicide rates are far higher in countries where guns are legal (something I truly cannot understand) compared to where they are not, and suicide rates drop when the means to commit suicide are harder to come by. From this I assume that a trend towards making kitchen knives safer would probably help the murder rate as well. (I could research this, but right now it's unholy o'clock in the morning and I've been surfing the internet to wind down after three days of setting up my new laptop, culminating in a lovely struggle with a virus called Smitfraud C. I still can't get Thunderbird to behave.)

Anyway, who needs a stabbing weapon for cooking? I used to have a lovely 8" Sabatier chef's knife which was my main knife, but a reckless home help blunted it beyond the point where domestic sharpening could restore any sort of edge, and it's been sitting wrapped in paper in my kitchen drawer for years without my feeling a strong urge to hunt down somewhere that does professional knife sharpening. My cooking knives are a bread knife which would be equally usable without its point, not to mention that it's not strong enough for stabbing; a 3" paring knife which is rather blunt; a thin 4" serrated knife which would just bend if I tried to stab someone with it; and for my main knife, a 5" rectangular cleaver-type, kept sharpened but with no point at all, although as pointed out in one of the BBC comments it could be used for other types of injury. I rarely need a point to a knife, and when I do I'm using it for fine work and don't want it to be a big, heavy knife. In other words, I am a keen cook who does fine without a single knife that would make a good stabbing weapon. Now an outright ban probably wouldn't work, but changing the general style of kitchen knives on sale might make a fair bit of difference.

The thing that strikes me most about those comments is that no one wants to admit that stabbings often happen in the home, on impulse, between people who are supposedly bound together by love. It's like rape and child abuse: people are far more likely to be raped by someone they know, and children abused by family members, but the press is such that the public fear is of strangers leaping out from behind a bush and priests. No one wants to think of these situations happening in "normal" society, just as no one wants to admit that yes, a stabbing could occur in any house in the street, and it's far more likely to be someone who had a bloody awful day at work, or a woman with severe PMS (while more violent crimes are committed by men than by women, a highly disproportionate number of crimes by women, as well as suicides, occur during the premenstruum) who just snapped, picked up a knife from the counter, and shoved it at their nearest and dearest.

Please note that all this discussion is happening in the UK, where guns are illegal, so we don't have that mindset of "I need an incredibly dangerous weapon in the house in case I get BURGLARS OMG, whom it is my constitutional right to murder" being used to justify a weapon which is more likely to end up killing the wife.
elettaria: (Scrimble)
Headline of the day: Chickens "unlock allergy secrets". As [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea said, damned clever chickens.

Other snippets from the news, both cheery and less so )

[livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea and I have started watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which is by the West Wing folks and shows it in some odd ways. As well as borrowing several of the cast, crew and the font for the credits at the end, the last episode was basically "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" done in the studios of a comedy sketch show. At which point misplaced early modern filth comes in! )

Now that we have the internet back, we've been catching up on Doctor Who. Spoilers for "The Unicorn and the Wasp" and "Forest of the Dead" )
elettaria: (Scrimble)
Headline of the day: Chickens "unlock allergy secrets". As [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea said, damned clever chickens.

Other snippets from the news, both cheery and less so )

[livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea and I have started watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which is by the West Wing folks and shows it in some odd ways. As well as borrowing several of the cast, crew and the font for the credits at the end, the last episode was basically "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" done in the studios of a comedy sketch show. At which point misplaced early modern filth comes in! )

Now that we have the internet back, we've been catching up on Doctor Who. Spoilers for "The Unicorn and the Wasp" and "Forest of the Dead" )
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
Brian Blessed hosting Have I Got News For You.

That man is...words fail me. He should have his own show.

In other news, I just listened to the RNIB audiobook of The Day of the Triffids. The narrator was audibly drunk for most of it. Apart from anything else, this made me realise just how drinking goes on in that book. The end of the world is nigh? Have a brandy!
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
Brian Blessed hosting Have I Got News For You.

That man is...words fail me. He should have his own show.

In other news, I just listened to the RNIB audiobook of The Day of the Triffids. The narrator was audibly drunk for most of it. Apart from anything else, this made me realise just how drinking goes on in that book. The end of the world is nigh? Have a brandy!
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
D and I, who are televisionless and staying that way, have discovered that you can watch reasonable-quality episodes of Doctor Who on BBC iPlay for a week after they air. So last night we watched the Christmas special, with the intention of watching the first episode of Season 4 in the next few days.

I know that the quality of Doctor Who has been steadily declining over the past couple of seasons, but this was quite excruciatingly bad. Could some merciful person tell us whether the first episode of Season 4 is as bad? If not, how bad is it? We thought that Season 3, with the exception of a couple of episodes, was generally dire, although we're glad to hear that they've stopped having idiotic love interest plots for Season 4 (mind you, that redheaded woman was dead annoying in the episode we saw her in before, though I still maintain that there was a certain amount of promise there).

Also, any thoughts on who would make an ideal Doctor, who would make an ideal companion, and what sort of relationship between them would work best? We've only seen half a dozen episodes of the older Doctor Who (The Genesis of the Daleks), but so far we are voting for Christopher Eccleston of the ones we've seen. D says Teh Internets has suggested Tilda Swinton as the Doctor, and this sounds good to both of us. Not sure about the companion, but definitely not the spunky-yet-vulnerable-young-woman-who-pines-after-the-Doctor model. Personally I reckon Tennant (who's just a bit too *nice* for the part) should get a lesbian companion who pulls more than he does. Of course, they'd have to feed them decent plots and scripts. Even Swinton or Eccleston couldn't pull off some of those toe-curlingly awful lines. (My toes really were curling in horror last night. OK, I have curly toes to begin with, but they went those extra few millimetres.)

Randomly: has anyone worked out what a solidophile is yet?
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
D and I, who are televisionless and staying that way, have discovered that you can watch reasonable-quality episodes of Doctor Who on BBC iPlay for a week after they air. So last night we watched the Christmas special, with the intention of watching the first episode of Season 4 in the next few days.

I know that the quality of Doctor Who has been steadily declining over the past couple of seasons, but this was quite excruciatingly bad. Could some merciful person tell us whether the first episode of Season 4 is as bad? If not, how bad is it? We thought that Season 3, with the exception of a couple of episodes, was generally dire, although we're glad to hear that they've stopped having idiotic love interest plots for Season 4 (mind you, that redheaded woman was dead annoying in the episode we saw her in before, though I still maintain that there was a certain amount of promise there).

Also, any thoughts on who would make an ideal Doctor, who would make an ideal companion, and what sort of relationship between them would work best? We've only seen half a dozen episodes of the older Doctor Who (The Genesis of the Daleks), but so far we are voting for Christopher Eccleston of the ones we've seen. D says Teh Internets has suggested Tilda Swinton as the Doctor, and this sounds good to both of us. Not sure about the companion, but definitely not the spunky-yet-vulnerable-young-woman-who-pines-after-the-Doctor model. Personally I reckon Tennant (who's just a bit too *nice* for the part) should get a lesbian companion who pulls more than he does. Of course, they'd have to feed them decent plots and scripts. Even Swinton or Eccleston couldn't pull off some of those toe-curlingly awful lines. (My toes really were curling in horror last night. OK, I have curly toes to begin with, but they went those extra few millimetres.)

Randomly: has anyone worked out what a solidophile is yet?

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