Sorry about the dearth of content from me lately. I've been unwell. Capable of very little serious effort. I am very grateful for your patience, and especially the apparently inexhaustible patience of my dear friend Elizabeth.
Here are two recent episodes of Consider the Reagan, a strand of the Wrong With Authority podcast in which I and my friends James, Kit, and Daniel, comment on the 80s films - made during the Reagan years - which loomed large in our lives.
More of this sort of thing soon... because watching TV and being a smartass about it is about as much as I can manage right now.
|dat beach chair tho|
It’s October 25th, 2014. Ludvig van Beethoven has written Three Piano Trios, Op. 1, Joseph Haydn has written his 103rd and 104th symphonies, and Antonio Salieri debuts his opera Palmyra. In news, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia dies, prompting David Cameron and Prince Charles to immediately fly to Saudi Arabia to pay their respects. Houthi forces seize the presidential palace in Yemen, leading to the resignation of the President. And in Marysville, Washington, a student with a handgun kills four people including a girl who had romantically rejected him. In another town where that sort of thing is all too familiar, a girl who doesn’t know she is one watches television, where a forest grows from nowhere.
It’s 1795. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are at number one with “Uptown Funk.” Hozier, Ed Sheeran, Philip George, and Meghan Trainor also chart. In news, the Roman Catholic Church has beatified Pope Paul VI, while a man with a hatchet in New York City attacked two police officer. In Lambeth, William Blake, fresh off of the first printings of the combined Songs of Innocence and of Experience, goes for a walk. He happens upon ...
Vaka Rangi Volume 3: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Seasons 2-5) is now available! Or if it's not yet, it will be presently.
This volume covers the years 1988-1992, framed (to borrow/paraphrase a bit from Jack) in terms of Star Trek: The Next Generation's “Fall and Rise”. Although the young Star Trek had ended the 1987-88 television season a popular, critical and ratings success, Leonard Maizlish's authoritarian micromanaging and Gene Roddenberry's failure to properly communicate his ideas to his staff drove the creative team away in droves. Worse still, one of the worst Writer's Guild Strikes of all time hit in 1988, absolutely crippling producer Maurice Hurley's attempts to do his job for the entire year. But Hurley made enemies and mistakes of his own, and by the time the Writer's Guild Strike finally lifted he was gone, and with him all remnants of Star Trek: The Next Generation's original creative team. Come 1989 the entire studio had been completely turned over, and an incoming motley crew of veteran TV producers and ambitious young freelancers were faced with the seemingly impossible challenge of keeping Star Trek: The Next Generation not just ...
|Typically two-dimensional characterization|
It’s October 18th, 2014. Meghan Trainor remains at number one with “Shake it Off,” while Ed Sheeran, Ella Henderson, Jeremih, and Nicki Minaj entering the top ten, the latter with “Anaconda,” which enters one place above Taylor Swift if you’re the sort of person who wants to keep score in years-old short-lived celebrity feuds. In news, Nicola Sturgeon becomes set to take over the Scottish National Party from Alex Salmond by dint of their being no other candidates, and the first case of Ebola to be contracted in the United States is confirmed.
On television, meanwhile, Flatline. Once again, Jamie Mathieson provides a script based around a clever and highly televisual concept. It’s not quite surprising that Doctor Who has never done two-dimensional monsters before; conceptually it’s the sort of thing that’s more likely to show up in the classic series, but it would have been technologically infeasible prior to CGI. Still, it’s the sort of idea that if you asked a casual fan if had ever been done, they’d assume it must have been; it’s self-evidently a Doctor Who idea. In practice the Boneless aren’t quite as crisply realized as the Mummy—their rules ...
|Oh no! The Doctor no longer has time to listen to all of "Minimum Wage" before he dies!|
It’s October 11th, 2014. Meghan Trainor is at number one with her body positivity anthem “All About That Bass.” Lower in the charts are Magician, Sigma, and, yet again, Taylor Swift, who has been in with “Shake it Off” consistently since “Into the Dalek” aired. In news, Douglas Carswell wins reelection as a MP, this time as a UKIP member, while the US Supreme Court declines to hear a variety of appeals on same-sex marriage cases, making it legal in all but twenty states.
On television, meanwhile, the consensus best story of Series 8, and, for some tranches of fandom, the Capaldi era. This presents something of a problem. There’s a longstanding tendency in TARDIS Eruditorum where well-liked stories come in for a bit of a kicking. Although heavily informed by my taste, TARDIS Eruditorum is not a series of reviews; it’s a cultural history of Britain that uses Doctor Who as its lens and subject. (As my pitch goes these days, “you can tell a lot about what Britain is afraid of at any given moment by looking at ...
In mythic times, when magick coursed free and unbound through the veins of the land, our ancestors walked as goddesses and gods across the becoming-moment. The myth-landcape was formed from their migrations and universes were born from their footsteps. Forests and flower fields grew from among the life-streams and had voice and spirit, and the sea and the sky were together as one.
Such goes the Legend of the Golden Age, the departed plane of eternity when Light spoke with the ecstasy of shared emanation in the All Moment and when all Immortal Stories lived here on Earth. In the telling, the Past becomes a distant country from whence we are separated by Time and Tide. Your ancestors are There, because They cannot be Here. There is cast a great insurmountable chasm between Heaven and Earth, and only in Heaven do we allow ourselves to be happy with the fulfillment of our calling.
But this mythic landscape bears the laugh-lines and contours of a magickal birth. There are worlds around us for the initiate who has learned to See to behold and enjoy. In truth, the Golden Age never ended and the Immortals never departed. The Otherworld is always there ...
|You can't make an omelet without killing a few moons.|
It’s October 4th, 2014. Jessie J, Arianna Grande, and Nicki Minaj are at number one with “Bang Bang.” Iggy Azalea, Calvin Harris, Lilly Wood also chart. In news, protests in Hong Kong rapidly amp up as tens of thousands of people take to the streets in opposition to the proposed “electoral reforms” that would dramatically increase the Chinese Communist Party’s control over Hong Kong. And the US has its first domestically diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas.
While on television, magic. I can still vividly remember the first time I watched Kill the Moon. There’s a rare experience occasionally generated by art, best described as a high or altered state. It comes on as a buzzing thrum, a torrent of associations and realizations and vibrant, ecstatic sense of things coming together. This does not always correspond with greatness; one need only look to my moment of vivid and absolute certainty that Journey to the Center of the TARDIS was about to become an origin story for the Silence. But when it does come together and the work of art actually manages to pay off that thrilling crescendo of ...
Watch out for her forthcoming TARDIS Eruditorum entry on this episode.
Also, here are some reposts of older commentaries that we recorded on the 60s classic 'The Mind Robber'.
More commentaries, new and old, will arrive in due time.