We're back, with a proper WWA episode. Daniel's choice this time: Inherit the Wind, Stanley Kramer's 1960 drama loosely based on the Scopes Monkey Trial. (Details here.)
Download WWA6 here
A really good episode, this one (IMHO). Lots of laughs and silliness but also some meaty discussion about history and politics.
Show Notes: Main Topic: Inherit the Wind. Vague plot summary. Fictionalized. Quality female characters. Familiarity breeds contempt? Chimpanzee casting. Didn't fall in love. Connected to Mississippi Burning. Cartoonish Brady. Brady's wife. Sexism of 1925. Pronouncement dialogue. Golden Age acting. Comic relief. Unforgiving role. The One Man Who Can Think. Educating the rubes. McCarthyism. Flouting conformity and Great-Man-ism. Village Atheist. Blacklisted screenwriter and HUAC. Slavish attachment to the USSR. At last, a Trump reference. And Nixon. Fans sponspored by the funeral home. Perspiration necessary for a proper courtroom drama. Bigwig motives. Old Time Religion Uber Alles. Lynching sequences. Black actors. Talking about civil rights without talking about civil rights. Mencken. Brady's hypocrisy. Not William Jennings Bryan. Classism and the American South. Ditto for British regional accents. Legitimate resentment. Not even Hollywood Poverty. The "respectable poor." Scopes and eugenics. Scientism and ...
CONTORNO: A side dish, typically served with the secondo. This episode is a last chance to do small stuff before the major fireworks of the first arc of the season go off, but more to the point, as we will see, is in a meaningful sense focused on a side character.
CHIYOH: On still evenings, when the air was damp after a rain, we played a game. Hannibal would burn all kinds of barks and incense for me to identify by scent alone. He was charming the way a cub is charming, a small cub that grows up to be like one of the big cats.
WILL GRAHAM: One you can't play with later.
The game is more or less a direct quote from Hannibal Rising, and the nominal origin of Hannibal’s supernatural sense of smell. Although it is notable that the game is played with burnt objects, so that what is identified is not the smell of the thing, but the smell of its destruction. In her analogy for his charm, meanwhile, we have something that’s almost diametrically opposite from Will’s “pathetic wretch that failed to die” assessment, suggesting an early and seemingly innate grandeur to ...
An interlude, consisting of a much expanded treatment of a short section from the material I contributed to the Austrian School essay in Phil's new book, which is now on sale along with his other books.
The leading Austrian economist after Menger was Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. He was the developer of many key Austrian mainstay theories. The interesting thing is that he spends a huge amount of his time attacking Marx. Indeed, as noted, his attack on Marx is to a large extent the springboard which leads him to his own theories.
His major criticism of Marx is connected to something called the ‘transformation problem’. But it’s a bit of a twisty story.
In a polemic published not long after the posthumous publication of Capital vol.III (1894), Böhm-Bawerk claimed that volumes I and III of Capital contradict each other when it comes to the matter of how values are transformed into prices. Marx, says Böhm-Bawerk, claims in vol.I that commodities tend to sell at their values and promises to explain later why it seems otherwise in real life. However, says Böhm-Bawerk, when Marx comes back to this in vol.III, he fails to explain, leaving ...
So that’s the Moffat era. There’s a very small number of stories we might compare this to, and most of them are unenlightening. Understood as a multi-Doctor story, it is simply perplexing. As a regeneration story, it’s similarly perplexing, but at least Time of the Doctor (and I suppose technically The Tenth Planet) provides a vague point of comparison. Which leaves The End of Time, the series’ sole other example of a Christmas special showrunner/Doctor send-off. Here to, Twice Upon a Time looks odd, but at least the contrast is consistent. Davies talks in The Writer’s Tale about his discarded initial plan for Tennant’s regeneration, which was to do a self-consciously small episode with none of the epic grandeur you’d expect. And so Moffat, finding himself with an extra episode after the bombast of World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, takes up Davies’s discarded idea for a story in which the Doctor waits around to die and there’s no actual villain.
On one level, this confirms that Davies had a good idea there. Going small in regeneration stories works, as Time of the Doctor (which I’ll defend to the bitter end) demonstrates. Yes, it only works if there ...
It's Boxing Day, which means it's time for me to put a bunch of ebooks on sale at Smashwords. In all cases, just apply the coupon code at checkout to get your discount. All sales run through New Year's.
We'll start with the marquee sale, which is not so much a sale as a giveaway. Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons, my anthology on science fiction and fascism, is available for free. You can get that with the coupon code SG29J.
I've also got my brand new book on the alt-right, Neoreaction a Basilisk, on a modest sale of $3.99 with the coupon code FB25Q.
Next up, both of my books on comics are available for $2.99. That means both Volume 1 of The Last War in Albion, my history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and A Golden Thread, my history of Wonder Woman.
A Golden Thread: GT47P
And finally, our bread and butter, the TARDIS Eruditorum series, my critical history of Doctor Who, is all on sale for 50% off, reducing the price of each book to $2 ...
Check back tomorrow for the annual Eruditorum Press ebook sale, and Wednesday (probably later in the day) for my Twice Upon a Time review.
APERITIVO: The Italian equivalent of the apéritif, i.e. a before dinner drink. Eagle-eyed readers may note that this is the fourth episode of the season. The joke (and it’s a solid one) is that we’ve finally flashed back to answering what actually happened in the wake of “Mizumono,” and so this is the chronological first episode of the season. Hannibal - for all your highbrow narrative/Italian menu structure gags.
MASON VERGER: Are you wearing makeup? How long does it take you to put on your face in the morning?
DR. CHILTON: Now that I've got the routine down, no time at all.
MASON VERGER: Tell you what. You show me yours and I'll show you mine.
There is something trolling about revealing Chilton’s fate from “Yakimono” before getting to Alana. Unfortunately, taken in the context of the general problems Alana has as a character, it feels vaguely mean-spirited, with Alanna being treated as an object of peril in a way that Will, Jack, and Abigail were not. Still, reintroducing Chilton opposite Mason ...
Also, don't forget you can now buy Phil's new book Neoreaction a Basilsik (featuring a chapter I contributed to) on Kindle and in dead tree format (Amazon US, Amazon UK). It's a more enjoyable read than Hayek. Fucking trust me on this.
Hayek’s position on Chile, and on reactionary authoritarianism generally, is the dollfussian logic of Mises working itself out, i.e. the Left makes a kind of temporary recuperative fascism necessary. Mises developed this view when collaborating with the anti-Nazi and anti-Communist 'Austro-fascist' Dollfuss.
None of the assumptions are especially non-mainstream – which tells us something terrifying about the mainstream – but Hayek synthesises them, accepts their implications in a principled (yes, in his own vile way he is principled) and non-opportunistic way, and takes them to their logical conclusions. If liberty is threatened by democracy leading to socialism leading to totalitarianism (Nazism being socialism too according to Dollfuss and Mises et al – another argument we still live with) then you need authoritarianism to quash democracy when it goes too far. We’ve already seen Hayek adapting the ideas of (ironically) Carl Schmitt to this end. And Hayek is employing ...