I write things and am nominally in charge here. Below are my most recent posts.

The bulk of my work is in a style I have, in an act of mild narcissism, named psychochronography. Psychochronography, an offshoot of the artistic concept of psychogeography. Psychogeography is a practice originally developed by the Situationist International as part of their efforts to forcibly dismantle the established social order. Psychogeography is the study of how physical spaces impact social, cultural, and personal lives. Its central technique is what is called the derivé, or drift, in which one wanders through an urban area according to some idiosyncratic logic that causes one to cut against the usual lines and paths traced.

Psychochronography applies this notion to our internal landscape. Taking seriously Alan Moore's notion of ideaspace, psychochronography suggests that we can wander through history and ideas just as easily as we can physical spaces, and that by observing the course of such a conceptual exploration we can discover new things about our world. Topics I've applied this approach to include Doctor Who, British comic books, and Super Nintendo games.

TARDIS Data Core Needs to Cut the Transphobic Bullshit

The TARDIS Data Core has never been a great site. This ranges from its extraordinarily dubious content decisions such as individually listing every floor of the spaceship in World Enough and TIme to be mentioned in the episode to its outright pernicious decisions like having pages for "rape" and for individual racial slurs that exist to document every single case across all of Doctor Who where they have come up. And this badness has been known to take an overtly queerphobic tinge, such as the decision to jettison categories listing LGBTQ characters in Doctor Who because, and I quote, "We write articles in the past tense from an 'end of the universe' POV. The Category:LGBT individuals, makes no sense for me as it's a very 20th to early 21st century view point" and "If the concept of LGBT existed in the DW universe we'd have a page for it, and we don't, cause it's really not something that's given a lot of thought as a defined concept." (It's not clear why categories such as "human secretaries," "victims of the bubonic plague," and of course "gamers" are more relevant at the end of the universe ...

It Could Be The End of the World, But One Thing At a Time (The Return of Doctor Mysterio)

 
Sure, yes, you feel pain, but tell me... do you bleed? 

It’s December 25th, 2016. Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye” remains at number one, while Rag ‘n Bone Man, Little Mix, Zara Larsson, and the annual re-charting of Mariah Carey also chart. In news since Class got lost, the CIA reported to Congress that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, which President-elect Trump described as “ridiculous,” the Obama administration allowed a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory to pass, and a riot broke out in a Birmingham prison, the worst British prison riot since the Thatcher era. 

On television, meanwhile, for the first time in a year, Doctor Who. When this aired at the brutal end of 2016, suspended between Carrie Fisher’s heart attack and her death and in the immediate wake of George Michael’s, it felt like a baffling way to bring the show back after its longest gap between episodes since Rose. Two years and change later, it feels like a baffling artifact from another world. At its heart, it features Moffat making a well-earned return to autopilot. He will not phone it in for the entirety of Series 10, mercifully, but he is ...

The Wasted Daughter of the Moon: The Trans Genius of Dave Carter

I promised myself I wasn't going to be the trans girl who wrote some stupid fucking essay about being trans in her first year of public transition. So happy anniversary to me.

The Butterfly Conservatory is very probably the greatest band never to actually play a single note. Instead it exists in hypothetical and implication; an almost that never quite resolves into being. A band under that name played a pair of songs at the 2012 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival—a folk supergroup consisting of Tracy Grammer and a phalanx of other musicians to honor the ten year anniversary of the sudden passing of her musical partner, Dave Carter. But this is not The Butterfly Conservatory—merely a marker of what could have been. The real Butterfly Conservatory would have been Grammer along with a woman who’s never going to have a name—the woman Dave Carter was in the act of becoming when she died.

Of course, this divide is complex and problematic. Transition does not straightforwardly make you a different person. And yet at times the divide between before and after is at times a stark chasm. An honest accounting of transition requires that we embrace a both/and approach ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea: Mr. Robot

A thing we will inevitably have to address is what it looks like for Doctor Who to respond to Trump. Or, in the UK context, Brexit, but let’s go ahead and just use Trump as a metonym for the catastrophic politics that form the backdrop of the Moffat-Chibnall handover. This is, of course, something it is not fair to ask Class to do. It’s not fair to ask most of Series 10 to do it either—Trump’s election happened late in the block where they shot Oxygen and The Eaters of Light, which was in time to work the “too orange” gag into The Pyramid at the End of the World (although more on Trump and that episode when the time comes) but nowhere near early enough for anything in this season to be conceptualized as an intentional response to his Presidency. (His campaign is a different matter.) Even with Brexit, the vote took place four days after filming started—enough to have some impact (we know that Gatiss was considering an explicitly Brexit-themed script), but still fundamentally after the series was well underway. On the whole, Series 10 emerged from the midst of 2016’s turmoil; it is the Chibnall era that ...

Outside the Government: The Lost

It’s December 3rd, 2016. Clean Bandit remain at number one. Weeknd and Daft Punk get a seond song in the top ten, while Neiked, Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar, and Bruno Mars also chart. In news, a plane crash kills the bulk of Brazillian football team Chapecoense. Donald Trump sparks a touch of  international incident when he calls the President of Taiwan, while a fire in an Oakland art space known as the Ghost Ship kills 36. A man opens fire inside a Washington pizza restaurant because, basically, Mike Cernovich said there were pedophiles there. 

While on television, the season and de facto series finale of Class, “The Lost.” “The Lost” hangs over the rest of Class. Without it you have seven well-meaning episodes of various levels of success—a show that could frequently have stood to be a little braver, but that always meant well and wanted to be good. With it, however, the picture gains an ugly, cynical tinge. “The Lost” is not Class’s first bad episode. It is its worst episode, which is never a good thing to have happen with your finale. But more damning than its general crapness is the particular ...

Outside the Government: The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did

It’s November 26th, 2016. Clean Bandit are at number one with “Rockabye,” with James Arthur, Bruno Mars, and Neiked also charting. Indeed, the overall top ten are the same as last week in a very slightly different order. In news, the government of Colombia reaches a peace agreement to end the fifty-year long fight against FARC revolutionaries. 300 people are injured when police attack a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock reservation. And Philip Hammond makes his Autumn Statement to Parliament.

On television, meanwhile, Class tries something different. “The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did” focuses almost entirely on Quill, telling the story of her efforts to get the MacGuffin removed from her head so she is no longer enslaved to Charlie. This is already unusual, in that it gives us a YA show that has temporarily dropped all of its YA characters to focus on… well, exactly who and what Quill is as a character will come up later, so let’s save it and move on. Adding to the strangeness is the eponymous concept—a device that allows people to travel into the afterlifes and higher planes of any species that has imagined one. This ...

Outside the Government: Detained

It’s November 19th, 2016. Clean Bandit has debuted at number one with “Rockabye,” while Rae Sremmurd, Bruno Mars, James Arthur, and the Weeknd also chart. In news, the British Medical Journal calls for the legalization of drugs while Donald Trump agrees to pay $25m in settlements over Trump University. 

On television, meanwhile, Class does its bottle episode. As with “Nightvisiting,” there is a sense of “really, already?” to this. The bottle episode is a classic contrivance. And while better shows than Class have gotten to them as soon as their third stories, they are generally a sign that something has gone oddly somewhere else in the season. In this case the culprit is fairly obvious: this is a Quill-free episode done on the cheap. Next week we have a Quill-only episode that’s blatantly where the money has gone. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s presumably because you’ve watched Doctor Who and remember Russell T Davies tossing David Tennant into a cheap bottle episode he wrote in basically two days so that he could have Catherine Tate and Billie Piper do a costly greatest hits tour of his era the week after. Indeed, the basic setup ...

Outside the Government: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart/Brave-ish Heart

It’s November 5th, 2016. Little Mix are at number one with “Shout Out To My Ex.” James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Bruno Mars, and Drake also chart. Everything is fine. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series for the first time in over a century. US Presidential election is in three days and Hillary Clinton is obviously going to win. Then, three days later, she doesn’t. Clean Bandit seizes the number one spot, Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar enter the top ten, and the other half of Class’s only two-part story airs

Let’s start with the basic structural oddity: a midseason two-parter in an eight episode season. This means that there’s never really a sense of momentum in the show. Its apparent initial pattern of being a monster-of-the-week show that picks a focus character each week is discarded. The subsequent structure of the next two episodes, in which the cast is split to do a bottle episode and an expensive episode that takes place at the same time, is too singular to establish a new pattern. This could be a compelling gambit of a show that has no pattern and is constantly surprising the viewer, but as ...

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