The Shabogans are the invisible underclass on Gallifrey. The plebs. The nobodies. The skivvies. They're not the posh drop-outs. They're not the soup-making rustics. They're the unseen guttersnipes trapped inside the Capitol. They always leave the room just before you enter it. They're the vandals who shoot stasers at the Seal of Rassilon. And maybe, sometimes, they do more than that. Maybe they riot. Maybe they erect barricades. Maybe they throw stones. Maybe they daub things like "GALLIFREY WILL NEVER BE HAPPY UNTIL THE LAST CASTELLAN HAS BEEN HANGED WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CARDINAL" on the walls of the Time Toilets. Because if there is hope, it lies in the Shabogans.
I'm Jack Graham. Gothic Marxist. Advocate of the struggle in terms of the strange. Shakespearean villain. Doctor Who fan. Less an organic intellectual than a one-man morbid symptom.
And I did this:
Yes, the Drunken Whocast returns. It is now, undeniably, a regular thing. Some guys - Jack, Kit, and Daniel this time - in varying and progressing stages of shitfacedness, talking far too much about Doctor Who.
This time, your arseholed hosts talk Series 2 (2006). And other things (this was recorded before the election).
As before, you're getting this almost entirely unexpurgated. We've removed only some dull pauses, some bathroom breaks, one or two jokes that were a tad too off-colour upon sobre reflection, and one instance of vicious slander.
Stick with it - I'm told hour 4 is the best.
As often happens, people who sponsor me on Patreon heard this ages ago. (I don't thank my sponsors at the end of Drunken Whocasts as it seems wrong somehow, almost as if I were insulting them, but they all get namechecked at the end of regular shabcasts, as long as I have time to record that bit.)
The image across is by Steve Bell and was published in the Guardian. I'll take it down if they ask. But it seemed too brilliantly, horribly perfect to abjure.
This month I'm joined by Kit and James, to talk about the election we had last week (surprise surprise) in which Jeremy Corbyn defied his critics to resurrect the fortunes of Labour and pummel the Tories into a very uncomfortable corner. We also talk about the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, just had just happened when we sat down to record.
Please share around, tell your friends, etc. I think we're all proud of this one.
Credit where its due: this episode very much came about because Kit and James organised it, and James both edited the main body of the episode and supplied the wonderful title. I'm not even in the episode for half an hour or so.
So, interesting times, huh.
Actually, incredible times.
The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn fights the Tories to a hung parliament after years in the wilderness. Go back in time and tell me that in early 2015 and I'd laugh in your face. Not because I ever had anything but respect for Corbyn. I've always considered him a man of seriousness, principle, and dedication. And not becaue I think left-wing policies (or what passes for them these days) can't sway people, can't be popular, can't win elections. They can, and do.
(The truth is that, spread out across Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru - and taking into account the many people who vote LibDem for left-liberal reasons, and the many more people who abstain because they're too left-wing to feel represented by any party, even if they themselves don't necessarily understand themselves that way - the majority of the British public are to the left to some degree. As Milton Friedman once bewailed, the public are irretrievably collectivist.)
No, I'd have laughed primarily because I would never have thought Corbyn would be able to get the nominations ...
Okay, first let me apologise for the paucity of long-form written pieces here at Shabgraff lately. Normal service will (hopefully) be resumed fairly soon, or a proper announcement of some new normal will have to be made.
Next, let me remind you all of the existence of two new(ish) podcasts featuring me.
There’s a new episode of Oi! Spaceman, in which I join Shana and Daniel to – for reasons that now elude me – talk about ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. HERE.
And there’s a bonus mini-episode of Wrong With Authority, featuring myself in conversation with Daniel about the 2007 David Fincher movie Zodiac. HERE.
We may do more of these (comparatively) short extra episodes in future, with just a couple of us chatting about a movie outside our main sequence. We’ve decided to call them Footnotes. Because we’re just so damn cute.
On the subject of podcasts, there are some great Shabcasts coming up, including another Drunken Whocast (which seems to be genuinely becoming a new regular thing) and a fantastic chat between myself and Sam Keeper of Storming the Ivory Tower on Star Wars, Rogue One, etc. We talked about, amongst ...
Hello there... bit of a serious Shabcast this time, though there are some laughs along the way.
(EDIT: I forgot to say that I'm joined by James - who really knows about this stuff - and Daniel - who really knows about this stuff in America.)
This episode was prompted by the 'Dementia Tax' story, and became about the crisis in the NHS generally, and also about the horrors of the American system. It was recorded before the 'Dementia Tax' story developed (with Theresa May's humiliating kindasorta u-turn) and also before the attack in Manchester, so it's a bit of a relic... but even so, these are live issues, and a lot of what we say hasn't gone out of date. The NHS is still in crisis, and its still the Tories' fault, but also still tracks back to New Labour. And the American system is still awful, and the few improvements made by Obama may still be about to be destroyed, and we in the UK are still headed in that privatised, profit-driven direction.
I'd appreciate people sharing this about, for propaganda/electioneering purposes. You never know, it might help ...
When the world is a danger to Doctor Who, does it raise up in rage or does it keep getting stranger?
Today, suffocation has a very specific meaning. In America, you can tell upon which side of the divide someone stands by seeing what their t-shirt tells you about their ability – or otherwise - to respirate. The divide in question is one created by a system of oppression that chokes people. It chokes them figuratively, and then has the brazen impudence to choke them literally as well.
One statement of resistance is the simple proclamation “I can’t breathe”, which derives its power from its ability to inhabit both the metaphor and the brute reality.
Part of the peculiar power of the metaphorical referent is that it expresses a feeling of helplessness as part of a demonstration of strength. Weaponised weakness.
‘Oxygen’ flirts with the SF trope of the post-racial future. The people of the future don’t understand why Bill should face prejudice. They don’t see colour. Except that there is the business with the blue man (played by a white actor, of course, because whiteness is perceived as neutrality, blankness, non-ethnicity, vanilla standard ...
Phil was nice enough to cite me in the most recent of his (wonderful) 'Proverbs of Hell' series. I just thought I'd be cheeky and repost a little reheated morsel of the stuff of mine that he referred to... because I think it's quite interesting.
In Hannibal Rising, the boy Hannibal emerges from privilege, from the Renaissance, from the Sforzas (a right bunch of bastards). But he also emerges from the aftermath of Barbarossa. His childhood tutor is a Jew who escaped the holocaust. He is adopted by a woman from Hiroshima. His early years are haunted by mention of the Nuremburg trials. He is born of the 20th century's ultimate horrors.
Cannibalism is part of WWII-Gothic. Most particularly Barbarossa-Gothic. Thanks the Siege of Leningrad, and to Andrei Chikatilo's (possibly bogus) childhood reminiscences, it is linked to the aftermath of the German invasion of the Soviet Union (see also Child 44). It is particularly appealing to the capitalist culture industries to depict the people of the Soviet Union preying upon each other "like monsters of the deep", for reasons which should be tediously obvious. Famine ...
Helloesville, my little chickadees, have a 32nd Shabcast. Why not?
I'm joined by the ubiquitous Daniel Harper to talk about freedom of speech, its limits, its abuses, what it means to different people, etc.
This episode comes in at a comparatively brief 2hrs 20mins.