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:


Shabcast 22ish

Another week, another Shabcast. 

Sadly, I haven't been able to manufacture an actual brand-new episode recently, so I've put together a compilation of some of the more interesting bits of previous Shabcasts which had to be cut for one reason or another.  But it does mean that you get more guests for your money.  This episode features myself in conversation with Daniel, Jane, Josh and Elliot.  If it's the most disjointed Shabcast ever, it's also the second-most populous after the Christmas episode. 

Enjoy here

Two Cakes

I'm sorry, but I have nothing substantive for you this week.  I have several things half-finished, but that's obviously not good enough. 

There was going to be a Shabcast this week, but the recording fell through.  My fault.  I've been crazy busy in my offline life lately.  Also, I've been melting.

Anyway, in order to fulfill my contractural obligation and actually provide some content for Phil and yourselves, I will fob you all off with the first chapter of a fiction project I started last year, tentatively called The Abandoned Line.  Let me know what you think... unless you hate it, in which case please be tactfully silent.  I honestly wouldn't be doing this to you if I had anything else ready. 

(By the way, I know the use of the word 'very' in the first sentence is less then ideal, but don't know how else to make the rhythm work.  Suggestions for how to get rid of it would be appreciated.)




When Iza Park found out that her sister Ria was real, they were both very surprised about it.

“Is that me ...

A Message from Ian Chinashop CBE

Hello, I’m Ian Chinashop, and I own and run the Ian Chinashop China Shop Co.™ And I’m here to tell you how I made it in business, and how you can make it too. 

The secret of success is hard work and determination.  Without these things I could never have turned the million pounds my dad gave me on my 21st birthday into a global business empire.  Some hang around waiting for handouts.  That doesn’t work.  You just end up embittered, entitled and useless.  Some people expect life to serve them what they want on a silver platter.  I can’t stand people like that.  I had to work hard to succeed, and there’s no reason why you can’t do that too.  Some people say I had advantages, but who doesn’t?  Even if you grow up in the poorest housing estate in the country, you can turn your desire to escape into an advantage.  If life hands you lemons, make lemonade – as my friend Ian Lemonademanufacturer OBE of the Ian Lemonademanufacturer Lemonade Manufacturing Company™ always says.  He should know.  When he inherited his company from ...

Season Finale

So, the Chilcot Report, end result of ‘The Iraq Inquiry’, is finally out.  I understand frantic, cosplaying fans were queuing up outside bookstores at midnight, desperate to get their hands on a copy.  People were getting seriously worried that Chilcot (or TRHSJCGCB, as fans call him, for ‘the Right Honourable Sir John Chilcot G.C.B.’) was getting too old, and would die before finishing it. 

Personally, I won’t bother.  The TV series overtook it years ago.  The most recent seasons have been especially good, what with all the stuff about the rise of ISIS.  The finale to the series just gone, with the bombing in Baghdad, was very shocking, if not entirely unpredictable.  I was less impressed with the comedy storyline about the attempted Blairite coup within the Labour Party, happening right the away across the other side of the map you see in the opening titles.  It was disappointing that the TV series gave so much space to the keystone palace revolutionaries within Labour, and so much less airtime to the storyline about ISIS terrorism against Muslims, but I guess they know their audience.

I don’t need to actually ...

Psychic Landscape 2: Ladies' Night

This post is based on a true story.


(SPOILERS for various films)

The Conjuring movies are about good and bad women.  In the first movie the central antagonist is the spirit of a dead witch who killed her own baby and then herself, and whose spirit subsequently possesses every women who movies into her house, or onto her former grounds, and makes them kill their own children.  The ultimate evil then, for a woman, is to pervert the virtue of motherhood.  In the story, a mother of five daughters finds herself in the home of this dead witch, gradually possessed by her.  Her ultimate salvation, the thing that enables her to defeat the witch who is possessing her and trying to make her kill her daughters, is a memory of a perfect family day at the beach.  Yes, that’s right - in the end, all it takes is for Elaine Warren (psychic investigator) to touch the woman’s head and enjoin her to remember family values.  Ed Warren’s attempt at an exorcism fails, but Elaine is able to connect with the possessed woman directly, via their mutual motherhood.  This connection allows the possessed woman ...

Psychic Landscape 1: Conjuring the '70s

This post is based on a true story.


The Conjuring movies are interesting for various reasons.  There is, for instance, the way they use the 1970s themselves as a source of horror.

Actually, this sort of thing has been happening for a while now.  As far back as The Sixth Sense, 70s clothing has been pulled into the mix.  Moreover, Sixth Sense borrows heavily on the detached, clinical style of certain 70s and early-80s horror movies, such as The Exorcist and The Shining.   You know the kind of shot I’m talking about.  Steady or static shots of carefully framed tableaux, often in deep focus, usually with something irrational or horrific intruding matter-of-factly into an otherwise domestic, mundane, or banal – perhaps even aggressively banal – setting.  The resurrection of this stylistic tick is in marked - probably conscious - contrast to other styles of horror filmmaking which were on the rise at the time, most particularly the ‘found footage’ style, the early phase of which was exemplified by The Blair Witch Project.  Both styles were probably, in their different ways, reactions against the styles predominant in the late 80s, which tended to be very ...

Shabcast 21, Part 2 - The Stern Section

Join me and Josh once again for the back half of our huge natterfest

Find out why the Titanic sank! 

Find out what Josh and I think of The Dark Knight movies, and Jared Diamond, and narratives of the end of the world, and the sociology of disaster, and the relationship between the rise of agriculture and the rise of hierarchy/patriarchy!  (Form an orderly queue, kids!)

Hear Josh's thoughts on the fall of the sacred feminine, and the Aesir/Vanir war, and dazzle ship-camouflage, and Mad Max Fury Road (here's my stuff about it... and more here) and loads of other nice things!

Here's a link to the article Josh mentions about resilience vs. collapse and paleolithic mysticism.


And once again, some pertinent links about the Olympic liners:

Here's the website for the Titanic - Honor & Glory game project, complete with a chilling computer animated video of the ship sinking in real time.  And here's their Facebook page.  And here's their Tumblr.  And here's some info about the Olympic, Titanic's sister ship, as a war ship.  And here are some more photos of Olympic ...

Shabcast 21, Part 1 - The Bow Section

I'm delighted to be able to mark Josh Marsfelder's addition to Eruditorum Press with a mega-Shabcast in which Josh and I chat about some of our mutual obsessions. 

Listen and/or download here.

Josh is awesomely informed and passionate.  We talk about Star Trek and Josh's blogging project about it, Vaka Rangi, which is now archived and ongoing here at EP.  We talk about Aliens and Avatar and James Cameron generally, and especially about the Titanic - film and reality, and the differences between the two.  Josh is really into the Olympic liners generally, and knows a ton about them.  Suffice to say, the real story of these ships is more complex and resonant, more utterly imbued with the tang of history, than the myths.  I had a great time listening to Josh talk about this stuff and I'm confident you will too.

I should probably warn you there are spoilers for 90s Star Trek.  And also for Titanic.  (Psst - the ship sinks, ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!)

Our loooooong chat will continue next Thursday in Shabcast 21b - The Stern Section, in which we ...

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