Viewing posts tagged capitalism

15

"What if there's no one out there?" asks the Doctor.  He's inside the Brannigans' floating car, stuck in gridlock.

What if the world ended when you weren't looking?

"Someone's got to ask, because you might not talk about it, but it's there in your eyes. What if the traffic jam never stops?"

"There's a whole city above us," says Brannigan, "The mighty city state of New New York. They wouldn't just leave us."

"In that case, where are they?" counters the Doctor.  "What if there's no help coming, not ever? What if there's nothing? Just the motorway, with the cars going round and round and round and round, never stopping. Forever."

What if the whole system is an utterly insane roundalay, going nowhere, getting noplace, just leaving everyone stranded, doing nothing but belching out endless clouds of toxic smoke?  What if the crisis is permanent.  What if normality is the crisis?  What if everyday life is the end of the world?

Walter Benjamin said that history was a train crash, and revolution was when the passengers pulled the communication cord.  The people of New New ...

16

The Doctor is confusing an angel to death.

Light came to our world to count and quantify all life, to create a set and definitive catalogue.  Light sent its Survey out into the world to sample each form.  But our world corrupted the Survey with the delicious possibilities of evolution.  Light was locked away so the Survey could inherit the Earth.  It became a Victorian gentleman, a man of property.  It enacted a ruthless Darwinian takeover of the house above Light's ship.  A colonizing mission.  A merger and acquisition.  This being Victorian England, the wife and daughter and maids came with the house like fixtures and fitting.  The Survey locked its secrets away, just like any Victorian gentleman, and set about dreaming of empire.  It adopted the cultural logic of its new society and new position: the ideology of 'the survival of the fittest'... meaning, supposedly, the dominance of the best.  With its inbuilt assumptions about the place of 'lesser races' and 'lower orders' and women, Victorian social-Darwinism was perfect for the Survey's purposes, as it shed its insectile and reptilian skins and became Josiah, the pink ...

17

Ms. Kizlet is using the wi-fi signal to control people in the coffee shop.

 “I do love showing off,” she says through a waitress she has made her puppet. “Just let me show you what control of the wi-fi can do for you,” she adds through the mouth of a young girl.

It’s a tech demo. Here’s what this latest version of the operating system can do. Upgrade now. The iconography is all ruthlessly current. Particularly fitting: Kizlet and her crew are playing around on iPads as they do their little Steve Jobs routine. You almost expect her to reveal that they’ve captured Clara with an “oh, and one more thing.”

Kizlet explains that they’ve “released thousands” of base stations into the world, blanketing the whole of humanity in their Worldwide Web of Fear.

Meanwhile, Clara’s on her laptop. She recognizes the vulnerability in every grand system: people. With just a bit of clicking around she’s figured out where Kizlet is transmitting from. The most obvious spot in London, really. Kizlet's client loves using grand projects for his own purposes. It’s what he did in the Underground, and it’s what ...

18

Everyone is down a mine.

(Incidentally, it's funny how often Doctor Who in the 70s and 80s keeps coming back to mines.  I'm sure it's nothing to do with the fact that coal mining was a key industry in British economic life during these decades, miners were among the most powerful unionised workers in the 70s, and the 80s saw the calculated destruction of the miners' unions and their industry by the Tory government.  Oh ho no.)

Anyway.  As I say, everyone - the Doctor, Romana, K9, Adrasta, Organon and a giant green blob called Erato - is down a mine.  And things are coming to a head.  (Head.  Pit-head.  Geddit?  Never mind.  It doesn't really work anyway.)

Yes, so anyway...  Erato is, as I say, a giant green blob.

"Erato came here fifteen years ago to propose a trading agreement," says the Doctor, while everyone else still reels from the revelation that the blob has a name, a mind and the ability to talk. "Tythonus is a planet rich in metallic ores and minerals...."

There's an interlude here where the Doctor and Adrasta have a little ...

19

LIN'n'DA has allowed 'Mr Kennedy' into their little circle of friends.  His determination to find the Doctor is the opposite of their desire to socialise & laugh while sharing their ideas & obsessions & histories.  Even if much of what we know about LIN'n'DA is just Elton's garbled wish-fulfillment, it's still a nice story.  Until Kennedy arrives.  It's never the same again.  Hierarchy is introduced, along with work schedules & targets & orders & timetables & a drive for objective 'results'.

"Though we had to admit," recalls Elton, "he was right. His methods were much more rigorous. It felt like we were getting closer & closer to the Doctor."

As if that had ever been the point.

"Umm, Mr Kennedy?" says Elton cautiously, raising his hand as though he's a kid at school trying to attract the attention of his teacher... & actually, LI'n'DA's headquarters now looks like a school room.  The friends are sat at desks, toilng away individually & silently at private work.  Mr Kennedy is every inch the teacher.  He sits at the head of the room, behind ...

20

For March Against the Mainstream Media Day


The Editor (apparently he edits the whole of human society) has uncovered Suki's true identity.  Instead of being just another inoffensive wannabe employee, she's actually...

"Eva Saint Julienne, last surviving member of the Freedom Fifteen. Hmm, self declared anarchist, is that right?"  His tone is patronising.  Non-mainstream political principles are a quaint and amusing affectation.

"The Freedom Foundation has been monitoring Satellite Five's transmissions," says Suki, pulling a gun on the smug bastard, "We have absolute proof that the facts are being manipulated. You are lying to the people."

"Ooo, I love it," he giggles, still in the same tone of amusement, as though he's listening to hilariously naff dialogue in a period drama, "Say it again."

"This whole system is corrupt. Who do you represent?"

The Editor is self-aware enough to know that, for all his power, he's a slave himself.

"I answer to the Editor in Chief.... If you don't mind, I'm going to have to refer this upwards."

Suki looks up, to see what the Editor is referring to.

"What is that?" she asks.

"Your boss. This has always been ...

21

Earl plays a C on his harmonica.  It starts a sympathetic resonance in the pipes that stretch under and through the regime on Terra Alpha, like the arteries in a body.  What flows in these arteries is sugarly gloop, the outpourings of the Kandy Kitchen.  It fills the regime with the glucose it needs to survive.  And the regime uses it to kill dissidents or refuseniks or men wearing pink triangles, drowning them in sweetness.  Earl's note causes the encrusted, crystallised, fossilised sugar coating the insides of the pipes to crack and fall.  Tonnes of the stuff falls on top of Fifi, Helen A's savage attack dog and beloved pet.  She sent it into the pipes to kill the Doctor and the Pipe People, the surviving aboriginals on her colony.

"Happiness will prevail," says the artificially fruity voice on the colony tannoy system, "Factory guards are joining forces with the drones to destroy the Nevani sugar beet plant here in sector six. We will keep broadcasting."

This is a revolution.  The killjoys are marching and demonstrating, and having their own melancholy parties in subversion of the rules.  The factories ...

22

The Doctor, Romana and Duggan have found a painting hidden behind a panel in the basement of Count Scarlioni's house in Paris.

"It's the Mona Lisa!" says the Doctor.

"Must be a fake," replies Duggan.

The Doctor says he doesn't know what's currently hanging in the Louvre, "but this is the genuine article".

Duggan's astonishment increases when the Doctor folds back yet more panelling to reveal yet another Mona Lisa.  And another.  And another.  Eventually, six identical copies are revealed.

"They must be fakes," says Duggan again.

"The brushwork's Leonardo's," the Doctor asserts, "It's as characteristic as a signature. The pigment, too."

"What," blithers Duggan, "on all of them?"

"What I don't understand is why a man who's got six Mona Lisas wants to go to all the trouble of stealing a seventh."  (The Count has been casing the Louvre, preparing to steal their Mona Lisa.)

This is Duggan's area.  "Come on, Doctor, I've just told you. There are seven people who would buy the Mona Lisa in secret, but nobody's going to buy the Mona Lisa when it's hanging in ...

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