Viewing posts tagged olympics


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 ...

Changing Times, Nice Guys and 'Strong Female Characters'

I've gone on the record saying I think Moffat's version of Doctor Who is sexist and heteronormative.  A challenge I often hear - and it's a serious point - is the idea that Moffat's Who is, at least, no worse than previous eras on issues like depictions of gay relationships, and is frequently better.  There are positive depictions of gay characters, quite unlike anything in, say, the Hartnell era.  Well, firstly, let me say that I don't want to claim that things are 'worse' now (in any absolute way) than in the Hartnell years, when homosexuality essentially didn't exist at all in-story in the Who universe. And sure, many old episodes have displayed all sorts of heteronormative stuff, and also outright homophobic stuff (albeit usually by implication).  Harrison Chase is, in many ways, implied to be an evil gay man (it's not that I think gay people are like him, but rather that he is constructed partly of tropes that connote gayness in pop culture).

It isn't that there's a scale that pertains to culture now just as it pertained in 1963 and 73 and 83 etc, with Who ...

Sport, sport, masculine sport, prepares a young man for society...

The Olympics really depresses me. 

Not just the horrendous waste of money and the revolting jingoism and the all-pervading ideological reinforcement... but it represents a boat I missed. 

Sport.  Games.  I hate them.  But I strongly suspect that I hate them because school trained me to, through social punishment. 

In school, sport is a dark ritual soaked in hierarchy and humiliation and hatred and contempt.  Win or you're rubbish.  Understand and like and care about the right things or you're 'gay' (horror of horrors).  Be thin and athletic or know that you are subhuman. 

All school is like that.  A huge pyramidal structure of power in which the establishment trains its next generation to be drones or managers or lumpen failures salutary for the rest of us.  Meanwhile, the kids compete for popularity and cool and acceptance.  Learn, children, straight away, that life is a race and the losers are scum.  It's all built on the shaming and degradation of anyone different or overweight or awkward or sad or bookish or unattractive or poor or clueless or weak. 

That was the context ...

Fear Them

"Does this mean that the Olympic Dream is dead? 

"There's a mystery man... he's picked up the flame... we have no idea who he is... he's carrying the flame!  Yes, he's carrying the flame and no one wants to stop him. 

"It's more than a flame now, Bob. It's more than heat and light. It's hope. And it's courage. And it's love."
- From the script of 'Fear Her'.

Heartwarming, I'm sure.  Absolutely certain to inculcate desirable attitudes in children.  Watching that will have them all full of hope and courage and love as they quaff their isotonic drinks and get exercising, hoping to one day be standing to attention as their national anthem is played and a bit of metal is draped around their necks, secure in the knowledge that all is for the best in the best of all possible social and political cultures.

On the other hand...

On 19 May, the Olympic torch will begin its journey, accompanied by 52 police officers, due to fears that the torch may be ‘targeted by radicalised protest groups’ or dissident Irish republicans, since according to the ...

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