Viewing posts tagged philip sandifer

Shabcast 1

The long-threatened Shabogan Graffiti podcast - or Shabcast - is finally here.  Nobody asked for this, but you're getting it anyway.

Episode One is available to download here, bandwidth kindly provided by the very nice Pex Lives podcast fellas.  In a classic example of arrogant Trot entryism, I've infiltrated Pex Lives with two guest appearances on their podcast and am now barging to the front and taking over their bandwidth.

This first episode is basically a gargantuan, rambling chat between me and Phil Sandifer of TARDIS Eruditorum (which apparently I've been saying wrong as well as periodically spelling wrong) and other insanely long projects, with all the boring bits edited out (mostly the bits when I talk, or a couple of rubbish questions that didn't lead anywhere... this being the first 'interview' I've conducted since I was a journalism student about 712 years ago).

If you want, for some perverse and unfathomable reason, to listen to two men you don't know talking about television for pushing three hours, then today is your lucky day my friend.

Anti-Moffat

or

News from Elsewhere II: This Time It's Polemical



I've done another guest post for Phil Sandifer's site, here.  He wanted someone to put a case against the Moffat era before he proceeded to post his own thoughts about it.  He asked me to provide and, despite the obvious dangers, I bravely agreed... to attack someone who can't answer back without looking like a massive prick.  Still, I've done it before.  Just never on a site with an actual readership.  The scarier thing is how Phil's own subsequent posts will stamp all over me. 

I've steered well clear of having a go at the man personally, which means I've not engaged with any of his troubling public statements.  I've tried to argue from the texts.

Phil has called my post 'A Case for the Prosecution'.  I'm glad he put "A" rather than "The", because - inevitably - my attempt will disappoint some of the many people who care about this issue, not least because I didn't have time to do much more than cobble together a (relatively) brief overview. 

To me, this ...

News from Elsewhere

Phil Sandifer very kindly asked me to contribute a guest post for his site.  Here it is.  I'm quite proud of it.




It's about Merlin, strangely enough... but me being me, I ramble off topic.

The Dr Speaks

Against my better judgement, I allowed myself to get dragged into the latest "is 'Talons' racist?" debate at Gallifrey Base. (You'd think, wouldn't you, that this one would've been settled long ago and been filed away in the same drawer with "is the world a sphere?" and "is the Tomorrow People reboot bound to be shit?" but nope, apparently not.)

I won't rehearse it here, since everyone likely to read this blog is likely to be able to imagine exactly what has been (and remains to be) said. 

I just wanted to post this...




...which occured during my (increasingly and pointlessly irate) involvement.  Click to make it bigger.

You know, I disagree with Phil Sandifer about a lot... but the above just made me want to hug him.

Shabby Efforts

I'm sometimes rather startled to realise just how much Doctor Who I've missed.

I mean, chronologially, the last actual TV episode I saw was 'Night Terrors'.  I watched that ages after transmission, as part of a foolhardy attempt to catch up with the series (which I finally gave up watching upon transmission roundabout the time of 'A Christmas Carol', which I liked about as much as I like Ian Duncan Smith).  I was hoping that I'd either get my mind changed by the catch-up session - i.e. become persuaded that Who under Moffat isn't just empty, bombastic, cynical, reactionary, sexist, culty drivel - or, alternatively, that my justified hatred of what I was seeing would give me something to furiously blog about.

As it turns out, my undignified little scrape with 'Night Terrors' (see here) put me off the project again.  Initially inclined to be soft on it, despite some nitpicks, I was soon convinced by commenters that it's actually the story where the Doctor becomes David Cameron, lecturing the clueless working schlubs on how to solve their problems by being better parents.  Dispirited, I quit again.  So, I've not ...

Vixens and Saxons


Some disjointed thoughts about 'The Time Warrior'.  Is it sexist?  Is Linx really a girl?  And what is the correct Socialist attitude to Irongron?


1.  Men Are From Earth, Sontarans Are From... umm... Saturn?  No, couldn't be.  'Saturn' is an anagram of 'Rutans' for a start...

'The Time Warrior' is the chronicle of a failed romance.  Irongron and Linx.  The odd couple.

Made for each other.
The initial attraction. The slowly dawning mutual realisation that they have much in common. They take turns helping each other out. Terms of affection pass between them: Linx is Irongron's "brother" and will be his "general". Physical intimacy follows, as Linx allows Irongron to see his face then almost takes his arm as they leave to deal with the android knight. Irongron gives Linx a familiar nickname (albeit a rather unkind one).  Then ...

Beyond Redemption

I think there is something inherently dodgy about the notion of 'redemptive readings'.  It seems to imply a determination to look at a text in a positive way that is at odds with what could be called 'proper scepticism'.  This objection is itself open to the objection that it's silly to approach a piece of entertainment product with 'scepticism', especially when it is part of a series of which one is supposedly a fan.  But, this loses sight of context and agency.  There are various ways of choosing to watch the same thing.  When you sit down to enjoy an episode of a show you like, for fun, you're a bit odd if you're not expecting, hoping and trying to like it.  When you're watching it with the express intention of analysing it and then writing about what it means, proper scepticism becomes appropriate.  Trying to like what you're watching becomes a somewhat iffy strategy in that context.  Besides, doesn't the necessity of trying to find ways of praising what you're analysing tell us something in itself?  This muddle also loses sight of the distinctions that are always to be found within ...

Opposite Reaction

The TARDIS Eruditorum blog recently took the opportunity to connect 'The Caves of Androzani' with the 1984-85 Miner's Strike.  In the process, Philip Sandifer (the author of the blog) writes:

...Arthur Scargill, head of the NUM, made an egregious political miscalculation. Faced with an accelerated schedule for closing the pits and afraid that he’d lose the vote, Scargill declined to submit the strike to a national vote. This was against NUM rules and allowed Thatcher to delegitimize the strike, which she wasted no time doing, comparing striking miners to Argentina in the Falklands. 
and...

The propaganda war, combined with Scargill’s inept politicking, kept the strike from gaining broad support with the public, and it ended in failure a year later, leaving the mining industry and union a shadow of its former self. 

Sandifer mentions police savagery and also the wholesale media propaganda assault against the NUM (though he talks about the 'redtops', as though it was a purely tabloid phenomenon).  Ultimately, however, he seems to imply a plague upon both Thatcher's and Scargill's houses.

In the various permutations that this view takes, the heroic resistance of 150,000 workers and their families over ...

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