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 bit of writing will always be called the ‘Anti-Moffat’. Not that I compare myself to Engels. In his Anti-Dühring, Engels not only wrote a blistering polemic, he also did the one thing that genuinely makes polemic valuable: he explained his own, alternative view. It became one of the most brilliant and inspiring elaborations of Marxism ever written. I, by contrast, have failed to even come away with something positive to say about what my favourite TV show should be like. I also failed – apart from the odd hint – to find space to put the Moffat era in its historical and political context, as the Who of late neoliberalism, ongoing crisis, backlash and austerity. (Maybe I’ll put all that in the book.)
So, basically, it’s just a whinge. But an entertaining one, I hope.
|Engels. Some people say Marxism wasn’t as good after he took over.|
ADDITIONAL, 23/03/14: Richard Cooper, over at his blog ‘Finger-Steepling and Sharks’, also has an excellent essay about the issue of Moffat and sexism, here, which pre-dates mine.