Beneath the stones, the beach; beneath the beach, Cthulhu

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Richard Pilbeam
    March 13, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    "They really might just as well have had the whole story set in the present day with the Carrionites manipulating Rowling into putting their code into the next Harry Potter book"

    Have you read "The Writer's Tale"…?

    Because if you haven't, then… you probably shouldn't.

    "Voyage of the Damned" was awful, but we were spared something far, far worse.


  2. Jack Graham
    March 13, 2011 @ 5:30 am

    Ah, dramatic irony. My readers know something I don't.

    Still, in this case I feel that ignorance may be bliss.


  3. Richard Pilbeam
    March 13, 2011 @ 5:47 am

    A psychic beetle was going to latch onto JK Rowling (playing herself) and bring all the things from her "amazing imagination" to life in the real world, sort of like "Turn Left" for idiots.

    Davies was ready to pitch it as the 2007 Christmas Special until David Tennant told him it was stupid, so we got "Voyage of the Damned" instead.

    The worst part is knowing that, in 2030, either Big Finish or Ian Levine will try to do an audio version.


  4. Jack Graham
    March 13, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Goes to show, everyone has limits. Even David Tennant didn't want to be in that… and this is the guy who agreed to say "Make the foundation of this society a man who never would!" on national television.

    Thing is, Rowling IS that beetle. She's the imagination parasite. If they'd done a story where they got her to play an alien idea-vampire, that might've been something.


  5. Lucy McGough
    March 1, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    Sorry to be so repetitive, but I really enjoyed this one too.


  6. BerserkRL
    September 4, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    It surely would be nice if this episode had done for Shakespeare with "Vincent and the Doctor" did for Van Gogh.

    Still, I must cavil. Numbers aren't words. Numerals are words. Numbers are whatever it is that numerals stand for — a much-debated philosophical question. But in some sense 2 + 2 would still equal 4 even if no language-users existed.


  7. Matthew Celestis
    September 4, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    It's really hard to believe this is the writer of Tragedy Day. What happened to the man?


  8. Josh Marsfelder
    September 4, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

    This is entirely off topic, but you sort of brought it up and it's a pet peeve of mine.

    Yes, the only ironic thing about "Ironic" is that it contains no irony. But Ed Byrne wasn't the first person to say that.

    Alanis Morissette was.


  9. Jack Graham
    September 4, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Oops, sorry Alanis.


  10. Josh Marsfelder
    September 4, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    Don't feel bad. You're far from the first person to be tripped up by "Ironic": It's probably one of the most frequently and profoundly misread and misinterpreted songs of the past several decades.


  11. Jack Graham
    September 4, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    Do you mean that the ironic lack of irony is intentional?


  12. Josh Marsfelder
    September 4, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    Absolutely. "Ironic" is not a cheerily bemused song about how "life has a funny way of sneaking up on you/When you think everything's okay and everything's going right". It's a deeply bitter up-yours to the sorts of people who would smugly claim pop music is shallow and vapid and that all pop singers are dumb, interchangeable bimbos who don't know what words like "ironic" mean. Which actually finally makes the song make sense, as at first glance it sticks out like a sore thumb on the otherwise quite venomous Jagged Little Pill.

    Alanis later, somewhat coyly, said "For me the great debate on whether what I was saying in 'Ironic' was ironic wasn't a traumatic debate. I'd always embraced the fact that every once in a while I'd be the malapropism queen."

    But then she would.


  13. encyclops
    September 4, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

    It surely would be nice if this episode had done for Shakespeare with "Vincent and the Doctor" did for Van Gogh.

    So…reduce him to a mental health issue, casually reference several of his best-known works like a postcard book, and then have him savagely murder an ostensibly thinking, feeling creature with the instrument of his art (a quill pen, I guess)?

    Or just have Bill Nighy say how awesome he was? I guess that part would be OK. 🙂


  14. Jack Graham
    September 4, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    I'll have to re-listen to it.


  15. encyclops
    September 5, 2013 @ 1:01 am

    It would have to be a pretty well-concealed bitter up-yours. Either way it seems to stick out, since nothing else on that album is what you'd call subtle. But I'll take your word for it.


  16. BerserkRL
    September 5, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    I don't think V&tD "reduced" Van Gogh to a mental health issue. And it didn't just casually reference the paintings, it immersed us in them. (In a chronologically inaccurate way, incidentally, but whatever.)


  17. encyclops
    September 5, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    Hopefully I'll be able to see it that way the next time I can bring myself to sit through it.


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