Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random Mind Grues

Something you often hear listed among the most annoying things in the world is getting a song stuck in your head. Of course, getting a bad song is worse. But I supposit now, that getting an esoteric and/or downright stupid song is the absolute worst case. I am speaking as somebody who, for about the last week, has had NWA's seminal anthem Fuck tha Police stuck in my head. It's very annoying because there's no outlet - I can't hum it because the 'song' doesn't really have any discernible tune to it, I can't sing because I don't know all of the words and, erm, well... I dunno I think this speaks for itself, surely? No? How about the fact that the song earned the Niggaz With Attitude the worlds shortest and most informal warning ever from the LAPD, quoted simply as "Watch yo' back"?

It's been driving me crazy as every time I think of something clever to say/write, the first candidate in my mind is:

"Right about now the NWA Court o' Law is in full effect! Judge Dre presiding, pros'cutin' attorneys MC Rinn, Ice Cube, an' EZ muthafuckin' E!"

Which isn't even clever!

*

I just realised this morning why I have given up on DW fandom. The new series has destroyed it.

Well, I've probably said something about it before, but no, people, I have made a breakthrough here...

In fandom, because DW was a cult show, hovering just above the fringe of obscurity, you had to be the sort of person who seeks out old TV to know about it, and then the sort of person who likes old TV to get into it. Then, because of it's obscure and seemingly frivolous nature, you had to go up a whole other layer of appreciation again to go online to talk about it.

Those same people like the new series. When I'm not blowing a gasket completely over a season finale so shit I refuse to even dignify it with a review, I'm living proof of it, along with several of my friends. In fact, Christ, ALL of my old-series fan friends like the new! So, why has OG become somewhere on the internet I can't even bring myself to visit?

Simple. Doctor Who is everywhere, and talking about TV shows is something that's just done now. Doctor Who is a massive, massive success... with a young audience target. That means...

Thousands of socially illiterate teenagers online!

Yes, it's IMDB syndrome. This is something I really should have picked up on a lot earlier. As I'm sure I mentioned once or twice, I really like Jekyll. I wanted to discuss my love of it with like-minded people online. However, for whatever reason, like-minded people had run away in droves from the TV section talking about said show - I'm guessing because of a sickening two-man self-congratulation society of inbreds applauding their own genius, either that or the show had too much sex for the prudes online. Bah and humbug to them all, but I still wanted to attempt an intelligent conversation about the show.

Turns out locking myself in a room would have been a far better choice, as when I pointed out that 'Steven Moffat illustrating that we all have an inhuman dark side' and that 'Hyde was a natural part of him' was a load of bollocks given that Hyde didn't appear until he met Claire, I was told to watch the show more carefully as "he doesn't meet Claire in the first episode" and "it isn't in chronological order, I can see it would be confusing". I cannot remember the exact furious response I gave, but you can imagine - mostly I remember saying "Believe it or not, I have no difficulty in the arduous task of watching a television screen for six hours" and lambasting them for the implied sleight on my intelligence, their own retardation, re-iterating the point of if it's natural I guess that explains why K.U needed a multi-billion dollar fucking clone for the most expensive project ever made to produce Hyde. Who is apparenlty natural, if you missed that part. Well, fuck me! Oh, and he DOESN'T meet Claire for the first time in the first episode. Wow. Who'd have thought it? I guess the children give it away when you think about it, but I must have been too busy injecting alcohol directly into my cerebral cortex at the fucking time.

Whoop, sorry, bit too much of a flashback there.

Anyway, the two I-can't-believe-how-fucking-stupid-they-are fellows were STUNNED that I should take offence at being treated like a moron, though quickly recovered to talk about how there HAD to be a second series* because we hadn't learnt who Klein and Utterson were. (Actually, some of us have)

It still slipped me by, though, until the other day, when I reflected on how the characters & actors forums had gone from casual, urbane chatter about character motivations and the obtuse swings and roundabouts of Tom Baker's career(s), to five pages of SQUEE! and bullshit groups like "Slaves of Susan", "Protectors of Pigbin Josh" and "Lycanthrops of Lytton". And my last visit to the Mythmakers, where I basically felt the need to give up on a vain dream of something legible.

Basically... it's great for the show, obviously, that millions of young people are watching. But... this is the worst thing possible for online communities, because what made OG great was that it was one of the places on the internet where the odd Aspergers inflicted teenager was an oddity rather than a fact of life. Now it's become just like anywhere else online. Eg, shit.

*

I get stressed easily. Something that occurred to me today during a driving lesson, near the beginning of which I was informed that, had it been a test I would have had 100, a state that continued for an amazingly long period. I have apparently mastered blind-spots, reverse parallel parking, 3-point turns, proper methods of acceleration, scanning, round-a-bouts (save exit signals) and whatever bollocksy new terms the RTA decides to throw at us.

But... I got stressed. Near the end a car pulled out from a service station into a side street, occupying the very road I was planning to do a righ turn into. So I gave way to it. I then had to turn very fast to get through before a complete bitch, who was meant to be giving way to me ran into me. This put my nerves on edge. Due to this I subsequently mis-remembered and got confused about the location of the worlds strangest Give Way zone, located on Wyong River where a flood washed away one half the road for about five metres, nearly speeding into it. I got more stressed out, which wasn't helped by having to turn into the Pacific Highway with my view of the oncoming traffic nearly entire blocked. Gahh. After I turned out, I was further stressed out by stopping too close to the car in front of me. Gaaah, it's not much but it was building up. I turn into a side street, which I do perfectly but MISS the shared pedestrian zone. That's a 10k speed limit and I'm doing forty. I slow right down. Right turn. I give way to a disabled pedestrian. And... he gives me a death stare.

WHY??? Sorry, mate, was I driving too quickly for you? Did you lose your legs to a car exactly the same model as mine, down to the giant "ABC Driving School" sign and dickhead in stripy shirt in the drivers seat? Did my evil twin kill your brother? I have no idea. But that was a look of pure, unadultered, unsolicited venom, directed straight at me. At a time when I didn't need it.

I couldn't withstand it for long - so after 3 seconds I pulled the fuck out of their, having judged the evil bastard as having way given upon his sinister arse. But... I was so stressed that I did a left-turn to the right.

Or, to put that another way..I WAS DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE FUCKING ROAD!

I did not know it was possible to get that stressed. I assume soon afterwards my lungs would have forgotten that they process oxygen.

On the bright side, 49 hours, so I can get my Ps this month! Hello, unsuspecting road-users!

*

Due to the fact that this has been a text file I've been adding to in small increments over a couple of weeks, I need to update this. My curious obsession with Fuck That Police has since abated, but has been replaced with a similar one regarding Dancing in the Dark by Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen. Two questions: how the hell did he get that nickname, and why exactly CAN'T you start a fire in the dark?

*

Among the crap that I've been doing is my pitch for the BBC Writer's Room, which has stalled horribly. It shouldn't surprise anyone that it's a radio script with which I want to shout out "Hire me, Big Finish, you bastards!" due to the facts that there are no TV slots and I have a loose grip on reality at the best of times. After thinking quite long and hard about what the hell the show could actually be, assuming that the Beeb wouldn't be too impressed with The Professor and Ace, The Stranger and Ms Brown, or Cricket Boy and his Faithful Band of In-Grates based on previous cease-and-desist writs issued.

Obviously I can't write anything TOO serious, because my knowledge of Britain is limited. But at the same time, I liked the idea of showing I could work with a series. I also, probably surprisingly, decided no science-fiction because I'm unsure of my ability to avoid genre cliche. And there had to be a role for India Fisher, because her talent is going criminally unnurtured. What I came up with is an idea I gave up on in the past but, really, is probably quite good. At least I think so.

The idea is Mycroft, a show revolving around... Mycroft. Lord Mycroft, supposedly the descendant of the inspiration for Conan-Doyle's fictional character, who is still pulling the strings behind the government. Modernized slightly, with him operating out of a seemingly irrelevant Secret Service department, 'Cache 17', populated by characters I've put some work into yet cynically see as typical TV archetypes - Penny, the imperfect audience identification figure brimming with India Fisherness; Charles, the smug bureaucrat who is the titular (decoy) head of C17 and also the only person who takes his position seriously; Dr Bradley, the stand-offish polymath agent, psychologist and profiler who ties up loose ends and seems the closest thing Mycroft has to a friend; and Miranda, the perpetually busy and frustrated MI6 liason who has to shoulder most of the feather-soothing footwork. I've come up with eight basic ideas for plots, only one of which I'm proud to say is nicked from the world of DW. (An episode set entirely in a BBC Newsroom in the middle of a national crisis - an idea that came from "Hey, what if Live 34 (or whatever it's called) was actually good?")

But it's occurred to me in the wake of the global economic crisis.. that this is a time when people aren't going to like the idea of figure controlling the nation's government in secret, because via logic of extension they must also be a completely clueless twat. Because of this, Mycroft either needs to be recently re-hired, a maverick working outside of the system, or given new powers due to the economic crisis. These all have problems related to the series premise and keeping it politically netural. I also find it hard to fathom writing it and NOT acknowledging the current global crises, which beggars the question of how it can feasibly remain escapist entertainment. I don't want to write The Hollowmen, especially not for a country that I am considerably less familiar with. So... that idea's completely stalled at the moment. Which is something of a shame given that I basically have the first episode written.

*

Speaking of political neutrality, anyone else confused by the passion with which the Doctor proclaimed the evil of communist Daleks in particular in Brotherhood of the Daleks?

Interestingly, that was the only bit of the story that confused me, in spite of the behind-the-scenes clips being nothing but Alan Barnes and Nick Briggs wetting themselves screaming "Nobody will be able to follow this! NOBODY! Ahahahaha! Nothing can stop the Carthaginians of furious audacity, aha! NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN ADUMBATE ME NOW!"

Seriously, why would the Doctor hate communism? Okay, I get that it's an impractical ideal, but the Doctor's a fanciful idealist! And the mad scientist played by Michael Cochrane (had no idea it was him for the whole time, actually) believes that he can rehabilitate the Daleks, doing so through a means that nobody else (due to the relative dearth of half-plant men wandering around the galaxy) has been able to even try, and the Doctor just bitch-slaps him down and tells him that he can't. Because he just can't. Cochrane asks him to share the dream, and the Doctor tells him to piss off basically. Wow. Tearjerker materials, guys.

Further disappointed when, after the Doctor leaves, those of us in the audience who AREN'T as big a manically cynical b'stard as Nick Briggs are also prohibited from sharing the dream with a complete pointless epilogue showing the Daleks regressing and blowing up the whole planet. Yes. Very satisfying.

At this point I feel the need to say that I really did enjoy the story for its brilliant use of Charley (as Alan Barnes always does), its strong characters and its madcap ideas**, along with the simple pleasure of Colin Baker as a singing Dalek. But, once again, Nick Briggs has shown his incredible skill of making me not 100% satisfied with a story he's produced at the end of the day.

*

The sort of thing that you're missing out on by living in the city: picking up a dead chicken, taking care not to cause it to fall apart and not to anger the swarm of maggots therein, carry it up a hill, rake a pile of compost over it, drag over a tarpaulin covered with cow manure and raking that on top. All in a day's work.


*There's been no word at all about a second series of Jekyll, from ANYONE, but I've noticed 'fans' (for want of a better word for the inebriated half-wits who talk about it online despite not understanding a fucking word of the show) keep banging on about it. Ahem. It's not going to happen! Or at least, it never should, under any circumstance. The story has been told. If people have a positive outlook like myself and believe that Sarah Klein is just bitter after being unable to destroy her own darkside and that Jackman HAS won, the story is over. If they think Sarah Klein is telling the truth... erm, what's the point? It's equally final. Hyde wins, end of story. That's the trouble with a nihilistic viewpoint. It can only end with a whole lot of nothing.

**Alan Barnes says it best - "Nation always had a gimmick for his Dalek stories - in Planet they were invisible, Death they didn't have their guns... so I sat down and wrote up my ideas for interesting things to happen to the Daleks. I ended up with 'Daleks think that they aren't Daleks', 'Daleks are on drugs', and 'Daleks become communist'. And I did all three."

3 comments:

Youth of Australia said...

Well, I only just spoted this and it's five to one in hte morning where I am, so I'll just say...

* The 2008 Xmas special looks like a comedy and not the dark nihilistic deathwatch of last year

* perhaps as part of this, or a psychological aide on my side, I found Tennant so utterly gawky and annoying as he just grins like an idiot at seeing Victorian England I wanted to punch his lights out

* RTD has promised to have a completely different regeneration effect for the Tenth into Eleventh

* DWAD have released their own Children in Need special that starts with the Master stealing funds... from Children in Need. The sheer imagination involved stuns me to my very core

* Spara vets his blog utterly and no one can post without his express permission

* Mad Larry is getting published in a magazine to review Season 4! Let's hope the editor shares his definition of "review"... "Look, Larry, this 500-word-essay on why Steven Moffat rapes the corpses of small children is all very well, but you didn't actually tell us what you thought about the Fires of Pompeii"

* The Sarah Jane Adventures have bravely set a story after Journey's End and amazingly come up with the idea that people AREN'T so pig ignorant they forgot all about it. Oh, and it's by Joe Lidster, and is Sarah lite. It's like they wrote it for you, dude.

* Big Finish have started doing Robin Hood stories - as in "A clue: no" Robin Hood

* I popped my rib back into place and can now talk AND breathe for short periods of time

I'll do a proper response later.

Promise

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

The 2008 Xmas special looks like a comedy and not the dark nihilistic deathwatch of last year

...so now RTD's saying nymphomaniac head in a jar > Cybermen? Sigh, why does he try to piss me off so.

I found Tennant so utterly gawky and annoying as he just grins like an idiot at seeing Victorian England I wanted to punch his lights out

...Victorian England is the Doctor's home from home! And he's mourning for Donna! GAAH!

* RTD has promised to have a completely different regeneration effect for the Tenth into Eleventh

Great, now we KNOW it ain't changing.

* DWAD have released their own Children in Need special that starts with the Master stealing funds... from Children in Need. The sheer imagination involved stuns me to my very core

Does the Master say "Ho ho ho" at any point?

* Spara vets his blog utterly and no one can post without his express permission

Is there ANYTHING on there?

Mad Larry is getting published in a magazine to review Season 4!

Please do not fill my blog with lies.

Is the magazine Asperger's Quarterly?

* The Sarah Jane Adventures have bravely set a story after Journey's End and amazingly come up with the idea that people AREN'T so pig ignorant they forgot all about it. Oh, and it's by Joe Lidster, and is Sarah lite. It's like they wrote it for you, dude.

Hmm, I might just check that out once I've finished listening to the entire DWAD back-catalogue backwards.

* Big Finish have started doing Robin Hood stories - as in "A clue: no" Robin Hood

Hey, that's pretty cool...

BUT I have a feeling that they'd be like their Stargate stories - one cast member reads an audio book.

* I popped my rib back into place and can now talk AND breathe for short periods of time

Celebrate good times and come onward, my friend.

Youth of Australia said...

...so now RTD's saying nymphomaniac head in a jar > Cybermen? Sigh, why does he try to piss me off so.
I meant, "from what I've seen of it, it looks like a comedy".

If I'm right, it will involve a piss-poor appearance by a bunch of handlebar losers and the moment they are defeated, the REAL Cybermen turn up and open a can of upgraded whupass.

...Victorian England is the Doctor's home from home! And he's mourning for Donna! GAAH!
He ain't mourning. It hurts how much he ain't mourning.

Great, now we KNOW it ain't changing.
He doesn't ALWAYS lie. He said the S4 finale would be "very fanwanky".

Does the Master say "Ho ho ho" at any point?
In the pre-credit sequence.

Is there ANYTHING on there?
Bernie and me. Zilch.

Please do not fill my blog with lies.
I quote his drivel in full:

"In December's Edition of The Word Magazine... Jarvis Cocker goes to the North Pole; Jonathan Meades admits to being inspired by Benny Hill; Roger Dean explains that he only got to paint album covers of exploding planets because the bands were too ugly to photograph; and I review the Doctor Who Season Four DVD. I seem to have found my spiritual home."

Is the magazine Asperger's Quarterly?
If not, it soon will be.

Hmm, I might just check that out once I've finished listening to the entire DWAD back-catalogue backwards.
Wow. Is it any better than going forwards?

Hey, that's pretty cool... BUT I have a feeling that they'd be like their Stargate stories - one cast member reads an audio book.
Oh. Well, anyway, it'll be better than the official books.

Celebrate good times and come onward, my friend.
Fair enough. Wah! Tripped and sprained my ankle! GAH!