Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Vagina Triumvirate : A Success Story

As of today, Ms Julia Gillard is the 27th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia. This is a monumental event for Australia. Firstly... we've beaten those fucking Yanks to the punch once again. Aha! Secondly, there is a now a Prime Minister of this proud nation that I would have sex with, which as I have state on FaceBook, has not happened for 65 years. Yes! Not since Jack Curtin.




It's a respect thing, not a physical thing you understand. And I realise he wouldn't be into it.

Anyway, this is quite a good thing, though, centre-of-left pinko scumbag that I am, I shall miss Tin Tin Rudd, who failed at every turn to be the Steel Rudd that we had hoped for. To the average Gen-Y'er who voted for him he became disappointing by not supporting the policies that seem no-brainers for us, like gay marriage, and advocating policies that Yahtzee Croshaw would call 'pants on head retarded' - the extremely under-trumpeted plan to censor all the internet to make sure no man, woman or child anywhere in Australia will be able to see a penis. Plus he never stood up for the Chaser, even if the ABC got some more cash.

He also lost most of the gains he got from his home state of Queensland, because while the policies above were at least pink-necked, his neck was never fully scarlet. He actually had views on the environment and climate change, and was willing to pursue them no matter how faded the curtains should get as a result.

Astonishingly, for a PM that seemed like a Julius Caesar of Web 2.0 in the lead up to the election, Rudd showed a dire misjudgement of the media and how to handle it throughout. Vitriol was drummed up about the ETS left, centre and especially right for the sake of selling newspapers and the facts were lost - the judgement was that people didn't care about this toss and a double dissolution would be a complete disaster. Bizarrely, he announced the idea was to be shelved until 2013. The shelving was questionable. Putting a date on it was downright suicidal.

The double dissolution is not a conservative strategy for sure, but that is why it was brilliant. Ironically a fine column in the equally fine Syndey Morning Herald described Rudd in the lead up to the election as reading up on George Washington's famous Valley Forge campaign, where the general crossed a near-frozen winter at the height of Winter to attack three near-impregnable forts and then march on the city the British held right afterwards. Surprise was his only weapon, but so powerful was it that the victory is among the finest in history. The writer summed up Rudd as learning from history and practising such bold tactics in his political campaigning.

Sadly, this sort of verve evaporated when he took the office. Apparently it is quite true that courage is much easier when you have nothing to lose.

The situation further proves how perverse indeed politics can become - the ETS did not even fail because of the mindless hatred of the Liberal party to planet Earth, but rather of Bob Brown to other politicians. The Greens crushed the bill utterly, and all credit should go to them for the fact that the Federal government has no climate change policy at the time of writing. They would not accept anything less than an absolte plan, and so got nothing, like that fucking dog trying to grab the bone in the water we keep hearing about. In spite of this, when Labor flagged, where was their vote going? The Greens. The most 'do nothing' party out there.

This would actually mean that Tony Abbot would become PM. If you recall his climate change plan, labelled 'Thunderbirds are Go! Direct Delta Action Team Act NOW!' is to pay the country's biggest polluters millions of dollars, creating a "Please don't pollute anymore" credit scheme which is a slush fund for the CEOs who donated the most money into the party. The Greens say they support this. Because it's better than Labor's now non-existent policy. The policy THE GREENS FUCKING DESTROYED!

Ahem, nevertheless, this issue fades into the oblivion of yesteryear's politics now. When it became clear that our erstwhile PM could not actually sell the no-brainer of taxing the most disgusting money-grubbing wastes of oxygen in the country of a few extra percent of the 4.9 billion dollars that they are making right now while tearing up our country, he was a shot bird. Rudd is gone.

In some terms this is a good thing, definitely for the labor party which is, after all, why it happened. He was only a wild card candidate, grudgingly accepted by the party because they could see the potential for some short-term voter appeal and that he offered them in spades. And most of the people I have talked to have wanted to see Julia Gillard as PM in the first place, a view I certaintly held, and were wondering if she would actually have the chance given that Rudd's position, prior to this year, looked quite unassailable.

After all, let's not forget the fact that Labor did lead Australia through (well... that's the current HIGHLY optimistic line laid down) the Global Economic Crisis as one of the only Western nations to not officially go into recession. Is that not worth anything? Not really. In an election year, after all, everything is the present.

The present would definitely seem to play into Gillard's hands as well - she is already a popular and charismatic politician with only a limited amount of the electorate even aware of the minor controversies she has undergone as Education Minister, especially this is but one of three (!) portfolios that she has held. She has a strong basis and will furthermore undergo a honeymoon period, against an opposition leader who is well into the broken-crockery-and-black-eyed-spouse period.

Ah, Tony Abbot. With an unarguable human being at the other end of the debating table I can only hope that people begin to look harder and realise that you are just a Terminator-style robot under a thin synthetic layer of skin sent back in time by the Catholic Church to battle the Atheist's time travelling robot. (Hint - he's one of the Mythbusters, and he's not in the Scooby Gang)

If we lose this election I may just cry tears of blood. However, Gillard could still have the Double Dissolution card in the sleeve, though nobody would dare advise that move at this stage. But clean leader, clean slate? Force the race as soon as possible and leave an opposition unsure of how to hit a girl in public unsure of how to find their feet? Insanity, but it could be worth a shot. Or it could be all the Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged I've watched on YouTube getting the better of my strategic understanding. (Throw the tortoise at the flying castle, damnit!)

What struck me as I drove home, though, was that no matter which way you cut it, Australia has a female head of state. Isn't that a wonderful thing? Oh, it's the head of the Royal family? Elizabeth II. No, the Governor-General? Ms Quentin Bryce. No, screw that you say? The PM has the real power? Well that's ME JULIE! It's Fem-TAS-tic!

As I was saying, I see this as evidence that the much-touted Glass Ceiling is no more. Yes, I know there are articles saying that it still exists, but these articles hinge on one or two things...

1) There are men who have high-ranking positions who hate women

Really? Isn't that bloody surprising! There are men shovelling shit who hate women, too. I'd go so far as to say there's no shortage of them, for various reasons, most too deep to go into but I'd dare say things aren't helped by some perceived inequalities around now and attitudes of many bratty young ladies around.

Put in its simplest possible and most justifiable sense, that there is active discrimination in the upper echelons against female employees this is the thousandth case of the obvious fact that you cannot change the perceptions of an entire population overnight. If it can be proven the bodies are out there now to address the issues on a case by case basis - as fair as anything else in life at least.

2) There aren't enough women in the top jobs!

Now... it may well depend on how you define 'enough'. As far as I'm concerned, more than one should be enough, as it will demonstrate that it can happen and not be a fluke. As it is we get dozens of stats that the average board of, say, 20 members will have 1 female member, the small number of female CEOs, figures on middle management positions. The key assumption being that women WANT these jobs, and I have seen little calls suggesting this. It's also focused on areas male-dominated, instead of say, the number of female library managers and principles around...

A suggestion I see worryingly often is for set numbers of women in positions. This is a system that was around in the 70s, often with very patchy results - my dad lost his position as a groundskeeper at a university to a paraplegic woman, because the staff hit on the genius idea that she was two minorities for the price of one. She was also completely incapable of actually doing any work, so my dad was re-hired as the asssistant groundskeeper. Basically he did the exact same work for a lot less pay. Good times.

All such a system results in is in so-called 'positive' discrimination, in which the best person most likely does not get the job as the actual highest priority becomes what minority is represented by the candidate, as this is something that now has actual legal representations.

I think the dark days are well and truly over for the movement, with the proof being in the pudding. I mean, right now we have a G-G, a PM and two premiers without a single testicle between them. And this wasn't true just six years ago. It's quite remarkable. And I think something to be proud of.

The only possible downside is some issues down the road with selecting the Prime Minister's XI...

Oh, fuck, I just read she was born in Wales. IT'S A SLITHEEN!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jared Reviews Time of the Angels (Kinda)

Okay.... now where's that load of crap I wrote about the episode a couple of weeks ago? Ah, here we go....


Well.... at the time of writing it's currently a week since I got a copy, nearly two weeks since it was shown and I've just got my copy of the NEXT episode and I still haven't watched Fanwank of the Angels, so it's clear that I have no real enthusiasm for the prospect at all.

But Jared, you ask, are you not swayed at all by the squeedom of all other fans? No. I am not. My entire online persona, after all, is based upon a near-certain delusional belief that I am better than all other fans, those fools who believe The Seeds of Doom is somehow genius television and demand at knife-point where the fuck I get off putting The Greatest Show in the Galaxy in my top ten. If these people are jizzing themselves screaming that "this is the single greatest ever story in the history of the show since Midnight!" then it's all the more reason for me to assume that it's terrible.

Dear God the prospect of pressing the 'play' button in Windows Media Player rests like a sack of rocks upon my shoulders. But I have to bite the bullet... I must do this, not for my own entertainment, not by a long shot of heroin in the arm, nor for vindication and not for the chance of being proven wrong, but for the sake of the 1.5 people who read my blog on a semi-demi-pseudo regular basis. I must do this. And I can.


I can.


I totally can.


....awww, fuck it, I'm watching Farscape.

FARSCAPE: 1.18 DURKA RETURNS

His name's John Crichton, he's an astronaut, radiation hit and he got SUCKED THROUGH A WORMHOLE! Now lost in some distant part of the Universe in a SHIP a LIVING SHIP surrounded by STRANGE ALIEN CREATUREShelphim being chased by an IINSSAAANE military commander. Doing everything he can to find a way home, apparently. About on par with Alex Drake in that department so far...

That was a pretty good episode. The Aussie painted blue and speaking in an American accent this week was Tiriel Mora, best known as Martin DiStazio from Frontline and the bloke who swears a lot over his photocopier in The Castle, with a surprisingly unrecognisable performance. He's an emotionless mindwiping alien who talks like Truman Capote (or at least Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Truman Capote) who arrives with two prisoners - one of whom is the Durka of the title, and the other of which is new crewmember Chiana (not to be confused with the most memorable Ben Chatham character ever written), who seems thus far to be a sociopathic and whorish version of Vila from Blakes 7. That is to say, she's nothing like Vila at all, aside from the fact she's a thief.

The episode's name had me confused for a while, given the fact that no villain named Durka had appeared. It turned out that he had actually.. for about five minutes eight episodes ago in a flashback Rygel had set near a hundred years in the past. So... yeah. It turns out this dude's been kept alive by super-duper-advanced alien technology from Blueman Capote and had all the I-want-to-torture-frogs-yeah! code wiped from his mind to be a peaceable and productive member of society. Naturally he starts killing people and takes over the ship. And the good guys win, with barely any of the usual going crazy and trying-to-kill-one-another that occupies a lot of time in Farscape. Unless we're counting Chiara as part of the crew already, in which case her default mental state seems to be batshit insane and she tries to kill three people.

Man, I like this show.


Anyway... Doctor Who...

After I finish listening to Ben Folds. I love this track. It's Fair, btw. Just coming up to the cool drums bit. Oh, yeah, there we go. Now there's something in the background that could be synth or cowbell, grooving really well. It's the final bridge, where Ben keeps going "I'm lonely and I'm right." He just said "Yeah!" in that really cool way, so now we've got a minute of honky-tonk. Go you good thing. Soon it's going to fade out, though and we're left with the weird ending were it's just the bass and the drums going on their own. I'm assuming it was the last track on the album. Erm... not that I would not know that because... you know, I purchase the albums and stuff because I like... legal music so much. And Ben's one of my favourite artists, after all. Obviously I would support him. WHY ARE YOU ACCUSING ME????

Now some Tom Petty cranking. "So if I come to your door, let me sleep on your floor, I give you all I have, and a little more". He does sleep late Down South. I love the random function. I wonder who the hell Samuel Clemens is and why exactly Tom Petty would pretend to be him? Does he have the same girlishly long hair worn about a decade after it's time to cut it shorter? No offense to Tha Pett but he makes Bill Bailley look extremely well groomed and non-frightening. Last time I saw him anyway. Or maybe the time before that. One of the times he had giant glasses and a bandana on. Looked like he could be halfway towards being The Invisible Man. A stoner 70s Invisible Man who liked playing piano.

Bah. Beatles. There's nothing funny to say about them. Well, I guess except for the fact that I only realised there was a pun in their name a couple of years ago. Those bowl-headed fuckers had me mispelling 'beetles' for years.


So...Doctor Who...

After some porn.

No, I'm joking. It really is Doctor Who time. Though pornography has seen me quite pre-occupied lately.

As an added twist with this review I will be adding and subtracting points on the fly, as this episode has to win my respect before I deem it worthy of having been made. Now, the initial thought that I had was to give it 1/10 to begin with because obviously something is better than nothing and especially the fact that I have continuous new Doctor Who and have had for the past 5 years... BUT the fact this episode is proving popular makes me reset it to 0/10, because the happiness of others irritates me. Ha! This is my blog. MY RULES!

I'm so lonely.

Now time to press play..

0:07 Seven second establishing shot? Jesus Christ are we back in the Lovett Bickford era? Has the world gone fucking mad? -1

0:32 Drugged out dude gets action and pisses off butler. A situation we can all relate to. +1

0:40 Oh, hallucinogenic lipstick. So River's an even bigger manipulative slut than I thought. -1

0:40 Christ, I'd forgotten for a glorious period this episode has RIVER FUCKING SONG in it. -2

1:12 ...'12, 000 years later'? Once again Moffatt is being unnecessarily cute and smug in presenting something weird. Unless this comes back in a cool way -1

But also +1 for seemingly turning River into Kate Tollinger. But that's also a -1 for inconsistent characterisation oh you cannot win my porridge loving opponent!

1:24 The Doctor taking a companion to a modern day museum? This is exactly how EVERY Ben Chatham fic starts. -1,000 going by previous efforts.

1:31 Okay, so it's an alien museum. +999. But -1 for making me look bad and -5 for having yet another 'biggest thing ever'. What is Moffat's obsession with bigness? Is the Doctor going to take Amy to see __ somewhat-proud owner of the world's biggest penis? (13.5 inches before you ask) I'm going to assume yes and that's -1 for just plain inappropriateness.

Also +1 for no reason so you can't claim I'm writing the most unfair review ever.

2:24 Yo man what the fuck Stevie Wonder? You keep telling us you don't like the Time Lords and the backstory bullshit... well, first of all you give the Doctor more baggage than he could ever fit in his fucking Narnia wardrobe by plonking a Sarth Effriken wife on the poor bastard (who only sounded South African in one scene but I like saying that a lot) which incidentally still counts as a -1 2 years down the track but FURTHERMORE you have Old High Gallifreyan in the FOURTH EPISODE once you're in charge. What the Hell, Hero? -1. Could be points back if it's cool.

2:37 Oh, here we go the writing is going to be "This way up" or something similarly unimpressive. OR 'cum and c mi sweetie love Prof Song Snog Bunnybuns"

2:41 Second try, not bad though I say so myself. How much does River Song suck? -1

3:26 The Doctor can HACK into security camera footage from a 12,000 year old spaceship. -1

4:27 You can't hear it through the vaccuum clearly, but the butler dude is currently saying "You know, this rapidly depressurised airlock doesn't suck quite as much as she does at least!" HA! +1

4:57 Oh? The 'follow that ship' bit from the trailer was meant to be the hook? FUCKIN LAAAAAAAAAAME! -1

Incidentally, why go through all this bullshit when River's meant to be able to send the Doctor messages on the Psychic Paper? It's not as if the fact that things ended up so bad the last time (what with her actually getting the wrong Doctor and then BEING DEAD HAHA (+1)) since they haven't happened yet would stop her. Besides she was shown to enjoy the lottery effect of getting maybe the right Doctor and maybe a wrong one. Presumably from a pool of two. No... make that hopefully. I don't want to see her as a recurring character for years and years to come. Oh God no. Especially considering the fact that bafflingly every appearance from hereon in will have to be her at a younger age than when she first appeared.

That's a -1 I just hate River Song.

5:32 You know they say every story with 'Time' in the title is crap? -1

6:01 River knows the TARDIS better than the Doctor. Who the fuck she think she is, Romana? I want Romana bitches. -1

6:11 Although if the idea is to actually give people the ability to talk in the TARDIS without falling all over the place then THAT is cool. +5

6:16 "You call that flying the TARDIS? HAH!" Yay, grouchy Doctor ftw! +1

6:32 Cue revolting Mary Sue-ishness. -200 points for Slytherin

6:52 Fuck you Moffat, it makes the noise. It makes the noise all night long. There are tons of stories where you don't hear the dematerialisation noise from inside the ship! Infact, clue's in the name, motherfucker DEmaterialisation. It plays when the ship takes OFF the planets for the most part - how can he have the 'brakes' on then? -500

7:08 Heh, kind of reminds me of the wonderful environment check from Destiny of the Daleks, one of my favourtie Tom Baker moments - "Ooh, look, rocks!" Hehehe. Sadly I'm still annoyed about that diss of the Radiophonic Dept's fine work. -500

7:27 Okay, I just dissed River for being a Mary Sue but the Doctor's being a God Mode Sue. -10

7:36 "It's a shame you were busy that day" Jesus Christ, River Song has been taught the ways of the TARDIS by THE MASTER???? I guess it explains why she has the cooold, dead eyes... of a killer. +1

8:13 "She's the future... she's MY future..." Okay, hold the phone... is there some little fight going on here between RTD and Moffat? I thought the Doc said basically in a throwaway line in The End of Time that he met River properly inbetween that story and Waters of Mars. Now he claims not to have met her properly? I CAN'T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND! -1

8:39 I guess I have to grudgingly admit that getting Amy's first alien planet after 3 eps is impressive, though. +5

10:11 I still hate River Song. -1

12:40 So... the Doctor's saying the Weeping Angels are the most malevolent and dangerous and evil and powerful lifeform ever? So this Moff admitting the Doctor just says that about anyone and hence Vashta Nerada and the Daleks do suck balls. FanTAStic! +10

13:12 Take THAT, motherfuckers! You dare tell me River Song being the Doctor's wife isn't explicit? Fuck you! Fuck you! I was right. You are wrong, so very wrong every retard fuckcake on IMDb and Gallifrey Base that insisted she wasn't the Doctor's wife I LAUGH at you. I bet you didn't get Klein/Utterson on Jackal, either, and didn't realise Benjamin was a bad guy but still felt legitimised in guessing that I was too dumb to watch the show. You mouthbreathers are the stupid ones and Moffat has just smacked you down. You all suck. Everybody but me with an IMDb account sucks the balls of Atlas himself, and furthermore are too stupid to even know who Atlas was in mythology so deliciously are unaware of the insurmountable horror of being condemned to suck his balls for all eternity when you are sent to the circle of hell reserved for Fucking Morons. +400

13:39 We're in the 51st Century again? -1


15:43 Sorry, took a break to watch ABC News. Now I'm going to listen to a badass shred-metal cover of Beat It.

Twice. Awwww, dat was metal.

Okay back... now I'm confused. Amy's just seen the angel move but didn't River Song say it was just a tape she filmed of the angel on loop?

16:03 Oh, okay, so they're addressing it..

17:11 Incidentally, this is another Moffat script where TVs behave in a magical way...

18:14 That was an oddly convenient bit for the Doctor to read out seeing as it didn't really answer his question. Also the fuss about pictures seems pretty odd considering the fact that we have adjectives and such and not a lot of writers also draw. -1 Ha, I'm a harsh marker today!

18:24 Wow, gee, River, I think it may mean that if you have, say, something that is an image, and this image depicts an Angel... then that's A FUCKING ANGEL! -10

18:42 Okay, and the Angels have been boosted up nu-Dalek style for this story with the ability to manipulate the physical world? Hmm, right...

19:56 If the Doctor DOES tell her what the Angel does then it's a let down because she just vanishes into Time. Which, you know, ain't grand but she LIVES. And he may be able to find her if random shit that the TARDIS can do keeps getting introduced. But he's just grabbed the book so I'm sensing retcon. -1

20:09 And... yes. Going by that the Angels are now able to possess people...

20:40 That escape sucked. It can 'deadlock' the entire ship, including IT'S WIRES, but can't stop the remote's pause function? Not buying it. Not even looking twice at the packet. -1

22:19 The Bish just commited grand-theft voicebox to poor old Paul McGann. -5

23:02 So River's a serial rapist. Finally some justification for her apparent mental imbalances. +10

Bored now. Watch the rest tomorrow...


So I didn't watch the rest tomorrow... instead I watched some more Farscape...

A HUMAN REACTION continues the theme of the series of making sure nobody at all bar John Crichton get a decent swag of screentime or contribute too much to save the day which gets mildly irritating. To assuage this the story decides to fully embrace just how fucking Aussie this series is by entering it into canon that John's mission didn't take off from Cape Canaveral as it appeared in the pilot but rather from somewhere in the general vicinity of Sydney. And so the guest cast needs even less effort than usual in disguising their accents.

For a parochial person this bring obvious benefits - Sydney (or possibly even Gosford in an early scene) scenery that you can recognise and the hilarious sight of John introducing Aeryn to beer as they share stubbies of VB of all things. Some oddities follow, such as John insisting that even if you're an Australian you would have to know who won the Superbowl, apparently ignorant that we of the wide brown land give not a toss for whoever should win the first-grade comp in a sport nobody else on Earth bothers to lower themsleves to. This one's made even worse by the fact that it's apparently a clue to the truth of the scenario.

Yes, it could not be more obvious that Crichton cannot simply go home than in this story and when his crewmembers start being dissected by the evil strictly-surname-basis ocker jumpsuited goons that are apparently Crichton's former allies it becomes even clearer that this is a dreamscape made by evil aliens. Specifically the sort of evil aliens who just copy and paste from Crichton's mind people's he's met onto Bondi so he's able to work it all out when he thinks to the strange fact that every single person he's met he already knows, and every 'extra' on the streets of Sydney is somebody he knew with three-four degrees of separation. Fucking lazy aliens.

Though, to be fair, the twist is that they aren't REALLY evil aliens. And the episode contains some great sequences where we hear Zahn, Dargo, Rygel and Aeryn talking in their 'native' accents as Australia, as with broadband, is well behind when it comes to getting neurally-implanted translating microbes. I think this ep demonstrates the strenght of the show, nobody does filler like Farscape...


Unfortunately THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS goes on to demonstrate the possible down side is nobody else seems to do as MUCH filler as Farscape, though the story contains some character development as well it's time for the "Oh shit we've got no budget!" ep where the script writers panic and scramble for a bottle episode using nothing but the main cast and the standing sets. Results seem tedious as all fuck to being with, as Pilot tries a sudden Star-burst to show off and soon has left the whole cast sprawled around the dinner table and they all make like lambs to the kebab shop as they each go through the doorway even though the first person who does glows bright and then vanishes and results really don't vary. Then we get a ton of time taken up by Crichton finding Aeryn and them both shouting visibly while the audience gets nothing but white noise. It all feels so much like a rejected B7 script that it staggers belief.

Things pick up when it's revealed that the ship stalled mid Burst and is now spread across 4 parallel Universes, and furthermore has earned the ire of a creature that lives in the void naturally. The crew themselves have spread across, and broadly the alternate realms assault the senses - Dargo is in a world where everything is blinding, Aeryn in one where there is constant deafening noise, and Rygell in one where everybody laughs like complete fuckwits at EVERYTHING. It's all quite fun. Once it got into it's stride it's all very, very well scripted and tightly plotted, the one downside for me being the fact that the actress playing Chiana can barely do an American accent and says half her lines in a completely Aussie accent. Is the character meant to be vocally schizophrenic?

Then.. A BUG'S LIFE. It's pretty cool. Crichton puts on a kind-of-convincing British accent and some black leather to make out like a Peacekeeper when the badass commandos who cameoed earlier comeback, only this time with the monster from B7: Killer they have somehow managed to capture. And so grey-chick and Rygell break it open to set it loose as soon as possible. Everybody but the heroes die, especially the dude who has the audacity to set him up as a potential love interest for Aeryn. You Sebaccean n00b!

*

AFTER THE FACT EDIT: Holy shit, just re-read that for the first time. Was I on something? Incredibly hostile, and unusually I didn't acknowledge where I was plain wrong - I'm sure at that stage they made it clear that the Angels have been upgraded from 'conscientious objectors' to 'insta-kill machines', also a retarded read on my part of the video scenario. Strangely I left out my biggest quibble....

...okay, let's take a moment. Using its magic bubble technology the Angel is able to 'deadlock seal' an entire shipping container basically. It generates a power source for the TV so it can't be unplugged. It does... something to the wires on the outside. But... it cannot stop a cheap remote from beaming a 'pause' command to a future-y VCR? That solution bugged the hell out of me. Come on.

Anyway, here's the stuff I wrote tonight which is mildly sane...


Now, then.... the irony of this weird and pathetic excuse for a review is I managed to stop writing at the precise moment that the story actually got good. But unfortunately also at the stage where not much sticks in the mind about it a month or so after the fact. Because I never did actually watch the second half until it came on television...

And... well, pretty damn good actually. As demonstrated in Jekyll Moffat is extremely gifted at turning on a dime from comic to scary and intense. This episode was not particularly scary but set all the pieces in place, and led to a good cliffhanger, albeit one that was driven by the annoyingly predictable stupidity of bit-part soldiers.

If you ever find yourself leading a battalion of soldiers in the Whoniverse... never assign two of them to do anything, EVER. If The Sontaran Stratagem did not make it clear, nor the hundreds of Pertwee stories in which it occurred then you'll never learn clearly. When faced with any potential danger they will inevitably walk straight into it, because when there are two soldiers you will have one who is timid and sensible, and another who's boisterous and fucking retarded. That said, they'll both be equally adept at exchanging middling-to-entertaining banter about their predicament.

Don't think for a moment this rule is universal, however. In Stargate, for example, if you leave two soldiers on their own, the odds are that they'll be either O'Neill and Teal'c; Scott and Greer; or possibly Shephard and forgettable young black guy, and those dudes are indefatigable killing machines. If their name contains a '#', though, forget it.

Incidentally, after writing two paragraphs on the subject I can't actually remember if there are even two soldiers who get eaten by the Angels or maybe three. Anyway, the story ends up feeling a little bit to me like Moffat secretly read my blog and thought to himself "Fuck, I need to win the one bloke on Earth who didn't stain his trousers over this crap I wrote while high and have no memory of to once again be Crown Prince of TV-Writery!" because he brings back another element and makes it more reasonable, and actually disturbing..

Unlike the unbearable tedium of "Hey... who turned out the lights" droned by a hung-over accountant and then played on a loop like this is the lead in to a Chemical Brothers track, we get the spooky disembodied voice of .... god, I so vaguely remember this...

..sorry, I'm going to go to TARDIS Wikia. I never do this normally...

BOB! So, yes, we get the spooky disembodied voice of Brother Bob, once again speaking through a walkie-talkie (scientifically proven to be the most disconcerting form of communication), this time without a contrived explanation about walkie-talkies having a psychic link to the people who use them even though they still press buttons to transmit etc. Furthermore, given there's only one female guest character it doesn't serve as support for the famous Moffatian paper Sitcom Eugencis: Quantumn Correlations of Porkability & Mental Retardation. What I love is the brutal simplicity of the explanation - Bob has had his vocal chords torn out and the Angels use them for their own sordid ends.

What makes this genuinely frightening, as opposed to what sounds like a toneless wav file that just won't stop frigging playing (THE DOCTOR TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS!!! HE KINDA MENTIONED IT!!!) we get the viewpoint of somebody ruthless and cruel, expressed with the voice of somebody gentle and naive. An awkward discourse that, fascinatingly, even seems to suck in the Doctor a little bit as he's prone to chat with the disembodied voice of 'Bob' in quite amicable terms.

Really, the episode doesn't lead to anything special - the crew just gets cornered as has happened in so many recent cliffhangers. But it's a taut, well-written journey.

But, seriously, fuck River Song.

7/10

Oh, yeah, I ditched that whole running score joke.

Incidentally, the score for this excuse for a review is

0.5/10

WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID

Jesus Christ! First time I go to Gallifrey Base in ages and I find a giant disembodied pair of Tennant's eyes staring at me. Bloody scarier than anything in this ep...

Crack fuelled TotalSciFI Response: Steven Moffat must like a challenge. His multi-award winning season three story Blink is widely regarded as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time; a haunting one-off that left us with a distinct sense of unease around statues.

(You fucking serious?)

Crack fuelled IMDb Response: I believe that to be a red hering. River Song said she was trained to fly the Tardis by the very best, but told the Doctor he was busy that day. Now we can assume that she could be talking about a future verison of the Doctor or maybe it was someone else who can fly the Tardis. If Memory serves there were six people before who flew the tardis. Remeber A Journey's End. Dona tells Jack Harkness that he is best one. Jack and River are of the same time 51st Century. He would be considered a hero by many many people. I may be a million miles off with this thoery but like they say "time will tell".

Crack fuelled Gallifreybase Response: Taught to pilot by the best... The Master? Oh man want to know some spoilers!

(Okay, clearly time for me to get in on the act.... *SNOOOOOORT* Whoah... hey, you fuckers! I drag-raced TARDII and I can say the best motherfucker for piloting that shit is Greyjan the Great! Know what this means? Season finale is sequel to THE MOTHERFUCKING ANCESTOR CELL!!!! We're gonna see sooooooooooooome SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!! Amy, naked in a Klein Bottle while Timmy Dalton gets fucked up by giant spiders. Remember - called it! ME! MEEEEE!)

Strawy McStrawman Response: If you’re really looking for signs of massive progress in the world of Doctor Who, then just compare the savvyness of Karen Gillen’s Amy Pond to the likes of Bonnie Langford’s ever-screeching Mel from the 80s.

(If you're really writing a review of the new series, try not to mindlessly bash the easiest targets outside your own genitalia.... unless it's Larry Miles. Yes, I'm hypocritical, it's my blog.)

Paranoid Response: Yet as brave, charismatic and attractive as Amy Pond is, there remains an element of uncertainty surrounding who she is and what she wants from the Doctor, which taints our impression of her.

Best Friend Response: Seriously? You haven't watched it yet? What the fuck, dude?

Ewen Campion-Clarke Response: No, seriously, it's good!

Steven Moffat Response: Why do so many people have a problem with River Song? I think she's a great character.

Observant Reader Response: Do you just find a heap of random quotes you want to mock in the space of five minutes from GallifreyBase?

(Silence!)


Next week: "Did I mention the whole 'not blink' thing?" "Roughly 200 times" "Do.... not... blink" "*Sigh* Very well..." .... there really aren't any other gags in that trailer...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The 220th decade is when everything changes...

Because that is when Jared Peter Hansen esquire of Cedar Brush Creek got broadband and ALSO an internet connection in his own room. Hell, now I don't know what can convince me to leave this room. I can only imagine I'm doomed to die within the space of a week in a horrid death in my own squalor. I can think of no better way to go, except perhaps for something involving one of those new-fangled 'women' contraptions.

In all seriousness, I consider this pretty sweet, because once I'm done writing whatever is about to fly off the top of my head I'm off to watch Zero Punctuation, something I generally NEVER get to do. Zero Punctuation is basically a psychotic British man who hates everything ranting about video games over images he's made in Flash in the space of about five minutes... and it's BLOODY BRILLIANT! However it took a good hour and a half to load on dial-up and then I also needed to keep the volume on the ancient speakers of the (*spit*) family computer turned down so that my parents wouldn't be alarmed at hearing a Middle English man decrying something as 'a barrel-load of cunts in a nunnery' or something similar.

Jared, you ask, why is this so important? The ability to absorb the minutae and offal-esque detritus of society at a level of rapidity previously unavailable to you, the lack of a motivation to leave the second hand chair that is virtually the only piece of furniture in the gloomy space you call your bedroom thus contributing further to your inevitable Costanza-ish premature atrophy? Is this what you hold important? In what way are you better than the penis-measurers, Novocastrian binge-drinkers and the people who write the 2 billion words dedicated to Anime series with fucking weird names on TVTropes that you constantly rail against? You believe this is your divine purpose in life - to drown yourself in memes of absolutely no importance to anybody? After we believed in you. YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! YOU WERE MEANT TO BRING BALANCE TO THE NET, NOT HUFF IT!

My only response to this could be: woah. Calm the fuck down. Are you a crazy person?

Even if anybody would ever actually say this to me, at this moment it could not bring me down. Firstly, because I have broadband and secondly, because I am listening to Evermore's new album. Even though my quasi-ex-potential-new-girlfriend-slash-female-friend-slash-dalliance-slash-I-have-no-idea-what-to-call-her....

Okay, let's end this now. From now on the girl I hang with every now and then that is not actually my girlfriend and kind of wasn't but also kinda wasn't and kinda could be, shall be referred to as Little Miss Paradox. Anyway... she dissed the new album. WHATEVA! She also dissed K9, so I look forward to ignoring her some more when it comes to the important issues.

Now, in more seriousness (seeing as the last time I said 'in seriousness' what I said wasn't really serious at all - it seemed to be 'I like hearing British people swear!') I think this could be my year. After all, didn't Paul Kelly say 'the darkest hour comes right before the dawn'?

Okay, you say, this prick has gone right off the rail. It isn't enough that he spends half his life looking for Cao-Dai subtext in episodes of Sharpe to justify his unseemly appetite for the adventures of a hunky Yorkshiremen in tight pants, now he's seriously suggesting that a company accepting a submission for his house to receive an ADSL connection is directly due to a tilt in the balances of the Universe, rather than, say complete coincidence combined with a snail-paced roll-out of fibre-optic cables throughout the stinking backwater you occupy like a bloated diabetic toad. After everything so dismissive you have said about religious people, you reveal yourself to be equally as flighty and irrational. I can only hope that you are anally violated by Christopher Hitchins while Richard Dawkins watches on, having sex with Lalla Ward as he does so in the orgy of intolerant rationalists. THE UNIVERSE WILL FUCK YOU OVER EVEN MORE!!! And Evermore's new stuff SUCKS!

Why are my imaginary Devil's advocates so hostile tonight? Anyway, the feeling has cemented with a positive attitude of mine that has been strengthened greatly by receiving my second ever job interview... in some odd circumstances. It was miraculous I got it at all because they naively decided to contact me on my mobile which I pretty much never use living outside of any connection range, and I only get the message while drunkenly dancing in a friends' grandmothers' living room to some Muse performed on Senor Daniel's Christmas present guitar and am able to process the very unfamiliar words.

This happened to coincide with an inexperienced Telstra worker attempting maintenance on the local exchange and somehow re-wiring half the phones in Yarramalong Valley to our phoneline, possibly to set up some sort of Three's Company or Frasier storyline, and then after being barraged with complaints, 'solving' this issue by disconnecting our line entirely. This left me with no option when replying to the missive but to drive a couple of ks down the road to... and I'm serious about this... the gum tree next to the Old Mill's Gate, one of the only spots in the valley to have mobile reception.

Furthermore, when I call the woman who picks up apparently is using a headset she's unfamiliar with, that has the volume turned right down. I can barely hear a word, assuming the line is bad, and she puts down the headset to adjust the settings without mentioning it to me, so I'm treated to several seconds of completely dead air on the line. I look at my phone, and it's panel, too, is dead. So I hang up, not realising what's happened. Yes, I HUNG UP on a potential employer.

It gets worse, because once I phone back this is all explained away, so my instincts hurriedly hunt for another way to fuck this up. Thankfully, Mother Nature was watching over me and decided to start up the torrential downpour that had been going on earlier that day. Now, at this stage I have the phone cradled between my ear and shoulder, as my hands are occupied with a notepad and a pen I have to take down the details that I need. As the details are imparted, I am hit with so much water I am soon so cold that I am actually shivering and desperately trying to shield the notepaper by impersonating the hunchback of Notre Dame. She asks me if I have any questions, and I do actually have a few. BUT by this stage I am incoherent enough to sound like Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and end the conversation very prematurely.

So first impressions = mentally deficient man scarcely able to operate a phone.

Furthermore, the job is one I applied for months ago and can barely remember. All files related to it on my computer have been deleted, because even though I haven't received a rejection I assume it's been way too long to hear back. I don't even have a copy of my application. I don't really have anything to read about it to prepare...

But, well... I prepared as thoroughly as I could over the week and the interview was one of the most pleasant experiences I have had. Everyone I've described it to agrees that all the signs were very good.

In addition to this, a couple of weeks ago I had a bizarre moment where I realised that I know at least three avenues to submit a script - a friendly producer I have met and studied under in the past, a director who is married to a former agent, and a friend who goes to a school ran by several people in the industry, ignoring the people I know with friends in the ABC and other more tangential avenues. And so, I've committed myself to writing a sitcom pilot over the next month or so and sending it around. Bizarrely it's an idea I've had for at least 3 years but haven't done much about. But that's gonna change, dudes!

So... I'm pretty happy and with an optimistic outlook at the moment. And that hasn't happened too often before. Watch this space! As it remains creepily devoid of life.