The Capaldi Cometh!

Hiyo!

This weekend as pretty busy for me, but you better believe that I had time to sit down and watch the opening episode of Doctor Who. Now I’m a huge fan of the show – the Fourth was my Doctor, and I’ve loved many of them since then. I did not love Eleven, and though Matt Smith is a solid actor, Steven Moffat’s treatment of the Doctor has consistently left me pretty fucking cold. The casting of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor did immense things for me, as I am a very big fan of his work, but still, Moffat’s writing tends to make me very irritable, and so I wasn’t certain at first of how Capaldi’s Doctor would turn out – but hearing rumors that Capaldi, himself a huge fan of the show since childhood, battled outright with Moffat on set concerning the direction of the character, I felt much more cheerful about the situation.

So, what did we learn about the new season? Well, we learned that Moffat still hasn’t shaken his misogyny, what liberal amounts of sexism sprinkled in (water retention jokes, flirting flirting FLIRTING fuck’s sake Steven we know you like flirting.) Strax…was Strax, though I feel that character really needs to development. It’s been a few seasons, after all. And what was with Madame Vastra flirting with Clara in front of her wife? Poor Jenny, reduced to service and ornamentation in the face of Moffat’s ‘impossible girl’ until a sword is needed. Ugh. We also have yet another mysterious woman with a lust for the doctor capping the episode, which has become another groanworthy artifact of Moffat’s writing in this series. I also had particular trouble with the scene in which Clara escapes from the repair robots in the depths of their ship, which – while demonstrating significant guts on Clara’s part and acting ability on the part of Jenna Coleman – becomes completely empty of agency when it turns out that the Doctor was there all along and was there to save the day. C’mon, man. The whole character of Clara has proven very troublesome for me in general, for, though she has demonstrated herself a good actress and her character has a great deal of potential, Moffat routinely hands Coleman a role that seems boiled down routinely to ‘lawl she fancies the doctor also a control freak lawl’. I’m not impressed.

So okay, you grumpy man, what did you like? Well! I must say that I was particularly pleased that both the character of the Doctor and the series itself seem to be taking a turn for the darker. Yes, yes, I enjoy horrible things, so this is a commendable state of affairs in my judgment. Production values are of course consistently great, and given that something like seven million people tuned in for the series opener I doubt that’s going to change any time soon. LOVE the new graphics as well, which capture for me a much better sense of the alien and the mysterious that this season seems to be shooting for.

Speaking of alien, there is…the new Doctor. Let me just tell you how much I like this new Doctor. After Matt Smith’s thoughtless, juvenile boy, I find Capaldi a breath of fresh air. Less accessible, less patient, and possessed of a mad sense of curiosity, the new Doctor is very much what a Time Lord of Gallifrey actually is – that is to say, a being from another planet, with a point of view totally divorced from humanity. He might look human, he might have a fondness for the human race, but he isn’t human at all; and, while at the time baiting Clara with the idea of the Doctor being ‘her boyfriend’, Madame Vastra was correct in saying that Clara “might as well flirt with a mountain range.” Capaldi’s sense of throwaway humor, as well as his ability to manifest inner pain, also did a great deal to charm me. So I believe that I’ll be watcing this season fairly religiously, it would appear, at least the early episodes. Must see how this turns out.

In related Who news, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend, Becky T., who sent to me a magnificent, screen-accurate version of the Fourth Doctor’s iconic scarf. Holy shit, you guys, she knitted it herself! It’s amazing, very long, and I can’t wait to bundle up with it as autumn and winter approaches. Amazing lady, that Becky. I’m very lucky to meet the kind of people that I do.

Posted in Fandom, General, Sci-Fi | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A Request From My Friend and Fellow Author, Tony Healey.

Hi, long time no write.  Things have been extremely busy, and I’ve been neglecting things here in blogland in favor of writing – I’ll be fixing that, thanks largely in part to my new assistant, Tom.  Tom is good people.  Tom will keep me from turning into a ghost!

But anyway.  I’d like you folks to see this request from my friend and fellow author, Tony Healey.  You may remember that earlier this year I had a story published in his charity anthology, Edge of Oblivion, which benefits Cystic Fibrosis patients in the UK.  Well, turns out that there’s a little girl out there, Tilly, who has the chance to win a holiday – and if we can make that happen, I’ll be a happy, happy man.  And so will Tony! So without further ado, here’s his post.

At the beginning of this year I released a charity anthology, featuring the work of 16 fantastic writers and the artwork of the legendary Bruce Pennington, with all proceeds to go to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust (we’ve not hit enough for a donation yet – but we’re getting there).

The original inspiration for that collection of stories – and for doing something to raise funds for CF in the first place – is a little girl called Tilly.

She has a chance to win a free holiday with her Mummy and Daddy next year, but she needs your help. It’s very easy and will only take 2 minutes of your time.

Step 1. Click this link: http://havenholidays.offerpop.com/campaign/649927/entry/4270902

Step 2. LIKE the Haven Facebook page (you can always UN-LIKE it later).

Step 3. Hit the VOTE button.

That’s it!

Of course, if you wanted to be super-duper cool you could also share the above link and get your friends to vote too. In fact, here’s the link again in case you want to do that:  http://havenholidays.offerpop.com/campaign/649927/entry/4270902

I’d like to see Tilly reach 1000 votes and take first place. I’ll also be promoting this via my Official Facebook Page, too, which is: https://www.facebook.com/fringescientist?ref=hl

Thanks for your help and support. Let’s win this brave little girl a holiday.

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Feminism Has Ruined Me.

Feminism has ruined me.  I came to this conclusion this weekend while having dinner with family and talking with them about different topics on which the gender lines were, let us say, divided – that I am very much no longer who I was, and that the things that I once enjoyed, the things that in many ways defined me, are sour as fuck to me anymore.  Let me give you a sample list of the things that I can no longer enjoy because of it, so that you can understand what I mean.

Feminism has ruined me for sports radio. I cannot listen to it anymore without getting so aggravated with the sexist comments bandied about about which player’s wife is hotter, about cheerleaders, actresses, etc. that I turn the channel.

Feminism has ruined me for most television. Oh good, another exploitative family drama or some other show where the camera is fixed to male gaze and places most women in roles without agency or respect.  Or reality television.  Or music video—ahahahaha nevermind who watches music videos on television what.

Feminism has ruined me for politics. Between the sheer lack of control that the majority of politicians in this country seem to want women to have over their own goddamned bodies and the decimation of funding for women’s health and safety, I am unable to watch news without exploding into fountains of fire and rage.  I already did that, mind you, but feminism certainly gives me gallons and gallons of additional fuel.

Feminism has ruined me for mainstream movies. See also television, except you get to pay twenty, forty dollars for the privilege.  Oh boy.

Feminism has ruined me for a lot of genre art. Because even though I dearly love science fiction art, a good 60-70 percent of character art seems to be made up of what my friend calls ‘Space Titty Paintings’.  Want to see women depicted in a sci-fi or fantasy setting?  Hope you like barely-there armor that’s either mail or kevlar or some kind of transparent space gauze amirite?

Feminism has ruined me for science fiction and fantasy. For a great deal of the same reasons as I’ve been ruined for genre art, except in print and often creepily predatory, violent, and worse.  Nevermind the fact that so much of the industry is ragingly sexist, from the publishing end down to the authors themselves.  I can say this, being an author who has already experienced it a good deal in the few short years of my career.  It’s absolutely fucking shameful, especially for a format that’s supposed to carry the torch of social evolution into the future.

Feminism has ruined me for a lot of anime. Because holy shit Miyazaki was right, the otaku are running the industry now. 4:20 Watch Moe Erry Day.

Feminism has ruined me for comics. Same reason, just drawn.

Feminism has ruined me for my fellow man. In that I am constantly aware of the sexist behavior of those around me, especially that which is predatory – even (and often this is the case) when those men engaging in that behavior are entirely ignorant of just what kind of a creepy bastard they’re being.  I often speak up when I see it, or step in if help is needed, or pull friends aside and ask them just what the fuck when they’re acting in a sexist way.  This has generally made me less popular, but that’s why we can’t have nice things in the first place.

In short, embracing feminism has ruined me for a great deal of things that I used to love without thinking or reservation when I was a younger man.  While I have always believed that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men, as I’ve grown older the everyday struggle of women becomes clearer and clearer, and it makes me both thrilled that young women are making their voices heard and that more and more men – especially young men – are listening.  I want to make things better every day in whatever way I can, either through my fiction, or my behavior toward women around me, or raising my own voice as a man of the past generation educating my brothers in the hope that we can make things easier for those who look up to us and to make amends for those things which in our ignorance we may have done to women in the past.

So yeah, feminism has ruined me for a lot of things…but I’m very, very okay with that.

Posted in Gender Equality | Tagged , , | 2 Comments