capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
...to pour over every detail of this with stereotypical geeky delight.

You have been warned.


[Image description: Thumbnail image for the YouTube video: “Meet the Thirteenth Doctor” posted by the Doctor Who YouTube channel, showing a close-up of a white woman’s open hand, with the cuff of a dark coat’s sleeve, holding a brass colored key in her open palm. Description Ends]

Video Description behind the cut )




Okay, so this is what I am wondering: Can we garner any further clues from this (beyond what’s already been leaked/officially released) about what happens in the Christmas Special?

I mean, that hooded coat is very like the one Twelve has been wearing, the last two series. But Jodie Whittaker is a lot smaller than Peter Capaldi, and she is not lost in there – it’s clearly tailored to her.

So is this her fresh after regeneration and the outfit 12 had been wearing changed with her, to accommodate (via TARDIS magic), or is this outfit this incarnation’s Chosen Look? And if so, what does that say about her character, if she’s chosen something so similar?

Also – presumably, the Christmas Special will at least start out wintry, but this scene is in the height of summer. So what happens in the intervening seasons/years? Also also – the bit where first, a fresh key, and then the TARDIS, appears is reminiscent of the end of Eleventh Hour… Apparently, they’ve been separated from each other for a while. Does that mean that Twelve’s regeneration will be as destructive as Ten’s was?

(I did warn you…)

Or, alternatively, do you think this scene’s only purpose is to introduce 13? And the mysterious walk through the woods just looks cool? And if that’s the case, what do you think it says about the tone and/or themes for the show that Chibnall wants to set?

Discuss.


^Everything above this line started as a Tumblr post.^

Everything from here is fresh for Dreamwidth:

  • I'm glad they decided to go with a woman.

  • I'm disappointed she's so white (and still not ginger!).

  • But I'm even more disappointed than I expected to be that they went back to the conventional "pretty youth" mold; for those viewers who just started watching with Doctor 10,* it must seem that Clara's concern in "Deep Breath" was valid: 12's regeneration as an 'old' person must seem like something was broken, that time. I don't need a full head of grey hair. But would a wrinkle or two really be so bad?
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But ... Tumblr, you know: it may suddenly take off three months from now. In the meantime, it's not exorcised from my mind yet, so I'm posting it here, now (slightly edited to mesh with Dreamwidth's format).

What if we really have had contact with extraterrestrial aliens, already?

Roswell, New Mexico.

Okay, okay. I know it’s cliché.

But hear me out. Besides, I’m offering this as a “What if--” a story prompt, if you will -- not a revelation of some nefarious conspiracy, nor a claim that I’ve figured out the Truth that They don’t want anyone to know.

If there is a single “Big Truth” out there, a) I don’t think anyone can know for sure what it is, and b) if we ever do find out, I don’t think it would be anything terrible or scary, after all (maybe a little sad).

Anyway --

On July 3, 2017, the BBC World Service rebroadcast an interview with the son of one of the men who found the remnants of the “alien craft” (Major Jesse Marcel).

I won’t link to it here, because website itself is inaccessible (audio with no transcript). But if you want to look it up, the keywords I used just now were “BBC World Service,” “Witness” (the name of the program), and “Roswell.”

Jesse Jr. was 11 at the time, and at the time of the interview (in 2010), he came across as sincerely convinced that the bits and pieces his father brought home to the kitchen table were: a) actually alien, and b) not at all like the scraps of weather balloon that were revealed to the public shortly after.

[Caveat] He was 11 at the time, and his father woke him up in the middle of the night to show him what he’d found. It could very well be that he was convinced by his father’s enthusiasm, and that his father was motivated by his desire to find something alien, so that neither of them were seeing these artifacts clearly. And over the years, Jr. could have doubled down on his belief in order to defend his father’s honor. [/Caveat]

Two details of the interview made my ears perk up, and take the idea that there really was some kind of “alien incident” at Roswell, 70 years ago a little more seriously:

  1. Jesse Marcel Jr. insisted that his father made no mention of any alien bodies at the crash site -- and that the first mention of the Pentagon hiding “specimens” didn’t crop up until the 1970s.

  2. When asked by the interviewer: “But why Roswell?” Mr. Marcel answered that the site was radioactive, because of all the nuclear testing, and surely, the aliens would want to investigate that. When the interviewer asked: “But why haven’t they been back?” he answered that he didn’t know.


But, as all our most serious-minded scientists (even the ones who are imagining life outside our solar system, and puzzling through ways to test for it) will tell you: Real-world interstellar travel takes a very, very, long time.

So: here’s what I’m imagining might have happened:

Around the time that predynastic Egyptians were domesticating the donkey, astronomers living on the planet that we are now calling “Kepler-425b” turned their telescopes to the sky, wondering if there were intelligent life on other planets like theirs.

...

Around the time that Alexander the Great was trying to establish an empire, their technology has advanced enough to send forth a ship in our star’s direction, carrying an unmanned probe, which has been programed with instructions to home in on any signs of proof of life -- especially intelligent life.

The ship is capable of traveling at incredible speeds -- almost half the Speed of Light -- but even so, those idealistic astronomers know they won’t live to receive any answers that that little probe may discover. It’s all for their future generations, if they are still around, to reap.

That little probe finally makes it to its destination 3,000 (Earth years) after it set out: a little, rocky planet third out from its star -- a medium-sized star just like the one it set out from. And as it gets closer, the signs of life are unmistakable. And closer still: the signature of enriched Uranium, and Plutonium! Exactly what it was sent to find. It comes in closer, maneuvering with the planet’s gravitational pull, preparing to send its message back home.

Except it crashes. It never gets to send that message. It gets dismantled; its parts get hidden away, and only those Earthlings that are thought to be delusional by others of their species believe it ever existed at all.

But the descendants of the civilization that sent it forth have no idea of its fate. They won’t even start looking for its message to arrive for another 1,400 years.



But (I hear you say)! Isn’t there another star with seven Earth-like planets, that’s much, much closer?

Yes, there is: a star we call “Trappist-1.” But it’s a dwarf star. The planets in its habitable zone are very likely tidally locked. This means that there’s a good chance the civilizations that arose on them have no concept of “Distant Stars,” much less develop the desire and the tech to venture among them (because the habitable zone on their home planet's surface is bathed in continual twilight, so they never see distant stars).

But I could be wrong about that. Still, if the scenario I outlined for the astronomers of Kepler-435b had played out on one of Trappist-One’s planets, instead:

For a probe traveling at almost half the speed of light to arrive in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, it would have had to leave its home while we Earthling Americans were engaged in our Civil War -- killing each other over whether some of us have the right to own others of us.

Those astronomers would’ve started listening for a return signal from their unmanned probe around the time Ronald Reagan was threatening to bomb the Russians with that same purified uranium. That signal was that was fated never to arrive.

Those astronomers might’ve shrugged their equivalent of shoulders, and wrote it off as a valiant, but failed, attempt.

If, however, they were determined to find us, and make contact, because they’re even more optimistic and friendly than we are, and allowing time to build a second probe to send it chasing after the first one...

That second “message in a bottle” wouldn’t arrive here until almost 2100.

If they already had a second probe ready to go, and their tech advanced in the meantime, and they manage the miraculous traveling speed of three-quarters Light Speed -- we might get a second chance to say “Hello. Sorry about the misunderstanding,” in 2042-ish.

...Assuming we don’t destroy our ecosystem and die off, thanks to global warming, by then.

okay.

So maybe this story’s ending is more than a little sad.

(I think I've glimpsed the singularity of the Fermi Paradox ... And it is us)



Oh, and most of the time I spent writing this was looking up names of stars, and crosschecking the timeline of human civilization.
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In his recent book Disability Rhetoric (Critical Perspectives on Disability), Jay Timothy Dolmage makes the following distinction between disablism and ableism:

Disablism, broadly conceived, negatively constructs both the values and the material circumstances around people with disabilities. Ableism, on the other hand, positively values and makes able-bodiedness compulsory.*


Disablism, in other words, is what leads to sympathetic treatment in the media of parents who murder their own disabled children, because of course, they were too heavy a burden to care for. And ableism is what leads to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) – which forces autistic children mimic neorotypical people (often through electric shock and withholding food) – to be considered “therapy” rather than torture. Like the filling and bread of a sandwich, the two ideas are not exactly the same, but neither can they exist in isolation.

From here on, I’ll be focusing that second aspect of ableism as Dolmage defines it: the idea that [full ability] is, in our societies, “compulsory.” At first glance, it may seem absurd – the hyperbole of a bleeding-heart radical. After all, for many, “a sound mind in a sound body” is impossible, and can’t be enforced. But what can be (and has been) enforced is full access to the rights, privileges, and protections of human society. Come up with an arbitrary standard of abilities that “everybody” has, and you have a means to measure the quality of any person’s humanity. Once you have that, you can claim a rational, (supposedly) justifiable, reason to write laws against them.

Bigotry is the bedrock of nearly all social injustice. And ableism is the toxic sludge poisoning the ground in which human societies are rooted, allowing a wide range of oppression to flourish. And, as long as ableism remains unacknowledged and unchallenged, it also weakens our fight against it.

There are two main misconceptions about bigotry that get in the way of people recognizing both the reality of ableism and the harm it causes.

The first is that bigotry is nothing more than a prejudiced, mistaken idea about someone, based on their perceived identity (“All white people love mayonnaise”). But in actuality, bigotry is the systematic combination of belief and policy used in order to enforce the status quo for the privileged classes and deny others their rights. No white person has ever been denied a job because of their preferred condiments. On the other hand, the belief that women are both more irrational, and less able to control their impulses than men, led to policies allowing banks to deny women the right to open their own checking account without their fathers’ or husbands’ permission (source).

The second misconception is that, in order to be “bigoted,” an idea must be false (“All black people are less intelligent than whites”). This forces marginalized people to spend their time debunking lies, focusing all our energies on trying to prove we’re smarter, stronger, and more capable than our oppressors say we are (“Do twice as much, twice as well, for none of the credit”), instead of focusing our attention on changing the actual laws and policies that are used against us.

And it’s this second misconception that makes ableism – the idea that a measure of a person’s ability is a valid reason to deny the value of a person’s humanity – that makes it such an insidious force against our fight for universal justice. Because disability exists in every community. Some women are frail. Some blacks are intellectually disabled. And so these are the people shunned by their own communities (and it’s often our elders who bear the worst of this). Ableism allows our oppressors to “Divide and conquer.” And because every person who’s alive is at risk of becoming disabled, it plants the seed of doubt in the back of the mind: “What if ‘they’ are right – what if I am too weak, or not smart enough?” undermining the strength of our convictions.

But if we can, collectively, recognize ableism for the false and arbitrary standard that it is, then bigotry will no longer have the power to distract and divide us:

Whether or not I measure up to your standards is irrelevant. I do not need to be as strong, or as smart, as you claim I must be I am still a human being. And my life matters. My humanity is valid. And I – we – deserve justice.

The "*-Ism" Tree

[Image description: A black and white tabloid sized poster in the style of an educational diagram, showing a tree and its root system, combined with text.

At the bedrock level: "BIGOTRY: Beliefs and policies which work to exclude people from full membership in human society."

In the root system: "ABLEISM: Judging the value of a person's humanity on the basis of ability."

The trunk has two forks; the left-hand fork is labeled "RACISM:" and leads to an example racist belief in its cluster of leaves: "Blacks are Less Intelligent than Whites, but they are More Athletic"

The right-hand fork is labeled "SEXISM:" and leads to two clusters of leaves. The main cluster reads: "Women are Weaker, & Less Rational than Men;" the secondary cluster reads: "Gays are effeminate. Lesbians are emasculating."

The top cluster of leaves centered between these two branches, with a freely curving arrow pointing down to each half, reads: "Claims about Ability used to Pass Judgment on People's Humanity (This is ABLEISM)"

Description ends.]



*(Kindle Locations 504-506). Syracuse University Press. Kindle Edition (copyright 2014)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So I am signal boosting.

Here’s the homepage where B.A.D.D. is explained, and links the the eleven previous blog festivals are are archived: Diary of a Goldfish -- BADD 2017

I’ll be posting my entry on my Tumblr blog, and also here, on Dreamwidth (for those who find Tumblr inaccessible). And in the meantime, I’m signal boosting.

Have a gander at what I wrote last year, just for a taste (on Tumblr): What the “Social Model of Disability” Actually Means.
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(Much [not all] of my commentary on Episode One ["The Pilot"] I posted to my Tumblr, first)

Spoilers for *The Pilot* all the way down )




Spoilers for *Smile* all the way down )

So Yes: Good. Two strong episodes in a row.
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Okay, granting that the Fermi Paradox is a hot mess, fallacy-wise, which of these common* answers to the question: “So Where is Everybody?!” would please you most -- or should I say -- leave you feeling the least depressed?

A. There’s no else out there.

We really are special snowflakes in the entire universe, and the only life to have sophisticated civilizations and advanced technology.

B. They’re all dead.

Any civilization with technology advanced enough to contemplate interstellar / intergalactic travel will end up destroying itself through war and/or pollution before they succeed.

C. They don’t care about us, or our planet.

We’re too insignificant and boring for anyone to spend resources to get here or try to communicate with us -- not even to mine our asteroids or kidnap us and harvest our livers ... or whatever.

D. Interstellar / intergalactic travel actually is impossible.

Doesn’t matter how sophisticated a civilization is, or how advanced their technology, no one is getting off any of their respective rocks, and we’re never going to get to meet them, or they, us.

E. Why are you talking like “first contact” is a good thing?!

You better hope we never do find proof of more powerful, alien, beings out there. Only bad things could result. Very. Bad. Things.

*”Fool! They’ve been communicating with Earthlings for years, already -- just ask the elephants!” is, unfortunately, an uncommon answer.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
It's a Big image, so I'm going to give you the image description up top (which is long enough, but easy to scroll past), and put the image itself below the cut:

Image description: A black and white tabloid sized poster in the style of an educational diagram, showing a tree and its root system, combined with text to explain the relationship between Bigotry, Ableism, Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia.

At the bedrock level: "BIGOTRY: Beliefs and policies which work to exclude people from full membership in human society."

Above, in the root system: "ABLEISM: Judging the value of a person's humanity on the basis of ability."

Above ground, the tree's trunk has two main forks; the left-hand fork is labeled "RACISM:" and leads to an example racist belief in its cluster of leaves: "Blacks are Less Intelligent than Whites, but they are More Athletic"

The tree's right-hand fork is labeled "SEXISM:" and leads to two clusters of leaves. The main cluster reads: "Women are Weaker, & Less Rational than Men;" the secondary cluster, branching off from the first, reads: "Gays are effeminate. Lesbians are emasculating."

At the very top of the tree, in a cluster of leaves centered between these two branches, with a freely curving arrow pointing down to each half, is the explanation: "Claims about Ability used to Pass Judgment on People's Humanity (This is ABLEISM)"

Description ends.

See the Thing (Edited: now signed with my name & creative commons license logo) )

It's all black and white, now. ...I'm debating whether to add color here and there (like outlining the tree's leaves, and maybe coloring the words). It would be easier to color the entire thing if I had the option of saving a scanned image as a .gif or .png file instead of only .jpg or .pdf.

Ya know?
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This truly is my favorite Shakespeare play -- or, at least, it's tied for "favorite" with King Lear. I'd argue it is the most underappreciated play in the Shakespeare Canon, going by the imbalance between the play's native merit and its fame (or lack thereof).

Therefore, consider this fair warning: I am going to be spamming you all with this topic for the next several days -- maybe for the whole week; in order to restore the balance, I will be making several shorter posts instead of one massive one.

Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

Part Two: Themes and context, with quotes (aka: Shakespeare drops the hammer on the patriarchy -- as far as he was able).

Part Three: The leitmotif of Time and aging; the changing relationship between parents and children -- Wherein I back the truck up and dump quotes on you.

Part Four: More Quotes and subtle details (aka: How to create plot and character with words)

Part Five: Links and such that I could find.



Okay, first off: In Shakespeare's day, "Winter's Tale" was the name for a genre. Today, we call that genre a "Fairy Tale." So -- that's how I've rendered the synopsis. I've not bothered to record the most of the characters' specific names (except the name of the Fair, Lost, Princess), and instead, referred to each character by type, because that's how fairy tales are told (and it's fewer details to worry about).

Now. You ready? You all snuggled in and comfy? Good!




Once upon a time, there were two young princes who were fostered and educated together since nearly the day they were born, and they loved each other as brothers. And then, they grew up, and married, and took on the responsibilities of kings, in separate kingdoms far away from each other.

One king ruled a rich and cosmopolitan land, with bustling trade posts and sea ports where ships from around the world brought the finest foods, and wines and arts within his reach. The other king ruled a land of shepherds and wilderness, and his castle stood close by a rocky and nearly deserted sea coast, where vicious beasts would attack and devour the unwary traveler.

But even though the two kings now lived far apart from each other, and the realms in which they ruled were so very different, they nonetheless continued to love each other as brothers, and sent many gifts back and forth, and many letters. And it was as if they had never parted since the days of their childhood. Each king also had the joy of being father to a young prince.

And, furthermore, the wife of the City King would soon bear him a second child. So it seemed that the future of each kingdom would be as happy as its past.

And in this time of peace, the Country King came to stay at the court of the City King, and he stayed for nine whole months, when, at last, he decided he could stay no longer. But the City King did not want him to say “goodbye.” He begged and he begged the Country King to stay just one week longer. But the Country King still insisted he had to leave first thing, the very next day.

And so the City King asked his Queen, who had been listening, and saying nothing, to try her hand at convincing his friend to stay.Read more... )


[ETA] Footnote: the Proper names Shakespeare gave to the characters in this story )
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Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.



You know, as of today (17 January, 2017), the top three (American) Google auto-complete results for “Shakespeare Sonnet” are:

  • 116
  • (Let me not to the marriage of true minds),
  • 18
  • (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?) and
  • 130
  • (My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun).


I predict this one will rise in the rankings over the next four years.
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By the way: This is a different melody than the one you’re probably used to, but as I understand it, this is the tune that Burns had in mind when he wrote the words down in the eighteenth century (and in this performance, there are also a couple of verses sung in Gaelic. so if you all of a sudden don’t understand what they’re singing, don’t worry [probably]).



Lyrics behind here. )
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And yet, after the Christmas Special, there's virtual silence?!

So I guess I'll have to start (if you want to get something done, be ready to do it yourself :::Rhubarb, Peas, and Carrots:::)


I want to squee!

I want to Grumble!

So this will be a Squumble!

Anyway, I'll get the grumble out of the way:

There were no closed captions on the Amazon Video Stream!

I'm privileged enough to be able to understand audio, but I've gotten so used to having closed captions that not being able to read and listen at the same time is as distracting to my brain as a vague itch between my shoulder blades that I cannot reach. So that actually subtracted from my enjoyment of the episode, and it's frustrating because I'm sure that all of the creative, talented people who actually had to work to create this story had nothing to do with it.

Also, the trailer had captions, so I had no reason to suspect that the actual episode would not. And I didn't find out the truth until after I had already bought it.

I suspect something sloppy and irrational, like not double-checking the copyright license (I'd come across the tidbit, somewhere, somewhen, that captions are licensed separately from the audio -- talk about Humbug!).

And that has me worried about all of Series 10...

Okay, now for the squee.

Warning: Spoilers Ahoy! )
capriuni: A a cartoon furry monster whistling a single note; text; One-Note Nellie (1-note Nellie.)
('Cause I know the TV story is different from Robert May's original book. But it's the TV story that most people know -- anyway -- it's the one that I know)

Okay, we all know that "Rudolph" is a terrible story, because it teaches the 'moral': "Difference will inevitably, and naturally be despised until it can be exploited, so that the resulting exploitation must be celebrated as a happy ending."

Right?

We know this? We are agreed?

Good.

So you know what else sticks in my craw?

The "happy ending" for the "Abominable Snowman" -- being turned from Mean/Evil to Kind/Nice by having all his teeth forcibly removed.

No. No. No. No. NO!!

It's not whether or not you have teeth that makes you "bad," but how you use them.

It makes me want to write a Christmas story out of spite, where the day is saved by a giant monster with 5,000 sharp teeth, and three dozen sharp horns, and black shaggy fur. And, furthermore, the way the monster saves the day has only a tangential relationship to those teeth and horns.

(Meaning: they don't save the day by biting through or cutting anything, but by being smart, and compassionate, and maybe understanding of [problem at hand] because they know what it's like to be feared and misunderstood)

Eta: something like this critter:

Christmas monster

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