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Quick Shots

I miss being able to blog about things in the world. Writing here helps me process and understand things. My comprehension of reality has reduced while I’ve been busy. Anyway, to spare you lengthy tortured posts, here’s some quick thoughts.

Shipwreck: A ship on a reef leaking oil, and the election just changed again. Our PM is under pressure from the media for a change, and he’s not coping. Key has been protected from tough questions his entire premiership for this reason – he can’t handle the pressure while keeping his smiling “nice Mr Keys” persona going. It won’t cause a huge desertion of the National party by voters, but expect Key’s preferred PM #s to drop and the Greens to continue to gather up votes.

OvalBall: I’ve never seen our country like this. The Rugby World Cup really has become a national celebration (even as the promised economic benefits fail to appear, SURPRISE). When we roadtripped up to Hastings and back a few weeks ago, the whole route was lined with festive signs. All Blacks flags in so many windows, flying from so many cars. And so many other flags! And every little town dressing up in global-village finery for the visiting rugby teams. A genuine spirit of love for the game, huge applause for the little-guy teams when they play well. It’s quite a wonderful atmosphere. I’m genuinely delighted. (Of course, if the All Blacks lose to Australia this weekend, there’ll be… well, not riots. But it will be rough. And hard to avoid even if you care not one tiny fig about rugby.)

Occupy: Yes yes, the Occupy Wall St movement has a vast overrepresentation of university-educated hipsters, and elides differences between middle class and working class, and hasn’t articulated unifying principles, and harbours madness on its fringes. It is important to note all of these things. But for heaven’s sake, don’t mistake these concerns for justifications not to celebrate the appearance of a genuine grass-roots societal justice movement that is driving the conversation in the US. (The US being the society whose abject brokenness all other Western societies are striving so hard to match.) There isn’t a completely different movement that does a better job waiting in the wings. This is the shot we get. Wish it well.

Who: loved Matt Smith’s performance this season of Doctor Who, but my enthusiasm for the show as a whole is at a very low ebb. Moffat as showrunner has lost me completely. His big villains are a complete failure of storytelling craft, and the more you try to forgive that, the more holes show up elsewhere. I stand by my earlier call: Torchwood season 4 > Doctor Who season 6.

{ 9 } Comments

  1. Andrew (Bartok) | October 13, 2011 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    John Key: I have a suspicion that the moment his popularity wanes he’ll bolt from the party and leave someone else to steer the Titanic. He’s sort never like to be seen to lose. I don’t understand why so many seem to buy his “good Kiwi bloke” act.

    Throw-to-side-and-sometimes-kick ball: I’m amazed how it’s almost impossible not to be a little caught up in the whole thing. I mean I actually have watched parts of games!

    Who: I live in hope that Steven Moffat is aware of some of the issues that have shown up in the show this year. I realise 2010 wasn’t perfect but I still really liked it, but this year felt like all of the fun was sucked out of the room. Unfortunately now (other than at Xmas) we have to wait until next September for the next series…

  2. Georgios | October 13, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    WHO: I think splitting the season in two was a bad move. I think it completely threw the show’s pacing off. Whereas RTD got by through sheer emotionality, Moffat’s seasons run on great pacing. Or would have run on great pacing if it hadn’t been for this useless break.

    But you’re putting Torchwood s4 over current Who, and I am sorry, but that just doesn’t work. Everything about Torchwood strikes me as stilted and hollow in a way even the most handwave-y episodes of current Who fail to achieve. And Torchwood had nobody as fanservice-y as Rory Williams. (And I’m not saying that because I got to play him in Craig’s Who-game last year.)

  3. morgue | October 13, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Andrew re Key: I think you’re quite right that he won’t stick around when his popularity finally peaks. I hope he finds the election campaign a more torrid business than he is expecting.

    Georgios re Who: I know I’m in the minority with the Torchwood>Who call, but it reflects what I want as a viewer I guess. Torchwood, for all its piles of crazy and bad-acting and stupid dumbness, still told a story with a beginning, middle and ending, about characters who were forced to make tough decisions and learn from the experience. Any given moment of Who easily beat 90% of Torchwood moments, but it just added up to so much less than its parts. (And isn’t the whole character of Captain Jack Harkness basically a monument to fanservice nowadays?)

  4. Jenni | October 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I can see an easy solution to your Dr Who problem: we’ll just play more of the game. Steve as Martha, Pearce as the Doctor and me as Jack, can’t go wrong!

  5. morgue | October 13, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Jenni: so very tempting. And that’s just your interpretation of Jack.

  6. Andrew (Bartok) | October 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Wait wait wait, you people play Dr.Who games? I’m in the wrong city…

  7. morgue | October 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    The fact that I’m a giant tabletop roleplaying-game geek is not exactly a state secret. Jenni delivered her Captain Jack in a recent Who RPG one-off:
    http://jennitalula.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/dr-who-roleplaying-established-characters/

    Georgios speaks of another game taking place on the other side of the world, though. Wellington isn’t really a hotbed of Who storytelling game action. Not that I’ve noticed anyway!

  8. Jet Simian | October 14, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I wish it was!

    More on WHO after I’ve turned my brain on for the day. Otherwise, Al and I are arguring the toss over on ZeusBlog and by next episode I think we might be well in the Morgue/Georgios camp too. Maybe even Category Two (eep!)

  9. Stephanie | October 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Nuts to you all – I’m really enjoying the Stephen Moffat run. He’s moved away from external enemies to examining what it means to be something as extraordinary as a Time Lord. It’s Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – he can’t visit a place or person without changing it, and sometimes that means he can’t visit a place or person without breaking it.

    “John Key: I have a suspicion that the moment his popularity wanes he’ll bolt from the party and leave someone else to steer the Titanic. He’s sort never like to be seen to lose. I don’t understand why so many seem to buy his “good Kiwi bloke” act.”
    The worst bit is, we can see what happened to the US when they voted in a “good American bloke” and it’s all bad.