Unconspiracy Linky

9/11 conspiracy theorist changes his mind. Because of… facts! Has that ever happened before?? (via Nate C)

BBC’s Newsnight devoted ten minutes to exploring the question: was Doctor Who a bit rubbish in the 80s?

Freaks and Geeks is getting the AVClub Classic treatment. The pilot episode writeup appeared today. It’s my favourite TV show ever, employing the form of commercial television for a character study with novelistic depth, and founded in a humane compassion that is rare in any narrative.

Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing (via Bruce Baugh)

The “PUNK” music collection, exclusively on CD. Basically the only collection of punk music you’ll ever need. Features all your favourite punk bands, like INXS and Crowded House. (via DavidR)

Greatest wedding photo in the history of the world (via Keane)

Letter to Richard Dawkins about religion. Some well-put stuff in here.

BBC recipe site has a recipe for Marmite on Toast. As you’d expect, the comments are worth your time. (via loads of people)

This gender-swapped recasting of Lord of the Rings is spreading like wildfire because it is Just. That. Good. If you click through only one linky this week, make it this one.

Article about a fascinating 19th Century dictionary that traced words from India into British English. (via Damon)

The Folk Ye Bump Intae – charming sketches of people in Glasgow. I can’t help but sound out all the dialogue, it is so well-caught.

Wow, the secret behind this lake full of skeletons genuinely stunned me (Allen Varney)

How did I miss this? In support of the deluxe book collection of Al Jaffee’s Mad Magazine Fold-Ins back in ’08, the NYT created some interactive digital versions. Marvellous. (via Toby Manhire)

There have been many articles on Steven Moffat and gender politics in Doctor Who, but this one is the sharpest I’ve found. (To be honest though it’s his longform plotting that bugs me more.)

Poor people in Manila start living in a cemetery. Fascinating. (via Malc)

Mormon flowchart for your soul – wow.

Facehugger, life-size, in lego.

On Facebook, I share stories about my 2-year-old daughter from time to time. This one rapidly became infamous. I proudly share it further here.

Cal asks a very sad Wee Beastie why I made her sit in the corner.
WB: (crying) Because I didn’t listen.
Cal: I think you should say sorry to him.
WB: (looking down) Sorry daddy.
Cal: You should look at his face and say sorry.
WB: (meeting my eyes, very sad) I’m sorry about your face daddy.

And finally, the last word on Mos Eisley

10 thoughts on “Unconspiracy Linky”

  1. “And who can forget that punk classic hit ‘Hey Mickey’??!?!”

    “Yeah!” (chews gum)

  2. I would be highly tempted to see a filmed gender-swapped LotR. I don’t know whether it would be better with no textual changes (ie, Ewan McGregor saying, “But no living man am I!”) or not.

  3. Re the Charlie Veitch thing, I highly recommend watching “Conspiracy Roadtrip”. It’s a great easily accesible insight into the disturbing lack of critical thinking behind 9/11 and other conspiracy theories. Having spent a bit of time arguing with proponents of these theories (they confluence various interests of mine), the participants (Veitch’s realisation excepted) are absolutely representative of the kind of non-thinking that propogates this stuff. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so potentially harmful. Veitch isn’t the only truther to have turned, but he is the most prominent.

  4. Man, I completely disappeared down the warren of 9/11 conspiracy links for a while there. Think I ended up in David Icke’s dirty laundry.

  5. Gator: I love those punk presenters so much! Especially the girl. She’s so genuine!

    Jamie: Yeah, I think no textual changes is the way to go. Just go with it, Shakespeare-production-style

    samm: I honestly don’t think I could bear watching it. It would make me so mad.


  6. I’m waiting for that lost classic punk album featuring Barry Manilow, Rene & Renata, and Wham.

    @Samm: Conspiracy Roadtrip was such an infuriating watch. I just about shouted at the screen on many, many occasions. Worth viewing though, for all the reasons you cite. It’s funny that in my own thesis research I’ve ended up having to engage with high-profile, big selling books on the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme that are – on a very basic level – founded in a conspiratorial viewpoint. For example: the US allowed Pakistan to get nuclear weapons* because they wanted Muslim countries to get the bomb because they hated America in order that they could then take action against those countries for having nuclear bombs and…it goes on, and on. Then again, there’s also a concurrent strand of “Oooh, the Islamics! We can’t let them have nukes because, well, they are weird and we don’t understand them and of course they’ll all start giving each other the bomb and then where will we be? OMG, etc.”*


    *The fundamental question that they fail to address – and one that comes out very strongly when you actually look at the documentary evidence – is “How exactly do you stop a country gaining access to nukes if it really, really wants to?” Short of war, there is no solution to that problem.
    **The most notable culprits being: Al Venter, Allah’s Bomb: The Islamic Quest for Nuclear Weapons (Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2007); David Armstrong and Joseph Trento, America and the Islamic Bomb: The Deadly Compromise (Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2007); Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold The World’s Most Dangerous Secrets…And How We Could Have Stopped Him (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007); Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons (New Yor: Walker & Co., 2007.) Really, don’t bother reading them. They’re mostly awful.

  7. From your link to the Stephen Moffatt article:
    “and it’s obviously unlikely that the fact that the first Doctor Who story with an all black guest cast (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) portrays them as an unscrupulous bunch of thieves was out of a desire by Steve Thompson to insult black viewers.”
    Y’know, when I watched that episode last week, the main thing I was thinking was how awesome it was that New Series Doctor Who was really mixing up the ethnicities and accents and how much more interesting it was than the pasty white faces and RP voices of the original series. To address his general point of having black people as villains – there’s been a veritable host of non-white characters and they’ve usually been portrayed as somewhere in the neutral-sympathetic-downright admirable bracket. I think the least sympathetic black characters have been Mickey (starts off a bit craven but levels up to hero) and Martha’s mother (starts off as easily led but stands up for her daughter when it matters). And I always thought it was interesting that Martha Jones was the most academically bright and best heeled of all the New Series companions. Which is the long way round of me saying that I’m (speaking as a white girl) not especially fussed that in this one episode there were some black people who were (ultimately redeemable) villains.

    He does have a good point to make about the prevalence in the Stephen Moffatt run of Woman As Vessel or Woman As Possession storylines, although personally I’ve found Amy Pond, River Song and Clara Wossname a lot more engaging than he does. I think he loses points for not calling out the Nefertiti subplot in the Dinosaur-Pirate episode (“Give me the woman that I may do unspeakable things to her!” “No! We’ll die first!” “No! I shall sacrifice myself for the sake of the menfolk.” They Fight. [Yawn]). It’s not just sexist and cliched, it’s really freaking predictable and boring.

    Some other thoughts:
    – Amy Pond’s story was pressing buttons around motherhood right from the beginning: parents who are missing, an aunt who is neglectful (fear of a child of being abandoned); that dream episode where she’s pregnant (fear of having a baby for the sake of someone else and then not liking it); fear of getting pregnant and something going wrong; fear that something awful will happen to the baby; fear of missing out on a relationship with your child; fear of not being able to have children at all – that was a really consistent theme for her. Those are legitimate fears to explore for the women in the audience. And Doctor Who is _about_ fear. (Plus, you can be a straight female and still admire Karen Gillan in a mini skirt. I’m just saying.)
    – the thing that really got me about the Russell T Davies run is how often the Companions’ storylines focused around their having issues with their mothers (to the point where I was wondering if Davies was projecting some of his family issues onto the show. I guess it would be impolite to ask him. 😉 )
    – Overall, I like that there’s a lot more complexity and more sophisticated story arcs for the Companions then there were in the original series. Sometimes the attempt is going to come across as problematic in some respects, but I give the showrunners points for trying.

  8. Malc & Steph – exceptional comments. I don’t really have much to say about either of them, except bravo.

    (Okay I could probably get into a lengthy discussion with Steph about Moffat’s treatment of Who companions but that seems like lots of effort to ultimately get to, “yeah, you have a bunch of really good points”)

  9. I haven’t seen enough Moffatt to judge him, but Russell T. Davies’ take on women was basically, “Once they find themselves a decent bloke their story is finished. So let’s marry them all off.” And his attitude to black characters was, “Let’s marry them off to each other.”

Comments are closed.