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On very busy men

(Game of Thrones 1×05: The Wolf and the Lion)

1 The King…

“I thought being king meant I could do whatever I wanted.”

We’re all subject to something, someone. At King Robert’s level, he’s subject to the office, and as much to the people as the people are to him. Many of these characters are subject to their families, to systems that keep them in check, to traditions that none can conceive of dying. Anyone who might consider themselves free in this world would also have few meaningful connections, few ways to connect to society.

More loredumping — Bran is tasked by Maester Luwin with reciting the names and mottos of various Houses. What is a family motto if not being subject even to your dead ancestors?

2

Sky cells! Yikes!

3

Sansa and Arya both fight for the respect they crave, though they’re different respects. Sansa wants to be like her mother, and Arya like her brothers. One imagines Arya would be perfectly happy with Jon Snow’s life.

It’s a queer story, that. But the faux-medieval thing of it all is an extremely limiting factor to that ever going anywhere. Even with Ser Loras and his freshly-shaven boyfriend around, queerness here is about what people want, not who they are. And I hate to imagine what any of the many aggressively heterosexual shitheads in this show would say if they knew about them.

4 …and below

Who is most looked down upon in Westeros? There’s Tyrion, who is mocked and ignored, respected in this episode really by Ros the sex worker, and by Catelyn Stark and her entourage, for what he’s capable of, not for who he is. But he still has the ear of characters above him, could still get things done if need be. There’s Bran, whose disability and age put him in a similar place, without even the respect for what he can do.

I’m thinking also of the White Walkers, who are, at least, humanoid, but not even thought of as people.

“I’m the same as you”

(Game of Thrones 1×04)

1 Spring

There should not be more than a month between me watching ones of these — the break strikes me as not particularly conducive to keeping up with yer who’s whos and what’s wheres and all that. Who was that prince again? Who’s fucking who again? I suppose for this one I’m Sam — who I like — on account of I, too, am new here.

2 A long time ago

People love to tell each other history in this show. When did people do what with dragons, who built the throne, who built the room, what made who legendary.

Do we do that in real life? Do we go on and on about what people did five hundred years ago? I feel like when we do it tops out at the edge of human memory — an American might reference Lyndon B Johnson, Brits might talk about the Blitz. But we don’t go much further back than that. As a cartoonist, the history of my field doesn’t stretch that far back, as a Dutch person the history of my country is fractured and divided. What emperor Karel V got up to on these lands in the year 1514 is functionally irrelevant to my life, and–

Wait, fuck, I teach art history, I do actually bring up 16th century artist Albrecht Dürer all the time.

Fuck.

3 Summer

I like Sam. But I especially like what his presence at the Wall tells us about the people around him. He’s not the fastest, the strongest, the hardest, or the best at anything. Their boss goes on and on about this, how Sam is soft and useless, about how he eager he’d be to eat him in a Donner Party situation. But Sam is kind and nice, qualities in short supply at the wall. And so, we must notice, who does and doesn’t value him and include him, who does and doesn’t see that he might not be all of those things everyone else has to be at the Wall, but that he is still there, with the rest of them, at the Wall?

“I’m the same as you,” Jon tells him. They’re talking about virginity, and bonding about both having been somewhat unlucky in the relevant regards. But they were both essentially sent there to get out of other people’s ways, they’re both at the edge of the world they know. They’re both there.

4 Winter

Tyrion: “I must say I received a slightly warmer welcome on my last visit.”

Well, yes. Winter is coming, after all.

Things That Are Coming

  1. Winter, still.
  2. A war of some kind.
  3. Bran’s testimony, though he supposedly has no memory of the accident.
  4. White Walkers.

The Pitcairn Review: “Contemporary View,” by Maze de Boer

Being approximately the size of a large shoebox, the Pitcairn Museum for Contemporary Art is, probably, the world’s smallest museum. I walk past it several times a week, and would happily say it’s my favourite museum. But I’ve never seen any kind of serious writing about it, so in the spirit of living the change, enjoy this recurring feature.

The Pitcairn typically asks you to imagine standing in the space it presents, but for Maze de Boer’s Contemporary View, no imagination is necessary, because we’re already standing in the space. In fact, from this side of the fourth wall, we appear to be the art.

A photograph of the exhibit described in this review. We see the back of what is, relative to the scale of the space, a large canvas, and, in the corner, a tiny fire extinguisher.
“Contemporary View,” by Maze de Boer.

Or, in other words: Ah, a meta one.

From Exhibition Continues Upstairs by Gerbrand Burger and No Show by Maurice Bogeart, which play with the gallery’s implied but non-existent space, to Michell Bows’ Sorry for the Inconvenience, in which the lack of exhibit becomes the exhibit, the meta exhibit is, at this point, a standing tradition at the Pitcairn. Even the fourth wall break of the art gazing back upon you is nothing new, with Jelte van Lente’s Kijkers previously having taken a much more literal approach.

But what we have here is much more pared down than those. There’s no stairwell, no mirror1Unless you count your own reflection in the glass., nothing looking at you. The only things in the space are a large2Relatively speaking. canvas, visible only from behind, a bench, a fire extinguisher, and, in the very back of the space, a sign.3I need to remember to transcribe the text from a better picture.

A lightly blurry photograph of the sign in the back of the space. The text on it can't be made out.

Mostly, I’m bored here. So bored that this review has been sitting here unfinished for four months. The next exhibit will have gone the way of the courier service back to where it came from by the time this review goes up.

So let’s just turn it around. If we are the art… what are tiny visitors to the tiny museum seeing through the fourth wall? Or, well, what did they see, back in November?

A photograph of the street as seen from in front of the Pitcairn Museum.

I walk past there three times a week. Maybe parked vehicles, the top bit of a trash can, and ugly construction fences are inspiring to you, but they’ve lost a little of their luster to me.

The Pitcairn does not publish images of its full exhibits until they’re already gone, but with limited local exceptions, I’m writing for a global audience here. To publish without an image of the full exhibit robs that international audience of context, and to publish with full images spoils the full exhibition for people who might still want to go see it. As a compromise, these reviews run one week before the exhibit closes or, uh, much later.

Some of my photographs of the space have been lightly modified only to obscure my reflection in them.

  • 1
    Unless you count your own reflection in the glass.
  • 2
    Relatively speaking.
  • 3
    I need to remember to transcribe the text from a better picture.

Review: “Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire” (2023)

Also on Letterboxd, based on the usual Mastodon thread.

I feel about Mr Snyder’s work like most people do about the dentist, every now and then you come out and go “that wasn’t that bad,” but most of the time it’s like somebody is just violently wrestling your face. And 2023’s Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire is the exact oral fistfight it looks like.

Backing up a little, okay, so, in Star Wars, at the same time Luke’s aunt and uncle are killed offscreen by Stormtroopers, the film is in the middle of presenting this whole galaxy of magic that you, the viewer, want, nay, need to see more of. Luke, this innocent, a survivor of imperialist violence, touches but the edge of an imaginative world full of funny droids and cool swords and interesting people, and immediately you’re desperate to see him explore it, to see him bring his innocence into the galaxy, to see it through his eyes. There’s pain and loss and greed and corruption — but it’s a world full of love and life, too.

In 2023’s Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire, Mr Snyder’s equivalent of Luke is a brooding badass, already a highly-trained ex-military fighter, whose backstory is that her entire family is already long dead and she was trained by a different brooding badass. Having retired from being an action here, now her fight is against the people1Imagine the Empire from Star Wars, make their costumes 10% more Nazi, and stop there. who want to tear her village apart with visceral violence and explicitly sexual threat. Before she sets off on her quest, the world around Kora is depicted only as unpleasant, dangerous, hard to exist in — even on a better day it’s hard to imagine her having a particularly good one. And yet her quest is to put together a team2Because this is doing Seven Samurai just as much as it’s doing Star Wars. to defend her way of life on her South African-coded3I’m sorry, it’s literally called “Veldt.” home moon — even though nothing about her way of life on Space South Africa feels particularly worth defending. certainly don’t want to see any fucking more of it. I’d like to see less of it!

The film truly never makes a case for her quest, or for anything at all, beyond that that’s… what you do in these. She doesn’t need to learn anything to go on it, she already knows who to reach out to. We get a cantina scene where they meet a pilot and get some exposition because that’s what they do in Star Wars, but the scene is homophobic, misogynist, and anti-sex work at the same time, and has none of the life in it you want from a cantina scene. We get episodic introductions to each team member because that’s what they do in Seven Samurai, but they’re all sketched so thinly that they might as well be cool action figures, clanking against each other plastically. The scene with the griffin-like bennu is straight from Avatar. You’ve seen every part of this before.

While the shift of focus to an already competent adult who knows what she needs to do might be an interesting flip on Star Wars in the hands of a competent storyteller — a Luke who’s blazing with righteous fury at the injustices of the world around him, discovering he has the power to do something about it4Wait, is that Anakin? — instead it all just serves to deliver the cold, oppressive bleakness Mr Snyder has so consistently forced upon the culture around him. It’s all just unpleasant.

I don’t want to accuse Mr Snyder of anything, but if I thought there was any kind of coherent ideology to this beyond “Star Wars and Seven Samurai are cool and Netflix will give me $166 million dollars to make a 2-part 5-hour crossover of those” I’d be extremely suspicious of a lot of what’s going on here.

On top of that it’s only half a film. In the rest of this review, I will

  • 1
    Imagine the Empire from Star Wars, make their costumes 10% more Nazi, and stop there.
  • 2
    Because this is doing Seven Samurai just as much as it’s doing Star Wars.
  • 3
    I’m sorry, it’s literally called “Veldt.”
  • 4
    Wait, is that Anakin?

From the Starkzone to the Wallplace

(Game of Thrones 1×03: “Lord Snow”)

1 On allegiances

Oh, Sean Bean’s folks and the Lannisters are separate things. Okay, okay, let’s write some of this out.

Ned Stark and the Starks in the, I wanna say, North. Winterfell? This is where Ned lives, though he’s out of town right now. Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran are some of his kids, the latter is in bed, awake. Jon Snow is one of these guys, but a bastard, and attached to the Night’s Watch. Mrs Sean Bean is probably from some other grouping, but fuck knows who.

The Lannisters, then, obviously, in King’s Landing. Jaime and Cersei. Tyrion is part of this but also his own thing, also currently chilling at the Night’s Watch. Jaime is the one who chucked Bran out the window, that’ll probably come back to bite him in his naked ass. Cersei is Mrs King Robert, but also in a long-term incestuous thing with Jaime. Probably no protection from pregnancy in this world, so I assume Joffrey etc. are theirs, and that Robert doesn’t know. Lots of space for conflict here.

Daenerys and Jason Momoa and the rest of the Dothraki are their own thing. Ser Jorah is hanging out with them right now, as a sort of ambassador type figure connected to the… Starks? and so there’s a normal adult Daenerys can talk to who isn’t a grunting beefman. I think Ser Jorah is probably up to something. Daenerys’ brother seems like he’s probably not in season three, if you know what I mean.

If you’re in the Night’s Watch you’re very loyal to the Night’s Watch, but if you’re not you’re more like, wow, what a bunch of weirdoes in the Night’s Watch.

2 On places

I also haven’t really thought about geography yet, but the Starkzone is all autumnal, while Jamie’s place has palm trees. (It’s weird seeing the “Winter is coming.” guy next to a palm tree, I’m sorry.) The Wallzone is obviously where winter already is. Daenerys and the Dothraki are bare-shouldered, probably pretty warm there, too. Are these places very far away from each other? How far would I have to travel from my 5 celsius to see people in short sleeves?

I should pay more attention to the title sequence.

3 On contrasts

Arya is taught to fight as if it’s a form of dance, the Knight’s dance — when every death we’ve seen has been brutal, grotesque, awful. There’s only so much dancing you can do when somebody comes at you with a great big thing of metal that’ll cut you in half. Ned realises this, too.

4 On fantasy without fantasy

“I don’t believe that giants and ghouls and White Walkers are lurking beyond the Wall.”

You can tell which of those we’re meant to care about from which one the subtitles capitalise. No way are we ever seeing giants or ghouls.

Things That Are Coming

  1. Winter, still.
  2. A war of some kind.
  3. Bran’s testimony?
  4. White Walkers? Is this the same as winter? Are they just the friendly face of Father Winter?

On allying with one of many families in a war-torn medieval land

Game of Thrones 1×02: “The Kingsroad”

1

“Dear brother, there are times you make me wonder whose side you’re on.”

Let’s think about sides for a moment. A lot of this kind of story hangs on whose side everyone is or isn’t on, because they all have complicated allegiances and loyalties, and they love to make snide remarks that suggest or imply those might change, or that they might have secret ones. So much said, so much unsaid. Even bonds of the heart or blood aren’t sacred if the right advantage comes along to draw one to another allegiance.

I couldn’t rattle off these allegiances to you off the top of my head right now, that’s not how my brain works. I assume Lannisters are with Lannisters, Starks with Starks, that the Night Watch will typically take priority, etc.

This may be a big part of why I found this hard to get into way back when I last tried, all those social rules — but it should be much easier to relate to now that I’ve been on Mastodon for nearly a decade.

2

“There’s a war coming, Ned. I don’t know when, I don’t know who we’ll be fighting, but it’s coming.”

Let’s keep track of some arrows shot that are in the air, some things that are meant to be coming.

  1. Winter — already at the Wall, but approaching places that aren’t usually like that.
  2. A war — this seems inevitable regardless of current affairs, because what is a story like this if there’s not a war to deal with.
  3. Bran, out of his coma.
  4. White Walkers?
  5. All of these people having all of this graphic sex, hopefully?

3

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”

Tyrion to Game of Thrones as Sawyer was to LOST — the jester, the understander, the knower, the guy who speaks the truths others aren’t socially allowed to, and who is happy to throw himself into a fight if need be. What are the odds he’ll similarly come out somewhat on top, having suffered losses but better for it in the end?

4

“In the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are fields of ghost grass with stalks as pale as milk that glow in the night. Murders all other grass.”

By whatever dead god they worship, even the fucking grass is no fun allowed.

fantasy without fantasy

(Game of Thrones 1×01: “Winter is Coming”)

Y’all hear about this Game of Thrones thing?

1 Autumn

“Winter is coming,” we’re told, twice, but we open on snow and ice. Boy, y’all really goofed it there, HBO, winter is already here! I understand, from pop cultural osmosis, that the land continent? planet? of Westeros has what is by our standards an unusual relationship with the seasons. People in this world, I’m sure I will soon find out, have unusual relationships to lots of things, including their own heads, their siblings…

The idea of winter is rich with potential for metaphor — everything freezing, stopping, dying, before the sun returns and thaws everything out, bringing life back. They should do something with that.

2 Spring

I’ve been here before. This having been the cultural juggernaut that it was, of course I tried to watch this, first when it first aired — didn’t really connect with it, made it maybe ten minutes — and then again once it had become that juggernaut — I made it… eight episodes, I wanna say?

What didn’t I like about it, and why am I trying again now? Well, I always hate missing a popular bus, but what I saw from my initial glance as it drove past me was a depressing world full of sad shit and boring fights, and riding along for eight episodes only confirmed that feeling. Watching this now, I suspect the reputation this show has for unnecessary explicitness1Look, what is “unnecessary,” right? is probably earned. But I’m older, and my tastes have matured. Maybe I can get into this now.

I only finally read Achewood last year, you know.

3 Autumn

Obviously this is going certain places. Uninterested in the show until now, I never made a point of avoiding spoilers, and I know the big one from the first season because I, well, I watched that episode, I’ve heard something about a wedding, and I know broadly speaking that once they run out of book they struggle to maintain a stable road under this particular car. There is, as far as I can tell from where I stand, no show that quite crashes and burns like this one.

But here the inciting incidents are simple — a report from the North, and at home a man is dead. I’m sure the fallout of these matters will be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

4 Winter

Ultimately, Game of Thrones is fantasy without fantasy. It’s fantasy for people who think laughter who should go back to where it came from.2Comedy clubs in basements. Everything light and fun has been stripped away. Where something like Wonka is magic for the sheer sake of whimsy, this is the opposite — it’s a fantastical world that can only imagine violence and viscera, filth and fucking, politics and pain. A Dothraki wedding is a funeral. In Westeros, people only smile when they conquer, when they scheme, when they sentence, when they kill.

All magic that remains here is out to hurt you.

  • 1
    Look, what is “unnecessary,” right?
  • 2
    Comedy clubs in basements.

Arc Watch: Doctor Who: “The Star Beast”

Oh, right, this is a thing we used to do.

The Big Ones

  • Why The Long Face: “Why did this face come back?” Such a specific way to phrase it that surely the answer must be very, very specific, too. In this episode, all we really get as answers go is, “destiny,” “to save Donna.” Everyone assumes it’s a ploy by the Toymaker, but that was never really his style — putting faces on people was more a Land of Fiction thing. (Obviously the face came back because everyone had fun livetweeting during the pandemic, but how would that translate to the screen?)
    I don’t think it’s the Toymaker, I don’t think it’s the Land of Fiction or any master thereof. You want the payoff to this to play emotionally — it shouldn’t just be “well the celebrity guest star did it.”
  • The Boss Is Not Rhetorical: “Wait until I tell the Boss!” The subtitles capitalise it and everything. But who’s the Meep’s the Boss? The obvious place we all immediately went to is, again, the Toymaker, but does the Toymaker have… flunkies now? He has toys he plays with, so if the Meep is in the pocket of Big Toy, “Boss” doesn’t seem like the relationship here.
    Plus, on the In-Vision Commentary, Tennant asks Collinson whether they know what that means yet, implying they didn’t while Tennant was actively involved in production. Perhaps the answer is in scenes that were shot much later.
    Really, all we have is the word “Boss” and set reports and casting announcements, so, a wild mass guess to the answer: Whoever Jinkx Monsoon is playing?1The rumour is the Terrible Zodin, but I dunno, is that where this is going? It doesn’t feel like that’s where this is going. Much of early days Arc Watch is gut-based.

The Small Ones

Who We Are
  • Still Figuring It Out: “Do I say things like that now?” Dr Who is still exploring their new personality. Clearly a big thing is that the vanity and egocentrism of the last time they had this face has cleared like bad acne, and their anguished cry of “Why did it have to be this?” when forced into a scenario not unlike the one that killed the last version of this face suggests that that well of emotion this face never would’ve been capable of before may be quite deep.
  • Couldn’t Keep It In: Much has been made of the ease with which Donna and Rose simply let go of the metacrisis energy. Is it that easy? Is that story over? Or is this just the start of its final chapter?
The World Around Us
  • UNified Intelligence and Skyscraper-Building Taskforce: Seriously, how is UNIT just fully back in business already again? I’m gonna assume this is just, let’s get this piece back on the board like usual and not worry about it too much, but there’s been quite a lot of shifting that kind of thing around a little too fast recently, and I wouldn’t mind if this one went somewhere.
  • Gonkage: Is Rose’s one customer in Abu Dhabi just one of those RTD background details, or something we should be keeping an eye on? Who would have reason to send money to Donna’s family? Or maybe, who would recognise what her toys were?
  • 1
    The rumour is the Terrible Zodin, but I dunno, is that where this is going? It doesn’t feel like that’s where this is going. Much of early days Arc Watch is gut-based.

“Then allow me to show you the future.” (Doctor Who: “Destination: Skaro”)

After a gruelling year-long hour trapped in the chaotic pages of Doctor Who Magazine‘s Liberation of the Daleks, Dr Who returns to the small screen by crashing into not just a lab on an obscure little backwater planet known to its inhabitants as Skaro — birthplace of the Daleks — but into his past, present, and future.

We have, of course, been here before. The crash itself is reminiscent of the Titanic slamming into the side of the TARDIS at the end of Last of the Time Lords, the gags remind of the banter from Time Crash mixed with the inspiring-the-famous-author gags from episodes like The Shakespeare Code. The way in which it fills in something we’ve never seen filled in on TV before even though non-televised Doctor Who has probably thoroughly covered the area, reminiscent of the way Sarah rattles off various companions’ fates in Death of the Doctor.

Speaking of contradictions…

Past

Davros is depicted in Destination: Skaro as an able-bodied man at a point in his history where, historically, he’s been depicted as a wheelchair user with a severely disfigured face and body. This is a change made not for budget or time reasons1Though I’m sure Julian Bleach doesn’t mind not having to have the whole face put on. but because, and this isn’t speculation because Russell T Davies says as much in the Unleashed behind the scenes featurette, it’s the Year of Luigi 2023 and the harmful, hurtful cliché of using disability and disfigurement as a shorthand for evil has, in short, got to go. This, Russell says, referring to how Davros is depicted here, is how we see Davros now.

There is some ambiguity in what he says and how — clearly he’s saying, as far as he and the current team are concerned, Davros will not again be portrayed like he was in the past. But does that mean a total reimagining of Davros even in the part of his history we’ve seen before, or just that we won’t see that part of his history again? It may be some time before we find out — another Dalek story is an inevitability, but another Davros story might not be coming along for a while.

Either way, the message is clear: What makes Davros scary is the fascist fanaticism that drives him to create the Daleks — and not his face or his wheelchair. And that implies… other things.

Present

Inevitably some of the kvetching online has included, why now and not in 2008? I can’t claim to know what was in Terry Nation’s heart when he created the character nearly half a century ago, or the hearts of anyone who’s contributed to the character since then. But I have a feeling I know Russell T Davies well enough to know that he just… wasn’t thinking about these things in 2008. Because, well, nobody involved who could’ve made this call was thinking about it in 2008. Nobody involved who could’ve made this call was thinking about it in 2012, 1975, or 2003, either. I’m really happy they’re having these conversations at Bad Wolf now.

When a silent film from 1924 employs, say, cannibal clichés to communicate that the island the characters have landed on is an easily recognisable dangerous situation, no matter how racist the effect of those clichés might then be in the Year of Luigi 2023, the intent at the time probably wasn’t to do a bunch of racism. They’re just using the toys that are in the toy box at the time. And those toys change as we wear them down, as we figure out they’re not equally fun for everyone.

Because the way we think about this stuff evolves constantly. It’s never too late to learn, to catch on, to say, the fun I’m having hurts you and it shouldn’t.

It’s never too late to fix your heart.2Or die.

Future

Obviously this 5-minute comedy scene is just a drop in a thousand buckets. It “counts,” if such a thing matters to you, but its primary purpose is to have some light fun with silly Dalek jokes during a charity fundraising broadcast. My mom liked it, thought it was funny. She’s not thinking about these things at all.

But I think it’s a terrific shot from the second RTD era’s starter pistol: Here we go. This is what matters to us. Nothing is sacred. Let’s go have fun — together.

  • 1
    Though I’m sure Julian Bleach doesn’t mind not having to have the whole face put on.
  • 2
    Or die.

Some deleted drafts

A running thread you’ll notice in this selection of post I’ve deleted from my drafts tab in ClassicPress, thereby officially abandoning all pretence that I’ll do anything with them, is that these are all fandom or fandom-related essay ideas, really? Do I do that here? I did it once, I guess, though I feel like I kinda crapped out on the conclusion. There’s also a layer of a specific type of frustration to some of these that I generally don’t think lends itself to good writing.

Anyway.

From oldest to newest.

Who’s behind the mask? On identity concealment in “Star Wars.”

This one was just a title — I was annoyed Star Wars fandom took one look at a Stormtrooper with a cool gold mask and immediately decided they must be somebody1The emphasis was mostly on the idea that it was Ezra Bridger, but I saw several other names come up. hiding their face, and so I decided to write a rebuttal, because Star Wars doesn’t really… do that?

The Clones’ faces are never a secret, kindly old Palpatine being the monkey-faced hologram fella from the original films is only a twist if you’re watching for the first time in episode order, and Vader taking his helmet off is a serious health condition reveal, not an identity reveal at all. Phasma in the sequels never turns out to Be Somebody, The Mandalorian is about helmets and never, to the best of my recollection, pulls that type of twist at all.

In fact, it never really seems to happen that much in long-running sci-fi franchises at all — Doctor Who lets the Master do it sometimes, as a treat, but that’s a throwback to the 70s, Star Trek doesn’t really do it, it was very obvious on WandaVision it was gonna be Agatha all along, not fucking Mephisto, who would’ve come out of nowhere— *takes a deep breath*

But “Alex is annoyed with a fandom they’re not really in” makes for lousy writing, and also, I didn’t feel like doing the research, which I’d really have to do properly if I’m gonna pick a fight with nerds, so here we go — I didn’t write the post, and now I’m just doing the complaining, anyway, that’s that particular craving answered.

Interview with the person whose house the weary travellers stop at to recharge and eat a good meal

Inspired by a Mastodon post, this seemed like one I might get some mileage out of, but really, much like how I’m not really in Star Wars fandom enough to pick a fight, I’m just not in either fantasy or, like, longform profile pieces enough to really do this one justice. The joke would’ve been that the weary travellers stop at the interview subject’s house while the interview is happening, I think?

Doctor Who: 14 reasonable expectations for the RTD2 era

It was August, I saw a lot of people projecting their every hope and dream on the RTD2 era, and I thought I’d be a more reasonable voice in the discourse — but a week out from the first of the 60th anniversary special airing the vibe has changed a lot, and I no longer feel any need to try to throw a reasonable wrench into anyone’s spokes. I also remembered I simply do not wish to be part of The Discourse.

And anyway, I got to one (1) reasonable expectation and looking at it now I’d probably cut it if I was gonna try to finish it.

Notes on a Multiverse: “Iron Man” (2008)

For a while there I found it really frustrating to talk about the MCU on the internet2See amongst many other things the Mephisto thing. Exhausting., to the point that my Letterboxd reviews were just “Enjoyed it.” with a 5-star rating. I’m mostly over that frustration now3Leaving a certain web forum behind, and quite a lot of my exposure to clickbait and “look at this stupid opinion”-type posts with it, seems to have helped., and I can feel a substantial rewatch approaching at velocity. I wondered out loud on Mastodon if that rewatch might involve some kind of writing project, using the phrase “a Psychochronography in Spandex” to specifically evoke El Sandifer’s TARDIS Eruditorum as a model I was thinking of.

But, let’s be honest with myself here, that’s massively overestimating my current ability to commit to a long-term writing project of what would at the bare minimum be hundreds of posts.4How do you get to hundreds of posts from 35 movies? Agents of SHIELD ran for 136 episodes. The Netflix shows put out 161 episodes. Even doing some condensing this would be a massive undertaking. I’m very interested in finding an angle on the MCU from which to talk about it in a way that doesn’t drive me fucking insane.

I’m gonna do the rewatch at some point, and I’d like to do some kind of project around it? I like the title Notes on a Multiverse. But whatever shape that takes, it’s obviously not gonna be hundreds of essays, so the project I saved the draft for will not exist, and so — into the trash it goes.

  • 1
    The emphasis was mostly on the idea that it was Ezra Bridger, but I saw several other names come up.
  • 2
    See amongst many other things the Mephisto thing. Exhausting.
  • 3
    Leaving a certain web forum behind, and quite a lot of my exposure to clickbait and “look at this stupid opinion”-type posts with it, seems to have helped.
  • 4
    How do you get to hundreds of posts from 35 movies? Agents of SHIELD ran for 136 episodes. The Netflix shows put out 161 episodes. Even doing some condensing this would be a massive undertaking.
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