Category Archives: Television

The Trouble With Portraying Sexuality

There’s something that’s been sitting on my mind for a while now, and I wasn’t really aware of the cognitive dissonance until I had a recent discussion with a friend of mine. In feminism, a movement apparently in its third wave according to academics, yet still struggling to find a unified front on many issues, there is a bit of an issue when it comes to the public perceptions of female sexuality.

Basically, it boils down to two views. First, you have the idea that sexuality should not be shameful. Sex isn’t something to shame people for having. Doing such can cause all sorts of psychological problems, first off. It’s a completely natural process that, unlike most animals in the world, is enjoyable for recreational purposes and is not solely a procreational action.

Unfortunately, when it comes to shame over sex, women get the worst rap. We all probably know the double standard by now… men who have multiple partners are conquerors. They’re virile. They’re manly. They can hold their tally like a trophy, the quantity of their conquests far outweighing their abilities (or inabilities) in the bed itself. Meanwhile, women are to keep their sexual lives quiet. Women with multiple partners are sluts. Shameful. Dirty. Broken. In a weird twist, sometimes people that want to help protect women from being sexual victims apply the term “victim” all over the place, even when sex is fully consensual… because it’s inconceivable for some people that a woman might seek out and desire sex. So, there’s the faction that wants to eliminate sex as a dirty word and deed, particularly for women. If a woman wants to be a stripper, let her. If she wants to be a prostitute/escort (when legal), why not? If she wants to dress provocatively, she should be allowed without being called names, or seen as “asking for sex.” Consent is different from how one dresses one’s self.

But then, there’s the other faction. The faction that says they’re tired of women being objectified and seen as sexual pleasure units. That’s tired of cleavage and boobs and butt on every single advertisement. That’s tired of having products directed at women (and men) because of their chromosomal makeup. Tired of the media using tired, false gender narratives and tropes, like the damsel in distress. But, mostly, tired of just being deemed as sexual, being boiled down to physical bodies and sexual performances. Tired of being “Hot Girl #3” on the TV.

Now, some of these things are shared by both groups, like being tired of the tropes and the gendered products. But sometimes, even those things find fractions between the factions. Because, despite being feminists and desiring an equality between all genders and sexualities, there’s just too many problems and not enough solutions.

It is definitely a problem that women exploring their sexualities are seen as sluts and looked down on. It is also definitely a problem that society demands sexual performance from women. It’s a hypocrisy that continues to harm our social makeup where men expect sex from women, and women have the choice of either being degraded for complying or degraded for not complying. And then possibly being raped and blamed for it by society. It’s not exactly a kind world for women today (and the scary thing is that it seems like it might be kinder than it once was).

I’ll give an example of the disparity. In the BBC show “Sherlock,” a show I find to be quite fantastic, in season 2 we were introduced to what is perhaps Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most infamous female character, Irene Adler. Appearing in “A Scandal In Bohemia,” she is the one woman Sherlock Holmes has shown obvious affection and admiration for. To quote,

To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. […] And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.

In the BBC show’s re-imagining of the character, she was recreated as a dominatrix, using her wits and dominance in the bedroom to put powerful people in compromising positions and obtain information she hoped to use to her advantage. In her first meeting with Holmed, she introduced herself in the nude as an attempt to throw him off his game. It worked. …but this portrayal exemplifies exactly the difference in the factions.

On the one hand, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with a woman willingly working in the sex industry. (We’ll skip the discussions of abuse and slavery for now to make the discussion simpler, but I wouldn’t count anyone coerced or forced into that industry in any fashion as working in it willingly.) There shouldn’t be anything wrong with a woman using her body or sexuality for any (legal) reason, even to win a battle of wits against a certain private detective. However, some feel that being portrayed as a sex worker diminished the focus on Adler’s mental acuity and ability as written originally by Doyle. It felt like a cheap gimmick, a typical jump in today’s media to make the woman a sexual being, an object of pleasure.

This is, of course, not helped out at all by show-runner Steven Moffat’s rather well-documented casual sexism and poor treatment of female characters in his other show, “Doctor Who.”

Personally, I think the Adler character (unlike many of the women in “Doctor Who”) was well done. The sexuality wasn’t really a focus the way I saw it. It was never portrayed in a gaudy, ridiculous fashion. Rather, it was run as a counter to Sherlock’s discomfort with the sensual, as sensuality requires physical and emotional responses that he has spent years ridding himself of for the sake of logic and reason. Others, like my friend, disagree.

The sad thing is, there’s not really a way I can see out of this sort of conundrum. It seems perfectly obvious to me that both factions have absolutely correct and poignant points. Both of these hypocritical philosophies of our society (particularly American) are damaging. On their own, they’re bad enough. Combined, they are a maelstrom of harm and sexism. And that’s just for the women. It damages men, too, as does our portrayal of men in the media. So, should one aspect be focused on more than the other? Can both be fixed without a complete reset of social norms and ideals? Or is this something we will constantly be fighting against, one way or another?

I honestly have no idea what should be done about these problems, save this: We need to talk about them and realize they’re problems. While we may not agree on the solutions, as long as we agree something is wrong, we can start to work toward answers. And since the world is full of people smarter than me, maybe the answer is just waiting for someone to mention the problem to the right person.

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And We’re Back

Hello, all. I’m back.

So. It’s been a little while since I’ve written here, huh. Last time I wrote was March 12… and my last “real” post was Feb. 10. Almost an entire year…

…so it’s probably safe to say the “a post a day” experiment kinda fell through.

Still. Not too shabby. I made it an entire year and nearly a half with at least one post per day… that’s a lot of writing. If I had kept it up last year, I would have had SO MANY VIEWS. Even with basically 11 months of no writing, I somehow managed 13,948 views last year. Compare that to the year before’s 15,185. It makes me feel almost popular. Or, well, makes me feel like the lyrics to “Beauty and the Beat” are popular. But enough of that.

2013 was an interesting year. I got my first ever lead role, the opportunity to play Coriolanus in a staged reading of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus.” Less than a month later, I was cast in a TCF television pilot “Toss-Up,” again cast as the leading role. That opened up several other venues for me, such as a decently-sized part in a TCF short film produced by “Seinfeld” director Tom Cherones and a recurring role in the webseries “Alabama Ghostbusters.” Finally, in October, I was blessed/lucky/really really really super lucky enough to somehow manage to be cast as Jean Valjean in a local production of “Les Miserables,” my favorite musical and a dream role of mine for years.

I started out 2013 not talking to my best friend. Not because I was mad at her or something. No, rather because I’m the kind of person that can come to the conclusion (unfortunately often) that people are better off without me in their lives…  Around late February, I started dating a girl (my fourth girlfriend… possibly I only decided to date her beyond my attraction to her because I knew it would end when she went to grad school) that played my fiance in the TV pilot… and had we not dated, I wouldn’t have been asked to go to a wedding that my best friend was the maid-of-honor for, and I may still not be talking to her (as painful as that would be for me).

I haven’t managed to get “Camp Gethsemane” produced yet, sadly… I’m going to make a really big effort this year. It’s in the midst of yet another edit, a big edit that changes a few second act things and hopefully makes it all for the better… but a production would be amazing. I also haven’t managed to find a better job yet… though I did start hosting trivia at bars and restaurants around Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, and the extra income is pretty nice. Also, I seem to be decent at it. People like me well enough. (P.S. If you know any bars/restaurants that might like to host trivia, let me know!)

It’s been a year of changes, for sure. A year of opportunities… not my worst year… and hopefully, not my best to come, but a pretty decent one all-in-all.

Which brings me to 2014. The new year. And new years tend to bring new resolutions. Something that, usually, I duck out on because come on. Those are made with the intent of being broken, most of the time.

Still. I feel I should resolve a few things. So I’mma try.

First, I am going to lose weight. I wanted to for Les Mis, but Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were right there and it is pretty much impossible to lose weight during those holidays. I plan to shed at LEAST 40 pounds and KEEP it off throughout the year. Maybe even work out and get some toning and muscle, not this semi-sentient fat I have at the moment.

Second, I’m going to get something I’ve written produced. Hopefully “Camp Gethsemane.” I will do it, damn it. I have screenplays and plays at the ready. Some need work, yes. But that can be done. I just want something to show for my work.

Third, I am going to write at least five more of the projects in my head. It’s a tall order. I may need help with some to keep me honest. I still have to edit and polish some of the things I’ve already written. But I also need to get new things done, too. I need to write, need to produce. I have two one-act mythology plays and two screenplays that need finishing. The fifth, I have many many ideas that could be the fifth… And the desire to write new things may help me finish my old things. If you’re a writer and want to help keep me honest, please let me know. No joke.

Fourth, I am resurrecting this blog. But it won’t be a once-a-day blog anymore. That just doesn’t seem feasible. With trivia taking up several of my nights, and all the acting I did last year, writing once per day became basically impossible. Les Mis is one reason “Camp Gethsemane” has been mid-edit since October. Still, I hope to write in this blog semi-regularly… and maybe add a new segment where I try new things in the kitchen, things I’ve never done before, like new techniques (like frying things) or foods (like fish). Which brings me to…

Fifth, I’m going to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve been getting there. Hosting trivia has REALLY helped me become a more social and sociable person. As has finally being on stage in a visible way. I’m going to audition for more things in town, of course… but beyond that, I want to just do things I don’t normally do. Talk to people more. Hang out with people more. Being a hermit really gets lonely, and I really hate the feeling sometimes. And maybe, just maybe, if I step out of my comfort zone, I can be more comfortable with who I am. It seems oxymoronic, but trust me. I’m not intensely comfortable even in my comfort zone.

All in all, I hope to move forward with life in 2014. Professionally, romantically, creatively… I need to stop being stagnant. I need to stop being jealous of other people’s romantic and professional successes and start making others jealous of mine. I’ll let you know how that goes as it moves along.

Oh, and expect more of my randomness on this blog, because there’s a lot I wanted to say last year that I never got to… If 2014 is as ridiculous as 2013 was, I’m sure I’ll have a bunch to gab on about.

It’s good to be back.

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Copyright Law Needs To Change

Copyright law is one of the most convoluted, confusing and backwards things I can think of after the Alabama State Constitution and the United States Tax Code. Honestly, it makes little to no sense to me by and large. So, I’m going to end up talking in analogies and about what should be right/wrong.

If you haven’t heard, recently, musician Jonathan Coulton found himself unknowingly being featured on an episode of the inexplicable Fox TV hit “Glee.” Honestly, I’ve tried to watch the show and I just don’t get the appeal. Some of the songs are okay, but they’re always very obviously doctored, which is generally a big disappointment. Though I guess that’s what kids are into these days.

Anyway, when I say Coulton was unknowingly featured on an episode of “Glee,” specifically the episode called “Sadie Hawkins,” I mean that “Glee” yanked his arrangement of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back” without informing him or even crediting him at all. The song appeared on iTunes before it was shown on the episode, which is when this all started.

You can read Coulton’s story, as well as some Fox response, on “Wired.” For those that don’t want to read it, here’s the short story on what Fox said, according to Coulton: We’re within our legal rights to do this, this is our policy when it comes to covers of covers and you should be glad for the exposure (which is a load of bull because they’ve given no indication in any fashion that Coulton was involved in anything).

Now, here are the songs in question: First, listen to Coulton’s cover, which he did purchase a compulsory license to create. Interesting and very unique, right? Okay, now listen to “Glee”‘s version. Pretty much identical, right? They didn’t even change the lyrics that Coulton changed, such as “Johnny C’s in trouble.”

Now, according to Coulton and others, the law is very much a grey area when it comes to this sort of thing. And the law is already confusing enough in my opinion when it comes to creative works and copyright, so I’m going to invent a hypothetical similar situation.

Let’s say I’m part of some sketch comedy troupe, and I become very famous for a specific sketch. It’s an original sketch, people pretty much know me by it. Now, let’s say two people, Kid A and Kid B, decide to both do the sketch. Kid A asks me for permission to use and potentially alter the sketch, which I grant him, which was a nice thing for him to do for sure, potential legality aside. He then alters the sketch to fit his own personal humor, the audience and the place he’s performing the sketch at. He credits me whenever people unaware of the original sketch ask about it. He makes money off of this sketch.

Kid B was in the audience of one of Kid A’s performances. Kid B thinks it was great, so Kid B decides to do the same thing. And when I say the same thing, I mean almost exactly the same thing. He changes none of the words, none of the pacing and extremely little of the physical movements. He doesn’t ask Kid A, or even myself, for permission to do this.  He tells people unaware of the original sketch that I’m the originator, of course, but never mentions Kid A at all, in spite of much of Kid A’s material being original and unique. Kid B makes money off of this sketch.

Now, in that situation, Kid B might be legally within his rights. I don’t know, to be frank. But he shouldn’t be. No one should be allowed that type of blatant theft, be it from music or otherwise. To be honest, “Glee,” which was Kid B for those having trouble following along, may have payed for the rights to the original song to do a cover. But this isn’t a case of eerie similarities between two covers. This is intellectual theft, and unashamed theft at that. And it shouldn’t be allowed.

But while it is allowed, Coulton has made a cover of “Glee”‘s cover of his cover… If you buy Coulton’s “Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)” between now and the end of February, proceeds will go to charity. So, not only can you stick it to the megacoporation practically taking a dump on artists like Coulton, you can also do some good. I suggest looking into it.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Walk Through The Fire” From “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”

This post is going to be a bit earlier than usual, due to my heading out to grandma’s for Thanksgiving not too long from now. As such, I haven’t had much time to write anything neat… partly because I had to write three posts in one day. That takes some time, guys.

Anyway, I’ve talked about Joss Whedon’s musical talents, or at least the great music on his shows, before. This little ditty comes from one of the more influential shows Joss did, and one of the more influential episodes in the show. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” took sci-fi/fantasy head on, abandoning the space element most every show had done before and hitting it from a “Twilight Zone”-esque angle, in that it’s weird, supernatural things happening in the real world. In this show’s case, that’d be vampires and demons.

In Season 6, the show unveiled its musical episode, “Once More, with Feeling.” It was Joss’ first attempt at writing music, and I think it went rather well. While most fans dislike anything after Seasons 4 or 5, it’s pretty universally agreed that this episode was extremely good and very well done. It may not be the first musical episode on TV, but it certainly helped popularize the format. Both “Scrubs” and “House, M.D.” have had musical episodes since then, and I’m certain other shows I’m forgetting have done so (like “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, the entire show “Glee”).

The plot of the episode revolves around a demon casting a spell, essentially, over the town, forcing the residents to randomly sing and dance, often revealing secrets through their song. Worse, at a certain point, they end up dancing so much they spontaneously combust and die.

This song takes place after the demon kidnaps Buffy’s little sister Dawn, and she goes to get her back. It’s in one of my favorite formats, the style of everyone singing individually and overlapping one another in their own thematic music, creating amazing melodies and harmonies and I really just like it. It’s probably my favorite song in the episode, though I pretty much love them all.

The reason I’m bringing this up as a post, though, is that Kate Nash recently performed “Once More, with Feeling” at a concert, which reminded me of the episode. I like the episode better, but good on Nash for recognizing good music and being awesome enough to play it.

I think you should watch the show, personally. I’d say watch the episode by itself, but some things might be lost on you. Still mostly followable without background.

“Walk Through the Fire” – “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Buffy
I touch the fire and it freezes me.
I look into it and it’s black.
Why can’t I feel? My skin should crack and peel!
I want the fire back!

Now through the smoke she calls to me,
To make my way across the flame.
To save the day, or maybe melt away.
I guess it’s all the same!

So I will walk through the fire,
‘Cause where else can I turn?
And I will walk through the fire, and let it

Spike
The torch I bear is scorchin’ me,
Buffy’s laughin’ I’ve no doubt.
I hope she fries, I’m free if that bitch dies!
I’d better help her out.

Sweet
‘Cause she is drawn to the fire,
Some people never learn

Spike (with last line)
She will never learn,

Sweet & Spike
And she will walk through the fire and let it

Giles
Will this do a thing to change her?
Am I leaving Dawn in danger?
Is my Slayer too far gone to care?

Xander
What if Buffy can’t defeat it?

Anya
Beady Eyes is right, we’re needed!
Or we could just sit around and glare.

Scoobies
We’ll see it through, it’s what we’re always here to do,
So we will walk though the fire.

Buffy
So one by one, they turn from me,
I guess my friends can’t face the cold.

Tara (Simultaneously)
What can’t we face?

Buffy
But why I froze, not one among them knows,

Tara (Simultaneously)
If we’re together

Buffy
And never can be told.

(All simultaneously)
Anya
She came from the grave much graver.

Sweet
So one by one, they come to me

Spike
First he’ll kill her, then I’ll save her!

Sweet
The distant redness as their guide

Tara
Everything is turning out so dark.

Buffy
Going through the motions…

Sweet
Ain’t what they had in mind

Spike
No I’ll save her, then I’ll kill her!

Willow
I think this line’s mostly filler.

Giles
What’s it going to take to strike a spark?

Buffy
These endless days are finally ending in a blaze!

Sweet
She will come to me.

All
And we are caught in the fire,
The point of no return,
So we will walk through the fire,
And let it burn!
Let it burn!
Let it burn!
Let it burn!

Sweet [Spoken]
Showtime!

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “The Ballad Of Serenity” From “Firefly”

As usual when I post one of these, I actually have a decent amount to say but no time to say it in. I was busy watching “Firefly” with a friend and lost track of time. So here’s a wonderful song from a wonderful show, killed far too early. I would write about it, but that would take forever. It’s a great show.

Also, if anyone finds the long version of the song that includes the lyrics I will put under the words “Apparently, there’s a long version and here are the lyrics,” let me know. Because I can’t find it and I want to hear it. Anyway, this is the theme song to the show, a Joss Whedon creation if that helps your decision to watch it. Oh, and the song is sung by Sonny Rhodes. Possibly co-written by him, too? I forget. ANYWAY. Going to bed. Night.

“The Ballad of Serenity” – “Firefly”

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain’t comin’ back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can’t take the sky from me.

There’s no place I can be
Since I’ve found Serenity

And you can’t take the sky from me.

Apparently, there’s a long version and here are the lyrics

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain’t comin’ back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can’t take the sky from me.

Leave the men where they lay
They’ll never see another day
Lost my soul, lost my dream
You can’t take the sky from me.

I feel the black reaching out
I hear its song without a doubt
I still hear and I still see
That you can’t take the sky from me.

Lost my love, lost my land
Lost the last place I could stand
There’s no place I can be
Since I’ve found Serenity

And you can’t take the sky from me.

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So, Why Kill Big Bird, Exactly?

And by “kill Big Bird,” I am of course referring to Mitt Romney’s comments in the presidential debate stating that he would cut federal funding to PBS.

Now, I’ve talked about this before. I’ve made a generally philosophical and cultural plea to continue funding the arts. I could make a plea to education, or a plea to emotions about education…

…but the more I think about trying to convince people to not take federal funds away from PBS and company, the more I realize that I have no idea WHY people want to take those funds away.

“The Daily Show” has a bit discussing the ridiculousness of it all and supplying some reasoning for why people might want to cut it: Propaganda. …which I honestly can’t recall ever seeing on any show on PBS. Seriously. It seems like, more and more lately, the right is wanting to condemn education and facts as propaganda and warp them to fit their own narrative. Intelligent design, make history exclude certain people, et cetera. Which, really, is a frightening prospect. It’s like a war against reality. Considering Mr. “Pack of Lies from Hell” from yesterday’s post, I feel that might be accurate, sadly.

There’s another argument to keep funding PBS going around lately, from the Twitter account of fictional “The West Wing” President Josiah Bartlet. The tweet read: “TLC was founded in 1972 by NASA and the Health Department as an educational channel. It was privatized. Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.#SavePBS”

And that’s a really disturbing thought. I have heard counter-arguments, saying if PBS were defunded, it would pay for thousands of Pell Grants… Which sounds great, until you remember that the guy that wants to defund PBS wants to cut Pell Grants, too.

So, why defund PBS? There are SO MANY OTHER items in the budget that could be dropped, items which would return SO MUCH MORE money. “The Daily Show” has clip after clip after clip of Republicans dismissing the president’s attempts to cut amounts from the budget that are “insignificant” and “too small to matter” before they turn around and support cutting PBS and company, which gets a far lesser amount.

Before I can really form an argument to defend PBS and NPR and the like, defend their spread of education and facts to everyone, people who might not be able to access other methods of education or somesuch, I need to know why this is Romney’s big slash to the budget. As far as I recall, it’s one of the only things he’s flat out said he’d cut from the budget. For everything else, apparently he’ll tell us after he’s elected? I dunno. But he has said, unequivocally, he will cut funding to PBS. I would just like to hear why, exactly.

So, conservatives: Your turn. Tell me why.

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Post Abandoned Due To Geeking Out

And sleep. I kind of just woke up from a three hour nap. My bad.

But when I woke up, I discovered something amazing. Geek and Sundry, the popular nerdy Youtube channel that hosts webseries “The Guild” (Season 6 started today), the previously mentioned Wil Wheaton show “Tabletop,” personal favorite “Written by a Kid,” and other web shows. Including one called “The Story Board,” in which host and author Patrick Rothfuss hosts a live Google+ hangout with sci-fi and fantasy authors dealing with some specific theme or question-of-the-day.

Today, right this second, “The Story Board” is dealing with “Form and Function” and hosts authors Brandon Sanderson, Cherie Priest and, one of my personal favorite authors, Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara series. Who has already said in the hangout, “I write nonfiction about elves.” Wonderful.

The first episode of “The Story Board” dealt with urban fantasy and included another author favorite, Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files series.

And since the first presidential debate is tomorrow, I’m saving up my politinerding juices for that. I’m thinking I’ll do a live blog about it, perhaps. We’ll see.

Anyway, if you like sci-fi/fantasy (pretty much fantasy this go round), you should check out the hangout. That’s where I’ll be. Ciao!

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TV Is Back!

What a strange thing for me to say, right? But with the Emmys yesterday and the upcoming season premiers of so many shows, it seems like the return of television. For example, “How I Met Your Mother” and “Castle” both premiere tonight.

It’s funny, because “White Collar” just took it’s mid-season break. Seriously, television is really weird and amorphous. And getting its start later and later in the year, it seems.

There are several shows I’m excited to have start back up… Like the two I mentioned earlier. And others, like “30 Rock,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Once Upon a Time.” Exciting times.

I also watched the first episode of “Game of Thrones” the other day. I’m sure that once I get into that, it’ll make my list of things I’m excited about the return of. …is it bad if I say one of my favorite parts of the show is actually the theme song? It’s a really awesome theme song.

…I don’t really have much else to say. I’m still fighting off the tail ends of this being sick thing. Yes, I should probably see a doctor. Maybe will do soon. We’ll see. Want to see if the Tylenol and Gatorade works first.

Until then, TV in bed for me.

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The Daily Show’s Best Clip Yet

So, as promised, a post not (completely) about me being sick! Which I still am. I think it’s getting better. Eating my Mexican jambalaya earlier might not have helped things, but pain seems to have abated quite a bit. And it was really tasty. Now I just wish my neck weren’t so sore.

ANYWAY.

As I mentioned Tuesday in my only other not-about-being-sick post, Mitt Romney made a really massive gaffe wherein he basically says anyone that doesn’t pay federal income tax is irresponsible and dependent on the government to function, asking for things like food and healthcare and shelter. I ended up talking more about what I thought was his more-damning-to-his-so-called-experience statement, the immediate flip-flop on him knowing how the markets work. The big takeaway for everyone, however, has been the 47 percent comment. Because that segregates the nation. Bad idea for Romney.

I would love to talk more about the 47 percent comment and the problems I have with a lot of the ideologies behind it, and behind the people supporting it, but for today, I have a better idea.

I’ll let Jon Stewart do it.

In “The Daily Show”s segment “Chaos on Bulls**t Mountain,” Stewart hammers Romney, Romney apologetics (i.e., Fox News) and the Republican, neo-conservative ideologies that give rise to the sort of idea that people on welfare are useless, unworthy wastes of space in America. I would love to expound on this more, really, but that will have to wait for another day.

Honestly, though, that clip is one of Stewart’s best. Ever. President Barack Obama could just play that, add the tag “I approve this message” and get votes, I think. It’s not necessarily the funniest clip, but it’s one of the most powerful and condemning.

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s a really good SNL clip from a special Thursday edition of SNL’s “Weekend Update.” They also target the 47 percent comment, and make fun of “Fox and Friends.” Easy pickings, but still a lot of fun.

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A Whovian Experience

It’s Labor Day weekend. Meaning I don’t have to go into work until Tuesday. …which actually kind of messes me over, since I’m supposed to be going home this weekend and now I can’t leave until Thursday after work if I want to get all of my hours in.

Woe is me.

The benefit of the long weekend, however, is my getting to sit down and get work done! Like reading all the reviews and comments for “Camp Gethsemane” and getting in on the editing process, which needs to be done in November.

Yeah, that’s not even close to what I’ve been doing. I will get back into that starting this weekend, though. I just really need someone to start kicking me in the butt about it. Probably should be myself… I’ll get it done. No worries. Well, lots of worries, I just can’t worry about them.

No, what I have been doing is watching the British TV show “Doctor Who.” You may have heard of the show. It’s the single longest running science fiction show ever. Longest American sci-fi show (and I think second longest ever) is actually “Stargate: SG-1,” which ran for 10 seasons. “Doctor Who” ran from 1963 to 1986, 1987 to 1989, in 1996, and then was booted back up in 2005, running to the present. In total, 35 years, and Wikipedia tells me they’ve run 784 televised installments. Compare that to “Stargate”‘s

Now, because “Doctor Who” has been running so long, it’s gone through tons of changes. The central character, the Doctor, has been portrayed by eleven different actors, in fact. His regenerative abilities allow for the story to make sense with changing actors. Most notable after that, though, is the “reboot” brought about by Russell T. Davies. I say “reboot” because I can’t actually think of a better word. It’s more like a… revival, actually. That’s a much better word. After nearly 10 years in stasis, Davies brought about a revival in 2005, one that got most of the younger generation, especially the younger American generation, hooked.

So, as a nerd, one who’s seen all of “Babylon 5” and “Stargate: SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and oodles more sci-fi TV shows, you’d think I’d be right on top of this one, right?

Well, not really, no.

Here’s how my experience with “Doctor Who” went. I had many several friends very into the show back in its early days of the revival. As in, literally, 2005. I had friends in the U.K. and in America trying to get me to watch the show. So I said, alright. I’ll watch it.

I watched the first two episodes, “Rose” and “The End of the World,” with Christopher Eccleston playing the Ninth Doctor. Aaaaaaaaaaand I really didn’t like them much at all. The writing was poor, as I saw it. There were holes and hokey references, stilted dialogue… it just seemed bad. I gave up on the show, despite my friends screaming “It gets better, we swear!”

Time jump to summer of 2010. I was vacationing with my family for the first time since childhood, staying at our time share resort in Massanutten, Va. We turn on the TV at some point out of boredom and flip through the channels randomly. Suddenly, we land on BBC America, and I’m watching David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor in the last bits of the episode “Silence in the Library,” written by Stephen Moffat of “Sherlock” fame (and, of course, “Doctor Who” fame, taking over for Davies as head writer in 2010).

And then, “Forest of the Dead” came on. After which came “Midnight.” A lot of my friends posit that those three episodes are the best Tennant episodes ever. Whether I agree or not remains to be seen, but they were quite good. I started reconsidering watching the show again.

Zooming to fall of 2011, I still hadn’t picked the show back up. Then my sister showed me a humorous four part “Doctor Who” spoof called “Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death,” which was quite entertaining. So I decided to go to the library and check the DVDs out.

Unfortunately, all of Eccleston was checked out. So I decided to grab the first available season they had: Tennant’s first season, with Rose Tyler as his companion.

And I enjoyed it. I really did. Still, life and lethargy got in the way and I didn’t actually pick the show back up until… this weekend. Well, after being slightly forced a week or two ago by my roommate, who made me watch “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances.” Partly to try and get me to love Eccleston.

Either way, I’m watching the show. I’ve finished with Eccleston, and now I’m a few episodes into Tennant’s second companion Martha Jones. I still like Tennant better than Eccleston, but the writing for Eccleston greatly improved past those first two episodes and handled his character with much greater finesse. And I actually liked Rose. I know many who didn’t, for whatever reason. But I liked her. Donna is almost certainly going to be my favorite, though. “The Runaway Bride” was simply fantastic.

Anyway. I’ve had so many friends incredulous (and nearly crazy-murdery eyed) at my lack of “Doctor Who” immersion. So, just to let them and the world know, I am getting into it. And it is, so far, quite good. And after all, I have to at least get through to the Neil Gaiman written episode. Otherwise my nerd-cred is almost completely obsolete.

So please don’t murder me.

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