Frances de la Doctour



Doctor Who’s creator wanted to regenerate the Time Lord into a Time Lady in the 1980s

I still want this to happen. I want it more than I can express.

Also I want it to be Emma Thompson because I am MADLY IN LOVE WITH HER. But. You know. Whoever’s available (and awesome).


Frances de la Tour

                              would be the best




Look at her on the right of this picture:

With this scarf:

And her companion would be some clueless teenage boy and she’d be constantly exasperated with him and make this face:

And sometimes for a laugh she’d dress up at the Fourth Doctor:

But mostly she’d just save the universe in this very matter-of-fact and slightly off-hand way and people would be amazed and at first she wouldn’t quite understand why because it was all surely just a matter of common sense, but then after a while they’d keep saying ‘You’re awesome’ and she wouldn’t say anything but she’d do this face as if to say, ‘Yes, I suppose I am.’

And she’d be right.

(Can you tell I’ve given this some thought before?)

I just heard on the radio that de la Tour was actually considered for the part of the seventh Doctor and now I feel vindicated but also deeply bereft.  :(

(Also another candidate was Elaine Stritch OMG.)


[Images are two stills from TV series The wire, with subtitles.  McNulty is sitting in an office grinning, saying, ‘Pro forma, from the Latin… meaning lawyers jacking each other off’.]

Relevant to at least three of my interests.

(Source: artofthewire, via novazembla)


frankenstein’s monster just lifted up and threw down a dalek

why hasn’t that happened in the reboot series

martha totally could have kicked one over onto its side

This is kind of the problem with the Daleks, though, isn’t it?  They just aren’t very inherently threatening.  They’re made of metal and they have guns and they want to kill you.  That’s it. You can still blow them up or hit them with things or push them off cliffs or whatever.  Or at least run away from them, because they move really slowly.

I get why the Doctor finds them especially scary: he knows that there are zillions of them and they’ll never stop, and most of all it’s impossible to sympathize with them, which is his main way of dealing with everything and everyone (except his companions).  But the actual nature of their scariness isn’t well suited to the way Doctor Who works as a television programme.

Individually, they aren’t a threat that the viewer can take seriously.  In a massed attack they’re a serious threat but also unstoppable.  To be a convincing threat that the Doctor can still ultimately defeat, there has to be an imminent danger that they will attack in overwhelming numbers, but that attack has to be contingent on some sort of complicated plan that the Doctor and his companion(s) can personally thwart.

And there’s no problem with that in itself: obviously writers can and do come up with such scenarios.  The problem is that there’s no reason why the aliens in those scenarios should be Daleks.  Any plot that goes ‘quickly we must do XYZ or else a huge unstoppable army of Daleks will attack’ would work equally well if you replaced the Daleks with any other aliens, because there is nothing that an army of oversized salt-shakers with guns can do that an army of Cybermen, Sontarans, Judoon, Sycorax, Ice Warriors, or even Adipose couldn’t do.  And, unlike the Daleks, they would probably do it in a more interesting way than ‘trundle towards you while shooting’ and for a more interesting purpose than ‘we are evil and want to kill everything’.

I sort of wish they’d just forget about the Daleks for at least a few series.  New Who has had some great monsters of the week but it’s been pretty lousy on creating good re-usable alien cultures, especially threatening ones.  Moffat tried to re-use the Weeping Angels and it just made them rubbish.  I suppose the Silence could work if they were brought back at some point, but their shtick is so unusual and specific that they aren’t eminently re-usable.  But otherwise, it’s been, what the Judoon?  And… I actually can’t think of any others.  Someone needs to get working on that.

Then we can stop bringing the Daleks back, and after a few years someone can ask the Doctor what happened to them and he can say ‘Oh, they’re all gone now, Martha kicked them into a big hole’.

(Source: theghostofyouditea)

Watch Damages




It’s as good as the Wire. Oh what, you don’t take it as seriously cos the main characters are both strong women? WELL FUCK YOU THEN IMAGINARY DUDE! 


I really enjoyed season one but then season two annoyed me because the plot was a mess (behold my grumbles on that point, if you wish).  I think I tried a bit of season three but gave up.  Is it still running?  Has it got better again?

I think season 4 was amazing, I detect a slight drop in budget. But John Goodman is in it and he’s good value for money, obv. I mean he steals every scene he’s in. In a good way. 

BUT I agree about season 2, I’ve mixed up season 2 and 3 in my head now… But season 4 is back to sticking to the single flash forward scene. Which is a lot more interesting, I agree, putting emphasis on one single moment in the future that can be interpreted different ways. 

John Goodman!  I must try to watch that.  I’m glad it’s back to being good.  Thanks for the tip!

Watch Damages


It’s as good as the Wire. Oh what, you don’t take it as seriously cos the main characters are both strong women? WELL FUCK YOU THEN IMAGINARY DUDE! 


I really enjoyed season one but then season two annoyed me because the plot was a mess (behold my grumbles on that point, if you wish).  I think I tried a bit of season three but gave up.  Is it still running?  Has it got better again?

'The bridge'

Today I finished watching The bridge, a Swedish-Danish crime drama.  I thought it was really good and would be inclined to recommend it to people who like that sort of thing and don’t mind it when that sort of thing consists almost entirely of white people.

Before going around whole-heartedly recommending it to people, though, I’d like to find out what reactions it’s had from autistic or otherwise neuroatypical viewers.  One of the two main characters, the Swedish detective Saga Norén, comes across as very probably somewhere on the autistic spectrum, though this is never discussed.  And to me it seemed like quite a positive depiction?  But obviously I’m not familiar with the various ways that portrayals of autism can be harmful.  I’ve had a bit of a google but haven’t found much apart from a brief and positive comment on IMDB by someone ‘with a Autistic spectrum of High-functioning type’ and a thread on WrongPlanet where a user says that the character ‘has Aspergers’ and there’s discussion of how plausible the programme was.

Does anyone know of any reviews or discussions of this series by writers with autism?

eateroftrees replied to your post: Buffythoughts

I think I agree with most everything here. (also its worth noting the abruptly switching metaphors from “magic = lesbian sex” to “magic = hard drugs” has some fairly fucked up implications)

Oh dear, yes, I didn’t think of that but now you mention it… oh dear.


So during April when I moved house twice and was without internet a lot of the time, one of the things I did was finish watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I’d basically never watched apart from a little bit of season one and very brief glimpses of seasons 5 and 6 when it was originally broadcast.

I liked it.  And for my thoughts beyond that, spoiler warning for basically the whole seven seasons.  Also I guess trigger warnings for mentions of blood, death, attempted rape, drug-addiction.

It took me a weirdly long time to start really liking Buffy herself.  I never disliked her, I was just a bit indifferent and was more interested in the supporting cast (liked Willow and Giles, found Xander annoying as a human being but fairly watchable as a character, enjoyed Cordelia, thought Angel was dull as dishwater — the usual thing).  I can’t remember quite when I started really liking Buffy but I think it was late season three or early season four; and I’m not sure why, except that she seemed to become more real and started reminding me of real people I know and like.  Which meant she changed in my mind from a sort of cartoon superhero into an admirable and likeable human being.

So seasons four and five were pretty good for me.  No more Angel (yaaaaaaawn)!  Interesting new setting!  Anya!  Tara!  Willow coming into her own!  Xander showing signs of being someone you might actually want to talk to occasionally!  Dawn!  Good times.

The whole Initiative storyline was kind of uninspiring, and Riley was annoying (especially after the reveal that he was a vampire-hunter guy and not just a fairly ordinary guy).  I’d go along with everything Garland says about Riley, but his annoyingness didn’t diminish my enjoyment of seasons four and five because I felt like the series supported me in disliking Riley, or at least gave me space to not like him — unlike Angel, who was clearly meant to be awesome and whose profound boringness was therefore a real problem for me in the first three seasons.  But the fact that I thought the show was okay with me disliking Riley meant I got an unpleasant surprise when it was framed as a Terrible Mistake for Buffy to ditch him.

I also had a lot of trouble with Spike.  James Marsters played him brilliantly (accent aside), so it’s understandable that the writers couldn’t bring themselves to get rid of the character, but for my money they made all the wrong decisions with him — starting with the microchip and ending never.  He didn’t work as comic relief and he didn’t work as tragic romantic interest (because between the fundamentally evil and the sexbot and the attempted rape how could you have any reaction to that angle except ‘ew no’?) and, most of all, I was immensely irritated by the way the writers handled the ‘no soul’ issue. Having established a very clear bit of canon in the first few seasons that vampires are evil evil eeeevilll except for Angel when and only when he has a soul, they then made Spike far too sympathetic, drew attention to how not-evil he was by having him go round insisting he was evil, and only dealt with the soul problem way too late by giving him his soul, which made absolutely no difference and only further underlined that they’d been writing him as if he had one already.

And speaking of illogical character-writing, what on earth was going on with Giles’ back-story?  He was such a great character but his back-story made absolutely no sense.  I don’t believe anybody who was the kind of teenager we see in Band candy could get to middle age and be as nervous and hesitant about courting Jenny Calendar as Buffy-era Giles is.  And I don’t believe the writers had any clear idea what his much-hinted ‘dark past’ actually consisted of or how it had formed his character: it all just seemed to have been thrown in to give a vague impression of additionally complexity that really wasn’t needed.  And the same could be said of Olivia, who, like most of the characters of colour in this whole very white series, seemed to be of no inherent interest to the writers but was just there to inform our view of a white character and / or to get killed.

Since I’ve started ranting, I might as well carry on.  Willow’s magic-addiction thing really annoyed me for two reasons.  First, drug-addiction is just way over-used in TV drama in general, both in literal depictions and in lazy copyings where you insert something like ‘magic’ in place of ‘drugs’ but leave everything else the same; and although I have no first-hand or second-hand experience of drug-addiction I get the strong impression that very few people who write this kind of thing are any better informed than I am.  And the second thing is internal inconsistency again: over the first few seasons the issue of not abusing magic came up from time to time and it was always pretty clear that the reasons you shouldn’t do it were to do with cosmic balance and other mystical stuff, all amounting to ‘terrible things will happen to the fabric of reality’.  Nobody ever said that it messes up the person who does it or that it’s physiologically addictive.  And yet when it finally happens, it messes up Willow plenty but there’s very little sign of anything bad happening to cosmic balance or the fabric of reality.  (Of course bad stuff does happen, but that’s because Willow does bad stuff, which is different.  That isn’t ‘don’t abuse magic or there will be unintended consequences’, it’s just ‘don’t use magic to do bad things’.)

But mostly what got me down about the last couple of seasons was this project of making all the main characters as miserable and disheartened and self-doubting as possible.  I feel like there’s probably some kind of proper reason why that sort of thing is bad writing and even bad politics but frankly I just found it really sad and upsetting and unnecessary.  If they’d got rid of the Willow-the-junkie storyline — which was really the only thing left unresolved at the end of season five — they could have wrapped the whole thing up with season five and spared me a couple of weeks of increasing despondency.  I’m tempted to say it would have been ideal, except that the actual ending of season five made no sense.  (How can ‘Summers blood’ possibly be the thing that opens and closes the portal?  Before the key became embodied as Dawn, it didn’t have any blood, yet it would still presumably have opened the portal.  Okay, but Dawn’s blood is still part of Dawn, who is the key, so that still works, right?  Except no, because in that case Buffy, who is definitely not in any way made of the energy that makes up the key, wouldn’t be an adequate substitute.  She can only be swapped for Dawn because Dawn’s blood is the same as her blood, i.e. Dawn’s blood is made of organic material from the Summers family, not from key energy.  In which case it shouldn’t be able to open the portal, and Buffy’s shouldn’t be able to close it.  And that’s before we even engage with the fact that Buffy didn’t appear to actually shed any blood while inside the portal.  Gaaaah.)

I think really a lot of the trouble I had with the last couple of seasons is the way you could increasingly tell that things were happening because the writers were trying to achieve something, and not because they were things the characters would actually do or things that made any sense in themselves.  Yes Xander’s always been kind of a jerk but even so his running out on Anya was seriously under-explained, both at the time and afterwards: it was transparently done because the writers were afraid that a happily married Anya & Xander would make boring television or something.  And Tara — I’ve gone back and forth on whether what was done to Tara was fridging.  Sometimes I think not, because the classic fridge is the killing of a female character who’s close to a male lead character in order to give that male character motivation, and Willow isn’t a male character, so it lacks that misogynistic element; on the other hand it’s still a female character being treated as disposable, so maybe it is.  I don’t know.  But I think what really bothers me about it isn’t any kind of social justice angle but just the treatment of the character as disposable in the first place.

I think as audiences we get used to, and get quite good at, working out whether a character is being presented to us as someone we should care about or as someone who just advances the plot.  And when a character we’ve been asked to care about, and have agreed to care about, is subsequently disposed of purely to advance the plot, it’s offensive.  When real human beings are exploited or treated as tools whose only value is instrumental, it denies their inherent value as people and that offends our sense of justice.  Obviously when it happens to a fictional character it isn’t the same thing, but I think it offends in a similar way if that character has been one of the core characters whom we care about for their own sake and not just because of the role they play in the larger drama.  I think it’s also a counter-productive thing for a writer to do because it reminds the audience of the artifice of the whole exercise: we know we’re watching fiction, but you’ve invited us to make the imaginative effort of thinking of this particular character, unlike many of the ones we see in a given episode, as an actual person.  If you then do something that transparently reduces that character to a narrative device, you remind us that it’s all fake and that actually none of the characters are real people, which seriously imperils our ability to keep believing in or caring about anything that’s happening.  If Tara had been killed for reasons that served Tara’s own storyline and therefore respected her integrity as a character rather than just a role, it would have been sad but not offensive.  If Tara had been killed because sometimes bad things just randomly happen in this fictional world, that again would have been okay.  If Tara had been when she was still just a character who seemed quite nice and who was important to Willow but who wasn’t really important to the audience, that would have been fine because audiences accept that sometimes characters are just devices.  (Compare the death of Joyce: she was a very long-running character but it was always clear that she had no real existence or purpose except as part of Buffy’s emotional landscape, so killing her in order to traumatize Buffy didn’t offend in the same way.)  But killing Tara purely to trigger a development in Willow’s storyline was, I think, neither fair to the audience nor a good piece of writing.

So yes, I had problems with seasons six and seven.  I’m not qualified to pronounce on whether something is feminist or not but given Whedon’s proclamations about how he wanted Buffy to be a strong role-model and a subversion of the ‘girl as victim’ trope I do feel vaguely unnerved by the zeal and thoroughness with which he destroyed her life and her self-confidence and made her spend most of those last seasons in a very victimish place.  Oh, and I forgot to mention another bit of internal inconsistency that irritated me: why no new slayer after Buffy’s second death?  I’ve thought of various explanations and I’m not satisfied with any of them.  It’s just another example of the writing team ignoring established rules and likelihoods to make sure the plot does what they want it to do.  But yes, problems with six and seven.  There were good things too: I liked the idea of the proto-Slayers (though it would have been nice if any of them except Kennedy and Rona could act, or indeed do whatever accents they were meant to be doing); I liked Robin; I liked the thing of the First appearing as dead people.  I’m glad I watched until the bitter end.

And now I can enjoy Buffy Outfits without fear of spoilers.  Yay!

So last night I went to a little Half-Price Chocolate Day (15 February) party hosted by a very nice friend of mine who has very nice friends.  There was chocolate (although it’s bizarre how hard it was to actually find discounted Valentine’s chocolate — it had just all vanished, and meanwhile there was a baffling quantity of half-price *Easter* chocolate, which does not compute at all) and there was pizza and the conversation was mostly about ancient Greek and pandas.  Then we watched the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion, which was entertaining.  Most of the time I was a bit ‘Wentworth just spends all his time bitching and sulking and being passive-aggressive, why on earth would Anne want to marry him?’ but then occasionally he appeared wearing this absolutely gorgeous blue waistcoat and at those times I whole-heartedly shipped it.  (I also shipped Sir Walter / Mr Elliot, but nobody was with me there so I gave up and shipped Sir Walter / a nice cup of Gold Blend for old times’ sake.)

Tomorrow off for a nice weekend away with lovely Pear who is lovely.  <3


As bits of publicity material / leaks about series four of Being human have been becoming more frequent over the last few months, I’ve developed the habit of just scrolling away / turning off the sound on the TV / running away with my hands over my ears every time I’ve seen anything that might possible contain spoilers.

As a result I have singularly failed to notice that the series actually started yesterday.

I feel a bit silly now.

But the up-side is that there’s new Being human!  I can watch it tonight on the iplayer!  Yaaaaaay!

Dr. King, Nichelle Nichols, and Dr. Mae Jemison

Summary: an article about Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the original Star Trek, and Mae Jemison, first black woman in space.



Curator’s note: this post didn’t make it into today’s lineup at the main blog—I wrote this way late last night/early this morning—but I wanted to share it because it does speak to the power of seeing one’s image in pop culture. It’s also one of my favorite stories about Dr. King. ~~Andrea (AJ) Plaid

[Image: a grayscale photo of Nichelle Nichols, the black actress who played Uhura on Star Trek, at NASA mission control surrounded by black people.]

In honor of Dr. King’s birthday and the US government choosing Dr. Jemison to lead a multigenerational mission to the nearest galaxy this past week, let’s look at the woman who connects these two historic people: actor and advocate Nichelle Nichols, who also made history.

From the Wall Street Journal blog:

I understand that the Uhura character didn’t even exist before you were hired.

I walked in to the interview with this magnificent treatise on Africa by [Robert] Ruark called Uhuru, which is Swahili for Freedom. Gene said he really liked the name of that book and wanted to use the title as a first name. I said, why don’t you do an alliteration of the name Uhuru and soften the N and make it Uhura? He said you are Uhura and that belongs to you.

How much input did you have in creating Uhura?

I created my background, where she came from, my parents. They were ambassadors and one was a scientist, so I had this to live up to as well as the expectations of Spock. I made him Uhura’s mentor.

It sounds like you put a lot of thought into the part. Why did you want to quit after the first season?

After the first year, Grace Lee Whitney was let go so it became Bill and Leonard. The rest of us became supporting characters. I decided to leave the show after the first season.

What convinced you to stay on?

I was at a fundraiser and the promoter of the event said there’s somebody that wants to meet you. He is your biggest fan. I stood up and turned to see the beatific face of Dr. Martin Luther King walking towards me with a sparkle in his eye. He took my hand and thanked me for meeting him. He then said I am your greatest fan. All I remember is my mouth opening and shutting.

What was that like?

I thanked him so much and told him how I’d miss it all. He asked what I was talking about, and told me that I can’t leave the show. We talked a long time about what it all meant and what images on television tell us about ourselves.

Did you know then how much of a role model you’d become?

Oh, god, no. I thought of it as a stepping stone to Broadway. I went back to Gene and told him what had happened, and that I was staying. He smiled up at me and said, thank god for Dr. Martin Luther King.

Did the experience change how you played Uhura?

Nichols: It’s one of the most important things that happened in my life and it changed and defined my career. I took my role much more seriously after that.

Because of this conversation and because Nichols took King’s advice, she inspired generations of people—especially young Black girls—to imagine themselves in space. One of those people is former NASA astronaut  Dr. Mae Jemison, who is a longtime friend of Nichols.

[Image: a photo of Nichelle Nichols and Mae Jemison.]

From Dr. Jemison’s alumni publication:

“Images show us possibilities,” the Stanford graduate says. “A lot of times, it’s fantasy that gets us through reality.”

A quarter of a century after Lt. Uhura boldly went where no African American had gone before, her protegee returned the favor. Before blasting into orbit aboard the Endeavour in 1992, Jemison, the first woman of color in space, called actress Nichelle Nichols to thank her for the inspiration. And then she made a promise:

Despite NASA’s rigid protocol, Jemison would begin each shift with a salute that only a Trekkie could appreciate. “Hailing frequencies open,” she could be heard repeating throughout the eight-day mission.

Jemison also paid the favor forward: she appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to Slice of SciFi, Jemison has “the distinction of being the first real astronaut to appear in a Star Trek series.” She also co-founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which sponsors a international science camp and, according to the wiki about her, appeared at a “forum for promising girls” in Washington, DC, with FLOTUS Michelle Obama in 2009.

Just something to think about on this holiday.

Photo credits: Star Talk Radio and Collect Space

I adore both these women.


“The parents’ plotline is my favorite part of teen melodrama.”
— no one
(via supcakes)

My so called life anyone?

(via yeahgrrrl)

Joan of Arcadia anyone?

I really liked the way My so-called life used Angela’s parents to resolve the problem the writers were stuck with when it got cancelled.  [Spoilers.]  They’d obviously wanted to set Angela up with Jordan and then play that out over another season or two and eventually she’d grow out of him and meanwhile Brian would get less self-righteous and stuff and they’d get together.  When they didn’t have time to do that, they could have just chucked her and Brian together, but it would have been too early and wouldn’t have worked.

So they let Angela choose Jordan and ride off on his bike, because he was the right choice for her at that point.  They didn’t reward Brian’s Nice Guy tendencies.  But at the same time over the last few episodes they filled in the parents’ back-story — her mum having to make the same sort of choice, going with the hunk, eventually ending up with the geek — to show how it could play out over the long run that we aren’t going to see.  That was well played.

I haven’t seen Joan of Arcadia — would you recommend it?

Tag, you’re it! Here are the rules: Each tagged person must post ten things about themselves. You have to choose and tag ten people. Go to their blogs and tell them you tagged them. No tag back. :)

Summary: a meme where I say ten things about myself.  Press J to skip down (or K to skip up).

· • ·

I’m actually not tagging anyone because, after subtracting Alex and the people Alex already tagged, I haven’t actually got ten tumblfriends who do memes!  But, er, if you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged.  :)

Okay, ten things about me.  Hmm.

  1. I picked up the complete Buffy DVDs in the sales and I’m part of the way through the first season.  I’ve actually never watched it properly, in the right order and stuff.  I watched some episodes from later seasons when they were on television the first time round, but not enough to really know what was going on.  So yay, catching up with late-1990s pop culture at last!  After this I might even read some Harry Potter books or something.
  2. (Speaking of Buffy, you know the Moloch episode?  You know the bit where Moloch brings up Buffy’s student record on the screen, and then sends it to the kid who’s in his thrall and says ‘watch her’?  Is there a theory about why when it comes up on the first screen it says she’s a sophomore and her date of birth is in October 1980, and then when it comes up on the kid’s screen it says she’s a senior born in 1979?  Or is it just an inexplicable continuity error?)
  3. (I’m not counting number 2 as a thing about me, by the way, I just wanted to start a new paragraph and I’m in list-format so it has to have a number.  So don’t count number 2.  Or, er, number 3.)
  4. (So just to be clear, the next one should be counted as number 2, and then you go on counting from there.  This one doesn’t count either.  So here comes number 2…)
  5. My breathing is still kinda wonky sometimes.  Long-term followers may remember that when I moved into my current flat I thought I was allergic to my bedroom because I was having trouble breathing at night.  And then I realized it might be my nice new duvet, and it was.  It’s definitely a lot better since then, with my even newer hypoallergenic duvet, but still sometimes if there’s a lot of dust or if it rains overnight or for no discernible reason I’ll have a few nights when I cough a lot and have to prop myself up on a big pile of pillows to sleep.  Pear keeps telling me I should see a doctor, which is correct and I’ll try to do that soon.
  6. Pear is lovely and takes care of me and I love them.
  7. There are so many people I wish I had time to follow on Tumblr because I keep catching glimpses of them being awesome all over the place.  I can’t even remember who they all are, but if you follow me and are awesome and I don’t follow you then you’re probably one of them.
  8. I like my eyebrows.  They’re good eyebrows.  I wish I had slightly better motor-control over them, for irony / comedy purposes.
  9. Pear says I should mention that I speak Latin, because some of you who are new may not know this.  So that’s a thing.  I haven’t really done it for a while because my main Latin-speaking occasion is the London Latin Circle, which meets on Thursday evenings, and Revels also rehearses on Thursday (and Tuesday) evenings from October to mid-December.  But I’ll go to the next session, next week, and hopefully I won’t find I’ve forgotten how to say anything.
  10. (Remember, this isn’t actually number 10, this is number 7, because 2-4 don’t count.  Er, also this one doesn’t count, so it isn’t number 7.  Number 7 is the next one.  Yes.)
  11. Pear also says I should say that I have hetasomethingsomethingchromia.  Which is apparently the fancy name for the fact that the colour of the outer edges of my irises (irides?) is different from the colour near the pupils.  Or something.  I don’t know, you might need to ask Pear about that one.
  12. And I only wear blue, black, white, and grey.  I don’t really remember why, it’s just become a thing.  It makes matching clothes easier, which is useful because my sense of colour is not that great.  I mean I can tell the difference between colours — I think I’m probably fairly average at that, not especially bad — but I haven’t got great instincts about what colours don’t go well together.  Of course not all shades of blue or black or grey go together but the odds are better.
  13. I nearly collided with the Secretary of State a couple of days ago.  I was going down in the lift and reading Through the looking-glass, and the lift stopped so I just sort of assumed it had reached the floor I wanted to get off at and I started going out of the lift, and he was looking at his phone and started trying to come into the lift.  But we noticed each other in time and didn’t crash, which is good because that would probably have been treason or something.  He was quite apologetic about it, even though it was at least half my fault.  He looks better in person than he does on television.
  14. (So, I’m sure you’re already totally on top of it by now, and I don’t want to be annoying, but just in case you’ve lost track, this next one is going to be number 10, which is the last one.  Okay, so, yes, good.)
  15. I had a great-aunt whom I always called Aunt Audrey and every single other person in my family called Vera.  I’d always thought it was a bit odd that everyone else kept getting her name wrong, but it was only some time after she died that I thought more carefully about it and realized that it was really a very curious thing.  I asked Dad (her nephew) and he explained that when I was born he asked her whether she would like me to call her Auntie Vera, like he and his sisters did, or Great-Aunt Vera, or something else.  And she revealed, rather to his surprise, that not only did she not really like being called Auntie Vera but she didn’t especially like being called Vera at all.  She much preferred her middle name, Audrey.  But no one had ever asked her what she wanted to be called, and she had never said anything.  So I called her Aunt Audrey.  And now ever since Dad told me that story I try to check with people from time to time that I’m calling them what they want to be called, ‘cause I have this sort of horror of one day finding out that I’ve spent decades calling someone by a name they don’t like.  D:
  16. (That was the last one.  That was ten things.)
  17. (I’m pretty sure it was ten.)
  18. (Yup, I just counted again, that was definitely ten things.  So it’s over now.  That’s it.)
  19. (Bye.)

(Source: snarkilyyours, via alexicography)

Summary:  I butt in on a conversation about the character Shane McCutcheon in the television series The L word.  Spoilers up to about the end of season four.  Press J to skip down or K to skip up.

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step by step by step: silentpunk replied to your post: I think: Bette’s going to cheat with…




[Earlier conversation omitted]

tbh I know that loads of people love Shane but I think people love her for the same reason people love bland male characters, her character is written like a male character, which means all she has to be is not a total douche and be kind of stoic and people will read between the lines, like they only have to hint she felt bad about leaving Carmen at the alter and there was no fallout she just got on with her life. There’s no depth to her character, you get what all the others are feeling and I understand that some people hide their emotions from their friends but how is it that most of her day-to-day feelings are obscured even from the all-seeing viewer?

I think I like her but I’m still waiting for her to blossom, for them to do a proper episode about her and not just her screwing people. I’m guessing, given ALL THE SERIES I’m already watched, that tht’s not going to happen =p I feel almost like she’s written to seem like she has depth to her that you don’t EVER get to know about. I liked it best when her brother was around - at that point it seemed like she was going to have a personality and not be a cliche and then he was taken away, you never see him again, and she goes back to being just the one who sleeps around

Yeah it gets sleazy after that for some reason I feel like she’s some drunk single father that’s had her kids taken away and goes out on the prowl looking for young girls to fuck instead of properly mourning all the things she’s lost.

I really like Shane in the early seasons.  She has the ‘screws like a dude’ thing, which I’m kind of ambivalent about: on the one hand it’s nice to have a prominent female character having lots of casual sex with lots of partners and not being stigmatized for it; on the other hand her lots of casual sex is associated with her androgynous / butch presentation and the tendency of other characters to paint her as masculine, so it doesn’t really challenge the idea that casual sex is part of the masculine domain; then again although it doesn’t challenge that directly, it does indirectly undermine it by making it visible; and then again I dunno really.

But what I like is that, along with that, she’s a really caring character.  She looks after everyone.  A lot of the time she’s the most loving person in that group.  Combining that with the butch presentation and the commitment-averse ‘masculine’ sexuality makes for a really interesting character, as well as some nicely complex gender-politics.  On its own, having a caring and loving female character with a butch presentation would be an interesting challenge to the idea that caring is an inherently feminine thing (because although Shane is a woman she isn’t especially feminine and it’s hard to regard her care-giving as particularly ‘female’ or ‘maternal’), though possibly not a strong challenge (since she is still a woman, which weakens the point in the same sort of way that her masculine presentation weakens the challenge of her sexuality).  But when you have the same character raising both those questions at the same time — being caring and nurturing while butch, being sexual and unromantic while female — that gets really interesting for me.

As well as the immediate gender-politics of the combination, it brings up some nice stuff about love and sex and friendship and family.  The way Shane is loving to her friends and puts so much energy into making that group into a family, while being completely uninterested in romance, questions the assumption that love belongs primarily in biological families created and perpetuated by heterosexual reproductive sex (in contrast to Bette and Tina’s family-making, which tries to follow a more ‘traditional’ heteronormative model and faces different challenges).  I think that’s one of the reasons the plot with her brother works nicely and brings her appealing qualities out.

Frustratingly the series ends up rather slut-shaming Shane after all: not by condemning her casual sex in itself, but by increasingly depicting it as unambiguously destructive.  You can try to read it as a critique of the pressure on her to have a monogamous romantic relationship, but I think it ended up just being unambiguously about depicting Shane as some kind of walking disaster.  I think you’re completely right that the series failed to examine her emotions, especially when things get difficult.  On paper I could believe that she’d panic and run out on Carmen, but we needed to see her making that decision and, like you said, grieving over it, because nobody can tell me that someone who cares that much about people is not going to feel gutted for a long time about hurting someone like that.  And after that it just got more ridiculous — as my flatmate puts it, it’s like Shane just gets a personality reboot between each season and the next.  It’s a real shame.

(Source: fluffyfemme)