Sun, Feb
20
2005

Linkages

Sun, Feb 20, 2005

Quick hits for today. I have two writing deadlines to worry about, and some fiction that needs doing. Mind you, I’m not complaining. This is precisely what I wanted to get myself into by entering into a writing life.

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Let’s start with JimBobby’s website. This new guy has burst onto the scene and marketed himself extremely well. You’ll find his comments here and on Canadian blogosphere sites across the political spectrum.

What does he offer? Well, commentary told wholly in character. In his posts and in his comments, I’ve never seen him slip once. He’s funny in the sort of eyebrow raising way, and he has points to make. Would it be unfair to call him the court jester of the Canadian blogosphere? Able to dance across the left, the right and the centre, making fun of all three, but escaping retribution because of the manner of his delivery? Remember, the court jester of King Lear was the sanist character of the play.

I’d say he was the blogosphere’s reincarnation of Charlie Farquharson, but I’m pretty sure old Chuck isn’t dead yet.


The second link I have for you today is the aptly named Doctor Who Blog. My good friends from the Doctor Who Information Network have gotten together to start a group blog posting thoughts and commentaries about the upcoming revival of the program.

There’s a lot to get excited about on the programming front. The show will likely debut in the UK on Saturday, March 26 at 7 pm local time. Rumours persist that the CBC will start to air its episodes a week afterward. The talent and the budget behind this production are raising a lot of hopes: the producer is the same man behind Queer as Folk, the writer of Coupling pens an episode. The Daleks are returning with a major redesign, and expect Aliens in London.

Everybody deeply involved with this production, from Russell T. Davies on down is a fan of the old show, and also fans of Battlestar Galactica, which has become their goal to strive for.

Good luck guys. The good folks at the Doctor Who Blog and fans everywhere are eager to party.


Speaking of Battlestar Galactica, its latest episode, Litmus, was quite good, but it exposed a weakness in the production.

The storyline, which had an independent commission set up to investigate a serious security breach as well as the public revelation that the Cylons look human, was supposed to mirror the McCarthy commission on unAmerican activities. It was supposed to be a witchhunt. But as witchhunt stories go, Star Trek: TNG’s The Drumhead was superior, and the reason I think was because the progression of honest investigation to vicious witchhunt went too fast to develop naturally from one to the other. We should have seen Adama’s growing disquiet over the depth of the investigation. We should have seen Apollo questioned, at least. Instead, the commission zeros in on the Chief’s indiscretions, and then leaps right for the top.

And that’s the weakness: there is no sense of the passage of time in these episodes, with the exception of 33, which was all about the passage of time. Even in You Can’t Go Home Again, there is no sense that the Battlestar crew have been looking for Starbuck for close to forty-eight hours. While the episode is just so good, it covers up that flaw, had that passage of time been there, it would have better backed up the explanations behind why Adama and Apollo lose perspective.

It takes a lot for human beings to lose control, but what it takes most of all is the passage of time. The events of Litmus occur within a twenty-four hour period. The investigation rises and is shot down remarkably fast.

That said, there was a lot of good stuff here, not the least of which is the atmosphere of “screw you, I’m the military commander and I can launch a coup if I want to” attitude that Adama cops when he brings down the tribunal after it has gone too far. This is another flaw in the episode’s premise — Adama is just too powerful a person, given that his Battlestar is humanity’s only major defence against the Cylons, and the tribunal exists only as long as he allows it — but it sets the stage for considerable conflict between himself and the president of the civilian government in future episodes, if he decides he needs to use that power.

And from that point of view, it’s a very good plotting move.


Random BSG Points

Regarding the Cylon Occupied Caprica scenes with Helo, I’m beginning to guess that what the Cylons are interested in is love. We know that they have emotions and they don’t know what to do with them. The scenes with Helo and Boomer all suggest a test on love, but what caps it is Battlestar Boomer’s reaction to the Chief ending their relationship. She’s ticked, against all reason. Moreso than the human pain of breakup, the Cylon part of her did not want the relationship to end.

And, from two episodes ago, do you think it’s possible that Starbuck is developing minions? After throwing out the new pilot recruits, she develops an interesting teacher-student relationship with Hot Dog, who breaks formation and helps her fight off some Cylon fighters. How do you think that Commander Tigh is going to react?

And speaking of Commander Tigh, I’m beginning to like him. You notice how, when they confronted the Cylon agent and his strapped-on bomb, Adama lunged forward, and Tigh pulled him back? The episode where Tigh’s wife comes back has some worrying signs of soap opera, but the BSG writers have proven before they know how to build depth of character without getting too hokey, so I have confidence in what’s coming up this season.


Man Eats Underwear to Beat Breathalyser Test

Link courtesy the People’s Republic of Seabrook.

Okay.

Shames me to say this, but this guy was Canadian.

The man needs to check out Mythbusters, a Discovery Channel show that uses two old geeks with special effects experience to debunk old myths and urban legends. They thoroughly debunked all the urban legends about what you can take or eat in order to fool a breathalyser test.

Good think they didn’t read this article before they went on air. I can’t think they’d be particularly happy to eat their own underwear.


On This Day

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