The 6th Doctor has an abysmal reputation in Doctor Who fandom. It’s not undeserved; while Colin Baker was a talented actor who deeply loved the series, there’s only so much he could do with writing and production that turns the whole thing into really bad cyberpunk. He’s my least favorite Doctor, although even that comes with qualifiers. He is much better on the Audio Adventures (where’s he’s less abusive bully than admirable-yet-pompous windbag) and from what I hear, he is just about as friendly and gracious as you can imagine when meeting his fans. But for me, that doesn’t change the fact that mid-80s Doctor Who is a near-total wipeout. I enjoyed The Ultimate Foe but found the rest of Trial of a Time Lord to be mediocre at best, and as for Timelash and The Twin Dilemma…ugh. Just don’t even go there. Doctor Who is a pretty trippy show by nature, so when it doesn’t work, it’s like a bad acid trip (or so I’ve heard).
Because the Game of Thrones finale just aired, I feel the need to talk about it just a little. This show is a bona fide pop cultural phenomenon, so even if you don’t watch it, you must surely hear or read about it if you spend any time on the internet or interacting with people. The show’s gender politics have come under fire, not just for the blatant imbalance of male and female nudity (seriously, can we get a fucking Gendry sex scene up in this bitch?), but for the way that it skews towards making women look like lying whores. From taking an icky-but-consensual sex scene and turning it into a rape scene to giving Shae an arc that goes from love interest and confidant to vengeful shrew, it feels like the showrunners aren’t always completely aware of what they’re doing. (Skip to the next paragraph to avoid spoilers.) Seriously, why did Tyrion have to kill Shae? I had somehow forgotten that scene was in the book until now. I don’t know what it says about me, maybe just that so much happens in A Storm of Swords that I could forget even a major event like that. Either way, I feel like Shae deserved better. Yes, she was stupid to believe the Lannisters would let her go for testifying against Tyrion, but come on, why not have her escape somehow? It was still a beautifully directed sequence. Maybe now the actress will go back to doing porn.
It’s never effective to try to wall off aspects of your personality from the rest of it. I’m trying to spend less time on Facebook, but I feel it might be useful to try to check my email and the traffic on this blog a little less frequently while I’m at it. Sometimes it can work to say that somebody’s a great person so long as you don’t discuss politics with them. But I think it’s a better idea to talk politics with your friends, even if you don’t share them. You can’t separate that from who they are, at least not entirely. So I try to reconcile who they are with what they believe.
My problem these days is that I have to motivate myself. My parents are giving me zero encouragement. They say they want to support me, but somehow, that doesn’t seem to amount to anything other than trying to subtly encourage me to do shit I don’t want to do. If I tell my mother that I’m looking for a second job, she’ll suggest that I contact some of the environmental organizations in the area and ask if they’re hiring. Um…when the fuck did I say that I wanted to do environmental work? Oh, I know what she’ll say if I point that out to her—namely, that I shouldn’t give up on my dream so quickly. Thing is, I never said that working at some environmental organization was my dream. A few years ago, my dream was to get a Masters degree in something related to environmentalism. Well, I’ve done that now, but I never said that I wanted it to be my life’s work, or that I was going to get into it immediately after graduating. Essentially, the problem is that she steers the conversation. I have to say that I’m going to work for the NRDC or Environment California or it means I’m abandoning my dream. Fuck the shit right out of this shit.
Lots of people worry that they’re turning into their parents. I don’t have that fear anymore. If their goal was to kill that fear, mission accomplished. Because I don’t think I’ll ever turn out like this. I wrote a post a few years ago called “My Parents Bore Me” and didn’t realize until after I’d published it that the title was a pun (get it?). If you think I’m saying that everyone has to walk on the moon or build a better mousetrap in order to be interesting, please. “Interesting” is a highly subjective word. But the fact remains that I don’t want the life that my parents have.
I sometimes wonder if Netflix shows are designed with binge-watching in mind. The days of appointment television are mostly behind us now. These days, people catch up on DVR or streaming sites. I do know some people who have Game of Thrones viewing parties, though, so maybe that’s not entirely true. It’s an incredibly addictive series, yet I didn’t mind waiting a week between episodes for the last season. (Maybe that’s because I read the book. I don’t know. What I do know is that I just watched the first episode of Orange Is the New Black and am fighting to urge to just binge the whole thing right now. Would the show be as successful if people had to wait a week between episodes? Maybe not.)
There is a blog I used to read that stopped updating a year and a half ago. I didn’t like the blogger all that much; he tended to vacillate between bloviating about his brilliance and bouts of miserable insecurity (totally different from me, of course). What I find odd is that his sign-off post (if indeed he never intends to resume blogging) was basically just a bunch of rambling about how difficult his home and family life had become. A few posts previous, he had been gushing about his fiancé and how he felt like the luckiest man in the world. (To be fair, his family background sounded like a real nightmare. An abusive father and a crazy Christian mother? Damn.) Either way, I don’t feel very sorry for him. We all have our ups and downs, but if you’re going to act like your whole life is wonderful one minute, acknowledge that it might not be so the next. It’s just common decency. I feel some low points coming up. I hope I have the strength to pull through.