Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life Ain't Bad

One of the things that concerns nutters most about the state of popular culture today is what some nutbags refer to as the 'soap virus'. This might be defined concisely as some kind of contagious yeast infection spread by Pears soap, but others call it the sudden imposition of intense emotionalism and relationship content on an established genre based concept that previously relied on story, ideas and character to please its audience.

Cor, there are some loonies out there, aren't there?

Yes, there are maladjusted individuals who lie awake at night thinking that cultural icons are being sold out to make a buck. Apparently, corporations see things as franchises and a licence to print money (which, in this growing age of electronic funds transfer, must be short-sighted) and this has never happened before ever in the history of anything. Personally, once Coca Cola can buy the image of an anthropomorphic personification of selfless charity and turn green-clad Saint Nicholas into red-and-white Santa Claus, that kind of set the tone for human civilization ever since. But, these gibbering octopii of insanity believe with every rabid spittle that Doctor Who was the first victim; Star Trek is the latest.

Well, that shows priority, doesn't it. Next time you think about atrocities being committed in the world, chemical weapons being used in clear contravention of everything we hold dear, where a basically tolerant society can become a sickening mysoginistic powerplay as soon as some ranger Welsh bird becomes Prime Minister, and 97% of scientists are convinced mankind has well and truly fucked the environment remember:

None of that matters.

What matters is some twitching reactionary dressed as a smurf somewhere can't fit a Matt Smith episode of Doctor Who into his narrow definition of "science fiction" or his even narrower definition of "fantasy". And anyone who believes otherwise are not literate enough to read Mills and Boon because, as we all know, that is high-quality writing that puts anything from Arthur C Clarke into the shade. I myself can only fantasize that one day my magnum opus The Turkish Shiek's Gynaecologist's Christmas With Identical Twin Mistresses Getting Pregnant In Mob-Run San Francisco will impress my better-read bloggers.

Yes, where was I? Right. So, not only is soap opera bad - because, of course, an entire genre of material is defined by its most awful use; this is why fan-fiction is universally despised because Ron Mallet once wrote Mission to Mondas - but everyone who somehow appreciate the idea of long-running series that feature domestic emotional situations should have been strangled at birth with cheese wire. Now, for these sub-human loser freaks, NuWho is high concept. That's the Soap Virus: if you like modern TV, you are a non-functional retard who need crashhelmets to go to the bathroom.

"Would you," ask the enlightened ones, "rather see a beloved relative dead and at peace or reanimated as a stinking cavader?"

Um... maybe.

That is, it must be said, a hugely-unlikely scenario. It does rather depend ont he concoming zombie apocalypse occuring precisely on my say-so, for a start. But, hey, a beloved relative is a beloved relative. I can look past the odd smell or rotting fingernail. Indeed, I'm rather insulted I would be so superficial, especially as the reanimated cadaver is not trying to kill me, eat my brains or summon Ashgotoroth the Liquid Time Beast from the Lighthouse of A Thousand Screaming Souls.

Yet, it seems that it is entirely rational to compare the Welsh revival of Doctor Who with voodoo magic and/or rage-infected monkey virus. This, ergo, must also be the Soap Virus: the black magic contagion that will cause shows to become popular and successful and gain lots of fans. Sickening thought, eh?

It would be better for the show to be "dead and at peace" with lots of books and audios, which, to follow the metaphor must involve the body being regularly dug up, samples taken to labs by over-obsessed relatives in an attempt to pervert the course of nature and BECOME THE PUNT-POLE IN THE GONDOLA OF LIIIIIIIFFFEEE!!!!

Sorry. Thought I was Terry Molloy for a moment there.

The enlightened ones call NuWho "Whoenders" because... um... er... well, presumably because they want to insult NuWho by drawing attention to its infection by the Soap Virus. They probably also enjoy touring hospices screaming "HAHAHAHA! YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIEEEEE!!!" because it has the same subtle satisfaction and exercises their superb powers of observation. They also are adamant that, and I quote, "there is nothing in the water today that would prevent a properly thought out series from being successful".

So, from this we can conclude the following.

1) The Soap Virus is NOT a waterborne infection, and cannot be incubated in hydrogen molecules.
2) The subhuman filth who dare experience enjoyment for soaps do not watch the BSG remake

Ergo, BSE fans are very wet and hate soap.

Now here the mild-mannered enlightened ones start to lose track of the metaphor completely as they state that DW and ST were "enjoying a slumber". This suggests that they have mistakenly declared many beloved relatives dead when they were just sleeping in, and assumed they were zombies upon waking up. One can only begin to speculate how many members of their own families the enlightened ones have mistaken for reanimated cadavers and decapitated in rage like Tim on speed and twiglets in Spaced.

The enlightened ones state that ST had "a magnificent record (minus perhaps Voyager which only suffered the crime of being derivative)" and deserved a rest because "a magnificent legacy that shines like a metaphorical beacon of hope from the 20th century as we all know Trek was really a utopian vision and the enterprise was a symbol of a unified mother Earth".

Can abstract concepts deserve rest, let alone be turned into zombies?

Here I learned the shocking truth: a being of unimaginable evil known only as "J.J. Abrhams" seized control of the ST mythology from the puny, spiteful Rodenberry and then "flushed it all away to make a quick buck". How exactly this "Abrhams" bloke made a fast buck by flushing a toilet I am uncertain but, given we know that the Soap Virus cannot be cultivated in liquid water, I assume he was ensuring the toilets were sterile.

Of course, Star Trek 2009's distinctive reboot of time and space leaving Leonard Nimoy lost in space in a world he didn't create undoubtedly cast a new light on a 40 year old franchise and we can rest assured that this is not a good thing. Despite what wikipedia might say about it being a critical and commercial success, "twenty year old Captains jumping around on heat while his senior officers have domestics on away missions is not Star Trek."

Now, to tell you the truth, I thought that was very much the case given Kirk bodly came in more new and strange civilizations than Russell Brand in a brothel with a sack full of heroin and some yogurt. And given how nuts and war-mongering StarFleet officers are, having domestics seemed fine.

The enlightened ones now redefine a symptom of Soap Opera infection. Not only will the infectee be a stinking animated cadaver best left to grave robbers gradually consuming the entrails, there is also a "derivative quality" of the final product. Case in point: Doctor Who is 50 years old a month from now, ergo, all its ideas are 50 years old. Ergo, NuWho has "stood of the shoulders of genius and offered little or nothing". This means, of course, that casting aside decades old mythology for a quick buck is absolutely as bad as rigidly sticking to the formula. So, if NuWho and NuTrek are remakes, they are inherently inferior and suffer Soap Virus which in turns now defined as "original material".

Thankfully, the enlightened ones are so obsessive and compulse they need to "clean their pallet and feel wholesome again". This suggests their beds are filthy with disgusting bodily fluids, the causes of which we dare not speculate. Thankfully, this instinct to sterilize their own vile bed linen (which no doubt is the perfect breeding ground for the Soap Virus) is caused by them watching Into Darkness which is "simply a (very) dumbed down version of one of the greatest sci-fi movies of ALL time" and as has been established based on decades old material and ergo, unsuitable for modern audiences.

Luckily, the enlightened ones refused to pay for their tickets because they need their cash for greater things - like demanding "all Trek fans should consider a class action against Paramount for cultural vandalism".

So, cultural vandalism is also cultural desecration and anything 50 years old must be ghastly and ergo prime rotting metatextual flesh for the Soap Virus to animate and deprive enlightened ones of entertainment. But the side-effects of the Soap Virus is "the general intolerance for criticism amongst sell out fans or those with vested interests or both".

Yes, apparently going around telling people their hard-work and beloved material is comparable to rotting zombie corpses being fawned by retarded grass-munching fools doesn't go down well.

The enlightened one himself believes in "debate and free thought" as can be seen on their forum where only established members are allowed to comment and over a dozen newcomers have been banned for stirring up trouble with their persisted and malicious refusal to accept the party line. This is surely proof that those at war with the Soap Virus risk losing their own self-respect if they did not spew well-thought out, genuine and balanced vitriol. Some may call them purists, some refer to them as fanatics and even be so bold to tell it to their faces instead of whispering about them behind their backs. This, we can all agree is extremely offensive rude arrogance and anyone who does this is an intolerant bigot who cannot unstand the basic premise of their own arguments. Such debate and free thought is wasted on this scum that doesn't even have THE BASIC DECENCY TO REALIZE THEY ARE WRONG!

But soon my fellow invertibrates all blind acceptance of bullshit shoveled out to you will cease, and nerds with no brains who can only accept worthless concepts will finally crumble under the backlash from those who enjoy using rape analogies for cheap shock value like "You won't get this sort of lying across the table and taking it up the posterior attitude from Star Wars fans."

Yes, the age of the lowest common denominator and intolerant bigotry will collapse.

Until then, however, Ron Mallet's heart stubbornly continues to beat.


Persona Herein said...

It's especially ironic given that loads of the people who did all those books and audios and so forth and can therefore be considered hardcore fans, if anyone can, were such soap aficionados themselves. I mean, I just finished rereading "Synthespians", so this line of argument sounds even thicker then usual. Gareth Roberts working as script editor on "Emmerdale" and chucking DW references into it at intervals, David Bishop blogging at length about "Doctors" in utter excitement...even RTD did his share of soap before hand.

Speaking of whom, in light of the revelation that Moffat called up RTD and asked for his fan-fic about Peter Capaldi in order to reconcile three different Capaldi-esque figures, your perspicacity in coming up with such a scene before we knew this is evident.

And if Clara can be gender-swapped, then...what about her as the President in "The Three Doctors"? The only person besides the Doctor to be doing anything useful about the crisis, and also thinking that the obvious and best way to fix a crisis is to get a whole bunch of Doctors in a room at once. Unnecessary temporal shenanigans sounds like Clara, all right.

Her iteration in "The Deadly Assassin" ought to be Castellan Spandrell. Who must have rather annoyed Tom's request for a companion-less episode, as in all ways he serves the function and "oh, Doctor, what's that?" purposes of a companion. Actually, it's kind of a pity we never saw him again.

As for "The Christmas Invasion"...erm...oh, what if she's Harriet, Prime Minister from Flydale North?
She's probably Elton's mum in "Love & Monsters", seeing as that's another example of a timey-wimey accident of family dynamics that never got explained as such.

And Tik-Tok's girlfriend in "Victory of the Daleks", obviously, helping to save the world unobtrusively. For "The Pandorica Opens"...maybe Van Gogh's landlady? Who's responsible for making sure that the painting does, actually, get to where it needs to be a few decades down the line. There's only one non-regular she could possibly be in "The Girl Who Waited", and that's the computer interface girl who tells Amy about the entertainment zones...maybe Clara is responsible for telling Amy more useful things like how to survive for years fighting killer robots off-screen.

I can completely see everybody just taking "The Android Invasion" as a week off, though. Not worth it.

Youth of Australia said...

your perspicacity in coming up with such a scene before we knew this is evident.
Oh, I blush...

what about her as the President in "The Three Doctors"? The only person besides the Doctor to be doing anything useful about the crisis, and also thinking that the obvious and best way to fix a crisis is to get a whole bunch of Doctors in a room at once.
Unless she's Mrs. Ollie who attracts attention to the organism in the first place?

Actually, it's kind of a pity we never saw him again.
Find a random Terrance Dicks novel, he'll be there.

She's probably Elton's mum in "Love & Monsters", seeing as that's another example of a timey-wimey accident of family dynamics that never got explained as such.
Or the little old lady to tells Elton where Rose lives.

I can completely see everybody just taking "The Android Invasion" as a week off, though. Not worth it. You're right.

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

You missed 'The Bells of Saint John.'

I think that Clare gave her past-self the phone number to call the Doctor. It seemed like something that was going to get picked up down the line, but never did.

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

On a side note, I may not like soap operas (more depressing than Children of Earth), but I have a lot of respect for the hard-work that goes into making these shows. You've got a huge cast, numerous stories and you've got to keep it fresh and interesting non-stop. The only other medium who has to keep releasing new material perpetually are comic books, but they have the luxury of allowing delays, cancelling titles and the like.

Youth of Australia said...

Ah, well my rule was "no Clara with Clara". And Moff suggests that "woman in shop" will be revealed.

That said, there are plenty of opportunities for Clara sprites in S7b, like the dog-faced alien who gives them the anti-grav car, the Ice Warriors who save the sub, the pathologist who uncovers the crimson horror, et all.

So, yeah, if it turns out Clara fiddled with stories post Snowmen, I will update the list.

As for soaps, I agree. True, Bold and the Beautiful and Passions may be crap, but you'd have to be criminally insane to write off the entire genre. Waterloo Road, I cannot recommend enough and Shortland Street - even with Adam Rickitt (seriously, though, AR was very good in it) - is also worth a look. Unless of course you're an emotionally-stunted mouth breather who cannot cope with horrible girl things like emotions, anyway.

It's nice to have comments. Aw.

I feel so less zealoty and pathetic now.

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

Star Trek Into Darkness? Flawed, but not the huge affront to a franchise that gave us


-Generations, an example in how NOT to have Kirk meet Picard or rather Picard meet Kirk.


- Well, some of the shit we got in Star Trek since it started to the day it ended.

-It's general arrogance about how great it is, but that was fueled by the fans so much that the show creators believed it's own hype.

Youth of Australia said...

I didn't mind Generations.

But I have to admit I spent most of it thinking "this isn't as good as the Three Doctors".

I always remember Kirk telling Picard "I was visiting new worlds before you were in diapers!" and thinking "so, you're old and out of touch and arrogantly think you know anything - how can you POSSIBLY be of any help?"

Oh, and Kirk is the one who dies.

Quelle surprise.

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

I guess with a film like Generations, which is meant to be the Ultimate Meeting of Kirk and Picard, that should really be most of the film, not just a lackluster third act.

But that opinion is derived from emotion.

Emotion is the enemy.

Join Cybercult.

Youth of Australia said...

Yeah, Kirk was a cameo. I thought it subversive at the time, but then I've always preferred Picard.

Welcome to the Cyberiad.

Prepare to be upgraded.

Upgrading in progress.

Press any key to continue.

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

Where's the any key?

I always preferred Sisko, or Jonathan Archer... because I believed that it was Sam Beckett on the longest Leap of his leap and that the objective of that Leap was to create the Federation.

It's been a long way...

Youth of Australia said...


Persona Herein said...

I'm pretty sure that there's a rule that someone has to bring up "Final Frontier" in any and all discussions of terrible Trek movies.

Anyway, the things wrong with "Star Trek Into Darkness" largely stem from it wanting to do the whole homage bit. There's a perfectly solid action movie that riffs on old Star Trek there without actually having to call the supervillain "Khan".
(Did anyone else think that the movie was riffing on James Bond as well? I kept thinking "Daniel Craig in space would be like this", but that way "Moonraker" lies.)

Youth of Australia said...

I thought it was Die Hard with Cumberbatch as Alan Rickman...

Miles Reid-Lobatto said...

Star Trek V? I actually don't think it's THAT terribly bad. Sure, it is not a great film, but was hampered from the outset by studio demands for more humour (in keeping with how well the comedic Star Trek IV did in cinemas), a vastly slashed budget and a SFX company who did not deliver the goods that were promised, forcing them to scrap the entire conclusion where Kirk fights rock monsters (and Kirk and Spock having to descend into a metaphorical Hell in order to save McCoy)

It has some interesting ideas and good moments, but was hampered by so many setbacks, it's ridiculous.

By regard, Into Darkness tries to be Wrath of Khan (much like the worst Star Trek movie- Nemesis) but doesn't have any of what 'Khan' had. It can't, it shouldn't have been. If Benedict Yummybatch hadn't been Khan and had simply been a disgruntled Federation black ops member gone rogue, the film would be a quantum leap better.

Persona Herein said...

So the BBC's finally given in and admitted we're getting episodes back.

I find myself oddly neutral about the whole business, at least until we know which ones and how many. There's a lot of difference between two and ninety.

Youth of Australia said...

Eighty-eight differences, by my count.

Persona Herein said...

Lance Parkin's either broken the embargo or is mouthing off about something he knows nothing about.

Which doesn't speak well of him in either case. Still, a nine episode haul isn't bad at all if he's right...