Friday, September 30, 2016

Donald's Own Reality

Hi there and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, where the internet goes to relax. I'm Dave-El and I would ask you kindly to stop clicking your mouse like that, it tickles.  


In the aftermath of Monday night's debate between Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the main consensus was that Clinton had won the night. She was confident and in control. Meanwhile, Trump was flailing away like a little boy having a tantrum; in other words, he was being himself.


Trump started off OK, standing there all reserved, cool and deferential. You know, just like the little boy who's been told to behave himself and who does just that. For awhile. Then boredom sets in and the little boy wanders off the script, demanding ice cream, complaining that other people aren't any fun or they're being mean to him and he just wants to go home. Again, Trump was being himself. 


The one on one comparison between Trump and another candidate that Donald had so successfully avoided through out the election cycle could not be avoided any longer and the cranky boy in the man suit just couldn't measure up to a grown up who had done her homework and who was prepared and ready. 


It also helped that Hillary Clinton has access to two different facial expressions, serious and smiling, which is double Donald Trump's facial expressions which is limited to grumpy.


So the pundits piled on to declare Hillary the winner of the debate and quite frankly, anyone with eyes and ears and at least half a functioning brain should see that too.


To give Donald Trump credit, he does have eyes and ears. But Donald did not agree with this assessment of the debate. Donald declared he did great, awesome, showed Hillary was boss and all sorts of online polls agree with him. And besides, if there were any problems, well, you can blame Donald's faulty microphone that you just know someone gave him on purpose to try and mess with him.


If you've watched and heard the debate, you might have a rather reasonable question to ask: what faulty microphone?


I could hear Donald Trump very clearly whenever he was speaking. Hell, I could hear Donald Trump very clearly whenever someone else was speaking. A faulty microphone? What the fuck, Donald? 


Here's the thing with Donald: he says things like he doesn't think we can see or hear things differently.


He says he never claimed that climate change was a conspiracy by the Chinese even as everyone can see the Tweet from 2012 where Donald Trump claimed climate change was a conspiracy by the Chinese.


Donald Trump says he never supported going to war in Iraq even though everyone has heard that damn clip a gazillion times of him telling Howard Stern he supported going to war in Iraq.


Trump claims he shut down the birther movement by getting President Obama to produce his birth certificate even though we can see and hear all the clips and read the Tweets where Trump continually called into question the veracity of that certificate, keeping the birther movement alive.


He claims his microphone at the debate was faulty? WE CAN FUCKING HEAR YOU, DONALD! 


One of Hillary Clinton's zingers she tossed Donald Trump's way Monday night was that Donald lives in his own reality. We can, of course, laugh at that and say knowingly, "He sure acts like it, all right."


Except what if Donald Trump does in fact live in his own reality. What if the Donald Trump we see and hear is just a protrusion into our reality and where Donald really exists is some kind of Mad Max like dystopian apocalyptic world where America is just one big dumpster fire? No wonder Donald is so angry! That world he's in is terrible and somebody needs to fix it! And it's our fault that we can't see that! 


Or...


Donald's just a shit selling liar who's got enough stupid people in his corner who are more than willing to pay for his shit. If Donald Trump can convince enough people and he wins the election, Donald's own reality will become our reality. And it's a terrible place. 


______________________________________


Last night, the family took leave from the Fortress of Ineptitude to attend An Evening With Garrison Keillor. Tomorrow's post is a write up of those events.


Sunday is Doctor Who Day here on the blog and it kicks off with Episode One of a new Doctor Who fan fiction. The Doctor and his companion are summoned to investigate a mystery and encounter an impossible enemy.


Cybermania begins here in two days.


Until next time, remember to be good to one another.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stranger Things

It's not that I didn't want to watch Stranger Things. I had heard a lot of good things about the Netflix original series and I was intrigued by the some of the comparative descriptions of the show: Stand By Me mixed with X-Files crossed over with E.T. the Extra Terrestrial with a dash of Supernatural but creating something incredibly new and original. With such a pedigree, how could I refuse? 

But things had gotten to the point where I was going to HAVE to watch the show. Me, I love pop culture stuff. I love television and movies and books and music and comic books and blogs and You Tube videos and....well, I absorb it all like some kind of media sponge. And no matter where I turned, there was Stranger Things.

Oh look! The Stranger Things kids are handing out PB&J sandwiches at the 2016 Emmy Awards.

Hey, Stephen Colbert's doing a Late Show cold open with Eleven from Stranger Things. 

Wow! A Stranger Things/Buffy the Vampire Slayer mash up. 

How about Stranger Things but with the kids from Peanuts?




Stranger Things had infiltrated the DNA of the pop culture zeitgeist and there was no way of avoiding it. 

Thankfully, my daughter Randie who had already watched the episodes was keen to watch them again and she invited her mom and I to watch with her. Well, any chance at family bonding time, right? 

So last Friday we sat down to watch the first two episodes of Stranger Things. And what can I say but... it was as entertaining an experience as everything I had read said it would be.  

The show is set in the year 1983 and the show really captures that vibe right down to the Stranger Thing's title graphic, a retro red neon against a black background, like Tales From the Darkside. (There's even little spots and scratches in the black as if we're watching this on an old video tape.)  



The score is straight out of early 1980s synth music, a score perfectly at home in episodes of Doctor Who from that era or the soundtrack of John Carpenter horror films.  

There are two mysteries that drive the narrative: the disappearance of a boy named Will and the appearance of a girl known only as Eleven. And in the middle of these two mysteries are three young boys, Mike, Dustin and Lucas, who want to find their missing friend and get to the bottom of who this strange girl is with her buzz cut hair and paranormal mental powers.  

Another show to compare Stranger Things to is the British series Broadchurch which is centered around the murder of a young boy. But the mystery of the boy's death in Broadchurch is only part of the bigger picture of the series as we see the impact of that crime on the lives of different people in the town. Likewise in Stranger Things, the lives of others are a matter of important focus as the disappearance of Will reverberates through the community. Some feel that impact more directly as Will's mother descends deeper into madness. Others feel echoes to their own tragic pasts such as the police chief whose own loss of a daughter still haunts him. For people like Mike's sister, Nancy, the disappearance of Will is something that only flits around the edges of her awareness as she copes with dueling desires to focus on her education and to hook up with charming bad boy Steve.  

Character development during the course of this unfolding mystery holds my attention as much as the mystery itself and nowhere is that more profoundly expressed than in police chief Jim Hopper. When we first meet Hopper, he's forcing himself awake after what appears to be a night of heavy drinking. He shows up at the police station barely concerned with what's going on in his department and his town. He is, at first blush, an unsympathetic character. By the end of the 2nd episode, the depths of his knowledge, experience and pain make Hopper a most engaging character. 

But the core of Stranger Things are Mike, Dustin and Lucas who act like real kids, at turns afraid and adventurous, uncertain and determined. And then there's Eleven, the mysterious girl with the telekinetic powers who has entered their lives just as their friend Will has disappeared. Eleven is fearful, an escapee from a super secret quasi governmental project that's stopping at nothing, not even murder, to track her down. But beneath her fear is a determination to remain free and a growing trust and friendship with these boys who have taken her in. Eleven is a character of few words but she expresses so much through her eyes, there is little doubt as to her thoughts and feelings.  

Wow! That's a lot of words for just the first two episodes and I only touched only some of the many wonderful details that fill these two installments and make me anxious to see the rest of the series. I know the thing today is to binge watch stuff but I so much enjoyed those first two episodes, I want to relish that feeling of enjoyment and make this experience last as we progress through the next six episodes.  

Thanks to my daughter for giving my wife and I a chance to share this series with her. And thanks to the entire freaking internet that made it impossible for me to avoid it. 

Here's to looking forward to more Stranger Things.



Another post is coming up tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another. And don't forget...


  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oddball Super Heroes: The Boy King

For the first time since May, I'm posting an edition of Oddball Super Heroes. The purpose of today's post is to not only introduce you to an unusual character from the history of comic books but to also address a very important question.

Why do comic books exist?  

The one perfectly reasonable answer is that comic books exist to provide entertainment via a unique blend of writing and art. Comic books tell stories with words but driven by a strong visual element. Or, if you will, comic books tell stories with pictures supplemented by words.  

But there are things in comic books, both currently produced as well as in the history of the medium, that are so unique, so weird, so defiant of expected norms that they can only exist as comic books. It's almost as if these strange deviations are the reasons that comic books exists. 

For example, this: 




Yes, that's a Nazi robot dinosaur fighting a mechanical giant invented by Nostradamus. 

This visual comes from an obscure Golden Age series called The Boy King. It's about a kingdom overrun by Nazis and the young prince who must become a king to save his people with the aid of his giant friend. 




The Boy King and his Giant lead his people out of Europe to America (specifically, Central Park) where Boy King starts a fast food franchise and that, my friends, is how Burger King got it's start. 

No, not really. While in America, the Boy King and the Giant With No Name fought gangsters and Nazi spies.

And yes, they took on a Nazi robot dinosaur. 

For a detailed write up on this most bizarre comic book series, click here for this entry from that most awesome blog, Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep.  

But seriously? A Nazi robot dinosaur fighting a mechanical giant invented by Nostradamus?  

Yes and that's one of the really excellent reasons that comic books exist.
_______________________________

Thanks for dropping by today. There's a lot of strange things out there in the world of comic books, both past and present. 

And speaking of strange things, I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You finally comes 'round to the cultural phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. Tomorrow, I take a look at the first two episodes of Stranger Things.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wrath and Ruin: The Aftermath of the First Clinton - Trump Debate

Hi there and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, your internet home for mango hued skin products. I'm Dave-El and I look pretty damn good in a pants suit.

 

This post is a first for this blog as I'm writing this on my phone. My computer that I use here at the Fortress of Ineptitude has decided that I spend too much time at HelloGiggles.com and won't let me back on the internet. But where else am I going to get my fashion tips from Zooey Deschanel?

 

Anyway today's post is my post mortem on the Clinton - Trump debate. So here are some random thoughts on that.

 

  • Can every one see Hillary OK? I have a bright red image burned into my retinas!
  • Grandma card! Good touch, Hillary. Remind people you're a carbon based life form.
  • While Hillary's talking, Donald's thinkin' Arbys.
  • Donald has a code in his node? Or does he have a cocaine problem? Really, what's with all the sniffing?
  • Never mind his hands! Damn, Donald has really tiny eyes!
  • If you picked the word "disaster" for your debate drinking game, you're already plastered at the 15 minute mark.
  • Uh oh, Hillary! Mentioning Bill gave Donald an opening.
  • "Live in your own reality" is a good line against Donald but serves to remind us we're in this reality and that's not a positive.
  • Donald's trying to alpha male his way through this. Don't be surprised if he starts flinging shit at Clinton. I mean, literal shit.
  • OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!! Well that's what Trump just said, right?
  • Is Hillary playing in Donald's sandbox? Careful, I don't think anyone's cleaned up in there in ages.
  • "Underleveraged"? I'd hope Donald wouldn't bring up his penis again.
  • Hillary's talking to appliances! She said she's spoken to dishwashers! Wait, she means people who wash dishes. Oh. That's different. And less interesting.
  • "Stiffed"? Please stop saying that, Hillary.
  • Free plug for Trump's hotel in DC!
  • I said "Chung-chung" every time Donald said Law & Order; I said "Chung-chung" a lot!
  • Is it wrong that I want to be "stopped and frisked"? (I'm so lonely.)
  • Donald brought 1,000 people back to life in Chicago! Praise the Donald! (At one point, he said 4,000 people had been shot dead in Chicago; later he said 3,000 so the logical assumption is he raised them from the dead and now they work as the cleaning staff at Trump Tower for less than minimum wage.)
  • Donald dissed Hillary for being prepared? 
  • Donald still pushing the narrative that he did a good thing with the birther movement?
  • "Holier than thou"? They're gonna love that down south.

 

So ultimately it seems that Hillary Clinton was poised and prepared while Donald Trump blustered through the proceedings like an intoxicated bull in an already destroyed china shop.



In other words, both gave what their respective bases wanted.



And nothing changed. I expect Trump will declare victory and continue on his merry way. But from a purely objective viewpoint, of the two people standing on that stage last night, only 1 of them has the skills to be President. And Trump, petulant, bullying Trump, was NOT that person.



Everyone be good to one another.















Monday, September 26, 2016

Banana Attack! (Monday Post #3)

Huma Abedin entered the study of Hillary Clinton to find the former Secretary of State at her desk, hunched over books and stacks of papers, her glasses perched studiously on the edge of her nose. On the desk next to Clinton was a bottle of water. Unopened. 

Huma sighed. 

"Mrs. Clinton." 

Hillary looked up and smiled at Huma. It was a very warm, friendly and human looking smile. Huma sighed again. Why the hell couldn't Clinton smile like that in public?

"Ah, Huma! Good to see you. I was just going over these stats on trade agreements between the United States and the European Union and correlating them with data on our foreign aid to our allies in the war against terrorism and ooh boy, am I stoked!" 

Huma nodded. "Yes, ma'am."  

"There is some really good stuff here! Boy, I'm going to be on fire at the debate! Lester Holt can hit me with anything on foreign or economic policy! I'm ready!"

"What about Donald Trump?" Huma asked. 

"Trump? HA!" Clinton arose from behind her desk, her very bearing projecting confidence and poise. "What does that pumpkin headed moron understand about foreign or economic policy? I'll tell you: Nothing! The American people will finally see us on the same stage and they'll see that I have the skills and the knowledge to be the next President and that Donald Trump can't be trusted to bring snacks to a co-op board meeting! I have facts! I am prepared! I will crush Donald Trump!" 

"I see," Huma said quietly, her finger tips pressed together in contemplation.  Then she added, "What if Donald... attacks you... with a banana?"  

Clinton looked at Huma with shock and disbelief. Huma Abedin had been Hillary's assistant and confidante for many years. She relied on Huma's intelligent insight and her in depth wisdom for a long time. But what was this? 

"A banana?" Clinton asked incredulously.  

"Yes. What if Donald Trump attacks you with a banana?" For all the absurdity of her statement, Huma's demeanor was calm and professional. 

"Come on! A banana? Seriously?" 

Huma said nothing but nodded affirmatively. 

"First of all, Huma," Clinton said, her ire beginning to rise, "this is a debate to show who is the best person to be the President of the United States. That means someone who knows and understands foreign AND economic policy! That means someone who knows the facts and can get things done! Secondly, there is no way that Lester Holt is going to let the proceedings stoop to such a low level! This is an occasion of the utmost importance and cannot be trivialized by something as frivolous as attacking someone with a banana!" 

Hillary Clinton sat back down behind her desk and began scanning her books and documents. 

"Now if you don't mind, Huma, I need to bone up on these nuclear non-proliferation agreements as well as exploring tariff reform with our South Pacific trading partners." 

Huma rose from her chair. "Of course, Mrs. Clinton." And with that, Huma quietly exited the room as her boss resumed her studies. 

Hillary paused a moment and said to no one there, "Bananas? Bah!" Then she eyed the unopened bottle of water for a second, shook her head and resumed her studies.

The next day: 



________________________________

Tomorrow: the aftermath of the Clinton - Trump throw down. 

Until then, remember to be good to one another.  


Hillary Clinton enjoys some time on the campaign trail
while Huma Abedin keeps an eye out for bananas.
Because you never know.
 

Hey, You Guys! Ted Cruz Is STILL a Lying Fuck Bastard (Monday Post #2)

Hey guys. I know as we slog through the muck and the mire of this Presidential election season, we're all scared... I mean, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really

<several hours later>

really scared that Donald Trump is going to be elected President.  The first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton is scheduled for this evening and who knows what might happen.*

*Actually, I'll take a guess at that in today's third post, going live on the blog at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

But I wanted to take a moment to turn my attention to an old... acquaintance here at I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. This is an individual who preoccupied a lot of this blogger's time back during the primary season. Well, this person was back in the news this weekend and as such, this marks the return of a very special feature on this blog...




Yes, Ted Cruz crawled back out of whatever cesspool of self indulgent righteousness he was hiding in to prove that he continues to be... well, you know.

A lying fuck bastard.  

As we recounted here in the last appearance of TCIALFB,  I found myself in the awkward position of doing something I wasn't very comfortable doing: saying something almost nice about Ted Cruz. 

Now I've said a lot of bad things about Ted Cruz on this blog but part of me wants to give the man some credit: he damned sure didn't want to endorse Donald Trump and he damned sure didn't do it, even in the face of rising anger from the convention floor. 

In the waning days of the primary, some of Donald Trump's attacks on Ted Cruz extended to Ted's family, attacks which were not cool. After Ted Cruz's appearance at the Republican National Convention where he did NOT endorse Trump for President, Cruz made it known in no uncertain terms that he is not in the habit of endorsing people who malign his family. (Among other things, Donald mocked Ted's wife for lacking in hotness compared to Donald's own wife.)   

OK, apparently NOW Ted Cruz is OK with people who malign his family because this weekend, Ted endorsed Donald Trump.  

Remember Ted Cruz does NOTHING unless it benefits Ted Cruz. As I noted in that previous post, Ted's refusal to endorse Donald Trump served to establish Cruz "as the savior of the party after Trump wrecks it." It was a gamble on Cruz's part but it seemed like a fair bet. Coming out of a Republican National Convention that was lackluster at best and Trump facing down a serious beat down in the general election, Cruz distancing himself from Trump made sense. 

But polls in recent weeks have seen Trump tightening up the gap between himself and Hillary Clinton. Several scenarios for Trump to win in the Electoral College that seemed impossible before now seem rather possible.  

Yes, we are really, really, really, really, really, really, really

<several hours later>

really scared that Donald Trump is going to be elected President. 

And so too is Ted Cruz.  

If Donald Trump actually becomes President, Ted Cruz's political future is toast. Cruz becomes persona non grata in the Republican Party of a victorious Trump. Without pledging allegiance to the Donald, Cruz may have had to join the exodus to Canada along with the rest of us. Ted might even had to apply to restore his Canadian citizenship but Canada, sadly, wouldn't let that happen. 

Says Canada, "You're a lyin' fuck bastard, eh, doncha know." 

So Ted Cruz (to quote Weird Al Yankovic) looked at his wife and realized she's very plain. So maybe Donald's not THAT bad after all. And thus Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump. 

Donald Trump in response to Cruz's initial rebuke said he wouldn't accept Cruz's endorsement if Cruz did offer it. Which, by the way, Donald did in fact accept Cruz's endorsement when Cruz offered it. 

Remember, Hillary's the liar and Donald and Ted are the trustworthy ones, right? 

And here's another wrinkle to all of this. Despite Ted Cruz publicly endorsing Donald Trump only this weekend, Senator Cruz has been in business with the Trump campaign for months, even before Cruz's grand act of defiance at the GOP convention. Trump's campaign has sent emails to all or part of Cruz's vast email data base of supporters. Cruz has been renting that access to the Trump campaign to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a pop. 

So for all the public hand wringing over prayerful consideration and following his conscience, Ted Cruz has been in partnership with Donald Trump the whole time. 

For more on this story, click here.  

What the hell, Ted! You've done what I would've thought impossible: you've reached new lows in lying fuck bastardness! 

So congratulations, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). You still hold a special place with this blog. Now and forevermore... 



_________________________

Wow! TWO posts in ONE day?!?! Could this Monday get any better?!?!

How about THREE posts in one day?!?! Oh hell yeah! 

Tonight is the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Is Hillary ready? It depends....

Is she ready if Donald attacks her with.... a BANANA?!?!

A new post is coming up at 5:00 PM Eastern Time right here on I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I'm Dave-El reminding you to be good to one another. 

Charlotte's Tangled Web (Monday Post #1)

As a resident of the state of North Carolina, I guess I would be remiss if I didn't comment on recent events in Charlotte NC surrounding the shooting of a black man by police officers. It is an incident that led to several days of protests; in the early days after the shooting, protests boiled over into violent conflagrations. Afterwards, these violent reactions have ebbed but the wounds are still raw and the situation in Charlotte remains uneasy. 

The early narrative of the tragic death of Keith Scott was that of an unarmed black man killed in an encounter with police that spin fatally out of control. Scott's family insists that Scott did not have a gun. If anything was in his hand, it was a book; Scott was described as an avid reader. 

However, Charlotte police maintained that Scott did indeed have a gun and was holding it when he was approached by officers. Refusing to comply with instructions from police and perceiving Scott as a threat, one of the officers shot him. 

Subsequent releases of information, statements and videos from both the family of Keith Scott and the Charlotte police have done little to provide clarity. Did Scott have something in his hand? If it was a gun, did the situation as it was unfolding require the use of lethal force? 

If all of this has a disturbing ring of familiarity to it, it's because it is distressingly familiar. We've seen this scenario played out in one more or another time and time again, in Missouri, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Minnesota, so on and so on and so on. Black men dying at the hands of police officers. Hell, just days before the events in Charlotte, a police officer shot an unarmed black man in Oklahoma. 

But while these stories are consistent in the skin color of the dead, there are variations to these numerous tales that tend the muddy the waters. Sometimes the black man was unarmed and sometimes he was armed. At least one tragedy involved a black man who had a gun in his possession, was making sure the police officer in question knew he had the gun so to avoid a bad scene and was shot for his trouble. 

Sometimes the black man was engaged in a criminal activity, sometimes not. Sometimes the black man was resistant to the officer and sometimes he was cooperative. It's the inconsistencies that some have used as a foundation for decrying the frustrations of the African American community over its relations with police officers. 

These disparate facts and conditions makes quite the tangled web of events like the shooting in Charlotte. Because of these complications, we can't attest such actions by the police to racism.  

And to that argument, I call bullshit. 

Here's the thing: the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color is toxic and too many people are dying as a result. And let me be blunt: the roots of the toxicity are buried deep on both sides of this equation. But only one side of that equation has power and authority with the use of force to back it up. 

And whether the people of color dying at the hands of the police are culpable in anyway for their own demise, the basic facts remain that too many citizens are dying at the hands of the police. And too many of those citizens are black men.  

Another thing to address is the reaction of the African American community to the Charlotte shooting and other reactions to that. Yes, protests erupted in violence and rage in the days following this incident. Yes, violence and rage never solves anything. 

But sometimes violence and rage is the only response left. As I wrote here about violent protests in Baltimore, when the same shit keeps happening over and over and over again, there's going to come a breaking point. That's not a racial thing, that's a damn human thing. There's a point when being treated unjustly and unfairly cannot be tolerated anymore. Sometimes it takes a powerful display of passion (and yes, that includes anger) to get attention and action towards injustice and unfairness. 

Just as these shooting events can become tangled webs, so too are the causes of the current state between black people and the police. And when one more dead person has been added to the tally, the impulse is less to untangle that web one strand at a time and more to just knock the whole damn web to the ground. 

Whether the current status quo ends with ice or fire, the main thing is this: it needs to end. 


_______________________________________

Thanks for dropping by. Another new post is coming up on the blog in about 5 hours as we take another whack at my favorite target of hatred and disdain. 

Yes, it's the return of Ted Cruz Is A Lying Fuck Bastard and it goes live later today. 

Until then, remember to be good to one another.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Doctor Who: The Tale of the Tale That Almost Never Was


Hi there, Whovians!


Last Sunday, I ended that week's Doctor Who post with news that I was launching a new Doctor Who fan fiction script as of the following week.


Which, in this way that time moves, is now this week and what the hey? There’s no fan fiction story.


As I noted in this space yesterday, sometimes this blog has to take a back seat to real life. In this case, it was necessary to move the debut episode of this new Doctor Who story from this week to next. Perhaps I could’ve made it work; Episode One is pretty much written. But I don’t do this for money, I do this for fun and rushing to get this posted would not have been a lot of fun.


So bear with me, Doctor Who – Cybermania – Episode One will see the light of day… next Sunday.


Is that a threat or a promise? I’ll leave that to you to decide.


Let's touch base on an actual Doctor Who production that was delayed but sadly never saw the light of day as originally intended. That story was Shada.


The BBC back in the 1970s and 1980s always seemed to be beset by union strikes frequently and Doctor Who did not get a pass on being impacted. Much of Season 7’s premier story, Spearhead From Space, was shot on location due to union action shutting off production from using studio sets. 

Episodes would have to be changed or cut to accommodate some resource or another not being available due to a strike. But there was the time that a union strike against the BBC took out any entire story. The year was 1979 and the story was Shada, a 6 episode serial written by Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). 




A lot of Shada was shot but the strike prevented completion of the episode. The Doctor Who production office held out hope the story could be finished but finally, the call was made to shut down Shada. A day after production was closed, the strike was settled. The producers tried to ramp up production to complete Shada but it was too little, too late.


Footage from Shada was incorporated into The Five Doctors in 1983 when Tom Baker decided not to participate in the 20th anniversary special. A subsequent version of Shada was made as an animated digital feature featuring 8th Doctor Paul McGann. 




Another version was edited together using existing footage and bridging narration. 


Getting episode one of Cybermania off the ground is a little less problematic. I just need to be sure I have the complete cooperation of the production staff which includes me, me, me, me, me and me. And Phil. To be honest with you, if we continue to run into any problems with this new story, it will most likely be Phil's fault. 

Quick note on the Doctor Who spin off Class. If you thought, "Hey, no new Doctor Who series for 2016 but at least Class is coming this fall, right?", you may need to revisit that concept depending on where you live.

The debut of Class will take place in October 2016... for viewers in the United Kingdom. Over here in the United States, Class will not debut on our screens until the spring of 2017. Which is a very frustrating development. Yes, there were times in the past that American access to new Doctor Who stuff was delayed by months or even years. But we've gotten use to a bit more synchronous cooperation on both sides of the pond in recent years. 

But we do have confirmation that the Doctor himself, courtesy of Peter Capaldi, will appear in the first episode. So there's that.

But if you're desperate (and I do mean DESPERATE) for a new Doctor Who adventure, next week, in this space....


Doctor Who 
Cybermania
Episode One

One more thing before we go, a lovely pose from Lalla Ward who portrayed companion Romana in Shada. 




Before I wrap things up, some blog stuff. Tomorrow (Monday, September 26th), I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You will have not ONE, not TWO but THREE posts. The first will go up on the blog thing at 5:00 AM, the second at Noon and the third at 5:00 PM. (All times in the United States Eastern Time Zone.) 

Remember to be good to one another and I’ll see you here again next time. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Blog Bidness: Blog Vs. IRL


Hi there!


You know what they say about the best played clams of rice and hens….


Or something like that.


Plans for this blog had to take a back seat to happenings IRL (which I was surprised to learn stands for “In Real Life” and is NOT the feminine version of the name “Earl” as I once suspected).


In all seriousness, my mother was very ill on Thursday which necessitated hasty exit on my part from the Fortress of Ineptitude. She had a bit of a bad fall at her assisted living facility home but thankfully did not suffer any of the maladies associated with 78 year old women such as a broken hip. It seems, however, that she has a urinary tract infection which can be especially hard on people with Alzheimer’s which my mother has. She was very disoriented and shaky. It was, to be blunt, very hard to see her in that condition. After a brief stay in the hospital, she’s back in assisted living but in a different room, one closer to the main desk where the staff can keep an even closer eye on her.


I met with the hospice nurse and her assistant who have been very instrumental in her care for the last 2 months. It seems that a part from the infection problem, mom’s condition is on a consistently downward track. This is not a surprise. There’s no “ take all your medicine and do what the doctor says and you’ll get better” when it comes to Alzheimer’s. It’s only going to get worse, a little bit or a lot, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter. There’s only one direction that Alzheimer’s goes in. So the family is looking at the next step, of moving mom from assisted living to one that is dedicated specifically to the case of Alzheimer’s patients. We knew this day would come. Again, it is not a surprise. But that makes it no less heartbreaking.


There’s that going on plus other stuff and junk that keeps real life frustrating and annoying. But also, perversely, interesting. I heard Garrison Keillor once say, “To a writer, there are no tragedies in life. It’s all material.”


So whatever nonsense was going to be in today’s blog post ain’t happening today. Maybe another day.


And then there’s tomorrow, Sunday. Here on the blog thing, Sunday is Doctor Who Day ‘round these here parts and I posted last week that this Sunday would begin a new fan fiction serial. Believe it not, it is mostly written. In fact, I even have part of Episode Two ready. But putting the horse back in front of the cart, I still have some editing and tweaking to do to Episode One. Instead of trying to force this on through with a limited amount of time to work on it, I’ve decided to bump of the premier of my new Doctor Who adventure until next week. Tomorrow’s post will be something different but still Doctor Who themed.

I'll be posting the usual stuff 'n' junk starting Monday. Yes, I have some thoughts on what's going down in Charlotte NC and, of course, the campaign for US President continues on much like a virus or a fungus or maybe a fungal virus or even a viral fungus. Whatever it is, it ain't pretty. 


So that’s all I have for today. Please keep my mom in your thoughts and prayers or in your solemn supplications to the Krytonian sun god Rao, I’m not picky. Until the next post, remember to be good to one another. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

This Campaign This Damn Pain: Nothing Changes?


Next week, US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will meet on stage for their first debate. In this forum, Clinton and Trump will answer questions that will test their knowledge, their wisdom, their temperament, their readiness to take on the most powerful position of authority in the world. And when this momentous event is over…


Nothing will be changed.


For those who support Hillary Clinton, they will agree that she made a better case that she can trusted to be with nuclear bombs while Dumb Donald cannot be trusted to operate a Fisher Price Speak ‘N’ Spell. 


Meanwhile, those who support Donald Trump will agree that he remains the best chance to make America great again and Crooked Hillary only deserves to make license plates in prison.


And if you think I’m being too cynical, please consider the following points:

  • Trump supporters will tell you that Donald’s attributes are he speaks his mind, he tells it like it is and he’s not just another politician.
  • After years of casting aspersions on Barack Obama’s legitimacy as a US citizen and therefore undermining Obama’s legitimacy as President, last week Trump issued a statement that Obama “was born in the United States, period.”
  • Trump supporters responded that Donald had to say that in order to put this “birther” question to the side so he can win the election and defeat Hillary Clinton.

So the conclusion from the last point is that Donald wasn’t speaking his mind but saying something he had to say; he wasn’t telling it like it is, he’s just pushing this whole “Obama was not born in the United States” thing out of the way; and he’s saying stuff just to get elected just like he’s another politician. And his supporters are OK with that! Trump supporters are perfectly fine with a complete repudiation of their reasons for supporting Trump in order to continue supporting Trump!


I mean, what the fuck, people!


A lot of this stems from this unabashed hatred of Hillary Clinton that no one is going to talk them out of. Hillary can stand on that debate stage for 2 hours and NOT shoot fire and brimstone from her eyes and NOT feast on newborn babies and she will still be seen as the worst, most evil demon ever to lurch from the sulfur pits of deepest, darkest hell. 


But beyond that, this intransigent allegiance to Donald Trump owes a great deal to the appeal of the man himself. Yes, he has an appeal but it’s the worst kind. It’s an appeal to the darkest corners of human nature. Donald Trump appeals to hate and fear and ignorance and greed. The world is a dangerous place that’s out to get you and nobody’s doing a damn thing to help save you from those dangers. Donald Trump’s appeal is to the worst the world can offer and the worst responses of human nature.


Take for example the capture and arrest of the man who it appears set the explosive devices in New York and New Jersey this past weekend. The suspect was shot during a gunfight with police. At a campaign event after this arrest, Donald noted dismissively that this guy was going to get the best medical care in a nice hospital room and he’ll be assigned an attorney to represent him if he can’t afford one. Trump spoke with disdain about these actions and the bloodthirsty crowd of Trump supporters were in agreement. Trump and his supporters, in other words, are collectively opposed to the tenets of simple human compassion and the rule of law that we all have to answer to and which also protects us.


What kind of headway can Hillary Clinton make against a candidate who invokes America at its best as something to be mocked and scorned? And yes, I believe the treatment of this bombing suspect is a very good example of America at its best. The treatment of our enemies, of those who would hurt us tells as much about the true strength and character of the American spirit as how we treat our friends and allies. It’s hard to treat with dignity someone who was prepared to do us harm. But we must aspire to be a nation that answers to the better angels of our nature. It’s this that sets America apart, sets us above those who would do harm to others. This is what makes America strong, makes America great.


Too bad Trump can’t see that. And even worse, there are millions of people who are willfully prepared to not see that for themselves.

Everyone, be good to one another. I'll be back with another post tomorrow.

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