Jul. 18th, 2010

zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
One thing about being sick (better now! mostly, anyway) is that it gave me a lot of free time, not all of which I swallowed up by playing Solitaire. So I've been watching from the start of series 1 and have noticed a couple of things.

1) Father's Day doesn't actually set up a bunch of rules about time travel that are subsequently forgotten. It's not that you can't change history or the bugs will get you, and it's not that you can't touch your earlier self or terrible things will happen. It's that if you weaken space/time by having two sets of yourself in one place and then change history... then you're at risk of (possible but not inevitable) infection. And if you've already got infection going on and then touch your earlier self... then that gives the infection a chance to spread.

2) There's a big theme of accepting responsibility going on. The good guys accept the responsibility for their mistakes (or just for fixing what needs fixing, regardless of whether they broken it); the bad guys try to pass the buck.

See the undertaker of the Unquiet Dead whose insistence that the spirits inhabiting "the stiffs" aren't his fault.

See companion Adam, whose meddling with alien tech ends up betraying the Doctor's identity to the Editor. It's not made explicit that the Doctor would have forgiven him if he'd just owned up to his mistake and apologised, but I bet he would have (well, though see #3). What we do see is Adam making excuse after excuse (not even decent excuses like "Technology like that could alleviate the suffering of billions!") and looking more and more of a git.

See how Rose accepts responsibility for what she's caused in Father's Day. And how her father accepts responsibility for fixing it. (My eyes may have got a bit of dust in at some point while watching this.)

See Jack, whose meddling with alien tech ends up infecting a bunch of people with gas masks and an Oedipus complex. Again Jack is portrayed negatively in how he insists that the alien ship has nothing to do with what's going on; but he redeems himself by saving Rose and the Doctor when he has the chance to escape by himself.

See how the plot is only resolved when Nancy takes responsibility for the situation and for her son. [Which is not to dis her decision to keep that secret as far as society's concerned - not just for her reputation, but to avoid, say, Jamie being taken away from her and sent off to Australia or something.]

See the Doctor's continual angst over his actions in the Time War.

And see how the Doctor constantly takes responsibility for Rose's safety, and agonises over his inability to protect her. Um, except this is where…

3) I don't actually like Nine anymore.

This is weird. I remembered liking him more than Ten. And if he weren't a Time Lord the romance with Rose would be kind of sweet. But... there's points where this gets a bit creepy. Even aside from the age gap, I mean.

Like in Father's Day, where he's shouting at her about being just another dumb ape and then they make up like this:

Doctor: Just say you're sorry.
Rose: I am.
Doctor: <smiles>

Not a small smile. Not a soft smile. A really cheerful smile. I'm absolutely certain no-one intended to portray this as "the Doctor is glad he's forced Rose to say she's sorry so that she has to be grateful for him forgiving her" but that's exactly what the smile looks like.

Earlier in the episode Rose accuses him of being annoyed that she cares more about her father than about him. And I think this is meant to be only half-true, but you know what? It goes a long way to explaining why he dislikes her mother (who's a bit abrasive, perhaps, and not sufficiently respectful of his elite Time Lordshipness, but on the other hand her daughter was missing for a year because of him) so much that he's positively gleeful at having the chance to order her around.

And it goes a long way to explaining why he so irrationally dislikes Mickey and keeps calling him "Ricky" and "useless" even after Mickey kind of like totally helps save the planet.

See also how he's jealous of Adam and Jack. But that's just because he's falling in love with Rose, right? It's totally romantic, right? Apart from the fact that he does it while acting like an emotionally abusive creepface.

I'm suddenly feeling like I've seen all this said before, and probably rebutted too. But I liked Nine and would excuse him if I could, but when I was already feeling a bit uncomfortable that smile was seriously ew.
zeborah: I believe in safe, sane, and consensual Christianity. (credo)
Dirt, Greed, and Sex: sexual ethics in the New Testament and their implications for today
by L. William Countryman

I've forgotten who it was who mentioned this book to me, but thank you! It's absolutely awesome to be able to read a book which lays out such a clear, evidence-based, and persuasive account of what the Bible actually tells us about Jesus' teaching and God's will in matters of sexuality.

Countryman divides the book into three parts:

Dirt focuses on the purity code of the Torah - this is "clean", that is "unclean" - - eg all that Leviticus stuff about not wearing clothes made from two kinds of material, or eating pork or shellfish, or men having sex with men. Dirt is matter out of place. )
Greed focuses on the sexual property ethic - with particular reference to women and children as property of the paterfamilias. People not as individuals but as part of a family )
Sex is the final chapter, summing up the author's conclusions on "New Testament sexual ethics and today's world". He sees the Bible as still totally relevant - but we need to understand the cultural differences.The gospel allows no rule against... )

In short: if this is the kind of thing you like, you'll love it. Highly highly recommended.
zeborah: Zebra looking at its rainbow reflection (rainbow)
From the end of The Life of Saint Clare:
There was a maid of the castle Convary which sat on a time in a field, and another woman had laid her head in her lap. And in the mean while there came a wolf which was accustomed to run on the people, and came to this maid and swallowed the visage and all the mouth and so ran with her toward the wood. And the good woman that rested in her lap when she saw it, was much abashed and began to call on Saint Clare and said: Help! help! Saint Clare, and succour us, I recommend to thee at this time this maid. And she whom the wolf bare, said unto the wolf: Art not thou afeard to bear me any farther that am recommended to so great and worthy lady? And with that word that the maid said, the wolf, all confused and shamed, set softly the maid down, and fled away like a thief, and so she was delivered. Then let us pray unto this glorious virgin Saint Clare to be our advocate in all our needs; and by the merits of her we may so amend our life in this world that we may come unto everlasting life and bliss in heaven. Amen.
(I'm not quite clear how the maid managed to talk when the wolf had swallowed her face and mouth, but that's obviously far from the most important part of this story.)

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