“Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women for the money. And it made her miserable.
As a young writer, Alcott concentrated on lurid pulp stories of revenge, murder, and adultery–“blood and thunder” literature, as she called i–and enjoyed writing very much. She was in her mid 30s when an editor suggested she try writing a book for girls. Alcott wasn’t very interested, but her father was a complete moron with money and had left the family in terrible financial trouble. Alcott wrote Little Women in hopes of some decent sales and a little breathing room and got way more than she asked for. The money in sequels was too good to turn down (and her father didn’t get any smarter with a dime), but Alcott hated writing what she called “moral pap for the young” and longed to return to the smut and violence of her early endeavors.”—Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Books and Authors You Had to Read in High School (via bookriot)
babe how much do you love me oh god are you in prison again? no what? no lol that was like one time in france it doesn’t count as prison if you’re in france anyhow what are you doing like right now I’m trying to finish The Importance of Being Earnest okay well stop doing that and sue my dad what? you should sue my dad why would I do that? he’s been telling everyone you’re gay I am gay well but he’s being really shitty about it everyone’s shitty about it okay fine well then just sue him because he sucks and I hate him that doesn’t seem like much of a basis for a legal case oh my god are you going to sue him or not all I want is a boyfriend who will sue my dad I really don’t think that’s too much to ask a boyfriend who will sue my dad and also come down to the Savoy to bail me out because they keep saying I owe them like £300 for champagne and sex grease what? right? like I brought my OWN sex grease obviously
Even Moffat’s best attempt at an angrily political story, ‘The Bells of Saint John’, is compromised by the kind of bourgeois reductionism that writes off the London riots - an explosion of rage at austerity and police bullying - as a glitch in the software. His underlying metaphysics support the baddies’ claims about how the human brain works, and thus cuts agency away from anyone who might try to protest. The idea of social rebellion is incomprehensible in this neoliberal vista, except as a moment when the top-down control briefly malfunctions. Even if it turns nasty, the liberal capitalist millennium is escape-proof.
Instead, you have to fit into it. Madame Vastra is a Silurian who, thanks to her own comfortable position in bourgeois society, has made her peace with the world. The Silurians were always the Palestinians of the Who universe. Displaced, kept down, promised recompense by the Doctor – the great, well-meaning liberal compromiser - and then betrayed so that the status quo can be reset. In Moffat’s version, one of our heroes is a Silurian who has been separated from her defeated people, bought off and reconciled to the conquerors. (But then, on Moffat’s watch, all nuance was dropped from the Silurians, with their return story featuring a metaphor about how sometimes good people just have to torture terrorists to protect the innocent.) Meanwhile, Strax is Vastra’s comedy sidekick. The Sontarans no longer have anything to say about militarism. This dimension cannot be explored in Moffat’s version of the show. It wouldn’t be recognisable to modern TV as a palatable part of a profitable franchise. The only thing you can do with a metaphor about militarism is laugh at it.
Jenny, Vastra and Strax are a perfect illustration of how Steven Moffat waters down any of the satirical or polemical acid in the show’s signifiers, of how he neutralises and sanitises the show’s inbuilt tendency to engage in (admittedly imperfect) political critique. He excises anything potentially worrying to the mainstream. He is semiotic paint stripper. He makes Doctor Who safe for neoliberalism.
[…] anyone who thinks that a relationship between a humanoid reptile and a subservient housemaid/ninja (in which they solve crimes in Victorian London) qualifies as normative…. In the midst of a sea of heteronormativity, it’s hardly a workable defence to point to one homosexual relationship which is sketched in the most outlandishly Fantasy terms, and features no characters of any consistency. Jenny, for instance, becomes a ninja – out of the blue - whenever required. It is a mark of how little genuine respect is shown these characters that her unveiling as a ninja in ‘The Crimson Horror’ is just that: an unveiling, with the camera panning up her legs, clad in tight leather for the benefit of the male gaze. Oh look, we’re back at the sexism.
‘The Crimson Horror’ is Gatiss’ best script yet for the TV series, featuring lots of quite well-drawn female characters… so it’s tragic, and illustrative of the lack of care which undermines this era, that the episode also features two lapses into breathtaking male privilege: the Doctor’s offhand description of Tegan as “a gobby Australian” and the truly jaw-dropping moment when the Doctor forcibly snogs – i.e. sexually harasses – a young woman whom he knows to be in a committed same-sex relationship. This moment is, needless to say, brushed off immediately and treated as another bit of fun.
honestly it really infuriates me that the doctor and clara look at a dalek talking about how much it wants to commit genocide and decide it is a “good dalek,” a “moral” dalek because it switched the species it wants to kill
and then the moral lesson is that daleks aren’t all bad they can be good if they want to murder the right species
instead of, like, how genocide is not an estimable activity
Also that the only way for a Dalek to be good is if it's suffering from hallucinations brought about by Dalek internal bleeding. And the best way to change it isn't to help it develop a conscience, it's to physically break into its mind and forcibly overwrite its will.
Yes, Daleks can be good and moral if you remove all their autonomy and rewrite them into your own version of killing machines like the fact that they were neuroengineered in the first place was not horrifying enough let us do the same to it for our own purposes.
Not to mention the hackneyed rewrite of “crazy” dalek equals “good/human” like in that horrific asylum episode
and the doctor/dalek comparison, Moffat trying to call back to old episodes where they actually understood the moral issue at stake just highlights the total failure to write any of this effectively.