Sunday, 16 July 2017

Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who

Well, in news unrelated to ecological collapse and the crisis of civilization, Jodie Whittaker has been announced as the latest regeneration of Doctor Who. Now I daresay that there are many who may be viewing this little cultural event as the end of their worlds (and/or a sign of the destruction of British values, the triumph of liberalism, ‘political correctness gone mad’ etc., etc.), but as a long-time Whovian, it seems a pretty solid choice to me. My seven year-old son, who can identify any type of Cyberman at a glance (and can categorise people’s year of birth by whichever doctor was in role at the time), is fine with it; and so is my daughter. Admittedly this doctor will be the shortest and is also from West Yorkshire, and clearly such physical and social/cultural factors can make a difference. But there have been quite a few Northerners in the role, and, come on, Sylvester McCoy was only one cm taller. So there aren’t any major issues here. I just hope Jodie is made of stern stuff. The forthcoming social media, vitriol-fest will likely be a truly depressing sight to behold. I wonder if poor Peter Davidson could have withstood the Twitterstorm that would have followed his replacement of Tom Baker. Personally, I just hope the scripts and stories are good.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Cthulhucene Now!

This is a talk I gave at the recent CenSAMM Climate and Apocalypse conference on 29th June, an amazing two-day event, with an excellent programme of international speakers. The full programme can be accessed here, with the individual sections being slowly rolled out over the next few days.

My talk starts a little abruptly in this section, the first sentence is: ‘My proposal today is that the ways in which we frame and mythologize our current age may require serious reassessment ...’