So lately I feel like I've been a bit of a bummer. I know! All ranting & serious. Not enough of the cuteness and the snuggly adorable that we all know I love so damn much. So I thought I'd post a few of my favorite cutenesses. I look at these ALL THE TIME. They cheer me up, they make me happy, they need to be shared!
First up, the Sleepy Duck:
OH MAN. LOOK AT THAT WEE SLEEPY DUCKLING!! I feel like that a lot. So I feel like I understand Sleepy Duck! And he understands me! OMG. When his head hits the spirals of the notebook and he looks up all "whoa, did I just doze off for a sec?" it makes my heart EXPLODE. I LOVE THAT DUCK. Okay, next up, this rad Panda with Sassy Attitude:
The look that little guy gives when the trainer touches his ball?!? SO AWESOME. He's so fiery and full of sass! He loves his ball SO MUCH. My kid is currently watching this with me, and he's jumping up and down shouting "Baby bear! Yay baby bear! Yay panda bear!" so clearly this little bossy panda has plenty of street cred with 3 year olds. I just got distracted cracking up and watching the panda for another minute or two. I LOVE HIM.
So there you have it. Two pieces of cuteness that make my life worth living. SQUEEEEEE!!!
Ok Doctor Who fans, we need to talk. Look, this new guy? I know I'm going to grow to like him well enough eventually. I know he's a fine actor and honestly, he's already endeared himself to me a little with all the swearing. I'm a sucker for an f-bomb, let's face it. But I still reserve the right to be disappointed for a little while. Hear me out now. Sure, he's not really that old (hell, I'm almost his age) but he's not all that dashing and handsome either, and that's part of what has made this show fun lately. Of course the old school Docs were just as old and weird looking. But you know what? They're not as fun to watch these days either.
*ducks from flying jelly babies*
I know! Sacrilege! But I'm sorry, they're not! Television in the sixties was slow and stiff, and not like Cousin Matthew's.. uh, entail coming back to life. Sure, Doctor Who was revolutionary for its time, and an important part of television history. It arguably created a whole new type of fan, and I proudly count my nerdy self among them. But I also recognize that those early days were problematic. Racist, even! And those early companions? Come on, Rose Tyler would kick their whiney little mini-skirted asses (except for Sara Jane of course, we saw how that worked out.) So please don't try to argue that I can't say Capaldi isn't as exciting just because he's as old as this guy was when the show first started. The show is different now. He has a whole new standard to live up to, and part of that is the hotness factor his recent predecessors left.
Shut up, he wasn't hot.
And yes I know it's superficial (DUH) but it's television. We are looking at it with our eyeballs, and if you're not putting a woman in there (ahem, yes I'm one of those fans who vainly hoped for more estrogen aboard the TARDIS) then us hetero ladies would appreciate some mancake on our screens. Is that so wrong, really? There are precious few handsome fellas on the old teevee which nevertheless sports a bazillian boobies. Can't we have a little eye candy once in a while too? The Brits have given us so much lately - aforementioned Cousin Matthew, amirite ladies? Sherlock? Ok he's not really for me, but I know he has his fans. That dude on Endeavor? The freaking royal baby daddy?
And come on, David Tennant?
Anytime, Doctor, anytime.
Yes, he is an amazing actor. Seriously, he took The Doctor to a whole new level, all Whovians must agree, but have you people seen Broadchurch? Hamlet? Or every single thing he touches? He's phenomenal, truly. I'm a fan on all those levels. But he's also PRETTY. Oh so, soooo pretty. Don't get me started on my boy DT. It's actually kind of amazing I haven't freaked out about him here before. Trust me, Molly has signed me up for a delusional Time Lord fantasy support group already, I'm getting help. I'm just saying, it's nice to have someone pleasant to look at, that's all. That doesn't make me shallow. It doesn't! You're telling me the choice of Jenna-Louise Coleman had nothing to do with her shiny, swingy hair and cute little nose? Karen Gillan wore all those short skirts because she's such a great actress? Hey I love her, don't get me wrong, but dudes wouldn't apologize for liking the eye candy, and I'm not going to either. Also? Speaking of wee Jenna-Louise? They've put us through the ringer already with the bad writing this past season. That horrible episode - yeah, I said it, suck it Gaiman fans - where Clara left the children in a scary wax museum in an abandoned amusement park in space? And told them to take a nap? With Cybermen?! What kind of nanny is she?? I'm sorry, but she lost all credibility as a companion for me after that move, leaf donation on Akhaten notwithstanding. The Doctor needs his companions to remind him to love, to stop him when he's drowning a million Racnoss in the Thames, to keep him from annihilating the entire Dalek race even if they killed his own in the Time War. To make a half-human, half-Dalek remember his humanity by thinking of his true love, not the pain of his loss. A good companion doesn't so easily put the mere two kids she's been charged with in such danger, even if her greater job (yeah Impozzzzzible Girl, whatevzzz) is to protect The Doctor. I know it's a small point, but it bugged me. It's just lazy writing, and indicative of the downward spiral of the whole last season. It felt like they were seriously making it all up as they went along. And what, are you guys bringing her back, to pair with the f-bomb dude? Really? Perky little souffle girl in her little plaid dresses, who can't even remember to pick up the kids from the cinema on her way to Trenzalore... with Senor Unibrow?
Ok I know I'm being petty now. And I actually liked that last episode, and I'm intrigued by the whole John Hurt story line. And who doesn't love anything with River Song! Or Vastra, Jenny, and Strax! (who need their own series, Moffat, get on that.) But I think it stood out because the rest of the season was so bad. Except for this, which was magnificent, and held such promise. (but still, why didn't the TARDIS translate that dog person? just sayin'...) (also? can this little girl please be the next companion? I loved her.)
Yes you were.
I guess I just wanted more, and because the show has been so fantastic (yeah, Nine!)in the past, I think I was right to expect it. That's why I'm a fan. I know they can do better. Moffat can do better. Dude brought us Weeping Angels, come on. This doesn't make me less of a fan. I'll still watch it. I can't wait for the 50th anniversary (more Rose and Ten! Squee!) and I know I'll get used to 12... er 13, whatever he is. He'll probably be great in his way. I'm willing to give him a shot. But enough with all the memes about how I'm not a true Whovian (whatever that is) if I'm not excited about Capaldi yet. Like this one, that sent me over the edge today:
And I know these are largely created by very young fans who have nothing better to do than make someecards and post them all over Facebook and everywhere else. The same fans who I'm guessing actually have a secret stash of Twilight books at home and enjoyed them immensely just a few years ago (Team Edward here) until they discovered The Doctor for the first time, watched every single episode ever made (because again, they have the time to do that sort of thing) and now feel like they own the fandom.
Kids, enough with the hate. I feel what I feel. Deal with it, I'm human. Gloriously, imperfectly human, with all those silly human emotions that The Doctor loves so much about us. Don't tell me I'm not enough of a nerd. Don't tell me I have to follow all of your criteria for proper Who fandom. I love what I love, and I don't love this guy yet. Maybe I won't ever. It's really ok to admit that. I grew to appreciate Matt Smith, but I never loved him like Tennant. So what?
Why do us nerds make these things into such a big competition anyway? (insert thoughtful analysis about boy nerds vs girl nerds that I'll get around to writing someday here.) You like some stuff, you don't like other stuff, get over it. It doesn't make you like the stuff you like any less. I actually left a Who facebook group recently after a very heated debate over "Newvians" vs. "Whovians" got personal and mean. Seriously guys, stop taking this so seriously. It's a tv show. It's supposed to be fun.That's all it's ever meant to be: a great story, with great characters, that touches us in a way that's enjoyable and meaningful in whatever way you want it to be. It's not your whole identity, no matter how much you love it.
And I don't love this guy yet, for some of the pettiest, silliest reasons. Guess what, I don't have to. I'm a fan too, and I can do what I want with my own fanaticism. I can mourn the loss of my favorite Doctor as long as I want, and stick my tongue out at the new guy until he makes me like him, which I know he probably will. But he hasn't yet. And I'm genuinely disappointed in the recent writing of this show, for what I think are very valid reasons. So I reserve the right to be disappointed in this choice for now too. Ask me about it again in December, we'll see.
Meanwhile, I know who I'll be dialing up on Netflix...
Lately I've been thinking a lot about intolerance. It seems like every time I read the news, there's some new horrible story where the basic problem is that there are a lot of people who can't accept that people are different and that's okay. They have to hate people of a different color, a different religion, a different gender, a different sexuality. It makes no sense to me at all, and I've really been thinking a lot about what in the hell this world is coming to if people can't just decide that getting along is more important than everyone being just the same.
So this has had me thinking about the very first time that I remember talking to a racist. I'm sure I'd heard something before, but this was the very first time that the comment was addressed to me. I'll try to paint the scene as best I can. Enjoy!
I was thirteen or fourteen years old, and helping a photographer friend of the family at a school dance. I LOVED this job. LOVED IT. I loved seeing all the girls in fancy dresses, I loved seeing the boys all dressed up and trying to act like it was no big deal that they had on a suit and tie, I loved watching the teachers as chaperones, treating the kids they saw each day like almost grown-ups. It was just fun. It seemed like a safe look into a world that I had an outside chance of joining, and like a way I could learn the ropes so that I wouldn't feel so awkward if I ever got the chance to go. So you know, super fun!
This dance was for a local public high school, and it was held at a place just around the corner from my house. We got there before the kids started arriving, to set up the back drop, the lighting, and the table where I would show the attendees what picture packages they could choose from and collect their money. I was allowed to get myself a bottle of water, as well as some punch and cookies to munch on, and while I was getting my snacks and admiring the dance floor and it's pretty lights and festive paper decorations, the first kids arrived. I hurried back to my station, ready to be helpful and play my own tiny role in each couple's glamorous evening.
Within minutes, the first couple came down the stairs to make their picture decisions. I remember how polite they were to me and to the photographer. They debated for at least 15 minutes over which package to get, and snippets of their conversation floated back to me. He kept telling her that whatever she wanted he was happy to pay for, he'd saved his money so they could have a perfect date. She kept saying that she wanted them to pick together, and kept thanking him for making everything so great so far. She reached up and straightened his tie, smoothed his lapels; he kept telling her that she looked so beautiful, the most beautiful girl in the whole world. They were both glowing at each other, and were wrapped in a sweet bubble of first love. I was enchanted. He was so much taller than her, but every move he made was so gentle and caring. Every time she looked at him, she stood a little straighter and radiated a little brighter. They shared a few sweet and tender kisses, and we all blushed a little knowing I'd been witness to such a private moment. They picked the biggest package they could get, then went over to be the first of the evening to have their pictures taken. As far as I was concerned, I was absolutely thrilled for them, and felt that first real hope that some day, I could be that girl. They smiled brilliantly for their pictures, then stepped aside to watch some friends start the same process, giving each other another sweet kiss to celebrate their evening.
Just then, one of the woman who ran the place where the dance was being held sidled up behind me. She leaned down and whispered, "Oh will you look at that", nodding in their direction. I lookedobediently, since a grown up was telling me to do something. The couple was waiting for their friends to finish their pictures, standing with the young man's arms wrapped around her waist from behind. He leaned down and kissed her cheek, and she responded by turning around and kissing him back. At that moment, the woman whispered directly into my ear "Oh my. Those lips. Can you imagine? That lovely girl is kissing his disgusting black lips. Those black hands pawing at her. Just awful."
I felt cold. I felt sick. I had no idea that anything gross or bad was happening, and in fact, I was pretty sure that everything I had witnessed was both lovely and good. I turned in my seat to look at this woman, who gave me a knowing look, and then walked away. She had thrown her horrible dart at me and left, leaving me disgusted and confused. Should I tell someone that she had said that? Was I complicit in her hate just for hearing it? I wasn't sure what my role was in this age-old drama.
I wish I could say that I stood up and followed her and told her what a racist piece of shit she was. I wish I could say that I found a way to shame her for her ugly views, or that I got her to realize how appalling her views were. I didn't. I was only a kid, and I hadn't yet learned that when somebody throws hate your way, you find a way to fight back for goodness. I just knew that for years, I felt a sick pang in my stomach whenever I drove by that place, and wondered how many other kids she whispered her hatred to.
There it is. My first encounter with a racist. However much I wish I could have had the sense to push back right there, I do think that she sent me down the road to knowing that when evil presents itself to you, you have to push back. But I still do wish I had the chance to talk to her now. Because believe you me, my reaction would be much, much stronger, and I wouldn't live my life regretting the chance to shock a racist with logic, open mindedness, and some good old fashioned curse words. I mean, you wouldn't expect anything less of me, right?