Linkblogging For 20/10/12

I was out all day today, so no proper post, just links. Beach Boys post tomorrow, with luck.

Another Nickel In The Machine on the controversy over female tennis players not wearing stockings in the 1930s. I was particularly fascinated by the woman referred to as “the French hussy” for daring to play tennis without a corset in the early 1920s.

More from Debi on Arrow, the new Green Arrow TV series.

Lawrence Miles writes about the new series of Red Dwarf. I’ve not watched any of the new series yet, because I thought the series deteriorated so badly by series 7 that I couldn’t bear it. Miles hits the nail on the head as to one of the reasons here (the other, related reason is the constant ‘jokes’ about Rimmer having non-mainstream interests). I’d heard much better things about the new series than about anything since series five, but I’ve been fooled before by people saying “X has got better”, but Miles’ description of the difference between this and the previous series may have convinced me to give it a go.

The Aporetic looks at how his Irish ancestors got classified as ‘colored’ in early 20th-century Virginia.

And Millsabout on the Twitter fetishisation of Scientism.

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3 Responses to Linkblogging For 20/10/12

  1. Oliver says:

    I enjoyed the first two Red Dwarf – typical season 3-5 stuff – a small cast, claustrophic quarters and good A & B plots that intersect strongly and pull all the humour together. Nothing groundbreaking mind you, but a good laugh.

  2. Hal says:

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much about Red Dwarf X. Don’t get me wrong it *is* actually better than VII and VIII (I’m tempted to say it’d *have* to be) or the misguided Back to Earth in that it actually feels more like Dwarf yet I think it’s more of a case of it being Naylor’s best solo Dwarf rather than matching the best of the Grant Naylor years. I came to it simply hoping that it would be worthwhile, I had no expectation that it would be the “BEST EVAH!” and that non-expectation was met. It would be too much to expect that it would be equal to its peak years (1989-91) even with a reunited Grant and Naylor so I didn’t and therefore was pleasantly surprised that it rose to the heights of “really quite good” in the opener Trojan. The script was flawed and the performances were variable (tho’ better than anything Post-VI) yet it was mostly amusing. The following two episodes show much clearer signs of Doug Naylor’s weaknesses, the diffuse plotting, laboured jokes, recycling (tho’ that was a hallmark of the final gag-happy, characterisation-light Grant Naylor series – VI – which though funny at timer was weak on plot whilst catering for an expanded audience and a certain type of fan), and even purely awful elements that bedevil his Dwarf (there’s a particularly awful running “joke” about “chinese whispers” in Fathers and Suns that culminates in the appearance of a thing called Taiwan Tony while the first half of Lemons is perfectly dreadful). Miles is wrong about VIII failing because it was too “geeky for the geeky”, in truth it was just godawful while Naylor’s treatment of SF concepts and character was maladroit just as with VII. He’s half-right that the Steptoe & Son in Space was central to the concept but the series was at its peak when the SF ideas played off the characters. Once the characters (particularly Rimmer) were denied humanity in favour of pure gaggery (VI) the rot had set in and when Naylor was Grantless, ooh it got *much* worse! Miles does like to ride his cult tv hobby horse a little too hard!

  3. S. Barrios says:

    the Virginia/Irish story is one i had not heard (and i *live* here). the sheer deviltry of Walter Plecker cannot be emphasized enough, though. in addition to persecuting the Mysterious Melungeon People, his .. racial purification fetishes led to the sterilizations of any number of “feeble-minded” and mixed race persons. and, yes, the innovation of Naziism was largely the application of *famous German efficiency* to eugenic policies that were set up in many American states (Indiana, Virginia, etc).

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