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You know, the first paragraph was fairly inoccuous, just about how he discovered the theme tune is the same as the old one. And then, in the second paragraph, it begins.
Rose: "What exactly is this fing?"

Oh, fuck off.

Yes, we begin this week's festival of pompous moronitude with Annoying Tic Number One, the "phonetically rendered foreign accent". But there's more hilarious "look at those funny foreigners" nonsense to come!
"Mummy," if you didn't know, is British for "Mommy." Weirdly, they call reanimated Egyptian Pharoahs "Mortimers" over there. I don't get it either.

Oh, the unfunniness. And seriously, if there's anyone so stupid that they can't figure out that "Mummy" equals "mommy", they probably can't read.
"For nobody else gave me the thrill/ when I have found I love you still/ it had to be you, wonderful you..." The only place you can get milk is Earth; the only person who can save the Ninth Doctor is Rose; this kid only has one Mummy, and Rose isn't it. It had to be you.

Thanks for just RUINING ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SONGS with your pretentious wanker-ness, arsehole.
Is Rose, like, allergic to fear? Any second now she's going to start that whole "This is just a joke being played on me by my high-school rugby team, isn't it?" spiel.

Christ almighty, if you're writing about it for an international audience, at least make a freaking attempt to understand the country you're supposedly such a fan of, Mr "I watch unfunny middle-aged sitcoms watched by no one under the age of 50 on this side of the Atlantic, therefore I am an Anglophile". The fic writers who post questions on HP Britglish can do it, why can't you? Just because, as wonderlanded pointed out, you think that rugby is so incredibly British that it is the exact cultural equivalent of American football in the US, doesn't mean that this is the case. And, the other reason for my annoyance at this line is (a)"High school"? and (b) the chances of an inner city London school having a rugby team at all are slim.
"It's just, there's this thing I need to find, would've fallen from the sky a couple of days ago..." That's like classic comedy, if somewhat British.

What the...? What does that even mean? Can't something British be classic comedy? Why the "if"?
he says it's a "fair point," and...no. It's a "good point," or a "fair argument," but it's not a "fair point." I realize he's not actually American, but that's no excuse.
Oh, so other people should check local idoms on the internet, but not you?
And then the Doctor: "Thanks, miss!" Lots of appearing and disappearing in this episode. It's evocative.

Thanks for telling us! Could it also be...I dunno...about intimacy? Just a hunch.
I don't presume to know anything about U.K. culture, or the Commonwealth. I'm just a stupid American.

Well, as Jesus would say, "it is you who say it".
"Brother?" asks the Doctor. Indeed. I'm quite partial to stories about just one guy, on the ship or the boat or whatever -- just that one guy who's left, and what it takes, and where do you get the strength to be that guy? And with Constantine and Nancy, that's two small heroes nobody knows about except us. Brother indeed.

When he talks about nobility and the heroic nature of the Doctor and that sort of thing, it's exactly as touching, profound and inspiring as 'Hero' by Mariah Carey. And has the same effect on my nerves.

And then...well, I was actually thinking that this week's recap was a bit blah. That while not actually good or interesting or funny, it wasn't quite as actively skin-crawlingly shit as usual. But! He was saving the best until last, for behold this quite impressively dreadful paragraph. Watch out, it's long...
I wanted to mention that last week was about reconnecting with the father -- the real father; the man behind the mask. And there's a way in which this story -- the Doctor as the Orphan of Gallifrey, losing Rose to a better version of himself, identifying his own existential need to survive through heroism in Nancy's activities, the ego in survivor guilt -- dances around motherhood in a much less direct way. But it's not just about finding your mother -- it's also about claiming your power. Being the mother. The mother that would roar and would not let Hitler take her, or her children. About Nancy's need to mother those around her, while this beastly child is begging her for the same. About the way Nancy and the Doctor are more alike than anything -- and maybe Rose and Captain Jack are the same; maybe they're just looking for somebody to tell them what to do, or tell them that they're wrong -- but there's no power in doing so. Again, the characters (doubled this time) are confronted with decisions they can't reasonably be asked to make, sacrifices no one should have to make, and again -- like saving Pete Tyler, pushing out into the street beside him before it's too late -- learning that grace is what enables you to get there. And that the dividends are miraculous. So don't be worried. You can be scared, but don't be worried.

But I am worried! Worried that if I read any more of this bollocks, which reads, as ever, like something out of a crappy college literary magazine, I will become so enraged that I have a heart attack and die. And my last thoughts will not be, as the writer intended, "wow, it's true, grace is what enables me to get to a miraculous state of heroism". It will be, "why did I read that terrible nonsense?"

But wait! There's more!
I think the Doctor dreams of being alone, locked in a cellar or a glass house, with no way out. I think the Doctor dreams in Dalek voices.

Wow, that's beautiful. Or it would be if it didn't sound like a lyric from a '70s prog rock song.
I think that this season (this Doctor) is about being an orphan -- about war taking everything away. Every single thing. And I think that the Doctor is about preserving that last spark of himself, that individuality, beyond extinction. Saving himself by saving the world, just like Peter Tyler.

Oh, he's Peter now, is he? You're so...so gracious, Jacob, giving such retrospective dignity to FICTIONAL CHARACTER. And lest we forget, Pete Tyler's own wife didn't call him Peter.
So I think, by any stretch, he's being a champ here, because all he wants to do is love that child, that orphan, and, by doing so, redeem himself. Which is hard to do when the person you're looking to protect, whether it's in the Blitz or 2012 Utah or the Victorian era, turns out to be the thing you're most afraid of, because you can't run from your mistakes. You'll always get your hand bitten by the dog you abused. And I think that if this week is a basic horror story, then next week is a story of wonder, of grace -- which is what the Doctor most deserves. This is a show about earning that grace, and the show always goes the distance to do that, if nothing else. And I have this feeling that, next week, he'll maybe get to dance.

Do you? Do you really? Can it be true? Just FUCK OFF, and take your first-year-in-college-introduction-to-Freud shit with you. I dread next week's recap, I really do.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
I'll forgive him "fing", because plenty of English people, including people whose native dialect is southeast/Estuary English would write Rose's speech like that. But the rest? Omg Omg. Perhaps he's TRYING to destroy Über from the inside?

The whole thing does kind of go with Sars response to me in demonstrating their complete lack of interest any market outside North America, doesn't it?
May. 12th, 2006 09:26 am (UTC)
I don't know if I'd be ok with an English person writing regional dialect that way, either. It's a bit "this is the proper way to pronounce this consonant/vowel/diphthong, and your way is delightfully quaint/subliterate/other." It's possible to convey regional speech patterns without phonetically spelling it out -- and particularly doing so inconsistently, like Jacob does. He seems to write it that way because he thinks it's "cute", and it's not.

It's a personal thing, I suppose, but I don't like it in general -- whether it's an English person writing West Country dialect phonetically or an American or Australian writing Irish Carribean or Creole or Pidgin English phonetically. And it's got the unfortunate historic overtones of racism which make me very uncomfortable.
May. 12th, 2006 09:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, I agree, not least because I've spent years seeing my own country's accents rendered in this "cute" way (usually inaccurately). Also, there is a big difference between someone who speaks like that doing it and someone from another country doing it.
May. 12th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
Have you read pleidhce's novel? Does it bug you in that? Because I thought it was really effective.
May. 12th, 2006 11:04 am (UTC)
I think phonetic spellings is one of a range of tactics an author can use to convey regional speech patterns, along with the rhythm of a particular dialect, or even a single, non-standard word. And yes, it can be a tool used by a speaker of a dominant dialect to ridicule a subaltern dialect, but I certainly wouldn't automatically dismiss it on those grounds.

I tend to work on the assumption that everyone reads conventionally-spelled English in their own accent, with a few slight moderations (though I'm willing to accept that that's because because I speak a dominant dialect of English.) I don't read Joyce with an Irish accent, or Armistead Maupin in a Californian accent, because it slows down my reading speed if I concentrate on spelling it out in my head. Having a word spelled in a non-conventionally fashion brings me up and makes me actually listen to the accent of the character in my head, which can make a piece of dialogue much more immediate to me. I'd buzz over "What's that thing?" in my own accent, but I immediately hear Billie Piper's voice saying "What's that fing?"
Sometimes I want a reader to hear something in precisely the accent I'd say it in (or precisely the accent I heard it in, when I'm reporting overheard speech), and if I can evoke that really immediate sensation in the reader's head by changing one vowel, I think that's a very valid use of language. Any literary device is annoying if it's overused, or used badly, but well-used, it can be very, very effective.

Where would you put Irvine Welsh, out of interest? Because he really makes me focus on the accent that I hear in my head, and his writing would be infinitely the poorer without it.
May. 12th, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
I know what you mean, but I see a difference between someone writing in dialect - where everyone's speaking in dialect - and only using phonetics to transcribe the speech of the working classes, which is something that happens a lot. I mean, I think Irvine Welsh is a genius, but there are about five people in the world who can write that sort of perfectly evocative dialect (bizarrely enough, one of those people is an old co-worker of mine whose satirical books about awful rugger bugger Ross O'Carroll Kelly phonetically transcribe the dialect of both upper-middle-class and working class characters to absolute perfection). But until I see middle class English RP accents transcribed phonetically (and I don't mean extreme old stuff like "teddibly happy", I mean ordinary things like not sounding 'r's at the end of words), which I have never, ever seen, I can't distinguish stuff like "I fink" from snobbishness.
May. 12th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
I think with "I fink" it would come down to who the author was for me. It would grate from a white middle-class author who assumed that s/he talked just how things were written. But if it was, say, Monica Ali, deliberately drawing attention to the fact that a second-generation Bangladeshi lad had a strong working-class London accent and implicitly asserting his identity as a Londoner, it wouldn't grate at all.

I thought it was fascinating in Gaudy Nights that Lord Peter's speech is marked as upper-class (all those missing Gs) and the working class characters' speech would be marked, but the middle-class characters (like Harriet) never have a single flagged pronunciation. That's the point for me: I have no blanket objection to phonetic pronunciations, just the relationship between what's being marked as the "default" (the shared dialect of the author and presumed reader) and what's being marked as other.

(Which, thinking about it, was why I felt justified using phonetic spelling in that thing I posted the other week about the little lad on the bus looking at the sky, even though it annoyed you and Helen. What I wanted to mark was the way very small children enunciate very clearly, as if they haven't yet learnt to slur, rather than marking his speech as "foreign" and implying that my middle-class English accent was the default. I wouldn't have done it if it had been someone older, but the assonance and the extreme weight he gave to the vowels I, sky and high was part of the poetry of what he was saying and I wanted to convey that. Though I know that that wasn't how you read it, so I failed.)
May. 12th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
Phonetic pronunciations! Ah, you know what I mean!
May. 12th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
I don't as a rule like dialect either, because it takes me out of the story momentarily and feels like the author is setting the dialect-speaking character apart from the rest of his or her cast of characters, but not for the purposes of the narrative.

And 95% of the time, an author writing in dialect isn't capturing the rhythms of that person's speech quite accurately. Imo it shows an author's insecurity about their ability to really convey that person or group's speech patterns and they overcompensate by laying it on thick.

The best rendering of dialect--and it's done more subtly, without all the apostrophes getting in the way of one's reading--is Faulkner's depiction of the speech of the black family who takes care of the Compsons in The Sound and the Fury.
May. 12th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
Argh. I am twitching with hate again, tempered only by my love for your careful framing of the wankoquotes.

I would be changing my journal title to "The Doctor dreams in Dalek voices" if I could find where LJ has hidden the change title bit in its latest "improvements".
May. 12th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
This recap-recap is dedicated especially to you! Although it was, as I said, a bit dull until the grand finale.

And please do change your journal title! It's so evocative. It's about loneliness. It's about the enemy. It's about intimacy.
May. 12th, 2006 09:29 am (UTC)
The idea of Rose either talking about her high school or her school's rugby team made my brain unpeel.
May. 12th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Oh, GOD. I skim read it last night, and to start with it wasn't too awful though it got worse. Stupid Jacob.

I really love how he, who is supposed to not know much about the Doctor, feels he can drop in things about the history and that as if he's suddenly the world's greatest expert. I think I shall blame him for my brain hurting.
May. 12th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
I realize he's not actually American, but that's no excuse.

i believe this says it all.
May. 15th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Ha! Also, I'm sorry.
May. 12th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
Good grief. That long paragraph had me putting my hands to my head, somewhere between pain, hilarity and sheer disbelief.

I'm just glad you're here to make it bearable.
May. 12th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
Could it also be...I dunno...about intimacy?

Hahahahaha! :::wipes eyes:::

I have never seen this show in my life, but your MSTing of the recaps are my new Friday morning ritual! You might dread next week's recap, but I can't wait for your post about it. :)

May. 12th, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
Could it also be...I dunno...about intimacy?

Ha, ha! This made me laugh out loud too. Your best Jacob rant yet.
May. 12th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
You know how TwoP has those periodic fundraisers where you and all your friends can get together and donate to some charity and then you get your Very Own Recap? I have an idea. Let's all promise a certain sum to a TwoP charity if Jacob stops recapping.

Or would that kill the guilty fun? Let's see. Donate and force him into a remedial writing class?
May. 15th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Hee! Excellent idea, but you could be right about killing the guilty fun - might we miss him if he went away?
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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