About “Monsters and Wank” – Particularly “Wank”

So one of my comments for Blogtor Who Commentaries was bleeped on the podcast. The bleeped word was “wank”. This caused me some disquiet. I’m not upset at Sandy and Cameron, not at all. I’m a little upset at me. Maybe.

I don’t mind being a bit rude, but I do mind being more than just a teensy bit offensive. I don’t really want to cross the bleep barrier. And it’s really weird when you belong to a language/culture group that goes around appropriating other people’s words and using them willy-nilly, as my language/culture group does.

When I was homeschooling my boys once upon a time, one exercise we did was giant post-its on the walls of the dining room whereupon we categorized types of offensive speech. Blasphemy was there. Profanity was there. Racial slurs, rude words, and other expressions that will get your ass kicked.

I don’t think “wank” or “wanker” were on any of the lists, but I still think in these categories. On my mental post-its, these words are slightly higher than “crap” and “ass” but a bit below “douchebag” on the “rude words” list. I have to now wonder if they belong on the “profanity” list, along with the f-bomb. By the way the f-bomb is one of my favorite words in the universe, but you’re not likely to catch it here, because of what list it’s on and what other lists I’d like this site to be on.

In context, this word was originally chosen by another person to convey the idea that some emotional content in Doctor Who is there simply to gratify the parts of the human brain that want it, not to necessarily further the plot or theme or whatever aspect of a TV show one would describe as its value. The idea is that some emotional content is gratuitous. The “monsters and wank” rating is supposed to serve as a warning for people who hold similar opinions or otherwise are allergic to too much touchy-feely.

Is “wank” rude or is it profane? Should this rating be called something else? If so, what? I thought about calling it “monsters and crap” but while that maintains the worthlessness concept, it loses the desirable gratuitous stimulation aspect, and that’s sort of key.

Fragments

Some things I thought about today …

Missed opportunity at Lake Silencio:

River: Hello Sweetie.
The Doctor: What have you done?!
River: Well I think I just drained my weapons systems.
The Doctor: But this is fixed! This is a fixed point in time!
River: Time is not the boss of me. Rule 408.

I want to ask Chameleon Circuit if they’re going to do one called “Time is Not The Boss of Me”. Or maybe “The Rules”.

Poem/lyric fragment:

Human echo of an ancient race.
Corkscrew hair. Mischief face.
Psychopath on the grip end of a gun.

Kiss of poison, kiss of dreams.
Sometimes handcuffs, tears or screams.
Burning eyes and you just watch us run.

What does it do to a boy to watch a girl give her life,
When she knows his deepest secret, when she might be his wife?

Rory Deaths

Rory != the dead one

People make a big fuss out of how often Rory dies. Even Steve Silent (or was it Jimmy Big Hands?) gives Captain Williams a hard time about it in The Wedding of River Song. But Amy dies almost as often.

  • Amy’s Choice – everyone “dies” twice. Rory just dies first and unintentionally. Quotes for dream deaths.
  • Cold Blood – Rory dies and gets de-existed.
  • The Pandorica Opens – Amy dies.
  • Day of the Moon – Both Rory and Amy “die”. Quotes for hoax death.
  • The Curse of the Black Spot – Rory dies.
  • The Doctor’s Wife – Rory “dies”. Quotes for hallucinatory death.
  • The Girl Who Waited – one of the Amys dies and gets de-existed.

So that’s Rory only outdying Amy 5 to 4 plus one de-existence apiece. That’s really not such a big margin.

Still tallying Rory deaths though. Because it’s fun.

Oh the Uproar

Up in arms go the fans over an announcement that Harry Potter director David Yates is now working on a Doctor Who feature film. Heh, he is so in for it. Many of us still have cerebral bruising from the made-for-TV movie widely considered to be wall-to-wall rubbish (except for Paul McGann himself). The big problem is in the phrase “breaking from the show’s continuity”. Another article I saw on the topic used “will not adhere to its small screen counterpart’s continuity”. Fans love their story and won’t appreciate somebody messing it up.

"Half human on his mother's side" did not go over well at all.

Fan that I am, I don’t see too much to get alarmed about just yet. By announcing early (they’re looking at two or three years just for script development), Yates is inviting several cubic parsecs of feedback, which he can use or not, but it would definitely give him an idea of how invested the fans are. If it comes out great, then yay. If it comes out awful, then the TV series will look good in comparison. If it’s not going to adhere to canon, hopefully the series will likewise not adhere to it, which is fine by me. It’d be like the Peter Cushing movies then.

There are ways he could do this fantastically, though. There’s not an absolute between adhering to canon and breaking from it. A story can be completely independent of it, if written well. I personally would love a Time War story. That period is a great big gray blank right now and you could do almost anything with it. Or you could do an origin story.

I personally would love a Time War story with Paul McGann, especially if he gets to be a badass because he didn’t get the opportunity in the TV movie, and I haven’t yet obtained the Big Finish audio episodes so I don’t know if he gets to kick butt there either. I want to see a story to tell me just how badly traumatized our 9th Doctor is and exactly why.

Aw, there goes that pesky canon again.