Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why not just scrap Healthcare all together?

I normally try and write when I am in a calm state; passion and emotion are great for devising a story but a distraction when writing one.

Unfortunately today’s blog will be written purely from a very angry place in my head, if I could title it ‘What Grinds My Gears’, and still pull readers I would, but I can’t

The republicans took the House of Representatives. 

Now yes this is American politics, and No I’m not American, but anyone pretending that changes in America don’t ripple out to become changes in the world are fooling only themselves. 

They want to repeal the Health Reform.

That’s where I got to before I got angry. It’s not really a revelation; they had opposed it for so long, it’s just completely mental. Why would you possibly want to repeal a reform that gives you access to Healthcare. It’s like asking for something bad to happen to you. To put the proverbial cherry on the cake they are doing it under the pretext that the heath reform is unconstitutional...yeah its mind boggling.
When me and my sister were little (and ok occasionally now) we used to spend hours stuck in a ‘yes I did’ ‘no you didn’t’ ‘yes I did’ ‘no you didn’t’ feedback loop, both of us forgetting what it is we were talking about and just arguing the opposite of whatever the other would say. 

It’s how you get caught in the classic switcheroo, ‘no I didn’t’, ‘yes you did – damn it.” 

That’s how I imagine American Politics got to where it is at. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to repeal a reform that gives everyone access to proper health care, so maybe the republicans are trying to repeal it just because it is the opposite of the democrats? 

When I was still at school my politics teacher told me that at election time political parties walk to one side of the political spectrum and run to the middle, it made me feel like politicians had to try and cater to everyone.  Somehow in America the populations at the ends outweigh those in the middle and now you have millions of people asking someone to take away their constitutional right to health care.  It’s deeply unsettling. 

Anyway, rant over… for now anyway. 

Hope you are all appreciating your free healthcare and the sensibilities that come along with said appreciation. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We’re all going to die

Not my most positive blog title yes, but one of the more sensible I promise you. 

I don’t know if you saw the story but on New Year’s Eve thousands, like thousands of birds fell dead out of the sky in Arkansas.  The article is here, with video but to summarize, they don’t know what the hell is going on. 

Obviously people jumped on the ‘the end is coming’ bandwagon as quickly as possible, and although this is ridiculous the pictures are incredibly eerie for a happening that must be based in science not voodoo.  The article suggests that perhaps the birds were startled and all flew up into a thunderstorm and died, but the autopsy results are showing internal damage as a cause of death, not electrocution.  It is the stuff of nightmares, and even though I am and never have been an advocate for ‘the birds’ there is something stirringly sad about thousands of them just dropping out the sky. 

My favorite bit of the article is this fellow: "I've been to Iraq and back and not seen nothing like this," Beebe resident Jeff Drennan told local Fox16 News on Sunday.

Really Jeff? No birds falling out the sky in Iraq then? Just hundreds of people shooting each other and dying? They don’t know how good they have it.

Maybe Jeff’s long reaching stupidity killed the birds? I’ve always thought there was something weird about him, walking around talking to cobble stones and whatnot. 

Anyway, first sign of impending doom for 2011, don’t let life get in the way of living or don’t  be a regretful red winged blackbird, contemplating what you could have done different as you fall out a cloud…either/ or.


Monday, January 3, 2011

..all i need is a Doctor Who Bowtie

I am sure you would start to question my identity if I didn’t at some point talk about the Doctor Who Christmas special, so to avoid identity confusion I am going to tell you all about it.

It was brilliant, a sentence I have perhaps over-used when talking about Doctor Who but none the less the truth. It was clever and funny and sad and poignant, but more than that it was fun and exciting and that kind of ‘silly magical’ that goes down a treat at Christmas.

Flying fish, that come down like rain, fueling themselves through the mist using the tiny electrical charges. A giant shark, and a ship full of people to save, whoever was working on this episode must have been giggling the whole way through, it felt like a story you dreamed about when you were young, except this time the Doctor was there so knew it was going to be alright.

The Christmas special was called ‘A Christmas Carol’ and although I’m a big Dickens fan, the concept has been re worked so many times that it has officially been pronounced dead by the board of imagination.  Somehow the magicians behind Doctor Who spun the idea on its head, added a time machine and re-animated it like the proverbial Frankenstein.  More than anything it was exciting.

It takes the writers mere minutes to set up the premise. The doctor has to convince a man (Kazran), who refuses to use his machine to allow a ship to land, that he must do so before lots of people die. There’s the trademark, ‘you don’t have much time to sort this out Doctor’ scenario that often accompanies a Christmas special.

To jump ahead, the Doctor finds some old footage of young Kazran and projects the image on the wall of the study, here you see the young boy embarking on a ‘secret project’ whereby he hopes to lure a fish into his room so he can see it. Interrupting him, his father walks into his room angry and shouting, he bans Kazran from seeing the fish and we are shown an older Kazran looking on sadly as his young self cries into his arms.
The Doctor disappears into the Tardis and low and behold you hear the unmistakable sound of it landing outside Kazran’s window.  The doctor walking into shot and speaking to old Kazran through the Camera tells him is memories are going to change, before he turns his attention back to young Kazran.

After an adventure with a shark, and a growing understanding of how Kazran became like his father the Doctor begins to visit Kazran every Christmas eve, of course this takes mere minutes for the doctor.

Abigail joins their group, a young girl taken by Kazran’s father as insurance on her family’s loan. She is released from her frozen state by Kazran, because like him she too had demonstrated an interest in the fish before she was frozen. Once he releases her, the Doctor and Kazran find her singing to an injured Shark and realize her voice both calms and disarms the fish. Every Christmas Eve they embark on an different adventure and as time flies an older, more handsome Kazran falls in love with Abigail.

Believing this love will change the future the Doctor seems pleased with his progress, however after learning a deep secret about Abigail, Kazran cuts himself off from the doctor, telling him he no longer wants to see him.
Confused, the doctor returns to the present, Kazran still hasn’t changed his mind. He reveals that each day they released Abigail from her frozen state was a day closer until she died, and on their last meeting Abigail had told him she only had one day left to live. The Doctor realizes that this is what made Kazran the man he is today, that this is why he shut him out of his life.

Finally Amy Pond turns up to appeal to Kazra. Calling herself the ghost of Christmas present she projects him inside the ship to see the people he is going to let die. Enraged Kazran doesn’t care, he laughs at the doctor when he turns up at the house telling Kazran he had shown him the past and now he was going to show him the future. Fine he shouts, show me the future, show me the crying families of the people who died, I don’t care.

When the doctor steps aside young Kazran is standing there, terrified at his future self.  The revelation changes Kazran, almost immediately he softens.  Everything has changed.

After a couple more glitches, and in the last possible minute before everything goes wrong, the Doctor figures out that Abigail’s special ability to sing to the fish could be harnessed to help calm the skies. He asks Kazran to release her, even though this will be the last day she ever lives.

The episode ends with Abigail singing to the skies, as it begins to snow. It gives you the warm Christmas glow you’re always looking for around Christmas.
I hope I waited long enough not to ruin the episode for you, but I swear I really haven’t done it justice and you’d be a fool not to go watch it anyway.

Like always Doctor Who allows you to suspend your belief for a whole hour, not because it’s Christmas and there is magic in the air but because just for a second you get lost in the adventure of it all.

I hope you all had a great holiday, and a fantastic new year! I hope that this year brings lots of adventures to get swept up in, and that you live life remembering that it’s on a limited lease.

All I'm asking for in 2011 is a Doctor Who Bowtie,

Love and Cuddles out into the universe…past, future and present.

Meryl xx