Category Archives: viewpoint

Why I’m Saying “No Thanks” to Doctor Who as a Woman

For those who don’t understand why Doctor Who as a character can vary so much between regenerations, or actors, I’ll lay things out plainly so we’re talking on the same terms: The Doctor’s personality is Producer/Show Runner determined. It’s rarer in North America to have a show’s director/producer also be its creator and writer, but less so in UK television and film.

Also, Doctor Who has been running since 1964 and has seen a few different producers, each with unique ideas and takes on the Doctor and his world. Anyone concerned about the gender matrix can jump ship now, because the other part of this equation is that I’m a Latter-Day Saint of the Church of Jesus Christ. Here’s how that affects this context: We believe that all things are formed in the spirit before being formed in the flesh.

That means that flowers are expressly beautiful and designed with purpose, and mortals have two set genders, regardless of the complications of mortality. You may choose to believe otherwise, but understand that is what I believe – and know in my heart – to be true. Life provides many challenges to overcome, and the advent of a female Doctor Who is one of them.

If you’re comfortable with my beliefs, read on. Otherwise, I won’t be brooking any arguments, nor will I be entertaining any conflict. Agency is our God given gift, and the right of every living soul. Good? Excellent. Let’s move on.

Ultimately I don’t have a problem with a female Time Lord. In fact, Romana was a lot of fun and extremely interesting, as she provided a different perspective that allowed us to understand Time Lords a little better. Also, lest we forget – oh how quickly we forget – there is in fact a female version of The Doctor, grown from a sample of his DNA and launched into space many seasons ago.

So that being the case, what’s my beef? The idea of the Doctor regenerating as a woman isn’t strange, and could even work… except that it doesn’t. There are intangible, inherent differences between male and female that supersede genetics, and they are – lest you wonder – the soul. ‘But,’ I hear you say, ‘there’s an argument that you’re wrong here!’

Can we settle this hash quickly? Probably not, but I’m going to try anyway, like so – and yes, it means referring to examples in my religion, but there are others. President Nelson, otherwise known as our Prophet, presides over our Church, guiding us to the Lord, Jesus Christ. His wife, Wendy Nelson, stands tall with him shoulder to shoulder. She has not been called by God to preside, but she leads in example, word and deed as his spiritual and literal equal. She is entitled to the same priesthood blessings that our Prophet receives.

Why can’t she be Prophet? That may seem a delicate matter, but it’s actually quite simple: First of all she wasn’t called to be. In the church those appointed to positions of teaching and leadership are called by divine revelation. This is because callings are opportunities to learn and applicable specifically to the one being called. Our hearts, minds and souls are taught specifically to our needs, which – of course – necessitates an understanding that our Church is led by a living God, and divine revelation. And that, my friends is very much the point.

Try as we might to teach children what we want them to do, they choose for themselves often in spite of our best hopes for them. We are, as sons and daughters of God, taught before birth and given the opportunity to choose for ourselves in this life. So we do, and here we are with a Doctor Who is not the manifestation of his soul. Where’s the logic?

So glad you asked. You won’t like this. How does one justify guilty behavior? Oh, hush, I know fans of the show have been requesting a female regeneration of The Doctor since the 1970’s. Is it any wonder that Moffat decided to trial and error The Master as female? It was unnecessary, even if the character was fun. By the token of the logic you’ve read so far, no, that wasn’t The Master either. It didn’t ring emotionally, or psychologically true to me.

I wouldn’t be surprised if – seeing what he would have to do – that was one of the reasons Moffat decided to quit the show. A gender swap is an interesting conceptual experiment, and one I have dabbled in. A character in Starlit Ruins had Ranma’s curse, and rather a nightmarish college life because of it. She was born female, but changed gender when she made physical contact with hot or cold water, depending which gender she happened to be at the time.

Of course novel I wrote based on Sailor Moon and Palladium Rifts is going to borrow a lot from my influences. It’s a free download, if you’re interested… ahem. Moving on.

Emotionally, Tenma – not the most inventive name, I’ll quickly admit – was female, so she was grounded and straightforward to write as any of the other dozens of characters in the novel. Would she have been less grounded now with so much fluidity about? Not at all, given her birth parents and upbringing. She chose to accept her birth gender, having no guilt and very little problem with “switching” until she was sexually assaulted.

I’m talking about her emotional issues, not yours. Nor am I speaking in general terms about what motivates the gender spectrum community. Let’s not wander that path. As I’ve said, the choice is yours, even if believe it isn’t. That’s the irony of agency: We choose what we want to believe, even if evidence confirms or denies what we are determined upon. That is also the beauty of agency, as it happens. Now, if you’re wondering how this all applies to the latest female regeneration of the Doctor, why don’t we get into that?

Here’s a good way to tackle the issue. Why would a female clone of the Doctor be acceptable when a female regeneration isn’t? I bet you’ve already figured it out. I did leave a hint when I spoke about Tenma. The clone of the Tenth Doctor was “born” female, and thus has a female soul. Clones get souls? You bet they do. But, I can tell you’re burgeoning with a question.

What if the clone was born with a male soul in a female body? Does that happen? Can I prove to you either way? Of course not, and you certainly can’t alter my understanding of the matter that tells me it never happens. It’s too deep, which is why we’re taught to respect and honour each other’s beliefs and choices. The evidence is there, whether we decide to seek it out and accept it is up to us.

Oh, I can tell you’re not satisfied. Here, let’s address some things about men and women before I conclude this discussion: Women can be good leaders, but the fact is they tend not to be – at least, not in the same way as men. By contrast the Senate of the American government is not a righteous body of masculine leadership, by any stretch of the imagination. Succinctly, I’ll say this of our political turmoil: The world is not ruled by men, it is ruled by choices.

Intrinsically, men drive forward while women provide stability that men cannot create. Our capacity for world affecting consequence is not dictated by the genitalia that genetics gave us. It is, however, affected by the wont of our souls. What do we most desire in our hearts? Men cannot lead and guide alone. We’re not – typically – spiritually sensitive enough on our own to be prepared for the needs of those around us. Women – also typically – have an more natural understanding of what we fundamentally are: Spirit children of Heavenly Parents.

Ah yes, that thing – Heavenly Father. You know. Where is our Heavenly Mother? Oh, she’s there, but protected from our reckless ways. It’s important to understand that the universe is not driven by male energy, nor is it fabricated solely by female understanding and heart. Equality between the two is the answer, there. that is a matter sacred and beyond the purview of this particular writing.

Remember that guilt I talked about before? Having a producer that will gender swap the Doctor for heretofore unstated purposes will do a lot to grey down the differences between the sexes – or rather, provide needed justification. You see, if the Doctor can become female, why bother? Why not do both? Or neither? Once you start down that rabbit hole, there is no end. What does anything matter if being female, or being male, has no implication or affect on the fabric of humanity?

If there is no true gender, why does your specific flavour of gender matter so much? Oh, don’t worry about it – there’s no accusation here. If you watch the female Doctor and love it, by all means, that’s your choice. But insofar as I go, I started backing away from The Doctor about the time that Missy showed up. It’s not that I don’t love a good villain, because I do. It just didn’t ring true to me, and as far as everything goes, my heart is my guide.

And my heart tells me that a female Doctor Who is a serious mistake.

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Ghost in the Profit

There were eight people in the theater when my Dad and I went to see Ghost in the Shell’s live action adaptation. For some reason nearly every showing is in 3D, which doesn’t actually hurt this slow burning production. I know – slow burning action movie, right? GITS has a ponderous, ruminating pace that allows for instances of intense cyborg combat and deep introspection. The Major, aka Makoto Kusanagi isn’t a deep feeling sort; but is troubled by a past she is at odds with.

Mira Killian (…how subtle a name is that for a weaponized prosthetic body user?) on the other hand has falsified memories and serious mistrust of nearly all authority figures. She’s inexperienced, impatient and a perplexing mix of two movies and fifty two episodes of very differently paced story. She’s an action hero with programmable motivations, and… it isn’t long before the fascination of all the cybernetics wears off, and you realize just how watered down everything is.

The 1996 animated feature had deep introspective conversations about the nature of living things, and though it was also light on word count, maybe I’m spoiled by the quality of translations. This movie had dull cipro no prescription writing, dumbed down for the North American target audience, and it was not welcome. Oh yes, the visual effects were spectacular, and deserve some kind of award. Too bad the movie was ten years too late to grab any attention. Culturally we’re tired of Anime’s ‘everything goes’ morality.

It was a good movie; the acting was good, the music was… forgettable, but there was a massive disconnect between the world and the characters that lived in it. Instead of a hero’s rise, which is what this was supposed to be about, it felt like Makoto was settling for something other than obscurity. Were the producers and directors so afraid of offending people that they watered down the transhumanist convolution to a piddling tale of phantom body syndrome? Pretty much, even though Mira is a fairly good match for Makoto, she’s not at her level of expertise, skill and professionalism.

Too much, too late, and more static than is necessary about a movie that wouldn’t even dare take a chance to make a real point about its source material so people could be offended. Here’s looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy 2!

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Audiosurf 2 – “Width of a Pixel”

Vitals
Developed/Published by: Dylan Fitterer
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
Available via: Steam ($16.99) -|- Direct from Publisher ($14.99 USD)
Consider also: Audiosurf ($10 CDN)

We’ve been down this road before, but it was bumpier, a little jittery, and underpowered. Acceleration was poor and the brakes squealed, but it was our first ride. We’d paid for it with our own money and no one could tell us where we could go or what we allowed to listen to. Continue reading

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David, Thank You

My thoughts are small at this time, they certainly seem so in the wake of the loss on such a great scale. I have never known a man able to connect zithromax no prescription with experience so honestly, and I know I never shall again. He was a man of the time, greater than any time lord, more fragile than any child, stronger and broader than any foundation. Continue reading

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Filed under my view, television media, tribute, viewpoint

Location Unknown

Irritably enough I am reminded that the Cloud is just that. Intangible but enforced by marketers as ever necessary for all tasks. Offline access of files, while crucial, remains awkward. Not seamless, not particularly user friendly either. Continue reading

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Remember I said “Total Radio Silence”?

Starwise-bust-watermarked

Fliss Starwise

Okay I admit I never said that, but I did mention that this “wonderful new story”, entitled Sliver of Light, would not receive the spoiler treatment. Having totally turnedcoat on that idea, there is now a ‘novel development blog’ which I will be updating whenever it feels appropriate. Not in such a way as to detract from the core business of writing. The blog is called Cobalted (link opens in new window/tab), and has of this moment features a character synopsis for the main character, Fliss Starwise with more on the way soon.

Go check it out. This isn’t my usual kidnapping, disappearance or abuse intrigue and mystery. The narrative is called limited omniscient, my favorite writing style, granting me access to the thoughts and feelings of every character and it is my most comfortable vantage point. I’ve gotten the impression that many of my followers appreciate Aaran’s personality, or frankly, how real she is. So do I and I’ve mentioned that I was moving away from the darkness in which she lives.

A tale that any one can pick up is just more important to me than trying to be something grittier than myself. So many Canadian games and fiction comes across as harder and more jaded because that is what is expected. It’s not enough to be brilliant, genius and amazing if you’re nice, too. Without getting into the subject at length, I don’t ventolin no prescription believe that’s necessary to demonstrate integrity.

I will say this: We can recognize the battlefield and fight it without letting go of our souls.

You do know that is the core of Aaran Vanadyl’s being, don’t you? Some of you must. It’s easy to become comfortable with stories of abuse and pain, desensitized by the commonality and medium of experience and incident exploited for entertainment. I do not miss the contrast and ironic barriers placed on sexual content verses everything else. Let’s not limit the idea to violence, because that’s escapist. Violence is not the only victim silenced in our public discourses.

Sliver of Light will feature action (read: violence with a purpose) as much as its other elements, which include fantasy, mystery and of course, fiction. Foremost it is an ‘ordinary tale’ of adventure and coping with life as it happens to its cast. Awakening the heart of Amustere Goldfinch, the languishing mind of Diver Seasmoke and meeting the beautiful Pittance with her own goals.

I take a risk in exposing this work so early on, and I know it. However … I believe I am not alone in seeking and elevating what is good. Even with “so few” followers, I am further assured. So, as always, thank you. Cobalted will update with new chapters every Monday, because it should be a day you have something good to read.

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The Swapper – “Illumination by Imitation”

Vitals
Published/Developed by Facepalm Games – Link
Platform(s): XBox 360, Playstation 3/4/Vita and PC (Windows)
Retails via Digital Download
Retails via:
Steam
($14.99 CDN) -|- Direct from Developer $14.99 (CDN) -|-
GOG.com for $14.99 -|- XBox Marketplace for $14.99
Playstation Network for $14.99 – Search Results

I crept more than jumped at the chance to play The Swapper. Moody, dark, lonely games aren’t my usual fare. I prefer stories of hope with dramatic events. You are the unnamed and not so intrepid space suit bound adventurer unraveling an abandoned mining project. Did Theseus dig too deep? What has become of the crew? Continue reading

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Fez – “Forgiving Perception”

Vitals
Published/Developed by Polytron Coporation / Trapdoor
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3/4 and Vita, Windows, Linux & Mac
Retails via Digital Download and Your Local Gaming Retailer
Steam
for $10.99 (CDN) -|- GOG.com for $9.99 (USD/CDN)
Playstation Network for $12.99 or Demo (Free) – Search Results

Indie developed titles and can be rewarding in their diversion from the mainstream. Gomez, the protagonist of Fez, is a charmer represented by a few handfuls of pixels and plenty of affection. Its colorful palette and masterful execution invites you to explore and check your stress at the door. Continue reading

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Nitronic Rush – “Core Performance”

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Published/Developed by Team Nitronic
Platform(s): (PC) Windows
Retails via Digital Download
Developer for Free -|- Consider also Distance for $20.00 (Standard) or $30.00 (Deluxe)

Until I was about sixteen I had a body numbing fear of speed. Even virtual presentations of moving rapidly would arrest my senses and cause me to feel panicky at the lack of control. Over time, I realized, the source was the cure. Nitronic Rush, like driving a real vehicle, confronts such anxiety directly with every assurance of control over your actions. Continue reading

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Audiosurf – “Freedom from Everything”

Vitals
Published/Developed by Dylan Fitterer
Platform: (PC) Windows
Retails via Digital Download
Developer’s Site
for $9.99 (USD) -|- Steam for $10.99 (CDN)
Consider also: Audiosurf 2 (my review) for $16.99 CDN via Steam or Direct for $14.99 USD

This heavily stylized ride puts you on an electronic superhighway generated by any piece of music you feed it. Threading through colored blocks to collect matching sequences while avoiding others contributes to a score which is immediately posted online to integrated leaderboards.  Released on Steam in 2008, Dylan Fitterer’s AudioSurf has crested on the PC to the pleasure of many rhythm game enthusiasts. Continue reading

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