Radiation by Fiona Rae

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Radiation: Big bang theory

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  • recordari,

    Fair enough, your wayward use of the possessive just made me want to be clear on the subject.

    Sorry about that. This rolling discourse is like a fast moving train sometimes.

    Who's got a pendant? I didn't know about those.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    not wanting to interrupt, but it's rather amusing to see a pendantic discussion on sci-fi characterisation and the rights and wrongs on various depictions of geekery as related to the real world while also confessing to having no idea about recent Beyonce singles...

    Meh - 'Single Ladies' was a barn-burner, but the other singles off 'I Am... Sasha Fierce' haven't done much for me. The R&B tracks are competent but more of the same, and when she's tried to work in a more electro-pop edge to her sound? 'Sweet Dreams' was certainly critically and commercially successful, but didn't entirely work.

    Still, there's a kicky thrill in watching Miss B. and Lady G. (or their stylists) doing their audition for that Barbarella re-make:


    Tricia Helfer and Summer Glau could totally kick their arses, though.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Beyonce works it so much better. But then she does have many years experience on Lady G.

    Crazy in Love is a great song, but really isn't a patch on the song it samples: Chi Lites Are You My Woman?

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    not wanting to interrupt, but it's rather amusing to see a pendantic discussion on sci-fi characterisation and the rights and wrongs on various depictions of geekery as related to the real world while also confessing to having no idea about recent Beyonce singles...

    I thought I was pretty clear that I care about their characterisation, and the lack of girl geeks, because I *am* like them (only, since we're being obvious, of the girl persuasion). In which case the music thing should be completely unsurprising.

    (Although I will quibble your conflation of "Beyonce singles" and "real world". I can talk for hours about many things in the "real world". Current pop music just isn't that high on my catch-up list.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Rich - the book is much better (and doesn't have Hugh Grant in it). The boy is written as much more autistic than portrayed in the movie.

    He sure is -- although still not named as such, if I recall correctly. But I think I'd have spotted it even if I hadn't known Hornby's family story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I'd have said four through nine, but it hasn't just been a slow decline. I've really like a number of episodes in seasons 19 and 20.

    Yeah, I'd say that's about right. The Simpsons has started a decline since...well, somewhere in the middle of their 21 seasons, but I couldn't say exactly where. But there has still been some excellent episodes even in the more recent seasons, and I wouldn't say there's any point at which it has jumped the shark. Yet.

    Freaks and Geeks ... is OODLES better, but of course it is one of my favourite shows of all time.

    Yep - great show, sadly cut short.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Chi Lites Are You My Woman?

    Tell Me So!

    I am totally down with the original song (I went on a quest for it when I read about the sample), but actually, I think 'Crazy in Love' works that horn riff pretty badassly (a word I have just coined) too.

    And since she came up, I truly wish Lady Gaga's songs were a patch on her image. I love all the stuff she wears and find her singles... totally average. It's disappointing.

    Current pop music just isn't that high on my catch-up list.

    Hush your mouth! ;) (And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why Lucy knows stuff about the useful, interesting things of the world, and I... don't. Oh dear.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "The Simpsons"-I stopped buying "The Complete..Season" after the 9th. I've seen the odd goody since, but my sampling is intermittent, and the edge is gone from most of what I've viewed. Must go back the fan sites and check out what is reguarded as excellent from the last 12 seasons. 'Cause, sometimes, y'know, it's just too much time wasted to watch crud.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Frankly, The Simpsons has been going downhill for so long, I just can't wait for it to die; they are ruining their leacacy. For me, seasons four and five was the peak, and pretty much each season since (21st, now) has been a bit less great than the previous.

    Coincidentally, Conan O'Brien was a lead writer for the Simpsons during seasons four and five. While those two are probably the best, certainly the moment where it all came together- in terms of animation, writing, cultural impact and sheer pop culture acuity-but it maintained its supernova high standards until at least season eight. On the commentaries, Matt Groening, Al Jean and John Schwartzwelder admit that O'Brien put a rocket up the rest of the writing team and challenged them to push things even further.

    After that, things became difficult, and the quality started to dip, due to a number of factors- the mass exodus of many of their best writers and showrunners (Brad Bird, Mike Judge, etc) during the previous couple of years was starting to show, the death of Phil Hartman and Mike Scully's takeover as lead showrunner moved the show into- how can I put this?- more "cartoon" territory which it never fully recovered. The emergence of Ian Maxtone-Graham, possibly the chief offender, didn't help matters either.

    As for the late-night show war, who's up for rewatching their Larry Sanders Show DVDs- that programme clearly got a lot right about the sort of personalties attracted to that format, and the sheer insanity of the format's compromises in terms of the advertiser's and the guest's demands.

    Of course, Jon Stewart has been showing them all up for years now, even Letterman. Not just in the sketches, but the quality of guests alone. Even the celebrity movie plug chit-chats seem sharper.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 436 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Barney on How I Met Your Mother is a character I can find amusing on television, but would punch in the mouth if he was a real person. But there's a line between "stupid and sexist jerk gets his" and wondering why we haven't yet had the very episode where Penny slaps Howard with a non-molestation order. Or a baseball bat. Either works for me.

    Absolutely. Although similarly, knowing that Charlie Sheen is in fact a real life misogynist on charges for assaulting a woman while drunk makes watching Two and a Half Men just that much more less likely, and his on-screen persona even more creepy.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, I think we've had this all out on another thread but I'm more 'concerned' about the need to put a clinical label on Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory or Temperance Brennan in Bones. Not because I think being an Aspie is some repulsive mark of Cain, but because we really don't need another way in pop culture to turn social outsiders into pathological cases who can be explained away with lashings of pseudo-medical jargon. Do we?

    It's a really interesting question. No one who knows the topic could miss the string of Aspie in-jokes every week, but it's never stated. Sometimes, you think, well it might be nice for ASD people (and kids) to unequivocally see themselves in the culture.

    But I suspect that if the A-word were spoken, they'd be obliged by the Operating Manual For American Popular Culture to go all disease-of-the-week. Sheldon would have to be redeemed or accepted or something. Bleurrgh.

    We've found geek culture to be an excellent ASD proxy in the media. Leo, who really does not want to talk about Aspergers, revels in being a geek.

    Geekdom actually works, culturally, for our family.

    It was really important when Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders finally described Asperger Syndrome in 1993(?), but the DSM's "symptomatological bias" doesn't always reflect the continuum you'll find in the the real world. Increasingly, I think of people being neurologically diverse, rather than a diagnostic checklist.

    On the other hand, getting a diagnosis, was, for us with Jim, a vital and important step. For one thing, it allowed us to seek support that stayed with him through his school years -- and entitles him, although the word makes me cringe, to one of those invalid benefits.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Somebody doing a PhD thesis on Public Address System would linger over Freaks and Geeks, I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Although similarly, knowing that Charlie Sheen is in fact a real life misogynist on charges for assaulting a woman while drunk makes watching Two and a Half Men just that much more less likely, and his on-screen persona even more creepy.

    And yet it has very high ratings. I'm never going to get that.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Heh! As a kind of registered freaknroguescholar, I think I better go watch the series...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Heh! As a kind of registered freaknroguescholar, I think I better go watch the series...

    Good luck with that. I've got the DVDs, but that's because I'm crazy.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    DSM IV 1994 first mentioned Aspergers. If activists win, it might not be in the revision due in 2012(?), as they see it no more a mental disorder than homosexuality which was dropped in c1972.

    And re funny TV - not quite the Daily Show but @7 on TV3 hasn't been too bad for a first attempt in my IMHO.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Opinions on Skins? Nicholson in the Guardian thinks it's clever and well done. I have no idea, because it's never appealed to me enough to watch a full episode.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Graeme, Steve, Islander, Matthew,

    I quite agree with all your Simpsons opinions. For the record, I agree that series 6 thru 8-or-9 are also great.

    ___

    Leo... really does not want to talk about Aspergers

    No one wants their personality pathologised. (I realise that issues around diagnosis are far more complicated than that, of course, but as for addressing the specific comment...)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    And yet [ Two and a Half Men] has very high ratings. I'm never going to get that.

    It's that golden 7:30 slot, I reckon.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Graeme Edgeler - o rabbits!
    I think I'll go for your option...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    not quite the Daily Show but @7 on TV3 hasn't been too bad for a first attempt in my IMHO.

    I didn't see very much of it (never a whole episode), but their interview with Prince William had an excellent Clarke and Dawe vibe going (I happened to get it for Christmas):

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Rae,

    Going waaay back to the beginning

    Let's not mention that they needed a real wheelie to perform the dance moves rather than the fake ex-boyband one. Murphy is a prize douche if he thinks that's helping.

    I thought it was a shame that Glee couldn't seem to find a singer in a wheelchair, unlike Breaking Bad, where RJ Mitte, who plays Walter Jr, really does have cerebral palsy. He's interviewed here. Breaking Bad is kinda awesome (tonight, C4), but it seems more dark this season that darkly comedic. Anyone see last week's squash-the-junkie ep? Ouch!

    Point Chevalier • Since Nov 2006 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I've never got around to watching Breaking Bad, even though I've heard good things about it. I've since noticed its creator and show runner is Vince Gilligan, one of the few X Files writers to have consistently written good episodes. I'd like to give it a try - might have to get the first season out on dvd from Aro Video.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    @George

    Opinions on Skins? Nicholson in the Guardian thinks it's clever and well done. I have no idea, because it's never appealed to me enough to watch a full episode.

    I've been very impressed by it- it's not only clearly a cut above the OC/Gossip Girl school of teen melodrama (the actors actually being in their teens is a good start)- but it seems capture something. Although I'm perhaps slightly outside the key demographic, being in my mid 20s, the writing is sharp, the characters suitably acidic, the comedy hits correctly, the antics at once exaggerated and believable, and there's a nice running joke at seeing guys like Paul Whitehouse, Josie Lawrence Harry Enfeld (who has co-written and directed a couple of episodes) and the incomparable Bill Bailey play out-of-touch saddo parents, as if to indicate a passing of the torch. I kinda like the unforced fucked-up cosmopolitan aspect of the casting, too- seems to reflect something of the splintering of today's "mix and match" youth culture. (Compared, to, say, the more tribalist cultures of the past).

    @Steve

    I've never got around to watching Breaking Bad, even though I've heard good things about it. I've since noticed its creator and show runner is Vince Gillian, one of the few X Files writers to write consistently good episodes. I'd like to give it a try - might have to get the first season out on dvd from Aro Video.

    Oh yeah, it's superb. Not only is the direction fantastic- I love the washed-out, bleached cinematography during the Tex-Mex border sequences- but it captures suburbian ennui and pent-up mania in a way tha American Beauty was way too timid to even dare*. There's shades of the Wire in its depiction of the complicity between the dealers and the users as well. Brian Cranston's performance is as good as anything I've seen on the small screen in some time, too.

    *I kinda agree with the wag who dubbed that film Blue Velour.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 436 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    @RB It's a fast moving thread, but you caught my attention, in spite of the Beyonce Bubble in the middle.

    Increasingly, I think of people being neurologically diverse, rather than a diagnostic checklist.

    In an ideal world, this would be the basis for educational, victim support and health decision making, because the track record of the 'diagnostic checklist' is not great. In many cases, it seems, the lack or presence of 'a label' either restricts access to care, or limits the support to a narrowly defined scope. And the statistics often seem to be part of the problem, rather than the solution, IMhO.

    Your openness is greatly appreciated, BTW.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

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