Radiation by Fiona Rae

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Radiation: Big bang theory

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  • Alan Perrott,

    Hi Amy, have to say I'm with Sasha on this Glee/ deaf choir thing. To me it was the way the context was framed and then played out.
    There has been no other scene where a team has joined in on another's performance.
    To do so in this instance was obviously intended to illustrate some kind of kin-ship and support in a level playing field kind of way. But it was also interpretable as condescending and patronising in that it suggested their deaf performance was somehow incomplete with a side of 'oh look at cute handicapped people trying to be like us.'
    I thought the intention of the performance was to practice in front of another team etc - in which case all their practice and such was rendered irrelevent as the other team bowled in over the top.
    For sure, I see your point of view, but as we have suggested previously, it is very difficult to see this act repeated with any other choir. At the very least you ask permission first or perhaps wait till they are finished and then join in on the repeat.
    Of course it's just a television show, but I don't think the underlying message is all useful.

    Much more important - me bonny wee boy just said his first word...igloo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    oh, and Amy - without wanting to be confrontational and stuff - I'd be interested to hear what was it about that scene that made you cry?

    then I think we could make more sense about our views on the subtext here.

    but I'll have to leave that to Sasha - I'm off to Kiwiburn....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'd be interested to hear what was it about that scene that made you cry?

    What made me cry was the song and the power of the deaf choir and then both choirs together. Imagine is an enormously powerful song and the delivery first by the deaf choir and then by all the kids together had an impact.

    The key word there is ALL. The power of the song is that it supposes a world where we ALL care and work together, hence it seemed reasonable to have the kids sing together.

    I also don't think it's surprising that there haven't been more "join in" instances in Glee. For the most part the routines are combined song and dance and the latter makes it very hard to pretend that a second group could join in and get it right.

    Note the word pretend. Because I don't for a second believe the Glee group could have joined in and got the sign language right first time. Nor do I believe for a second the harmonies could have been organised and got right first time. It's pretend and my job is to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy it.

    As I said for me there was a moment of "how could they join in on another's performance?". But that was from the perspective of thinking a spectating Rugby team wouldn't "join in". I think what Amy has said is that choirs "joining in" isn't that farfetched.

    I don't think anyone is intending to be confrontational (and apologies if I come across that way). That's the beauty of this site - we express opinions and accept differences of opinion. And we learn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    the other team bowled in over the top

    I would absolutely have preferred it if the Deaf choir had explicitly invited the New Horizons kids to join them. I don't even think it would have been that difficult to implement in the context of the scene.

    however

    I get the impression that some people just don't believe that there is any way this scene could ever be ok if it involves the Deaf choir. And I can't agree.

    In my experience on the minority side of the fence (modulo my various privileges), people who outright dismiss or underestimate you aren't actually the problem. Firstly, you can see them coming. Secondly, they tend not to have much power. No, the bigger problem is people who should actually know better, but believe your sole (or major) role is to Represent. This is a substantial and damaging barrier to full, first-class participation, and it's really not ok. We're all participants first.

    So, if we accept (reasonably, I think, because there will be diminishing emotional returns) that they will do this joining-together-aww thing with exactly one other choir, I believe the Deaf choir should be an equal candidate for selection. In hindsight they may have been wrong to choose it. Not because there is anything wrong with a hearing choir and a Deaf choir having this interaction, but because you might as well avoid people getting mad if you can help it, even if you are perplexed by their interpretations. Then again, isn't excluding the Deaf choir for that reason just as bad?

    As for what made me cry: it was what I talked about in my first post, what it means for strangers to make music together. It's corny, sure. But I've had that experience every now and then since I was about ten years old. It means something very true and real to me, in fact I'm finding - as you see - that it's actually upsetting when people read it as something patronising or aggressive.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Note the word pretend. Because I don't for a second believe the Glee group could have joined in and got the sign language right first time. Nor do I believe for a second the harmonies could have been organised and got right first time. It's pretend and my job is to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy it.

    While I probably agree with you both my kids were taught somre basic sign (ASL) in primary school in the US so it's not completely beyond the pale

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    I think what Amy has said is that choirs "joining in" isn't that farfetched.

    Oh, just joining in with someone else's performance apropos of nothing is totally far-fetched (and obviously rude, in the real world in which we aren't all dressing up in our Grease catsuits, kicking the winning field goal, and so forth).

    Being so caught up in someone else's performance that you wish you could jump out of the audience and be a part of it, OTOH, is not far-fetched at all.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, just joining in with someone else's performance apropos of nothing is totally far-fetched

    As opposed to the near-documentary depiction of a high school glee club barely back from the dead turning out numbers of a slickness that wouldn't disgrace a Las Vegas lounge act overnight? Next you'll be asking me to buy Liza Minnelli as a fourth-rate singer in a third-rate Weimar hole in the wall. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Next you'll be asking me to buy Liza Minnelli

    I really read that as if you were intending to buy Liza Minnelli... were you planning to put her on trademe?

    And are you suggesting Glee isn't the way US high schools really are??

    Seriously though I once wandered through fraternity row in Purdue university and it was just like being on a movie set. And then we lived next to the sorority houses at Texas A&M and were treated to the sight of frat boys in suits, each carrying a single red rose, serenading the sorority houses ... hmmm maybe Glee really is real.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And are you suggesting Glee isn't the way US high schools really are??

    I guess I am. :) But what do I know, the Ohio public school system might well resource their glee clubs like Vegas nightclubs. Stranger things have happened.

    I really read that as if you were intending to buy Liza Minnelli... were you planning to put her on trademe?

    Dear Ms. Minnelli: If you've stumbled across this during a vanity Google, I don't want to turn you into an internet white slave. Really. :)

    But seriously, much as I love Cabaret (don't think Bob Fosse or his star ever did anything better), there's a rather startling disconnect between the character of Sally Bowles -- whose fantasies of stardom are in direct inverse proportion to any actual talent -- and the spectacular production numbers. It's hard to care when Liza sells the shit out of every note, but it is a perennial problem with the show. You've actually got to be an exceptional singer-actor-dancer to do "talentless" well.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Who else watched "Day of the Triffids" last night and thought "Well, I don't think I'll bother finding out when part two is" ?
    Apart from the annoying trait that Mini Series all seem to have these days, showing clips from part two that give away the cliffhanger ending of part one, this suffered from the slight defect of being totally crap.
    Changing the meteor shower of the original story to a "Solar Flare" without doing a Google search of Effects of Solar Flare at the same time changing the occupation of the female protagonist to a "Radio Reporter" (So she knows how to make the BBC transmitters work) would make John Wyndham rotate in his tomb.
    Patrick Harbinson should stick to writing such poo as ER and Law & Order and leave our beloved classics alone. Character development is minimal at best for the main protagonist and non existent for any others, even the Triffids are glossed over, no explanation of why they are called Triffids? they are supposed to have THREE legs FFS not some tangled mass of Art Department foam rubber tentacles. AND!!!

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Changing the meteor shower of the original story to a "Solar Flare" without doing a Google search of Effects of Solar Flare at the same time changing the occupation of the female protagonist to a "Radio Reporter" (So she knows how to make the BBC transmitters work) would make John Wyndham rotate in his tomb.

    Also, note how the solar flare was visible in Sydney and London at the same time. The. Same. Time.

    Then go and weep a little for basic physics.

    Personally I missed the original Jo, who didn't go blind because she was blind drunk after a party and sleeping it off and was mildly famous for writing a salacious novel; she had more character. So did the original Bill Masen, who had a perfectly amicable relationship with his now-deceased (in boring and ordinary ways) parents, and sort of stumbled into things rather than stalking around being square-jawed and heroic from minute 1. They were so much more relatable.

    It is just vaguely possible that the writers were mashing up Jo Playton with Phyllis Watson of "The Kraken Wakes", whose job as a radio reporter is central to her storyline, but that would involve, say, actual research. So probably not.

    (Basic research might also have reminded them that replacing fossil fuels with another combustible fuel may solve the energy crisis, but is sure as fuck not going to do a thing about global warming. And also would not work, on account of how carnivorous plants are one of the most grossly inefficient ways to produce fuel ever.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Also, note how the solar flare was visible in Sydney and London at the same time. The. Same. Time.

    Much as I would hate to give this adaption any credit for anything other than annoyance I have to point out that a solar flare of that intensity would be seen over the whole planet as it would ionize the entire atmosphere before ripping it off the planet entirely, it would also cause more than just blindness. Credit where credit's due? They did liken the London skys as being "Like the Aurora Borealis"
    And yes, the Global warming nonsense was one of my other AND!!! 's Surely carnivorous plants would produce Methane?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Personally I missed the original Jo, who didn't go blind because she was blind drunk after a party and sleeping it off and was mildly famous for writing a salacious novel; she had more character.

    Meh... even in the 1981 adaptation, Douglas Livingstone said he decided to drop the whole dolly bird turned soft core pornographer element from Jo's backstory because it might have passed without comment in 1951, but was just a wee bit too patronising for words thirty years later. Bill Masen was also a bit less Roger of The Raj than in Wyndham's novel.

    (I'd also note that the producers of the Survivors re-boot quite consciously tried to make the casting a slightly more diverse than the original's collection of white, middle-class folks who just happened to speak in perfectly rounded RADA-trailed RP. Except, of course, the megalomaniac ex-union boss.)

    Don't get me wrong, I think John Wyndham's best work has endured for good reasons. But they also have elements that have dated very badly indeed.

    Basic research might also have reminded them that replacing fossil fuels with another combustible fuel may solve the energy crisis, but is sure as fuck not going to do a thing about global warming. And also would not work, on account of how carnivorous plants are one of the most grossly inefficient ways to produce fuel ever.

    Sure, but even in the novel I'll be damned if I can figure out what was so damn wonderful about Triffid oil in the first place. A meteor storm blinding the entire planet? Wyndham wasn't above liberal use of handwavium for narrative purposes himself; and I think that's what makes DoTT so damn effective. Despite the utter absurdity of the premise, it still makes my fresh crawl to parts unknown.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    And also would not work, on account of how carnivorous plants are one of the most grossly inefficient ways to produce fuel ever.

    But I'm sure we can all agree: carnivorous plants are awesome. How many of you know that New Zealand has around a dozen native species of carnivorous plant, eh?

    As you may guess, I have some very specific botanical obsessions.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Don't get me wrong, I think John Wyndham's best work has endured for good reasons. But they also have elements that have dated very badly indeed.

    Ohhhh... The Trouble With Lichen. Reading it now, you can see what a good book it was, but it creaks so badly with its age.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ohhhh... The Trouble With Lichen. Reading it now, you can see what a good book it was, but it creaks so badly with its age.

    If I was writing the script for an adaptation, I'd have to include at least one shot of Diana Brackley toying with a nut-cracker in a terribly significant manner. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Meh... even in the 1981 adaptation, Douglas Livingstone said he decided to drop the whole dolly bird turned soft core pornographer element from Jo's backstory because it might have passed without comment in 1951, but was just a wee bit too patronising for words thirty years later. Bill Masen was also a bit less Roger of The Raj than in Wyndham's novel.

    I agree, the specifics wouldn't date well, but I'm pretty sure you could update Jo's career path without making it as bland and predictable as "reporter". And I still like the sleeping-off-wild-party explanation for her sightedness; it's a nice reverse on the usual punishment-for-bad-behaviour that tends to happen to women in this sort of story.

    A meteor storm blinding the entire planet?

    Ah, but you forget the last lines of the book; it's strongly implied that the blinding was caused by a satellite weapon of some kind which was accidentally set off by the meteor shower. Wyndham was always big on the "authors of their own destruction" thing (c.f. The Chrysalids, especially.)

    If I was writing the script for an adaptation, I'd have to include at least one shot of Diana Brackley toying with a nut-cracker in a terribly significant manner. :)

    Snerk. Actually, the whole beauty-salon subplot of that one would hold up quite well, if reworked slightly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Phyllis Watson of "The Kraken Wakes"

    From memory, she is also the one who 'saves the day' for her family by having the foresight to build an enormous secret bunker full of food, thus ensuring they can comfortably ride out the rising waters of the melting icecaps apocalypse.

    The 'calm, intelligent, sensible woman' theme does seem to be a favourite of John Wyndham's. It's strongly present in my favourite of his books: "The Chrysalids". Which is also notable for having New Zealanders as the technologically advanced heros coming to the rescue of the main characters.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ah, but you forget the last lines of the book; it's strongly implied that the blinding was caused by a satellite weapon of some kind which was accidentally set off by the meteor shower. Wyndham was always big on the "authors of their own destruction" thing (c.f. The Chrysalids, especially.)

    Fair enough, but I don't think the new adaptation is exactly soft on the whole "authors of their own destruction" deal -- just instead of Cold War nuclear paranoia, this time it's a textbook malignant corporation who refuses to let anything get in the way of the bottom line, cheerfully abetted by people who will grasp the latest magic bullet without asking any inconvenient questions.

    You'd hardly accuse anyone of subtlety when Ms. Reptilian-Bitch of the Home Office tries to brush off the resident Triffid expert with "I've seen the studies..." And his immediate response is: "Oh, you mean the studies commissioned by TriffOil?"

    (As a side-bar, I'd like to proffer this note for the costume designer of the next post-apocalytic disaster show. Bureaucrats that have just survived the end of the world aren't likely to make a top priority of laying in a supply of power suits and keeping them immaculately dry-cleaned.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    " carnivorous plants are awesome"

    Goodness, yes!

    There are 4 native spp. here in Big O (3 Drosera, and bladderwort): my lovely little family of Nepenthe dangle hopeful pitchers above the desk-

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    (As a side-bar, I'd like to proffer this note for the costume designer of the next post-apocalytic disaster show. Bureaucrats that have just survived the end of the world aren't likely to make a top priority of laying in a supply of power suits and keeping them immaculately dry-cleaned.)

    But if they don't, how will anyone know they're bureaucrats?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But if they don't, how will anyone know they're bureaucrats?

    *ForeheadSmack* The chilly micro-climate created by the near proximity of a soulless, brutally pragmatic Ice Queen? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    Backing right up to "Modern family" ... not bad at all. I loved the OMG LOL WTF - why the face, but we got hysterical at the moment where the family announced his partner was a tad dramatic, which he denied and then the lights dimmed, The Lion King music, kicked in and cue the spotlight and then he enters, holding the adopted baby aloft. Lovely.

    Last time we'd laughed so much was at the KFC ad for those Crusher drinks came on, when the whole household has been rotor-ing with gastroenteritis.

    And speaking of Triffid remake (I agree, utterly lacking in character interest despite having a surprisingly non B list cast), what do y'all think about the Edge of Darkness movie remake? I have surprised myself with my vehement feeling that this is wrong.
    Bob Peck approaches perfection to a Willie Nelson backdrop
    Time of the Preacher

    Oh and I still think plutonium is scary, even if Martin Campbell thinks we don't care anymore.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Oh and I still think plutonium is scary, even if Martin Campbell thinks we don't care anymore.

    I wonder if Craig's still pretty optimistic?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I wonder if Craig's still pretty optimistic?

    Yes. Mel Gibson is still a leaky douche-bag of a man, but a decent actor; Martin Campbell isn't exactly a fumble-fingered hack and I'm actually going to hang fire and judge the film on its own merits. State of Play is never going to displace the original mini-series, but it wasn't a half bad film.

    Then again, I'm going to blaspheme and say the original was a very solid but over-rated piece of work that took a sharp detour to Bullshitville every time those fucking mystic black flowers of Gaia-flavoured doom showed up.. I'm just glad that someone sat Troy Kennedy Martin down and told him that his original ending - Craven mystically transforming into a tree! -- wasn't going to happen. This, boys and girls, is why you shouldn't drink all the water in your bong and write, especially if you've been reading James Lovelock.

    Last time we'd laughed so much was at the KFC ad for those Crusher drinks came on, when the whole household has been rotor-ing with gastroenteritis.

    Thank God it's not just me! :) Waiter, there's "real bitz" in my soup -- take it away before I deposit a chunky treat on your shoes.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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