It occurs to me that Doctor Who has just traded a leading man from Northampton for a Scottish one, in mod of those eerie celebrations of the interconnectedness of all things that spare me the tedious business of making things up.
(The challenge, of course, is how to utterly annihilate all extant power structures while not actually doing violence to any people.)
I’m increasingly lacking in confidence that there is any argument that accepts that culture as we currently know it is irredeemable and self-destructive that can then preserve any of the standard arguments for the inherent sanctity of human life.
Those arguments, after all, are mostly based on appeals to the idea that there is some difference between humans and other animals. Those differences, however, are ultimately precisely the ones that the anti-civilization argument is rejecting as fundamentally diseased. Whatever “free will” or “self-awareness” we have appears to be the very thing that causes us to systematically and slowly poison our entire planet and drag our entire biosphere down with us.
It’s certainly possible that we can find some new mode of interaction with the world, but that seems to me to basically be an argument that humanity can evolve, whether culturally or biologically, into something new. In which case, well, the same can be said of elk, at the end of the day. Or, for that matter, of carrots, just to head off what we might call the vegan gambit here.
Indeed, this is one of the things I appreciate about Doctor Who in contrast with, say, Batman or Superman, and why I found the “but Superman doesn’t kill” arguments so tiresome - ultimately, ideological nonviolence (as opposed to tactical nonviolence) is a concession to oppressive forces that have no such qualms. (Cases in point: protesters in Ferguson got teargassed whether they were nonviolent or not. Hamas stops lobbing rockets in Gaza, and almost immediately Israel casually steals a portion of the West Bank.) Doctor Who has always accepted that violence is a part of history. Not a pleasant or enjoyable part, but a seemingly inevitable one, and, so long as it remains purely in the realm of means as opposed to ends, a functionally amoral one.
Over an hour on the phone with the bank so far today attempting to get them to reverse an error on their end. This after forty-five minutes a few weeks ago over the same error.
Recalling that in a capitalist system labor has value, somewhere in the range of $65 was frittered away attempting to correct an error whereby the bank simply, and completely incorrectly, took over $2000 from me. This from an institution where I am, ostensibly at least, the consumer - that is, where they are providing a service to me.
Let’s also recall that two hours is actually quite a bit of time. If I am on a focused charge, I can write an entire Eruditorum post in two hours. If those two hours are the ones in which I write a Capaldi review, they’re worth nearly $300. Even on a tricky, slow project, if I’m focused, I can get 1000 words out in two hours.
But more importantly, if I’m, say, my wife, two hours is simply a thing I don’t have three days a week, because I’m working twelve-hour night shifts. If I’m someone living on my own with a variably scheduled job, two hours is time spent not getting groceries, not cooking, not cleaning, listening only to shitty, repetitive hold music with an anxious knot in my chest over whether or not I’ve just lost a third of my savings for no reason. The luxury to pursue a customer service fight is itself a form of economic privilege.
This is the nature of our oppression today. A world where even the most seemingly straightforward modicum of justice and fairness comes at tooth-pulling, wearying cost. This is our baseline reality - one in which maintaining even the vague baseline of dignity whereby you do not just shrug and get on with it when people randomly steal two thousand dollars from you - is an hours long process of degrading microaggressions.
On the first call, I got disconnected after half an hour. When I called back and finally got back to where I had been in terms of being transferred past the initial customer support number to the specific department handling my case (another fifteen minutes), I offered to give my phone number so they could call me back if we got disconnected again. I was politely informed that they could not make outgoing calls, and that if I was disconnected I’d be back to the initial customer support number. Because, of course, why would they want to be able to call people back? Why enable that simple feature to keep people from wasting arbitrarily large amounts of time on the phone? All it would do is lessen the sense that every minute of your time is owned by other people.
Right now, I’ve just been told that it will be another three or four minutes. The gentleman I’m on the phone with is waiting for management to tell him how long it will take for someone to go in and make the number on the screen that tells me how much money I have be $2000 higher. It’s not clear whether the money they took from me weeks ago will be back in 1-2 days or 3-5 days. Because of course this bank, which can automatically figure out how to set the order of a day’s transactions so as to maximize the number of overdraft fees it can charge, cannot possibly give back the money it stole from me in less than a week.
To be clear, I am not being particularly angry at the bank. I am not suggesting that I am undergoing any sort of deep spiritual struggle, or that this irritation deserves to be at the top of anyone’s list of priorities in correcting inequality and oppression in the world. It doesn’t. It’s a petty, bullshit microaggression, and I am only writing about it because I cannot focus on anything more substantive while this shitty, annoying hold music blares tinnily out of my phone’s speakers.
I mean, by all means, enjoy the thought experiment of pretending that whatever human error confused my name with that of someone similar and took money from my account to cover their overdraft were actually treated as a human being. Imagine being mugged and then smiling and politely telling your mugger that, yes, of course you’ll wait another ten minutes while he checks with his supervisor to verify that the money he took really wasn’t his to take, and then thanking him for the fact that he’ll return it to you within a month of taking it.
But then remember that there is nothing special about this. There is nothing unusual or noteworthy. This is how the system is designed to work. This is what is supposed to happen. This is the world we built, and that we choose to maintain every day. This is normal. This is ordinary. This is the way things are supposed to be.
It’s been twelve minutes since I was told another three or four minutes, and the hold music has just looped again.
champiness said: Looked up the Horowitz thing after that ask and found a Bleeding Cool article with Morris' statement. After a long time with you as my sole voice of the show it was... disconcerting. People like this still have some degree of privilege in the fandom?
To be fair, I can see how a possible horde of missing episodes could give you privilege in spite of almost any other factors.
Think I’ve just finalized the text for September 10th’s Eruditorum.
Those that enjoy depressing things and me recklessly fucking with the audience are going to have a really, really nice September 10th.
Anonymous said: The rumor (pretty spurious, the only source is Philip Morris) is that Moffat's going to be replaced by Anthony Horowitz.
I’m guessing bullshit.