" Madam Miaow Says: December 2007

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Dr Wh(ed)o(n) strikes again: Dr Who Christmas special



Faster, faster. More, more! Raise voices to fever pitch then take it even higher.

Chuck in Restaurant At The End Of The Universe; Kylie as Ripley in Aliens slugging it out in a robotic exoskeleton and saying everything but "Get away from her, you bitch!"; Kylie as Ripley in Aliens Three, giving it large with the sacrifice as she plunges Christlike to a fiery doom (because Russell T Davies likes his "homages"); and an entire cast in relentless boggle-eyed hysteria. Just what we want after Xmas day with the relatives.

With one eye on the computer game, let's stick our heroes on a rickety bridge playing junkyard cricket with murderous cyborg angels and their lethal Odd-Job/Goldfinger stylee halo-blades.

Jeopardy, survival, fury, sentiment. These broadest of brushstrokes are apparently the only ones available to writer and series helmsman Davies, and he can no more vary these than he can the volume of the action which is all VERY LOUD.

The Dr Who Christmas special was high in production values but signified very little as we are getting used to to by now. Lord knows we were all fed up with the plodding Brit (non) drama of old and someone was bound to borrow the surface characteristics of the far more exciting American shows sooner or later, especially after Whedon lit the shining path for all us believers. But, sadly, such emulation proved skin deep. How can you care about characters with only one unvarying dimensionless objective: survival. And for over an hour. Yeech!

I see from the Torchwood trailer they have recruited James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) to add some much-needed class to this sorry dog of a series. Davies has played in Joss Whedon's toybox for long enough, he may as well be up front about it. If we didn't get the greatness by association message via Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy) in Dr Who, he'll hammer it into us now til it bleeds.

Thanks to Louise for kicking off.

More pix of James Marsters here .

Dr Wh(ed)o(n) strikes again: Dr Who Christmas special



Faster, faster. More, more! Raise voices to fever pitch then take it even higher.

Chuck in Restaurant At The End Of The Universe; Kylie as Ripley in Aliens slugging it out in a robotic exoskeleton and saying everything but "Get away from her, you bitch!"; Kylie as Ripley in Aliens Three, giving it large with the sacrifice as she plunges Christlike to a fiery doom (because Russell T Davies likes his "homages"); and an entire cast in relentless boggle-eyed hysteria. Just what we want after Xmas day with the relatives.

With one eye on the computer game, let's stick our heroes on a rickety bridge playing junkyard cricket with murderous cyborg angels and their lethal Odd-Job/Goldfinger stylee halo-blades.

Jeopardy, survival, fury, sentiment. These broadest of brushstrokes are apparently the only ones available to writer and series helmsman Davies, and he can no more vary these than he can the volume of the action which is all VERY LOUD.

The Dr Who Christmas special was high in production values but signified very little as we are getting used to to by now. Lord knows we were all fed up with the plodding Brit (non) drama of old and someone was bound to borrow the surface characteristics of the far more exciting American shows sooner or later, especially after Whedon lit the shining path for all us believers. But, sadly, such emulation proved skin deep. How can you care about characters with only one unvarying dimensionless objective: survival. And for over an hour. Yeech!

I see from the Torchwood trailer they have recruited James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) to add some much-needed class to this sorry dog of a series. Davies has played in Joss Whedon's toybox for long enough, he may as well be up front about it. If we didn't get the greatness by association message via Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy) in Dr Who, he'll hammer it into us now til it bleeds.

Thanks to Louise for kicking off.

More pix of James Marsters here .

Sunday, 23 December 2007

How to clean your soul: Tony Blair's makeover


How nice for Tony Blair to be absolved of his sins of the past decade by joining the Catholic Club.

If I were him, I too would be worrying about where my immortal soul was going to be spending the rest of eternity. There aren't many of us who can claim such a spectacular starring role in the deaths of over a million Iraqis, the first ever increase in the gap between rich and poor under a Labour government, such profligate waste of public money through privatisation of our services via the PFI back door and mad IT schemes, and rewriting Magna Carta regarding our liberties.

Blair has followed in Thatcher's footsteps in helping turn British society into Pottersville, Bifftown, Las Vegas-On-Sea.

Now he wants the money, he wants the glory, he wants all the baubles the material world has to offer AND he wants to go to heaven. Does this boy want to have his cake and eat it or what?!

Spirituality is a major part of being human, but why, when organised into religion, does it turn into something repellent? If he thinks that saying a few Hail Marys and being chucked under the chin by a bloke in a big hat is actually going to change anything, he has a serious shock coming when he passes on into the void that is death.

And. Everything. Stops!

How to clean your soul: Tony Blair's makeover


How nice for Tony Blair to be absolved of his sins of the past decade by joining the Catholic Club.

If I were him, I too would be worrying about where my immortal soul was going to be spending the rest of eternity. There aren't many of us who can claim such a spectacular starring role in the deaths of over a million Iraqis, the first ever increase in the gap between rich and poor under a Labour government, such profligate waste of public money through privatisation of our services via the PFI back door and mad IT schemes, and rewriting Magna Carta regarding our liberties.

Blair has followed in Thatcher's footsteps in helping turn British society into Pottersville, Bifftown, Las Vegas-On-Sea.

Now he wants the money, he wants the glory, he wants all the baubles the material world has to offer AND he wants to go to heaven. Does this boy want to have his cake and eat it or what?!

Spirituality is a major part of being human, but why, when organised into religion, does it turn into something repellent? If he thinks that saying a few Hail Marys and being chucked under the chin by a bloke in a big hat is actually going to change anything, he has a serious shock coming when he passes on into the void that is death.

And. Everything. Stops!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Ching, chang, WHAT?


The other Tuesday I'm doing the washing up to Radio 4's "Word of Mouth", presented by Mike Rosen, when I nearly drop the antique Woolworth's teamug I'm scraping clean.

Today's subject being schoolyard rhymes, an "expert" (white, male, natch) has just described in avuncular fashion how the kids have a jolly rhyme to accompany a game of "Paper, Scissors, Stone", that starts, "Ching, chang, wally". To him, the words sounded "a bit zen".

For most British Born Chinese those words are a potent reminder of the misery we experienced when our peers wanted to target our Chinese "otherness". Nothing that starts "Ching chang", whether it's uttered by Ricky Gervais's character in "Extras", kids in the playground, or Rosen's "expert" will be anything other to most of us than the crude and cruel belittling it was always intended to be. Mockery of those in power is a wondrous thing to behold - taking the rise out of the sound of the language of a foreign minority with little social power is not. The original goes, "Ching, chang, chinaman". These are not benign, innocent words - they are loaded with meaning.

I asked two Chinese, one black, and one Jewish person what they thought about it and each one was stunned that the item could be broadcast with no comment or challenge from the presenter.

How many Chinese kids heard the programme with dismay that one of the weapons in the fledgling racist's armoury has now been legitimised by the BBC?

They're laughing at us, Mike, not with us. I'd like to see if Rosen would present so eagerly a rhyme that went, ooh, off the top of my head, "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, Catch a tiger by it's toe", only not with "tiger". Or some of the charming People's Poetry that zipped round the East End in the days of the skinhead about the wave of Bangladeshi immigrants, only they weren't called Bangladeshis in the poems.

I did contact the programme to explain the significance of those words which they evidently don't get. I'm still waiting for a reply.

What makes this unconscious racism very sad is that Mike Rosen is a lefty of long-standing who would never deliberately hurt a minority. I just wish he'd wake up and have the humility, as one who does the commentating, to learn from those who are doing the experiencing.

As for sounding "zen", I'm speechless. And not in a "zen" way.

STOP PRESS: Americans slate Rosie O'Donnell for "Ching, chong" comments. Click here.

Ching, chang, WHAT?


The other Tuesday I'm doing the washing up to Radio 4's "Word of Mouth", presented by Mike Rosen, when I nearly drop the antique Woolworth's teamug I'm scraping clean.

Today's subject being schoolyard rhymes, an "expert" (white, male, natch) has just described in avuncular fashion how the kids have a jolly rhyme to accompany a game of "Paper, Scissors, Stone", that starts, "Ching, chang, wally". To him, the words sounded "a bit zen".

For most British Born Chinese those words are a potent reminder of the misery we experienced when our peers wanted to target our Chinese "otherness". Nothing that starts "Ching chang", whether it's uttered by Ricky Gervais's character in "Extras", kids in the playground, or Rosen's "expert" will be anything other to most of us than the crude and cruel belittling it was always intended to be. Mockery of those in power is a wondrous thing to behold - taking the rise out of the sound of the language of a foreign minority with little social power is not. The original goes, "Ching, chang, chinaman". These are not benign, innocent words - they are loaded with meaning.

I asked two Chinese, one black, and one Jewish person what they thought about it and each one was stunned that the item could be broadcast with no comment or challenge from the presenter.

How many Chinese kids heard the programme with dismay that one of the weapons in the fledgling racist's armoury has now been legitimised by the BBC?

They're laughing at us, Mike, not with us. I'd like to see if Rosen would present so eagerly a rhyme that went, ooh, off the top of my head, "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, Catch a tiger by it's toe", only not with "tiger". Or some of the charming People's Poetry that zipped round the East End in the days of the skinhead about the wave of Bangladeshi immigrants, only they weren't called Bangladeshis in the poems.

I did contact the programme to explain the significance of those words which they evidently don't get. I'm still waiting for a reply.

What makes this unconscious racism very sad is that Mike Rosen is a lefty of long-standing who would never deliberately hurt a minority. I just wish he'd wake up and have the humility, as one who does the commentating, to learn from those who are doing the experiencing.

As for sounding "zen", I'm speechless. And not in a "zen" way.

STOP PRESS: Americans slate Rosie O'Donnell for "Ching, chong" comments. Click here.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Madam Miaow's Fan Dance at the British Museum







Video of Anna Chen hosting the British Museum China Late. Anna joins the Fan Dance workshop. The eagle-eyed may spot Louisefeminista.

For more pix and video, click HERE

Madam Miaow's Fan Dance at the British Museum







Video of Anna Chen hosting the British Museum China Late. Anna joins the Fan Dance workshop. The eagle-eyed may spot Louisefeminista.

For more pix and video, click HERE

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Madam Miaow on stage ...



BRITISH MUSEUM - CHINA LATE PROGRAMME

6.30pm Thursday 6th December in the Great Court.

To mark the First Emperor Terracotta Army exhibition, Anna Chen MCs at the British Museum CHINA LATE event.

An evening of workshops, displays and entertainment:

Fan dance
Ribbon and sword dance
The ancient martial art of Papercutting. (Known to some as the Death of a Thousand Cuts.) Take a sheet of A4 and a pair of scissors ...
Calligraphy
Mah-jong
Tea & Beer appreciation including a Chinese Drinking Game workshop (!!!)
Weiqi - with the British Go Association
Martial Arts - Shaolin and modern Body, Mind and Spirit systems
Mandarin sessions
Talks
Traditional opera
.... and a Prawn Dancer.

Yes, a Prawn Dancer.

Madam Miaow on stage ...



BRITISH MUSEUM - CHINA LATE PROGRAMME

6.30pm Thursday 6th December in the Great Court.

To mark the First Emperor Terracotta Army exhibition, Anna Chen MCs at the British Museum CHINA LATE event.

An evening of workshops, displays and entertainment:

Fan dance
Ribbon and sword dance
The ancient martial art of Papercutting. (Known to some as the Death of a Thousand Cuts.) Take a sheet of A4 and a pair of scissors ...
Calligraphy
Mah-jong
Tea & Beer appreciation including a Chinese Drinking Game workshop (!!!)
Weiqi - with the British Go Association
Martial Arts - Shaolin and modern Body, Mind and Spirit systems
Mandarin sessions
Talks
Traditional opera
.... and a Prawn Dancer.

Yes, a Prawn Dancer.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Bush must go, Pt 2


I think I see a pattern emerging on this blog.

Thanks to Claire.

Bush must go, Pt 2


I think I see a pattern emerging on this blog.

Thanks to Claire.

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