Torchwod Recap

Torchwood is a Doctor Who spinoff which features aliens, explosions and sexy dialog. I’ve been watching it because I liked Doctor Who when I was a kid and because the male lead is like a bisexual Indiana Jones / 007 / I want to be him when I grow up. Right, So season 2, episode 2.

The Torchwood team exra-legally kidnaps a black woman whom they suspect is an alien. They subject her to torture. Because aliens are trying to sneak into Britian Earth to gather information. Yes, Cardiff (a town in Wales), humble Cardiff, is at terrible risk from alien sleeper cells bent on committing acts of terrorism.
So the have the alien other, the black woman illegal immigrant, and they’re denying her rights to due process, because, of course, she’s alien, and because it’s clear as soon as they even suspect that she’s alien, that she’s up to no good. I mean, why would anyone want to come to Wales if not to wreck up the place? You have to keep your eyes peeled for aliens because none of them are peaceful and they’re all walking amongst us, plotting our doom.
This alien is under the terrible misconception that she’s integrated into British society and is so devastated when she finds out that she’s actually not British, that she begs for death and gets the Torchwood team to kill her. The end.
And that’s everything wrong with this bloody country in a nutshell.
Clearly, they need to introduce a points system, where aliens can apply on their own planet to be allowed to come to the UK as a high skilled migrant. Once they get to the UK, they can be issued an alien ID card, with an RFID chip that makes it easy for local authorities to monitor their comings and goings. Furthermore, the aliens should be denied access to sensitive information unless they can pass all kinds of security checks. Therefore, universities and employers wanting to take on aliens will have to provide evidence that they’re not allowing said aliens access to anything they might be able to use when it’s inevitably revealed that they’re inherently evil beings bent on colonialism and destruction.
Of course, this is folly, because , as one Torchwood person pointed out, “everything about her is a lie.” You can’t expect ALIENS to tell the truth on application forms! Lock down the borders, that’s the only solution.
It’s kind of funny that Brits are so terrified of being invaded by outsiders, subject to violence and economically exploited. They’re such a rich and powerful country! How could they possibly have such concerns?
Um, anyway. In other news, my shower finally got fixed. Apparently, it was broken for more than 4 weeks. I don’t know what the letting agent think they got out of stalling so long. It’s not like they could get away with not fixing it. I suspect that they just didn’t bother because the house was occupied by three Africans. Not for financial reasons, just because it didn’t seem important. The plumber who finally came explained that they’d all completely forgotten! How funny that it didn’t remind them when I called last week. Huh. I called twice this week. I think what pushed it over the edge was my using words like “flabbergasted” and “appalled.” My vocabulary showed I was worthy of consideration. Meh.
Oh, that last link up there is really terribly funny, btw.

Not Buying It

There are no CDs on my xmas list this year. I love music, but I’m done with major record labels. I just read that the RIAA is trying to remove financial aid from college students who file share. Enough is enough. If they want to prevent fans from going to school, I’m going to prevent my money from going to their companies.
There are enough (real) indies and podcasts and the like to keep me in great music for years. Indeed, there is also Pandora, which requires no capital investment at all and keeps me in good music by analyzing what I say I like. It actually works and they have classical music now too.
Alas, Pandora is not a real break from the RIAA because they track music based on CD barcodes. Everything they play is therefore at least somewhat corporate. So I guess I’m giving their money to the RIAA (and indies) instead of mine. (And, alas, as I have no barcodes, I’ll never turn up in a playlist.)
Frankly, I’m highly displeased with the state of media distribution in America. I purchased Battlestar Galactica from the iTunes store – because I liked the show. It has great writing and acting, etc. And then I learned from the writer’s strike that none of the creative people are seeing any money form my purchases. I have not yet decided how to proceed. If I buy DVDs, the creative people get some revenue, but too little and I’m stuck with a bunch of media when I probably only want to watch an episode once. And I’m left without instant gratification. In fact, if nobody who does anything productive is getting money from my buying it online, why shouldn’t I just pirate it? The writers are getting the same amount whether I get it from bittorrent or iTunes.
So yeah, in solidarity with the writer’s strike, I’m doing a consumer strike. Screw the media companies.

Battlestar Galactica

Ok, I just watched the end of season 2, and the Chief gives a little speech in it. He says:

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus — and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!!

If you’re a baby boomer, that might sound familiar. That speech wasn’t just given on New Caprica, it was given in front of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley.
In the same show, but not the same episode, Cola noted some references to Blade Runner where some humans refer to human-looking Cylons as “skin jobs.” There must be references and quotations all over the place. Also, I wonder how Mario Savio feels/would feel about his words being used on Sci Fi TV?