D.I.Y.O.F.S. Culture

D.I.Y.O.F.S. Culture

(Warning! Incoming rant! Warning! Explicit Language!)

So yesterday, the new 12th Doctor Who was revealed. A Scotsman named Peter Capaldi will replace Matt Smith, and by all rights Capaldi is a fine actor who will do credit to the job. However, this being the internet, what almost immediately followed was a cascade of whining.

He’s too old!

He’s too male!

He’s too white!

And infinite variations of the above.

To this, I have two responses. One, fuck you. He’s fine, and you’ll probably think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread after you’ve gotten used to him. Stop killing pixels for your self-indulgent pointless chatter.

Two, if you want to see your socio-ethnic-cultural group of choice become The Doctor- Do It Your Own Fucking Self! Make your own Stories, Videos, Movies, Comics, Audio Dramas, or whatever else, with the Doctor of your choice and stop being a lazy fucking consumer who expects to have anything they want handed to them.

You live in an amazing age, when the ability to produce quality media of all kinds, and get it out to literally the world, can be done at almost no cost. This wasn’t true even 20 years ago, and a lot of people still act like it’s the pre-internet age, but right now the only thing stopping you from making your dreams into reality and having your voice heard is YOU.

Now, you might whine- What do I know? I’m just some guy mouthing off on a blog, right? What have I done?

The answer is- plenty!

In 2006, I decided I wanted to create a full-cast Audio Drama Podcast (Audio Drama = Radio Plays in the old days.) because I wasn’t hearing the kind of shows I wanted to hear and I thought it would be cool. But, I had a few problems…

  • I had almost no money.
  • I had no microphone.
  • I only had one aging laptop.
  • I had no production software.
  • I had no music and no musical talent.
  • I had no sound effects.
  • I had no idea how do make or post a Podcast.
  • I had written exactly one script in my entire life.
  • I had no contacts or connections online that could help me.
  • Very few people had done this kind of thing at that time.
  • I was sitting in the middle of Taipei, Taiwan. On the other side of the planet from all my friends and personal resources. (And people who spoke English.)
  • My job took about 60 hours a week of my time.

All I had was a desire, a will to do it, and my own creativity.

  • I studied scriptwriting and learned how to do it properly.
  • I found a cheap iRiver MP3 player with a decent Mic on it.
  • I found free audio editing software like Audacity.
  • I found sites with Creative Commons Music and Sound Effects that others would let me use for free.
  • I made contacts within the internet audio production and audio drama community.
  • I found the Voice Acting Alliance forum where amateur voice actors would do recordings over the internet for free.
  • I taught myself audio engineering.
  • I learned how to work with and manage actors from across the planet.
  • I taught myself how RSS worked and how to get a podcast out. (Now it’s super-simple, but then it was a little more tricky)

And I produced my first show, and it was total shit!

Then I produced my second one, and it was better.

In the end, between 2006-2011 Kung Fu Action Theatre would go on to produce 47 shows, averaging 20-25 minutes each, and has had around 400,000 downloads to date. I’ve made contacts, friends and fans. I’ve become part of many online communities. I developed skills I never thought I’d have and it’s helped me both personally and professionally.

And, I’ve made the shows I wanted to hear.

I didn’t whine online and ask someone else to change the world for me, I did it myself and then used the incredible tools this modern age offers to get my stuff out there. I Did It My Own Fucking Self, and it’s a badge of honor I’ll wear for the rest of my life.

So, in a time when you can make HD movies with a cell phone, when Youtube lets you reach millions of viewers (and get a better viewership than some TV stations!), when the software to produce and edit audio and video is free, when the knowledge to do anything you want is just a Google search away, and when you can get people to help you just by posting on Reddit- I have no sympathy for those who want to sit there and whine instead of trying to DO something and put their effort where their mouth is.

You want the world to be different? You think we need an epic tale of a Mixed-Race Lesbian Mormon Vampire Hunter? A Transgender Action Hero? A Native American Superspy? A female Doctor Who?

Do It Your Own Fucking Self.

You have more power and ability to change the world than anyone had had in the history of mankind. So stop whining in comments, get off your lazy ass, and use it!


Doctor Who 2011 Finale

Just watched the 2011 finale for Doctor Who. Wow, what a load of nonsensical magical fairydust crap. I thought last year’s “Clap if you love The Doctor” was bad, but this one managed to not only have the same type of ending, but wrap it in a plot that was so convoluted that Dali would look at it and say “whoa, that’s f*cked up!”

The Christmas special might be worth a look (as long as Moffat doesn’t write it) but I think I’ll just skip watching Who until the 50’th anniversary special comes around. Moffat has managed to undo everything cool he did under Tennant in my eyes, and the next time I watch Who I hope his name is nowhere to be found.


Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant on the art of Radio Drama (BBC Radio 4) – YouTube

Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant on the art of Radio Drama (BBC Radio 4) – YouTube.

The End of…Russel T. Davies (spoiler free)

I’m a big fan of Doctor Who. I grew up watching it on TVO in my parent’s basement, and yes, I did jump behind the couch sometimes because “my” doctor was Tom Baker, and we all know how his episodes played.  I continued watching Who up until it was canceled in my University years, and even then the local PBS channel from Ohio played whole serials (most from John Pertwee’s era)  as “movies” each Saturday night, and my roommate and I would sit up and watch them every weekend.

So as you might expect, I was ready to go when Doctor Who returned in 2005, and overall I’ve loved the ride ever since. I enjoyed Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, I came to adore David Tennant in the role like anyone else, and I’m actually looking forward to Matt Smith’s run. Of course, I’m not actually looking forward to it for Matt Smith, since he’s a completely unknown quantity (and I still think he’s too young) but for the end of Russel T. Davies in the writer’s chair. Now, I completely confess I have loved a couple of his episodes (Midnight, Gridlock, Waters of Mars) and he does have a sense of style and motion that helped bring energy to the relaunch of Who and make it great. That said, the man also wrote most of the worst episodes of the new show as well (not THE worst, that would be The Unicorn and the Wasp by Gareth Roberts), and turned an adventure show into what was very much an Earthbound drama. He wrote and produced a Who that was half show-half fanfic/loveletter to the show he watched growing up, and did some of the stupidist sh*t to grace that series in a long time. He took a show that was at least semi-grounded in science (even if some of it was closer to magic) and make it into a pure science-fantasy where a character took control of a death-star type spaceship by a grabbing a lever, and if everyone claps three times they can turn the Doctor back to normal and give him godlike powers. Don’t even get me started on his season-long “arcs”, which started interesting (not good, but interesting) and then turned into the same crap recycled in different flavors over and over, getting more and more ridiculous. I think if he’d been a general staff writer on the show, things would have been fine, but instead of that we got plot holes you could drive a planet through.

So, when I watched The End of Time, Part 2 today I was praying he could break that streak and produce something good, especially since his last “series finale” with the the Daleks was so incredibly bad. Did he do it? I’d have to say no in the final analysis. He produced something with some great bits (anytime the The Doctor and Wilf were talking) and the ideas behind the new Timelords was cool too, but the execution? A real letdown. That last 10 minutes especially was almost maddening, as it was neither needed nor asked for, and was a pure exercise in self-indulgence on the part of RTD that I think summed up his whole term on the show. (In a bad way.)

On the other hand, he did do one thing right- he found Stephen Moffat to replace him. The man who wrote the absolute best episodes of the past 5 years worth of show, and the man many of us look to as the one who will take Davies’s ideas, and really give them the extra solidity they need to make them work. Yes, he might turn the show in another mess, but lets have a little faith based on his track record.

Especially since he’s giving us this to look forward to: