Archive | August, 2010

Moffat Copies Moffat

The Frumious Cumberbatch

“Funny little human brains … How do you get around in those things?”

Doctor Who, “The Doctor Dances”


“Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring!”

Sherlock, “A Study in Pink”

Looking for Justice in All the Wrong Places

Inadvertently funny line from a press release for the new Americanised Torchwood:

His choice of career is significant. Someone like Rex could make a fortune in Wall Street, or Hollywood. But choosing the C.I.A. says a lot about him: that for all his swagger, he does believe in justice.


Voltaire 10-franc note

Michael Johnson’s article “The Delightful Voltaire” (linked from LRC today) tells me something I never knew before about Voltaire – namely that he chose the name “Voltaire” as an anagram of “Arouet l.j.” (the “l.j.” standing for “le jeune”). Johnson calls it a “loose” anagram, but it’s actually quite exact, given the once-prevalent convention that I and J are interchangeable, as are U and V (a convention that made sense in a culture steeped in Latin).

Incidentally, in another article recently linked from LRC, Tim Black claims that “the attacks launched against religion by thinkers like John Locke or Voltaire were not targeted at its content – they were targeted at its form as part of the state.” This sentence is a bit ambiguous, since Locke and Voltaire were attacking particular religious institutions and doctrines, not “religion” as such – but they clearly thought that various widely held religious views were false and dangerous, and were definitely attacking these views and not solely their forcible imposition by government (though of course they attacked that too).

The Comeback Kid

John Carter of Mars (by Michael Whelan), pretending to be Oscar of Oscarville

In 1972, when I was eight, I wrote a series of stories (or four “books” – 186 pages’ worth, though typed up and without the original drawings they come to a mere 25 pages total) collectively titled Oscar of Oscarville, about an eight-year-old boy who flew around on the back of an enormous hummingbird while whacking off the heads of monsters with his enchanted sword, in a magical land whose chief characteristic seemed to be the elicitation of various sorts of gigantism in everything from bats and butterflies to houses and hair tonic. (I then had no idea that there were actual places named Oscarville – in Alaska and Georgia, for example.) This was my magnum opus up to that point.

I hadn’t seen the Oscarville stories since 1981 and had feared they were lost, until I rediscovered them going through old boxes last week. As a break from more pressing but less enjoyable work, I’ve transcribed Oscar’s adventures and self-indulgently put them online. Lo, he is risen!

Father Knows Best

A never-before-seen deleted scene from the very beginning of Return of the Jedi, scheduled to be included on a future blu-ray release. (CHT AICN.) Watch it now before it’s taken down:

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