Friday, April 23, 2010

#Nickcleggsfault In praise of Twitter

Around this time last year I belatedly woke up to the fact that all my online contacts seemed to be rabbiting on about something called Twitter. I realised the Famous in the shape of Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross were on it, but I couldn't really see what it would do for me. I was already on Facebook (frankly a part of social networking I've never got to grips with, as it seems pretty infantile to me, though that maybe because I mainly FB with my children), I blog, and according to my husband (who may well be right) I spent far too much time on the internet as it is. So I turned my back on Twitter, as for the same reason I don't update my FB page (why on earth would anyone be interested in me having a cup of tea?), I didn't think it had anything to offer.

I changed my mind when a blogging friend dipped her toe in the twitter water and I was so intrigued by the tweets appearing by the side of her blog, I sort of followed her in. At first I was completely confused, and I still didn't get why people would care what I was up to at any given moment, but I quickly realised that the joy of twitter is that it can go from the absurd to the profound in a matter of moments. The sheer fact of having to put thoughts into a mere 140 characters is a great discipline for any writer, but particularly for one as verbose as me. And to my surprise there was alot less navel gazing, and I'm scratching my bum what are you up to? then I was expecting.

Sure there is some stupidity, and when the occasional twitterstorms (such as the one surrounding Jan Moir's distasteful article about Stephen Gately's death) arise, there can be an element of the nutty mob about it, but in the main, the people I meet on twitter are not only supremely sane, they are witty, sophisticated, wise and fun.

Take, for instance, yesterday. I don't buy the Daily Mail, and hadn't seen the headlines, but gathered quite quickly that the dear old self restrained DM had been gunning for Nick Clegg on the grounds of his Nazi sympathies. Erm? Nick Clegg? A Nazi? What was going on? Within seconds, thanks to a twitter friend, I'd been pointed in the right direction of the offending article that Nick Clegg had written eight years ago. Yes I did say eight. You can find it here. I agree with every word as it happens. I wonder if that makes me a Nazi? Not only that he gleefully pointed out the Mail's own less then glorious Nazi past here. So we engaged on a twitter conversation about all of that, before slipping into less profound topics (as you so easily can on twitter) such as the comparative merits of white asparagus (as eaten in Germany) against green .

It is probably fair to say that the twitterati are not big fans of the DM. So very swiftly a new hashtag appeared #nickcleggsfault and created a trending topic (to those unfamiliar with twitter, people get on the bandwagon with a particular topic and identify it with # - and as a relative twitter newbie I don't think I can explain it much better!) People blamed pretty much everything yesterday on Nick Clegg (me too - the fact that my house is in untidy remains his fault), from running out of houmous to not being able to get any writing done. You've got to even blame the volcano on him. It was a glorious spontaneous response to the anti Nick Clegg crap in the papers (even from people who DON'T support him), which had me hooked to the computer for most of yesterday, and reminded me of just why I love twitter. We may not have much going for us as a country at the moment, but boy do we still have our sense of irony. Today I note the topic is still trending. My favourite comment of the day so far, is Labour is a wasted vote #nickcleggsfault...

As a result of the time spent yesterday on twitter (yes, yes, husband you are right) when I should have been cleaning, I was very late putting the washing out, didn't have time to do the shopping before the school run/swimming lessons and opted to do sainbury's at 7pm. Which is how I found myself unpacking shopping at 8.15, and putting sheets on beds at 8.45 And that I promise you is ALL #nickcleggsfault

Friday, April 09, 2010

Better late then never...

... And about a thousand years after all the other Whovians online, here's my response to New Nu Who.

What can I say? It's the Easter holidays, I was away last week, and have painting a bedroom this week, so I haven't had any time to blog about the return of two of my favourite TV programmes (Thanks BBC for bringing Ashes to Ashes back the same weekend as Dr Who, magic...)

Anyway on to the new Doctor. Unlike a lot of people it seems, I wasn't too worried about Matt Smith. I'd seen (and liked) him in Party Animals, I think he has a very alien face, and I loved his opening lines at the end of the last Special. Plus, Steven Moffat is in charge. Steven Moffat who's written every single one of my favourite Nu Who episodes. Of course I would have loved to see David Tennant go on for ever, but I suspect we all might have got sick of him in the end, and part of the joy and brilliance of Dr Who, by the very nature of having a hero who periodically changes, is that it can constantly reinvent itself. And hurrah for that.

So, I was prepared to like it. I was prepared to even forgo the loss of David Tennant for the sake of Steven Moffat's writing, but I wasn't prepared to be so utterly blown away by last week's opener. It felt invigorating, energising, and most of all fresh again. I was just as excited as I was five years ago when Dr Who returned with Christopher Ecceleston. Spouse and I sat down to watch it rather nervously, wondering what RTD would do to our favourite nostalgic TV show, and then as now we were blown away by the sheer fun and raw energy of it. That fun and energy has ebbed away of late, much as I loved DT's swansong, so it's nice to get it back again, even if, being Steven Moffat we got a lot of monsters under the bed too.

From the moment the Doctor burst into young Amelia Pond's life, it felt like we were on a roller coaster - I loved the swimming pool in the library, the way he kept twitching, the food thing (fishfingers in custard - inspired!!). I loved young Amelia/Amy. Loved it that he came back twelve years too late. Loved grown up Amy handcuffing him to get some answers. Loved her calling him the Raggedy Doctor. Loved the scary aliens. Loved the retro feeling (both the village green and the hospital reminded me of the Jon Pertwee era). Well, I just loved the whole thing really.

I didn't love the new theme tune, but hey, that's a minor quibble. In five minutes Matt Smith made himself the Doctor and pretty much eradicated all thoughts of David Tennant from my mind. Pretty impressive (though I can't fancy someone who is young enough to be my son). I think I am going to really enjoy this version of the Doctor, he's quirky, bonkers and fun, while Amy is clearly going to be a match for him.

SO Woohoo, for new Nu Who. Can't wait until tomorrow.

Lucky I have Ashes to Ashes to keep me going till then isn't it?