Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 18:22 on 10-12-2013, Melanie
For that matter, what's scrambled egg and bacon got to do with Christmas dinner?

Well, it looks like you're supposed to some poor sucker is supposed to eat it throughout the day, with the scrambled eggs being for breakfast. I guess that means leaving the can open all day?

I have so many questions, but I don't really want to know the answers to any of them. :(
at 11:50 on 10-12-2013, Fin
Dog food for gamers? Seems appropriate somehow.

Don't worry Arthur, Captain Picard is here to save Christmas.
at 11:22 on 10-12-2013, Arthur B
What the shit is this?

Also what sort of fucking barbarian eats their mince pies and Christmas pudding at the same time as their turkey? For that matter, what's scrambled egg and bacon got to do with Christmas dinner? Where's the pigs in blankets? 0/10, CHRISTMAS IS RUINED.
at 00:50 on 10-12-2013, Arthur B
If anything that kind of seems worse - it's like Moffat felt a burning need to dredge up a plot which was basically done solely to say "nuh-uh, you did it wrong, this is how it should have turned out".
at 23:49 on 09-12-2013, Andy G
I very much agree with that, though RTD mostly did wrap up the Time War stuff. It's not been referenced much during Moffat's era: RTD left a fairly blank slate.
at 00:40 on 09-12-2013, Arthur B
It did occur to me, reading the spoilers about the special, that its sum effect is not just to retcon away Ecclestone-Doctor's character arc, but basically to completely warp and in a lot of cases outright invert the point of most of revival Who, both RTD's and Moffat's, what with a central premise of all of it being that
the Doctor is sad because he blew up Gallifrey

It's almost as though Moffat was out to cancel a whole bunch of RTD's decisions about the series purely so he and Peter Capaldi could have a clean slate. Which is an impulse I can understand if you are the showrunner for a show with 50 years of continuity, with the most recent 8-9 years of continuity weighing particularly heavily on your shoulders, but it also feels kind of disrespectful.

I mean, it's possible that this is exactly where RTD intended to take the series, but given the entire Master plot arc that's highly doubtful - not least because I'm 99% convinced that if this was RTD's plan, he'd have seen it out himself before he left as showrunner.
at 23:06 on 08-12-2013, Andy G
Two slightly different perspectives on issues that have been discussed on Ferretbrain before and are now in the news due to recent studies:

Firstly, the decline (or not) of British education.

Secondly, hard-wired differences (or not) between "male brains" and "female brains".

Plus, Who Said It: Steven Moffat or Fake Steven Moffat?

Particularly enjoyed this from Fake Steven Moffat on "Christopher Eccleston’s absence from the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special":

“His exact words were, ‘A fucking reset button? Like fuck am I coming back to canonically nullify my character arc.’ I still can’t figure out what he meant by that.”
at 19:57 on 08-12-2013, Melanie
Sometimes, you just have to ask "why?" And "what?"

...Well, bravo.
at 18:43 on 06-12-2013, Adrienne
Aha. Along the same lines as sites like PUAs.txt (and family), then. I'll keep it on my radar, thanks. )
at 13:37 on 06-12-2013, Arthur B
"Fundies Say the Damnedest Things", allied with sites like "Racists Say the Damnedest Things" and "Conspiracy Theorists Say the Damnedest Things".

Basically it is about highlighting silly and/or awful things said by people on the Internet, usually with a hyperconservative fundamentalist/Biblical literalist spin. Think a Web 1.0 version of Shit Reddit Says. Used to have a nasty Smug Atheist streak but that's lessened now that they've started to occasionally throw in quotes from obnoxious atheists (though they could do more of that).
at 11:23 on 06-12-2013, Adrienne
What's an FSTDT? I mean, i'm looking at it, but i don't know anything about what it's for and i have never heard of it before. (And it doesn't seem to have an About page; i looked.)
at 11:25 on 04-12-2013, Arthur B
Pretty much. FSTDT seem to have noticed Wright due to this latest series and have been showcasing some of his greatest hits, like the time when he said that no real man would actually want his wife to have shred of independence.
at 03:08 on 04-12-2013, Adrienne
Arthur B: Nope, can't make heads or tails of it. Or any of the previous parts, for that matter. Seems to be lots and lots of paragraphs of pining for the good old days when men were men and women were women and everyone was a capitalist like God intended.
at 18:30 on 02-12-2013, Robinson L
Thanks for the boost, Michal. I'm a little bummed, because this is the first year since I started doing NaNo when I did not finish my novel within the month of November (I'm still in the midst of the climax). On the other hand, it's also the first year since I started doing NaNo that I broke 50,000 words more than two hours before the 1 December deadline (I probably passed it somewhere on the 29th, but didn't validate until the morning of the 30th).
at 07:10 on 02-12-2013, Orion

Perhaps schaemenfreude?
at 04:04 on 01-12-2013, Michal
Seeing as it's the end of the month, congrats to everyone who was doing NaNoWriMo and finished. And if you're doing it and haven't finished yet, well, get typing?
at 16:26 on 30-11-2013, Arthur B
Oh no! What's it about?

Here, I'll DoNotLink it and you can try to figure it out for yourself. It's yet more barmy notions about the crypto-Marxists littered with blather and ignorance. (At one point he uses the amazingly inaccurate term "speciation into sexes"; men evolved on Mars, women evolved on Venus?).

That said, he's a bit more direct about his overall agenda in the first post of his in the comments (towards the top of the comments, replying to "Stephen J", where he basically says that adventure stories are boys' stuff and love stories are girls' stuff and that's how it's to be forever and you can't put female protagonists in adventure stories without either neutering the protagonist or turning it into a love story.
at 07:26 on 30-11-2013, Adrienne
Oh no! What's it about? Also, I would like to commend unto FerretBrain the service DoNotLink, for linking to odious sites without giving them googlejuice or a link back here. (It's a redirect, so it hides the referer; and it sets rel="nofollow", meaning it doesn't improve pagerank.)
at 05:53 on 30-11-2013, Michal
Ye gods, there's a Part 5!
at 15:34 on 29-11-2013, Adrienne
Though for Wright his main problem seems to be their rebellion against King and Pope, those two bastions of anti-authoritarianism.

Yes, this was the association I was making. I do understand that Cromwell was terrible in his own way, but to call him "totalitarian" in contrast to the existing authorities of the day is a giant WTF.
at 10:38 on 29-11-2013, Arthur B
...I haven't read the new Wr*ght piece yet, but I'm a bit confused by anyone who can manage to conflate "Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans" with "the spirit of totalitarianism". WTF?

To be fair, if you were Irish Cromwell's rule was not a happy time. And the Puritans are popularly associated with banning plays, Christmas, dancing and anything else which might be fun.

Though for Wright his main problem seems to be their rebellion against King and Pope, those two bastions of anti-authoritarianism.
at 05:53 on 29-11-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi

Even the notion of medieval Europe as a Catholic wonderland is laughable...

In this popular picture, Europe isn't really Europe as such, it is something that begins as the Western Roman Empire and then gradually expands along with catholicism, except at that time in the beginning, where most people forget that many of those Germanic tribes were christians already, even if arian. I guess, if were being charitable that the catholic church was just a very bountiful thing when it comes to written sources, so that might be a reason for people not knowing much of pagan Europe. The mental image of medieval Europe seems to be stuck somewhere in the high middle ages and the hundred years war in any case.

My objection is to Politically Correct piety. My objection is to the Thought Police.

My objection is to the spirit of totalitarianism.

It somehow seems so weak and pitiful for someone to so glibly throw words like thought police and totalitarianism(or the spirit of) around without being even remotely or symbolically in a position to claim anything like it. Or is he prosecuted by someone or are there governmental agencies seeking to shut him down and throw him to a gulag? I might have gone on about this before, but how exactly does he think that free speech works? Isn't a public discussion and judgment of said speech exactly how this sort of thing is supposed to work? If someone goes about denigrating large parts of the populace, it is very petty to starts shouting thought police when people disagree with him, however vocal they might be about it. Seems like he is very interested in totalitarianism, he just wants to be the one defining what is true and what is not. To be a bit unkind about it, but really? He has no real understanding of what totalitarianism even means. It has nothing to do with people disagreeing with a bigot on a public forum.

Not that that quotation with its ill-thought out and vacuous gushings on art and political correctness is exactly inspired in its other elements.
at 04:54 on 29-11-2013, Adrienne
...I haven't read the new Wr*ght piece yet, but I'm a bit confused by anyone who can manage to conflate "Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans" with "the spirit of totalitarianism". WTF?