Doctor Who and the Pixels of Vruum. (terrible name and likely to change)

20 07 2010

On a warm weekend on the outskirts of London, a small home with a well tendered garden was bathed in sunlight. Small boys ran through the house with balloons, as Mrs Davidson positioned decorations onto the walls.

“When’s Dad due back” asked Jennifer, Mrs Davidsons daughter, about seventeen, who had the golden blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes of her Mother.

“Ohh”, Mrs Davidson puffed and thought she was too old for all this stretching, “Ohhh” she looked for a clock and then realising she’d hidden it behind some balloons, waved her hand and said “I think they’ll be back in about twenty minutes, what is it, about four?”

“Check your watch Mum” Smiled Jennifer.

Mrs Davidson rolled her eyes and squinted at her watch, “Yep, twenty minutes it is, Thank heavens my internal clock still functions… Now help me down from this step.”

Mrs Davidson waved an arm at the decorations, “Well, does that look like a Birthday my dear?” She put an arm around her Daughter and pulled her close, “I can’t believe Dad is seventy and you’re almost all grown up, time flies sweetheart, altogether too swiftly for my liking” She bought her daughter close and kissed her gently on the forehead.

As the boys played out in the garden with Robert the Dalmation, Mrs Davidson and her Daughter decorated a chocolate cake with bright coloured smarties, piped “seventy” in long-hand and popped a single candle on top. Despite Dr. Farrow being exceedingly health concious, he was also a dedicated lover of chocolate, and didn’t seem to mind people letting themselves go a bit on special occasions.

Dr. James Farrow had been the local GP and had worked just up the street from here for about fifty years, but had since retired. Everyone in the area loved him, he was there at the birth of their children, treated everything from broken bones to warts, and managed to keep some of them alive by the smallest of margins… His mind had drifted as they drove home, each house was a reminder of another story, mostly good stories, but not always.

Someone waved at the car which woke the good Doctor from his dreams, and he waved back… “Sally Williams” He said and turned to Mr Davidson… “Whooping Cough, Nineteen Seventy Three, Pertussis… She almost died, Marcus”. Mr Davidson smiled but kept his eyes on the road, “Yes, you told me, you saved her”. “Not just I, Marcus” corrected Dr. Farrow, “It was a group effort, My collegues and I, David and Bryce, and those dedicated Nurses, Martha, Pat and Gina, He paused… “Three whole months it took, that poor child, Why people don’t vaccinate I’ll never understand. He fell back in his chair and a tear came to his eye. Mr Davidson was well aware of the waver in his Father in laws voice and reached out a hand and patted the doctor on his shoulder “She lived” he said solemly. “Yes” replied the Doctor, “She did, but many others did not, many who did not need to go… I hate getting old Marcus, There’s so much more work to do, and just as medicine is about to branch out into exciting new times, what happens to me, I kick the bucket and miss out on all the fun” He frowned, and then laughed at himself, Marcus laughed with him.

The car rolled up the drive and Jennifer yelled out “They’re here!”

When Dr Farrow walked in, He saw the decorations and smiled broadly.

“Happy Birthday Dad” Said Mrs Davidson, half crying.

“Did you two do all this for me? Is there cake?” Asked the Doctor.

“Yes there’s cake, I should’ve known that’d be your second question… and no, you can’t have any, yet.”

Dr Farrow spotted the two boys in the yard “Is Carmel here?” He called out to his Daughter who was back in the kitchen. Carmel was one of Doctor Farrows patients, Her pregnancy hadn’t quite gone as planned, and she had been lucky to have two healthy lads who were now romping with the dog in the garden like two healthy boys should.

“No Dad, I’m just looking after them, Carmel had to pick up Stuart, their car had broken down again… but she’ll be over later, she’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday…Cup of tea?”

“Yes Please Heather…” He poked his head around the door and asked “can I have some cake with it by any chance?”

“No, you old devil, you can’t” She scolded.

“Oh I see, just because I get old, I don’t get any cake” he looked forlornly at Marcus… I told you not to marry this girl, once you’re my age you’ll truely suffer.

The boys were playing with miniature trucks in the garden beds where it was all muddy, instead of the nice clean sandpit right next to them, Brian had mud right up to his elbow as he’d dug a tunnel for his trucks and his T-Rex to live in… that and the tiny blue box with the funny light on the top.

Latka Bella Fyfe was excited, She had only just met The Doctor on her home planet and was very keen, as any scientist would be, to not just see another world, but to walk upon it, There was just one problem, She was blue… Everyone from her planet was blue, Now being a blue person really shouldn’t be of anyones concern in this day and age, but she was a bit blue, really blue, just like everyone on her planet, except for the kentarkians who were more green than blue… but that’s beside the point.

The Doctor had suggested that she keep a low profile, so Bella, as The Doctor called her, had been searching the TARDISs database for suitable clothes, She was delighted when she found the Burqa and asked The Doctor if she could wear this?

“No” He said, scratching his chin.

“Why not? I think it’s lovely, don’t you?” she asked.

“Because… Earth Women don’t have long tails like a lizard” He replied, and prodded a few buttons on his console which despensed an item which he caught in his left hand.

“Wear this instead” it was a fine gold chain with a beautiful gem on the end, “That stone is a sort of holographic projector, you can pick them up cheap in braxton, er, that’s a planet I went to once, they’re rather too fond of ear wax… anyway… what it does whatever people expect to see is what is overlayed, so people see what they want to see, once I announce that you’re there, people will become aware of you and… and if they say something about your red dress, just smile and say thanks, don’t discuss it because someone else will see you in blue clothes and that’s going to get very confusing pretty quickly.”

The Doctor covered his face with his hand… “Erahhhh…. Woman, tall, brunette, jeans, sneakers” He opened his eyes and closed them again suddenly “Oh God, I’m sorry… BraShirtJacket…..Haaat!” And there she was, not as in fashion as you might expect a woman in her early 30s, but certainly good enough as far as The Doctor was concerned.

The Velvet Blindfold

20 07 2010

Mum told me a story about when she was a child, She grew up in a religious family who followed the Salvation Army. It was her Dad who was the religious one, and one of her five brothers played in the local Salvo Band.

It was the 1930s and 40s.
There were few cars on the road, and not as many houses or people.

Cattle would be followed by men on horseback along Geelong Road, You could see all the way to Footscray from our house… the only one with a phone, People would frequently come to our house just to use the phone, for something important like calling a doctor, our phone number was composed of only four digits.

Mums Dad forbade Mum to wear makeup, read comics or go to the movies, Certain radio plays were also off the menu.

Other kids made fun of my Mother, who couldn’t do the things that the others did, because of religious moralising.
On Mondays the schoolkids would talk about the latest movie they’d been to, maybe the one with Shirley Temple, Mum would try to get by nodding her head, pretending she’d seen certain scenes.

But sometimes she found herself at the homes of friends and would indulge in reading their comics, and as she grew, she’d dare to put on a little lipstick, and then a little eyeshadow… she wondered why I was so rebellious, I know where I got it from.

She sometimes got to see the odd film though, including old monster movies which frightened her out of her wits, but if she had the chance to go to a movie, she would’ve been unlikely to turn it down.

Later when she found her boyfriend, she rode on the back of his motorbike, and she loved it.

When I was at school, we were taught that television would rot the brain, but I don’t think it rotted mine, do you?
I watched a lot of docos, especially nature programs, and I loved Julius Sumner Millers science program. Yes there were cartoons which I loved too, and other light entertainment, but I loved the things that stimulated my mind… I don’t think television did me any harm.

While at high-school I became friends with two brothers, whose family didn’t believe in television and wanted their kids to read. They actually threw their television away.

The effect was such that they had very little to talk about, they never went anywhere and there was no internet of course, at least not like it is now. so they were completely cut off from interacting socially.

Mum had decided that I had to go out, and so we’d frequently go to restaurants in the dandenong ranges, she wanted me to be a gentleman and I think that I came out ok.

These two boys didn’t have this, they were from a poor family who simply couldn’t afford it, and because they hadn’t seen society in action as I had, they were stunted and lost when it came to speaking, in fact they were quite bizarre. The oldest was into UFO magazines and believed every story that was written on each page… in summer, when it was 40c or a bit over 100f, he’d come to school, with a jumper on, a jacket, and another jacket over that, with every button done up to the absolute top… including buttons which were only there for design.

He developed very strange ideas and became obsessed with atomic weapons.

His brother was shy, and had a childish sense of humour, which he, even at this age, hasn’t entirely dropped.

But unlike his brother, is friendly and kind, and even though his personal growth was stunted, he’s trying to break free of it and has impressed me with his changing ideas.

During the time that my hormones started doing their thing, I desperately wanted to know more, but found that although diagrams of the uterus would be drawn on the board and spoken of in detail, there was little said about the male body “It’s too simple” said a teacher, when I picked up the courage to ask… sex education was all about the woman, a mans body was taboo… perhaps I’d be thought a homosexual if I asked about how the male body functioned… oh, too late… But I didn’t have a bloody uterus, what good was learning about that, to me?

Ejaculation was spoken of in the weakest way, apparently sperm came out of the penis and swam towards the egg in the uterus.

I’d look at my penis and wonder how the sperm came out, perhaps I had to concentrate extra hard, or there was some magic thing inside the vagina which sucked it out, how did I know?

I couldn’t ask my parents about sex, and even if dad could have got past his shyness, he really didn’t know much either.

When information is withheld, all it does is muddy the waters and make life more difficult, it hinders and is hurtful.
It held me back, but I strove hard to find out whatever I could, and I found that the internet was very helpful.

The porn, like it or not, was something I had to see… so much better to watch a man enter a woman, or another man, than watch a tribe of natives dance around a fire in a film and still not know much.

If only I’d had access to that porn when I was fourteen, a lot of questions would have been answered and I think life would have been better.

Not all that long ago, a friend bought me a fleshlight, and I thought that it was so wonderful that I felt that the government should buy one for every boy on his sixteenth birthday. I know that I would have been immensely grateful.

The internet, in general, has answered a great many questions that television and even a library could not.

People who are unfortunate enough to be subjected to the restriction of information grow like a bonsai tree, pruned, kept from harm and fussed over, but they can never reach the great heights they were meant for.

Remember this if you think an internet filter is a good idea.



18 07 2010

Last nights dream, or perhaps I should say “This Mornings” due to the fact that my mind is on fire lately and I can’t seem to shut it off till morning.

Years ago when Mum was around, She’d wake very early and start the washing, and have breakfast. I’d hear hungry cats meowing for their breakfast, as Mum would give them their one meal of the day then. She’d be talking to Dad and whichever of the dogs we had, clattering dishes, making toast, boiling water… and all of this would somehow make me feel more secure, and it was then that if I’d had a sleepless night, I’d finally drop off deeply.

Sometime this morning then, I had this dream, most of which I can’t recall… but this fragment remains.

We were moving house, and gathering things together…
It seemed the house was absolutely loaded with paraphernalia, items from trips, furniture, music, everything.

I leaned around our fridge which was covered by magnets holding papers, bills, notes, things cut from the paper, important papers from hospital… layered thickly, possibly ten deep.

I grabbed at some and they came off.

Wind picked them up and I went chasing them, there was no wall next to the fridge, I could see the papers blowing over the grass in the street, the grass was lush and green beside the single lane road.

I stepped onto gold and white marbled stone and down onto the grass, and tried to grab the papers, which seemed important enough for me to try to retrieve.

But each time I went after them, there was another puff of wind which would blow them further away.

And now I realised that I stood on a cliff by the ocean, and the papers were blowing towards the edge… some blew over, but blew back too, and I caught most of them.

The sky seemed to boil with grey stormy clouds, the air was fresh, cool and clean, and somewhere down below, a mighty ocean remained unseen.

On the ground were plastic bags from record shops.

As a teenager I’d buy lots of records and kept them with the bags they came in, until I could get proper protective sleeves for them.

And that seemed to be about it.


Why a filter won’t work (for non-computer users)

12 07 2010

I thought of a way to explain why a filter won’t be any good in stopping certain content from being seen, and this is it.

People who don’t know much about the internet often confuse the internet for a corporate media, which it’s not.

When you publish a magazine or newspaper, or produce a movie, those are first read or watched by a panel of censors who decide if the article is fit to print or watch, if it’s a movie then they give it a rating.

But webpages are created by people at home, people like you and I who are sitting in their loungerooms and bedrooms, who have an idea in their head and set about writing it down, as I am now.

Once the content has been created, as this article will be after I read it through to check spelling errors etc, I will hit a button marked “publish”.

Ten seconds after I do this, the page will be readable by anyone in the world.

Then I can notify friends via Facebook, Twitter or plain old e-mail.

By the next day, 500 or more people may have read this article, and by the time any censor board becomes aware of it, days or weeks may have passed.

Add to the fact that thousands of other webpages and articles could have been generated during this time, from anywhere in the world, further slowing the time it is seen by a review board.

Finally, by the time the article is read, and blacklisted… everyone has already read it, the horse as they say, has long since bolted.

The filter is a pointless affair, a sugar-pill to make the public feel safer… but it really won’t help anything.

If a page is blocked, there will be ways around the filter to read it anyway, or
the person who made the original webpage can simply make a new one elsewhere
which won’t take much longer than 30minutes to do.


That’s the question

6 07 2010

During the 80’s, My Cousin was going through a pretty hard time. Her Husband walked out and moved in with another Woman, leaving Yvonne, Her Daughter and a foster child alone and in great debt… Hubby had wished to buy a semi-trailer truck, and had borrowed from Yvonnes Parents to get it, He hadn’t payed much back when he began playing around with this other Woman.

Yvonne became terribly depressed and we were all worried for her, a few times she was nearly suicidal, but would phone Mum for support. Mum would generally be asleep at eight, but during these years, the phone would sometimes go at seven and the phone call might last till midnight.

Mum did everything to try to keep Yvonne afloat, She found that talking about horoscopes helped. Now I’m sure they both thought Horoscopes were nonsense, but if one sounded like it was for Yvonne, but against the Husband, that sometimes buoyed Yvonne just enough to keep her going.

Jokes would be told too, anything that happened to be floating around at the time.

Mum was fairly straight-laced and dignified most of the time, so she never cracked “vulgar jokes” although fart jokes would usually have her rolling around in fits. She loved The Dave Allen Show, On The Busses, Are You Being Served, Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em, Mother and Son… Just to illustrate what she found funny.

One night I was sitting on my bed, and since the phone was in the other room, I could clearly hear the discussion between the two.

Mum was a cleaner at the factory nearby, Apex Belting, Where Dad had been, and still was, a deliveryman.
A fairly raunchy joke had been told one day, Though apparently Mum didn’t realise, as she relayed it to Yvonne.

“I heard this joke today” she said. “Someone at work told it and all the others screamed laughing but I had no idea what it was about so I just made out that I knew, and pretended it was funny”.

My ears pricked up.

Mum began to speak, sounding quite confused.

“What’s the definition of trust?”

oh no… I knew this… surely it couldn’t be, could it?

Then Mum, obviously perplexed, told Yvonne the punchline

“Two cannibals having a….. sixty-niner???”

I shouldn’t have, but I laughed like mad, I’d heard the joke dozens of times, it was so old, and rude, and to hear Mum repeating it was unreal.

Then I heard her say “Oh HE knows”

Oh no…

I walked out still smiling, and a bit red-faced, and Mum looked at me in all seriousness and asked “What’s a sixty-niner?”.
I’m sorry, but I wasn’t going to answer that and told her so.

She asked me a few more times, but I just didn’t have the courage to tell her, How do you face your Mother and tell her something like that? Well, I think I was about fifteen, so discussing anything sexual with my parents was difficult, in fact we never discussed it.

I wonder if anyone ever did tell her, or if she found out somewhere, I’m sure that if she had found out, she would have thought back to this day and been pretty embarassed.


Losing my Religion

4 07 2010

Earlier today I came across a youtube video about brainwashing kids to believe evolution is wrong, dinosaurs didn’t exist and an idiot who thought that teaching her kids religious nonsense was “simply a lot easier and made more sense”.

Mum battled with getting me to believe, Mum grew up among family members who were in the Salvos, in fact a few of our family were in the local Salvo band.

Though she was an interesting case, although she believed in God, she never went to church, at least in my memory, and I’m not sure why.

Mum had been a churchgoer earlier on, and was even a Sunday School teacher for a while, My sister also attended sunday school.

About as much as I can recall of religion when I was growing up, were those awful US evangelists on television on a sunday. In the 70s, it was law for Aussie TV to have several hours of religious content… but this was thankfully dropped in later decades.

Mum was strange though in that whenever a nature program came on, which spoke of evolution, she never criticised it. Though she’d point her finger at me at times and yell “You’re a bloody heathen, just like your bloody Father”. Whenever I was “bad” I was always my Fathers Son or just like the other side of the Family.

We had religious instruction at primary school in the 70’s, but suddenly for whatever reason it was not required anymore, whether this was a change of government or school views, I’m not sure.

I remember some kid dobbing me into the pastor (or whatever he was) telling him that I didn’t believe in God, the fellow had a word with me but I don’t remember anything he said and it didn’t matter anyway, the words ran off me like rain from a ducks back.

The class was strange, My feelings now was that it was a bit like being taught facts and figures and then having a class dedicated to elves and fairies (which may have been more fun).

I always found religion sombre and dreary, it may have been different if I’d been bought up in the US with one of those soulful black choirs, whose music I could feel on the inside… maybe I would have gone on to enjoy music more for the experience, but the religion would have gone just the same.

During the 80s, Mum pushed me into Sunday School, so I had to stand there and sing like a goose and read parts of the bible and pray, She’d glare at me and growl “It won’t hurt you to go” when I’d protest, so instead of laying in bed like a teenage boy with a hardon and a dirty mind should, I was forced to get up an have Jesus forced down my throat, sometimes I wondered if Mum had noticed a few of my urges and was hoping she could squash them back down before I became a total animal with a few threatening words about the man upstairs.

Sometimes I though Mum was in it for the freebies, this church was extremely generous at picnics and I do admit the food was good, and oddly they weren’t too pushy with the whole God thing.

But I think it gave me a whole pile of guilt about my feelings and who I was which ontop of what I already carried around, was something I simply didn’t need.

I briefly toyed with religion myself during the 90’s when I became interested in Chinese Medicine, Shiatsu massage, Natural medicine, Native American beliefs and Reiki (which I was told was the same sort of healing power that Jesus used). I was great at reiki and shiatsu, people loved receiving a massage from me, and it was the sort of quiet hobby I needed at the time.

I became quite a spiritual person, around that time. it was my hippy phase, but without the drugs, booze and the free love.

But I got over it and moved on, and became a volunteer at Melbourne Zoo just shortly before a lot of bad stuff began to happen in my life, including the death of my Father, My wonderful Dog and the discovery of why I had been sick for so long.

Mum came to see me in hospital shortly after the removal of my rectal cancer, which was a six-hour operation. She inspected my wrist band with my name, number, home address and religion on it, and saw that it read “No religion”.

She questioned me on that, and told me that I’m Protestant, I looked at her and said “No I’m not, I don’t even know what that means”, I think she was a little surprised that I’d say… all my life I had not been religious, sometimes I said I believed merely to keep my peace with her, but I never was and this was my moment.. She wasn’t upset with me, she was just grateful that I was still alive.

Mum would sing while she was in the kitchen, she often only knew a few phrases of songs, but it was enough for her. sometimes it was a tune from the 40s, something from theatre or the pictures, sometimes a song that came out during the war… sometimes it was a Hymn.

She loved to watch “Songs of praise” but would get quite upset and angry when an old tune that she loved was “all hepped up”, sometimes she’d fight it by trying to sing louder than the television, in the old style… if looks could kill.

But a few weeks short of her passing, it was odd to hear her singing REMs “Losing my religion”. to me, that seemed to indicate that her God had left her and she didn’t care anymore, perhaps she had accepted that I was right after all.


The video which was mentioned in the story.

Truth or Rumour

1 07 2010

I think I’d like to tell you something, I’m not sure you’ll
see the point of this but I hope you do.

When I was at primary school I was bullied, it was mainly verbal,
and was about my character and things I apparently did in private.

Some kid would invent a story and it would flourish.

I copped these stories through high-school as well, my later childhood
and teenage years were a sheer misery, and I hated going to school.

I became extremely fearful and would hardly talk to anyone.

By the time I left school, I wouldn’t just walk up to people and ask
them anything, I was too afraid to.

I remember going to the record shop to see if my order was in yet, and
nearly peeing my pants, I don’t know, I think I felt as if I’d be laughed at
the guy didn’t laugh, but it was now at the point where I felt that anyone,
especially if they were close to my own age, would do so.

Well those years were absolutely shocking.

Nobody sat down to get to know who I was, or what I was into, what I loved or hated… my opinion wasn’t wanted and I didn’t matter.

I was everything the rumours told people, and that was it.

Knowing what I’d been though, I have always taken special care to make sure that what people said about others was absolutely true, I needed solid, hard facts before I’d call someone something negative… this has slipped at times, if something has got me hot under the collar, I am gentle in nature but I have developed an anger in my later years which needs to be roped down at times.

I know how bullies work, they start fake stories and then without a shred of evidence, everyone else passes on the rumour and calls it truth.

There’s no difference between bullies and truthers, none at all.