Why picard’s return may not be such a good thing

I think anyone interested in Star Trek and  the future of the franchise  should give this a watch, although it doesn’t really make comfortable viewing. It explains some of the background of the problems  Trek faces. While  Patrick Stewart may be  returning to the role of Picard,   the video points out that the Picard we are set to get will be very different to the one we grew up with. The franchise has been split into many prime and secondary timelines, and it has lost the support of many fans because of it. As the video points out, these splits are because the franchise is being fought over by two separate studios, CBS and Paramount. Trek as a whole is thus in quite a mess, torn between different studios, timelines and styles. I had thought the different mise en scene of the new films  was an artistic choice, but it is, in fact, a  result of the franchise being fought over by two different studios: they had to look different for legal reasons. The same goes for Trek’s entire  timeline being rewritten. According to the video, Picard will be flung into this mess of competing narratives in order to bring fans back,  but having  watched it, I can’t help thinking that to use Picard in this way would just destroy a once great character. Trek has lost it’s way, and rather than see it dissolve into a  incoherent mess of competing timelines where the idea of  what is canonic becomes nonsensical, I’d rather let it fade into cultural history.

Christine Hamilton axed from MD charity over burka tweet

There are certain people in british public life who should not be there. Who, instead of appearing on telly every now and then or having newspaper articles written about  them, deserve to just be ignored as the utter irrelevancies they are. I just came across this Beeb article: Christine Hamilton has been removed as a charity ambassador  for Muscular Dystrophy UK after comparing burkas to the hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. As someone who has lost several friends to MD, reading that made  my blood boil. I don’t  want that xenophobic whore, that utter waste of human life, anywhere near that  charity. The bitch presumably thinks she can jump on the trump/bojo bandwagon and attract a bit of media attention and political clout for herself   and her husband. It’s as if they want to seem like countercultural,  independent thinkers by coming out with shit like this, when  in fact she is insulting and scapegoating an already oppressed minority in order  to score points with the most abhorrent, contemptible members of our society. She says she is being a  ‘British Battleaxe’,  but fascists like her have no place in  our cultural life:  xenophobia is xenophobia, and ignorant, arrogant bitches who contribute nothing to society should just be ignored as the embarrassments to human civilisation they are.

Posting my thesis to Sir Patrick

Today, along with a cover letter, I posted a copy of my MA thesis to Sir Patrick Stewart. I had always regretted not giving him a copy when I met him in 2014, but until now it seemed pretty pointless: why would he want to read about why I loved the Ahab scene in First Contact? Recently, though, I saw an interview where Sir Patrick said that one of the reasons for his choice to go back to Star Trek was that he had had so many people tell  him about the way they had drawn inspiration and strength from  Picard. Thinking about it in bed last night, I decided it was time I added to that: I wanted to let Mr. Stewart know that his work had affected me too. This morning, then, I bought an  envelope and wrote a short cover letter, and posted a copy of my thesis to  Mr. Stewart’s london agent. I hope with all my heart that he  reads it. It seems star Trek means  a great deal to many people, and I wanted to show the great man why it means so much to me too.


Our PA mitch is a uni student who often gets on with his academic work when Lyn and I don’t need his help. He has recently been doing some 3d graphic work, showing us what he  has been up to on hiss laptop. This morning, I was rather impressed with the spooky-looking he was creating, which he could rotate and manipulate in quite a fun way. I asked him which package he was using,  and he said it was called Blender. I  asked him what it cost. I didn’t expect  it to be cheap  (such software seldom is) but to my surprise, mitch told me it was free to download. I instantly decided to have a go: I googled it and, ignoring thee links too food mixing machines, I downloaded it.

I have spent much of the day since then trying to get to grips with it. To be honest it is  far from straightforward, but as Mitchel promised there are plenty of tutorials on youtube to watch. I have found it great fun, and can already see great potential for my film work. Alongside photoshop, I now have access to some great graphics packages  which I can use to generate all  kinds of images. Until now my problem has been that I cannot physically use cameras, but if I learn how to animate, who knows what weird and wonderful moving images I’ll be able to create.

Time to engage more with other forms of disability

A while ago on my blog I wrote that I was considering taking up psychology again. When I studied  it for my A-Levels, I didn’t take to it very well as I couldn’t get my head round the various different approaches.  But now, as a writer and film-maker with an interest in disability, it’s becoming clear to me how vital a knowledge of that area is. I’m gradually getting the picture that physical disability is only half the story (if that). While I could continue to try to tell the  world about what life is like for people with mobility, dexterity and communication impairments, there are many other forms of disability I know very little about: conditions like depression or schizophrenia which arguably get even less press than Cerebral Palsy, and are even less understood.

I know as  much about such conditions as the next man, but if I want to grow as a writer and film-maker with an interest in disability culture and politics, that’s the area I now need to engage with, especially given people with such conditions seem to  be becoming increasingly salient  in the disability community.

BBC London news series on  public transport for people with disabilities

I just need to  commend BBC London news for the series they  are running on  public transport for people with disabilities. All this week on the local news, reports have aired about the trouble people with various disabilities face getting around town. I was out yesterday so I’ve  only seen a couple, but I think the Beeb is to be applauded for drawing the general public’s attention to this issue. Yes, public transport for  people with disabilities is much better than it was, say,  twenty years ago, but it still has a fair way to go, and news items like this help that progress.