Title: A Day In The Life…
Characters: Nosy, Ianto, Jack, Owen, Team Torchwood.
Word Count: 922
Summary: Like every other member of the Torchwood Team, Nosy is never off duty.
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge 204: 24 Hours.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
( A Day In The Life... )
I knew the budget was very low, but was impressed by how much the filmmaker did with it, using repeated imagery and sparse effects, like the force-shield dome over Toronto. The actors were terrific, and I liked the costuming and minimal but effective set-dressing (bright feathers appeared a lot).
The story focused more on the mystical aspects of the obeah than on the science fictional elements, I felt. The script seemed to be aiming for a coming-of-age story, about growing into and accepting power from without and within. But overall, I thought the same ideas were repeated too often, like the movie wasn't sure I-the-viewer could figure it out.
As usual with films made from novels, I was disappointed in how little of the book's story made it into the film, even though it was billed as only part of the novel. I think if you hadn't read the book, you wouldn't get much of an idea of it beyond the baseline, 'this is a futuristic dystopia in which there are people of color and obeah in Toronto'. On the other hand, for some viewers that would be enough to get them to watch. I want people to watch! And discuss!
For those who've read the book, it focuses on the beginning of Ti-Jeanne's relationship with Tony, and introduces the viewers to some of the book's basic issues (addiction to Buff and Rudy's gang, primarily). The organ-stealing plotline was not referenced, and Ti-Jeanne doesn't yet have Baby.
I noticed the dialect from the book had been toned down quite a bit, possibly to demonstrate the generational differences between Mami/Gros-Jeanne and Ti-Jeanne. Crack had been cast as a woman, which was interesting (Rudy didn't appear).
My friend and I stayed for the panel afterwards, and the director, Sharon Lewis, mentioned she was developing the book for a television series, aiming for something along the lines of Netflix or Amazon. I think that would work a lot better than the movie did - there is way too much plot for one feature. Here's hoping all goes well and it takes off and Nalo gets money!
I was a bit irked - apart from my previously stated historical-accuracy nitpicks - by the representation of women in The Limehouse Golem - no positive ties between any of the women characters, apparently either bitches or victims (even if the denouement complicated that), and the idea that Gay Men Were Their (unsuccessful and even deluded) Saviours.
And then I read some interview with I think Peter Ackroyd himself about the original novel and the film (cannot remember whether it was in the paper or online somewhere), and the opinion was expressed that in 1880, only a man dressed as a woman could speak for women.
A dubious proposition, I contend, in that there is also a tradition of drag as a way of expressing misogyny.
But women in 1880 were not silenced: this was a mere 3 years before the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts (and when people are talking about statues of women, when will we have one for Josephine Butler?) obtained the suspension of the Acts, which were repealed in 1886. The 'Shrieking Sisterhood' as they were described in the hostile press, were very much not silent and not inarticulate.
Nor was this entirely about middle-class women. I'm pretty sure that women music hall performers expressed certain dissatisfactions with the state of things as they were in gender relations. There were also the drag kings of the day sending up men, if only by gentle subversion.
I can see it makes for a powerful narrative to have a woman so silenced that she can only make a protest by violent physical means, but I don't think that can be turned into a master-narrative for the entirety of society at that era.
( It is long, so I will cut it )
Meanwhile in other language news, a much worse crisis: when I accepted Firefox's invitation to speed it up by "refreshing" it (which has indeed worked), it didn't mention that this would include getting rid of Adblocker and my add-on for pretending to be in Norway so I can watch the skiing when it is not at a convenient time on Eurosport (or I need more skiing). This would be a minor annoyance were it not that the new version of Firefox is incompatible with said widget. Aargh! Apparently there is something similar I can do with Chrome so I will try that, but I do feel that "By the way, you will lose everything you customised to make it work for you" was something they could have mentioned.
*At least once I had done the Deutsche Welle test myself to check I'm at the required level, because I'm not sure I believe it really.
**Students get much cheaper classes through the university. I could do them too, except I can't because they are when I am at work.
***There were a couple of people last year who might potentially work in Germany or Austria one day, but they would be doing so in English.
Clorinda had finally conceded that Sandy did not seem to have succumbed to a cold, after keeping him indoors for a couple of days, sitting by the fire, drinking sanitive preparations, with Motley curled up purring in his lap.
Really, sweet silly creature, one sneeze does not portend an attack of the influenza.
Mayhap not, but you are entire like to neglect precautionary measures, has ever been the case.
He could not contradict her, remembering those occasions in Naples where his neglect to put on a hat had had most disagreeable consequences. But, he said, I am quite entire well and able to pursue our investigations.
I am pleased to hear it.
He was inclined to think better of the matter, and in particular his refusal to take the carriage, saying he was in need of healthful walking exercize, upon venturing out into chill wind and flurries of sleet, but he persisted.
Indeed it was a considerable walk to the City, where the main counting-house for the Knowles' enterprizes was still located. Fortunately he found Sebastian Knowles in and not engaged with anyone else.
Come in, Mr MacDonald – take off your coat and come sit near the stove. What service may I be to you the day?
Why, I am sorry to disturb such a busy fellow as yourself, but 'tis possible that that sad rogue Karl Paffenrath is returned from America and finds himself in Town.
Sebastian sighed and said that one had, alas, heard that he had long given up that plan of going to live in harmony with Nature in the American forests, where one might have hoped he would be scalped by wild Indians, or mayhap, like the late Earl of Nuttenford, eat by a bear.
From his proceedings in civilization one might have expected to hear of him tarred and feathered or ridden out of town upon a rail according to the rough justice of those parts. But, Lady Bexbury takes some concern for poor Gretchen Paffenrath –
Why, I daresay the wretch might go beguile money from her out of the pity of her womanly heart, but indeed Papa was forethoughtful that the fellow might return and wish to live upon her, so he tied up provision for her very careful indeed, and we give her a monthly allowance, and pay the rent and parish rates upon the house, and does she have any especial expenditure, the bills are sent here.
You greatly relieve our concerns in the matter!
Why, 'twas entire proper in him: daresay had she been able to get free of the rascal Papa would have wed her in all due order; sure Vi and I took a little perturbation when he first took up with her, but she ever behaved very proper and respectful and she made him happy. Could have done a deal worse.
But, went on Sebastian, Meg says Bess and Harry are at outs again?
Yes, Bess came lately to open the matter to Lady Bexbury, was in a great taking. Something to do with the Admiralty –
Why, 'twould be a great thing did they get some commission from the Admiralty, but one would indeed want to have Bess in the negotiations.
Entirely, but I apprehend that 'tis very early days. But I will not take up your time any longer.
The weather had grown sufficiently worse when he stepped out into the street that he determined that 'twould hardly be an indulgence to take a hansom to the club where he was to dine with Geoff. He would be somewhat beforehand, but doubtless he could go into the reading room, or mayhap find someone to give him a game of billiards. And would be somewhere where he was in some confidence he knew the various parties and the undercurrents and who was at outs with who and over what. Whereas, at the certain club he felt there was a deal he did not yet apprehend about the fellows there.
Should, he thought, interrogate Maurice - Allard! – upon the matter: and why did his thought go immediately there rather than to Sir Hartley Zellen, that had been in what had once been known as the Raxdell coterie, but more lately as the Mulcaster set, these many years? Because it would be a reason for another private conversation, that always seemed to lead to matters abominated by society and that law and religion deemed unnatural, but seemed so very natural at the time?
He sighed, and the cab drew up outside the very unclandestine entrance of his destination.
He was indeed well in advance of the time of his appointment, and looked about the hall.
MacDonald? He turned towards the voice, taking off his spectacles to wipe away the mist on the lenses from the sudden warmth following the outdoor chill. Replacing them he saw that it was Sir Tom Ollifaunt, Bess’s husband. An agreeable quiet fellow. Come and join me for a drink? He asked.
Once they were seated with glasses of the club’s excellent sherry, Tom sighed and said he apprehended that Bess had bothered Lady Bexbury with this taking of hers over this matter of Harry and the Admiralty? Though he thinks Harry behaved entirely proper, came and opened the matter to her even had he been told 'twas confidential: but surely that could not mean his partners in the ironworks?
Sandy was inclined to think that indeed it did, and that Harry should not even have been making a memorandum of the meeting: but he did not say so. Instead he said that must be entire irksome to Bess was she supposed merely a sleeping partner in the business.
Quite! And then she is having some difficulties over this new theatre she purposes – the town council are a sad Evangelical set and go about to prevent her acquiring a suitable property, even though there is a considerable party in the town has solicited her, seeing how well her others do, the opportunities for business &C.
At this moment arrived Geoffrey Merrett, greeted them both very amiably, and said he would join them in sherry before he and Sandy went to dine. He seemed, however, a little preoccupied during Ollifaunt’s account of certain recent proceedings at his local assizes. At length the latter left them and they went to dine in one of the private rooms.
Geoffrey was unwonted silent while they were being served, and drank rather copiously of the wine that was poured. When they were finally left alone he sighed and said, there have been further developments concerning these extortionary demands.
Indeed? You mean, the matter has not entirely gone away?
Alas, no, and the matter becomes yet more troubling. He took another drink of his wine. There came another note to Lady Sarah, saying that did she have difficulty raising the ready, could she contrive to obtain certain documents of her husband’s, and leave 'em in a specified place, that would ensure their silence.
This was intriguing: possibly had been intended all along, for who would consider Lady Sarah a lady with much in the way of ready money at her disposal? While there was Sir Stockwell engaged in confidential matters at the Admiralty, and if matters were confidential, there were almost certainly those who would pay to discover them.
But the really dreadful thing, went on Geoffrey, is that she seems in every disposition to concede to the matter, because 'tis not even as if they desire to retain the documents: she may go away and then come back within the half hour. But who knows who this is or what is the intention?
(Half an hour, thought Sandy, was scarcely enough time, was it? to copy documents that he would imagine must be of some intricacy. And then a thought dawned upon him. But he would say nothing just yet to Geoffrey.)
She cannot have thought the matter through, said Sandy. 'Tis quite entirely wrong. And even are the documents returned, there will be some time during which they might be discovered missing.
Geoffrey groaned. Says 'tis like any suspicion would fall upon one or other of the servants, or mayhap some clerk at the Admiralty, was it so.
Sandy could feel the dour Calvinistical glare settling upon his face. Really, that was a deal worse than taking a lover, that might be excusable given the particular circumstance of her marriage.
What, he said, does she fear is your liaison disclosed to Sir Stockwell? A crim. con. action, and mayhap bringing a divorce before Parliament?
Geoffrey shrugged. Seems not to fear that, but that he will send her to live on his estate in Yorkshire, that she detests, even was it not exile from Town.
Sandy took the supposition that Sir Stockwell was unlike to bring the matter to the courtroom and the interest of the scandalmonging press, and that it would entirely suit his interest to remain married in the eyes of Society. Certainly his inquisition into whether she had a lover manifested more concern over the possibility of scandal, or so he made it seem, than for the gathering of evidence.
'Tis the greatest pity, he said at length, that Lady Sarah is not in Lady Bexbury’s set –
Alas, no, she dangles about that hell-cat, Lady Trembourne, that will, I confide, ever try to find somewhat adverse to say about Lady Bexbury and her friends.
- for I am entire sure that did she open the matter to her, she would find some way through this maze.
Oh, cried Geoffrey, if only she would!
Well, I will go convoke with her on the matter, she may find some means to come at it. I suppose, he went on, that you do not have the note?
Why, 'tis a curious thing, but I do: she was in a great fret that her maid or someone might find it, so she gave it to me to look after. He fumbled in an inner pocket and produced a somewhat crumpled note.
Sandy spread it out upon the tablecloth. It was written on less coarse paper than he had anticipated. The hand, though not elegant, showed some education, and the spelling was correct, and yet there was a little something stilted and unEnglish about the style – was there not something a little Germanic in the cadence?
Might I take this and show it to Lady Bexbury?
If you think it may help, my dear fellow, I should be entire willing.
Where there's a pen-brush, probably, drawing with delicate strokes and it looks so elegant.
Mine look somewhere between a big mess, starry-night stars, and cabbages. Sometimes hinting at roses.
Needs more practice, I tell myself.
,כשאמא מקלפת תפוז
יוצא לה שלם ונקי ויבש
אבל כשאני מקלף
'תמיד יוצא קווץ
A short poem in Hebrew, by Yehuda Atlas: "When mother peels an orange, it comes out whole and clean and dry. But when I peel, it always comes out a mess. "
It took me literally years to realise that a lot of that was about, y'know, not the inherent superiority of mothers, but about years of experience in peeling oranges. And in using knives. And so on.
This is Cary Elwes' memoir of the making of the film, a book I had vaguely meant to read for years, but did not actually get around to until our new roommate left his copy in the house this summer as a sort of placeholder before actually moving in. It's very charming! I'd sort of always had a vague sense that Cary Elwes must in some way resent being forever branded as The Man In Black, and I'm sure that at some points he has and does, but this write-up is probably the most overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic Hollywood making-of memoir I've ever read. It's clearly intended for people who love the film and want to go on loving it, without a complicated feeling in sight.
My favorite part was probably the enthusiastic things that Cary Elwes and everyone interviewed had to say about Robin Wright and her acting as Buttercup; they're all like "we sailed through on jokes! playing the straight man is the hardest role in the cast! ALSO SHE CAME FROM SOAP OPERAS, SOAP OPERAS ARE SO HARD, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY LINES PER DAY --" I went in braced to feel vaguely defensive of Robin Wright and Buttercup, as I so often do, and instead I was charmed and endeared!
I also enjoyed accounts of:
- Mandy Patinkin turning up to the first rehearsal with six months of sword practice under his belt, much to Cary Elwes' dismay
- William Goldman freaking out about Rob Reiner setting the leading lady on fire
- Andre the Giant accidentally conking Cary Elwes out on set
- Cary Elwes carefully arranging himself on the grass in an elegant lounging position to hide that he'd broken an ankle joyriding in a golf card
- so much detailed description of sword training and fight choreography! *__* SO MUCH
Signal-boosting much appreciated!
Do jellyfish dream of gelatinous sheep?
Ephrat Livni @ Quartz: Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses
Gloomy octopus males seem to spend a great deal of time chasing each other out of dens.
Ed Yong @ the Atlantic: Octopuses Do Something Really Strange to Their Genes
It’s impossible to say if their prolific use of RNA editing is responsible for their alien intellect, but “that would definitely be my guess”
Greta Keenan @ New Scientist: Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds
Nocturnal predatory fish use calls to stay together to hunt, while fish that are active during the day use sound to defend their territory.