Illustration from The Naturalist’s Cabinet by Thomas Smith
Illustration from The Naturalist’s Cabinet by Thomas Smith
OK GUYS. In July 2010, I spent about a month in the Volta Region of Ghana. While I was there, I had the chance to spend time at New Seed International, an amazing NGO in the city of Ho. New Seed International provides care and support for people with HIV/AIDS, including a community clinic, an orphanage, and a school.
Esinam, 13, is in the care of New Seed International and she wants to go to school and become a doctor one day, but she needs facial surgery before she can do so. Both of her parents died when she was young, and her grandmother who was taking care of her has recently had a stroke.
Only $130 of her $10,000 goal has been raised in NINE months!
Every dollar helps! And even if you can’t donate, please just reblog this and keep her in your thoughts.
Esinam’s fundraising page:
A video from Esinam:
New Seed International’s website and facebook:
oh my god, you guys, this is unbelievable. We are Tumblr and it is *not acceptable* that we can’t get the word out about this fundraiser and help this girl have the life she wants. It’s just $10,000. We pooped out that much for a new Veronica Mars movie in .000002 seconds, but it’s taken Esinam nine months to get FIVE DONATIONS. We NEED TO DO THIS. We CAN do this.
Stop what you are doing and reblog this post. Go to the donation page. Chip in. Please. If every person following me just threw in 5 bucks each, we’d be 75% funded overnight. You guys. LET’S FUCKING DO THIS FOR HER.
Last ever episode of Poirot is to air on November 13th. It’s been over a quarter of a century of these two on screen, and now it’s over. Excuse me while I go sob my eyes out.
This final series has been brilliant. I’m going to miss Poirot so much.
Monster, am I? Monster?I am what the monsters have nightmares about.
I love this quote. This scene in the show, because if you watch it, you are involved in a history of timelords traversing the universe in a deceptive blue box. Each story, each planet, each person he meets is so unique and interesting that you are completely wrapped up on the moment, but if you stop to think, this is an alien. A dangerous, powerful, smart alien capable of destroying whole worlds…
You forget that for a while, then it hits you, and that is why I think this show is so amazing. The mystery of the alien who is so powerful, the ‘timelord victorious’, yet chooses to be the doctor.
He could rule whole galaxies, but instead chooses to stand at a distance to wonder and marvel about them.
This is what we all understand. That little bit of darkness inside of us that threatens to show, and we admire the light that shines through instead.
…that’s a quote from Zagreus. You can’t watch it, it’s an audio adventure. The closest you get in the show proper is an exchange between the 10th Dr Who and young Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, in s28e04: The Girl in the Fireplace:
"What do monsters have nightmares about?"
Yes. Although the Zagreus quote is better, I think, because it actually raises the possibility of the Doctor being a monster. Which he then refutes by, er, claiming to be a bigger monster, more or less. Especially in context of Zagreus, there’s no way he means that he’s all sunshine and daisies
The thing is, if you look at his entire arc so far, he’s getting worse, not better. I’d argue it’s exactly the opposite of what Tumblr user shade-of-happy said: he’s a normal man so full of contradictions and dark places and old power and old *minds* that even he’s not entirely sure who he is. Some days he’s almost normal and sometimes this… Other (capitals definitely intended) breaks through, and in the beginning he was mostly normal but now… ah, now the tables are turning. And at the end of this road lies the Valeyard. It’s kind of a story about losing humanity.
In the beginning there was Theta Sigma, and he was an ordinary boy with ordinary hopes and dreams and friends and fears. But there was always something off about him, wasn’t there? That navel, for one thing. The uncanny understanding of the Dark Times. The bizarre ability to read Old High Gallifreyan. The unfounded and inexplicable loathing of Rassilon. Then events not-entirely-beyond-his-control took his greatest friends away from him. He grew up, he had a family, he tried to forget the Other presence in his head.
And when he couldn’t do it any more, he ran away.
Now here’s Hartnell, wanting nothing more than to keep his granddaughter safe, willing to murder in cold blood and maybe not even knowing why. Here are Ian and Barbara, reminding him how to be normal, how to be human, how to quiet the Other and love his granddaughter… and here are the Daleks to take it all away.
Here’s Troughton, settled, happy in his roving with his friends who’ll never leave, one to be his Heart and one to be his Head. Here’s the day he has to give it all up, because to cling to his humanity he has to let the Time Lords steal away the people who keep him human. To avoid becoming the Other, he must make it easier for himself to become the Other.
Here’s Pertwee, stranded on Earth, surrounded by soldiers. No such thing as normalcy now. Normalcy and war are inextricably linked for him. Ah, but here’s the Master, because the Master knows: he’s seen the end of this line, and he knows the importance of a distraction. (Distraction and danger always did go hand in hand, for Theta. Danger quiets his mind, makes it feel like it’s doing something. The part of him that is Theta wants nothing more than to stop: the part of him that is Other wants danger. Helping is an acceptable compromise.)
Here’s Baker No #1, continually dragged into Time Lord games, wondering if he has the right to destroy the Daleks even as he puts countless other civilisations to the sword. Man vs Other. Man’s still winning, for now.
Here’s Davison, broken in Castrovalva by a mechanically-minded best enemy who knows that sometimes you have to break things more to put them back together again. And it works, doesn’t it? Sort of. Even Five can’t make the darkness go away entirely, and in the end…
…here’s Baker No #2, repressed anger and bombastic pomposity and a coat, nay, an entire personality designed to deflect attention from his true self. Here’s the moment he looks into the mirror, sees his future, and it is darker than he could have ever imagined. Here’s the day he swears that no matter what happens, he will never be the Valeyard.
Ah, but here’s McCoy, and the darkness eats at him from the inside. If he can just take control, he thinks. If he can bend Fate to his will, make the threads fall out in his favour. (He knows, by now. He knows he is the Other, but he is still Theta Sigma as well, and Theta Sigma has seen that darkness and abhors it. Theta Sigma has no desire to be the Other and will fight to his last breath to avoid becoming him.)
Here’s McGann, born joyfully happy yet already covered in blood, free from the darkness that claimed Seven and determined not to let it take him again. He is Theta Sigma, and he will remain Theta Sigma, and his shoes fit perfectly…
Here’s Zagreus, who sits inside your head, and now there are two of them, two great, perhaps even godly personalities in him, and wasn’t one enough? And here’s Charley and Lucie and Alex and, yes, here’s the Time War, because poor Eight can not catch a break. Here’s the moment when happy, joyful Theta Sigma finds it’s easier to just give in, to let the Other and Zagreus and whoever else just take him.
Here’s Eccleston, mostly Theta once more, and the regret and horror that comes from giving in even though he knew, he knew what would happen, and the Valeyard looks so familiar now, and all poor Theta can do is try to claw his way back into control, one saved life at a time…
Here’s Tennant, the Time Lord Victorious. They’re out of the box now and they won’t go back in. Zagreus sits inside your head. And here’s Smith, so dark and so desperate to cover it, clinging onto his humanity by broken, bloody fingernails.
And here’s the Valeyard, of course, the end of the line, just waiting for him to let go.
Monster? He’s what the monsters have nightmares about, all right. After all, he’s a monster, and he has nightmares about him. About part of him. Back when there were clear lines, that was easier to say, but those lines blurred long ago, and now? Now not even Theta Sigma knows where Theta Sigma ends and the Other and Zagreus begin.
Doctor Who, indeed. I don’t think even he knows, any more.
"Do you mean…wanking?"
1. How can you tell if the unknown party guest is the Devil?
- He has cloven feet
- He turned the television on to MTV (grandma was right!)
- He’s all like “hey baby, I’m burnin’ up here cause you’re so hot and I’m Satan”
- He’s checking out your copy of the Malleus Maleficarum all casual like it’s not weird
2. Who was Jack the Ripper, really?
- The Earl of Toffee, heir to Her Majesty’s cabbages
- Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the lead pipe
- Moriarty, damn his eyes! He’s the Napoleon of crime!
- El Chupacabra
3. How can I tell thou art a witch?
- For thou hast cavorted with Satan in a sexy way
- Because I could really use thy farmland if thou happened to be a witch
- For the milk has gone sour and I understand science not
- For thou won’t consent to a simple drowning test, the premise “offends thy good sense”
4. Before Jack o’ Lanterns, Celtic cultures used:
- The carved heads of your enemies
- Bog sacrifice of your enemies
- Oatmeal in the shape of a face (of your enemies)
- Jack o’ turnips
5. Which Malevolent Old Woman Spirit from Japan is the scariest?
- Cackling old woman
- Old woman bleeding from the eyes
- Floating head of weeping old woman
- Old woman inquiring about your marital status
6. What is the only thing that can kill a werewolf?
- Silver bulletin
- Rock n’ roll
- Pile driver
7. Should we pick up this spectral hitchhiker?
- Only if he will share his weed
- No way, they’re jerks! You give them a ride and then they vanish without saying thanks
- Only if they’re doing that thing where you stick your leg out
- I don’t trust those spectral hitchhikers, they’re all the same, but I’m not racist or anything
8. Trick or:
- El Chupacabra
9. If you say “Bloody Mary” three times, what will you see in the mirror?
- The Virgin Mary (this answer is blasphemous, circle only if you are willing to go to confession immediately)
- “Bawdy Mary?” this spell is broken
- A bartender who heard you the first time
- A scorching hot hag (if you’re into hags)
10. What do the zombies want?
Please circle your answers in blood (obviously) and submit your papers via séance
I reblogged a link to this quiz I made last year, but deleted it, this is better! The whole darn thing.