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    Arbutus @arbutus

    When I was ten or eleven, we used to watch old episodes of Star Trek as a family. We saw the one with the shape-shifting salt-sucking monster, and I was terrified. I walked out half way through and refused to have anything further to do with Star Trek for quite a while. It kept me awake nights for a long time. And yet my sister, three years younger, had no issue with it.

    It’s a dicey question, this one of age-appropriateness. I’m not sure that the old rating system has a lot of relevance these days; I would be more inclined to a look at the IMDB website where they get very specific about the content. Then parents can judge based on themselves and their own kids. At 16, my son is the boss of his own viewing nowadays, and he watches all kinds of things that would not be to my taste at all. And he watches some things that I have also seen and liked, but there are certain things that we wouldn’t be comfortable watching together (usually the ones with a certain level of language or sexual content).

    And while I think I agree that certain episodes should perhaps have come with extra warnings for sensitive/younger viewers, this certainly isn’t a new problem. There were some carnage-filled episodes of the old series that I’m not sure would have been appropriate for little kids.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @blenkinsopthebrave    You disappoint me. On first glance, I had a vivid picture in my mind of Blenkinsop huddled in a cocoon of snow as the early morning sun lit the Ontario landscape!


    @nerys @puroandson

    puro and son!

    That sounds like a Cat Stevens song.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @arbutus Well, the pilot light in the gas fire had gone out, so beyond the safe onfines of the bed it certainly felt like I was covered in snow…but, yes it is true, I was covered by a comfy eiderdown.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    So sorry about the fires where you are again – climate change, I know. I hope everyone you know is safe? Have things calmed down?


    Hi Ilion – your take on what has been scary, or not, is interesting.

    I remember being absolutely terrified by some Doctor Who episodes when I was 9 or 10 (the Brain of Morbius in particular, for old hands). The fear is part of the thrill, however, and how we learn to confront our fear too, with the help of stories, because real life is scariest of all.

    I would hope the Beeb and most parents know that kids want to be taken out of their comfort zone, to an extent, with a show like Doctor Who.

    Raises a mid-week glass to all here abiding.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod  @miapatrick  @janetteb  @arbutus

    Doctor Who was not around when I was a child, but I am pretty sure that if I had been a child in 1963, or at any time since up to the present day,  I would have relished it in all its phases, including the darker toned recent episodes.  I suspect, in fact, that I would have found Face the Raven riveting. The nearest equivalent for me in childhood was the radio series Journey into Space, which could be quite spooky – the pictures conjured in the imagination by a radio drama were often a good deal more effective than the crude effects of early Who.  Then, of course, there was the landmark Quatermass and the Pit, which I found disturbing, even though by that time I was in my mid teens. Both produced a frisson of mild terror, but it would not have occurred to my parents that they were unsuitable for either me or my younger brothers on that account.

    Like Miapatrick I was a precocious reader, and as far as I am aware there was no bar set on my choice of reading. One of my great uncles was a journalist and at that time editor of John o’ London’s Weekly, a middle-brow literary journal. From time to time my family received boxes of review copies, and when we visited him my brothers and I were allowed unlimited access to his extensive collection of books. So we read or browsed books intended for adults, as well as those deemed ‘appropriate’ for our ages.  Mia mentioned Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which is a case in point. As I have mentioned before – I think in the discussion of In The Forest of the Night – one of my favourite books was an unexpurgated edition of the complete collected stories of the Brothers Grimm, which I was given when I was six. I still have it, and its battered condition is testimony to the numerous times it was read.

    Children are as varied as any other group of people, and I feel it would be a mistake to be too prescriptive about what kind of fiction is or is not suitable for them to read or view.  As both Mia and janetteB observed, the tendency to try to cocoon and protect children in this respect has increased in recent decades, and markedly so in my lifetime, and it could be counterproductive if carried too far.   The tales collected by the brothers Grimm and the stories in Doctor Who can address fundamental anxieties such as abandonment,  cruelty, death and loss, as well as bravery, fortitude and resourcefulness in adversity in a form in which they can, I think, be assimilated at a young age, where the reality at first hand would be traumatic.

    When Doctor Who first aired the intended audience was, I believe, the average 12 year old with an interest in history and science, and it was shown in the late afternoon/early evening children’s slot; but it was never written ‘down’ to children, and from the first it was watched not only by much younger viewers but also by adults, not all of whom had the excuse that they were watching with their children  🙂   Those who were sensitive or very young could watch with a reassuring adult and, if necessary, from behind the sofa, and in that respect I don’t think much has changed, even as the show has become more deeply and densely layered and more subtle in its story telling.  If I have a criticism of recent episodes it is that the balance between light and dark, comic and serious, has been a little too far skewed towards the dark, and that some young viewers may have found the more serious tone ‘boring’.  Maybe, as @arbutus suggested, the programme should sometimes come with a warning for the benefit of parents of very young or sensitive children, but I do not believe that becausea show aimed at a family audience tacklesthe implications of the death of a principal character in the way that Face the Raven did, it was wholly inappropriate for children.  Far better this approach, in my view, than the affectless killing in some action movies.

    Anonymous @

    dear @pufferfish @blenkinsopthebrave @pedant @arbutus @juniperfish @janetteb

    yes, I have written a lot.  But I am home from school today with the cold that won’t go away. Thankyou pedant for the information about the movie -I’ll talk to dad about that as an extra birthday present! I agree with everything people have written about what composes a scary film or telly show. Mum was scared of Doctor Who as a child and it was exactly what she loved about it and still does -its disturbing and she enjoys that. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Also, she loves very silly horror movies. Two weeks ago we actually went to the movies and saw that final paranormal movie. I hadn’t seen any of the others so it made no sense but I can see that the jumpy scares and simple terrors go back to early childhood  fears where a banging door or an open window provides a  lot of   terror and nerves -even a candle that twitches in the evening when there’s no breeze makes me real nervous!!

    Welll I have a science test to study for and I really dislike science -it’s  a bit boring to me. We don’t do any experiments except for bouncing balls which then we measured the height of and used formulas to work out the energy expended -that was fun and I achieved a B+ for that.

    Have a good day. Mum might come to post when she’s woken up -she had a bit of rough night but a lot better than most so that means a good day is coming.

    Son of Puro (I will try to paragraph better. Dad said I had too many sentences in one paragraph and he is right about that. Also I will not ramble on.).


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Hello Son of Puro. It is good to meet another person who dislikes Science! I was hopeless at both Science and Maths at High School, to the point where, at the end of High School (it was called the HIgher School Certificate back in my day) I failed Science and Maths at all levels. But my grades in History and the other humanities subjects were high enough to get me into university. I trace my high grades in History back to watching the Doctor Who story “The Aztecs” when I was 14, which began a long fascination with history.

    So, yes, the long path from the 14 year old who disliked science to the university profesor, can be traced back to Doctor Who!




    I wouldn’t say too many sentences as such, just that, on screen, big blocks of text are hard to read.

    You just brought me a memory from my teen years of staying up late with mum on a Saturday night to watch the Midnight Movie on BBC2. Nearly always Hammer Horrors (or their equivalents from other studios). Christopher Lee’s Dracula, some…er…liberal interpretations of Denis Wheatley and just occasionally a bit of early Wes Craven.

    Thanks for that, mate.

    Anonymous @


    you’re welcome!


    A university professor in History? That’s wonderful. I like History -it wasn’t very exciting this year as mostly it repeated what we learnt in year 7 and there was l ot of assignments which took away from the interesting stories that I know Mum tells when she teaches History: to me that is history, stories and ideas and great stories about great people but also the smaller or sometimes forgotten  people too.

    Strangely, I like Maths though I’m not doing too well at the moment!

    I had a thought when we were re-watching the Zygons that Os good’s name is Petronella and in Season5 or 6, the name to get into the Tardis when House had control was Petrichor.  Quite similar to my mind.

    From, Son of Puro. Thankyou.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @miapatrick  I think that when Doctor Who is very scary its not because it’s violent or graphic or anything that would get age restrictions put on it, it’s when it’s creepy

    I’m happy to hear that.  With little kids, creepiness (like the hand mines) is something a family can discuss easily, while the scariness of the characters’ actions and dangerous consequences might be less obvious to young children at all, and so not need much discussion.  I was an easily scared kid, but more by sounds than by images.  I still am, in fact.  I’ve walked out of a couple of movies because of terrible things happening that weren’t shown, but the sounds were stomach-turning for me.  Even now, I’m careful about that or I might get bad dreams.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  The tone, colour, music and the whole thing which causes the feel of something evil lurking behind the door that might cause parents and religious coalitions in America (mum goes on about that all the time!) to say ‘no more’.

    I agree, lion of puro: the tone of everything darkened right from S8, because I remember fussing around trying to lighten the tone on my TV screen right at “Deep Breath”.   I wouldn’t worry about the religious Right in America, though — they’re too busy with domestic politics at the moment, and I don’t think they even bothered to give a squeak about much gorier TV entertainment that kids might be watching.  *They* don’t watch what I watch (afraid of contamination or upsetting God), so they don’t have a clue to what’s going on unless some self-appointed “pastor” catches a glimpse of something that’s too much for him and starts raising hell about it among his followers.

    I’m a lot more worried about censorship in of DW the UK, frankly, because there seems to already be an anti-Who inclination among conservative politicians to whom the BBC needs to apply for funding for its programs.

    I don’t mind it. And that could be the problem. Should I be minding it or is my mind dis-associated now after all I have seen? Mum would say definitely I am.

    I’m glad you don’t mind.  We don’t want you to miss out on growing up to be a horror/fantasy/sf writer or film maker because somebody interrupted your TV watching in your teens!  Besides, I remember some of those old horror films, and your reaction seems just fine to me.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Until I watched Buffy and Doctor who I didn’t know what good TV really was. I watched Burn Notice and Merlin and cop dramas all the while thinking this was as good as it could be. I couldn’t sit still. I thought I was ill with some problem? But I just wasn’t interested enough. Now I am.

    Okay, pal, that’s it — your TV watching is ruined for life!  Just joking; but really, it’s hard to put up with all the perfectly adequate run-of-the-mill shows once your attention has *really* been snagged by the challenges of Doctor Who (well, I’ve found that to be true, anyway).  I don’t see anybody doing deep and imaginative plot and character analysis of “Law and Order” in its billions of forms, or “Bones” or anything else, much, in the US (do you get any of these where you are?).  There’s nothing much to think about, by and large, except sometimes a social issue that’s been brought up.  Even discussion of “Game of Thrones” is mostly on the level of is this major character really dead, and who were his real parents?  Yawn.

    Of course, there may be in-depth discussions of these shows on the internet that I’m just not aware of — mostly because I’m not interested to look for them for very long . . .

    @pedant   “If Doctor Who is not giving 7-year-olds nightmares it is not doing its job”.

    Ha!  I noticed that the people who were fans as kids and who are now working on the show all at some point use the phrase “hiding behind the sofa”, so scary stuff was always there — just not so much of the dark and broody stuff that the Doctor’s been carrying around with him lately.  I enjoy the dark and broody stuff, but I hope we keep having enough “Caretaker” and “Robots of Sherwood” episodes to keep a good balance between that and the fun-stuff.

    @nerys   Golly, yes — Outer Limits and Twilight Zone were very scary sometimes, without any blood and gore (not allowed) and minimal violence.  It was just the *weirdness* factor got me — but fascinated me, too.  For easy watching, there was Gunsmoke etc; again, no blood, and they couldn’t (as I recall — this was in the US) show someone actually hitting another person and killing them, it was always implied — shadows on the wall kind of thing.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  I do not believe that becausea show aimed at a family audience tacklesthe implications of the death of a principal character in the way that Face the Raven did, it was wholly inappropriate for children. Far better this approach, in my view, than the affectless killing in some action movies.

    Agreed; in some families, maybe watching a show like Raven might offer an opening to talk a bit about the deaths of friends or family members with younger members, and gauge how much help they might need with handling that.

    The action movie nonsense is disturbing because it’s obviously not disturbing at all to most viewers, and war-type computer games certainly don’t help with that problem.  Doctor Who itself, though, sometimes strays into that empty death (unmourned and soon forgotten, if even noticed in the first place) territory — like the first soldier to die in Into the Dalek, perhaps.  But in a series built around adventure, there are bound to be some red shirts, aren’t there, whose deaths help to keep an atmosphere of danger to the protagonists present and potent.  Writers have to be ready to kill their darlings (which just happened on DW!) but also to kill their poor spear-carriers for effect, when the story demands it (or just for the heck of it, if you’re in that mood, or you a bunch of Nazis to fight).

    Anonymous @

    dear @ichabod

    Yes we get those shows in Aus. I wouldn’t mind watching Bones if only because of David B. (I wont even begin to spell his name) from Angel being in it. Still the ads don’t look too convincing. I don’t watch Game of Thrones. Mum watched it when she did the ironing. In the end she’d spend more time smoothing pillow cases and socks (yes she irons socks) than watching the show so if there’s another season I don’t think she will be watching it. We have very few goood Australian shows. Some are fairly hard core and not for me. The television for the younger audiences is pretty good but I have out grown that.

    I don’t think I have typed this much in my life.  🙂


    Son of Puro.

    Serahni @serahni

    @puroandson  Welcome back, and with a new addition!  Hello, Son of Puro!  Great to have you here, and great to have you back, Puro.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Re Game of Thrones, yes, there’s another season coming up, at least — apparently there’s a trailer on TV already.  I give it a glance sometimes, but  it’s not appointment TV for me — too ugly.  I was hoping for a lot more fantasy and less brutality, because otherwise I’d rather read (or watch programs about) real history.  Or watch “Bones” etc., even though it’s pretty formulaic, no great highs or lows to speak of.

    It’s Thanksgiving Day here — no big turkey dinner for me; the weather is too bad for much traveling (gray skies, rain promised, hard winds), so it’s just phone calls to relatives.  Do you have a similar holiday in Australia, round about  now?

    Hugs to your mom —



    Anonymous @


    Hi there. It’s just Puro as boy ilion is at school. No, we don’t have a holiday like that-but we recently had the Queen’s Birthday holiday and before that, Labour day, which for me , the little pretend socialist (by that I mean I’m not joined at the hip to any political party!) , is a great celebration. I used to attend rallies etc. in my younger days. Wonderful -though in September already hot. Once, when young Ilion was 2, he came in the pram waving balloons.

    I should exit now, though. Have some things to do today. Whee!



    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Good to hear from you!  “Things to do” sounds promising, in terms of feeling better — here’s hoping that’s so.


    p.s.  That is one smart, articulate, well-mannered kid you’ve got there.  I used to teach 14 year olds.  You got a good one, but you don’t need me to tell you that.


    winston @winston

    @puroandson  Thank goodness you are back! I’m so glad.  And welcome “son of Puro” it’s great to hear a new perspective on the Doctor.

    @pedant The Outlaw Josey Wales is one of my favourite westerns. It is a great movie.

    lisa @lisa


    Finally kicking back after a day of running around being the gracious hostess  and eating and

    eating on Turkey day in California. Now the others are drinking and still feasting but I  reached

    critical mass with all that. There is an unending  discussion on current events and it has  defeated

    me.   So I’ve surrendered to  a comfy chair at the Fox Inn catching up on posts that I haven’t read in weeks.

    Wonderful postings from everyone!  Particularly enjoyed BoyLion’s  contributions. 🙂

    Anyway,   I cant  begin to tell you all how nice it is to sit here now posting in the presence of other

    people and not feel like I have to interact!  Its helping me not dread the noise level.  I  get sensory

    issues about these chaotic events.  But I did  really enjoy the cooking and the feeding parts and I’ll enjoy

    the sleeping part tonight.    So thanks for letting me drop in for a quick ramble.

    Well time to  get back into it .      See you later

    janetteB @janetteb

    @puroandson Really enjoying reading young Ilion’s posts. It is nice to hear the perspective of someone young.

    Puro I am thinking of you and sending virtual hugs.

    @ichabod interesting your comment on the scare factor of the sound effects. I think what really frightened me as a child was the music which is why I am certain that particular show that effected me was Dr Who.  I still find the Radiophonics sound track in BGWho unsettling.

    @lisa hope normal operations resume soon. I do envy you though. It seems as though the U.S has a lot more celebrations than we do. Celebrations are good and lacking in Aus’ culture.

    It is quiet here after Wednesday’s excitement. The fire burnt through 72,000 hectares in four hours. It was on over a forty km front. A lot of homes and some lives were lost plus an enormous amount of livestock so it was very devastating.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  I think what really frightened me as a child was the music which is why I am certain that particular show that effected me was Dr Who.

    It’s funny being audio-oriented in a visually-oriented culture.  That’s my situation, anyway — maybe from having had bad near-sightedness from at least the age of six, diagnosed as progressive myopia, and indeed I’ve been running all my life just on the frontier between severe myopia and increasingly sophisticated tech for correcting poor vision.  With cataract surgery (during which implanted corrective lenses were put in place), has come much more easily corrected nearsightedness, and lo, I am back to eyeglasses again.

    Music was my lifeline as a kid.  Less so, now, but sometimes still.  Movie and TV scores interest me for their power to create or amplify meaning.

    nerys @nerys

    @ichabod My eyesight was never as bad as yours, I think. Not till I developed very fast-growing cataracts, that is. I was nearly blind in my left eye as my husband drove me to the surgery. My right eye (the dominant one; my left is a “lazy” eye) was never quite that bad, but it was getting there by the time I had surgery on it a few months later. The funny thing is, it reversed what has been my eyesight deficit for most of my life. I was nearsighted until the surgery. Since having surgery, I am farsighted; I can see very well without glasses at middle and long distance, but need glasses for closeup reading. Years later, I’m still getting used to that!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @nerys   At some point some kindly doctor told me that without my glasses I was “legally blind”, which was charming to hear — made me feel so *special!* — but I really didn’t care much, as long as I could still get glasses or lenses, later, correcting my sight.  He was probably reading something wrong, that guy.  Maybe he needed to have his eyes checked.

    Anonymous @


    Puro and son here: the fires were very devastating. That is remarkable speed. Seeing a fire and hearing about its effects are two different things I think. I recall many Christmas’ in Adelaide when the black smoke would hang over the city and mountains for weeks. It was like the fires of Ilion in Greece many years ago -pyres or puros would light the shoreline in commemoration of the lost.

    Indeed it is not normal -not the sheer quantity of fires each ‘season’ now. Christmas for many people will be a sad time.

    I agree- celebrations are necessary if only for the importance of family to recognise each other and to spend time together in a seemingly increasing busy world

    @ichabod thank you about the comments for young Ilion – we all try. He’s a strapping lad in many ways.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @janetteb      Goodness. That is frightening. And truly, as @puroandson says, a dreadful sign of the new times we are living in, along with drought in California and flooding of towns here on the prairies. In Vancouver we are never directly threatened by fire, but the forest is close enough that we have sometimes experienced smoke and smog in the summer fire season. The towns in the interior have a difficult time. But what you are describing sounds truly terrifying, and I feel for those whose lives have been affected. I hope your family is safe where you are!

    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb   That’s a hellish amount of fire-damage.  I’m sorry to hear that it was so bad.  I remember reading about Australian bush fires in “The Thorn Birds”, many years ago.  It sounded horrible then, and it sounds horrible now.  When my sister lived in California, every summer she’d be fretting fiercely over the fire danger because she had horses; but she was in a semi-urban setting where there’s been an organized animal-rescue operation in case of fire for a long time, and having horses meant keeping two or three in a big back yard, not farming livestock.  Must have been a hell of a wind blowing, too, for the fire to move that fast.


    lisa @lisa


    We had some horrible fires in California this year and I  commiserate about how that feels.

    We have friends in the foothills that  barely skirted the flames but their neighbors  weren’t

    able too..    This is the new normal in our areas.  Both of us share very similar climates

    and conditions.  But it is truly a great climate despite the fire danger!    I follow on FB many

    garden sites and I have a few that are from the Adelaide area including your gorgeous botanic garden.



    Son drew the lucky hand in  parents.   🙂     so you iron socks??



    Anonymous @

    dear @lisa

    Yes, Son here, Mum irons socks. her mum used to iron everything: even underwear. It took 3 hours a day to iron. Until a year ago Mum ironed the thick linen on the beds. It was mad. She stopped which was sensible.

    Mum wrote some thing about the Doctor which I will type later. Or Dad will as I don’t understand some of the words/writing. Theres plangent which could be planted. I don’t understand how his face or voice? could be planted so I suppose it must be plangent.SO many words.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @lisa The Californian situation is almost certainly exacerbated by all the Aussie Eucalyptus that have been planted there.

    @ichabod It was one hell of wind that day. There was simply nothing the firefighters could do. To make matters worse this year’s wheat crop was damaged by an unseasonal spring heat wave and had been harvested for hay so there were a lot of hay bales to burn. (It may well have been started by spontaneous combustion.) The farmers have suffered the usual double whammy, first drought then fire. I have a friend whose house was directly in the path of the fire. They evacuated with dogs but luckily the wind turned just in time for them. Many of her friends however lost homes including the grandfather of one of our son’s mates.

    On a more positive note, yesterday in the Post Office the woman at the counter next to me had a joey in a shopping bag. It seems that people rearing joeys have to take them everywhere with them perhaps because they are very insecure and affectionate animals. Kangaroos would make great pets I think.





    Could be face planted (a face plant is falling on your face)

    Anonymous @

    dear @pedant

    Really? I don’t think so but I could be very wrong.


    Anonymous @

    dear @pedant

    Thankyou! for going to that trouble. In mums scribble I noticed she made a mistake in that she used reverberating and plangent  in the same line. She tends to overwrite and she knows this. She knows you don’t do that which I think is a good thing.

    At school they are very strict about how many words are in an assignment. Most assignments are paragraphs for 200 words. If you write 300 words that’s okay but it you write 400 that will get a fail. My freidn is an A student and got a D. His paragraph was overlong and filled with “blubber”.

    That is what the teacher totally wrote on his paper. He copied my science paper which I spent hours on and he got an A- and I got a B! But it was the same work. No fair!!

    The use of music in your definition was awesome. I’m taking music in year 9. I didn’t want to but I thought Design was hitting and banging? It turns out it is computer design which is more interesting but I did not know this at the time and so ended up choosing music. The whole process caused mum and dad to go totally nuts. I told them to calm down as theres a formula for these things. Just be patient, write down what you typed in before so you track why it says stupid things like “you can’t have Home Ec in lines 1 and 2. Error!!”

    They gave up and I took over and thought choose “any darn thing as it’s bloomin midnight”. So I chose music. As a LH person I have to learn guitar which means getting the strings swapped around I think? I don’t know really.

    I can do rhythm patterns and remember long lines of them but mum reckons I have the most tuneless voice in all the world like my uncle. He loves music but cant hold a note!

    he   introduced me to cool bands like Emerson Lake and    Palmer and Carlos    Santana. Santana is a person not a band but you probably know that.

    mum thinks Capaldi is volumptous. His voice, I think. Because he’s very skinny to my face?


    Anonymous @

    oops that was the son of Puro not mum which you can probably work out. She’s having a sleep while dad is watching another Western with john wayne if I never see john wayne again I will be very glad the plots are all the same.

    I am on my PS which I can do on Saturdays but not Sundays. Sundays I go to church which I have to say I don’t like at all. Other people bring their ipads and ipods but I don’t. I figure its one or the other. Dad insists I should go to church but mum never does. Still they seem good that way. People say “wheres your mum?” I say “none of your business”

    I have Call of Duty Special Ops from my friend. It’s R rated but Dad switched on the content filter which I think is fair as theres a fair amount fo blood and hands being blown up so I better go and do that. I don’t want to look like Im hogging this place. My friends hog everything: the ball in soccer, the ball in basketball, the teachers (endless questions), the threads on forums, the ball in FIFA16 -that’s a truly terrible game with pretty poor graphics.





    As a LH person I have to learn guitar which means getting the strings swapped around I think? I don’t know really.

    Possibly, but there are cases of RH people who play LH (if I played guitar I would have to play LH, but am mainly RH – however, I hold a pen like a LH and, apparently open jars like a left hander). Some pretty famous guitarists were righties who played left handed. Jimi Hendrix was LH but used a right handed guitar with the strings reversed (because his Dad thought being LH was a sign of the devil, so made him learn RH). Kurt Cobain played guitar left handed and drums right handed. Bob Geldof plays a right handed guitar upside down; Paul McCartney is right handed but plays LH (again, drums RH). @sirclockface can probably give more examples, but I think the point is to play the way that feels natural for you.

    You should check out the Dave Matthews Band. The live stuff, rather than studio. He does a 12 min version of All Along The Watchtower with Carlos Santana guesting that will blow your mind. And @sirclockface will insist that you familiarise yourself with The Foo Fighters, but that’s a whole different topic.

    The two John Wayne Westerns you should watch are True Grit and The Shootist and should then watch the Coen Brothers’ remake of True Grit for comparison).

    But Josey Wales should be your priority.

    nerys @nerys


    I am on my PS which I can do on Saturdays but not Sundays. Sundays I go to church which I have to say I don’t like at all. Other people bring their ipads and ipods but I don’t. I figure its one or the other. Dad insists I should go to church but mum never does. Still they seem good that way. People say “wheres your mum?” I say “none of your business”

    And good for you. My dad took my sister and me to church when we were little. Mom didn’t come because she didn’t believe in it. That changed (sort of) later. But I can’t recall if people asked me where my mom was. If they had, I wish I’d had the presence of mind to come up with your answer. I’m sure yours is far, far better than anything I would have come up with.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson      Oh, son of Ilion, don’t let my boy hear you disrespecting Fifa 16.  🙂  He’s pretty attached. He does say that it is designed for a PS4 so it doesn’t show to best advantage on his old PS3, but he very sensibly doesn’t feel the need to upgrade as it’s pretty much the only game he plays anymore.

    People take iPads to church???? Wow. I am not a churchgoing person myself, but I have to think that bringing along your personal entertainment would be missing the point! Many members of my family are practising Christians, but they were not when I was growing up, so I wasn’t raised that way myself. Now I’m married to a confirmed atheist, so that simplifies things a lot. Although having been musicians, we have both played and sung in church many times. As I know Puro would agree, some incredible music has been composed for church over the centuries.

    I think the issue of “handedness” is fascinating, particularly when it comes to music and sport. Many right handed hockey players shoot left, which I find odd as it would never occur to me to do that (assuming I played hockey which I most definitely do not!). And some right-handed footballers prefer to kick with their left foot.

    @pedant    Not really a western, I guess, but I love The Quiet Man. I will also admit to a fondness for The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance. True Grit is of course fabulous. And I haven’t seen Josey Wales in ever so long, but I remember enjoying it once upon a time.

    Anonymous @

    dear @pedant

    thankyou. I have seen The Shootist 3 times and True Grit more times than I can count!  I love them both so I shouldn’t be rude about the man. I know the Foo Fighters from West Wing which I started watching when I was four. My favourite characters were Josh and toby. Hendrix dad thought that the LH was of the devil? I thought that thinking was over 200 years old and I know Hendrix played in the ’60s -I’ve seen the whole video of him at that special and famous concert where he…you know….all over his guitar…that was pretty ick but I dug into Mum’s DVD collection one day. I didn’t do it again…

    Are you a musician too? You know a  lot about these people. I only know Dylan’s All along the Watchtower. I like it. I like him a  lot. I particularly like the song about the lady who is wearing black and he writes about how she is waiting for something….like she is near to a fence. That’s silly. I can’t remember the song. I have to look it up on Google or something..

    I will check Mr Sirclockface also…his posts I mean

    Dear @nerys and @arbutus thank you yes, it’s confusing. I find some of the people at church so very silly I can’t really bear it. I’m   told its a    microscopic    of society but that would mean we’re all going to die of stupidity soon. I know that sounds awful but its   part of an American brand of religion  -which I won’t  go into as I will not be picking on anyone especially. But when I go and see the Anglicans they know all the stories of the Testaments. They know about David and Goliath  and Jesus parables and yet we don’t learn anything except from the Book of M____ and this makes me look stupid. Mum says every child she’s ever taught from that Church ended up failing every subject. I really don’t want to be that person. Most of them hide in the toilets chatting and playing on their ipads. Dad falls asleep anyway which is a very good use of his time, in my own opinion. I like carols: people wake up then. We have a conductor which mum makes fun of (or used to )  and they just wave their arms about while people stare in hymn books that haven’t changed in over 150 years. Its sad to me. I would say “put down you books because I bet you remember the lyrics.”

    Thank you.

    Son of Puro



    he…you know….all over his guitar…that was pretty ick

    Poured lighter fuel over it (that’s how he set fire to it)…

    Not a musician, but of a generation when blues-rooted guitar rock was in its pomp.


    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    @puroandson and @pedant

    Well you got all the main left handed ones out there apart from Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Whenever I’ve had to create a LH guitar for someone I’ve only just swapped the strings around. If you were learning acoustic/classical guitar then Just buy a RH one and do this. If you were learning electric guitar I would not do what Hendrix did and would by a symmetrical guitar like an SG or any Ibanez because LH guitars (Even though some of them can be exactly the same as RH guitars) can often cost more. Once you’ve got yourself the electric guitar Then just swap the strings round.

    And yes, definately check out the foo’s because they are simply awesome and Dave Grohl is simply one of the greatest men walking this earth 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Reverting to the  topic of the suitability of otherwise of Doctor Who for young viewers, but on a lighter note:

    In the Radio Times issue for the week 5-11 December, there is an interview with Steven Moffat in which, referring to his younger self, he says  ‘It was the only programme in the history of children’s television that was unsuitable for children. That’s why we loved it’.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Sundays I go to church which I have to say I don’t like at all. Other people bring their ipads and ipods but I don’t. I figure its one or the other.

    Yup, you’re right. The place for ipads in church is afterwards, during coffee (where my church usually ends up with a small flock of kids hanging out playing games on each other’s consoles).

    Some of our services have either a youth group, where the teenagers can go off during the main service to discuss things and ask questions, or a youth club (same deal, but longer and with games and stuff) before the service. For others, teenagers would attend the main service – but it’s pretty noticeable which services the teenagers attend of their own free will; adult services are pretty dull for youngsters. To be honest, some of them can also be pretty dull for the adults. 🙂

    Mum says every child she’s ever taught from that Church ended up failing every subject. I really don’t want to be that person.

    Then I bet you won’t be.

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    @puroandson and @pedant

    In reply to my earlier comment if you are getting a steel stringed acoustic you would need to change the bridge which is alot of faff so it is just easier buying a LH one on the occasion 🙂

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I’ll have a pint of Hobgoblin please.

    I don’t know how it is around your place, but the wind is lashing rain against the window and it’s pitch dark here. The perfect night for a creepy episode, so I hope SM has obligingly written one in anticipation. Timey Wimey.

    I should be around a bit more tonight as my internet hasn’t been throttled down, which happened last weekend.

    Anonymous @

    @dear @sirclockface

    thank you for that wonderful information. I really appreciate all the trouble you went to -I will take that advice for sure.

    @bluesqueakpip Dear Miss Pip. I agree too. But I fear it may be the wrong church you see? OK. The Book of _____ is fine (pretty boring) and we’re told one tribe of Israel escaped to America (don’t they always?) and then, then, we hear nothing at all about anything to do with all the other important stuff. I know very little about the Parables and the various stories. I didn’t even know about the story about Isaac. Mum reckons she’s told me (she’s rolling eyes now) but I don’t remember. We have these other scriptures but we don’t get teachings from them and I don’t like that. The young church groups are the most disinterested tedious people I have ever known. Man. Anyway, mum says onwards and today I didn’t have to go for long. Yip Yip.

    @pedant Mr P no, it was a bodily fluid says mum -I couldn’t believe it. I’m  sure I saw that. It was gross.




    Anonymous @


    you’re right it was that. It was fine -I was concerned about the looks on the ladies faces when he stalked off the stage

    Son of P.

    thankyou for finding that footage (?)



    You see him to to the back of the stage to grab the canister ( I used to have one like that for my Zippo. I no longer smoke, so the Zippo is more of an objet d’art these days).

    (Also, had he done what you initially thought the resulting electric shock may well have been fatal!)

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