“I hear you’re a racist now father. How did you get interested in that sorta thing? Should we all be racists now? Only the farm takes up most of my day and at night I just like a good cuppa tea; I mightn’t be able to devote myself full time to the auld racism.” – Father Ted
I just got caught in a downpour on my way to Zoo Coffee, where I wanted to put on a movie and test my now disproven theory that I’ll watch David Duchovny in literally anything. With rain hammering down outside, I found another mini-storm on the internet. As usual, people are very vocal about the casting of the latest Doctor Who. This time it isn’t that he’s “too old” or “not enough of a mincing hipster”, it’s that he, well… he’s no longer a ‘he’ at all. The news that a quasi-immortal shapeshifting alien has finally found the ability to regenerate into something other than a white male aged 28-58 has come as quite the shock to an angry, vocal, chronically uneducated minority of ‘fans’, as if this casting decision will suddenly affect their daily life in some hideous way. The BBC is even being accused of political correctness.*
Some have questioned how the TARDIS, a near infinitely large craft that transcends dimensions, will have enough room for tampon dispensers, and that the next thing we know it will be James Bond who’ll be female or, God forbid, perhaps even ‘ethnic’.
When Colin Salmon and Idris Elba were once considered for Bond, there were those who suggested that they “weren’t English enough”, seemingly unaware that the fact they were both born in England actually makes them at least 99% (perhaps even slightly more) English than Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, and Sean Connery. Combined.
After fifty years of asexual men in silly jumpers (and an episode where the moon turned out to be a giant egg) are you really going to take the Doctor less seriously in a a dress? Call me crazy, but I’d even be happier to watch a female Bond than I would to watch almost any of the ones that start with Roger Moore at the end of the gun barrel (national treasure or no).
The poet I mentioned a few entries ago (the fella who’s sort of a fusion between Dante, Alan Watts and the guy who wrote the soundtrack for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has a philosophy. He won’t print his own t-shirts in XL or above, because he doesn’t like the idea of unhealthy, overweight people wearing his merchandise. Like me, he never liked that it’s socially acceptable for people to say things like “you look like a scarecrow” or “you look like a skeleton”, but that its suddenly not cool for us skinny folk to reply, “yeah, and you like like a pregnant elephant you rude motherfucker!”
He took a lot of flak for this view, but I always respected him for it. I took a lot of flak for my un-PC comments about many of the 40-watt bulbs that walked in our circle at the time, including some of his own pooh-flinging mates.
In a free society (if such a thing is not a contradiction in terms), everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how bizarre/offensive/despicable/smeared-in-their-own-feces it may be, but if you don’t like the idea of a female Who might I suggest that you simply don’t bother watching the programme anymore? ** I don’t like the idea of American figure skaters and slinky Greek assassins falling in love with a leathery old belt, which is why I switched off whichever one that is after whispering the word ‘dogshit’.
I have nothing against fat people. I have nothing against the late Roger Moore. I have nothing against the kind of people who want to fling internet pooh at the poor actress chosen to portray the thirteenth Doctor. Nor do I give a particular fuck who plays Doctor Who or James Bond (although I’d admittedly be a little more hesitant if either of them were suddenly played by an American). Because absolutely none of this has any bearing on how I choose to live my life.
The rain outside has cleared. The storm has passed. We can’t unwatch Moonraker or David Duchovny’s self-penned directorial debut, but we can choose to ignore them.
Let’s move on.
*That hallowed and ancient organization may be many things, but politically correct has never been one of them. Ahead-of-its-time has never been another: a female Who has been rumored, on and off, since Tom Baker left.
**And I’m not posting this suggestion as a reply to other people’s Facebook comments or tweets for the same reason that I don’t have a comments section on my blog: because I consider ‘online debate’ a mild learning disability.