*** SPAM *** Re: Re: OT: Dr Who

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat May 28 19:34:15 EDT 2005

[Charlie, why do you suppose that either your machine or mine has decided
this post is spam?  I think it must be yours, since mine has never before
suddenly added that word to a subject-line for no apparent reason.  Did
everyone else get what now presumably appears above, "Re: *** SPAM *** Re:
Re:" tacked onto the front?]

>> ... but it only works as a line for yer English-speaking flatlanders.]
>But that's just the kind of person to whom it was addressed. Except for
>the Flatlander bit, but then the Doctor was crediting Rose with a sense of
>humour. In fact, he was taking culture and context into account, not
>ignoring it - as Time Lords must a lot if they are to be understood.
>> > I thought it was a pretty good line, and a neat corrective to the
>> > all too prevalent though not always spoken, that a southern (more
>>specifically> a London) perspective is normative in British culture.
>> It's been a long time since RP=BBC. Estuary English, Cockney and other London
>> dialects aren't so prevalant (pace, _EastEnders_ addicts).

(I'm fairly sure that not all of the above is Verity: some is surely Charlie?)

>I said 'perspective,' not 'accent'. A country where the government, all
>the national media (print and broadcast), and a large majority of national
>cultural organizations, museums, businesses and financial institutions are
>based in one city is almost bound to seen and represented by that glut of
>bodies in a rather skewed way, and Britain certainly is.

Some horrendously high proportion of the population of England lives within
a fifty mile radius of Marble Arch.  Given true PR, a majority of MPs would
be representing Southerners.  I therefore can't be entirely sure that
seeing the country as having more stuff going on in the south is a skewed
view: it might be that it is simply accurate.  Deplorable, maybe, but

Charlie had previously written:
>I don't know if you've heard of the row just in the last ten days or so
>about the new BBC weather map, which is tilted (using 3-D graphics) so as
>to make anything north of Nottingham more or less invisible, but that's
>the cultural context that line was addressing, or so it seemed to me.

I thought the complaint about the weather-map was literally to do with its
perspective, not with its bias nor with anyone's accent, anyhow.  Not
having seen it I am handicapped, but the picture of it in the paper looked
as if one were in a high-altitude balloon somewhere just in France, which
would tend to make the south of the country be rather disproportionately
large.  What I want to know is, why did they fix it? the old one worked
perfectly well as far as I could ever make out, or at least didn't fail to
work except when they missed a hurricane or so now and again and had a
fifty-fifty chance of being wrong about what the weather would do in
Bristol: is there any reason to suppose that changing the way they show the
map will change that?

>> What quintessentially Northern characteristics does this Doctor have? The
>> voice, and the gurning (a Northern word). He's not a corrective so much as
>> a new vehicle for stereotype.
>You seem to be complaining both that the Doctor lacks quintessential
>northern characteristics (whatever they are), and that he's a northern
>stereotype. I don't get it.

I think, though I could be wrong, that the complaint is that the stereotype
presented is not particularly favourable, and therefore doesn't correct
other unfavourable stereotypes.

Is he officially described as "gurning", or is it just that Armando
Somebody-Suddenly-Famous (whom I can't spell reliably) decided to use that
word about whatever the new Doctor's name is's facial expressions so often
that everyone went along with it?

"Gurning" is better spelt "girning", by the way, because it comes from
"girn", which is an ME variant of "grin".


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