Doctor Who Episode 3

rosa

After what I though was a very ordinary episode last week- I actually used the word “boring”- this week’s episode was very good.

The Doctor and her team arrive in Montgomery just prior to the Rosa Parks incident that launched the civil rights movement in the United States. A new character is introduced who has travelled from the distant future to prevent Rosa Parks from getting on the bus. For some reason this incident is a turning point in the history of the universe so the stakes are high on both sides.

I thought the story was good and a bit of a different twist on the usual time travellers trying to change history theme. I found the ending just a little unsatisfying and would have liked a bit more of an explanation about why this particular moment was so important to the whole universe. Maybe that will come later in the series. Maybe it was a sop to the American audience.

I think it was a good portrayal of what real racism looks like and how evil it is. It is disturbing that these segregation laws were in place almost in my life time, and that Australian towns had similar policies in place not so long ago.

So this week was good enough to keep me coming back, but I still have reservations.

 

 

Doctor Who Season 11

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I finally caught up with the new Doctor Who this afternoon on iview. My experience was somewhat spoilt by our media computer freezing from time to time. Maybe it had problems  adjusting to a female Doctor too.

ecclestonMy first impression was that it was really good. In fact Jodie Whittaker in this role reminded me a lot of Christopher Eccleston, the first doctor in the revived series. Eccleston’s Doctor had a Manchester accent, leading to the classic exchange with Rose where she says, “You can’t be an alien; you’ve got a northern accent” and he replies “Lots of planets have a north.”

So Whittaker’s Doctor has what I’m guessing is a Sheffield accent, given that the episode is set in Sheffield and she sounds pretty similar to the other characters.

jodieMy biggest fear in casting the Doctor as a woman in this season is that it’s going to go political on us. That is what really killed the program the first time around when script writers turned it into an anti-Thatcher propaganda show and people just turned off.

If they keep it all laughter and irony it will be glorious: classic Doctor Who with no axe to grind, message to sell, virtue to signal or awareness to raise.

But did you notice that the strong characters were all women? The male characters were all weak and needed rescuing by the women. There is lots of ethnic diversity so the white patriarchy is kept in its place.

It will be interesting to see how this develops. I just hope they can keep the SJWs away from it or they will kill it again.

I don’t suppose anyone from the ABC reads my rants, but in case they do. 6 pm on Monday. Really? Does the ABC have so little faith in Doctor Who- with a female lead at that- that they can’t find space at a time when adults are watching? Is it really on a par with Antiques Road Show” and “Pointless” and the other rubbish that fills in the space while we are all watching the news on commercial stations?

 

World hits wealth milestone

Great news from the Centre for Independent Studies:

World hits wealth milestone

Eugenie Joseph

12 OCTOBER 2018 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

 

The world reached an incredible milestone last month. For the first time in recorded history, more than 50% of the entire global population can be classified as middle class or wealthier.

The US-based Brookings Institution has estimated that over 3.8 billion people now have enough discretionary income to be classified as middle class or wealthier. And most of the recent growth in the middle class has occurred in the developing countries of Asia. The Brookings Institution’s estimate is based on the number of households that spend between $11 and $110 (in US dollars) per person each day.

Obviously, any definition of ‘middle-class’ is subjective and contestable (for example, some might argue that home ownership is critical to being middle class). Nonetheless, these developments represent an unambiguous triumph over poverty — which would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago, let alone 200 years ago.

However, it seems the news has attracted little attention in Australia — despite the fact that many Australians care deeply about tackling global poverty. It seems we are blasé — or perhaps just oblivious — when developing countries make huge strides in lifting the living standards of their citizens.

In part, it could represent uncomfortable truth for some of us: that free markets and liberalised trade actually work. And not just for the rich; but also for the millions who lift themselves out of poverty each year. But it could also reflect the negativity bias in news generally. Bad news sells; and people are simply less interested in good news.

It also doesn’t help that statistics are difficult to ‘sell’ as a story. Statistics do not resonate easily with most people or stir up empathy or emotion. A proclamation that the global middle class will reach four billion by 2020 does little to engage a person’s emotions.

But if you say that a mother in India can now afford a refrigerator and washing machine for her home — there’s a story we can all comprehend and celebrate. And she is one of those 3.8 billion people.

 

Reflection on James 5:13-20

prayer

Scripture

Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Observation

Regardless of our situation we should pray. In hardship, pray. In happiness praise God. In sickness, get the elders to pray for you.

Confession and healing go together. Some sickness is caused by, or related to, sin. We should seek God’s forgiveness and then prayer for healing.

Righteous people pray powerful prayers. Elijah was just a man, but his prayers controlled the rain.

Application

One of the keys to receiving healing is to make sure that we are right with God. Nobody is perfectly righteousness and so, in that sense, we can be prone to attacks from the enemy at our weak places. Confessing our sins enables the Holy Spirit to work more effectively in our lives.

When we are right with God and walking in humble obedience our prayers release the grace of God in powerful ways.

Elijah listened to the voice of the Lord, and so he was able to command drought and rain. He didn’t do things presumptuously, but always in the context of a close relationship with God.

We must turn away from sin and pursue the Lord more passionately and more intentionally, so that we are able to be channels of His grace.

This is not a religious thing where we have to live in a certain way, constantly following rules laid down by somebody else. This is about loving our Father and wanting to be about His business.

Prayer

Lord, I confess my sins to you now. I ask for your forgiveness and for the ability to live in righteousness so that I can be an instrument of your grace. Amen.