Author Archives: Adam M. Anklewicz

MySpace

A friend of mine pointed me to a podcast that was doing an episode about MySpace pages. She wanted me to submit to them about my MySpace. They never contacted me, so I thought I’d post it here.

I was never a fan of MySpace, and I refused to have a MySpace page for the longest time. I enjoy good design and MySpace was the opposite of that.

That all changed one day when I was out record shopping and found a 7″ record from Canada’s 1979 federal election.

To give you some context, Pierre Trudeau had been prime minister since 1968. Joe Clark was the leader of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (basically, the largest party in Parliament who is not forming government).

Clark would go on to win the 1979 election, and only a few months later lose the confidence of the House of Commons, thus causing a snap election, which Pierre Trudeau and the Liberals would go on to win.

During the 1979 election, the PCs had a campaign song called “Let’s Get Canada Working Again” which was printed on 7″ vinyl for some odd reason.

Link on Google Drive

I found this record in my local record shop and as a huge history nerd was excited. I took it home, listened to it, laughed at how bad it was and decided now was my time to enter MySpace.

I created a MySpace account for a new band. I called them… Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservatives. Sure, not the most exciting band name, but it worked. It asked for names of the band members, so I put in all of Clark’s cabinet ministers. I’m sure we can all imagine that Flora MacDonald was obviously shredding on guitar.

I uploaded the songs.

I didn’t tell anyone I knew that I had created this account. But I decided I needed to have my top 8 friends. So who did I choose? Well obviously bands I knew and loved. It had to be Canadian bands. I think I put in Neil Young, Sloan, Leonard Cohen, and some indie bands like The Meligrove Band. I never knew if anyone actually found the page.

Fast forward to 2018, The Meligrove Band were about to release their best record onto vinyl for the first time. They decided to do a reunion/farewell show that they had never done. Toronto’s free weekly, Now Magazine, did a piece on them. 

Link to Now Magazine piece

Once we got added by a band called Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservatives. I went to their profile and it was just the music player full of the actual jingles from Joe Clark’s winning 1979 election campaign. I figured it was a young prankster from either the CBC archives or a fictional Tory youth group. Either way, those songs were awful.

I guess someone did find the page.

Doctor Who Serial 077 – The Sontaran Experiment

I kinda wish all of classic Doctor Who was only two episode stories. It would be slightly more tedious as I would’ve had to write considerably more entries in this blog series that I currently have. But also, Doctor Who had a LOT of filler.

“The Sontaran Experiment” didn’t have a lot of filler, the story was decent and it was nice seeing Sarah have such a big role. She knew who The Sontarans were, as she had encountered them in her first story.

The cast beam down to Earth to scout out the situations out there. In case the Earth is a nightmare of radiation and lava and acid rain, The Doctor makes sure to bring a hat, Sarah puts on a plastic raincoat and Harry puts on some wellies. You know, sensible precautions.

They find some astronauts who crash landed on Earth responding to an emergency broadcast. They are being picked off one by one. Turns out a Sontaran is on Earth as a scout before an invasion fleet. He’s doing experiments on the astronauts.

Eventually The Doctor goes mano-a-mano with the Sontaran and wins. The heroes beam back up to the Ark in Space!

Doctor Who Serial 076 – The Ark in Space

This was another fun romp! I quite enjoyed it. The Doctor his in true form, he’s already got his Jelly Babies ready to roll. Sarah is being a spunky feminist. Harry is condescending, but he’s okay.

They find an ark in space… a sleeper ship… the SS Botany Bay. They wake up some of the crew, and fortunately none of them are Khan Noonien Singh. Instead they’re weirdly British and bureaucratic. I guess that’s par for the course on The Adventures of Time Travelling Colonial Imperialist.

Turns out while they’ve been frozen, some bugs from Andromeda were taking over the sleeper ship and feeding on freeze-dried human.

Turns out these bugs were actually dislocated by the colonial humans and are just looking for a new home.

The strangest part of this episode is that The Doctor is just okay with letting these bugs die.

Doctor Who Serial 075 – Robot

Welcome friends, to the Tom Baker-era! It seems to be a bit of a drastic change between Baker the first and Pertwee the only. Baker has so much humour in nearly everything he does. He brings a lightness to the show that has been sorely missing since the days of Patrick Troughton. I miss the clown that is Troughton, but we get a lot of silliness from Baker.

In “Robot,” The Doctor is recovering from his regeneration at UNIT. A new friend, Harry, is The Doctor’s doctor and making sure he’s okay after his regeneration. Soon we discover that there’s a ridiculous robot that is developed by a company and stealing weapons, but it has a prime directive not to hurt human. Yet, it is.

Turns out the humans in control of the robot are telling it to hurt humans and are getting ready to seize control of government away from the masses and towards them. As they are scientists and scientists know better than the rest of humanity how to properly govern.

Can I interject and say that scientists are probably right? Ford, Trump, Scheer probably shouldn’t be setting policy, let’s get some climate scientists setting policy. That’s just my two cents.

Doctor Who’s writers on the other hand, don’t seem to see it my way, and think that the power should either be with the masses or a lady whose dad had supreme power before her.

There’s a big firefight between UNIT and the Robot. UNIT is outgunned and none of the model tanks that are brought in seem to do anything. Maybe the production shouldn’t have used a six inch tank, and instead used a real one.

In the end, The Doctor uses some anti-metal solution to win. The Robot goes away. Hooray! Humans are victorious over dumb computers.

Doctor Who Serial 074 – Planet of the Spiders

Welcome to the final episodes of season 11 and the final episode of the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who. “Planet of the Spiders” is not only terrible, it is the ultimate Jon Pertwee era episode. You have a car chase, you have Venusian judo, you have a boat chase, you have terrible spider puppets, you have terrible effects, you have monarchists and you have racism.

Yup, let’s get that part out of the way. There’s the most racist yellow-face I’ve seen. This Brit putting on a Chinese accent wearing terrible prosthetics to make him look Chinese not only insults in this manner, they turn the occult into faux-ancient ways.

Basically this meditation cult is trying to summon an alien spider who takes control of a dude who just wants power. Mike Yates is infiltrating the group and thinks something is wonky, so he lets Sarah know.

Sarah, who’s only met Yates once before… when he tried to kill her and The Doctor, for some odd reason trusts him. She does her own investigations and The Doctor’s investigations meet up together.

They end up on Metabalis where there are two Earth species living. Humans and evolved spiders. The spiders hold the Humans in slavery. The Doctor and Sarah help the Humans rise up against the spiders and fail.

They’re all fighting for a crystal that’s on Earth.

The Doctor must face his greatest fear and take the crystal back to the Great One. He does, his body is destroyed, and he returns to UNIT collapses and becomes…

TOM BAKER!

Doctor Who Serial 073 – The Monster of Peladon

Welcome back to Peladon, with your favourite guest star Giant Swaying Screeching Eyeball! Last time, Peladon was petitioning for admission to the Federation, this time they’re well established members of the Federation. The king’s daughter is now sitting on the throne.

The miners on Peladon are being haunted by their god who is killing them. Scaring them into abandoning their plans to further mine. The Doctor shows up and is assumed to be the cause of all this.

The Doctor must figure out the mystery of this monster, when political intrigue gets in the way.

Is it good? Meh, it’s alright. Not terrible, but not great. It’s annoying, but I can live with that. Once again Doctor Who is victim of its own classism, sexism and adoration of monarchy.

Doctor Who Serial 072 – Death To The Daleks

Another episode I’m not fond of. The Doctor finds himself on a planet where the Daleks and a human expedition must team up to strip the natural resources from a planet without the forethought to ask the native inhabitants, the Exxilons.

Obviously the Exxilons don’t like this.

The show is ridiculous, and The Doctor has work his way through a maze and prove his intelligence, with the Daleks close behind. It’s kinda like that episode of Stargate SG-1 where Merlin has some puzzles that Humans must solve to be able to gain access to his knowledge and they’re basic logic puzzles, like the one where you have to put the runes in order, but it’s just basic numerals with their mirror image connected to it.. Well, take that and dumb it down a few hundred times. The Doctor has to do a maze that is included on a kids’ menu at Pizza Hut.

The Daleks are rarely good. Hopefully they soon add Davros to give them a voice.

Doctor Who Serial 071 – Invasion Of The Dinosaurs

Season 11 seems to have picked up some of the momentum that I hadn’t been feeling during most of Pertwee’s run. This second serial I quite liked, even though it was ridiculous.

Some of the worst puppets are invading London! They look like someone had a fever-dream and tried to make a dinosaur.

They did something slightly clever with the first episode, it was just named “Invasion” as the cliffhanger was the first reveal of the dinosaurs. The Doctor and Sarah Jane return to London and find it abandoned. They are arrested, and eventually freed, and then discover there are dinosaurs in London.

It turns out that someone who works for the British military is working to bring dinosaurs forward in time to abandon London so they can get a few select individuals into an ark-like ship to head to another planet. But the truth is more sinister. Instead they want to use time travel to change the past and send humans to when earth was free of Humans and so they can make their eden without the problems of modern humanity. By introducing humans. It makes no sense, but it’s a fun episode with terrible special effects.

I really think that ’70s Doctor Who writers were on LSD.

Doctor Who Serial 070 – The Time Warrior

Wow, this is much better and what Doctor Who should be like. We have fun, we have silly, we have mind control1, we have Sarah Jane Smith, we have English people being so fucking English.

Where should we start. Maybe with Sarah Jane Smith. This episode introduces a new companion for The Doctor, Sarah Smith. She introduces herself, and The Doctor introduces himself to her as John Smith. Yet, later in the episode she calls him just The Doctor. I don’t get it, but who cares.

She’s smart, inquisitive, and funny. She sneaks into the TARDIS and The Doctor departs and heads to the middle ages.

In the middle ages we find a Sontaran (or a star warrior, as this is the first instance of Sontarans, so we need to know that they’re warriors… from the stars). He’s crashed on Earth, he uses the primitive humans to help him get his spaceship working. To get their help, he bribes the local asshole with guns and robots.

That local asshole, Irongron, decides that a man from space who can create guns is obviously an idiot, and uses his Englishness to act superior and ignore the advice of the person giving him his weapons.

What the fuck is wrong with English people? Why is that colonial attitude still going strong in the 1970s?

Next we have a rear vent. On the back of a Sontaran’s neck is a vent which if you hit, it will knock out the alien. Why?

Finally there’s the mind control. I’m getting really tired of mind control and Doctor Who seems to think that all stories must include some mind control.

Stop it.

Otherwise, one of the best Pertwee stories.

  1. We will get back to that later []

Doctor Who Serial 069 – The Green Death

Farewell season ten and farewell Jo Grant. In these last six episodes of season 10 we see The Doctor, Jo and UNIT investigating a chemical plant and an abandoned mine in South Wales where a scientist is playing with mushrooms.

Things get trippy maggots attack miners and cause a green death to infiltrate them. In the end, Jo saves the day with the brown cure.

Jo tells The Doctor that she’s not joining him on his next adventure, but instead staying with the scientist who wants to take her with him on his next adventure… and get married? They just met! But everyone seems happy for them, they even sing that they’re “jolly good fellows.” Either they don’t know what a fellow is or they’re very progressive. Hip hip, hooray!

Season 10 has been terrible and painful to watch. I’m glad it’s over. There’s only one more season of Jon Pertwee episodes. I hope they better, fortunately he’s going to get a new companion, Sarah Smith… sometimes referred to as Sarah Jane Smith. She is a much better companion, and I am looking forward to that.