Profile for Speaker To Animals > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Speaker To Animals
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,012,443
Helpful Votes: 259

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Speaker To Animals (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
T-Mobile Mobile Broad Band Stick 615 - Black
T-Mobile Mobile Broad Band Stick 615 - Black
Offered by Kryonet
Price: 34.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Lousy coverage, risible data limit, 24 Sep 2013
Uses up all the data on just one iTunes upgrade.

Slow, unreliable and almost impossible to top up since T-Mobile joined up with E.E.


Film Theory: An Introduction
Film Theory: An Introduction
by Robert Stam
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.49

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reactionary garbage, 27 Feb 2011
During the last 20 years or so film theory has been revolutionized by cognitive theory which has attempted to apply what is actually known of our cognitive processes - rather than what previous theorists had plucked out of thin air - to the study of film.

This has resulted in a hysterical and reactionary backlash from the anti-cognitivists as illustrated by Stam's accusation here that cognitive theorists profess a "touching faith in reason (after Auschwitz) and science(after Hiroshima)."

Yes, right: the expectation that film theory should recognise what is actually KNOWN about the brain is JUST THE SAME as cheerleading the Holocaust and the atomic bombings of Japan.

It's a despicable slander on the cognitive movement but exactly what you'd expect from a dying discipline.


Liberation: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to "Blake's 7"
Liberation: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to "Blake's 7"
by Alan Stevens
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless, 7 May 2010
Fan writing tends to break down into two distinct types: diegesis and exegesis.

'Diegesis' is the internal fictional world. In digetic criticism the critic tells you what happened within that world. Fans often go beyond that by expanding the diegesis to include characters and incidents that they have invented themselves, often to fill gaps in the narrative, sometimes to explain away discrepences. Sometimes they're just having fun playing with other people's toys. This is the world of fan fiction and can be hugely entertaining if done right.

Then there's 'exegesis' or interpretation. This is where the critic attempts to uncover the 'actual' meaning of the text, or, more accurately, impose order upon the cacophony of the text according to their own preconceptions. The 'meaning' of a text is largely the artifact of the method of analysis so interpretation generally tells us more about the critic than the text itself. Accordingly interpretation is only as interesting as the interpreter.

Now, however, there's this: an exegesis of the critics own expanded diegesis. In other words the writers make up things about the series which isn't even hinted at, or which flatly contradicts what we see, then interpret what they have invented themselves. Of course, if anybody actually points out that their interpretation is pretty flimsy the authors can simply go back and invent more stuff to back their interpretation up creating an ever expanding spiral of nonsense

A huge disappointment from the otherwise excellent Telos.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2012 10:32 AM BST


Day Of The Triffids [Blu-ray]
Day Of The Triffids [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Dougray Scott
Offered by hunting_for_a_bargain
Price: 29.98

18 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Day of Tripe, 30 Dec 2009
Where to even start with this utter garbage?

Maybe the lack of the definite article in the title should have tipped us off as to lack of fidelity to Wyndham's classic novel but I doubt anyone could have predicted a total car crash of an adaptation like this.

Wyndham's sombre post-apocalyptic novel has been travestied.

In place of the coldly rational Torrence of the book we get a cartoon villain played by Eddie Izzard. He not only walks away unharmed from a plane crash but he instantly takes over 10 Downing Street after finding the door unlocked.

There are no diseases spread by the millions of corpses left rotting in London.

The sympathetically portrayed convent community of Wyndham's novel has become a den of human sacrifice.

There are schoolgirls with machine guns. Guns everywhere, in fact. All the police carry them.

Triffids can climb trees. Instead of just stingers they have prehensile tendrils like B-movie monsters and can strangle their prey. God knows why they are even called triffids as they no longer walk on three legs. Their chilling drumming sound has been replaced by animal-like screeches.

Oh, and Mason has daddy issues.

Read the book or watch the excellent 80's adaptation starring John Duttine.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2010 3:36 PM GMT


The Day Of The Triffids - The Complete BBC Series [DVD]
The Day Of The Triffids - The Complete BBC Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dougray Scott
Offered by hunting_for_a_bargain
Price: 26.98

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Day of Tripe, 30 Dec 2009
Where to even start with this utter garbage?

Maybe the lack of the definite article in the title should have tipped us off as to lack of fidelity to Wyndham's classic novel but I doubt anyone could have predicted a total car crash of an adaptation like this.

Wyndham's sombre post-apocalyptic novel has been travestied.

In place of the coldly rational Torrence of the book we get a cartoon villain played by Eddie Izzard. He not only walks away unharmed from a plane crash but he instantly takes over 10 Downing Street after finding the door unlocked.

There are no diseases spread by the millions of corpses left rotting in London.

The sympathetically portrayed convent community of Wyndham's novel has become a den of human sacrifice.

There are schoolgirls with machine guns. Guns everywhere, in fact. All the police carry them.

Triffids can climb trees. Instead of just stingers they have prehensile tendrils like B-movie monsters and can strangle their prey. God knows why they are even called triffids as they no longer walk on three legs. Their chilling drumming sound has been replaced by animal-like screeches.

Oh, and Mason has daddy issues.

Read the book or watch the excellent 80's adaptation starring John Duttine.


Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia
Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia
by John Gray
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

15 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical and reactionary, 11 Aug 2008
Gray's latest diatribe against the west is built on the muddled head theory that because the Enlightenment aimed to improve the lot of humanity it must therefore be 'utopian', and therefore religious in nature.

The fact that the Enlightenment met considerable opposition from religion - and still does in many parts of the world - escapes Gray's notice.

For Gray, everything is black and white. If the world can't be mede perfect it cannot be improved and there's no point trying.

He's like a spoilt child ranting about being given the wrong birthday present so he doesn't want anything.

Roger Scruton does this better, and funnier.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2012 11:20 AM GMT


Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity
Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity
by Julian Henriques
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.48

0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Risible, 25 Mar 2008
A risible book about psychology written from a cultural studies perspective by people who know absolutely nothing about the subject.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2012 4:05 PM GMT


Terror Dream, The: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America
Terror Dream, The: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America
by Susan Faludi
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just another 9/11 conspiracy theory, 22 Feb 2008
Susan Faludi begins her latest book `The Terror Dream' with an account of how she dreamt of being aboard a hijacked aircraft the night before the 9/11 attacks.

This astonishing claim to precognitive powers is not out of character with the rest of Faludi's book, as her claims are based upon the same kinds of magical thinking.

Faludi makes two basic claims: that there has been a recent assault on the freedom and independence of American women; and that this assault has been a reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

Neither claim stands up to much scrutiny.

Faludi claims that images of womanhood in the USA have reverted to `Doris Day' or `Betty Crocker' stereotypes. They are 'demonised' if they do not behave in `undemanding, uncompetitive, and most of all dependent' ways. However, Hilary Clinton is currently neck and neck with Barack Obama in the race to the White House, Condoleezza Rice is Secretary of state and women are in prominent roles in the both the media and on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Faludi also seems to inhabit an America where TV series such as `Alias', `Cold Case', `Lost', `Standoff', `The Closer', `Damages', `Bones' and the `CSI' franchise are not populated by strong, independent women.

The position of women in American society has never been more powerful, and the images of women in the media have never been more positive - part of the reason, in fact, for the USA becoming the target of attacks by misogynistic fundamentalists.

(Not surprisingly, the misogyny of the 9/11 attackers and their supporters is ignored - but that would involve widening the scope of the book to address global concerns beyond Faludi's ethnocentric focus. Like most social critics she has little to say about the thousands of deaths which occurred on 9/11, only the way she believes the issues have been represented.)

Since the first part of her thesis - that the position of women has taken a significant downturn - does not stand up, it's hardly worth examining the second claim - that this is a result of 9/11 - but I'll try.

If there *had* been a `backlash' against women due to America's weakened self-image this would contradict her earlier book `Backlash', which `found' an identical situation for American women when America was at it's strongest: an imperial power basking in it's victories over the Soviet Union.

It's illogical to claim exactly the *same result* from *opposite causes* and it casts further doubt onto the usefulness of her *previous* work.

Nor is her argument that the `rescue narratives' presented in the media worthy of serious consideration. The view that these hark back to a myth of the frontier in which white women were kidnapped by native population essentialises these narratives as uniquely *American* when in fact such rescue myths are almost universal and date back many thousands of years. Faludi's claim seems to rest almost entirely on a cod-psychological analysis of the 1956 John Wayne film, `The Searchers' which doesn't even do justice to that one film, let alone give profound insights into the psyche of 21st Century America.

Faludi came into much feminist criticism over her previous book, `Stiffed', which wallowed in male victimhood. Here Faludi is attempting to reposition herself once again as champion of the *female* cause; but this book exploits the uncertainties of 9/11 and systematically devalues the genuine gains of the feminist movement.

It will sell well - paranoia and self-pity are a powerful combination - but from Faludi's claim of precognitive powers onwards this book inhabits the same fantasy world as do the internet conspiracy theories circulated in the wake of 9/11 which claimed that the Americans blew up the World Trade Centre themselves using pre-planted explosives or invisible rockets made from alien technology retro-engineered from the Roswell UFO crash.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2012 12:33 PM GMT


The Practice of Everyday Life
The Practice of Everyday Life
by Decerteau
Edition: Paperback

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cultural Studies for the optimist., 1 Feb 2008
If you are reading this review while you are sat at you desk pretending to work then this book is for you!

Read it in conjunction with Paul E Willis's 'Common Culture: Symbolic Work at Play in the Everyday Cultures of the Young' and you've finally got a political and thoretical justification for doing more or less whatever you want.


Orientalism
Orientalism
by Edward W. Said
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

18 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Said too much..?, 1 Feb 2008
This review is from: Orientalism (Paperback)
Drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault, Edward Said claims that Western ideas of the `Orient' are not based upon objective facts but are created through academic and cultural `discourses' which serve to promote Western imperialism - often despite `liberal' intentions.

This mythical `East' is the antithesis of the West, a negative or inversion of the Occident, and is used to define both in binary opposition to each other and to facilitate the political and domination of the East.

However in order to demonstrate the existence of this `Orientalism' Said falls back on an equally stereotypical and monolithic `West' which he constructs entirely from the carefully selected writings of a handful of 19th Century middle-class, white, male English and French authors.

This tactic not only ignores or misrepresents a large body of Western authors sympathetic to the East and sensitive to differences within it, but also glosses over Western heterogenities of class, race, sex, religion and generation in order to manufacture a homogenous `Occident' devoid of differences.

Said is as guilty of *Occidentalism* as those he criticises are of *Orientalism*.

Said fails to provide any evidence that the `West' defines itself in binary opposition to a mythical `East' that Western scholars have created for just this purpose, he simply *manufactures* the kind of `West' necessary to explain the `East' that he himself has constructed from a very limited number of Western texts about the `Orient'.

He has created his own mythical `East' and `West' from a small number of secondary sources which he then projects onto others and thinks he has *discovered* rather than *invented*.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2011 1:24 PM GMT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3