The Ten O’Clock News: Enduring Legacies and Other Less Pretentious Ideas

I realised over the course of this evening that today is fifty years since JFK’s assassination, fifty years since the first Doctor Who episode and three years since Danger Days was released.

I was first going to do a post about JFK and how he’s become an icon, then about JFK and Doctor Who and how they’ve both become – very different – icons, and then I remembered Danger Days and how that’s already legendary, but probably is so because I was there when it happened.

I mean, the Kennedys are like America’s royal family, and everyone knows the old “what happened in Dallas on 22nd November 1963? Don’t know, wasn’t watching it then” joke/quiz show answer. People know where they were when it happened and everyone has a theory about Lee Harvey Oswald, etc. etc. Stephen King’s written a book about stopping it, G Way wrote a comic about ensuring it – President Kennedy seems to have become an idea more than a person in many ways.

Doctor Who has kind of defined science fiction, British television and eccentric dress sense over the past five decades, and since the Internet has attracted as many, ah, enthusiasts as JFK. Everyone has an opinion on the writing, the acting, the regenerations, the best Doctor (David Tennant, for the record), the scariest ever villain (gas mask children or weeping angels, for the record). It’s always been there and hopefully will keep being there, because it’s excellent. I have no idea what’s going on about seventy per cent of each episode, but it’s fun, and funny, and one of the few things I’m proud is British. Plus the TARDIS is up there with Hermione’s beaded bag on my list of fictional things I’d like to play with. It’s a thing, you know, as opposed to a TV show.

Danger Days might be my favourite MCR record. It’s bright and loud and dirty and colourful, and the concept is so, so clever. Danger Days is a world which started with Art is the Weapon and has continued through the videos and shows into the comics. Well it technically started with a comic and evolved into a record and went from there… my point is, it’s tangible. It’s believable too, because we aren’t all that far from nuclear war or semi-permanent medication (I got a badge at the Freud Museum in the summer that says “In the future, art will be taken as pills”). The storylines in the comics are relevant today – I don’t want to give away spoilers, but Red and Blue’s situation is real, and so is that really irritating Party Poison-imitating dude whose name escapes me. The corporate clean-up’s in our faces.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my gushing about Danger Days is similar to what people are gushing about Doctor Who and JFK on other sites, today and over the past fifty years. For some people, JFK in terms of history and legacy and political meaning is what they’re passionate about. For some it’s Doctor Who. For me it’s MCR shit. Everyone has a thing, you know, and sometimes it’s hard to explain it to other people. But I think it’s important that we have them, and reflect upon them when the time is right.

What’s yours?!

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2 thoughts on “The Ten O’Clock News: Enduring Legacies and Other Less Pretentious Ideas

  1. unsurprisingly, it’s MCR shit for me too! And Dr Who (but of the Smithless variety). And other Sci-Fi …. a bit of a trekkie! And Eddie Izzard.So, a mixed bag 🙂
    But of all my ‘things’ the only one that other people don’t get is MCR (and by other people I mean friends/family etc, – there’s plenty of people out there somewhere who definitely get it). Okay, so Dr Who gets fiercely debated – whether the current incumbent is actually any good (no) or why did they let the Scottish Dwarf loose when RTD was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better (politics). And Eddie, his penchant for cross-dressing (and looking damned sexy with it, I might add) causes conflict in some. Star Trek – Trekkie, Trekker, fanboy – whatever the denomination and whichever generation you call your own, it all makes sense to many.
    But music? MCR? is it because it’s so personal? is it because it can mean different things to different people? is it because it’s not instantaneous, not obvious? all the other stuff is visual so maybe it’s just easier to identify with? perhaps that’s why other people don’t get it, they haven’t felt it, it hasn’t touched their heart, it hasn’t been there for them in their darkest hour. I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter to me anyway, they’re my shit and though I will try to explain to anyone who wants to listen (even those who don’t), why they mean so much, if they don’t understand, it’s fine. They’re mine, they matter to me, it doesn’t need to be rational and it doesn’t need to be explained. I will defend them to the hilt should anyone ridicule or mock them so woe betide anyone who crosses me on that one!
    It doesn’t matter that other stuff has been around for aeons and has historical significance – in my history, MCR are exceptionally significant, not for one specific thing, just because of everything.
    And for the record, if I had to choose, it would be Parade (probably, depending on the mood I’m in, but I sing it more than any other album, so it’s prob my fave)

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    1. “They’re my shit” is my favourite line of any comment ever. ❤

      It's definitely hard to explain MCR to non-MCR fans. Musically, each album is so brilliant and different that it's impossible to find a handful of songs that define them – and the negative media is cloud doesn't seem to be dissipating, although of course since it ended there's been a lot of "such living legends and sweet guys! So influential!"

      Yeah, that's not what you said at the time, Mr Generic Band Person.

      They're our shit and I love them. 🙂

      I am also a fan of Smith's Doctor, because he's fun to watch, although I've not kept up with the story too much since Tennant. Or before Tennant, really – I'm not big on remembering alien names and whatnot… Plus I've always struggled with the whole assistant/companion concept. If I met a 900-year-old dude with a sonic screwdriver, well-cut suit or not, I wouldn't be hopping off to explore the universe with him at the drop of a fez.

      Wouldn't pass up a TARDIS, though, and the show itself is brilliant.

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