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10 November 2006 @ 10:07 am
Heroes 1.07 and some randomness  
I have net traumas. Boy went fishing (no, really) and our wireless network instantly started to play up. It's as if it's missing him! *frowns at it* I have fiddled and wheedled and pleaded with it to no avail. So it's possible I won't be able to see Smallville or BSG until he returns on Sunday. That's worse case scenario--I'm working on a rescue plan!

I've also been rather distracted by politics this week, as I see many of you on my f'list have been. Can I move to the US? o.O You guys sure know how to protest vote! I'm trying not to feel like you're putting my own country to shame, but, well, it's difficult. So three things to be proud of my country (though not my government) about:
1. 90 per cent of coalition voters want the federal government to switch Australia's energy system from coal to renewable energy
2. 79 per cent of the population (including 71 per cent of coalition voters) think we should sign Kyoto.
3. For last weekend's International Day of Action on climate change, Melbourne and Sydney walks drew bigger crowds than a similar march in London. Not a bad effort, considering London's population is equal to the whole of Australia!
Meanwhile the government ignores us, David Hicks continues to languish in Guantanamo and we're in (supposedly) the worst drought in 1000 years. And now I have this terrible fear that the US will pull out of Iraq but Australia will stay. I have no faith.

I didn't have a lot to say about this episode apart from wishing to squee some more about Nathan. Oh, how wonderful he is! I loved getting to see his wife this week and learning a little more about the family dynamic. I wasn't very sold on the actress who plays his wife though. I found her hard to read, but perhaps that's deliberate. The scene I was most confused by her in was the one where she asks him to give her hope--it seemed as if she was asking him to lie, or was she meant to be more naive than that? I couldn't quite tell. Regardless it was interesting that he adopted that as his justification in conversation with Peter. And how funny was it that Peter didn't believe him about the kidnapping!

Peter is far less annoying when he's around Nathan. But I found his relationship melodrama sickening and implausible in the extreme. Simone is the most baffling character! I still don't have the faintest idea what she sees in Peter or why she believes that he can save the world. I'm fanwanking it as temporary mental illness brought on by grief. And the whole 'I saw him in a dream' thing with her father was too schmultzy for me too.

However, Peter with Nathan? Very amusing! Mainly because he drives Nathan batty and it's fun to watch. I loved the deathglare that Nathan gave him when he showed up at the press conference and blackmailed him about the flying. And Peter won points from me for his amusing 'my brother cares so deeply for my mental health' spin job. I loved their discussion in Peter's apartment as well--especially Nathan's articulation of why he thinks flying is useless (I so agree, Nathan!). I loved the Superman echoes with Nathan this week. They had him in red white and blue a lot--which of course also fits his political role. Again, I love that Nathan feels that politics is the most constructive way to change things/be a 'hero' (though I shudder to imagine what his policies are! hee!).

At the visual level this week I loved the frozen car crash. And it was also fun to see two heroes team up--we got to see DL's power and we finally learnt that Micah definitely has one too. And what a cool power it is!

With Niki, it seems like they made it clearer this week that her maternal side rests in her Niki self, not in Jessica. This is interesting, but it bothers me a little--and I think the reason is that I'm not convinced she's a good mother even in her 'good' self. In some ways I think it would have been a more interesting choice to show that Jessica could be a better mother than her--that would have made the split less black and white. Alternatively, showing Niki as a good mother in her normal form would have given that side of her some strength to balance out Jessica's power. As it is, Niki feels like such a victim and increasingly not a very likeable one. And while it's not ideal I can understand DL taking his child away from her--she IS dangerous and we've seen no evidence that she actually parents Micah any better than DL would. I just hope she gets her powers under control soon but I'm not sure she will.

An interesting turn of events with Claire's brother finding out the truth. I liked their scenes but don't have much to say about them. Ditto the policeman's plot.
 
 
 
blowjobs for jesus: it's like the futurekristiinthedark on November 9th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
I have been glued to NPR (National Public Radio- quite the liberal bastion) and the Daily Show. It's been a while since politics has gone this much my way, and I'm soaking up every second of it! *happy sigh*

But, woe! I'm sorry you're having traumas! That's no good. I hope your back-up plans works. *crosses fingers for you*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Dead Like Me bored iconbop_radar on November 10th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
I'm sure the US must be a very joyful place to be right now. The last time politics went my way here I was still a teenager...

My back-up plan involves clearing the junk off the Boy's desk and hacking into his computer. *cracks knuckles*
blowjobs for jesus: jon vs. bush.  jon wins!kristiinthedark on November 10th, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
Hee. Well, Bush press conferences have been making me giddy in an evil kind of joy, for sure! \o/

I approve of your craftiness. *encourages your hacking skillz*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark/Lois/Oliverbop_radar on November 10th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
Bush press conferences have been making me giddy in an evil kind of joy
Ohhh, yes! I've enjoyed the snippets we've got here, but I'm sure I'm missing all the really juicey stuff. (Icon cuteness!)

Don't worry! If I am defeated it will not be for lack of trying. If all else fails I'll take my lappy toppy to a cafe with a wireless network. *nods*
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on November 10th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
Re: part I
Yay! Long comments from LaT! \o/

Simone doesn't really bring anything out in Isaac *or* Peter
That's it exactly! Yes, she's just a time suck. As you point out, 'ordinary' characters serve an important purpose when they bring something to the table. She doesn't. And consequently I don't even find her internally plausible as a character.

Nathan is made of win. Clearly.
Clearly!! ;-)

It bodes well for 'team' efficacy overall (if/when they're all on the same page) if two of them can be that effective despite being *completely unaware* of how another meta-human right next to them is also using his or her powers.
*nods* That's so true--and since it seems that teamwork is the direction we're headed in I found it truly fascinating and exciting to see it occur organically in the first instance. Different characters with different motivations combine efforts for a single purpose--that's very exciting.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Eyebop_radar on November 10th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: part II
Niki *loves* Micah above all else and that does win her points with me.
Oh yes, definitely, but as you say: merely loving your kid isn't enough to make you a good parent. And Niki's choices don't seem to have been healthy ones. I got a little sense that we were meant to see DL taking Micah away as a terrible thing, and that sat uneasily with me since DL seems no worse than Niki when it comes to parenting but he does seem less dangerous--his power is controllable and he used it in a heroic way in this episode so he seems the preferable role model, despite Micah's own resistance to him.

It *sucks* that Micah had to see that, but DL was honestly defending himself against Jessica's aggression, not the other way around.
Absolutely! It's easy to continue to see Niki as a 'victim' because she plays that role so much. And she IS a victim to Jessica as much as DL was, I suppose. But Jessica started that fight and Jessica showed very little concern about Micah overhearing it. That's not good for him. And yes, it was very interesting that Micah knows the difference and wasn't happy speaking to Jessica. I honestly thought he wasn't going to tell her his location because he did seem very uneasy with her. Obviously he's so desperate to see his mum he'll risk that, which is believable for a child, I suppose. However it sits uncomfortably with me because I fear that he's putting himself at risk.

I'm afraid that until Niki gets some kind of handle on what's happening to her and starts actively dealing with it instead of sitting around whinging about "what's happening to me," I'm not going to connect with her.
Yup, me too! And I was really fascinated and excited by her to begin with as well. She's trailing off into a dead end right now. Perhaps Nathan needs to fly up and tell her to get a grip! ;-) Ok, joking aside, something constructive needs to happen with her or I'll be struggling more and more with her storyline.
Nora Norwich: Chloe crankynorwich36 on November 10th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
No Smallville until Sunday? Oh NO! I hope it doesn't come to that!

I agree with you that Peter is a far more interesting character around Nathan. In fact, I actually liked him a little when he covered for his brother at the brunch, and then later when he told Nathan that he had to tell his wife. He and Nathan play off each other very well.

I'm glad I'm liking Nathan now, because he was definitely the best part of the episode for me. Interesting to discover that his wife was in a wheelchair; I wonder if they haven't had sex since her accident? Like you, I thought she was a little hard to read. The scene I was most confused by her in was the one where she asks him to give her hope--it seemed as if she was asking him to lie, or was she meant to be more naive than that? I really read that as her asking him to lie, but I could be wrong.

Niki kind of bored me this week, which hasn't happened before, I think because, as LaT said above, she's too passive in this episode. Micah was made of win, however. I *love* that he can tell Jessica and Niki apart even more than I love that he has a power of his own.

I liked the car explosion bits too, though I wish Hiro and Ando had more to do in this episode--I was so looking forward to them meeting D.L., but they didn't really get to connect with him, which was a little frustrating. (I do love that Micah now knows that Hiro has powers, however). And I liked that we got more character development with Claire--her relationship with her brother seemed very realistic to me.

Matt's whole storyline is boring me, though. Maybe I'm just grumpy this week from lack of sleep, but I haven't really liked any TV this week. That does not bode well for SV tonight!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clois don't get me startedbop_radar on November 10th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
He and Nathan play off each other very well.
They really do! I nearly enjoyed him!

he was definitely the best part of the episode for me
Join the Nathan-lovers! He's made of awesome! Have you read hackthis's Hiro/Nathan story?

Matt's whole storyline is boring me, though. Maybe I'm just grumpy this week from lack of sleep, but I haven't really liked any TV this week.
Not sure it was just you--Matt was boring me too, as was Niki, and I didn't think this was as good an ep as some. I think Heroes has settled into mid-season-blahs. But who knows? I could just be cranky too.

Don't worry--I will fight my way to the ep as soon as humanly possible! I've even left phone messages for the Boy about the 'emergency' so if he makes it somewhere with mobile reception I may get a solution.
slinklingslinkling on November 10th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
You guys sure know how to protest vote!

I'm elated with these elections too, but don't give us too much credit. In a lot of these races, the democrats won with a very narrow majority, suggesting that we didn't convert republicans so much as we managed to swing the independents -- including a lot of evangelical christians who were appalled by recent corruption- and sex-scandals among high-level republicans. 2 years ago, when Kerry lost, there were complaints all over the place that the democratic party was completely floundering; we had no coherent platform and no clear message. I fear that's still the case. What this election proves more than anything else is that, if you lack a compelling message of your own, biding your time until your opponent shoots himself in the foot is also a viable strategy.

All that said, I've been doing many dances of joy and making praise offerings to the election gods for this one. Because as the Bush administration has demonstrated so often, having a forceful mandate isn't nearly as important as having power in the first place.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on November 10th, 2006 01:13 am (UTC)
suggesting that we didn't convert republicans so much as we managed to swing the independents
Mmm, that's interesting. There hasn't been much talk of that in the media here, but it makes sense. And sure it isn't quite as positive a picture. But hey, those independents can be useful! Recently one of our 'Family first' evangelicals scuppered the government's draconian refugee legislation. Someone got to him and introduced him to, you know, actual refugees. And he came out with the classic soundbite: 'I'm finding this really hard actually, as this legislation is about real people.' (No shit, sherlock!)

if you lack a compelling message of your own, biding your time until your opponent shoots himself in the foot is also a viable strategy.
Oh, I HOPE SO. Because our labour party's been waiting four terms for the libs to shoot themselves in the foot...

I'll be very interested to see how Bush works with the new houses. I still find the US political set-up a little confusing, but I imagine it's going to be an interesting time.
slinklingslinkling on November 10th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
our labour party's been waiting four terms for the libs to shoot themselves in the foot

It helps if your opponents get caught doing some spectacularly repugnant things. Especially if they're caught doing it to white, middle-class children. (I'd thought the Abu Ghraib torture scandals would sink the Bush administration in 2004. But alas, those family-values evangelicals don't seem to care so much when repugnant things happen to impoverished brown people.)

I still find the US political set-up a little confusing

I can explain it to you -- concisely, even -- if you like, but don't want to waste your time if you're not that interested (which you have every right not to be).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Jamie Bamber smrt is sexybop_radar on November 11th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
Especially if they're caught doing it to white, middle-class children. (I'd thought the Abu Ghraib torture scandals would sink the Bush administration in 2004. But alas, those family-values evangelicals don't seem to care so much when repugnant things happen to impoverished brown people.)
Ah yes. Tampa. I thought Tampa would sink our government, but no, we do not care about impoverished brown people either...

I can explain it to you -- concisely, even -- if you like, but don't want to waste your time if you're not that interested (which you have every right not to be).
Ohhh, yes! Hit me with it! Then I can seem slightly more intelligent! \o/
slinklingslinkling on November 11th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC)
*g* I always thought you seemed intelligent to start with. But anyway...

Okay, there are 2 branches of congress: the House of Representatives, in which each state is represented proportionally according to its population, and the Senate, in which each state is represented equally. There are 435 representatives, 100 senators. As there's an even # of senators, if the senate ever winds up tied on a vote, the vice-president gets to cast a tie-breaking vote. (This is why it was so important that the dems captured that last senate seat in Virginia, bringing our total to 51. If the senate had been split evenly between dems and reps, the reps would still have been in control due to that tie-breaker.)

The Senate is more powerful than the House; legislation has to pass through the House first, and then gets kicked up to the Senate. To pass either house it just needs a simple majority vote. In order to become law, it must pass both houses and then the president has to sign it; if he chooses to veto, it goes back to congress and you then need a two-thirds majority vote to override a presidential veto. The Supreme Court can declare any piece of legislation unconstitutional; the congress is empowered to amend the constitution, but that also requires a two-thirds majority and hardly ever happens.

The Senate is also the presiding body when it comes to confirming presidential appointees like supreme court justices and cabinet secretaries, as well as impeachment proceedings -- still more reasons why control of the senate is a pretty big prize.

The Bush administration has been unusual in that it ran on a moderate-ish platform in 2000 and has been forcefully pushing a far-right-wing agenda ever since 9/11. Republicans have controlled congress since 1994, and they've pretty much let this administration do whatever the hell they wanted. Immediately after the recent elections, Bush talked a good game about the need for bipartisanship, and then started trying to shove some of the most extreme right-wing pieces of his agenda through congress before power is handed over in January. (To their credit, a few republicans in congress are refusing to go along, on the grounds that the American people have made their preferences fairly clear.) So, yes, things should be pretty interesting once the dems take power. I'm not holding my breath for any miracles, but I'd expect to see some significant shifts in foreign policy at least.

And, well, okay, this wasn't terribly concise, was it? Did I leave out anything you wanted to know?

Also, as long as we're on this topic, could I trouble you for a similar run-down of the Australian set-up?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on November 11th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was a great rundown! Yay! Bits of it I knew already--for some reason presidential veto and the needs for a two-third majority vote after that is drilled into my head. Blame West Wing! ;-)

But yes, the one thing I'm still fuzzy on is the president's spheres of influence. President's office has responsibility for foreign policy? But what else? I always get confuddled with that.

And how long are your terms of office again?

Australian system:
We also have two houses: House of Reps and the Senate. But we have a Governor General (appointed by *cringe* the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister). For the most part his duties are ceremonial and he follows the advice of the Ministry, however if the Constitution is to be changed he can come in to play. And he has 'reserve power' which was once used to dismiss prime minister Whitlam in one of Australia's more exciting political moments. Opins are still divided on whether this was appropriate use of that power or not. Nowadays GGs like to keep their heads down a bit more!

There are 76 Senators and the states have equal representation there (territories have 2 senators each, states have 12). Senators are elected for 6 years (though territory senators only 3 years).

The House of Reps has 150 members and is based on proportional representation. The party (or coalition) that controls the most seats in the house forms the government of the day, and the leader of that party becomes the prime minister (after appointment by the governor general). The house is elected for up to three years.

There's a Federal Executive Council that's formed by all ministers and chaired by the governor general--they approve statutes, appoint High Court judges and so on.

Questions? :-)
slinklingslinkling on November 12th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
West Wing is surprisingly informative with the civics lessons, even if it paints a ludicrously rosy picture of a government in which everybody is brilliant and passionate and wants to do good in the world. Sigh.

The president is the head of the executive branch of the gov't, so he's essentially the boss of every single government agency and department. He appoints the heads of every agency and dept. (including the CIA, FBI, Justice Dept., Dept. of Homeland Security, etc.). He appoints his cabinet members, which includes the secretaries of state, defense, etc. -- all very powerful positions. He appoints supreme court justices when vacancies arise. (Prior to this administration, the court had been tenuously balanced between liberals and conservatives; Bush has gotten to appoint two new justices, and justices serve until they choose to retire, which makes me and most liberals very nervous about what the Court will do over the next few decades.) The Senate does have to confirm all presidential appointees, but thus far the senate has been republican-dominated, so pretty much everyone Bush has nominated for appointments has sailed by.

The president is Commander-in-Chief of the entire US military -- which is how we wind up with messes like Vietnam and Iraq. Because while only Congress has the power to declare war or institute a draft, the president has the power to send the military wherever he wants them to go, with whatever objective he chooses. (In practical terms, he's unlikely to go nuts and deploy the military willy-nilly without congressional backing, but theoretically he can.)

The president to a large extent determines the legislative direction that congress will take; in his annual State of the Union address, he outlines what he wants in the way of new legislation, and it's not uncommon for new laws to be drafted at the White House and then sent to Congress for debate.

He's also, as you mentioned, the leading figure in determining US foreign policy. He appoints all US embassadors, receives foreign embassadors, and with the Secretary of State he manages all official contact with foreign governments.

Re term limits -- presidents serve 4-year terms, and cannot be elected more than twice. Senators serve 6-year terms (staggered so that in any given election-year, roughly a third of the Senate is up for election); Representatives serve 2-year terms. Both senators and representatives can serve any number of terms.

Re Australia -- so what does the prime minister do, exactly? And does anybody ever have to run for PM, or does it just automatically fall to the leader of the controlling party? (And how is that leader selected?)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: House Cameronbop_radar on November 12th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. Yes, the power of the US President astounds me. So much so that I think I frequently attribute less power to him than he actually has! Denial, much.

It's a very different system to ours. Noone ever runs for PM. It automatically falls to the leader of the controlling party. However, sometimes (as currently) two parties form a 'coalition' to control parliament--so our PM is actually the head of the coalition. This means that control of parliament and the PM get decided at the same election. It also means that the Leader of the Opposition is watched closely as a potential future PM, especially in the lead-up to elections.

The PM forms a Cabinet and is the head of the Cabinet. The Federal Executive Council has to ratify decisions made by the Cabinet, but that's pretty much a formality. To pass legislation the PM needs the support of both houses. Usually the House of Reps is a breeze, since his party controls it. But it's unusual for the same party to have control of the Senate. However, currently, *headdesk*, the conservatives basically have control of both, with a couple of independents wielding a lot of power in the Senate. So since the last election the government's been able to push through a lot of scary legislation that they've been banned from passing in the past--changes to workcover legislation, immigration policy, freedom of media, etc. etc. It's a dark time for us.

The leader of each party is selected internally by various complex ballots. The House of Reps can hold a 'vote of no confidence' in a PM and if they lose they must resign. But that hardly ever happens.

So, our government, and therefore our PM, get elected every three years. And there is no limitation on how long they can hold the position so the current little SOD has held it for ten years and counting--that's four terms. It's hideous! His Deputy has got really pissed off, since Howard's now 66 and they had made a verbal agreement that Howard wouldn't hang around forever and would pass the leadership over around now. But the Deputy shot himself in the foot by making a big fracas about it since it didn't endear him to the public.
Parul: Heroes - Nathannakhrewali on November 11th, 2006 08:23 am (UTC)
Greetings from NZ. And it's great to see people appreciate Nathan's character!

I did not like Peter as much before but Nathan-Peter dynamics are so much love! It was fun to watch Peter hold the power in a conversation between the two mostly because I loved the way Nathan reacts to his provocations.

I love Nathan's powers but his rant on flying convinced even me that it is the most useless thing to have haha. And it was great to hear "I'm trying to make a difference the best way I know how".

I interpreted the hope!scene as Heidi willing Nathan to lie. It was as if it was understood what he had done but she was willing to forget it all as long as he stuck by her.



K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on November 11th, 2006 09:11 am (UTC)
Oh, a fellow Southern-Hemisphere-er! *waves*

I looove Nathan! Fear not! And I had major issues with Peter at first. In fact, I've just only mastered his name... and I agree he plays better against Nathan, or rather Nathan plays well against him!

Nathan's flying seems most impressive though I had slagged it off as a power before I saw it. But that is SOME FLYING! *boggles*

And it was great to hear "I'm trying to make a difference the best way I know how".
Wasn't it! That's been my instinctive reading of Nathan's character from the start, but it's been hard to persuade people of. Textual proof = yay!

I interpreted the hope!scene as Heidi willing Nathan to lie. It was as if it was understood what he had done but she was willing to forget it all as long as he stuck by her.
Ok, I can run with that - it seems to be the consensus view. I think I had trouble reading that actress, but perhaps I'll get used to her.
Parul: Heroes - sleepovernakhrewali on November 12th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
*waves back*

Yeah the SonicBoom Flying is the awesomest display of Flight Powers I have encountered. But it was even better to see Nathan burn his feet while trying to stop. That helped me prove to people that No-he-has-not-been-hiding-his-powers-from-Peter-all-this-time! He's just as clueless about them as him.

It is hard to judge Heidi's character from just one episode. I feel as if she should be this strong person who is determined not to give up but the way she speaks makes me feel she's a bit souless and tired. And I can't tell if that's how the character is suppossed to be or not.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on November 12th, 2006 08:58 am (UTC)
That helped me prove to people that No-he-has-not-been-hiding-his-powers-from-Peter-all-this-time! He's just as clueless about them as him.
Oh, yes! Yes, I always believed that but it was good to see. And I love that he's struggling to get control of them. It fits better with the stage the other heroes are at too.

It is hard to judge Heidi's character from just one episode. I feel as if she should be this strong person who is determined not to give up but the way she speaks makes me feel she's a bit souless and tired. And I can't tell if that's how the character is suppossed to be or not.
You're right and I can't tell either. I'll reserve a bit more judgement and not comment too much on her yet. I was also unclear as to how genuinely bitter she was about Nathan being the driver in the accident. She's obviously committed to him still, but I sensed some bitterness--whether it's personal against him or just about her loss of mobility I don't know. Clearly there's still a strong commitment there but we haven't got all the background yet.