Trenchant Lemmings
"Arrive in a clown car, bursting with anger."
YOUR HOST
Robert Weaver
PRESENT LOCATION
Sydney, Australia
OTHER STUFF
Old Weblog
LibraryThing
23hq Photos
ARCHIVES
NAVIGATION
Older Posts | Newer Posts
PREVIOUSLY
Apropos of Nothing...
Labour value
Middle
No Lives Matter
Consent
Epiphenomena
Pioneers
Oh. Snap.
Mot juste
Wasteland
FEED
blogurl/feeds/posts/full
blogurl/atom.xml
ELSEWHERE
3 Quarks Daily
A Tiny Revolution
Alicublog
Bad Astronomy
Blogarach
Boing Boing
Caustic Cover Critic
Chase Me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Counterpunch
The Early Days of a Better Nation
Ecstatic Days
Empire Burlesque
Exiled Online
The Failed Estate
FAIR Blog
Neil Gaiman
M. John Harrison
The Inferior 4 + 1
Inside Story
Jews Sans Frontieres
Laughing Squid
Lenin's Tomb
Limited Inc.
Antony Loewenstein
The Loom
LRB Blog
Nick Mamatas
Mind Hacks
Neurocritic
Neuroskeptic
Overland
Greg Palast
Riddled
Savage Minds
Mark Steel
Strange Maps
Michael Swanwick
Things Magazine
TomDispatch
Ben Tripp
Verso Blog
Peter Watts
Whatever It Is, I'm Against It
ELSEWHERE ARCHIVE
Bats Left, Throws Right
Deltoid
Drawn!
Eyeteeth
Fafblog!
Larvatus Prodeo
Lawrence of Cyberia
China Miéville
News from the Zona
Dennis Perrin
Pink Tentacle
Adam Roberts
Quotidian Hell
Matt Taibbi
Unspeak
 
The weblog description is a misquotation from Steve Aylett's Indicted to a Party: What to Do, Who to Blame.
 
The weblog title links to the "No Country Redirect" version, for whatever that might be worth.
January 31, 2015
Essentialist

Rundle on The Imitation Game:

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Turing is arrogant, aloof and quick with a putdown. He delights in making his colleagues feel stupid, and in making his superiors guess his actions. He’s bitchy and cute. He sees the war as a bore, a problem to be solved, not a moral-political-national struggle.

None of this accords with anyone’s memory of Turing, but it matches a set of cliches, that of the mid-century capital-H homosexual. ‘Turing’ is, put simply, queenish. The film has simply decided that a certain cultural style of being homosexual can be used to construct Turing’s whole character.

...

[T]he Colossus computer came along when the Engima code had been largely decrypted. Though it was built to Turing’s design, its true architect was Tommy Flowers, the head radio engineer at the GPO research unit, the person charged with building the thing. A working-class boy apprenticed to the GPO at 13, Flowers had the key insight, that ‘Colossus’ should have stored programmes – that is, that the various things a computer did shouldn’t have to be reloaded afresh each time. That is the computer: the thing I’m writing this on, the thing you’re reading it on.

Flowers and his team worked hundred hour weeks for eleven months to build Colossus. He and they appear nowhere in the film.

Instead, we get Turing alone in a shed at Bletchley, putting Colossus together by hand. When the code is cracked, it’s all at once – and they suddenly know the position of every U-boat in the Atlantic. The analogy is obvious, especially if you’ve seen The Social Network: it’s Alan Turing as a proto-Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, and Bletchley Park as the first start-up, the ancestor of Apple and Facebook. The effect is to attribute all heroic power to the genius with the one big idea, rather than the masses.

...

[T]he weirdest thing about the portrayal of Turing in the film... [is that i]t can’t cope with the full complexity of his sexuality, which shifted over his life, and which we would now call ‘queer’*. Mostly sexually inactive through shyness in the 30s, he made clear his ‘tendencies’ to Clarke when they became engaged; she said it didn’t matter much to her. He expressed a desire for family and children. Through the prism of post-Stonewall essentialist ideas of sexuality you could call that sexual false consciousness. But you could also suggest that the film’s transformation of a real engagement into a sham one is an attempt to impose a highly specific idea of sexuality onto the past, one in which one has to be true to a deep and singular sexuality.
Et cetera

* Oh, right - so when used in LGBTQI it doesn't mean "gay and with a PhD". I did wonder.


Older Posts | Newer Posts