inefficacious

Pokedivination 101: Types

So!! This is the first in a series on using pokemon cards to do divination, which has been an idea that people have capitalized on before and surely will again, but I’m planning to contribute my two cents.

I choose pokemon cards not only because of the huge variety and the ‘personality’ of each pokemon that makes it great for association and specificity of message, but pokemon is something innately connected to our pasts, our emotions, and feelings of companionship; chances are, if you’re using pokemon divination, you’ve already got a relationship built with the pokemon verse, whether you’re a current fan or just loved them when you were a kid. I believe that kind of connection (and wealth of personal association) makes divination 10x more accurate, because you get a better feel of what the cards are trying to tell you. It’s like talking to a stranger versus an old friend; the better the connection, who’s going to know you better? Who are you more likely to listen to? We talk about relationships with our decks all the time, and the point of Pokemon has always been relationships.

Plus, Pokemon is super cool, so there’s that too.

Without any further ado, I’m going to start on the first thing I want to nail down in this series: the types, or ‘suits’. I’m not really going to try to draw parallels between pokemon card divination and tarot, so major/minor arcana are not present in this system. Types function as suits do in cartomancy. How’s that, again?

Core to a Pokemon’s identity and ability is their type. It determines their habitat, their moves, their relationships with other pokemon– it’s their basic defining trait. Of course, there are different ways a type can be expressed, but essentially all ghost types are going to share a ~vibe~ that defines them and all fire types are going to be, at their core, similar to one another. An easy way to think of the types is to think of them as the suits in cards, like how hearts are associated with relationships, psychic types might be associated with mental affairs. It’s a general interpretation to be refined with each card within the suit (for instance, mr. mime might indicate mental blocks, being a psychic type and also inclined to invisible wall-building).

But doesn’t pokemon have like, 15 types?

Yep. Which is why I’ve got a handy chart for you just below that deals with the various types and the meanings I’ve assigned to them based entirely on my own associations. If yours are different, feel free to mix, match, or absolutely alter them to fit your own needs; it’s all about connection.

These are just general guidelines, but they’re great for 1 card readings. If you have a question (e.g, what am I ignoring?) you can get a general feel from the card you draw. (for instance, if I drew water, I would say self-care.) When you’re working with the specific pokemon, keep in mind the associations of the types and how the types interact with each other. Do you have a lot of waters with fires? That may mean your passion is being smothered by taking too much care, and that you need to let your instincts shine through more. Electricity with ground types might show inefficacy, same with normals and ghosts appearing together; keep an eye on patterns to see what comes out! I’ll make a separate post about this at some point, but this is a primer on pokemon types and what to look for when you’re reading!

Best of luck, and happy pokewitching!

C'è poco da rimpiangere; oltre al fatto che non è detto che non lo vedremo entrare dalla finestra, dopo averlo visto uscire dalla porta.
Non c'è dubbio, l'uscita di scena è stata da par suo commovente e ben strutturata, degna della teatralità e della personalizzazione del potere che ha contraddistinto i suoi mille giorni di governicchio (in linea con i bluff di Mussolini, Craxi è Berlusconi).
La sua è stata una funzione governativa rappresentata più che realmente esercitata. Le leggi varate a colpi di fiducia si sono rivelate dei contenitori vuoti, delle quinte teatrali che nascondevano il nulla (come la 107 della sedicente Buona Scuola), o dei provvedimenti ingiusti e inefficaci fatti per tacitare i cugini d'Europa (lèggi jobs act).
Forse ci siamo liberati della sua arroganza, del suo narcisismo debordante, della sua furbizia machiavellica e dei processi di semplificazione che ha messo in atto e che, di fatto, puntavano a mortificare ulteriormente gli spazi di scelta e partecipazione democratica dei cittadini. C'è poco da rimpiangere e qualcosa da festeggiare nell'attesa di vedere cosa succederà adesso.
—  Gaetano Vergara

On the affect of border walls:

“Seen from a slightly different angle, as responses to contested and eroding state sovereignty, the new walls project an image of sovereign jurisdictional power and an aura of the bounded and secure nation that are at the same time undercut by their existence and also by their functional inefficacy. Notwithstanding their strikingly physicalist and obdurate dimensions, the new walls often function theatrically, projecting power and efficaciousness that they do not and cannot actually exercise and that they also performatively contradict. To literalize walls as pure interdiction occludes their production of an imago of sovereign state power in the face of its undoing, and it occludes the walls’ consecration of the corruption, contestation, or violation of the borders they would fortify. It also misses their staging of sovereign powers of protection, powers radically limited by modern technologies and paths of infiltration and by the dependence of various “national economies” on much of what walls purport to lock out, especially cheap labor. It misses, in short, the Wizard of Oz quality in the new walls, the way they echo coded (yellow/orange/red) security threat levels that stage an image of state intelligence and control in the face of the opposite. 

This theatricalized and spectacularized performance of sovereign power at aspirational or actual national borders brings into relief nation-state sovereignty’s theological remainder. If walls do not actually accomplish the interdiction fueling and legitimating them, if they perversely institutionalize the contested and degraded status of the boundaries they limn, they nevertheless stage both sovereign jurisdiction and an aura of sovereign power and awe. Walls thus bear the irony of being mute, material, and prosaic, yet potentially generative of theological awe largely unrelated to their quotidian functions or failures. The striking popular desire for walling today, considered in light of recent pejorative historical associations with walling and with contemporary walling’s general inefficacy vis-a-vis its putative aims, can be traced to an identification with and anxiety about this sovereign impotence. The popular desire for walling harbors a wish for the powers of protection, containment, and integration promised by sovereignty, a wish that recalls the theological dimensions of political sovereignty. If the fiction of state sovereignty is the secularization of the fiction of divine power, the deteriorating viability of this political fiction generates understandable popular anxiety, an anxiety addressed in part by the theological effect and affect of walling. The detachment of sovereign powers from nation-states also threatens an imaginary of individual and national identity dependent upon perceivable horizons and the containment they offer. Thus, walls generate what Heidegger termed a “reassuring world picture” in a time increasingly lacking the horizons, containment, and security that humans have historically required for social and psychic integration and for political membership.”

– Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty

Così né la tenerezza dell’amicizia, né la bellezza della terra e del cielo, potevano redimere la mia anima dal dolore; gli stessi accenti dell’amore erano inefficaci. Ero avvolto da una nube che nessuna influenza benefica poteva penetrare. Un cervo ferito che trascina le sue deboli membra in qualche moschetto nascosto, per guardare la freccia che l’ha colpito, e per morire, ecco com’ero io
—  Mary Shelley, Frankenstein o il moderno Prometeo, 1818 - cap. IX

Unnatural Habits - Torn!

This is a season-ender so there’s lots to tie up but also to tantalise and to tempt for the next series. (Well until they decided to have the Christmas Ep).

Key players find themselves torn - between duty and allegiances, between family and friends, between love and loyalty. 

And the viewer?  The viewer is left shattered, simmering, screaming at the screen!

The opening scene is an idyll  - a picturesque setting with Hugh and Dot talking about their honeymoon. Until they fish something nasty out of the river.

And in a rather unpleasant reminder of contemporary Royal Commissions and investigations, the relationship is established between protected, institutionalised exploitation and the weak and vulnerable these places purport to shelter.

Phryne’s social conscious is ignited at the laundry, which sparks the indignation of those who see her views as radical.  Jack, in the first of a series of cameos, defends and supports her.

Perpetua (to Jack): … We’d prefer your police woman wait outside.

Jack: I would prefer her presence.

Jack doesn’t deny that she is “his police woman” and in defending her presence, the exchange foreshadows a later one where Phryne is clear that Jack as a policeman is useful to her.

That Scene no. 1 - all tied up

Now if you read in the TV programme guide of this Ep, that, within the first 8 minutes there would be a scene of Jack, looking relaxed, legs akimbo, surrounded by sheets, with Phryne close by; then they get up close and personal, what would you think?  You’d think, AT LAST!  But, you’d be wrong.

Now what’s going on here?  It is really odd  - absolutely gorgeous - but odd. 

Jack, with tie off, sitting on his desk, very relaxed - that must be a first! There’s some nice banter:

Jack: Hmm, I do know my knots, Miss Fisher.  I’d be curious as to how you do.

(Naive Jack, as if…this is Phryne Fisher!)

Phryne: There was this Portuguese sailor I once knew…

Jack: Don’t… Enough.

(You did ask for it!)

Phryne needs to demonstrate the inefficacy of the thief knot in joining sheets together to hold a person’s weight.  So what can she use to demonstrate this? Not the very sheets themselves that happen to be sitting on the desk! They could just have had a bit of a tug of war with the sheets to demonstrate that the knots wouldn’t have held.  But no that would be far too easy, the only thing she can THINK of using is one end of her scarf and Jack’s tie!  She knots these two items of clothing together with a “Voila” then, immediately pulls them apart.

So, to do this, Jack must have taken his tie off - or did she take it off?

After some more banter, where Phryne’s upbringing has shades of the mistreatment of the girls in the laundry, we have THAT scene:

Phryne: My father used to lock me in a cupboard to try and break my spirit.

Jack: Clearly didn’t leave you there long enough (…).  Oh, you’ve creased it…

Phryne: Oh, come here. (but she moves to him..)

As soupsouffle so perceptively pointed out, the tie scene parallels and complements the scarf scene in Marked for Murder. It is a beautiful sequence of his submitting to her gentle act.  (I’ve taken so many shots and so many have been posted, but what the heck, I’ll add a few anyway…)

Intimus Interruptus no 1

Don’t any of these senior citizens know that it’s polite to knock? In comes The Godfather to spoil everything:

Sanderson:  Jack, Miss Fisher.  You do indeed keep close company these days.

Moment over, intimacy lost.  Like a pair of guilty teenagers, they straighten themselves up.

So much so that even though Jack criticises the laundry’s Dickensian conditions and its protection to Sanderson face to face in his office, he won’t engage with Phryne in this.  He rebukes her quite angrily:

Jack:  Leave it alone Miss Fisher.

Presumably his anger is multi-faceted:  he is angry and embarrassed by Sanderson’s intrusion, he is angry and surprised with Sanderson’s sudden and unforeseen promotion, he is angry and humiliated with the transfer of the case to another officer who is incompetent.  Phryne bears the brunt of this.

Aunt P enters

Back at St Kilda, Aunt P provides some clues and makes some perceptive comment.  She links the Fletchers to one of her charitable societies, ironically called the Gratitude Committee!

Phryne: Fletcher, as in Sidney Fletcher?

Aunt P: Yes their eldest.  He’s godson of George Sanderson, Deputy Police Commissioner.

Phryne: And fiancé to Jack’s ex-wife, Rosie.

Aunt P: You have a very roundabout way of looking at things, dear.

Not really Aunt P, not if you are Phryne and Jack.  These are strong connections that weigh heavily upon both of them!

Roses are red

There is a very cute scene where Hugh puts his foot in it again when Jack arrives to find Rosie and the spiv in his office.  Hugh finds referring to Rosie as Jack’s ex difficult.

Hugh: Shall I send Mr Fletcher to O'Shaughnessy too sir? (…) He and your wif… your ex-wife.  Ex-wife.

Jack: Yes, yes Collins.

Hugh (very softly to himself): How many times do I have to say that?

So begins the Jack/Rosie/Phryne/Fletcher interactions and distractions. At a meeting at the station  and in Rosie and the ghastly Sidney (the spiv) Fletcher’s presence, Sanderson rebukes Jack for his relationship with Phryne, Jack’s removal from the case is made apparent and he insults Phryne following her return to the laundry. 

Sanderson (referring to Phryne not speaking to her): I thought these dilettante types slept ‘til noon (…). I want this woman brought to heel (…).  You seem to have some sway over her.

Rosie: Father I believe you’ve taken Jack off the case, why?

Sanderson: It’s a diplomacy issue my dear. Jack understands. It’s nothing for you to worry about.

Jack: No, no, no.

Sanderson: But if you don’t keep Miss Fisher under a tighter rein, you may find yourself suspended from all duties.

Jack does the “right thing” by not rocking the boat.  He won’t argue or speak contrarily in front of the group despite Sanderson’s offensive manner and remarks. Clearly Rosie feels Jack would be of benefit to the case, and this would suggest her naivety of both her father’s and the spiv’s involvement in the people smuggling. The fact that Sanderson tells her not to worry about his recent decision would support her being kept at arm’s length from his business.  (I think I may be changing my tune a bit here about Rosie.  Oh dear, must be something in all that ice cream making me soft.  Could it be that she’s not the wicked witch of the west I thought her to be?  Egads!)

But Rosie’s support for Jack contrasts her obvious disdain for Phryne.  Her “Goodbye, Miss Fisher”  and the look she shoots her, are contemptuous. (So it’s not all is forgiven yet...)

Phryne too feels the need to support Jack and unusually for her apologies to him when they are alone in his office. It is her turn to be relaxed at his desk. 

Phryne: Jack, I’m sorry.

Jack: Please tell me your break-in was worth all this… fuss.

Jack is bearing the burden of being chastised, removed from his area of expertise and further threatened with sanctions for Phryne’s actions.But “noble Jack” downplays the impact it has had on him.

(…)  Then one of those favourite lines coming up….

Phryne: I really am very sorry Jack that you’re in so much hot water because of me.

Jack: Don’t be remorseful. It only confuses.

(Phryne’s foot fashion - impressive!)

Phryne’s investigation of the ship produces evidence of the link among Bernadette’s disappearance and the De Vere notation, the cadillac and the ship’s captain (un Belge!).   This ensures some nice images of hands… (any excuse).

(and a rather nice lean)

His inability to take this evidence to Sanderson, given his removal from the case, leads Jack and Phryne to consider the implications of Jack continuing against orders.  Phryne’s comment, “You’re much more use to me if you remain a policeman, Jack” has some impact.  Firstly it parallels one of the earlier scenes where Phryne is referred to as “his police woman” but it also reminds us of Phryne’s consideration of their relationship - more useful as a policeman than what? A man, a lover? 

Phryne then suggests that as they can’t take the investigation further officially, that her parlour can function as a pseudo interview room.  It is interesting that they don’t consider meeting with Rosie and the spiv in Phryne’s parlour as a risk at all. Rosie and Sidney would pass this meeting on to Sanderson, surely! Given his accusations and his explicit orders to Jack, it seems to function more as a plot device than a rational decision.  It is a clever device though, as the spiv gets to find out how much they know, we see further interaction between Rosie and Jack, and Rosie and Phryne and we have Aunt P’s wonderful observation on Rosie.  Albeit illogical and dangerous for Jack’s position as a policeman.

Phryne, like in Marked for Murder, wears a coat heavily embroidered with roses for the encounter with Rosie - not the same coat as for their meeting at Fletcher’s house, but a more fitted, shortened version.  Worth a comparison I think!

Rosie: Jack, don’t you think you should pass all this information on to Father?

Phryne: Do you think that’s wise? Considering he took Jack off the case?

(They are setting themselves up at odds, with Jack caught in the middle.  Rosie is torn between defending her father and defending Jack.)

Rosie: He didn’t have a choice.  The Bishop was breathing down his neck.  (…) And your constant meddling hasn’t helped. (…) 

(as she leaves the room, she turns and says) You’ve really made things worse for Jack, you know.

And after Rosie has left the room:

Aunt P: Unusually devoted isn’t she?  For an ex-wife.

The shot composition balances the couples - Jack and Phryne, Rosie and Fletcher; then Phryne and Jack and Rosie and Jack.  Aunt P positioned to the edge of the first shot, silently observes until her final comment (6th image).

The A Team

Having being told to keep away from the ship, 

Jack: Please Miss Fisher.  Do what you’re told just this once.

Phryne assembles a crack team.  Mr Butler has a collection of serious kit.

Both Jack and Hugh defy Sanderson to board the ship. It is on the Pandarus that the Fletcher/Godfather alliance is revealed as is Sanderson’s deception. His treatment of Jack, his threats and intimidation now make sense in protecting himself from discovery. Phryne (Jack uses her first name in calling out to her) has discovered the hoard of human cargo and ultimately confronts Fletcher as Jack confronts Sanderson. The Fletcher/Phryne/Jack showdown makes excellent viewing in semi-darkness, with eerie lighting and flashes of torches and gunfire, among tackle and ropes.  Naturally Jack saves the day!

Violets are blue

It is the station that sees Jack confront Sanderson, Rosie confront her father and Jack comfort his ex-wife.  Phryne, at the end of the scene is the observer of all this confrontation and emotion  -  sidelined by the main event. 

 The revelations of the spiv’s illegal business dealings and his godfather’s complicity impact upon both Rosie and Jack.  Jack resents and regrets his former respect for the man who was both his boss and his father-in-law.

Rosie is left bereft and turns to Jack.  (I had, on previous views of this Ep, found her behaviour ambiguous in this scene.  I couldn’t work out whether she was angry at her whole world being torn apart  - therefore her tears were for reasons of selfish indignity, or whether she was genuinely distraught from the discovery of her fiancé’s criminal dealings and her father’s betrayal of trust.  I had always found something false in her comment of “Those poor girls”.  Still not quite sure….)  

Whereas Jack bore with dignity the ignominy of being chided and berated in front of Rosie in previous scenes and Rosie had no qualms about reproaching Phryne, she finds Jack and Phryne’s presence in the office a humiliation and, initially at least, wishes them away.

Rosie’s words to her father, echo Jack’s.

Jack: (to Sanderson) I looked up to you George. I respected you. (…)

Rosie: How could you? I can’t look at you.

Jack (goes over to her):  I’m sorry.

Rosie (crying): Oh, don’t… Oh Jack. On no, oh God…

Rosie rejects, then accepts, then needs his comfort. We see Jack in a more intimate embrace than we have seen him before, echoes of a past we haven’t inhabited and a couple we don’t know.  What we, as viewers observe for the first time, is what Phryne too sees for the first time, as an observer, removed from the scene.

Once again it is clever in terms of plot development and end of season ep.  It leaves so much open.  Rosie is no longer engaged and she turns to Jack for comfort.  We must squirm at the thought of a reconciliation.

That scene no. 2 meets Intimus Interruptus no. 2

And just when we thought all was lost… a spark of hope.  Jack goes round to Phryne’s house.  It takes him a while to tap, ever so gently at the door pane.

Phryne:  I thought you were with Rosie.

Jack:  I was… is it too late?

Phryne:  Never.

Jack:  I’ve never seen her like that before. She was in shock.  She… just needed some company.

Phryne;  She needed you Jack Robinson… The man who always does the right thing… The noble thing.

Jack: Not always Miss Fisher.

Aunt P: It’s very late Inspector.

Another senior citizen who has never hear of knocking!  The parallel with the tie and the Godfather’s entry on the scene gives me shivers.

Now can someone please answer me: WHAT IS AUNT P DOING THERE? Yes, she comes over for afternoon tea (and the occasional helping of humble pie) but why is she staying over?  Why can’t she take the baby and Mary back to Rippon Lea? She has an entire household of help and it’s not that far!  Has she ever stayed over before?  And surely she should be presiding over the house as it’s being set up for the MFMM costume exhibition anyway!

And where was she when the Nubian slave arrived bearing his manacles and chains, or the Greek muscle man, or the Latvian dissident or the Spanish dance teacher or when P was cosying up by the fire with what’s his name in Raisins and Almonds?  Let alone Lin. Where was she then may I ask?  MIA that’s what.  Nowhere to be seen. 

But she has to turn up just when J is about to pash P!  After all this time, after all this waiting, after all the promises, the suggestions, the innuendos, the lead-ups (or is it the leads-up?).The very instant! Split second timing!  A whole host of Phrack aficionados were hurling pieces of furniture at their TV screens, were cursing, and howling at the moon, and rewinding just to make sure it wasn’t some obscene joke from their husbands who thought it would be a hoot to clip a bit of film but NO, it really did happen… she appeared.

 I wish she had taken Mary and the baby and flummeried off! *harrumphs*

Jack: Yes, yes it is.  … (to Phryne) But I’m glad we cleared up that detail.

Phryne: So am I Jack, so am I…

The moment lost.  And no matter how many times I watch it, it always ends up the same *sobs*.