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How did it get to be that late? Crikey. And I still have 543 RSS items to read.

From dw_academy, disturbing rumours about the Who casting. (I wouldn't normally link to rumours like that without corroboration, but I know this isn't just wank-stirring, and if it's true, it's important.)

I'm interested in the whole story around the death of Jett Travolta. How much suspicion or evidence do you need before it's OK to start asking questions about, say, the possible negligence of a dead child's carers? It seems to depend on who the carers are, to an extent. We saw this with "Maddie", with Sharon Matthews, and various other kids. Of course, this time it's extra-complicated because the Scientologists are so notoriously litigious. But there seems to be a fair bit of evidence to back up the view that Jett was autistic rather than having Kawasaki syndrome, and Scientology's beliefs about the non-existence of autism - and their antipathy to medication for mental health issues - are well-publicised. I also read an interesting (and bloody scary) post from an ex-Scientologist about What Scientology Will Probably Do About The Tragic Death Of Jett Travolta.

And, Spotify! A really quite good application for listening to music online. It's ultra-fast, it's got a decent range of music, it's the most intuitive piece of software I've used in a long time, and it's compatible with last.fm. Huzzah! It's theoretically invite-only, but you can avoid that by going straight here. (Cheers to andrewducker for that!) I'm blanking on what to search for - rec me music?


( 15 comments — Comment )
Jan. 5th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Well, I only heard about the death of Jett briefly but it seems
to me that a 16 year old boy would probably insist on taking his
bath or shower privately. Still, I wonder why they didn't have
measures in place in case he had a seizure in there.
Like...I don't know...padded walls...or an emergency button?
Some kind of time limit before he was checked on?
It's very sad anyways.
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
It is very sad. Yeah, you're right, I imagine he would have insisted on private baths - I'm more worried about whether there's medication he could have been on that could have helped :S
Jan. 5th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
The Paterson Joseph thing has the potential to royally fuck the BBC, and I am more inclined to believe that they would want him for publicity and tokenism, so I would want some proof on that one. But on the other hand, the BBC does like to fuck up....

As to the Travolta thing, I can quite happily believe that he was autistic but in a denialist Scientology environment, but there seems to be a lot of posts that imply that his untreated autism was a cause of death. Which is obviously arse. For him to be so seriously autistic that he needed 24/7 care would be immediately obvious from any public sightings, and lower down on the autism spectrum isn't going to require such intense care. That said, Kawasaki syndrome is exceptionally rare and reeks of bullshit.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
The Paterson Joseph thing has the potential to royally fuck the BBC

It's for that reason that I think it's probably b0ll0x. Whilst I can imagine the BBC pushing for a young, white actor to replace Tennant in order to continue to hold onto the young female portion of the show's audience I can't really see them vetoing a "done deal" which would lead them open to massive scandal (and which they couldn't cover-up given the huge number of people who'd know about it), especially so soon after the Brand/Ross thing.
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think they'd have torn up a signed contract, but I can see them having vetoed a verbal agreement. Which I suppose would be less of a scandal, and, of course, is much more deniable. The point about how many people would know about it is a good one, of course. (And if it were true, it could have come out before the casting announcement, I suppose.)
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm inclined to think that they wouldn't have vetoed an actual signed contract, but could well have vetoed a "gentleman's agreement" that Moffat & Joseph had, and put subtle pressure on the DW team to pick someone else. Nothing on paper at any time, plenty of plausible deniability.

I don't think I'd ever seen a photo of Jett before he died, but I know there were news articles (before the death) quoting neighbours who said they didn't let him out and that he couldn't talk properly and had never been taught, so I assumed it was pretty severe autism if it was autism. And there was a full-time "nanny", though he wasn't qualified in medicine or childcare in any way. There are rumours, spurred by a pap photo of Travolta and he kissing briefly on the lips, about the real job description of the nanny... That's part of the trouble, the sheer amount of scurrilous rumours going around - I'm pretty sure they're not all true!
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's always possible about Joseph, but without proof I'm still unconvinced. The problem is what kind of self serving motives you want to ascribe to the BBC. On the one hand they are a profits obsessed organisation that is dumbing down for the youth market and attendant ratings and sales figures. Alternatively they are Nulabour PC drones embracing diversity and would have loved a black doctor, and the controversy that would have increased ratings and sales figures.

I'm going to believe that Moffatt thought Matt Smith was best for the job, because frankly no-one seems happy with it, and I'm sure they knew there would be flack.

I read some more about Travolta, and it seems that there is an increased prevalence of seizures in those with autism, butmore relevantly his son had been on anti-seizure medication, but was taken off them because of unspecified 'liver problems' and not put on an alternative. Scientology doesn't beleive in autism, or apparently this kind of anti seizure medication. So the allegations are gaining some kind of structure. What is most important is what the inquest shows. If there is one, and it is uninfluenced. Gawker article (for waht it's worth).
Jan. 6th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
In my experience, kids with seizures are generally not left unmedicated unless their seizures are extremely seldom. Or their parents are fuckwits. I can believe the liver side effects, but there are newer medications they could have tried.

I read that there is supposed to be an autopsy. Not sure about an inquest.
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
Kawasaki disease is an acute illness that affects very young children. Untreated KD can subsequently result in coronary artery aneurysms but they seem to be suggesting that this was the cause of seizures i.e. a brain aneurysm, which I've never heard of in connection with KD.
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I'd never heard of it, but the consensus seems to be that it just doesn't do what they're claiming it does. And they claim it was caused by all the carpet cleaners they used when Jett was young, which was a theorised cause at one point, but has since been debunked, apparently.
Jan. 6th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
No one knows what causes Kawasaki Disease, but not for lack of trying. The most likely cause is infection, but environmental exposures have also been suggested including carpet cleaning which has been statistically associated with KD in some studies but never proven (or disproven). Most likely it's a combination of things (infection/environment/autoimmune/genetics).
Jan. 5th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
... holy shit, Kawasaki's is what almost killed my little brother when he was five.

kniblet says Untreated KD can subsequently result in coronary artery aneurysms but they seem to be suggesting that this was the cause of seizures i.e. a brain aneurysm, which I've never heard of in connection with KD. which is what I've heard, but of course any heart stoppage can cause asphyxiation in other parts of the body, which can lead to brain damage ie aneurysms ... unlikely but not impossible, surely. It's a badly understood disease on the whole, and we only saved the kid because we had the most alert doctor of all time.
Jan. 5th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
I found a single case report from 2007 of a 12 year old with a history of KD who died of an intracranial aneurysm. That's one case out of a not especially uncommon disease. I agree it's not well understood in terms of etiology, but the manifestations are extremely well described.

So far, the only information about KD seems to be from Kelly Preston. Anyone have a large grain of salt handy?
Jan. 5th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Glad your brother was OK! It must be difficult to deal with such an unknown problem...
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
I believe what Moff and Wenger said on the Confidential. The rumours just seem too convenient to me.
( 15 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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