Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hank Green on Adam Hills Tonight

A couple of weeks ago Hank Green was interviewed on Adam Hills Tonight. The interview made me feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons. Below is an email I've sent to the ABC about it. My friend Lizzy suggested I also share it here, so here it is.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in regard to the interview with Hank Green which aired on Adam Hills Tonight on the 3rd of July.

Firstly, I’d like to say that I enjoy the show. I think it’s been a great platform for issues and a showcase of local and international talent. Often the questions which guests are asked are the right ones and interesting and thought-provoking answers are the result.
It is because of this that I was extremely disappointed by your treatment of John and Hank Green and the community which is Nerdfighteria.

I am proud to call myself a Nerdfighter but I didn’t relate at all to your portrayal of the community. It seemed like shallow fan-service (and pretty inadequate fan-service at that) which pivoted on the mockery of nerds. I though your treatment of Hank and John Green was confusing and disrespectful. Their achievements were barely mentioned and, when they were, they were done so flippantly and with disregard.
Let me tell you what the Green brothers mean to me.

I understand the world better because of them. That’s what they do: they encourage empowerment through knowledge. They present complicated issues in a clear and clever way that makes you want to go out and learn more. Aside from their main channel, which regularly tackles issues of world politics, sociology and global debate, they make and produce a number of educational channels. These deal with, among other things, world history, biology and sex education.

Being a nerdfighter is about making the world a better place. That’s what DFTBA means; it is never forgetting that you can be awesome, in the face of all the terrible things in the world. By arming ourselves with knowledge, confidence and community we can tackle the seemingly insurmountable terrors of the modern world. Nothing is hopeless.

The vlogbrothers have raised a staggering amount of money for charity, both through the annual Project for Awesome and through other work. The Nerdfighter group on Kiva has lent well over a million dollars to business owners in the developing world. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is a community that has made a tangible and real difference to the world. The vlogbrothers encourage their community to care about the world around them and to try and make a difference when they think that something could be better. We’re always being told that a single person can change the world but I don’t think I really believed that before I discovered John and Hank.

Your portrayal of these brothers didn’t even come close to conveying the enormity of what it is they do. Hank Green is an entrepreneur, at the forefront of the digital landscape. He is genuinely and honestly trying to solve some of the problems that the digital world presents. As a young person working in the arts, I can’t tell you how important it is to know that someone is thinking about these problems. Hank gives me hope that one day there will be solutions. One day we’ll work out how to tackle internet piracy in a real way. One day there might be a global response to online issues. One day it might be feasible, as a creative, to make your money online.
Take DFTBA Records. Hank is personally responsible for an innovative independent record label that has put the content creators in direct contact with the people who want to support them. It has helped dozens of online musicians make a real living from their music. Many of these people fall outside the mainstream but have found a way to make money.
I genuinely think that we will be looking to the vlogbrothers very soon and that their ideas and their innovations will inform the future.

Then there’s John Green, who on top of everything else, is a New York Times bestselling author, something you casually failed to mention. He is famous and successful beyond the vlogbrothers brand. John Green articulates things better than almost anyone I’ve ever encountered. The reason The Fault in Our Stars has been such a huge success internationally (another thing that was never mentioned) is that it is an incredible book. He’s a great writer. I also think his decision to take paternity leave after the birth of his daughter was a pretty admirable one.

On another note, his wife is a very successful curator working at a major art gallery. By suggesting she was somehow an idiot for having children with John belittled her. She has never appeared in a vlogbrothers video but I admire and respect her. She’s always seemed like an amazing, inspiring woman and I thought that the throw-away reference to her being dumb enough to have sex with a nerd was pretty disrespectful.

I’ve lost count of the times when I have looked to the vlogbrothers. On numerous occasions they have restored my faith in humanity. When London was burning during the riots and the global economy seemed poised on the brink of collapse and I felt like the whole world was sliding into chaos, they were the people who made me remember that there is good in the world. When an international disaster happens, they are the people I turn to for explanation and analysis. And sometimes I’m just sad, because sometimes life is hard, and they’ll make a video that cheers me up and gives me the will to go back outside and forge ahead.

John and Hank Green are an inspiration to me and to thousands and thousands of young people across the world. They are at the forefront of their (numerous) fields and have fostered a community of people who might just change the world. I think it’s a real shame you missed the opportunity to explore that on the show.


Alexandra Neill

This blog is largely neglected these days. To read more of my stuff, including a 50th Anniversary Doctor Who rewatch, head over to Adventures in TV-Land.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


This post contains a large number of theories concerning Doctor Who. It therefore contains spoilers.

I have a lot of thoughts about Doctor Who. I have therefore complied a large number of them in one place for your reading pleasure. And so if any of my theories turn out to be right, I can prove I guessed because I put it on the internet. This mainly applies to the last theory.

The Arc Fleet
The Beast Below hinged on the idea that the earth was evacuated sometime during the 29th century because of a giant mutant star goat (or solar flares, whatever).  Starship UK is just one of the arc ships which carried the population to safety. In Asylum of the Daleks, the ship which crashes on the Asylum is called “Alaska”. They make something of a big deal about the ship being called Alaska in fact. What if that’s not just a random name? What if The Alaska is another arc ship? There’s also a line in dinosaurs which mentions a “ship the size of Canada”. Possibly not the Canada you’re thinking of.
Light Bulbs
Every episode so far has featured a flickering light bulb. There was the one in Amy’s dressing room during episode 1, the broken fitting at the Pond’s place in episode 2 and basically every single electric light in episode 3. Plus, The Doctor was finally changing the bulb of the TARDIS in Pond Life #5. You know what other episode have flickering lights in them? The ones with Weeping Angels.

This theory bought to you by my boyfriend and sub-editor who has noticed that all three episodes so far feature a reference to Christmas and thinks that this might mean something. Thus:
The Doctor- "It's Christmas!"
Rory- "I don't have a Christmas list."
The Doctor- "I do!"
The Doctor- "Someone's been peaking at my Christmas list!"
This is clearly foreshadowing Christmas. Or something.

Doctor WHO
The Doctor seems to be slowly erasing himself from existence. Oswin made the daleks forget him and then in Dinosaurs, the computer had no record of his existence. On the one hand, we know that The Doctor has been intentionally trying to lie low also we're not entirely sure how much of the universe thinks he's dead following Silencio. But what if there’s more to it than that? We still don’t really know what happened with the cracks. Silence hasn’t fallen yet. And we know that that cracks in the skin of the universe suck things from existence. Given that The Doctor's identity is looking like the whole point of next year, it's pretty interesting that he's losing his.

Make them remember you
When they're in the Parliament of the Daleks, The Doctor turns to Amy and says "make them remember you". This line is almost totally without context. At the end of the episode, Oswin breaks the forth wall to implore us to "remember".  The Silence make us forget. The cracks made Amy forget Rory. The alternate universe made Rory forget Amy. There's an awful lot of forgetting going on. But what is it that we need to REMEMBER?

Time skip
There’s a lot of time gaps in the last few seasons. There’s the time between A Christmas Carol and the start of season 6. There’s the gap between River poisoning The Doctor in Let’s Kill Hitler and him emerging from the TARDIS in a tux. Not to mention the multitude of gaps in series 7.  The Doctor has aged several hundreds years in the last two seasons (according to him anyway). Either this is simply Moffat correcting the fact that The Doctor didn't actually age at all during the Davies era or he's keeping some secrets from us (and from the Ponds).

Never let him see you age
So I’m pretty sure someone in a promo somewhere said to Amy “Never let him see you age.” In fact I’m pretty damn sure it was River. Now apparently I imagined this and no one ever actually said that in a promo in which case I am just physic. Every episode so far has featured something about the Ponds getting older. It’s mostly just Amy flat out saying she is old. The Doctor clearly doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like to see their mortality. This is clearly foreshadowing. Or just shadowing.
(If you remember someone saying this in ANY trailer please get in touch because all my friends think I'm crazy).

Just this once everybody lives!
I am pretty sure that the Ponds are not going to die. The reason for this is simple and it is this- Steven Moffat’s entire career thus far. Moffat has never killed anymore. Not a main character. And even the people he does kill, die in remarkably humane ways. I don’t think he’ll kill Amy or Rory. The current theory is that both of them will be sent back in time by the angels. We already know that an incarnation of River was living in New York in the 60s. Them being sent back in time would be zarking TRAGIC but in a happy/sad sort of way because they’d get to raise their child.

The rest of our lives
Having said that, I’m a little concerned by the parallels which seem to be emerging between Doctor Who and Press Gang. The ‘rest of our lives’ line is still haunting me. I can’t help thinking there’s an undertone of dreams in this series. And dreams always lead my mind to… I can’t say anything about Press Gang for those who are still watching it (or haven’t yet) but for those who’ve seen the end… yeah. I’m worried he might do that again.

The Dreamlord
There’s actually a prequel to Aslyum of the Daleks. You might not have seen it because hasn’t really been advertised. Which is weird. What’s even weirder is that, unlike pretty much every mini-episode ever, it isn’t all jolly and whimsical. This doesn’t feel like a throw away extra. It feels big. Somehow the fact that this is a dream message seems ominous. I still think that The Dreamlord (from Amy’s Choice) was passed over a little too quickly. Not that I think he’s coming back, but the idea that the person who hates The Doctor most is actually The Doctor himself is such a powerful idea. I wonder too whether that might link The God Complex and The Doctor’s greatest fear. When he opens that door he says “of course it would be you”. What if his greatest fear is actually himself?

And then he woke up, and it was all a dream
All of which leads us rather nicely to my BIG theory!
The Doctor is actually a Dalek who dreams of a normal humanoid life. His entire existence to date has been the pathetic delusions of a deranged mind. The reason he’s constantly fighting the Daleks is because, like Oswin, he’s battling his Dalek subconsciousness. The reason he can never beat the Daleks despite trying REALLY REALLY hard is that he can never truly defeat his true nature. Plus whenever he dies in his imaginary adventures he just comes back as a different guy because THIS IS MY DREAM AND I DO WHAT I WANT. Asylum of the Daleks is foreshadowing the fiftieth anniversary when it turns out the answer to the ultimate questions (Doctor WHO?) is actually DALEK.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Asylum of the Daleks


This morning I woke up at 4:58am. That is just nuts. We woke my brother up by way of sonic screwdriver, made tea and settled ourselves on the lounge. We watched Doctor Who and then we made pancakes and ate them in the sun.

I was sceptical about this whole iView thing. But I loved this morning.

iView turned out to be kind of excellent. First of all the ABC’s servers didn’t crash, which I thought might happen. Plus the picture quality was actually really decent. Massive kudos to the ABC for orchestrating the whole thing, and doing it RIGHT.

One of the things that makes me mourn the decline of broadcast television is the loss of the shared viewing experience. One of my favourite things about TV is the collective building of excitement and the ongoing speculation. There was something so special about arriving at school on a Monday morning and yelling at each other about Doctor Who. I miss that. I miss everyone falling in love with shows at the same time.

Today, Doctor Who was basically a global experience. There are an awful lot of countries that are going to be, LEGALLY, watching the new episodes within hours of each other. That’s kind of great.
There’s something really amazing about getting to be in the thick of the whole Doctor Who experience for the first time in years without sacrificing my morals.

And what a year to be in the thick of.

I loved Asylum of the Daleks. I thought it was just the right mix of warm honey, magic and gung-ho action. There was romance and drama and suspense and funny bits and sad bits and EVERYTHING.

The fact that Jenna Louise Coleman (henceforth know as J-Lo) is in this episode was kept spectacularly under wraps. That was such a wonderful surprise. I loved her character too. Clara (I’m calling her Clara, even though she was Oswin in this episode) is going to have such massive shoes to fill and it looks like she might actually pull it off.
The soufflé part was beautiful. I loved that she took that seed of doubt and uncertainty and made it into soufflés. She turned Dalek into human. With nothing but hypothetical eggs.

I’ve got no idea where Steven Moffat is going to take it from here. The obvious thing is that he’ll travel backwards along Oswin/Clara’s personal timeline and meet her before she crashed on the Asylum. But somehow that’s all a little too River Song. It’s too simple and… I just don’t think that’s what they’ll do. For some reason I sort of like the idea of there being two of her. Maybe that’s a hangover from my “River is Lintilla” theory (which never really took off because no one really understood the complicated cross-references involved and also it was stupid).

My favourite theory is one Alex and his friend Ian came up with – the new companion is actually a Dalek. So everything that happens involves her being a human in her imagination and a Dalek in reality. This would be very hilarious and cool.

But before we meet Clara/Oswin for real, we have to say goodbye to the Ponds.

Rory: How long can we wait for him?
Amy: For the rest of our lives.
Anyone who’s familiar with Press Gang will know that “the rest of my life” is an awfully loaded and inherently tragic phrase. I really hope it’s not foreshadowing.
That line right there gave me an awful lot of Spike and Lynda feels. I’ve never really noticed the parallels between Amy and Rory’s relationship and Spike and Lynda’s but now they’re there, clear as day, and I’m really unsure where Moffat is going to take them. Having addressed the tension in their relationship so beautifully, I really hope they run with it.

I cried a bit when Amy talked about not being able to have kids. What did happen to Amy at Demon’s Run? We don’t know. Not really. But her infertility hints at all sorts of horrors. The Doctor hasn’t exclusively been a blessing in their lives. You could argue that he hasn’t been a blessing at all. I get the feeling they’ll be a lot more crying before Moffat is done with us.

On top of all that we’ve got this huge thing of The Doctor being wiped from the Dalek mainframe. Seriously guys. THAT IS SO HUGE. It raised the issue that The Doctor’s reputation is a destructive force. The Daleks are more powerful for their hatred of him. Is he constantly saving the human race from enemies that he himself has helped create?

The Doctor said “Doctor who?” for only the second time in this episode (Let’s Kill Hitler was the first). I still think that him saying it is more important than anyone else uttering the words. It isn’t simply the phrase that will cause silence to fall, it’s the question. The actual question. Which no one really asks. Doctor WHO? The Doctor himself saying it is a contradiction to his usual denial. He ignored the question because it can’t be asked.

What Moffat has done is set the series up magnificently. He’s addressed a lot of things that have only been hinted at before now, suggesting that there’s a lot more stuff to come. The last two series have been loaded with a lot of awful loose ends and it’s starting to look like an awful lot of those will be tied up by the end of next year.

The issue of Matt’s regeneration, and when that will happen, is still a contentious and difficult one. Thing is we just don’t know what the deal is. BUT there’s another big change that looks like it might be on the horizon – a new show runner. While there’s no official word of this, I think it’s pretty unlikely that Moffat will stay beyond next year. He’s done his dash, written a mammoth story arc and once it’s finished I think he’d actually be ready to bow out. At the moment we’ve got two theories about who’ll take over-
Chris Chinball. 
More to come on this later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WANTED- one interdimensional cabin

Sometimes I wish I could travel to a secret cabin in another universe to watch Doctor Who. Doctor Who wouldn’t exist in our universe and I’d just go to the cabin and watch it free from distraction or interference. I would also have a special robot which would simply nod while I told it all my theories. It would probably be called Moffat. Watching Doctor Who in the real world is stressful.
Sometimes I think I actually love Doctor Who too much. I passed the point of regular, sane fandom some time ago and I think I’m just spiralling downward toward the 50th anniversary.

I’ve had the feeling for weeks that the ABC had something up their sleave. I thought maybe we were going to get season 7 fast tracked. In a lot of ways we are I guess. But I’m really not sure how I feel about it all.
In case you’ve been avoiding all other webpages in order to get your information exclusively from yours truly- this year’s episodes of Doctor Who will be available on iView at 5am every Sunday – immediately after they air in the UK. They will air on ABCTV a week later, at 7:30pm from September 8th.

I should, theoretically speaking, be completely ecstatic about this. We, Australia, are getting Doctor Who mere minutes after it finishes airing in the UK. That’s exciting.
Am I excited?
Sort of.
I guess.

I honestly think streaming is the answer. I’ve thought that for a long time. If obtaining content legally is actually easier than getting it illegally, evidence suggests that people will avoid piracy (even if, heaven forbid, they have to pay). My dream (if I can’t have old fashioned TV, which I think we can agree – I can’t) is a global streaming network. In my dream world everyone, no matter where they live, gets content at the same time. You pay a subscription fee, and maybe a little extra to watch special things. That money trickles back down to the content producers. Everyone gets TV when they want it and the people who deserve to get paid, get paid. There’s quite a lot of stuff standing in the way of this dream but I honestly think I could see it in my lifetime.

iView is one of the global frontrunners as far as online streaming goes. I remember when the ABC launched the service a few years ago I read an article saying that it was so far ahead of the curve that it was going to take several years for internet connections to catch up. Remember in the dark days before online catch-up? When a VHS malfunction could ruin your whole day? My childhood was traumatic. iView is great.

Watching Doctor Who on iView counts too. I know I’m one of the seven people outside the TV industry who care about ratings, but going on record as having supported a specific show by taking the time to watch it, excites me. I don’t usually get to go on record simply by watching TV because I don’t have a landline or a people meter.1 Every single time something is streamed online that data is recorded as the digital part of official ratings.

I definitely think this move is a step in the right direction. The TV nerd in me is really excited. I think it’s properly fantastic.

But the thing is… given the choice between watching Doctor Who on iView and watching it on TV, I would usually choose TV. Hands down. Given the choice between watching anything on a laptop and watching it on a television, I’m going to choose the TV. Especially if I’m watching said thing for the first time. Especially if said thing is Doctor Who.

iView doesn’t address a lot of the reasons I usually choose to wait. I choose the wait because I want to watch Doctor Who, the most important show in all of creation, in high definition. I love the ritual of Doctor Who. I plan my day around it. I make TARDIS pie and dance around my kitchen to Chameleon Circuit. I eat dinner at 7pm and I’m in front of the TV at 7:25. I watch the weather on the ABC. At 8:15pm I’ll usually text beccamarsh, or she’ll text me. I guess this all makes me sound a little bit unstable in the mental department, and maybe I am, but Doctor Who means a lot to me. The ritual of it really matters.

So the TV obsessive in me is less excited.

Maybe I just need a new ritual. Maybe that means getting up at 5am every Sunday. Maybe that means watching it at 7:30pm on Sunday nights, exactly like I usually would only a week early. Maybe that means waiting anyway. Maybe it means getting a cabin and another dimension and a robot.
I’m not sure I’ve decided yet.

I'm going to try and write a weekly blog this year. Plus I'd like to talk a bunch about the infinite number of theories I have for next year. If you harass me, I am more likely to do this. 

1- It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what a people meter* is. Or what a landline is. I think they probably need to rethink how they record ratings…

* Owning a people meter is basically my dream**.
** I am a bit of a loser, yes.***
*** My boyfriend and sub-editor wrote this footnote without my permission. He is the loser.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jumping Sharks

This post contains minor spoilers for Misfits season 3.

Quite high on the list of phrases I don't get to say often enough is this one- "jumping the shark."
For those of you not up on your slightly obscure TV jargon, the term refers to the moment in a television franchise when you stop believing it. When something so totally ridiculous happens that you can't suspend disbelief any more. It’s the moment when a show once and for all looses credibility.
(Here’s a fun fact- the origin of the term is an episode of Happy Days when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on a jet ski.)

I’ve always been a little sad that I couldn’t list a specific example of the phenomena. The moment in Doctor Who when The Master started shooting Sith lightening and jumping over rubbish tips came close, but then Moffat came along and made Doctor Who good again. There were no significant sharks jumped.  Its hard to sound like an obnoxious TV-nerd without examples.
Be careful what you wish for.

Misfits is a great show. I remember watching series 1 and thinking “Wow. This is actually something NEW.” Along with Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes and Being Human, it marked what seemed like a new genre. A kind of super-real super-natural drama. Gritty and unbelievable all at once. And I was EXCITED by that. When Robert Sheehan (who played Nathan) announced he was leaving at the end of series 2 I was as sad as the next fan-girl. I had that feeling. That awful creeping feeling that they should stop. That the show should cut its looses and quit while it was ahead.

Thing is I’ve thought that a lot. The moments when a show surprises you and is GOOD when you are so convinced it will be bad, are the reason I watch TV. Misfits was that kind of show from the very beginning. So I had faith. And the beginning of series 3 showed promise. I liked Rudy. I liked that he almost, but not quite, replaced Nathan. I was intrigued to see what our (anti)heroes would do with their new powers.

Then it happened.
That Hitler episode. If you’ve seen series 3 of Misfits, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Now I like a good bit of time travel. And some people will quote me out of context as saying I like Hitler. But WHAT THE HELL. There was not a moment of this episode I believed. When it was over I wanted quite desperately to retcon the whole thing from my brain and pretend it never happened. Its like that quote from Sherlock- you believe the lie because it is wrapped in a layer of truth.
Misfits had just discarded the flimsy shiny outside wrapper and the boiled lolly underneath looked awfully like someone had sucked on it and dropped it on the ground a few times.

So in the next episode when they DISCONNECTED A GIRL FROM LIFE SUPPORT and transported her to the COMMUNITY CENTRE in the BACK OF A CAR. I couldn't just ignore that blatant disregard for logic. Don't even get me started on that episode with the zombies and the iguana.

I’m still watching Misfits. And I want to like it, I really do. But its lost me. Its hard to say if the scripts and the acting is the same as it ever was. It certainly doesn’t FEEL that way. But what’s really changed is me. I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to know how Simon becomes future Simon. I don’t care if Kelly lives happily ever after with The Powers Man. I don’t care if Curtis ever manages to get a decent power or some proper character development.
I. Just. Don’t. Care.

I’ll keeping watching though. Partly out of misguided optimism. Partly out of loyalty to a once amazing show. Mostly because I wouldn’t put it past Misfits to cut their loses and throw in an actual shark. And I wouldn’t want to miss that.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief...

This post is a response to this post by Hank Green

There is definitely a certain amount of prestige which surrounds downloading.

I chose to watch Sherlock illegally. That wasn’t a decision I chose lightly and it isn’t something I think I’ll ever do routinely. I will champion the legal watching of television with my dying breath. Sherlock was the exception. I’ll still wait to watch Doctor Who, hiding resolute in my spoiler proof bunker. I watched Sherlock that way because I honestly felt like it was my only choice.

One of my main reasons for watching TV the legal way wherever I can is that one day I want to work in TV. It seems ridiculous to buy into a culture that many believe is killing the industry. I don’t think this is necessarily the case, the popularity of television is far from failing, but I do think that the internet has the potential to change to way we watch TV. And that could be very scary indeed.

Despite the various people screaming in defiance, I think I agree with Hank. There is a prestige to downloading. A certain allure. It is so easy to feel excluded when all the people around you (both actually and virtually) are championing one way of viewing (oh the joys of watching a download bar!) while you remain firm to another (sitting in front of a TV at an allocated time). I agree that it isn’t JUST the quality of the programming that leads people to download. If everyone is tormenting something it must be good right? It must be worth the effort?

I think this has produced a culture where local shows are looked down on. More and more people will tell you they “don’t watch TV”. What they mean by that, of course, is that they don’t watch TV on TV.

Right now the ABC is going through a pretty amazing stage. The shows which are being produced in Australia have suddenly soared in quality. The production values, script writing, acting, everything, is at an international standard. For the first time I can remember, I am more excited about what my own country is producing than what’s going on anywhere else in the world.
I’ll admit that Australia has never made Sherlock or Doctor Who. But I loved Laid and I’m quickly falling in love with Outland. I watched The Slap with the rest of the nation (you can tell a show is really popular when, instead of live tweeting it, your Twitter feed goes totally dead the minute it starts). I plan to make myself free when Dance Academy comes back on and every Wednesday night (seriously- Woodley, Gordon St Tonight, Outland. That is a line-up I'd become a social recluse for).

What makes me sad is that people don’t torrent local content. I know you CAN (I’m reliably informed you can torrent anything) but without the kind of hype big international releases get, how are people going to know what to look for? There’s a kind of stigma around local shows- ‘But that was made here. Why would that be any good?’

Is there anyone, anywhere is the world who torrents our shows? And if the answer is ‘no, not really’ does that make them less legitimate?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Zaphod Beeblebrox Clause

Late last year, while camping, some friends and I spend a pleasant rainy evening composing a list of qualities which ideal males should have.1 This list contained obvious things such as “a sense of humour” and “literacy”2 but it also featured more niche qualities like “able to play a musical instrument” and “super powers”.
The most significant thing about this list3 is that it coined what I now refer to as “The Zaphod Beeblebrox Clause”

The Zaphod Beeblebrox Clause makes reference to two specific qualities on the list, which are-
- has own space ship
- not a douche
The interesting thing about these two points is that the former actually has the ability to trump the later.
If a guy is in possession of a space ship, he is able to be a douche and still win ones affections. The level of douche counteracting power a space ship has is in direct proportion to the availability of spaceships in any given situation.

Basically The Zaphod Beeblebrox Clause answers that age old question-
Why did Trillian go with Zaphod?
In this situation (a party in Islington) spaceships are extremely rare. A guy who is not a complete douche4 arrives with a very particular trump card (The Heart of Gold).
Of course she went with him.
Fucking spaceship.5

To celebrate the International Day of Chocolate and Over-Priced Roses, here's how Zaphod would go about getting a girl.
And if you’re a nice guy without a space ship- don’t worry. You don’t need a clause to be in with a chance.
Happy Valentine’s peeps.

                            Fictional Pick-up Lines- The Zaphod Beeblebrox Edition

Hold the phone! This is a face in a million! Does perfection have another name?

If I followed you home would you keep me?

When Zarquon made you baby he made a laser beam…and he set you on stun!

I’d grow back my third arm for you. 

Oh baby you make me see stars! How ‘bout I show you some planets?

What’s say we made like alosamarian polar bears and break the ice?

We gotta go, before you have to be back in heaven. 

1- I understand this is a cringe-ish-ly teenage way for four young woman to spend time but it was raining, ok? Like there was a lot of rain. And we were in a tent. 
2- Literacy was embarrassingly far down the list.
3- Which will one day be readily available online somewhere.
4- He really isn't. Zaphod has the ability to be genuinely intelligent and charming. Zaphod is pretty BAMF really.
5- It doesn't hurt that Trillian has something of a soft spot for almost complete douches *coughcoughTHORcough*.