And it looks pretty awesome he said humbly. With thanks to Jeda De Brí (camera/editing) and Donal Sharpson (Music).
Unshaved Mouse has been nominated for Best Blog Post at the Blog Awards Ireland 2014. Please take a minute to click on this link and vote for me. You can vote once every week. Thanks a million, Mouse.
Woah, back up. Who’s Tom O’Gorman?
Yeah, he just kinda flew outta nowhere there didn’t he? Tom O’Gorman was a researcher for the Iona Institute who earlier this month was murdered and partially eaten in his home by his Italian chess partner. Seriously. I’m not making a joke, that actually happened. This of course was a horrific and tragic crime which would certainly be grounds for editing O’Neill’s interview if he had mentioned Tom O’Gorman in any way.
Okay…so, that’s weird.
It gets weirder. Well…no, it doesn’t really get weirder than cannibalistic Italian chess players but it continues to be weird in different, less horrifying ways. As it turns out, this was an attempt by RTÉ to use a horrific crime to give themselves cover for censoring the interview. The reason they did this pretty soon became apparent. John Waters and the Iona Institute had lawyered up. And they did not take kindly to being called homophobes. On a later episode of The Saturday Night Brendan O’Connor addressed the audience. Now, let me be clear, if O’Connor had just come out and said “RTE wishes to clarify that the views expressed on this show do not necessarily reflect the views of RTE blah blah boilerplate” that’s fine. Regardless of my personal stance on the issue, the national broadcaster must be seen to be impartial . That’s fine. That’s not what this was.
“Now, on the Saturday night show two weeks ago comments were made by a guest suggesting the journalist and broadcaster John Waters, Breda O’Brien and some members of the Iona institute are homophobic. These are not the views of RTÉ and we would like to apologise for any upset or distress caused to the individuals named or identified. It is an important part of democratic debate that people must be able to hold dissenting views on controversial issues.”
So…what you have here is the national broadcaster censoring itself and then apologising profusely under legal threat because a private citizen expressed a personal opinion that individuals who have devoted a considerable portion of their adult lives to ensuring that gay people do not achieve equal marriage rights could be considered homophobic…and then lecturing us on the importance of freedom of expression in a healthy democracy.
However, it was the news that RTÉ is actually paying a cash settlement to the Iona Institute (which, since RTÉ is state funded essentially amounts to a gift from the Irish taxpayer) that people have loudly declaring that Up With This We Will Not Put. Ironically, John Waters was until recently a member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, whose purpose is to actually protect liberty of expression in Irish broadcasting. To his credit, I suppose he’s not a hypocrite. It’s just a little disheartening that when faced with choosing between freedom of speech and media suppression he looked at the latter and said “Ooh that one!”
RTÉ’s behaviour in all this baffles me. See, I’ve spent time in RTÉ. I worked their briefly as an intern and I was interviewed once for an afternoon programme and let me tell you, the place is not exactly what you’d call gay unfriendly.
The obvious reason of course is cowardice. As in, RTÉ are cowards. Big wusses. Total pussbags. And if this was a simple case of a craven obeisance to power that would be something. That at least can indicate a rat-like survival instinct which is kind of admirable in a way. But, and I cannot emphasise this enough, NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FIDDLER’S FUCK ABOUT THE IONA INSTITUTE. Seriously, they’re a joke. Ireland’s gay marriage referendum is scheduled for 2015 and there’s every indication that it’s going to be a walk for the YES side. I’ve seen polls putting support at upwards of seventy percent, the highest level of support for anything in Ireland since pollsters stopped asking “Beer good?” Given Iona’s complete lack of clout the only reason for RTE’s craven grovelling is that they think Iona and John Waters actually have a case.
So that’s the real question. Was O’Neill’s remark an objective fact or an unproven slander? Does opposing gay marriage in and of itself make you a homophobe? Now I know that thousands…hundreds? Okay, several readers are now screaming at the screen “Yes. Mouse. Yes.” But honestly, I think that kind of absolutist “with us or agin’ us” mentality is very harmful for the gay rights movement. Take somebody who supports civil unions for gay couples and abhors discrimination and anti-gay prejudice but draws the line at full marriage equality. He may be wrong, but he’s not Fred Phelps, and treating him like he is Fred Phelps is not going to win him over. In every great social struggle like this the side that is the more flexible, pragmatic, patient and willing to make messy compromises in the present for greater gains in the future always wins.
So if you were to tell me that you honestly and sincerely bear no ill will or prejudice towards gays but just believe that marriage should be between a man or a woman, I can’t read your soul. I can’t know if that’s true or not so I’m just going to have to take you at your word until I get my hands on a Klingon mind sifter.
Also, because I am an incurable optimist, I can’t help but see the bright side in this. If being labeled a homophobe is now so toxic in Irish society that even the friggin’ Iona institute feels the need to yank out the heavy legal artillery at the mere suggestion that they might be such, then the war is very nearly over and we are in the advanced stages of endgame.
However, I would like to close with a little bit of unsolicited career advice for the Iona Institute and Mr John Waters. If the idea of being labelled a homophobe is so abhorrent to you? If the mere notion that anyone could possibly consider you to be a homophobe is so awful that you would sue the national broadcaster and throw the very notion that we live in a country where freedom of expression is permitted into serious doubt?
If it is really as bad as all that?
Maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.
Well everyone, that wraps her up and I am delighted to say that thanks in large part you guys we have reached our funding target for Joanna! And now I can freely admit that there never was such a play, and I am absconding to Mexico with your donations to live like a filthy pirate king. Good times.
In the meantime though, here is the list of people who donated and an approximate date for your review to go up. As I said in an earlier post, I will try to keep to this schedule but sickness, holidays, computer failures or family emergencies may result in your review getting pushed back and if it does, lo siento mucho. Also, while I did originally say I would be putting up the names of the movies people requested but I think it might be more fun to surprise you at the end of each review so instead I’ve put down the date, the name of the donor and my first reaction on being asked to review that movie. Here we go.
30 January 2014- Amelia Mellor (Oooh. Heard it’s really good.)
27 February 2014- Ryen Rasmus (Oh FUCK YEAH!)
13 March 2014- Michael Tyndall (Ugh.)
27 March 2014- Alan Fowley Doyle (AAAAAAAARRRGGHH)
24 April 2014- James Egan (Ah, that’ll cleanse the palette.)
05 June 2014- Ian Tait Doak (Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…I am thirty fucking years old I should not be this excited.)
03 July 2014- Darragh Ó Bradáin (Okay, you are one of my oldest friends so I will review this movie for you even though it’s not actually an animation and also I did have the theme music played at my wedding reception so okay.)
31 July 2014- Andrew Russell(TETSUO!!!! KANEDAAAAAAAA!!!!)
11 September 2014- Fleur Farwaji (No, no, no, look I can’t review another live action movie you’re donating how much? Okay then.)
09 October 2014- Eamonn Sharpson (You’re lucky you’re my brother or I would punch you in the mouth.)
20 November 2014- Lurking Lurker (Sorry, looks like it’ll be your second choice. Couldn’t find a non dodgy/legal/inexpensive way of getting your first choice)
04 December 2014- Callie Arendt (Yeah. I’ve known I’d have to do this one since the Aladdin review.)
18 December 2014- Veronica Trump (So it’s The Big Sleep with cartoon cats?)
01 January 2015- Zoe Faulder (I really hope Zoe picks a movie otherwise this will be a really dull review.)
15 January 2015- Conor Kelly (Haven’t seen it but I think this one may cause me to chop onions.)
29 January 2015- Úna Hennessy (Studio Ghibli is always a safe bet, right?)
12 February 2015 – Daniel Austin (They may not dance, but they sure as hell can play the keyboard.)
26 February 2015- Melissa Gola (When they find out I think this one is overrated I am so dead.)
12 March 2015- Sean Egan (How the hell am I supposed to do a funny review of a movie with no dialogue?)
26 March 2015- Juha Tilli (God I hope I can track down a Region 2 copy of this before then.)
09 April 2015- Juha Tilli (again) (What the..What and the Midsummer What?..Huh?!)
23 April 2015- Esther Ní Dhonnacha (Oh God…Ireland’s curse.)
07 May 2015- Chinyere Breitner-Nwizuzu (What is that? A Francis Ford Coppola Yakuza movie?)
21 May 2015- Samantha Doyle (So it’s back to the Bluthiverse…)
04 June 2015- Jacob Charlet (I will review this movie. Because I’m an athlete.)
18 June 2015- Juha Tilli, who by this stage is basically executive producer of this thing. (Ducktales Woohoo!)
02 July 2015- Jennifer Seggio (My, don’t we like to cut things fine?)
Now, these are the people who’ve specifically requested a review. If you donated but didn’t get around to asking me for a review and would like one please let me know in the comments and I’ll add you to the list. Or if you did ask me for a review and it somehow slipped through my meticulous filing system (ha!) again, let me know and I’ll fix it. And lastly, if you wanted to request a review and didn’t get a chance this time, don’t worry. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this again next year as
Mexico is surprisingly expensive we’ll probably be doing another production which I’ll tell you about closer to the time. Anyway, thanks so much to everyone who donated on behalf of myself, my wife and the cast of Joanna. I promise we will work our asses off to make this play the best that it can be and to justify your support and faith in us. Thanks guys.
Hi guys, as I write this Joanna is now a mere €380 short of its funding target. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. As I’ve previously mentioned, anyone who donates €10 or more can request a review of any animated movie they like and any and all support is greatly appreciated. You can donate on our Indiegogo page HERE, although I do have to remind you that because of the volume of donations we’ve received any review requested as of today won’t go up until some time early 2o15. Also, please check the exchange rate to make sure you’re not donating more than you can afford. Thanks guys, and now, if you’ll excuse me.
(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)
I’ve been absolutely bowled over by the level of support for Joanna. We’ve almost reached our funding target and a majority of the donors were readers of this very blog, so thank you all. But the number of requests I’ve received has sort of become its own problem and I need to address this now (I probably should have addressed it earlier). Most of you know, I post one review every two weeks. That probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but the reviews are hella long and usually take me about six hours to write. Couple this with my day job, looking after a one year old and trying to keep on top of other writing projects and you can see why I don’t post more often much as I would love to. The movies you’ve asked me to review will be full length reviews just like the Disney ones, but that means they will have to be done on the same fortnightly schedule. Turns out though there’s not that many weeks in a year and having drawn up the schedule for 2014 something has struck me: This is going to take a long ass time. Basically, if you ask me to review a movie today, you can expect to see that review sometime around March/April 2015. And that’s if I post one review every two weeks like clockwork, not even factoring in holidays, computer problems, illness, family emergencies or being banished to an alternate dimension (it happens to me more often than you’d think). The very, very last thing I would want would be for you to donate, expecting to see a review within a few weeks and then feel like I’d cheated you. Does this mean I don’t want you to donate? Oh hell no! But if you do, please be aware that you are not “buying” a review, anymore than you are buying a pink ribbon if you donate to cancer research. The review is my way of saying thank you for your generosity and it will unfortunately take me a long time to get around to it, because it turns out I have a whole load of wonderful, generous people to thank. However, if you are entitled to any of the other perks from the indiegogo page (posters, scripts and whatnot), we will try to dispatch them to you as soon as the funding period ends. Thanks guys.
So many of you have donated to Joanna and I realised that while we’ve been posting thank yous on our Facebook page most of you probably haven’t seen them. So here it is, and if by some unfortunate happenstance I forgot to credit someone, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for the support guys.