Month: November 2014

The Hangman’s Daughter-Chapter 29

 

CHAPTER 29: THE LEPER COLONY

 

“So.” said Milo “Mabus recruited you into the Nine to fight these mutated Temporals.”

“That’s right.” said Virgil “But then, you knew that, didn’t you?”

“I knew a little.” said Milo. For all his mild nebbishness, there was a warning in Milo’s eyes.

They don’t know I’m one of the Nine. Let’s keep it that way.

Virgil’s seemed to respond; Or else what?

“So. What happened?” Kathy asked gently “Did you go to Stalingrad?”

“Yes.” said Virgil “More fools we.”

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter- Chapter 28

CHAPTER 28: A MEAL IN PARIS

“Ah, the great warrior rises.” said Mabus as Virgil and Jeda came downstairs.

The house which he had been brought to was a pleasant, unassuming semi-detached  in a leafy Berlin suburb circa 1970. It was this innocuous dwelling that Mabus had selected as the base for a war spanning all of space and time.

“How are you feeling, my boy?” the old man asked kindly.

“Well.” said Virgil “Very well. I owe you my life.”

“I will not be slow to collect the debt, you can be sure of that.” said Mabus, and although he wore a half smile, it was clear he was quite serious.

The kitchen was bright and attractive, and around the varnished wooden table sat Aodh and a tall Ugandan who was introduced to Virgil as Baako.

(more…)

Coonan

The Unshaved Mouse debates Noel Coonan, TD for Tipperary North

Today in the Dáil, a debate took place between Mr Noel Coonan, TD (Fine Gael, Tipperary North) and the Unshaved Mouse (Independent, Internet) on the subject of the recently introduced water charges and the public unrest and mass protest that have followed. Footage of the debate can be seen at the end of this article. Unfortunately, as Mr Mouse is a small rodent approximately 3 inches in length and has tiny, tiny little lungs, the Dáil’s recording apparatus were not sensitive enough to record his contributions to the debate. A transcript of the debate now follows.

"Because the people of Ireland have now seen what they are up against. Particularly the socialist led protest that was up there..."

“Because the people of Ireland have now seen what they are up against. Particularly the socialist led protest that was up there…”

"CRIUSH OBAMACARE! Sorry, sorry, when you use the word "socialist" it sets off my programming, I follow a lot of American politics, please continue..."

“CRUSH OBAMACARE! Sorry, sorry, when you use the word “socialist” it sets off my programming, I follow a lot of American politics, please continue…”

"The disgraceful scenes that went on, what they did to people in power..."

“The disgraceful scenes that went on, what they did to people in power…”

"Look, Im not denying that guy throwing a brick at a police car wasnt the single worst thing to every happen in the history of the Republic but that was an isolated incident..."

“Look, I’m not denying that guy throwing a brick at a police car wasn’t the single worst thing to ever happen in the history of the Republic but that was an isolated incident…”

"I come from the town of of Templemore where we train every Garda in the country?"

“I come from the town of of Templemore where we train every Garda in the country.”

"You do? Awesome. Could you train them not to bang womens heads against lamposts? And if youre already doing that, maybe some kind of refresher course to brush up on the fundamentals...?"

“You do? Awesome. Could you train them not to bang women’s heads against lamposts? And if you’re already doing that, maybe some kind of refresher course to brush up on the fundamentals…?”

"And the people round there and right across the country that Ive met across the country."

“And the people round there and right across the country that I’ve met…”

"Well in fairness, you do stretch across the country.""

“Possible, you do stretch across the country.”

"And they are now concerned by what they see as elements and socialists led by  the so-called wealth socialist party led by the Murph and company."

“And they are now concerned by what they see as elements and socialists led by the so-called wealthy socialist party led by the Murph and company…”

"Ah the Murph. M,y favourite Dr Seuss character. Oh wait, you mean Paul Murphy, the Anti-Austerity Alliance TD. Well, he does come from a wealthy background. But are you saying we shouldn't trust him ebcause he's rich? 'Cos that sounds kinda socialist. DEATH PANELS! Godammit..."

“Ah the Murph. My favourite Dr Seuss character. Oh wait, you mean Paul Murphy, the Anti-Austerity Alliance TD. Well, he does come from a wealthy background. But are you saying we shouldn’t trust him because he’s rich? ‘Cos that sounds kinda socialist. DEATH PANELS! Godammit…”

"And aided and abetted by extremists in our colleagues in Sinn Féin."

“And aided and abetted by extremists in our colleagues in Sinn Féin.”

"Political parties with their origins in violent revolutionary movements?! HOW COULD THIS COME TO PASS!? HOW, GOD?!"

“Political parties with their origins in violent revolutionary movements?! HOW COULD THIS COME TO PASS!? HOW, GOD?!”

"And the people have given us the signal that that needs to be nipped in the bud."

“And the people have given us the signal that that needs to be nipped in the bud.”

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter- Chapter 27

CHAPTER 27: THE LEPERS OF ST ROCHELLE

 

It was in in the autumn of 1627 that Virgil, Vicomte de Aurais, arrived in La Rochelle to partake in the great siege being conducted by His Majesty, Louis XIII and his noble eminence, the Cardinal-Duc Richelieu against the Huguenot insurgency.

And he was loving it.

Finally out from under the boot of his father, Virgil proceeded to enjoy himself as much as one could enjoy themselves during a savage military campaign. Which, as it turned out, was a great deal, and when not on duty Virgil was rarely found far from the taverns or gaming houses of the garrison. Virgil would never want for friends; he had wit and courage, which endeared him to men, beauty and charm, which endeared him to women, and a great deal of money, which endeared him to both.

(more…)

alice-in-wonderland-classic-disney-7662567-720-480

Video Reviews Shall Return!

So after a long, long wait the search is finally over and we have someone to do video reviews.

And that person was right here the whole time (and when he took off his glasses…I realised he was beautiful.)

Erik Copper is now going to be doing the audio and the visual for the videos as he slowly and inexorably replaces me as the one true Mouse.

I’ve already seen the early version of the Make Mine Music review and they are gonna be goooooood, people.

Speaking of reviews, the audio for Alice in Wonderland is now up so get listenin’ and, oh yeah, Mouse finally got off his tail and posted the latest chapter of the Hangman’s Daughter. (Sorry guys, week has been kinda crazy.)

Be good, I watch you always.

Mouse.

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 26

CHAPTER 26: THE COUNCIL  OF THE TEMPORAL ADEPTS

 

Every muscle in Mariana’s body had turned to iron wire. The voice carried on regardless.

“You will bring her to the place where this message was left for you, exactly one year later. Do this, and I will take your actions as a gesture of loyalty and capitulation, and you will live. Do not, and I will take her. And Nine shall become None. I await your answer. My blessing on you all. Ave Mabus.”

 

The needle was plucked from the record with a squeal. There was silence.

Marie thought she could hear herself sweating.

(more…)

bert facepalm

Oh for the love of crumbcake…

Okay, I didn’t really want to write this post because I know it’s just going to open up a whole steaming mess but this article on Irish Central kinda forced my hand.

Before I get into this, I need to establish a few things:

I am completely in favour of gay marriage.

I intent to vote YES in the upcoming referendum and will be encouraging all my friends to register and do likewise.

I have mocked John Waters’ beard in a public forum and called him mean names.

Now that that’s clear, let’s get on to the matter at hand.

***

Asher’s Bakery in Belfast were recently commissioned to create a cake depicting Bert and Ernie and encouraging eaters of said cake to endorse gay marriage. The owners of Asher’s, being Christians of a certain stripe, refused this commission. Asher’s is now facing legal action from Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission and a rather hefty fine. I have a rather massive problem with this and here is why:

The article I linked to says the following: “Would people be so quick to defend Asher’s if they refused to serve Jews, Muslims or Hindus on the grounds that to do so would offend their religious beliefs?”

Alright, now that is a sloppy, poorly thought out, deliberately misleading and bullshit comparison for a number of reasons. Firstly, it implies that if the customer who ordered the cake had been straight, Asher’s would not have had an issue with, that is, that the orientation of the customer was the issue. Secondly, it refuses to acknowledge that there is a difference between serving all your customers equally in compliance with equality legislation and the norms of a just and fair society and engaging in a political act. And yes, baking a cake depicting a couple of ambiguously gendered muppets declaring support for marriage equality is a political act. And in no free and fair society can any citizen be compelled to engage in a political act against their own conscience. As I mentioned before, the above comparison is garbage. Here are some accurate ones.

A gay baker refusing to bake a cake supporting same sex marriage only.

A Jewish baker refusing to make a cake for the PLO.

A Palestinian baker refusing to bake a cake extolling the state of Israel.

A Unionist baker refusing to make a pro-Sinn Féin cake.

A Pakastani baker politely but firmly turning down an order to make pro-UKIP éclairs.

Eclair

Mmmmm…discrimilicious.

You might agree or disagree with the choices of the above batch of bakers. But they are their choices to make. Forcing someone to make a political statement against their own conscience is not simply wrong when you agree with the baker’s position. It’s wrong. Period. That is denying the right of someone to follow their own conscience even when it doesn’t impinge on the rights and freedoms on others (it doesn’t, there are scads of bakeries in Belfast who would be only too happy for the business) .

The article I linked to above states that the owners of Asher’s are free to follow their own conscience but “the may do this in a private religious capacity, not in a public business capacity.” Here’s the problem, people don’t just shut off their sense of right and wrong when they punch the clock. We are moral beings twenty-four seven. When politicians or cops or soldiers or bankers claim that they were just doing their jobs and it wasn’t their responsibility to question whether it was right or wrong we call bullshit. Every human being has a responsibility to their own conscience, even if that conscience is increasingly archaic, backward and out of step with the rest of the civilised world.

What good is our morality if it is not ours by choice but by compulsion? If we are right then time will prove us right. We cannot steamroll over those who disagree with us and use legal and financial threat to force them to support us because that is not what winning the argument looks like. It is at that point that we have crossed the line from protecting the rights of minorities to telling free, thinking individuals what they can and cannot think and do. It is at that point that we are, to quote one my favorite movies, that we are “in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right.”

So what is the correct response to a situation like this? You know, if turning a bunch of homophobic bigots into martyrs and reinforcing the narrative of all-powerful PC thought police targeting vulnerable Christians is not the correct response (and clearly that’s crazy talk)? Um, I dunno. Maybe doing the same thing you always do when a bakery gives you shitty service? Tell your friends, write a scathing Yelp! review and watch as the pro-gay bakers scoop up valuable custom in these economically challenging times? Guys, I’m as much a big-government liberal as anyone but I really think this is on where the Free Market has got this.

It is possible to do wrong in pursuit of a just cause. Homophobia is a huge problem in Northern Ireland but this suit by the equality commission is exactly the wrong way to combat that. I mean, can someone explain to me the endgame here? If you knew someone only baked you a cake because someone put a gun to their head…why would you eat that cake?

I'm...I'm not entirely sure that's chocolate.

I’m…I’m not entirely sure that’s chocolate.

 

Age of Ultron

Let’s all take a look at the Avengers 2 trailer now that everyone else has done that.

Howdy peeps,
So while I’m still technically on break a couple of things have arisen that need to be (belatedly) made mention of. Firstly, it appears that the following conversation occurred in the offices of Marvel studios.
"Hey Stan, you hear the Unshaved Mouse is going to start reviewing our movies?"

“Hey Stan, you hear the Unshaved Mouse is going to start reviewing our movies?”

Stantheman

“What? Isn’t he that guy who reviewed all 53 canon Disney movies in only two years?

"That’s the guy."

“That’s him.”

Stantheman

“Well damn, we’d better crank out some more movies before he burns right through them.”

Phase 3

“There, that oughta hold the bastard.” “Excelsior!”

Honestly, not really much to say at this stage, most of these movies almost certainly haven’t even got a completed script yet. I’m very interested to see that they’ll be tackling Civil War as a Captain America movie rather than an Avengers movie for a number of reasons. As I’ve mentioned before, I love Civil War, flaws and all, and I would love to see a version of it on the big screen (although, what with this coming straight after Captain America 2 it’s starting to look like Cap just fights the American government fulltime nowadays). Also happy to see a Captain Marvel movie on the slate, but the one that really has me psyched is Black Panther. Love the character, love the concept, love the costume, cannot frickin’ wait.
Soem complain that the costume is just like Batman's. And it is. With the crucial difference that it is much, much cooler.

Some complain that the costume is just like Batman’s. And it is. With the crucial difference that it is much, much cooler.

Oh, and peaking of Marvel, and my opinions on it,  if you’re craving a fix of Mouse, a certain furry reviewer and his black magic using, mustachioed frenemy may have recently made a cameo appearance over on Newtcave.It’s a cool blog, as my spambots like to say, full of fascinating content that you should share.
So, as you all know I’ve been taking a break from reviews to focus on my writing. I spent the last few week writing in a cottage way out in the middle of the wilds of County Monaghan on Halloween because I’ve never read a Stephen King novel, apparently. I got some good work done, the first draft of my new play is now more or less finished, I’m pretty sure I’ve developed some killer new psychic powers and the army of killer slugs that came for me in the night now call me their Queen. Downside was that internet connection was spotty but I’ve been reading all your comments (and special thanks to the Hangman’s Daughter fans for your continued feedback. Always appreciated, thanks guys).
But of course, the real reason that I’ve had to interrupt my vacation was the fact that Disney/Marvel released the single most Disney/Marvellous thing ever. So, like the last horse asthmatically crossing the finish line of the internet long after everyone stopped caring, let’s take a look at the Avengers 2 trailer.

(more…)