politics

Wizards (1977)

Ah Bakshi, the man they couldn’t tame.

I’ve reviewed two of Ralph Bakshi’s movies now, and even though my feelings on them were, oh let’s just go with “mixed” I have to say I have been looking forward to this one quite a bit. Why? Well, partially it’s because the animation reviews tend to be more fun to write, and also because, even if I don’t think they’re necessarily good films, they’re always a hell of a trip and fascinating to watch and talk about. Look, the guy walked into mainstream animation and just started throwing petrol bombs and I’ve always said I’ll take fascinatingly bad over dully competent any day.

And yet, the more I read up on Wizards (Papa Bear Bakshi’s third feature) the more anxious I got. Wizards is Ralph Bakshi’s most popular movie, and the one that, by Bakshi’s own admission, no one gave him shit over and genuinely seemed to like. This is the movie that even the squares seem to dig.

“You sold out, man.”

“Fuck you, man.”

Could that work? Could Ralph Bakshi actually make a standard, mainstream animated film? Or would his movie lose that inherent grungy Bak-shit insane quality that’s really the only thing that makes his output interesting? What happens when Ralph Bakshi shaves and puts on some damn pants? Let’s take a look.

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A Tale of Two Republics

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Donald Trump where I called him mean names and mocked the size of his tiny, tiny hands. It was fun. We all laughed. Good times.

He’s now the nominee of the Republican party.

Shit just got real

Also, around a month ago I wrote a post on the results of the most recent Irish general election and how it was going to be damn near impossible to form a government. Let’s tie those two together almost as if that was my plan all along. *tents fingers*

Trump. What? FUCK.

Trump What FUCK indeed, amigo. There’s a whole squirming nest-of-naked-baby-rats mess of factors that have brought us to this point and account for the appeal of Donald Trump.

Like racism?

 Well duh

This is a big part of it, no question. Some of it is just the general home-grown racial tension that’s been apiece with the American cultural landscape since…oh, Columbus. But more specifically to this moment in history is the fact that vast swathes of white America is in full on demographic panic. Current US immigration policies have led to a huge shift in the size of the Hispanic population relative to non-Hispanic whites, something encouraged by both main parties. The Democrats, obviously, because Hispanics form a core part of their coalition, but the Republicans too because, while they make political hay from coded racist appeals to white voters, having more low skilled workers than there are low skilled jobs helps keep wages depressed which is good news for the Koch brothers and other corporate Republican donors. Throw in lingering post 9/11 Islamophobia and a candidate who promises to deal with all of the above in short order, and presto, you have a Trump rally.

So Americans are just racist and we can all go home?

No, and here’s where I think it gets scary. Because I think the rise of Trump means that we’re seeing the final days of American democracy as we know it.

To counterbalance the grimness of that last sentence, here is a picture of a kitten wearing a jaunty little hat.

Kitten

Now, I don’t mean that Trump is going to win (he probably won’t) or that once he won he’d abolish democratic institutions and declare himself dictator*. Any president who tried that (particularly one whose support in his own party is as tenuous as Trump’s) would very quickly find himself impeached, arrested or shot in no particular order.

No, the problem is built into how America actually votes. Sooner or later, Trump was going to happen.

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The Unshaved Mouse’s Presidential Endorsement: Apocalypse 2016 Edition!

The last time I gave a Presidential endorsement was October 2012, less than a month before election day. This year, with so much at stake, I feel it important to make my feelings known sooner rather than later. I am fully aware of the awesome responsibility that comes with this task. The quadrennial Unshaved Mouse presidential endorsement can and has swayed the course of the election before now,  even if the rank ingrate currently inhabiting the White House didn’t even deem it necessary to make a damn phonecall thanking me for pulling his nuts out of the fire.
YOU'RE WELCOME, BARRY.

YOU’RE WELCOME, BARRY.

It is for this reason that I have previously waited until the very end of the election season, carefully weighing the pros and cons before finally bestowing my imprimatur. This year, however, is different. Let’s not kid ourselves. The fate of the Western world is literally resting on this election. Which is why, after hours of prayerful contemplation, I have decided to make my endorsement for the Presidency of the United States a full ten months before polling day. The candidate I am about to endorse is, I believe, the only rational choice, a candidate with impeccable credentials and a history of public service literally unmatched by any of the alternatives. A face people know, a name people trust. And that candidate is:

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#05 John Bruton

Name: John Bruton
Party: Fine Gael
Terms of Office: December ’94-June’97
John Bruton first entered politics when he was elected to the Dáil in 1969, only 22 and barely out of nappies. He later served as Minister for Education under Liam Cosgrave but we won’t hold that against him. To understand how he became Taoiseach we have to re-join the story where we left off, with Labour’s Dick Spring walking out of Albert Reynolds’ government over the Harry Whelahan/Brendan Smyth clusterbollocks. Bruton convinced Spring to return to the batcave and enter a coalition with Fine Gael and the Democratic Left. This gave Bruton a majority in the Dáil and he became Taoiseach without even needing to be elected.
"Just like Gerald Ford."

“Just like Gerald Ford.”

Despite some tensions with Spring, Fine Gael and Labour nonetheless managed to work together to form a government that was, in hindsight, pretty not bad at all. Despite being seen as part of Fine Gael’s more conservative wing, one of Bruton’s first initiatives was the legalisation of divorce. In 1995. Which makes us possibly the only country in the world to have internet before we had divorce.

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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Denis O’Brien but were too busy being sued to ask.

Welcome comrades, to the glorious resistance! If you’re just tuning in and missed my last post about Denis O’Brien’s ongoing assault on Irish democracy…

Inigo

Ireland’s richest man has apparently gone crazy and is suing or threatening to sue everyone who publicly mentions his shady business practices, including, at the time of writing, Waterford Whispers News, Broadsheet.ie and members of the Irish parliament. Not that you’d read about this in almost any Irish newspaper because he owns most of them.

independent_logo

So I have taken the decision to make Unshaved Mouse the Huffington Post of Denis O’Brien news, a place where anything you would ever want to know about this…person, is just a click away. This will be updated as needs be, and feel free to link to stuff I’ve missed in the comments.

So, let’s start with the obvious. His Wikipedia page, which gives an excellent overview of the man.

From Broadsheet.ie:

Their reposting of the Waterford Whispers article that got WWN sued.

Which then got Broadsheet sued.

An excellent guide to all the people Denis O’Brien is suing, and God knows we need the help.

From the Irish Times (which, interestingly, Denis O’Brien does not own).

‘Misplaced’ IBRC minutes confirm Siteserv writedown was €119 million

“Denis O’Brien lawyers demand removal of broadsheet.ie article”

“Denis O’Brien legal challenge a ‘threat to democracy’”

Some practical advice.

Boycott

What needs to change.

From The Journal.ie:

In which the Dáil hears claims about Denis O’Brien’s dealings with disgraced bank Anglo Irish.

In which a committee ruled that these claims were NOT an abuse of parliamentary privilege.

In which Denis O’Brien sues the entire parliament…

…and the committee that made that ruling.

Julien Mercille’s excellent overview of how the Irish media and political system have been complicit in granting Denis O’Brien such a dangerous amount of power and influence over this nation.

Fair is fair, I’ll let the man himself justify his actions.

Obrien

And this from the Daily Beast, an excellent overview of all his shady motherfuckery:

“Why is the Irish government scared of billionaire Denis O’Brien?”

And this is all getting very depressing so, here’s every Denis O’Brien related post from the Waterford Whispers that hasn’t been taken down yet:

Government to discuss what to give Denis O’Brien this time

Denis O’Brien to build moat around evil lair after recent publicity.

“Denis O’Brien renews Illuminati membership.”

Maltese Tax Exile Briefs Government On What To Say Next

“Nation: “We’ve Never Experienced An Assault On Democracy Of This Level””

Possibly the most sarcastic apology in the history of the world.

Denis O’Brien to sue everyone (I don’t get it, that’s supposed to be satire?)

Only the start folks, check back in for more updates and by all means, contribute you own.

Mouse out.

One letter away from “Penis”…

Waterford Whispers News is Ireland’s answer to The Onion, a parody news website that frequently produces satire that is often as brilliant and biting as it is poorly proof-read.

Denis O’Brien is Ireland’s answer to Rupert Murdoch. He is the wealthiest man in Ireland (or whatever tax shelter he currently rests his head). He is the owner of Communicorp which owns a total of fifty one radio stations across Europe and the Middle East, and basically every Irish radio station not run by the State. He has also substantial interests in energy and telecommunications. In 1995, he was awarded the Irish GSM mobile phone licence, as a result of his corrupt payments to now disgraced energy and communications minister Michael Lowry. He also controls Independent News and Media, an Irish media conglomerate that owns newspapers across 22 countries and owns many Irish newspapers including the Irish Independent (oh why am I not surprised?). He has used this position to quash reporting of his financial affairs in the Irish media, in one case even forcing the Sunday Independent to stop mid-press to remove a single sentence that remove a single sentence identifying him as the controlling shareholder of INM.* He has also threatened to sue media outlets who reported on remarks made in Dáil Éireann (the Irish parliament) regarding his dealings with disgraced bank Anglo Irish which were made under Dáil privilege.
So why am I even writing about him? He’s a filthy rich asshat who looks like his mother cuts his hair. World’s full of them. One even looks more and more likely to become president of the United States with every passing day.
Okay America. Stop. It's not funny anymore.

Okay America. Stop. It was funny in the beginning, but you’re taking this too far.

Well because WWN published a satirical article entitled “Denis O’Brien Receives 20 Year Jail Sentence For Mobile Phone Licence Bribe in Parallel Universe”. O’Brien’s lawyers responded thought this was so hi-larious that they threatened WWN with legal action, forcing the site to remove the post.

Clearly, this can only mean one thing.

Denis O’Brien has won. That article, the last feeble gasp of defiance against his stranglehold on the Irish media has been quashed. That article shall never be seen by anyone again, and Denis O’Brien can rest easy knowing that he has triumphed totally and utterly and oh look here’s the entire thing courtesy of Imgur…

Oh well. I’m sure that was just a once off. A glitch it the system. Surely that article will never again resurface on the internet oh lord amercy there it is again…

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The Unshaved Mouse’s Presidential Endorsement

My Friends.

The Unshaved Mouse has always striven to remain above the petty bickering of partisan politics (particularly that of countries in which he does not actually live). However, on the eve of a presidential election of such historic importance, and with the nation presented with such a stark choice I feel I must speak out. As a popular blogger with a readership of literally several people, I feel it is my duty to bestow my endorsement on the man that America needs to lead it through these difficult times.

And so it is, having carefully and diligently considered his options, that the Unshaved Mouse bestows his endorsement on President Barack Obama.

Some have been dissatisfied with Mr Obama’s first term.  To those people I say “I understand.” Has he done everything in his first term that he promised he would? No. Do I agree with every decision he has made during his first term? No. Is he perfect?

Yes. Yes he is.

I mean, look at this guy. Look at that smile. Look at those eyes, radiating pure benevolence. He’s perfect. And he knows you’re not. But he still loves you. When you consider this, the fact that he is perfect in every conceivable way, then suddenly the choice becomes clear.

I mean…what else is there to say? The smile, the singing voice, the beautiful family…My God, I hope Michelle realises how lucky she is to have his arms around her every night because I’m ready and waiting to step in if she’s not giving him what he needs, no, what he deserves. Yeah, you’d turn for him too, don’t pretend that you wouldn’t.

I mean…damn. That is a man in his FORTIES.

Look, I’ve got nothing against the other guy…whatshisname…Governor Metro Man.

I’m sure he’s a great guy. I don’t know, I haven’t really paid attention to him (why would I?). But I’m sure he’s a decent human being who supports civil rights for all Americans, an intelligent man with a keen grasp of foreign affairs, a man of integrity and conviction who stands by his most deeply held beliefs whatever they may be (and I’m sure he knows). A man whose party supports easy access to contraception (because ha ha, it is twenty fucking twelve after all!). I’d even go so far as to say his tax plan is sound, reasonable, fair and, most importantly, available and out in the open for everyone to see. I’m sure that is all true.

But if you asked one of his supporters “Is he perfect?” I bet you anything they would say “No.”

And I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough.

Honestly, this picture makes me feel warm. Like, there’s warmth radiating from the picture.

God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.