Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Live To Death


Hey everyone. Just thought I'd offer a cheerful reminder that one day you'll die. Don't worry though, so will all the people you don't like, I happily embrace the oncoming freight-train of my own mortality if it means that I can glance over at the adjacent track track and see Chad Kroeger getting squished. Everybody dies. It's the only thing about the world we live in that is completely and totally fair.

One on the left worked for charity, the one on the right was a horrible racist.

That's actually one of my, many, issues with religion. The pedlars of this hokey fiction long ago realised that some people were scared of the inevitable cessation of of their pitiful existence and they provided an alternative. Instead of telling them to just grow the fuck up, which is what they should have done. Without endings, without death, nothing in the big wide universe has the slightest meaning. How much would a book, even the best book ever, suck if it literally never ended? A lot, is the completely factual and properly scientific answer to that question. There is no point to a narrative without a denouement. Eastenders I'm looking at you. You're life is merely the story you tell yourself. All stories whether they are good or bad, have a beginning, a middle and an end. All the best stories are the stories of a life. Harry Potter is the story of the life and times of Lord Voldemort aka Tom Riddle, Star Wars is the story of Darth Vader aka Annakin Skywalker and Star Trek: The Next Generation is all about Data. You can tell because they all *SPOILER ALERT* die at the end. The fact that your life is going to end is how you know you're the star of your own life story.

Some people more so than others.

Death is your right and no-one can, will or should take it away from you. This is something that in my opinion has escaped the attention of the most of the governments of the western world who have spent a long time engaged in one of the most fruitless policy battles in the world. You see, every single lifestyle decision that you can possibly make has the same long-term net result... you die. The government can ban smoking, make you run five miles before breakfast or even make you sleep in a large Tuppaware container to keep you fresh and you will still end up completely fucking dead.

"I don't care how many time you look both ways I'm still coming for you!"

There is only one thing that you can possibly ban that would stop death and that's living. Which weirdly is exactly what it sometimes appears that those in charge of our society are trying to do. You see I do believe that those elected to the highest public offices do have a fundamentally to protect their citizens from those that wish them harm. Boredom is one of the most fundamentally harmful things that can afflict the human soul. This is why I think almost anything that you choose to do to yourself should be completely legal. I'm not saying that we just make life a complete free-for-all, everything should obviously carry honest and complete warnings but if I'm aware of the dangers I should be free to do what-so-ever I choose.

I cannot believe that I found another use for this picture again so soon.

If I want to pour acid in my face while prancing through gauntlet of swinging bricks whilst injecting cocaine into my eyeballs and singing the German National Anthem then I should be completely free to do that as long as no-one else is harmed, because fuck it I'm going to die no matter what I choose to do with my brief time flickering across the surface of this big blue ball. So I should be allowed to fill my time with whatever brief entertainment I can find and not have someone else tell me that I'm not intelligent enough to judge whether or not I actually want to do something. If the government wants to stop me from doing something because they're worried that I'll die then they're engaged in a policy that

eddie <I want to live until I die>

Monday, 26 March 2012

Drunk Mythology


The sacrifices that we made to the eldritch gods in the heart of winter have paid off and they have seen fit to bestow upon us humble mortals the gift of another fertile spring. Or, to put it another significantly less superstitious way, the axial tilt of the planet has once again become favourable to the life-forms inhabiting the Northern Hemisphere... spring has sprung to put it yet another, much clearer, way. Whilst we have the wonderful logical system of science to help us understand this our our ancestors had nothing but there imaginations to rely upon. As a result they came up with some breathtakingly bat-shit mental explanations to 'explain' the worlds natural phenomena. By far my favourite of these narratives is the Greek myth of why we have seasons. As a tribute to the beginning of this fine season I will recount this tale to you now... whilst drunk. I have undertaken the first part of this experiment already. So I will now recount this tale to the best of my somewhat hampered ability.

... lets see how this effects my ability to communicate complex ideas...

Right so the Ancient Greeks entire mythology can only be described as so nut-tighteningly awesome that the only thing you can logically compare it to is the Marvel Comics universe. If you've ever played God of War a.k.a Kratos Fucks With The Gods Shit, then you'll know how the Ancient Greeks were like fuckin' awesome at myth... they were the Batman of making shit-up. These are the guys who invented Science, Intelligent Discourse and Democracy and had no problem with firing logic, restraint and common sense into the heart of the bastard sun in order to make up a good story. The Greek story of the seasons goes a little something like this.

... tree. Look I add the pictures last, and I'm smashed.

Hades, the younger brother of Zeus and Poseidon and apparently the whipping-bitch of the family, was ruler of the Underworld, a job he got tricked into due to the aforementioned bitch-whipping. He was lonely because goth-chicks hadn't been invented then and the whole lord of the realm of the dead thing was a massive turn off for everyone else... I don't know maybe they don't have showers in the Underworld. Also he only got to meet dead people. Then one day he met Persephone, now I can't remember if she was in the Underworld of if Hades was wandering around the mortal realm because both options are equally ridiculous, anyway Hades fell completely in love with her kidnapped her back to his kingdom. Faster than you could say 'Stockholm Syndrome' the two were married and in love.

Yes. This is my go to image for Stockholm Syndrome.

Meanwhile Persephone's mum, who was called Demeter, realised her daughter was missing and threw a total bitch-fit. Now Demeter was the goddess of life, flowers, crops and basically all the shit that grows out of the ground, as such she's a goddess we can totally get onside with... Go Team Demeter! Demeter spent fucking ages hunting for Persephone with no luck what so ever. On a side-note if someone I cared about went missing and I knew the person who was in charge of all of the dead people I'd probably give him a fucking bell... you know, just to check. Actually on another side-note Hades was Demeter's brother and therefore Persephone's uncle... you crazy Greek bastards.

Even I have some limits... and I'm going to use a Fritzl picture later.

So anyway Demeter starts making like Rick Castle and asking all the god's where in the name of themselves has Persephone gone... during this time Hades wasn't seen by anyone either, just saying they weren't a smart bunch of dieties. After a few months of searching, which is a few months longer than it takes the X-Men to find Sabretooth, seriously is there not a Greek of knowing where the fuck shit is? Finally someone managed to put 2 and 2 together, I don't know the god of maths or some shit, and realised that Hades had kidnapped Persephone. I'm guessing that at this point someone knocked on Hades' door and he stood snickering until Persephone asked if he wanted another sandwich or a blow-job. Look the girl married her kidnapper, that means she was crazy and crazy girls are great in the sack.
So Demeter went to Persephone's dad, Zeus, to ask him to intervene... if you're not following, Demeter and Zeus are brother and sister, I was going to say you couldn't make this shit up but then I remembered that someone obviously did. Zeus showing all the fatherly concern of Josef Fritzl replied by going 'pfft'.

Warned you.

Demeter bitch-fitted a bitch-fit so bad it nearly killed the earth. She went on strike, and refused to any of her godding until Zeus got her daughter back. This was the first winter, so no-one was even slightly prepared to deal with it in any way shape or form. Somehow Hades managed to ignore the massive pile of frozen dead-guys that were turning up at his door. Which just goes to show how much shit a lonely guy can ignore when he's got a hot chick hanging off his cock. After sometime Zeus, presumably getting tire of all the prayers being variations of 'so-cold, so-cold, so, very, very cold' gave in and finally intervened and organised some sort of sit-down.

"Look, I want to fuck your daughter senseless for at least a third of the year."

So all the interested parties, excepting of course all the freezing humans, whose opinions count for very little in these situations, got together and in the first ever case of shared custody agreed that Persephone would spend four months of the year slutting it up for Hades and the rest of the year hanging out with her mother... because apparently those are the only options available to the mythological Greeks. Seriously this entire story is fucking mental. Unfortunately Demeter, being something of a mental, can't deal with this and throws a four month long hissy-fit once a year, that we have to put up with and that's why we have winter.

Even Gods can be really shit at negotiating.

So, in conclusion, we have to tolerate cold, darkness and death to sate the libido of the God of Death and the Afterlife. Actually now I write that sentence out it actually doesn't sound like as bad an idea as it did in my head. I mean the guy commands the armies of hell and shit... Let's keep him chilled the fuck out. So yeah that's why the Ancient Greeks thought we had seasons. It's also the reason why if I was in fact religious I would totally choose the paganism and pray to the Greek Pantheon. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed drinking it.

eddie <why do we build the wall? we build the wall to keep us free>

Sunday, 25 March 2012

This Connected World


There is a small chance that you may have noticed that I can be a tiny bit negative, cynical some might even say. I try to keep my writing on the lighter side but occasionally I'll say that someone needs to be thrown face first into a belt-sander for the betterment of all mankind and people tend to notice that as a sign of both a slightly negative outlook and an unbalanced mental situation. So every now and then I like to take a moment and reflect on the positive aspects of reality, sometimes this requires me to spend an ice age searching through the world... well the internet, I'm not going outside. However every now and then recent circumstances just fill me with wonder and appreciation for the world and time I have the good fortune to live in. This is usually the result of me finding myself at the nexus of several complimentary events and it happened recently.

Yes... that is what a nexus looks like, keep an eye out for them.

It's easy for us to take the internet for granted. To forget that the systems we use every day are only possible because the human race as a whole decided to coat the surface of the space-born ovate spheroid that we find ourselves living upon with a vast net of cables. Then by another cosmic fluke someone realised that these cables, originally used to electronically transmit voice (by a method no-one has ever managed to adequately explain to me), could instead be used transmit data. Shortly after that came a man called Tim Burners Lee invented the world wide web and to put it mildly BOOM! Within a few decades the world as we know it was completely transformed, we now live in a world of hyper-connectivity that was scarce imaginable a generation ago.

"Of course back then we still had Woolworths."

What prompted this sudden appreciation? Well, two TV shows and an album. Allow to explain. One of the TV shows is the frankly astounding NBC comedy show Community. I'm something of a late comer to what is, frankly, the funniest TV show of the last ten years but I'm beyond in love with it. I haven't felt this way about a TV show in a long time and it's rekindled a part of my geeky, geeky psyche that I thought had died with the cancellation of Firefly. Not only would I never have heard of this show without the internet but, due to the frankly ridiculous regionalised business model used by television networks, I'd never have even had the opportunity to watch it. You see the fact that I'm more than willing to turf over a few quid for each episode of this comedy masterclass, I'm not actually allowed to because I don't live in the United States. Fortunately I get to watch my favourite thing in the world due to the fact that some lovely chap across the Atlantic views it as a sacred duty that he owes his fellow man to record the show and put it up on the internet then after a few simple taps and a brief wait I get to watch it.

"White people at the front, ethnics at the back" - Someone at NBC, presumably.

One of the other shows I've recently added to my viewing roster is a fantastic televisual treat from New Zealand called the Almighty Johnsons a fantastic tale of Norse Gods living among our Kiwi cousins. Have you any idea how unlikely it is for me to encounter a show from New Zealand without the internet... That would literally never, ever happen. As it is I get to fill my looky-peepers with televisual greatness all due to the wonderfully connected world that we have the pleasure of living in.

It's as ridiculous and fun as it sounds.

The final part of the triumvirate that brought home how lucky we are to live in this time, in this place, is the album Hadestown by Anais Mitchell. I read about this album in an online article some time ago and filed away in the back of my skulls mind-closet for future use. I recently ran low on musical listening material so I decided to give it a sampling. After hopping on to YouTube to listen to a few tracks, I found myself intrigued, beguiled and a wee bit smitten. I did a bit of research on the ole' wikipedia, Hadestown is, as it transpires, a concept album based around a retelling of the greek myth of Orpheus, but set in the old west. Within, twenty minutes of first listening to it I had a copy of it on my phone.

Listen to this album... it's awesome.

So as much as we might complain and bemoan the world we find ourselves in, and as obviously wrong as some things about it, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we live in truly remarkable times.

eddie <we build the wall to keep us free>  

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fame! I'm Afraid It's Terminal


It has come to my attention that in my position as an internet god I should be doing more to better the lives of you my loyal fans. As such today's article is more of a public service announcement about a delicate public health issue. There is a sexually transmitted disease that has spent the last few decades ravaging a small sector of the world's population. It started back in the early 80s and since then it's spread rampantly leaving behind it a trail of destruction, it has ruined lives, decimated our culture and come to define a generation. I'm talking of course about fame.

There was some spirited debate over most worthless
celebrity... Kim Kardashian edged out Paris Hilton

Fame is one of the most virulent STDs that exists. Those that work in Music, Entertainment and the Arts have been the most effected. Most of these people have the good fortune to be wealthy, talented or successful enough to generate an income that allows them to fight the symptoms of this disease. Unfortunately over the last ten years this has started to spread to the outside this small community and into the wider world. Whilst those with talents and abilities that merit the kind of attention this condition requires can find it easy to manage even they sometimes succumb to this horrible disease. Those without the resources to fight the condition can find it a living hell.

Symptoms Include (but are not limited to):

Attention Craving.
A Lack Of Perspective.
Excessive And Tumorous Ego Growth.
Loss of Dignity.
Poor Priority Management.
Film Crews.
Frequent Lack Of Clothing.
Over Exposure.
Stupidity.
Sex Tapes
Sense of Humour Loss

Fame is not only transmitted sexually but can also be passed down from parents to children. Some have the good fortune to merely be carriers, but the disease can return a generation later, in cases like this it's known as Hilton's Syndrome. So please if you think someone might be famous please take precautions before sleeping with them, check it's not being filmed. If you do sleep with someone famous and find yourself filled with an overwhelming urge to jettison your dignity into the heart of the sun by selling your story to a newspaper, you may have caught fame.

This man is believed to be the Typhoid Mary of fame

Most people who have fame allow the disease to develop beyond the early stages, when it is still possible to cure the disease. As such it is important to keep an eye on your friends, if you think that one of your friends may be suffering from fame there are a few ways that you can help. Slap them. Insult them. Do what ever you can to bring them back down to earth as quickly as possible. If that doesn't work then just shoot them... It's kinder in the long run.

eddie <now you know... and knowing is half the battle>

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Deadliest Game Of All

It'll come as little surprise to my regular readers that I am regularly inundated by requests for advice from my readers. There are several tricky problems that are broached with some frequency, what's the best way to hide my money/guns/drugs/prison-wife? I've caught one of the bastards what now? Why are you following me? However there is one question that I get asked more than any of those. What should you do if you find yourself being hunted for sport? Now I've avoided answering this question as I haven't had the necessary first hand experience. Until now.

"The game is afoot"

My experience began, as these things so often do, in a seedy bar in Thailand. I'd been drinking with a few business partners. We were celebrating a successful smuggling run across the border. My first piece of advice would in fact be, don't run drugs across the Thai border. We've all been screwed over by Thai drug-runners so I'm not to go into the details of that. Let's just say that on this occasion I woke up in a large enclosure with three others. Given the predilections of Thai smugglers this was actually better than I would've expected.

TWICE! This has happened to me bastard twice!

I avoided talking to my fellow captives. My second piece of advice would be the less you get to know the others in your group the easier it will be to sacrifice them for your own personal gain later on. After spending an hour or so prowling the enclosure I discovered little hope of escape. It was at this point that an Alan Rickman arrived in a crisp white suit and announced that we were here to be hunted for sport. One of the others in the group took this opportunity to sob like a little bitch, he began begging for freedom, mentioned a wife and children back home and was promptly shot in the face. So third piece of advice would be, don't be that guy. These people are looking for he best game, the more you appear to be a viable sporting option the longer you'll survive. We were each given a map showing the island we were on, it's always an island, and the location of a boat that was our only hope of safety. I've since done more research into these kind of affairs and the maps are universally bull-shit.

That doesn't even look like a real boat... and the x is in land, what is this shit.

I made the decision straight off the bat to treat the map as suspect... because if I was hunting men for sport I'd totally lie to them like that. So after spending some time giving the appearance of playing along with the ruse I doubled back towards the starting compound. Always take a moment to consider how the hunting operation is being run. In this case I assumed that these guys did indeed have another way off of the island. Also remember that as soon as you manage to take down the first pursuer you are armed and capable of turning the tables on your foes. In my case I have the good fortune to have been used in several genetic experiments to create the ultimate warrior. I'd recommend trying to make sure that you've had that done to you, failing that you will have to rely on wit, luck and the ability to crack of smooth one-liners.

I'm more of a 'yipee-kay-ay' kind of guy than a 'get to the chopper'

Remember your attackers are expecting you to be on the run so keep your head down and try to pick off as many of the goons as possible without being detected. Once you've activated the end game it's advisable to try and kill off any henchmen in order of the amount of screen-time they've had. You will at some stage be forced into combat with the 'worlds greatest hunters'... you will not escape these fights uninjured, but each one you take care of should have a bigger gun than the last so your overall killing potential will remain undiminished. There will come a point were you have to decide whether or not to fight and kill the Alan Rickman or just try to escape, it's important to realise that what your actually deciding is whether to fight Alan Rickman in a cage or whilst hanging from the underside of a helicopter. So play to your own strengths on that one.

I have a masters in hanging from the bottom of these, and I
wrote my thesis on firing  a machine gun at the same time

Escaping the island is your last challenge. There are various ways to go about this and again it's a matter of personal style. In my case I escaped on a jet-ski whilst firing a harpoon gun at the last remaining henchmen. If you can organise an explosion at this point I'd recommend it. I actually managed to also acquire a bikini clad floozy for this final section of my adventure. I don't know how much of this advice will be of use to you but if you're good at thinking on your feet and handy with a machete there's no reason why you can't turn being hunted for sport into a fun and profitable experience... Does anyone want to buy a jet-ski.

Some slight hench-manning.

eddie <not even the weirdest part of my week>

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Kiss Me I'm Shit-Faced!


I'm happy to report that, despite my best efforts, I've survived another St Patrick's Day. I have some Irish mixed into my DNA so I felt somewhat justified in engaging in this particular declaration of war on my internal organs. If you are wondering it's 25% Irish, 25% English, 50% Unknown, so if you wish to refute my claims to being the last son of Krypton you'll need to do some serious research. So I have some vague right to celebrate international drinking day. I cannot say the same of many others I met on my drunken, Romford based stumblings. Now I'm not about to jump on the 'how dare you misappropriate a national holiday' band-wagon. St Patrick's Day is a fine and dandy excuse for you to go and pickle your insides. In fact if you ask people worldwide what the little cluster of islands off of the northern coast of Europe is famous for they'll probably list three things, an insatiable appetite for world domination, being nifty in a fight and drinking. Although now I come to think about it the last one probably explains the first two.

"You fucking want some, you slag!"

We've been at the forefront of getting utterly wasted since you could buy a pint of gin on the streets of London for a penny a pint, and it was cleaner than the water. I think it says a huge amount us as a people that most of us read that sentence and were wishing that we could still by gin for that price. The greatest war-time leader we ever had was Winston Churchill, an he beat Hitler whilst pissed. So unless your hurting from the lack of a Global Germanic Empire we can all agree that booze has got a huge tick in the plus column. Unfortunately over the last twenty years successive governments have lacked both the balls and the brains to realise that different cultures have different norms and instead of judging the populace by their own boozy standards have been trying to force us to live up to the completely unrealistic standards of the European Union.

Some countries don't view this picture as a challenge.

The E.U defines a drinking binge as four pints. For anyone outside the UK and Ireland, everyone reading that here just went 'pfft'. Four pints wouldn't get me even remotely pissed. I've managed to do that amount in an hour before. I'd say that four pints represents, to most Brits, about half a session. We're a society of people who can use the phrase 'I don't want to get drunk tonight' whilst walking into a pub. I'll have three because they're there. The point I'm trying to make here is that as a society we drink more than in other countries. Is it healthy, of course not, is it wrong, of course it isn't. However you can't got a week in this country without reading another tabloid rag railing against the dangers of 'Booze Britain'. Which invariably leads to some government toss-piece... sorry mouth-piece, coming out with a new ridiculous and unworkable idea to reduce the countries alcohol dependence. Let's pretend for one minute that I agree that there is a problem, then that problem is simple

Britain is an alcoholic.

If we accept this as true then it seems fairly obvious that we need to treat Britain in the same way that we would treat any other alcoholic. I'm going to be completely up front here I don't know any alcoholics, well I don't know any recovering alcoholics... they don't tend to hang out in the same bars as I do. So I don't know the exact ins-and-outs of how one treats the condition, but I do know one thing, you don't do it by just hiding the booze. You have to identify the underlying reasons behind why that person/nation drinks. So the various ideas to limit the ability of Brits to access our favourite anaesthetic are all doomed to fail. Instead you need work out why it is that we drink.

"There isn't a box for 'to suppress the urge to kill'"

Why on earth do we drink more than our European 'have more public holidays, work shorter weeks and shorter days' cousins... Fuck me that's a difficult one to answer isn't it. It's almost as if we feel an overwhelming urge to squeeze in a whole load of living into our spare time because we have the least in Europe. Unfortunately fixing those inequalities would only improve the quality of life of everyone in the country wouldn't make anyone a single penny, in fact it may well result in some people losing a little bit of money so there's no way we're going to address that issue.

I'd really like to know how many of these I'm worth.

I've no problem with the government not giving to shits about the general public, but I'd rather they not pretend that do. If they want me to stop drinking then that's fine I'll play along and we'll make this country a better place. If on the other hand they want me to work my arse off then they better not take away my fucking boozamahol.

eddie <still not too drunk to write>

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

As Good As Nuie


Every now and again it's nice to be reminded that the world still has the capacity to be surprising. You might think that you've got a handle on the ins-and-outs of the way the world works and then you get blind-sided by something that makes you question what you think you know. This happened to me recently. It started simply enough with a post over at my favourite time-sink 9gag.com, I was trawling through the deeper reaches of the vote page when I stumbled across a picture of this...

I'd say 'Shut up and take my money' but I'm not sure that works for currency.

Yes, that is Pikachu on a coin. A coin with Pikachu on it. I'm going to give you a moment to settle yourself down. You cool? Good. That's a pretty wicked picture isn't it. What are you guessing? Photoshop? Obscure Merchandise? Fan Art? It's got to be one of those three... it's not as if there's a country somewhere in the world that is bitchin' awesome enough to have minted a pikachu coin, or is there?

Actual Place... not actual size.

Yes there totally fuckin' is. Allow me to introduce you to your new favourite country. Nuie (pronounced new-ay) is a tiny pacific island nation measuring only 100 square miles in size and it's by far and away the most awesome country I've ever heard of. That pikachu coin is one of a series that had bulbasaur, charmander and squirtle on them as well, unfortunately they no longer have that coin... because the changed over to STAR WARS MONEY!!!

LEGAL MOTHERFUCKIN' TENDER BITCHES!!!

What if I was to tell you that these little factoids I've been hitting you with weren't even close to being the coolest things about this awesome little country. It's the worlds first wi-fi nation. The entire nation is coated in free wi-fi. I don't know what the people of Nuie use the internet for when they couldn't possibly find anything in the world more awesome than the country they were lucky enough to be born in.

Imagine being in a little row boat while drinking rum out of a pineapple.

Yes that is a picture of the beautiful coastline of this island paradise. So I'm now guessing that they use all that free wi-fi to upload pictures like that to the internet while updating there status to things like 'Suck it bitches I'm in paradise!'. Although I'd kind of hope that being in place like that would really take the edge off of the urge to post dickish things on facebook. So what else does this place have to offer? I hear you cry, because I've got a new extension for chrome that lets me do that. Well for starters the coastline, i.e. most of the country, is riddled with an extensive network of underwater caves that you could scuba around.

WANT

The place is also nursing waters for humpback whales, so from June to October you can hop on a boat and go to see baby whales. All of this while nestled in the lovely tropics with cliff-top cafes and beach-front bars... as yet I've not managed to find out any information on exactly how one immigrates there or even what kind of shit you need to do to get there but a lot of it's governance comes from New Zealand... as do it's flights so I can combine that trip to do the Lord of the Rings tour.

eddie <already planning the trip>

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Go Human Beings!


Fire has been sighted in the skies as far south as Iceland, the planets have aligned (the stars haven't because that's not how stars work) and once again the chosen will be bled. Such unusual portents must signal some special occasion, the coming of something of rare and strange power... What's that Community's back. Check the trailer here. Fuck, and also, Yeah! For those of you not in the know this is the reason torrenting exists. Go get the first couple of episodes of Community and watch them, seriously I'll wait...

Yes. That is Chevy Chase in a gimp-suit.

You done, now good. No, there's no reason to thank me. So with the best fuckin' show on television about to return to our screens here's a gaggle of reasons why you should be watching Community

  1. Ken Jeong as Ben Chang.
    “I'm nuts Jeff!”
    The ongoing and ridiculous decline of Spanish Genius Senor Ben Chang, is one of the funniest story-arcs in the history of television. I'll try to avoid spoilers her but suffice to say this series with a hot wife and is now dating an mannequins leg. The man has descended into madness faster than Lex Luthor.

  2. Troy and Abed.
    “I took evasive manoeuvres you can't be on my six.”
    “Then I'm on your twelve.”
    “That means I'm on your six”
    To quote star of community Joe McHale at this years Paleyfest “Troy and Abed's relationship is like nothing I've ever seen on television”. The bizarre evolution of Troy from star athlete to foolish lovable man-child has been a joy to watch. Especially in contrast to the unflappably stationary character of Abed Nadir I'm particularly looking forward to the blanket fort dwelling pair have in store for us.

  3. Annie and Jeff? Troy? Abed?... Brita?
    “Annie's pretty young so we try not to sexualise her.”
    One of the great joys of Community is that any pairing within the group is not just possible but also steeped in humour, so the ongoing Jeff and Annie will-they-won't-they Moonlighting style tension has the potential to entirely spin off in another direction. There's every chance Annie could end up with any of the other cast members, except Pierce that would be wrong.

  4. Academy Award Winner Jim Rash.
    “It's Feline Aids Awareness Day!”
    Not only is there definitely going to be some hilarious Oscar references, but there is also a strong possibility that Jim Rash will be dressed up as either an Oscar or Angelina Jolie at some point in the upcoming episode cluster.

  5. The Dreamatorium
    “We call it the Dreamatorium”
    So far we've only seen the Dreamatorium once, and as yet we've not been allowed to encounter the strange adventures that Annie, Abed and Troy could carry out in this unusual mind-space... I'm hoping for a Star Trek Holodeck Rip-off episode.

  6. Destroy Greendale
    “Why does this keep happening!”
    After two incredibly out of hand games of 'Paintball Assassin' it's became a Community tradition to absolutely destroy the entire set once a season. I will be on the edge of my seat awaiting this years dose of vandalistic lunacy.
This is their paintball episode... how can you not love it.

I cannot recommend this TV show highly enough. Community is great and if you don't agree you're are a dick.

eddie <e pluribus anus>

Sunday, 11 March 2012

In Session

The following is a short story I've written for an online competition about the future of copyright the rules stipulated online publication). If that interests you at all you can check it out at http://www.indiegogo.com/Future-of-Copyright If you chip in some money for the prize you'll receive an ebook with selected texts from the competition. To make this absolutely clear I offer the following text under creative commons license.

“Studio throwing to you in, 3, 2...” The misshapen lump of ear-pieces, sweat and sandwich that was the cameraman didn't say the “one,” instead just pointing at the collection of make-up, shoulder-pads and failed dreams holding the microphone before the unflinching gaze of the camera.
“Jim, the second day of this potentially world-changing case starts in just few moments. Yesterday was very much a day of formalities with very little of the meat of the case. Gentech's legal team spent most of the day presenting the fairly complicated technical information that they felt the jury needed in order to verify the claims they are making. Today it's expected that they'll be calling Mr McQuinn to the stand.” Here she paused for a moment whilst the haircut in the studio cut across her. “That's right Jim, Mr McQuinn is the man at the heart of this case. Gentech works at the forefront of what is still a fairly new industry, there has been talk in legal circles for sometime about how current copyright law would be applicable to Gentech's products.” Another pause whilst the studio asked another inane question. “Yes. Many people within the industry are looking at keeping a very close eye on this case and, should this case go the way Gentech is banking it will, we could well see a slew of similar lawsuits.” She paused for a moment before finishing. “Thanks Jim.”
Within seconds her microphone was off and she was strutting away from the camera, all indignation and muttered dissent.

***

“All rise for the honourable judge Cubert McLesterson!” the court officer yelled as the many journalists shuffled into position. An unnatural hush fell over the court-room as the judge transported an almost-ungodly amount of black fabric to his seat on his equally preposterous frame.
“Be seated.” He motioned for the for the many performers assembled on his stage to sit with a massive flabby paw. “This court is now in session.” He punctuated the line with an entirely unnecessary bang of the gavel. He'd worked hard to get where he was and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to use every available opportunity to play with the tiny hammer.
“Counsel,” he nodded in a dignified fashion towards one of the two suits representing the plaintiff. “You may begin.”
“Thank you, your honour,” The Suit replied with a slick half-nod. “We call the defendant Mr McQuinn to the stand!” There was a slight murmur from the crowd followed by an entirely needless gavel-bang. As Mr McQuinn rose from behind the desk he was revealed to be a dishevelled-looking man, distinctly unsuited to being suited, and as such he looked decidedly scruffy. As he stepped from behind the desk he shot a nervous glance and smile towards the voluminous pregnant woman seated in the front row and slouched unwillingly towards the stand. A court bailiff solidified out of the ether with a selection of books for Mr McQuinn to swear in upon. There was a delay as he perused the stack before finally opting for a copy of Watchmen. After muttering a few binding words of dubious provenance, McQuinn returned the book and took his seat.
“Just confirm you are Mr Alonso McQuinn of 72 'I Can't Believe They Named This Awful Street That' Gardens.” McQuinn replied with a curt nod and a brief affirmation. “Can you also confirm for the court that you are currently employed at Gentech Industries?” Again a curt nod and a mumble. “And what is your roll at Gentech?”
“I'm a lead coder,” Mr McQuinn replied.
“Could you please identify this document for the court Mr McQuinn?” The Suit flourished a document skyward before thrusting it aggressively towards the stand.
“Yes. That is my code,” McQuinn replied with another nervous smile.
“Your code Mr McQuinn?” The Suit asked accusingly whilst his partner slithered from behind the desk to distribute copies to the jury. “Can you confirm that this code has been used as the basis for nearly every project you've designed whilst at Gentech?” The Suit grasped a stack of papers from the desk and slammed them down on the stand with a force that the judge, as an experienced hammer-man, couldn't help but respect.
“Well... yes everyone does.” McQuinn adjusted his glasses nervously. “But it's my code I've had forever, it substantially pre-dates my employment at Gentech...”
“Mr McQuinn, at some point or another every single piece of this original code appears in products you developed for Gentech.” The Suit purposefully strutted back to his desk seized another document, again he flourished it needlessly towards the ceiling before holding it an inch from McQuinn's face. “Do you recognise this document?” McQuinn adjusted his glasses took the paper from The Suit's claw, moved it further away from his face and pushed the lawyers still-stationary hand to one side to allow him to see the document.
“This is the employee agreement that I signed when I first started working for Gentech,” McQuinn offered.
“And could you, please read the hi-lighted section... Mr... McQuinn?” The Suit asked, flashing a predators grin.
“I, the under-signed, here after referred to as Minion, agree that any and all works produced pertaining to the realm of genetic construction and modification whilst employed at Gentech, and any derivative works, are the sole copyright of Gentech and it's parent companies; Morally Questionable Developments, Shady Weapons Development and Large & Soulless Multinational...” At this point McQuinn stopped and looked up from the paper. “Look, this document is designed to stop me from packing up my office, jumping ship and giving our competitors all of our information, not...”
“The court will be the judge of what this document is meant for, Mr McQuinn,” The Suit snapped, snatching the document away and placing it in front of the judge whilst the second suit once again slunk out to supply copies of the document to the jurors.
“But it's my DNA! It's really hard to write an entire genome, so we cheat by using our own and tweaking and adapting it to get the desired results. Gentech can't own my DNA!” McQuinn exclaimed rising to his feet. He'd gotten no further than halfway out of his chair when he was deflated by the judge's most emphatic gavel-bang of the day.
“You will compose yourself Mr McQuinn, or you'll find yourself in contempt of court,” he said with a satisfied smile that dared McQuinn to challenge him.
“I'm sorry your honour but it's not fair,” McQuinn moaned as he dropped back into his seat.
“This is about protecting peoples livelihoods Mr McQuinn. You can't just choose to use someone else's copyrighted materials for your own profit.” The Suit smirked with all the compassion of a shark.
“Mr McQuinn, could you please identify for the court, Mrs McQuinn.” McQuinn pointed with a trembling hand towards his pregnant wife, sitting in the front row of the court-room. “Let the record show that Mr McQuinn indicated the pregnant lady in the front row. Is she pregnant with your child Mr McQuinn?”
“What the hell are you trying to imply?” Mr McQuinn asked angrily. “Of course it's my child.”
“From the defendants own mouth!” The Suit pointed at the jury, taking two strident paces to stand before them. “Half of that child's DNA is the copyrighted material of Gentech Industries. By any definition that is a derivative work. Yet Mr McQuinn embarked upon its development without even attempting to gain the permission of his employers.” Here the lawyer reached to his table and held up another document. “This is an e-mail Mr McQuinn sent to a colleague using his employers e-mail system. It includes this line: 'Rosemary and I are trying for a baby.' This child was not an accident, but a deliberate attempt to use copyrighted material for your own gain Mr McQuinn.”

***

“I'm not going to lie to you. We're getting battered in there,” the cut-price lawyer, the best the McQuinns could afford, said, exuding an air of nervousness that was only matched by his odour.
“We've not done anything wrong,” Rosemary replied angrily striking fear into both the lawyer and her husband as only a pregnant woman can.
“Mrs McQuinn. This isn't about right or wrong it's about the law,” Cut-price replied, but he at least had the decency to look sheepish as he said it.
“He's right.” The three of them looked down the corridor to see The Suit standing a small way down the corridor. “I'm betting that settlement we offered you looks pretty good right now. And before you ask; No. My clients have made it very clear to me that getting a court decision on this is much more important than getting the money out of you two.” With that he turned on his heel and walked away with a whistle on his lips and a song in his - for want of a better word - heart.
“I wish I was heartless bastard like that,” Cut-price muttered whilst staring wistfully at his opponent's retreating back, showing once and for all where the true priorities of the legal profession lie. “We've got to focus on damage control here. We need to go in and argue not on the whether or not you are in breach of copyright, but on the profitability of your child.”

***

“Mr McQuinn, both Gentech and yourself have had a look at your son's DNA. Is there anything in there that indicates that the child will have any aptitude for high income professions? Medicine, Sport, Financial Speculation?”
“No. There's nothing in his DNA to indicate any of that,” Mr McQuinn replied to the court-room at large.
“So there's no reason to assume that this child will be anything other than a massive financial drain,” Cut-price asked with a smile.
“Well, I wouldn't say that, but from a purely financial stand-point, no. I don't think there is any reason to assume that he'll wind a up being a millionaire,” McQuinn replied.
“Objection, your honour,” The Suit cried from behind his desk. “Mr McQuinn has no way of predicting the future. Just because his child is genetically unremarkable it doesn't mean it won't go on to become a profitable individual... have you seen Jersey Shore? Those people have no talent and are still incredibly wealthy. This child has already become the centre of a media circus. The very idea that someone isn't already getting ready to approach the McQuinn's about a potential reality TV show is, frankly, ludicrous.” The Suit dropped back into his seat.
“Sustained, Mr McQuinn has no way of knowing how much this child will ultimately be worth and every incentive to misjudge the possibilities,” the judge replied, several of his chins wobbling as he did so. McQuinn and his lawyer exchanged forlorn glances.
“No further questions your honour.”

***

There was a palpable sense of tension in the court-room as the jury returned from their deliberations. It seemed as if every piranha in the state had swarmed on the case and were waiting to pick clean the corpse of the McQuinn's lives, they weren't alone though. Several Guy Fawkes were scattered conspicuously among the watchers, as well as multiple representatives of the various other online communities that had taken an interest in this case. Of all these various groups that had descended on the scene that day, the only ones not resting on the edge of their seat were the McQuinns and their legal team, who were instead drowning in a sea of perpetual gloom. A door to one side of the court swung open and the jury traipsed back from whatever hinterland they were confined to for the duration of their musings. There was a slight susurration from among the watchers. The judge responded to this with an unreasonably fast gavel slam that might have been entirely unrelated to the murmur. There were a few moments of shuffling from among the jurors themselves before all but the foreman had taken a seat. He passed a piece of paper to a bailiff who nobly fought the overwhelming urge to take a peek before passing it to the judge, who took a glance and passed it back.
“Have you reached a verdict with which you are all happy?” The Judge asked.
“Juror Six found out her cat had passed away last night so she's not that happy at the moment but we have all agreed to find in favour of the plaintiff,” he said before dropping quickly back to his seat.
The was an audible groan from Rosemary McQuinn. The judge managed to surprise everyone by exercising enough self-control to keep his gavel had still for a moment. The rest of the court seized this moment to start chattering like a gaggle of school girls, resulting in the judge banging his hammer not once but twice. He waited for silence before he spoke.
“Mr McQuinn, under normal circumstances I'd award Gentech the royalties you'd earned from this endeavour, unfortunately that doesn't seem to be applicable in this case. As such I'm awarding Gentech Industries 75% of the earnings of your child. To be garnished from it's earnings directly to Gentech. I'd suggest you get a reality-show locked in as quickly as possible Mr McQuinn. Court Adjourned.” There was another hearty slap of wood on wood and the court began to disperse.

***

“We are pleased with the verdict, obviously,” The Suit stated smilingly out on the steps of the court-house. “It is our hope that this ruling has now provided a clarification of the laws pertaining to DNA copyright and will allow companies such as Gentech to avoid the unnecessary expense of court cases such as this in future. Now there's a precedent, it will be much easier to explore out of court settlement options.” There was a question from one of the reporters that was hard to hear over the clamour. “Well, the civil liberties discussion is really something for our political leaders to talk about but they've sided with rights-holders nearly every time the debate has happened in the past.” He gave a smirk and sauntered off to his car as the media circus moved on to engulf the unfortunate couple behind him.

Non-Smoking Adverts

I have recently started to walk-down the path to respiratory health that starts with your last cigarette. Obviously the road is not smooth, alcohol gives me the steadfast will of a meth addict, but I'm making huge positive steps. There is one massive problem though. I'm now a non-smoker. As the late great Bill Hicks once said of non-smokers.
"I'd quit if I wasn't worried I'd become one of you."

Obviously smoking, or not smoking, is an incredibly tiny fraction of what makes you, you. It's a single choice and it's less significant than, say, how you vote, your favourite film or your choice of furry costume.

Furry TaunTaun. Thank you internet for ruining every-fucking-thing.

However you are allowed to judge groups based on how they choose to present themselves in the media, if you weren't then voting would actually be impossible. I'm not talking about the way smoking is portrayed, Clint Eastwood proved back in the old west that smoking makes you look bad-ass. I'm talking about the way the tobacco companies, are legally obliged to, comport themselves as opposed to the anti-smoking campaigners. Here's a tobacco advert... no those exist any more, so here's a cigarette box.


Stark, honest and brutal. These cigarettes are bad. They will harm you . They say it right there on the box. That message couldn't be more straight forward. There is absolutely no subtext. Actually there is an important subtext. That message says. "We trust you to make your own decisions based on the available facts." So let's look at an anti-smoking advert.


Cynical, manipulative emotional blackmail... the radio campaign that goes with this is worse, but I can't find it online. This campaign makes me want to smoke, just so I'm not in the same camp as these bastards. That's something I've always felt. I have a real problem with authority. That's not to say that I automatically ignore anything that comes from a  'higher power' it just means I like to weigh up the merits of any message, or the person(s) delivering it, prior to following it.
For example if the authors appear in the books and come
out of it really fucking well, it might be made up

This approach to life is one I feel is common among smokers, there is a reason smoking is perceived as, for lack of a better word, cool. I'm not saying smoking is cool. However anti-authoritarianism is a key building block of cool and I feel that the initial choice to start smoking is intrinsically linked to that trait. As such these anti-smoking adverts are not just immoral but also ridiculously ineffective. You see the moment you start using these methods to argue your case you taint the argument itself. Anti-smoking adverts need to be clear, simple and above all bullshit free. People who are still smoking are not going to be swayed by being told they're going to die in new and interesting ways. Instead these adverts need to focus on the same things that unhealthy stuff does in advertising. Be funny, charming and interesting. As such I now pitch the ultimate anti-smoking advert.
The FACT stamp makes it true.

We open on to guys side by side running up a country road, it's all close shots, both guys are wearing normal work out gear and both are equally sweating and breathing equally heavily. We get a freeze-frame. DING! A caption appears. "One of these men smokes". We then cut to a wide shot which reveals that the two men are being chased by a slathering pack of werewolves. One of the men starts to flag and starts to fall behind the other. DING! "Smokers are 95% more likely to be mercilessly slaughtered by werewolves". BOOM! Effective, funny, memorable and people will soon be quoting it at there smoking friends.

eddie <I could change the world if people would listen to me>