Thursday, 28 June 2012

Christmas Tales Part 1

 Unfortunately today I'm going through some personal stuff so I'm not going to be able to present a new blog today so here in it's place is a short story. Last Christmas due to the fact that I am caring, creative and cheap in equal measure I wrote a series of short stories starring my friends. What follows is one of them. I will eventually upload all of these. This particular story is about my friend who blogs here.

Hayley Stanbrook: Dinosaur Hunter

Hayley Stanbrook, adventurer, dinosaur hunter and notorious cupcake thief, was standing in the hall way of her newly built town house, the last one had been damaged beyond all repair after what most of the folk in Ole London Town called 'The Mammoth Incident'. Above her Milly the maid and Hermen Gestault the butler, whom she'd won from Lord West in a game of snap, were directing a team of men to position a mounted triceratops skull above the fire place.
“Left a bit” Hayley said exasperatedly, what should have been the simple operation of rehanging the trophies of her various previous engagements had been turned into an elaborate palaver by Hermen's insistence on hiring a team of winsome cockney urchins rather than the burly professionals she would've preferred. “I've got to meet the Prime Minister for cake and medals at three” She said glancing at her pocket watch, it's single hand was slowly moving away from 'Early' towards 'Late'. It wouldn't do at all to miss such a prestigious event especially when she was also hoping to win a pardon for her last spate of cupcake thefts. “Look it'll have to do where it is!” She shouted as the head swung further to the left than she wanted.
“Sorry Miss.” Hermen replied with a hefty sigh, he'd been hoping that the urchins would be cheaper and better and knew his failure would result in him having to wear the bunny costume his mistress use in the place of the corporal punishment preferred by the more conventional members of high society. “I'll get the costume”
“You'd bloody well better.” Said Hayley turning and striding towards the study to collect her blunderbuss. The PM did rather dislike her bringing it to official meetings but had softened to the idea ever since she'd saved his life from a trained assassin raptor sent on orders of the German Chancellor. The German's had learnt a costly lesson about dinosaur attacks on her turf that day and shortly afterwards had stopped parachuting dinosaurs into the capital entirely. Thinking about it brought a smirk to Hayley's face, that little escapade had increased her total count of deceased lizards to the highest the London Esteemed Dinosaur Forum had ever seen, earning her portrait pride of place in the clubs main lounge. Even Old Lord Pogo whom she'd replaced had the good grace to compliment her on the kill. As she was lost in thought she heard the sound of footsteps and steam behind her. She turned to see Little Jimmy Steam-Legs, the most famed urchin courier in all the empire sliding to a halt in the middle of the room. He was casting his eyes around agape at the surroundings as boiling water dribbled from his eight mechanical octopus legs.
“Cor blimey, Miss, they ain't 'alf done a lovely job in 'ere and no mistake.” Jimmy exclaimed. He was right of course but then Hayley had paid top dollar to have the ancestral home returned to it's pre-mammoth glory.
“Is there a reason for this visit Jimmy, or were you just stopping by to comment on the d├ęcor?” Hayley enquired with a raised eyebrow.
“Lord Barnaby's pet Tyrannosaur is on the loose in Hyde Park. It's causing a terrible scene if it pleases ya' miss.” Jimmy exclaimed. Hayley had told the blasted fool time and again that he couldn't keep such a beast as a pet but he'd assured her he'd trained it to only eat marmalade on toast. She felt like a fool for believing him. Hayley grabbed her blunderbuss from the mantel and ran out the door without stopping to grab her hat and overcoat.
“Jimmy,” she turned her head to the side to see that the Jimmy's freakish mechanical legs were easily keeping pace with her, “Get to the Zoo and tell them Lady Stanbrook needs her cat.” Jimmy replied with a nod and took the the next side road, his odd collection of limbs kicking up a trail of dust behind him as he became a blur of steam and urchin charm.

***
Hayley leapt from the roof of the Hanson Cab as it pulled to a halt outside the parkland, She'd have like to have gotten closer but the gallimimus were spooked and besides the cab would make little headway through the throng of people fleeing the area. She tried to push through the crowd at first but made little headway, she gave a frustrated 'hurrumph' before shooting her gun into the sky, it made a noise like thunder and the crowd parted like the red sea. The gun was of her own design and no sooner had she fired than the small clockwork monkey concealed in the butt of the weapon scampered up the barrel and started reloading it with fresh shot. She'd gotten the idea for it from the man she was courting whom was said by others to have the looks, brains and dexterity of a monkey and was a dab hand at basic weapon maintenance.
After a few moments she found herself standing alongside the frail frame of Lord Barnaby, who was clutching a small dinosaur whistle in one hand and the tattered remains of a small leather leash in the other. He had the decency to look ashamed of himself as she glowered at him.
“I'm terribly sorry to trouble you Miss.” He said shuffling his feet like a naughty schoolboy. “Clementine's never normally like this, I'm afraid I let her wander to close to the Marmalade Toasty Stand. She ate the thing in one bite, Mr Owagnu with it.” Hayley shook her head.
“Well this is very bad I'm afraid my Lordship. First if all Mr Owagnu made the best Marmalade Toasties in all of England and I was exceptionally partial to them myself. Secondly I will have to kill the beast now it's tasted human blood.”
“But why?” his Lordship asked plaintively
“Have you ever tasted human blood? That shits delicious.” She shook her head and strode towards the vast lumbering beast. When she got close to the beast she let off another shot and caught the beast in the back, it had little effect but got the beasts attention, it swung it's vast head towards her, unintentionally pelting her with oranges from the tattered remains of food stand which was still attached to it's face. Hayley held up a finger for a moment and the beast halted while she cackled at it's ridiculous predicament. After she had regained her composure she looked back to see the creature giving her an impatient stare and tapping it's foot. “OK, I'm done.”
“GRAAAAAAARRRR!” Said the T-Rex in reply... although some people later said it was more of a “RAWRRRRR!” It didn't matter to Hayley, as by this point the monkey had repacked her weapon and she was fired a hefty load of shot into it's mouth. It was a perfect shot and would've signalled the end of the beast if most of the shot hadn't been entrapped in the vast amount of marmalade that the beast had in it's maw. Before Hayley had time to react the beast had turned and swiped at her with it's tail.
The impact knocked the wind out of her, but she managed to keep the blunderbuss gripped in her hands, and the clockwork monkey managed to keep a firm grip on the blunderbuss. Instead of impacting on the hard grassy earth she found herself hanging from the jaw of a great Sabre-tooth Cat.
“Milo!” She exclaimed slinging her arms around her favourite pet, and London Zoo's most famous resident. Within seconds she had clambered on to his back and was taking aim once more at the great destructive lizard. Milo pounced towards the beast in a series of tremendous bounds that would have shaken off a rider without her experience and prodigious thigh strength. She gently pulled on his fur and he leapt to the right just as the huge orangey jaw snapped shut behind them. As he landed she pulled his head to the left and in one epic leap he was claw deep in the lizard's tail. Hayley hung on for dear life as the tail snapped back and forth but Milo slowly clawed his way up the great colossus. A T-Rex is a fearsome beast from the front but once on it's back there is little it can do due to it's tiny arms, which are great for humorous dance routines but sadly for little else.
Once they were high enough Hayley hopped down from her mounts back and pressed the blunderbuss to the back of her foes head. A second later the park was silent save for the echoes of the thunderous shot. The creature slowly slumped forward and Hayley slid into a mess of brains and marmalade which made her vow that she'd only eat smooth marmalade from that day forth.

***

What with all the fuss it had slipped Hayley's mind that she was supposed to be meeting the Prime Minister, but she needn't have worried as he'd heard about the trouble and hurried down to the park himself. He'd awarded her an extra medal there and then. Lord Barnaby had been inconsolable but had agreed to sell the remains of his favourite pet to the Royal Society and give the proceeds to Mrs Owagnu whom, Hayley was delighted to hear, knew the secret of her husbands marvellous toasties and promised her a free supply for life.
The pictures of Hayley shaking hands with the PM in front of the slain beast had made the front page of the Metro, a clipping which Hermen had framed and hung on the wall beneath the triceratops head. She was glad he'd chosen that page and the not the page about the cake shop on the other side of the park thought Hayley as she munched on a cupcake with a sly smirk.

Monday, 25 June 2012

How Hard Is It To Lose An Election


Hello, readers. I thought that today I might write about a subject that irks me, irks me something hard. Over the course of this blog I've made a good many allusions, some subtle some not so subtle to the fact that my homeland of Great Britainshire is slowly drifting towards becoming a filthy repressive police state. I mainly fear this as I'm already to old to be the courageous hero who ends the corporations grip on this nation, I'm much more likely to be the inspiring underground leader of the rebellion who dies just before giving all the secret plans or whatnot to the beleaguered hero. Like that thing in that guys chest in Total Recall. I don't think that I'm massively exaggerating the risks with my rhetoric and I have a single great reason for believing that. It's the fact that I live in a country where it is impossible for the vested interests of those corporations to lose.

This is very much the best I can aspire to.

There are three main parties in my country, he scoffed there are two and a bunch of losers whose foolish backstabbing has rendered them a worthless political force. Those two parties are both so deep in the pockets of the likes of G4S, the world's second largest employer and a security firm that will take literally any job regardless of morality, News International, Rupert Murdochs propaganda-for-hire machine, and anyone else who feels like pushing them around. The list of corporate tax-dodgers is far to long to go into here but includes the likes of Vodafone, Top-Shop and Tesco. Like I say it is literally impossible for the corporations to lose out not just because both parties refuse to do anything to challenge their all powerful might but also because it is very near impossible to lose an election in this country.

This idiot won... How hard is it to lose.

For those who don't have the benefit of a british education allow me to explain our ridiculous system to you. We don't have a chance to just vote for the leader we think is best. We instead vote for a local MP who once elected throws his support behind the leader of his respective party. This means that most people ignore there local candidate and just tick the box of the part with the least objectionable cunt. There are 650 seats available in the UK parliament meaning 326 seats is the minimum required to win a majority this also means that 326 votes is the minimum number required win an election.

Actually three more people than
are required for a proper pub fight.

So lets look at how hard everyone tried to lose the last election. For starters the political figures of our nation are such an uninspiring bunch of losers that only 65% of our population turned out to vote. 35% of our people are so disaffected with our political system that during a mass recession and two wars over a third still didn't give a fuck, but then why would they there is nothing to distinguish any of the parties from one another. Seriously that is pathetic enough without going into any more but fuck it let's plough on. Our current leader managed to secure 306 seats (all data is available here) that's an absolutely unconvincing 47% of the seats. If you had cancer and were told the treatment was 47% effective you'd be waiting for death. That's not all though, because our system unfairly exaggerates swings in the vote Mr Cameron's party only achieved 36.1% of the vote, not the electorate the vote. No of the total number of votes available Mr Cameron got 36.1% of 65% for those not great at maths that equates to 23.465%.

The Tory is the always the one who grabs the first slice

The man currently running this entire country was not only forced to form a coalition to trick his way into power but also was voted for by less than one in four people. That is not democracy and anyone who tells you it is, is a fucking idiot. This is the position of authority from which this man sells of the NHS, privatises the police-force and lets his corporate buddies chum up to his ministers. There have been occupying forces with more support than that, I know that because they were us. How did this all happen?

"Say what you like about them but they make the
trains, which they invented and installed, run on time"

Well it's simple those corporations don't want you voting. News International is only one of a dozen distraction engines that work tireless around the clock to keep you from spending any time from actually realising that you are fucked. If those figures came out of a small oil-rich middle-eastern country that were rethinking there energy policy they'd be front page news everyday until they were replaced with pictures of the same country after a sustained bombing campaign. However as long as it serves the interests of the ruling class to have these puppets dancing to their jig they will make sure that you don't give a fuck.

Love 'em or hate 'em as long as you don't focus on the Leveson Enquiry.

The real problem with this kind of thing is that the entire thing is completely fine right up until the point it's terribly wrong and the only hope we have as a nation is that when that happens the ruling classes won't have gotten so much of what they want that rebellion is impossible.

eddie <power to the people, up the tooting popular front>

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Conservationist (Part 1)


(Today I present the transcription of a man I met recently met on my travels)

Turning up in the pub at the end of the day with a fresh bandage wrapped around a finger, arm or on the less fortunate days my head, it's a sure fire way to get asked some questions. After a while climbing accident, whilst technically accurate, doesn't cut it any more, so I learned to shrug and say 'Work'. Of course there's only so many times you can say that before you get asked the what exactly it is you do for a living. It turns out that like with most truly unbelievable things the best option is to go for the truth. Conservation. It's a broad word covering a lot of areas it also explains the climbing and the injuries, the worlds most endangered creatures are rarely it's most harmless, it explains all manner of cuts and bruises. As long as no-one ever looks under the bandages they'll never see the burns. Which is for the good, if you think poaching is a problem for people trying to restore the Golden Eagle population can you imagine how bad it would be if they got wind of a genuine phoenix population nestled in the highlands of Scotland.
It's one of only half a dozen or so nesting sites left in the world. I say left but we're fairly certain numbers have never been historically that high. The colony here is the seasonal home to over twenty breeding pairs, that makes it the largest colony in the world. Managing the population calls for a particular set of skills. It's not just enough to be an expert in the field of conservation, top of my class at Oxford, you've also got to combine the skill set of a ranger, guide, spy, paramedic and firefighter.
Some of that is self explanatory some of it might be a little harder to follow. Most conservation sites are set up specifically to make the work done there as easy as possible, unfortunately we don't have to option of building anything that would be permanent and therefore visible. The need for secrecy is of course paramount. If you think poachers are a problem for people who are trying to increase the world tiger population then you can imagine how bad it would be if they caught a whiff of the fact that we had a population of genuine mythical beasts. I think I can best explain the nature of my work by telling you something about the creatures I work with.
The Pheonix (aquila aviaduro) nests high in the cliff-faces of the scottish mountains. They make their nests by perching on the edge of the rock and letting out a concentrated stream of flame. The heats generated vary from bird to bird but all adults of breeding age can produce enough heat to melt rock and they use this to make a small hollow in the rock-face. After leaving the rock to cool they stuff the newly formed opening with collected twigs. These are then burnt to ash by another blast of flame, the birds are very good at regulating the temperature of the blast. On average this will be done a dozen times before the base of the hollow is filled with enough ash to form a soft base on which the eggs may rest. All of this work is done by the male, who arrives at the nesting site about a week before the females.
The females arrive after dark on the vernal equinox every year which has led some of us to hypothesise that phoenix largely navigates by the position of stars, sun and the moon as opposed to having an internal compass. As they arrive the males perch on the edge of the nests and shoot flame into the air. The females are looking for the most powerful flame, there then follows a brief scuffle as the females fight over the male with the largest flame with the winning female and the male taking flight together. They then engage in a mating ritual that is almost indescribable. The two birds take to the air and engage in something that is part aerobatics and part fireworks display. When this is done the male takes flight and disappears. All attempts at tracking where these magnificent creatures go during the rest of the year have resolutely failed, it's not that feasible to attach a tracking device to a creature that can simply burn it off. The females, now impregnated, return to the nests.
We don't get much of a chance to get close to the nests whilst the males are present due to the high temperatures and the much more aggressive nature of the male birds. Once they depart we go to work almost immediately. At first light after watching the whole mating display unfold we start abseiling down the cliff-face to the nests and check on the females. The eggs won't be laid until a few days later but we need to check in on the females to check that they haven't injured themselves during the mating process. The females are much more docile than the males and allow us to do this work, we also take substantial notes and photographs at this point. Without the ability to tag the birds this is the only way we have of comparing the birds from one mating season to another. We find that the females tend to return every two years, sometimes as long as three. For the next three days we will spend a lot of time monitoring the birds. As they will spend this time in the nests preparing to lay.
Each bird will lay a single egg approximately the size of a golf ball, the birds themselves are about the same size as a peregrine falcon. The eggs are almost completely round with a very slight point to it black in colour but with a metallic sheen to them, the birds leave them on their own whilst then go hunting. Whilst for most bird species this would be a death penalty for the unhatched young the phoenix egg is scalding to the touch. Strangely this isn't due to heat but rather due to the icy cold. The egg is cold as it's funnelling all available heat in the area into the heart of the egg. The eggs will not hatch until the Summer Solstice. This time is when we do most of our work studying the birds although we're working on a very incomplete level we do know that they are definitely nocturnal.
I could write pages and pages on the habits of the birds but this is supposed to a quick overview so I'll just jump ahead to hatching day. The birds hatch on the shortest night of the the year and each nest becomes a beacon of light. The entire cliff-face turns into a wonderful light-show from a distance. At this point we have to stop venturing too close to the nests for two weeks as the early stages of the birds lives are spent at an incredibly high temperature. After that time we feel safe to venture down the cliff again to catalogue the new birds. This is when most of the injuries to the team take place as we have no idea if we are approaching a docile female or an aggressive male.


(I'll be publishing the rest of these notes next weekend)  

Thursday, 21 June 2012

I Am Not A Number I Am A Free Man

I've been recently ploughing through Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter this, naturally led to me thinking about the subjects of freedom and humanity and what-not. After all it's difficult to read book that contains both the Great Emancipator and hellish devil-creatures that would like nothing more than to destroy the human race and not start to ponder those subjects. This train of thought collided with another one that was sparked off by the fact that yesterday Britain's druids... yes foreign readers we have druids... gathered at Stonehenge, the world's best henge in my opinion, to celebrate the Summer Solstice. The result of this idea tragedy... it was a train crash after all... was one simple thought. Fuck me am I glad I'm an atheist.


Either there is no god or he has terrible aim.

Odd thought I know but please allow me to explain. It's not really crucial for you to allow me this is a blog not a democracy, if anything I operate on a sort of benign feudalism. I was thinking about how I don't hate the druids or more accurately how I don't hate the Druidic faith. As an atheist... and I recently saw Slash play Sweet Child Of Mine, I bring it up because if that didn't make me believe in God nothing will... I feel a fair amount of disdain, disgust and disco fever (couldn't think of a third thing beginning with dis) towards all religions. However all religions are not created equal and I feel no real issues with certain groups. Buddhists for example are all kinds of laid back and groovy. Shintoists gave the world Sumo and for that alone get a bye. Druids are awesome as such I like them a lot.

When you're main religious festival looks like a
Led Zep concert your religion is all right by me

You see druids have a lot to recommend them over other faiths. Firstly they worship nature. I'd like you to go to the nearest window, have a look out of it and then come back. Sorry for the specifics but I don't want to leave my slower readers stuck standing by a window. Now even if you found a view more aggressively urban than Dr Dre you will still have seen some nature. That's pretty much a win for the druids. When you believe in and worship something that you can point to it gives you a good deal of credibility. Secondly the druids are all about being good to the environment and shit and that's like six kinds of awesome. If your beliefs can be directly linked to the concept of 'more bears' then you rock. Finally I really love the way that these mother-fuckers celebrate real shit. People have written fuck-loads about when the Jesosaur was born but the Summer Solstice is a factual event. Anyway whilst I was pondering this I basically decided that while all religions are equal, some are more equal than others. I then vaguely recalled something that Dr Richard Dawkins had once said about not taking a graduated approach to religion.


This man has received death threats for saying that magic is silly

That is why I love being an atheist. You see if you are a catholic, and I've chosen the cathols because I know exactly how there hierachy works (hint: its largely hat based), and the man in the pointiest hat says something it's true. It's called papal infallibility and it's in the bible. It basically means that God has the popes back. So if El Popo decides to declare that the sky is blancmange then God's all like... “Sure is little buddy” … and all caths need to accept the general dessert like nature of the sky. I however am free to say this.

“Whilst I agree with Dr Richard Dawkins on many issues, acknowledge his undoubted expertise in the field of evolutionary biology and of course accept that his role as a leading figure in the atheist community is well deserved I disagree with his view that all religions are equally in need of abolition.”

You see I am not a Dawkinite, nor am I a Darwinist or a follower of the Church of Hitchens. I am an atheist and my opinions are my own, free from interference and tyranny. I am free to assess every single thought a person seeks to articulate on it's own particular merit even, nay especially, if it's a person I largely agree with. The religious cannot say this. If the Church of England, a church founded entirely because someone wanted a divorce wants to say letting gays get married will destroy the sanctity of marriage their followers have to tow the party line. Muslims aren't allowed to go out a read a copy of the Satanic Verses no matter how good it may or may not be and Born Again Christians are forced to cruelly inhabit a universe where christian-rock is seen as a legitimate form of musical expression. I instead get the simple joy of knowing that I am always free to choose.

Free the slaves, murder vampires or both?

That is why being an atheist is frikkin' awesome because freedom of thought must always be the preference of the intellectually bold.
eddie <freedom isn't free>

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Crop Circlers


Whilst there are many conspiracy theories floating around very few people have considered the terrifying consequences if they are all true... Read on, gentle reader, read on.

There had been much debate over whether or not silence was a big enough word to describe the kind of noiselessness found away from planetary atmosphere. Some had maintained that the silence off a world, made up as it was off a cacophony tiny sounds, could never approach the stillness of the vacuum that some other, bigger word was needed. Others said that there was no need for another word, that the universe was mostly silent and the planets were far to noisy. Yet more said that the conversation was a pointless debate over terminology and that everyone should shut up and get on with what they were being paid for. However even those voices would after a few bottles of the local poison admit that out in the black there was something suffocating about the complete stillness of it all. It was this silence that flooded the bay as the shuttle drifted in from the star-flecked blackness.

The awaiting crew felt a faint rumble transmit through the floor as the doors slid shut. Shortly after the room was flooded with rich breathable atmosphere accompanied by a near deafening roar. The shuttle was a rhapsody in gleams and shimmers the occasional strip of lights blinding the unwary viewer. Much has been written on the phallic nature of space-ship design and whilst there have been many wonderful arguments put forward regarding the the overall aerodynamics of such designs. Most of these arguments fall apart in a vacuum. The designer of this particular vessel had either ignored the fact that wind resistance wasn't a factor in effective space-ship design or just really liked penises. Either way it was less than a second on the ground before the ground crew started to swarm all over it like so many pubic lice. It took slightly longer for the an opening to appear in the tip of the craft and ejaculate forth it's passenger.

The man who emerged was eight feet of matt black fury. His hat was a master-class in severity that allowed no room for compromise beneath it two dark red eyes the colour of the blood of betrayed children burned forth with the kind of gaze usually reserved for those who have discovered grammatical errors on the internet. There was no nose and almost no mouth, only a near invisible line in carved from the chiselled onyx that passed for flesh on this strange creature. The rest of his body was a shadow a skin-tight black suit clinging to an aggressively muscular frame all enshrouded in one of those long black coats that the bad-guy always wears. Beneath all of this were a pair of fierce stomping boots that appeared to only meet the ground with extreme displeasure. The figure achieved a kind of stillness akin to the silence mentioned two paragraphs previously. It was the kind of stillness that demanded attention far more than any raging tempest a complete lack of movement that screamed murderous intent. Within seconds a smaller scurrying creature had rushed towards the weapon, for there was no better way describe the recent arrival.

“Grand Prefect” The small beige creature gasped as his small white robes flapped around him in everything about this one screamed bureaucrat he was therefore in his own shallow way infinitely more dangerous than the man who's entire being screamed death and rage. “We weren't expecting you so soon.”

“No it appears not” The Grand Prefect replied in the voice of Alan Rickman... thus making him instantly even more menacing. “Indeed it appears that you weren't expecting a single review of your progress” Here he stopped to remove his gloves in one of those completely unnecessary little touches that none the less made him appear even more deadly.

“If you have any luggage you need depositing...” The small pencil-pusher tried to reply before he withered beneath the intense and deadly gaze.

“I have no intention of staying longer than it takes to rectify this catalogue of failures.” He said pulling a small data-pad from within his coat and casually throwing towards his subordinate. “Now that someone competent is here.” With that he swept towards out of the bay pulling the now extremely flustered beige being behind him like a cork bobbing in his wake.

Every corridor of the ship was half walkway half maintenance corridor half walkway. For reasons that no-one has ever been to reasonably explain designers of larger and more expensive space-ships feel that this kind of look gives a ship such an edgy and dark feel that it complete negates all of the horrible disadvantages. Higher maintenance costs were just a small portion of this. The number of crews that the Grand Prefect sent scattering as he made his way through the ship was truly preposterous. It would have angered the Grand Prefect if he had not already been simmering away at approximately 90% of his maximum rage capacity. He did take time to kick a small repair robot directly at one of slower moving crew. As per standard science fiction protocol all of the repair staff where slovenly blue creatures with New York accents and matching New York attitudes. There was lots of establishing shots and small snatches of banter before the Grand Prefect tore past as is standard for this early in a story of this nature.

The internal doors of the central command were twenty-foot high and ominous, they were literally dripping with om, this was another another cost that could've easily be avoided if the whims of the designers had been ignored in the face of practicality. By the time the doors slid open with a satisfactory shu-thunk word had spread of the Grand Prefects arrival and the senior staff had hastily assembled around the large circular table that all futuristic settings must have due to intergalactic architectural regulations. The Grand Prefect reached the table in two long strides and slammed his fists down on the table with such force that the over end of it flew up and knocked one of the tiny bureaucrats flying across the room.

“Gentlemen.” He yelled. “I am the tyranny. I am the rage. I am the terror that lurks deep in your hearts and I am here to say enough is enough.” He grabbed the nearest subordinate and without even a grunt of effort flung them bodily across the room into a control panel. There was a flicker in the air in the middle of the table which flickered and, with a noise that sounded suspiciously like an old cathode ray tube TV turning on, a hologram of the planet earth appeared, taking the audience massively by surprise. Yeah I know. Well let's stay with this and see where it's going. “This tiny orb has managed to rotate around it's home star fifty times since you arrived and still they have yet to surrender to the might of the Transian Empire.”

“Grand P-P-Prefect” One of the bolder underlings stammered. “We've done everything that standard procedures indicate. The humans refuse to even send a reasonable negotiator.” He continued before quailing beneath the powerful death-stare.

“I've read your reports.” The Grand Perfect sneered. “You've been to earth. You've mutilated the carcasses of their primary food beasts, sending a clear message that we are willing to destroy their very way of life. Following that you have left clear understandable messages in the heart of there arable land. When you attend the meetings to discuss their surrender in place of there leaders the send out a bunch of, what was it...” Here the Prefect stopped and pulled out his pad and glowered at as if it was anger sensitive. “...genetically questionable hill-folk. What hypothesis do you put forward to explain all of this.” He asked with a sweeping gesture around the room and began to pace around the table forcing his subordinates to actively flinch as he passed behind them “What grand ideas do you put forward?” He held the pad into his eye-line. “The humans don't understand our messages. Ha. The humans are not aware of, or open to, the possibility of other intelligent life. Preposterous. Food production is not considered vital by most humans and as such our efforts should be consigned to the more developed urban regions of the planet...” He halted behind one of the bureaucrat who tried his best to sink into his chair. “What sort of drivel is this... I should have each and everyone of you taken to an airlock flung into space and use you as target practice. That way you will at least accomplish one useful thing with your worthless lives.” Where some would have shouted the Grand Prefect's voice never wavered from its Alan Rickman monotone.

“The humans have one of our ships. Due to someone's spectacular incompetence in leaving the wreckage at this...” He glanced at the pad “...Roswell place. They are storing it in... Area 51. Every attempt to negotiate with them has been met with derision. The time for soft words has passed gentlemen. I want a full attack to be launched within the cycle. Wipe that smug rock from the face of the universe.”

eddie <i hope you enjoyed it>

Sunday, 17 June 2012

An Apology


Those of you who read my writings with any degree of regularity will be aware that from time to time I tend to get a little angry it's not usually a problem as it's when I find it easiest to get into full flight when my rage engine is cycling at full spin. However it does mean I've been known to make outlandish and ridiculous statements based on theories that rely on access to fairly limited data sample. For example I have said that Harrison Ford and Sean Connery struck a deal during the shooting of Last Crusade so that Ford would do all of Connery's ageing in exchange for a large stipend. I've also put forward the theory that the executives at the Fox Network can only survive on the shattered dreams of Joss Whedon fans. I have also regularly called beloved director and definitive story-teller of a generation Steven Spielberg a massive racist.

This is the face of hate.

It's that last one I want to talk about. You see over the course of my life I became fairly certain that Mr Spielberg had an unreasonable hatred of the british. Now I realise that whether this is bigoted or racist is very much a matter of opinion however I chose to call it racist. I wasn't just pulling this out of my dick either I had a fairly reasonable amount of evidence to support my opinion. The piece of information that first sparked this theory was the rumour that Spielberg was lined up to direct the Harry Potter films. That was a pretty exciting piece of news at the time. I then heard that Spielberg wasn't going to be involved. I was disappointed. Then I found out that the reason it had fallen apart is that Spielberg wanted to set the films in an american high school with Haley Joel Osment as Harry.

We'd never have heard of her... Fuck you Spielberg

I looked into this and read that Spielberg believed that american audiences wouldn't be able to relate to an english character. This statement was made after the books had already become the massive worldwide publishing phenomenon that we all know and love thus proving his point more or less entirely wrong. It then occurred to me that Spielberg had directed War of the Worlds. Instead of that being set in the Britain of the late 1800s it was moved to modern New Jersey... I mean it's a timeless tale and it kind of works and it does make sense as a choice on it's own there's nothing racist about this but it's part of a worrying pattern of behaviour. Then you look at Saving Private Ryan a movie about the Americans coming over to save us helpless Europeans from the evil Nazi scourge... although now I come to think of it I don't think you see a single European at any point during the entire film. All of this occurred to me at once, but I didn't want to believe that he hated my homeland so I racked my brains, he must of worked of at least worked with someone British... H had. Once. In Schindler's List both Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes appear. However Fiennes plays a Nazi so that is very much a wash.

Once you beat them, you get to keep their uniforms.

What always bugged me about this is that Spielberg is definitely an educated man... he is also a Jew and as such he should feel some slight gratitude towards the one country that didn't wait to be attacked before they told Nazis to fucking do one. I'm not including the French because when you shout it over your shoulder whilst retreating toward Paris at full pelt it doesn't really count. I know that argument is filled with holes and doesn't really work on any substantial level but Spielberg started it with his needless hatred of all things tea loving.

Pictured: Britain

However recently Mr Spielberg seems to have changed his mind about my small sceptred isle. I noticed this whilst watching Tin-Tin, which by the way is an awesome film certainly one of the high-lights of my ridiculous Oscar-thon. That movie stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and McKenzie Crook and was written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. That's a pretty fucking british. This was the same year that he cracked out Warhorse... but that movie would have been utterly impossible to adapt to use American's as the yanks brought very few horses across the Atlantic with them. I'm not sure if I was wrong about Spielberg or if he recently realised he was wrong to be such a massive racist but either way in light of this recent change I feel like I should apologise for all the cruel and horrible things I've said about him.

I'm sorry Steven... You Rock.

I will not however retract my statements about him wearing baseball cap... grow up. You look like a child from the Make A Wish Foundation.

eddie <and stop hanging out with lucas he's a dick>

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Bronies


I've spent most of my adult life, hell most of my entire life, skulking around the depths of the internet. I've visited the dark and twisted corners of the collective human psyche and seen things you wouldn't nay couldn't conceive. Through my life I have happened upon a simple truth, that everyone has there own unusual appetites and everyone is entitled to them. If you wish to dress up as a teddy bear and throw custard at women feel free to do so. I see nothing wrong with furry food fights between consenting adults, it's not my particular brand of vodka but you have at it. I can even see how ones mental development may take them down that path... cartoons have a lot to answer for. Equally I'm not the kind of person who wants to spend twenty hours a week engulfed in the realm of Azeroth... is it Azeroth? I dunno whatever the place in World Of Warcraft is. However I can utterly see the appeal of it but I'd rather keep some of my free time for my other gaming commitments. Again I'm not the biggest fan of religion but I also don't want to disappear back down the rabbit hole of creationist debate websites, they may be fun but I don't want to waste hours of my life on it when I could be doing something productive. I understand that it's a bit rich for me to say that whilst blogging. The point I'm drifting towards is that I have a passing knowledge of a huge number of human quirks and I those that I cannot understand I can at least accept. Except Bronies.. fuck bronies.
Bronies, for those of you fortunate enough to have avoided contact with this subculture, are grown-ass men who straight up fucking love My Little Pony. Specifically they love the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Now in the interests of journalistic integrity I have of course watched a couple of episodes of the show and can report... hahaha of course I haven't watched it. As much as I hate people who judge things without watching it and as much as I dismiss people who write off Harry Potter and Skulduggery Pleasant as 'for kids' My Little Pony is for kids. Kids is of course an exceptionally broad term though, so let's be clear. I dismissed My Little Pony as being 'for kids' about the same time I first went to school which is almost the exact time that I stopped dismissing it as 'for girls'. I know that my love of things like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers is based on a heavy dose of nostalgia but I also know that shit was tight. Now if by some weird chance you were raised on the world of My Little Pony then you might be a bit weird but I would understand a bond you might feel to the show. However Bronies are coming at this from the angle of being ostensibly adults who sat down to watch a show aimed at people who as of yet cannot fucking read.
The only reason I can think of for a man who is not the father of a small girl to have any knowledge of the goings on of... I was going to look up what the name of where the My Little Ponies live is but then realised that is way more effort than I want to put into this subject. Anyway the only reason for knowing anything about it is if you are the father of a small child, girl or boy I don't discriminate, who loves it. Other wise the only possible reason for cultivating an interest in the subject is if you are researching for your paedophilia. I've spent a fair amount of time mulling it over and trying to work out what it is about this particular niche is that pisses me off so much and I think I've narrowed it down to one thing. It's My Little Pony. That's really all it is.
You see I know that right now there is a possibility that someone is reading this and thinking, “No dude you have to watch it.” No, no I fucking don't it's a TV show about brightly coloured tiny horses teaching children to share and what-not. At no point will the plot startle and amaze me, the artwork and animation is not going to blow my mind and at no point is a train made of neon lights going to derail and de-res... Watch Tron: Uprising... I'm willing to give everything a chance to surprise me, I mean I've watched the first Twilight movie... it made me want to claw out my brain and go on a killing spree but I watched it none the less and gave it it's chance. However this is where I draw the line. This far and no further say I. If anyone you know admits they've dabbled in MLP then slap the ever-loving shit out of them until they regain the ability to handle reality and shows an interest in stuff aimed at the over fives.
eddie <fuck that shit>

Monday, 11 June 2012

Carnivore/Herbivore


There are some strange correlations in mental traits that I have never been able to quite understand. Why do people who drink real ale also believe the neck-beard is a reasonable style of facial hair? Quick-tip if it's not on your face it's not an acceptable look. Why do conspiracy theorists always have a laissez faire approach to personal hygiene? Is there a conspiracy about showering? Why do people who want to in the countryside also think that 'antiquing' is both an acceptable activity and an acceptable word. It is neither. However the link that I really wanted to talk about is the bizarre and frankly inexplicable link between whether or not you eat meat and how preachy you are. It's a subject that does require something of a dissection. So why is it that carnivores are so preachy?

"Have you heard the good news about Jesus?"

Declaration of interest here I'm a vegetarian. If you choose to eat corpse feel free to do so. Seriously have at it I don't give to much of a shit. I'm not a big believer in trying to win people over to my side of an argument by reason, yelling or knife-fighting... which is a real shame because I am very very good at all three. I prefer the method of calmly explaining my own philosophy and then exhibiting why it's the best way to live by being continuously awesome. I'd say that it's an exhausting way to live but I'm far to awesome for that. As such I occasionally find myself in a position where I have to decline an offering of charred flesh. A little shake of the head which is usually met with a with a puzzled expression forcing me to explain “I'm a vegetarian”.

This is what you look like... right down to the cold dead eyes of a killer.

There are three reactions to this simple explanation. The first is a shrug, this is by far and away the best reaction. The second is the bizarre need to explain that someone else the carnivore knows is also a herbivore, I have never understood this one... do they think I'll be all 'Oh you mean Dave! I'll tell him I met you at the next meeting' or is it supposed to make me feel at ease, some form of proof that they won't eat the leaf eater. However as weird as that is it's nowhere near as bad as the third reaction which is to become a preachy a-hole about the entire affair.

This is what you become... Just let that sink in.

This might come as a shock to most of our, admittedly omnivorous, species but I've met meat eaters with an alarming amount of regularity. As such the sermon on the virtues of bacon that you wish to launch at me isn't a fresh experience for me. I don't want to hear you're wonderfully well thought out speech on why exactly you are not just allowed but in fact have a responsibility to devour less intelligent creatures because like all other overly preachy speeches I've heard it a million times before. For that exact reason you don't want to give me that speech because I've heard it enough times that I can demolish your argument so hard and so fast that it'll physically hurt your as yet unborn grandchildren. Unless you've already got grandchildren in which case you might as well just go throw a shoe at them.

Your choice of shoe should be directly linked
to how much you love your grandchildren.

I feel it's important to point out that I think it is completely and utterly wrong to preach at anyone about there choice of diet unless it is dangerously unhealthy... so you know if someone is eating a tub of lard or something. So here are the most common components of carnivorous sermons and why they are stupid as fuck. “If I'm not meant to eat animals why are they made of meat?” So are babies. “We have teeth that have evolved to eat meat.” Your appendix evolved to help digest grass, your body is filled with stuff that evolution gave you that you choose not to use. “We're more intelligent than animals.” I'm more intelligent than you doesn't mean I'm allowed to kill you and eat you... I checked. “If we stopped eating these animals then they'd go extinct.” So all the animals will die... they were going to anyway, at least future generations wouldn't. Also agricultural animals account for a huge percentage of global warming. You know what argument for eating meat is acceptable, “I like meat... I want eat it” Well done and fair-play. I don't want to eat meat and I don't want to be preached at for that decision.

Same way I don't want to get preached at for bringing an M4-Carbine to a BBQ

Let me be absolutely clear I actually think there are a whole bunch of good arguments for eating meat, but most of them could be used by hyper-intelligent aliens to justify eating people and when that happens I want to at least die on the moral high-ground. I also think that there are plenty of great arguments to be made for tons of stuff that we now look back on as being objectively morally wrong. I'm not saying that eating meet is wrong... but I'm not cool with it so I don't do it, much like working for a bank. I also happen to believe that in the distant, distant, distant future we will as a species look back on eating meat the same we look back on a whole host of other bad things we've done. I also believe that most people don't give the slightest nano-shit. I just want to be left to eat my plant-life in peace.

eddie <herbivore in a leather jacket>

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lady Luck Is Only A Lady When She's Not A Bitch

(Sorry for the lack of humorously captioned images... I forgot I wouldn't be able to write this over the weekend because of Download Festival. So instead I just pulled something out of my arse during my lunchbreak on thursday... that's part of my commitment to excellence)

Luck is the most powerful force in the universe. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of how the world works or alternatively very lucky. The CEOs of major corporations for example will constantly hold forth on how they got were they are due to an insane amount of hard work. That’s probably true but it completely overlooks the fact that they had the good fortune to be born in a time when their particular talents were linked to such a high financial reward. Were they born in the Medieval period of human existence then they would never have reached the top because that system didn’t allow it. Equally prisons are filled with people who, had they been born four thousand years ago, could’ve have been tribal leaders of great power and importance. I myself believe I would have been more suited to a period either in the past or future where fucking off and exploring was a much more realistic option, basically either actual piracy or space piracy… I think I’d be good at it.

It’s not just about having the good fortune to be born in the right time-frame, it’s about being born in the right place. I’m not speaking about those that have the good fortune to been into an affluent Bel-Air family… or at least be born the nephew of a successful judge who lives in Bel-Air. I’m speaking about the fact the Google guys had the good fortune, not just to be born at a time where their particular brand of genius could be applied but also in the right portion of the planet for them to use those skills. There’s not much of a tech start-up scene in the Congo. Equally those born in the Congo who excel at guerrilla warfare and merciless slaughter are lucky they weren’t born in South-East England where that kind of thing is very much frowned upon.

Then there’s the fact that the most successful people you’ve ever heard of got there because they met the right people. Che Guevara would be nothing if his life hadn’t brought him into contact with Fidel Castro and the same goes for Castro. John Lennon never went into a special centre slapped his hand on the counter and said give me two musical geniuses and a drummer. Instead the universe accidentally threw those three crazy geniuses together and later they met Ringo. Hugh Laurie was one of the highest earning television actors, clocking a million dollars an episode, of the last decade but you’d never of heard of him if he’d not gone to university with Stephen Fry. If Kurt Cobain hadn’t killed himself Dave Grohl would be the drummer from Nirvana and it’s only because of Walt Disney’s wife being in a funny mood that Mortimer Mouse became the infinitely more marketable Mickey.

None of this is to denigrate these people’s achievements. Unless you’re new here you’ll know that I’m big on Darwin, but if his friend had just published his paper without sending him a letter you’d never have heard of him. That’s not to say that Darwin isn’t a genius but genius is nothing without luck. Think about the people in your life. We all know at least one person that should be much more successful than they are and one guy who finds everything easy. There may be real reasons for that, maybe one’s a raging alcoholic and the other only made his business contacts through the furry scene but if different things had happened to each of them early in life they might have swapped vices and therefore lives. I’m not saying that hard-work won’t reward you but just remember a lot of unlucky people worked really heard to make Yahoo the best search engine, a lot of people worked really hard to make flying machines before the Wright Brothers beat them to the punch and a lot of Polish people worked very hard to make a go of it before the Nazis swarmed across the border and destroyed everything they’d worked at.

The world is filled with people who have become rich and successful at things that in logical world have absolutely no right to pay-off look at the people who took crazy long-shots that brought them success. Hell Gabe and Tycho, of Penny Arcade fame, shunned getting real jobs to professionally make immature jokes about computer games and dicks. They have personally warned others off of following in their footsteps because and I quote ‘there is no way this should have worked.’ Every success story is the tale of someone who rolled the dice just right and then made the most of that and a lot of every other story is the people whose roll of the dice went terribly and then they made the most of it. Hell I’m not a professional writer despite the fact that it is literally the only thing I am good at that doesn’t take place in the fictional city of San Andreas. I’m far from alone in this and the plain truth of the matter is that for most of us the universe never gets out of the way long enough to let dream-following become an option.
The simple truth of the universe is to hope that if and when your luck changes you bet as big as you can… unfortunately you usually won’t know if it had changed until just afterwards.

eddie <good luck and god speed>

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

God Hates... A Lot Actually


So I was having a little trouble sleeping the other night, this tends to happen when I get crushed under the weight of my own intellect, so I went for a little midnight stroll through the back-streets of Wessex. This is usually a fairly uneventful jaunt and this one looked to be following the same boring and predictable pattern. I was pondering some of the more puzzling aspects of quantum physics, i.e. all of it, having given up on the much more taxing problem of women, bitches be crazy, sometime earlier. You can imagine my surprise when, upon rounding a corner, I found myself in one of the many crack alleys that the area boasts, that's not the surprising part, and found myself looking straight into the face of god.
“What are you doing here?” God barked. I have to admit the question took me somewhat by surprise as God has always seemed fairly omniscient in our previous meetings. I quickly surveyed the scene and saw that both God and Jesus were standing in front of a flip chart. Jesus gave me a glance and the little half wave he sometimes does before turning back to the chart and scrawling 'Flood New Orleans Again'
“What are you guys up to?” I asked, as it seemed like the most pertinent question giving the circumstances.
“Just working out new ways to punish America” Jesus replied without turning.
“Oh. Because of the gays?” I asked. God pivoted on the spot all afire with the incandescent rage of the Old Testament.
“FUCK OFF! I am sick and tired of every single fucking punishment I visit on that fetid empire being blamed on the faggots. Of course I hate the faggots they are a filthy, but fuck me is that far down the list.” God was shaking with rage. “I gave them a fucking list of rules and I mentioned the faggots once but every single time I give a baby AIDS or get a soldier shot in the face everyone assumes it's because I'm hating on the queers.” At this point god turned and shot an ineffectual kick at the flip chart. “Do you want the list?”
All I could do was nod dumbly whilst I shot Jesus a sympathetic look, parents can be so embarrassing. “KEEP HOLY THE FUCKING SABBATH is it that fucking hard to shut Walmart for one day of the pissing week. THOUGH SHALT NOT KILL yet the fuck-monkeys have two wars and the death penalty. There are tons of fucking tattoo parlours all over the fucking place.” I gave him a blank look “Leviticus 19:28, Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks upon yourself. I am the Lord. So while we're on the subject fuck fucking coroners the ghoulish mother-fuckers. Except Quincy I fucking love Quincy. Leviticus 19:27 Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard... how many of the fat bastards do you see obeying that one?” I ran a finger through my ringlets as I tried to think of a notable yank with facial hair to match my own.
Well most rabbis...”
Fuck those Jew cunts.” Jesus interjected forcefully. “Nail me to a bit of fucking wood... dick-heads.”
Wasn't that technically the Romans?” I asked trying to calm the situation down a little bit.
Meen't meh memememe me momans?” Jesus replied incredibly sarcastically.
Jesus Christ, there's no need to be like that” I snapped back at the messiah, who by the way is only like five foot three and something of a little bitch. Jesus hung his head in shame.
BLASPHEMY!” God shouted at me whilst pointing.
No it's not. I was saying his actual name to him.” I replied.
OK but those cunt-thumpers blaspheme to high heaven. Mel Gibson released a film that made millions of dollars trading off of the death of my son!” God was shaking with rage. “They fornicate, they watch pornography, they eat the wrong animals and they wear clothing made from more than one fabric. They allow their women to talk back to them and fail to stone adulterers. They eat pork and they don't keep woman locked away whilst they are menstruating... don't they realize they are unclean. I will raise there country to the ground and each and everyone of my hypocrite followers will spend the entire time saying I'm punishing them for not making the gays miserable enough. Cunts.”
It was at this point I made my excuses and quickly left because despite having a few good points God is one crazy diety.
eddie <another late night walk ruined by a ranting diety>