The St Patrick’s Day Green Drink Experiment

This article first appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com

I love St Patrick’s Day: it’s like Ireland bought the entire world a round just by existing. The clichés are a little annoying — imagine the world spent Independence day eating hamburgers until everyone threw up in public — but for some reason America sees the Irish as inoffensive comic relief that can be safely ignored.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

The result is all of North America drinking in our honor, which would be awesome if they could handle it. Part of the problem is the poison people drink: green beer is the alcoholic equivalent of yellow-black striped lines, but jamming your face into it does more damage in the long run. You should only drink green thinks if you’re an aphid. Color-coding people is one of the most appalling things in history, and it’s not as if Ireland has a lock on the colour.

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

I’ve never spent St Patrick’s drinking green, because I’m actually Irish and not an idiot, but now I’m grabbing every green grog I can get my Gaelic grip on just to see what happens.

Don’t worry about the drinking dangers.  I’m a professional.

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5 Freelancer Functions Of Modern Laptops

The modern freelancer is an effective cyborg. I’ve experienced multiple failures in my internet connection and entire left leg, and in terms of productivity productivity my sinister lower limb really isn’t in the running. As well as being an infinitely-inked typewriter, already a machine beyond the dreams of most of history, it has other useful functions.

1. What Day It Is

whatdayisit

My sense of time has always been fairly fluid, kept that way by various fluids, but when working from home it dissolves completely. I can generally tell when it’s the weekend because the beautiful Dr X is around longer (though not always: she works in genetics, but none of her creations are sufficiently advanced to tell when it’s the weekend and take care of themselves so she can stay home), but on any other day I’m at the mercy of the computer clock.

2. Emotional Override

portlabel

The body is a machine. Sitting and staring for seven hours (at least) confuses your body chemistry, which was told it was being built for a hunter-gatherer, not an intellectual processing silo, which is why some of the moodier macromolecules start bouncing around your mood looking for a way out.

Luckily that same machine has a mathematical override. Pipe in the proper patterns and the pure beauty of structure helps the brain regain control. True, sometimes “Harder Better Faster Stronger” comes on and you lose all ability as you dance for 3:45, but overall your productivity increases.

3. It’s An Entire Office

And not in a good way. An internet-enabled laptop is the world’s largest office, including every reason I list “not working in an office” as a boon from the networked electrogods. If you want endless gossip, people to hate, and enough interruptions to make Zeno give up and make tortoise stew, the internet is all you need. Which is why you must remember that the laptop is better. You can cast a spell of silence on every asshole there is. If people could incant “I MUTE THEE FROM POLITE CONVERSATION BECAUSE YOU’RE A RACIST” in real life, we’d all be working in much nicer offices.

4. An Easy Standing Desk

standingUntil we engineer replacement spines, or some kind of fleshy rolling pin to unhunch us, a simple box is the best back-massage you’ll ever get

5. It can be closed

The brain is an analog network with an infinity of endless states which simply can’t be shut down to zero, no matter how tired or terrible they may be. The internet is an digital network which can override even the urge to sleep with endless input. The laptop hinge is a simple mechanical switch which can shut the entire electronic world into a smooth metal shell where we can’t see it, and one I should probably use more a little more often.

The Worst Watchmen Ending Ever

Zack Snyder whined to the Huffington Post about how he made his version of Watchmen “to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.” Now I’m stuck with the awful image of Zack Snyding down the Zackpole to the Zack-cave, donning a grittily textured body suit contoured to his every abdominal muscle, then swooping out to punch people much more interesting than himself. (But they’ll be fine, because a single cinematic Zack-punch can take up to five minutes to arrive.)

Snyder had good reason to turn his own surname into an agent noun. Joel Silver had recently opined how much better Terry Gilliam’s ending for Watchmen would have been, which was unprofessional. But not incorrect. Not being as original as a Python isn’t an insult, it’s the normal state of being for about seven billion minus six (minus one) people. It’s still put Zack-Man in an awkward position: reprimand Joel? Stay above it all? Or swoop down to shit on the work of someone who wasn’t even part of the problem? Zack unbuckled his pants.

In Gilliam’s ending the hyperintelligent Ozymandias convinces Doctor Manhattan that his own omnipotence is the pressure pushing Earth to destruction. Which is the core premise of the original comic. Manhattan erases himself from existence to save the world, a changing which undoes undoes every superhero, returning them to the printed page, and our “heroes” facing nuclear annihilation are suddenly cosplayers unaware of what they’ve lost and gained. It’s an innovative ending for a movie about the role of superheroes in society, it matches Manhattan’s motivations perfectly — he removed himself from circulation in the comic too, but now he’s gone in time instead of space — and most importantly, it was interesting.

Snyder said “it’s completely insane“. He explained how no-one should ever change anything, ever. Because god knows no-one would want to be surprised by the ending of Watchmen. Watchmen, world-famous for its absolutely predictable plot, rigid adherence to all tropes and conventions, and its absolutely unsurprising ending! And then he changed his ending too. But where Gilliam re-interpreted it to add another layer (because that’s what  making a movie about a comic about comics does), Snyder just broke it.

Snydamandias framed Manhattan for a massive terror attack on the planet, because a massive simultaneous nuclear-level strike on every nation on Earth is exactly how a genius would pull the world back from the brink of nuclear war. It’s not like the US were infamous for plausible deniability and “rogue” forces during the Cold War. Even assuming the Russians didn’t instantly launch their entire arsenal — which they were seconds away from doing even without a genocidal attack by the world’s most famous American — he’s created a world where everyone knows intrinsic field experiments can give you absolute power. And is desperate to defend themselves from the intrinsically empowered. from them.

Instead of uniting the globe against a deliberately unknowable interdimensional alien menace (Ozymandias understood that only a shared enemy could unify the combative human race), Snydamandias has pushed the Cold War to absolute zero, an end to any scientific endeavor except the development of divine weapons much more destructive than the merely nuclear. Sure, no-one else has survived the intrinsic field accident which created Manhattan, but now that he’s (apparently) holding the world under his giant blue thumb, militaries around the world will be shoveling people into those intrinsically disintegrating chambers like lumps of coal.

Snydamandias’s only “success” was ridding the world of Manhattan, the only good god. So when those militaries succeed we’ll have an omnipotent “volunteer” meta-murdered by militaries instead of a lovestruck scientist spurred only by curiosity. The world is even more doomed than it was before, because at least the cockroaches might have survived nuclear war, but the entire planet will be undone by a traumatized god-soldier.

But it still ends in a big explosion, so that’s close enough to the source material, right? Helpfully, Snyder adds “Well, maybe it’s supposed to look like a video game.” Video games, comics, movies, what’s the difference? They all make money, right?

This wasn’t his only change. Remember when he thought 300 had too many men, so he added a woman specifically to submit to sexual assault by her most hated enemy? Or Man of Steel, where he had Superman purposefully kill his enemy, and accidentally kill thousands of innocents through sheer carelessness? Snyder respects important characters in the same way pigeons respect statues. The same way he respected Terry Gilliam, a writer he could only dream of calling a peer.

He has talent. He’s an amazing visual transducer between the printed page and the silver screen. But maybe he should let other people take provide the words. Including his own.


Enjoy more Snydeness with Screw Man of Steel, Here’s The Real Superman.

Wuss Brayne is The-Man!

Gettem city was beautiful at night. Unless you were upside down and seeing it from above. Then it was terrifying, and gently sprinkled with urine.

“Oh my god don’t drop me!” screamed the inverted man, flailing at a ledge just out of reach.

The fist clenching his ankle tightened. He would have sworn he wouldn’t have thought that was a bad thing before the pain hit.

“YOU FUNNEL TEXCORP ARMS TO THE BLACK MARKET!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking abaaaaaaaa”

The shadowy figure watched the speck plummet into the empty ornamental pond below. What kind of idiot argues from that position? Apart from a short-lived one.


Wuss Brayne scandalized Gettem society by arriving at the Charity Balls for Testicular Cancer with an actress and a fashion model on each arm, making a total of four. It was the perfect cover story: they’d be well paid to swear that he’d spent the entire night with them. Because he was absolutely going to spend the entire night with them, going to all sorts of places and using all kinds of fancy equipment. Screw crime, there were better options. Being rich was awesome! They’d be paid by selling steamy tell-all features in gossip magazines, or as Wuss thought of it, “free advertising.”

He didn’t even notice the armed thugs bursting into the room, getting as far as demanding “All your jewelr-” before dropping, cut down by expert Brayne non-lethal taze-snipers. It turns out that homeless thugs don’t outperform expertly trained and equipped troops. Not even when they’re led by an unstable madman!


Master keys get you anywhere, but announce that a master was in the building. Far better to use a temp janitor’s card. Security cameras flickered and rewound as he shadowed past to the executive boardroom. Professional adjustments to the media console. A cooling system fails, another overheats, the lamp explodes, and nobody wastes Brayne Industries time with another PowerPoint ever again.


Commissioner Cordon rounded on The-Man.

“I’m sick of commissioning cordons! I’m just a giant police-tape dispenser to you, keeping my cops out until you’ve finished your work. But you only reveal corruption in competing corporations. You only save Brayne Industries facilities. And I’m a goddamn detective! I know who you are, and from now on you’ll help on my terms or the press learns everything.”

“Oh no!” cried The-Man, the combination of growly-bass-rumble and fake-high-pitched combining to make him sound like a sarcastically buried coal miner.

“If people suspect that an unstoppable vigilante protects Brayne Industries while crippling the competition, whatever will happen to their stock? If workers knew that corruption or laxity was punished by beatings instead of performance reviews, what would happen to their work ethic? If these facts were kept in the public eye for years by an endless court case defended by my army of lawyers? Whatever you do, please don’t spread the word from the highest levels of law enforcement. And receive a large donation towards the police retirement fund. By this time tomorrow.”

With that, The-Man vaulted out of the window into the back of The-Car, an anonymous black business sedan loaded with armor-plating, alcohol, and an autodrive system. The sunroof whispered shut as he reclined on the luxury leather seats, pouring a bourbon as The-Car sped for home. He rested his feet on the autodrive system, wondering what kind of moron would spend a million dollars on a car and still have to drive the thing.


More fictional fun with

Marriage Restriction And Other Religious Parasites

In the long term marriage equality is guaranteed. Because everyone campaigning for marriage restriction has to start by revealing that they’re a soulless monster. Their position has to begin by redefining marriage as something it makes sense to restrict, and to frame that redefinition they must ask “What is marriage for?”

Imagine not knowing that. Imagine being so broken you don’t understand love, or affection, the embrace of another person, the warmth of facing the immensities of life in the knowledge you’ll never be alone again. Imagine having to ask that question, out loud, and then giving the wrong answer. Because their answers are all crap:

  • “We must produce new people in obedience of our master.”
  • “We must raise new workers in accordance with instructions from above.”
  • “We must obey these arbitrary commands from someone we’ve never seen.”

Those aren’t the words of a loving god, those are the commands of me going for a high score population when playing SimCity. And the instant anyone decries anything as unnatural they should be struck naked, their phone stops working, and all the meat in their belly becomes raw.

These opponents of equality went looking for love and they found an instruction booklet. If they weren’t so poisonous we’d pity them.

There’s only one reason we even hear these loveless ghouls. You might think it’s because their words echo around their own hollowness, an emptiness which gives them nothing better to do but reverberate their restrictions to anyone who’ll listen. But shouting simply doesn’t get you that much attention.

They prey our attention because religion has parasitized all our most important social events. Birth, death, marriage, the wise folk of those original tribes showed how wise they were by installing intellect-overrides in all the most important days of our lives. But people can still be born without a god. This has been tested. Even the most miraculous of births was only immaculate because it didn’t use a man to contribute genetic material. That’s not solving any problems. Men prepared to do that duty are not in short supply.

People still die without any of the thousands of gods too, and if choosing one to talk to when the person you really want to see is no longer available, that’s fine. But churches parasitized the promise of marriage by making it a religious ceremony as well as a civil one. And now that we’re slowly and painfully levering the leech off this event, the parasite responds chewing its way through our brains in a desperate attempt to prevent us from thinking against it. Which only makes them that much more obvious and painful to bear in the process.

Churches should be struggling towards symbiosis, strengthening the supportive aspects of religious communities. But instead they’re standing on the mountaintop screaming about who isn’t allowed to marry in a world where even couples with “permission” often skip all the skybearded fuss and heading straight to the town hall instead.

The church claims marriage as a sacrament, but they didn’t invent it. People weren’t popping into existence as immaculate quantum fluctuations until a priest said “Hey, if you incant these magical phrases you’ll be able to huddle together for warmth and funtimes!” Religion annexed it the same way they hijacked pagan winter festivals, and fertility rites, and anything else they could as they became the Walmart of belief.

Marriage equality is guaranteed in the long term. But we can’t allow monsters to spew poison and pain in the short term. That’s where we live, and it’s already far too short to allow loss of any love.


Get more divine assistance with The Original Creator’s Creation Story and The Guide To Better Blasphemy

Other Embarrassing Payments By RTÉ

Ireland’s national public service broadcaster RTÉ recently interviewed gay rights activist Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss. They asked Rory about homophobic people in Irish society, and obviously the Iona Institute came up, because they’re the most homophobic people in Irish society. They’re a mercenarily homophobic private company dedicated solely to removing rights from homosexual Irish people. Homophobia is their cúis aige chun a beith (a very Irish raison d’être altogether). The Institute made a legal threat to Ireland’s semi-state voice of public discussion, and that voice immediately squealed “I surrender”, censored its own interviews, and paid them eighty-five thousand euros of public money.

This was so horrifying that even TDs were able to see it was stupid, complaining about the payment in Oireachtas, and enabling the stupid waste of vast sums of money has been the Oirechtas’ sole function for over a decade. The resulting investigation has revealed several other problematic  payments and guidelines issued by RTÉ:

  • RTÉ publicly apologized to world terrorist organizations for their portrayal in the Die Hard movies.
  • Footage of the Berlin Book Burnings is now overdubbed with “Here we see our friends the Jolly Germans trying to keep warm over a particularly cold winter!
  • Reporters in the Ukraine must state that “everyone on both sides look like a grand shower of lads, I’m sure everybody’s right, I wonder if they’d like some free money.
  • Any lawyer who even looks at the RTÉ buildings receives ten thousand euros. And the stench of urine-soaked trousers if they’re standing downwind.
  • Forty thousand euros were sent to the hyena enclosure at Dublin Zoo after a broadcast of the Lion King. On being told Dublin Zoo doesn’t have a hyena enclosure, RTÉ officials hissed “sshhhhhhhh, they might hear you say that!” and threw other people’s money at the hyena-expert until she went away.
  • Excuse me, I’ve just received twenty thousand euros from RTÉ because I’m writing official-sounding mean things about them. I must ponder whether this will make me — and everyone else in the world — more or less likely to legally threaten them in future.
  • It’s expected that Ireland will have to raise taxes when the last surviving Nazi official finds out about all the World War 2 movies they’ve been showing. But at least not standing up against goddamn fascists is something Ireland has experience in, so RTÉ’s current behaviour is detestably understandable.

More dickhaters in The IONA Institute: In Our Nice Arseholes? and The Sixth Reason Homophobia Is Unmanly.

The IONA Institute: “In Our Nice Arseholes?”

The Iona Institute is the latest Irish attempt to build a time machine set for full reverse. Their publicly stated goal is the prevention of marriage equality, but they will sue you for calling them homophobes, because the further you can draw the bullshit battle lines from the real issue the longer you can hold back genuine progress. That being their sole mercenary function.

This private limited company’s job is to miracle up arguments that marriage equality is anything but the most basic of human rights, now that standing in a pulpit and scowling is ineffective. Their reports read like a schoolchild googling up references for an argument they’ve already written. Fergus Finlay points out how they compared the rate of reported Irish marriage breakdown to a time when divorce was illegal, Senator David Norris told the Seanad that they “knowingly” tried to mislead a constitutional convention about the superiority of biological parents (by quoting a study which specifically stated it could not be used for that purpose), and they’ll keep doing it because think that you can bury basic human decency under enough of a pagecount.

The Iona Institute’s head, David Quinn, has a fortnightly column in the Irish Independent. Because 2014 is a big scary number and jaysus, wouldn’t it be nice if it was a few centuries backwards. He complains that no-one can point to a homophobic comment by Iona staff, but that’s because actions speak louder than even the most careful of words. It doesn’t matter how politely you try to reclassify people as subhuman. He whinges that he doesn’t get any credit for recommending civil unions instead, because you don’t get credit for installing nice carpets in the compounds you want to send people who aren’t allowed to join the rest of society. Even America’s hatemongers evolved past the “separate-but-equal” bullshit, and that’s a country where people are still allowed to shoot an unarmed teenager of their least favorite race.

The Institute recently crowed about their “victory” over Panti Bliss, an Irish gay rights activist and drag queen who called them out on being blatantly homophobic. They protested being called “mean and horrible”, because nothing says “generous and pleasant to be around” like the constant threat of legal action. They got the statements cut from the televised interview and forced RTE to pay them eighty-five thousand euro. They turned down the right to make a statement in reply, instead taking the money and hampering debate, because that is this private limited company’s entire mission statement.

On the one hand you’ve got a man who takes on Irish pubs while wearing a dress for a living. On the other you’ve got a mercenary fundamentalist corporation who contact their lawyers to censor free speech. When Disney get round to a story about marriage equality that will be the exact plot. Because those arguing from authority to silence critics have always been on the right side of history. In that “most of them are extinct now”, which is the right side of history for such backwards hatemongers.

The Iona Institute masters of manipulation. They bullied Ireland’s allegedly independent national broadcaster into paying them for the privilege of never crossing them again in, in advance of next year’s national referendum on equal marriage. The term “Iona Institute” itself is a euphemism. They are homophobes, bigots, hateful oppression disguised as the voice of moral authority, and they’re named for an island of Irish religious history. Because all of those things are an unfortunate part of Irish religious history.

We need to restate them. We can’t let them hide hate behind the picture-postcard of a beautiful Gaelic island, nor can we let them spread hate in our own beautiful Gaelic island. Luckily I’ve discovered that their name is actually an acronym. In the same way that a prissy Irish mammy might complain about a daughter’s new hairstyle, wondering why she would cut it when “she has such nice hair”, the Iona Institute passive-aggressively complaining by asking why the Irish people would want to stick dicks “In Our Nice Arseholes?”

That’s “nice” in the provincial sense, of course: small, normal to rhyme with conformal, and never doing anything fun. The core principle of provincialism is that the potential vague uneasiness of people who hate you is more important than your entire life. Even when they have to use lawyers to enforce it. Why would any decent, normal, god-fearing, obedient little Irish people want to stick anything up any of their orifices? And why would a nice girl want to do anything with another girl? They just don’t understand it, and you don’t want to make a fuss, like, so just stop being who you are so they can pretend it’s 1600, there’s a dear.

This is a group whose head has commented positively on “natural” methods of contraception, when even the dumbest lay preacher knows that the only way to naturally avoid conception is to already be pregnant. A result natural methods 100% guarantee.

They want to externalize a semantic argument about the meaning of words, turning their homophobia a nebulous side-issue instead of the real and immediate oppression of real, long-suffering people. Homophobia isn’t something unfairly applied to them, it’s their entire mission. They aren’t sallying forth from some safe spot to meet us in the middle. Their starting position is toxic, their very stance poisoning the land they stand on and the country they hate in.

Until 1993 it was illegal to practice homosexuality in Ireland. I guess I’m just meant to feel lucky I was born unattracted to men. If Benedict Cumberbatch had been famous in the 80s I would have had serious trouble. Ireland allowed the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles to sleep together in a sewer before its’ own citizens could sleep together in their own homes, and that fact will never stop humiliating us. But we can learn from it, and fight against it, and we can start by seeing things as they really are. And the IONA Institute are a crowd of miserable homophobes clenching against the wall, protecting puckered orifices and pockets stuffed with mercenary hatemoney, crying “In Our Nice Arseholes?”

See that every time you see their name. It helps. Because that’s what they’re doing: being every so proper about it, but being total arseholes.


Ireland should learn to defend itself against Donald Trump with The Trump Endurance Experiment. Or continue countering hatemongers with The Sixth Reason Homophobia Is Unmanly.