General

A Comment To End All Comments, Maybe

I made what I believe to be my best internet comment ever last week, but it was lost in a long thread and went criminally unnoticed. So, to boost my ego, I will now tell you exactly what it was, and watch critically as you clap.

So yeah. The thread was on the Facebook Space Opera group. A person posted the following question:

Suppose an agreed-upon true evil (let’s suppose 99%+ agreement here, a Hitler of sorts) author had written a space opera. Five of your trusted friends reviewed the book blind, and said it was a must-read. You know who the author is. Would you read it? Does the work of art have value independent of the nature of its author? Would it matter to you whether the author were dead, or still alive and profiting from your purchase?

villainNow I’m sure that point of this post was to get at the whole author-ethics debate that’s farting along in science fiction circles right now. As in — are you allowed to like a writer’s work if the writer turns out to have the wrong politics?

Given the massive kerfuffle in the Hugo Awards at the moment, it’s a very reasonable question. Personally I judge stuff as stuff and leave the creator out of it. If a person I despise makes a thing I like, I think they should be paid for that thing, regardless of how I feel about them otherwise. That’s not weird. I’m sure I’d hate most of my cultural heroes if I met them at a dinner. And they’d probably hate me. Art is art. You’re not buying a person. Just some art they made.

Anyway. As a reply to this particular question, I posted this repy:

One of the most unhinged psychopaths of all time was old-testament Jehovah. And I hear his book still sells quite well.

I thought it was great. Not not many other people did. I guess they’re just too busy. Oh well.

/ paddy

Foot-washing Thursday

I took the Thursday of Easter week off, giving me five free days off in a row. This is nice as I get to write uninterrupted for several hours in the morning, my best writing time, for many days in a row, while it snows outside. Yes, it’s snowing.

Today is Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday (apparently) and, in Sweden, Skärtorsdag. Apparently it’s called that as “skär” is an old word for “clean” and the name refers to Jesus washing his disciples’ feet before the last supper. Or maybe that you clean the house for Easter. Personally I’d call it “Supper Thursday” but I guess that’s not mysterious enough.

washThe swedes take Easter seriously. Well, seriously in that they gladly take the holidays and go do family stuff, but not many of them do the whole religious thing the way we did when I was a sprog in Ireland. Back then, in school at least, the whole week was an uninterrupted stream of guilt and misery. The teacher on many occasions got us to draw men being crucified to death on a cross. I think I was ten then. Then there was the ash, the masses and the oddly-named Good Friday when not a single fucking thing was open and people embarked upon desperate train journeys because that was the only way you could buy alcohol.

We had eggs, though — proper chocolate eggs. The swedes have eggs too, but they are made of cardboard and just filled with regular sweets. Boo! Luckily you can get chocolate eggs in the English Shop. Half price all next week.

In Sweden, Good Friday has a far more honest name – Långfredag, or “Long Friday”. And that is the day in a nutshell / eggshell — long and miserable. Good for writing though. And for thinking about death and chocolate.

If you find yourself far from an Irish church and want to watch the Easter celebrations live, try this, one of my current favourite things: a webcam in an Irish nunnery. Streamed 24/7 for your holy convenience. I’m not being ironic. I do actually enjoy it.
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.30.02I would leave with saying “Have a happy Easter!” but that’s not really the point of Easter. So at least have some chocolate. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

/ paddy

Amusing Clips And All

As it’s Friday and wine has been consumed, I thought I’d post some of my all-time favourite youtube videos. And there’s a fuck of a lot on youtube, but I’ll go with my top five ever. Ready?

1. He-man. Doing it. It’s marvellous.

2. Okay, so I like a bit of goth. What can I say?

3. Weird Al. He can be great. He can be rubbish. But this is one that I love.

4. Yes, I’m a huge Air Supply fan. Sorry. But this version is sublime. It helps to know the original.

5. Musicless music videos. Genius. Here’s The Prodigy.

And yeah. Have a decent weekend. Not great, just decent.

/ paddy

The Writing Blog Commences

Well hello there. No, wait! This isn’t going to be one of those “welcome to my new blog” posts. Well it is, clearly, but not one of those ones where they post a “welcome to my new blog” post and then nothing ever again. Those blogs are out there. I’ve seen them. I often wonder what happened to those people. Boredom, possibly. Or maybe they dropped dead at the keyboard, with the best blog post of their lives just bubbling on their brains, about to get out and then – blam! Dead. And that wonderful blog idea, lost forever, like tears in rain, or a small pencil in IKEA.

So. I’ve been blogging on and off for damn near ten years over at Swedish Extravaganza, with over 500 posts. But now I will direct my efforts to here, with more focus on things related to my writing. Although, I do love a lot of other things too, so they will probably pop up. Like old telephones covered in cobwebs, for example.

2014-07-24 17.42.59Ah yes, there’s one now. If you happen to have an old telephone covered in cobwebs, then please let me know. And pop back again soon. There’s more to come, I promise.

/ paddy