Disney Reviews with Unshaved Mouse #46: Chicken Little

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

"WE WANT BLOOD!" "WE WANT BLOOD!"

“WE WANT BLOOD!”
“WE WANT BLOOD!”

"Guys, that crowd is getting pretty nasty. Has he started reviewing it yet?"

“Guys, that crowd is getting pretty nasty. Has he started reviewing it yet?”

"Nah man. He just watched it and now hes just sitting there not doing any damn thang."

“Nah man. He just watched it and now he’s just sitting there not doing any damn thang.”

"What?! Mouse, cmon! Snap out of it!"

“What?! Mouse, cmon! Snap out of it!”

"..."

“…”

"I told you it was too soon! I told we couldnt expect to review so soon after Foodfight! I TOLD YOU ALL! "

“I told you! I told you we couldn’t expect to review another movie so soon, after…that…other movie. I TOLD YOU ALL! “

"SHUT UP! Mouse, listen to me! You've kept them waiting too long, if you don't review this movie we're going to be killed by hardcore Disney fans!"

“SHUT UP! Mouse, listen to me! You’ve kept them waiting too long, if you don’t tear this movie apart they’re going to kill us all!”

"I...can't..."

“I…can’t…”

"I knew it! He's too traumatised! Why din't you listen to me?! Making him watch that piece of shit so soon after Foodfight..."

“I knew it! He’s too traumatised! Why din’t you listen to me?! Making him watch that piece of shit so soon after Foodfight…”

"NYAAAAAARRGGHHH!"

“NYAAAAAARRGGHHH!”

"Sorry, sorry, my bad."

“Sorry, sorry, my bad.”

"BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!"

“BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!”

"Listen dawg. Ain't no thang. Just go out there and tell them that the movie was a piece of shit."

“Listen dawg. Ain’t no thang. Just go out there and tell them that the movie was a piece of shit and then you never have to see it again.”

"That's not the problem. I...I liked it."

“That’s not the problem. I…I liked it.”

"Oh Jesus. That's it everybody, run for your lives. Latin America, you run out and create a distraction."

“Oh Jesus. That’s it everybody, run for your lives. Latin America, you go out and create a distraction.”

"Sure thing...heeeeey, wait a minute!"

“Sure thing…heeeeey, wait a minute!”

"What?"

“What?”

"That's a "diversion", not a "distraction" silly."

“That’s a “diversion”, not a “distraction” silly.”

"Aw, you're so smart. Now get going! We'll rendezvous in the afterlife."

“Aw, you’re so smart. Now get going! We’ll rendezvous in the afterlife. Let’s go Mouse. You packin’ Asia?”

"You know it."

“You know it. Let’s murder some bitches.”

"No. It's alright. I'll go and talk to them."

“No. It’s alright. I’ll go and talk to them.”

***

Okay. Well. No point beating around the bush. Time to take my punishment like a mouse. Here goes.

ATTENTION INTERNET! CHICKEN LITTLE IS NOT THAT BAD! I REPEAT! CHICKEN LITTLE IS NOT THAT BAD! PLEASE ADJUST YOUR OPINIONS ON THE BADNESS OF CHICKEN LITTLE ACCORDINGLY!

DINOSAUR REMAINS SHIT!

THAT IS ALL!

"..."

“…”

"Um...hello?"

“Um…hello?”

"I think they're paralysed with rage, boss."

“I think they’re paralysed with rage, boss.”

"Ah. How long before they recover and tear me limb from limb like wet tissue paper?"

“Ah. How long before they recover and tear me limb from limb like wet tissue paper?”

"Eight, nine minutes?"

“Eight, nine minutes?”

Okay. Better make this quick.

Continue reading

Walt Disney Reviews Foodfight!

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is the property of the Walt Disney Corporation.  The Walt Disney Corporation reserves the right to protect its copyrighted material from any and all infringement. Violators will be shot and fed to the shareholders. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

"Mouse! Mouse! Where are you!"

“Mouse! Mouse! Where are you!”

"Walt!? What are you doing?! Get out of here while you still can!"

“Walt!? What are you doing?! Get out of here while you still can!”

 Awful
"My God, it’s even worse than I imagined. The animation…so awful…the characters…so…ugly…"

“My God, it’s even worse than I imagined. The animation…so awful…the characters…so…ugly…”

"Disney. You came."

“Disney. You came.”

"Huh. I had a feeling the Horned King wasn’t smart enough to pull something like this off. You must be the man behind the man."

“Huh. I had a feeling the Horned King wasn’t smart enough to pull something like this off. You must be the man behind the man.”

"Indeed."

“Indeed.”

"Well played."

“Well played.”

"Thank you."

“Thank you.”

"It was you…"

“It was you…”

"Obviously."

“Obviously.”

"But then how?"

“But then how?”

"Don’t you see?"

“Don’t you see?”

"Ah. Brilliant."

“Ah. Brilliant.”

"So you understand?"

“So you understand?”

"Of course."

“Of course.”

"Good. Then there’s no reason for me to explain."

“Good. Then there’s no reason for me to explain.”

"Of course not. It’s simplicity itself. You’d have to be an idiot not to understand."

“Of course not. It’s simplicity itself. You’d have to be an idiot not to understand.”

"What are you talking about?"

“What are you talking about?”

"Your witness."

“Your witness.”

"It was I who resurrected the Horned King, you furry fool. I who suggested to him that he trap you in this movie."

“It was I who resurrected the Horned King, you furry fool. I who suggested to him that he trap you in this movie.”

"Why? What did I ever do to you?"

“Why? What did I ever do to you?”

"You? My poor deluded Mouse. This was never about YOU. I did all this to get HIM here."

“You? My poor deluded Mouse. This was never about YOU. I did all this to get HIM here.”

"Why? Who are you?"

“Why? Who are you?”

"Someone who owes you a lifetime of torment. Someone who has suffered at your hands like no other. Someone whose desire for revenge burns like the fire of a thousand white hot suns."

“Someone who owes you a lifetime of torment. Someone who has suffered at your hands like no other. Someone whose desire for revenge burns like the fire of a thousand white hot suns.”

"That could literally be anyone. Care to narrow it down for me?"

“That could literally be anyone. Care to narrow it down for me?”

"P.L. Travers maybe?"

“P.L. Travers maybe?”

"Ooh! Good guess! Pamela, is that you?"

“Ooh! Good guess! Pamela, is that you?”

"NO I AM NOT PAMELA TRAVERS! NOW REVIEW THE MOVIE! REVIEW…AND DIE!"

“NO I AM NOT PAMELA TRAVERS! NOW REVIEW THE MOVIE! REVIEW…AND DIE!”

The origins of Foodfight are shrouded in mystery and occultation. It is said to have been the creation of “Larry Kasanoff”, a figure who appears in Arab folklore as a wandering trickster and teller of evil tales. Legend has it that Kasanoff was entranced by Pixar’s Toy Story, and tried to make his own version set in a supermarket, with corporate mascots instead of beloved toys. He approached the masters and lords of coproate America and with honeyed words filled their hearts with greed. “My Lords” he said “Think of it, a film that was an advertisement. Two hours of product placement made for little, impressionable children. Is it not glorious?” And, so, the story goes, they agreed to let Kasanoff use their mascots for his diabolical scheme. For many long years he toiled at his black work, suffering many setbacks. Indeed, his early work was stolen in what Kasanoff called “industrial espionage” but what we can only call “true heroism”. This forced Kasanoff to start again from scratch. Whoever that nameless thief was, we must thank him for seeking to spare us this monstrosity, even if ultimately his work was for nothing.
"Many Bothans died trying to stop this movie."

Many Bothans died trying to stop this movie.

Then again, this is all supposition. Perhaps there never was a “Larry Kasanoff”. We may never know who created Foodfight! Maybe it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that it exists. I am Walter Elias Disney, The Doom of Bahia, Master of the Black Mouse and defender of this world. And today, at last, I know fear. Today, I review Foodfight!

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Cars 2 (2011)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

Previously on Unshaved Mouse:
Transformed into a rodent at a young age because of his inability to appreciate Beauty and the Beast by Walt Disney (who, as well as being the most influential figure in American animation, the legendary entrepreneur behind Disneyland and an icon of the twentieth century is ALSO a half mad immortal warlock with a broom fixation), the Unshaved Mouse began a quest to review all of the Disney animated canon classics. However, he strayed from the path destiny had set out for him and began reviewing non-Disney films which allowed for his arch-nemesis, the Horned King to be resurrected. Masquerading as the Mouse’s psychiatrist, Doctor Ernst Fiedelman, the Horned King has used his hypnotic powers to force the Mouse to review Pixar’s legendarily not-so-great Cars movies. And now you know why this blog gets a mention on TV Tropes “Continuity Lockout” page. Now read on!
"Hey Europe, do you think Mouse is alright? He's been in there a long time."

“Hey Europe, do you think Mouse is alright? He’s been in there a long time.”

"HEY! SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEEEELP!"

“HEY! SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! HEEEEEEELP!”

"Hey Europe, do you think Mouse is alright? He's been in there a long time."

“Do you hear that?”

"He's fine."

“Oh no, Mouse is screaming like a lunatic. How unusual. Get back to work!”

"Hey Europe, do you think Mouse is alright? He's been in there a long time."

“Yeah. He does scream a lot.”

Do it Mouse! Review the movie!

Do it Mouse! Review the movie!

Look…

How about you just kill me? Seriously? What’s with all this faffing around? You’re obviously going to do it anyway, just do it. Why do you need me to review movies for you? It just seems like such an inefficient…

Do it Mouse! Review the movie!

NOW.

No one expected a sequel to CarsAfter that movie came out is was as if, as a society, we agreed to pretend that it wasn’t that bad. Critics tutted and wrote “must try harder” before giving the thing a passing grade and hoping that this was just a fluke. It was, we told ourselves, not a portent of things to come. Pixar had just stumbled a little. It was fine. We would forgive and forget. As long as they did not do that again. That was the deal. And as time went on, it seemed our faith was rewarded; Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 put paid to any rumours of a Pixar decline. Decline? Are you kidding me? Those guys were better than ever! And then, one terrible day, we woke to a world with Cars 2 in it where once no Cars 2 had been.

We had a deal, you whimsical motherfuckers.

We had a DEAL, you whimsical motherfuckers.

So…how did we get to this point? How is it that what is universally recognised as the worst original Pixar movie has spawned a sequel, with another in the works and a spinoff which in turn has its own sequel in the works. Why is this thing, for want of a better word metastasizing?

toys

Because they can’t stop. They’re making too much money off it now. Bob Iger announced Cars 3 at Disney’s shareholders meeting to assure them that yes, they will keep doing the thing that makes the money happen. And I don’t begrudge them making a profit off their work. Not a bit. And I certainly don’t have a problem with licensed merchandise (can I gauge interest in “LAZY BASTARD KOOKABURRAS” T-Shirts?). But when you start making movies just to sell the toys, you might as well just change your name to Filmation and call it a day.

They began making ads, they will end making ads. And so the circle of life continues.

They began making ads, they will end making ads. And so the circle of life continues.

Continue reading

Cars (2006)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

"Sigh."

“Sigh.”

"You seem depressed Mouse. What is troubling you?

“You seem depressed Mouse. What is troubling you?”

"Doctor? Do you ever get...urges?"

“Doctor? Do you ever get…urges?”

"Ah. Well, at last we are coming to the heart of the matter."

“Ah. Well, at last we are coming to the heart of the matter.”

"What do you mean?"

“What do you mean?”

"Your inability to come to terms with your sexuality is the root cause of all your psychoses. This is great progress. Tell me about the fish."

“Your inability to come to terms with your sexuality is the root cause of all your psychoses. This is great progress. Tell me about the fish.”

"What? No, no. It’s not that."

“What? No, no. It’s not that.”

"Well, back to square ein."

“Well, back to square ein.”

"For the last few weeks I’ve been having these insane urges to review Cars. But I hate that movie. I hate it so much."

“For the last few weeks I’ve been having these insane urges to review Cars. But I hate that movie. I hate it so much.”

"And how does this make you feel?"

“And how does this make you feel?”

"And how does this make you feel?"

“I don’t know. Guilty, maybe?”

"Why guilty?"

“Why guilty?”

"Because deep down I know there are movies that are much worse, movies that I even enjoy. But I hate this movie more than all of them and maybe it’s just not as bad as I remember."

“Because deep down I know there are movies that are much worse, movies that I even enjoy. But I hate this movie more than all of them and maybe it’s just not as bad as I remember.”

"And why do you think that?"

“And why do you think that?”

"Well, because it’s Pixar! I mean, it can’t be that bad, right?"

“Well, because it’s Pixar! I mean, it can’t be that bad, right?”

" Mouse, our course is clear. Your subconscious is telling you to review this movie with an open mind. Come. Let us begin. I shall be with you every step of the way."

“Mouse, our course is clear. Your subconscious is telling you to review this movie with an open mind. Come. Let us begin. I shall be with you every step of the way.”

"Siiiiiiiiiigh."

“Siiiiiiiiiigh.”

What am I doing? The first Pixar movie I review on this blog and it’s Cars. That’s like finally deciding to see what all the fuss is about this James Bond guy and watching Die Another Day. A question I get asked a lot on this blog is “Why don’t you review the Pixar movies?” and the simple answer is they’re just too good. The canon Disney movies have a nice mix of classics, forgotten gems and duds to keep things interesting. But Pixar’s record of quality is just so high that I honestly think I’d struggle to keep the reviews varied and interesting. Except for Cars. I’ve always hated Cars. I’m always LOATHED Cars. But that’s just based on one viewing of it years ago and I’d like to think I’ve matured a lot as a connoisseur of animation since those days. Maybe I was wrong?  Maybe I judged it too harshly as so many of you in the comments keep telling me?
Maybe hell has frozen over? Maybe pigs can soar, soar like the mighty eagle?

Maybe hell has frozen over? Maybe pigs can soar, soar like the mighty eagle?

Alright, so a little background. Cars was released in 2006, after The Incredibles and before Ratatouille. It was directed by John Lasseter himself and Joe Ranft, who died before the movie was released in a car accident, ironically enough.
That's not what "irony"means!

“That’s not what “irony”means!”

Oh Nit. “Irony” doesn’t actually mean anything, it’s just a word people say.

A version of this story was knocking around Pixar as early as the completion of A Bug’s Life in 1998, and it was originally about an electric car in a world of gas guzzlers. As time went on it got postponed and reworked before finally getting released as Cars eight years later. And if that sounds like a long development time, remember that Disney is still releasing movies based on ideas they were toying with in the frickin’ forties.
Coming Summer 2034.

Coming Summer 2034.

Because Cars merchandise basically conjures money from the ether for Disney/Pixar, it’s viewed by some fans as a sell-out movie, a vulgar cashgrab. That’s…probably unfair. From what I’ve read, for Lasseter Cars was a genuine labour of love, combining his two greatest passions, cars and animation. Well, as we’ve already established here on Unshaved Mouse, nothing works better than taking two things you love and merging them together in an ungodly fusion to appall both God and man.
Pictured: Cars.

Pictured: Cars.

Let’s take a look at the movie.

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Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)
There’s a little game I like to play called The Mark Hamill Game. It goes like this, you spend your entire life waiting for someone to say something like “Tch. Mark Hamill, what a has-been” or “Wow. Bet he thought Star Wars was going to be a career maker for him, more like a career breaker amirite?” and then, get this, you punch that person repeatedly in the face. It’s a fun game, and also it provides a useful service to society. Mark Hamill is not a has-been. Mark Hamill is one of the most talented, respected and lauded voice actors currently working in the industry, an actor who combines astonishing versatility and a real flair for mimicry with a wonderfully energetic and intense performance style. And by far his greatest role was his absolutely revolutionary turn as Batman’s arch nemesis the Joker in the seminal Batman: The Animated Series. Now…millenials like myself tend to gush about this show to the point that if you sat down to watch it based on our recommendation you might be expecting something like Saturday morning Miyazaki. And, at the risk of a storm of screeching Batfans descending from the stalactite studded cave roof of the internet…it wasn’t perfect. It was, no question, a very, very good cartoon. Possibly the best cartoon series until that point. But the quality varied wildly in terms of animation and writing. Partially this was because the animation was done by more than one animation studio, some vastly more adept than others. And also, the show took its time to decide whether it was just a cartoon for kids or something more mature. It’s great, I’m not disputing that, but…not every episode was Heart of Ice. Some of them were Batman’s in my Basement. You know what was perfect though? Mark Hamill’s Joker. Hilarious, crazed and utterly terrifying. To fans in the know, the greatest Joker was not Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson or even Heath Ledger. It was Mark Hamill.
He’s not in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
As well as Hamill, BTAS also had one of the all time great Batman/Bruce Wayne performances (admittedly that’s a slightly lower bar to clear). Kevin Conroy’s Batman for many fans (including me) was the absolute sweet spot for this character that has had an incredibly broad spectrum of portrayals over his nearly 75 year history.
Same guy. Really.

Same guy. Really.

Conroy’s Batman is grim but compassionate. Hyper competent but not infallible. Intimidating but not a monster. Often brutal but not a cop-killing, kidnapping, ableist, potty-mouthed psychopath.
No. No you are not.

No. No you are not.

Conroy’s not in this either.
So understand, when Warner Bros announced that they would be releasing a straight to DVD animated Batman film that would not star either Conroy or Hamill, long considered irreplaceable, expectations were not high. I remember reading one commenter who essentially said “What ever they want? Pay them. If they’re not free? Wait. And if they just don’t want to do it? Don’t make the movie.” You could say that the very positive response Under the Red Hood would finally receive was partially due to low expectations but I don’t think so. This, to me, personally, is the best Batman movie ever made. I don’t mean that it’s the best movie to feature Batman in it.
Nope.

Nope.

There ya go.

There ya go.

No, you know what? I can't even joke about that.

No, you know what? I can’t even joke about that.

Logically I know that Dark Knight is an absolute masterpiece. But as a Batman story, as a story that actually tells us something new and interesting about Bruce Wayne, as a story that actually makes him the focus I think URH has the edge. Why is it so good? Let’s take a look.  To the Mousemobile!

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #45: Home on the Range

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

"I now call this meeting of the United Foes of the Unshaved Mouse to order. Roll call!"

“I now call this meeting of the United Foes of the Unshaved Mouse to order. Roll call! Comrade Crow!”

"Here."

“Here.”

"Charlie McCarthy."

“Charlie McCarthy.”

"Here."

“Here.”

"The Unscrupulous Mouse."

“The Unscrupulous Mouse.”

"Here."

“Here.”

"Taran_Wanderer_2"

“Taran_Wanderer_2″

"Here."

“Here.”

"Fans of Beauty and the Beast"

“Fans of Beauty and the Beast

"HERE!"

“HERE!”

"Fans of Dinosaur."

“Fans of Dinosaur.”

"....here."

“….here.”

"Chairman Emeritus His Vileness the Horned King."

“Chairman Emeritus His Vileness the Horned King.”

I abide eternally.

I abide eternally.

"And the Avian Avatar of Avarice....THE PENGUIN!"

“And the Avian Avatar of Avarice….THE PENGUIN!”

"Waugh! Waugh! Waugh! Excellent gentlemen! Excellent!"

“Waugh! Waugh! Waugh! Excellent gentlemen! Excellent!”

Gentlemen. Ladies. Assorted vermin. You know why I have summoned you all here.

Gentlemen. Ladies. Assorted vermin. You know why I have summoned you all here.

"I gotta question, Horny. Why are we holding meetings when the Mouse is still breathing? Why don’t we just take him out now?"

“I gotta question, Horny. Why are we holding meetings when the Mouse is still breathing? Why don’t we just take him out now?”

"Silence you over varnished fool! Don’t you understand that an enemy like Batman can’t be defeated by mere brute strength? We have to…I think I might be in the wrong meeting."

“Silence you over-varnished fool! Don’t you understand that an enemy like Batman can’t be defeated by mere brute strength? We have to…I think I might be in the wrong meeting.”

"Yeah. I think you're across the hall."

“Yeah. I think you’re across the hall.”

"Forgive me gentlemen."

“Forgive me gentlemen.”

McCarthy. I would advise you to hold your tongue. Or I shall hold it for you.

McCarthy. I would advise you to hold your tongue. Or I shall hold it for you.

"C'mon! Lets kill the Mouse!"

“C’mon! Lets kill the Mouse!”

Fool. We're not going to kill the Unshaved Mouse.

Fool. We’re not going to kill the Unshaved Mouse.

"We're not?"

“We’re not?”

"Sorry, I think I might be in the wrong meeting too..."

“Sorry, I think I might be in the wrong meeting too…”

Fool. We're not going to kill the Unshaved Mouse.

No. We are not going to kill him. After all, there are things so much worse than death. I have devised a fate so heinous for the Unshaved Mouse that it can scarcely be believed. But it requires finesse, and patience.

"What is the plan, tovarich?"

“What is the plan, tovarich?”

First I will implant a hypnotic suggestion in the Mouse’s subconscious. Disney’s manipulations of him have left him uniquely suceptible to this. I intend to strike when he is at his weakest. His most vulnerable. His most…despairing.

First I will implant a hypnotic suggestion in the Mouse’s subconscious. Disney’s manipulations of him have left him uniquely susceptible to this. I intend to strike when he is at his weakest. His most vulnerable. His most…despairing.

***

AAAAAAARRRRHHHH…
YAAAAAAAAAARGGH…
BLEEEEEEECHHHHHHHH…
Alright, you know what? Before I can even approach this one I have got to rant about the poster. The goddamn poster! That’s how much suck we have to get through here.
poster
“Bust a Moo?”
BUST A MOO?!!!!
WHAT THE FLAGELLATING FINICKY FLIPPING FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!!???
FIND ME WHO CAME UP WITH THAT! I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING! FIND ME WHO WROTE THAT TAGLINE SO THAT I CAN PSYCHICALLY KILL THEM WITH PURE HATRED! DO IT NOW!
"Mouse. Calm down. Your friends are worried about you."

“Mouse. Calm down. Your friends are worried about you.”

"We're worried. Yes."

“We’re worried. Yes.”

Sorry. You’re right. I’m sorry but…oh God that poster. That poster pretty much encapsulates the whole problem with this movie. Just this weird, desperate attempt to be hip and funny that fails so badly you’re not even sure if that’s what they were going for. It’s one thing to come last in a race. It’s another to come last because you were pushing a bobsled on the track. One just means you were bad. The other is being so inept it’s hard for an outside observer to be sure that you were even trying to win. Like all the real turkeys in the Disney canon, details on Home on the Range’s origins are hard to come by. Wikipedia, TV Tropes and IMDb are pretty light on facts and presumably only God and Michael Eisner know where the bodies are buried. I do know that Home on the Range started pre-production all the way back in 1995, that it was once going to be called Sweating Bullets and that the premise was at one point that a young calf named Bullets taking on a gang of ghost cattle rustlers called The Willies. Yeah, so this thing was always going to suck, basically. There is no universe where this movie turned out well.

 How bad is it?

Come. Let us gaze upon the carnage…

Continue reading

I have a cunning plan…

So today we awoke to the news that John Waters is being paid €30,000 (aka, more than Mouse makes in a year) by RTÉ because someone on TV implied that writing and advocating against gay people being allowed to marry might qualify you as a homophobe. The other persons mentioned by Rory O’Neill have also been compensated for this dreadful trauma (that’s the trouble with gays, they can’t know just how hurtful some names can be) and according to the Irish Independent the total sum being paid to these guys amounts to €85,000 of taxpayers money. My last post on this matter was criticised by some as being overly conciliatory. I agree. The time for reasoned debate is over. My friends, I’m here to advocate for blind, unthinking revenge. It’s got a bad rep, but I do think that its moment has come. What we need in this situation is sheer, vindictive malevolence. A complete lack of mercy. My friends, we need a total and utter bastard.

Blackadder

Let me explain. In the fourth episode of Blackadder the Third, “Sense and Senility”, Blackadder has to put up with a pair of insufferable, stuck up actors. He learns that every time he says the word “Macbeth” the actors have to go through a long, complex and extremely painful ritual to banish bad luck. Blackadder, naturally, treats this like a big, shiny red button marked “press here to feel total joy”.

I believe that RTÉ, unwittingly, has now given everyone in this country such a button. What have we learned? That anytime someone calls John Waters or the Iona Institute a homophobe, RTÉ has to pay them my annual salary before tax. So, let’s push the button.

I hereby announce the commencement of Operation Blackadder. It goes like this. Anytime you are stopped on the street by an RTÉ newcaster looking for your opinion for one of those stupid Vox Pops, casually mention that John Waters and the Iona Institute are homophobes. Call into an RTÉ radio show and say that John Waters and the Iona Insitute are homophobes. If there’s an event where you can be sure RTÉ cameras are rolling, make sure to be there with your “John Waters and the Iona Insitute are Homophobes and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt” T-Shirt. Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth.  If done successfully, there will be two possible outcomes.

  • RTÉ goes bankrupt within a week. This will also mean that John Waters and the Iona Insitute will be obscenely wealthy so this is not ideal.
  • RTÉ realises very quickly that they backed the wrong fucking horse.

I am under no illusions that Operation Blackadder has any real chance of success, these things rarely do. The only way something like this could have a real chance is if people working in RTÉ, gay employees and straight allies who are livid at their employer for its craven surrender and enrichment of bigots decided that they wanted to send a message. I mean if, hypothetically, enough RTÉ employees decided that there was safety in numbers, enough casual on-air mentions could bring the entire organization to its knees in a matter of days.

Completely fanciful of course. If however, anyone working for RTÉ is reading this and is feeling rather pissed off right now? Do share, won’t you?

Coraline (2009)

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

"Tell me vat happened, Mouse. In your own vords."

“Tell me vat happened, Mouse. In your own vords.”

"Paper Alchemist...it was her fault! She told me to watch it...I thought she was my friend. Those eyes. Button eyes..."

“Paper Alchemist…it was her fault! She told me to watch it…I thought she was my friend. Those eyes. Button eyes…”

"I don't understand. You had made such fine progress. Ven last ve spoke you had overcome  your fear of Pinocchio and were reviewing the entire Disney canon. You seemed in good mental health. Vat triggered zis relapse?"

“I don’t understand. You had made such fine progress. Ven last ve spoke you had overcome your fear of Pinocchio and were reviewing ze entire Disney canon. You seemed in good mental health. Vat brough on zis relapse?”

"Pinocchio? That's right. I used to be afraid of that movie. God, I was a fool."

Pinocchio? That’s right. I used to be afraid of that movie. God, I was a fool.”

HELLO!

HELLO!

"Hey."

“Hey.”

"Then tell me, Mouse. What triggered zis episode?"

“Then tell me, Mouse. What triggered zis episode?”

"I remember it like it was yesterday. When in fact, it was the day before yesterday. I'd finally decided to start reviewing non-Disney movies regularly. Walt tried to warn me against it..."

“I remember it like it was yesterday. When in fact, it was the day before yesterday. I’d finally decided to start reviewing non-Disney movies regularly. Walt tried to warn me against it…”

"You're a fool mouse! Everytime you review a non-Disney movie you invite terrible doom!"

“You’re a fool Mouse! Everytime you review a non-Disney movie you invite terrible doom!”

"But I thought it'd be fine! After all, I reviewed Nightmare Before Christmas at Halloween and nothing bad happened!"

“But I thought it’d be fine! After all, I reviewed Nightmare Before Christmas at Halloween and nothing bad happened!”

"Ja...of course."

“Ja…of course.”

"You don't know that!"

“You don’t know that!”

"I am sorry, zis is a private session. I will have to ask you to leave."

“I am sorry, zis is a private session. I vill have to ask you to leave.”

"And who the stuttering fuck might you be?"

“And who the stuttering fuck might you be?”

"I am Herr Doktor Ernst Fiedelman. I am ze Mouse's  psychoanalysist."

“I am Herr Doktor Ernst Fiedelman. I am ze Mouse’s psychoanalyst.”

"Fiedelman? What is that, Jewish?"

“Psychoanalyses? Mouse why are you wasting your time with this flim flam? Some good old fashioned voodoo is all you need, where’s my cauldron?”

"Out."

“Out.”

"I think I am beginning to understand. You reviewed a movie horrific enough to undo years of intensive psychoanalysis. Something by Adam Sandler I am guessing?"

“I think I am beginning to understand. You reviewed a movie horrific enough to undo years of intensive psychoanalysis. Something by Adam Sandler I am guessing, ja?”

"Nein. Coraline."

“Nein. Coraline.”

"Mein Gott!"

“Mein Gott! Mouse, ve have no choice. You must face your fear, and talk me through the review. Only then can we undo the psychological damage.”

"Really? Because that sounds like it would make things so much worse."

“Really? Because that sounds like it would make things so much worse.”

"Ve're talking fifty fifty either vay. Now begin!"

“Ve’re talking fifty fifty either vay. Now begin!”

Well. Okay. Here we. go. Coraline.

Continue reading

Don’t get your Pantis in a twist.

This is getting to be a habit so let me say this right off the bat; I don’t actually hate the Irish media. In fact I quite like it. 99% of the time it does a decent to good job of letting me know what’s going on in the world and whether this chicken sandwich is going to give me salmonella. Actually, I was originally going to write about the backlash to Macklemore winning the grammy (I even had an awesome name for it: Macklash!) but then this latest controversy reared its ugly head so I had to put that post on ice (short version, he’s a really decent guy who maybe didn’t deserve to beat Kendrick, not the second coming of Hitler and anyway it’s a grammy so who cares?). So yeah, I don’t want  to seem like I hate the Irish media even though whenever I bring them up on this blog I’m raking them across the coals. I’m sorry. It’s like the toilet, you only ever notice it when it stops working and you’re up to your oxters in fecal matter. But this time around I feel there’s an added urgency to put something in writing because this business is embarrassing to not only the state broadcaster RTÉ but also the national paper of record, The Irish Times. Which, amazingly, means that coverage of it in the national media has been slightly muted to say the least. So, as usual, it falls to a bunch of oddballs on the internet to spread the word. Alright, so let me set the scene.
Around a fortnight ago on RTÉs The Saturday Night Show host Brendan O’Connor was interviewing drag artist Rory O’Neill (aka Panti). And I will say this, if there is one positive thing to come out of this whole episode it is that it has finally justified my irrational fear and loathing of Brendan O’Connor. You can read his Wikipedia page here, I think it gives a good flavour of the man. Anyway, the topic of homophobia came up and O’Neill was asked who in the Irish media he felt were homophobic. O’Neill is obviously one of the those poor deluded fools who was raised to believe that when someone asks you a question you give an honest answer (“truthies” we used to call ‘em when I was growing up) and mentioned the Iona Institute and Irish journalist John Waters.
Who is John Waters?
Hahahahahahaha...no.

Hahahahahahaha…no. 

johnwaters1-e1342097286838

That’s our boy.

John Waters is a conservative columnist and professional crankypants for the Irish Times known for his opposition to gay marriage particularly and the increasingly secularisation of Ireland more generally. He has also written such books as Hey you kids, get off my lawn!, This here is private property dagnabbit and of course I Know Your Parents!
And the Iona Institute?
The Iona Institute is a Conservative Catholic lobby group formed in 2007 to prevent the establishment of gay marriage in Ireland and promote hardline conservative Catholicism. This was as a response to the mass exodus of Irish people from the Catholic Church from the mid nineties and onward (I blame TV and rock and roll. Also the mass child rape and the vast conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and protect those responsible. But mostly the first two.)
So then what happened?
At first, nothing. The interview was broadcast in its entirety and then went up on RTÉs online player. But then it was taken down, and re-uplaoded with O’Neill’s comments about Waters and the Iona Institute excised. When asked why this was; RTÉ responded: “Last weekend’s The Saturday Night Show was removed from the Player due to potential legal issues and for reasons of sensitivity following the death of Tom O’Gorman as would be standard practice in such situations.”

Woah, back up. Who’s Tom O’Gorman?

Yeah, he just kinda flew outta nowhere there didn’t he? Tom O’Gorman was a researcher for the Iona Institute who earlier this month was murdered and partially eaten in his home by his Italian chess partner. Seriously. I’m not making a joke, that actually happened. This of course was a horrific and tragic crime which would certainly be grounds for editing O’Neill’s interview if he had mentioned Tom O’Gorman in any way.

Okay…so, that’s weird.

It gets weirder. Well…no, it doesn’t really get weirder than cannibalistic Italian chess players but it continues to be weird in different, less horrifying ways. As it turns out, this was an attempt by RTÉ to use  a horrific crime to give themselves cover for censoring the interview. The reason they did this pretty soon became apparent. John Waters and the Iona Institute had lawyered up. And they did not take kindly to being called homophobes. On a later episode of The Saturday Night Brendan O’Connor addressed the audience. Now, let me be clear, if O’Connor had just come out and said “RTE wishes to clarify that the views expressed on this show do not necessarily reflect the views of RTE blah blah boilerplate” that’s fine. Regardless of my personal stance on the issue, the national broadcaster must be seen to be impartial . That’s fine. That’s not what this was.

Now, on the Saturday night show two weeks ago comments were made by a guest suggesting the journalist and broadcaster John Waters, Breda O’Brien and some members of the Iona institute are homophobic. These are not the views of RTÉ and we would like to apologise for any upset or distress caused to the individuals named or identified. It is an important part of democratic debate that people must be able to hold dissenting views on controversial issues.

So…what you have here is the national broadcaster censoring itself and then apologising profusely under legal threat because a private citizen expressed a personal opinion that individuals who have devoted a considerable portion of their adult lives to ensuring that gay people do not achieve equal marriage rights could be considered homophobic…and then lecturing us on the importance of freedom of expression in a healthy democracy.

"And now, please rise for the two minutes hate. DEATH TO THE TRAITOR GOLDSTEIN!"

“And now, please rise for the two minutes hate. DEATH TO THE TRAITOR GOLDSTEIN!”

However, it was the news that RTÉ is actually paying a cash settlement to the Iona Institute (which, since RTÉ is state funded essentially amounts to a gift from the Irish taxpayer) that people have loudly declaring that Up With This We Will Not Put. Ironically, John Waters was until recently a member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, whose purpose is to actually protect liberty of expression in Irish broadcasting. To his credit, I suppose he’s not a hypocrite. It’s just a little disheartening that when faced with choosing between freedom of speech and media suppression he looked at the latter and said “Ooh that one!”

RTÉ’s behaviour in all this baffles me. See, I’ve spent time in RTÉ. I worked their briefly as an intern and I was interviewed once for an afternoon programme and let me tell you, the place is not exactly what you’d call gay unfriendly.

A Thursday morning in RTE.

A Thursday morning in RTÉ.

The obvious reason of course is cowardice. As in, RTÉ are cowards. Big wusses. Total pussbags. And if this was a simple case of a craven obeisance to power that would be something. That at least can indicate a rat-like survival instinct which is kind of admirable in a way. But, and I cannot emphasise this enough, NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FIDDLER’S FUCK ABOUT THE IONA INSTITUTE. Seriously, they’re a joke. Ireland’s gay marriage referendum is scheduled for 2015 and there’s every indication that it’s going to  be a walk for the YES side. I’ve seen polls putting support at upwards of seventy percent, the highest level of support for anything in Ireland since pollsters stopped asking “Beer good?” Given Iona’s complete lack of clout the only reason for RTE’s craven grovelling is that they think Iona and John Waters actually have a case.

So that’s the real question. Was O’Neill’s remark an objective fact or an unproven slander? Does opposing gay marriage in and of itself make you a homophobe? Now I know that thousands…hundreds? Okay, several readers are now screaming at the screen “Yes. Mouse. Yes.” But honestly, I think that kind of absolutist “with us or agin’ us” mentality is very harmful for the gay rights movement. Take somebody who supports civil unions for gay couples and abhors discrimination and anti-gay prejudice but draws the line at full marriage equality. He may be wrong, but he’s not Fred Phelps, and treating him like he is Fred Phelps is not going to win him over. In every great social struggle like this the side that is the more flexible, pragmatic, patient and willing to make messy compromises in the present for greater gains in the future always wins.

So if you were to tell me that you honestly and sincerely bear no ill will or prejudice towards gays but just believe that marriage should be between a man or a woman, I can’t read your soul. I can’t know if that’s true or not so I’m just going to have to take you at your word until I get my hands on a Klingon mind sifter.

It is extremely effective if...unpleasant.

It is extremely effective if…unpleasant.

Also, because I am an incurable optimist, I can’t help but see the bright side in this. If being labeled a homophobe is now so toxic in Irish society that even the friggin’ Iona institute feels the need to yank out the heavy legal artillery at the mere suggestion that they might be such, then the war is very nearly over and we are in the advanced stages of endgame.

However, I would like to close with a little bit of unsolicited career advice for the Iona Institute and Mr John Waters. If the idea of being labelled a homophobe is so abhorrent to you? If the mere notion that anyone could possibly consider you to be a homophobe is so awful that you would sue the national broadcaster and throw the very notion that we live in a country where freedom of expression is permitted into serious doubt?

If it is really as bad as all that?

Maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.

I hear Game of Thrones is looking for extras?

I hear Game of Thrones is looking for extras?