October’s Deviant News and Books

 

We’ve got a few new books coming in October as well as some cheap Halloween reads and FREEBIES!

First, get ready for C.M. Saunders’ newest release, a reissue of “Dead of Night” on the 1st of October.

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Young lovers, Nick and Maggie, decide to escape the city for a romantic weekend deep in the idyllic countryside. The excursion soon degenerates into a maelstrom of terror when one of them comes face to face with a centuries-old civil war soldier. Together, the couple flee into the wilderness, but soon find themselves engaged in a mortal battle with a group of long-dead Confederate bushwackers.

 

It’s available for pre-order now so get it.

 

 

PJ Blakey-Novis has some exciting news for October as well. First, the October issue of Indie Writers Review will be a special Halloween issue. Keep your eyes on the Facebook page to get more details on that.

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And he’ll be celebrating 31 Days of Horror, in which he promotes some fantastic horror novels and authors all month. We’ll be sure to share that with you on our Facebook page, but you should also follow Peter’s page for news and future promotions. AND, as part of the celebration, Deviant Dolls be giving away some Halloween reads (ebooks and paperbacks) EVERY SINGLE DAY in October, which include Deviant Dolls authors, as well as a few other horror authors we admire and think you should check out.

As we mentioned in July and August, Renee Miller released Eat the Rich, with Hindered Souls Press. In the coming months, the audio book will also be available. Renee’s story “The Cartel” won Deadman’s Tome’s The Meat Grinder contest in August. You can still read it, so go on over and while you’re there, check out the latest contest entries.

On October 16th, Unnerving will be releasing Renee’s chilling horror novella, “Stranded” and “Licking the Devil’s Horn,” a collection that includes Stranded, as well as Church and Cats Like Cream.

Six contestants pair off into three teams of one man and one woman as part of a pilot season for a new reality show called Stranded. The challenge: Survive thirty days in a hostile and brutal environment for a chance to split a half-million-dollar prize.

Victor, the show’s creator, chooses the northern Arctic as the first location, but after a single day, his mistake is clear: They are not alone.

Their presence awakens a relentless and unforgiving predator that feeds on greed, lust and fear.

In this game, the lucky ones get to die.

“Renee Miller has crafted a brutal tale of monsters and madness, one that will make your blood run cold. Perfect for fans of THE THING, STRANDED is arctic terror at its chillingly scary best.”

—Michael Patrick Hicks, author of BROKEN SHELLS and MASS HYSTERIA

 

And look for her erotic horror story, VIRTUAL HEALING in Lycan Valley Press’s GAME OVER: BLACK BOOK SERIES VOLUME 2 in the very near future.

Finally, we’ve got some sales happening in honor of Halloween, because we all know it’s the best of all of the holidays. First, get Renee’s horror/thriller tales, BAYOU BABY, IN THE BONES, DIRTY TRUTHS, THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY, and SMOLDER for just 99 cents eadh from October 27th to November 1st, and get Steve Wetherell’s SHOOT THE DEAD, as well as selected titles in the Authors and Dragons’ SHINGLES SERIES for 99 cents each as well.

That’s all for now. Keep your eye here and on our Facebook page for your chance to win during 31 Days of Horror. Here’s a taste of what we’ll be offering:

e-books

by C.M. Saunders

X

X2

X3

Sker House

Human Waste

No Man’s Land

Apartment 14F

Out of Time

In the Dead of Night

By Renee Miller

Cats Like Cream

Church

Eat the Rich

Stranded

By PJ Blakey-Novis

Embrace the Darkness

Tunnels and Other Short Stories

The Artist

Paperbacks

Sugar Skulls by Manual Tapia

Syphon by A.A. Medina

The Monkey’s Penis by Steve Wetherell

Licking the Devil’s Horn by Renee Miller

Splish, Slash, Takin a Bloodbath by Eddie Generous, Mark Allan Gunnells, and Renee Miller

 

We’ll be adding more very soon. Stay tuned

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August’s Deviant News and Books

In July, we had all kinds of things happening, and it looks like the Dolls won’t be slowing down in August.

First, C.M. Saunders is having a sale! Out of Time, Apartment 14F, No Man’s Land: Horror in the Trenches, and Human Waste are all 0.99 for a very limited time. Grab ‘em quick.

 

Find these and the rest of his books here:

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Saunders’s latest short story, Lakeside Park, is included in the anthology Terrors Unimagined out now on Left Hand Publishing.

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Lakeside Park is an old-fashioned creature tale about a down-on-his-luck, ex-alcoholic custodian who agrees to take a job looking after a remote caravan park deep in the Welsh valleys during the winter. Suffice to say he doesn’t get the anticipated peace and quiet.

 

 

Also, check out the super snazzy trailer!

https://youtu.be/ow4XfWt2q7w

You’ll also be able to find one of his drabbles, My Tormentor, on the Horror Tree on July 29th.

Meanwhile, on his blog, he takes an introspective look at Ringu, the original Japanese version of the seminal movie Ring. Next up for the RetView treatment is the Hammer Horror classic The Witchfinder General. Finally, , if you’re a non-fiction reader with a taste for the paranormal, he has an article on the Nelson Mandela Effect (false memory syndrome) in the latest issue of Fortean Times (FT368).

And we’ll never forget Steve Wetherell’s debut installment in the Authors and Dragons “Shingles” series, The Monkey’s Penis. In August, Steve’s second Shingles tale, “Put Your Hand in My Ass” will be available. Pre-order it now!

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Will Monroe wants to be a famous entertainer more than anything, and he knows the high school talent show is the first step. Unfortunately he has no talent.

What he needs is a mentor. What he gets is Sloppy- an enchanted puppet with weird sexual proclivities and an extremely problematic approach to comedy.

Does Will have what it takes to make it in the cut-throat world of showbiz? And how deep is he willing to stick his hand to find out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In July, Steve also had a story included in Beyond Midnight: Volume One.

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Magic. Mystery. Mayhem.

Dive into the pages of this alluring anthology and enter a world of mystery and adventure. Stalk the streets of sprawling metropolis’ and hunt terrifying creatures. Explore towering cities where the supernatural is everyday and magic is as common as coffee.

Devour 13 all-new urban fantasy stories from debut and best selling authors.

Pick up your copy of Beyond Midnight today and join the adventure.

 

 

 

In July, Renee Miller released Eat the Rich, with Hindered Souls Press (audio and paperback coming very soon).

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Some fantastic reviews are already in from Book Review Village, Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews, Hellnotes, and more. Renee’s also been visiting a few blogs, including Kam’s Place, Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews, and Kendall Reviews. Renee also wrote a little thing called The Women We Should Be Writing over at Inkheist.

And if you missed it, check out her Eat the Rich podcast over at Deadman’s Tome. Lots of shits and giggles happening there. Also at Deadman’s Tome, look for Renee’s story BITER in The Meat Grinder contest. Stories should be up the first of August, so if you want her to win, you should go on over, read the story, like it (unless you hate it) and comment.

On August 14th, look for Renee’s dark comedy, Contractual Obligations, in Books and Boos Press’s “A Sharp Stick in the Eye” anthology.A Sharp Stick in the Eye—Front Cover

 

Renee will also be releasing Howl, an erotic horror novella, with Grinning Skull Press later this summer, as part of GSP’s Grave Marker series.

And finally, we missed it in July’s announcements, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the sale. So, Katrina Monroe’s Sacrificial Lamb Cake is just 99 cents from July 26th to 30th. Definitely take advantage of this awesome deal.

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And that’s all for August (so far.) We’ll try to keep the excitement at this fever pitch in the fall as well.

 

 

June’s Deviant News and Books

What’s up with the Dolls this month? Well, it’s pretty quiet, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have something for you.

Last month, Michael Keyton released Anthony Trollope: Power, Land and Society 1847 – 1980

31154185_10156148952966777_2708272631576002560_nTrollope was no deviant. He was though a writer and describes a world long gone. As such, there is much to learn from him. And if you don’t feel the urge to read all of his forty-seven books, you can read just this one. It may even persuade you to give him a go. Failing that, check out Alan Rickman’s first starring role as Obadiah Slope in The Warden – key snippets available on YouTube.

One of Trollope’s last books, The Fixed Period reveals his vision of the 1980’s; one still dominated by steam and landed power. The British Empire remains intact, ruling unchallenged in lieu of America, which has fragmented. It explains the title of this book. For Trollope, landed power and its politics controlled the future. He could not foresee—or didn’t want to—any alternative. The sci-fi aspects of The Fixed Period are risible. His exploration of Euthanasia is, on the other hand, profound.

Books on Anthony Trollope have tended to emphasise the biographical, social convention or else offer analyses of Trollope’s moral code. There has been little, if anything, written about Trollope as the literary expression of a landed society during a period of flux.

Anthony Trollope: Power, Land and Society 1847 – 1980 makes the argument that Trollope’s canon constitutes a profound exploration of Nineteenth Century landed society, providing insights into the cultural and political mores of great and small landowners, as well as the economic opportunities and problems they faced during a period of transformation; his characters, too, subtly illustrate the dilemmas, moral and social that so many Victorians encountered as economic circumstances changed.

Get it here.

He’s also been busy spiffing up another new release THE GIFT, which will be available on Amazon and such VERY soon.

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Born in a Liverpool slum, Lizzie McBride is the daughter of an Irish seer who dies when Lizzie is barely twelve, leaving her in charge of two younger sisters and a grieving father. When her father commits suicide, Lizzie is caught between two worlds: An aunt and uncle who decide the three orphans would be better off with them in America, and her mother, who appears in a dream and urges her to stay. Just as they are about to board ship, Lizzie runs away and her life changes forever.

Pursued by her aunt, Lizzie cannonades into the young and charismatic magician, Aleister Crowley who takes her under his wing. He introduces her to Lady Gwyneth Morgan, daughter of the richest family in Wales and sister to the flamboyant occultist, Evan Morgan. At this point Lizzie doesn’t realise she has a gift; the ability to open Hell and control its greatest demons. When the occult world discovers this, governments and powerful individuals seek her out. Only one man can protect her: the magician John Grey.

Also new this month, Tony Bertauski will be releasing The Roots of Drayton: A Drayton Chronicles Novel on June 12. Pre-order now!

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Drayton can’t leave the Lowcountry.

He once believed he was a vampire when he terrorized villages and slaughtered for blood. Now he absorbs essence from the dying’s final breath and rarely stays in one place. He has been in the Lowcountry far too long.

Everything is about to change.

After witnessing an elderly man’s death, Drayton vows to protect his wife. He assumes the job of her gardener in Charleston’s historic district. But when a young woman named Amber enters the garden, he soon questions who he is protecting.

And from whom.

Drayton will finally discover why he has roamed the planet for so long. He will learn the purpose of his existence and why he has absorbed human essence all of his life. Before he uncovers his roots, he will return to his blood-thirsty days of old.

For the first time, Drayton will become the prey.

 

And in case you missed it, last month, P.J. Blakey-Novis announced the launch of Boxes of blood.

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Boxes of Blood, a new service, offers ‘mystery boxes’ of hand-picked horror books delivered to your door. Available in a variety of sizes, and including exclusive tote bags and bookmarks, Boxes of Blood is an essential service for horror readers everywhere. And with a library of almost one hundred books, and counting, no two boxes will be the same!

 

Stay informed about this awesomeness at;

www.facebook.com/horrortoyou

www.twitter.com/redcapepublish

www.instagram.com/boxesofblood

And looking forward to July, keep your eyes peeled for Renee’s weird horror novel, EAT THE RICH, which will be released by the awesome Hindered Souls Press.

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When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.

So does the murder rate.

Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. he tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.

The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.

He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a Plan B:

KILL EVERYONE.

And if you’ve been under a rock, you might not know that Steve Wetherell has re-released THE LAST VOLUNTEER with Falstaff Books, AND he was at ConCarolinas with his Authors and Dragons besties. For more details, and a few good laughs, check out the podcasts and the book.

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Fans of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – your long wait for a successor is over!

The fate of the world lies with one man: Bip Plunkerton.

Talentless psyentist and frequent drinker at The Empty Goat, young Bip Plunkerton will follow in his father’s footsteps as a Volunteer…footsteps that have yet to return from the wilds of the wide world outside.

Traverse the harsh weather of the formidable Ice Plains, navigate the Boiling Sea, and suffer the ravaging heat of the Bone Desert. Bip’s impossible task, continually thwarted by the semi-corporeal Mr. Random, is to warn the rest of the world of the coming doom of the Massive Ball of Death hurtling through space.

Will the last volunteer be any more successful than the first? Will Bip save planet Bersch from a fate set into motion millennia before?

Probably not, but we can likely drag this question out for a couple more books, though. Right?

Finally, Renee and Christian were both included in Digital Horror Fiction’s new collection, DIGITAL HORROR FICTION VOLUME 1.

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Inside you’ll find Renee’s horror story, WHERE THERE IS LIFE and Christian’s bloody tale, ROADKILL, along with a few other pretty awesome horror authors.

And that’s all for now. Stay tuned for next month’s news, and keep an eye on our Books pages for anything we may have missed here.

Why Dark Fiction?

So, I get curious from time to time, and I force the other dolls to play along and answer my many questions. This week, we’re all going to share why we choose to write dark fiction. (By dark fiction, I mean speculative, dark comedy, etc.)

Michael: I don’t limit myself to dark fiction, though there is darkness in all of my books. I have three ‘historicals’ in the pipeline – two set in the twilight years of Roman Britain, and one in early colonial America. In these, as with the Gift Trilogy coming out this year, the speculative part lies in the interstices of historical fact. But to answer the question why do I like dark in the first place – in my case it might be a very traditional Catholic education where there was no light without dark and Hell was a real place.

Steve: Dying is easy and comedy is hard, or so it goes. I’ve never died, so I can’t really attest to it. But, of all the many jobs comedy and fantasy has, one of them is trying to make sense of the dark. And in doing so, perhaps see the funny side.

Katrina: Because realism is too hard to write and reality is boring anyway. Some people call speculative fiction “escapist” like an insult, but I think it’s the best part about it. Why wouldn’t you want to escape?

Christian: I wouldn’t know what else to write. At least ‘dark fiction’ is a big playground big enough to get lost in. When you think about it, it can encompass almost every other genre, from crime noir to sci-fi. It overlaps a lot. I used to call myself a horror writer, then I asked myself what horror was and I couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer. It means different things to different people. Besides, I wrote a love story once and nobody liked it.

Renee: I write in multiple genres, but “darkness” is a constant element in all of them. I enjoy writing dark fiction/speculative fiction, because it’s such a broad category. You can delve into almost every genre and writing it is like an escape that allows me to go to those places we all avoid, because we’re not maniacs.  Also, I find the best characters in the dark.

Peter: I write in a range of genres, but there is certainly a darkness to each of my stories (with the exception of my children’s book, of course!), and that darkness comes in different forms. I find there is a certain freedom that comes with writing speculative fiction; an opportunity to be more imaginative with events, giving greater range to the topics that can be covered.

Liam: Because it’s there.

What about you guys? Writers and readers, why do you write/read dark fiction?

 

What’s New for April? Books!

 

C.M. Saunders has been a busy, busy boy. Last month, he published a little something in Crimson Streets, and he continued with his Retro Review series. In April, not only is he continuing is Retro Review series (catch the latest on his blog), he’s also releasing the third book in his X horror collection series, X3. You can pre-order it now, and while you’re at it, get the first two books in this series for just 99 cents in April as well.

Our very own P.J. Blakey-Novis has also interviewed him for Indie Writers’ Review (Follow the Facebook page for book, review, etc. news and for opportunities to win books) and Christian’s stopping by Roadie Notes for another interview. You’ll want to check both out.

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Oh, and speaking of Mr. Blakey-Novis, keep your eye on this blog or his Indie Writers Review page next month for news about upcoming titles from him as well, including a little something called Boxes of Blood.

This month, Renee Miller released Splish, Slash, Takin’ a Bloodbath with Unnerving Magazine, and on April 10th, look for her twisted novelette, Cats Like Cream. And for the month of April, Renee’s got a little thing happening on her Facebook page. For the price of answering a question, you’ll be entered to win a digital subscription to Unnerving Magazine’s 2018 digital catalogue. That includes mobi, epub and PDF copies of all of the 2018 Unnerving releases below (not the magazine), plus a couple of more TBD titles, and/or a paperback copy of Eat the Rich, which will be released in July via Hindered Souls Press.

And Katrina Monroe fans, if you’ve been missing her lately, don’t fret, she’s been publishing a series of short fiction on her blog. The first, Liquid Innovations, Please Hold, appeared last month, and the most recent, Lost and Found, is available to read now. Stop by throughout April for more brand new fiction from her.

In case you missed it, Steve Wetherell also released brand new fiction in March. Check out his Shingles Series installment, The Monkey’s Penis. His comedic horror gem, Shoot the Dead, is also on Amazon Prime’s reading list for April (actually, its on the list now and will be for 90 days, which means it’s free for Amazon Prime members, so get on it).

Michael Keyton has been quiet, but tune in next month when we reveal May’s book news for more from him as well.

That’s all for now, kittens. Check our Facebook page for more news, and check back here next month to find out what we’ve got going on in May.

 

Allow Me to ManSplain Woman in Horror Month To You, My Dear

 by Steve Wetherell

I don’t know why I write these things. I’m sure it’s just an earnest need to scratch an itch and make an argument I think is being overlooked, but some part of me suspects that I might just have a fetish for being beaten up by women.

 Either way, why don’t you womanfolk adjust your bras, take five minutes off from hitting punch bags while flicking your immaculate hair, and send your comically inept husband out of the room (did he walk into the door frame again? Ha! Idiot.)

It’s time for me to do what men do best, and explain things to you that you’re already fully aware of. So: Women in Horror Month, a time to focus on the great names in horror fiction who don’t have a dick.

I personally like the idea of Women in Horror Month. But many don’t. And no, not all those people are neck beard misogynists or women who have internalised the patriarchy, some of them are actual real people who have a justified opinion. Some might say; “Why do we need a special month? Shouldn’t we be supporting women writers all year round?” Other may say; “If women are the equal of men, and I believe they are, then why do they need special consideration?”

Fair questions both.

Here’s my take, just to clarify.

I’ve never looked at a movie poster and scanned the credits to see if the director is a woman. I don’t really care about the gender of the author of a book. I honestly think that most people don’t even consider it. Not consciously. But then… is it entirely coincidence that most of my favourite writers and directors are men?

There are proven gender conceptions in the genres. Is this because of the da man keeping the ladies down? It’s a little more complicated than that. For instance, a disproportionate amount of literary agents are women, yet women writers still find more acceptance when they use a male or gender anonymous name. Also, men find it easier to be accepted in romance and crime fiction when using a female pseudonym. The evidence is clear that, while no one is actively keeping women down in this instance, there are ingrained, perhaps audience driven, gender biases within the genres.

So why not have a Woman in Horror month? The status quo is a big, heavy, slow motherfucker and it needs a severe nudge now and then. If the evidence is there that the playing field isn’t level, then take some steps to level the playing field. That’s how you get quality of opportunity, which I don’t think any sane person is against.

It is, of course, not that simple. Nothing is. An acquaintance of mine who runs a much loved horror fan site in his spare time is not observing Woman in Horror month this year. The amount of abuse he got (from women) for observing it last year was too much for him. Predictably, he is already getting abuse for not observing it this year.

Deviant Dolls own Renee Miller recently blogged about her experiences of having a story accepted by a publisher, only to be told she was part of a conscious drive to recruit more women writers in the horror genre. Her response was predictably Renee, and I heard they never found the guy’s head. (I’m kidding of course. They found it eventually.)

It’s not simple and it doesn’t need to be. It’s an ongoing discussion and what is most important is that the discussion happens. I’ll put up with a lot of silliness in the name of equality of opportunity.

But what of equality of outcome? Here’s where things get a little fuzzy for me.

‘Thin-end-of-the-wedge’ is one of those conversational hand grenades, often used to take a hypothetical scenario to its most thrilling extreme. We say, “Sure we have Woman in Horror Month now, but what about when it becomes Woman in Horror DECADE? What if men aren’t giving a fair shake because publishers only want women? How is that fair?”

One might argue that there is room enough for all, and men will never be specifically overlooked in favour of women. I hope so, for my sake. One might also argue that straight white men have had it too good for too long, and taking opportunity from them is justified. Well, I believe in inherited advantages, but I also think that promoting punishment for original sin is darkly psychotic.

Maybe there is a thin-end-of-the-wedge. Maybe it compromises a lot of people’s ideals of fairness. Or maybe those people’s over reactions are holding back progress to a new and better kind of fairness.

I have to confess, I’m not entirely against thin-end-of-the-wedge arguers. I used to be, but then I saw what they did with Ghostbusters 2016. There is a real possibility that we’ll take any old shit just because it lives up to a political ideal, and when you start saying you have to like a soul-less, lazy, cynical piece of shit like Ghostbusters 2016 because it has women in it, you’ve stopped focusing on equality of opportunity and started focusing on equality of outcome- you’ve stopped believing that something should stand on its merits. I can’t go down that path with you, and I like to believe that most writers wouldn’t either, male or female.

But I get that there’s a struggle, I do. I’m a straight, white male, and probably Hitler, but if someone told me they’d only signed up my work because they needed a token fat guy I might just be outraged enough to spit out my flapjacks. I believe artists want to be judged on their quality, not their race, religion, gender or size.

However, I am of a certain generation, sandwiched between Xers and Millennials, and my beliefs may be old hat, deemed an unnecessary speed bump on the road to utopia. Maybe the youngers really do believe that artists should warrant special consideration purely for not being male or white.

Maybe it’s time for people like me to just back away and shut our mouths, while the old ideas of excellence are torn down and rebuilt into a colourful rainbow.

I won’t, though. That’s not how writers work.

Yes, Politics Does Ruin Star Wars. Here’s How…

 by Steve Wetherell

Look, America. I understand that your president is embarrassing and you feel humiliated, and you’re looking for easy wins on battlefields of your own choosing. I get it. It’s more fun than voting, less time consuming than volunteering and much easier than becoming a lawyer or something.  But can we keep your real life battles away from fantasy space battles, please?

Some of you are already screaming that all art is political. Yes. In the same way that all conversations are political. Which is about as useful as saying everything is science. Or all art is valid.

I am suspicious of those stances. The last guy who told me everything is subjective was trying to defend the Ghostbusters reboot. So you can fuck off with that. There has to be practicality. There has to be perspective. Otherwise you can deconstruct whatever you want until it lines up with how you’re feeling. If we truly all believed everything was subjective, there would be no art.

So, here is my stance. Ahem. Any attempt to bring political significance to Star Wars makes the movies a lesser experience.

I want to talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and how it is a great example of why political perspective can spoil something that was just fine, like taking a shit into a piping bag and writing a racial slur on a perfectly good sponge cake.

There are, of course, MANY MANY SPOILERS.

On Watching The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi was great, I thought. It has some great moments, some good lines, a charming cast, a wonderful score, brilliant special effects, tense battles. It had weak parts, but I thought they were overshadowed by the good parts. I even liked the Porgs, and god help me I did not expect to.

I was surprised by the amount of polarized opinion on what was a well-crafted instalment in a beloved, if tarnished, franchise. Who were these people saying that Rose was fire and they were going to get her face tattooed over their own face? Who were these people who were acting like they had just seen Luke Skywalker laying in a gutter begging for change so he can buy blue crack? When did fucking Porgs transform from a briefly amusing special effect into an icon for the ideologically pure to worship and the cave trolls to desecrate?

It was clear to me that politics had happened, and we were getting into that tiresome territory where artificial importance had bloated something so much that one could not sit comfortably on top of it anymore, and had to slide hard left or right. I had to pick a side- was I a neckbeard virgin fanboy who was probably a secret nazi? Or was I a soy boy tumbler SJW cry-bully cuck?

I am neither of those things. I’m just a Star Wars fan, and have been since…oh… since before you were born.

So let’s talk about some of the reactions I’ve been seeing:

Luke’s Arc:

They Done Luke Wrong!

I have an emotional attachment to Luke Skywalker. When I was a four year old boy I basically played A New Hope (or Just Star Wars, as it was known at the time) on repeat until the VHS melted. Han was cooler, of course, but I liked Luke. There’s something about his naivety that speaks to a little kid. And even in Return of the Jedi- scarred, hurt and transformed by the weight of his battles- he never lost that endearing child-like spark. It was what saved him in the end, and Vader too. That message, that everyone was good, deep down, was… inaccurate, probably, but important to my developing world view.

How would I feel about seeing him thirty years on? That spark was gone, certainly. Gruff, sarcastic, a little mean. But then, here is a man who has saved the universe twice, but cannot save the soul of his only nephew. Here is a man who knows firsthand the destructive cycle of the force, and the folly of trying to control or weaponize it.

Did I think his brief moment of considering ending Ben’s life was out of character? Yes. It was a momentary slip for which he paid dearly. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t had that, and I related. Was I sad to see him like that? Yes. But I got it.

I understood his reluctance, I understood his isolation. His redemption was… satisfying. I felt like I said goodbye to Star Wars a little when he went, in a way I didn’t with Han Solo. And that’s fine.

You can point to the burning of the Jedi texts and make comparisons to historical vandalism all you want, but the fact is the Force always worked better when it was a vague and enigmatic allusion. Start giving it too much context and you get midichlorians, or as I like the call them ‘The Part Where I Realized The Phantom Menace Wasn’t Going to Get Any Better.’

Is the dismantling of the Force as mystical somehow necessary to appeal to today’s less religiously inclined audience? Well, only if you can’t tell fantasy from reality, I suppose. Anybody who sees either victory or defeat in the casting off of ancient Jedi lore so the protagonist can be a hero on their own terms is forgetting that’s exactly what Luke did (although, he did it with more subtlety and over three movies, which, let’s be fair, ain’t nobody got time for that.)

If we start looking at the sidelining of Skywalker as politically significant, on either side, it falls apart rather quickly. If he’s a good riddance to the supremacist ideals of the classic White Straight Male patriarchal values, necessary for Rey to succeed by presumably different ideals- then why do we see him bring the entire First Order to a standstill with his very presence? Establishing him as a living legend and making every other protagonist in the movie thus far look like a pretender? Like Obi Wan before him, he is far more powerful in death than he was in life. And that same interpretation applies if you somehow think Luke was cucked out of his true destiny. I do not think he was shoved aside to make some progressive point about the patriarchy, and if he was, it didn’t make sense. See that kid playing with the action figure at the end? Is that a princess Leah action figure? No. No it isn’t.

Finn’s Arc:

Rose is Fire!

No, she isn’t, she’s a wasted opportunity to give Finn a cool alien sidekick. Maybe one of those guys with three eyes that look a bit like a goat. Remember those guys? They were cool.

I understood that Poe’s plan blowing up in his face was supposed to have narrative purpose (and even some will argue a moral purpose, but we’ll get to that.) I still don’t know why they spent half an hour on planet One Percent to get there though. Its only purpose was for Rose to keep it real and ‘Show us the human cost of the Empire.’

Yeah…already saw them blow up six planets as an opening gambit, mate, think I know what the stakes are.

Finn and Rose ruminating that the true evil is the force of capitalism behind the Empire is about useful to the plot as rescuing a space horse form a space horse coliseum. Oh, what’s that Rose, the real victory was rescuing the space horse? Yeah, those kids really remembered that. That’s why they were playing with the Rose Rescues a Fucking Space Horse action set at the end there.

And knocking Finn out of sacrificing himself for the good of the Rebellion with your presumptuous “That’s not how we’ll win this” line, even though thanks to Luke and Admiral What’s her Face that’s exactly how the Rebellion survives? If I want someone to tell me that the true magic of the Force is friendship, I will re-watch My Little Pony: Equestrian Girls. Frankly those magic horses pretending to be magic horse-teenage girls are written more convincingly.

The worst part about Finn’s arc isn’t his seemingly air-dropped in sidekick and for-some-reason love interest though. It’s the wasted potential. As soon as it was revealed the Empire were tracking the Rebellion through Hyperspace, I knew, I just KNEW, they had some sort of implant in Finn that would turn out to be standard to all new Storm Troopers. It would’ve made perfect sense (as much as anything does in a story about space wizards.) It would have also made sense because Finn’s primary motivator, other than failing to be Rey’s love interest, is being fucking terrified of the First Order, his childhood abusers. Setting Finn up to have no choice but to confront the Order he only recently escaped from head on, else doom his new friends, would have been emotionally engaging.

Also, why did Finn and the unproven Rose go to planet Perrier? Why not Finn and Poe? Why not pay off on that bro moment they had in TFA? Why not Poe teach Finn about the realities of being in the Rebellion? He is, after all, perfectly equipped to do so, having sent people to their deaths in the name of war. But no, a mechanic will be fine. She lost her sister, I guess, so she has some skin in the fight.

…what was her sister’s name again? …

Oh, and DJ was a waste of time. Having him shrug like a Frenchman and suggest there is no such thing as good and evil does not make one lick of sense in an established universe where there clearly is. You get fucking lightning powers, DJ, we’ve seen it. He doesn’t even make sense as a utility character, as I’m sure BB-8 could have done everything he did and sold more action figures doing it.

My beef with Finns’ arc is not just that all the adventures on planet Country Club were made to make a brief real-world political statement that anyone in the real world knows is eye-rollingly reductive, but that the time could have been given over to hyping up the Finn and Captain Phasma grudge match.

How cool would that have been?

But no, we got Rose. I kind of side with the child murdering Nazis on this one, because it does seem like the only purpose of writing in this character was to appeal to progressives who will be excited about the inclusion of a woman POC character in a leading role, which is fair enough. I sort of hope this is the reason, because it would explain the rather forced introduction or an otherwise entirely unnecessary character.

But, again, this is another example of how, if you watch this with political axe to grind, it somehow becomes more cynical. On both sides.

Poe’s Arc:

Take THAT hothead!

Ha! Poe sure learned his lesson when his desperate one in a million gambit failed, right? He should have listened to his space mom and done what he was told! Or she could have taken five minute to explain the plan to him when he desperately begged her on behalf of the crew to explain what the fucking plan was, but whatever. The important thing is that he learned to always follow orders and never, ever defy authority.

This is exactly why we loved Han Solo so much, I believe. Because of the way he blindly followed orders to the letter and never took risks.

You can say this turn of events was interesting and unexpected, but do we tune into space fantasy to see blandly practical solutions? No. Not really.

And that’s not the point, is it? Because if I watch Poe’s arc through a current politics lens, what’s significant isn’t that he defied authority and it blew up in his face- it’s that he defied female authority. His toxic masculinity caused unnecessary death, while toeing the line and running and hiding was the thing to do.

See, I’ll accept that in real life, no problem. If this movie was Schindler’s List; absolutely. Run, hide, don’t be a hero. It’s not, though. It’s Star Wars. A movie about laser battles. Treating this as a necessary subversion that points out problematic male behavior is like pausing a Rocky montage to point out that true excellence can only be achieved over a life time of physical discipline, emotional commitment and proper nutrition. That’s true, yes, but also get the fuck out of my montage.

It also ignores the fact that Poe’s specific brand of heroism is the only reason any of them survived the previous movie. See? If you come into this movie intent on pulling on a political thread, don’t be surprised when the whole thing starts to unravel.

I also want to go back to Finn and Poe spending more time together, because if it had been Poe that had rammed Finn away from making the ultimate sacrifice rather than Rose, it would have actually made sense. The daredevil hotshot who can’t walk away from a fight learns that some things are more sacred than the battle by saving the thing he loves- Finn. Also, Poe kissing Finn would have made a million times more sense than Rose doing so. Not because it would be wonderfully progressive to have a confirmed gay man in a leading Star Wars role (I think it would be,) but because it would have paid off on the duo’s unexpected chemistry in TFA.

Poe falling for Finn, and choosing to save the things he loves over fighting the things he hates, would have given his character depth and meaning. And Finn realizing he might have feelings for another man would have been interesting- his emotional uncertainty would have made sense, and he would have been given fresh new perspective with which to analyze his unreciprocated romantic infatuation with Rey. Instead he just looks confused that Rose kissed him, and well he should, because who the fuck is Rose again?

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I’m certain this is what was supposed to have happened and it got derailed by a studio executive with an eye to Poe action figure sales.

Speaking of who the fuck…

Who the fuck is Vice Admiral Blue Hair?

And why isn’t she a cool alien? Honestly, if you’re going to give Admiral Akbar an off-screen death, you best be bringing in a character that’s actually memorable, rather than a slightly tranquillized HR manager at a corporate dinner party. See, if her purpose in Poe’s arc was about deconstructing toxic masculinity, then this is another great example of why trying to be political can go so terribly wrong. This character was pointless. I was glad when her boring plan failed. When she sacrificed her life for the good of the escape plan, I did not give a shit.

Who is she that we should care? Where was she in at the beginning? Not the beginning of the franchise, I mean the beginning of this movie?

It should have been Leah in that chair, or Mon Mothma, even, then we would have cared. Or why not Akbar himself? He can’t be patriarchy, he’s a fucking fish!

Also…

That Bit With Leah Flying Was a Bit Shit

Not really political, but I have to get this off my chest. Not only was taking Leah out of the picture not really necessary for the plot (unless you really, really want the Vice Admiral You’ve Already Forgotten Her Name.) But her using the force powers to fly through space seemed a bit ridiculous. Maybe if we knew Leah had at any point gave a fuck about her latent force powers, it would have been a triumphant moment. She didn’t, though. She didn’t mention them once. So why do we care? It saved her life, yes, but you know what else would have? Getting off the bridge before it exploded. She can sense disturbances in the force, right? ‘Course she can, we’ve seen her do it. Sensing her imminent death shouldn’t be too hard. “Everyone off the bridge, now!” She says. Boom, problem solved. You could have still had her be the last out and taken some debris as she escaped, if you really needed her in a coma.

Rey’s Arc:

Wow, she sure can Jedi!

I like Rey. I like the fact that she’s ridiculously OP. Because I firmly believe it’s going somewhere. I have faith that it won’t turn out she’s the best at Jedi-ing because little girls need role models. That would be a laughably stupid way to write a movie. I am still holding on to my theory that she’s the next Anakin, and that her potential shift to the dark side will be the hub of movie three. All those little snaps against her well-meaning allies that we give her a pass on will start to get a little meaner, a little more explosive. Soon she won’t be pulling a light saber on a defenseless Luke, but maybe on anyone who gets in her way. Then the too-perfect attitude and optimism all makes sense. She will be defined by her final struggle. Maybe Kylo Ren will have some part in her redemption. That fits.

Because if not… she’s a bit dull. Seriously, Luke taking the piss out of her a bit and Snoke smacking her upside the head with her own lightsaber were thus far the only challenges Rey has actually faced and not instantly overcome by the power of her own moxie. And here’s where political awareness once again fucks up a perfectly good movie. Luke had to work for shit. He was talented, sure, but he was trained. He made mistakes, was punished for his impatience, got his hand cut off, lost people he loved, and he still didn’t become half the Jedi that any single robe wearer in the prequels became. Remember when it was such a big deal the first time he summoned his Light Saber? That was movie two. It took him a whole movie to get there. Rey just… does it. Kind of like she just get things handed to her…because she’s got an English accent? No that can’t be it. Let me see… what else is definitive about Rey to the point that everyone makes a massive fucking deal about it? Oh yeah! Tits!

See, that’s the problem with deconstructing shit- either side can do it. And most of the time it’s like cutting up a tapestry so you can see the thread work. You lose the truth of the whole for something that, really, you weren’t supposed to be looking at.

Where Are All These Subverted Tropes I Keep Hearing About?

The problem with tropes is you may as well call them ‘story components’ and they’re there for a reason. You put furniture together, you use screws and glue. Start getting clever and using, say, lime jelly, all you get is a mess. That’s why Star Wars: Return of the Jedi sensibly refused to turn well-worn tropes upside down.

You know, like a last minute betrayal of the Emperor. Fighting a rear guard mission on Not Hoth. Having an eccentric old hermit first refuse to train, then train an eager pupil. Having a double agent betray the heroes (Even if we don’t give a shit about that character.) Having a naive hopeful stand up to his former bully.  You know, all that good stuff.

Unless you’re talking about the bits with the bad writing? Are they the ones you mean? You know, how Rey faces the darkness, but it doesn’t actually show her anything or have any consequences? Or how Finn’s martyrdom was subverted, while other martyrdoms were just fine, apparently? Or how the hothead’s reckless last-minute plan just failed, like it would in shitty old real life? Or how Rey came from nowhere and has god like powers with no training or guidance just because? Or how Snoke also had god like powers, but we never found out anything about where he came from?

Are we calling that smashing expectations? Because if I go to see a comedian and she sets up a joke and then doesn’t deliver a punchline, she’s smashes my expectations, sure, but she’s also completely failed to tell a joke.

See, I liked the fact that Rey came from nowhere. It was a nice touch. But it doesn’t explain why she’s more powerful than Kylo Ren. If we believe the force is genetic, Kylo wins, hands down. If we believe the force has to be mastered, Kylo wins, hands down. If we believe neither of those things, then what’s the fucking point? You may as well say Chewie is a Jedi Master and be done with it.

Patting this movie on the back for subverting expectations is like applauding a ballerina who dances one half of a familiar routine and then falls off the stage. The parts where it attempts to subvert expectations are the weakest parts of the movie. And if you’re lording any change as good, because of some conceit about tearing down the old white patriarchal straight guy ways to make room for your glorious new age- your new age best fucking deliver. But it doesn’t. Not in this movie. We’re so enamored with what certain characters represent in our current political climate, we forgot to give them any special significance in the actual fucking movie.

Just stop it…

But you see, I only really noticed the politics in this movie when a load of internet posts from over-excited bloggers told me I should (except for all that bullshit on planet Live-In Nanny, but we can all agree that’s political Duplo, right? And if it didn’t happen nothing would have changed, right?) Because the movie was a lot of fun. But that’s all it was. It wasn’t significant. Neither was the Force Awakens. Neither was Rogue One, really, though it desperately tried to be.

Star Wars was significant. For its time. Those movies will always be important. Even The Return of the Jedi, which, with its ambitious art direction and swash-buckling sense of fun, provided stand out iconic moments yet to be topped by any recent instalment. It was never, ever significant for its political context. It was in fact, almost anti-politics, delivering a feel good shot of fantasy at a time when post-Vietnam America was massively disillusioned with itself.

We should have learned from The Phantom Menace that there can be no significant expansion of the original trilogy in the movie universe. They did not need the political context ham-fistedly provided by the prequels. The story of how the Death Star plans were retrieved is entirely unimportant though entertaining enough. We cannot replace the sincerity and innocence of those three original films with ironic allusion or political flag waving.

Sure, we can never go back, and must move forward. But I do not like you scrabbling in the mud for the Star Wars banner, and holding it above your head as your own. I do not like being told I must like a character because she is a woman. I do not believe a fantasy character is made significant simply because of her ethnicity. I do not think that relevance to American socio-political attitudes excuses flawed film making. Likewise I do not believe that the inclusion of strong female characters or more ethnically diverse characters are automatically a threat to the traditional values of a movie. Why should they be? That’s ridiculous.

And you know what? I wouldn’t have given a shit about any of these things if people didn’t keep screaming about them. Because the context you are all arguing about is the weakest, most inconsequential part of an otherwise solid and enjoyable movie. It feels like an attempt to pad out a Media student’s dissertation- and this is coming from a guy who padded the shit out his Media student dissertation. Your grand political narrative is meaningless in the face of what Star Wars does best- which is lightsabers, space battles, cool robots, magic powers and hokey but satisfying dialogue. I’d no more expect Star Wars to confirm to current political ideals than I would Super Mario.

Star Wars is not a statue to be torn down, or a Wikipedia article to be corrected, or a history book to be revised. Don’t try and weaponize it.

Happy Halloween

by Steve Wetherell

 

I guess I was maybe five years old or so when my dog died. Her name was Sherry, a big loafy German Shepard who I assume was brought as protection, but whom I never recall even snarling. I had come down into the hallway on an ice white morning, barefoot in my pajamas, my parents not yet up. I found her lying there in a way that I must have known wasn’t natural. Her eyes were open, she had a dried trickle of blood on her nose. I suppose I must have been old enough to process this as ‘dead’ rather than ‘sleeping’.

I don’t remember being scared, horrified or even sad. I found my siblings and we told our parents. Then Sherry was taken away. It was just a thing that happened.

If I remember one emotion I attached to the event it was excitement. Let me explain, because I know that sounds pretty awful.

As a kid I was obsessed with the paranormal. Ghostbusters was my favourite movie, even though the librarian gave me nightmares. Thanks to a big sack of pirated VHS tapes and our parents often leaving us to our own devices, my brothers and sisters let me watch a whole host of horror movies we shouldn’t have. If you think the furry scene in The Shining is disturbing as an adult, try processing that shit as someone who is only a few years removed from learning where poop is supposed to go.

The night before the death of Sherry I’d been up with my brother and cousin, swapping tales about the White Lady. No, she wasn’t a pumpkin spice obsessed yoga instructor. She was a typical Victorian apparition of a long dead lady who had flung herself from a balcony. She was rumoured to haunt the private school my brother attended, but I later found out she was sort of a franchise operation, claimed by any old building with a balcony that wanted to jazz up their history. When I found the corpse of my dog, I didn’t process it as a natural death. I clearly remember exchanging hushed whispers with my siblings. It was the work of the White Lady. She had come in the night. Our dog had died protecting us.

This would similarly link up to the next time we saw a dog corpse. We were creeping around a junk yard, that same brother and cousin and I, when amongst the majestic piles of abandoned appliances and spindly old bikes, we saw a dog, lolling out of a pile of trash-bags as though frozen mid catch. Clearly this dog was another victim of the White Lady’s gaze.

I guess it’s understandable. I guess it’s just taking a big, complicated shape and squeezing it into something a child can hold in his head. What should have been at least a little traumatic became a jump scare in an ongoing game.

That obsession with the supernatural never really left me. I don’t believe in ghosts (except the brief moments when I do, before I remind myself I’m a 250-lb grown up with a Quarter 4 planning meeting early in the morning,) but I sort of want to. Maybe that’s just ingrained in me now. That when something awful happens, it’s because of something.

This is not a healthy habit, and I wonder how many other writers, comedians and creators have it at their core. That little part of you, in the midst of disaster, is already weaving this awful news into punchlines, blog posts and prose.

That thing that, when finding a pet dead on the floor, won’t let you stay with it. Is already licking the tip of its pencil.

I mean, that’s sick, right? That’s got to be some sort of obsessive compulsive narcissism? Or maybe it’s just sad, maybe it’s just a human looking through a window at a sky full of terrible void, and writing something distracting in the condensation. I dunno. It’s pretty scary.

Happy Halloween.

 

The Swearing Corner: The N-Word and other words I won’t say (mostly)  

by Steve Wetherell

I’ll never say the n-word. Well, not in any official capacity. I might sing along to an Anderson Paak song, and my usual tactic of replacing it with ‘fella’ doesn’t always scan well. Also, I might write the word in the mouth of a racist character or such. Also, I might get drunk and scream it at someone’s wedding. Not the last one. That was a joke.

 

I wouldn’t say the word because it’s a very sensitive, contentious word, with a dark and terrible history, and it makes people uncomfortable. Saying it, to me, is far more effort that it’s worth. I mean, really, considering the fallout, I’d need a really, really good reason to say it. Maybe to prove some point about free speech and sensible conversation or such, or because Samuel L. Jackson commanded me to say it on national television. And that’s not really going to be an issue for me. I’m slightly suspicious of anyone who does think it is an issue. Why do you want to say that word? Is it because you were told you can’t? You coy little minx. Wash your mouth out. Also your soul.

 

Should the word have such power, though? The short answer is yes, but I may live to see a time when it loses that power. For example, when I was a young kid, referring to a black guy as a black guy was thought to be extremely crass. More sensitive people would say ‘the coloured chap’ or ‘Dave’ depending on how well they knew him. These days referring to anyone as ‘coloured’ is career damagingly offensive, and as ‘black’ is fine. Things change.

 

Faggot is another word I won’t say, apart from just then, obviously. Although it’s a fun word to say. (In England, a faggot is something you eat. It’s also a meat dish.) I won’t say faggot for the same reason I’ll never un-ironically say ‘cuck’, because it’s too often used by macho types with the self-awareness of a dick shaped lollipop and the compassion of an alligator. Also, it too has a pretty damned dark history. Again, not being able to say this word is really no skin off my nose.

 

I do miss “Gaaaaay” though. No, hear me out. We pretty much said everything was gay when I was younger, largely due to South Park. It’s got a big dumb mooing quality to it that makes it silly. Geography? Gaaaay. Newspapers? Gaaaay. Any outward sign of affection between two straight men? Gaaaay. In fact, the only thing we wouldn’t derisively call gay was actual gay people, because that would have been mean. Obviously, as we matured we realised that setting a tone where the word gay was used derisively was a problem in itself. It didn’t peter out entirely though. One of my favourite jokes in one my favourite movies- Shaun of the Dead- was the following exchange.

 

Shaun: We have to save Liz!

Ed: Why?

Shaun: Because I love her.

Ed: Alright… gay.

 

One grown man calling another grown man gay for admitting he loves his girlfriend is still hilarious to me. It’s absurd, and silly. I didn’t really stop saying gay in that way until my best friend and housemate came out to me in university. We had a frank and serious discussion about whether we were both supposed to stop calling things gay now, and he suggested that we should just carry on as normal. We didn’t though. I gradually phased it out. Now that it was more personal to me, it didn’t seem as silly.

 

Like retard. Remember when everything was retarded? Again, you’d call everything retarded apart from someone who was actually retarded, because what are you, a monster? Same situation as Faggot though. Phased that out. I’ve replaced it with fucktarded, but that’s still a bit dicey as the clue to its origin is fairly embedded in its structure. But here’s the problem- where I come from, flat out calling someone an idiot is a bit serious. It can be used light-heartedly, sure, but it’s also the word you use when you stop fucking around and want someone to know that they’ve sincerely fucked up. So, I sort of need a less serious word than ‘Idiot’ and less heinous word than ‘Retard.’

 

Answers on a postcard.

 

 

 

Doctor Who Has a Dick and You Just Need to Accept That

by Steve Wetherell 

 

 

Listen up you mindless sheeple, ‘cause I’m about to mansplain a few things to you. I’ll happily accept that women can be doctors (providing they’re not my doctor) but I draw the line that at women being Doctor Whos. They just can’t. Because Doctor Who is a man, and has been for generations. Through his various iterations, brought to life by various actors and writers each with their own unique perspectives on the character, the unifying characteristics have always been that the Time Lord has two hearts and two balls.

A woman being a Doctor Who is just ludicrous. I mean, Doctor Who is a calm, rational pacifist, and everyone knows that women are screeching lunatics with no sense of proportion. A woman Doctor Who would probably try to claw the Master’s eyes out before breaking down and crying into a tampon. Then they’d travel back in time to when they were prettier and never come back because they’d met a nice man and settled down. And exactly how much maternity leave does a Time Lord expect? Will the world be laid to waste by Cyber Men because Lady Doctor took nine hundred years off to stay at home watching daytime TV and eating toast? FUCK THAT!

It’s time we took back Doctor Who from the Cuck Travelling Time Lord he has become (sorry, that should read Time Travelling Cuck Lord) and made him a man’s man again. Maybe have a Doctor with a beard who just continuously flaps his balls onto the table whenever he’s talking. Maybe a Doctor who finally puts a decent spoiler on the Tardis, and kits it out with a plush leather interior. Some respectable subwoofers. A Doctor that smokes cigars and once hit someone with a pool cue because that someone said something about his mum. And give him a robot dog again, for fuck’s sake! And don’t even think about substituting with a robot cat. Cats are gay, and anyone who disagrees can travel back in time to when women still knew how to make sandwiches, and make me a fucking time travel sandwich. 

 

By now you probably think I’m satirising all the misogynists who can’t stand the thought of a female Doctor Who, but I’m actually not. I thought I’d just contribute something controversial, because the people outraged about misogynists being against a female Doctor Who seem to vastly outnumber the actual misogynists who are against a female Doctor Who. I rather suspect that it’s just one person living in Croydon whose mum once stamped on his model Daleck. 

I don’t think there are really that many professed Doctor Who fans who also hate women, though there will be some, obviously, because chances are one in ten people you meet is an irredeemable cock-hole. (But which one? Look out, it’s the one dressed as a priest! He’s got a knife!) And as for those who aren’t Doctor Who fans, well they probably just don’t give a shiny golden fuck about your tea-drinking dimension-hopping train spotter.

I must admit, when I see people openly weeping about there being a woman Doctor, I feel like I’ve gotten up for a piss and then realised mid-flow that I’m actually at a Peruvian wedding. And then I realise it’s a dream, and I’ve pissed myself, and that I’m at an entirely different Peruvian wedding. I find it weird, is what I’m saying.

Is it important? It certainly seems like it. Freud died without ever answering the question “What do women want?” If someone would have just told him it was a female Doctor Who we could have saved the guy a lot of trouble. Likewise, if we’d known that solving equality would have been as simple as gender swapping a kids TV show character, we could have demanded this be done years ago.

So, what next? Why not a woman Robin Hood? Why not a woman King Arthur? Why not a woman James Bond? There is no real answer. It doesn’t matter. And if it sells more reboots? Have at it. (So long as you don’t get a fucking American to play it, because that kind of prejudice is fine, for some reason.) 

…One thing, though. If gender representation in pop culture is so important, and little girls need to be able to see themselves as Doctor Whos, and Ghostbusters and Iron Mans, then isn’t anyone a little concerned that we’ve just gender swapped the one pacifist, intellectual male adventure hero in the mainstream? 

…Just gonna leave that there…

 …and back away slowly…

 giphy