Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Controversial Survey (Apparently)

[01] Do you have the guts to answe​r these​ questions and re-​​post as The Contr​overs​ial Surve​y?​​
This isn't controversial. My alcohol consumption is controversial. Shooting Britney Spears for live TV would be controversial. This is a survey.

[02] Would​ you do meth if it was legal​ised?​​
Nah. I like my teeth too much. Legalising any drug wouldn't make me want to do them any more than I do already. Now pass that smack, Amy.

[03] Abort​ion:​​ for or again​st it?
For. A foetus isn't a baby and women are not fields on crop rotation. Unless we're to believe every sperm is sacred, a sperm fusing with an ovum does not equate to something divine. Women should have control over their own bodies and the right not to be breeding vessels. This has to be balanced against the rights of a developing human. But since most babies can't survive without their mother until a number of months have passed, the law doesn't recognise them as individuals in being. We can only limit the woman's right to control her own body once that baby is legally recognised as a human individual, which is the point where it can survive independently of its mother. Then it would be unreasonable for the mother's control of her own body to cause the death of another human. Until that baby is a human, however, it's not unreasonable.

Then again, given the state of some people, I'm not averse to increasing the termination date to 4160 weeks.

[04] Do you think​ the world​ would​ fail with a femal​e presi​dent?​
No. The US might fall with a bad president, full stop. But the rest of the world wouldn't. Unless the president in question was of a newly established republic China. I think they'll have far more influence in the world than any US president in a few years. Only Americans think they rule the world.

And no, a female leader is no worse than a male leader. Men have fucked up so far, so why not give a woman a chance? (Other than Maggie Thatcher. But let's not invoke the name of The Evil One.)

[05] Do you belie​ve in the death​ penal​ty?​​
No. Miscarriages of justice occur all the time and I'd rather a thousand guilty men went free than a single innocent person be killed by state. Sorry. And I can't trust any legal system to be infallible, because nothing human ever is.

[06] Do you wish marij​uana would​ be legal​ized alrea​dy?​​
Yes. Then I could eat my space cakes in public. But seriously, it would stop illegal trafficking of the drug and take money out of the pockets of criminals and into things like the NHS. The side-effects are negligible compared to smoking and alcohol.

[07] Are you for or again​st prema​rital​ sex?
Completely for. Try before you buy, baby! And not everyone wants or needs to get married.

[08] Do you belie​ve in God?
No. Maybe he exists; I couldn't care less. And I refuse to capitalise third person pronouns when referring to him. He's no better than me ;)

[09] Do you think​ same sex marri​age shoul​d be legal​ized?​​
Yeah. If they're stupid enough to get married, let them. Far too many straight people get married and divorced. Let everyone else do it too.

[10] Do you think​ it's wrong​ that so many Hispanics are illeg​ally movin​g to the USA?
Well people shouldn't be moving anywhere illegally if you believe in the law. Personally, I'm a bit of an anarchist, so break those rules, girl!

[11] A twelv​e year old girl has a baby,​​ shoul​d she keep it?
If she wants to. If not, toss it in a bin, give it to the church, sell it on eBay, or whatever. Just don't raise another Vicky Pollard.

[12] Shoul​d the alcoh​ol age be lower​ed to eighteen?​
Yes. If you're old enough to have sex, get married and die in war, you're old enough to drink. In the countries with the lowest alcohol ages, people have the lowest rates of alcohol-related crime and illness. If you make it taboo, you make it dangerous, you make it exciting. If you make it commonplace, you make it boring.

[13] Shoul​d the war in Iraq be calle​d off?
It shouldn't have been started in the first place. But the point of the war in Iraq is to keep the West in war for as long as possible. There are a lot of rich people making money from weapons and economic unrest, and lots of corrupt folk enjoying draining our civil liberties under the aegis of getting scapegoats in desert caves. Isn't strange that the 'Osama' who admitted to 9/11 has noticeably darker skin and a wider nose than the Osama we've seen in other videos? And isn't it also funny Bush's administration flew the bin Ladens out of the US after 9/11, even though most planes were cancelled, and he was having lunch with bin Laden's cousin the day of the attack?

I thought so.

[14] Assis​ted suici​de is illeg​al:​​ do you agree​?​​
No. Every person has the right to decide when they want to die. However, there have to be safeguards in place to make sure people don't just off their ageing relatives for an inheritance.

[15] Do you belie​ve in spank​ing your child​ren?​​
Yes. Spank away! It leads to a healthy fascination with S&M as an adult.

[16] Would​ you burn an Ameri​can flag for a million dolla​rs?​​
I'd burn any flag for $1m. Although, the US exchange rate is crap, so it wouldn't be worth as much as £1m. But either way, I'm game! Brits don't have nationalism in the same way Americans do. I'd burn the Union Jack or the St George's cross too.

[17] Who do you think​ would​ make a bette​r president?​​ McCai​n or Obama​?​​
Obama. I'm not a fan of conservatism. Even British conservatives are more leftist than Republicans.

​[18] Are you afrai​d other​s will judge​ you from reading some of your answe​rs?​​
Who cares? I've just sacrificed a virgin to keep the crow's feet at bay. I'm evil!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Troglodyte Rose.com Goes Live!

Check out http://www.troglodyterose.com and check out 'Who is Troglodyte Rose?'. Further updates to follow every week.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Hot Damn!

I've just got the most delicious and fiery cocktail recipe through my inbox from Juno Books, to celebrate Carole Nelson Douglas' new novel, BRIMSTONE KISS.Ingredients follow:

Brimstone Kiss Cocktail
Invented in Brimstone Kiss by Carole Nelson Douglas

"Sounds like something you'd sip on all night long and I'd knock back
in couple slugs."- Rick Blaine/Humphrey Bogart CinSim in Brimstone Kiss

2 shots Inferno Pepper Pot vodka
1 shot DeKuyper "Hot Damn!" Hot Cinnamon Schnapps
2 shots Alize Red Passion
jalapeno pepper slice (optional)
2 ounces Champagne (for second version)

Version 1: Pour all the ingredients into a martini shaker with ice. Shake
gently. Pour into a martini glass garnished with the jalapeño pepper
slice. A hell of a drink! Sure to knock your socks off.

Version 2: For the classier birds amongst us: Pour all the ingredients into a tall footed glass filled with ice. Stir well. Top off with two ounces of your favorite Champagne. A perfect frothy but potent brunch libation that might lead to pleasant
damnation.

If you like the sound, try this cocktail invented for BRIMSTONE KISS's precursor, DANCING WITH WEREWOLVES, or consider buying the books both cocktails come from. The Albino Vampire Cocktail is purely delish!

Thanks to editor Paula Guran of Juno Books for letting us post this here.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Flyer Boys Needed!

Okay, as some of you know, amongst my other projects, I run Blasphemy @ Religion with Liam Keogh of LK Communications in Leeds. We're looking for new staff. It's paid, piss-easy work that takes less than an hour a time. If you're interested, just email Liam at info@blasphemyleeds.co.uk.

Also, if you want guestlist to Fresh Meat (our freshers' party/relaunch), let me know!

Who is Troglodyte Rose?

Who is Troglodyte Rose?

Answers on a postcard please. We'll be announcing the right answer shortly . . .

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Open for Submissions

Dog Horn Publishing is open for submissions. We've currently got a taste for bizzarro/pulp/irreal/surreal/weird fiction, so if you have any, send it along.

Monday, 1 September 2008

A Labyrinth of Entrails

This story is out in November, so I thought I'd give a little more info on it.

Basically I wanted to examine the role of victim in our society. It seems to me that victims of child and sexual abuse are labelled as victims whether or not they feel that way. There's an assumption of psychological scarring, vulnerability and taint from the experience. But this is often assumed without consulting with the individual in question.

Someone very close to me was once involved in what could technically be considered child abuse. She was 7 and he was 14, and he asked her to touch his genitals. She was frankly imperturbed by the experience and only became distressed when she was sat in front of a counsellor, in front of a one-way mirror, and recorded on video camera whilst being interrogated. The girl in question had never considered herself a victim. True, she was only 7, but even now, as an adult, she always states she does not feel she is the victim of any kind of abuse and she does not feel bad about the incident. Rather, she feels indifferent to it, seeing it as part of her childhood, and finds the encounter more traumatic.

This is in no way excusing the actions of the 14 year-old (who had learning difficulties); in all truth, he doesn't come into my argument. It's not about what he did and how we should feel about him (because his actions were clearly wrong). It's about her. How does she feel? And why should we call her a victim if she doesn't want to be one and doesn't feel like one?

So this was part of the original decision behind the character of Cathy, who is the protagonist of the story. Cathy is being held captive in the basement of a paedophile and is only twelve years old. She does not, however, reveal herself to be anything less than strong. Cathy is irreverent, cocky, powerful and magical. She's also very badly behaved by traditional standards. She smokes cigars and is involved in a sexually-active (we assume) lesbian relationship with the other girl locked in the cellar.

Cathy is not a victim, and no matter what her captor does to her, she will not become one either.

One way in which I revealed her power, and her refusal to be a victim, is by sidelining the abuse elements themselves. The words 'paedophile' and 'paedophilia' never appear, and you'll be hard pressed to find any words relating to abuse and victimisation. These issues are irrelevant to Cathy. Her story is not about paedophilia; it is about self-identity and freedom. Her journey, which she instigates through her own inner strength, is to escape the cellar and be free, but she feels fully confident in her abilities. It is only the narrator who doubts and thus provides the narrative tension that keeps the reader intrigued.

I intend to write more Cathy stories. She's very much the childlike element within all adults. She does what she wants, when she wants to. She reminds me of the Victorian idea of the child, where kids were seen merely as smaller adults. In Victorian literature, children are very much sexualised and capable of evil. It's only in the last century that we've become obsessed with children being innocent and separate from adult concerns. I've always thought this hypocritical. Children do think about alcohol and sex and smoking, even if they don't always understand them. Children are capable of morally dubious and even criminal activities.

And most importantly, it is up to an individual to self-identify (whether as victim or not), not society. That's what the story's about and that's what I hope readers get from it.

Now, let's wait till it comes out and you can tuck in ;)