Post-Mortem Photography

Day 60. 158 pages, 76,833 words.

Today’s blog post is a lazy one brought to you by “Uncle” George Takei and his random reposting of trending and viral-slash-previral amusing stuff on Facebook and other social media. Got a lot to do and since we didn’t get in and to bed until midnight last night, I slept in and as a result have no time for non-work-related stuff today. Which is sad.

Anyway, on my breakfast Facebook-scroll, I found that Unkie George had posted up a link to this ghoulish little story.

So, I don’t know, apparently post-mortem photography was a thing, and it’s not like this has really gone anywhere. I guess we don’t pose them and sit our living family down with them (well, not very often), but open casket and touch-ups and all the rest are very much still a thing.

What interested me most about this – which may seem a little odd given my track record – was the comments the article received.

Oh comments section. Never change. I know you won't.

Uncensored, because they posted these as-is to the website so fair dos.

Okay, so it was hard to tell which was more laughable – the horrified tone of the original article and its attitude about taboo, or the counter-comments about how it’s modern western society that has made death a taboo and so the article was offensive and should be taken down. Actually, I think I’m going to go with the latter being more laughable, although it does seem to be true that we have gotten more hands-off and denial-y about the whole ‘death’ thing. The article didn’t need to make value judgements to make that point. But “offensive, take it down”? Really? There’s an interesting double standard.

What interested me most was the accusation that most of the pictures weren’t showing dead people. I went to the website plugged in the comments and while I was not quite ready to go for a membership to the site (uh, for, let’s call it ‘reasons’, and move on), it certainly seemed more legit than the shouty viral site.

Either way, I found the very idea confronting. And the images, whether of actual dead people or people we were supposed to think of as dead, standing or sitting with their living kin, was … I don’t know, I reacted to it at an interesting gut level. And I don’t just mean I got queasy, although some of it was hard to look at. I can’t do ‘tiny little dead people’ anymore, since a pair of tiny little living people entered my life. Simple fact of breeder biology.

It did make me think about why I would have that instinctive reaction, and why some people would be even more extreme. Something changed in the past couple of hundred years. Heck, a lot changed. But people in our lives dying? That didn’t change.

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Rook, Pig, God

Day 59. 150 pages, 73,564 words.


Çrom stood beneath the Rook and said,

O, why am I forsaken?

Why the tears and why the blood,

and all my loves a-taken?


The Rook looked Çrom straight in the eye,

and said, Thou sore mistaken,

for I but feast upon the dead;

Naught lie here by my making.


Çrom stood above the Pig and said,

Why must my life be slaughter?

For who has butchered all my men,

my womanfolk and daughters?


The Pig looked up, and with a laugh

said Ere long I shall be quartered!

‘Tis not by choice we walk this path

Nor spill our lives like water.


Çrom knelt before the God and said,

Why must those near me fall?

Why must goodly people die,

Why must I bear the pall?


The God looked down, and not a sound

Çrom heard in that vast hall;

The God looked down, said not a word,

nay, not a word at all.


- Rook, Pig, God, from The Ballad of Sorry Çrom.
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The Witty Retort #8

Day 58. 149 pages, 72,449 words.

the witty retort #22

the witty retort #23

the witty retort #24

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Season finale, Who 8

Day 57. 146 pages, 71,055 words.

The closing double-episode of the latest Doctor Who season finally crossed my television screen on Tuesday, thanks to the inestimable Hawkinses[1], and so we got to sit down and watch it. And here is my review. I have used spoiler tags.

[1] And I must also publicly credit Mr. H with a brilliant little punking that failed through no fault of his own and still deserves applause. For the past couple of seasons of Doctor Who, I have been complaining at the end of every episode when the “Next Week On” teaser drops spoilers suddenly, unexpectedly and thoroughly right before the end credits of the episode, never giving you enough time to turn the TV off. I resorted to covering my eyes and ears and going “lalalalalala” in order to avoid finding out every last detail of what was going to happen in the next episode, even if we were just about to watch it. Mr. H decided to edit together the second-last episode (which ended on a “To Be Continued”) with a “Next Week On” screen followed by a “Man Up, Hatboy” screen. It would have been a magnificent zinger and I feel it deserves full points even though that edited copy of the episode did not play thanks to a missing audio codec on our machine. Cosmically unfair and so here I am, giving the points.

I’m not entirely sure what to think about this season. Overall, I loved it. I love the new Doctor (of course) and think his character and interactions with humanity are perfect. Capaldi can stay. Coleman is amusing and tough, and if her character is a bit under-utilised and her wishy-washy love triangle with the Doctor and Danny Pink is a bit all-over-the-place, then I can still tolerate it because at least we’re moving past the Doctor’s-Companion-Falling-In-Romantic-Love-With-The-Doctor phase, which I always found a bit creepy.

Yes, the season was good and I liked most of the episodes, for all that I think I will need to watch the whole lot again because I’ve missed a lot of the dialogue and finer points of detail. What with crying babies, chattering co-viewers, and having to keep my kids fed and entertained, I just haven’t been able to give the episodes the attention I like to. I’ll have to get the DVDs and give them all another watch, in actual peace and quiet. But I got most of it.

And these final episodes were certainly fun to watch. Lots of stuff going on, lots of excitement and uncertainty and cool scenery, plenty of BSTs and technology and amusing one-liners. It was beautiful to see the Brigadier, in a sense, return to kick arse and take names just like in the good old days, and I got something in my eye when the Doctor saluted him.


I didn’t care for the Missy “twist”. And let me say it’s absolutely not because they turned the Master into a female. That was cool. I don’t think they need to over-explain why we have never really seen a regeneration-gender swap before (I am calling it ‘regenderation’ until told to stop), it’s just a thing and evidently if the Doctor’s not fazed by it, then that’s that. And once she revealed herself and started sinking into the character, she did a great job at “creepy manic genius”, very nice. And she also managed to blend a little of the old, classic, calculating-and-murderous Master into it as well, effectively moving the character on past the wacky young John Simm version and into line with the new Doctor and the old school feel of the series. And her Mary Poppins was truly creepy.

Mary Poppins is a Time Lord.

Especially since the Internet apparently already knows Mary Poppins was a Time Lord.

So what was not to like?

I don’t know. I guess once the Time War was dealt with and we started to see this extensive setup of Gallifreyan technology and plotting, I was ready for it to be another Time Lord. The Master was good, and I’m sure he / she would have been awesome to see again in later seasons, but right now it’s just too soon. Too repetitive. Let’s have Romana back, or the Rani, or even Rassilon if you want to hold onto the gender-swap. Heck, you want to make it really interesting, Missy could have been a new incarnation of the Valeyard since the Great Intelligence already hinted at the Doctor encountering / becoming that again.

Missy being the Master wasn’t just surplus to requirements, the entire plot was just too convoluted. I know this is what the Master is sort of famous for, but this really was crazy. Given the apparent tools at her disposal, this was what she came up with to do? At least his last plan, taking all those people from the very end of time and making them into Toclafane, was pretty impressive and utilised the given technology (ie. the Doctor’s route-locked TARDIS) to good effect.

The Master

And it was funny. I know, this screencap is from his slightly stupider plan, but this is the screencap he gets.

From the hints we started getting right from the start of the season, with assorted people being hand-picked and ending up in the Nethersphere, it seemed like there was something really amazing going on. And I know, put your fan expectations in the palm of one hand and the fucks given by the creators of the show in the other, and then smack yourself in the face from both sides … but it seemed like Missy was up to something more personal.

Missy was collecting the dead from all over the universe, and all through history. Even robots. The episodes where characters were dying, they were all over the place. They could have made far more of the idea that Missy had been collecting ‘souls’ from people who had died because of the Doctor. As it happened, she was just doing it with everyone. And everything. Forever. I mean, wow. And this was the result? What a dog’s breakfast.

Even the part with the dead continuing to feel, after death, obviously because of Missy’s storage of their consciousness … it just seemed like that alone would have made a cool idea for a double-episode (the Three Words alone were beautifully creepy, yet horribly under-used and poorly-delivered), and they were just trying to cram too much together and make it all work. And that whole plan with the Cybermen, no. What was that? The Master would know better than to try to conquer anything using Cybermen, wouldn’t he? And how was it supposed to work? Thing dies, consciousness is stored, body buried (or whatever, cremation was apparently a threat to this but dying ten million years in the past or the future wasn’t?), body upgraded, consciousness re-uploaded? What? And then end result, Cybermen out of the graves like zombies? Where did the rest of the Cyberman components come from? Nano-engineered out of the soil and / or morgue refrigerator drawers by the ‘rain’? And what was the point of saving all the dead, when it was only the ones with carcasses in 2014 Earth (a tiny fraction of the whole, surely) that would make viable Cybermen)? WHAT?

The Master’s last plan – conquering Earth using the Toclafane – he had to use a Paradox Machine to do that! Things from the future can’t kill their progenitors without one, it’s Made-Up Rule #272 in the handbook, go look it up. If Missy had been doing the same all up and down history and all over the universe and then used the Cybermen to conquer 2014-ish Earth (or to hand the entire army over to the Doctor to conquer the universe, or whatever her weird plan was), wouldn’t she have needed one this time too? It was basically sorta-kinda the same exact plan, wasn’t it?

Was that where her TARDIS was? I’d ask where she suddenly got a TARDIS from, but I assume there’s a Gallifrey-related answer, she has actually been there to get hold of all this tech or she is a reset version of the Master and has all the Master’s old toys. Don’t know.

And it was all over too fast. Given the build-up, and the nerdon-inducing references to the Gallifreyan hard drive and the Master’s TARDIS, I expected far more to happen. Instead there was just some baloney about Danny Pink being able to withstand Cyberman tech (Rose’s mum did it better), and then Missy got disintegrated. Screw you very much.

I sure hope the next season finds its shit again, because it really seemed to lose the fuck out of it here.

So. Now the Doctor has exorcised his Gallifreyan demons and fixed the Time War and is therefore safe to actually want to go back to Gallifrey. I suppose that’s what he’s going to do next time. Missy obviously knew more about Gallifrey than she was letting on, but that was a dead end, at least for now. The final scene, or second-to-final, was poignant – both parties lying to one another about their own situations in order to let the other go. I have no doubt this will come back to bite them both in the next season, particularly with the “no more lies” theme running through the show.

And the Doctor’s violent despair and frustration when he found out that Gallifrey wasn’t there, that was tough to watch. Especially since we know that the TARDIS is a living thing, perhaps an even more intimate lover than River Song was, and there he is beating the tar out of her.

Can I get any of you cunts a drink?

And then Father Christmas, as played by Nick Frost, shows up.

Okay, Christmas Special. Expect wacky fun.

But then, find your shit again please.

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The Tramp, now on social media

Day 56. 142 pages, 69,244 words. Shit, didn’t get anything written yesterday because I was messing around with marketing. And, you know, work.

Anyway, I consider it totally worthwhile, because I made a little marketing agreement with the Indie Author crowd (watch this space next week, they’re starting promotion), and I also played around with variations on the Facebook ‘Like’ icon for a couple of my characters. There are a few of these around, for various popular TV shows and books. Or in this case, both:

Inferior examples.


So I decided to go all out and make a few for my Eejit characters, using the latest in the ever-changing series of Facebook icons.

First up, Decay. Simple and classic:


Blaran anatomy makes it fun.

Then we have Glomulus Cratch, another distinctive one and – I’m quite proud of this – one I felt would be better as an animated .gif:


This is why I have no time.

Finally, I had a think about how I might best portray Controversial-To-The-End in terms of Facebook ‘Like’ icons, and ended up just going surreal:


Still quite pleased.

So that was what I did yesterday, as well as being flu-ey and sleeping in way too late (can you imagine, it was almost 08:00 when I got into the office?). We watched the last couple of episodes of the latest Doctor Who series on Tuesday night though, so I might have to chat about that.

Anyway, better get on with it.

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I’ll just leave these here

Day 55. 142 pages, 69,244 words.

Because today, it’s all about cheering myself up.

Fuck you



Dance! Dance, monkey, dance!

No, fuck you, seriously.

Oh yeah, and fuck you!

Dance monkey dance!

And dance!

You heard me, go fuck yourself.




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Day 54. 140 pages, 68,412 words.

So it’s approaching ten in the morning, well past the time I usually get my crap together and post my blog entry and get busy with my actual work (and I have, I’ve started, I’m just switching windows from time to time between top-secret worky-type activities, this is just the way it has to be), but I haven’t posted and I haven’t got anything to add.


So I shall throw this down, from my Facebook wall in September.

There’s a lot going on, of course. Lots of work to do, lots of bad shit happening at the office and in the world in general and on the Internet (as distinct from the world), but that’s okay. And I’m writing as much as I can, which is grand. And I just received a fantastic little piece of music written and performed specifically for me, so I can make a trailer video for the book series, which should be coming soon. And that is absolutely brilliant.

But we’ve all been sick – well, Wump and Toop have been and are still down with this nasty chest cold, and I’ve got a dose of it too, and Mrs. Hatboy is therefore exhausted with looking after us all and sitting up all night with the girls even if he teacher’s constitution has stopped her from being actually sick – and that makes everything that little bit more run-down and difficult. I slept in until seven this morning, which is another reason I’m running so late and only just now starting to get warmed up. But ten hours’ sleep – albeit broken sleep – was just what the proverbial doctor ordered.

Okay, nothing more to see here. I’m back to work. You should be too.

Work hard, be productive, contribute to the economy, as an old friend of mine likes to say.

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