October 31, 2008

Fuck yeah

Lt. Daniels, motherfuckers.


October 28, 2008

Stress Builds Character

All of Black Sabbath's Ozzy-era albums are incredible; don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. The first four in particular are four of the best records ever written. I think I want the song "You Won't Change Me" to be played at my funeral.

Lately I've been reading Ellis and listening to lots of Eyehategod, Neurosis and Dystopia. I'm bitter and disgusted with the world, but in a nice way. Hallowe'en is probably going to suck, but I don't care. There will be lots of good shows and hangouts in November and December.

Listen to Moss.


October 25, 2008

Nuclear Annihilation

Lately I've been pretty obsessed with the concept of nuclear war, and more specifically the idea of a "nuclear winter". In the early 1980s an atmospheric scientist named Salzberg was conducting research on the possible environmental consequences of a nuclear war and in his calculations he discovered, to his horror, that the vast quantities of black smoke produced by burning cities and extensive forest fires following a nuclear exchange would drastically affect our atmosphere. This factor had never been considered beforehand, and during the few decades previous to this when nuclear arsenals were constantly growing it was commonly believed by scientists that the worst damage made by a thermonuclear bomb would be the immediate fallout and the blast damage of the bomb itself. They were wrong.

This alarming (and basically, accidental) finding prompted both Russian and American scientists to investigate the possibilty further and over the next few years they gradually discovered that the smoke produced by a typical, fairly conservative nuclear war scenario between the USSR and US would cut off most sunlight from reaching the surface of the northern hemisphere for a number of months at least, and the proportion of smoke which entered the stratosphere could remain there for years, thus significantly lowering global temperatures over an extended period of time. The inital effects of such an event would essentially be "twilight at noon"; almost total darkness extending over continental-sized areas for weeks on end. Crops in the world's largest food-producing regions would certainly fail and as a result, pastoral agriculture would quickly disappear. Food reserves in most first world countries are only capable of sustaining populations for a number of weeks, and this estimation is not taking account of the hysteric mass looting and hoarding that would inevitably take place in such a panicked time. In the central regions of large land masses such as North America and Russia, temperatures could fall to many degrees below zero and create conditions comparable to Arctic Circle areas. Billions would already be dead from the inital blast damage in cities and from the subsequent radioactive fallout. The people remaining would be emotionally overwhelmed and completely unready to face the task of survival in the cold aftermath of a nuclear confrontation. Scientists postulate that these people's only reaction to the rapid disintegration of society and its framework would be utter apathy: feelings of total shock and loss over what had happened to them, their loved ones, and the world they once knew would create feelings of numbness and detachment from the continuing horror around them. In these freezing, dark and foodless conditions many more would die from starvation and epidemics of diseases such as pneumonia, typhoid, dysentery and even bubonic plague. These epidemics would spread relentlessly and quickly take the lives of many more survivors, mainly the young, old and those weakened by starvation and extreme cold.
After the initial few years of nuclear winter and the gradual warming of conditions there would probably only be a small fraction of the earth's population remaining: a few hundred million at most; somewhere around the levels of the Late Middle Ages. It is hard to say how much society would have recovered, if at all, after such a utterly destructive experience. It is possible that a primitive form of communal subsistence farming would have developed, albeit with limited crop yield due to the lingering cold conditions, rudimentary agricultural tools and an extremely basic grasp of farming possessed by most survivors. This would only occur if the surviving population would have the strength and determination to continue living. The vast quantities of smoke which would have entered the stratosphere following the nuclear fires would have removed much of the planet's ozone, resulting in a very high level of UV radiation reaching the earth's surface. The repercussions of this for the survivors and their children would be a high occurence of cancers, stillbirths and foetal deformation, sterility, and cataracts causing blindness.
Another possibility, explored by the writer Cormac McCarthy in his novel "The Road" (which I strongly recommend you read, it's a fucking masterpiece), is the emergence of brutal cannibalistic tribes who roam the wasted earth searching for fellow survivors to c
onsume. Now I know that sounds pretty mental and science-fictioney, but think about it. Who knows what humanity is capable of when pushed into a corner like this. An event like this would undoubtedly be the single most devastating thing that has ever happened to humankind - it could even signify the extinction of humanity, and there is no way we can possibly know how the remainder of the earth's population would behave following such an event.

So yeah. I think about this kind of stuff a lot and it absolutely fascinates me to no end. I've read a few books about the subject and the more I learn about this, the more I want to know. What originally exposed me to the idea of nuclear winter was a movie called Threads that I saw a few months ago, which is a dramatised-documentary thing made by the BBC in 1984 when nuclear war was far closer to becoming reality than it is now. Now I know that nuclear war isn't nearly as relevant or engaging a topic as it used to be, but I'm still intrigued by it and the fact is that the world's collective nuclear arsenal is still powerful enough to destroy every large city on this planet many times over.
Anyway, Threads is one of the most disturbing, horrifying and compelling films I've ever seen. The events that occur on screen during it are 100% factual - this is not a science-fiction movie, it is reality. It's called Threads because ultimately its message is that humanity's downfall in the event of a global catastrophe will be the destruction of the "threads" of communication, altruism and co-operation that hold society together. The seemingly fantastical and implausible things that you witness when watching it are not fabrications but truths. That's probably the most affecting element of this film. After watching it, certain moments and images from the movie stayed in my head and wouldn't go away. They still haunt me now; ideas such as the depiction of the breakdown of education and literacy in the post-apocalyptic "society" (where the children of survivors learn only basic, grunting communication techniques from their numb, shellshocked, near-mute parents. Children who are completely animalistic due to the nature of the world they've grown up in, deprived of basic morality, intellect and humanity). I can't even imagine what watching this must've been like for people in 1984.
I don't really know why I made this blog post. I don't even really know why I'm so obsessed with nuclear winter. I guess all the things I've talked about in this blog are the things that I'm fixated on: the initial fiery immolation of technology and conventional society, the bitter, dark, endless winter which follows, and then the people who somehow emerge alive; demoralised, apathetic, cannibalistic and basically animals. The idea of civilisation and morality breaking down and being replaced with a brutal, heartless paradigm of survival is really interesting to me.


October 23, 2008


I read this at the weekend. It's a three-part limited series about this lone warrior/barbarian dude who's been banished from his homeland for doing something bad (I can't remember what), I'm guessing a crime he probably didn't commit. And he's pissed about it. He has these magical black mushrooms and when he eats them he trips out and goes into a blind, froth-mouthed rage and destroys everything around him. This is fucking awesome, one of the best comics I've read in a while.The writing is actually great, packed with amusing, vaguely Nordic slang and phrases, and the story is really solid and entertaining. There's a definite influence from old Sword & Sorcery novels and movies present.
However, the main strength of this comic is the art: it's insane. Juan Jose Ryp (Black Summer) does a fantastic job of drawing ridiculously gory and detailed fight scenes, replete with necks getting snapped and intestines being brutally torn asunder. I can't wait to read the Wolfskin annual when I get home. Apparently another limited series of Wolfskin is slated to be made soon, so I can't wait for that. Definitely check this shit out. Just in case I haven't convinced you to read this already, here is a typical page from the comic.
Warren Ellis (Planetary,Transmetropolitan) is the writer and he's doing another limited series with Ryp at the moment called No Hero, which judging from its cover art alone looks mental. I'm definitely going to buy the paperback when it comes out. I mean come on, look at this shit.

Lately I've been jamming lots of old death metal bands like Necrovore, God Macabre, Morgoth, Brutality, Gorement, Wombbath, Sadistic Intent and so on. I've slept on The Wire for way too long, it's fucking great.


October 22, 2008


Sleep. Study. Eat. Study. Sleep.

I'll update this properly when there's time. When something actually happens, and when I'm aware of it.
Days have passed where I haven't had a single conversation with another human. But even that's not what feels wrong here.

It is easier to move through the motions than not to.


October 17, 2008

New experiences

I've decided to finally do a blog. I've been meaning to start one for quite a while now, but I never bothered because I knew I didn't have anything interesting to say. I still don't have anything interesting to say but I'm going to start blogging anyway. It'll probably be a nice exercise in self-obsessive rambling and cathartic ranting. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

So last night I had my first proper "night out" since I started college last year. I have never stepped inside of any of the student bars in UCD and up until last night I had never gone out to drink in Dublin. I'm kinda proud about that, seeing as that whole scene is a load of shit. I'm forced to tolerate the fucking imbeciles around me all day in college, so why would I want to go out in the evenings just to be surrounded by those same people for another few hours? Cans with the lads inside a shitty garage will always be far superior to all that nightclub bullshit. Anyway, I actually had a pretty good time. I saw an actual Juggalo not too long after I got into Fibbers, so I was pretty stoked from the onset of the evening. I got to talk to Mac and Joebreaker properly for the first time, and we had the laugh. I forgot to thank WICKEDOWL and Helene last night for inviting me out and for being so class in general. Thanks guys. Tracy, if you don't come home this weekend, I will fucking apprehend you and drag you home, Nebraskan style.

I've been meaning to start a band for a good while now. It'll probably happen when I can find a type of hardcore that me and my friend Adrian can agree on playing together. I'm hoping it'll be some mental '80s NYHC Cro-Mags/AF/Warzone/Crumbsuckers-type shit but I'll have to wait and see.
This morning I realised that "Nightstalker" by Impact Unit is probably one of the hardest songs ever. Fuck.

A few nights ago I watched The Wicker Man, amazing movie. [Spoilers] When the self-righteous Christian motherfucker slowly perishes in flames at the end a malicious little smirk definitely lit up my face. It's funny how indignant he was at the pagans performing rituals around the various obelisks and phallic symbols of fertility throughout the movie, because in reality that's what Christianity itself centres around. All religions do. The worship of a paternal Sun-god who bestows fertility and prosperity onto the annual harvests. Crucifixes, church spires, mosque minarets; all phallic, masculine symbols gesturing imploringly towards the heavens. All constructed in a vain attempt to bring humanity a few feet closer to an invisible god in an intangible kingdom.

Listen to Dmize.