Today was the day of Cwmbran’s Big Event, hosted by Cwmbran Community Council (for which I am a councillor) and Torfaen County Borough Council (for which I am the Mayor’s official consort). The event itself showcases the best of Cwmbran, from entertainment and music, to fun and games, and highlights the works of local businesses, charities, community groups and even the council itself. I was there in both capacities as Mayors consort and as a community councillor. It was very nice to get to see the good work that is going on in Cwmbran.
Marianna went down a storm especially as she had her own Mayoral chain, she enjoyed herself, except being somewhat frightened, and by somewhat frightened I mean pants wettingly terrified, of the Torfaen Play mascot TJ Bear. We then moved over to watch the finals of the raft race on the lake where Marianna and her mother got hand out the trophy to the winning team the Parkrun Pirates.
Also, and possibly best of all I picked up enough free pens to last me a year, and I get through a lot of pens, seriously a lot of pens.
So Theresa May has managed to form a minority government. For those that don’t know what a minority government is, its a government that is still the biggest party in the house of commons, but doesn’t have an overall majority. Buts thats the thing, Theresa May’s government sort of still does have a majority (even though it doesn’t).
So the Conservative Party have 318 seats out of 650 in parliament, just 8 shy of a majority, but here’s the thing, 7 Sinn Fein MP’s are abstentionists, so do not and will not ever set foot in the houses of parliament, so that means that Mrs May is only shy of 2 for a majority. But then there is the speaker and his deputies which means Mrs May actually has working majority of three, so she doesnt actually need the dubious support of the Irish Democratic Unionist Party, that is being touted in the media at the moment.
Tomorrow is the day of the general election in the United Kingdom and at every election I generally say something along the lines of people fought and died for you right to vote so go and use that right.
I feel that this is losing something as I may have used that line at least 3 times in the last two years, so here are just a few people who actually died in order for you to be able to vote. So now you can begin to understand the human cost of the rights you take for granted.
Here are just three people who died fighting for the belief that every man and woman should have the right to choose their representatives in parliament.
Samuel Holberry- Who died in prison, he was arrested for planning a protest in Sheffield as part of the Chartism movement, that would see every man with a vote and a wage for every MP so it would not just be the rich who could afford to stand.
Emily Davison- Who in protest for a woman’s right to vote threw herself in front of the Kings horse at Epsom Derby and died of wounds sustained.
Mary Clarke-Who died mere hours after being released from a police station where she was imprisoned for acts of protest
These are just three people who died for your rights, and doesn’t begin to mention the 22 who died in the Newport Rising and the hundred more injured, or the hundreds of men who were imprisoned or transported for fighting, and doesn’t mention the hundreds of women who were beaten, jailed, force fed and molested so that you could go and tick that box in secret.
I’ve been collecting comics for the best part of two decades now and one of the mainstays of that collection was the Giffen, Dematteis run of Justice League. About a year ago I finally completed that entire run, and picked up some of the sister titles that went along with it, like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Huntress, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle.
The second volume of Mister Miracle spun out of the Justice League International series at the beginning of 1989 and was written by one half of the JLI writing team JM Dematteis with art for issue #1 being provided by Ian Gibson.
The story goes into the history of the character Mister Miracle and this particular issue serves well as a jumping on point for new readers, it tells the origin of Mister Miracle (aka Scott Free), of how he was the son of Highfather ruler of the New Gods, who was traded to Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips in order to prevent a war, of how he escaped that hell hole with his wife Big Barda and escaped to Earth where he then became an escape artist, before joining the Justice League and then eventually settling in the suburbs.
And that is where this story picks up, with Scott Free trying to reconcile his personal life with his life as a superhero, it opens with he and his wife, and his assistant Oberon (a surly Dwarf) moving into a new home in Bailey, New Hampshire. Its interesting to see the newly wed dynamics play out, setting up a new home can be bad enough, without adding super heroics and villain attacks into the bargain. So seeing the problems that setting up a new business and making good impressions with the nosy neighbours brings up whilst coupled with maintaining a secret identity and running from the (para)demons of your past is a delightful premise.
JM Dematteis’ writing is its usual flawless prose, my olny criticism is that trying to fit in every detail of Mister Miracle’s past life and exploits into three pages of exposition was maybe not the best way to proceed, but I understand that there is a fine line between giving the readers the info on a character that was probably needed a bit more in the 1980’s, I mean it isn’t like today where you could just look up their fictional biography on wikipedia. The early villain reveal was a nice touch and didn’t detract anything from the final page cliff hanger that we were left with.
The Art is typical of the late 80’s/ early 90’s especailly at DC, there were a lot of line and colour was used quite liberally to good effect, Mr Gibson certainly knew his stuff when it came to pencils and managed to portray a whole range of emotion.
As a first issue, it really sets the tone for the rest of the series, that its going to be fun and hopefully wont take itself to seriously, and will use the rich backstory of the characters but wont be overly reliant on them, and will be able to stand on its own two feet and be its own thing, and hopefully wouldn’t be stuck in the shadow of the original Jack Kirby Series.
This post is part of a series that will review various things that may not necessarily be new. It’ll look at comics, films, books, audio dramas, band’s, CD’s, clothes and TV shoes from yesteryear, partly to fill you in on some gems you may not know about, but mostly because it gives me filler for days when I’m feeling lazy or hungover, or for when the creative muse has left me in its entirety.
Its a Monday, and I find myself at a loss, I have no work and its a horrible day typical of June in South Wales, the rain is pouring and the sky’s are black, the wind is blowing and goddammit I’m bored.
I’m so bored that I actually brought a colouring book and some pens, and as many of you know colouring and general artiness are things that are designed to relax, but actually stress me out massively, so I guess its a kill or cure kind of thing.
Yesterday say yet another terrorist attack in the United Kingdom which has left seven dead and many more injured. So dispensing with the thoughts and prayers for the victims friends and families I will say this.
The greatest threat of a terrorists incident is the explosion of stupidity that it provokes. I have already seen people rushing to lay blame, at the feet of Muslim’s, at the feet of the government, even at the feet of the Mayor of London. I’ve seen people blaming a lack of guns and blaming each other.
You know who is really to blame? The cowardly shits that target the innocent to spread fear in order to promote their “cause”. To say that this is done in the name of Islam is pure bollocks, no religion (not even the tenants of devil worship) call for the mass slaughter of innocents, and anyone claiming this is because of religion knows nothing about the true meaning of faith. Islam and the teachings of Mohammed are teachings of love and tolerance, and yes they do say that these teachings should be shared and spread, and I certainly don’t see why they shouldn’t as these are good messages that deserve to be spread, and anyone that tries to use fear and terror to spread any message is no man of faith and deserves everything they get.
Have you ever really thought about nothing? I don’t mean thinking about no particular thing at any one moment, what I actually mean is thinking about nothing, that whole concept of nothingness, nothingness as almost a tangible entity, a tangible thought. Nothingness that you can almost fathom the very idea of?
At about 2 AM this morning I was trying to sleep, and I couldn’t, I had a thousand thoughts whirring through my mind, and then it hit me, think of nothing, switch off all thought and just sleep. But of course thinking of nothing gets tricky, because what is nothing? is it the number zero, is it a field of blackness or a screen of white? Is it an empty box? What is nothing? After a small amount of time you realise that you can’t actually comprehend what nothing is. You start to picture it in your head, but its only an absence of things, you picture a scene and then subtract objects from it, but it still isn’t nothing. Even if you picture a scene of pure black, it still isn’t nothingness, it is simply the closest we could imagine, I think if we were to actually experience nothing we would go mad.
After contemplating this for hours, the sun was beginning to rise by the time I finally dropped off, but it was nagging at me, this feeling of not knowing, of now knowing that there was something I would never be able to experience, but being aware enough to know that this, almost reverse existentialism, may often rack my thoughts again in the future, and that there is nothing (for lack of a better term) that I could begin to do to change the outcome of these thoughts.
Yesterday I had the honour of going to the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, In my capacity as Mayors consort, It was a gala occasion attended by hundreds of people all in the fanciest of dress.
The dress code for men was either a simple lounge suit, or a morning suit, I opted for the latter, because when else would I ever have occasion to? (except maybe at a wedding). I dug out my morning suit and my best formal waistcoat, put on my top, did up my shoes and headed for the capital.
In spite of the formality, it was a very relaxed vibe, and even with the sun scorching and the mercury popping, it was a very enjoyable day, the only bad thing I will say about the whole experience was how shocking London traffic is, its something I seem to block out every time I go