Thursday, 5 November 2015

Disrupted Development: Memories of WebSummit 2015

"Let's do this!" I knew that I needed to make this year count. For weeks there have been loud rumblings of a disagreement between the Web Summit organisers and the Irish government. The result of those very public childish spats was that this was the last year the Web Summit was planned to be in Ireland, so I had to make every second count.
I arrived early for the opening address on Tuesday, ready to network with some similarly minded people, shift social dynamics, disrupt social convention, all the things these types of gatherings entail. It's hard standing out at these things, so you really need to use all of your energy all of the time; almost without trying people were looking at me as soon as I entered the room.

"Interesting choice." said a man nearby me, but he turned away before I even had a chance to respond.
"Are you sure you're in the right place?" a woman asked me, and for the first time I had doubts.
RDS, check. 3rd November, check. All of the pieces were in place, but looking around at the other people gathering I couldn't help but notice everyone else looked a little different.
"I'm very sure that I am." I slowly replied. Get confident, Dave, I screamed internally. Network, diversify your social portfolio.
I took a deep breath. "My costume is a gender-swapped Gwen Stacey as Spider-Gwen, so I'm like Spider-Man but my costume is a little cooler. Do you like it?" I pulled up the hood to made it look a little sharper.
"Uhhhmm," she appeared nervous.
"Is it too on the nose? I know it's a WEB Summit, so I didn't want to go as the obvious Peter Parker Spider-Man but this Halloween costume was all I had, then I thought a lot of the other cosplayers here would do that too, so I improvised! My friend John came as Sailor Moon."
I should point out that he did not dress as a gender-swapped version.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Seagulls, you guys. Motherf**kin' seagulls are everywhere and the weight on their existence is threatening to collapse our society from above - we're mere days away from the roof of our delicate home falling in with a feathery, squawking, bird-sh*t saturated thud.

Newspaper are filled with tales of terrified grannies having their phones stolen, tourists run screaming out of our streets, and innocent people inconvenienced by their bird calls.

But what can we do?
We all know that moments after that gull stole that phone from an innocent granny he was probably down in CEX on Liffey Street trying to sell it (and the sob story that he'd "lost his charger") before donning a wig and going to collect his second welfare payment from the post office because when that dirty foreign scrounger came over here he was just biding his time before he used the reverse-guilt-trip of "sure, they all look alike" to his favour to defraud our welfare system!

Or maybe he was looking to distribute the pilfered phone to anti-water charge thugs so that they could video TDs trapped in their cars, every angle of the car covered by video footage, every inch of its surface covered in seagull sh*t. Those birds must be laughing their bl**din' holes off at us honest Irish folk, their victims!

When not content being the scourge of the air, terrifying the battle hardened people of Dublin who shouldn't have to fear the outside world, they are the scourge of our roads. Many seagulls are double-jobbing as taxi drivers, using forged taxi plates. They are no longer content with taking food from the hands of people in parks, but are now taking money from the pockets of honest taxi drivers on our roads.

Sure, some people might look at Stephen's Green after a sunny day and see the litter from dozen of visitors, discarded cans from daytime booze hounds, discarded sandwiches from sun-baked workers too busy running back to the office after lunch to use a bin. As a people we are within our right to treat our country as a waste-dump, idly sh*tting over every public space, but these dirty birds just want to take what we have given so freely to the ground. Where do they get off?!

I'll tell you where they get off - because seagulls are SEA-gulls, not urban-gulls! No. They get off on Parnell Street, every morning a mini-van drops off dozens of seagulls. they scatter out, scarves around their heads, squalling in some indecipherable dialect, making there presence known before they scatter to the wind.
Then every evening that same van picks them up, and they re-board the bus, their beaks packed with stolen phones and food-stuff. Their work done they head back to to the squalid holes they call a home. Their ill-gotten gains given to the King of the Coastal Gulls.
We all know that these gulls live in dense seaside ghettos, on cliff-faces and outcroppings, making these no-go areas for honest walkers and tourists fearful for their lives and lunches.
The areas are run down, sh*t encrusted, and facilities are over-run as gulls abuse the system and drain it of resources. Would a thrush do that to its home? No.
Would a thrush then use a false address in a flowery suburban dwelling in order to get its children preferential treatment and access to the area's school? No, a thrush would not. Would a rock pigeon? No.
A seagull wouldn't even think twice though, and the school yards and waiting lists are crammed full of the feather f**kers. Statistics can't be released due to freedom of information and privacy concerns, but we all know about these seagulls. We see them hanging outside school gates, perched upon the backs of their Staffordshire bull terriers (without leads or harnesses), waiting for their loud children to be returned to them. Arrogant scum birds.

A few years ago a known Dublin seagull was arrested in a city centre pub with a loaded revolver tucked into his belt, and the only surprising thing about this is that it doesn't happen more often. Every day we hear about more and more gulls, each more brazen that the last, involved in criminal activity, and we need to take a stand against this.

Stories of seagulls trying to scam elderly vulnerable people out of money for shoddy, unnecessary roof 'repairs' are a dime a dozen.
A seagull who was arrested for lewd conduct on a flight to Cork blamed a mixture of alcohol and prescription medicines for his behaviour.
You see them on buses, they massive wingspan taking up multiple seats, their vacant bird eyes and expressionless faces mocking pregnant women standing, crying, begging for a seat.

So, what can we do about these seagulls?
Well, you tell me, if seagulls could be trusted wouldn't they engage with people more than setting themselves upon society as a burden? What have I personally ever done to a seagull to deserve the fear I feel whenever I look to the sky? Can our nations doe-eyed grannies, wistful tourists, laughing children, and most vulnerable not live a peaceful bird-less existence?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Voting 'Yes' to Marriage Equality

I'm going to surprise very few people when I say this but I'm voting 'Yes' in the upcoming Marriage Referendum.
Being honest I think the only person I surprised by declaring that news was the canvasser who arrived at my door yesterday who wasn't quite prepared for me going from a 'Who the bl**dy f**k is ringing my f**king doorbell?!' look on my face with my guarded stance to 'Oh, it's you! Of course I'm voting Yes!' open stance while yelling that exact same thing.
I didn't want to keep him long, I was already a sure vote so I let him save his energy and enthusiasm for a future doorstep.

This brief encounter got me thinking, it's hard to walk down the street without seeing a poster endorsing a 'No' vote, but in every newspaper, radio interview, tv appearance, website, I've noticed that the supporters of this 'No' side are frequently claiming to be silenced. The national podium they are legally bestowed under the banner of 'balance' must be rigged with a faulty mic, the column inches written in Esperanto, the radio chatter a dulled cloud of static and white noise as if the entire broadcasting tower was going through a tunnel, their YouTube ads endlessly buffering at the start of the latest Taylor Swift video, their websites and Twitter pages just reading a sad solitary '404'.
Taking all of that into account, I had a thought had I really ever considered voting 'No'? Had I really heard them out?
So, I rigged my personal supercomputer (read: my brain powered by some strong tea) up to all of the noise, committed as much effort as it deserved, and filtered out the following FAQ to really hammer out the 'No' side's argument and ask the questions they want people to ask themselves.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

'The Road Worrier'

Look, not to call out 'life' on this whole "art imitating life imitating art" thing, but this upcoming Dublin Bus strike could be trying to hop on the 'me imitating life' bandwagon of my Young Adult novel series set aboard Dublin Bus in a dystopian version of the future (or near present! *PPppkkkkyyyeewwwww* your mind just got blown!) in an effort to imitate it.
Just to get it out there before the strike hits, here follows the premise and a brief extract.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Fáilte Ireland: Welcoming everything but my ideas...

No one's asked me about Fáilte Ireland's recent announcement of their Ireland's Ancient East tourism initiative but someone's bound to sooner or later and all of the sordid details of how I originally pitched ideas for the campaign are going to come out.
So I'm going to preempt all of your questions and just lay it out: Yes, in the early development stages I was asked to present some ideas on what should go into the campaign to make the east-ish region of this island as appealing the that broad west part.
It's not unusual for them to solicit ideas from outside parties, a quick walk-through of their office reveals many 'idea boards' - most of which are either blank, or contain pictures of Pierce Brosnan in his 'Remmington Steele' days with no text or explanation - so they can be pretty desperate.

No, not desperate enough for me, they didn't end up using my pitch but if you look closely some elements of what they have put out part look very familiar.

Even though it was a while ago, the details are still fresh in my mind. I remember the smell of coffee that hung in the air, the 'idea board' in the conference room featuring on the word "coddle" on a printed A4 page; I remember their confidence in bringing me in to help, and I remember destroying that confidence like cat walking along a bookshelf, idly bringing everything crashing down in my wake.

I started by introducing myself then jumped right into my prepared PowerPoint presentation. I opened the first slide, then took a large egg from my bag. It was large, just smaller than my head, but remarkably light.
"This is no ordinary egg, members of the board. Or maybe it is. Or maybe I should ask you, what is an ordinary egg?"
They muttered unto themselves for a moment, looking at the egg, then arching their necks to look around me as if my introductory slide would answer this.
"It's something a bird lays?" one of them ventured.
"Or a fish?" Another man added confidently.
"Or a frog!" A voice at the back blurted out, as if they had suddenly decided to one-up each other.
"Crocodiles!" Someone else shouted.
I knew I had to reel this in, they were getting carried away.
"I'll tell yo-"
"Platypus!" Another voice cried out. "A platypus lays eggs. It's the only mammal that does."
I spotted the man who said it proudly folding his arms and reclining in his chair. The crowd muttered loudly, I heard them mention several different kinds of dinosaur and some spiders.
None of these suggestions really had anything to do with my PowerPoint presentation so I quickly clicked past the first slide or two, worried that any other attempt to engage them would end just as badly.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Netflix's Marvel's 'Daredevil'

So, because Eircom have completely cut off my internet (not maliciously, this kind of thing is just a result of  their characteristic incompetence) I won't get to watch Marvel's 'Daredevil' on Netflix any time soon.

But, good news, as compensation to myself, this gives me a chance to share the 'Daredevil' script that I slapped together a few years ago. Jameson used to do (or still do) a "Done in 60 Seconds" competition (any film you want, remade as a 60 second short film), which I entered one year, and had every intention of entering the following year - except they seemed to have borked the entry criteria or some sh*t that year, and it was just frustrating enough, I emailed them a few times but they never got back to me, so it kind killed my enthusiasm.
What it didn't kill was the fact that in preparation I had already written a few poorly-formatted scripts, one of which was for the Ben Affleck-starring "Daredevil", the script I'll share with you now.

So, I can't watch 'Daredevil' on Netflix, but I do have this substitute that will just have to do me until regular internet access is restored:



Matt Murdock Voice-Over:
"When I was 12 years old, I lost my sight but I got something back in return. My remaining 4 sense functioned with superhuman sharpness...."

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dave After Dark.. '50 Shades of Things'

If I had to sum up, in one word, the reason why I was never the E.L. James of my day, with a '50 Shades of Grey' rags-to-slightly-less-soiled-rags story to tell, it's this: Society.
Society never nurtured my brand of poorly written fan fiction. Maybe it just wasn't ready.
And society never latched onto 'CSI: Miami' as a viable source from which to spin-off a successful series of erotic novels.
Sure, maybe I peaked too soon, and maybe it was a poor choice of subject matter to begin with, but the same way that society can build you up it can also break you down.
And so I point my finger squarely at society.

E.L. James had the soft embrace of a fan fiction site, and I had short form posts on Bebo - back when Bebo was the social network to be on. Remember Bebo, society?
But let's be honest, maybe she just had a stronger determination than me, she had to if she could go to and somehow get past the plethora of stories under the Minesweeper fan-fiction tag long enough to write anything else.
Sometimes I still can't wrap my head around that fact that people sit down and write Minesweeper fan fiction!
So, if I had to sum up, in THREE, words why I am not/ was never a household name in the erotic literature genre, it'd be these: Minsweeper fan fiction.

Anyway, in my way I did for 'CSI: Miami' what E.L. James did for 'Twilight', but who gets acclaim?
Who has publishers beating down doors?
And has questionably hygienic copies of their book flooding libraries and secondhand littering bookshops?
Not me, that's for sure. I've had zero measurable positive/ negative impact on the erotic literature genre.