The Two Minutes of Hate series will chronicle something that I dislike and will take no more than two minutes to read. As well as keeping my opinions concise, this should stop me rambling on and committing a crime.

I love wrasslin’ and have done since I was a child. Even back then, at the end of the nineties, watching the greatest era in sports entertainment, I knew that it was fake, I knew those guys really didn’t hate each other (though later I would find that sometimes they did) and I knew that the women were just as badass as the dudes. For real. Watch Lita do a Swanton or a Moonsault on someone. That girl is tough as old boots.

When I came back to wrasslin’, back in 2014, I found that the women’s division (or the Divas championship as I refuse to call it) was flooded with talentless hacks who did not care about wrasslin’ and used it as a step-up to other things, usually movies, modelling or WWE’s own programming, Total Divas. We had the Funkadactyls (tag-team), the Bella Twins (tag-team), Emma (tagged with Santino Marella), Summer Rae and Layla (both tagged with Fandango) and Paige, who was amazing but underutilised.

The championship stuff was great because there was Dolph Ziggler (the reincarnation of Mr. Perfect as far as I’m concerned), Cesaro and Seth Rollins, the greatest wrester in the world. But the women’s matches were time for a toilet break, and I think a lot of people agreed with that. So, I started watching NXT and by Christ, there were the women I was looking for. Charlotte, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, all wonderful performers. A lot of them have moved up to the main roster, but back then, by Jesus, each match was A+, until they turned NXT into WWE Lite, but that’s another story.

So more women joined NXT and each match was wonderful until… Dana Brooke.

(Now, I am not going to speak about her as a human being, because Charlotte trains with her so she must be nice, and there are few shoot interviews with her. She comes across as genuine and charming on social media and Ashley Mae Sebera might well be a lovely lady, but this is not about Ms. Sebera, it’s about Ms. Brooke.)

Dana Brooke is talentless. There, I said it. She has never had a good match. Oh, the matches have been good, of course, but she has not been in them. She’s been tagging. Any singles match is either an uneventful squash or a clusterfuck. Botches, bad selling, no psychology, no God damn moves. She wears Converse to the ring. She is a wrestler and she wears Converse. She’s going to kill someone in the ring by mistake.

I have been following her closely because I want her to do well, I do. She has the capacity to be Chyna 2.0, but she lacks the talent, the flair, the love of the business. The NXT roster is teeming with women who can chain-wrassle, fire together moves and tell a story. Your woman can’t even shoot a promo without sounding like she’s reading off cue cards… as they are being written by some fellow off screen.

Dana BROOOOOOKE…. talks like THIS. Every WOOOOORD… or two… is just…. EMphaSISed.

They turned her heel because the crowd hated her, but that’s not good heat, it’s X-Pac heat, and that shit usually floors the men, so why not the women.

Oh, yeah.

There are two reasons.

TIME: 1 min 58 sec


Discussion – WRASSLIN’ BOOKS.

When I was growing up, I never liked sports because sports are for stupid people who haven’t fully evolved from animals. I was never good at playing football and watching it bored me to tears. There aren’t an awful lot of sports in Ireland that don’t involve breaking a nose or wielding a club to hit rocks at a wall or whatever, so other than playing on the school hurley team, I didn’t really enjoy many team sports. I played them, but I was awful at them and the only moment of sport-stardom that I ever had was when one kid in secondary school found out that I played Pokémon and decided that I was his best friend. I was picked first for football once. He regretted that, of course, but there you go.

I loved Drama and I loved performing so when I found out that Channel 4 had purchased the rights to WWF programming, I was over the moon. I had loved watching WWF when I was younger but it moved to Sky and my family could not afford it. So when it was there, on one of the four channels I could legally watch (six, if you counted RTE1 and RTE2, which I do not because they were only on the air for about half an hour on a Tuesday and that was a televised Mass from Dublin) I was over the moon.

Wrestling was a huge passion of mine because it was Drama with a bunch of men hitting each other. At the time, the WWF was in the middle of the Attitude Era, a 5-year span where wrestling really tipped from being a PG kids-friendly programme with Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Doink the Clown and other horrible characters to having Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and D-Generation X as their headline acts. I remember the first time I realised that Stone Cold just drank beers after a fight or The Rock threatened to shove something up someone’s candy ass or when Triple H told someone to “suck it”. It was truly mental.

What has this got to do with anything? In the middle of these huge, steroid-fuelled behemoths, there was a guy named Mick Foley. He went by a number of names – Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mankind. He was a mentally unhinged sociopath who pulled out his hair in the ring and talked to a sock puppet that he kept down his pants. I fell in love with him, mostly because I felt sorry for him. He was the character that the other wrestlers made fun of because of his weight, physical shape and look of a man who had not washed in a while. I wasn’t in great physical shape and I hated personal hygiene, so Mankind was my kind of man.

Mick Foley would later release a book named MANKIND: A TALE OF BLOOD AND SWEATSOCKS which chronicled his beginnings as an amateur wrestler, moving to Japan, Africa, Europe and eventually back to America to join WCW, then the WWF and become one of the greatest names in wrestling. I read that book like a motherfucker. It was the first book I bought off the internet. It was the first biography I read, the first non-fiction book I read, the first hardback I ever had. It had the best opening line I’ve ever seen (I can’t believe I lost my fucking ear) and the dust jacket had a picture of Foley with details of his injuries. It gave me a look into an industry that is famously secretive and turned one of my heroes into a human being.

What makes it amazing is that it was written over a two month period, in longhand, on 800 pages of notepaper. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. As well as describing his hideous injuries (barbed-wire baseball bats, broken noses, the aforementioned ear) it goes into terrific detail about his matches, including the infamous Best Match Ever between Mankind and The Undertaker where he fell 30 feet onto an announcers table, knocking himself out in the process, only to regain consciousness on the ramp, fight off the EMTs trying to save his life, climb back up the cage, fall through it, lose two teeth (one ended up in his nose), get dropped onto thumbtacks and finish the damn match.

That said, I never wanted to be Mick Foley. I have wanted his money, sure, but not his knees, his slipped and herniated discs or his concussions. I have wanted his beard, though. I was once walking through a pub with a flannel shirt on and someone said, “Cactus Jack” to me, which was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said that was probably meant as an insult. I have attempted to be a writer, like him, and I reckon I’m probably funnier than him as well. Reading Foley’s work has made me appreciate wrestling more, and actually got me back into it after a hiatus of over ten years.

I do, however, have a larger vocabulary, thanks to him, and regularly tell my pupils how to get pops (cheers from the crowd) to sell (pretend like you’re hurt) and shoot (tell it how it is). The real world is sometimes faker than wrestling.


I’ve been away for quite some time and it is mostly my fault. I broke my ankle in May and that should have been the best time for me to sit in front of a computer and fire out some phat words, but all I wanted to do was walk. In fact, I might still be outside now, walking around like a real person as my cast was removed about three weeks ago, but I happened upon the wonderful topic of Anita Sarkeesian.

Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist blogger and youtuber who gained a lot of popularity for her this popular Kickstarter project where she planned on creating a number of Youtube videos based on Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games. The Kickstarter project started with a target of simly $6,000. That would be enough for her to buy the games, systems and have time to play them in order to create a decent argument. She ended up raising almost $160,000. In real money, that’s still, like, £93,000 and change, so she did well for herself.

It took her a number of months to crank out the first few videos (long enough that people started getting worried that she had taken the money and ran) and she’s been steadily popping them out since.

She entered my very insular world again yestereven when an internet blowhard known as Thunderf00t posted a video which called her a liar because she misrepresented an entire game based on a few seconds of gameplay footage. I’m not going to link it because he sickens me but you can search for it if you want. It’s worth noting that the reason he sickens me has nothing to do with his Anita Sarkeesian videos. I just find his style to be so smug and condescending. Watch his video for proof. The man makes my skin crawl.

Okay, so it should be noted that I am very feminist. The fact that I have to say it annoys me. I shouldn’t have to label my belief that both sexes should be equal. It’s like calling myself a left-handed-rights-activist. Total bullshit. I am also a massive games fan, as should be obvious. I think that video games have come strides in terms of achieving equal rights for women but I understand that they still have a long way to go. Feminism within video games is the same as racism. Yeah, occasionally a main character will be something other than a white male, but usually other groups are relegated to being tokens.

Although I feel that Anita Sarkeesian’s points are almost entirely dependant on the person viewing them, I feel she does raise good points occasionally. She also completely ignores other aspects of feminism and nudges clearly into feminist superiority at times.

I’m going to use examples from this video below. This is one that Thunderf00t complained about and has scenes from Hitman: Absolution.

Almost all of the examples used are completely selective. The big one people are complaining about is where she uses Hitman: Absolution footage claiming at the game rewards you for treating women like objects when anyone who has played the game can tell you that killing women and treating them like objects (around 22:00 into the video) actually causes you to lose points and although players are free to be as violent as they want with characters within the game (male or female), they are only rewarded if they play the game without needless deaths.

I said “almost all of the examples used are completely selective” because of course sexism exists in video games. It would be naive to believe otherwise. The achievement in Red Dead Redemption that is gained by tying up a woman and laying her on the rail tracks for a train to come is one. Duke Nukem Forever in its entirety is another one. The difference between this sexism and those seen in TV, film and video games is that the sexism in video games is interactive.

When I started researching this article, I was completely against Anita Sarkeesian. I felt that she was being completely unfair and purposely manipulative. I was worried that she was a scam artist. Now, I just see her as someone who feels very strongly about a topic and is not afraid to bend the truth to her will in order to get her point across. The problem is that doing that only hurts her point more because people will pick at the weak links and completely ignore the truth.

I will leave you with a paraphrased point that I read on Reddit: In games like Call of Duty, you mow down countless waves of gunmen. If a game came out where you moved down countless waves of gunwomen, it would be considered sexist, even though women with guns would now be equal to men with guns. That isn’t sexism, that’s feminism.

People need to remember that equality is taking the good with the bad.


I am a fan of repetitive gaming. They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I would tend to agree. There’s something soothing about playing a game and finding it to be so familiar that you feel a pro after only an hour. Nintendo are particularly good at this. Let’s face it, as much as I love Nintendo games, there is something pleasant about starting a new Pokémon game and instantly knowing a majority of the cast as well as the basic mechanics. Yes, each reiteration adds new ideas and ways of playing, but, the basics remain intact.

I am a massive fan of Castlevania. God, I love Castlevania. I remember getting a “light red” Game Boy Advance the day it was first released here in the UK.

This motherfucker. Source.
This motherfucker. Source.

God, it looked so much better online than it did in real life and you couldn’t see shit on that fucking dim screen, but I fucking loved it because it was about as powerful as a SNES and I could play Pokémon Gold in all the colours. My mother, bless her soul, felt that I should have a new game for my new console. So I got Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.

Christ. By fucking Christ.

Circle of the Moon was, and still is, fucking awesome. It was completely unlike any game I’d played before. Bear in mind that Circle of the Moon was released June 22, 2001. A year earlier, on June 26, 2000, Deus Ex was released, a game which was amongst the first that I knew of to be described as “genre-blurring”. It mixed RPG with FPS. Circle of the Moon mixed RPG with platformer. Nowadays, every game has RPG elements. Even Call of Duty has online RPG elements, but back then, this shit was amazing and new.

Since then, I have played every single GBA Castlevania game as well as every DS Castlevania game. Are they all amazingly different? No, not really. They share enemies, they share bosses and items and even pixel maps, but they’re fun. By fuck, they are fun. I’ve played all the Pokémon games, all the Mario games, Zelda, Assassin’s Creed and dozens others. Amongst them, very little change between each iteration. I know that FIFA and COD are lambasted for being terrible copies of each other with little improvements between each title, but I understand why they are so popular: they are familiar and comforting.

But seriously, football is total shit.


I hope I don’t get in trouble for stating that Yggdrasil is a myth. By all means, if you want to believe that there is a huge tree in the centre of the world that is connected to the nine worlds, by all means. You have as much right to believe that as I do to believe that a guy in the sky threw his son down to earth with the sole purpose of being nailed to some wood and then performing a vanishing act after he’d died. I’m talking about the use of myths in modern culture and, yeah, I guess a giant world-spanning tree and a big dude in the sky might be included there.

Norse mythology is a massive source of material for creating stories. Aside from Marvel’s Thor, huge omnipresent trees appear in most fantasy stories as well as ogres, giants and other creatures that have become a staple in every strange land. The concept of Valhalla and Ragnarok has permeated society as well, often changed slightly to help the new story. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim uses Sovngarde instead of Valhalla. Max Payne uses V or Valkyr, the fictional drug created by the Aesir corporation in Project Valhalla. It’s not very subtle. Too Human, Tales of Symphonia and Valyrie Chronicles all use Norse Mythology as their basis.

So why do we use these similar stories as a basis for our own stories? It’s really quite simple: representations.

Within Media Studies, a representation is a stereotype that we can call upon to elicit a familiar response from the audience. In The Dark Knight, even those who are unfamiliar with Batman will know that The Joker is a bad guy. Why? Because he robs banks and shoots people and is a bit crazy. It isn’t hard for us to connect mindless murder and destruction with bad guys.

Whenever we now see a woman in armour with wings over a battlefield, we know that they’re the good guys and they’re saving the other good guys. We can show a halo over someone’s head and understand that they are angelic. We can see horns and a tail and a pitchfork and understand that they are evil. There is a reason that this image:







Mario Last Supper







with more here. Because we as humans have the amazing ability to make connections and understand patterns. It’s a reason we’re so smart and advanced, far more in our short period of time on earth than the dinosaurs, who were about for, like, 65 million years or something and we’ve only been about for about 200,000 years, or 0.7% of the time that dinosaurs were about. We can create patterns and this allows us to build such beautiful worlds on the top of dead ones.

Kind of like those dinosaurs again.


The X-Men are some lads and ladies. I read once that they were conceived because Stan Lee wanted a team of superheroes and didn’t just want to create tons of origin stories, so wrapped it all up with the X-Gene, that pseudo-scientific element that causes all sorts of people to have all sorts of extraordinary abilities.

The X-Men were wonderful analogues to everything from racial segregation to discrimination against homosexuality to anti-Semitism. There are mutants of almost every race and creed. I have difficulty remembering or thinking of anyone who is not included in the umbrella of the mutants. There are even Irish mutants, which is something exciting to me. When I was a child, I would only look for Irish characters in things. If such a character existed, the series would have my unending love and adoration. There are a lot of TV shows and movies that I have watched for the simple reason that there is an Irish character.

As I get older, I realise that Irish characters are two-a-penny and a lot of them are strangely-accented alcoholics who love bombs. Bit racist, but there you go. There are scant few books set in Ireland that do not involve that horrible period of time that we grudgingly call The Troubles. Certainly, it was a long and definitive time in our history. Even my life, a country away from the land that I lived in for a quarter of a century, is moulded by that time. I went home recently and fell back into the familiar step, looking about for people, being careful about how I speak.

The X-Men, like many things, can be broken down to very simple concepts: Type A is just a normal person. Type B is different. Type A is scared of Type B. Type B is persecuted by Type A. Some Type B’s fight back. Some Type B’s just want peace. Some Type A’s like the Type B’s and are persecuted for that.

This simple concept appears in both fiction and non-fiction throughout the world. Harry Potter‘s mudbloods versus purebloods. The Holocaust. 300.

I just wish it, like the mutation that causes the X-Gene, was solely a fictional concept.

Discussion – WHEN DO I HAVE TIME?

Time is an absolute son of a bitch. I mean that shit. It’s a dick. It does not help that my favourite book series are fantasy books, my favourite TV shows are ones that require a lot of attention and my favourite games are those that last dozens of hours and are incredibly immersive. It does not help that I also work a full time job, have pets and a girlfriend and food and books to write and wippity dip dip dip. Then there are hobbies like this blog and tiny projects like my friend Dan who wants to make a let’s play and a flash game and by Christ, there is no time in the day for this sort of thing.

This morning, I got up just before six in the ante meridiem so that I could write this blog. I intended on going for a walk and looking out over the town but then Reddit and Game of Thrones and this blog and Akira and now it’s after seven, and I’ve decided the walk probably won’t happen. And then I have work to do for tomorrow and oh God.

I sometimes have discussions with my girlfriend about time and biology and so on. She is a biologist and I sometimes ask her things like, what if a day lasted 30 hours instead of 24. How would that change the biology of plants and animals? She comes out with different hypotheses, like how they would need to conserve energy for those extra six hours and how the extra light might change the climate of the planet and blah blah blah.

I just want her to say, “It wouldn’t change a damn thing,” so that I can wish for an extra six hours to spend in doing really exciting things like writing books or reading or catching up on news or-

Ahh to hell with it. I’ll just do this all in the Summer. In between playing games and going on walks and visiting friends and-