As SmackDown‘s first dedicated PPV post-WrestleMania, my expectations for BackLash were as low as they were for Payback. In fact, if anything, my expectations were a little lower. However you try to dance around it, SmackDown‘s a B-show. That doesn’t mean it can’t bring some compelling things to the table. It’s just that, by and large, you can always look to Raw for a bit of added spectacle. With a main event pitching Jinder Mahal against Randy Orton, my hopes were far from high. The only thing on the card of real intrigue, to me, was the inevitable debut of Shinsuke Nakamura on a WWE main roster.…   [continue reading]


In the wake of a largely enjoyable WrestleMania, I always expected Payback this year to naturally fall short. The lead-in to it was weak. Its card didn’t seem to present anything of any intrigue. After all, the superstar shake-up was quite a heavy distraction. That aside, there was still plenty of room for something to be pulled out of the bag. On the whole, it would be fair to describe Payback as a slightly below-par affair. However, with the inclusion of the awful “House of Horrors” match, I can’t help but give this a pretty resoundingly negative review.

There wasn’t really a single segment of this PPV that engaged me.…   [continue reading]


I always watch WrestleMania live. Wrestling is one of the odder things that we cover at Secret Cave, but it’s such a magnificent theatre for the absurd. I intend, at some point, to post something explanatory on my love for it. Until then, last night was WrestleMania and i’m still reeling from how good it was. It’s been a while since WrestleMania truly gripped me, but this one was pretty much great from start to finish. Focusing heavily on the in-ring product, it’s the first time in a while I found myself wishing for more storyline. That said, the athleticism and ring psychology was strong throughout.…   [continue reading]

I’m Not Saying Andy Tyrrell Should Join Twitter

This is written in response to an article here by Andy Tyrrell, my father.

Est Pater meus, cunnus; it is true that my father is a cunt. Puffed up by the bitter fats of aged failure, only a taxi driver could spit such vitriol at something he doesn’t understand. This is why, as a hackney carriage operator himself, Andy Tyrrell concentrates on pedantry for the base of his criticism. None of this is to denigrate his obvious intelligence either, which is clear from his rampant eloquence.  Where my dad falls down, however, probably lies in the fact that he has no Twitter account.…   [continue reading]

Farewell Hilary Shaw

On Tuesday 20th December, at 5:30 pm GMT I stood up and stretched, working out a crick in my back which had settled after 9 hours in the same chair.

The work call had just ended, with my next post set up and scheduled, ready to go the next day automatically.

On a whim, I decided to check my Twitter, expecting some kind of backlash at the Rogue One review that went live the day before.

“@Ben__Mulholland Hi Ben Mulholland”

This message from Gabriele Palmer seemed a little odd, mainly because I had (and still have) a paltry amount of followers – I’m not important enough to make spam worthwhile or to inspire any real interest in striking up a conversation out of the blue.…   [continue reading]

The Art and Nonsense Poetry of Obscure Twitter Bots

Art and curation left in the hands of scripts and algorithms is fascinating, and nowhere more accessible than when on Twitter. There are a handful of bots that tweet varied and interesting art. Art that makes you wonder how useful humans are anyway, other than for coding thousands of these things.

Some bots on this list drip out material from a database, while some procedurally generate art, or mash up existing material in new ways.

My obsession with machine curated/created art has led me to hunt for more and more Twitter bots, and I’ve found and followed some great ones so far.…   [continue reading]

Why the Internet is an Echo Chamber of Your Own Head

We’re inside the filter bubble.

All the content you see on sites like Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Instagram and Google (news, music, images, movies, search results) is controlled by algorithms.

Over two thirds of content discovery happens online in the land of the algorithms…

These algorithms use a (rudimentary) form of machine learning to profile your tastes into crude categories, crunch the data and show you what they expect you to like. If it’s anything like the profiling in Google Analytics, you’ve been pegged as things like ‘Movie freak’ and ‘Technophile’ by countless lines of code in the past.

Now, if you’re the sort of person who can’t stand cat memes — and never likes them on Facebook — you can be sure Facebook’s not going to take the risk of showing you any.…   [continue reading]

The Strange World of Emoji as a Second Language 🔮

It’s 🌌. We’re deep into the 🏞.

Almost every concept you know can now be represented as a tiny 🖼 that varies depending on where it’s displayed.

Not since 🔤 were formalized in ancient times have we had this many new characters added to every alphabet that exists.

  • 🇬🇧
  • 🇷🇺
  • 🇩🇪
  • 🇨🇳
  • 🌐

Emoji aren’t there as a stand-in for words. Obviously 1,851 😀s can’t match up to the richness of our everyday language.

So, what’s the point?

To me, a 🎉 is more celebratory than any woohoo.

I’d rather see a 🗻 than the words Mt. Fuji.

They can be used as hashtags on Instagram, now.…   [continue reading]

Somewhere on a server, poem.exe loops endlessly


Are humans always the best artists? Art made by bots — like these automatically generated landscapes and robot poets like poem.exe — makes me wonder.

After being given a set of instructions (more on that later), bots like poem.exe, Guardian Haiku and pentametron either extract poetry from existing text or generate it from scratch.

By analyzing tweets written in iambic pentameter then retweeting them in rhyming pairs, pentametron ‘writes’ mined, decontextualized poetry, the likes of which you’d not expect to see anywhere.

…   [continue reading]

Distant Transmissions from the Twitter Botscape


Art made by robots is my new favorite thing.

I have a strange obsession with Twitter bots that automatically generate landscapes and I’ve tracked down accounts putting out art ranging from fantasy maps and ASCII star charts to softly lit landscapes and emoji collages.

Part of the fascination comes from the art existing in a strange gray area between permanent and transient. Permanent because it will exist forever (hopefully, don’t you die on me) on Twitter’s servers. Transient because a few thousand people will glance at each piece before it drops off the face of the internet and is archived below the fold and seen by 1 or 2 people from then on.…   [continue reading]