Thursday, November 27, 2008


Not easy

A Softer World is one site I don't visit nearly often enough.


for anyone

Monday, November 24, 2008


A question, what is it?

"My talent is to imbue a project with much more significance and theatricality than it actually deserves. This gives a sort of incandescence to it that makes things that are not all that bright, shine very brightly. I can bring that to the party. But, like it says in Blade Runner, the light that burns twice as brightly, burns twice as fast. How brightly I have shone," he says.

No, this is not me descending (or ascending, surely) into an altogether unastonishing fit of hubris, but rather the words of Gerry Ryan, as quoted in this great piece in the Sunday Indo (you won't catch me saying that too often). Assuming that article isn't lying, and I don't think it is, that quote is taken verbatim from Gerry's eagerly-awaited autobiography, entitled Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up.

This raises a few question marks for me, one in particular: where the fuck is the question mark in the title of your book, Gerry? I'm a simple creature who gets all conflustered when confronted with sentences that look like questions, but apparently aren't. It makes me feel slightly ill. One can only assume that Gerry and his publishers are not entirely comfortable with the usage and application of question marks. So, with this in mind, I asked members of the public to devise some sentences for Gerry that might illustrate the many and varied ways in which this radical young upstart of a punctuation mark can be applied.

"Gerry, did some eejits really pay you a hundred grand to write about yourself?"
Finbar O'Crotch, Leopardstown, Co. Dublin
This demonstrates the classic use of the question mark, whereby the questioner expresses doubt about a piece of information they have been privy to, and uses the question format to seek clarification on the matter from a more informed party.

"That fat bollix? I heard he once ate 94 Curly Wurlys in an hour and washed it down with a litre of Baileys."
Seosamh Uachtar-Reoite, Knocklyon, Co. Dublin.
Here we see a classic example of how the humble question mark can be used to transform a simple statement of contempt into a trenchant, rhetorical, interrogative statement used to confirm the identity of the subject of a sentence. The second sentence does little to illuminate our understanding of the issue at hand and can, as such, be ignored.

"I thought he died of gout in 1998? Or syphilis? Something like that, no?"
Francoise McBackalley, Athy, Co. Kildare
An interesting example, this. Here we see the question mark being used to express an element of doubt creeping into what the questioner had previously assumed to be gospel truth. Also notable is the third question she asks. Mrs. McBackalley was originally a native of France, where an upwards inflection, accompanied by the word 'non', is a rather more common form of question that it is in our own country.

"Sure, who would actually spend their money on anything that langer has to say? There's a fucking recession on and Lenora wants one of them dolls that shites itself for Christmas, don't she?"
Billy 'Smeghead' O'Sullivan, Mayfield, Co. Cork
The addition of the word 'sure' here is not technically necessary in order to make this question effective, but does add an extra element of incredulity to it. Mr. O'Sullivan's mixed background gives linguistic colour to these questions, both in his classic Corkonian usage of 'langer' and, more significantly, the way in which a simple whinge metamorphoses into a question through his augmentation of 'doesn't she?' - a remnant of his 14 years spent working as a badger-hunter in Essex, England.

Mr. Ryan, I hope this proves helpful in your ongoing quest to burn like a star. As a simple man I would not deign to comment on the contents of your autobiography past the cover, so I'll leave it to the professionals.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Caught By The Fuzz

I was done for speeding last night. At least, I'm pretty sure I was. I was in a 100kph zone and saw a cop car in my rear-view mirror, tucked into a slip road where they couldn't be seen by approaching drivers. I looked at the speedometer: 103. Fuckfuckfuck. I know for a fact that there is no way the cops will have let such a minor indiscretion pass though, as it was 2.30 in the morning and there was absolutely fuck all traffic on the road. One doesn't sit there, bored shitless and getting paid overtime, for hours and let someone off for only exceeding the speed limit by a couple of kilometres per hour.

I've written about speeding before, badly, in my third ever post. The wise old head of Grandad was the only commenter who seemed to fully get my point that speeding, in itself, is not especially dangerous. 3 kph over the speed limit certainly didn't drastically enhance my chances of having an accident, especially not on a completely empty stretch of good quality dual carriageway. I'll hold my hands up and accept the fine and penalty points that are no doubt making their way to me as I sit here. But, at a time when the government are cutting corners and fucking over people involved in first, second and third levels of education, I'll question the wisdom of using Garda resources for such purposes at such ludicrous times. Still, here's a few quid towards the coffers, lads. Glad I'll be claiming last year's taxback soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I write about sport when I've nothing to whine about

Bock has, inevitably, put up a cracking post already on the Munster vs. All Blacks match last night. As someone who's lived in Leinster the last 16 years, with a Roscommon grandfather and a Belfast mother, I can pretty much claim allegiance to whatever province I feel like. But as a born Corkonian, who once uttered such gibberish as "He's some langer, like" without a trace of irony, it's always been with Munster that my heart has lain. (Fuck me, that was a cumbersome sentence.)

As anyone who saw the match can attest, Munster came bloody close to emulating the team of 30 years ago. And that would have been great because, let's face it, our constant harping on about a rugby match thirty years ago doesn't really speak volumes for our sporting pedigree as a nation. Munster's crowd lifted them to a scintillating display in the first half, and one of grim determination in the second - epitomising the word 'dogged'. Granted, if the All Blacks' out-half Stephen Donald hadn't been performing such a convincing impression of David Blunkett breaking in a new pair of ballet shoes then the margin might have been somewhat greater than the eventual 18-16 to the All Blacks, but this still takes nothing away from the herculean efforts of the Munster men, many of whom were pretty much dead on their feet by the end of the game. Rugby seems to be one of those sports where the concept of a 'glorious defeat' is still alive and well.

I'll finish with a video of munster's Kiwi contingent performing their own haka before the all Blacks did theirs, a couple of minutes that simultaneously summed up their patriotic pride and their passion for their adopted province. Spine-tingling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


For the sake of it

Christ, a week since I've posted. Six months of blogging now and I don't think I've ever left a gap that long. I'm alright though, I did write posts on both Friday and Saturday that took fucking ages, only for Buddha, Vishnu, Chuck Norris, Jesus and Blogger to conspire against me and delete both posts. Three hours or more worth of writing gone in a couple of singular moments of dimness. Devastating.

Thing is, I wanted to recount the story of how Rufus Sewell had shot me in the balls with an arrow during the week (you know who Rufus Sewell is, you just need this link to remind you). And that's got to be a tale worth hearing. But, it's Sunday evening and I really haven't the heart to dig up that kind of trauma again. Turns out it was eerily prescient too, but that's another story for another time. For now I'm just saying that I'm alive and cheerful.

In the interim, you stay classy, San Diego. And if you see that smug Rufus Sewell prick about the place tell him I haven't forgotten, he's not all that, he can expect an invoice from my doctor any day now, and I'm still considering legal action. The bastard.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


On Making Someone a Good Man by Calling Them "A Good Man"

There is a short story by the wonderful Dave Eggers that goes by the above title (or something like it, I wanted to put the story here but inevitably can't find the book) in which the narrator talks about a man he knows and finds to be somewhat intolerable.

Then, one day, he does something simply decent for someone and is told by them that he is 'a good man'. The narrator feels that, from this point on, the man's continuing conduct is elevated and improved to such an extent that he may actually have become deserving of such a compliment. The suggestion being that being called a good man inspired the bloke to try and live up to such a title.

I reflect on this today because yesterday I was told by someone whose opinion really counts for something that I am a good man. I haven't been told that in a long time, aside from in the colloquial, platitudinous sense that colleagues might use it, i.e. "Do you mind helping me out with this? Good man."

I haven't felt like a good man for quite a while; too many idiocies and idiosyncrasies have put paid to that. But hearing those words with sincerity means that I might just become one, sooner or later.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Wearing the badge of the chosen whites

Because it's great, and because I'm hazy and lazy today, here's a picture I've stolen from Michelle, who got it from

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Serendipitous Mash-Ups

Something truly momentous happened today. One of those historic moments where in years to come you will look back and remember exactly where you were when you heard about it.
For as I was driving along with The Brother this evening, sans car radio, he began to sing 'Sloop John B' in the style of Johnny Cash, just as I repeatedly sang the "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case" refrain from Radiohead's 'Packt Like Sardines in a Crush Tin Box'.

And it sounded only fucking glorious.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If things don't get better from now on it's all just going to become laughably morose around here and, let's face it, no-one wants that.

The time is going to have to come soon enough when I step out of this funk.
When I want to do something more than sleep all the time.
When I crease up with laughter again.
When I start doing properly the things I am paid to do and the things I'm paying to do.
When I start offering myself fully again to the people who mmight need me, or even like me to be there.
When I remember what it is that those people like about me.
When I write again as I'd like to, not fearing every word I put down. Not intimidated by those who are better than me.
When i don't feel the need to write posts like this any more.

I could even try and make it today.

Saturday, November 1, 2008



Sorry, that header had to go. I was going for 'child-like and simple' but ended up just 'simple child'. Which, I think you'll agree, is a very different thing. I'll make a sexy new one soon enough but for now I'll just go with stark and minimal. My gnomic little blog descriptions are back too, whch must come as a relief to everyone.
OK, I'm still kinda sick here so don't have a lot to say. I've vowed to myself enough times not to just write posts for the sake of them, but actually thinking and composing shit takes time and effort. Not my strong points. I'm mentally composing something about my week at home doing fuck all as I get ravaged by tonsilitis but if i ever get that finished and onto something alittle more transferable than my cranium then it's going here, not here. Incidentally, I believe the deadline has been extended for a week or something, so if it sounds like the sort of thing that you could enter into, then why not?

I just saw on MTV a few minutes ago that Dido has a new album coming out. I, for one, am salivating at the prospect of this. There's new tracks on that link and everything! Apparently, she's been "experimenting". Mmmmm.

Right, this Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand thing. Seriously, what the fuck? It's laughable that the whole thing only really blew up a couple of weeks after the calls were broadcast, once the the shitesheets got hold of it. It must have taken some superb investigative journalism to have dug up a story about a broadcast on national British radio. Strikes me that Russell Brand was only doing the kind of thing that he's always done. Wossy should probably have known better but just wanted to seem cool in front of his friend Wussell. I had a friend called Wussell once. He stole two of my Top Twumps so I punched him in the ovawies. Twue story.
Point is, two jobs lost and one hefty and expensive suspension seem massively excessive to me.
Yes, they've made their point that there's a line that shouldn't be crossed but still no-one really knows where that line is. All anyone's learnt is that when rival stations take a story and inflate it to saturation point and stir up a load of uptight morons to complain about a show they would never have considered listening to, then heads do roll. I find it a sad precedent for broadcasting and freedom of speech in general.
As for Manuel's grand-daughter, expect to see that little slapper using this to get herself on the cover of Nuts and Zoo magazines within weeks. "Exposed like never before!!!", no doubt. And accompanied by a heartfelt interview about what a toll the whole affair has taken on her dignity. Which excites me almost as much as the new Dido album.

Oh yeah, the US election. I think it was around the time of Dubya's re-election in 2004 that I vowed to myself never to visit the USA until it proved again, in some way, that it contained a significant base of intelligent life. Naturally, that strong and principled stance would've been abandoned in a milisecond if something like really cheap flights or a terrorist plot to blow up the Budweiser factory had materialised. This now looks like it may not be necessary, however, and that has got to be good news for all. Of course, if they do decide they want McCain to reign over them, the people of America will have to accept that the average life expectancy for males in their country would suggest that the world would have to make do with Sarah Palin as its most powerful figure for a couple of years.

And on that bombshell, I'm off to eat Millionaire's Squares and see what calamities befall my beloved Arsenal this week. Bonne weekend.

Wait, I forgot to say that if you haven't checked out the Irish Sentinel yet, do so now. What's wrong with you people?