Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gonna wash that man right out of my...

... chair?

Last night, in Galway, Trish and I went to see "A Play On Two Chairs." It's by Michael West and produced by Mangiare Theatre Company. Mr Jaimie Carswell stars alongside Ms. Joanne Mitchell and it's a blast. About fifty minutes of amazing strangeness that feels like half that time. It's on in the Hawk's Well on Friday night and I highly, highly recommend that you get along to see it.

Now, how do I get my shirt back off of Carswell...?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thank the gods for the youngsters

Well. The less said about yesterday's final the better. One thing though. Because I am such a champion of the underdog, I sometimes fail to give enough credit to the really successful counties and their players. I have to hand it to Kerry; they are superb in everything they do. And what players they have in the O Se's and Cooper and Donaghy and so many more. If they were Armagh men for example, I wouldn't stop on about them. So, congratulations Kerry, well done.


The other thing about Kerry is that they keep producing new talent. Take the midfielder on yesterday's Kerry minor team; Walsh I think his name is. A fantastic footballer who could walk onto any senior team in the country.

Now, the minors. It was totally remiss of me not to mention the minor final before this. Roscommon played Kerry in a curtain-raiser that upstaged the headliner. My dad's from Roscommon and he lived every minute of yesterday's match. So did I.

Twenty-seven minutes in and Kerry were cruising at 0-8 to 0-3. Walsh was pulling every ball from the sky at midfield and the Kerry forwards were killing the Ros defense.

Thankfully, Roscommon remembered how they had beaten Meath in the semi-final and, with a couple of changes, they got stuck in. Donal Shine was switched to midfield where he put some manners on Walsh. And from here, it all started to go right for the Westerners. Roscommon knocked over eight unanswered points in thirteen of the most incredible minutes of football seen this year.

Half-time score: Kerry 0-8 : 0-6 Roscommon.

Roscommon restarted as they had paused - they banged over another three points - and with about twenty minutes to go they took the lead at 0-9 to 0-8.

I muted the TV from where I was sitting in Claremorris and I could hear my old man roaring in Mohill.

But Kerry are Kerry and back they came. With ten minutes or so to go, they were up 0-12 to 0-11. It was (cliche alert!) roller coaster stuff now.

Roscommon equalised. Kerry retook the lead. Then, Roscommon hit two to go 0-14 to 0-13 with one minute left! By this stage I didn't have to kill the sound on the TV to hear Jim Snr.

Kerry equalised and straight afterwards went back in front due to a terrible kick-out by the Roscommon goalkeeper. And that was it. Kerry All Ireland Minor Champions.

Hang on, that wasn't it.

How to be so young and so fucking cool, I don't know.

Roscommon's O Gara, with his back practically to goal, slotted the ball over the bar. I went apeshit. The final whistle and it was all over, for now.

A draw and all to do again. I rang home. Trish had a laugh listening to two men who could hardly speak trying to have a conversation.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Just this once...

Tomorrow is All Ireland Football Day. You can blow all the shite you like about an over-priced golf tournament but football is still the only game in town.

Mayo are at it again. Raising everyone's hopes as they go for Sam. They were last here two years ago when they were comprehensibly beaten by Kerry. Who are they up against this time? Yup... Kerry.

I was in Croke Park last month when Mayo walked up the Hill and said to the Dubliners - hi, we're from The West and we're here to win, you can watch if you like. And win they did in the most magnificent match I have ever witnessed at Jones Road.

But beating a much fancied Dublin side is one thing; going up against the Kings of the South is a different kettle of fish. My head says Kerry will win tomorrow but my heart (which has been stolen by Mayo already this year) says Sam's going to cross the Shannon. Please Mayo, don't break my heart.


I couldn't get tickets for tomorrow's final so I'm going to watch it in the next best place - Claremorris, Co. Mayo. If Mayo win, I'll be right in the thick of celebrations. If they lose, I can bring my vast Leitrim experience of disappointment to bear.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tough place to get into

A bunch of young lads came into the shop a minute ago looking to get on a computer or two. We were full up so I told them try again in a while. One of them points to a customer.

- He's not eighteen, he says.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Keep your hands inside the car at all times

Two in the morning and I get a phone call from the Quare One who's supposed to be driving from Claremorris to Westport to pick up her brother.

Phone rings.
- Hi, says me.
- Hi (sound of the car) ring me back.

So I ring her back and it rings and then I hear her take a deep breath and...

- Hey you won't guess what, her voice is buzzing - everything's happening. I'm in the kitchen and Mammy said I better get going and I'm not supposed to be gone for a hour but she says I never give myself enough time. What if I got a flat? I said if I got a flat the last thing I'd be worried about is getting to Westport on time. Aw now she said. So off I go and guess what I'm just left Claremorris when bang! The back tire gone-
- Jesus, are you-
- I pull in. After her saying it! So I changed my first tire. I'm so happy with myself she had to go and say it. All these cars passed by me and no-one stopped until I'm screwing on the last nut and this car stops. A big man gets out and before he says it I'm you're too late, I've it done. So he gets all defensive, I was only seeing if you're ok so I said ah fare play you're the only one who stopped-
- So, you're ok-
- Then down the road there's the guards and Jesus! a fox just rang in front of me I nearly killed a fox!
- At the guards?
- No just now. I nearly drove through him. There's a full moon out tonight everyone's nuts. So, then there's a Garda check-point and the black face on me from changing the tire-
- Huh?
- And I stop and say ok? like come on I don't care what you throw at me ok let's go and me with the big black head. But he waves me on never even noticed the tax is out of date-
- So you're alright?
- Yeah, I'm grand.
- Are you driving now?
- Yeah.
- Baby, you shouldn't be on the phone when you're drving.
- They're gone now he waved me on.
- Oh.
- I'll go now though.
- Text me when you're home and safe.
- Ok. Bye.
- Bye.


All art is useless.

About two months ago I changed from Vodafone to Meteor simply because it's cheaper. I'd have changed a lot sooner if I had known but I didn't. I asked the man in the phone shop what the catch was when he showed me the comparison between what I was spending on 087 and what Meteor would cost. He said that there wasn't a catch except that 085 hasn't got 100% coverage but you could always go over to the O2 network for no charge. I asked him was it not the case that Meteor was only cheaper on Meteor to Meteor calls? He agreed that the 5c calls were in-network only but even taking that aside, Meteor was the cheapest.

So I switched to Meteor and he was right; it's a hell of a lot cheaper and if ever I do have reception problems, I just change over to the O2 network. But the whole time I kept thinking, why didn't anyone tell me?

Then I started taking notice of the Meteor ads. Especially the TV ones. You've probably seen them; they are the ads with the two really annoying chicks above. One girl wants free texts, the other wants 5c calls. I have seen those damn ads for ages now without even realising who or what they were selling until after switching to 085. All I got from the ad was - wow, what an annoying ad.

Now, I'll tell you this. If Meteor had just done an ad that said - hi, with Meteor you can call anyone at anytime for 20c a minute. Vodafone cost X cent per minute and O2 charge Y cent per minute but with us it's just 20c - if only the ad had said that instead of Bimbo Blond and Bimbo Brunette prancing about the place, I'd have switched ages ago. All the ad needed to do was show me what the man in the phone shop showed me.

Whenever I've suggested to friends that they should switch to 085 because it's cheaper, frequently I've gotten the reply that it's only cheaper for Meteor to Meteor calls. Obviously Meteor hasn't gotten the message out.

What's my point? Why should I care if Meteor doesn't increase its market share?

Well it's not that I give a shit about Meteor.

My point is that advertising has gotten so big and slick and intricate and elaborate that it has completely and entirely ended up, embedded in it's own arse. Advertising has missed its own point.

Advertising is intrusive. That's why I dislike it so much. But now that it's not even serving its own purpose, it has become degenerative. Decadent even.

Oscar Wilde once said that all art is useless. As is advertising now. However, not everything has changed. Unlike art, all advertising is still soulless.

Friday, September 08, 2006

What's he building in there?

I was reading No Logo in my room and when I read the bit I quoted in the last post, I actually whooped. Some kid outside whooped in reply only to be shushed by his parent. I'm beginning to think that my behavour - leaving the curtains open even when I'm going for a shower, roaring at the telly, shouting along to Lyric FM, having people doing fire stuff in the back garden, roaring at The Last Word, doing the dishes at three in the morning, roaring at the microwave, roaring at everything to be honest - is making me into the neighbour you avoid.


Ad block him if only ad been shown how

I came across the following in No Logo (I've finally gotten round to reading it and so far it's pretty good). The quote is from a Jack Myers. Mr. Myers is or was an American marketer and he made the following claim in regard to possible legislation for the advertising industry. He called such activity as "adbashing".

"We, as an industry, must recognise that adbasing is a threat to capatilism, to a free press, to our basic forms of entertainment, and to the future of our children."

It's the bit about the children that I love best.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

He's a dark horse, that one

Check out Paul's blog here.

That lad's mad

Walking down pedestrianised O Connell St today (walking the white line because what's the point of it being pedestrianised if you're gonna stick to the footpath?) and I was listening to The Last Word on my headphones. I was getting royally pissed off over whatever item Cooper was covering when I realised that I was making my feelings known to everyone on the street. And people were kind of looking at me.

- Bollix! That's not an answer. Answer the fucking question.

Now it's one thing to sing along to your Walkman but it's quite different to join in with talk radio. In fact, that's just plain crazy.