Saturday, March 31, 2007
Myself and Lutz have an idea for some invisible theatre on Good Friday. We're gonna stand at the head of the queue in the canteen and make sure that everyone has the fish. We're going to be the Crispy Soldiers of Christ - living patron saints of battered cod.
Good saint -
You'll try the fish, you will? Good girl. Don't ya know that for every ham sandwich ate today, an angel drops dead of an aneurysm?
Bad saint -
Sausages! Sausages! Our Lord didn't get himself hammered to a couple a lengths of four be four out foreign just so you can stuff mate into your face!
From past experience, I think the canteen ladies will be on our side.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
But seriously folks, it's amazing how someone can be so spot-on one week (Roy's opinion on the FAI's "that'll do" attitude) and so off the mark the following week. What he said about Shay Given is simply stupid. Is the man's job at Sunderland so easy that he has time to go off on one of our true footballing servants?
From The Guardian online (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/02/22/the_irish_eyes_who_will_not_ha.html):
The Irish eyes who will not have left Ronaldo smiling
by Alan Ruddock
February 22, 2007 2:29 AM
RTE's John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady have no peers when it comes to football punditry.
At what point did television producers decide that football fans were to be treated with contempt? Was Jimmy Hill too abrasive for the modern age, too likely to upset fragile egos (though, in fairness, it could have been the beard)? Blandness is now almost universal on British TV, whether it's the crafted dialogue on Gary Lineker's Match of the Day, Steve Ryder's obeisance at the feet of sporting gods or Jim Rosenthal's - well, better to let that one lie. On Sky, where Andy Gray and Richard Keys at least attempt analysis, the surface is barely scratched and conventional wisdoms go unchallenged. "The lad will be disappointed with himself for that performance" now comes at the top end of the most stinging rebukes and most of what passes for television analysis would not pass muster in a pub. With few alternatives on offer we mutely accept it, nodding sagely that the lad could, indeed, have done better. There is, however, a better way.
In a brief clip on Tuesday night John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady demonstrated that they have no peers in the business of football punditry. Two great players and a former journeyman player turned great controversialist were dissecting Manchester United's win against Lille. They didn't dwell for long on the referee (two correct decisions, one goal disallowed, one awarded) or get overly excited by Lille's foot-stomping childishness but focused on analysing different elements of the game.
Brady and Dunphy had prepared a package of Cristiano Ronaldo's entire contribution - completing, to memory, one pass out of 10, while losing possession or fluffing scoring chances every other time he received the ball. The clip concluded with Ronaldo's substitution, head shaking at the injustice of it all, spitting in disgust and shrugging his way past Sir Alex Ferguson, his manager.
Giles, Brady and Dunphy - along with Bill O'Herlihy, their host and interrogator - are brought together by RTE, the state-owned Irish broadcaster, to analyse football. They do not hold their punches. Brady and Dunphy have little time for the hype that surrounds Ronaldo, while Giles's scepticism is slightly more restrained.
For all three, Ronaldo is talented but well short of the greatness that has been bestowed on him by his manager and the British media. They see his flaws, his petulance, his failure to deliver on the biggest European occasions but they also see deep cynicism at work.
The hyping of Ronaldo, in their eyes, is about inflating his value for the balance sheet, and has little or no connection with reality. Ronaldo is a commodity rather than a footballer, a player measured not by his contribution on the field but by his potential contribution to the bottom line, so long as the marketing of him can deliver a profitable transfer.
Agree or disagree, but it is an analysis that demands a response and cuts through the hyperbole that usually gushes forth from British TV studios. Critically, RTE's gang of four treat their viewers as intelligent and informed fans and approach each match they review with a determination to provide insight and provoke response.
Their approach is in stark and dismal contrast to what passes for analysis on British television. There are rare exceptions - Martin O'Neill was a breath of fresh air during the World Cup and Graeme Souness occasionally punctures the mood of celebration - but for too much of the time producers and pundits appear to treat viewers with contempt.
It is not beyond the wit of the BBC, ITV, Sky or Setanta to recognise one simple fact: fans are not morons. They deserve better than pap and I am convinced they would respond enthusiastically if treated with respect. It might, however, knock a few million off Ronaldo's asking price.
Speeding in fog. We don't know how to drive in Ireland. Plain and simple. We can blame the road authorities for not fitting "smart" speed limit signs but this is our fault. The visibility was down to nothing yet no-one slowed down. And people were driving not only without fog lights, but with no lights at all!
It's an Irish mentality. Last Saturday night, I was driving home from Carrick and we hit some fog. Trish said to put on my fog lights. I said - don't be silly, fog lights are for really heavy fog.
No-one learns from any of this. This morning, we had an accident on the N3 near Navan at Garlow Cross. Two lorries and three cars collided when one car clipped several vehicles coming in the opposite direction when it tried to overtake.
The crash happened in foggy conditions.
I hope the Slovakian consulate checked with the Dublin GAA supporters club first. And for God's sake, when the teams take the field, the Slovaks better not practise shots into the Hill because that's just not nice.
Now they're talking about hurling, which is cool except it's Dublin hurling....
Monday, March 26, 2007
James Rogers Snr, born March 26th 1937. That's before the second world war yet he beat me in chin-ups on Saturday! We all went for dinner Saturday night in Carrick. The waitress brought up a birthday cake for him and everyone in the restaurant started clapping so Daddy started waving at them! Priceless.
Then he said a few words. He said he didn't know what he did to get "such good kids." I didn't know what to say but I do know that we were all very lucky to have him as our dad.
Christ, I'm getting horrid honest on this blog.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Keane takes shot at FAI
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Roy Keane signalled his war with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) was far from over today - a year after hanging up his boots.
Keane, whose spat with former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy divided the Republic, launched a fresh attack on the governing body five years after the World Cup debacle in Saipan.
The Sunderland manager accused FAI chiefs of infecting the national squad with mediocrity while discriminating against Cork-born players.
He said: "It definitely doesn't help Liam Miller. If he was (from) further up the country, I'm pretty sure he would be in the Irish squad. I don't just say these things. There's no doubt in my mind that Liam Miller being from Cork certainly doesn't help him."
The Corkonian said his early career was frustrated by Dublin-based officials overlooking him in favour of players from the capital city.
"It happened to me when I was 17, 18 years of age, being in Irish squads with youth teams, not getting a game and lads ahead of you, who are still a year younger than you, who could have played a year later, getting a game," he said.
"It happened to me at Bray Wanderers when I played France for the Irish under-16s or 17s - lads getting on in front of me who still had another year under age, the following year.
"The lads who got ahead of me that night were from Dublin and the manager that night was from Dublin. I know Steve Staunton's not from Dublin but a lot of the FAI are."
Asked if Cork-born players had to play better than everybody else to get selected for the national squad, he replied: "You've hit the nail on the head. Without a doubt."
At a charity fundraising launch for Irish Guidedogs for the Blind, the former Manchester United and Celtic star also launched a broadside at his former international team-mates.
Ahead of this weekend's European Championship qualifier, Keane suggested several senior members of the side were only getting picked by manager Steve Staunton because of their media image.
"There's a fine line between loyalty and stupidity. A very fine line. You've got to be loyal to lads who've done OK, but once you keep playing them on the reputation they've built up through the media or because they do lots of interviews, then it's wrong - it's 100 per cent wrong," he said.
"Come Saturday against Wales the senior players - four or five of them - have to step up to the plate. But they've been asked before.
"That's why I don't get bogged down by saying we've got world-class players with Ireland. You look at some of our lads at the bigger clubs... none of these players at this moment in time are setting the world alight at their respective clubs."
Keane berated the team for celebrating after beating San Marino and advised them to take a lesson from Ireland's other national sports sides following their recent successes.
"The FAI, the soccer, can learn a lot from the rugby lads, even the cricket lads. If you go into something believing you're going to get there, then there's a good chance you'll get there," he said.
"If you think you're not going to get there I guarantee you won't get there. And that definitely comes from the top, the FAI. If you cut corners, that gets through to the teams. If you do things half-measured, you're not going to get nowhere."
He continued: "You look at the rugby lads, they don't seem to be resting on their laurels, they don't seem to be patting each other on the back for winning Triple Crowns. They want to be winning Grand Slams, they want to be going to the World Cup and giving it 100 per cent."
On the FAI, he added: "If you're used to mediocre, that will get through to the players. A 'that'll do' attitude has been going on far too long. That'll do the Irish fans. That'll do us. But I think the Irish fans are getting a bit fed-up with it."© 2007 ireland.com
Sunday, March 18, 2007
-Did you call your mum?
And I stuttered and then laughed and said no, I didn't.
My mum died when I was little. To be able to type that is an improvement but it's all I needed to say to Seamus. Instead, I actually ran and hid in my room.
I don't know why I act like this? But it's selfish and it serves no purpose. It's not like it respects her memory; I can hardly remember her and I rarely, rarely think of her. But I'm afraid if I normalise her death and get on and grieve her, it'll take away my license to behave like someone in Dawson's Creek. This behaviour is all I have left of her.
I really don't want to post this.
I'm at work now and I have a few jigs and reels on the stereo and it's the business. I love being Irish but I hate the smugness - "we're Irish and we're horrid funny and sure doesn't the whole world love us and want to be us and we TRICKED THE DEVIL!" - that's taking over. Ray D'Arcy does a great show on the radio but he's the worst culprit for this bollix.
When I think of IRELAND and, to be honest, I rarely do, I think of home. I think of Sundays in Mohill and the kitchen steamed up with the dinner and Michael O Muircheartaigh on the radio and if that sounds twee, it ain't because that's exactly what's happening right now.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
From Trócaire's website:
“The role of women in our global society has changed dramatically over the past century. In many countries, women have the right to vote, to own property in their own name, to work in every profession, to join the army or to do any number of other things that were forbidden to them in the past because of their gender. Because they were women they had to adopt a particular role in society.
“While great strides have been made towards gender equality in the developed world, in large parts of the world women have still not achieved full equality. In order for this to happen, men and women must work together to ensure that both have equal opportunities and rights.
“Women suffer sustained violations of their human rights, particularly in societies torn by conflict. Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women, such as trafficking, forced prostitution and rape – including marital rape – is a common experience for women. Violation of women’s human rights increases their vulnerability in many ways. In this context, achieving gender equality is both a matter of human rights and of great urgency.
“Trócaire’s 2007 Lenten campaign promotes gender equality – looking at the social roles that men and women have been assigned and how the two genders are often valued differently, as men have more rights and opportunities in many societies.
“If we had true gender equality, women and men would have equal rights under the law and equal participation in decision-making. They would also have equal access to and control of resources such as food, water and land and benefits granted by states.
“In our world today:
• 70 per cent of people living in poverty and 66 per cent of those who can’t read or write are women.
• Worldwide, women earn 69 per cent of male wages. There is no country where women earn the same as men.
• A total of 70 per cent of refugees and displaced people are women.
• Women are more vulnerable than men in conflict and are more often victims of violence
• Women produce nearly 80 per cent of the food on the planet, but receive less than 10 per cent of agricultural assistance
• In 2006, more than twice as many young women were living with HIV as young men
• Women, not planes, trains or trucks, still carry two thirds of Africa’s goods
“Yet women have enormous power to make positive change happen in their communities. Trócaire works in countries where women are often the main providers for their families and have the primary responsibility for their health and welfare. But women in these countries do not have equal access to the resources and services that are vital to them and this makes and keeps them poor.
“As a result women’s experience of poverty is different to that of men; it is more severe and more prevalent. The quality of life for society as a whole is adversely affected by gender inequality, hindering development and poverty reduction.
“There are a number of international agreements such as The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). At the Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995 it was agreed: “The advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women’s issue.”
“The United Nations passed resolution number 1325 in the year 2000 that called on countries to:
• Protect women and children in conflict
• Prevent violence against women
• Ensure women can participate in peace processes
“But world governments have not fully implemented this resolution, so Trócaire is urging Irish and British politicians to put it into practice.
“International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by language and by ethnic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their day, they are celebrating at least nine decades of work towards equality, justice, peace and development.
“International Women’s Day is a celebration of the story of ordinary women who have changed history through the ages through their work for gender equality. It has been observed since the early 1900s. This year, a number of events will take place to mark International Women’s Day, including a meeting at the UN of the Commission on the Status of Women to review progress towards global gender equality”.
I was pissed off. Think on it - here is Trócaire's mission statement:
Trócaire envisages a just world where people’s dignity is ensured, rights are respected and basic needs are met; where there is equity in the sharing of resources and people are free to be the authors of their own development.
How is any of the above not political?
I said to Bob that I'd love to meet the idiot who made the complaint and ask them why? But Bob said that idiots make complaints like this all the time yet why was it upheld this time? He reminded me that this was an election year and we should try and figure out how Trócaire's campaign hurts the government.
On Thursday, Vincent Brown wrote in Village.ie -
The decision of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) to instruct all commercial broadcasters, including Today FM and TV3, to cease broadcasting the Trócaire advertisement on gender equality is incomprehensible.
The television and radio advertisement campaign draws attention to the reality that female babies, irrespective of their origin, their ethnicity, their state of health or otherwise, all share a common disadvantage by reason of their gender. The advertisement also includes a section encouraging members of the public to access the charity's website to donate online or order a Trócaire box.
The website in turn asks individuals to participate in the campaign for gender equality by signing a petition lobbying the Irish Government to enact a specific UN resolution on the issue.
The BCI said in defense of its decision: "Following detailed consideration...it is the commission's initial view that the advertisement is contrary to Section 10(3) of the Radio and Television Act, 1988, which prohibits advertising directed towards a political end."
I contrast RTÉ has decided to broadcast the advertisement. Peter Feeney, head of public affairs with RTÉ, said "RTÉ's view is that we define political ends quite tightly....We would feel this Trócaire advertisement is much more general in nature….. we also try to draw a distinction between national campaigns and international campaigns."
The part I put in bold could well be the key to all this.
Trócaire Director Justin Kilcullen said on Newstalk radio on Sunday morning that it was Today FM who brought the issue of the ad to the BCI.
All very interesting.
RTÉ have ignored the BCI's ruling. How can they do this?
Also, someone made the point in the same radio show on Newstalk that the BCI have to come down hard on any ad campaign that pursues a political agenda. Otherwise, we could end up with a situation like in the US where powerful vested interests get all the airwaves.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The Crucible was inspiring. I loved all of it and it was a timely reminder of how much theatre means to me. It's the only thing I know how to do right. Even so, I'm nowhere near the actor I could be or want to be.
I have the ability but I'm only starting to wake up to how easy it is to be crap. There were times last weekend in The Factory when I was onstage with no lines and no movement. I needed to just hold my place onstage and give my focus to the action. It takes concentration (all acting demands complete concentration all of the time) and if you switch off, well the scene loses your input and is weakened. So I gave it everything... and then gave it too much. I started overacting; drawing the attention back to me. Why? I don't want to answer that to you yet.
Lesson learned. Impetus regained. I wanna be the best I can be. I want to be onstage. I have two months to finish my degree in engineering and then I can get on with getting what I want.
I've sent my profile to the Sligo Arts Office, I'll soon have an Actor blog and I am looking into what opportunities Galway provides in drama (training or doing).
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