Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm off

Today's pretty much my last day in Sligo. I've off to Galway for a while, don't know where after that. I'll still be in Sligo on and off; Playspace, the house and an exam that won't go away will keep me coming back. But that's not all that will see me back here now and again.

I've been in Sligo for the guts of 10 years and while I mightn't have got a degree (yet) out of that time, I have made some great friends. Sligo's a great wee town with mighty people. Who knows, if they gotten O'Connall St paved, I might have stayed.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it my second home.

Last day...

... at the best job in the world. Thanks Kieran, Bill, Rory & Brian.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A letter to Conor Lenihan

Dear Minster for State,

In relation to the question of Sikhs and the Garda uniform, I am undecided. I believe that the Gardai should remain neutral in areas of faith but at the same time, the force must represent our community in it's entirety and diversity. I also believe that this question is just one of many that this nation must answer in the years to come. I believe that there is no easy answer. I believe that cool heads and smart people are needed now. I believe that we should look abroad and take advantage of the fact that this issue has run out in other counties already and we should look at how different nations tried to deal with. I don't believe that this is a problem but an opportunity for Ireland to embrace different cultures. I believe that integration is a two-way process and the onus doesn't just lie on "people who come here."

Your words:

If we are to take integration seriously, people who come here must understand our way of doing things. When the President and Ministers travel to the middle-east, they accept cultural requirements of the country and the culture they are operating in. It is a vice versa situation with regard to Ireland.

Integration doesn't just concern "people who come here." For example, a child born in Ireland of Sikh parents in an Irish citizen, yet he or she may well be unrepresented by his or her police force.

Can you please define, "our way of doing things"?

When the President and Ministers travel to the middle-east, they do so to visit. If they were to stay, I wonder would they give up their right to practise their faith.

Are you likening our government to the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Qatar? And why did you use the middle-east as an example? Sikhs are mostly from Punjab, North America and England.

Like I said, I am undecided about this issue re the Garda uniform. But I would advise you, the man in charge of integration, to think longer and harder before you speak on his issue.

John M Rogers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

We must protect the children

A man rang into Lifeline today to complain about the above image. It's from a Ryanair ad in today's paper.

He said that he was "quite disgusted." He said we must "protect not only our children but the way we view them." He described the image as "exploitative" and added that "you and I both know that there are sick people out there and that's what worries me."


What do you think folks? He's right of course. This is exploitative; just as Britney's video was. I have to say, the image doesn't disgust me; in fact, my first, unfortunate reaction was, wow, she's a hottie. But then, maybe I'm one of the sickos out there.

That's the problem I have with this guy. It's the whole won't-someone-think-of-the children attitude. I don't know if that picture is a danger to our kids. I'm not saying it isn't but I doubt it's a very big one. And I do know there are bigger problems. Obesity is a problem, right? The crap kids get fed at home. The lack of exercise because they're not allowed out anymore for fear of the 'sick people'.

So how come we never have anyone ringing Joe Duffy saying, "Joe, I was passing McDonald's and I looked in and there was a bunch of kids in there with their parents, all eating junk...."?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Is Richie Bennis into the Kings Of Leon?

This is class. From Michael Leister's online column from 5th July.

I doubt if Limerick hurling manager Richie Bennis is a Kings of Leon fan (though let's not jump to conclusions). However, he would certainly identify with some of the lyrics on their excellent current album 'Because Of The Times'.

On 'My Party' they sing: 'So now we're on our way / It's taking us on journeys where we wipe away the frowns amongst a crowded place', adding later: 'My cocky look emerges when you question my moves / Because you ain't got no taste / You're talking about my baby / I could flip you upside down and I could mop this place.' Now that I come to think of it, their sound is infinitely better than their lyrics .. but anyway.


Aer Lingus are moving their Heathrow slot from Shannon to Belfast. (It's a wonder they didn't say the move was a protest against the US troops using the airport. We all rememeber how they used 9/11 to make some well needed staff cuts.) This is a blow to the west because this will mean that Shannon will have no link to Heathrow, which is a major international air transport hub.

I don't blame Aer Lingus for doing what they did; business is business. I blame the government for privatising Aer Lingus in the first place. Aer Lingus no longer serves the citizens of the state but the stockholders of the company. Profit before people; business is business. I also blame the government for failing to provide proper infrastructure for the west. This has resulted in the airport never reaching it's full potential and will now make it hard for the airport authorities to attract another airline with a Heathrow slot to spare.

This is good news for Belfast. Seeing the Unionist reaction, I think they're starting to realise that Northern Ireland's fortunes best lie in an All Ireland economy; business is business. (If and when the UK converts to the Euro, the state of Northern Ireland will exist in name only.) Access to Heathrow from Belfast is good news for all of Ulster and North Connacht - Sligo to Belfast is quicker than Sligo to Shannon.

However, with a continuation of bad regional development like this, we will end up with two black-holes of urban sprawl, with neighbouring counties sucked into Dublin or Belfast. (Kildare is now referred to as 'Dublin's doorstep' on the Bord Fáilte website. Dublin's doormat, more like.) The only reason Belfast hasn't exploded (bad use of language, maybe) like Dublin is because the troubles held it back for so long.

But with peace taking a strong hold, the climate is perfect for business to rise and claim all.

Evolution is a fact

Say it once, now say it again.

A lot of people think that evolution is just a theory. They're right. The only problem in that sentence is the word 'just'. You see there's a growing misconception, especially in the US, as to the meaning of the word 'theory'. Here's handy link that I found.

Theory of ir-relativity, or the old in-out

Here's a taste of my thoughts of late. I'm sure there's nothing here that hasn't been considered before by some philosopher way smarter than me. And I'm sure that this has been all figured out and written down somewhere that I can find it and answer these questions I'm just starting to ask. But for now, I want to figure this out myself. Here's what I wrote earlier.


I figured it out.

It's not faith, it's not choice. It's the theory of ir-relativity.

Let's say there are only two possible realities – Inside or Outside. (If reality is Inside, then outside still exists, only it's an illusion. If reality is Outside, then inside still exists as the mind.)

It is impossible to prove which is the true reality – there's no way to show to myself that I am awake. Two days ago, I decided that my willingness to believe that Outside is real can only be based on faith. This faith is the only one instance of blind faith we all need to get by.

However, let's reconsider. Up until recently, I believed in Outside, without even knowing that I believed because, I never once thought that life could be any other way. Then, ten years ago or more, I discovered "I think therefore I am" and I started to consider Inside. But I still believed in Outside.

However, what if I don't bother believing in either? Since I can't prove if I'm awake or dreaming, the question of In or Out becomes irrelevant. Since neither can be disproved, then let them both be right.

Reality is inside and outside simultaneously. Faith is not required.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"What if you're wrong?"

I love this.

By the way, this video explains some of what I'm up to right now.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Been a while

I've been busy - NYC, play in Galway, studying - so I've kinda abandoned the blog somewhat.

I'll be back though... watch this space!