Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Proof that newspapers should never pose a question if the answer may be inconvenient

Mail splash this morning:

Mail online poll this morning (later spiked)

Thanks to  for finding and posting the online poll on Twitter.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Daily Mail links women's movement to autism and then prints pictures of glamour model to show hard far it has to travel

The Daily Mail finally lapped itself in the crazy race today.
No 1: It linked growing autism rates to the rise in prominence for women in the work place and successful parents.
No 2: It then went on only four pars in to describe the belief that it was down to MMR, a story it had been the lead cheerleader for, for many years as a 'rather bizarre hypothesis'.
No 3: It, however, added the coupe de grace, which shows just how far the women's movement really has to go to achieve its goals, by publishing pictures of glamour model Imogen Thomas (famed for sleeping with a footballer) posing in duct tape to protest at a 'gag on her telling her story. It was irony, but only on a base level that a moron may consider advanced.
As I said, it lapped itself in the crazy race, but only as Jonathan Swift furiously spun in his grave at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A billion people are starving while the western media eats itself

The restaurant critics of the Independent and the Daily Telegraph are spied on by a Michelin star chef while eating at his restaurant. He tweets about it. The critics react to it. One writes a comment piece in reply.
We are, as the great man said, a virus with shoes

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rugby pundits maul football's yes men

BBC Radio 5Live tonight the massive gap in quality between football's former pro yes men and their rugby union counterparts.
While Steve Claridge, Perry Groves, Pat Nevin, Mark Lawrenson et al have landed cushy media gigs specialising in saying not much more than the bleedin' obvious, the ever combative former England prop, Brian Moore (left) flew the flag for no-nonsense-say-it-as-it-is-and-damn-the-consequences punditry.
He's an intelligent man who in commentary can disappear up his own ass with self importance, but when it comes to calling it as it is and perhaps alienating sacred cows or former colleagues, he's fearless.
Tonight was magnificent. He laid the failings of England at the world cup bare: 'They were truculent from the start and they had no friends,' 'Martin Johnson was never comfortable dealing with the media, but he's the England manager, that's his job,' 'Martin Johnson wasn't tactically experienced enough or qualified for being head coach.'
The best moment came when it was noted that Nick Mallett, the outgoing Italy coach had decided to turn down England to go back to South Africa to spend time with his family. Moore added: "And in parenthesis: I wouldn't deal with that shower."
Apart from anything else, when was the last time you heard Steve Claridge or Jason Roberts use the word parenthesis?
Unlike the picture illustrating this post, Moore's never toothless in his punditry and remains a cut above.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Woody Allen and the canon of Irish literature

Woody Allen's brilliant mickey take of the Irish Literary world of Joyce and Yeats from the story 'The Irish Genius' from Without Feathers or Complete Prose.
There's a hooky version here. But please, do yourself a favour, go out an buy them

And an oblique reference to Séan Ó'Faoláin?

Friday, 11 November 2011

A brilliant summary of the press in the Irish presidential election

From the might Fergal Crehan. As you can see @Fergal on Twitter

Update on the pointlessness of most internet debate

One of the greatest political philosophers of our times writes about the crisis in the EU Zone, and every eejit with an opinion feels like they are qualified to have their say.
The lesson about internet commenting could not be more stark.
A couple of issues arise again:
Communicative rationality: or, if you know Sweet FA, should you be allowed to interact?
Discourse ethics: or, if you know Sweet FA, should you be allowed to interact?
You know what, I think we all need to STFU.
*elementary post modernist klaxon*

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The pointlessness of most political debate on internet forums

I started to reply to a thread on Scottish nationalism on the Word Magazine blog tonight, I reacted to several posts by one contributor.
I spent 20 minutes writing the reply and then, having brushed my teeth, realised it's utterly pointless. I deleted it, because the idea of any kind of deep political discussion, much less change, happening thanks to discussions on the blog of a music magazine is either: a) misguided, b) ridiculously utopian, or, c) evidence of the rampant egotism of all of us in this age of free information exchange.
The fact I am posting the deleted entry here is testament to both this age of ego and the power of my own. I hope no-one reads this. Apart from the last couple of lines.
It's disingenuous to suggest that a coalition of political identities emerge solely as a matter of political expediency and a need to appeal to a support base. Rather they come can also from deep seated associations born of cultural and emotive identification.
The lefty-ish tinge to some Scots nationalism is not modern but tied to the cultural implications of separatist movements that emerge in the post-Enlightenment period. This leftist separatism is now 200-odd years old.
DCU's John Doyle wrote a great chapter for a book in 2008 which outlined the cultural and political reasons behind Irish nationalist and republican support for the Palestinian cause and reflects the degrees of support for it among all the nationalist parties in Ireland. They do so through certain cultural and emotional attachments to dispossessed nations and people.
It is, within the parameters of modern history, to see nationalism place itself naturally within leftism. Whether they tag on Cuba or other causes to legitimate them, in some way. Sub-altern nationalisms can become fascistic, but invariably start at a position of being culturally dominated.
My point is that, yes, there are a range of right-on left wing causes which naturally coalesce and which form a canon of current political catechism, but they emerge organically and not simply from self-interested politicians.
The left wing cause of identifying with those in... Oh Jesus... I'm never getting these 20 minutes back again, am I? Joe Strummer died at 50, I'm 12 years away from that. Time to stop wasting time in forums.