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The Notorious and the Voice of an Angel: ultimate odd couple

July 24th, 2015 Comments off

Weird, wonderful but weird – and maybe wrong?

Conor McGregor tattoo

The championship fight of Conor “The Notorious” McGregor in Las Vegas on July 12, spiked as it was with a heart-rending performance by Sinead O’Connor, studded as it was with Irish flags and chants of “Ole, ole ole ole”, was one of those pinch-me experiences for the witness.

Surely many Irish citizens watching, either payTV, online or subsequently on landline TV, winced at the unabashed depiction of the fighting Irish. Plucky, dangerous lot who lead with their fists, if not their knucklehead. Violence solves everything and is supreme. Don’t mess with us, boyo, ye British jackbooted … etc etc.

It’s disgusting – but also tempting, cleansing, as with any atavistic ritual that does play to feellings deep inside the person, or the collective consciousness.
So maybe that’s why tickets to the event cost €350 and yet there was an overwhelming, obvious take-up by Irish fans. An estimated 11,000 Irish fans made their presence dominant in the vast arena.

Read more…

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2015 Gallipoli evacuation was one big mess

May 12th, 2015 Comments off

IMG_2707

AND so to Gallipoli, for the centenary of the disastrous first World War campaign, in the company of An Uachtarain Michael D Higgins of Ireland.

That’s slightly gilding the poppy, as your correspondent wasn’t in the President’s party, but on the same plane, in steerage rather than the glamour of first-class.

Turkish Airlines are a pleasant carrier, but even the president’s presence didn’t mean we got into the air on time at Dublin.

However that was a minor transport consideration compared to what lay ahead. Read more…

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Aim of Human Endeavour in 2015 is to Avoid Other Humans.

April 15th, 2015 Comments off

 

Social media? You’ve got to be kidding. Are we all one big happy human family? (Setting aside ISIS and the Tea Party). The emptiness of the craze strikes me again.

I’ve just been to the local library to collect a book I ordered. Now this library is something – very fancy, modern, loads of space, big picture windows, students all along one wall, grandparents introducing their children’s children to picture books in the centre, and, if you are very lucky, a staff member here or there who may or may not answer your question.

It struck me how bloodless and person-avoiding was the whole procedure. I had ordered the book via the library’s website, that was fine. Previously you would walk up to the staff desk, mention the name of the book, and the librarian would find it, stamp it out and hand it over to you – maybe even with a smile. Read more…

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Women are disposable – still

April 10th, 2015 Comments off

IF you haven’t read recently about an Irish architect called Graham Dwyer, count yourself lucky. If you haven’t, you’re also probably living in another country, as the Dwyer trial was big news in Ireland for the first three months of 2015.

And if you haven’t perhaps you should – not only because it is a fascinating if repulsive story, but also because it, sadly, suggests at the underlying attitude to women in the human race.

And that is: disposable.

Read more…

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Tips for non-English speakers

January 9th, 2015 Comments off

 

Tip your hat. Give me a tip for the 5.20. I’m taking this load of rubbish to the tip.

It was the subject of cow-tipping (sneaking up on the unfortunate animals when they are asleep and pushing them over) that inspired a late night mental ramble through the many, many uses of this small word – and a reflection on how difficult such small steps can be for students learning English.

Here’s a list, without even consulting dictionaries:

Tip out – to throw something away, “I tipped out all that soup that’s  been in the fridge for three months”

or

Tip out – to eject: “Ma tipped me out of bed and it was only two in the afternoon”

Tip your hat, as above – “A gentleman tips his hat when meeting a lady.”

Or a synomym for “dump” as in a place to leave large amounts of refuse: “This old mattress has to go to the tip.”

You can give someone a tip, and depending on your intonation it can be sarcastic: “Let me give you a tip about the best way to wash dishes.” Read more…

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