Thursday, November 28, 2002

In today's Galway Advertiser - a woman alleges that she was held down by two men and forced to watch while a swan was killed. No evidence of swan killing has been found at the scene.
I just heard someone here say that the word "gaudy" comes from comparisons to the work of the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi...
Michael Heraghty has 'half' a story today on his typically sublime blog. If he didn't bypass Tubbercurry it would never have happened.
Reviews of Steven Soderbergh's Solaris. The SF Chronicle rates it a 3/10 but the Village Voice gives it a perfect 10.
Flak Magazine Review of Volume 5 of Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series. I've ordered my copy.
Today Bertie Ahern launched the National Spatial Strategy for Ireland - the framework for development of the country's infrastructure and population centers over the next 20 years. It's primary objective is to address the development and investment imbalance which currently exists in Ireland where almost half the country's population lives in or around Dublin. Over the last ten year's it's become apparent that we cannot continue to support the expansion of Dublin at such a rate that the citiy's infrastucture is creaking under the strain when traditionally bouyant rural population centers are dying for want of inward investment and job creation. I used to live in Dublin, and yes it's a great city, but if I was to move there now from Galway not only would my quality of life take a serious hit but it would probably cost me 30% more at least to live there. Anyway, I welcome the fact that the Government now has a strategy - it won't keep everyone happy and the development of the country is bound to be influenced by many other external factors over the next couple of decades but it's a lot better than nothing at all. Perhaps, the next step now is a complete overhaul of the system of local government.
Apologies for the flaky postings these days. I'm hyper busy at work and getting more stressed by the hour. You know when you're working to a deadline and you really, really need things to go right only for everything possible to go wrong. That's how it feels. I nearly threw this pc out the window yesterday...but that kind of anger externalisation would have been unproductive I guess. Still, it's not off the hook yet....

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Jeff Tweedy, Peter Buck, Ken Stringfellow and Sean O'Hagan all on one album. Sounds good, doesn't it?
In today's Irish Times we have more evidence that Ireland has a third World health service - €8,250 for girl whose hospital bed was infested with ants.

Monday, November 25, 2002

This will make you smile.
Six people were hospitalised suffering from gas inhalation in the Venue niteclub in Galway on Sunday. I've never been there but all reports suggests it is a shithole of the highest order.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Seamus at Taylors bar in Galway accused of racism. Richardsons is now the watering hole of choice for the do-gooders of Galway. It's their loss I say.
A new volume of the Dylan bootleg series is being released in a few days. This is news to me. It appears to be a live concert from the 'Rolling Thunder Revue". Don't we have the 'Hard Rain' live album for that already? has audio samples and links to this positive review of the album in the New York Observer.
By criminey. Man burns penis with Laptop. Apparently the offending machine was a Dell Latitude.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Last night's film on TG4 was one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen screened on prime time television. Released in 1974, 'Seizure' is notable for marking Oliver Stone's debut as a director. I must admit I didn't watch all of it (Celebrity Big Brother put paid to that) but what I did see looked like a 1970's film school mix of Hammer Horror and 'Twin Peaks'. It looked like a soft porn movie without the tits. The guy who's responsible for programing the films on TG4 is doing a great job; the channel consistently screens brilliant (often little known) movies from the 40's and 50's but with this one he was either taking the piss or intent on pushing the proverbial 'envelope' of evening TV.
RCA Secret postcard exhibition. Spot the Damien Hirst?

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Hoax Photo Test.
Lots of Black Holes in the news this week. First this and now this.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

This makes for an interesting read. Pitchfork - Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. I can't say I agree that The Pixies are the most influential alternative rock band of all time (unless all time means any time after 1990 or we exclude the Velvets on the basis that 'alternative rock' wasn't invented until 1982). However, with the exception of 'Pauls Boutique' I have little argument with their top ten list and indeed 'Daydream Nation' is a worthy selection for No.1. Where though is Dinosaur Jr's 'Bug' or the Sugarcubes' 'Life's too Good' or etc. etc. etc.
Safety Tips from Anubis - via 3 Bruces

Monday, November 18, 2002

On Saturday afternoon TG4 showed a great (and extraordinarily moving) old movie "Pride of the Marines". The film - somewhat of "Born on the 4th of July" for the WW2 generation - is based on the true life story of one Al Schmid, blinded in the defence of Guadacanal in 1942.
There'll be a spectacular meteor shower tonight. Unfortunately, we in Ireland will have to get up early (or stay up late) to see the best of it at 4:00 in the morning, assuming of course that it's not going to be another cloudy night.
This weeks fiendishly addictive flash game: Cyber Mice Party.
TIME magazine's best Inventions of 2002.

Friday, November 15, 2002

DePalma's new movie 'Femme Fatale' gets a rave review from Flakmag.
Who want's to be an cosmonaut these days? Boyband has-beens and bored billionaires? Not young Russian kids anyway.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

I see that the html link to this story in the Irish Time about regulations for the alternative medice sector is ...%QUACKS.html.
Salon has a new interview with Steve Earle. All you need to do to read it is get a free day pass by watching a Mercedes ad. In relation to noted left wing commentator Christopher Hitchens recent outing as a pro-war advocate , Steve is of the opinon that Hitchens drink problem has totally clouded his judgement. Steve should know, I guess.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

U.S. gay magazine, The Advocate interviews Sinéad O’Connor. Link via brand new blogroll addition, Submeat.
This one has come in under my radar. French Canadian drone rock collective Godspeed You Black Emperor! have a new album "Yanqui u.x.o." out soon. If it's anything like the second disc of their last double album it'll be good. If it's like the first disc, it'll be just plain boring.
This is great. The California Coastal Records Project. I'd love to see a similar photographic record of the Irish coastline.
In other news. Vladimir Putin suggests circumcision for a French journalist. Which reminds me of my favourite ever circumcision joke:-
Did you hear about the blind circumcisor?

He got the sack....
This morning's piece by Tom Humphries in the Irish Times about the FAI report. I agree, after reading the report (or rather the summary version that was made public - surely that cannot be the full report as submitted by Genesis), it seems clear that the majority, if not all, of the FAI officers should tender their resignations.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The Genesis report is available online now. Enjoy! is reporting that Brendan Menton has already resigned.
It's a big day for the FAI today what with this afternoon's publication of the Genesis report on their performance/f*ck up at the World Cup. However, no sign of it being posted on their website yet even though it's promised for 5:30. No doubt the media will be all over it this evening/tomorrow morning. It's resignation season in Merrion square again I think.

Update - Oh look, they've taken down the link. So no promise of the report being published online on their site after all.
Eh, excuse me. Is her fifteen minutes up yet? Meanwhile, back in Derry, women aren't what they used to be.
Listening to two new albums today - Badly Drawn Boy's "Have you Fed the Fish" and Steve Earle's "Jerusalem". Suffice to say that neither disappoint.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Debate at leisure over a few pints:- The Ladder Theory of Male Female interaction. Via 3 Bruces.
This is good news. 13 Golden Eagles brought to Donegal from Scotland last year are about to enter their second winter here. Hopefully in a few years they will start to breed, which would be the first time a pair of of eagles has bred in Ireland since 1912. So now, when can we see the re-introduction of the animal that was once Ireland's largest land predator - Canis Lupus - which went extinct here sometime in the 18th century, largely as a result of the efforts of top ten Briton himself, Oliver Cromwell?

Friday, November 08, 2002

There's a bit of a seat sale going on at Aer Lingus. Chicago from €99 - not bad at all.
I saw "Changing Lanes" in the Omniplex the other night. The premise on which the story is built is brilliant - what happens when a fundamentally moral man who has nothing left to lose come up against an antagonist who is a immoral man with everything left to lose? Unfortunately, the resolution acheived in the film is a total cop-out and dramatically, the final 20 - 30 minutes falls totally flat. So, while it's definitely one of the more interesting films released this year, ultimately, like 95% of Hollywood movies these days, it's a disappointment.
Dinky Bomb is the latest timewaster of choice.
Recipes for Potions and Poisons. Just in case you needed any.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's new video!
History lesson of the day:- The Fenian Invasions of Canada.
A real-life super hero from Gotham city is looking out for young ladies. She goes by the name of Terrifica. Will someone tell her that Halloween is already over?
Poor Winona. Is she a victim of the Hollywood establishment or the emotional vacuum that comes with fame and celebrity? Be that as it may, here's one for the ladies:- Which Winona are you?

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Zoe Williams in the Guardian has her suspicions about the Posh Spice kidnap story. I concur - why would dedicated kidnappers want to kidnap one of the highest profile women in the UK when they could have gone for someone rich but unknown, like Roy Keane's wife for example? Surely keeping the profile of the victim at a minimum would ensure less chance of a media circus occuring and would facililate the chances of a ransom actually being paid. Also, wasn't it interesting that the story was broken by a News of the World undercover reporter who happened to infiltrate the gang and who with impecable timing broke the story just in time for the 6:00 news on Saturday evening, thus ensuring maximum exposure for his 'scoop' in Sunday morning's edition of the paper?
The Troubles - as seen through the eyes of Sean Hillen.
Via First Monday. How to defeat the computer-assisted passenger screening system used in U.S. airports. So simple it's scary.
I know we're in an economic downturn but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Mick is gone. The way is now clear for Roy's return. Great news.
Cute baby and talented to boot.
Twenty years after the war, the carnage returns to Goose Green.
According to this review in Flakmag, it sounds like the new series of "24" will be even better than the first.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Yesterday I vegetated in front of the TV and watched two of the greatest movies ever made. Both were released in 1948 and would have been considered the big budget blockbusters of their day, each filmed on location and each costing about $3 million - an enormous amount in those days. First up was John Hustons's wonderful 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre', followed by Howard Hawk's mythic 'Red River' about the first cattle drive over the famous Chisholm trail between Texas and Kansas.
The Blair Witch Project scuppered my plans for the weekend. Not directly of course. You see they thought the wee girl was suffering a brain hemorrhage (indeed they had good reason to, as this was the Doctor's diagnosis) but after a traumatic high speed ambulance journey from Mayo to Galway it transpired that the dizziness and seizures and screaming were a manifestation of a psychological rather than a physical ailment - it was still scary though, three doctors had to hold her down such was the violence of her convulsions. It appeared for all the world like a case of demonic possession but in this secular and scientifically enlightened age a more rational explanation was required. One young doctor deduced from the utterings between screams that the child was recounting the story of the Blair Witch - her terror was that of one who was convinced the demon in that movie was about to kill her. And indeed upon further investigation it was confirmed that the child had spent the day watching videos with her older cousin including the aforementioned low budget cinematic phenomenon of 1999. The girl calmed down and was comforted and now seems perfectly okay (still under observation by child psychologists), but all involved conclude there must be something seriously wrong somewhere in her life that a movie (one that admittedly did scare the bejayus out of many adults let alone a eleven year old child) could produce such a physical reaction in her. Those who know her fear that her nightmare may be far from over yet. For me, I can only comfort the comforters - those who were there holding her hand while her mother was elsewhere. And who have suffered this trauma as if it was their own child in that ambulance.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Pitchfork reviews the reissue of Pavement's seminal 'Slanted' and Enchanted' - probably the best record released in 1992.
My favourite 'hangover' song:-
Instant Coffee Blues
By Guy Clark

He washed all the road dirt from his face and from his neck
And sat down at her table and she picked up his check
And she took him home for reasons that she did not understand
And him he had the answers but he did not show his hand
For him he knew the taste of this wine very well
It all goes down so easy but the next day is hell

"Man was I drunk", she whispered in the shower
While he lay there and smoked his way there through the final hour
And she felt wholly empty like she felt it every time
And he was feelin' just the same 'cept he's trying to make it rhyme
Time was of the essence so they both did their best
To meet up in the kitchen feeling fully dressed

She just had to go to work and he just had to go
And she knew where and he knew how to blow it off and so
They shot the breeze quite cavalier to the boilin' of the pot
And sang the Instant Coffee Blues and never fired a shot
And him he hit the driveway with his feelin's in a case
And her she hit the stoplight and touched up her face

So you tell him the difference between caring and not
And that it's all done with mirrors lest they forgot
I said it's all done with mirrors of which they have none
To blend the Instant Coffee Blues into the morning sun

A modern dance interpretation of Billy Joels 'Goodnight Saigon'? Who allowed me to do that to myself at 5 o clock in the morning? I blame those present who were more sober than I. May their shame live with them forever.