In my day, the parents of your children’s children were your parents’ children — A Youngish Person’s View

November 15, 2010

I’m young, right? Ish, anyway. 23 years of age at last count, but I’m not counting, you are. I’m part of this generation you see, what you could call ‘The parents of your children’s children’.

And a few things annoy me. Well, many things, but they’ve all been said. Many, many times over. Read a paper if you enjoy a milder form of self harm. They’re cheaper then razor blades anyway (and they still haven’t gone down in price since the recession — Movemeber is just a ploy to get people shaving, it’s nothing about prostates).

You see, in my day (which is now) the country went to complete shit because the higher ups (who grew up alongside you in your day) spent most of their time wandering around long halls, employing people to do stuff for them that either didn’t need doing, should have been done by someone else, or needed redoing because the previously employed person in that job (who has since been promoted into a new job, with much the same criteria as his/her last job) didn’t do that job right — for example, were I to hire someone to make sense of that last sentence for you, because it is overly long with too many words, commas, bracketed asides (which can quickly become confusing), will probably need to be reread to be understood fully and perhaps just the simple fact that the first full stop in this whole paragraph, which is roughly 150 words long, has only just come along now.
That’s something I should do myself. But I won’t. Put it down to being set a bad example.

So, imagine that incompetence, and multiply it by 40 billion and few barrels of red paint and eggs — that’s the kind of mess we’re in. But we know that. RTE tells us this, the helpful souls that they are, in all our days.

But what I worry about in my day (now) is that in your day (then), were the same arguments for sucking up the pain used by people who had different days (way back then). And will I be using the same argument for when the world gets screwed over again in my children’s day (which is way over there)?

Isn’t the point that we should be progressing as a human race? That the sacrifices that our parents made and their parents made are appreciated, but should never had have to be made again? Many people died before medicine began to save lives. A lot of people died before we realised that pyramids aren’t perhaps the most efficient way to honour the dead. A whole season of Joey had to be persevered before we decided that it was inhumane to humour Matt LeBlanc any further.

The point is, shouldn’t we be trying to further ourselves as a human race here? Why should we have to suffer old problems just because our parents did? We’re adults now, give us the opportunity to suffer new problems, to make new mistakes, to throw our country into a new well of shit so our own children can dig us out of a new mess — a shitty mess indeed, but a mess that has a least progressed from the mess past generations had to suffer.

These are old problems, that have their roots in obvious moral, ethical and incompetent incompetence — that’s what pisses me off. And the danger is the whole country will be on the backfoot because of them. These are old problems, that have already been suffered (and we appreciate that, we honestly do), but we shouldn’t have to suffer them again.  There are a lot of things that we should put up with and shut up with, but not this retarded mess —it would be irresponsible of us as a generation to just ‘put up’ with this mess.

So, can we, at the very least, retire this flawed argument and move on here? No more crap about it on Midday, The Frontline, or any more damn newsprint? Bill Cullen may well be a long way from penny apples, but so is everyone.


Disinterested Eminem Consumer, Turned Hater

September 22, 2010

Why is it always so damn loud? The entire world, creaking from the gravitational pulls of planets and stars. Giant asteroids, flying through space, the atmosphere suffering from the constant barrage of their debris. The sound of history, weighting down upon us as we hurtle through life — insignificant in the grand scheme of things, mere whispers in a hurricane called life, to borrow a stream of meaningless clichés.

And yet, despite all this, I have just heard, for the 3rd time today, Eminem making puns about window pains as he shouts his way through another ‘song’. As low an art form as rap is these days, has it just finally given up? Has rap finally just squatted down, overbearing weight on its unsteady knees, and given gastric flow to puns? WINDOW-BASED puns?

For those that haven’t heard it…

If a window metaphor is so vital to your song, how about rhyming defenestrate and penetrate? See? Just off the top of my head.
Or just saying them consecutively, shitty words flowing into each other as you shout your way through another hit, artfully relating the act of throwing someone throw a window with the act of shagging some tasty hoe.
That’s only slightly less shit then your lyric, and I just came up with it there. I don’t even have a tattered notepad.

So, and this is what kills me. This is why we stand in clubs, sit in bars, pints in our hands and naggins wedged between our buttocks, screaming. Screaming our amusing anecdotes to each other into ears, in the vain hope that sound will travel from globs of spit, hurdling through the air, into an ear canal (any ear canal) and directly to the brain. This is why? This is music now? This is why I have to hum a catchy chorus to myself all day, while inbetween I just reel of a list of horribly bad puns, as if the entire cast of a Carry On film had a reason to hate their parents and somehow combated this by shouting? I’m waiting for the next hit, where Barbara Windsor sings a chorus that revolves around cocks crowing, while in between Eminem verbally abuses small children, “you can’t go pop-ping more pills, Mom! I guess that’s why you lean on win-dow, sill… Ly.”

Why do you shout Eminem? Why must every song be shouted in the same monotone way, verbally forcing a rhythm into housing features, or housing features into a rhythm?

I didn’t mind you know. I could’ve honestly said I could take or leave Eminem before this moment, before this lyric. He wasn’t my kind of thing, but whatever — he may have mistaken rapping for shouting about himself, but at least he didn’t have gold smelted onto his teeth, or shout about some bitches’ booty, or other forms of thinly veiled rape.
But you’ve jumped the shark on this one, and now I can’t take anything you’ve done, are doing, or will do, seriously. I’m sorry Eminem, but you’ve just lost a disinterested — but ultimately respecting — consumer.


Legal Highs: Just another nothing to talk about while we look for more nothing dressed as something

April 12, 2010

Legal highs. What a stupid, banal topic that’s been blown completely out of proportion by a media that’s striving to not be stupid and banal, which only makes them more stupid and banal.

Firstly, the boring, boring, boring establishment of my stance on the whole thing: There’s hardly any proper (if any at all), actual evidence of after effects that are as a direct result of these drugs. That’s not to say that evidence doesn’t exist, or that they are completely harmless, but until we have some actual studies then anything written about it has the same veracity as Aunt Faye’s charming anecdote about how she was the one who stole Hitler’s missing testicle or how one user ripped off his scrotum while under the influence of this Mephedrone.

One of those stories was actually reported. Both are equally bullshit.

So, the fact is that little to nothing has been proven. Those self interested parties that are always tottered out don’t count by the way, nor any of that ‘research’ that’s been done by self interested parties. (Listen to BBC April 10th Media Talk Podcast for some actual talk on the subject)

The enemy here, if one exists, is boredom, and the disease is the self perpetuating cycle that boredom induces. The art of ‘doing nothing’ is something that is regularly thought about, regularly given out about, yet still strived for. ‘Hobbies’ used to be what we did in our spare time, now it’s nothing. And since no-one is dying because of this (until proven), why should the government be telling us there’s a difference?

The Internet has merely helped this, with everyone having an opinion (irony noted) and then wanting to be ‘friends’ we just have more and more of nothing to do, all beautifully designed as ‘something’.

So, we’re doing nothing. that’s our hobby, and that’s our problem.  Bollocking about on the internet, all just useless web surfing. Mindless trivia and endless funny cats. And why should a government be telling you that that’s any better then traditional hobbies, like collecting stamps or playing an instrument?

We’re filling our time with Nothing. Meaningless drivel about nothing that makes you think about nothing for a little while, until you find that next little bit of nothing to nibble on, but not too much! The more you nibble, the more a stray thought or opinion you might form on it, so quickly now, move on to another nothing and glance over that for a few minutes.

And we’re striving for this. Aren’t we? We do it anyway, do it regularly. And these legal drugs are just another nothing to fool ourselves into that we are doing something. Without proper evidence to show how dangerous they are, then we might as well ban everything else that might not be seen as ‘constructive,’ be it drinking, Facebook or poorly designed hand driers.

Why must we always be constructive? Isn’t that what work is for? Whose to tell me how meaningless my hobby is? That’s for me to decide.

So fuck it, why not pop down to a Head shop and grab a Tibetan Shitflop? At least it’ll get you out of the house.


Bushfest 2010: A St. Patrick’s Day for the Irish

March 13, 2010

It’s been fucking hijacked. St. Patrick’s Day.

And not just destructively hijacked and ploughed into something, but worse. Constructively hijacked by the Patty’s Day Brigade and made bigger; an inflated leprechaun that’s been force fed stereotypes and then ignited. And as we totter backwards on our bar stools, luminous green leprechaun entrails raining down upon is, all we can ask is why the shit did they dye their river green?

Ireland is green, fucking awesome, but not to the point of grabbing Mother Nature and pissing on her face, “MAKE SHIT MORE GREEN, LIKE IRELAND!” they presumably say from their brown suburbs and when she inevitably chokes from shock, they resort to human measures and start spraying E-numbered colouring around like children with not nearly enough good examples.
Green in the pints, green in the rivers, THIS ENEMA NEEDS MORE GREEN.

No, no it doesn’t. All our shit that’s green, it’s supposed to be green. We don’t paint it, we don’t round up the leprechauns at night and send them out with wheelbarrows full of green dye and an insatiable hunger for screwing with nature.

Patrick’s Day is about celebrating Irishness, supposedly, and the only way people seem to be able to do this by drinking what they can’t handle and tinting everything green. Well, I’m sick of this oh-hum, diddle-le-i version of things; this Disney-inspired stereotyped rape of our already sodomized isle.

So, the solution I propose: Bushfest. We bring things back to the start again, and celebrate like they did when St. Patrick was still pissing off snakes.
Drinking, in bushes, watching the endless sheep, endless sheep shit and endless stony soil. We bring it back to when it was a horribly miserable, disgusting life where the average person lived to about 7 and there were no kebabs.
And then see how the world copies us poorly.

For one day.
And see how they hijack it then. Let them realise how this quaint version of Irish life really would’ve been like. Let them see our bloated parades of sheep and famine, the mostly straw-based diet and the constant feeling of death crawling up your evolutalised hairy legs. The hair that is the only thing saving you from frost bite; the only thing preventing the badgers from biting clean through your leg at the first chomp. Let them watch us relive those days of invasion and boar attacks.

For one day we’ll live how St. Patrick lived himself, only with easier access to stout and the awareness of a failed political system spurning us on.

For one day, cities will close, the ESB will turn off the generators, transport will halt as we make our way to the country, rolling the beer kegs with us. Beer kegs that will be opened with nothing but hard stone and ailing thirst.
Other nations will watch on as we pour our only sustenance into drinking troughs and we’ll drink out of horns. Parades around the world will halt as they look towards Sky News in bewilderment. Reporters will flock towards Dublin Airport looking for answers. Brendan Gleeson will axe every one of them, stony gaze upon their feeble frames as he growls, “This is OUR day.”

The entire country, for one day, one 24 hour stretch, will turn feral. We’ll piss in the fields, drink in the bushes and get scurvy. Any shamrock shapes in our pints will be SHAMROCKS. Rotting, green shamrocks that we’ll pick out with our dirty hands or maybe just eat as our livers plot self implosion and our brains plot feasting on raw cow flesh.

And for that one day, the 17th of March every year, the world will see Ireland as it was; when freedom wasn’t just a Mel Gibson quaintism and the fear of the banshee wasn’t something to be laughed at.

And maybe, just maybe, we might be able to ask for the day after Paddy’s Day off work too.


Youth Media Over, Report Done, Fullstopped by Ranting

March 11, 2010

So, that Youth Media lark has ended and now there’s this report about it, that can be downloaded here.

Go on, give it a download. It’s actually quite an easy read, not the crappy kinda report you’re picturing in your head, with Times New Roman slowly burrowing into your brain and the inevitable tumour that arises as a result of it.

Anyway, for the sake of completion, here’s the final piece I did for it when asked. As far as I remember I was asked for a 1000 word piece of so on how I got into the thing, some experiences on campaign trail and thoughts and things on the articles I did.

Instead I did this:

___________

In general (and let’s speak in broad generalities here to avoid appendices) we don’t care. Us ‘yoofs’, we don’t care about the nitty-gritty of ‘politics’. We don’t care about how Europe is functioning or malfunctioning. We see things happening, we understand stuff is going on, and stuff, but we don’t care.

Why don’t we care? Why don’t we care that it’s gotten to the stage that even though the proverbial waste hit the fan, such a issue is moot when you have 56 billion kilos of waste; whether a desk fan was involved won’t make much difference to the overall state of the room.

So, we have this metaphorical room that is absolutely caked with waste. And why don’t we care? Why should we? All anyone is harping on about is how are we gonna dig the bloody fan out. Giant sluices are, as we speak (in my brain), bringing in cascades of more filth, debris and newspaper political columns into the room but that’s not what anyone is really talking about. We have to dig this fan out, a “hard decision”, yes, but “one that had to be made.” Meanwhile, another group is saying no, we shouldn’t waste time on the fan; it’s the lamp that will prove vital to our economic future. Not only should we not be wasting time on the fan, there’s strong talk that, perhaps, it was the desk fan that got us into this mess.

Politicians saying little to nothing about not a whole lot and then we are informed by radio, TV, Internet and bumper stickers that we should care. Constant news coverage on the inconsequential sandwiched between another person’s opinion on it.

What does it all mean you ask? Nothing. It means nothing. It’s all talk. It’s all, “you say left so I’ll say right”. It’s all an over complicated metaphor violently rammed into this article to explain a ridiculous topic that people don’t even care about. Filler. That’s all this is, more filler. Filler for the paper, filler for the 24-hour news reports, filler for the next hack to sell the next book. We ask for something, we get nothing, and we gleefully write about it, salivating over the next morsel of nothing to write about. And every few weeks we complain that we have nothing to write about. And then we write about that.

We have all this space to fill, so let’s fill it by repeating ourselves. Let’s make it glossy and shiny. You, over there, make that graph more 7 dimensional and spruce up that colour pullout supplement while you’re at it. I want that 3000 word piece on NAMA to jump out from the page and strangle anyone who only skims over it. Which 3000 word piece? The 14th of course, that one in the middle pages! The one that’s after the 13th and before the 15th.

Rolling news coverage? YES, PLEASE. I think I missed the bit where Willie O’ Dea said some words that meant nothing the last time and I definitely want to see the bit that everyone is talking about everywhere. You know, the bit where Brian Lenihan said something about something else, and then someone else said something about that. AND DEAR GOD! Do it so I can read in on my iPad while watching it on my iTelevision and listening to the iRadio. And can I have eight other versions of it blended and poured directly into my ear canal good sir?

And while we sit there, staring listlessly at something that we should care about but for some reason aren’t, the sheer volume of crap helps us forget that maybe there’s something I should be doing about this.

Just space to fill. Stuff to sell, painted up as news and shoved pointlessly in our face. Repeated over and over because as a human race, that’s the only way we’ve learned how to get a message across. And it’s become meaningless. Like advertising and Only Fools and Horses. Regurgitated for our viewing pleasure, repeated ad nauseam before someone starts to actually care about what’s happening. Yes, advertising works and helps sell products, whether we admit it or not. Yes, Only Fools and Horses does have some funny moments. Do I actually care about either? Not a chance.

Why don’t we care? Do we care about insurance comparison websites?

I could sum all this up simply with the universally applied ‘less is more’ argument. Disclose my belief that us ‘youth’ are so swamped with news that mostly just repeats that the rubbish that was happening is still happening and that there will be an inquiry about it; where rubbish is sure to continue. I could point out my understanding that even people, young and old, who say they care, really don’t care it that much at all in the grand scheme of things. Conclude that, perhaps, the best way to get us to care would be to take the backspace key to a large volume of all media.

I could of done so from the off. Succinctly sum up what I learned over the year in about 100 words.

But then I’d have all this empty space that would need to be filled, wouldn’t I?

Paul Kennedy, South Constituency.

February 1st, 2010

___________

Don’t worry, the hypocrisy of it all was noted.


George Lee teaches us something that we had assumed he knew

February 8, 2010

So George. Eight months eh? That difficult third trimester just proved too much, did it? “…virtually no influence or input into shaping Fine Gael’s economic policies” was it? What did you think would happen? That you’d swan in on the shoulders of Dublin South, profit and loss accounts in one hand and the other hand firmly grasping the loins of the nation’s respect as you planned to economically squeeze every cent wasted by Fianna Fail and then throw these cents to us peasants.

I suppose you thought that your good friend Enda Kenny would grab Richard Bruton (Current Deputy Leader of Fine Gael, spokesperson on Finance and a TD since 1982) by his finely tailored lapels and toss him out, maybe doing a few circumferences of the Dail first like something out of a Carry On Hammer Throwing film. It could of been done during the budget speeches; as ol’ Dicky spirals towards the press box, screams of malice in his mouth yet to even form, you’d spring out like a grouch in a can and start to soak the Dail in one cent coins with your heavily modified Super-Soaker. Enda could press the release for the multitude of fivers to gently rain down from above. And it could all be done to the tune of Money for Nothing by Dire Straits.

And yes, rightly so! That could have been organized in the 6 months or so between your election and the Budget. Actually, if you were given the resources of Fine Gael and the attitude of a real go-getter politician you might of got it done in less: say about 5 months, 27 days or so. Hell, it would take that long to organize some sort of golden handshake for Dicky Bruton.
The money wouldn’t even have been a problem. I’m sure a quick whip round the office could have provided you with 500 to 1000 fivers you’d need. If not, stick it on expenses. Not so sure on the music, you might have to pay for broadcast rights if you want it to make the news.

Honestly though, eight months, and no giant fanfare? No screaming babies to kiss, no Aras to call your own, no topless Cowan to wave palm fronds at you as your decrees are listened to with open awe and tears of joy from the population, as we whisper to each other, “Yes, this is the Golden Child. This is the One we have been waiting for. This is our Saviour.”

But at least you tried. You did indeed “get off the fence and try to make matters better”. Eight months off the fence is a long time, it’s a damn comfy fence after all; an almost inviting fence it must be said. Better then the cold brown leather of the Front Bench. And there is that old adage, that oft quoted proverb: “If something takes longer then eight months to do, then it’s time to get back on the fence old friend.” I think saw that on the back of a packet of Cara matches. Or maybe it was a Penguin Bar.

Sixteen percent (ish) into your term is definitely a good time to try a change of tact. And assuming you where not lying about your “great deal of reflection” over the matter (which I’m assuming must of eaten into that sixteen percent), then at least it can’t be said that you ever made an important decision in haste. It can never be said that you quit when quitting was easy, or that you didn’t give it your best shot over a sustained period of time.

And at least we know now that, surprise surprise, it may take longer then eight months for shit to not remain the same.

Gob Bluth?
But where did the lighter fluid come from?


Some reasoned, unabrasive debate on Tiger Woods:

December 17, 2009

Done for college, hence: No links, no images, no swearing. Insert words like ‘fuck’ where and when appropriate.

—-

Uh-oh, it looks like famous people are having sex again. Who would’ve thought that the more glamorous side of human society also took part in this act? Yes, famous people who do sport are all having sex. Just like your granny did. Horrible, isn’t it? Just absolutely horrible. Dirty, pre-, post-, and mid-martial sex; glorified rabbits banging away like carpenters at wood and nails, and no amount of innuendo-filled sentences will hide that fact from us.

Well, so long as we keep reading about it. After all, we continue to read, so details continue to raise their heads up at us, blinking innocently from behind the Tellytubbie hill as if to say, “Should I come out now? I may also of had sex with Tiger Woods.” This ‘expanding’ sex scandal, as the online news site the Huffington Post so eloquently put it, is just the latest one to capture our lust-filled, craven imaginations.

So, what are we to do with this ever-expanding scandal? At this rate, it could reach a good 3-metre girth by this Thursday, and after that, who knows? We’ll need at least a weekly pullout supplement to contain all the sordid details. We could place it neatly between the Health pages on a Monday, complete with Victoria’s Secret leaflets and sexual health coupons.

So, allegedly, it appears Tiger Woods has been having sex with women other then his wife. If even half of the plethora of working class heroines is to be believed, then this has been going on for a while. Thankfully, one of the waitresses, Mindy Lawton, has assured us that he is “very well endowed” and “knows his way around the bedroom.” Promptly after that piece of expansion, the nation heaved a collective sigh of relief as the pun about his 9-wood was avoided.

In other news, ‘allegedly’ is fast becoming the most popular word of Collins A-section and this story might just help it pip ‘anecdotal’ at the post.

It all started to come out a week or so back, when Tiger crashed his 2009 Cadillac Escalade into various upright objects, ending with a hospital trip for some minor facial cuts.

If it had ended there, we all would have slept happier. Columnists wouldn’t have to keep their lights on for fear of a newly sexualised Tiger Woods coming in and invading their home, maybe humping your bedpost like a dog in heat. Roadside-Diner waitresses wouldn’t have to fret over whether to go public with the fact that Mr. Woods may of winked at them. The commentary that followed seemed to bring a whole new meaning to the idea of the tiger as a predator.

After some obligatory National Enquirer (an American tabloid that is notoriously liberal with the truth) allegations, a few apologies, broken up with some shrugging on all our parts, San Diego cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs revealed that she had a two and a half year affair with the golfing icon. Then each gate of hell successively opened, and at time of writing the affair count is up to seven (Or nine. Or seventy-four. Depends on how loose your definition of fact is). It’s getting to the stage were everyone who hasn’t had sex with Tiger Woods are starting to feel a little low on confidence.

And of course then come the cries of anguish; the people who tell us “He should of known better”, the women who see this as just another man chasing skirts, the men who see this as another stick we can be beaten with. The parents, oh! The poor parents! Those frontline soldiers who are gathering up their sons’ and daughters’ golf clubs for a public burning, the fathers of teenage boys pushing them towards Wilkinson’s latest 27-blade razor for their first shave. The laminate clean role model has been stained and how dare he do such a thing to us!

But, bluntly, Tiger Woods is just a guy who plays golf. White ball goes on plastic thing. White ball hit with metal thing. White ball goes in hole. Repeat. Admittedly, it’s a bit more complicated, but if you asked a software engineer what they did for a living, most people would require a similarly layman-like description. This is his job, this is what he does, and because he does this on TV shouldn’t make him any more or less of a human to look up to. If he’s to be a role model for our kids, let’s confine it to his golfing abilities. Yes, we can ask (and ideally expect) everyone to act in a moral and respectable manner, but if your next door neighbour starts to sleep with his orthodontist, do we splash it all over the papers, hang it over their heads publicly like underwear off a doorknob? Disgraceful behaviour indeed, but on the whole: none of our bloody business.

Why should sport stars be expected to be any better of an example then rock stars? Most parents wouldn’t like to have a son basing his moral and ethical codes on someone like an Axl Rose or Rapping-rappy McRappington, or whoever, so why do we think differently of sport stars? Both lifestyles are radically different from our own; both often incorporate a seedy side (as we look in from our puritanically-phallic ivory towers), and both usually consist of young people being thrown into the limelight, with little more then talent in their hands and the giddy expectation of a lifestyle that most youngsters dream of: Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ golf clubs. To argue that because they train daily and diet makes them better belittles the extensive work done by musicians behind the scenes, in the recording studio or song writing with the band.

Tiger Woods is not the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: Even if it turns out that he is a lothario of equal measure, he was not elected to represent the public and he does not receive a wage out of our taxes. Sport stars are just people who entertain us. We pay them for this through television deals and sponsorships. To expect any more of them is naive. To deny them the privacy we would expect ourselves is just an example of the sadder side of human nature.