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.


Paywalls! Paywalls! Paywalls!

July 13, 2010

Huge paywalls! Surrounding us! Insurmountable paywalls! AAAHHH!!!!

What’s a paywall? You bell end. How dare you ask such a question. You should be informing yourself on a daily, nay, hourly basis, on all new trends in online news and how it is/will/maybe changes from being merely directionless, Wi-Fi Cancer rays to being beamed directly into your brain via glossy, contemporarily designed websites.

But you can’t, of course. You can’t inform yourself, because of the PAYWALLS. Giant walls, constructed purely from pay and san-serif fonts, stopping us from reading about the news. The news, you see. The NEWS.

The Times over in England is now charging us for its online content, (€1.50 a day or €3 a week) and essentially, it’s playing the part of the budgie down the mines, only with an above average number of people wanting this particular budgie to die a horrible death – choking on a gas that for this metaphor, I will call “a lack of subscribers willing to pay for online news”. Read my beautiful prose.

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The Times Paywall

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So, does this even matter to us? Of course it does. Paying for stuff always matters. The Times wants us to reach for our wallet, take out our cards, type in some ridiculously long digits and then do it again because you made a typo. And then they’re gonna take €3 a week off you (€156 a year) for the pleasure of reading off a laptop screen. Are we ready for this? Are we ready for purely digital content, that at the end of the day is disposable? I can’t bring myself to pay for music that doesn’t have a CD attached. Buying games off Steam still seems strange to me. I have cupboards, I want to fill them with shit. Shit that I own, shit that will probably just gather dust, but by God, at least it has the physical capability to gather dust. I still like something tangible, something that’s not just 1’s and 0’s that exist on a server in India. Something that I can lick, had I ever the desire to do so.

But maybe I’m a Neanderthal. I fully admit that. I’m a Multimedia graduate, online consuming digital native who craves all sorts of online technological crap. But I also have cupboards. That I like to have filled.

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It’s a strange one really. Some sites being pay only, other sites being free, all sites seemingly regurgitating the same shit from newswires and press offices anyway. Course The Times might have the right idea. If it can create actual, good, original, content (that’s hopefully 3D and gives me seizures) then people might actually be willing to pay for it. After all, it’s cheaper then buying the actual paper. And if it engages in actual investigative journalism, then people might actually pay for the scoops in an otherwise scoopless world without paywalls. Because this stuff costs money. Which can only be gotten by asking us to clamber up a paywall and toss some coins through a payslot, supposedly.

But then, there’s talks that if newspapers forgo print versions, the huge savings in producing an actual paper will save them. There’s also talks that if online newspapers actually engage users and create communities, then the information gathered will mean huge gains in targeted advertising (the way Facebook is using your information as we speak to give you ads about what YOU want, i.e., fucking and beer).

But you don’t give a shit do you? This has been going on a while now, and most of you probably hadn’t even noticed. Which is most of the problem. Rupert Murdoch (he owns The Times, Fox and a large part of 4th circle of hell, in case you really don’t give a shit) needs to learn that for the most part, this is still an issue that journalists and public relations folk are worrying about while the rest of us get with filling our cupboards and laughing at cats.
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Madonna's Secrets


Call to David McRedmond of TV3: I can punch the Dáil onto your TV screens.

April 15, 2010

So, the Dáil is irrelevant. So says TV3 chief executive David McRedmond. Needs to be more “punchy”.

Well, fancy that. He does have a point, I suppose. If the Dáil is to get the extra TV coverage that it wants, then it might have to sex itself up a bit. The times I’ve masturbated to The Oireachtas Report’s mostly tedious, wobbly-jowled visuals is far lower then Play TV, TV3 Flagship Cancelled Show.

Strange that.

But, relevant to what? Television? Other below average masturbation aids? He says that that it doesn’t appeal to his channel’s audience. So, taking TV3’s audience as the kind of people who watch Xposé, Ireland AM, Man with Debilitating Head Problem, then I take that to mean, calling up all my TV and Entertainment experience, is that what the Dáil needs is a green-screen, some Sybil MulCahy, and a large dose of irrelevant shite that’s of no real benefit or entertainment value to anyone.

Which is ironic.

However, obvious gaps in logic aside, if TV3 were to deliver some kind of Dáil coverage that needs to be fresh, compelling and dare I say, “Punchy,” then I have a few ball dropping suggestions; laying the groundwork for a show that could run and run, as the plebs gape on in a strange mix of fear, awe and pity.

You’d have to bring in some new talent, some new faces, young, hip, sexy, y’know the kind. Maybe you hold this talent search over the course of a few weeks or a month, some kind of national star search, and then televise it weekly or even daily? Some contestants could form, like, alliances or groups, or something like that and help each other win the approval of the nation.

And then, at the end of say, a 5 or 6 show run, you could have some kind of national phone in, or a kind of census, where we can all decide who has the most star quality. Well, I say all, but it’d have to be over 18 of course, it’s gonna be a pretty sexy, “punchy” show.

Michael Bay could direct, he’s just gotten into reality TV, and I got a couple of tins of green paint and a Multimedia degree, so I can definitely do some Xposé style green screen techniques. Anyone up for some floating 3-dimensional talking heads?

Get on to me, David, I’m full of ideas. The Steven Seagal Sequence and Van Damme’s Vapidy Veto are still up for grabs.


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.


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:

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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

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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?


A Leader we can all Aspire to Mock

October 7, 2009

Berlusconi is fucking awesome.

[Background: Italian Prime Minister. Owns everything in Italy practically; Media, Football clubs, runs the God damn country. Also, he happens to be repeatedly involved in activities unbecoming of a Prime Minister. Oh, also? Idiot.]

Berlo

Berlusconi: Pre or post-coitus? I’m thinking mid-.


Of course, I mean that he’s awesome in that “all that stuff is happening, like, elsewhere, man. Like, yeah,… crazy shit?” Where were that here I would be openly training monkeys to fling poo in his direction.

That’s all I could do really: direction. You don’t expect me to be able to train them to actually hit him do you? I am a man of little to no monkey training experience and I imagine that at best I could point them and hope that all overused Internet jokes involving animal stereotypes ring true.

Anyway, what neatly summed this man up for me today was, much like a nice package you might get from the ‘Internets’ (or, Santa, or whatever is the ‘in’ phrase) I came, nay, stumbled, across a little article on RTE today. I shall provide the link…..

NOW.

[Lazy people link summary: Berlusconi is trying to bring in a law that will effectively make him above the law.]

You see, to sum it all up, much like the bear in autumn who gathers squirrels for their mid-hibernation snack (they do that, right?), Berlosconi here has been preparing. Getting himself ready. The fact that Mr. Silvio B owns everything in Italy, and runs the country, and is not Russell Crowe from Gladiator will soon even catch up with this old rocker. Berlo here has been trying to protect himself from the ramifications of really liking to have sex with hot, young ladies (You and me both buddy! High-cocaine snorting- five, baby!) by creating some laws, that could, you know, been seen as granting him a bit of a carte blanche. Assuming that the phrase ‘carte blanche’ means ‘I can do what the fucskio I want AND have my pizza too.’

Oh, before I forget, Warning, borderline racism and poor understanding of French can be found above.

Now, if Lethal Weapon 2 has thought us anything, it’s that this is a damn fine idea, and power to ya mate, go for it. Dip-lo-mat-ic I-mmun-ity, or ahem, a law that “shields him from criminal prosecution” worked for that whole film until Murtaugh shot him in the head at the end. And Danny Glover’s 63 years old these days, so, you know, just keep out of his way and you should be fine.

Anyway, Mr. Berlusconi. As a bit of a heads up to other possible avenues to explore, here’s some other Lethal Weapon plot angles you could try and throw into everyday life. For kicks and shit. Some of them don’t even need ‘Dip-lo-mat-ic I-mmun-ity’.

  • See if any of your stripper friends can get their way out of a straight jacket.
  • Every tried booby trapping someone’s toilet?
  • Offer Patsy Kensit a secretarial job.
  • Spend Christmas with a stranger’s family and endear yourself to them. Flirt with the daughter perhaps?
  • Attempt to strangle Gary Busey, realize he’s not worth it man!, and then shoot him later anyway.
  • Befriend Joe Pesci. Get him to act like exactly he did in Goodfellas to fit in around the home. Or Casino, it’s practically the same character.
  • Get involved with…. I dunno, triads or something?

Whatever, the 4th film was shit.

Lethal Weapon 4

Mel Gibson’s short hair + Chris Rock = You’re just taking the piss, Hollywood.