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Representing who? October 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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From RTÉ:

Yesterday Mr Casey told RTÉ News that he had met the families last week about the tragedy and he was asked to be their spokesperson.


The Stardust families group said it has been its own spokesperson for the last 37 years and will continue to do so.

The families said they found Mr Casey’s comments to be “a complete misrepresentation of what we asked of him as a presidential candidate and an attempt to exploit our campaign”.

They also said they find his comments on Travellers “deeply offensive”.

Sunday and the Week’s Media and other Stupid Statements October 28, 2018

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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A good week’s work this week in the print media.

Let us start with this:

There are many workplaces and pubs in Ireland where anyone who dares to speak their mind freely on a range of political and social questions, if they evince the slightest doubt about the progressive agenda, risks stirring up a hornet’s nest of opprobrium and contempt.

These considerations reveal the fatuity of the progressivist narrative, according to which Ireland is emerging from the darkness of Catholic unreason into the light of liberal reason. “Progressive” victories in Ireland have been secured by converting our public square into a training camp in conformism and groupthink that would be the envy of a fascist state.

I do not think so.

Then there’s this: That is why prominent Irish politicians, particularly Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, would do well to take a vow of silence as the drama plays out rather than making comments that only fuel the paranoia of Conservative hardliners.
Ever since they raised the question of a united Ireland last year the pair managed to inflame tensions with Conservative Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party at regular intervals. While the Tory right and the DUP can be relied on to behave stupidly in virtually all circumstances, taunting them makes it even more difficult for May to bring her party with her on the road to a deal.

An example of ‘taunting’ would help.

And here’s a special, from Slate.com some thoughts on Fox coverage of the bomb threats to politicians and others in the US during the week which has this quote from that coverage…But some kind of connection between rhetoric and action did not escape even Fox News: “Of all of the addressees, all of them: regular targets of the political right. Which tells us nothing about the sender. It’s just one of the facts that’s along the way,” Fox anchor Shepard Smith said at 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday. (All students of Fox News know that you watch Shepard Smith Reporting to get a sense for what the rest of the hosts at the network are trying very hard not to say.) At 3:27 p.m., Smith reiterated that “they’re all Democrats. CIA director, you know, not really a political position, but all Democrats, all targets of the political right in the middle of this polarized world in which we live. Not to say that someone who is against those people is the perpetrator of this, but I guess those are items to which you pay attention.” (“That would be one of the clues,” agreed Smith’s guest, former FBI agent Jeffrey Ringel.)


Remainer art? October 28, 2018

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Here’s a fun test for you… look at the six paintings at the top of the linked Guardian article and note which you like.

Then scroll downaways…


Brexit supporters are more likely than remainers to prefer artworks that realistically depict their subjects to more impressionistic paintings, according to a study from three Oxford University sociologists.


Alternatively, the difference could be a reflection of the psychological underpinnings of the two groups, based on the “five-factor” model of psychological profiling. “Leave supporters exhibit relatively high conscientiousness,” the paper concluded, “which is the typical psychometric profile for a social conservative.”
“Insofar as they score higher on conscientiousness, social conservatives may evaluate abstract paintings more negatively because they impute less skill or effort to their creators.”

You can find the paper here.

Funny thing though is that Kinkade’s painting is to me not realistic at all, but actually highly stylised. As to my own preferences – and this isn’t scientific in the slightest, from the six selected I like the Gray, Rothko and I really like the Cerese. Don’t like Kinkade or Bacon at all and the Larson is ho hum, technically well done but not hugely interesting for my money.

I wonder how robust all this is.

Bullying… October 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Good line in this from Conor Pope in the IT about secondary schools (which in passing has some sensible thoughts about the crazy nature of Irish second level education). He notes:

Bullying was [in his secondary school thirty or so years before]– if not actively encouraged – then certainly not tackled…

I went to a pretty good school all things considered (at least the one I did my first Leaving Cert in). I certainly look back on it with some affection, albeit with a degree of criticism. I have friends from there – well actually from the National School to absolutely accurate, but same diff when you’re in your 50s, who I still consider among my closest. And I was fortunate, I had managed somehow to make myself unbullied (to coin a word) in the main. I got some glancing bullying but only rarely did I go into school or a class fearing someone would target me, that I’d be hit, or that there’d be some sort of anger directed my way . This wasn’t a bad talent to have not least because I wore glasses and was tall and skinny. But somehow I cultivated an air of ‘not worth the effort’. The only time where I was bullied in my pre and actual teens was in the Gaeltacht for about a week or so and again that ‘not worth the effort’ effect came into play. I saw others picked off, including relations. I saw them bullied in their mid-teens. It was endemic and yet the school certainly didn’t tackle it in a proactive fashion. And it had long last effects on those subjected to it.

Of course bullying isn’t just physical, it is also psychological and I’m not naive enough not to think that takes place as well. And seeing the creature heading at a rapid rate towards her teens it is clear how as emotions develop there is an increasing scope for both performative and actual bullying (and processes like exclusion and so on) to take place.

That Higgins acceptance speech and Casey October 28, 2018

Posted by Tomboktu in Class, Community, Equality, Inequality.

The 20 percent vote for Peter Casey has been a shock for many. I saw plenty of comments on twitter this evening which noted that Michael D in his acceptance/victory speech (https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/rte-news-stories-30004668/10957463/) had a dig at Peter Casey. They point to the following in Higgins’s speech:

Words can hurt; words can heal; words can empower; words can divide.

Some of those making comments have attacked not just Peter Casey, but also the people who voted for Peter Casey. And for some of those people, making those comments that is understandable, and even justified. Today, Eileen Ní Fhloinn asked “Is every fifth person I meet a Traveller hater”? and answered it: “well it certainly feels like it”.

Michael D, of course, is too astute to make an overt attack on Casey’s voters. But that does not mean he had nothing to say about what we need to do to tackle the level of support Casey received. And in those remarks, he showed that he wise enough not to join the attacks on them.

In his speech, he did not focus on the symptoms, but on the causes. Two of them.

One of those causes is the stoking by Casey of fears and hatred. Casey did not create his base of one-fifth of the voters: he harvested it with his use of ‘grenades‘ and that does deserve to be challenged. But removing the trigger, the detonator, will not remove the dangerous cocktail of fears and prejudices that resulted in the 20 percent backing for Casey.

This evening, Higgins identified what we need to do if we are to remove much of the support for Casey and his ilk:

The next seven years will offer opportunities to do things in new ways including everybody, and that requires identifying and facing exclusions and more than just eliminating barriers. It means the exercising of new invitations.

A real republic is a republic of equality, of shared vulnerabilities and of collective capacities. A real republic is one where every person is encouraged and supported to participate fully and where every person and community is treated with dignity and respect. A real republic is one which constantly finds new ways to sustain, empower and strengthen our communities, supporting those who are thinking local and thinking long.

Acting on those words will not deal with those whose racism is ideological, but it will disrupt their ability to harvest support from others who are left behind by our current structures.

Halloween Festival East Wall 2018 October 27, 2018

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Went on the Ghost Walk on Thursday and it was good. More events over weekend and on into next week.

Union hotel… October 27, 2018

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A piece on Buswells Hotel in the IT noted its centrality to aspects of political life in the past, and while that may not be quite as it was it remains an important meeting place. It’s also a unionised hotel, no small thing that.

Ireland’s Global Revolution October 27, 2018

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Fascinating Scottish podcast here with Brian Hanley on a project he’s been working with Edinburgh University and QUB on the Global Irish Revolution and in particular the impact of Ireland’s struggle for independence outside Ireland, not just with the diaspora but on other anti-colonial struggles.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Wume October 27, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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Saw this Baltimore duo support Beach House in Vicar Street recently. Quite unusual combination of drums and Keyboard and all sorts of mixing. Unusual too to see a drummer (April Camlin) do the vocals. They are quite different but well worth a listen

Meanwhile in the north! October 26, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Surely this is not a good look for FF? (From the IT)

There is confusion over whether Fianna Fáil has announced its first candidate to stand for the party in Northern Irish elections.

When in politics you’re explaining you’re losing…

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