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Stupid statements from this weekend and the week… February 17, 2019

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Guess who?

The sinister attempt to intimidate Minister for Health Simon Harris and his family at their home in Co Wicklow last weekend is a direct consequence of the way Irish politics has been coarsened over the past decade or so. Politicians and the media have contributed in equal measures to the decline of civil debate

The cycle of political outrage and accompanying media frenzy, often fuelled by blind ignorance of the facts, took off during the financial crisis and has hardly abated since. One controversy after another is greeted with hysteria and demands for ministerial resignations with the worst possible motives being attributed to people who often were simply trying to do their jobs or muddle through difficult situations as best they could.

More space posters… February 17, 2019

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Mentioned a while back posters on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA website and here’s some more, this time including infographics of Voyager. Got to say, they’re handsome. I particularly like the posters. And you can download them and print them out at poster size.

Speaking of online outrage… February 17, 2019

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Eamonn Sweeney had an interesting piece in last weeks Sunday Independent on the way in which Guinness billboards which said ‘You Don’t Pick A Side. Your Grandparents Have Done That Already’ were subject to criticism by the Immigrant Council of Ireland for being offensive. Sweeney argues that this is actually fairly uncontentious, not least because it is factually accurate – in a general sense where people follow a family tradition, and that far from not celebrating diversity on the team (one of the complaints) the ads were about the supporters.

… as for the idea that it should have mentioned ‘the huge benefit our diversity brings’ what on earth has that sentiment, noble though it is, got to do with a rugby match? I agree with the IIC about the benefits of diversity but that doesn’t man tributes to it should e compulsory at every major sporting event. Implying that it should is a classic example of overplaying your hand.

I find it difficult not to agree. And Sweeney makes another point that is crucial… ‘The ‘whole ‘Twitter is going crazy about XYZ’ isn’t a real story at all’. That’s key.

Far too much of the discourse is superficial and reactive (and reactionary too in a deeper sense) where immediate positions are struck and then forgotten because some other issue comes to the fore. It’s goldfish like thinking, everything is unimportant because everything is important. And it often seems to be displacement activity, actually preventing serious engagement with an issue in favour of finding offence and demanding apologies – the former of which is hardly any more sincere than the latter.

Just on advertising, it is genuinely astounding on a certain level that anyone would put any credit in a multinational corporation that sells alcohol or would take its ‘advertising’ seriously. But that brings us straight back to the ‘Twitter is going crazy about XYZ’ stuff because the media has a vested interest in precisely this. It feeds off such ephemeral and fundamentally unimportant phenomena because it is invested heavily in finding something to print. No one is innocent in this particular circular firing squad.

Accomplishments… February 17, 2019

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I was reading a Slate.com piece on trains in the US and in comments almost predictably a battle commenced over Ocasio-Cortez, particularly in the context of a somewhat messy launch of her GND…

Anyhow, one comment said:

Her intelligence wasn’t even questioned. But I would certainly question her credentials and accomplishments. Not much there, there.

So I went and had a read of her wiki page. Given she’s 29 and a Representative in Congress that would be one accomplishment, but she’s certainly had an eventful life, not least in managing to have a ‘small asteroid named after her’ for scientific research at high school. I mean if those aren’t accomplishments…

Stasis in the polls… February 16, 2019

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At least according to the Sunday Times/Behaviour&Attitudes Poll.

FG 30% NC

FF 26% NC

SF 18% -2

LP 5% +1

GP 2% NC

IND ALL 2% NC

SOL/PBP 2% NC

SD 1% NC

SOC PARTY 1% +1

RENUA 1% +1

IND/OTHERS 13% NC

Marginal changes. MOE 3.3%. Can’t see anyone wanting to run to an election on this one. Ah, and one thought, FG/FF 56% of all support. All others 44%.

Speaking of Microdisney February 16, 2019

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Wrote this way back when. I don’t think I’d change much 🙂

The opening of the Virgin Megastore in 1986 with a live Microdisney performance February 16, 2019

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This brings it back from RTÉ:

The Virgin Megastore is Ireland’s newest and biggest record shop.
While there were no megastars present, there was a float on the River Liffey with live music from Cork band ‘Microdisney’ to entertain the crowd that gathered on Aston Quay at the opening of Richard Branson’s Virgin Megastore.

Last Microdisney gigs… February 16, 2019

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Microdisney play Dublin this coming week – one of their last gigs after their reforming last year for a few dates. I cannot recall if I saw them live – I’m genuinely not sure. Cathal Coughlan I did, if I recall correctly, on a solo show in the early 1990s. But I’ll be there on Monday, all things being equal.

And this is a nice piece in the Guardian.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Vincenzo Zitello February 16, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Was at something a while back where someone was playing the Harp. To me The Harp had been the old Mary O’Hara album at home, the Bunratty Castle type harpist playing folksy Irish tunes at the school tour in the early 80’s (Was back in Bunratty last Summer and was very impressed with it), the harpist in the hotel lobby at the Cousins wedding reception. The Harp was just a nice and very old old fashioned instrument.
Then I stumbled upon Italian composer and Harpist Vincenzo Zitello and his wonderful compositions. The Dual harp set up is eyecatching and the added sound from the second harp is wonderful.

When Hitchcock Met O’Casey – some limited number of tickets available February 15, 2019

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Joe M says some tickets now available, but only a very limited number. Worth getting them. I’ll be there, perhaps some of you will too?

When Hitchcock Met O’Casey

Directed by Brian O’Flaherty
0Ireland 1 hr 30mins 2019 English

It was a collaboration between one of Ireland’s most noted playwrights and cinema’s greatest directors, yet the 1930 release of Juno and the Paycock is often neglected in the repertoire of both men. Brian O’Flaherty’s documentary aims to find out why. Featuring extensive, incisive interviews with family members, academics, directors and actors, including Shivaun O’Casey, Prof Charles Barr, and Peter Sheridan, it tells the story of how these two iconic figures met and the legacy of the film.

Schedule & Tickets
Thu 21st Feb 2019
6:15pm
Light House Cinema

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