Month: February 2005

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In the beginning, there was the beeb and the beeb was in black and white.... And the lord said 'Not bad'. And the Lord was happy. 'But let's have some more' said the Lord, and lo, springing from a rib that was lying around the White City, the Lord created the Beeb 2. But there was a problem. Was it the beeb for kids? For politicians? For sports fans? Was it for wine drinking toffs, or curry guzzling retards? And the Lord said, 'Get me Kenneth Clark'. 36 years ago the first broadcasting of the great opus that was 'Civilisation: a personal view by Lord Clark' took place. Students of the history of art will possibly be familiar with text version of Kenneth Clarks' work, becoming as it did, one of the staple texts for end of school examinations on the subject. Those of you unfamiliar with the full whacking-great...

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Amphibian guts galore - I seem to have stumbled across a crime scene, stretched over 50m of road. (Nasty picture warning - avoid if squeamish!) Dead frogs - some flattened, some burst, some frozen, mid-movement, cause of death unknown. It seems early in the year to spawn - I thought it would be too cold for for them. But no, they seem to have been making their way towards the pond in a nearby quarry. Out of the ten that I find, maybe three are flattened, passing cars. It's the others that intrigue me - their tiny fingers raised in some last melodramatic plea, spawn piled on the tarmacadam alongside. What do I do? I take photographs. - Dave

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I hate reviewing books too long after I've read them. I should really write the review as soon as I've finished it - there and then... But no, I must have finished John Ronson's The Men Who Stare At Goats around the 21st of January - and here I am, now trying desperately to review it. 'Remote viewing' might be a common phrase to anyone used to reading websites like blather.net, or leafing through issues of Fortean Times. But to the average Sunday supplement reader, it's could be related to do with controlling their TV set. In this book, Ronson, in his trademark disarming style, has broken through, introducing the normals to a shedload of Special Ops weirdness. Ronson set out to investigate the US military's interest in remote viewing, a method of 'seeing' into remote places (like the Kremlin) or influencing distant events, using personnel - often ordinary soldiers...

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Rather nice new Dublin collaborative project... let's go postal... Was prowling around Anthology Books earlier. Stumbled across a free, beautifully produced comic, produced by a bunch of Dublin artists. Called This Way Up, it's a weird and wonderful account of the adventures of a bunch of Dublin characters, centred around one guy called Jimmy, a young postman. The thing is, every page of the comic is created by a different comic artist, lending a weird, dreamlike feel to the story. My favourite page involves Jimmy being accosted by a hairy regular from Grogan's pub (Blather's city centre HQ). Micky pursues Jimmy around the William St. area, uttering mad rubbish. Two 'oul wans' pass by Grogan's: 'Wasn't Nellie Grogan the great woman?' 'Ach aye, she was, she was' Happily, the comic is also online. I'm not sure that the web does the comic real justice, but it's definitely worth a look....

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A special article by guest writer and Mother of a small army of Bastards, novelist Catherine Barry... A topical debate about 'lone parents' sparked off by Professor Ed Walsh seems to have invited a flurry of poison-pen articles. These 'self appointed' armchair psychiatrists seem to have it all wrapped up, and want to impart their words of wisdom and teach me a thing or two about how I should live my life. I don't like naming names, but I will mention one and it is only because I take considerable offence to having my beautiful children referred to as 'bastards'. They are not. Kevin Myers, ('If I had a brain, I'd be dangerous') author of this insult and others, ought to think first before they wilfully hurt Irish children who are educated enough to read this appalling and inaccurate 'lone parent bashing'. These people seem to have us Lone Parents...

blather.net
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Today we salute Kevin Myers, possibly the greatest mong on the island of Ireland. And Lord knows, there's quite some competition... The Irish Times has carried yet another turgid rant from Supertroll Kevin Myers - again disgracing the pages where Flann O'Brien once wrote. Having previously insulted just about every ethnic, religious and secular group in the country, Supertroll has turned his attentions to unmarried mothers. Or, as he so delightfully puts it 'MoB's' - Mothers of Bastards. Copyright laws prohibit me from copying the complete text of the article, but I'll give you just this small sample of Supertroll's latest discharge: "Even as things stand, we are bribing the unmotivated, the confused, the backward, the lazy into making the worst career decision of their young lives, and becoming professional unmarried mothers, living off the State until the grave takes over. Our welfare system is creating benefits-addicted, fatherless families who...