Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Big in Japan

The Washington Post's marvellous Tom Boswell brilliantly excoriates Major League Baseball's decision to have the opening day of the season played in Tokyo.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Bang Bang, Bang Bang, Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang

Guy's after buiding a flying car. Makes you feel like cheering, don't it?

Monday, March 29, 2004

The Hurler on the Ditch

McDonald's are sponsoring some sort of hurling promotion at moment where the big bucks of the most famous restaurant chain on planet Earth are being used to promote and keep alive this most ancient, and Irish, of games.

How noble of them. Plenty of hurling should certainly help our young people run off the vast amount of condition they would gain on any one visit to McDonald's, so there's a pleasing symmetry about all this. However, their choice of hurler to promote this enterprise, currently pictured on those papers they put on the tray, is a surprising one. Who is that man nervously balancing a sliothar on the bás of his camán, surrounded by adoring young people decked out in McDonald's sportswear? Is it DJ Carey, or is he too busy chasing up and down after criminals on the dual carriageways of Erin? DJ's fellow top Cat Eddie Keher perhaps, a well known enemy of the drink and thus surely in favour of any move to keep young people away from John Barleycorn? Setanta Ó hAlpín would have been marvellous, if he hadn't fecked off to Oz. Jamesie? Leahy? The only man left in Wexford who's still on the panel?

None of the above. Who is it only that well know Laoch na hIomanaíochta, Searbhreatnach Mac Loch an Adhmaid. Or, to give him his slave name, Justin Timberlake.

Jesus H. Christ. Have we no pride at all?

Friday, March 26, 2004

A Tour de Force

Writing for newspapers can be a depressing and soul-destroying business, but every now and again a man can break his bonds and write for Art and posterity. Simon Jenkins achieves it in today's London Times. Ostensibly writing a feature about that survey that came out during the week with the Plain English lobby bitching about clichés, Jenkins takes the opportunity to extemporise on the whole notion of language in general, and English in particular, as a Heraclitean fire, always changing and always the same.

Writing abou the changing nature of BBC radio, Jenkins writes: "Chat would be awful if composed only of perfectly structured sentences. It must embrace tones of light and dark, laughter and annoyance. We have passed from the Pre-Raphaelite precision of Lord Reith to the Post-Impressionism of the Today programme." Wouldn't you just kill to be able to write like that?

Sign up for the Times and treat yourself. It really is superb.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ar Lámh Amháin, Ar Lámh Eile

There are some human endevours, going on for years and years just a little below the popular culture radar, that just renew and reinvigorate your faith. You start to think that maybe humanity hasn't been such a disaster after all. This is one of them.

And my dear God, this is not.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Bíonn an Siúltach, Scéaltach

Amazing stuff. Some buckaroo beyond in Boston, Mass, has written a book about travelling around Ireland on a donkey in 1979 - The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims, it's called, and there's an interview with the author in the Boston Globe.

The most fascinating, and maybe the saddest, thing about the book is that it's only really of relevence now, now that the Ireland Kevin O'Hara writes about is dead and gone. If a guy goes around Ireland now with the idea of crashing in a house ever eight or ten miles, he'll have a few dogbites in the arse of his trousers to remember the Emerald Isle by, and that'd be about it.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Look at Mother Nature on the Run in the 1980s

While your correspondent arises from his slumbers he likes to listen to Morning Ireland, so that An Spailpín is always aware of what's going on. This morning, Cathal MacCoille was interviewing RTÉ's "Chief News Correspondent," Charlie Bird, about Tom Gilmartin's evidence at the Mahon Tribunal yesterday. If you click on the link you'll notice that Charlie persistently ties up the Gilmartin evidence with "fascinating insights into planning in the 1980s."

Charlie me darlin', do you really think all this stopped on December 31st, 1989, and then some bunch of fiscally correct Germans started running the country? Duisigh a mhac, agus bolaigh ar an gcaife.

I don't know why there aren't riots in the streets, I really don't.

Thursday, March 04, 2004


If you still haven't got over the end of Buffy (even though we all know that Buffy really ended after Episode 100, The Gift), you may still visit, the number one online resource for Buffy fans. Now that the Warner Brothers TV Channel has announced that Angel is finally getting the (silver) bullet, there's a little campaign brewing to save the undead Irishman.

Lads, don't bother. Angel was never any good in the first place, and now that's it's taken the more conventional format of self-contained episodes, it's especially dull and boring. If you insist on saying that Angel is somehow worthwhile, conduct the following experiment: rent The Simpsons' Spinoff Showcase, where Troy McClure presents Chief Wiggum: PI, and then go back and watch an episode of Angel. I rest my case.

Final Year Exams at the University of Georgia

American College sports exist chiefly to populate the professional leagues. Different schools spout different pieties about how their aim to educate and develop fine young men to take their place in the world, but the fact of the matter is if they find a prospect who can play nose tackle or point guard, the college finds a course to suit the student, rather than try and shoehorn him into Metaphysical Philosophy of the Middle Ages, or somesuch.

This practice has now reached its zenith in the University of Georgia's Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball. Click here to take the final year exam.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Aramaic Glossary

As the excitement about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ mounts, the Guardian has published a handy Guide to Aramaic. Marvellous.