Posted by Jason O on Apr 16, 2009 in Irish Politics
You can't play hurling with a scalpel either!
Imagine being told that someone you loved had a brain tumour that could kill them, but the good news was that it was operable. Imagine the relief. Then you meet the surgeon. He doesn’t know anything about brain surgery. Never done it before, never even that interested in it. But Jaysus, you want to see him with a hurley in his hand. Pure magic. You’d feel better, right? Knows f**k all about brain surgery, which is what you would like him to know, but what about the hurling?
Curiously, whereas we expect our pilots, surgeons, firemen, electricians, plumbers and butchers to actually have experience in what they are doing, we don’t apply the same rule to the people we choose to run our €180 billion economy, or our €50 billion national budget.
There was much speculation recently that iconic goalkeeper Packie Bonner was about to be chosen to represent Fianna Fail in the forthcoming European Elections, in the hope of winning one of the twelve seats out of 750 seats in the parliament to which Ireland is entitled.
He turned it down. The fact is, Packie Bonner is a national hero, and rightly so. But has he ever expressed anything to make us believe that he would make a good legislator at European level? Maybe I am doing him a disservice. Perhaps Mr. Bonner is both interested and well informed on European issues, and if so, then I apologise. But that will be news to many, and if not it raises a bigger point about what sort of people our parties are choosing to run, and the subsequent effect on how are country itself is run.
I would not choose many of these guys to perform surgery on me, not because I doubt their decency or compassion, but their lack of expertise in that particular field. Why should we not apply that rule to how we run our country?
Posted by Jason O on Apr 15, 2009 in Just stuff
- Ah, self publishing. For when life has finally beaten the crap out of you.
I enjoy writing a bit of fiction as it is cheaper than therapy and not as illegal as taking drugs. So, rather than leave it in filing cabinets to be mocked by the executors of my will, I’m going to sling some of it up here so that it can be mocked in my lifetime.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 15, 2009 in Not quite serious.
Morgan Fairchild: Her hair appears on Pilot's Survey maps, honest!
When I was growing up in the 1980s Dallas and Dynasty were the big shows. It was all shoulder pads and big hair (Not just for the woman either.) and the queen of big hair was the American actress Morgan Fairchild, who when she wasn’t dating John Kerry was pretty much resident vixen in every US soap you can think of.
I bring this up because as I wander through Dundrum shopping centre I see that the Morgan Fairchild look is now back with the young ones. All around me I’m seeing tiny little faces sticking out of giant peacock arrays of hair that really look like they should be attached to the back of some Carribean beauty at the Notting Hill carnival.
How much effort goes into this construct? Is planning permission required? Surely a “Wide Load” sticker should be required at the back, at least?
Posted by Jason O on Apr 14, 2009 in Just stuff
, Not quite serious.
Is there an interracial marriage goin' on here?
I recently came across this ad from the National Organisation for Marriage, a US anti-same-sex marriage organisation. It’s very clever in its use of minorities and also the fact that all the states named are traditional “liberal” states. This allows for it to portray itself as being essentially moderate (Not full of Southern bible bashers) and to mobilise conservative voters in blue states.
But what’s really fascinating is the use of language. Note the phrase “Some advocates of same-sex marriage”. They are, of course telling the truth. Some extreme advocates of same-sex marriage do say loopy things. But then, some extreme anti-same-sex marriage advocates are anti-semitic, racist and want to kill homosexuals. Do we really believe that those nutters speak for the whole anti-same-sex marriage lobby? Of course not. The key message at the heart of this ad is that same-sex marriage is somehow being made compulsory, that all churches will be forced to recognise same-sex marriage, which is of course ridiculous.
One actor (They’re all actors) talks about how concerned she is that her children are learning that gay marriage is okay. Is that really a problem? 50 years ago interracial marriage would have been in the same category. Should they raise that issue too? After all, President Obama is only half black, but his wife has two black parents? What sort of example is he setting for that woman’s children, loving his wife and raising his children properly? Disgraceful!
I can understand there are many people who do not wish to be part of a same-sex marriage, and nor should they be forced to. But to claim that it will damage traditional marriage is just plain odd. The biggest single threat to traditional marriage is adultery. Why don’t they advocate banning that? I suspect that is something conservative “family values” advocates might have a problem with, for obvious reasons. Airport toilet, anyone?
Posted by Jason O on Apr 13, 2009 in Not quite serious.
The crew of the Maersk Alabama on hearing that their captain had been rescued by US Navy Seals on orders from President Obama. Is it just me or does the guy on the far right in the white teeshirt look less than thrilled? Kinda ” Yay…..Yeah, it’s great he’s okay (Shit, I’m going to have to give him back that captain’s uniform I’ve been wearing in my cabin. Damn!)” The guy in the middle obviously has a question, and the guy in the red seems to be hailing a taxi. Well you would, wouldn’t you? The place is full of f**king pirates! Actually, I’m not sure that the guy in the grey teeshirt clutching the US flag isn’t a pirate who realised he’s caught on the wrong boat, and cheering the most enthusiastically so that no one stops and goes “Wait a minute, who the hell are you?” Which, incidentally, seems to be exactly what the guy in the checkered shirt is thinking.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 13, 2009 in Not quite serious.
It's not just clipboards anymore at Corporate Enforcement!
Memo from The Director of Corporate Enforcement to An Taoiseach.
With regard to my request for additional funding for investigating Anglo Irish Bank I’ve included a breakdown as to where the money will be going:
1. A Rack. We can pick up one cheap from Madame Tussaud’s where they’re remodelling the chamber of horrors. €10,000.
2. Branding Irons. I feel that the sound of banker arse sizzling will do wonders for the nation’s morale. On top of that, one can not underestimate the deterrent power of seeking ODCE branded on a fellow’s banker’s buttock down at the gym. Can get second hand from Iraq. €2,000.
3. 200 copies of “Waterboarding for Dummies” Secondhand from Guantanamao Bay. €1,000.
4. A car battery, a bowl of water, a pair of rubber gloves, some jump leads and a roll of industrial tape. One of the lads got a “24″ boxset for Christmas and this looks like a bit of gas.
We’ve spoken to the civil liberties people,and when we told them who was “assisting us with our inquiries” they told us to knock ourselves out. We’ll let you know how we get on!
All the best,
The gang at Corporate Enforcement.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 10, 2009 in Irish Politics
I recently noticed this photo of FF candidate Tara De Buitlear on Facebook under the caption “Fighting Graffitti on Charles O’Toole Bridge” and was fascinated by it. Fighting graffitti? How? By actually just standing in front of the wall, which, to give her credit, is a novel approach, in that it’s pretty damn rare to hear of candidates for municipal office being spraypainted.
By the way, is that FG TD Brian Hayes in the middle of the photo? You wouldn’t dare spray graffitti on him. In the same ways swans can break people’s arms (Never met anyone who has had an arm broken by any form of waterfowl. I think it’s all spin by the waterfowl lobby to make themselves look hard, the same way the rodent lobby say rats can chew through steel. Sure if rat teeth were that hard we’d build space shuttles and deepsea submarines out of them, surely. But I digress.) Brian Hayes could give you a nasty bite and leave you covered in indignant statistics. Is that Charlie O’Connor there too? No surprises there. Charlie’d give the Holy Ghost a run for his money in terms of being everywhere in Tallaght at once. He’ll be appearing in the stations of the cross next.
Tara’s website link seems to be down, so here is her Facebook link. Well, if I’m going to take the piss I might as well give her a bit of publicity. Only polite, really.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 10, 2009 in Books
, Irish Politics
Seriously, don't judge this by its cover!
Anton Savage’s “Spin and Win” has an awful cover which does the book itself a terrible disservice. The well-known communications consultant has written a concise and very readable book about how Irish politicians get elected, and it is well worth a read.
What I found interesting about the book was the key points that rang true for me as a former political activist. Often, people who write books about Irish politics tend to take a cynical, theoretical view as opposed to a realistic one based on actual experience.
In particular, Savage points out that:
· Parachute candidates, particularly from a business background, always feel that they are exploiting the simpleton party members. It is more often the other way around.
· Don’t be afraid to always ask for a specific numbered vote.
· Don’t ever go into politics expecting voters to be grateful.
· Focus groups are a waste of time, and why.
It has its weaknesses. He is very eager to reference every book he has read on the subject, but most of them, in fairness, are worth mentioning.
When I go to buy a book, I always skim through it in the shop, trying to see if I can imagine myself actually enjoying reading it. I flicked open at this paragraph, and this set, very much, the tone of the book for me, where he sums up the unique selling points of Irish political parties as people really see them:
Fianna Fail: We’ll do whatever will keep you happiest.
Fine Gael: We’re dull but we mean well.
Labour: We wish it was the 1970s.
Sinn Fein: We don’t shoot people anymore.
Finally, just buy it for the story as to why Garrett Fitzgerald had a disco ball hanging from the ceiling of his study. The answer is simplicity itself.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 9, 2009 in Just stuff
- No one furrowed brow like The Shatner!
In the 1980s William Shatner played TJ Hooker in the cop show of the same name. I recently came across the credits for the show.
Two questions: Where does he get his car-exploding bullets from? and what the hell is going on in Los Angeles with the flammable car thing?Note also the sly jibe at the driving skills of female police officers.
Enjoy a blast from the past here.
Posted by Jason O on Apr 8, 2009 in Just stuff
There might be votes in this yet!
News from Vermont. Admittedly, Vermont is probably the most socially liberal state in the US (All those wealthy New Yorkers who flee Manhattan) but what is fascinating here is that it was the state legislature who voted it through, and overruled the governor. In other words, they decided that there were votes in it.
The times, they are a-changing.