Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A US senator hits bang on the nose why people the republicans are hypocrites over gay marriage. This is what you call a put down..
The entire Series of Friends in 90 seconds
A musical interlude
Mencia: America Without Immigrants
The caption on the November issue of Empire magazine reads Bond Begins, acknowledging how the producers behind ‘Casino Royale’ sought to reinitiate the Bond series in the same vein as ‘Batman Begins’. I took issue with this before I ever laid eyes on the finished film as aside from the fact that ‘Batman Begins’ does not even stand up to a second viewing, I felt the last Bond film ‘Die Another Day’, despite being far from a pitch perfect film was no where near as terrible as ‘Batman and Robin’ and certainly did not justify prematurely ending Pierce Brosnan’s term as Bond.
As to the consequences of such a reimagining I need not have worried, Martin Campell (director also of ‘Goldeneye’ and ‘Zorro’) and his team have not embraced a new vision for Bond in any respect. This is over two hours of product placements for mobile phones, cars and brands of Vodka (Bond even walks through Duty-Free at the airport to cram in as many brand names as possible). The audacity and knowing intendres of previous Bonds allow them to escape labels of cynical marketing to a certain degree (they were event movies after all), however Casino Royale in no way earns itself an ounce of integrity or quality and in being so market driven showed this movie up to be an abandonment of decades old tradition to make a quick buck.
The film is episodic- ‘Bond becomes a ‘00’, ‘Bond chases a terrorist’, ‘Bond stops an airplane plot’, ‘Bond plays cards’, ‘Bond falls in love’ and ‘The Twist’. The story lumbers along, there is an overuse of establishing shots, zooming in unnecessarily on exotic locations umpteen times so that the film looses pace and any effort at tension, the screen fades to black so many times as if to end (and you secretly wish it was over) only to launch again into tired hackneyed dialogue and as much charm as a stapler.
There is no clear wind change, the film is merely the Bond we know minus what makes Bond distinctive. It is merely an extra plot point, a few lines of dialogue, that mark this as Bonds first mission. Inexplicably, Bonds relationship with ‘M’ remains that of the Brosnan series. ‘M’ (Judi Dench) comments in ‘The World is Not Enough’ that Bond is the best they have though she would never tell him, here after only his first two kills she seems to have the same faith in him without any basis, even accepting clear instances where he crosses boundaries. The character of M is overused, no longer appearing to cut him down to size or act with excellent authority, she has now become part of a seemingly dithery spy agency that gather haphazardly around computer screens. There was no need to end the era of gadgets completely and even more frustratingly, what technology does present itself is an insult to the audiences intelligence, in particular Bonds sourcing of a text message using CCTV cameras early in the film.
There is a complete vacuum of any charisma or engagement with the film, this is not a slur on Craig who does a commendable job- however he is playing the part of an action star not a super-spy. If the story was constructed so that we could appreciate he was a novice spy or only developing his skills maybe we could be accepting of his character, instead all we have is a well-dressed thug. Bond appeals to audiences despite the lack of a back-story because of how suave he is, how magnetic he is to the ladies and how proficient he is in a crisis. All he does here is throw punches, it seems his one civilised skill is playing cards and really he doesn’t seem very good at that. Why not truly shake things up and bring us back to his training, his first meeting with ‘M’ or even a flashback to his youth, anything that lead us to believe we were truly being treated to a new vision.
Most disastrously, Bond joins us in the real world, of course the series has always tried to be relevant, Bond went into space as the height of Star Wars euphoria in the 70s and Timothy Dalton had a lot less one-night stands during the height of AIDS awareness. However, with the appearance of a suicide bomber and the utterance of the words 9/11 I feel the series has changed immeasurably, Bond is now trying to save the world we live in, he is no longer part of a world with ludicrously named and even more ludicrously clad girls, meglomaniacs with plans of world domination and besotted secretaries. The villains are merely money hungry and the mission is to stop terrorism. I realise that fear of change and progression could be thrown at me in being accused of being too harsh, but in its consistency the Bond series is a prisoner of its own fortune and to be inventive, humorous and appealing to modern audiences within this genre of their own would be far more impressive than abandoning the world they created.
The film models itself most on ‘Batman Begins’ when it turns out there is no real bad guy, though again there is no full commitment to this- there is a primary villain, Le Chiffe who is presented as the main evildoer and then a succession of hench men and string pullers as the ‘story’ comes to an end who don’t render so much as a line of dialogue. There is an attempt at intrigue and then an all too obvious twist as the story has no where else to go.
The film never thrills, the opening chase on foot through a construction site goes on too long and a chase between Jeremy Clarkson (in a car obviously enough!) and two young ‘climbers’ across London in an episode of ‘Top Gear’ was shot better and was more dramatically. I was left completely flummoxed as to how Bond traced a henchman to an exact location in Miami and the entire lead up to an airport set sequence that I knew there and then the film could not be saved. The card sequences are as tense as an episode of Bear in the Big Blue House. A stairwell fight is surely a tribute to the Bourne Identity, the true film this coat is dragging the coat tails of and by the time we get to the ‘climax’ in Venice and how badly out of sync the interior and the exterior of the building is edited together you truly wish that even Roger Moore would turn up and tell us this has all been a bad dream.
These stunts are intercut with a development of the love story, which is never convincing and during their first interaction on a train and later in the hotel suite attempts are made at ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ style chemistry, the outcome of which is a form of roadside sludge. Eva Green does as a fine job as Vesper Lynd but give any thought to her characters motives on leaving the cinema and her refusal to offer extra funds for Bonds card playing will seem non-sensical and the entire plot of the movie comes apart. This film is a half measure, it can neither lay claim to relaunching the series nor can it lay claim to being a flawed but memorable entry in a well-established series. Very disappointed.
Update: Electic News Confirms the story. Going, going, Goggin
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The Irish approach is one of little patience. We take the 'lazy mans load' option and bring the Christmas decorations down out of the attic when we're bringing down the jack-o-lanterns and the old sheets to make ghost costumes. It saves us of making the second trip, n'est pas. Indeed in some parts of our fair Isle Christmas is ushered in so early that last year I had the misfortune of being subjected to 'Fairytale of New York' in the week leading up to Halloween. I kid you not.
Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. It is without doubt my favourite time of the year, and God help me, I need it. Its the one thing I look forward to each year more than anything. Even at 23, I still see some magic in it. That's why this type of carry on upsets me. I fear that through the annual overkill, eventually I'll grow to hate Christmas.
As I began, this year I've been away for the all of october and November but I can guess that little has changed in 12 months and Christmas is still being forced down the throats of the Irish people. In New Zealand things are a little different.
The Kiwis have a relaxed atmosphere to Christmas. Like Ireland decorations have been up since the start of November, however only in certain shops and I have yet to see any street decorations. Unlike Ireland, television is not a river of Christmas adverts. I have yet to see Santa Claus, polar bears, Coca Cola trucks etc. During a commercial break. Today, as I walked past a bar, I was startled to hear John Lennon's 'War is over' and then I realised that it was the first time I'd accidentally heard a Christmas song during this year. Yes, I have made it to within 4 weeks of Christmas without hearing a Christmas song (save one exception set out in the next paragraph). I must say this has been very refreshing.
However, I regret to say that there are problems with the build up over here and it has something to do with the weather. New Zealanders are just about to begin their summer and the weather is improving and the nights are getting long. Last weekend I caught U2 in Auckland. On Sunday there was a Santa Claus parade for the kids in the city. The place was packed and the parade was something like a St. Patricks day parade. As much as I enjoyed it, the whole event seemed odd given the glorious sunshine it took place in. Similarly, two weeks ago I was in Sydney and I can tell you that a man standing next to a Christmas tree in 28 degree heat wearing a t-shirt, shorts, flip flops and sun glasses, just looks wrong.
Perhaps this is why I haven't heard Christmas songs until now, or seen too many decorations. Dean Martin singing about how bad the weather is and, just like Bing, wishing for snow, would sound a little silly given the surroundings and climate. Ditto for Santa Claus and his big red coat and sleigh. For me, the run up to Christmas needs cold, dark (preferably dry) evenings illuminated by fairy lights to create the right atmosphere.
I will be back in Ireland two weeks before Christmas and I will therefore have the luxury of the best of both worlds; a proper build up to Christmas that starts in December and not October.
However, what am I to do next year?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
When I read this on RTE (Dept to appeal ruling in dyslexia case) about the department of Education discriminating against people I was not sure how I should responded. I haven’t been made this angry by Brian Dobson since the time when they would interrupt the Den to bring coverage of the Budget. I used to think Mary Haffin was a decent politician the kind we needed in the future. But no she is in fact the kind the country does not need. This post contains some fowl language so if you are easily offend. Well tough.
One of the big things now in Education from the all the parties is the need for more special needs teaching and care etc. With Mary ”discriminate” Haffin telling us how she is oh so committed to disabilities and all that crap. And yes that is what it is crap, bull, spin, shite. She could not give a flying shit about disabilities in the education sector. If she really did we would not have this disgraceful case been taken and not only defended but appealed. Yes the Department of Education wants to appeal the right to discriminate. They feel hard done by. Not the people who they have singled out as some kind of sub beings labelled as inadequate to part taken in society as an equal citizen. No Mary “discriminate” Haffin is the one that is hard done by.
The Department of Education argued the case that by giving the students wavers in the exam they had given the pupils in the exam an advantage over the other students thus they have to add the footnotes stating that their marks were not really that good.
Now I feel I need to point out the reason for the waver step by step because it seems that the department does not quiet get why it does what is does I feel the need to educate them. So for any department members reading this, this is for you.
The reason that they give the wavers was because the students were at a disadvantage in the first place. With me so far? The object of the exercise of giving the wavers is that they don’t suffer this disadvantage i.e. The advantage of not marking spelling cancels out the disadvantage of not being able to spell. Ok? Now here is the tricky bit. Thus they are even with the rest of the students. Got it? Quiet logical isn’t it. So drop the appeal.
What god dahm use is giving someone a waver if you are going to say that they got that waver and thus their marks don’t really count. I mean does everyone else see the sheer lunacy in that suggestion. What the f**k is the point of the waver in that case. In fact what is the point of giving them a leaving cert at all if you are just going to give them a “special cert” f**k it how about sod the Certs altogether and just give them gold stars for turning up on the day.
This is not spelling test we are talking about we are talking about the Leaving Cert. It is a bit beyond the realm of spelling test. Does mis-spelling Bismarck make your argument that he was the most important man in reuniting Germany any less valid. No of course not does mis-spelling infatuated make the argument that Yeats fancied Maud Gonne any less valid. NO IT DOES NOT. I wrote this post in word and have used the spell checker without it my post would be full of spelling and grammar errors but would the argument change. NO it would not.
Marking a Leaving Cert paper down for spelling especially in the case of someone who actually has a difficult problem spelling these words is just a lesson in being an arsehole. Sorry I know there is a lot of grammar police out there. Hell I have had many a person on Internet boards think it better to point out my spelling mistakes then actually deal with my points. And that is just being a pedantic wanker.
All people with dyslexia want is a chance to make something of there lives. They didn’t ask to be dyslexic, they didn’t ask to mix up “but” and “put”, they have worked hard. Indeed many of them have had no special needs teaching thanks to the department and have had to worker harder then their counterparts to get to the same level. But they did it, they don’t complain and all they ask for and it really is a very minor request is that mis-spelling words is not used to dock marks from other wise fine arguments. That they be allowed a chance to get a head in life to make something of themselves, to go to college to get good jobs, to use their intellect to better their lives and contribute to society. But no Mary does not want to give them that chance.
I myself am dyslexic. I got no special treatment in marking of my exams and it did effect my results profoundly. And It did change my life. Whether or not it was for the better I will never know. But I think I got lucky. There are many people who aren’t as lucky as me. Who lose out on their chance at doing something not because they can’t do what they want to do but because they mis-spelled words in an Exam when they were 17/18. This ruling wants to give them that chance at life, the Department of the Education want to stop them. Because heaven for bid someone who mis-spells wants a fair crack at an exam.
Fianna Fail has lost my vote.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"This house believes torture is a legitimate tool in the war on terror". In Proposition: Derek Lande (3rd best debater in the world according to the World Debating Championship 2006. Lorcan Price (top notch guy) In Opposition: Abie Philbin Bowman (writer with The Dubliner and performer of "Jesus the Guantanamo Years". Abubaker Deghayes (campaigning for the release of his brother who is currently interned in Guantanamo Bay).On Thursday in the Kirwan.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, a Maronite Christian leader, has been killed in the capital, Beirut. Mr Gemayel, a leading anti-Syrian politician, was reportedly shot in the street in a Christian suburb and rushed to hospital, where he died. His death comes amid a political crisis in Lebanon, following the resignation of six pro-Syrian cabinet members.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Roast Duck Leg with a Port and cider sauce. Now there was a bit too much sauce. So really the liquid parts of the dish are probably enough for about 3-4 legs.
1 Duck Leg,
A Drop of Port,
Half a can of Cider,
A dlop of honey.
100 mls of cream
Salt and Pepper and Mixed Herbs
Firstly take the duck with a knife and put some light cuts across the skin. Rub into this salt black pepper and mixed Herbs. Using a Grill pan fry the Duck until the skin is brown an all sides. This should take a few minutes.
Core the apples and cut in half and cut the curve out of the apple. Place the apples on to a roasting tin. Put a dlop of honey on to these apples and rest the duck onto the halves. Deglaze the grill pan with the port and then add some soy sauce and the cider.
Stir this a bit over a low heat and then pour over the duck. Place the roasting tin in the oven at 180c.for about an Hour. Every so often baste the duck.
After about 55 minutes. Add some mushrooms garlic pepper and onion to the grill pan and fry. Once the onions are done. Drain the sauce from the roasting pan and add to the grill pan with the cream and stir until it looks like it is done.
Then add the Duck and the apple too a plate and pour over the sauce. I had it with Cous Cous.
Friday, November 17, 2006
2 Fillets of Trout, (I was hungry)
Cream (maybe 150mls),
half a small Onion
First take the rashers and fry them and the onion in a little olive oil. When the rashers are cooked take them out of the pan and leave a side. If you are very hungry make a rasher sandwich but if you can resist keep them warm. Next fry the onions until translucent as they say. Reduce the heat and add the cream and the tarragon and simmer. This is the sauce add a squezze of lemon to this sauce just before the fish is done.
Next take a grill pan. Remember fish is usually best when it is very simply done. So take the fish and lightly dust it with some flour. Next take some butter and melt it in a grill ban. Once the butter is melted and not burnt. Place the fish flesh side down in the grill pan for about a minute. Next flip the fish over on to the skin side and fry until down. (maybe 5 minutes) .
Once the fish is done, place it one a plate with the rashers and drizzle over the sauce. Serve with some of My flatmates mum's rice.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This is what human rights watch have to say about him
During his nearly four years in power, Kabila regularly and ruthlessly violated the human rights of the Congolese people, killing, torturing, imprisoning, and causing the "disappearance" of any who he thought threatened him or his regime. Among those who suffered most were political opponents, leaders of civil society, human rights activists, and journalists."
He also tried and failed to start a revolution in Panama and went to fight in Bolivia where he died. Of the Bolivian’s he said “The peasant masses don’t help us at all” not exactly the words a leader of the people fighting the popular fight more like the leader of a revolution that is not popular. Unlike in Iraq where 129,700 have joined the Iraqi Army and where 72% of the population voted in the Election brought about by the US.
Also Che was known as the Butcher of the Cabaña where is reported to have killed hundreds of prisons “enemy’s of the revolution” read people who have a different opinion. During the Cuban revolution 1 in 17 people in Cuba were political prisoners. Do you see Bush doing this? No of course not, neither do I see the people that disagree like Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan and Naom Chomsky spending time in prison. But would Che or Castro extend the same right to free speech to his people? Of course not. You can read a list of the people che order to be killed here. His labour camps were used and are still used to “house” dissidents, homosexuals, AIDS patients, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses and Afro-Cuban priests. But of course none of this matters because Cuba has a great health service.
Che was an advocate of Nuclear war speaking after the Cuban missile crisis he said.
“If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all and directed them against the very heart of the United States, including New York, in our defence against aggression.”
Also after killing his first person this is what he wrote in his diary.
I ended the problem giving him a shot with a .32 pistol in the right side of the brain, with exit orifice in the right temporal. He gasped for a little while and was dead. Upon proceeding to remove his belongings I couldn’t get off the watch tied by a chain to his belt, and then he told me in a steady voice farther away than fear: Yank it off, boy, what does it matter. I did so and his possessions were now mine.
Not the nicest thing to say certainly that kind of cold blood sentiment would not be gone a miss from a psychopathic serial killer. Then again maybe that is what Che was a psychopathic serial killer and if I want to make a few bob I should head down to Shannon Airport and try and flog a few Mara Henley T-Shirts there might be a few willing buyers in the peace camp.
After Che was executed in Bolivia the guards removed his Rolex watch. How many working class people do you know with Rolex watches indeed how many middle class people do you know with Rolex watches. Not many I wager. Not exactly a model of class solidarity now is it.
Che enjoyed war purely for a love of violence and adventure while in Guatemala he wrote “It was all a lot of fun, what with the bombs, speeches, and other distractions to break the monotony I was living in.”
As for his ideas about running the country the San Francisco Gate offers us this.
The great revolutionary also had a chance to put into practice his economic vision as head of the National Bank of Cuba and of the Department of Industry of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform at the end of 1959 and, starting in early 1961, as minister of industry.
This period saw the near-collapse of Cuba's sugar production, the failure of industrialization and the introduction of rationing -- all this in what had been one of Latin America's four most economically successful countries since before the Batista dictatorship.
This can not be simply explained away by the American embargo of goods that came into being in 1961 as much of the crops were bought by the Soviet Union which took the economic place of the US.
Che Gureva was an evil man who cared little for human life. So next time you are wearing a che t-shirt and calling Bush a evil warmongering so and so, think about the man not the myth and thank what ever divine entity you want that you are protesting against Bush and not Che. Because have no illusions about it. Che would kill you.
And if you have no problem supporting and sporting Che T-shirts. I really can’t see your problem with George W Bush
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
It seems that Fox has clamped down on the Youtube for showing the trailer and it has been removed. You can still catch it here on Quicktime
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
It started off by her telling us about her evening. She got back from work at about 6 and sat down exhausted to have a drink and a fag. Then her 12 year old son rang up from boarding school wondering was she coming to his show. She went what show. Seemingly her son was in the school production of West Side story. So she had to get up and go to the show. Now you really have to wonder why someone sends a 12 year old son to a bordering school that is near enough that you can go to a school play see it and come back to go drinking in a pub by 10. She was quiet drunk so must have been in the pub for a while. She said the show was terrible, her friend had to point out her son who was the only boy in a dance troop dressed up in a tight costume which she thought was stupid. And she was not impressed by his performance. Myself and my friend both found it strange that a mother would not think what ever her 12 year old son did was amazing.
My friend then asked her what were the guards called out side Buckingham palace. (we had just been at a quiz and it was a disputed question. So we talked about that and that brought up the Irish guards. And how great Tim Collins was, how her first husband died in the Falklands and how Tim Collins was fucked over by a yankiee taxi driver. How all the boys in the army loved him. Her husband then said that he talked to a guy who worked under him. Who said he was a very tough guy. To which she replied that was great. So then she talked about how she went to the same university as we are in. She did History and English and is a solicitor started telling us about Henry the 8th and how he thought the Irish were all monkeys. She also said we oppress women and that she would hate to live in Ireland.
Then she asked me was I from northern Ireland. I said no I am from the south. And she started talking about Northern Ireland. (Oh dear I hear you say) So she was asking me about and I told her my view about it. And I said well what ever the people vote for is fine by me. Then her husband said his grandmother was from Killarny and was it very nice. And I did my bit for the Irish tourist board. He then asked where was the Irish guy from who won the Nobel prise beginning with T. I went Trimble. He went ya where is he from. I said he I think somewhere near Belfast. Then the women went . Ya he fucked up the whole process and “your boys are still fighting.” I went they are not my boys . She went yes they are your boys. Why does Ireland want Northern Ireland. And I said we gave up our claim she didn't believe me.
That was the only time I have ever been basically called a terrorist. Anyway then she went on about Scotland and how she loved the Scottish national party because that would mean that those fuckers would piss off as they are taking all our money. We said but what about all the gas they supply. Her reply was that they did test in the west country and there is more there then in the entire North Sea. We tried to point out that if there was there would be pumping it. But she wouldn't agree. And said that the reason for the Falklands war was oil as well.
Then here husband asked me what do I think of trade unions as she hated them and he was a socialist. I said they are needed but sometimes the leaders get a bit power hungry and try to influence more then their workers conditions. To which she said they are all so and so's and he (the husband) was a Labour supporter. Which he replied “see she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. See I am glad I knew my mother, she was raised by a nanny. I had a mammy she had a nanny.” At which point the women hit her husband and said how dare you talk about my personnel life in public.
At which point we made our excuses and left. As we walked away she said "Nice to meet you you scientist are the future". Once we left the pub we bust out laughing funniest conversation ever in away. And Another reason not to buy the Daily Mail.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
At this present time people are dying in war in Dafur. Far more then died in Lebanon and depending on what estimate you use equal or greater then in Iraq. But do you hear as much about it in the media. Do we see protestors marching to demand that the Irish government do something to stop the slaughter in Dafur? Do we see people demanding that Irelands stops sending weapons to Sudan.? Of course not because there is simply nothing in it for people to be against that war. How can you call Blacks, Neo-cons or imperialists or Zionists. It is simply not fun is it.
In the recent conflict in Lebanon about 1000 people died. In Dafur it is estimated that 400,000 people have died. Lets look at those figures again. Dafur 400,000. Lebanon 1000. So for every person that died in Lebanon 400 died in Dafur. Now surely that means the Dafur should get 400 times the coverage, 400 times the protests, 400 times the number of vigils, 400 times the student societies. Where is the Dafur Solidarity campaign?
I have been wondering this for ages now and I think I have figured it out 1 Palestinian is not equal 400 Africans. 1 Palestinian shot by an Israeli is worth 400 Africans shot by Africans. It is good to be anti-Israel. You get use funky catch phrases like Zionists and get to go around with a sense a false sense of pomposity that you somehow are more righteous person then everyone else as you agree with George Galloway’s PR spin.
You get to read in the English Independent Professor Ted Honderich: ‘Palestinians have a moral right to terrorism’ and feel see I am taking the intelligent view. Never realising that if you think someone has the moral right to blow children up you give the parents of the children the right to fight back. As Golda Meir said to Saddat “We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours”. But of course few see that argument. The right to defend ones self, the right to not recognise a political party whose constitution calls for your destruction, the right to search people at your own border crossing with the strongholds of that said party is not normal is it.
When Dr Zion Evnory, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, came to talk in Galway he was interrupted by people shouting “Free Palestine”, and “Death to Israel” at the point when he mentioned Hezbollah firing missiles from Civilian areas . Here is what noted Zionist puppet Human rights Watch have said about that claim
“Hezbollah fighters have attempted to store weapons near civilian homes and have fired rockets from areas where civilians live”.
Whether you believe it justifies Israeli policy it certainly is not as crazy as to justify the call for the extermination of a country. Why listen to someone when you can be a robotic brain-dead follower spotting out sound bits of moronic hate speech. Why instead of listening to someone bring someone of the opposing view like lets say Ibrahim El Moussaoui head of political programming at Hezbollah’s television station Al Manar. And then pretend to speak in the language of democracy (From Galway Advertiser)
Niall Farrell of the GAAW said Mr El Moussaoui had been invited to speak to “give the people of Galway the opportunity to hear Hezbollah’s side of the story”.
People want to give the people of Galway Hezbollah’s side of the story but not Israelis. What is the betting that the people who shouted Death to Israel will be hanging on Mr Moussaoui every word in silent reverence?
In this world shout out Death to Palestine you are quiet rightly named a racist shout out Death to Israel you’re called a liberal. Go fig.