Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Not Prostitutes, Styrofoam Helmets

Was how Ryan Adams described the meaning of his song “Starlite Diner” (I think!) tonight in the Olympia. One could also use the line to describe the vast character difference between the 2 live Ryan Adams – the one I was disgusted with after his last concert -  an hour long, Jack Daniel’s fuelled narcisstic “Rock n’ Roll” performance – and this one – the sensitive, witty, intense songwriter/musician with the Cardinals, his tight and talented, if slightly ugly band.

He played right up to 11, playing everything from old favourites such as Firecracker, New York, To Be Young, Shakedown on 9th Street, Bartering Lines – sounding like fantastic covers of his own songs to new stuff – Peaceful Valley, A Kiss Before I Go, Let it Ride and The End.

The old Ryan has returned – the one who invented Whiskeytown and stole my heart with that delightfully sexy photo on Heartbreaker – indulgently lying back with a cigarette clamped between his lips. He ended the concert by saying “text me later, we’ll talk”. With a performance like that, I don’t want to talk – I just want to hear it all again. And soon.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Crazy Animal Lovers Watch

I wish I had time to make a series out of crazy animal lovers - I've posted before about some nutty animal rights activists.
Fatmammycat has a beautifully ranted post on PETA's new ad campaign -"FEEDING KIDS MEAT IS CHILD ABUSE!". No it's not, it's common sense and good parenting.
Those animal rights activists do my head in, they do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Came So Far For Beauty

Was a very long concert – after 4 hours of some beautifully arranged Leonard Cohen songs, I’m fatigued in a happy-tired way. Some were not so good and I wonder if Hal Willner had adhered more tightly to the adage “leave them wanting more” would I think it was a better concert.
Beth Orton was amazing as was Nick Cave, Teddy Thompson, Antony (minus the Johnsons), Perla Batalla, Jarvis Cocker and the Handsome Family – actually, Separate Ways by Teddy Thompson and Through The Trees by the Handsome Family are playing as I type!
The highlight was of course Cohen’s writing – stunningly beautiful as ever, even in the arrangements I didn’t like – Gavin Friday + Mary Margaret O’Hara’s Hallelujah or Robin Holcomb’s Closing Time. Gavin Friday is a person I can barely stand – but slouched with his hands shoved in his pockets, warbling through a surprisingly good version of Everybody Knows, I briefly liked him. He dedicated it to Bertie Ahern – meet Dermot Ahern on the way into the concert – I don’t know if he was still there to hear it.
IF you can get tickets for Thursday night – go along, it’s a great evening.

(And if you can’t, here’s a link to Teddy Thompson’s superb cover of “Tonight Will Be Fine”)


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I’m Voting for this Tory Toff

Just saw Jacob Rees-Mogg on Newsround, discussing the Conservative Party’s selection process. When asked about the Tory’s ability to represent a cross-selection of British society, he answered (and I paraphrase) “you are elected to govern not to merely represent”.

I like it. Unadulterated disgust for politically correct notions of quota based political parties – and apparently he carries “a copy of the European Union's Directive relating to the shape of Bananas with him at all times.”

Monday, October 02, 2006

Go On, Shows Us Your Boobies

Despite the impression the title of this post might give, I have not turned into some mad breast fetishist – I’m referring to the 5th annual blogger Boobiethon – an online fundraising initiative for breast cancer.

Apparently “"If they're worth looking at, they're worth saving!" and the way this bare breasted gang of bloggers are going about raising money it is to post pictures of breasts – covered ones for free and naked ones in a paid members section.

I don’t think I’ve ever actually agreed with a post (with not being a feminist and all that) but I found myself in the unusual situation of nodding along to this post- I don't like the implication that certain parts of women's bodies are "worth saving" because they're sexy. Boobiethon is sending a message that breast cancer should be stopped because it claims beautiful breasts as its victims-- not because it's a horrible disease that's killing women. I'd almost prefer a website that featured women naked from the belly button up, and showed their faces. Because at least then you can see that this disease affects real women, not just disembodied breasts.  

I disagree with this campaign for number of reasons – the feministing reason above would be one.
Others would be that the objectification of breasts can’t be a good thing simply because it’s for a good cause.
Breast cancer is not about breasts, sexy or otherwise, it’s about women (and the small number of men) who get cancer. And cancer affects your body, your physiology, your person in a holistic way – it spreads, it attacks, it can kill all of you.
I’m nearly anti-breast cancer campaigns because they’ve become so woman/breast focused. I’m all for breast awareness, in the same way I’m all for young men knowing that lumps in their testicles should be checked out and middle-aged men with dribbling and hesitancy should be worried about their prostate – or smokers with heavy coughs, their lungs. Cancer awareness is about knowing the symptoms of early cancer that we can do something about – not just about standing up for breasts.

There are many other cancers that people get and their pictures aren’t as sexy – I doubt all but the most intense gastroenterologist could get excited at a picture of healthy pink colonic mucosa with normal glandular architecture – unfortunately live video footage of colonoscopies aren’t going to make every person who spends a little too long straining on the loo wear a little brown ribbon and walk for rectal cancer. Nor would pictures of healthy cervices make women run out for Pap smears.

Breast cancer is not a gender issue, it’s not a political issue. It’s a health issue. The funding of cancer research is something public and private interests are occupied with – ordinary people’s involvement with cancer research allows relatives and “survivors”/patients to contribute something. Saving women should become before saving boobies and fighting cancer as a disease entity should come first – which should translate in to things like urgently trying to reduce the number of women smoking as lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer, even though breast cancer is more common.

Sorry to disappoint, but my boobies are remaining covered and offline.


Johnny Cash's Worst Mistake

will be released on DVD at Hallowen entitled "Johnny Cash In Ireland – 1993".

Forget drink and drugs, as all Irish Johnny Cash fans know Sandy Kelly was his worst mistake.


I'm Not the Only One

who is against PDAs.

Not the Personal Digital Assistant thingies (am a newly proud owner of a little Dell one) but Public Displays of Affection.
I realise that I'm fairly weird but it really irritates me to see couples swooning over each other in Coast in Dundrum Shopping Centre, for example. Yes, man with spiky hair, your girlfriend looked nice in that white skirt with black patterns, but you didn't have to snog her in front of the mirror while other people (namely me) wanted to see how they looked in a nice black coat (for those of you interested, not nice enough to justify the 400euros).
Also, most people don't lose the capability to use table cutlery to feed themselves when they enter relationships - so you don't need to feed your significant other wilting potato salad in Brambles in Dundrum at 3pm on a Sunday.

And in a general note to the increasing number of people I know personally who read this blog, (even though I'm blogging less) my reluctance to hug you merely stems from an acuter awareness of my entitlement with regard to personal space than most. I don't need to hug you, nor do I need to be hugged/kissed/patted unless I'm crying.

I am therefore very gratified to read the online source of record, the Onion's report on Dave Petrun and Julie DeSimone, "the happiest goddam couple in the whole world"....

Though their initial May 30 joint outing went largely unnoticed, public opinion toward the couple dramatically shifted after it was revealed that DeSimone spooned frozen yogurt into Petrun's mouth during their second date three days later.

By the second week of June, their approval rating dropped below 40 percent in most national polls, after Petrun and DeSimone were spotted wedging their hands into each other's back pockets as they walked through an Oak Park neighborhood. By July, the rating plummeted even further after DeSimone asked Petrun which of her physical attributes he found cutest, and Petrun responded with a detailed list.

According to a Sept. 25 Zogby poll, 36 percent of Americans grimaced when Petrun playfully nudged DeSimone for no evident reason last Thursday, and 45 percent emitted a loud, annoyed sigh after Petrun sent flowers to DeSimone's workplace last Tuesday. One in three Americans characterized the way Petrun touched the small of DeSimone's back as he led her into the backseat of an awaiting taxi on the evening of Sept. 19 as "completely unnecessary."

On Wednesday, support lines across the country were flooded with calls complaining of moderate or intense nausea after DeSimone refused, and then eventually accepted, Petrun's hooded sweatshirt during an evening walk.

Online anti-canoodling blogs, such as the popular, are buzzing with rumors that Petrun and DeSimone broke into a brief, spontaneous slow dance near a Lake Street fountain on Sept. 20.

Unavailable for comment, Petrun and DeSimone are reportedly making plans to go backpacking across Europe during their six-month anniversary in November, prompting fears that their demonstrativeness could escalate international tensions.

May I add that my singleness has nothing to do with sense of deep empathy I share with those in daily contact with Dave and Julie.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Killing Me Quickly

I have yet to actually hold my Killers tickets for the Point but I know the friend who has them is minding them carefully. Up to this evening, based on “When We Were Young”, I wasn’t overly excited at the prospect of the concert, the new album, the whole “we think this is our best album” thing that every interview with them seems to have.
Now I have “Sam’s Town” in my sweaty paws and have spent the evening making Nigella Lawson’s Brownies (which makes 48 brownies, a fact I didn’t realise until I saw the mixture in the tin) and then eating same brownies, all while listening to it. Unlike the cool kids among you, my brownies have only 1 chemical substance – chocolate – and despite being 72% solid, it’s not enough to make me this excited. Sam’s Town, however is a different prospect – discounting “When We Were Young” and “Sam’s Town” – the album is brilliant – complete with enterludes/exitludes  (we hoped you enjoyed your stay…) – especially from track 5 (For Reasons Unknown”) onward.
I’m very excited – about the concert, about listening to this album over and over again, about the rest of my life. It’s that kind of album.