Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Operation Free For All

Before my wee rant, let me first welcome to Dublin the 140 boys and girls in blue (and fluorescent yellow) recently released from Templemore Garda Training College. I'm sure for many of them, being thrown in at the deep end must be a daunting experience. Being billeted around various junctions and intersections across Dublin is probably no-one's idea of fun. Add to this the icy temperatures recently and I, for one, wouldn't wish to be in their shoes. It must be totally scary for those lads and lassies who don't drive, have never driven and possibly who never want to drive, having to do point duty in our grid locked city as a million and one demon christmas shoppers converge on the capital.

That all said, I observed with some amusement last night, one young recruit's contribution to Operation Freeflow. Stationed at the Clare Street/Merrion Square junction, this baby-faced enforcer watched the traffic loop around Lincoln Place & Westland Row, and catch it's own tail at the aforementioned junction. This perfect vehicular circle forms whenever the traffic builds on Westland Row. The AA girls' code for this ("Traffic on Pearse is backed up to Macken Street"), is normally a blatant understatement and fails to deliver the futility of this regular event.

Garda Awestruck watched in wonder as 3 vehicles proceeded to park in the yellow box that is designed to stop this interminable loop the loop. Pedestrians had to cross between the stationary vehicles. Two of the three drivers had their mobile phones glued to their ears. In the moment's while I waited to cross this junction, I noticed these traffic code violations proceed without eliciting ever a modest raise of the cute Garda's eyebrow. When a space formed in the traffic queue, the first two drivers exited the box - breaking the red light and nearly knocking over 3 pedestrians - and 3 more cars illegally entered the yellow boxed area. One driver, incensed that Joe Public might cross "avec l'homme vert" rolled down his window and shouted a litany of curses at anyone who'd listen.

Through out all this, drivers in the 2 intersecting roads who were being impeded by this bad driving discipline sounded their horns long and hard - in a manner not heard since the last days of Radio Nova. And the cute wee boy in blue stood with a terrified look on his face wondering why his mother ever talked him into joining the 'Force!

We Irish love chaos and all the better if it is needlessly self perpetuated. We just don't get it and never will no matter how we pretend by naming the uncoordinated deployment of unsure or unskilled children after military sounding campaigns - Operation Freeflow indeed.

[First posted : 29 November 2005]

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Importance of Being Anonymous

Regular readers of blankpaige will know that I've fallen into a state of little blog postings for sometime now. There are many reasons for this. Not the least because of some disturbing e-stalking action that some of my harmless (pointless?) post elicited. Another reason was that my email address became under serious threat from a deluge of spam attacks.

Various bloggers have touched on the subject of anonymity before. I've two minds on the matter. I don't mind too much because I realise that we all reveal so much more about ourselves through our thoughts and comments. Although I suppose I wanted to decide what aspects of myself I reveal to Blogosphere and what pieces I don't. For this reason, I've stayed steadfast to my first rule and only rule of blogging - I won't meet any blogger for a coffee, drink or unbridled sexual action. (Sorry, Ben!)

Even though I'm no techno-head, I realise that there are certain steps and remedial actions that I can/could have taken to prevent the irritations of unwanted advances/comments. One simple and specific step would be to not allow anonymous comments be posted. However, I don't think it fair that I should "hide" behind my own level of anonymity but deny some other blogger who wants to comment that same privilege. Hence I haven't.

So this makes the posts by one particular anonymous (and quite obviously deranged) individual all the more irritating.

So Dear Anonymous-of-the-1000-words-of-pointless-irrelevant-crap-variety, please stop this shit. I don't read beyond the first sentence. You are wasting my time and your own life. Go get one.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

U guys are gr8!

When I first started checking out blogosphere, I was concerned it was all a bit geeky - blogrolls, comments, aggregators and something called rss.

Then I realised that it was really about how you can't go through this life without impacting on somebody else. The only thing that you can control (and even then, only marginally) is if that contact is net positive or net negative. So thanks to all those brilliant people in blogosphere who have sent me cyber hugs. I'm honoured that some cool bloggers can even be bothered.

So some blog traffic back to ....... ainelivia, annette, claire, and fi. You guys are just the best!

And anonymous, we need to talk. What is it exactly you expect to achieve from your spam shite? That I'll suddenly start believing your horseshit theories? That I'll even care? That your denial of service attack is even going to bother me? That I'll want to date you? That I'll even care?

Of course all the good stuff has set me thinking all sorts of possibly profound thoughts. And I've resolved to try to capture some of that in a short prose someday soon. What is it about the human condition that needs to connect? That can't help connecting? What % of connections turn out positive unintentionally? What if there was a really cool blog meter that captured reader response? A sort of ebay-style scoring that was dependent on what people thought of you not what you thought of yourself? Nah, that would be geeky!!



Friday, November 17, 2006

A cold night

Standing in Dame Street waiting for the no. 123 bus to work this evening, brought it all home to me. The icy wind makes a million cuts of surgical precision in my pathetic excuse for a uniform. It might be alright in Southern Spain, but my skimpy white nylon job was certainly never designed for an Irish winter evening. It's cold. And I'm cold.

And all the world was in love. Couples of every shape and size hugged, snogged and gambo as if it were midsummer's night. The invigorating spirit of careless abandon warming their joyous hearts. And I'm alone. Again. The rain begins to fall and it almost feels like company. Not the sort you'd go out and seek. But company none the less. Some wize-cracking comedian on his way to the Laughter Lounge and a career in television, no doubt, tells me to cheer up. It's only my legendary fortitude and self-restraint that stops Anne Doyle from announcing that Gardai are investigating a vicious unprovoked assault on a young Dublin man by a deranged woman.

Another "It's not you, it's me" conversation that didn't need to happen. It was all going so well. He made me laugh and I've not really laughed in a long time. There are too many things that it just doesn't seem right to laugh in the face off. He made me feel frivolous and so important. Vital. Needed, wanted. He put a spring in my step that help me through several similar chilly nights.

The thought of him rushing into Reads on Nassau Street and emerging breathlessly and embarassed with a large inflatable globe, makes me smile. His cheesey line, "I want to give you the world", makes me smile a little. But my cutting retort, "Well, I want the sun and stars too!", doesn't seem so clever now.

I just want, nay, need a hug. Thank god for Blogosphere!