Monday, April 30, 2007

Sieg Heil??

It is at times like these that I wish I were a fabulous photojournoblogger like Red Mum or GingerPixel. (What is it with the red hair gene that makes them so darn good?)

Any hows, I was off visiting my friend Sandra in the deepest darkest Northside this evening when I notice election posters with Ivor Callely smiling sinisterly down from every lamp post. (Now don't get me wrong, the Richard Bruton ones were no less unsettling.)

No doubt Ivor's men were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning - after cooking Bertie the full Irish - lampostering all and sundry. (Is the verb Lampooning somehow related?) The climbing of thousands of poles before your average Northie has come home from his mott's house is obviously no mean feat. It seems that for convenience, all posters are pre-punched (can I volunteer to pre-punch the Pat Rabbitt ones?) to facilitate quick and easy assembly.

Unfortunately the good trenchmen of FF used black nylon plastic ties to secure the posters against the savage elements of Dublin Central which, given that the holes at the bottom of the poster aligned with good Mr Callely's mouth left an all to obvious Hitler look for the former junior minister for having your kitchen painted. If they are anything like me, I imagine the local graffiti artists are just itching to give him an appropriate fringe paintjob.

Made me wish I had a camera handy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

For Mash, Get Smash!

I know from my Statcounter* statistics that many of you fine bloggers are late risers of a morning. So there is a chance that you may not have heard the "mash-up" of Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' and The Police's 'Every Breathe You Take'. Courtesy of some musical deity called Stereogum you can find that mash here.

The ingenuity defies belief and is only marginally compromised by calling the product 'Snow Police' when the more obvious moniker would be 'Police Patrol'.


*It is true, following an exclusive marketing deal, blankpaige is contractually obliged to name-check this fine organisation once every three posts.

Keeping Abreast

Several years ago, a handsome young priest came to our parish to do one of those missions things so loved by my Granny and her generation. A Donegal man, as I recall, he was on his first tour of duty in Africa. He told many wonderful stories ; Each one highlighted the love and affection that he shared with that part of the world.

He talked about his first few days, getting to know the locals, hearing about development initiatives and the like. Every young woman had a babe in arms, often slung over their shoulders in a makeshift sling. He told how on his first Sunday sermon, he was highly disconcerted that all the nubile young women presented themselves at mass completely topless. He was honest enough to say that he had masculine urges and found it difficult to concentrate on Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians. So he decided to get his family back in Ireland to collect and dispatch second hand and cast-off summer dresses. When the parcels arrived, he distributed the clothing explaining how in Ireland the locals dress up in their Sunday best for mass.

The following Sunday as he entered through the back of the church, he was pleased to see how many of the young ladies were indeed wearing their gifts from Ireland. However his relief was short lived when he turned on the alter to face the congregation. The ladies had each cut out a large panel from the front of their dresses to allow their breasts be completely exposed!

Speaking of breasts, John of Dublin has an excellent post which is well worth a wee trip. Go now!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's good to talk

The consistently excellent Sarah Carey (Gubu) has posted a reasoned post on the recent Wexford tragedy. Her well thought-out observations are, for the most part, spot on.

Her post has attracted many comments which, predictably, focus on pointing the finger. In my opinion, it is far too easy to blame the Gardai or HSE for failing to act to prevent the multiple killings. In fact, we are really much more comfortable blaming a face-less organisation (preferably with a three letter acronym) than we are at individuals.

The commentors seem to focus on timelines and order of events which is all pretty futile since these are after the event. It is well known that the best airlines in the world avoid accidents because the promote reporting of near misses and establish a culture that seeks to understand and eliminate rather than blame and castigate.

What seems particularly disturbing - apart from the killings of course - is how so bloody sure everyone is that it is someone else's fault. I would contend that we as a society must take responsibility. Calling for public inquiries might help salve our conscience - but we know from bitter experience that they don't stop such events happening. Can we have a rational, objective discussion that doesn't blame someone but rather focuses on understanding why this happened and what could we do to reduce the incidents from happening again?

As a starter for ten, I'd suggest we need to stop being seduced into voting for political parties because they offer tax cuts. Our politicians need to be guided into understanding that its okay to suggest increased taxing and spending if it provides decent and essential public services.

I'd suggest you pop across to Sarah's post and add your opinions. The first step in making a change is to have a meaningful debate. But if you find yourself compelled to liken all priests to Father Dougal or all Gardai to heartless yokels, then might I suggest that you've other issues that you might want to work out for yourself first.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Is there anyone out there?

If it weren't for my trusty StatCounter, I'd be sending angry emails to For I feel sure that my recent witty posts deserved some sort of comment.

You know what will happen if folk insist on dropping silently by in great numbers without as much as a "LMAO" or a "LOL".

I'll be forced to indulge in even more shameless comment fishing posts. I might even give up this whole blogging lark - I mean after all its supposed to be a community!

You asked for it....!

Your impatiently,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You pays peanuts, you gets monkeys!

Question of the Day : How many Mickey Mouse ties would one Medical Consultant's salary buy you?

It seems you can buy a really nice Mickey Mouse neck tie for Euro20.50. So by my calculation, you could buy 10,000 such ties from one consultant's annual salary (and another 2,000 out of the annual bonus).

12,000 Mickey Mouse ties could be given to the 2,000 proposed new consultants so that they'd each have 6 ties. One for every day of the week that they work and four for the weekends.

(Of course, I realise that we might get a discount for buying in bulk - the ties, I mean, not the consultants!).

Where do these consultant guys get off? They are perhaps the most odious profession known to man. They invented the highly offensive phrase "bed blockers" (patients deliberately not discharged on a Thursday so that the bed will be available for the consultant to admit another private patient on Monday when he is next in work). Now "Yellow pack Doctors".

600 points and no personality obviously counts for something, but could they not at least take a leaf from their nursing colleagues. You want more money for less working hours. So when you go on a PR exercise, talk about "pay anomalies", "career prospects", "patient advocacy". Anything but highlight how five times the average industrial wage is such a pittance!

(The astute blankpaige watchers will immediately realise that I still haven't gotten over that disastrous date with a doc!)

Monday, April 16, 2007


Is it too insensitive to ask why as a nation of generally God-fearing, peace-loving, decent individuals, the USA can conceive the right to be able to bear arms so damn important?

As a nation, we've an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. But even we're not stupid enough to make it a constitutional right for any wack-job to get tanked up and sit in behind the wheel of a speeding motor vehicle.

Wait a minute, strike that last thought.

Here's a quick bit of free election advice. The first US Presidential Candidate to pledge to do something about gun control gets my sister's vote. The first Irish politician who pledges to do something about alcohol advertising, drink driving, or whatever, gets my vote.



Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Search of Something New

A wise man recently observed that Blankpaige's posts of late reveal a "a tendency to search for something "new" to say when" I blog?". This is observation is hardly surprising, coming as it does from a very perceptive individual. He proceeds to note that

If so, I understand better why you may be finding it difficult to decide
whether to write, or even what to write.

Now I find this observation quite intriguing. I'm pretty sure that I know that I want to write. How else does one explain the jumble of ideas that cascade from my increasingly addled mind whilst traversing Dublin on the No. 13 bus. I can't take a simple lift ride or stroll along the sea front without being grasped by an urge to put pen to paper about something. It is interesting that I use the phrase "pen to paper" in a purely metaphorical manner as I've no inclination to do so physically. (My loathing of the sight of my own handwriting - there is a whole story and psychoanalysis there waiting to happen - is in itself sufficient for me to want to burn every scrap of paper that has ever never refused my ink.) Perhaps this is why I love the electronic medium of blogosphere so much. Quite apart from the ability to write acres of stuff and then wipe it out with one click of the "delete" button, I can look as presentable as the next scribe - my dis-jointed joined-up writing can be as good as the next blogger's! (Incidentally, my self-consciousness about my accent, is the reason why I favour texting so much also!)

My sage offers a valuable insight into the search for the 'illusive "new"' and provides a very thought-provoking analysis that is far from his own description as amateurish. And he is indeed correct - none of us can help but write something that is new (given that we are all original voices) and none of us can ever write anything new (as everything we ever write has been written before).

In some respects I'm less interested or even impressed by the thought of my individual voice. It is no false modesty to realise that my observations are no more profound or no more brilliantly crafted than anyone elses. Although, I do appreciate the many kind words of encouragement. perhaps I've overdone the "I'm not worthy line". I clearly believe that I'm as worthy as the next otherwise I wouldn't be doing this blog stuff. Maybe I have been subconsciously fishing for compliments but I think probably it is complements that I seek.

I am fascintated by the concept of how it is impossible to blog without establishing a connection. The brilliance of blogging is not that it allows everyone to realise their ambition of being a writer but rather that it provides the most powerful medium for interaction behind a reassuring mask. (Althoug irony of ironies, even though e hide behind some bloger template mask, our every customisation reveals more about us than that mask hides.)

The act of blogging, hopefully eliciting comments and reacting to those comments is a joy to behold. It proves, if proof were needed, that the human condition is programmed for interaction - no blogger is an island. The medium is so, so powerful. It is to the internet, the hot medium that radio is to TV.

It is interesting - but not really surprising - to note the number of journalists who are turning to blogging or indeed the number of bloggers who are turning to more traditional channels of communication (radio, writing, etc). I can appreciate that apart from the occasional "letter to the editor" or involvement in a TV retrospective of the type "How to be a TV pundit without knowing anything" variety so favoured by Fiona Looney, there is precious little interaction within the tradition media. It must be so damn frustrating to be the brilliant Kevin Myers or think yourself the brilliant Fintan O'Toole but never really get to hear how their brilliantly observed, brilliantly crafted prose interacts with the reader. (If you'll excuse the excessive brilliance - what I need is a sub-editor!). This is the print media equivalent of the curse of Cassandra, I suppose. Having the power to touch but not knowing how that power is felt.

The migration of bloggers to the traditional media (Sinead, Twenty, Sarah, Damien, etc) is also no less surprising. Some individuals are so powerful at interacting that their gift demands to be brought to wider attention. God bless editors, publishers and radio producers for recognising talent even when it doesn't come with within RTE or IT-encrusted curricula vitarum.

Blessed are the commenters for they are blogoshere's value add. Omani has, again, done me a great service by providing another most welcome intellectual engagement. My sincere thanks to him. Now do yourself a favour - go read some brilliantly observed stuff on "From Bath to Cork with Baby Grace".


Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm Feeling Lucky

I know that I vascilate between the increasingly irritating "I'm not worthy" blog and the "Isn't Damien Mulley just God" post. But even when I try to come up with something new, I am reminded that, well, Damien is in fact God!

Now despite having as my default home page on my web browser, I've never really taken much notice of the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I think when I first discovered google, I dismissed this as a stupid feature. (I'm very decisive and often wrong!)

Now because, I don't look at the screen and because I can't type, I discovered that if you type "Paige" and hit 'I'm feeling lucky, you get this
page. Now I know why I realise that God has a name and it is Mulley!

You could kind of say that he has given this invisible person an invisible right!

P.S. be sure to select and not otherwise you'll find a women who has better tits than I!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Harrison's 1st Law of Blogging

All this talk about "Codes of Conduct" has me well infuriated and at the same time more than a little confused. Excuse my ignorance of physics fundamentals but I thought the universe tended towards chaos ; I thought that the e-environment accelerated trends which in the 'normal' world would be interminably slow. Surely then, blogosphere should exhibit a natural draw towards complete collapse.

The virgin scientist in this virgin blogger can see that the departure of Fiona De L, the probable loss of Sinead Gleeson, and Twenty Major's switch to the dark side are clear indications that everything tends towards the lowest state of enthropy. More importantly, bad blogging is driving out good blogging. The more blog luminaries we loose, the more Irish Times journalist throw contempt on our craft by demonstrating that it is possible to blog between corporate book launches. (This trend is clearly well established in the conventional media. We only need to look at the contrasting fates of John Kelly & Marty Whelan compared with Gerry Ryan and that purile pair from FM104 to know that in art as in life you sometimes get the fuzzy end of the lollypop. No publisher will give Anne Whelan a second glance but there is a veritable stampede of advances for Cecilia Ahern's laundry list. Ronan Keating's passport says "Musician" ; The Saw Doctors' says "bunch of unemployed plasterers").

But then I've noticed perhaps blogosphere is different. The more blogs that I read, the more I want to read and, apart from realising how brilliant some of my blog buddies are, the less I blog myself. Clearly a case in blogosphere that good blogs drive out bad.

I realise that there is some empirical formula at work here which, for convenience, I've called Harrison's 1st Law of Blogging. The amount of blogs posted is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent reading blogs.

The more algebraically minded will immediately cross multiply to conclude that for all postive values of X, where dX/dy is positive, the sum from n=1 to n=infinity of the product of blog reading times blog posting is a constant. This means that there is a finite volume of blog worth. Hence no matter how many bloggers, or how many blog posts are written, the value of theta for all values of X minus x square where theta is the proportion of blog worth in the n=theta eye blog (also known as the critical poisson inflection point) tends towards zero.

Notwithstanding the eigen value solutions for differential simultaneous equations, you kind of have to ask yourself what is the point. It's a bit like being a nurse who really cares about making a difference and having a caring profession but who has to work with a bucn of ungrateful lazy unqualified cows who only want to attend for work for 35 hours for an extra 10% on top of the 76% over five year pay rise. You kind of have to say, what's it all about?