Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Hold Steady. New album. May 3rd. They're good.
Saturday, 27 March 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
I have good news, though. "Euro-Talk: Mr. Ripley's Road Trip", the Best Back-Talk Episode Ever for my money, is now back to availability from our official web residence. Here's the description:
The episode affectionately referred to as Crisis On Infinite Back-Talks!
Christophe and Ian go to the movies for Back-Talk’s third special opus. Ian eviscerates Adventureland, seizing every opportunity to champion Hüsker Dü and Bob Mould in the process. What does it take to get Ian to see a Harry Potter movie? If united in a single body, would Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson form a Quato-esque abomination or sexy superbeing? Somewhere amidst this feature-length chat are the answers to these and other questions, as well as the pitch for a superior breed of teen comedy.Try to contain your excitement, please. This is a respectable place!
Oh, it's below as well. In case you don't feel like clicking the link. Don't mention it.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
- The site is down.
- The venerable Christophe is currently trying to right things.
- Our best episode ever was released yesterday and less than a day later, we're decommissioned.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Via CHUD* the home of awesome.
* Of course.
Monday, 22 March 2010
Well, today I offically started reviewing DVD's for CHUD.com. My first offering, an appraisal of the movie Good Dick, can be read here. For some time, CHUD's been my only daily port of call for movie news. And, though much maligned, their Forums are home to some of the finest, funniest discussions the web has to offer so it's no exaggeration to say that it's an absolute honour and privilege to contribute to what is without doubt my favourite website. Thanks to Nick, Eileen, Jeremy, Troy, and everyone else at CHUD for all their help and the opportunity to work with a wealth of talented writers and some of the coolest online film personalities around.
See ya in the Sewer!
Magners Irish Cider?
Any major tobacco manufacturer?
Who do you think would make a good sponsor for our little show?
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
"Thus, In Ireland, the problem of being a writer was in a very specific sense a linguistic problem. But it was also a political problem."
- Seamus Deane
"It's not easy being green."
- Kermit the Frog
Unless you write letters to Superbad congratulating "him" on the time he drunkenly headbutted that one chick, you're probably aware that tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. For most of you, this will mean one thing and one thing only: re/connecting with your inner "Irishness", regardless of whether or not you're from the Emerald Isle or connected to it on any level. Translation: you will remake Watchmen with yourself as Malin Akerman and alcohol as Patrick Wilson's penis. Well, as Joe Public and everyone he knows surrender any remaining autonomy by drinking themselves into oblivion tomorrow, all in the name of Ireland, I don't expect I'll be joining them.
Tomorrow, as with the other 364 days in the year, I expect I'll be preoccupied by something other than where the cheapest green Guinness can be found. That's Northern Ireland for you. Yes, as anyone familiar with me, this blog, and its podcast offspring will know, I am from Belfast. Depending on who you speak to, that's either "Belfast, Ireland" or "Belfast, Northern Ireland." In my case... well, it's somewhere in-between.
You see, for someone from a Protestant background, festivities like St. Patrick's Day are traditionally met with certain reactions. On the softer end of the scale, this means polite indifference or apathy. The other extreme involves wadding petrol-soaked sheets into a bottle and wondering where that darn lighter got to.
Much has been made in recent years of the great progress made in the Peace Process Here. This is not entirely unfounded. Stormont, the Northern Ireland Assembly, has returned and, though less than stable, has recently delivered the devolution of policing and justice to the Province (just about.) The last 18 months or so have seen a Roll Call of paramilitary assmasters putting their arms beyond use. Moreover, the mood "on the ground" is one of - to invoke Chasing Amy in a discussion of the Irish Question - "a more tolerant age." Football tops are less a walking bullseye than they once were and Irish heritage, traditionally a mainstay of the Catholic element of the community, has enjoyed a raised profile culturally (witness the rise of Irish language TV shows such as Blas Ceoil and the almost perfectly named Seacht.)
As is so often the case in this part of the world though, these achievements have been tarnished by a number of tragedies. A year ago this month, the attack on Massereene army barracks that resulted in the deaths of two British soldiers brought into sharp focus the threat still posed by dissident Republicans. Constable Peadar Heffron, the Irish speaking, Catholic captain of the PSNI's GAA team, lost a leg in a car bomb attack some months ago. More recently, an attempt was made to resurrect a Loyalist paramilitary faction. Apparently, all you need to do this is put "The real..." before the old title, like some sort of rubbish Ghost Busters.
And on and on.
Yesterday, the cover of the Belfast Telegraph caught my eye (see above.) Apologies for the picture quality. Webcam job.
Here are the salient stats from the poll behind the story:
* More people described themselves as Irish (42%) than British (39%.)
* 18% identify themselves as Northern Irish.
* 42% think that Northern Ireland will still be part of the U.K. in 2021, the centennial of the Province.
* 42% think the opposite.
* One in four Protestants (24%) said that they think Ireland will be united by 2021.
* 55% believe Northern Ireland should remain within the U.K.
* The poll suggests the Republic's economic woes influenced the current opinion towards reunification.
Perhaps the most interesting figure of all is also the clearest: nationality matters to 88% of people polled. At least, we seem to agree on that much.
What does this all mean, then? According to Maurice Hayes and Linda Beers, two contributors to the story at hand, nothing very encouraging. A continuation of the existing status quo. More of the same. There are those who find this stuff important while many young people don't.
It's been a long time since these issues didn't matter to me, but I still remember what it felt like. Even if I could recapture that, I wouldn't want to. Despite all the pain and uncertainty that the identity crisis this place can give someone, I'd take that over blindly getting poleaxed because the calendar tells me to any day. The same goes for giving someone a kicking because of the colour of their passport.
Maybe, we've been going about it all wrong. Maybe we shouldn't be so concerned about red, white, and blue or green, white, and gold. Maybe, to paraphrase a classic Gretzkyism, we shouldn't worry about where we came from as much as where we're going. If we keep going the way we are, we could have bigger problems than filling in nationality questionnaires.
Ian Pratt is split over his future existence, too. He does wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day, though (Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig!) It's all about moderation.
The Belfast Telegraph, Linda Beers; Adrian Rutherford and Maurice Hayes.
"Joyce the Irishman." Seamus Deane.
If you know a better way to spend an afternoon than critiquing Patrick Stewart's career, fancasting a fatsuited Christopher Morris in your sitcom, and being REALLY meta, I'd like to hear it.
Monday, 15 March 2010
Sunday, 14 March 2010
If so, you'll be familiar with One-Shots, the backbone of my posts. These stand-alone missives are often used as a means of conveying otherwise sprawling, amorphous thoughts into snack form. Something I'm still waiting for credit for since I started doing these before Twitter exploded, by the way. But that's beside the point. The point is I usually dedicate these to the arrival of a new podcast or sporting event, but today I get to do something new and very cool.
Ellie is my friend and you must follow her blog, Through Being Cool. If you don't, I'm going to use this blog to cross promote hers so it'll be like you're following her anyway.
Good luck in the blogverse, Ellie. Even though your chosen title misleads, it's still great to have you around.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Friday, 12 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Underlying theme: drinking doesn't necessarily help.
Pet-Peeve of the Moment:
Someone tells somebody else why something, anything can't happen. The recipient of this information responds "it's ok; don't worry!" excitedly/sarcastically (usually, whilst snickering like a tool) as though the bearer of said news (usually, me) is on the point of complete breakdown. Don't flatter yourself, toolbag. I'm just the messenger and you matter about as much to me as lyrics matter to the Saturdays (payoff?)
* Sorry about that, by the way.