Showing posts from 2013

why I won't be supporting the Russian games boycott

Folks, I'm as unhappy as anybody about what's going on in Russia, but not comfortable with a boycott of the games. I never had any plans to go anywhere near them so this doesn't impact Me either way.

Who it does impact is athletes who've worked & trained hard to get so far, some of whom will be Lgbt and who have enough crap on their plate without the inevitable witchhunt that campaigns like this bring to those who don't conform. (I'm referencing the way artists who plan performances in Israel are currently harassed by boycott campaigners: it would be unfair and counterintuitive to persecute sportsfolk the same way.)

So please bear this in mind when supporting such campaigns. If somebody decides to work in, visit, perform or compete in Russia, this is matter for them too decide, not you or I.

Dublin Pride spits at its own history in Fairview Park "Family Picnic"

I was horrified to hear of the venue for Dublin Pride's Family Picnic yesterday.  I think its great we have picnics, yes, and even more delighted that finally the scene is comfortable in crossing the river here to the northside.  Great.  But Fairview Park was the scene of one of the worst atrocities of our gay history.  In 1982/3 an RTE worker, Declan Flynn, a gay man, was murdered there.

Fairview Park in those days had turned into a spot for gay guys to find each other for sex.  Lets not beat about the bush.  I'm neither going to condemn or justify it.  But the fact remains that in a year where we try to rebember his untimely death by murder, its hardly appropriate to throw a family party on the same spot.

My Mum's family are Coolock/Artane and the previous year nearly 50 kids lost their lives in the fire at the Stardust complex in Artane, a badly converted jam factory whose daily alarms I used to hear while playing in my Grandmother's garden on the Malahide Rd in the…

The Absolut Hijack of Pride & the rise of the new queer conservatism

Recently, I was invited to put a few lines together about a kneejerk reaction from a veteran activist on the scene in reaction to a horribly sanitised video by a drinks company regarding pride. I put together a short piece, but though about it after watching the white, eurocentric, middle class video over and over. However I realised how much this debate is bringing to a head a curtural gash in the LGBT movement, between traditional "sexual outlaws" of the past, and the new conservative movement which I've christened "vanilla monogamists" for want of a better word. From my original few words, from my general patterns of writing, and from what I am about to say, I'll admit to being largely biased in favour of the outlaws, for reasons that will become clear.

So what exactly is going on?

As you'll notice from looking at the Absolut video (you can find it on YouTube or, we've all been airbrushed to become 20-35, white, urban, Irish (or at least…

A call for an end to Baba Politics in Ireland

I've actually hit a point lately where I leave my parents house if the Late Late Show is on the TV, and I resolutely react with horror if I accidentally land on a news broadcast, a current affairs programme, or worst of all, a chatshow. Which is difficult, because for about 15 years at least, about 90% of ALL talk radio during weekdays are chatshows. Even the sports shows are essentially chatshows, indistinguishable from each other to such an extent I personally cannot detect any difference between the Newstalk Spot programme now and the one that allegedly walked off the air a few months ago. Different? I can't hear it, or see anything different.

Unfortunately one thing never changes and that is the persistent infantillism that exists in our politics, and indeed our mindset. This was best exemplified last week in an incredible statement by a family member of one of the sadly perished seafarers that unfortunately are all too often drowning on the waters. I dread to see the…

The Myth of the Male Gaze in queer films about women

I wrote a recent piece for Gaelick on the Cannes prize-winnng film "Blue is the warmest colour" and its controversial sex scenes.  As I had no chance to see the film, I scoured the net to see if there was a website or better still, a blog from the author of the book the film is based on.  And sure enough, there was.  Even better, the latest article about the film and Maroh's feelings about the scenes in question kindly translated into English, which is great as my French is really terrible.  Unsurprisingly, it seems that the author is uncomfortable with the scenes in question, which she found cold and clinical.  This raised a discussion with fellow twitter users (thanks Val in Chicago and Belenen for their thoughts, apologies for disagreeing with you both!) which really led me to this.  I've also intermittently questioned the existence of a distinct "male gaze" with Dr Elly Tams, otherwise known on Twitter as Notorious_QRG, who is one of the few people who …

Stop the hate - free Kate

The "Stop the hate - Free Kate" campaign continues to gain momentum in the face of the outrageous decision by local courts to press charges against the kid. Basically the scenario is this: two schoolgirls, one is 14, the other 17, both girls. They get involved, somebody happens to record a conversation between the two where they mention the consensual sexual activity in which they indulged. This is then used as evidence to press charges against the older girl, as the parents of the younger girl (who by all accounts appears to be the more streetwise of the two, and doesn't support this action at all) don't approve. Some right-wing commentaries have not only legitimised the actions of local courts, they've tried to insinuate that this is some kind of case of what used to be known as a sex pest. One blogger who posted a comment on the article I wrote for Gaelick even tried to say that this was paedophile "grooming." This is even more outrageous than …

Blowing apart some of the myths of the PRISM reports

Ever since the adopting of the internet by the great unwashed, it seems that there is an endless luddite presence determined to find a "big evil" in the system. From predatory stalkers, evil trolls, crazy personality impersonators in chatrooms to outright fraudsters, it appears there is no end of bad people sitting there waiting to steal your identity, poke into your wallet, and the biggest one of all is those who quietly gather information about your life.

Lets get one thing straight here. Every time you logon to the internet, you're entering somebody elses service, built up of many moving parts. Most of these parts log, some of them store, and some even surreptitiously or otherwise gather information about you ever time you logon to practically anything. This is the price you pay for connectivity: in order to enter the system, somebody has to pay for the cost of maintenance, purchase, migration, whatever, and the way chosen, the way that appears to work, it seems, …

Windows 2008 R2 server NFS supports

This is a terribly useful feature update for those of us who work in mixed AD/NFS environments that depend on unix netgroups.  Previously, mapping of permissions using groups didn't work because of the LDAP based primacy which meant that groups had the same name, but MS have now improved server to natively support netgroups, which indicates an improvement to the previous problem where if the group names matched, Windows couldn't natively use the NFS group.  I'll be testing this on Friday with my boss, who is the lead Unix analyst, and will post back if results are promising.  It means an end to using 3rd party tools to share out unix groups, thus causing grief when unsupported file structures are created on an NTFS filesystem . . .

Celebrating 6 years on Twitter

Downloaded my tweets the other week and was surprised to find out so much about myself.  For example, being not long out of a relationship which ended badly, the first year is moribund, emotionally disconnected tweets.  Then I went driving all over California in April 2009, and came back a new woman.  From then on, they get interesting - and delighted that one of the first tweets after that relates to something I really only picked up on later on.  If you know my writing, Twitter, blogging and girl crushes, you'll spot it quickly enough ;-)

I've gone back 2 years as some of them were really just so funny and natural ...

2011-04-14 17:03Aib staffer at dart st reading a presentation - can't help noticing words "to achieve our vision" - would like to add
..."With everybody elses money"
Note to all you aib staffers who take home work presentations - don't read it on the dart, your owners sit opposite
2011-04-15 22:16:18High kings have worst vocal techniqu…

Un-nationhood? Language & perceptions of privilege in Irish society

Today I discovered a little blog where somebody waves their arms persistently and wildly about the disgraceful state of this country towards native speakers, and how their rights are persistently denied.

Hang on, you say, isn't Irish (or Gaelige), our native language? Enshrined as such in the constitution, empowered by law, every state agency there is having to hire many happy minions of adoring speakers (including some great friends) to ensure that happens?
Indeed it is, but read on.
This chap, anyway, claims to have been arrested, because when he was asked a question by a member of the Gardaí Síochána, they wouldn't (or probably couldn't) understand him, and he refused to speak in plain English.
So it appears that he was made accompany them to the nearest station, where he had to wait for a suitably competent Irish speaker to arrive, and continue whatever business it was in said language. The gentleman in question is now crying "discrimination." In fact he's…