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Showing posts from 2016

Where does a liberated world actually go?

Where it SHOULDN'T go:


Into a self defeating hole of endless point scoring between different scores (victimhood contests)Into endless bouts of depression, self-reflection and defeatist acceptanceBack to the past, giving in to the prejudices around race and gender that embolden demagogueryInto an unwinnable street war of protest that enables steam to be let off but doesn't threaten the status quoInto denialInto retreat, to the safe bubbles of the very existences than encourage accusations of elitisminto yet another continuous rant into how cruel the whole world is and how we need to pull down Angela Merkel/Capitalism in general (because that's precisely what has fed Trumpism)
What is helpful
Interpersonal reflectiveness about how to listen to others (have a look at www.cleanlanguage.co.uk)Climate action - this shouldn't just stop because two major nations have abandoned its ideals (start here http://donellameadows.org/)Con…

You're fired

I woke up in the middle of the night in the early hours of November 9th to hear, as I had increasingly started to expect a "surprise" Trump victory slowly taking place in the US.I have to say I was neither shocked nor surprised.I had mixed feelings about the polls that had largely showed a strong probability towards Clinton and the DNC, although I also persistently just had a feeling that things were being missed, sentiments were being lost in the hubris.To me it seemed like a sign of deep anxiety that so many media organisations, many for the first time in history, were endorsing Mrs Clinton.

I would say, I regard Mrs Clinton with deep respect, a hard-working stateswoman and a "safe pair of hands".Her husband's infidelities, I feel, is her own affair, not mine.I would regard most of the blatantly partisan attacks on her as just that: in any case, none of the ridiculous level of investigations into her alleged misuse of power have resulted in anything more th…

Opera in Ireland - lets stop the whinging

I finally snapped after reading the latest whinging letter in the Irish Times today bemoaning the lack of opera in Dublin.  We don't have much opera in Dublin, simply, because audiences do not support what is there.  I'm writing a fuller post, and have sent a letter to the Times, entitled "where has all the opera audience gone?" but here is a quick summary of what the real issues are, and they are not merely funding issues:

1. Audience attendance is middling.  Small productions in small venues sell extremely well, but larger venues such as the Gaiety and Bord Gais Energy Theatre are often spotty and poorly attended.  This goes for both local companies (Lyric, OTC and Wide Open Opera) and visiting companies.  THE BGE resorts to group ticket discounting in order to stem the tide.  The NCH struggles also with both semi staged, concert performances and even recitals of good international artists are poorly - sometimes very poorly - attended.  As a result box office recei…

The Etiquette of "Ghosting": couldn't we all just, well, talk?

I am increasingly finally hearing a word for the phenomena that has existed online since I started using tinernet in 1994: "ghosting."  This is where you enthusiastically communicate with somebody online (it used to be IRC or various chat services, now its mostly social media) then quite suddenly they disappear.  You are unfollowed, defriended, maybe blocked, phone calls unanswered (or changing numbers).  The person literally "disappears".  Congratulations, you've been "ghosted."


That said, with an increasing number of people multi-purposing their social media accounts for business purposes, boundaries often get blurred.  A few incidents highlight the problem of using social media for many different purposes, and especially using the same account.  One acquaintance, a slightly controversial writer and relative of somebody who has recently been subjected to some of the worst online abuse I've ever seen, disappeared off social media for quite some t…

Thoughts on OTC's Don Giovanni...

Firstly, a lot of publicity went into Roddy Doyle doing the libretto for the translation for this.  I'm not sure how exactly this worked: I don't know if Doyle is a fluent Italian speaker, and I'm sure there's already numerous English variants around for the likes of ENO and smaller English houses.  (OTC have in the past worked with small English festivals with similar interests sharing resources).  This added a level of expectation around the production itself, inevitable, since Doyle largely writes not merely about Dublin, but a north side working class Dublin which itself is established enough to have many stereotypical tropes.

Secondly - and I think this was key - the production was placed in the Dublin Theatre Festival which vastly changed the audience.  The Dublin performance were in the Gaiety (much more friendly an opera venue than most).  Cork audiences have even more luck: two performances in the Cork Opera house.  This enables a full orchestra, and OTC have …

Karma: or the great de-friending of 2008

In 2008, after the 3rd or 4th iteration of a scenario that had plagued me since 1999, I made an executive decision to cut a whole bunch of people out of my life.  Trim the little black book.  Make a harsh cut.
Most had my phone number, but by this point, only 3 of the group called with any great regularity.  Basically, it went right back to my huge drinking binge which started in August 1999 and went on for 8 months.  I collected a bunch of cronies, and hangers-on, and they, well, to use a systems concept, self-organise.

It started with one person who'd actually just done something pretty wrong.  Blocked on MSN messenger, disconnect on Facebook.  And well, it continued from there - I didn't stop, but cut off 2 of the drinking buddies in Dublin who, to cut a long story short, I really felt I had nothing in common with.  Well, it started with one person, and then I realised the other person was her friend really, so she had to go through .... slashed.  Or so I thought . . .

I re…