Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hardly New Year

There's one thing more annoying than hearing "Happy New Year evry1 lez hope itsa gud wun!?LOLCASM xXxo", and that’s "Happy New Years Eve....'s Eve" which is what today happens to be(and yes, someone, with a seemingly fully functioning brain, the same model that invented the light bulb, that built and filled the Louvre, that is writing this post, just said this to me). It's moments like this that make me want to blog-rant 'till my face melts.

Now it's not my intention to be a procrastinating Grinch that only stumbles out a week later to kill the refreshing-new-beginning vibes, but to every Who that forwards this fruitless wish on the opening of a fresh calendar, I fail, scratch that, I choose not to comply with you. I mean, "Happy Christmas", fair enough, "Happy Birthday", fair enough, but to wish a whole year of happiness? Too hopeful. It's too rare nowadays to even have a whole day of wow-what-an-amazing-tree kind of optimism. Even then, they usually spring up on the most unexpected days, which is why hopeful thinking can only go downhill. As if nobody ever got a visit from Aunty Climax on the hyped-up holidays. That bitch. We created her with all our "Christmas is the best day of the year" and "I cannot wait to turn eighteen" and the most frequent and coincidentally most impossible, "Happy New Year, 2Kwhatever to be the BEST YET"

In general, you’ll get the same amount of highs and lows as you did last year and the year before that, give or take a few laughs and tears. New Year’s Eve is just a mark on a clock that we made up when someone realised, “oh look, the sun is in the same place it was 365 days ago, let’s have a drink to celebrate” If it were as socially acceptable, we’d celebrate the beginning of every hour. (Now you’re definitely getting ideas, provided you’re Irish)

Then there’s the New Year’s resolution. Yes, just to add to the high expectations, we like to make ourselves impossible promises. One of us gives up smoking, another starts a diet, the youngsters vow to eat more vegetables, I might as well promise to give up yawning and grow double my height. Why give yourself your own word, knowing that you most definitely never have or never will be “a man of it”? Hands up whose last resolution lasted the year? Hands up who can even remember what it was? Thought so.

So go ahead, wish me a slightly more smiley than average New Year, with an extra laugh or six. And if you’re going to make an resolution, make it so impossible that people will laugh, only then will it benefit anyone. It’ll also add the extra few laughs to their New Year, making it a happier one, then making you’re wishes come true-ish. Someone great once should have said, “Go to the party dressed all in black, then the biscuit will taste better.”

A terribly uneventful and reasonably better year to you all,

Cloudy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE 10 COMMASSMENTS.

1. Thou shalt not worship any other ass before me.
2. Thou shalt not grab my ass in vain.
3. Thou shalt respect thy neighbour's ass.
4.Thou shalt ‘drop it like it's hot’ when the bitches got an attitude.
5. Thou shalt not lie about liking big butts.
6. Thou shalt celebrate the patron day of the Ass Wednesday.
7. Thou slinky shall go A-DOING-DOING-DOING on seeing my ass.
8. Thou shalt not witness the ASSCLIPSE (ass-eclipse) without adequate eye protection.
9. Upon asking "WHAT WOULD THE MASSIAH DO?", thou shalt always shake that ass for me, shake that ass for me.
10. -insert word of god here-


© Michelle 17A.A. (After Ass)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eighteen Candles.

Good God. One cold cup of coffee, one even colder shower (thanks for everything snow), and the first sleep in about 30 hours (in which I woke up not knowing where I was or what time it was or whether last night was a dream or WHA) are conquered, and the details of my 18th birthday are now gradually returning like pins & needles. Veni, Vidi, Vici.
For the week leading up to Friday the 17th, the weather was predicted to be cold but tamely and THANKFULLY snowless. Then at about four o’ clock on The Big Day it was, in the words of Family Guy weatherman Ollie, SNOWING SIDEWAYS. The panicky texts began to trickle in as the white bastard jizzed over everything, putting parents in the risk of losing their lives and tolerance of letting their resident teens out. I was at this point (approx. 19.30 hours) convinced the whole thing would be A Winter’s Fail. Little did I know that 29 mad wans would take an overpriced bus AND an even more overpriced taxi, risk their limbs driving around hills, fall UP hills, walk two hours warmed only by whiskey and essentially beg, steal or borrow their way to my humble and well-decorated abode. It is no exaggeration to say that I’ve never meant the phrase I-cannot-thank-you-enough more than right now.
What followed was a chaotic Van-Gogh-swirl (see above photo) of UNREAL, something all the more positively heightened because I really didn’t think it was possible that it could happen.
I can’t quite put into words what it meant to see the frankly otherworldly effort my friends made, and although not everyone I wanted there could (100% understandably) make it, I was very much saved from spending my 18th birthday burying myself in DVDs, ice-cream and rum and cranking till I tripled myself.
AHAHAHA I laughed when I wrote that
To say this birthday brought me closer to my friends and made me appreciate everything I have is an understatement.
And this is why it was (and I know I’m somewhat obligated to say this) the best one yet, both because of the above and because how the plain imperfect perfection of it sums up how I feel about everything good in life right now. Like any standard high-white-balance-and-flash weheartit photo, what ever is spontaneous, unconventional and wonderfully flawed, is usually the most beautiful in the end.
And indie.
Anyway, what other night could result in a dancefloor smeared in snow, malibu, bodily fluids and the aftermath of our cake war, making the room look like the monkey paintings out of the lion king? Which domino-ed on to create some of The BEST cartoon falls I have ever seen or experienced first-hand. Which in turn ballooned on to a pretty class singing circle time, including such classics as a racist cover of Blackbird, Something, Real Love, Hamlet:L, Iris, Thaz Aul Right, our insane Ceolchoirm na Nollag setlist (re-enacting the trombone solo and harmonies on both Fairytale of New York and Sneachta Ag Titim respectively) and some folksy shit aswell.:)
Images of the stairs getting an encouraging lap-dance, that Spanish girl being forced into the snow, more than wood being burned in the fire and a guest’s surprise entrance around half ten post-crying phone call with signature pineapple in tow can’t quite leave my brain..we are indeed as someone said today, “a colourful bunch of legends”.
It was a surreal and twoderful time and something that affected and submerged me so completely that I didn’t even realize how emotional I was the next morning when saying goodbye until Marianne said “Oh god don’t start crying”. And as I opened my kiss-and-cake-torn mouth to say “What choo talkin bout de Leaster”, I realized that yes, I did indeed have tears in my eyes. Because it had just hit me in that pins-and-needles way just how Christmas-miraculously great it was.
Plus the non-metaphysical presents were totally Boss (is that phrase from Scott Pilgrim? I don’t know anymore..) and the cards were just plain sob-worthy. From what other people can you get the reaction of: “I find that hard to believe” when you answer No to the question “So have you ever smoked drugs?” or just getting asked do you practive tap-dancing professionally. And I think one of the most genuinely beautiful & plain simplistic moments of my life was around 5.30am, when I slid across to a cutely inebriated friend and sang from the “Home” lines up to the chorus in time with Stornoway’s Fuel Up while she smiled perfectly and looked at us appreciatively. Cinematic ta fuck.
That is, I think, something important. The crux, or part of it. Like romance and those “Home” lines, happiness and exquisite nights like these cannot be constructed. They just occur and form themselves, emerging from your own feelings and a few feet of snow.
So really, I cannot thank ye enough.

Friday, December 17, 2010

That Day.

I don't think I'll ever forget the moment Conor J O'Brien stooped down to whisper in the ear of the security guy standing beside me. Even though I moved, being the awkward little ninny that I am, he was inches from my face. I thought about touching him. But that might have been weird. I just tangled Martha's leg in ecstasy instead (thanks for that babez).
Conor needn't have pyhsically touched me, though (although it would have been nice). Clichéd as it may seem, the guy's got talent. Tangible, moving, harrowing but beautiful bucketloads of it.

I've left gigs before wishing the performers had spoken more with the crowd during the show - but Villagers are no ordinary group. When the brilliant Mr O'Brien did speak, it was really funny and good-humoured, which was kind of surprising seeing as the man pours his whole being into every song. But the songs really said it all.

I saw a bird-like tuft of hair off stage and my lungs nearly collapsed. He walked out, picked up his tiny ukelele/guitar, somehow made infinitely cooler with black tape that would look blasphemous on any other instrument. He played 'Twenty Seven Strangers' on his own, slower than the album version. He bounced to push his syrupy voice from belt to falsetto.

Then the band came on AND BOIZ WHAT A BAND. Seriously, if Aiden Grimshaw was too intense for the X Factor, these dudes could send the whole Great British public into heart failure with one number. The bassist moved around like an underwater gazelle. Keyboard Man's expressions made me well up. The whole band moved as if in syncronised slow-motion. And then suddenly Conor would start to scream and eerie chaos would ensue.

Excited fans shouted "GO ON CONOR, YA MADMAN" and "CAN I'VE YAR CHRISTMAS JUMPER?".
Conor asked why "all these people" were there... Not just those slightly odd people; it seemed like he wasn't quite accustomed yet to all these people standing in front of him having paid to see him and singing along to his songs. He said they had played Cork before 'but not like this'. His incredulity is hard to believe when you're standing less than a metre away from him as he sings one heart-wrenching line after another. I couldn't help but wonder what he expected when he decided to record the songs he had been touring. Do people really need to listen to 'To Be Counted Among Men' 50 times before they fall in love with it?

In fact, I think the best might really be to come from the valiant Villagers. Hearing the really amazing songs from 'Becoming a Jackal' was exhilarating enough, but the new songs literally took my breath away. The lyrics, the chords, the emotion... and they do that day after day! It kind of makes me sore...
For fear of repeating myself, I'll steal Conor J's take on this one:

"In the carnival is a sunlit stage
Never in the dark of a morning failed
Your own audience will decide your fate
In a carnival on a sunlit stage."


£

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rest-less

there is no future. there is no past. do you see? time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.





Saturday, December 11, 2010

Here's To The Next Hundred/Eighteen.

She's got you thinking this is how you’re supposed to be. Well it's not. We're young. We’re supposed to drink too much. We're supposed to have bad attitudes and shag each other's brains out. We are designed to PARTAY. This is it. Yeah so a few of us will overdose or go mental. But Charles Darwin said you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And that's what it's all about. BREAKING EGGS. And by eggs I do mean, get twatted on a cocktail of class A’s. If you could just see yourselves..it breaks my heart. You’re wearing cardigans!
We had it all. We fucked up bigger and better than any generation that came before us. WE WERE SO BEAUTIFUL!
We're screw-ups. I’m a screw-up. And I plan to be a screw-up until my late twenties, maybe even my early thirties. And I will shag my own mother before I let her..or anyone else take that away from me!

Friday, December 10, 2010

All those highs and the lows and the to's and the fro's, they left me dizzy.

AKA What It Meant To Be Seventeen, yo.
What? The kids like it when you use their lingo.

Well its the eve of PURELY TECHNICAL adulthood and I can't help but retrospect the lymph outa the nodes of experiences that have polka-dotted the past year. I mean it started off (well, nine days in) with PAUL MCCARTNEY.
I remember watching QI last december when I was sixteen and hearing thou-shalt-not-question-Stephen-Fry saying that "scientifically, seventeen is the best age to be" to the shouts of denial from his subjects. On the brink of kidulthood and possessing just enough responsibility to be able to go both chicken oriental, and indeed, fucking mental? Still clinging to the fragments of childhood and swiftly coming to terms with the dichotomy of worldly naiivety and the need to grow Grow GROW?
Oh Alan Davies, how wrong you were.
I think the biggest thing I've learned this year, as well as today actually..OMG I JUST REMEMBERED HOW BRILLIANT MY LAST DAY OF LEGALHOOD WAS..
anyway, i'll start that sentence again. I think the biggest thing I've learned this year, as well as today, from such a spectrum of events, feelings, people, encounters (both brief and otherwise, kathy), decisions, journeys and challenges galore is how Above-Everything important it is to extract something valuable from every experience. To sweep a few droplets of oil off the surface of the water below and make a difference to yourself with those golden spheres of knowledge. Or maybe that should be baby out of bathwater? Well I've certainly learned to turn a phrase..
It all comes down to you, no-one can see your thought process but it should shine through in a way, in other ways I s'pose.
Its not unlike when you draw an eye and, unless you're Pee-Wee Hurley, you don't draw a flat, fully outlined diamond shape, you assume the viewer knows what an eye looks like and you rely on minimalism and other things to make it look 3D and realistic. If that makes sense at all. You don't need to shriek "The philosophy of 16th century monks really speaks to me!" to the masses on a daily basis, its more that if you fall in love with a state of mind, you have to compress it, pocket it and then apply it. Sticking to your metaphorical guns, basically. (Hello Brazil)

In a way the wonderfulness today summed up all those things, that is why I bursted-out earlier..Outburst? Geddit? Sí?
So anyway, thank you everyone..God that sounds so cheesy, but. Yeah. I wish I could stay in Seventeen Village forever but I can't. So the next best thing would be to gather up everything I've learned into a gypsy/topshop handkerchief, knot the bitch up on a stick and hit the road. Life is a college lecture, its not supported by permanent walls but the good thing about that is that its not enclosed with boundaries either.

So fuel up. Lets give it a whirl.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

if you're having girl problems

i feel bad for you son,
i got 99 problems but censoring
already general opinions ain't one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

*insert appropriate let it snow lyric here*

OH the simple things in life!
The joy of snow is something that has to power to seduce, convert non-believers (hello tramore), and generally unite the human race in both the fear of dying suddenly on the ice and in the beauty of a Beige Wonderland.
Today during a typically funny and odd history class, It Began To Snow at last and due to the fact that no-one was in and god finally "came", El Scurvmeister announced at 11.45am that "fuaireamar an comhairle" to Shut Down The School asap. Look at me capitalizing like theres no tomorrow/Dickinson!
Treading home, I was met by an icing-sugar-from-a-sieve flurry of snow encircled by the overflowing excitement being jizzed out of a few hundred teenagers at the fact that we were being evacuated, and a hobo-man inching across the road who proceeded to Wham! headlong into that weird rotting house shouting "JAYSUS I NEVER SEEN ANYTING LIKE I-"
Everything was slowed down like a hungover zoetrope, lines of normally shpeedin' traffic were fluidly submerged in a monochromey midnight blue snowdome. It was like a big in-joke between us all, both with our facebook statuses and with the usually silent real life pedestrians who gave me a jaunty nod of ho-ho-escaped-early-today-did-we? amid the ice confetti.
I'm sure this snow-eyelashed wonder (hello matthew) will wear off after a few weeks, transport systems will skid to a halt, plans will be ruined, being stuck inside cut off from friends and teaching ourselves the Leaving Cert will get to be a bittuva drag. (queen).
But today is still November; the fire is warm, Anastasia is on, homework is low and the novelty is still very much present.
And since we've no place to go..

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kulture Eats Ye















Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty' - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

£

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Wave to the Birdy

I know this should be something Harry Potter related but it's not. I apologise in advance.
I would just like to point out a running theme this week. Birds. As I have come to the realisation that they are very strange creatures who ultimately defy gravity.
Birds are often ignored so let me draw your attention to them:

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an angle-worm in halve-
And ate the fellow, raw,

Well I didn't tell anyone,
But a bird flew by
Saw what I'd done
He set up a Nest outside
And he sang about what I'd become.

Fun fact: apperently they burst if they eat rice.
Interesting - no?

Anyway, feed the birds tupence a baaaaaaaag, tupence, tupence, tupence a bag.

Oh yeah and if you're particularly fond of pigeons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU5rpwG4W8g
$$

Sunday, November 14, 2010

THINK FOR YOURSELF.

I don't want to appear like a stereotypically 'angry-teen' who excretes their rage onto the internet via their blog, but in fairness the subject of this post is something thats been on my mind for some time, and after the latest cataclysmically good Lost Weekend, its sort of been brought to the forefront. I wasn't going to blog about this but it's funny what can happen to a girl on the quest for an early-morning croissant in 4°C weather, with an iPod for company and the last wonderful traces of sambuca leaving your system.

The thing that has my blood boiling is the idea that relationships - close relationships/what people view as True Love - should influence, or more importantly, LIMIT what you want to do and who you are.

In (most) relationships, adultery is a no-no. To me this is totally logical, and makes sense from a trust, loyalty and aul-that point of view. Anygay, if it is love, you naturally wouldn't want anyone else. CAPICHE? However, what I don't agree with is the ludicrousness of withdrawing a person's choice by holding an emotional gun to their head to make them feel differently, even if it is about something as small as legally getting drunk on your best friend's 18th birthday.

I suppose this is the point where I should slip in the obvious and overused-in-this-kind-of-situation phrase; I'm Not Going To Name Names. The reason I'm Not Going To Name Names is that it definitely wouldn't be fair or nice, and I don't want to do a Mark Zuckerberg on this.
I want to get across that the biggest issue with relationships for me is the idea of having to diminish another area of your life - be it to do with education/friends/interests/future - or just miss out on things altogether because of it. They should be beneficial. Something someone said on this subject last night:
EVERYONE NEEDS TO SCREAM LIKE A BAT SOMETIMES!

Trying to change someone or part of someone by force, metaphysically or otherwise, is never right and never good. I believe Love to be something that accepts you, and from then on in can inadvertently change you for the better. But essentially, self-change comes from self-acceptance, which comes from - OH YEAH - you. And I think its pretty clear that such "negative" aspects of a character are extremely subjective. This is coming from the perspective of a 17-year-old (going on 18 soon, GAH) who is not naiive enough to assume that she can fully understand or comprehend Love. Nevertheless I agree with Mumford and his Sons in that it should not betray you, dismay or enslave you, but set you free. Cáisiúl as that looks on the blogosphere.

This argument/clandestine anecdote, doesn't (thank god) apply to me and I hope never to become part of that plastic branch of clockwork orange; someone who appears healthy and bright on the outside, but who's decisons, opinions and interests are being domineered by someone else.
You should never give up your ability to choose and think for yourself for an emotion that is supposed to be positive.

Maybe my keyboard-fucking rage isn't coming across as strongly as it should, but I am well and truly PISSED. Right now, any mild evidence of The Crime from Friday must be swept under the carpet and denied that it ever happened.
Healthy, no?
Opinions about what is enjoyable shouldn't be changed by force.
But clearly, Love Conquers All.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It started with a blog.

About five months ago, I wrote on my choir director's blog to thank her for our Hungary tour. It was a pretty emtional one to say the least, perhaps especially for me because my throat was not in the best condition... The show must go on though, as Freddie would have it, and I had to put on as brave a face as I could muster and leave out the high Gs (as far as I can tell from the YouTube footage, if this respectable career thing doesn't work out, my lip-syncing could very well springboard me into Pop). Anyvege, if I know anything about performing it's that you only get out what you put in, and for fear of sounding like a snivelling X-Factor contestant, I gave it everything. Bittersweet ain't the word.

Less than three weeks ago, I got a phonecall from our director, the inimitable Ms Keogh, about my blog post. We were all asked to post our feelings about the trip, although not everyone did. She told me that my entry had 'gained some attention', and I had been invited by the National Youth Council to make a presentation based on my experiences in Youth Arts before an Oireachtas Committee. I have to say, it felt like this was a massive karmic mix-bag of opportunity and obligation. Obviously I could not refuse. So I had two weeks to distil every ounce of gratitude and enthusiasm I have about the Arts' role in my life into 2-3 minutes. And it's one of the best things I've ever done.

Last Wednesday I nudged through crowds of angry students, protesting outside Government Buildings against the proposed increase in 3rd level 'registration' fees. Myself and the others who had come to give presentations scurried through the security gates like dweeby little traitors, on the side of the bloody mess that is our government. None of us were, though. We were there to prove to these suddenly fidgety fat-cats that they need our help to get out of their tight spot, just as they need the co-operation of the young people upon whom they quite literally set the hounds just minutes after we were ushered into the plateau of fragile serenity of Dáil Eireann. Our Youth Council representative remarked that this must have been how the Beatles felt. I couldn't help but feel she was referring to the raging Anti-John Lennon campaign after the God incident rather than the Ed Sullivan Show.

Once inside, where the magic and trickery happens, it's all protocol. Security tags; Gardaí; dress code. Someone forgot to send us (and a certain Mr. Gogarty) that memo. Because, dear Irish citizens, policy is so strict, Pádraig Pearse himself, it seems, could not adress an official gathering if he were to rise from the grave without bringing along a suit jacket and tie.

I was nervous going in. Familiar faces strode through the grey foyer, over the giant green rug in the shape of Ireland. I clutched my file containing my speech, full and edited editions; notes on funding; notes on the importance of muscial education. I was expecting to face a room of disinterested politicians. This day, almost the full Committee was present, which, so I'm told, is quite rare. Around that roundy room you sometimes see on telly, were some familiar faces; Tom Kitt, former Chief Whip, Michael Kennedy TD, Paul Gogarty ('unparliamentary language' chap) Mary Upton, Labour Spokesperson for the Arts, and our very own Senator Jerry Buttimer, among others. Intimidating stuff.

I quickly realised that no one was kidding when they said it was an informal affair, though. Guided tours came in, sat down, left. People I recognised from TV blew their noses and popped pills. But the matter being discussed was anything but ordinary. And about an hour in, my parents were engulfed in a shared fit of the giggles. First of all though, Mr Kitt welcomed us all and spoke a little about how he is passionate about the Arts on a personal level. He said that last year, Sebastian Barry, Colum McCann and Brendan Gleeson addressed this Committee in a bid to emphasise the need to continue to support the Arts. He later said that our submissions outshone those made by these amazing Irish ambassadors for their crafts. imnotboastingiswear.

Our NYC representative spoke first about what we were all doing here and why anyone should give hours of their lives listening to yet another group pitching for money that has to stretch further than Robert Wadlow's nose did to his big toe. To conclude her speech, she quoted Philip Pullman, who said that "Children need to go to the theatre as much as they need to run about in the fresh air. They need to hear real music played by real musicians as much as they need food and drink. They need to read and listen to proper stories as much as they need to be loved and cared for." Pullman goes on to say that the problem with convincing adults of the importance of the Arts in a child's life is that without theatre and music and literature, they do not fail visibly, but perish on the inside. I was so happy to hear that Ken Robinson, world-renowned creativity expert, has the same view - creativity is not implanted in people; it is allowed to seep out of them.

Eight of the Arts Army altogether were present at the Committee Meeting that day, including three young people involved in youth arts (myself being one of them), and speakers on behalf of Voluntary Arts projects and the National Campaign for the Arts. Their passion at once warmed and worried me. Before going in, as we sipped minerals in Buswell's Hotel, the feeling among the adults seemed to be one of detachment. They knew the cause they spend their lives fighting for will probably never get the money or recognition it deserves in this country during their lifetime. I was disappointed at first - I mean what happens if the morale falls among these people? They're intelligent, wordly people. They know that a lot of people think theirs is a losing battle. But we so need them. Thankfully, when the time comes for them to pit forward their case, they are commanding and passionate. I really don't know how they do it.

We three youngsters said our respective pieces, then the other adults spoke. It's amazing how they can speak so eloquently about abstract things, in a way that politicians and artists alike could understand. I thought it was tough trying to get across five years worth of artistic experience to people I had prejudged as philistines. I can't even begin to explain how moved I was by them. And I really hope the Committe members were sincere when they said they were touched, too. They commended us on our presentations (thanks for the shout out by the way, Senator Buttimer!), and they truly seemed to get where we were coming from.

Their questions, unsurprisingly, were mainly related to funding. Thankfully, none were directed at me, but had something been left out that I wanted to say, I was going to say it. I didn't need to, though, because everyone was on the same page. I had never dealt with people involved in Youth Arts outside of Cork, and it's really exciting to know that they have the same ideas we do in the Arts scene down here. I've pretty much regained my faith in Irish people...to a point...

So, some great acknowledgements and suggestions were made in Committee Room 4 last week. It was proposed that some empty buildings (of which we have plenty) be used as Arts Centres. The myth of easily attainable sponsorship was busted. As encouraging as all this is, I wonder how much will be forgotten in the archives. These guys can all say how impressed they were with us, but the trick is to get the converted to preach. Deputy Upton quite rightly said that the common perception of the Arts is that they are not essential. To a lot of [ignorant] people, they're airy-fairy pastimes people can use to let off steam. And why should the tax payer fund people's hobbies? Wullll, because degrees in Micro Engineering are not going to get us out of this ghastly recsession in a hurry (no offence...). We can't build our way out of it, or beg or borrow. I'm not saying that everyone should just write poems or draw pictures, and I'm not recommending that brilliant scientific minds throw down their Petri dishes and replace them with paintbrushes, but everyone needs to be able think rationally, and for themselves. It's a miracle that original thought has survived the Murder Machine that is our schooling system, and we need to do everything we can to nurture it.

It's incredibly narrow-minded to let people support the Arts out of good-will and time as they are doing right now. People take advantage of the Arts in immeasurable ways. They download music illegally; they watch films online; they won't support productions if they're cost isn't miniscule. Yet artists are bearing the brunt of this recession, because they are willing to do what they love for free, and do it well. Art teaches people to be innovative. It has been proven time and again that young people who study music are higher achievers in other academic areas. Drama, as Shakespare said, holds 'the mirror up to nature' and helps us better understand each other. And surely those who can articluate ideas verbally and visually are the people who should be building our society? The greatest minds in history have been the creative ones. People with visions have potential to be brilliant. But how can they thrive in a world that doesn't recognise their talent, and listen to their ideas? Sure, we've come a long way since kids were stood in a corner with a Dunce hat, but there's still a bizarre stigma attached to the pursuit of dreams. I know how engaging in something you love doing can bring out the best in you. Participation in the Arts gives people confidence and resilience. It's not at all abstract stuff. We are talking about hard skills that make for bright futures and good citizens. Because enriched individuals create an enriched society.

Some may be of the opinion that Science is the answer to all society's problems. If the world sizzles within fifty years, what good will a few concerts have been? To be honest, I think that the biggest challenges of today all have the same solution. On an economic level, Ireland is missing out on a huge international market. In the coming years, the biggest economic growth will happen in the East. Eastern cultures are steeped in folklore. Particularly in China and Japan, people are very much in touch with who they are and where they came from. The stories of their heritage are so important to them. So why not let them know about our heritage? The Irish are natural born storytellers; this is clear from all our world-famous writers, actors, playwrights, musicians. For such a small country, we have massive talent, to which other cultures are drawn. The way I see it, we as a nation is we place as great an emphasis on our cultural exports as we on our economic ones, and the return would be vast.

As the recent Gaming Industry conferences have shown, Ireland's future may well lie in Gaming. Willie White of the National Campaign for the Arts compared the current state of our Gaming industry to that of Film a hundred years ago. We don't even realise the potential that's there. Here's an example of how technology and creativity could go hand in hand to create huge opportunities.

What's really heartbreaking about this whole economic situation is that unless the right choices are made, it's young people who will rally be messed up. As Anne O'Gorman of the NYC said, the global economy goes in cycles, but childhood only comes around once. And if children are growing up today deprived of the chance to express themselves, how are we going to move forward? Sure, money's scarce, but we can't let other kinds of support diminish. In the Great Depression, the Arts thrived, because humans need to escape from the awful things life throws at them. Cork Operatic Society is a prime example of an organisation that has fought the demise of the Celtic Tiger and put on top-class shows. But if the money's not there, encouragement and acknowledgement need to be. Arts groups do not expect the government to give 100% funding for any project, but recognition is sometimes worth more than money. What a great thing it would be for young generations to commit to something without having to get materialistic results out of it - would that not make them stronger, better citizens? After all, what good is anything - what is life if we can't enjoy it?

There's only one man whose words I could conclude on.
"You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world live as one."
£

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Lost Weekend

..is a title coined by John Lennon to describe his 18-month period of enormous creativity and violent self-destructiveness between 1973 and 1975, in which he broke up with Yoko, recorded himself silly, started to repair his relationship with his son and even feeked up with Paul again.
As anyone who's been on my facebook page knows, I've given this title to my photo album of sixth year: a period of enormous creativity and violent self-destructiveness.
However the past 36 hours have literally been a Lost Weekend in that it's been a maelstrom of epicness/ericness that felt totally apart from the year it's in. But maybe the intensity of this year goes hand-in-hand with your NEED to escape. Anygay;
IT STARTED WITH MARINA..
We eventually managed to overcame the challenge of bouncers as it was all Over 18s BLEUGH, to stand AT the stage, as in so close we could have turned to the left and have been sitting on it. The lady herself came out like the souls of Ian Dury & Edie Sedgewick combined, in a floor-length black velvet dress, drinking whiskey and filling up the stage like a glitterbomb. Her voice was the exact same as in the songs I had been submerging myself in for the past week and it was suprisingly strong, heard even over the shouts of "MARINA YA SEXY SLUT" from the hunni bbz next to me. Basically, she knows her shtuff and knows how to use mediums to enhance her music and not overpower it.
The thing I like most about her is that her lyrics are clever and they're not just about love. I think the main reason there aren't many talented female artists out there atm is because they are lacking this desire to actually SAY SOMETHING, instead relying on Ooh-I'm-a-pretty-girl-and-i'm-hurt or us teenager's need to partay to sum beatz.
PLUS SHE HANDED ME A ONE OF SIX RED BALLOONS


Then it was Waterford Time for some semi-M R&R in the book centre and then it was onto The Cinema. I spent the day with The Cinema which was fun, as I believe you say, partly because we share the same mindset, feelings, hand-size and charmingly fucked up sense of humour. Its odd when you find a Cinema that is so similar to you, but is manages to be completely their own original building aswell. There was andrew garfield, there was How Do, there was basking, there was gettin' up dem shteps, there was a milk joke.
Anyway, I am quickly learning what a fog of inner happiness feels like.
After returning to the autobus like a drug addict who's lost their supply, I discovered my malibu-soaked camping 18th for the night was C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D due to the five foot of rain that had descended onto..well, everything. I tried to refrain vomiting my panic all over the Route 40, so I instead vomited my panic through the phone onto my dance-addled M Friend, second name Degay. What proceeded was my basic definition of Therapy, except a lot more manic. So after the gorgeousness and gorgeousity of Marina & Waterford, I fell from one monkey bar and grasped onto another, labeled Fwiend. After a "girly catchup", we proceeded to abuse and confuse a number of people on The Facebook, stalk the beautiful people of The Facebook, personify the contents of our chinese takeaway, laugh till the room was swimming in piss, pretend to be the claw in a vending machine, find ourselves, overdose on class music, smoke the people we like, get politely angry after a glass of water was dropped onto my foot & had ghost banter, love trumpets, and bitty, topped off by watching Bambi. Ironically ofc.
A good time was had by all.
Daze like these show me what my life could ideally be after June. Self-acceptance, as Marina said is the main thing too. That's all really, Lost Weekends can get you through anything. Thanks guys:)

♥♥♥

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When In Sixth Year, Do As The Sixth Years Do

The last post was an olive branch for the past two months of silence. COME BACK TO THE FOLD READERS? FORGIVE ME?

Sixth year really is as chaotic as you tumblr kids make it out to be, and I've been dividing my time between learning my brain to ash and drinking my brain..to ash plus becoming addicted to work and 17 million other things I'll probably rant about here. All this has left me with no time in between for ol' cultureeatsme.

But I've had an epiphany, as i huddle in the traditional october tundra that descends on our house, listening to Tom Waits and my phone vibrate with another text either about vomit or maidhc o dainín jokes; I Miss The Blog. That flirtacious vertical line that flicks on and off at the start of the page, the minutes spent visually raping weheartit for inspiration, the grey 'Draft Autosaved' label that seems to say "Don't worry babe, I got this", and of course the congratulatory View The Post button that flickers onto the screen afterwards with a jaunty exclamation mark. Oh YES, I have missed this.* So my decision is: a post a week. Minimum. YOU HEARD ME, I can do it. Also the writing shouldn't be that bad since it'll be condensed & probably as I now have a marvellously epoc jean-ius as an english teacher. Thnks fr tha last 5 yrz again Ruáin. Anyway I'd be far too depressed if I came back in June and there was still a Scott Pilgrim rant under the now (almost) unfunny masthead. So prepare for a revival people. Stay tuned.♥

First I think this video deserves some space:


video







* I'm not having sex with the blog, even though it really sounds it

Home is only a feeling you get in your mind from the people you love and you travel beside.

It has been reported that some victims of torture, during the act, would retreat into a fantasy world from which they could not WAKE UP. In this catatonic state, the victim lived in a world just like their normal one, except they weren’t being tortured. The only way that they realized they needed to WAKE UP was a note they found in their fantasy world. It would tell them about their condition, and tell them to WAKE UP. Even then, it would often take months until they were ready to discard their fantasy world and PLEASE WAKE UP.



Saturday, September 4, 2010

You Just Drank Half & Half, Baby

EP·IC adj
very imposing or impressive;
surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)

Add heartfelt, hilarious and dazzling to this and you've got
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.
It's coming up on my third viewing of the "epic of epic epicness" that is Scott Pilgrim and before I obtain a Sex-Bob-Omb* t-shirt, finish reading all the comics and rape weheartit.com for hipster screencaps, I thought I'd GO AHEAD AND MENTION MY NEW OBSESSION HERE.
But unlike my other love letters to such cultural easter eggs, this one isn't going to look like an overexcited outpouring of mess, comparable to a retarded child eating cornflakes.
Instead, I'll just briefly 'upchuck' the main segments of this..cinematic orange. Yeah.
(a) The Graphics: It's fueled by those simply perfect 90s nintendo graphics which I have been known to jizz at in the past. The 8-bit Sega mega Universal logo at the beginning set the tone for everything to come and like Bernard Cumberbatch's face, although they shouldn't work on the big screen, they really really do. Its amazing that this is the first video-game-esque adaption that's worked before. Interestingly the entire look was i-n-s-a-n-e-l-y loyal to the original volumes, I mean literally down to the exact architecture, layouts, sequences & even CLOTHES. The feel is the same too and it helps that each segway is punctuated with blocks of the comic book text and more onomatopoeias than TG4 Batman cartoons.
(b) The Fight Scenes: In the same way that characters break into song without explanation in musicals, Scott battles Evil Exes at parties or theatres without any shock-factors or reprecussions. Why? Because why the hell not? After being 'defeated', the opponents burst into gold coins (geddit?), everyone around them just carries on talking. And honestly, speaking as a non-action fan, these fight scenes are CLESS. Besides being choreographed to a T for Teen, they have this funny juxtaposition of whimsy with very 90's, very Canadian naturalism. Bass battle? Check. Smoke lesbian? Check. Metaphorical swords? Check. Bliss.
(c) (i) The Music: Basically this soundtrack had me at hello, as the first shout of WE ARE SEX-BOB-OMB! ONE TWO THREE FOUR! streams out via a flickering assault of neon-bright, acid-scrawled lightning bolts. And throughout the whole film, there are snatches of the lullaby from Zelda, the bass line from Final Fantasy & Beck music to "make you feel sad and think about death and stuff!".
(ii) ALSO THE WAY MICHEAL CERA PLAYS BASS. I mean..BOIZ like.
After stalking Comic-Con interviews and Empire's tiny info-bites, this film was pretty much everything it was built up to be. Overall it's like the lovechild of Sin City, Kick-Ass and 500 Days Of Summer. And maybe a few strands of Inception in there too.

* Btdubs, a bob-omb is..are? one of the badguys from Super Mario.






♥♥♥