#5: There’s always somebody more paranoid than you

I crib this slightly from the Village Voice, but it’s true. As I write, we are eight hours and sixteen minutes into the Rapture — an international event (occurring at different times across the time zones) but one that has been heavily advertised in New York. Indeed, when I made my way out this evening, … Continue reading

A note about noise

People like to say that if you complain about loud music, it’s because you’re getting old, but that’s not true. As an underage 15-year-old in Peig’s nightclub, near Trinity College, I’d sometimes go to sleep in a corner, worn out by the pressures of attempting conversation. It would be unseemly to do that now of … Continue reading

The big boys are in town

The second in a series of guest posts by Irish citizens about what they’re thinking in the economic crisis — this one is from Padraig McLoughlin (32), a scientist who lives in Dublin. “I started writing this piece a week ago last Sunday, and in the short time since, events have really overtaken it. During … Continue reading

Whither Ireland?

A few days ago I attended a meeting about how to resuscitate Ireland’s economy (not quite in those words). The people in the room were influential ex-pats and second generation Irish Americans, and one thing about them was striking: most of them were over sixty, and most of them were male. I was present as … Continue reading

Election aftermath

So the Democrats didn’t fare well in the election. That seems pretty clear. On the other hand, at least (for them) they still control the Senate … I spent Tuesday in the town of Peeksville in Westchester, campaigning on behalf of Democrat incumbent John Hall. Obama’s grassroots volunteer group, Organizing for America, paid for the … Continue reading

Rally to restore sanity?

I arrived at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity just as it started. It was huge, so thronged with people that we weren’t anywhere near speakers, and couldn’t hear a thing on the stage. The Guardian estimated that  250,000 people turned up but there may have been far more. I’m not yet sure what I think … Continue reading

Why I like grafitti

An angry and rather clever, if not technically gifted,  grafitti artist is at work at the Fort Hamilton Park subway stop, adding a glint of light and humour to an otherwise grim station. The subversive scrawls are much easier on the eye than the patronizing, commercial messages of the ads that they deface. Hurrah for subterranean … Continue reading

Totally impressed

Perhaps I am the last person in the world to discover Martin Robbins at the Guardian. His spoof of BBC science writing is smart and true (perhaps — I don’t much read those science articles so I can’t say for certain), but an extra delight is the way the commentators rose up in a Mexican … Continue reading

The Famine in New York

Do Irish people really understand hunger in Africa because of the Famine? Or is this a self-serving, cynical use of a historical event that was, of course, genuinely tragic?

Bertie at the Sheraton

The Sheraton hotel is a strangely shabby place to have a meeting of world leaders. It’s in the Times Square area of Manhattan. TS is beloved of tourists, sure, but to locals like myself its disnified glitter is known as “hell.” But that’s where Bill Clinton chose to hold his Global Initiative meetings this week. … Continue reading

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