The Spring is in its Autumn, The Summer in its Free Fall

The Queen in Ireland

So we are one third of the way through 2011, and what has changed?
Emigration is still soaring, unemployment rampant, and confusion and discontent omnipresent.

Enda Kenny’s role as Taoiseach has been to many a success, in that he hasn’t done any severe damage as of yet which is always a plus!
The removal of the Seanad however is a contentious issue and he has touched a nerve, the reality is that we don’t actually need it, similar to the British Royal Family, it serves very little purpose but may have in the past but surely won’t in the future.

Nationalism and Anglo Hatred aside, the hullabaloo over the Royal Wedding is uncalled for, the level of farce and fickle nonsense that British Press has descended to, is pathetic, from a nation that once prided itself on its literary and media outlets it has become one obsessed with Jordan’s breast size and Kerry Katona’s coke rise. A come down from Shelley and Keats. Android phones, I-PADS, I-PHONES, I-TURNIPS and the progression of technology and WIFI has made news more accessible than ever but the over exaggerated claims that 2 billion people watched the prince of whatever-his-name is and the Kate chick walking down the gap is rubbish.

We live a world where one would think that everyone should have the ability to be journalists and share news and explore and educate the masses but instead we are resorting to spreading nonsense and bullshit through these mediums that should be used to better ourselves.

As a society we are reducing ourselves intellectually while claiming we are educated because we read papers or know the headlines! This does not deem one an intellectual it just means your eyes work proficiently. With a summer of discontent and emigration ahead, the embassies of the world will once again face the illegal immigrant syndrome of Irish abroad who have a fondness for the lack of rain. As our brain drain resumes and Australia and Canada fill we send our most esteemed academics since Joyce and Yeats to represent us in front of 100 million of our European peers. Already seen as a joke of a nation and experiencing subtle racism due to our debts to our EU cousins we then show them how we are spending our time. While we could be financially rebuilding ourselves we instead are funneling attention into Jedward for Eurovision.

As May day approaches and 80 countries across the world celebrate the workers movements we can at least spare a pleasant thought for Obama and the Queen who must be wondering what to do and what to wear and say when they arrive on our little island of saints and scholars and John and Edward.

With or Without You/Ourselves

Haiti Capital Devastated by Quake

The sun finally reminds us that it does in fact exist and the country goes into melt down, we deserve a good spell now, we deserve many good spells.

A new government, new weather and the President is rocking it up in Madrid, life seems pretty damn good, what is it that a sunny day does that leaves everything else in the back of ones mind.

As human beings we are easily distracted by simple materialistic objects and desires yet Japans recent disaster puts a lot into perspective;

We will wake up tomorrow morning, warm and safe, we will walk to the toilet and have running water and we will go online and have laptops, we will have clothes, we will have food, we will have a life!

Why is it that for the majority of us we have to see true suffering for it to show reality, to show that we are a society that desires too much and longs for control and influence yet mother nature can take it all away in less than 24hours.

We can fight and control so much in this world, but we cannot take on nature and win effectively, over 9000 people dead in a matter of minutes, shows how frail our existence truly is, our phones, our ipods, our existence is so frail yet we obsess about such simple things as the color of our cars and the shape of our hair.

In the years to come our world will have to face up to serious issues we have long tried to forget exist, oil crisis, middle east unrest and the widening divide between what is the western world and the east.

Japan is regarded as one of the strongest economies in not only Asia but also the world and it will bounce back but how does a country like Haiti cope with 4million homeless.  How will our world cope when money will no longer talk when the value of life will have to be seen as something true and real and not just a figure on a report.

With or without each other we will fall and falter, and as a people we have to move forward both in this country as a unit and find a resolution to our internal difficulties and as a race the history and the boundaries will have to crumble as we face into a century that will either make us or break us.

Students Union 2011/12? United we Stand, Divided We fall

Students Union of Ireland

James Mahon

In Our first week in Nuig we are given an amusing and usually entertaining speech by the students union president which is usually a means to convey their presence in our new college lives; yet with elections approaching we must ask the tough questions such as do they perform any real function or merely mill around in hoodys giving condoms and pamphlets?

As a class rep for the duration of my degree and a former member of the Academic Council I have never ever felt required to make the transition to SU officer, when I spoke to numerous students and staff members prior to writing this article I was met with a lot of the same indifference to their real function or purpose.

The majority of students felt that the SU is to be judged by their rag week now of course college week, yet the sustained backlash to this raise and give week that now seems more about college life and drinking rather than charity has left a lot of academics and students wondering why the SU should even exist other than to write apology letters to papers and radio shows. For all the backlash they receive the money they raise has in the past been staggering and the success of the charity element has always managed to eclipse the unruly elements. Yet Is the charity element now waning?

The reality is that we as a student body need representatives and the Students Union do act as a strong representation of many of the issues affecting us.
However each administration has had numerous officer positions for example an equality office and Irish language officer yet when I asked a group of second year students who were the SU or what impact had any of these people on students lives, they couldn’t name anyone except some guy called “peter Something”.

As a former graduate of the UCC Summer Academy I was surprised on a recent trip to their campus to see the pride and involvement of the SU in everyday life, the drive and passion their SU has for their students and desire to not just hold meetings and handout free pens but to be active and make wheels turn was very exciting and interesting. Their constant presence to aid students who are marginalized and who don’t feel included or who are subjected to either cyber bullying or isolation was pleasant to see in action and the approachability factor is one that seems essential to a strong and functional SU.

A Union or body can only be as good as the sum of its parts and we must take responsibility for our SU and play a function but if they aren’t inspiring or aiding us sufficiently then we must return to their manifestos or the lack of them. As our nation turns a corner and aims to move forward we need to give time to an even more pro-active SU that is felt around us every day, an SU that drives the college forward and pushes the boundaries to make differences; to walk the walk and not just talk the talk! Its no longer about Wispa Bars or college bars it needs to be about sustained student support and presence as the Celtic Tiger’s cage lies empty and Ireland’s Golden years lie in facebook albums and bebo memories maybe we need to re assess the function of a Union we are part of but often don’t feel belonged to.

Sex, Recreation or Procreation.

Morning After Pill

400 years ago condoms were first used and 32 years ago Ireland joined many other nations of western society in legalizing there use and now in 2011 we go to the next level, as a nation we have authorized the sale of the morning after pill without prescription for as little as the price of a full Irish Breakfast. Now we ask ourselves are we a nation that is pro-sex, pro-recreation or pro-creation?

In a recent discussion i held on social network page facebook i received varied and contrasting opinions from both catholic and non catholic Irish mothers, pharmacists, single women and single men in both Ireland and the UK as well as views from those other EU countries and academics in the US regarding our step either forward or back with the governments move into this area. As our little nation hates to admit we are one where sex does happen! For too long the very word wasn’t allowed to be mentioned in mass media, but slowly and surely we have opened our minds and with that a battered and bruised history of sexual abuse and sex scandals that are to this day being examined have been exposed.

The fundamental issue that arises from the legalization of the morning after pill among Women according to the discussion is whether they will use it as an excuse to not bother with condoms, as one female mature student currently on erasmus put it  “i know there is still the issue of std’s but girls should take responsibility for themselves….especially if alcohol is involved, and you cant depend on a guy to wear a condom….then limited risk of getting pregnant and hence no need to go get the morning after pill”. This raised many other knock on effects regarding the area of medical ethics in 21st century Ireland with two post graduate  Irish students in Scotland studying in the areas of pharmacy and Journalism clearly pin pointing how social patterns and morals can be altered especially with something as small as a tablet that can hold the opportunity to life or death.

Is taking the morning after pill ” preventing a pregnancy from occurring by removing the chance for the egg to be fertilized by sperm. It is not an abortion, it is preventative of abortions” as one New York contributor added or in the words of a current physics  Trinity College Student “No, it removes the possibility of implantation, AFTER fertilization” but is it more than just technical terms and medical discussions. Is this issue about our Christian and Catholic ethos as French Mother of two Celine put it regarding her country “the  church is nearly gone since the second wold war ..and that maybe why since 1969 absortion is legal in france ..i have nothing against church ..i’m a catholic myself ..the difference is just incredible sometimes how peoples minds could be controlled by church in Ireland”. We are still seen as a nation of saints n scholars by many.

The discussion lead into the realms of abortion and whether or not it is merited or not, it is still viewed with disdain by many but regardless if someone is sexually abused and or raped one would think that a modern Ireland would allow for abortion. The interesting point regarding all this is, whether or not the morning after pill is abortion or not, are we subtly avoiding the abortion referendum card by giving the morning after pill for 9.99!

a common view is one held by an active member of the catholic church in Dublin whose contributed was seen as many as down to earth and valid “Technically, the pill is an abortifacient, which means it induces abortion. Making it freely available means there’ll be a lot more people using it as pregnancy control, leading inadvertently or otherwise, to abortions. You can probably guess I’m not in favour of it”. The morning after pills links to lack of fertilization and also the pills inability to function to a high standard after three times of use leads one to see that the regular pill maybe a better option for those who are interested in regular sex without condoms, but condoms should be encouraged regardless and we must not project the morning after pill as a replacement for other forms of contraception but more of an emergency option if its required.

At this point i shall leave this article to time and society, hopefully women and men alike will respect each other and be  respected and treated fairly and sex hopefully wont be lost even more to the media and seen as just a hobby or casual experience rather than a shared moment between two people.

Romantics or RideManics


We grew up to Spice Girls and Britney Spears, we grew up in the world where  Internet raged and boomed to the moans and groans of www porn and abuse, the generation gap widened, our world wasnt afraid to admit to sex, affairs and divorce and now we feel fit to judge those who have come after us.

The channel 4 TV show Gypsy Weddings, highlights the culture we have encouraged, one of Jordans, Pg 3 models, barbies with huge boobs and skinny waists, tv shows such as Paradise Hotel, and Big Brother scenes of casual sex, are we becoming a western mob of casual sexual deviants devoid of the feelings of love and respect for each other.

Sex has become a commodity, 14 and 13 year old girls are showered with Playboy products  from school bags to jewelery, and boys record teenage girls giving them blowjobs in school yards on mobile phones,

what kind of world are we fostering, one devoid of romance and littered with disrespect and one can call it openness but its also sad as childhood is torn away year by year by commercialism and materialism.

Take A look at MTV and see sexualized music videos showing young girls and guys its OK, to perform certain actions and in numerous locations. We dont want a world of Saints n Scholars, We want  a world of sexual liberation and freedom but when the time is right, childhood should be cherished and preserved not thrown away in a teen disco at 14 to the smell of smoke, taste of body fluids and sounds of Rhianna.

The Gypsy People in Channel 4 are being flooded with this imagery and content and devoid of education are being influenced and mocked by the press. Their culture is precious and they are mistreated but dont put them on a pedestal that we the middle and upper classes have created and fostered and then laugh at them like some kind of Pathetic Shakespearan or Greek Tragedy. We sit alone as creators and destroyers, we stand alone as the generation that saw all and did nothing and now we laugh at the misfortune of others.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Brazil to Russia to Qatar, Footballs Journey for the next 12 years

Quatar football

Tonight we know now where we lie when it comes to booking flights for future honey moons, stag breaks and lads holidays,

England bow out to Belgium/Holland axis and Spain/Portugals Iberian dream burst with their impending economic perils now their sole focus, welcome to the bail out club ladies and gents!  Russia why Russia!, Vodka, Ballet, talented Writers, Ice skating, Stunning Women and Oil, but also fierce political clout!

Putin, Abramovich and the boys with the bucks called the shots in this one is a credible concept,  but first Brasil, home of football in 2014, south africa and germany have done their best but one can see brasil rocking this world cup,

beaches, babes, weather, food and culture that are enviable and a festival and carnival history! it will be crazy, the spiders, the insects the dodgy infrastructure! who cares, its brasil,

then from there to Russia, biggggg difference, culturally anyways, laws, rules, regulations  yet an atmosphere that lent itself wonderfully to the Champions League final Between Man utd and Chelsea which may be a reason for its selection also

To qatar, lets hope the oil is still there by 2022 , if not we will melt, that ginger gene will burn in the sand of the  camel land of oil wells and turbans,

It will be an interesting few years, and more articles on the world we live to follow,

over and out

Virtual Reality Tv


Virtual Reality TV

Katie Weissel and Storm Lee are names that will exist in our bubble society for a few more weeks and then vanishing, where will they turn up? A cruise ship in the Baltic sea? In a dodgy leaked internet tape? Or in Celeb Jungle Nonsense or Skating on Ice with washed up careers.  Since the turn of the Millennium our society has thanks to Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment and a team of extremely smart psychologists working for ITV and Channel 4 become obsessed with Reality Tv, From Idol to Talent and from Jungle to Ice we have been washed around on a tsunami of tabloid driven materialistic frivolous crap. Miss Weissel it has emerged along with Mr Storm have previously tried and failed as recording artists and resort to x factor to try and create a musical career. Its pathetic that this glorified karaoke crap has become a viable option to become a recording artist, even though most of the people who win it cant even spell the word artist never mind write a sentence or a song. Out of curiosity and intrigue for these shows true realities i auditioned and became a  finalist in Big Brother in London this year and also in X Factor Dublin the disgusting way talent is brushed aside in favour of manipulation of fame seekers, people who are hurt or have  disabilities and the encouragement of sob stories and lies was revolting. Mary Byrne already won a talent show on tg4 Nollaig No 1 only a few months ago selling a pathetic  19copies of her lead single yet claimed on national television and also to those of us who auditioned before her and after in Dublin that she never had the confidence till now to sing in public. Once again we are fed lies by shrewd psychologists and tv execs in order to wheel some unfortunate muppet into the public eye before throwing them on the scrap heap of 21st century British television. Steve Brookstein washed up x factor winner, Leon Jackson forgotten about winner, Joe Mc Elderry beaten to number one by a face book campaign with a follow up single that couldn’t even make the top five, followed into number six in the Uk charts by Shayne Ward destroying Mr Cowells expensive purchase of a good Nickleback track. He spent three years recording an album, and returns with an album of covers sprinkled with auto-tune.  Stacey Solomon herself a product of reality tv who didn’t even win X factor is now flogging her existence eating kangaroo penis in celeb Jungle, the step before rehab for washed up wasters who are living off 15 seconds of fame.  When will our society stop texting, stop voting and stop encouraging the Celebration of these so called “Celebrities”! With facebook, bebo, twitter and myspace we have found channels for our human gossip cravings to be satisfied and now we must stand up and accept the reality that what is deemed Reality tv, is virtual, structured, rigged nonsense designed to tap into our emotions, manipulate our minds and pockets and provide a conveyor belt for IDOL/Factor products that are merely fickle purchases on our Amazon accounts and in Tesco carts driven by our consumer society.



Our Island, our Reality, by James Mahon

We are the “Bebo generation” and we are the “Italia 90 Babies” but more importantly we were also “Celtic Tiger Cubs” and now we are Celtic Tiger Flops.
This country according to figures from the trustworthy and honest Bank of Ireland has gone from being the second wealthiest nation on the face of our little planet on July 10th 2006 just behind Japan and ahead of USA, Italy, France and Germany to a financial and social mess. We sit today in coffee shops, bars and restaurants and on IKEA couches that more than likely wont be there this time twelve months. We walk the corridors of a University we may not attend next semester never mind next year. We are the generation that are left behind that wont get a J1 Summer, that might not get to graduate and might never get a job on leaving college, that is if we can even afford to graduate.
Where did it all go wrong? how come we either face into bailing out banks that hold our communion money not our SSIA’S or end up saying “Im Irish, Get me Outta Here”. We were born into prosperity, Santa always came, Disneyland was a holiday resort not Dingle, Boarding schools were an option, mobile phones and Xboxs, plasmas and camcorders, clubbing and cars, lavish 16th birthdays, extravagant 18th birthdays, Oxygen and Electric Picnics, soft summer jobs, foreign holidays after the leaving cert, now what do we have? Memories, photos, face book albums of times gone by.
No more part time jobs, no more trips to Ibiza, we face into dole queues and protests. Our society is sick, very very sick, and the EU medics are worried they may not be able to bring us back to life. This time in the words of American writer Dennis Lehan its “Gone Baby Gone“. Like all human beings we are greedy, we got what we wanted in the past and we asked for more and got it, encouraged by a government and a media circus that lasted years. Banks handed out money as if it were packets of crisps and we borrowed and we borrowed, and we were given grants that we didn’t need and what do we have to show for it? The Spire in Dublin, a few hospital wards and a motorway or two.
In 2007 German Chancellor Christopher Pauls gave out about our brand new “06 and 07 cars”, remarking we had too much money and no sense to which Dept of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Dermot Gallagher responded by saying that his abusive remarks were “misinformed and inaccurate”. Was Mr Paul a modern day Nostradamus, no! he was seeing what we couldn’t behind our Gucci sunglasses. Today we face the reality that Germany might have to bail us out, Russia has shaken its head, we are no longer the prosperous craic mad Ireland, we now sit in relegation territory looking sadly at Iceland above us, Portugal below us and Greece suffering beside us.
How bad is it? We don’t actually know! Are we better being ignorant of the fate of our isle of saints and scholars or rather bankers and Blagards, one often wonders. We will never know how deep the mud we are sinking in is until we hit rock bottom wherever that is or whenever it will happen. According to OECD figures our income is 15 percent less than output, the second largest gap in the OECD. Only 6 months ago we were told “We were out of recession”, this nonsense was blanketing the reality which was that although there was an increase in the opening quarter of 2010 it was still offset by “a 2.7 percent decline posted this time last year in 2009” these are the words of Bloxham chief economist Alan Mc Quaid in the Irish Independent.
Do we see signs of being out of recession around us now, the answer is an emphatic no! we see longer dole queues, shops closing, people emigrating and we are left with one of the most terrifying budgets in the history of our nation. Is there a solution? Are we the ones who have to come up with it? Should we just leave on the next Ryan air flight? These are questions we have to face over the next six months, we were often told, being in college acted as a shield, now with college fees being upped, grants being cut, we no longer can wait for the country to mend itself. Do we need change of government, the logical answer is yes, but it must also be a change for the good with a solution to this nations woes. We have a chain around both our legs and hands as citizens of this country and that is that we have to meet a 2014 target of savings of 15billion euro set by the EU. This works out according to ESRI figures at about 10million euro a day! In other words, we are Leeds United in the form of a nation! We have to borrow money to run the country while using whatever money can be scrounged through cuts and taxes to bail out or banks and pay bank loans. Its like having a college house with a rent of 350 a month, earning 50 a week from working in a pub and then having to get a loan to pay the rent because u fall short and also need to borrow money to live off. In Irish this is called a “fainne Fi”, we are borrowing to stay afloat as a nation but also borrowing to pay back what we have already borrowed. Will we drink our way out of the recession! No, because we cant afford to this time! Economist Alan Barrent said that “very few people in the world actually believe we are going to make a 3per cent of GDP by 2014” so why should we believe we can make it, we have to accept that we can longer turn out backs on the future and must either face it head on or head off. This little island of ours is a dying phoenix and is yet to be seen if we can rise from the ashes of a recession that has made us the laughing stock of Europe and leaves us as young adults of this nation facing the bleak reality that not only will the tiger never roar again it wont even whimper.