Journalist

The Year The World Didn’t End

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It’s that time, when one sits back and reflects and comprehends what we saw in a year that went too fast for some and not enough for many more. A year that exploded with talks and murmurs of the Euro Crises and Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Yemen led to the western world holding its break as North Korea launched and defied sanctions with a rocket that came down faster than it rose.

The Summer months saw a build up of election madness in the US that carried controversy after controversy before London 2012 temporarily reduced unemployment in Great Britain and produced stars and inspired a generation. Mr Munch’s Scream, moved on for just shy of the cost of Christiano Ronaldo as CERN and The Mars Rover push the boundaries of science and exploration.

The first Bionic Eye opens a window to a new world as Islamic blinkers are tightened with the Innocence of Muslims while Felix Baumgartner shows the potential of the human mind and body with Hurricane Sandy reminds us Mother Nature can take lives in the blink of an eye.

The Gaza crisis heightens as children are blown to pieces in Connecticut without the feeble excuse of a superhero movie while lunatics and fanatics destroy one of the greatest monuments from the ancient world as the world almost ends.

Why the EU got a peace prize and Obama got awarded is still a wonder to most as Dick Clark and Whitney Houston show awards are worth very little when life ends and we move into the next realm of our existence.

With a world that didn’t end surely we can dare to dream and hope for a better 2013, a year where less innocent people die where drought and mother nature can be tackled better  and harnessed and where  many must not only see a new year but also a new fishing bowl of possibility where all one can do is cast a line and wait for a bite.

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Eurovision or Euroschism: Interview With Klaus Woryna ESC Fanclub President Germany

Ukraine Eurovision Winner Ruslana

Q1 . DO you think the eurovision has entered a new era with more credibility and world attention?

eurovision has the same credibility as ever but the media echo is more positive after a the victory of a Western European country

Q2 do u think the new jury will remove block voting?

it depends how objective the jury is founded, it might be easy to “convince” few jury members of a certain result

Q3 with the recent european economic crash do you think some countries in crisis could feel the pinch if they have to host the competition next year?

no ESC is a matter of national pride, so each country will do its best to promote itself in the world, and hosting ESC brings back more money than that was spent on ESC (taxes, guests,….)

Q4 Do you believe as a european community the eurovision projects a strong and positive view of our continent abroad?

it Does; it shows no matter what politiians say, the people of Europe are united in partying and celebrating, they love music and struggle peacefully for a winner, that shows humaity and cleverness

Q5 Germanys success in showing a more fun and energetic side worked in 2006 with the world cup, do you think the eurovision showcases the more fun side of German people and culture?

well the answer is a mixed one. The funny side is important and shows that Germans may have humour indeed. But on the other hand the shows lack a typical German sign. They are mainstreamed, show multicultural interest and modernity, but lack the fever of ESC and most of all, as said before, something that remembers the people that the show is from Germany. So with that the message of Germans being funny gets lost a bit

Q6 have u experiened a larger world interest in eurovision from outside europe?

yes, here are at least 30 people from Australia that show that ESC is one of the most popular TV shows in Australia; on the other hand the music markets have an eye on ESC as far away countries broadcast ESC

Q7 Have jedward shown Eurovision spirit and represented us well?

they show their own spirit and that is a fresh one, as far as fun and partying is concverned that is the spirit of ESC, they represent Ireland quite well and bring fresh blood to ESC

Q8 can germany do the double and win back to back titles?

yes, Lena is my fav and for weeks I think she will make it although the most guys here now prefer Ireland

Hide and Seek.

Bin Laden

So Osama’s dead, 

Along with Michael Jackson, Elvis, Kurt Cobain and Tupac there is a slight shadow cast on the true location of the man or the actual happening of his death at all.
With the swiftness of his removal and the randomness of the entire spectacle as well as the leaked nonsense both on twitter and youtube as well as the humor inspired by Sohaib Athar with his online coverage of the raid comparing US helicopters to flies during his need for sleep have all aided critics and skeptics in jumping on the tale.

The custom of burying a body within 24hours and at sea is a valid excuse, one can take the angle that if his body had been preserved and buried in a tomb, it would be raided or possibly become a pilgrimage location for modern Islamic extremist worshipers. The swiftness of the removal of Osama reduces dragged out back lash from extremists. 

The positives in Osama’s removal, are as follows, the US wanted out of Afghanistan as Obama promised this in his campaign and he needed to fulfill it, Pakistan was getting irritated by US presence in its country and wanted rid of them and also Obama needed a big story with the elections looming in twelve months. 

The skeptics view is that the picture of his bloodied face is fake, probably true.
The lack of video messages from Bin Laden since 2007 and indistinct and random audio tapes being released could mean the man has in fact been dead for some period of time and to prove he is still alive he most release another tape.

To think the man could be alive is plausible, as to whether he is caving in Pakiston or chilling in a Mansion is probably not true. The reality being that Mr Bin Laden’s death was faked and he is a CIA bunker right now being interrogated is very likely. He is of too much use to the US government to just be killed off, after 10 years of searching its highly unlike the troops were under orders to kill at sight and the lies coming through that his wife was killed while to many sources is still alive means loopholes are beginning to appear. 

We are meant to believe he is dead, but Bin Laden surely isn’t making coffee in Starbucks or driving a taxi in London, the man whose sheer intellectual brilliance used incorrectly shook the world is a valuable asset to any government and its important to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. 

The Talented Dieter Laser,Human Centipede

Dieter Laser, Human Centipede

Hello James!
Here we go. Feel free to ask if you have further questions.
Best, Dieter.

q. Our literature is pretty mind blowing, do you like yeats and joyce and beckett?

a. Very much so – I recently directed and played with 3 musicians in Switzerland Samuel Beckett’s “A Piece of Monologue” in German and English to show the audience the beauty of his original language.

wow what movie did you shoot in galway! of all places?

a. It’s a German TV-movie from 2000 – I would translate the title as “My Green Freedom – a springtime in Ireland” as you can guess some sentimental stuff – but I was the bad guy and therefore it was comfortable enough for me.

Id like to ask you a few questions not about the usual stuff. Human Centipede, but more about you from one actor to another as our college is hosting the ISDA, IRISH STUDENT DRAMA AWARDS festival and the cream of irish college drama will be around and i was wondering could i interview you for our college paper offering advice to young aspiring theatre and film actors

q1 what first drew you to theatre and acting as an art form?

I grew up in a kind of baptists sect and was forced to hear, pray and read at least 3 hours per day the powerful Bible-language of Martin Luther (1545) the first German translator. The good side of this torture was that I developed a love for beautiful, poetic and strong language. Where was a better place to find for this poetic passion than the theatre? So I decided to become an actor – but because I was brainwashed, I first had to accept that I would have to pay for this capital sin by burning in hell for ever.

q2 When you think of Irish theatre of film what comes to mind?

Spontaneously Kenneth Branagh and his great Shakespeare adaptions for film – although he left Ireland quite young.

q3 Do you feel that there are varied acting styles between irish and german actors?

I think Irish actors have more power and they are able to really be rude because they have much more to fight for a living than German actors – security creates cowards.

q4 the two biggest movies to hit ireland of german origin are Run Lola Run and Downfall, do ye think that german cinema often likes to stray into the mainstream?

Meanwhile I very seldom watch theatre or film, I only want to do it. So I haven’t seen “Lola”. – “Downfall” is a very professional made movie – but I hate it because it needs to tell by Credit-Text in the end that 6 Million Jews were murdered! It fits to the attitude “We poor Germans” seduced and blindfolded by demons like Hitler. Thats wrong!! The German People have to admit the guilt of the whole German Nation. In this regard ‘Downfall’ is indeed very mainstream.

q5 What first drew you to your world wide role in Human Centipede?

First, the passion of the director Tom Six and the producer his sister Ilona Six – and second when I discovered the black humor in it and the possibility to portray a cartoonish Nazi-Psyche I had to do it.

q6, What kind of person does it take to play a villain as many striving actors feel that they offer more challenges than a nice pleasant character

Indeed villains are often more interesting to play than pleasant characters! The right looks can help but more important you have to be a “character-actor” just to be only mean or just to be only nice is mostly rather boring. So underneath the entertaining surface you try to develop some kind of personal substance, some kind of your “truth” about human existence. In case of “Centipede” the Nazi-Psyche became my vehicle to drive through the story.

q7, If you had to act with one Irish actor who would it be?

Any actor/actress with passion and a “clean actor’s soul” which means a person who together with her partners wants to give the audience an exiting story and not only wants to tell something about the own personality.

q8, Do you feel that history and especially dotted history plays a role in shaping theatre of our times as we explore and become comfortable with our own patchy history?

I don’t think that I do understand your question properly – but regarding history – I think theatre should always deal with the Past and the Future, preferably at the same time. In my opinion theatre is much too slow to deal profoundly with the actual Presence. The works of the great poets survived decades and centuries because their stuff still covers the presence and still projects into the future. Even the good writers of our time often go back or further on to get a better overview and deeper vision.

q9, who would you most like to play opposite from the world of hollywood film

I don’t know – I have no idol – but I had the honor to play in European productions with Julie Christie and Burt Lancaster, with Glenn Close and John Malkovich – and all of them were “clean-actor’s-souls” and indeed it was a great honor to work with these humble people.

q10, finally will you come back to Ireland and walk into one of our lecturers and scare our proffesors!

Sure thing! I will do so! I’ll come in and say: “Shut up!!! Time has come to finally stop you telling pure shit to the poor students. Go home and talk to yourself in front of your bathroom mirror.”

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.

Romantics or RideManics

Playboy

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