Monday, February 27, 2006

Announcement, even yet still more new blog

[Have decided to experimentally launch a Kevin Myers fansite called Cruiskeen Eile; what follows is a cross-posting of the "Justification" I've posted there] I have to admit that I'm quite fond of Kevin Myers really. I was among the first to defend the beleagured colonel during bastardgate when the feminazis and anarcho-syndicalist freedom haters descended on him like a ravening horde. Sure I would say, he did argue from the particular to the general in an intellectually disreputable manner without the benefit of substantial and credible evidence, he did launch an attack on a vulnerable and largely voiceless social group by deploying in its most shocking iteration a word (bastard) which it is dubious in the extreme ever enjoyed the neutral value he claimed in his defence to have ascribed to it. But you have to understand, the poor man is as mad as a fucking balloon. Kevin Myers has been tending what is no doubt the most coveted real estate in The Irish Times for quite the number of years at this stage (much to the frustration of aspiring gCopaleens the length and breath of the island). It's been a lot of hard, thankless work (our hero often notes the reluctance of his vast, silent army of supporters to out themselves in the letters pages). Like the colonel's, my shelves groan under the weight of ponderous military history tomes, though I own myself a little more sceptical of the enthusiasm for the glorious crucible of battle than thin red line cheerleaders John Keegan, Dicky Holmes, Max Hastings et al, than perhaps our Kev might be. Given the faux Edwardian tone Caoighmhín facies he carries off with effortless aplomb, it is appropriate to refer readers to one of them, War of Nerves by Ben Shepard, a survey of military psychiatry among whose delights is a potted history of early pscyhoanalysis, the immutable verities of which, believe it or not, are still with us. The early days of the science coincided with the rise of cerebral, white collar employment giving rise to fears among the newly minted middle classes of "brain strain". And that I fear is what Mr. Myers has. You can't put out polemic after polemic under tight, Sisyphusian deadlines without putting the old grey matter under unwise levels of stress. I've been reading Myers' output since my teens and there have been many times over the last 15 years when I've bought The Irish Times simply to read his column and do the crossword (Simplex), giving no more than a cursory glance to much of the rest of the paper. And I'm sure I'm not alone. Alas, having blown vast chunks of its trust fund out the collective arse of its board of directors, the Times has been a shadow of even its former self for quite some time. Many of its contributors and payrolled journos have been cut adrift from their former world of expense-account lunches and company cars with only their generous pensions to console them. And this degradation of the brand has coincided with the ineluctable diminution of the colonel's mental powers. Of course, it's a tidal thing. He was at his most hysterical and incoherent in the aftermath of the events of 11 September, 2001. Myers vascillated from pole to pole as the beast slouched towards Bethlehem and he exhorted the falconer to bid the falcon gyre and gimble in the blood-dimmed wabe. Deploying all the lit-crit powers a UCG undergraduatcy can bestow (not many), I managed to identify his weltanschauung as an alarming comingling of the perspectives to be found in two poems; Yeats' apocalyptic classic, The Second Coming and the, er, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. I'm hoping Myers provides a bit of gold for my reading pleasure tomorrow, but if not I noted as I sat in typical Rodin pose on the jacks yestereve and thumbed through his collected Irishman's Diaries, a volume of which is a mainstay of my privy library, that he addressed himself in February '95 to the case of Lee Clegg and the mischievous doings of the illustrious Parachute Regiment. So maybe I'll blog about that instead.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


For a while, I've been considering the idea of starting an Irish blawg which takes as its template the sort of sites which have evolved in the US blawgosphere in the last couple of years. While there are a number of excellent bloggers in Ireland with a legal background, (Simon and Fergal at Tuppenceworth, Fiona at Mental Meanderings, Damien Mulley, TJ McIntyre etc) and there is the very necessary Digital Rights movement, the blog o'sphere continues to lack a dedicated space aimed at the legal community, senior and, er, junior branches of the profession as well as academics and students. As a mere first year (I like to think of myself as a kind of 1L, yankstyle), I haven't really been confident about undertaking the project, but I've lately begun to think that it might be a really good way to get motivated and informed simultaneously. I mooted the idea in comments at the tuppenceworth blog, where it seemed to provoke some initial enthusiasm. Fergal Crehan suggested operating a tuppenceworth style site comprising a blawg and online law review as an outlet for contributers who want to explore substantive issues in a little more detail than a blog post typically allows, which strikes me as an excellent idea. I'd like to see a blawg aggregate and apprise its readers of the following: a) Current awareness; case law etc. b) Govt. legislative programme/progress of legislation c) Speaking events/sponsored lectures etc. d) Legal publishing/essay competitions e) Nature of practice for prospective entrants of various backgrounds as well as for current practitioners f) Changing face of the profession, competition etc. g) Legal education/CPD (continuing professional development) h) Significant legal developments and socio-legal issues i) Create an Irish law wiki I'd like to see the blawg become something important to the legal community in particular and, by extension the wider public, in which regard it would be very important to keep it professional in tone, and to avoid polarisation. It would be useful to attract postings in and develop separate categories for Criminal, Constitutional, Company, Family law, Torts etc. etc. My personal take on blogging is that it offers significant career development/showcasing potential and it can serve as an excellent adjunct to one's working life. Potential contributors might like to bear this in mind; it would be good to create something of a contributing community. The project requires its own domain and decent hosting. I want a dot IE for it, and have picked out what I believe is a good name, which is not yet taken. I'd like to call the venture (online review plus blawg) ***** ********* and create it at ***** dot IE - so what I want to know is what is a good "reseller" to go with and who is a good host. I think the domain is about 30 quid, so I can suck this up as well as initial monthly hosting costs. Hopefully, I will have enough information in the next few days to persuade me to unsheath my credit card. If anyone has any ideas on the above or thinks there is a niche for this project in the blogosphere and would like to get invovled let me know by email [theapothecaryguy AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk] or in the comments. Hopefully, I will actually have the gumption to follow all this through.


UPDATE: Opportunist rioters indulge in an attack on asian shopkeepers...hat tip Dossing Times. From the set here: UPDATE: Apparently these unfortunate gentlemen had the temerity to question the looting of their shop. My plan today was to catch the bus to Dorset St., drop my kit at the Kings Inns library and potter across the river for coffee and a light snack at the Saturday market in Meeting House Square before heading back to hit the books. But I didn't get around to it. Lucky thing too as I have one of those heads which attracts the unwanted attentions of rioting scumbags, at whom I cannot help but look with frank bourgeois disapproval when I see fuckbaggery in progress. This is kind of dumb as I am less than prepossessing and have been on the wrong end of an unprovoked knack-attack [as a Limerickman, I don't use the term knack to refer to members of the Travelling community, but to shell suit wearing troglodytes] on more than one occasion. I was on O'Connell St. some years ago during the English football fan debacle, and the Celtic enshirted were out and about that day too. I stopped answering politely the various requests to know the time was from oiks on both sides of the divide when I realised the questions weren't prompted by a lack of chronographs, but by a less than disinterested desire to know what accent I would deploy. I wouldn't have wanted to be relying on RTE to let me know that the centre of my capital city was overrun by scumbags, however, and the first I knew of the rioting in town was a casual browse of a couple of blogs including the dossing times, back seat drivers and slugger o'toole. Freestater has a nice little post on the matter too and Noam Delevan blogs up a storm over at sic notes. I had to wait til 6 to catch anything on the national broadcaster, being forced instead to rely on what Sky were beaming into the State, which is outrageous. Good thing I tend to forget to stump up the licence fee, or I'd feel robbed. It is to be hoped the police have the cop [pun intended] to rely on the vast amount of citizen-created photographic material across various blogs and uploaded to flikr to secure prosecutions. Rather than concoct an essay on the matter, I'll just aggregate here the knee-jerk comments I posted to a couple of blogs: at back seat: One can't help but notice the plastic paddy regalia. Good report. at disillusioned lefty: Lucky I got distracted from going into town this afternoon. You wouldn't want to be relying on RTE to let you know that the centre of the capital city was overrun by scum. I'd like to know how the authorities have permitted this to get so out of hand. The cops were quick enough to storm into the hippy dippy kids of the cycling fraternity when there was no danger to property or limb. Alas, when genuine thugs are burning property, threatening innocent people out shopping on a saturday, not to mention causing massive political upset and a few heads require to be cracked open, the thin blue line seems just that little bit lacking. at freestater: It's no coincidence that shops which were attacked were Footlocker and Schuh, trainer emporia descended on by behooded scum. Looting in Dublin city centre, a lesson to us all but one I don't see us learning. There was a lovely image on the news of some fucker getting nicked by two cops emerging from one of the shops with a bag of swag. He was nearly in tears. The police are tactically crap. A seven year old with a game boy and a copy of Advance Wars 2 could do a better job than the crowd up in the Phoenix Park, frankly. Routing the march through a building site/arms dump was also extremely clever. Take a bow all down the Mansion House. Gay Mitchell made the excellent point that these bastards are doing this shit in certain communities on a constant basis. Of course that's perfectly tolerable to our incredibly complacent government and bourgeois Tygger society as long as our leafier burbs aren't affected. Stand up the boys in the camel-hair coats and their chums in the construction industry who ghettoised swathes of the population in a process of self-enrichment in the 70s and 80s. Will the govt. be taking responsibility for this as well as their incompetent oversight of the police and march-route planners? I think not. It was shocking to see someone throw a molotov at another human being and if the fucker who did it isn't caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law with a concomitant sentence it will be a very bad look out. Again, it demonstrates that we've incubated a pretty nihilistic element in our society, but of course up til now they've really only been bothering the benighted residents of Finglas, Darndale, O'Malley Park etc. Will the govt. be acknowledging that?