Black 47: A Powerful Revenge Tale

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One of the most highly anticipated Irish films in recent years, this was released in the U.S last Friday. Well-known Irish stars Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford and Stephen Rea star alongside Australians Hugo Weaving and James Frecheville and the legend that is Jim Broadbent. Barry Keoghan, the rat from Love/Hate is continuing his rise as a genuine acting talent and for once, he plays a character with redeemable qualities. Some of you might know Dermot Crowley, who plays a judge who revels in dealing out harsh punishments, from the series Luther, in which he plays Idris Elba’s beleagured and suspicious boss. All in all, the film boasts a strong cast and the performances don’t lie.

The film opens with Hannah, played by Weaving, a drunken English officer with the Irish Constabulary. He is interrogating a young Irishman who is a suspect of conspiring against the Crown. Hannah loses the run of himself and kills the suspect.
Next, we are introduced to Feeney, played by Frecheville, an Irish soldier returning from war with the British overseas. He returns to a desolate wasteland that was once his home. He is met with the horrific news that his mother starved to death, his brother was hanged and his brother’s wife and children live in fear of being evicted from the home they are squatting in. His brief reconnection with his sister-in law and niece and nephew is cut short, however, when landlords, landagents and soldiers force the family from the home, kill Feeney’s young nephew and leave the mother and her children to freeze to death. Feeney himself is taken to jail where we get a glimpse of his prowess as a soldier and his willingness to take revenge on those who have hurt his family. Killing several officers and burning down the barracks, he returns to the house and finds his brother’s wife frozen to death with her young son in her arms. Her daughter is nowhere to be seen, presumed dead. Feeney stares at the scene and we see a hollow look consume his face and then we are treated to an hour and a bit of gratuitous violence against the British and the corrupt Irish landlords. Happy days.
Hugo Weaving is drafted in to hunt the Irishman down alongside Freddy Fox, who plays Captain Pope, Barry Keoghan who plays a lieutenant and Stephan Rea, a translator who they pick up along the way. The quartet following Feeney and his path of destruction are taking part in an inverse game of cat and mouse, with the cat leading the mice on a deadly dance through the famine-stricken west coast of Ireland. Up until the final battle scene we are never really sure which side that Weaving’s character is on, as it is revealed that he and Feeney know each other from serving in Afghanistan. We truly see the conflict that faced Irish men at the time; go and serve with the British overseas and potentially bring miney back home, or stay at home defying the crown and die by hunger or by hand. A line spoken by Feeney in a scene by night with Hannah is particularly striking when put in context with the events at the time and the black year of ’47 in general.
“When I kill, it’s murder. But when they kill it’s war…providence.”

Overall, I believe the film is fantastic. It might lose half a star for Keoghan’s death scene. While he was good in the rest of the film as the young man who has joined a mission far above his station, when he tries to liberate the grain that Lord Kilmichael and his soldiers are stealing from the people it all just seems forced and wooden. A powerful scene that shows a British soldier seeing the error of his country’s ways and giving up his life for people he has no connection to fell a small bit flat.
Frecheville is brilliant as the Terminator-like Feeney, stalking those who did his family wrong with his cúpla fóclóir and his steely gaze. Weaving is equally as impressive as the disillusioned and decorated former British Army veteran who faces a choice of escape or redemption in the final scene. Broadbent is sublime and horrible to watch as the oily, anti-Irish Kilmichael. Stephen Rea provides some sort of comic relief and the true voice of the oppressed Irish, sharing a powerful scene with Broadbent in which he stands up for the Irish peasants while making the Lord think he is partaking in friendly banter.
The film ends on a hopeful note with Feeney’s niece, who was presumed dead, seen on a cart bound for a boat to America. A bittersweet end to a film chronicling the worst year of the biggest genocide that the Irish nation ever suffered.

This film is playing in the Independent Film Centre on 6th ave. if anybody living in New York want to see it over the next few weeks. It’s also on Showbox, for smart people like my friend Aaron. Shnake.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

There have been plenty of changes over the past couple of months in the upper echelons of the company I work for. A guy I worked with on the overnight shift went back to Slovakia and told me that change was-a-comin’. Then he drifted into the wind as he waited for a cab on 6th Ave. The first known casualty of Thanos’ regime. But no, he knew of some changes coming in the following months as his brother is a super and had an inside ear on the gossip. And he was right. A lot of managers and execs left and went to another building management company for a whole host of reasons. Obviously there’s more to it than that but I am not willing to divulge any classified information on this. I’ve already said too much. They will be coming for me soon.
I’d love to be a whistleblower and go on a documentary where they blur my face and lower my voice. Then, at the end, I’d get up and say, “Anyways, sound, I’ll meet you for pints later down the town, I think this will sort out the rampant problems in this industry or my name’s not Cian Dalton”, and I’d give away my identity. A simple dream, but it is one I want to happen.
Anyways, the whole changing of the guard had me worried for a minute about whether it would affect me and my coworkers in anyway. This in turn had me thinking about all the changes that had gone on in mine and my friends lives over the past couple of years, whether it be jobs, partners, education and the rest. How does one prepare oneself for change and then deal with the aftermath? How does one adapt to a new place? How does one allow oneself to open up to a new partner? How does one start over again in a new job while they figure themselves out? Tough times.

New Jobs

Starting a new job is always a nerve-wracking experience. Once again you have to introduce yourself to everyone and give the same introduction dozens of times over. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working in retail for yonks or working behind a bar for years; you have to get to know the system people have in place and be as genuinely nice as possible for as long as you can. Accept everyone’s help and take it all in. Get to know who the annoying pricks are and who are the sound ones. Get to know what makes your amnager impressed and succeed on that for as long as possible. But know also when to stand your ground and stob being the ‘new guy/gal’.
I let one guy be an asshole to me for a couple of weeks longer than I should because I thought it was all banter. Then he shouted at me for taking too much cold water from the water dispenser, which is connected to the pipes of the building. So there would never be a shortage of cold water. I told him to take a fucking break with the shit and find someone else to listen to his shit. I disliked him for a while but now we are firm friends and he’s my Best Man for my wedding so….that’s life.

Partners

A change in one’s lovelife will have major effects on the rest of one’s life, especially as the relationship progresses. Sometimes it can just be a fling and both parties involved know that. Ideal. Sometimes you don’t know where the relationship is going but you like the person and want to see what happens, which can also be ideal as long as feelings aren’t too hurt when it ends. Sometimes a relationship can feel so real and true but for some reason it doesn’t work out and you don’t know why and it hurts. But that’s showbiz baby. Sometimes you meet someone and it seems fantastic but you know it can’t last because you are moving halfway around the world. And that’s fairly shit. But sure look, life isn’t that short and technology is wondrous. Keep in touch with them.
I’ve been single for ages and love it. I want to live all over and couldn’t go getting involved with a young one without deciding three months later that I’m going to live in Germany for a while. And I couldn’t do long distance. I’m terrible at keeping in touch with my friends long distance. That poor fictional girl wouldn’t stand a chance with me!

Education

This is a tough one to talk about change, really. The majority of young people in the developed Western world experience the sharp change between being molly-coddled by teachers and parents in secondary/high school to living away from home and being left to their own devices for the most part in third-level education. People can still get away with doing the bare minimum in college but further education such as a Masters or a Doctorate requires the full discipline and attention of the student.
I am going to attempt to rectify my lazy ways before I start my Masters but I put the bare minimum in in college, passed with an O.K. QCA (GPA for you Yanks), but I know I could have done so much better. I have no regrets with my time in U.L. I had the best craic with some of the best people but I know I can do better academically. So I would recommend to enjoy the freedom of college but for God’s sake don’t just sink into it. Do your work and realise you are building your future with hungover, rollie-stained hands.

Everything Else

You can literally take anything life throws at you in a, ‘roll with the punches’ vibe if you put your mind to it. Except tragedy and death. That’s a whole subject that I’m lucky to not have truly experienced first hand. I would never tell anyone who has suffered how to go about dealing with it. But all of the above and everything else, just remember that you are a worthwhile individual who can deal with this new stress and turn it into a positive situation. Ride the positive waves, men and women. #Believe #don’t@me

 

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 3

The one constant thing in a night shift doorman’s daytime is the easy access to programs on every streaming device, as well as movies, podcasts and articles. The odd sleep schedule that accompanies the job is a tad annoying. The reduced time you get to spend with friends is another grievance but once you are engrossed in a new show you stop feeling sorry for yourself and continue to vegetate. Episode after episode is consumed. Season after season is watched through increasingly aching eyes. You should really take a break, or at least use your phone for something more productive, but that’s too much effort. The only time legs are used are to swing your arse from the couch to the other part of the couch so your back doesn’t hurt anymore. Enough about my Tuesdays!
This week, I started going to the gym again. All summer long I used the excuse of the GAA season to not stay active. I played a handful of games and skipped the rest for work. So I decided that enough was enough and that I would eat healthier and cut out the eating out. The drawback to this increase in activity is the lack of time for binge-watching T.V. shows and movies. I can’t concentrate on podcasts when I exercise so I listened to Eminem’s new album.Let me tell you, that guy is angry! I didn’t watch as much this week because of this. I also didn’t read as much because I left my bag with all the books I’m currently reading in a friend’s house after an almighty session. I did use my night shifts to binge a few things instead of working. So let’s have a look.

Bojack Horseman (Season 5)

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I couldn’t remember much of the specifics of the first four seasons of Bojack because I binged them all separately and never together. I loved the show before and remembered the basics; Bojack is an asshole who sometimes redeems himself but always manages to ruin his life and other people’s lives; Diane is the book smart friend who may or may not have feelings for Bojack while being with someone else; Todd is the zany, typical comic relief who slowly develops into a rounded character; Princess Carolyn is the unlucky in love agent turned manager who can’t have kids while always batting for Bojack. I was not prepared for how much of their awful, sad lives that I couldn’t remember would come flooding back as I watched.
It is a truly fantastic show that is tough to watch because each episode packs a lot of jokes and comedy around a seismic gut-punch of emotional growth or regression in a character. The fourth season especially dives into Bojack’s childhood and his mother’s reasons for being cold and unloving. It was tough to binge that season because, while the episodes were marvellous and some are ranked in the top echelons of IMDbs top rated episodes, each one left me feeling emotionally drained.
Season 5 is no different. I’ll have to watch it through again to fully appreciate the season. The writers pull no punches, really plumming the depths to which we, the viewer, are willing to go to keep rooting for Bojack. He is plagued by demons even more so in this fifth outing and his past indiscretions are coming back to the surface.
Princess Carolyn spends the season putting out more fires and trying to adopt a baby. Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter have split up and are trying to wade through life without each other. Todd, now crashing on Princess Carolyn’s couch, finds himself in another wacky adventure as one of the top dogs at a website that tells people the time. This show is just fantastic.
Special mention goes to Episode 6, “Free Churro”. The entire twenty-five minutes is just Bojack delivering a heart-wrenching eulogy at his mother’s funeral. Television gold.

Crazy Rich Asians

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I do love a good rom-com. I enjoy the comedy, the always over the top endings and the soundtracks. Movies like About Time, Me Before You and Love, Rosie are some of my favourite movies of all time. They have interesting plots and are just the right amount of corny and cringy. That’s why I was surprised that I didn’t like this movie. The cast are all generically handsome or beautiful; there were sad English songs sang in Mandarin/Chinese; one of the climactic scenes was so over the top it as surreal. Despite all that, it just wasn’t good. The dialogue was clunky, the plot kind of raced along without a whole heap of context and the conflict between the two leads seemed forced. That being said, the aforementioned over the top scene was absolutely fantastic.
Funnily enough, I used to watch Glee, up until the fourth season when the show about an unbelievably diverse group of teenagers running around and singing and dancing in public became unbelievable. Harry Shum grew into one of the main characters. I had seen he was going to be in this movie and he was promoting it pretty heavily online. The prick wasn’t in the actual movie, only a mid-credits scene that apparently sets up two sequels. I was fully sure I just hadn’t seen him on screen.*
So, anyways, the movie is not bad but it is not a great rom-com. I do think it is important for movies of other cultures to be seen in the Western World and I am probably in love with Gemma Chan so that was a plus. But I wouldn’t pay $14 again to just enjoy a wedding scene.
*Disclaimer: I was high as a kite watching this movie so it very well could be an absolute masterpiece hahahahaha

Following up on last week, I didn’t finish Jack Ryan. It just got too much for me. They kept going on about a second 9/11 and I thought there would be more of John Krasinsky and less troubled military guys. I’ll try and finish it this week. We’ll see. I might let ye know. Happy watching!

Give Tech a Break

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Every week I see a different model or actor I follow on Instagram post that they’re taking a break from the site. They cite the toxic nature of online communities coupled with the abuse they receive from trolls about their appearance as the main reason for their disappearance from constant access. Both fine reasons. Reading through comment threads on any number of sites from Insta to Reddit can leave me feeling numb and in need of a hug. And I don’t even get my arse out (on those sites, lollerz). I can understand where the celebrities come from and I can understand why people need breaks. I once took a four day break from Snapchat and Instagram. It would’ve been shorter but I forgot my passwords and had to make a new Snap. Tough times. The constant barrage of happiness, videos from nights out and memes on your feed can become tiresome and loathsome. However, if we listen to some people on social media we would be led to believe that the advent of social media is the rise of Lucifer himself back to rage a vanity inspired Armageddon on our lovely planet. Articles pop up with thousands of likes on Twitter detailing our obsession with the Internet and our need to put our best persona across and how it is affecting us negatively. That’s right, thousands of likes. Sandra is sat at home sipping on a lukewarm mug of tea lamenting the hold that social media has on the rest of the world while glued to her phone while her husband Timmy stares at Match of the Day 2.
No offense if anyone’s Mam’s name is Sandra. I have no reason to call that lady in my imagination Sandra but I don’t think I know a Sandra. If you know a Sandra and you feel hurt, ya both basic.

Another big argument against technology is the supposed loss of a childhood that children suffer from nowadays. Irish online presences and celebrities have made countless jokes and videos about this phenomenon, in that apparently nobody goes outside anymore and are inside stuck to the Playstation or Xbox. That’s definitely not true in Mayfield anyways!
Seriously though, everyone’s childhood is different. Kids still go outside and play and even if they don’t the’re still learning interactions from T.V. shows and talking to friends online. Maybe teenagers won’t drink as young anymore if they’re inside playing Skyrim instead of down the GAA woods skulling naggins of Huzzar!

Social media probably takes the most flack for being a scourge on the way we should be interacting with people, so let’s have a look at some sites and understand what they’re for and what we should realise when looking at them.

Instagram

Don’t be fooled by what people are putting on Instagram. That is not an entirely accurate representation of their lives. It is some part of their lives and everybody should feel happiness in where they live and what they are doing but that is only a small portion of their lives.
That picture from last night leaves out the pounding headache, dry throat and upset stomach that accompanies the next morning.
That heavily edited picture of the Sydney Opera House or the Empire State Building leaves out the trek of getting to those places and then competing with other tourists for the perfect angle. Not that I’d know anything about Australia because I will never set foot there as long as there’s spiders left in this world.
The perfectly lighted shot of that evening’s dinner doesn’t show the probable worry about the calories and carbs and the macros and the whatevers they will have to calculate in their notebook the next morning.

So please be happy for your friends on Instagram and don’t let their happy snaps and stories and videos make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Be happy that they’re enjoying working out and documenting it, or becoming a MUA and documenting it, or even writing blogs and documenting it. They aren’t happy all the time either.

Snapchat

Snapchat is for documenting hangovers, using funny face filters and posting blurry videos of nights out with belligerent Irish men singing songs and enjoying themselves. In mine and most of my snap contacts case anyways. The only problem with Snapchat now is that they are striking big money deals with other websites to pproduce fairly crap videos with celebrities. It’s pointless and I still don’t care what Demi Rose Mawby is wearing this weekend.

Twitter

Twitter is definitely the most honest social media platform out there. People bare their mental health problems on there at the bat of an eye. It is truly enlightening to see so many people bare their souls in 280 characters. Jokes, comedy threads, serious political issues, world news and sporting events are at the touch of a button with Twitter. It has grown on me again and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Tweet away, betches, tweet away.

Facebook

Yeah, Facebook can feck off. If it wasn’t for the memories function on the site now and my need to cringe at young Cian, I would have deleted that account long ago.

Viber/WhatsApp/Skype

The bastion of the ex-Pat abroad, these free messaging services keep us in touch with our families and friends at home without paying the exorbitant costs of a phone with an international sim. The robbing monsters.

So while the costs of phones, consoles, tablets and whatever else continue to rise, we can’t ignore the fact that we’re all so well connected now. We don’t even have to shell out all of our hard earned money for the biggest phone either. Get an aul Huawei or something. Video call on messenger and call for free on Viber. Post whatever you want on Instagram and revel in the likes. And take a break if you want to, and reach out if you want to. Somebody will have a little green dot next to their name.

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Spiders: What a Bunch of Bastards

All my life, or at least as far back as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of spiders. I hate the sight of them. Their appearance sends chills down my spine whenever I see them on television or up close. The miniscule sound as they scuttle across the floor sets my teeth on edge. The CGI efforts of Peter Jackson and Christopher Columbus in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets respectively had me close to evacuating my bowels upon the chair where I sat. Naturally, I can’t count how many times a spider has ruined my sleep, meal or video game session. They’re literally everywhere and I would say that everyone alive and dead has had an encounter with some type of arachnid.
The reason that I bring you this tirade against the eight legged freaks that often haunt my dreams is because I had no idea what to write for this blog. I have a few posts on the back burner that I will write in the coming weeks and a few ideas that need to be pared down. I didn’t want to rush any of them for you, lovely reader. You’re so nice and I would never let anything bad happen to you. I mean that. Whoever is reading this right now…I will protect you. Mainly from bad blogs but also from things like spiders.
I didn’t really know what to write about until it crawled across my laptop at 4 in the morning as I tried to go to sleep. The little bastard brazenly took his time to crawl over the keys, pausing every now and then if he sensed me moving. At first I thought it was a piece of fluff that was being blown around by the ceiling fan. I casually looked down, intending to brush it away and I was met by the cocky stare of an eight legged creature named Axel. He wore a ‘420’ snapback that covered six of his eyes, and a letterman jacket with an uppercase W on the back, probably for wanker. He smoked the last of the cigarette he held in his third right leg and then stubbed it out on my enter key. The smarmy prick. Axel spit on my bedsheet then and looked me up and down once more before smirking and walking away. I leapt in horror, frantically covering my man-boobs with my free hand while clutching my duvet to my lower-half in a vain attempt at hiding from the spider. I ran to the bathroom, dropping the duvet as I ran, completely forgetting my shame. I grabbed a handful of toilet paper and pulled it off the spool in reams shouting, “Fuck the environment! A spider is loose in my room and he gave me a dirty look.” I made a quick mental note to add that into my confession at Mass the next day and said a silent prayer apologising to God. The spider had me physically and mentally on the ropes. It was time for me to act.
Drenched in sweat I returned to the room. Axel had moved off the laptop and was nearer the wall. I was lucky to have spotted him as his body was pale. A young spider, I thought. They really are bastards even when they’re young.
Go tobann, I was filled with a steely resolve. Here was a creature no bigger than a two euro coin and I, an Adonis of a man was cowering with fear. I stood there, clumped up toilet paper in hand, readying myself to pounce. Countless bugs and insects had met their demise at my heel or palm and one more was going to join their deceased ranks. I moved quickly to the bed while keeping my eyes firmly on the little bastard, raising my hand in preparation of a strike that wold be heard all around the room. My mighty fist came crashing down on the freshly washed sheets, sending a small rippling effect across the bed. Axel was no more.
I sat on the bed a while later after checking to see if he had brought any friends with him. The coast was clear. I thought of all the spiders I had killed. There was the wide one on the wall in the living room at home who I had squashed after watching yet another episode of Made in Chelsea; there was the quick fellow who had darted under the front door as I cleaved him in two with the handle of a hurley at three in the morning; there was the spider that I caught in the middle of our kitchen floor when I came home drunk and proceeded to demonstrate my knowledge of karate at before I put him out of his misery. So many lives. I thought of the spiders I had let exist beside me. George, who had been a tiny thing who sporadically emerged from under my skirtingboard, harming no one; the spider with long spindly legs that my Mother killed while I danced a crying dance on top of a stool; and the monster I saw scuttle under my bed one night, deciding that that was a battle I was not willing to take part in.
I threw Axel away, along with his half empty box of American Spirit cigarettes (what a douche) and slept soundly in my bed. That night I dreamed of him. He was happy. He smiled at me and waved, doffing his 420 cap in appreciation a fight well fought. I awoke the next morning with a tear in my eye and had a strange feeling in my stomach that I could not pinpoint. Probably another feckin’ spider!

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Thank you for reading my dramatic retelling of the chilling events of this Sunday night just past when I spotted a baby spider near me on the bed, shrieked, ran almost-naked to the bathroom to psych myself up, grab a tissue, kill the youngling and stay awake until 5:00 AM before the night’s exertions and sleep took hold. Have a great week!

Top 5 Musicals OF ALL TIME

Normally, when these lists pop up on people’s newsfeeds from Buzzfeed or Cracked or wherever, you get the usual suspects populating the article; The Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews kills a load of Nazis or something; Rent, where a load of LGBT New Yorkers struggle to pay rent in a fancy loft in Manhattan the spoiled bastards; and Moulin Rouge, the tale of a prostitute telling lies (shock horror). Not that I’d have any experience with prossies. I’ll get you one day, Tina!
I’m here to give you the real lowdown. In no particular order, feast your sockets on the real list of the five greatest musicals of all time. Don’t @ me because I know you’ll agree.

The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)

This masterpiece of a film was released four years after the original. It was the best sequel since the Godfather II and was only matched by The Dark Knight. Don’t even try to fight me on this, but I prefer this installment over the first Lion King. It’s not even classed as a musical but with songs like We Are One, Upendi and He Lives In You, it’s just one banger after another. However, the one song that propels this into the definitive list of the best musicals of all time is One of Us. Taking place when Kovu, the son of Scar from the first film, is exiled after he is mistakenly believed to be part of an ambush on Simba, this song has stuck with me through a lot of my life, even getting playtime in bars around Manhattan. Hear for yourself.

 

Mamma Mia (2008)

A musical based on Abba’s songs, they said. What a crazy idea, they said. I don’t know who said this, and I have no credible evidence to prove anybody did, but if they did then they are probably dead now. That’s how stupid you would have to be to not realise that a musical based on Abba’s music is a simply wonderful idea. Those people died. Think about that. Tragic.
The cast is star studded, with Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) in main roles. The singing can be patchy at times but the film is fun, weird and great for a hangover. Meaning it is one of the greatest musicals of all time.

But be warned, Amanda Seyfried is the most annoying character in this movie, especially if you take my advice and watch this movie with a hangover. I’ve never wanted to fight a woman, but Seyfried came close.

Mamma Mia 3: The Fast and the Fabulous

After the success of the second movie a third installment was announced straight away. Small details of the plot have been released, setting the movie in a dystopian future where Amanda Seyfried’s character has assumed the title of Mamma Mia, the demigod ruler of a world where men are low in number and being hunted. I’m not sure what Abba songs they’re going to use for this one but I’m sure it will be a hit and so goes into my list.

La La Land (2016)

No jokes. Loved this one. Went on my own to the cinema where I worked and the place was fairly full of auld wans and young couples. I don’t need anyone as long as I have my large combo and maltesers on the side.
After the finale dream scene in which Emma Stone pictures her life with Gosling’s character while happily sitting next to her actual husband, some old lady started clapping. It is a very bittersweet, emotional scene but this was in Ireland, where we bottle our emotions. Leave the clapping after a movie and when a plane lands to the Americans. Now, as I want everyone to know, I’ve never fought a woman, but that old lady came very close.

 

Once (2007)

Irish movies always have the best soundtracks, or even the best placement of music throughout its movies. Once has been a hit on Broadway, the West End, Dublin and even in South Korea of all places. I only saw it a few years ago by chance when it was in the sale bin in Golden Discs. Ah, Golden Discs. Simpler times.
It is a touching movie that pulls at the hearstrings as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova sing and act beautifully together. Any Americans or Irish that haven’t seen this, definitely give it a look. And for the Colombian and Malaysian people who have viewed this blog, give it a look. I miss you guys.

 

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 1

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am going to up the effort on the blogs. I enjoy writing them but I’ve gotten lazy over the summer. The weather in New York has recently taken a turn for the wet but it was a mighty three months that was full of booze, craic and the odd bit of exercise. Plenty of time for writing but have I done much? Not in the grand scheme of things! With the move home fast approaching and what promises to be a tough academic year following fast in its stead, I realised that I better get the finger out.
The beauty of the night shift is that throughout the morning and early afternoon, when the lads are gone to work and before I go to sleep, I have the freedom of the T.V. and the house. This means that I can watch what I want and do what I want, which usually consists of Netflix and Playstation. Pornhub blasts solidly in the background. Lol. Kinda JK.
Anyways, the doorman’s daytime is just a fun little play on words. Look at us all having fun. We’re just a regular bunch of rascals! Daytime was literally the only word beginning with the letter ‘d’ that I could think of that related to this weekly series on my recommendations of movies, books and T.V. shows. We’ll see how consistent I am.

Eighth Grade

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Bo Burnham has been one of my favourite comedians and performers for the past…12 years? Jesus. Time is a bitch. He first arrived on the scene when YouTube was still somewhat of a fledgling website. He sang funny, crude songs and was a flamboyant performer. He graduated to comedy shows and bit parts in movies, but his Netflix specials were a joy to behold. His blend of choreographed intros, hilarious and thought-provoking songs and almost alarming self-deprecation was his crowning glory. That is, until his directorial debut came out.
Eighth Grade tells the story of a shy, self-conscious girl named Kayla during her last week of eighth grade. She is awkward, an introvert and has a sever lack of confidence. In short, she is all of us at one point or another in our lives. She slowly grows in confidence throughout the movie but it ultimately almost all comes crashing down. An indie movie if I ever saw one, the flick is not for everyone, but there is a profound connection that I think almost everyone will feel to the main character or to a number of side characters. It also deals with a number of serious issues, not least sexual harassment and gaslighting. It will be on Itunes Movies in the coming weeks, I believe.

Dennis Lehane

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Boston-born author Dennis Lehane is a writer who I didn’t know that I knew. His novels, Shutter Island, and Gone Baby, Gone are two of my favourite films of all time. Shutter Island rocked me in the cinema when it first came out, the ending being one of the first times a twist had struck me to my core. I watched Gone Baby, Gone, for the first time about a month ago. I was speechless at the end. I couldn’t believe it.
I am a massive fan of IMDB and love going down the rabbit hole and spending hours trawling through actors and trivia of different films. It just so happens that both films were based on novels written by Lehane, so I bit the bullet and ordered the two novels from Amazon. I got them on the Monday and they were finished by the Friday. Both novels are gripping and the twists and turns are numerous. Shutter Island is a bit more faithful to the book than the Casey Affleck led film but both books have that tiny bit more that makes them a slight superior to the big screen. I have always been a fan of both literature and film and I couldn’t recommend both forms for these fantastic pieces of work. Dennis Lehane is well worth a look for all of his work.

Psych

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Unfortunately, I have been slacking on my television binges. I still have to watch Ozark season 2 and I am currently rewatching the Office for the fourth time. I have a long list on netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime respectively to get through but at least I will have plenty of material for this series of blogs. However, a not so hidden gem called Psych, a show revolving around a young man with a good eye for detail and a skill for noticing obscure things pretends to be a psychic for the local police department, is in all its eight season glory on Amazon Prime*. The show was shown periodically for a while on RTE 2, but that was late at night or early in the afternoon, and it wasn’t always in order either. Like, what is the actual sense in that? RTE mess up so many shows.
The dynamic between the main cast of the show is brilliant and the show which is literally about a guy petending to be a psychic, doesn’t get old or tacky. There is a fresh storyline in each episode and there’s almost always a fairly attractive female guest star. She almost alwaays turns out to be a villain or an accessory to a villain, which is odd. But she’s hot so it’s all good. Right?

*Is Amazon Prime a thing in Ireland? It’s fecking class, lads.

The Fear

This blog will do an in-depth analysis of Ireland’s greatest practical joke and live sketch show, The Fear. Imagine. Ha, nah. The title is of course referring to the state of absolute dread one might find oneself during a day after the beer. Extreme cases of, “The Fear’, could plausibly carry on for a second day, where the individual still feels sluggish and vulnerable to the world around them. A three day hangover has never been heard of in modern times but legend has it that the great Paddy Losty was perpetually hungover and never lived a day of his life past the age of twenty four completely sober.

People all over the world claim to each have their own cures for a hangover. They swear by this cure as the one true secret to feeling right as rain early on in the day. Some people drink water after every few pints to combat the hangover. That is, however, not a cure and is blatant cheating in the noble Irish sport of binge drinking. Some people drink a pint of water immediately before bed, as if your first non-alcoholic drink after eight pints and fourteen shots will stop the creepy crawlies in your head the next day. A lot of people have homemade remedies for the following morning, such as a couple of egg yolks raw…yeah, jog on. Most people believe that another bottle or cocktail will sort you out. The problem with that solution is that you have to catch the hangover at the right time. If you’re feeling rough but also a little tipsy and you start drinking again you should be good to go; but if you are just rough agus tà pian i do bholg, STAY. AWAY. FROM. BOOZE. It’s not going to help. You’re kidding yourself.
Yes, the only way to beat the hangover is to go the old Irish way and just suffer through it. Stay in bed if you have to, or if you’re an unfortunate soul who drank before a morning engagement, suffer through that with a fake smile and frequent trips to the bathroom. While it’s easy to talk about suffering through it, and God knows I have suffered through my fair share of them, it’s tough to know exactly what the fear is. It is a state of mind that fills you with self-doubt and paranoia. Let’s have a more in-depth look at some of these horrible times of existence.

Paranoia

Everyone’s out to get me. Everybody knows I was drinking last night. Oh God, they all know I got sick. They all think I’m useless. Was he looking at me on the train? She definitely got off at 59th street ’cause there’s a smell of booze off me.
An absolutely horrible state to be in, paranoia can send the most confident person into an almost depressive state throughout the day. The Fear thrives on the paranoia because it manifests itself into little movements at the corner of your eye, or a noise you thought you heard, or a breeze from an open window that you were fully sure was something crawling on your body. Any movement from your friends or coworkers is an act of digust on their behalf that you drank so much. Oftentimes they were right there beside you for the whole night and are thinking the same thoughts as you.

Self-Doubt

As the paranoid thoughts start to settle and eventually drift away, you start to have doubts about your day, your job and your whole life. Am I in the right job? Why don’t I always love it. I should love my job. Ugh, maybe I should move home. I’d be happier at home now with all the lads. I wouldn’t be this bad if I was at home. Do I have enough friends? Are they really my friends? Maybe they don’t like me.
All these stupid little thoughts sail through your head for a while, hindering your ability to focus on anything much. Not that I’d be doing much actual work, wha?!

Vulnerability

The work day is almost over. It’s coming up to 5 o’clock, or whatever time you finish, and you just want to be in bed after a nice feed because your stomach has finally settled down, but the journey is not over yet. The finish line is in sight but you still have to interact with a few more people before the day is over. Unfortunately, that’s being packed on a train, or stuck in traffic, or being jostled on a busy sidewalk or bus, and you’ve just had enough. Why are these people not sitting closer to the edge and why is it my knee they have to knock into when they stand up? Don’t they know I’m a fragile husk of a human and deserve love and attention.
Fair play to everyone with an attentive significant other who is there to care for you and hold your hair or rub your back when it’s time to get sick or when you’re feeling especially vulnerable.

Throwing Gawks

I think this is a Munster saying. I haven’t heard it used anywhere bar Cork and Limerick, and I possibly should have put this bit before the Paranoia paragraph. But I’m tired and don’t care. Don’t @ me. Following on from the last point, however, ‘throwing gawks’, or getting sick, is the best and worst thing to happen throughout the day. It would definitely be better to have someone there to give you the odd bit of encouragement. “Go on, get the last bit up there, good man.” However, I am proud to say that I face the toilet alone, and although I have never won a personal battle with the toilet seat as I puke my guts up, I have stared into the murky brown reflection and after a few minutes of quiet shame, I have emerged a new man.

Doing It All Again

Ah, the following weekend. Usually following an episode of The Fear (the state of mind and once again, not the fantastic TV show), one will swear off the drink for the foreseeable future. “Nah, I’m off it bai, I’m sick of feeling like shit all the time. Oh, and I’m off the fags too.
Cut to Friday night and while Shotgun is being played for the thousandth time you kneck another sambucca and traipse out to the smoking area to ask another lucky girl for a lighter. Shine on, you beautiful diamonds.

 

On a different note, I’m going to up the ante on this blog. I’m happy that some of my friends have seemed to like some posts and while most of the praise has been for these types of tongue-in-cheek blogs, I do like to write the odd United one. So Tuesdays will be personal blogs, Thursdays are going to be reviews of the movies I’ve seen, whether they be new in the cinema or whatevers on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon prime, and I’ll do a United preview/review/analysis on Saturday mornings. If people have made it to the end of this long-winded post that was written so that I wouldn’t fall asleep in work tonight, I humbly thank you. This is only really a bitta craic for myself but if there’s anyone that enjoys these, ily so much.

An Uncertain Start

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It has been an awkward beginning to the season for Manchester United. A winning, if slightly shaky, start against Leicester gave us three points off the bat which was unpleasantly followed by two losses on the trot; a 3-2 embarrassment against Brighton and a 3-0 hammering by Spurs. The 2-0 victory over Burnley over the weekend gave the fans some hope and restored some of the faith in the players and the manager.

The two losses, to Brighton and Spurs respectively, were tough to watch. United seemed to be nervous in the back line for the whole of the Brighton game. The goals we scored were a penalty and a good piece of situational awareness by Lukaku, which gave some of us hope for the Tottenham game. That obviously didn’t pan out as he missed in front of an open goal after rounding Lloris brilliantly. The French goalkeeper was still absolutely steamin’ after he was caught drink driving. What a lout!
All jokes aside, the first half of the Tottenham game was OK. We attacked well and created opportunities, some of which should have been put away. That’s right, Rom, I’m talking about you again. Don’t @ me. However, within ten seconds of the restart, the defenders who had played so well in the first half, fell apart and allowed two easy goals past them. The third goal was painful to watch, especially as Moura eased past Smalling, who had played well by my estimations in the first half.
Following this loss, Twitter was abound with calls for Mourinho’s head and for Woodward to be burned alive at the stake.  Many fans wanted him gone immediately and for someone with a more attacking style of play to be instated. Others wanted all the fans’ total backing of the manager and the players. It was vintage Premier League era views on the value of a manager and how high his success rate should be.

As I just said, United fans seem to be divided into a, “Sack him now’, or a,”Back him until he’s sacked’, point of view. Neither option glows favourably on Mourinho and how he is pervceived by the fans. I would tend to agree with the second option. It is perfectly fine to want a new manager if the quality of football is declining and if the results are against us. However, it is a whole other thing to keep harping on about the manager when certain players aren’t pulling their weight or are in a slump. I do believe that Mourinho will be gone by the end of the season (as I don’t see us challenging for the top 3, especially if this level of play keeps up) but if he isn’t, and if the results are good enough that warrant him staying, then I won’t care. If he is gone and the results warrant him going then I’ll be delighted to welcome a new manager to the club, preferably one with an attacking style. I will not be happy if Mourinho is gone so early in the season because of outcry over the fans due to lack of spending in the transfer market; a transfer market that we trust Ed Woodward with, and who should be blamed.
Despite all this talk about Mourinho and whether he will have a job come the end of this year or the season, there have been some positives in the first four games.

  • Luke Shaw has been trememndous in the last three games for United. He has been bombing up and down the left wing, cutting in and getting the ball in dangerous areas, especially in the last two games. He seems to have responded well to Mourinho’s criticisms last year, and perhaps this success story will be what Mourinho needs to keep his job.
  • Andreas Pereira has had a solid opening to the season. I was delighted that he didn’t get loaned out, and the fact that he is with the Brazil sqaud for the International Break is testament to his prowess in the last few years.
  • Lukaku seems to have found his scoring boots in the last few games, even if he did forget them in the dressing room against Tottenham. Despite that glaring miss, I do hope he continues this run of scoring.
  • Alexis has continued to be the most creative player on the pitch. Even though he does frustrate me with how much he loses the ball, he is always trying to create something. He is a pleasure to watch and I think this will be the season where he starts to produce much more for us, especially with Champions League football back on the horizon.

It has been an uncertain start and it looks like it will get more confusing before we begin to see consistent results. That doesn’t bode well for José but it mightn’t do us fans any bad. We’re so used to success, trophies and accolades that perhaps another year in the wilderness of mediocrity will humble us before our inevitable rise to the top of English and world football. Before I start to go into a Third Reich style speech I will end this brief analysis of our season so far. Our next match is against Watford, who are also not to be taken lightly, especially seeing as they are joint top of the table! A bad result there could bring the Special One’s teetering empire toppling down.

Defining Decisions

 

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In my relatively short time on this earth I have come to the conclusion that there are a finite number of defining moments or decisions that lead us to our final destination and shape our personalities. It doesn’t matter whether we lead a long and fulfilling life or meet an untimely end. As Bruce Wayne, philanthropist and billionaire playboy from Gotham once said, “it’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.” Bruce has recently been spotted around Paris with Selena Kyle, enjoying a frappé on le Avenue de Champs Elysee by the newest addition to my staff, Alfred Pennyworth. He is my roving photographer and although he’s going a bit senile, he has an eye for all things Bruce. Stay tuned.
Anyways, here are some of the defining moments of my life thus far.

Being Born

I don’t have a strong recollection of this event but I’m told I was one of the main cast. The events immediately before and after are a blur. In fact, the next few years afterwards aren’t very clear either but so far, in my twenty four and a half measly years on this earth, this has been the most defining experience of my life. It literally made me who I am. I distinctly remember that right before I emerged victorious into the world, a large, robed man with a glorious, white beard knelt beside me. We were in a sort of white, astral plane of nothingness. He put a hand on my tiny shoulder and said, in the thickest Cork City accent I’ve ever heard, “Go easy on them Newports when you’re in America, kid, all right? Ha ha. Go on ya chancer, chat ya later.” I’m sorry I haven’t heeded your advice, oh God almighty.

Crying in 4th Class

I was a sensitive child. I’m a sensitive man but I hide that with whiskey and cigarettes. As a child who expressed himself I did so with tears, and lots of ’em. The last time I properly cried outside of the house was 4th class during big break. Oh, how we lived for big break. The reckless abandon we used to have as we played ‘chase’ against the older classes. My family had just moved to Cork from Westmeath and while I didn’t have many friends in Westmeath, I had begun to fit in well with my new classmattes. I almost destroyed that one afternoon.
For some reason, the boys and the girls were ‘fighting’ during break, and both factions spent the whole break not talking and avoiding each other. I knew this was a joke but after break, as we spilled back into the class room, I burst into tears and told our teacher that the boys and girls were fighting all afternoon. I did Justin Timberlake a solid and cried him a fucking river. Bear in mind I was only nine years old and prone to being sensitive. The teacher gave out to everyone else and comforted me. I’m just thankful that kids sometimes have short memories and looked past my childishness and still became my friend. Obviously it was primary school but those kids helped me transition to a new school and I also learned that you can’t cry over just about everything. Not in public anyways.

Braces

I got braces when I was fifteen. Or rather, my parents got me braces when I was fifteen. Two years later they came off and the taunts of ‘brace face’, and ‘metal mouth’, stopped. At least from my parents. My grandmother still asks me if I’m going to the train tracks again every time I ring home. I laugh, but inside I cry.
In 2016 I had a dental check up and learned that I had two cavities that needed to be filled and two root canals that needed to be done. I admit that I have never been the most diligent with caring for my teeth but I brushed at least once a day and flossed at least twice a year, if not three times. I was surprised that my teeth weren’t in good shape but attributed it to working in the cinema and indulging in far too much popcorn.
I carried on with my life and got the procedures done. Before the last one I decided to chat with the orthodontist I had been seeing for years and we discussed my teeth. He told me that the problems I had been having were probably due to having braces in the first place. It was like the villain’s reveal in a made for tv movie about a white kid’s teeth. Fuckin braces. Braces that he had recommended. Braces that he put on himself. Braces that he charged thousands for to my parents.
So I have braces to thank for my first real nemesis that wasn’t caused by fighting them on a football field.

New York

I could write a paragraph on college and how it has defined me but it wouldn’t be true. I had an unreal time and loved every minute of the craic we had but honestly, all I did was drink and scrape by in class. I’m looking forward to doing my Masters and I loved college. Living away from home defined me but I couldn’t write much about that bar liking having the freedom to do sweet fuck all.
New York, however, and the decision to live here for a while has defined me. This place toughens you up and makes you work with a hangover like a champ. I’ve met some fantastic people and I’ve reconnected with old friends. I know now that I can survive in this city and that means I can pretty much survive anywhere. Of course it was handy being Irish and having family here but it would have been easy to leave last summer and slip back into not doing much at home.

I predict my next defining moment or decision of my life will be when I finally vanquish the evil orthodontist and destroy his lair on Patrick’s Bridge in Cork City. That’s right, Aidan Murphy, you fat prick. I’m coming for you. And please stop calling your patient’s parents, ‘mum and dad’. I was seventeen. It creeped me out. What did you make of that, Alfred?

“Oh, we burned the whole forest down, Master Dalton. Trees were a knickel for a dozen back then. We just wanted to watch it burn.”

Thanks, Alfred.