Sunday 29 January 2017

Sunday Misc 290117

A few years ago the Royal Irish Academy 'noticed' that, although their city centre building was chock full o' portraits, they were all of men. They set about redressing the balance with a wall of female researchers, some of whom, Teeling, McLysaght, have featured on The Blob. The rest are "B'godde RIA, I wish I'd done that" to which the women reply "You will Bob, you will".
Now here's a peculiar little insight into the dispossessed of Dublin. Teenage boys in some of the inner city ghettos of Dublin own horses which are more temperamental than clapped out cars. Both are capable of increasing self-respect and street-cred and giving the kids a bit of excitement. It's got to be cheaper in the medium to long term than alcohol or class A drugs which whacked off a young chap in Ireland's second city last week.  There is a madness in young men, presumably triggered by testosterone, but not helped by unrealistic expectations; gross disparity in wealth; shifting grounds in the relationship between men and women; bleak bleak economic future. If a young outsider, a woman, embraces your culture - because of the horses; but also from compassion and empathy - then some small shift occurs that may rip a hole the relentless press of deprivation. Ah Jaysus, if we can just keep these lads in one piece until they turn 25, they may have a chance to bring 'that one talent which is death to hide' out into the open to save us all. Sing along the song - No Plan. found on MeFi whereat some comments.
One of the things the deprived do is play the Lotto: called Idiot Tax by those who think they know better but probably are no better at maths. Here's a deconstruction of the iniquity of state sponsored lotteries. A few days ago, someone in Ireland won €88.5 million on the Euromillions lottery; it was all over the wireless all day and the next few days. Advice was given, speculation as the identity of the winner was everywhere, envy was expressed and the whole day was a bunch of free advertising for the company which runs the Lotto in Ireland. Why do we have to hear this? Why is another avenue for gross disparity in wealth given house-room let alone wall-to-wall coverage?
And now for something a bit different. Two years ago, I mentioned a plan by a group of generous Norwegians to give a sliver of territory to Finland on the occasion of the centenary of Suomen Tasavalta / Republiken Finland / the Finnish Republic. It's an act of neighborliness with an ironic edge that appeals to a certain strain of Scandinavian humour. Of course the apparatchiks of government have 101 reasons why this is impossible.  Here's the story in moving pictures.  Did I say moving? I meant it, I very much like the pitch and its tone. I hope it happens, poor Finland is very flat: all lakes and plains.

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