Monday, November 26, 2007

Just Far Too Much

Last Saturday night saw the launch of the 'Far too much Bertie' sticker campaign in Dublin. Enterprising anti-Fianna Fáil-er, Kevin Cotter started distributing the first of 200,000 stickers in protest at our beloved leader's recent and, I might add, well-deserved pay increase. (Shafting a country of 4 million people on a daily basis is no easy job, I'll have you know, and should be remunerated accordingly IMHO).

Nevertheless, campaigns like this should be encouraged if only to show what an enlightened politically engaged culture we inhabit. What's a thousand Euros on stickers when them barrister lads beyond in Dublin Castle spend more than that on sangwich for their dinners? The possibilities for extending the idea to other politicians are limitless and doubtless someone with more time on their hands than I is already hard at work producing worthy successors.

Still, on foot of the recent disclosures that Pavarotti's will is being contested by members of his family because he left his clothes to a certain ex-Tánaiste and Minister for (ill-)Health, I propose the following candidate

Any seconders?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Globalisation goes mental

I don't know if it's just me but there's something smug and vaguely sinister about the new Diageo advertising campaign for that porter they make above there in Dublin 8.

The idea of a bunch of Andean peasants sacrificing their old wardrobes, cadillacs and books to build a giant stout totem in the village square smacks of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo and perhaps even more of Les Blank's Burden of Dreams, the documentary which charted the effect that Herzog's obsession with his eponymous character had on cast, crew, and the indigenous peoples he recruited to do the actual work of dragging a 320 ton boat over a mountain top.

The ad is part of a £10 million campaign to restore the pre-eminence of the beer whose sales fell by 7% in Ireland this year, pushing the nation down to 3rd place behind Nigeria in the Diageo market hit parade

While I accept my exploitation as a consumer as being an inevitable feature of life under capitalism, I'm less than comfortable watching something like this. I keep asking myself questions like 'How many peasants were killed or injured in the making of this ad?' or 'Were Government sponsored death squads employed to force the peasants to co-operate and hand over their old motors and furniture to the ad-men at gun-point?' and more seriously 'How much cocaine was consumed prior to coming up with the mental idea in the first place?'

Anyway so, someone had some serious Aztec nose candy fun up there in the North Argentinian Highlands, that's for sure. See what you think

The way we lived then

The way we live now

My thanks to the fine folks at Gizmodo for pointing me towards these gems

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Signs of the times

Before anyone starts thinking that there's a theme developing here, let me assure you it's only a segue.

Them lovely folks at the Samaritans, the Irish Water Safety Board and Clare County Council have together concocted a very cunning plan to cut the number of suicides occurring at that former beauty spot turned cacky commercial interpretative centre and car park, the Cliffs of Moher.

They're going to put some signs up. With the Samaritans' telephone number on. Along the cliff top. Bound to work, that.

Concerned that the hordes of human lemmings who annually seek oblivion by a quick plunge off the 214 meter high cliffs into the foaming briny at their foot has given the site the reputation of a suicide blackspot, not to mention the effect such behaviour has on sales of Book of Kells tea-towels, Leprechaun key-rings, and that weird hippy music with noseflutes and whale noises, the plan is to advertise the Samaritans services at strategic points along the cliff-top.

In today's Irish Times Director of the Samaritans in Co Clare, Mary Lynch, said: "we have tried to make the signs visible, while being conscious that it is a very sensitive and beautiful area."

Tis a shame that the lads who built the car park, the gift shop and that nuclear bunker-cum-interpretative centre yoke didn't display the same sensitivity to the natural environment. Still maybe they'll put in a mobile phone mast just to make sure the Samaritan's service has a cat's chance of working. Nothing worse than having second thoughts and not being able to get a signal on the old dog and bone. I ask you.

I know suicide is not a laughing matter but plans like this clearly are. Anyone affected by the subject of this blog can contact the Samaritans for help and support via this website or More O'Ferrall for advice on discrete signage in areas of special natural interest.

Monday, November 05, 2007

He's back and this time he's brought his Prozac

My apologies to that small but loyal group of people who I count as regular readers. What was originally intended as a short sabbatical seems to have turned into a nigh on six month hiatus.

The gap was brought on by depression resulting from the result of the last general election, a severe bout of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the ever unfulfilled desire that we might get a decent summer for once. As the season drifted by with nary a sign of the sun, my desire to write shrank in direct proportion to the number of grey mornings and stories demonstrating our current Taoiseach's contempt for the sad crew of optimists who voted him back for another 5 years.

Anyway so, since I can't do anything about the weather and even less about the electoral choices of the Irish people, I've decided to make this blog in to a happy shiny place full of cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudel, door bells and sleigh bells and whatever you're having yourself.

Heretofore on the new look Where Angels Fear you'll find no ironic or indignant stories about political corruption. No more righteous anger at the failings of our health system or the interesting goings on above there in Dublin Castle. No sirree, bob! I'm going to leave that depressing stuff that to those masters of melancholia, those denizens of the downside like Bock and the other old fellah with the wispy beard whose name escapes me.

On the new look WAF it's just going to be fun, fun, fun all the way, or at least until someone takes my T-bird away. Fuck the begrudgers and if I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution.

And just to demonstrate my sincere commitment to the new WAF philosophy I'm going to share with you a little something I saw at the pictures only the other day. It's called Control, it's about Joy Division, it's set in Manchester in the late 1970s and suicide figures rather highly in the narrative. What a recipe for happiness unconfined. Joe-Bob says 3 stars, check it out but leave the washing line in the kitchen.

And to get you in the mood, here's a taste of the original.