Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: November 2002

Farewell to the Porn Clerk

So the porn clerk is no longer a porn clerk.

Nineteen months is a fairly long tenure, even for a part-time gig. Added up, I think I’ve spent ten months part-time and seven months full-time at my store, over the last 2 1/2 years. I’ve lasted quite a while, considering how bad the place has gotten morale-wise over the past few weeks and months. Turnover’s been pretty high this year, and I can see it getting higher.

I’m hoping that three more weeks won’t kill me. That is, if they don’t throw me out on the street the day I hand in my notice. (That’s definitely a possibility.)

So long, Ali the ex-porn clerk. Your stories didn’t change my life, but they did help me put things in perspective. Thanks.



It’s strange where the internet will lead you: I hopped onto Google News to browse the stories, found one about alleged fakery re: The Osbournes, which lead me to Dannii Minogue having a problem with Asians, and from there ended up at an obituary for the philosopher John Rawls, who passed away just a couple of days ago.

I read some Rawls in second year, or whenever we did Political Phil. with Dr. O’Connor. (It’s midnight, my brain is fuzzy, forgive me.)

Back then, I read purely on a need-to-know basis. But now, I’m quite tempted to read him properly, for my own intellectual stimulation and improvement.


Bowling for Columbine

I met Dave on the bus on the way into town, which was convenient since we were supposed to meet in town anyways, and we went to see Bowling For Columbine. Powerfull stuff indeed. Entertaining, yet very thought provoking. Of course there are bits that critics are gonna poke huge holes in: the bit about nobody locking their doors in Toronto, it must be a localised thing because we always locked the door to the Manhole when I stayed there; and that bit at the end, cutting between Michael Moore holding a printout photo of a young girl shot dead at school and a frail-looking Charlton Heston walking away, head bowed, not even glancing back, well that seemed a bit too contrived (and most likely concocted in post-production). There was also a distinct lack of a real focus. Moore didn’t seem to have a single agenda, at least on the surface.

But there’s the rub, surely. It’s not meant to be taken at face value, at least I felt that way as I watched it and became engrossed in it. As the film progressed, it seemed as if Moore himself was searching, through complicated means, for a way to answer the question as to why such tragedies as what happened in Littleton, Colorado keep happening today. If the film could have one single question to answer, for me it seemed to be this one: what makes America so different from everywhere else in the world? For one example from the film: everyone in Windsor, Ontario seems to own a gun of some fashion, but apparently the only recorded murder there in the three years preceeding filming was committed by a native of Detroit, just arcoss the river, with a gun from Minnesota. That’s part of an important contrast for Moore, that between the US and Canada, Canada being like a socio-political utopia compared to the tyranny of fear in America.

Fear, ingrained into the American social consciousness, seems to be the only explanation that Moore can give us. Is it really as simple as that? Scarily enough, it might just be.

I’m gonna think a lot more about what I’ve seen. I’ve been mulling it over all day, so much so that I kinda forgot to do some of the other stuff I was supposed to do, like pay my credit card bill. Don’t call what I’ve just written above a review as such. One would really have to watch it for oneself to glean from it even the fraction that I’ve discussed here.



np: Orthrelm 2nd 18/04 Norildivoth Crallos-Lomrixth Urthiln

Need I say more?


The Sleaziest Band in the World

My eyes hurt so this is gonna be quick.

The New Bomb Turks were excellent last night. Even though I couldn’t stay for the whole show – had to hike the mile or so from Whelans to Abbey Street for the last bus – the 35 minutes or so that I bore witness to were more than worth the admission fee. They are the dirtiest, sleaziest band I’ve seen yet, and they rock hard. I was well impressed. I could go on about their stage moves (the singer, he’s got ’em all) and crowd-molesting antics (note to self: if one wears a baseball cap to a New Bomb Turks show, it may well end up down the front of the singer’s pants), but – if you will pardon the cliche – words just don’t do them justice.

Watching them made me think about how America produces such great bands, such great music. It just doesn’t seem authentic coming from anywhere else for some reason. That’s not to put a downer on bands like Female Hercules (local boys, opened the show last night, I caught the end of their set, can’t believe I’ve never even heard them before despite knowing about them for a few years), but that’s just how it feels to me. I don’t know why.


Friday Five #35


1. Did you vote in your last elections?

Yes I did. Since I’ve been eligible to vote I’ve only missed one, a referendum, and I was out of the country at the time.

2. Do you know who your elected representatives are?

No, I don’t. But believe me, if I needed to know, I would.

3. Have you ever contacted an elected representative? If so, what was it about?

I haven’t had the need to yet. Not that I could see it achieving much in the current climate.

4. Have you ever participated in a demonstration?

Nope. I have my reasons.

5. Have you ever volunteered in an election? What was the result?

No I haven’t volunteered. I’m not politically active in this respect. I’m not aligned or affiliated with any party. Though if you must know, I lean to the left.


Friday Five #34


1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?

I was raised a Catholic, ostensibly. Religion was never a major thing in my home, it just was, if you know what I mean.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?

I don’t. Some people might label me as a lapsed Catholic, but that still implies a tie of sorts to that faith, which honestly I have no connection with now. I don’t need religion. I may need spirituality at times, but I’ll never need organised religion. I don’t refute the existence of a higher power or supreme being or whatever, but I can’t honestly have faith in something I’m not sure is there, can I? That would be lying to myself, and where’s the benefit in that? I could go on for ages about this, and related topics (for instance, I think that being a good person does not at all necessitate being religious, or even spiritual), but I am quite hung over right now.

3. What do you think happens after death?

I don’t know. None of us really knows, we just presume. I don’t think about it too much, because it scares me. I’ve got a whole life to live yet.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?

I don’t have one. At least none that I can think of right now. I am hung over after all.

5. Do you believe people are basically good?

I think that most people have good in them, but this doesn’t mean that they’re basically good. One afternoon in Dublin will convince you that most people are basically self-centred and totally selfish. Only looking out for number one. There’s no sense of community here, or respect for other people. I dunno what it’s like in other countries. Of the few foreign towns and cities I’ve visited, I’ve experienced a totally different atmosphere to that of here. Especially in Toronto. People there are just nicer. Maybe I only met the nice ones, I dunno, but I felt really welcome and at home there.