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


Date: April 2005

AIGA Design Archives

Great use of Flash, and some wonderful fodder for inspiration. Though I have pretty much locked down a good design for the class magazine. It's classy (excuse the pun). #link


Paper Spends More Time With Its Family

A curious title; it's almost the opposite of what the article discusses. And the author neglects to mention the growing popularity of the Moleskine (because it contradicts parts of the thesis, maybe?). #link


The decline of Trivial Pursuit

(Also: listen to the NPR version) Why the decline? Well people don't have, or won't devote, the time for board gamees anymore. They'll still buy them (even though they're quite expensive) but rarely play them. If no one plays Trivial Pursuit, then it's hardly going to be a cultural icon anymore... #link


The world's biggest Devo fan

I hereby confess my own love of Devo -- especially the last album before the first break-up; it's the Eighties through and through, and it's bloody marvellous. #link


MGM leaves its private web directories open to the public

Speaking of MGM, their movie channel was added to my basic cable this week. The only noteworthy thing to say about it is the wildly inappropriate scheduling of 18-cert films well before the watershed. If it was a subscription channel, that would be different. But it isn't. I don't mind hearing 'fuck' on TV before 9pm, but I don't think the majority would agree. #link


The blog is dead

I haven’t written much about my journalism course, have I? I don’t know why that is. Maybe I felt like it wasn’t worth such close analysis. Or maybe I was just embarrassed about the lack of work that I have to show for the last few months (besides class assignments, that is; always busy with those).

Is it too late to fill you in now? To tell you that the site redesign was just displacement activity to distract me from the proper work I have to get done this month — like the four-thousand word monster essay on Ireland’s media environment since the 1920s; or my very-much-unfinished ethics presentation on George Galloway’s libel victory; or finding the time to study for the shorthand dictation test in three week’s time; or designing the class magazine — not to mention the bloody thesis?

Is it any wonder that I don’t want to write about this stuff here?

Come to think of it, I haven’t written much of anything relating to my personal life in recent times. It’s not for want of good material, that’s for sure — it’s not all doom and gloom around here — but I’ve got text files across two computers filled with half-written drafts on all sorts of things and not much impetus to finish them. Remember I promised a report on my New Year exploits with the lovely Benitha, didn’t I? Sorry about that. I had the best of intentions (aren’t they always?) but I shouldn’t promise what I can’t deliver.

Can you believe how quickly the year is flying in? Next month it’ll be summer already! It’s all moving so fast. Too fast. Can I stop the clocks for a month or two, please? I need a chance to catch up, to undo my laziness and get things done. I see people all around me moving at light-speed and it just makes me freeze. I see my classmates starting top-class weblogs of their own and I feel like everything I’ve ever written is the worst kind of shit and want to erase it all (though I won’t; I’m too much of a chicken for that).

I should confess, I told a white lie when I said the redesign was displacement activity. It’s not just that, You see I needed a new look to spur me on to do better things here; to lighten up and stop being so damn serious and get back to what this blog was like when I started it. I mean, what’s the point of me tagging my posts if I’ve got no posts to tag? (It turns out I’m not the only one who feels this way: D. Keith Robinson has posted a remarkably similar message.)

This was supposed to be my own space, a notebook for half-formed thoughts and ideas. Somewhere along the way I got too concerned about how others valued my writing, though I convinced myself that I wasn’t; it turned into an academic journal and the life was sucked out of it. It slipped out of my hands.

Oh there’s the Linklog, sure, but mostly the thoughts and ideas, the good stuff, stayed in my text files and the blog became a chore.

I bought one of those Moleskine notebooks a while back. You know, the really nice ones that other bloggers evangelise about. It’s sleek and sturdy and functional, the paper quality is amazing. In fact it’s so good that I haven’t been able to write in it. It’s like I’m afraid to sully it with my incoherent ramblings, as if I’m committing a sin every time I tarnish the paper with my ballpoint. It’s stupid, really. It’s just a notebook. It’s made for writing in! And it’s mine! Or it’s supposed to be, anyway. I have to make it mine, first.

Just like this weblog. It’s mine, but in a way, it isn’t. I have to make it mine. It’s time I reclaimed my space.

The blog is dead. Long live the blog.


Factsheet 5 returns

I've only ever had a passing interest in (actually it's been more like an awe of) fanzine writing. A long time ago I thought about maybe compiling some of my writing from this site into a zine or a chapbook, and distribute it through the site. But I barely felt confident about the blog as it was... #link


Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore on the power of the mix tape

Call me a luddite, but mix tapes for me are far superior to mix CDs. Even something simple like the shift of mood between two sides of a tape can't be replicated on a single disc. They've always been more about emotion, about capturing the moment, than about sonic fidelity. #link