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

Date: May 2012

On the fiscal treaty referendum

A couple of weeks ago, I commented among friends in response to this article in The Irish Times, and specifically the quotes from our Minister for Finance (and Fine Gael member) Michael Noonan. His pathetic, transparent attempts to butter up the electorate and play on our egos made me sick, quite frankly, and it prompted me to get some things off my chest.

With today being the day we go to the polls, I think it bears repeating:

I’m seriously considering writing ‘Fuck you’ on the ballot paper. There’s nothing democratic about this referendum, it’s the illusion of choice. Only the whims of the banks and the markets will dictate where Ireland and Europe go from here; is the Government completely ignorant of this, merely naive, or in on the take? Take any one of those three, it doesn’t matter — the powers that be (there’s a conspiracy-theory phrase for ya!) are trying to convince us, the citizenry, that the decision is in our hands, so that when we make a bad one they can pin the blame on us. Fuck that shit.

A lot can change in two weeks, especially with a decision as complicated as this one (and that’s the point really, as it’s so complicated that it’s quite unfair to expect the electorate to make a truly informed decision). I remain convinced that whatever way we vote, it will be effectively meaningless in terms of the economic situation in the long run.

But if there is something to worry about, it’s the notion of changing our constitution to institutionalise a system that’s clearly failing.

Think about it.



An online repository of movies re-cut by fans. Looks intriguing. #link


The downside of TV’s golden age

"By focussing on series arcs rather than individual episodes, today’s acclaimed series don’t reward the traditional once-a-week viewer. Any given hour — [AV Club writer Ryan] McGee calls them 'installments' rather than 'episodes' — is judged primarily on how it moves along the bigger storyline." I love shows like The Wire, but I've been complaining about this for the longest time. #link


Blogging Over the Limit

I haven’t done one of these in a long time, but wrestling is something I want to get writing about again; it’s an interest of mine, and this is a place for my interests, so it makes sense to me.
Anyway, best to jump right into things I think, with my as-live show notes from the most recent WWE pay-per-view, Over the Limit:

  • What’s this? A cold open with a battle royal joined in progress? That’s unusual for a pay-per-view, but I’m down with it. Those intro video packages are too long and boring anyway, I usually skip ’em to get straight to the action.
  • Battle royals these days are normally a mess (if they ever weren’t) and they’re never given enough time, but this one was better than it had any right to be. Big face pop for Christian too, which is weird because the last few times on TV he’s played a chickenshit heel. His win gets him an IC title shot against Cody Rhodes later so we’ll see how that works out…



Burn All the Liars

"An unfinished autobiography and a 1980s biopic turned Frances Farmer, one of the great golden-era stars, into a lobotomized zombie. The main trouble: Frances Farmer wasn’t lobotomized. An investigation to set one of Hollywood’s most convoluted stories straight." #link


Introducing Playfic

"Playfic is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka 'text adventures') entirely from your browser, using a 'natural language'-inspired language called Inform 7." #link


Dead Homer Society

"An online home for Simpsons fans who outright despise most, if not all, of the double-digit seasons but revere the old ones the way religious types do their stupid books." I'm in and out of this camp. Certainly The Simpsons' best years were more than a decade ago. But I think the writing of late has got better, at least intermittently, than the dark days of the early '00s. #link


Dog ad gives viewers paws for thought

Forget the rubbish about this ad being designed for dogs and answer me this: how did the dogs get the pallet out of the van? And more importantly, why did they drag it all the way over to the opposite cliff? #link


The Perpetual, Invisible Window Into Your Gmail Inbox

It's funny, I know this is a thing that people do, but it's never occurred to me to allow any third party to have access to my Gmail. I've got no problem OAuth-ing services on my public Twitter account. There's an implicit line between the stuff for all to see and the stuff that's just for me, and I guess that's what guides my decisions when it comes to my personal data. #link


Why Some Wild Animals Are Becoming Nicer

Well it's only one animal really, the bonobo, which has long had a reputation for its peacefulness. But it's interesting to see how that nature may have developed from something as simple as the habitat their ancestors happened to find themselves in. #link



"Bus-Tops is a collaborative public art installation across 20 London boroughs. There are 30 red and black LED screens dotted around London, on the roofs of bus shelters. Absolutely anyone in the world can create artwork for them, creating a new exhibition space for the public, and Public Art." This kind of thinking is completely absent from Irish public services. Shame. #link



An interesting take on the vision of the future presented by DS9 and how it's firmly rooted in the early-to-mid '90s world of its creation. Fair enough, but I think every sci-fi story universe suffers from the same problem to some degree, it's unavoidable. We never really know the world we'll be living in before it happens, whether five years down the line or 50 (the last 10-15 years have proved that much). And it's a bit much to criticise a TV show for never portraying people engaged in relatively unproductive or solitary activities like online poker or wasting time on social media or whatever. We never see space people on the loo, either. #link


Ruins Alone AKA Tatsuya Yoshida, by MacDara on Flickr.

Can't think of a better way to mark the renewal of my Flickr Pro account by posting this pic from the few I snapped at the Ruins Alone gig at the Twisted Pepper last September. If you ever get the chance to see Tatsuya Yoshida do his thing, do yourself a favour and don't miss it. #image