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


Date: May 2018

WWE Announcers Don’t Think Pro Wrestling Journalism Exists

Which is weird, as there’s an awful lot of good journalism being done about wrestling. Mind you, it’s not really being done by the likes of Dave Meltzer. There’s another question beyond this piece: about wrestling dirtsheets as a branch of entertainment journalism, not sports, and their closer relation to the kind of access and relationships between writers and PR in music and film. But I’d say the same about wrestling as I’d say about issues of potential compromise and conflict of interest in mainstream entertainment: ‘access journalism’ only gets you so far. Look how much it’s ruined political journalism in the US, after all. #link

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The Sage of Pedro keeps it real for surf-turned-culture zine What Youth. #video

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Jealous of everyone at the cricket today. Have to get tickets for next month’s T20, so #tweet

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Ah, the old ‘sun shines on the cabinet up the road, @eircare broadband goes down’ carousel starts again! #tweet

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This Bandcamp feature on Louisville bands reminded me I’ve got a National Acrobat CD in my old room somewhere https://t.co/5xUzMYd2st #tweet

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Thread on the inability to report inappropriate ads on YouTube, which has been the case forever, much to @BeeBonthuys's chagrin https://t.co/lc4y5z5HLk #tweet

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I feckin’ knew Syfy, the network that cancels everything good, would cancel The Expanse #tweet

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I did this on Erik's suggestion; worth it for the first 2 tracks I streamed alone, and now I've got 34 other releases to dig into https://t.co/yFgfenQzui #tweet

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That's a hell of a bill. But I'm too damn old for standing on the floor. If anyone's getting a block of seats, nudge nudge https://t.co/LQruhxeepl #tweet

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Night of the Creeps is great and all, but Fred Dekker also did RoboCop 3 #tweet

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Playing Gina G and Culture Club at what sounds like a school sports day, in 2018, would be like if they played the Beatles at mine #tweet

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Ready Player One is the roadmap to digital dystopia

I will admit, my primary reaction to Ready Player One was how lacking in imagination the whole thing was. (All those references to leech from, and the best you can come up with includes planets where a single common-or-garden game arcade is repeated in identical instances covering the surface? Really?) But that’s my privilege showing. Everything here is on point. #link

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It’s one of the world’s great ironies that the band Toto wasn’t started by former members of Kansas #tweet

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I’m that fantasy baseball guy with Clayton Kershaw on my roster and expecting my season to go down the bog from here on in http://bit.ly/2FUglza #tweet

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Mike Watt: gave me 90 minutes of his time, getting more real than expected, while he cooked tilapia for lunch https://t.co/BZPWWweydx #tweet

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My Letterboxd reviews for April 2018

Elsa Lanchester and Colin Clive in Bride of Frankenstein

I tried to make up for not watching any films in the first two weeks of April by watching seven over the latter half. And five of them involved actual trips to the cinema: one a press screening in Dublin, one at the fleapit down the road, one in the basement of the local arts centre (a regional screening as part of the Japanese Film Festival), and a double-bill at the IFI. My pick of the month is one I won’t be reviewing till later in May, but my thoughts on the rest are below. More…

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Laughing at everyone running for the exits after the Backlash main event. What was WWE thinking running a B show till 11.30pm on a Sunday? #tweet

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Fell asleep (and put a crick in my neck) just one match into Backlash, so catching up on the rest now. It’s what bank holidays are for #tweet

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What perfectly normal food can you just not stand?

I would quibble with pith as a ‘perfectly normal food’ (if you’re not avoiding the pith when you eat citrus, you’re doing it wrong). Other than that, this mostly leaves me thinking about how much my palate has changed over the last few years. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was That Guy who lived on starch and didn’t touch fruit or veg; I still don’t really eat fruit (it’s a texture and tartness thing for me) but I’m game for most vegetables now, provided they’re properly prepared and in the right combinations. (For instance, raw tomato is not appealing — but slice it, salt it, put it in a sandwich or on a burger? I’m good.) #link

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I’ve been a member of MetaFilter for more than 13 years and I just made my first FPP #tweet

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This is a good thread. Wish I could contribute but in the few proper interviews I've done, people have only been nice to me https://t.co/GrnB53PWXj #tweet

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Taka Kigawa in Drogheda this evening was wonderful stuff #tweet

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The sun might have hidden away but I’m still spinning Guerilla Toss #tweet

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Letting neural networks be weird

Machine learning, unconstrained from the memes or tropes or expectations of human empirical understanding, produces what can best be appreciated as accidental art as it strives to compute a formula for the human mind. If you want to put it in a philosophical way, like. This also reminds me of something I read last year on the phenomenon of Afghan war rugs, and how the iconography divorced from context results in a similar semiotic clash — yet one produced by human beings, not computers. (I couldn’t find the source for that, but Phil Gyford just blogged about it. Serendipity!) #link

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‘The repairs are part of the fun’ smacks of desperation to love what amounts to €70 for some sensors and a stack of flimsy cardboard https://t.co/DOunwkKAyK #tweet

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The Weird Science Behind Chain Restaurant Menus

It’s not all that weird, unless you were naive enough to think your favourite mom-and-pop-feeling chain wasn’t decided upon down to the last detail. Maybe it also feels uncomfortable to think of oneself as an individual while at the same time fitting a little too neatly into a brand’s demographic classification, like a negation of individuality? No sweat; it’s as much in their heads as it is in yours. And I’d be more worried about Facebook doing it than a ‘fast casual dining experience’. #link

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Revisiting Burning Airlines and two things: 1) ‘Carnival’ is the Best Jam, and 2) J Robbins might be my favourite singer #tweet

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Happy first day of Irish summer. I just put the heating on because it’s still feckin’ freezing in the mornings #tweet

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