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


Date: July 2020

I’m also fully aware it’s more complicated than this, but it all underscores one position: wealthy people and companies should be paying (more) tax > @MacDara #tweet

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I’m surely not the only one who would’ve been surprised if the state and Apple lost their appeal. Tax is for the poors, not multinationals, after all #tweet

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I only have two cake-related tweets. The first one is: if you think fondant is bad, you’ve never had royal icing > @MacDara #tweet

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Woke up this morning to the absolutely heartbreaking news about Grant Imahara, RIP #tweet

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Just bought something from one of those emails Bandcamp sends you so I guess direct marketing still works #tweet

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Film review — The Old Guard

Charlize Theron can do better than squander her potential as an action hero on a mean-spirited, cynical, crypto-anti-abortionist slog like this. More…

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Always thought I heard a hint of D Boon in the Franz Ferdinand sound so I’m delighted to read this thread > @alkapranos #tweet

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Doing a double-take at all the New Japan tweets in my feed this morning #tweet

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My abiding memory of this gig was that their live version of ‘The Marshals Are Dead’ beat the stuffing out of the one on their debut EP > @MacDara #tweet

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Bloc Party at Whelan’s; it was jammed but that’s still like only 450. Their next Dublin show (that I didn’t attend) was at the 8,000-seat 3Arena > @grahambasten #tweet

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#NowPlaying Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat - Genetic #tweet

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This just reminded me how good Fischerspooner’s ‘Invisible’ sounded over the PA down in HMV Grafton Street’s dance basement > @alan_maguire #tweet

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I’ve never liked football but everything people are saying about the Charlton era and what it meant to the country is true #tweet

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This is now in the post, at last! Any idea how long things are taking from the US at the moment? I’m awaiting another package shipped a week ago > @MacDara #tweet

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Film review — While You Live, Shine

Paul Duane’s endearing, engaging documentary follows an American record collector and musicologist to the place of his dreams, a village in northern Greece where the continuity of its folk music and community tradition has remained unchanged despite the ravages of capitalist modernity. A beautifully composed film, indeed. More…

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Film review — The Thing

I don’t mess with John Carpenter’s The Thing; it’s far too well made, so good at what it does, and affects me on such a deeply visceral level, that the experience is genuinely horrifying and not at all enjoyable. This remake masquerading as a prequel is actually a more bearable experience, but only because the CGI renders the titular monster far less ‘real’, and eventually verges on silly, ‘Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond’ territory. Mary Elizabeth Winstead holds her own as the cool head within the heated macho atmosphere, which is a plus. But the story’s own logic doesn’t hold up at several crucial moments, and when your head’s out of a story like this, it’s done for. More…

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Gonna have to call bullshit on the #ML2020 Newton’s cradle event; course conditions clearly improved for later runners, so there should’ve been an additional reverse-order run with a scoring average > @MacDara #tweet

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Haven’t had the best week inside my head but the grape mochi I only ordered two days ago arrived this morning so that’s something #tweet

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I don’t know why anyone would download a public beta of iOS when Apple can’t even get the full release versions right any more #tweet

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Film review — Weathering With You

Screened (or rather, streamed) as part of this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, this is Makoto Shinkai’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Your Name and unfortunately a slighter film overall, with a whimsy that takes the edge off its emotional rawness. Nevertheless, it remains true to the director’s common themes of love embattled by circumstances, and the marginalisation of spiritual culture (or cultural spirituality) in contemporary Japanese society, with a fantastical tale of a ‘sunshine girl’ whose prayers can banish the rain, but only put it off to another time – a fairly blunt metaphor for the need to face up to one’s responsibilities in life. Needless to say it looks impeccable, in the attention to those little details that seems beyond the vision, if not the capabilities, of mainstream western animation. More…

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Nothing says WWE has a uniform for street fights more than Candice LeRae and Mia Yim in denim shorts they’ve probably never worn before in their lives #tweet

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My brain and body could’ve done with another couple of hours’ sleep to function today; four-and-a-bit doesn’t cut it #tweet

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Picked up this sick comp the other day for the price of a sandwich; just bruising, bone-rattling grindcore > sick-tired.bandcamp.com #tweet

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I’ve got a work-related question: What Government department do the waterways fall under now? I haven’t the foggiest #tweet

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Film review — Family Romance, LLC

Sadly slept on the invite to the first day Q&A with Werner Herzog about his latest film, which seems to have been a few years in the making; odd for a digitally shot, vérité-style drama that could’ve been made in a week or less, given the end results. It hooks on a real-life Tokyo company that rents actors to fill voids in people’s lives, whether that’s Insta-fame, wishing to win the lottery or, in the case of the main plot strand, a missing father. What it lacks in surface emotion, it makes up for in philosophical provocation – even if an argument can be made that it slips into Orientalist cliché, what with that notion of ‘typical Japanese reserve’, and the pit stop at the kawaii hedgehog café. (The hedgehogs are cute, though.) More…

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Got an invite to a press screening this Friday. An actual ‘sit down in a darkened theatre’ screening #tweet

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Lidl have a pretty good Lenovo tablet (10 inch, 720p display) in stock from today for under €100, if you’re looking for one #tweet

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My WWE Network subscription. Why was I paying 50% more than Americans to get shows a week after they do? > @HKesvani #tweet

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Um, why isn’t last week’s NXT available on the Network? #tweet

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Picked up Elite Dangerous in the Steam summer sale and it seems like the kind of Star Trekky, Expansey space trucking simulator I was looking for #tweet

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Film review — You Should Have Left

A brilliant idea for a mind-bending chiller that unfortunately leans into the wrong kind of horror, going the sub-Shining route rather than digging deep into the non-Euclidean, spacetime-warping weirdness that could have made it a winner. More…

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When I visited Pretoria, which is 1.4km above sea level, I was out of breath from walking to the shops five minutes away. That seems like what would happen with even a mild case of Covid-19 and trust me, it wasn’t good #tweet

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Why is this story about Baszler (who is actually good) and not how septuagenarian Vince just plain sucks when it comes to spotting and nurturing talent? > @cagesideseats #tweet

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You know my CSS is rusty when I forget IDs get a hash instead of a dot. D’oh is me #tweet

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Elderly parents get taken for granted by their adult children > @REDROMINA #tweet

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My brain is finally calm enough to enjoy film so today I watched Our Little Sister, and I thought it was great > letterboxd.com #tweet

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Just the one thing for me this Bandcamp Day: that Dewa Alit gamelan LP on Oren Ambarchi’s label Black Truffle > @MacDara #tweet

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Film review — Our Little Sister

A likely story, you might say if someone told you the plot — a trio of twentysomething sisters discover a younger, teenage half-sibling after their father’s death, and welcome her into their literally ramshackle home and figuratively ramshackle lives — but in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s hands, the realness of this manga adaptation shines through. Bittersweet without that desperation to tug at the heart-strings, and ultimately satisfying in its deliberate end without an ending, on a note of hope for new beginnings. Love it. More…

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Film review — Una

Adapting theatre for film takes more than just blocking scenes differently for the camera but keeping the stagey dialogue and projected interactions. In this case, it makes for a poorly rendered film of what’s actually an important story that excoriates patriarchal control. Rooney Mara is good as the titular young woman damaged by childhood abuse, both emboldened by maturity and confused in her predicament. But Ben Mendelsohn essays a real creep in her erstwhile abuser, who more or less picks up where he left off when Una re-enters his sights. They deserved a better vehicle than this. More…

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Film review — The Big Lebowski

Rewatched for the first time in years and… I could take it or leave it, now. The episodic nature really highlights how flimsy the story is, and it’s not nearly as funny as it thinks it is. It makes me wonder, did I really like it back in the day, or just go along with consensus? Fuck it. More…

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That John Cleese tweet doing the rounds only makes me think that with the Pythons he had a whole team with whom to workshop his jokes (and save him from himself) #tweet

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