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


Tag: society

Why wouldn’t you vote Yes?

This article really bothers me, and I think it’s mostly to do with couching the movement to repeal the 8th Amendment in terms of ‘debate’ as suits the No side, which in the case of this campaign should be taken in the competitive sense: an art of persuasion, irrespective of facts.

The author, Colleen Brady, writes: “At the minute I feel as though there is no unbiased information readily available for the public. From where I am looking, the information available to people is either swayed one way or another.”

The thing is, this isn’t the Lisbon Treaty. It’s a healthcare issue, it’s a social issue, an awkward negotiation of complex needs. Looking for some kind of elusive, singular ‘objectivity’ is a fool’s errand. There are facts about particular aspects, and there are lies and untruths about same, and that’s all we can deal with. More…


The Great Awokening: What happens to culture in an era of identity politics?

“[Sensitivity] to the experiences of racial, cultural, sexual, and gender identities besides one’s own, and [being] attuned to the injustices that shape our world” is the best definition I’ve seen for the concept of ‘woke’, and this is a good essay about the related societal shift. It is ironic, though, that this article has since been affected by the very shifts it examines; that section about Aziz Ansari’s Master of None doesn’t sit too comfortably today next to the excoriation of Louis CK. #link


The age of banter

When you combine the refusal to take anything seriously with the refusal to take responsibility, this is what you get. #link


Dame: Why Is Male Anger So Threatening?

Read the whole thing. Patriarchy, toxic masculinity, etc is so fucking damaging, and men who can’t see that simply haven’t been looking hard enough in that particular closet. I guess for me, the door’s always been slightly ajar, not conforming as I do to the usual ‘man’ stereotypes (I don’t drink beer, I don’t like football, etc). But I still raise my voice and yell when I’m frustrated by situations, and I do not like that about myself. #link


Paste magazine on WWE’s slow progress on LGBTQ storylines

“When it makes sense,” said Stephanie McMahon. Which translates as ‘probably never’. We’re not even at the point where, say, ‘Darren Young’ the on-screen character reflects Darren Young the real-life openly gay man. Maybe that’s because he’s a face? WWE tends to save its better character development for its heels. #link


Fintan O’Toole: Ireland is still defined by the church’s mindset

O’Toole writes in The Irish Times about the persistence of Ireland’s “moral-industrial complex”. He doesn’t specify it (he brings up housing the homeless in hotels) but what is direct provision if not a direct descendent of the 20th-century institutionalisation of Catholic Ireland’s ‘undesirables’? We still have such a long way to go in this country. See also: Emer O’Toole in the Guardian on the church (and their apologists) feigning shock over the Tuam Babies scandal. #link


I’m Tired Of Shouting For Help

When I worked at a certain major music and video retailer that no longer exists (the French would call it Ashemvay) I was more than happy to help people with disabilities who were shopping for items we stocked on the first floor, which was only accessible by stairs (not because it was a listed building, which is was and is, but because Irish disability legislation doesn’t mandate the provision of a lift). That’s not the point, of course; I’m sure they’d much rather have shopped for themselves. But we rarely think of that. #link


Thinking out loud about David Starkey, the England Riots, etc

So this David Starkey thing, eh? “The whites have become black”? Enoch Powell? “Jamaican patois”? That old chestnut about black people who ‘sound white’? Really?

Anyway, one thing that stands out for me from the Starkey furore — apart from the hole-digging of an ignorant man, desperately out of touch and out of depth — is the hypocrisy of his subsequent evisceration by the media. That’s the very same media that can’t look at itself and see how it fuels the very stereotypes that influence such misleading attitudes.

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