Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crystal Swing? Try Cheap Plastic Swing...

I have lost respect for the mighty Ellen DeGeneres. Why? Two words.

Crystal. Swing.

Swiftly followed by ... criiiiinge.

After seeing their karaoke, cruise ship like videos on YouTube, Ellen was apparently so taken by them that she flew them over for her show, catapulting them to Jedward like stardom.

It’s not that they’re entirely talentless – Dervla (seventeen year old daughter) at least has a good voice, but Derek’s (eighteen year old son) bizarre Hucklebuck dancing is not a skill – I’m sorry, but anyone can have leg spasms. Don’t start me on Mary (robo-mon).

Check out, “He drinks Tequila” here ...

It’s not even that their video screams cruise ship – I could deal with that ... just about. It’s more about the creepy way the BROTHER and SISTER look at each other when singing about “talking dirty”, and there’s one specific point where she goes, “You’re so naughty, kiss my body, and just call me pretty!” while running her finger down her BROTHER’S chest and cosying up to him with a big grin on her face while his eyes practically pop and robo-mom makes bizarre attempts to flirt with the camera in the background (3.33 – 3.40 is priceless).

And this is the Ellen interview ...

Their overpowering cheesiness wouldn’t even bother me that much if it weren’t for the fact that they’re clearly Irish Tourism robots, programmed with memorised scripts of rainbow sprinkled loveliness about how wonderful Ireland is (as imagined by Americans). Mary and her dreadful perm thrusts a bottle of Jameson at Ellen, because “we Irish love our dhroppa whiskey!” and then yaps on about kissing the Blarney Stone and the gift of the gab, “not that we Irish need any of that!” oh ha ha ha Mary, did those mischievous leprechauns tell you to say that?

Ellen asks what the differences are between Cork and LA (bahaha) and instead, robo-mom launches into a well rehearsed spiel of promotional stuff you’d find in a brochure, such as the “beautiful scenery, beautiful countryside, lovely people, lovely food, and lots of castles, blah blah”. She goes on to explain how she started the band herself eight years ago, and basically played the keyboard on her own for about five years.

... on yer own? ...that’s not really a band, love, is it? It’s just you ... by yourself ... tinkling with a keyboard ...yeah?

Apparently, she was quite successful and built up a good fanbase. I do agree with her here, five years ago all I ever listened to was robots playing keyboards. Remember that number one hit she had? No...? Oh wait ... I’m talking utter crap again.

Then the leg spasming Elvis Presley wannabe tells us how, “Showband music is very popular in Ireland, Ellen”.

Ehh... ye wha?? I dunno what clubs he’s going to but count me out. I don’t think I could even name any showbands. I’m not even sure I know what it is?? I thought perhaps he meant an older generation, so not wanting to be entirely ignorant, I asked my mother what showbands she liked. After gently enquiring if I had been stuck indoors studying for too long, I showed her Crystal Swing’s video, and she confusedly asked if this was along the lines of Father Ted’s “My Lovely Horse” video.
Hmm. Crystal Swing, nil points.

(Just in case you haven’t seen Ted ... although shame on you if you haven’t)

As if the interview on Ellen wasn’t bad enough, they threw together some sort of homemade crap promoting Cork, and honestly all I can say is ... criiiiiinge. You have to see it yourself to truly understand, but I was literally hiding behind my hands at some points because I just couldn’t watch it.

From robo-mom’s exact pronunciation to the lifted straight out of a Cork guidebook script to the fact that its paiiiinfully obviously staged, I had to force myself to watch it to the end, particularly at the Jameson bit, which is just ... God, I don’t even have words. Mary’s face at 1.30 is just terrifying.

So while I’m mopping up Irish dignity with my how-to-blatantly-pander-to-an-American-stereotype handbook, cue the horses strolling across the little coun’thry road of the “typical Oirish rural village”.

One also has to wonder why, when everyone is bundled in coats and scarves, Mary is wandering around in a sleevless top. But then we remember she’s a robot, and robots don’t feel the cold.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to procrastinate - i mean, write an essay...

I handed in my last ever college essay the other day there (I’m not counting that big scary 12,000 word thing known as a thesis) and it got me to thinking about all the many essays I’ve done. I worked out that, in total, I’ve submitted about thirty essays for my course, none shorter than 1200 words, and most at least 2000, if not 3000. You’d think my room would be cleaner for all that procrastinating.

Here’s how to write an essay.

Make a cup of tea and settle down
Lay out all your books and notes, nice and neatly
Better get some pens
Better get some differently coloured pens

Now, you’re all sorted and ready to go. Turn on computer, open up Word ... check email. Just in case there’s anything majorly important.

Ahh, like all those Facebook notifications.


.....better check them. Just to get them out of the way like, so you won’t be distracted later when you really get into it.

Half an hour later, you find yourself on your friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s friend’s baby’s dog’s whatever’s page looking at photos of total randomers at a club you don’t know drinking bright blue cocktails and dancing on someone’s table somewhere at an afterparty... better get back to work.

Better start work.

Better get more tea first, just so you don’t have to get up when you really get rolling.

Check email... just in case you got one while you were at the kettle.
You didn’t.

Check phone, just in case someone texted you.
No one did.

Actually you know what, you should probably check the real life mail box in case there were actually letters delivered.
There weren’t. Make some toast and check your email again, in case anyone emailed you while you were at the post box.

Ok no, actual work. Type out your essay question. And your name. Maybe your student number. Stare at computer screen for a few minutes ... try typing something, no erase it, type something else... re read question, glance briefly at notes, internally berate yourself for drawing pictures instead, type something else, re-write it, give up in frustration.

Bitch and moan to yourself about how hard this is!!! Go back on facebook to bitch and moan to everyone else about how hard this is, then check to see if your friends are bitching and moaning also about how hard the essay is, so you can make yourself feel better about the lack of work done so far.

Make more tea to calm yourself down. Maybe more toast. Maybe you need more coloured pens to make notes first. Basically, re-write all your scribblings in pretty much the exact same words, but in lovely colours and with bullet points.

Excellent. That was some good work. Back to the essay. Fingers hover over keyboard ... ok wait now, what did those notes say??

...Tea break. You deserve it cos of the hard work you just did.

Check email again, in case someone emailed while you were at the kettle. Facebook!! So-and-so has commented on your status ... “i know wat u mean, i only hav 500 words done!! Grr!”

Hmm. You only have the title written. Shit one.

Make more toast.

Lie on the floor and moan. Maybe punch something. (Not your keyboard... i lost an ‘I’ button that way...)

Type something. Ok, that’s good! Type a bit more ... and a bit more ... oh dude you’re on a roll now, look at you typing away, this is freakin awesome, you’ll be done with this crap in no time, there’s another sentence, and another, oh and another ... then you make the fatal mistake of checking your word count.

187 words.

Type another few sentences and check again. 223 words. And again. 276 words. And again. 310 words.

Tea break.

Check email, just in case someone ... ahh you know. Kettle.

Text your friend about how shit it is that you’re stuck inside doing this essay. Text another friend about going out at the weekend to celebrate finishing the essay. Text your other half to bitch about the essay. Text your mother to find out what she’s up to. Realise that you’re texting your mother for something other than, ‘can u make me dinner plz’ and snap yourself out of it. Back to work.

Re-read what you’ve typed. Type more stuff then realise your repeating yourself. Erase. Check notes. Open book at random page and throw it away again when page 192 happens to not have the answer in a neatly packaged 3,000 word essay. Seriously, how do they expect you to write this if they can’t even give you decent reading material???

Back on Facebook to bitch about your useless lecturers. Totally their fault if you fail. Check to make sure everyone else is online and also not doing any work.

Make more tea. Check email ...

Repeat the above several times. Dinner should probably fit in there somewhere. Then, at about one o’clock in the morning when your room looks like it came straight out of a catalogue because of all the tidying and you find yourself agreeing to do an online survey about dog food for the dog you don’t have, you suddenly sit up dead straight, click out of facebook and hotmail and MSN and hammer out those goddamn 3000 feckin words in about two hours

Hand in essay next day and complain bitterly about how you got no sleep last night cos you were doing the essay. Seriously, FML, dude.


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Typing Pictures

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Times, they are a-cheapening...

Grafton Street is apparently the fifth most expensive street in the world, behind Fifth Avenue and the likes (although in recent times, I doubt this is true anymore), and I remember reading somewhere that rent starts at about half a million, depending on shop size and where abouts you were positioned. People always went on about this as if it was a superb achievement – “look at us, we sure know how to jack up our prices!” I never found it anything to be particularly proud of, and to be honest I think most of that was probably down to Brown Thomas, rather than an abundance of shop choice.

So it was surprising when I noticed a ‘Bargain Basement’ next door to Dubray Books. Originally ‘The Calendar Shop’, and Warehouse before that, I wandered in and discovered that apart from selling ridiculously cheap books, (I then realised it was actually called Bargain Books and I’m a muppet who clearly can’t read properly) it also sells all manner of cheap crap – it’s basically a 2euro shop, with a preference towards books.

2euro shops are the quintessential stop for ridiculously tacky, brightly coloured stuff that you have to reason with yourself before buying (“it’s for Halloween ... no honestly, it is, I don’t actually want to buy it ... no no no its ok, I don’t need a bag I’ll just stuff it right down the bottom of my handbag here ...”), and if there’s ever anything random you need to get and don’t know where you might find it – a glow in the dark statue of Buddha, for example (I kid you not – imagine giving that to your child as a night light??), someone will always say, “will we try the 2euro shop?” So this is not an assault on craptacular cheap stuff ... no, my point is, what is said craptacular cheap stuff doing on Grafton Street, the fifth most expensive street in the world? A mere stone’s throw away from Brown Thomas?

Yeah yeah, I know I’m about a year behind with this, and supposedly we’re coming out of the recession, but if that’s not a sign of fallen times, I dunno what is.

PS... as money saving as 2euro shops can be, one thing I probably won’t be trying on the cheap are the three boxes of condoms for two euro ... probably along the lines of ‘Ripped ... for no one’s pleasure’.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Thesis That Rocked ... sorta

I'm in the middle of writing my final year dissertation (well, when I say in the middle of, I mean less than half done... which is not so much middle as near the beginning...) and its surprisingly interesting. When you first hear about it, you freak out because its basically the equivalent to about 4 essays, but if you pick something that really interests you - and you can get away with just about anything that relates to your course - its actually not half bad. I'm almost - dare I say it -looking forward to doing it sometimes.

*Shudder* No, I take it back!

Mine's a detailed history of pirate radio in Ireland and the UK, and the lasting impact this left. Initially, I figured I could just watch 'The Boat That Rocked' all day long, but apparently this is to a media lecturer what 'Michael Collins' is to a history teacher - full of historical inaccuracies, and a loada crap, basically. I just thought Midnight Mark was a babe.

Re-watching it though (yeah like I was gonna pay attention to what college tells me to do), and after doing so much research for my paper, I realised that although its freakin hilarious, it is very romanticized. Plus, dozens of the songs are from the late 60s/early 70s, despite the film being set in 1966. David Bowie's 'Let's Dance', wasn't even out til the 80s!

So I put The Count and Simple Simon away and picked up a book instead. A far more reliable source (I think I'd fail on the spot if I referenced a movie), although a lot less fun.

Anyway, with four thousand words due tomorrow and just under three thousand done, there's a cup of coffee waiting for me. I actually don't mind though; its really interesting.

List of stuff I have learned... (about time I learned something)

-At least three 98FM DJS, and Ryan Philips from Spin, used to work for pirate station Freedom FM
-Declan Meehan from East Coast used to work for pirate station Radio Melinda
-In fact, a whole load of RTE DJs were originally pirates
-Phantom started out in a garden shed in Sandyford
-And despite the British government sorting out their pirate problems in the 60s and 70s, Ireland did feck all til about a decade ago. Sure you probably remember when Phantom went off air - 2003! We really don't help ourselves in the 'backwards Ireland' category, do we.

Best get typing - pity this doesn't count.

On an completely unrelated and slightly lighter note, I have recently discovered that Cheryl Cole's house is called, 'Hurtmore House'.