Thursday, August 31, 2006

end of story?

A thoughtful, if depressing, interview with Michael Tolkin in today's New York Times. He thinks the best days of Hollywood (and American screen stories) are behind us. I hope he's wrong.

"I don’t think America’s had a good movie made since Abu Ghraib,” Mr. Tolkin said, before clarifying that he’s talking about big movies, not the minuscule ones that have met the industry’s quotas for unembarrassing award nominees. “I think it showed that a generation that had been raised on those heroic movies was torturing. National myths die, I don’t think they return. And our national myth is finished, except in a kind of belligerent way.

Glenn Ford died yesterday. RIP.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the new Bewleys?

Upstairs in Easons O Connell Street Dublin is now a very comfortable place to have a cup of something and a read of the paper. Reminds me a bit of what we used Bewleys for all those years ago. On a corner wall there is a large LCD screen showing a silent SKY NEWS with the text button on. It’s strangely calming despite the alarming images it often shows.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I’ve been waiting patiently for Vodaphone Ireland to release the Nokia e70. It was due last June but was delayed because of problems “testing the software” Now, they finally say it will be released on contract by the end of August – or maybe September. I check out the Vodaphone UK site and see that the E70 is up there for a good while, you can even get it free with some of the higher tariffs. There’s been a lot of talk recently about the mobile operaters overcharging for calls, but less talk about how they are screwing us with their selection (and prices) of handsets. I’d love to know, for example, how Vodaphone UK could release the E70 without any “software problems” in the UK but failed to do this in Ireland. What exactly were the “software problems” that made it unsuitable for the Irish market but ok for the UK?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Page 69

In the “Guardian” today, John Sutherland gives advice on “how to read a novel” His most interesting tip is borrowed from Marshall McLuhan who recommended “ that the browser turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.” According to Sutherland, this works. Must try it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Does anyone else feel a sense of restlessness in the air? I feel this in Dublin at the moment. People in transit. I wonder how many of the people who have arrived here in the past few years will settle and stay? So many of them talk about “home”, and that home isn’t here. Then again, we were the same in Britain and America, always talking and singing about home but staying where we sailed to. I hope the majority of our immigrants stay. We need their energy as much they need whatever “home” and shelter this land can offer. We are still at the start of an uncertain new century. Too often, lately, I think about the beginning of the last century . I used to read a lot about that strange period between 1900 and 1914. In my heart, I don’t really believe that history repeats itself. It’s just this sense of restlessness , leading .....someplace.