The Monkey's TypewriterFreudian Slip? (9.12.2005, 20:43 UTC)
Thanks to the eager eyes of one of my loyal readers, I have updated my previous posting. As many people will know, the Irish Minister for Justice is not, as I wrote earlier, Malcolm McDowell but, of course, Michael McDowell....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterGulag, Schmulag (8.12.2005, 00:15 UTC)
I caught Harold Pinter's Nobel lecture on television today. All in all, a perplexing performance. It began promisingly with Pinter describing the origins, in a phrase and an image, of two of his great plays, The Homecoming and Old Times....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterTwo Dictators (6.12.2005, 22:21 UTC)
I caught Oliver Hirschbiegel’s chilling film, Downfall last night on Channel 4’s latest offshoot, More4. If it weren’t for the fact that the picture was actually released in 2004, it would definitely be a contender for my picture of the...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterBy the numbers (27.11.2005, 18:47 UTC)
With apologies to the Harper’s Index, here are some factoids that caught my eye during recent reading, online & offline, presented in the form of figures: 8: Average age, in years, of cars in Germany (Source: “In Germany, a Puzzling...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterPlaying with Fire, part II (22.11.2005, 15:44 UTC)
In the alternative reality presented in The Plot Against America, the relocation of America’s Jewish population—including the narrator’s family—under the Homestead 42 scheme is seen one of the final steps in cementing the Lindbergh Administration’s totalitarian tendencies. But this fictional...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterPlaying with Fire, part 1 (14.11.2005, 23:56 UTC)
OK, first off, Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America is an entertaining work, its “counterfactual” premise evoking for me those yellow-jacketed Gollancz sci-fi novels that I borrowed from the local library before I dutifully moved on “proper” literature. In fact,...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (10.11.2005, 00:29 UTC)
As someone obliged to regard the artistic endeavours of my (oh so advanced) three-and-a-half year-old daughter with the frowning awe of a latter-day Clement Greenberg, I found this odd project weirdly compelling. Link via Boing Boing More substantial posts on...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterLazy link II (2.11.2005, 10:38 UTC)
Review of The Constant Gardener now available here. Capsule review: Good, but could have been even better....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterLazy link (27.10.2005, 16:11 UTC)
My interview with the unparalleled Camille Paglia is now available here....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 1
The Monkey's TypewriterParade's End (23.10.2005, 21:28 UTC)
After a (partially successful) 35-year effort to take the gun out of Irish politics, Bertie Ahern wants to remilitarize Irish public life. At the annual conference (Ardfheis) of his political party, Fianna Fáil, Taoiseach Ahern announced that a military parade...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterNo excuses (19.10.2005, 21:50 UTC)
Blog entries are often little more than squibs, textual equivalents of a nudge in the ribs and a confidential aside asking "Have you seen this?" However, the occasional blog post has substance and even the vapid ones have the saving...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterHard Cheese from the Swiss (14.10.2005, 16:59 UTC)
The Swiss made a rare incursion into the Irish mindset last Wednesday, when their football team's stolid defense at Lansdowne Road denied the Irish team a place in the World Cup Finals, which will be staged next year in Germany....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterWell, I wonder why... (13.10.2005, 21:54 UTC)
From the Washington Post: "In what may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling, President Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent, according to a new NBC/Wall Street...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterHarold Pinter has won this year's Nobel Prize in Literature (13.10.2005, 12:06 UTC)
According to the Swedish Academy, Pinter is a writer "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms." As with every Nobel Prize, one wonders at the political context--is the above comment...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterThe secret life of Banville (12.10.2005, 19:08 UTC)
From the deluge of stories about John Banville following his (conventional-wisdom alert!) surprising Booker Prize win, the most interesting nugget was offered up by John Boland, whose Saturday TV review in the Indo is always worth reading. According to Boland,...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterSign of the Times (11.10.2005, 11:20 UTC)
OK, yesterday's sunny post was an anomaly. Today, I want to beat up on Fintan O'Toole--his review of the book by former Irish Times editor Conor Brady, "Up With The Times"* was largely a snow job, focusing on the positive...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterIt's nice to be back.... (10.10.2005, 23:46 UTC)
Well it's good to return after an unplanned, unannounced sabbatical from the blog with something unusually positive. (BTW, I'm writing this after deleting about 1380 spam comments--has anyone else noticed that in the last year or so the concerns of...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterGo easy on the Kummerspeck (26.9.2005, 12:41 UTC)
The BBC features an article on The Meaning Of Tingo, a book by euphoniously named Adam Jacot de Boinod that collects some words or phrases that deserve to be borrowed by English. For example, the Japanese phrase "bakku-shan" describes a...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterIt could drive a man to drink... (23.9.2005, 10:58 UTC)
From the surprisingly dependable National Enquirer: "Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe. "When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot,"...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterAvoiding the "hard sell"? (21.9.2005, 20:40 UTC)
Those who have earned a crust writing courseware for that nebulous industry, e-Learning, often cringed at the "scenarios" they had to create that illustrated some recommended workplace behavior. These scenarios are usually populated by saintly figures of decorum and tact...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 1
The Monkey's Typewriter"Got lost, nerd!" (21.9.2005, 12:41 UTC)
That, I can imagine, would be the response if you invited the "cool kid" from school over to your house to play this touchingly ill-begotten attempt to help children "discover fundamentals of computer programming by playing a board game!" (As...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterSong for Katya (16.9.2005, 21:01 UTC)
Review of Kevin Stevens's latest novel, Song for Katya reviewed here....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 1
The Monkey's TypewriterBy the way, cancel that trip to Denver (13.9.2005, 18:44 UTC)
The most recent issue of The Economist features an article describing the finding of the Chernobyl Forum, "a group of several hundred scientists, economists and health experts supported by the three governments involved—those of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus." Broadly speaking,...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterThey had a way with words back then (11.9.2005, 19:17 UTC)
Saturday's Irish Times featured an entertaining review by Booker-shortlisted author John Banville of Neil Steinberg's Hatless Jack: the President, the Fedora and the Death of the Hat. This exhaustive compendium of headgear-related facts attempts to correct the myth, of which...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 1
The Monkey's TypewriterImagine if we had a hurricane... (10.9.2005, 10:28 UTC)
From Saturday's Irish Times article headlined "Two homeless found dead in 12-hour period": When contacted for comment, Alice Leahy, director of the homeless charity Trust, said homeless people dying on the streets of Dublin is now "almost a weekly occurrence"....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterKatrina, at last (9.9.2005, 14:33 UTC)
I've held off writing about the disaster until now for a number of reasons: a) After the hours of saturation coverage (no pun intended), I thought what's there to add? b) I felt guilty at not having paid sufficient attention...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterSwings and roundabouts (8.9.2005, 20:28 UTC)
Last night's performance by the Irish soccer (I have to use that term instead of "football" to avoid growls from GAA supporters) team in the World Cup qualifying game might have disheartened many, but for those who hanker after submerging...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterA nice little earner (8.9.2005, 09:49 UTC)
The New York Times has a profile of the reclusive author, S. E. Hinton, author of such teen classics as The Outsiders, and Rumblefish. The enduring popularity of her work is staggering: "Her most famous book, "The Outsiders," about teenage...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 1
The Monkey's TypewriterAdvance warning (5.9.2005, 09:31 UTC)
Blogging might be a bit patchy over the coming days (when isn't it, some might argue). Apart from noisome tasks associated with contract work, I'm doing some reading in my spare time (well, spare spare time, assuming that non-working hours...
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
The Monkey's TypewriterA serious fall--part 2 (30.8.2005, 19:25 UTC)
At least two of the nominees on the Booker Prize longlist were not even reviewed let alone widely available when the roster was announced. Now Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown and Zadie Smith's On Beauty are getting pre-publication press attention....
Link | Author: Shane Barry | Clicks: 0
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