Archive for March, 2009

CowenGate – RTÉ News Too Full of the Milk of Human Kindness

Posted in Grave News on March 25, 2009 by Johnnie


There’s no magic formula for popularity; and how the demand for an apology from RTÉ by the Irish leader’s spokesman Eoghan O’Neachtain is backfiring splendidly.  The fact that many news outlets abroad, like the BBC,  The London Times and The Guardian, had already carried headlines about the Taoiseach’s finely-reproduced moobs to their worldwide readerships, makes Cowen’s bizarre vanity look, incredibly, even more ridiculous and humiliating.  Sadly, it also makes RTÉ’s grovelling climb-down look very, very silly indeed.  It’s at times like this that the world gets an unfortunate reminder of just what a tiny country this is.

Pat Kenny, Again

Posted in Grave News, TV on March 24, 2009 by Johnnie

Another example of why the Late Late continues to be essential viewing.

Eastern Promise

Posted in Music on March 20, 2009 by Johnnie


State Magazine, May 2008

Words: Johnnie Craig  Photography: James Goulden & Shawna Scott

Belly dancing and cream cakes: State helps to celebrate Persian New Year

You can just imagine the gossip-mongering; “Did you hear, there’s another one of those mad parties going on… some place off the Naas Road in Dublin 22, it’s all that thump-thump-thump music and strange dancing. Oh, and there’s there’s the usual gang of young fellas, all dressed in white, sitting in a group, passing around some substance or other.”

Well, it’s perfectly true: it’s a party in an upstairs room at the Red Cow Complex; it’s a Persian New Year celebration, where a DJ is providing floor-filling dance music; and a group of smartly-attired young men are indeed passing something around – they’re sharing a freshly peeled orange.

This is Dublin’s own version of Nowruz (‘New day’ in Old Persian), a celebration marking the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian calendar – and, before you ask, it’s now the year 2567. As religious ceremonies go, it’s a bit of a curiosity in Ireland, as it predates anything on our Christian calendar, having been celebrated by Persians for at least 3000 years.

While it would be an exaggeration to say that the Red Cow has been transformed for the occasion, it’s at least unusual to see the traditional, ornately decorated ‘Haft Sin‘ table set up just inside the doorway of the function room; it comprises seven symbolic foodstuffs, all of which begin with the letter ‘s’ in Persian, signifying ‘the seven creations and holy immortals’ protecting them. From the word go, it looks like a party that caters for the finer senses. All around the hall, there’s an alluring fragrance of musk and chocolate. Continue reading

Mamma Mia

Posted in U Lads on March 20, 2009 by Johnnie


U Magazine, March 2008

Dear Mum,

As it’s soon to be Mothering Sunday, the day in which all us kids stop what we’re doing to honour the woman who brought us into the world and made us the treasures we are today, I thought it was a good time to write a little appreciation of the mother and son relationship. I don’t want to over-analyse things – I know how you’re prone to concentrate harder on Ready, Steady Cook when I get all philosophical – but our special bond deserves a review and an overview. Yes, it’s not what you had in mind for Mother’s Day, you’d probably prefer a tepid breakfast in bed and a box of Terry’s All Gold, but if it really is the thought that counts, you might want to read this. Your little boy has (sort of) grown up, and there are some things he’d like to say. Continue reading

They Is Us by Tama Janowitz

Posted in Books on March 20, 2009 by Johnnie

theyisusCautionary tale of America’s apocalyptic future

Sunday Business Post, 01 March 2009

America may have elected its new president and laid the foundations of its future on a wave of hope – but, as Tama Janowitz’s fascinating and prophetic new novel warns us, its situation may already be hopeless.

Set at the end of the 21st century, a few years after the US has lost a major war with Palestine and Syria, They Is Us centres on one family’s existence in the polluted remains of what was once New Jersey.

An emotionally vulnerable single mother, Murielle is raising her young teenage girls in the rundown suburb, which now sits at the edge of a huge toxic swamp.

Fifteen-year-old Tahnee is the family beauty, but her younger sister, Julie, has all the brains and sensitivity, which she puts to good use in her summer job at a nearby biochemical plant. Here, she feeds and tends some of the bizarre mutant results of animal hybrid experiments, and even rescues some discarded or dying specimens, including feathered rabbits and a cross-bred dog which her beloved, but absent, father, Slawa, has trained to talk. Continue reading

Why Stop At AIDS?

Posted in Ecumenical Matters on March 19, 2009 by Johnnie

EVIL_EVIL_EVIL!!!Why does the Pope not highlight the other evils condoms are responsible for?

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, telling reporters that AIDS “cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.”   Incredibly there has been an international outcry over this statement, with the director of the World Health Organisation’s HIV/Aids department, Kevin De Cock, saying that there’s no scientific evidence to show that condom use encourages people to take sexual risks.  Naturally, IHGN thinks Pope Benedict hasn’t gone far enough in his condom condemnation.  There are many other risks associated with their use and misuse – why didn’t he point these ones out? Continue reading

The Meteor Music Awards 2009

Posted in Music on March 19, 2009 by Johnnie


As Seen On

If there’s one thing Meteor Music Awards does peerlessly, it’s living up to everyone’s expectations. As a showbiz event, it knows its public inside out and feeds them everything they want, like zookeepers throwing fish at penguins. Indie snobs mightn’t like it but, as it proves year-in, year-out, this show isn’t for them – just witness State’s efforts to offload a spare ticket to three separate arts journalists: one didn’t reply; another scoffed, “Lord, rather you than me”; and a third snapped, “I’d rather suck my eyeballs out with a Dyson.” Continue reading