popular culture


We Need To Talk About Ireland


      The May morning after Savita Day, Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times newspaper tweeted “Oh god I just remembered all the Irish novelists and playwrights. What will they do now we don’t have shame and guilt anymore? Gogo in Godot: What do...

A Love Letter from Right Blackkidglove and Left Blackkidglove


      In one of the cult horror “Living Dead” films of the ‘Seventies the only secure refuge the living could find from the arisen deceased flesh-eaters was a shopping centre.  They barricaded themselves inside as the zombies howled and clawed at the rooflights...

PAD WOMEN


  The film “Pad Man” is a great story about a difficult crusade. Essentially, the person who endeavoured to bring sanitary towels to all Indian woman suffered physically and emotionally, lost his spouse and was shunned….though he did not regularly bleed. This is how women...

Celebrate the Silence of the Snowflakes


      Dreams. The re-telling of which is, I am aware, of zilch interest to anyone apart from the dreamer. However, this might elicit amusement from Corkonians of the Art+Love circle; that wide but narrow clique  from the Palace and The Group via the...

Everything is Connected: Rhiannon Giddens


          From The Uncle Travelling Paul Collection: For winter in Berlin, a Spring Manor House party in England, a Summer wedding in Italy, Cherry Blossom season in Hiroshima   My husband, known in the family as “Uncle Travelling Paul” has a large...

CASUS BELLI


“Casus Belli”an act or situation that provokes or justifies a war. 2003. In a London cafe, Keith Nearing the anti-hero of Martin Amis’ novel “The Pregnant Widow” is reading The Times; reading about the ‘axis of evil’ war, the war purportedly provoked –  but more...

Love Is Not Just For February


  I love icons and saints and saints’ stories and mark their feast days with the appropriate symbols and flowers. All except Saint Valentine. Poor Saint Valentine, he was hijacked by consumerism and the money spinners turned his celebration into a day fostering loneliness, disappointment,...

Leonard Cohen and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha


Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Be With Me” I made this collage of medals and relics in November 2010, possibly – sinfully – triumphantly justifying my hoarding of the family collection of such religious/superstitious – but also historically valuable – memorabilia and taliswomen. Leonard Cohen was...

The US Presidential Election 2016


For months I have been consumed and obsessed with the US Presidential Election, spending so much time on computer, radio and television that I barely got in the harvest before the first frost hit.  I have also become a bore on social media, dealing with...

Irish Dancing


    One of the most enjoyable gigs I ever covered as a journalist was the World Irish Dancing Championships when it was held in Cork. I wish I one of the 7,000 spectators along with the 1,600 competitors at Oireachtas Rince na h-Éireann 2016...