Archive for May, 2006

Sing If You’re Losing

I am feeling aimless today. This afternoon I sat through the whole of Sister Act 2. Despite being truly awful there were bits I sort of enjoyed, although I have never been able to warm to that singing style which demands that you should sing 43 different notes when one will do. Whoopi Goldberg had a couple of good lines.

I quite like the message of the film – that if you’ve no future and your school’s closing, you can turn things around by singing and dancing for your rich patrons. If you prove that you have enough talent, they might have a change of heart. This is a very useful message for the real world. The day my own job heads east, I’m going to knock off my own rendition of Aquarius from Hair, and see if that impresses the change managers.

Lazy, but Loving It

I still buy the Sunday Times the odd time. It beats being preached at from the pulpit, because you can have a cup of tea and have the radio on at the same time. Today the Irish edition informs us that Dubliners are top of the lazy league.

The reason they are lazy, from the article, is because they work almost one and a half hours a week less than those living in Munster, Connacht and Ulster. So, according to logic of the headline, if you aren’t working right now, you’re being lazy.

Then you have creep with a car Jeremy Clarkson saying that ‘The simple fact of the matter is that, for the vast majority of the time, the vast majority of the people like and enjoy their jobs.’ Well if he says it, I guess it must be true. Thank the lord I’m in a tiny minority. The world could be so much worse if everyone was in the same position as me.

All Change

Overheard this morning beside the changing rooms of a clothes shop:

Shop assistant: ‘Do you want a bigger size for that?’
Woman: ‘Sorry?’
-‘Do you want me to get you a bigger size for that top?’
‘Oh, no, this is mine. I wore it here’
– ‘………. oh sorry about that! I thought that..’
‘No, don’t worry’
-‘It doesn’t look that bad on-‘
‘No, honestly, don’t worry.’

Foreigners: Some Are Happy

Zounds, if you’re not going to write something interesting about people from other countries living here, why bother writing anything at all?

Polish doctor enjoying life in NI

I mean, I’m glad he’s enjoying life and has never experienced any negative feelings towards him – that’s great. But what next? Latvian dressmaker ‘loves Ulster Fry’? Filipino nurse ‘happy with Greater Belfast bus timetable’?

They’re First Names, But They’re Verbs Too


Then, if you don’t pronounce the last letter:

Len (a fiver)
Stan (by your man)
Ben (over)
Tone (down the love scenes)

Stretching things a bit:

Eoin (a fiver)
Eamon (straight)
Marian (the man of your dreams)
Colin (the cops)

More are welcome.

Flower, Power

I’m not familiar with semiotics. Hell, I wouldn’t even be able to comprehend symbology, the field of expertise of the American boffin with the mullet in the Da Vinci Code. Anyway, it so happens the Da Vinci Code is a bit like Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, only awful, and Umberto Eco is probably the world’s only well known semiotician, and he wrote a book called the Name of The Rose. Literature buffs will be familiar with a literary canon heaving with symbolic representations of the rose. Like in Rosemonde by Apollinaire, The Sick Rose by William Blake, and Kiss from A Rose by Seal. A rose can symbolise pretty much anything, from religious purity (e.g. Rosa Mundi – the Virgin Mary) to male and female genitalia. So it’s a pretty versatile flower, even though it can require quite a lot of blood and bone meal to keep it going.

In party politics, the rose is the insignia of parties of labour – examples include the British Labour Party (although that’s not immediately apparent from looking at their website); the Irish Labour Party (the rose does appear, but alas! it looks rather shrunken); and, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) (call that a rose?).

Turns out, anyway, that the rose symbolism has been put to use in a poster campaign for Ogra Partido Popular, or Nuevas Generaciones (New Generations) as they’re called in Spain. Have a full-size butcher’s here.

It is pretty clear that the rose is intended to symbolise the PSOE, but (and this is where some basic knowledge of semiotics might come in useful – feel free to add your own interpretations if the fancy takes you), the intention appears to be to render the PSOE cognate with blindness, subjugation, manipulation, and the bad old days of black and white, replete with Athena prints and dodgy Elvis Costello albums:

Removal of the rose, and by extension, the PSOE, brings liberation, colour, and, by the looks of things, some happy hardcore dance moves. That the liberated individuals look like they were auditioning for a laxative commercial in the ‘liberated’ pic appears to have been missed by the poster designers.


The social division of labour prevents me from posting anything over the next few days.

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May 2006
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