Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What a Turkey!

The Irish national song contest to chose a song for the Eurovision usually bores the hell out of me and I haven't watched it for years...and I didn't watch it this year either. I must admit that initially I cringed on hearing that we had selected a glove puppet - Dustin the Turkey.

I watched the video on the net today and I felt a bit better. I've always said over the last few years that what we needed was a good punchy visual stage extravaganza. This act pulled it off fairly well. It's a crap song and Dustin can't sing but the words are funny and I also wouldn't underestimate the hypnotic effects on the voting masses of the regularly repeated words... "Irelande douze pointe"! He looks funny too and there's dancers and colour etc. The Eurovision is now a money sucking operation aimed at the millions of fools who pay to vote on instant impact entertainment...it is unfortunately no longer an outlet for exposing great music - which often has to be listened to repeatedly to fully appreciate.

I saw also a video of Dustin being interviewed on Sky News....an ideal exposure for him...the TV equivalent the Daily Mirror for instant appeal sugar coated stories. One big thought came to me from watching the Sky interview...ironically it shows we have grown up somewhat as a nation. Twenty years ago we would have been far too embarrassed to put such an act together. We had an inferiority complex as a nation....we would be afraid that other countries - especially Britain - would laugh AT us.

Now it's different. We are confident in ourselves, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the best nations and are better off and more skilled than most of them. We've won the Eurovision seven times - more often than any country. If we want to do something different and put on a light hearted fun show at the Eurovision - then why not!? If it does very well (as it might) it will be the perfect statement of what the Eurovision has become.

Go on ya good thing!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Am I Walking into Eternity...

...along Sandymount Strand?" (Stephen in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce)

I went for a walk along Sandymount Strand, Dublin at dusk this evening. It's truly a massive expanse of beach when the tide is out. I thought about the character of Stephen in the novel Ulysses and his philosophical musings as he walked on the same strand in 1904.

Yes it's a timer self portrait and yes the camera got dirty with sand!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Brooding Darkness...

"Brooding Darkness...
Originally uploaded by John of Dublin.
...spreads his jealous wings, and the night raven sings". (John Milton from start of the epic poem L'Allegro).

Spotted in Blackrock Park last week during full daylight and given a bit of Moonlight treatment in Photoshop. This general approach was often used in old Hollywood movies - filmed in daylight but darkened and tinted to give a night look - also called "nuite americaine" effect.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by John of Dublin.
My daughter Shona (right) and her pal Alannah enjoying their dual 18th birthday party last August.

I like this shot because of the way their good friendship is so obvious and the gentle way Shona holds Alannah's hand. I always think that friendships made at school at that age can last a lifetime, even as they go on to lead different lives.