Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad at Columbia

"Why should an academic face insults?" he moans. "Is this what you call freedom?"

Professor Ahmadinejad, as he dubbed himself as soon as he started to speak twenty minutes ago, is speaking outside my window. Literally. I can see the big screen and the (suprisingly quiet and attentive) crowd from where I sit. And I have ten papers to mark in the next hour. So you won't be getting anything in the way of reportage here. But I thought I'd post to say that you can get it here; it's a live blog, updated every couple of minutes at the moment.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Still laughing... the comments on this Gawker item on the Jenna Bush pregnancy rumours...

DICKTHESNAKE: Well, has she been drinking in the last few months? Best way to check may be tracking the value of liquor stocks.

24-7: I bet the baby will be seven months premature. It will be a miracle, but that's because God loves Republicans.

HARBLS: Too bad that some sort of device doesn't exist that can prevent unwanted pregnancies -- some latex device that prevents semen from reaching the ovary, say, or perhaps a medicine that prevents ovulation -- that can protect privileged single young women with a good health plan from bringing up an unwanted child in a cold, cruel world. I've searched all the government-issued literature and simply cannot find a thing that could've prevented this


Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove is Resigning

August 31.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Sort It Out, Aer Lingus

A fiver says this and the plane from Monday evening are the same one. At least it's to be hoped they are, because if not, then there are two dodgy planes on the transatlantic route.

Are they sure they can even get up to Belfast to run their Heathrow service from there? Where are they going to find a plane capable of flying that distance?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

James Wood Rocks

He's the most intelligent critic working today. His collection of essays and reviews, The Broken Estate, completely changed my way of reading, and thinking about - and also writing - fiction. Unlike many critics, he doesn't see narrative realism as a dirty word, but as a complex, mysterious accomplishment - as a kind of magic, almost. He writes brilliantly on Austen, Gogol, Flaubert and Sebald in particular in that collection, and the introductory essay, "The Limits of Not Quite" is one of the most memorable and jolting pieces about literature I've ever read. And this week it has been announced that Wood is leaving the New Republic to become a staff writer at the New Yorker, which means (hopefully) he'll be writing much longer essays on literature, more frequently. This is good news.



Wow, I really am jetlagged. Apparently there was a frickin' tornado here in Brooklyn this morning. I heard the thunder, but pretty much slept through the whole thing. Thankfully I don't have to leave the house today, because all the trains are down, by the look of things.

No wonder the cat seems slightly subdued today.


"You Can't Be Too Thin. Or Too Powerful"

So trumpets the e-mail announcing the new iMac, which comes out today and which is sort of ugly, as it happens. Presumably you switch it on by sticking your fingers down your throat...

I was going to say "Only in New York", but presumably this circular went to Apple customers all over America, meaning to dozens of states where having a protruding collarbone isn't the norm. Or do those states get an email concentrating on the enormity of the monitor, and of its creamy curves?

Also, Apple don't mention the downside of being too thin, which seems to be hitting my own relatively scrawny iBook with a vengeance these days: it means you're too weak to do anything efficiently for very long without collapsing in an exhausted heap. I'm guessing that Angelina Jolie, at the moment, is taking an impossibly long time to run anything over 2000 photos and freezing up every other application into the bargain. Rumour has it Brad Pitt has been looking longingly at a Dell.


Monday, August 06, 2007

To the Batmobile!

I've become a little obsessed with my statcounter over the past couple of days. It may be something to do with having been holed up with my family for so long - I need to know there are other people out there, people who are not knee-deep in the same gene pool, people who are not going to follow me out of the kitchen and into the front room and down to the bedroom again because that's what families do to each other, we torment each other with constant refrains of "what are you doing?" or "where's [insert name of other family member]?" or "do you want a cup of tea?"...and so on.

Anyway, word to the three people who actually read this blog: I'm stalking you. Or at least I'm stalking your IP address. And I have an urgent message for one of you, IP address 3243498504385034 (ok, I just made that up) in Brooklyn, New York. The message being, please feed my cat. I'm stuck in damn Dublin airport, rain teeming down outside and the Aer Lingus plane I was meant to fly on standing disconsolate in a shed somewhere while mechanics fix (hopefully) its sinister-sounding "operational fault". What qualifies as an operational fault,anyway? Does it mean that one of the wings is hanging off, or just that one of the three hundred and twenty dials in the cockpit isn't whirring and flickering quite as it should? I don't know. All I know is that this plane can no longer take off, and that some other plane, run by a company I'm not sure I've ever heard of, is coming in here at two in the morning (only nine hours late, folks, don't get stroppy) to take us to New York instead. And, yes, that means that over a hundred people are tired and hungry and inconvenienced, but screw them, because so is my cat. So, please, Mr/Ms IP address 34543058038503485, break into my apartment and feed him.

PS I am now officially a sad woman who blogs about her cat.
PPS Don't all panic at once, some kind Brooklyn residents are actually going to feed the cat.
PPPS I'm off back to my pile of tacky magazines and my meal vouchers. It's kind of fun.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Why, Dan, is your nose growing?

Yeah, I'm overdoing the posting today. But part of my blogging block over the last couple of months involved ignoring not just my statcounter, but the email account attached to this blog, which I've also opened up for the first time in ages today. It's mainly full of offers to "shoot 13ft across the room", which I must admit I've always wanted to do, but I'm kind of broke at the moment and can't afford the $10.99 plus postage, even taking into account the free gift of a herbal supplement which will drive my woman crazy like never before.

I did like the email from Justin of Justinspace, however, which alerted me - vis-a-vis of a post I'd written about Dash Snow and his set a few months back - to a post of his questioning the originality of one of Colen's pieces. It's a damn good read. Have a look.


Lonely Hearts Club

I had a look at my stats for the first time in months today (suffice to say, after nearly five months' absence, I deserve to be so thoroughly abandoned) and the keyword analysis looked something like this:

2 Aug 20:38:16 ryan tubridy reason for divorce

2 Aug 17:51:08 conor mcpherson girlfriend alcohol

2 Aug 11:41:41 damien rice and grinning

2 Aug 07:32:54 peter crawley irish times

1 Aug 21:51:45 bonos new york city house

You're all a bunch of stalkers!! Anyway, everyone knows the real reason for Ryan Tubridy's divorce was that his missus ran off with Damien Rice, having been dazzled by his grin as he read a scathing Peter Crawley review of a Conor McPherson play, and that the two are now holed up in Bono's apartment overlooking Central Park.

But back to my eg0-bruising stats. Of all the keyword searches, my personal favourite is the googler who just can't forget his experience of North Leitrim statutory rape...

1 Aug 17:29:42 irish girl in ballinamore was
a great school teacher and lover

Answers on a postcard please: who is that Ballinamore maths teacher who shows her students the truth about square roots?