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Star Wars - This Rise of Skywalker

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 1 Sep 2022, 12:55

I was there, back in 1977, at the Commodore Cinema in Strabane, to witness the beginning of new era in cinematic, cultural and commercial history when Star Wars arrived, transporting us through space and time to a galaxy far, far away and 'May the Force be with you' entered our language and even got its own day (May 4th for those who don't know). I fell in love with Luke, lusted after Han and wanted to be Princess Leia.  I followed my heroes as Luke confronted the dark reality of his origins in the Empire Strikes Back (still the best movie in the entire franchise) and cheered when Luke, Leia and Han won the day, in Return of the Jedi and the evil Empire was finally beaten. Hurrah!

Then, the balance in the force was lost and a darker side took over (commercial interests) but out of loyalty, I stayed the course, suffered through the prequels, almost crying in despair when Jar Jar Binks arrived on screen (What was George Lucas thinking, what was he thinking????). But cheered again when good sense won out, as the back-lash from the fans saw him sidelined in episodes 2 and 3, even if the balance still wasn't quite right and there were huge plot holes.  Then Lucas sold the franchise to Disney and I looked forward in anticipation to see what JJ Abrams would do with it, especially when he had done so well with the reboot of the Star Trek movies.  How naive was I...

I watched The Force Awakens with some trepidation but thought there were some good things in it that could be developed only to have my hopes shattered by The Last Jedi and I felt so let down that I did not even go and see Solo, A Star Wars Story (there is only so much disappointment you can take in a certain time-frame although, I am assured it is a fairly decent film) but still haven't seen it.  

Then, with the announcement that The Rise of Skywalker would be the final film in the series, and since I was there at the start, how could I not be there at the end, I decided to put all negative feelings aside and go see it. I had watched Rogue One again over Christmas (one of the better off-shoots from the Star Wars story) and The Force Awakens. So to fully prepare, I watched The Last Jedi again (just to see if it was as bad as I remembered - it was!) got bored before the end and went to bed. 

So, with the end now in sight,  Sunday evenings being what they are and with no better offers on the table, I decided to go to the cinema and watch The Rise of Skywalker.  It was getting better reviews than The Last Jedi  (which isn't really much of a recommendation) but gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, they had upped their game a bit and since it was the end of the story, hoped that they might have pushed the boat out and made a film in keeping with the spirit of the original trilogy - going out with a bang and not a whimper!

Unfortunately, they didn't!  The Rise of Skywalker, or as I will now refer to it, the Lazarus Episode, (because the dead were being resurrected left, right and centre, although no one could resurrect a good script!) failed for the same reasons that most of the newer films in the franchise have failed. They are not character led, they are led by economics with an over- emphasis on special effects and cute characters, in a puerile attempt to flog us Star War's fans more tat, in thanks for our loyalty over the decades.

My biggest gripe apart from the hole-riven story(?) is with the main character (and I use that term in its lightest sense) Rey, this generation's new 'Luke' (because in the age of gender equality, the lead has to be female this time around).  She has the acting/emotional range of a door, all jolly hockey sticks earnestness or jolly hockey sticks earnestness with tears which really starts to grate after a while. She is so bad, she actually makes Hayden Christensen look good.

John Boyega who played Finn was one of the good characters in this new series and I had an expectation/hope that his character would be developed into something more than he initially appeared. He could at least have had some Jedi training. However, he was badly under used again in this film and can only lead me to conclude that he was there as a 'token' character to check that 'all-inclusive' box that is so important in the world of political correctness today.  

The script/story (if you could even call it that?!) revolves around the 'mysterious' return of the old emperor, Palpatine.  However, this didn't really turn out to be much of a mystery at all, and it quickly became obvious that it was merely a plot device to cover up for the complete lack of originality and ideas by the scriptwriters on how to develop a story or make a decent film. 

In the original Star Wars Trilogy, we had several great individual characters who bounced off each other and gave the film a sense of realism (even if it was set in a galaxy far, far way) and depth. There was no big convoluted plot, just goodies versus baddies in space, add a little sexual tension, some sharp humour and it worked!  

In the new films, even the great characters from the original movies have been lobotomised into blandness.  Leia, who was the feisty heroine leading the rebellion even before Luke and Han got on board, has been reduced into a benign, toothless granny. Same thing with Luke and Han, everyone now appears like a refugee from a Channel 5 Christmas movie, all bland sweetness and cloying com-patriotism.  

I had such hopes but this poor excuse for a movie is just a mess of nothingness with neither rhyme nor reason, a sorry end to a cinematic era.  If there was any reasoning behind it (which I seriously doubt it!) I think it went something like this - Well, we've made a total balls-up of the whole franchise so lets just bring whole sorry mess to an end asap and start over with something else. The fans will still come and see it because it is Star Wars so we'll at least make our money back, then hopefully, we can all forget about it and move on - or words to that effect. I will certainly be doing my best to forget it.

As a long time Star Wars fan, I cannot fully capture the depth of my disappointment. For me, there are really only 3 Star Wars films and those are the 3 originals. And I mean the originals, not the updated version Lucas did a few years ago with more special effects and 'cute characters'. Rogue One is the best of the others and Fan Boys is the fan's, Star Wars film - all worth a look. I will see Solo at some point in the not too distant future but if you are a fan and haven't seen The Rise of Skywalker yet, save yourself some time and money and give it a miss but I know if you're a Star Wars fan, you will still go and see it. 

Ah, Obi Wan, the balance in the Force has been lost. I'm only glad they didn't resurrect you and Yoda to witness the trashing of your legacy. But, as bad as it feels at the moment, word has reached me from a distant galaxy (Ok, from number 3 son) that we are not entirely without hope. Apparently, The Mandalorian, another Star Wars offshoot set after episode 6, is getting very good reviews so for fans mourning the passing of our old friend Star Wars, it may not be RIP just yet. So, as we prepare to jet off again to a galaxy far, far away maybe the lesson to be learned here is that, if you can't do it better, especially when it comes to film classics, then leave it alone.

May the force be with you!


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Good News/ Bad News

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 1 Sep 2022, 12:51

It's been a good news/bad news sort of a week. Good news, in that Boris won the election with a sizeable majority so now we can finally get on with Brexit and leaving the EU. I never thought I would be glad to see a Tory Government elected but like many working class, Boris was the only choice to finally settle the debate and I would like to say a huge thank you to the people of England who turned out to vote and make it happen. I feel, for the first time in a very long time, hopeful and optimistic about the future of the country and I think the UK will thrive from here on and that we have a lot to look forward to.

The sheep here turned out to vote for the tribes, as usual. However, there were a few upsets. Sinn Fein lost Foyle to the SDLP and the DUP's, Nigel Dodd’s lost his seat too.  Unfortunately, it was to Sinn Fein so that was a bit of a double-edged sword!  

With the EU out of the way, the buck will now stop in Westminster (at least, it will once we are out) and our politicians will now (hopefully!) be more accountable for their policies and actions.  At least, it will be easier to hold them to account.

Other good news on the election front, was the non-election of Jo Swinson who got a lesson in reality - self-righteous pontificating isn't really much of a policy and a bit of advice for Jo, just because The Guardian say it, doesn't make it true. Now, Jo will have to get a real job and work for a living. Welcome to the real world!

Labour too, got a hard lesson in reality. They deserted the working-classes and now the working-classes have deserted them, at least, temporarily. Although, I was sorry to see Dennis Skinner lose his seat. 

Labour hasn't been a working-class party for years, like the politics of Northern Ireland, their view of the world is out of date and so are most of their policies. What we have also seen, is that reality trumps ideology and we are now moving towards a post-ideological world.  The extremes of right and left ideology no longer work when faced with the practical reality of life. Labour needs to restructure and start living in the real world and not in some 'socialist' Utopian ideal that exists only in the minds of those who have only ever lived comfortable, middle-class lives. Especially, when in recent years, they pontificate and insult their voting heartlands with their self-righteous grand-standing and try to ignore the voice of that majority.

On the bad news front, we lost Dr David Bellamy, the naturalist and critic of the 'climate change' fraud. His opposition to that fraud saw him side-lined by the media and many of the environmental groups he was involved with. I hope the day is coming soon when the lies of the mainstream media are finally exposed on this and with the EU out of the way, that will, I hope, be the end to their funding of the propaganda and distortions of the truth.

And if anyone is still in doubt about 'climate change', answer this one simple question (even Jo Swinson could work this one out!) 

Who is more likely to tell you the truth about the effects of Co2 on the climate of this planet?

A - An American politician, Al Gore?

B - An unqualified and uneducated, 16 year old with a learning disability, Greta Thunberg?

C - A naturalist and environmentalist with a Phd in Botany and over 40 years of campaigning on the environment, Dr David Bellamy?

On the news/news front, since you cannot trust the BBC or any of the mainstream services, I would recommend Sky News Australia.  A completely different beast from Sky News UK which, I would never allow in the door but a great channel with some great commentators. You can find it on Youtube.

So, roll on 2020, and the US election.  This will probably return a massive vote for Trump since the US is also enduring the same self-righteous grandstanding that we have endured from the Neo-Liberal Fascist's in our midst but from the Democratic Party in their propaganda war of lies as they try to cover up Biden's dirty deals in Ukraine.  Watch this space...

 


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All I want for Christmas...

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And God sent his only Son that mankind might be saved ....NO IT WASN'T! It was to punish us for all our misbegotten deeds so that every year as a 'celebration' of his arrival, we would have to endure the special purgatory that is Christmas Shopping!  As if shopping at any time of the year wasn't it's own special kind of hell, now you can do it with bigger crowds who are more stressed while Noddy Holder screams 'IT'S CHRISTMAS!' for the four hundredth thousand time as you trudge around, on the verge of a mass extinction of brain cells, spending your hard earned (that could be better spent or saved for a decent holiday somewhere warm!) buying meaningless tat for those who spent their hard earned buying you the same meaningless tat because you 'have to' because its 'Christmas'. 

I wouldn't even mind if they actually bought me something I could use, I mean I have hobbies, I read, I write, I paint, I knit, I crochet, I garden and I've even gone back to playing badminton. But would they ever buy some paint or a canvas or two? NEVER!  Just the same bloody old body lotions and potions which I NEVER use!

And as if all that wasn't bad enough, now we have a general election in the middle of it all???  So, we're going to have to trudge out in the midst of the ice and snow (and the next one who mentions 'global warming' to me is going to get punched several times over!) to see if we can finally get a functioning government in place who will carry out the democratic will of the people and get us the f*ck out of the EU and start running the bloody country again! 

Merry Christmas everyone, God bless us one an' all!

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More flowers

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020, 21:36

Latest from the flower-arranging.  I had a bit of a disaster coming out of the class the last evening, once I got outside, I was hit with a gust of wind which wrecked the whole arrangement. Thankfully, I was able to put it back together when I got home.  Its funny how you pick up on stuff once you get into this, the spiky branches are actually the dried up seeds from a dock plant, normally regarded as a weed but I was out for a walk on Sunday and thought it would look good in an arrangement and, lo and behold, it did!

By the way, the definition of a weed is 'a plant growing in the wrong place'. So, everything could be a weed or nothing either, it all depends on your perspective.

flowers

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Flowers

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 30 Dec 2019, 23:55

This is the second arrangement from the flower-arranging class.  I'll have to do something about my backgrounds!


Flowers 2

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New blog post

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 22 Jan 2024, 09:51



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New blog post

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 22 Jan 2024, 09:52






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Wot, no global warming!

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If someone has time today, can they give Extinction Rebellion a call and ask them when the global warming is arriving because when I got up this morning my car was covered in something that looked suspiciously like frost AND the gritter was on the road when I was coming home last night!

Not to mention the fact that it was cold and wet all through May and June and the allotment didn't get going until July and we were decimated with slugs this year: we planted 40 cabbages and got about 12. My French Marigolds didn't grow at all this year and the nasturtiums only started to appear in September.

And it rained again for most of August and September, and now frost, and it's not even Halloween yet!!! It's going to be a looonnnnnnggg winter! Bbrrrrr!

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Flowers

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I started a flower arranging class a few weeks ago and these are my first efforts. This one is in a basket and was to be viewed from above.  


Flower basket


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New blog post

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 22 Jan 2024, 09:53




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Brexit???

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I can hardly speak for the rage I feel over that shower of NLF's in Parliament today and i personally don't give a crap how many were on the People's Vote march, even if it was a million it is still 16.4 million less than voted to leave!

Roll on the general election so we can be rid of these parasitic fascists!

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Brexit?

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Saturday, 19 Oct 2019, 10:21

Just sitting watching Boris in the Commons; listening to him just highlights how negative everything is and how long it has been since I heard someone actually have something positive to say about the UK and be hopeful about the future.

Now Corbyn's up and whining on, all fear-mongering and propaganda. There he goes again on the 'climate emergency', publicly dismissing his own brother, the so-called lefty who was anti-EU his entire political life, now sells out on every principle he ever claimed to believe in. What a turncoat!

If this doesn't go through today, the working classes will never forgive Labour.

I used to be a leftie, I was even a communist, although it was my own version of communism. Now I have turned into an unapologetic, meat-eating, Trump supporting, climate-change denying Brexiteer!  I cannot listen to the self-righteous posturing of the neo-liberal fascist ego's of the left who have no idea how the rest of us have to live, who sit above us posturing on their arrogance and think they have the right to dictate to the rest of us and who think that they have the right to overturn the democratic wishes of the people of the UK.

Scotland's turn now. The voted against independence when they had the chance so tough luck!

Jo Swinson, God, give me strength!!!

I wish they would just get on with it!


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Joker

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 2 Mar 2020, 22:20

Since I was out every night this week, and both the weather and the telly were crap on Saturday, I went out to see Joker as I didn't want to have to wait at least another week before I could get to the cinema and also, to see if it lived up to the hype, which it does.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a stunning performance as Arthur Fleck, a man clinging to the bottom rung of life, in desperate need of a break or maybe just a genuine act of human kindness.  (Don’t we all Arthur, I feel your pain…)

This Joker is no comic book cartoon character, in the mould of a Jim Carrey or Jack Nicholson Joker, and while Heath Ledger brought a new dimension to the character in the Dark Knight Trilogy, this Joker has a much darker edge.  This is not an action hero movie and Joker is not the nemesis for some do-gooding boy wonder to flex his virtue-signalling heroics.  It is much more and he is more than that too; he is Joe Ordinary pushed over the edge of sanity, scraping together a miserable existence, in a miserable world, the demented product of a sick and demented society. 

Considering the attention this movie is getting, there is more to this than just a brilliant acting performance, it is hitting nerves in all the wrong/right(?) places.

I can understand why the NLF's are nervously fiddling with their self-righteous indignation, worried that Joker might inspire copycat acts of violence, for if ever a movie encapsulated the disconnection between those at the top and those who are not, Joker depressingly does.  He is the bogeyman who, by his actions, inspires a violent revolution against society and the rich, and (spoiler alert) who publicly executes smug talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert DeNiro) when he is invited on to his show after Murray has used a tape of his comedy routine to mock and scoff him (shades of X Factor auditions?) but when it goes viral, sees it as an opportunity to be exploited. 

There is also some controversy around the use of one of Gary Glitter’s song and one of the reviews I read, accused the director (Todd Philips) of trying to be ‘edgy’ by using the track.  I have to say, I found the music appropriate and suited to the scene (and it is a good song regardless of what you may think of Glitter) and maybe the director was not being edgy but merely using the music of Glitter to highlight the hypocrisy of the elite who would condemn Gary Glitter but cover up and excuse the equally deplorable actions of the ‘right’ people (Epstein/Prince Andrew/Weinstein/Saville/Catholic Church).

One of Arthur Fleck’s grievances with the world is that no-one listens anymore, that people are nasty and cruel and have no compassion for their fellow human beings.  He is the on screen manifestation of the injustice and inequality that has been eating into the heart of those on the bottom rung of society for years and who have been ignored and dismissed by those on the top.  He is one of the ‘deplorables’ like those coal-miners who Hilary Clinton vowed to put out of work and, who kept her out of the White House, when they gave their vote to Trump.  

When Arthur first hits back against the bankers, he feels powerful, the little guy has fought back against those who would look down their nose at him and I certainly felt a sense of satisfaction in his actions. 

Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck has created a character that repels and appeals in equal measure but he is also a character that many will identify and sympathise with, and Joker is, in my opinion, the perfect movie for this time. It captures the zeitgeist and demonstrably highlights the disconnection between the top and bottom of society.  De Niro perfectly encapsulates all those self-righteous media types who sneer and scoff at the outsiders (Trump supporters/Brexiteers) and those who don’t quite fit in with the ‘right’ people or have the ‘right’ opinion.  And there was, again, a certain satisfaction when Arthur dispatched him to meet his maker.  There are other violent scenes and there is one scene where the character attacks a former work colleague which is pretty gruesome and one that I couldn’t watch but which demonstrates the twisted morality of the world of Arthur.

I felt the film had a strong political message or maybe my own political outlook has led me to see more in it than the director was aiming for, but Joker hits a nerve, and I fully expect to see Joker masks on the front line of political protests. 

Overall, I would highly recommend seeing the film, it is a fair construction of a character from the Batman series but this is not a film for children.  This is a bleak and disturbing portrayal of what could happen to any one of us, if our lives got off to a bad start and turned the wrong way.  I will, in all probability, go and see it again, it is definitely worth a second viewing.

The ending is ambiguous and I will leave you to make up your own mind about it but at the end Arthur is laughing and is asked what he is laughing at.  He replies ‘you wouldn’t get it’ and with Trump up for re-election next year and Brexit looming on the horizon maybe that final message should give the Neo-liberal Fascists something to think about because I still don’t think they are…you have been warned!


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Boris Bungles Again!

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So, Boris (allegedly) squeezed the thigh of journalist Charlotte Edwardes 20 years ago. I mean this kind of sexual harassment is just not on and I for one am appalled.  Thank God, we have moved on as a society and the casual sexual harassment that went on in the past is rapidly being exposed for the horror that it was for all victims of thigh-squeezing.

And I must confess to a certain 'mea-culpa' too.  I remember now the almost weekly sexual harassment of Terry Wogan on his BBC talk show, Wogan. Week after week, woman after woman used to come in and squeeze his leg, I actually think the odd man may have done it too!  And to my eternal shame, I remember, I used to laugh along, I thought it was a joke too! My God, how could I have been so naive?? 

Little did I realise how distressing all this must have been for Terry, and although he seemed to take it as a joke and laugh along too, maybe underneath it all he was in torment. Did he go back to his dressing room after each assault and cry at the impossible position he had been put in, the humiliation of having to endure being sexually assaulted right on screen every week for the whole country to see?  Did his bosses make him play along, was there pressure from the top to just sit there and take it??!  I think we need to be told, nay, DEMAND to be told!  

What kind of culture existed in the BBC at the time, when an innocent man could have been subjected to such appalling behaviour for the entertainment of millions and with no regard for his 'personal space'.  The term 'Housewife's Favourite' now takes on a much more insidious tone!  Was Terry Wogan used by the BBC to provide sexual gratification for frustrated housewives and women everywhere? Was there a darker side to the easy banter and playful innuendoes he used to so casually drop into his broadcasts? Maybe they were secretly a cry for help from a man without friends, a 'victim' of his own 'success', whether he wanted it or not?

Terry Wogan is unfortunately, no longer with us, did the years of sexual harassment add to his stress and have a bearing on the cancer that killed him? Who knows?  But at the very least, to honour his memory, I think we need a public enquiry and those women should be publicly named and shamed for the blatant harassment of a kindly gentleman just trying to make a living!  The horror of it all!



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Ad Astra

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I ventured out yesterday to see Ad Astra, the new Brad Pitt movie.  It had gotten mixed reviews but I liked the sound of it so decided to try it for myself.  This is a film for serious sci-fi fans and if you like your sci-fi flavoured by Sagan and Kubrick (and I do) then this is one for you.  

The plot is fairly straight-forward, son ventures out into deep space to try and find the father (Tommy Lee Jones) he thought was dead and that is as much as I'm giving away. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it and wouldn't mind seeing it again. It's a mostly quiet movie and there isn't a lot of action but I liked the pace of it and it was a refreshing experience not to have all that over the top nerve-shredding drama and tension.  At around 2 hours, I hardly noticed the time passing and who would when you have Brad Pitt larger than life and in glorious technicolour! There are worse ways to spend a Sunday evening and as if that wasn't enough, there were only 4 of us in the cinema which meant I had peace to see it too.  

I would recommend it, if you liked Arrival, you will probably like this and Brad has redeemed himself again after the Tarantino tripe.

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Farewell Fascist Facebook

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 27 Oct 2019, 15:22

Today, I liberated myself from Facebook although, it will be 30 days before my account actually deletes.  I had posted a comment on a site in relation to the Neo-Liberal Fascist love in over Greta Thunberg and I said . 'When the work of real scientists like Dr Peter Ridd, Dr Michael and Ronin Connolly, Dr David Bellamy, Dr Willie Soon and Piers Corbyn Msc is ignored or denied, remember Galileo'.  So, some twat came back about how in years to come we'll see who is right or something to that effect, and I said 'Yes, you can sell anything with a picture of a cute kid in plaits and a shedload of propaganda', and posted this image.  So, Facebook blocked it for a review and then refused to post it.  They completely ignored the context of the debate and also, did not even allow me the opportunity to argue my case. So, farewell Facebook, and beware of cults using teenage girls in plaits to sell their propaganda.


 tBuild Hostels Homes

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More Fun on Friday

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 20 Sep 2019, 18:24

Did you hear the one about the transgender clergyman whose preferred pronouns were Ham, Shem and Japheth! Boom, Boom!

That one is my own btw.

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Fun for Friday

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 22 Sep 2019, 09:49

As it's Friday, it may not be five o clock, and it may not be time for Crackerjack but the sun is shining, the sky is blue and in spite of all the doom merchants striking in the largest show of mass brainwashing/stupidity in my lifetime, I thought I would share a good joke with you. 

I was reading through comments after watching a quite serious video on Youtube last night, in relation to an onging courtcase in Canada around transgender identity which I will discuss in another post but not today because today is a day for fun!!

In the comments section, someone had remarked, and I apologize for not checking who, but I think it was a male ( a real one, that is and not a made up one) and he said ' I want to identify as Michael Jackson, and my chosen pronouns are He/Hee'.  Brilliant!

Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend everyone and if you're still worried about 'climate change' check out the work of  Michael and Ronin Connolly or Dr Willie Soon on Youtube, it'll put your mind at rest and you can go and enjoy your life and not worry about the planet.

Michael and Ronin Connolly -  https://globalwarmingsolved.com/about-us/

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The 'Empire' Strikes Back

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 22 Sep 2019, 09:51

As we, very slowly and painfully, grind towards the 31st October and Brexit, the hysteria mounts as the Neo Liberal Fascists in their desperation to stop Boris and Brexit, throw democracy out the window, along with their toys, and like Violet Elizabeth will 'scweam and scweam, til they're sick', like the spoiled, overly entitled, over-indulged, self-righteous brats that they are.

It's hard to pick out the most sickening moment in the recent spectacles of the War on Brexit.  Was it Jeremy Corbyn selling out on every working class principle he claimed to have (not that Jeremy was ever working class) and treacherously defying the wishes of the majority of the population?   Not surprising, really, when he so publicly dismissed his own brothers life’s work with his fawning of Greda Thunberg and declaring a ‘climate emergency’. And I thought Tony Blair was going to go down in history as the biggest betrayer of the Labour movement.

Or was it Jo Swinson's cringe-inducing speech where she claimed the (Neo) Liberal Democrat (Fascists) would reverse Brexit without a vote at all, dependent of course, on the NLDF's becoming a majority government in the British Parliament?  Mind you, I don't think there's much to worry about there, a Lib Dem majority government?  Good luck with that one!

But more insidious was Guy Verhoftstadt’s speech at the NLDF’s conference where he said ‘The world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries- it's a world order that is based on Empires’.  This is what the ‘conspiracy theorists’ have been saying for years that behind the scenes in politics, the puppet masters of Bilderburg et al have been working towards a New World Order with national boundaries and national identities wiped out. 

I know John Lennon sang about a world with no countries and no religion, a world of peace, ‘a brotherhood of man’ but I don’t think he envisaged it as a world of empires, ruled and controlled by an unelected and unaccountable elite.  But the most disturbing thing about this speech was the cheers of the NLDF’s in the audience, the brain-washed minions, ready to throw away democracy, and cultural and national identity so as to be seen as forward-thinking and ‘liberal’. Like turkeys cheering for Christmas…I wonder if they’ll be as enthusiastic if Brexit doesn’t happen and their children and grandchildren are conscripted, and marched off into the army of the EU Empire, to fight in a war with Russia or China?  Rather ironic too when one of the accusations levelled at Leavers, was their backward looking desire to turn Britain back to the days of ‘empire’.

As Mr Verhoftstadt brings the 'empire' into the public arena, it shows that they don't really care that we are aware of their agenda because they own the media and through it, opposition, and open and free debate is being closed down.  As they attempt to build their empire by creating a nationless, cultureless and genderless society and most probably vegan too, going by propaganda trends online, we must ask, what is the end game to all this?  And more importantly, who is the Emperor?  

Will the new EU army be marched on to the streets of Paris and other European cities to put down the protests of groups like the Gilets Jaunes or anyone else who doesn't agree with their way of thinking or who doesn't vote the 'right' way? 

I was living and working in Dublin when the Maastricht Treaty was being voted on by the Irish people, and they voted against it, and Sinn Fein were right up there, at that time, in their opposition to it (although they have since sold out too). And the Irish people were basically told that they were going to have another referendum and they would continue to do so until they voted for it, which they duly did in the next referendum.  

We can all dream of a better world, a world of peace, of ‘a brotherhood of man’ but not when the aim is to control and manipulate the people of the world and to use them to create wealth for the few, to the cost of the many.

And I like the differences between us; I want the French to be French, the Chinese to be Chinese and the Germans to be German.  What is wrong with that?  There is nothing more disappointing than going to a foreign country and being surrounded by exactly the same shops and eating the same food that you have at home. I want that when I go to another country, that it is different, otherwise, what is the point of going? But then they don't want us going anywhere, do they?  Isn't that another of the great 'climate change' lies, to not fly, or drive, or eat meat, or use plastic, or yadda, yadda yaa...GIVE ME STRENGTH!!

Will we, won’t we, finally Brexit?  As we get closer to Halloween, expect the hysteria to be ramped up and the attacks on Boris and leave supporters to become more vocal and nastier. Who knows just what ‘dirty’ tricks they may be planning for us, if Britain spoils the EU dream of ‘empire’.  The countdown is on but I fear there may be some dark days ahead.

 

 


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Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 8 Sep 2019, 15:31

For my sins, I ventured out to see Quentin Tarantino's, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  I had intended to go and see It - Chapter 2, but my friends messaged to say they were going to the Tarantino movie so I thought I'd go with them and see It next week.  

I'm not really a fan of Tarantino, I remember going to see Reservoir Dogs, the film that catapulted him to fame and fortune and where he made his name as an innovative director.  I have to say I was blown away by it, it was very different from anything I’d ever seen and I have loved Steve Buschemi ever since. I did however, find some of the violence too much but within the context of the film it was realistic.  The next film of his I watched was Pulp fiction, hailed by the critics; it didn’t really do anything for me. I thought the violence and language gratuitous, designed to shock rather than be realistic and I don’t really find anything deep and meaningful or entertaining in the lives of thugs, druggies and scumbags.

Maybe living through the ‘Troubles’ when thugs and scumbags were 10 a penny around here has somewhat tainted my perspective but Tarantino obviously, never had to deal with people like this because if he had, he certainly wouldn't be making them the anti-heroes of his movies.  

Then, I watched From Dusk to Dawn which was one of the worst films I ever saw and the last Tarantino I ever watched.  From then, I have religiously avoided his work, I don’t have much of a stomach for violence and it seems to be that every film of his follows the same formula, foul-mouthed tirades and high levels of gratuitous violence and the uniqueness and innovation of Reservoir Dogs has been lost amid the tirades, the swearing, the thuggery and the gore.

So, back to ‘Hollywood’ I had heard it was good and the story didn’t seem to lend itself to thuggery and violence.  The little I had heard about it was that it was about stuntmen who were coming to the end of their careers and whose style of work had fallen out of fashion.  From that, I had the expectation of an homage to the TV series and movies of the early sixties with a bit of comedy thrown in, as our heroes battled to find a life/career in a very different and changing world.  (Which actually, would have made, a better movie)

On the detail of the times, I couldn’t find fault, he definitely captured the look and feel of the era. The story is that Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is the stunt double for actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo Di Caprio), whose career as the star of an old TV series Bounty Law, is winding down and his acting future is looking bleak.  Cliff is a thug, he has a thug of a dog, lives in squalor, has the manners of a pig and is altogether, repulsive and I say that as someone who is a fan of a lot of his work, especially 12 Monkey’s.

Di Caprio is good as always, there is a scene where he loses the plot and goes on a foul-mouthed tirade (of course) which was over the top and gratuitous. 

At 2 hours and 40 minutes, it is also very long and the first hour really starts to drag.  I almost left and if I had been on my own, I would have but I thought, well, I’m here now, I may as well see it through to the end.  And so my penance endured. 

There is a scene with ‘Bruce Lee’ which was heavily criticised by his daughter and I can understand why.  It has Cliff the thug almost putting Bruce through the door of a car.  Why this scene is in this movie, I have no idea, other than to scoff and taint the memory of a man loved by many, myself included. 

What happens then, is that it drags on for another hour while building up to an ending which had to be narrated as he pissed about so much with the early part of the movie that if events had continued to unfold at the same pace, I would still be there waiting for something to happen. And considering what did then happen, that might have been the better option.

The premise of the movie finally boils down to some twisted fantasy on the part of Tarantino where Cliff the thug, inadvertently, saves the life of Sharon Tate and her house guests.  The violence in this scene was nothing short of horrific and maybe, it is me, but I don’t find someone being brutally savaged by a dog or a woman having her face repeatedly slammed into a fireplace funny on any level, and in the context of the real life event that did actually happen, the horrific murder of five people, I was sickened and appalled that Quentin Tarantino could take that event and play it for laughs.  Quentin Tarantino really needs a good psychiatrist, he is a sick, sick man and that will most definitely be the last movie of his I will ever watch.

Not recommended viewing for anyone, not even psychopaths, they really don’t need any encouraging.

 

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Zen

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Vous êtes ici.

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The Neo-Liberals Set Sail

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 27 Oct 2019, 15:23

Greta Thunberg has really upped the ante in the 'paragon of virtue' stakes as she sails across the Atlantic to attend the United Nations climate summit in New York in September in her little boat, hand carved from a tree that she planted in her own garden as a child, somehow knowing that, one day, it might be needed to teach humanity a thing or two, such was her incredible knowledge and foresight...

What do you mean it's a racing yacht???  You mean one of those big boats made from fibreglass, and all sorts of plasticy type of materials not to mention the aluminium and steel??  

Did you know that the building of boats is tightly regulated these days, you just can't decide to make a raft for yourself and go sailing off into the sunset, well, maybe you can still build a raft but you certainly can't build a, just under 4 million pound racing yacht, in the back yard. Oh, no!

Boat builders have to be trained because of all the toxic chemicals involved in the process and  'must wear respirators throughout the construction of fibreglass hulls because of the fumes generated by the catalyzing process. Air emitted from the building must also be controlled in accordance with the regulations of the EPA. Workers wear Tyvex suits to guard against splashing hazards, and chemicals are carefully stored and disposed according to regulatory requirements.'  

Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Sailboat.html#ixzz5wkyqxMaW

Doesn't sound very environmentally friendly to me! 

I was also wondering how she got to Britain to catch the boat, did she walk, has she been on the road since her fine speech to the EU? 

The boat will be powered by solar panels and hydro- generators, which I'm assuming were made in a factory somewhere, powered by oil and or gas, and made out of metals mined from the earth and plastics derived from oil.  And it has a computer on board, most probably made by children somewhere in the far east on a 14 hour factory shift and full of metals, toxic materials and plastics. Hmmm...

Ah, Greda, not quite cutting it in the paragon of virtue stakes after all!  Now if only you were a transgender, mixed race, vegan, refugee who had been brought up in a forest by wolves and dressed only in leaves that had fallen on the forest floor, then you would really tick all the boxes for the virtue-signalling, neo-liberal fascists.  

By the way, does anyone know how she's getting back?

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Con's, Cars, Camino's and Icons

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So, Greta has staged a comeback in the 'paragon of virtue' race for sainthood.  Out, last week, she has recorded an essay over 'ambient music' by the 1975 with the proceeds going to Extinction Rebellion, and it is every bit as nauseous as it sounds.  I heard it while driving to work on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show and was I thankful I hadn't eaten any breakfast that morning!

And Boris is the new PM! He seems to have got off to a good start with a very positive speech which highlighted just how long it's been since we heard anything positive about the future of the UK, and a very pleasant change from all the doom-merchants and naysayers. While I'm most definitely not a fan of the Tories, I'll give him the chance to prove his worth and hope that he does something positive for the ordinary working people.  I’ll support anyone who gives the ordinary man and woman on the street a fair deal.

The car is still in getting serviced but appears to have reached the end of the road, literally.  I expect to get the death certificate tomorrow. According to the mechanic, it might need an oil pump which would probably cost more than the car’s worth so it will probably be heading to that old scrap yard in the sky, or thereabouts.   I’ve already got my eye on a nice little Fiesta runabout so I’m hoping it can’t be fixed.

I’m all settled down again since London and will plan my next escape once the car is sorted.  There’s nothing like a reality check for bringing things back into proportion.  While it is nice to indulge in a few romantic daydreams about escaping and living the high life in London, I am, at the end of the day, a realist and time spent in the company of the older members of the family soon brings you back to earth.

My mother is from a family of nine, five sisters and four brothers and I love them all dearly.  These people are the foundations on which our family is built.  They lost their mother at the age of 43, when they were still in their childhood and teens.  The universe seems to have compensated them for it, by seeing them all into pension age but unfortunately, we lost two of them in the last five years.  My aunt Maybid (short for Mary Bridget) and my aunt Catherine, known to us all, as auntie Kate, or auntie Kaffleen, when we were younger. 

They range in age now from 70 to 84, and between them, are suffering from a variety of health problems.  Two have vascular dementia, a result of being smokers for most of their lives; others suffer with diabetes, lung problems and other lesser health issues.  It is sad to see these people who were the icons of my childhood and youth, age and decline.  Where once I looked up to them, I am now, literally, looking down, as time and illness, shrink them before my eyes.  None of them are at death’s door just yet but the doorway is within view.  It will be a strange day when they are all gone so I’m going to make the most of their company while they are still here.  Although, my uncle Andy who is the youngest, is in strapping health and should easily be around for another 15 years at least.  He is still working, albeit part-time, he never smoked except when he was nine and bought 10 cigarettes. He smoked them all and by becoming violently ill in the process, soon put an end to any desire to ever smoke again.  He was never much of a drinker either and hikes for miles every week, over bogs and mountains with the local hiking club. He’s a great story-teller and there is no greater pleasure than when they get together and talk about events from the past and the families and characters they knew growing up.

Talking about hiking, my sister finished the Camino last Monday and duly collected her certificate.  She stayed on in Spain for a week and her husband flew over to meet her at the end of the walk.  She is due home tonight and after all the heat of Spain, she’ll be welcomed back to the pouring rain of the cool north-west.

 

 

 

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London Calling!

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Well, England/London was brilliant as always and heart-breaking to have to leave.  The trip to Bel Canto on the Saturday was definitely worth the trip alone and very reasonable considering, it is in the heart of London and the height of the tourist season.  Me and my sister have decided that we'll do it again next year for our birthdays, as they both fall in July.  But next time, we plan to stay in London and make a weekend of it.

I didn't get to the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition, the last ticket sold out as we were trying to buy them and there was nothing available until the Thursday but unfortunately, I was back home by then.  I was hoping to do a quick weekend trip before it finishes on 11 August but it's just too expensive as the car had to be taxed and is also in getting serviced.  But that was the only disappointment over the weekend.  We had some nice pub lunches and trips to the Sussex Downs and the coast, and at Wilmington, I even met a 'long' man!  

So, all in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend and to be honest, I've been struggling since I came back home. I am just so unsettled and do not want to be here.   I cannot relate to the culture/the politics or most of the people.  I have outgrown Ireland and really feel that I need to leave for a few years, at least.   

I've been looking at jobs in London and there is one in a hospital in the same role I have here, that I'm really tempted to apply for. It closes on Monday so I might send off the application over the weekend.  As Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson said or rather sang, 'There must be more to life than this.'

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Forgiveness

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 18 Jul 2019, 22:53

Going back to the previous post, on the question of forgiveness, part of why I find forgiveness difficult is because there is an arrogance about it. To say to someone 'I forgive you' seems to me to be rather self-righteous.  When Jesus was forgiving people in the Gospels he didn't say, 'I forgive you', he said 'you are forgiven' or 'go away and do not sin again'.  Don't worry, I'm not about to go off on a religious kick but there is a lot we can learn about ourselves and the nature of humanity from the stories in, not just the bible, but in other ancients writings like those of Lao Tzu. 

Lao Tzu was a Chinese philosopher who is credited with founding the system of Taoism. If I had to choose a religion, Taoism would be my first choice although there are a lot of similarities between Taoism and the teachings of Jesus. I'll have to check out what he says on forgiveness and come back to this.

In the meantime, I'm heading to England tomorrow for a long weekend and it's getting late and I have an early start in the morning.  I have a few outings lined up.  I'll be checking out the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition at Tate Britain on Monday and I'm dining out in Bel Canto on Saturday night which I'm really looking forward to. Fine food and opera all in one, should be fun!

And as to forgiveness, I'll leave that to 'God'.


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