Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

Anger rooms are all the rage in America

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Sax on the Prom's Alan Nolan and President Michael D. Higgins having a chat in the Salthill sunshine.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s an old axiom about not getting mad, but getting even – the danger is that can have disastrous consequences in the land of the free and the home of the firearm.

So anything that keeps angry Americans from opening fire on each other has to be a good thing – which is why the Rage Room is a welcome addition to the landscape on the other side of the pond.

Shawn Baker is a Texan woman who runs Tantrums LLC in Houston.

This is a place where stressed people – armed with a baseball bat, a sledgehammer or a lead pipe – pay $3 a minute to go on the rampage in a room full of old TV sets, glass bottles, crockery and anything else that will break.

And it’s a phenomenon that is both simple and spreading – a place to take your anger out on old rubbish so that you get it all out of your system without anyone actually getting hurt.

It’s not an original idea of course – down the road in Dallas, the Anger Room has been doing the business for over eight years.

The owners described this as a place where you can let your hair down, gear up and destroy real-life mocked rooms that simulate an actual workplace, living area or kitchen.

It comes complete with dummies, mannequins, TVs, tables and many, many more breakable items.

Reassuringly, Anger Room ‘does not claim to be a mental help or medical facility’ and they ‘do not treat, give diagnosis or provide medical therapy of any kind’.

It’s just a bit of craic.

And there is the Smash Shack in North Carolina, which expected to cater to military service members from nearby military base, only for the surprised owners to see more than 70% of its customers were angry women.

There are variations on this Rage Room concept in Serbia, Moscow, Canada, Italy, Australia and it’s spreading – but the Americans, and it’s no surprise given how worked up they can get, are to the forefront of this phenomenon.

A recent CNN/ORC poll released found that 71 per cent of them are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat angry’ about ‘the way things are going in the country today’ – and this is before Trump takes over the Oval Office.

Now there’s even talk of getting these as pop-up bashing shops on the side of American highways where angry motorists can take out their road rage without actually inflicting damage on another driver.

The Japanese had a version of this in the workplace where you could go into a padded room and knock nine bells out of a mannequin that had the face of your boss superimposed onto it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Tattoos can be a permanent reminder of mistakes of youth

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There is nothing that epitomises the generation gap more than a tattoo.

Okay, perhaps a navel piercing, or a nose ring, or twenty-five studs in your ear – but they are all still a relative rarity, whereas tattoos are the new spray tan for teens and twentysomethings.

Which is fine – until the tatt bug is caught by deluded older folk who think that a love heart or eagle in full flight inked into their arm or across their back will somehow restore lost youth.

They may as well go the whole hog with this mid-life crisis and buy a Ferrari to drive around with the top down in the pouring rain.

And who is thinking about what they look like when everything sags south in your middle ages? What is cutting edge in your prime ends up looking like fruit left too long out in the sun?

Once upon a time, the tattoo was the domain of bikers and sailors – a symbol of rebellion, non-conformity…someone who would never need a nine-to-five job.

Records show that, by the end of the nineteenth century, 90 per cent of the British Navy had tattoos. And later on, you’d hardly be allowed to ride a Harley Davidson if you weren’t fully inked.

But when sailors had anchors indelibly inked onto their bodies, they still had the foresight to keep it to upper arms and other areas easily hidden behind shirts and trousers.

The odd rebellious adult had a small snake or symbol on their ankle or the back of their wrist – but still in a discreet spot that only the privileged few might ever get to see.

Nowadays, as in so many other areas, size is everything – and the more of your body taken over by tattoos, the more your commitment to the cause.

Equally the places that were once off limits – like your face, your neck and your hands – are blank canvasses for the artist with the coloured needle.

Indeed where discretion still reins, it’s often accompanied by considerable pain – because the most private of private parts are also up for grabs, so to speak…and not in a Donald Trump sense of the phrase.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Third-level education is not the only measure of success

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

What is misleadingly described as careers guidance at second-level is all too often nothing more than a run-through your third-level options, with little or no consideration for a career that doesn’t involve that sort of further education.

And while it goes without saying that learning is never lost on the student, sometimes you have to take stock – and the truth is that university is no more a panacea for life now than it was half a century ago.

Back then – and indeed more recently than that – further education was just one of many options; the civil service, the ESB, an apprenticeship or going straight into a job were just as realistic a route.

But now success – and certainly those awful school league tables which, admittedly, we also give oxygen to this week – comes down to just one thing; how many Leaving Certs did you manage to shoehorn into University or Institute of Technology.

Never mind that more than one in six first year students drop out of college each year – that’s more than 6,000 of them – and that NUIG’s rate of attrition is over ten per cent.

Because it’s not really their fault in the first place; they can only do the best with the students sent their way.

In Germany, around 30 per cent of students go on to third-level – and funnily enough, because that figure is on the rise, the universities are struggling to cope with numbers.

But many more move on to state-sponsored or approved apprenticeships in major manufacturers like Bosch or Mercedes or Audi, down to the small industrial operations right across the country.

Around 60 per cent of Germany’s young people worked as apprentices in 2014, combining classroom and on-the-job training.

The German model of apprenticeship requires that the students attend classes at a vocational school and spend time working at a company, splitting time between the two.

So it’s not like they aren’t furthering their education on all fronts.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Even the most awesome of houses isn’t always a home

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

In a world of so-called property porn, it seems that every television channel out there now offers its own version of what we can collectively call the Home of the Year.

In essence, it’s a competition where designers and spoofers gather to look around other people’s properties and proclaim who has the best one.

It might be Channel 4’s Kevin McCloud sagely nodding in approval at the use of space and light from the mezzanine of the home reclaimed from recycled plastic – or our own domestic version where the three ‘experts’ offer no greater architectural insight than the fact that everything is ‘lovely’ and ‘gorgeous’.

There’s even an Aussie version of Kevin who has the same natural ability to look at you, or through you, with the clear implication that you haven’t a clue – only he’s got the added ‘Bruce’ factor to suggest he could shove RSJs into the ceiling with his bare hands.

The Home of the Year offering, in any of its guises, throws up everything from reclaimed castles to pristine new palaces; houses built into the side of a mountain or high in the treetops of an Amazon forest.

All fantastic and fabulous and breathtaking to look at, but there’s one overriding connection between all of those properties – not one of them has ever borne even a passing resemblance to a home.

Nowhere will you see a child’s handprint on the wall going up the stairs; no frayed carpet, because of the thousands who’ve wiped their feet coming in the door; no beer glass or tea cup rings on the table to recall great nights of food and conviviality.

No coffee stains on the carpet, loose shelves or doors in the kitchen, no clothes pouring out of a laundry basket; no washing line out the back; no evidence of the yards of cable you need to get Sky, a DVD and a PlayStation on the one telly.

There are no weeds in the garden because work and bringing the kids to football or music got in the way; no broken bikes in the shed; leaking taps in the bathrooms; flakey paint where the cat or the dog got anxious.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending