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Double Vision

Droplets of bigotry turn into rivers of blood!

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

In my mind I see a vast flood delta being fed by streams and rivers, small and vast, flowing thick with blood, bullets and bombs, propelled by bigotry and bile.

The vision first appeared in my brainbox whilst watching a Sky News report about Michael Adebolajo, the suspected killer of the British soldier Lee Rigby. My eyes dropped to the news banner running along bottom of the screen, which declared that 50 people had been killed in a wave of car bombings in Baghdad.

Each family will mourn their dead with equal love and loss, but sadly each death will be exploited by others to speed the flow of the river.

There’s enough hate around at the moment to fill an ocean. The dangerous idiots at the English Defence League (EDL) have taken Rigby’s murder and turned it into a pogrom, attacking mosques in England in a bid to incite civil war.

English society usually enjoys an innate acceptance of differences, but bigotry buds are collectively buzzing at the moment, because bank balances are empty.

In Greece, the Troika’s austerity programme has spawned xenophobic hatred in the shape of the fascist Golden Dawn party; while here in Ireland, reaction is tempered by the same conservatism entrenched in the minds of Middle England, which dictates that when things go wrong, you blame your societal fringes.

Blaming foreigners comes quickly and easy to the English and the Irish. Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) performed incredibly well at recent local elections, because UKIP say exactly what small-minded people think but dare not speak out loud.

Standing outside a pub with a pint in one hand, a ciggie in the other, Farage talks engagingly and clearly about how he has nothing against them personally, there’s just too many people on one small island, and it’s only fair that English society prioritises jobs for the English, because you have to look after your own first.

It’s a horribly tortuous river that flows from Farage’s pint to the destruction of Fallujah, onwards to Helmand Province and the murder of Lee Rigby, but the painful truth is that war will come home. You simply cannot wage war in foreign countries and expect no reprisal in your own. I learned that as a teenager, when the IRA brought their bombs to my London school route.

When hatred flows, common sense and perspective disappear. Violent young things with more balls than brains go out and sign up to the EDL, so they can burn mosques, because the flow of their ignorant hatred tells them that Muslims have it coming, because they killed that solider on the streets of London.

Meanwhile, the self-styled ‘silent majority’ who live behind the privet-hedges of Middle England have their darkest suspicions and deepest-felt grudges legitimised by UKIP’s electoral success.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Space and silence – it’s all us oul’ lads ever wanted in pubs

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The crowds that flocked into the centre of Dublin last weekend provided the clearest indication yet that, thank God, a cure had been found for Covid.

The masses dancing and hugging on the streets was vindication that all of the self-isolation had been well worth it, when you could now congregate as close as you like to each other, to your little heart’s content.

Or so you’d think.

One weekend of slightly relaxed licencing laws was all it took, and in the blink of an eye thousands of revellers were up and at it like this was Paris in 1945 after it was freed from the Germans.

The newly-imposed regulations for relaxation would suggest that all of these bouncy people at least had the benefit of a nine-euro meal inside them – how else could they get served?

So, we’d better brace ourselves for when they go out on an empty stomach.

Much has already been made of the fact that pub life will never be the same again – and that might well be the case.

Social distancing is bad news for the publicans, limiting their ability to wedge the entire student population of NUIG and GMIT into the equivalent of a phone box.

But it’s great news for curmudgeons – particularly for those whose capacity for imbibing alcohol is shot.

Advancing middle age has seen the tolerance of the early twenties reduced from the equivalent of a sizeable plastic bucket to an amount that once wouldn’t have even pass the standard definition of being out.

Three pints? That’s what you’d order when they rang the bell at closing time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

More than any other time of the year, when we sit around our dinner tables on Christmas Day, we are aware of who is there and who is not. At the age of 17, having performed impressive acrobatics with my Yamaha 250, a saloon car, a ditch and a barbed wire fence, I spent six weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year.

My femur was snapped in two, which is no mean feat with thighs like mine, and my tibia had a crack or two as well.

Bed-bound, with my leg in traction, I developed a bronchial chest infection after an emergency operation.

Every two seconds for six weeks I coughed in hacking spasms, thus shaking my smashed leg, which was hung in a sling, supported by a metal pole they had driven through me, just below the knee.

Suffice to say I came to terms with pain.

In our part of the ward, there were four beds and three bikers with broken bones.

There was Kev, who had fallen off his sleek and mean Suzuki GT750 (a two stroke 3-into-1, since you ask), and opposite us two was brick shithouse Yorkshireman Gary, ex-SAS, and mighty embarrassed, having survived several covert tours of duty in Northern Ireland, to have to admit to falling off a Honda 125.

Compared to the other patients in the hospital the three of us were well off.

We were not sick. We’d had our operations, and apart from antibiotics for wounds, and pain killers for broken bones, we needed very little medical attention.

We were young, male, bored, and allowed to drink beer. Naturally, we tried to attract the attention of the student nurses as much as possible, and equally, they were happy to have a bit of a laugh with lads who were not ill, physically, at least!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Saying “I love newspapers!” feels these days like buying a ticket for the next David Bowie gig, but I do: I love them. When I read a newspaper, I’m not a slave to the algorithm. Were I ten years younger, I’d read all my news online, on apps that I’ve set to my personal preferences.

Even when I visit media sites I’ve never been to before, there are cookies and bots and gordknowswot working away to offer me more of what the algorithms think I want.

Every link off each page is tailored to please me, but that’s no good.

I don’t want to be fed things that only fit into my areas of interest and opinion.

Sitting at my living room table, mug of tea and two slices of toast (peanut butter, since you ask), and a paper – any paper – open in front of me, I can see the full wonder and horror of the world, as interpreted by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times or Daily Mirror.

As I browse into the heart of the paper, far from major news items, I let my eyesight fall all over the place, because each page is full of varied items, and, here on page 14, I’ll find the big story that’s being buried: the story they have to report, but are under instruction to dampen down.

Also here are stories that no algorithm-driven link would ever lead me to. Quirky little tales, able to dissolve an adult brain in seconds.

When driven sufficiently doolally by what I’m reading, I tear that particular piece of madness out of the newspaper, placing it on top of the wobbly towering stack of other torn madnesses by my desk.

There are dark torn madnesses and fearsome ones, but today I’m in the mood to prowl the ones that force me to furrow my brow, gasp for breath, pout my lips and grunt “What the -?” at the universe.

Notes are seeds, from which every writer will grow different fruit. When that writer is working for the Daily Mail, the fruit need bear only minuscule relation to the seed.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City 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.

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