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

Double Vision

Terrorism comes second to falling out of bedism

Published

on

Who is behind the war on terror? More Americans die falling out of bed than from terrorism

As a pumped-up political prima donna in the early 1980s, I’d talk long and loud of the evils of something called the ‘Military Industrial Complex’.

Back then in my early 20s the world seemed so simple, so black and white. It was completely clear to me that wars were wholly avoidable but essential, as they provided shop windows for the world’s latest military products. How were some of the planet’s wealthiest manufacturing corporations going to sell their latest fighters, computer-controlled missiles and stealth bombers, if nobody had the chance to see them in action?

Remember the First Gulf War? No no no, not the real First Gulf War between Iraq and Iran. That one doesn’t count any more, because in that one the West supported Saddam Hussein, so now we try to forget that. I’m talking about the second First Gulf War, the one called Desert Storm, when the United Forces of Democracy liberated Kuwait, leaving skeletons and scorched earth along the road to Baghdad.

Yeh, that one. Don’t tell me you weren’t impressed the first time you saw footage of smart bombs. There on your telly was a live picture of a house thousands of feet away from the plane that shot the missile that flew into the window and hit the very person it was meant to hit. Unless it was cloudy, when the gizmo didn’t work, or those times when the guy was out playing dominoes up the road with his mates and they just killed his wife and children instead.

Part amazed, part horrified, you watched as the height of killing technology combined with Sky TV to produce live warfare in your living room.

Sadly, it turns out all those ‘Military Industrial Complex’ theories I spouted as an idealistic young lefty were right. After the Berlin Wall came down I wondered who might be our next enemy. Spanky new weapons were still being made but there was no war suitable to use them in, and then in 1998, while living in California, I saw Osama bin Laden.

“That’s him!” I shouted out loud and prescient, as soon as I saw a photo of a wizened bearded man flash up on the TV news. “Look at that face. Remember him. He’s our new enemy. We’ve just been given a new person to hate.”

Since then that enemy’s name has changed a few times but the message is clear: with the Cold War long gone, the Military Industrial Complex needs a new enemy, and the War on Terror is perfect.

Quite accidentally President Obama let slip a great truth a couple of weeks ago. Speaking to the BBC, he was arguing yet again and most nobly for gun control legislation in the United States: “If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands.”

Last year alone, 450 Americans died by falling out of bed, but there’s not much money to be made from a War On Falling-Out-Of-Bedism.

For more of Charlie’s views on the ‘war on terror’ see this week’s Tribune

Connacht Tribune

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

Published

on

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.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

Published

on

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.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending