Monday, November 30, 2009

So fresh, so clean, so dead

So, how was it for you?

The floods didn't eat too much of The Board's week, thank Zeus.

Unlike last August, when floods ripped through Newcastle West in the night quicker and more destructively than Pete Doherty through Carl Barat's apartment, the water kept its filthy hands off west Limerick this time.

West Limerick is, for all of you suburbanites, where The Board now lays his journalistic head.

His sprite-like colleagues, the ones to whom East Limerick is an actual place and not just a deathly void between the city and the border, were spinning like dervishes in puddles and tributaries all last week.
Even El Newso Editora dusted off his long-perched reporter hat, threw on his wellies and got busy in Corbally on Monday night.

Oh how we laughed.

That was, until, The Board travelled home on Sunday to steal provisions and use the iron. Unaware that there was a boil notice in place in Feohanagh since Friday - due to an elixir of rugby and alcohol - I drank about three pints of tap water to try and quench my parched, hungover throat.

The Board now fully expects to die in the next two to three hours, sprawled and heaving on his desk.

There may be a cosmic irony in that somewhere. But The Board cares little.

Send my widow a ham.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A declaration of war

I'm getting my longbow and going to Agincourt. Those French need to pay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Revelation of the day

The Board's new favourite radio show is The Block.
The last three albums he's bought have come off the back of pc and his soundtrack to Saturday night.
Highly recommended.

Is football really that important? Oh my, yes

It is often very, very hard to get excited by football.

True, The Board is as loyal as a Templar in his support of Manchester United, but even this can't hide the fact that 90 minutes of football, very often, is a more numbing exercise than beating one's thigh with a hurley.

Yes, Ireland are playing in Paris tonight and yes, the nation is scavenging for straws to clutch ahead of our gallant, tedious 1-0 defeat to the worst collection of Frenchmen since the Vichy government.

But do we really care? Pro-rugby bias may be the fibre in The Board's rhetorical diet, but only a fool will deny that recent successes in the 15-man sport, coupled with the stoic crapness of the Irish football team, has murdered the passion of '88, '90 and '94.

But football still gets people going, of course. The Board highly recommends this article in the Lindo about Thursday's qualifier between Algeria and Egypt, and how it is likely to result in riots, blindings and the mass destruction of telecommunications equipment.

Similarly, the Guardian's excellent Paul Doyle has a very interesting piece about Alex Villaplane, the first man of Algerian origin to represent France, who later became a nefarious collaborator with the Nazi occupation and was later executed for all kinds of dastardly treason.
Even if tonight's match in Paris bleeds the enthusiasm out of you, take heed in the knowledge that now and always, football will be defined by more than just the game.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revelation of the day

The Board is in love with Kate Beckinsale.

The Great American Investor

Finally, someone whose opinions people take seriously (i.e. not The Board) has fired a shot at the marketing jizz that would have us think that all there is to do in Limerick is play rugby.

Harry Fehily, he of Limerick Chamber of Commerce fame, has said that the campaign to portray Limerick as a rugby capital doesn't have any resonance in the US - where all the money is, natch - as they don't play, watch or understand rugby.

A fair point, albeit one driven on shamelessly capitalist petrol.

The Board has cranked his tongue for a while now at the generic, "G'wan Munster! From Peter's Haberdashery and Callaghan's Used Cars/Apothecary" mentality that has taken hold in this city since 2006. Businesses, like salubrious leeches, have clambered to be seen to have anything to do with Munster Rugby, just as Fianna Fail men gravitate towards the Dav:

Money has cheapened the object of our rugby affection into just another brand.

Having had a proper sit-down interview with Harry Fehily in the past, The Board can attest that he is a good-natured, hard working man, even if he is an arch capitalist.

Harry's point about Limerick Inc. getting into bed with Munster is the right one, for the wrong reasons. He'd much rather the PR people whore our rich arts and music scene to the Great American Investor.


Still, if that means we can one day go to a Munster game without having to run a gauntlet of salesmen with megaphones and over-enthusiastic radio station mandarins, The Board will be happy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Revelation of the day

Captain Morgan and fanta is the finest combination of anything since Gareth Edwards played alongside Phil Bennett.

Explosive chatter

Has it been two months already? Bugger.

You just get used to hunting wild bison in Yellowstone in November, skinning your prize using only otter teeth and a lot of determination, and suddenly here you are, back at your desk again.

Life is not without a sense of perspective.

What could draw a person back from seclusion like that? The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Kiely, had a few things to say about non Irish nationals claiming our unemployment assistance and other social welfare benefits while giving nothing back to society, aside from showing us how to do a dead lift properly.

The Board isn't going to weigh in with a holier-than-thou destruction of the Mayor's point. He's already received quite a seeing to in the national press in that regard.

But I would like to add a little perspective to this - having worked for the Department of Social Welfare in my box car years before becoming a journalist, I can say that the numbers of foreign nationals claiming welfare, rightly or wrongly, is minuscule compared to the popular stigmas on the matter lazily referred back to by the likes of Cllr Kiely when they want to strike a populist note or two.

For example, out in West Limerick there are 25,124 people living in the area. How many of these, do your figure, are from Eastern Europe? 6,000? 4,000?


Granted, this does not include the main urban hub, but even with the city taken into account the demographics will not be too ary. The Polish have, simply, all gone home.

While Mayor Kiely may win some cheap publicity by decrying the foreign national as the main culprit in our huge social welfare bill, I assure him that the real villain is the Irish person stealing €25,000 in lone parent allowances while living with their partner, or working and signing at the same time, or nominally taking part in dud FAS courses so that they can continue to claim their allowance of more than €200 per week.

PS - If you're wondering where The Board has actually been these past months, the truth is here. He has been writing about this place:

Playing rugby for this crowd:

Listening to this fella:

And reading this:

At least two of those activities have been worth it so far.