Blogging will eat itself

One blogger’s attempt at a credible post title is another’s flimsy twist on a haggard pop cultural reference.

One blogger’s subdued, minimalist theme is another’s so bland and lacking all character.

One blogger’s lovingly curated family album for posterity is another’s idea of setting them up for a surprise Truman Show type ending when they’re old enough.

One blogger’s honest heartfelt piece is another’s honest heartfelt piece. Oh. How did that happen? Regularly, no doubt.

One blogger’s honest heartfelt piece is occasionally another’s honest but somewhat inauthentic piece that ever so slightly feels more concerned with appealing to potential editors and a variety of audiences.

One blogger’s Malcolm Tucker linked laugh is another’s opportunity for a spectacular eye-roll.

One blogger’s factual blog is another’s insight to that person’s life.

One blogger’s TMI is another’s GSOH.

One blogger’s considered account of their experience of depression is another blogger’s considered account of that experience of depression.

One blogger’s considered account of a personal issue is another’s overstepping the mark.

One blogger’s considered account of a personal issue is another’s considered account of a personal experience of that issue.

One blogger’s passive aggressive post is another’s fair game post.

One blogger’s fair game post is another’s passive aggressive post.

One blogger’s exposure of their vulnerability is another’s compulsion to volunteer on behalf of the seemingly unhealthy limits of that blogger’s boundaries.

One blogger’s compulsion to volunteer on behalf of the seemingly unhealthy state of another blogger’s boundaries is another’s potentially dodgy veer into unquantifiable territory.

One blogger’s LOL is another’s WTF.

One blogger’s standards of respectability are another’s inadvertent instrument of shame and stigma.

One blogger’s attempt to break the damaging silence on taboo issues and help empower others is another’s bad taste and over-exposure. Depending on the taboo.

One blogger’s undeclared zone of discomfort is another’s willingness to step out of theirs and connect with others standing on the precipice of their own.

One blogger’s winning shine is a case of no shimmer to another.

One blogger’s award loser is another’s champion regardless.

One blogger’s off-beam stab at unpicking some sticky questions around value judgements we all make on blogging is another’s incomprehensible loada wank. Obviously.

Such is blogging.


Cork Evening Echo Opinion Column: Why I spoke up for marriage equality

140 characters is usually enough

My feet were sore and my back was at me.

It was two days to the Marriage Equality referendum and I’d taken some time off work to help with Yes Equality Cork. I had never canvassed for anything in my life and my experience of going door-to-door in rural towns and villages had been almost universally positive. I was finding standing on the street in Cork a lot more daunting.


Outside the city library at lunchtime, I decided a friendly, indirect approach was best.  Holding my Yes Equality leaflets in my hand, I greeted people “Hello! Are you voting on Friday?” The most common answer I got was along the lines of “I am voting. And I’m voting Yes.” Some people said they hadn’t made their minds up yet. I asked if they had any worries or doubts and almost all said they didn’t, which led me…

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My imaginary Twitter feed from the last 24 hours

Picture of my sloppy desk. Just because.

Retweeted article simultaneously attacking a conservative political view and emphasising my right-on world-view

Phil Lynott’s Old Town video #random #nostalgia #dodgy80shairdos

Breda O’Brien’s a *insert damning insult of the hour here* #emphaticheadnods

Latest blog post: Blogging brush-offs and other abandoned posts

Can’t believe *insert latest thing to be outraged about here* #shocking

Go the fuck to sleep #middleofthenightparenting

Picture of my dinner. Why not? #nomnom

Larry David quote #wisdom

Breda O’Brien’s a *insert damning judgement of the hour here* #toorightyeah

Has Neven had botox? Looks like it #nevenmaguire

Did anyone see my car keys? #doofus

Where can I get American Crème Soda? #80sflashbackcraving

Malcolm Tucker quote #modernphilosophy

Does anyone know where I can get a cheap lobotomy? #notcopingwithwork

Question: Recommend your family tent  #impendingcampingholidayannoucement

Picture of emergency coffee purchase *insert little thumb up* #survival

Picture of toothpaste on hair? #howdoesshedoit?

Picture of Bono looking worse #onob

It’s only fucking Wednesday? #cries

Dead drafts

On why blogging is like a long-term relationship

Life in a northern town

They’re just not that into you (Blogging etiquette and brush-offs)

On being ordinary (generally)

Blogging fatigue

The A to Z of blogging

Blogging for the sake of it

Songs I will never buy but burst on hearing

What blogging can tell me about my life

These are all draft posts that were swiftly abandoned after the opening paragraph. I think there’s a theme emerging.

*strokes chin*

The Professionals – Part One

From: Bodie

To: Doyle; Cowley

Dear All

Please find attached agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.

I would be grateful if you could confirm attendance.




To: Bodie, Cowley

From: Doyle

Dear Bodie

Many thanks for your email. I look forward to seeing you at tomorrow’s meeting. Should you need to discuss anything in the interim, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks



From: Cowley

To: Bodie; Doyle

Dear Both

I’d appreciate if we could meet half an hour earlier than scheduled as I have to leave for another meeting afterwards. Could you also forward your timesheets for last month and your monthly reports. In addition to outputs and outcomes, an additional column for inputs has been added going forward.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards



From: Bodie

To: Admin

Dear Susie

Please find attached the agenda for tomorrow’s team meeting. Please print off copies. I’d appreciate if you could re-book the meeting room for 10am instead of 10:30am.




From: Admin

To: Bodie

Hi Bodie

That’s no problem. Would you like those printed on double-sided along with the minutes from the last meeting?




the professionals

Effective partnership working going forward

A funny old week

That’s the thrill of going to see comedians from roughly your own age-group (rough being about right) – as well as recognising the struggle of balancing an existential crisis with a box-set hangover, they usually ensure everyone is safely ensconced in bed by 11pm. Except Tommy Tiernan, who was probably only getting going by the verbal jazz of him, and might well have been found wandering the streets muttering to himself hours after we left.

Was that a groan? Not a fan, eh. Time was, sharp intakes of breath at the mere mention of Tommy were the preserve of the religiously devotional and the blue lotional. Now he tends to trigger a broader sweep of non-committal shrugs occasionally trying to pass themselves off as a maybe. Depending, like.

Part of the problem is that the Tommy I’m talking about is unlikely to be the same one you’re thinking of.  Yes, the endless sending-up of our parochial idiosyncrasies isn’t going to cut it on the second or fiftieth hearing. But like the incomprehensible drunk holding court in the town square, if you listen long enough, you’ll hear a passage shot through with enough lucid brilliance to make you pause for thought. Not that Tommy is incomprehensible. Gifted with a majestic turn of phrase, and ability to assemble riffs on an impulse that comes in the shape of a credit card he keeps shoving back into the audience’s sensibilities, it’s as if he’s holding his breath along with the rest of us, waiting for the roll of the notes.  A note of exasperation hangs over the gender wars staring his own family, and there are enough considered prods at masculinity to wonder if being stuck in a lift with him and Michael Harding would be really interesting, or really infuriating. Perhaps he should extend those thoughts further into that newspaper column he has yet to be given, because he shouldn’t feel he has to roar to be taken seriously. Something his contemporary, Dylan Moran, would probably agree with.

Tiernan once revealed that having a conversation with Moran was like trying to catch a frog.  An image that wouldn’t have looked out of place among Moran’s impressively intricate sketches rolling on loop behind him as he addressed the variety of manifestations of our lunacy two days later. Thought-bubbled images twist and turn just like the tracks of his thoughts with an exquisitely constructed sentence passing through every half minute on the minute. Hipsters are scoffed at; he confesses his life-long smoking habit has been surrendered in exchange for buns, and unexpectedly “cuddly eyes” (“interesting European fat, not American fat”). Coffee fetishists, our dedication to Danish drama, and his diminishing credibility among his own family are witheringly unpicked; all the while verbally doodling surreal scenes of a man showing little resistance to lack of enlightenment, and adapting to the various stages of man: “child, failure, old and dead”. Like Tiernan, he is a man increasingly exiled from his naively imagined place in the world, but neither are ever weary enough to risk disguising the affection for who and what they hold dear.

Which is something that even Stewart Lee, stalwart of non-conformist commentary, can’t avoid, however slight the hints. “I’ve nothing going on in my life these days. It’s taken up with looking after these…like..people.. my family, they’re called my family”. He’s in typically mock contemptuous form. It was far from fifteen hundred seater venues his astute observations were reared, so we’re berated for inconsiderately elevating him to some degree of success and facilitating the purchase of his first house at the tender age of 42. A house with a back garden that just happens to have homeless people congregating behind it; homeless people he might invite to live with him… if he were, say, Russell Brand. A back garden with a fence that is the occasional border with sex workers touting for business; sex workers he could probably pay a tenner to for their thoughts on the political ramifications of paternalistic and exploitative practices that obscures the contradictory positions of women in the world. I think that’s what he said. But he knows he can get that for free at home any time without ever asking for it.


How many middle-class self-deprecating alternative comics does it take to pose for this photo?

The format is trademark Lee: pitting sections of the audience against each other as per the natural mixed ability order (and speed) of laughs. Diatribes are woven together with repetition and call-backs; the mechanics of the deliberately drawn-out punch reveal (less line than clever parallels between seemingly disparate ideas) explained as he goes along. Pity the insolence of anyone unable to keep up; woe betide us all if we did. This particular device of deconstructing his approach is characteristically unconventional but tactical. It gives us permission to stick with the three-yarn structure, and allows him to stick it to his self-regarding Guardian reading fan-base without losing one of them. A cultural snipper departs the stage leaving a few scratched heads strewn in his wake. Brave, fresh, and always fascinating.

A fine week for comedy, and that’s without any mention of the Royal Visit, and Gerry Adams flirting with Panti.