Category Archives: Misc


What you may need to know:

1. Hmm.

2. HMM.

3. Incredibly bad timing, or incredibly good timing?

4. Amid the scandal engulfing Hollywood currently (which, in fairness, has been brewing for 100 years), Louis CK has starred in, written and directed, practically in secret, this dangerously on-the-nose comedy drama about creepy old filmmakers, young women and the nature of complicity.

5. The thing is, even without the Weinstein drama, there’s all sorts going on between the lines here. Louis CK himself has been the subject of some pretty sleazy rumours over the past few years. The comedian Jen Kirkman has been most vocal about it, while also maintaining her own distance. Now more than ever, such accusations and allegations need to be taken very seriously so…yeah.

6. Louis is even more in Woody Allen mode than ever before here, so…oh for fu-

7. Look, it’s a film, it’s been made, it’s out later this year.

Verdict: Verdict? Really?

Release date: November TBC

The Great British Bake Off continued on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

I promised Historical Bake week would be worthwhile, and I think I was right.

It’s certainly been the best show of the series for me, so far, even the In-Tent’sity there at the end; and fair play to Stacey.

So first things first; let me take back my foccicia’out’ve it from last week’s Frill-Bake  (although I still think in Week 6 v Julia, when she left the parchment in the Showstopper, Julia should’a won out).

But give the pukka’girl her due, she fought to end, even when the oven door came out against her. When her leaky clanger got The Hollywood Handshake, the 1st one in two weeks btw, there was a huge cheer from our front room. Although it could well have been the look of disgust from the semi-pro Steven that drove it,

Genuine Bake Offers in their thousands must’ve been rooting for her in the end ‘cause I know I was. But in one way it was a long wait as the producers had trailered the oven door coming away earlier in the day; and I was left pretty much on edge waiting for it to happen.

But as I type this, I am reminded of the time there was a Coronation Street rape storyline being promo’ed, and I felt uncomfortable waiting for it to happen so I stopped watching it, and the other soaps too as a consequence.

I kinda feel like that now that we have only the Semi and Final left. So I’ve stopped following Bake Off, C4 and all the other Bake Off accounts on twitter. Except Paul Hollywood of course.

A quick mention about the bakes last night, the Signature namely. Clangers. I’d never heard of them before, but they’re a great idea, aren’t they? Now ye know me and suet; even the thought of it makes me queasy.

Stacey’s recipe is great and it does allow for Vegetable Suet. But the boss here thinks they’d be great teenager sleep-over party food, so wants to try Chicken Curry on one end of the Clanger, and Mango something at the other end. (Sweet Potato, Goats Cheese & Spinach/ Chocolate & Marshmallow being the other one mentioned.)

I’ll be honest, they’d be great Freezer stock as well. Liam’s one is the same, and like Stacey’s most of the stuff can be easily got in the Aldi/ Lidl.

Two things about the Technical that pissed me off was that they should have all known that the pastry goes to the edge; since there was no wastage at all when this Tart was as mainstream in the Kitchen as an Apple Tart is today.

Basic cop on would have answered all their chewing lips. The other thing, the Lattice work. I was delighted at first since I never managed to master it meself. Well I never properly tried since I use the wheel yoke that Steven had last night. So, I was hoping to pick up a few tips. But nah.

They were all fairly useless, tbf Sophie’s was ok but since it wasn’t what The Hollywood was looking for it didn’t make it onto the screen for much of the segment. Anyway, if ye fancy it, and it might be nice complement to yere Christmas Day cheese board, Th

e Hollywood’s recipes are usually fool-proof, although I wouldn’t go with the sweet short crust meself; and I’d use my own mincemeat.

The Showstopper, was let’s be honest, fancy dolled up Trifle Sponges. A Savoy Cake on its own is about as interesting and appetising as Savoy Cabbage. But they did seem fun to do in fairness. I wouldn’t be arsed myself.

But I’ll be trying Sophie’s Apple Filled Profiterole balls  when I gather my strength for Choux again. Which I might as well tell ye now won’t be for another 6 months at least.

It was in the Showstopper where it became all about the Bakers. Liam was a goner when he finished early only to watch his spun sugar smelt into a blobby stickey mess.

Kate was rightly in the danger zone too, since her tribute to Liverpool looked like something I’d see at a sandcastle competition in Tramore.

Last night we were watching the quarterfinal. And like the seven previous seasons, there was no room for favourites or past performances either. But I’m glad Kate survived,

I never warmed to Liam the way most did, I found him cocky and giddy, and in a previous Frill-Bake I reflected that he came across as bit entitled to Star Baker and Handshakes.

Last night was a great week for the Bake-Off because this was the first one of this series where it was all down to the Bakes on the night. And the outcomes were spot on. Stacey was the best in show, and Liam was off to the Extra Slice.

Interestingly, I think next week might end up being a showdown between Stacey and Sophie for Star Baker. For two reasons, Sophie has shown she does finesse and elegance well, while Stacey has demonstrated she can manage numerous elements and bring them together when it matters, like her Showstopper last night – separate flavoured Sponges, Madeleines, Jelly, Macaroons, Curd and Jam.

Leaky Clangers will be forgotten about since its going to be all about dainty and posh looking. Ooh Laa Laa, Can Can and not the kinda stuff we’d try at home; which makes us love them more when we have to pay for them.

Frilly Keane can be followed on twitter at @frillykeane

From top: Barry McKinley’s debut novel A Ton of Malice: The Half-Life Of An irish Punk In London  with an acknowledgement to The Story House Ireland.

It’s fair to say that we have a bit of a soft spot for The Story House Ireland at the ‘sheet.

The House, a cosy, affordable writer’s retreat in the Waterford countryside, began life in 2015 as a place to relax and create.

They’ve asked us to let you know that one of their alumni, Barry McKinley, will be in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea as part of this years Waterford Writers Weekend (running in tandem with Imagine Festival 2017)

Barry’s debut novel “A Ton of Malice – The Half-Life Of An Irish Punk in London” has been garnering rave reviews since publication earlier this year.

Barry has acknowledged his time at the inaugural Story House course in 2015 (you saw it here first) with authors Julian Gough, Susie Maguire and Donal Ryan helped him to get this book on the shelves.

Barry McKinley reading and interview will be at The Book Centre in Waterford this Saturday, October 21.at 12pm. Admission is free!

Curated by Rick O’Shea, the festival this year includes a ‘ton’ of other well know writers – Liz Nugent/ StefaniePreissner/ Paul Howard/ Sinead Crowley/Dave Rudden/Sally Rooney as well as a discussion on how NOT to approach a publisher with Lisa Coen and Sarah Davis-Goff of Tramp Press.

Fight!

The Story House

Waterford Writers Weekend

This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2

During leader’s questions concerning the five million plus-state funded Strategic Communications Unit.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“I said the unit would be cost neutral, I never said it would cost nothing. Obviously any unit that has employees and is involved in information campaigns, of course will cost something. I said it would be cost neutral and if you look in the Budget book, at the Department of An Taoiseach’s vote you’ll see my overall vote, the overall budget for my department is down, it’s down about a billion and that’s detailed line by line as to where, as to where the savings are made in each section.

“In terms of what’s going to happen with the former GIS [Government Information Service], former Merrion Street GIS function will be integrated in the new structure while the Government press office will continue to operate as before dealing with day-to-day media queries, under the direction of the Government press secretary.”

Following this Labour leader Brendan Howlin again raised his concerns over the “move into political paid advertising” and the fact that political advertising that promotes interest of political parties in Government “cannot be paid for by the public purse”.

In addition Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams And Fianna Fail’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath asked Mr Varadkar to explain “cost neutral”.

Mr Varadkar replied:

“I can assure deputies that there won’t be any political advertising, there won’t be any promotional political parties and the civil servants and public sector code in that regard will continue to apply. In relation to the costings, I don’t think I can explain it any better.

“Cost neutral is not the same as cost nothing. The money is being found from within my department and will in fact my department’s budget is being reduced.

“I actually think over time this will save money. It certainly did in other jurisdictions when you just look at the plethora across Government departments and Government agencies of different logos, different communication functions, different websites, different press functions, you name it.

“I think any rational person will see that if you co-ordinate all that, to put it together over a time, you’ll actually save a substantial amounts of money for the taxpayer.

“In terms of political advisors, political advisors are employees of the department. It is the norm that political advisors engage with civil servants all the time and continue to do so but, certainly, there’ll be no engagement with party officials or party press officers.”

Hmm.

Previously: The Good News Unit

Listrade

The good news is that your preferred sexual monster is worse than my preferred sexual monster and I can prove it with quickly sourced photos from google.

The good news keeps rolling, as more and more information comes out on the full extent of their deviance, we get to feel even more secure: I’d never do that, ergo I’m not part of the problem. I can feel like a good man because I absolutely draw the line at that kind of deviance.

This is where that overused term “virtue signalling” comes in. Men commenting across the internet sharing their disapproval of “that kind of thing”. Joining in hash tags, arguing with other men about the issue. A virtuous Mr Meeseeks, I only exist to flag my virtue and once I get a like or retweet from a woman on Twitter I cease to exist. Existence is pain.

We were exposed to a similar process during what then seemed like the end of the Trump campaign over the “pussy grabbing” tapes. Slowly most Republicans stepped away from Trump purely because it was only the fact that they had conceived daughters that meant they had a conscience about Trump’s comments.

This was bad news for me. I only have a son and so I haven’t learned empathy or understood what is inappropriate. Alas, I still thought pussy grabbing was perfectly reasonable and had only just been teaching my son the most efficient grabbing technique.

But it wasn’t the end. It lasted for a few days. The main defence from Trump and his fans was that this was just “locker room” talk. Cue the virtue signalling. Several high-profile sports people flew onto Twitter to proclaim that in all their years in sports, they had never, ever, under no circumstances used such deprived language to talk about women. They never did get to take two strokes of Jerry’s game.

Not to be outdone, amateur sports men also chipped in that they too had never used such words in or out of the locker room. Thankfully, their tweets were liked and they could remember that they are the good guys.

It must come as a relief to all us virtuous men that it really is just a few limited monsters out there. But it doesn’t add up. There’s too many experiences being shared for it to just be a few bad apples.

My exposure to locker rooms…or changing rooms as we didn’t have the luxury of a locker, just an old plastic bag to stick our stuff in, is admittedly limited. But I heard that kind of talk. It may not have been as direct as grab ‘em by the pussy, but it was pretty direct.

It might not have always been in the changing room as that was usually reserved for questioning loudly why the fuck I was in the team in the first place after another defeat. But it happened in the pub after, or the nightclub after that, or at work.

The English Premiership has had its share of scandals. There was a trend for a while in the early 2000s for the descriptive act of spit roasting. Apparantly, they organised, took part in (and as was exposed at the time, recorded on mobile phones) a threesome, but never discussed it? Ever?

These are sports whereby the dressing room machismo is so elevated that it is a barrier to gay players coming out for fear of reprisals (on and off the pitch/field). Where wives are seduced/swapped. Where underage girls are texted and groomed. Where rapes occur. But not once did they ever talk about grabbing a pussy while sitting in the changing room.

I can honestly say that I too have never had that specific discussion. But I can also honestly say that I have been and probably still am part of the problem. Thankfully, the likes of Weinstein are so abhorrent that I can overlook any need to address my own behaviour because I’m not that bad.

That’s why we keep the story going. It’s one man, one monster, “not all men”. Keep it about Weinstein and not the culture that makes it acceptable.

Keep the focus on Harvey and not those that facilitated and assisted him. Agents sent their clients to him knowing what he did and would do. Managers and parents the same. But just keep the focus on him and the really bad stuff he did. I don’t want to focus on me. Look at the monster, not me.

But there’s something personally heart-breaking in reading through the #MeToo stories. I can go a few ways. I, like many, can pick out the worst examples and use it as a badge of virtue that we have never and would never do that. But I can’t. I may never have done it, but I’ve seen it. I’ve ignored some, I’ve intervened in others. It doesn’t matter though,

I recognised enough of the stories to know it’s a problem. I always had known though. I didn’t do enough to intervene or stop it. Once or twice I was the guy who’s being written about.

Each generation has a jump towards the more progressive. It’s slow and just seems to happen. What used to happen in the background now happens online and in our faces. It’s uncomfortable because it’s calling out our language and behaviour and it’s never nice to know you might not be the all-round good guy you thought you were.

My generation was the children of those who were around in the 60s. Supposedly a progressive bunch, our parents still demonstrated a tendency to be pretty racist and homophobic. We would never say the “n word”. I can’t even type it. But “Paki” was part of our lexicon as were “Paki” jokes. Weird I can type that.

Just like our parents would have been right-on about the struggles of civil rights in America and the treatment of black people, but never really extended to black people in their neighbourhood. That was different. They weren’t lynching them, so it’s not the same.

Didn’t they know how bad black people had it in America? They should be grateful. (Insert comments to a woman about the size of her boobs being ok because doesn’t she know how bad women have it in Saudi?)

Comedies of the time had no problem with white comedians telling racist jokes, mimicking black people, black-face. So much for being the great progressive generation.

But for my generation, we thought ourselves progressive and accepting of homosexuality. But we’d still insult our friends with “fag”. Our comedies and movies would have gay characters where their only characteristic was that they were gay. Ha! Class. Another joke about taking it up the bum.

I like that I can look back and wince. It shows how far we’ve come. Its sad that the story is always a lamenting “we can’t say that anymore” and never “we shouldn’t have been saying it in the first place”.

We learn. Activists stood up and said it wasn’t right and enough of us took notice to change. Comedians moan about offence getting in the way of telling jokes, but it doesn’t. Offence gets in the way of bad, lazy, cheap jokes (like the gay character). We can still have humour that pushes the boundaries, we can live without the humour that’s just lazy stereotyping.

Words are replaceable. For all the shady history of the English language here and across the world, it still has the benefit of being a very rich language, especially with insults.

There are hundreds of colourful alternatives to calling someone a fag or a retard, we can live without the offensive ones and still a fulfilling life communicating with and insulting each other.

#MeToo isn’t just about words though, it’s about behaviour. That’s harder to change. It’s harder to accept your behaviour is wrong. Words are fine, I can change them, but behaviour means I’m a bad person and I think I’m not. Questioning behaviour feels like you’re attacking me. You are and you should.

But I always knew this really.

I can join the swathes of virtue signalling guys who are mostly in denial. I can make my condemnation about “them” the really bad guys. My problem is I know I’m not Harvey Weinstein, but I might be Ben Affleck.

The virtue signalling is only about the really bad stuff. I can help make the story about just the bad stuff, not all the other stuff. I can pretend I’ve never had the discussions with the lads about the new girl in the office…the ones that went a bit too far.

I can pretend I’ve never laughed at the jokes or comments or put some creepy behaviour by a friend down to them just being a bit weird or not being able to take a drink. I can ignore what are to me the worst stories, the ones that resonate with me because they are about me. It might not be me now, but it was me.

It’s not hard to replace words and be less offensive. It’s actually not hard to listen to stories and be a little less creepy. Heck, go all the way and be completely creep free. Don’t dismiss the stories. Don’t see it as another feminist charge to control men.

These are stories are from your family, friends and colleagues. Don’t just focus on the really bad ones, we can all agree that’s unacceptable, listen to the ones that may seem relatively benign, they’re part of the same picture.

Ease off the need to signal how good a person you are, these stories aren’t being told to validate your virtue. If you don’t see yourself in at least one of the stories, then you’re a better man than I was and I salute you. But maybe you know someone who is like that, maybe we can start there.

Listrade can be found on twitter @listrade

This afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions.

Further to the publication yesterday by the Central Bank of its latest Update on Examination of Tracker Mortgages

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (above) spoke about the tracker mortgage scandal.

He said:

“The Central Bank yesterday published its latest update on its industry-wide examination of tracker mortgages which was commenced in 2015. Approximately 13,000 impacted accounts have been identified by lenders as of the end of September, that’s an increase of 3,100 since the March report.

The Central Bank is currently pursuing enforcement investigations in relation to tracker mortgage-related issues arising in Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank Ireland and two further enforcement investigations into other lenders are now in train and it’s anticipated that more enforcement investigations will follow.

The Central Bank is not making the names of the two lenders known while the process is ongoing. And as a result of the Central Bank’s challenges, the two lenders are reconsidering certain outcomes of their reviews and our due to revert to the Central Bank by the end of October.

“If the Central Bank is not satisfied with the response from those two lenders, by the end of October, I think at that point, the Central Bank will name those two lenders.”

Watch Dail proceedings live here

Thousands may be unaware they are victims of tracker controversy (Conor Pope, The Irish Times)