Category Archives: Maurice Ryder

Who am I? A Video

Here’s a video Resumé that I put together using iMovie with a bit of Photoshop thrown in. Time constraints meant I didn’t get the full After Effects dealie going on that I wanted but I think this captures the essence of me.

Later,
Mush

What, a Blog Post from Mush? Unheard of!

I know, I know, it’s been months. And I’m still not ready to start blogging frequently again yet. The demise of my laptop led to a 3 and a half month hiatus from the blogosphere but in the words of a former Kaleefoahnian Governer, “I’ll be back”.

In the meantime, I just wanted to post this link: http://www.nomorelost.org/2011/03/25/straight-male-gamer-told-to-get-over-it-by-bioware/ – it’s a blog post outlining Bioware (Game Development Company)’s response to a complaint by a “Straight Male Gamer” that it’s Dragon Age game was pandering too much to the gays and the wimmin. Bioware’s David Gaider’s response to the “Straight Male Gamer” really struck a chord with me.

In particular when referring to “why such an opinion[that Gay’s and Women are entitled to their storylines in Gaming] might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.”

It really gets to the nub of why some groups in society get so frustrated at the equality agenda. They’re so used to getting what they want, that when someone else gets their time and rights, it seems an affront to the previously privileged group.

Anyway, just wanted to share.

Later,

Mush

Missing Links 4

Good news everyone! Zac Efron is now single: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20449284,00.html

Also, it’s Christmas time and here is the song tipped for Christmas No. 1 in Ireland (although most of you will already have seen it) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPFZrRD3J8:

2000ad is truly the galaxy’s greatest comic. Check out the first 1500 covers in 3 and a half minutes (via my sister via Dave Bishop ex 2000ad editor) – http://viciousimagery.blogspot.com/2010/12/genius-first-1500-covers-of-2000ad-in.html

Later,

Mush

Missing Links 3

This weeks missing links will be short. It’s been a busy week since the last post, mostly spent dealing with the new UCC website – http://www.ucc.ie/en/ – it’s a vast improvement on the last site which was last upgraded 5 years ago and the feedback has been pouring in. Some positive, some negative, almost all useful in helping us get the site right. A lot done, but definitely a hell of a lot more to do.

My second link for today is Arcade Fire with some added David Bowie: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-wEBmLht5g – rocking!

I’ll finish up today’s post with a link to a nice post about Cork’s Christmas Market – http://www.anygivenfood.com/cork-christmas-market/ – we were wandering through there last saturday evening and it was a real slice of Christmas. If you’re about Cork at the weekend check it out. The lights in Bishop Lucey park are pretty stunning too. Fair play to Cork City Council for really christmassing up the gaff!

Later,

Mush

Leaving

It was getting harder to breathe for him now, his once corpulent frame withered and frail under his sagging skin. Decades of living life at it’s most calorific, now reduced to a clammy blanket of flesh on a disease-wracked carcass. A fit of coughing gripped his body, sapping his energy further. He raised a claw-like hand to the cold, blood-flecked plastic of the oxygen mask and pulled it away from his pock marked face.
He slowly pushed himself up in the bed, the stained sheets tangling around his legs and waist like some tentacled thing from the deep straining to keep him flat on his back. The effort of moving himself even slightly upright started another bout of coughing, specks of blood and lung spattering the already filthy bed covers. The curtained gloom of the room hid all manner of foulness. Piles of newspapers, mountains of unwashed clothes, towers of food encrusted plates covered the dusty wooden floor of the bedroom. The home help had stopped coming weeks ago, but he’d been stronger then, at least being able to make it to the kitchen. But the onset of winter had put paid to that. And now he could feel the end closing in, bit by creeping bit.
Of course, if he’d lived in a civilised country he’d probably have had more time. But in this backwater he had been lucky to get the home care that he had got. His once generous pension had been whittled away to practically nothing by a series of misfortune. His wife had left him years ago, taking a sizeable chunk. Mounting medical bills coupled with the constant devaluation of the funds in which his money had been invested had left him almost penniless. He’d also had a nice fat state pension but that had been stripped away by those grasping morons in the government. Restitution they called it. Retribution he called it. Retribution for his greatness.
Twenty years previously he’d been on top of the world. Rubbing shoulders with the great leaders of the early twenty first century. His was a prosperous nation, proud, boastful, full of the swagger of the nouveau riche and he was it’s leader. A decade and half in government and the country never had it so good. A decade and a half of gout inducing excess, banquet after state banquet and he wolfed down every last morsel. And why not? He deserved it. His government had made the country rich beyond it’s wildest dreams. And fuck the begrudgers.
And when it all went wrong, when the country needed a strong leader, by god did they get one! No nonsense, tough talking, quick to action. They were lucky to have him. But despite everything he did they still turned on him. Cast him aside like used tissue. The fuckers. The jealous fuckers. He did his best for them and this is how they treated him? And that jumped up boy scout on the opposition. That fucking gepetto-carved marionette! Sweeping in, making all those cuts. Of course the country couldn’t take it. It was only a recession when he left office. He’d left them with a sound four year plan. It wasn’t his fault they couldn’t make it work. Some, of course, did try to blame him. His policies. His leadership. Saying it had all started when he was in office, when he was in charge of the books. But he couldn’t be blamed for the poor hiring policies of the country’s banks, could he? He didn’t make them borrow all that money. And he certainly couldn’t be held responsible for the country defaulting on its international debts. He wasn’t even office, how could he be responsible?
Ungrateful bastards so they were. Hounding him at every corner for the last twenty years. Mary couldn’t stand the constant barrage of questions from angry journalists every time they left the house. Sure of course he had the odd drink in the evening. He had to do something to take the edge off. But that was too much for her. It was only after she’d left that he’d been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. At that stage they’d taken half his ministers pension and his leader’s pension. Leaving him with a worthless private pension and the meagre state allowance to try and pay for his failing health.
But he’d shown them! He’d shown them by refusing to give in. He’d never apologise to those blue shirted imbeciles and their socialist masters. His country might have abandoned him and his body betrayed him but damn it all he still had his pride. He was a hero god damn it! He’d earned the country more money than it had ever seen and they still tore him apart, called him traitor and then cast him aside.
Another fit of coughing took hold. His body shook with each convulsion and his lungs exploded with each missed breath. He could feel his strength leaving him. Abandoning him like everyone else had.
“So this is it?” he thought to himself. “This is how heroes die?”

Expenses are Priceless

I was struck by a story in the Irish Times last week (Evidence of an Irish politician’s scruples on expenses . . . in 1922 http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/1108/1224282866090.html) regarding Michael Collins making sure that he foot the bill for a car hired for election purposes when he was using it for personal journeys. That the man had such integrity is no surprise. He was a true hero and deservedly one of the top five in RTE’s recent Ireland’s Greatest series. He’s also been one of my own personal heroes ever since I was a boy. Strong, bold yet practical and not afraid to make tough choices, he was the kind of person who got things done both as a soldier and as a politician.
He’s also the kind of person that we’re sadly lacking in today’s Irish politics. Can you imagine any of the current denizens of Leinster House acting so unscrupulously as to pass up a chance to claim that little bit extra on the election expenses? We have a senator in Ivor Callely who repeatedly abused the trust of the Irish people in his expense claims (claiming for travel expenses from his west Cork holiday home while living in Dublin, getting companies to provide him with false invoices so he could claim the maximum allowable for mobile phone costs) and other members of the Dáil who regularly inflate claims. Can you imagine what Michael Collins would make of the representatives of the Irish people nearly 100 years after the first Dáil? This man gave his life for this country. And how have his heirs repayed him? By grubbing around for every spare cent in expenses, by selling the contry to the property developers and bankers.
The myth of this man is truly great but is this not what we should be aspiring to? At a time when we are crying out for true inspirational leadership, the example of Mícheál Ó Coileáin should be the ambition of every political leader in our country.
Later,
Mush

Missing Links 2

An interesting “State of the Union” blog post from Maman Poulet – worth a read:
http://www.mamanpoulet.com/ireland-inc-bankrupt-not-only-financially/

This movie looks just awesome. Cowboys. Aliens. What more could you want?
http://justjared.buzznet.com/2010/11/17/daniel-craig-cowboys-aliens-teaser-trailer/

More from the Vlog Brothers – this time their “Thoughts from Places” series. Some decent modern day philosophising on the YouTubes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAEM3BkLANQ&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=PL9EF0C1C9A93295C5

Wheel Spinning Hamster Dead – Political Satire in cartoon form. Good stuff.
http://www.wheelspinninghamsterdead.com/

Unbankable

So there’s a hell of a lot of media attention on the state of affairs in little old Ireland these days. And it’s not just the financial journals watching – major news organisations are now paying heed to the crumbling edifice of the Irish economy.

Although this crisis itself has been years in the making (a massive property bubble, a country swept up in nouveau riche excess, a political elite that was more interested in clapping greasy hands with developers than prudent financial management of the country; and a banking system whose individual banks clambered head over feet to outdo each other in reckless lending), it was last weekend that the whispers of a European Central Bank (ECB) / International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout began to seep out to the international press. It seems it was the BBC who were one of the first on the trail of the story of the Irish Government in bailout talks with Europe. The Irish Government weren’t long in trotting ministers out left, right and centre to flatly deny that there were any talks. Despite this obvious bullshit, ministers and even the Taoiseach kept blatantly lying, saying there were no bailout talks. On Thursday the 19th of November, the ECB and IMF arrived in the country for direct talks with our officials about a substantial loan to bail out our banks. Even when the governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, one of the few trusted figures in Irish finance, admits that we’re about to be bailed out (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11782356), the Taoiseach has the temerity to come out with a “he’s entitled to his view” dismissal of Patrick Honohan’s statement.

And here’s the thing, even at the point when every reputable news source is saying we’re having a bailout, when our most redoubtable financial expert is saying we are having a bailout, our government can’t bring themselves to tell us the truth. Dick Roche, our so called Minister for Europe, and the Taoiseach have been the biggest culprits. Numerous comparisons to Comical Ali (the Iraqi spokesman who denied the American invasion was having any effect when US tanks could be seen rolling along the streets of Baghdad behind him on camera) have been made. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be hilarious. What we have now is a government in complete and utter meltdown. Incapable of handling criticism; absolutely disconnected from reality. Department of Finance officials were telling reporters to direct their questions to the IMF (in a move akin to a company under receivership directing all questions to the liquidator); the Green Party Twitterati have been blocking followers who level any criticism their way; and the Taoiseach still persists in engaging in a convoluted game of semantics where he’ll use any words other than bail out to describe our inevitable future.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at this behaviour from the Fianna Failures and their Green Party concubines. Since September 2008 they have peddled lie after lie, rendering any government statements totally meaningless and unbelievable. If they released a statement in the morning declaring the sky blue, you’d have a country craning their necks to see what shade of red it had actually turned. Every figure they’ve mentioned in relation to the bank bailout has consistently turned out to be false. At this stage it’s a wonder why they even bother.

I’d like to say “what kind of fools do they take us for?”, but it obviously works on some people. We’ve had two decades of the same gombeens in government and despite everything that they’ve wreaked on this country, 19% of the country would still vote for them in the morning. That there is anyone in this country that could even consider voting for Fianna Fáil, after their total mismanagement of the genuinely booming economy of the early 2000s and their total disregard for the truth, is utterly baffling. So no wonder they keep peddling their denial act, it’s worked in the past on us so why shouldn’t they keep it up? They’ve no incentive to tell the truth.

The sad truth, however, is that it looks to rest of the world that we are biting the hands that feed us. The ECB and the IMF have rocked up with tens of billions of euro to help us get back on our feet and Brian Cowen metaphorically spits in their faces with his ungainly brinksmanship. At this stage the thought of the IMF/ECB running our affairs is actually a relief. The things that need to get done to right the wrongs of this economy might finally get enacted under our new IMF/ECB overlords. We have a strong export economy despite the best efforts of the current government to fuck everything up. That’s something we can grow on. We have the potential to be a major provider of renewable energy. This is something else we should be concentrating on. We have a bloated welfare state and an obese public sector that is badly in need of losing a few extraneous punds. And I say that as a public sector worker. With the IMF in charge there will be no excuses. There is no more money in the pot for extravagent salaries for the incompetents in the civil service. The efficiencies that should have been delivered under bench marking might finally have a chance of being realised. And while we must do everything in our power to protect the most vulnerable in our society, we shouldn’t tolerate a situation whereby people on minimum wage end up with less in their pockets than someone on the dole.

There is another thing that is pretty disappointing and that’s the relish that certain certain commentators seem to take in the pressure that our financial melt down is putting on the euro. It genuinely confuses me when people pronounce that the euro is dead or that Ireland should leave the euro. How in non-existent deity’s name is that even possible? It took us decades to get rid of the punt. How in the name of gibbering fuck are we supposed to just “get out” of the Euro? Are we going to wake up in the morning and suddenly find our euros have transformed back into punts? As pretty as some of our coinage was, I don’t think that’s something we should be hoping for. Leaving the euro would be a long and complicated process – we’d have to re-mint our own currency; convert all our tills, bank machines and any other device that takes money; re-price all our goods and establish a stable value for this fledgling punt-nua all in the midst of the financial clusterfuck that is the current banking crisis? On a fundamental, practical level I just can’t see it.

Finally, the rumblings about the demise of our twelve and half percent corporation tax are increasingly worrying. The one bullet left in the chamber of our economic recovery is being targetted by certain sectors of the European Community who’ve spent years trying to figure out a way to eliminate this competitive advantage. I’ve always wondered why, if they were so taken with our low corporate tax rate, they wouldn’t adjust their own tax rates accordingly? With little else going right with our economy at the moment, it would be madness to lose what little genuine ingenuity we have left. Unfortunately with the emphatic statements from Dick Roche and his ilk on how our corporate tax rate is one hundred percent guaranteed, it can only be a matter of time before that too slips out of our control.

Later,

Mush

Missing Links 1

From time to time we all come across interesting articles or websites that we’d like to share with the ether. They don’t always necessitate a full blog post discussion so I thought I’d throw them in together occasionally as a single post (inspired by Mulley’s Fluffy Links).

First up, it’s not only the ordinary people who are shit sick of this government. Their own ombudsmen have taken them to task. Sarah Burke has an interesting piece on Politico about the government’s disregard for the care of the elderly.
I’m no longer a member of the Catholic Church but I think the Association of Catholic Priests are showing themselves to be an unusual force for good. A group of rank and file priests, they’ve recently started challenging the heirarchy on all sorts of issues. Something the Church badly needs, in my opinion. Anyway one of them was recently taken to task for saying nice things about homosexuality. Fair play to the ACP for standing up for Fr. O’Sullivan.
A radio play for the digital age. With Zombies. I’ve only listened to the first episode but the zombie podcast is worth a go if the undead are your bag.
In a shameless plug for a work related site, UCC recently started a graduate start-up incubation unit called IGNITE.
In honour of the release of the latest Harry Potter film (I’m going Saturday), I give you Hank Green from the Vlogbrothers singing “Accio Deathly Hallows”
Later
Mush

Paint the House Pink

Where are all the gay politicians?” the Independent asked in July 2006. Four years later and there is still a noticeable lack of openly gay elected representatives in this country. David Norris still remains our only fully out member of the oireachtas. Only two candidates at the last election were gay and neither of them won a seat. But basic stats tell us there should be at least 20 gay, lesbian or bisexual senators and/or TDs. So where are they?

It would be really great to see some out and proud politicians in this country. People the LGBT community can go to in times of need who understand our issues, people who get what it is to be gay in Ireland. It’s not that we’re a horribly oppressed minority but there are still struggles that we face. There are still many gay couples parenting children whose relationships with those children remains in a state of legal limbo. There are many gay couple who wish to marry and can’t do so in this country. There are gays and lesbians across Ireland looking for someone to stand up and fight our fights for us. The more out people there are in public life, the more accepted in society members of the LGBT community become.

But it’s not just the gays who are sorely under-represented in our political system. Women are also in a significant minority in the oireachtas. Despite some great role models, Ireland is at number eighty four out of one hundred and thirty eight contries in terms of the numbers of women in Parliament. At a time when we’re crying out for change isn’t it time we really started to ask for different politicians. The time of the gombeen men of Irish politics needs to pass and we need representatives from all walks of life in our Dáíl. We need representatives of the new Irish, representatives of the LGBT community, representatives of women, representatives of the disabled. The marginalised need to become the mainstream. We need a true cross-section of society to represent us in the next Dáil in order to get this country back on track. It’s no coincidence that the fairest societies are the ones that are also the most stable politically and financially.These are also the countries we aspire to be like the most – the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland.

So at the next election let’s take a chance on the non-white candidate or the non-straight candidate or the non-male candidate. Let’s give our parliament a chance to experience the benefits of true diversity and get rid of the current crop of gombeen men.

Later,

Mush