Twitter, It’s Not You, It’s Me.

When I first joined Twitter, I did not know what to make of it.  I followed people left, right and centre.  Metaphorically and politically.  I posted the odd message and replied the odd time.  Then I was about to dump it.  That was before there was a debate about the quality of Irish television.  After that, I was addicted.

Now comes the difficult part.  Because Twitter uses follow quotas, it did not make sense, to me, to follow people willy-nilly.  Rather than follow any Joe Soap, I changed tack.  The best value I could get from Twitter was to engage with Irish people – a lot of whom were people in TV and Media.  It was what I was studying.  It made sense.  I now follow and engage with people I find useful.

It also means I do follow people who don’t follow back.  Their opinions are interesting to me, so my follow:followers ratio is around 9:8.  Therefore, every so often, I pare down my followers.   It’s a difficult job as I’m doing it manually now as Twitcleaner has retired.  Unfortunately.  It was the least intrusive of the Twitter ‘following’ apps.  (I am not a fan of the apps that tweet a report of your apps each week).   I started to unfollow people I don’t engage with.  It is not a personal thing.  I am just not an automatic follow-back person any more.  To me, Twitter is more important than that, it is how you engage with people and how people engage with you.

It’s not you, it’s me.  Okay.  It is a little bit of you, but it’s me too.


London 2012 – The Cycling Road Race

It has to be said in the cycling, ‘Team GB’ totally misread the race.  The excuse of ‘the rest of the world seem to be against us’ merits a kick in Team GB’s cyclists’ balls. Of course they are, it’s a bloody cycling race you stupid eejits.

When you are in front of the peloton, you control it. You must keep an eye on potential breaks. But when you allow twenty-five cyclists ahead, and those of the calibre of Cancellara, Vinokurov, Van Garderen, O’Grady the entire Spanish team and others, you must bare responsibility.

Logic should state that a team that controls the front should not allow more than ten cyclists go ahead.  Logic also states the eleventh rider who tries to break should be treated as a pacemaker.  Team GB made vital mistakes in the cycling.  And if I were British, I would be angry with their complacency.  Unfortunately, they got what they deserved as they never controlled the race.

Titanic Season


The cast in shock to learn that they die a slow death of four episodes.
(Photo courtesy of

It is the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and there are many TV programmes to choose from.  It would be impossible to count how many programmes there are but one that comes to mind is Julian Fellowes’ not-so-imaginatively titled ‘Titanic.’  Twitter has already dubbed it ‘Downton Abbey at Sea’ and has more imaginatively titled it ‘Drownton’ – a hashtag worth checking on Twitter.

In the four-part series, the boat is already sinking and we, the audience, are left to think that there we have to get through four episodes of a sinking boat, there cannot be anything else is there to add.

This got me thinking.  Is there really anything else to add?  Why did Fellowes decide to sink the boat in the first episode?  Is it going to be worth watching the rest of the series?  I am edging towards ‘no’ as there are only a certain amount of flashbacks I can take and ‘Titanic’ is too similar to other dramas to warrant further interest, although my interest in the subject will not wane.  I fear this version will sink like the ship itself.

Another question popped into my mind; my ‘writerly’ mind asked, what would I do?  There are so many similar takes on the Titanic theme, so my curt response to myself was that I needed to come up with something from a completely new angle.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

A Criticism of Critics

The arts industries are continuing to be dumbed down with the eternal programming of ‘talent’ shows. What are these shows doing to the arts industry? Are they actually promoting talent? Whilst the people who wish to work from the bottom to the top in their respective industry, many upstarts wish to start at the top regardless of whether they have talent or not. This makes me respect the ‘little guy’ even more – they are almost willing to clean the toilets to forge their way into the industry – some have. They work for their place and continue to work very hard – a lot for little money – but as stated, there are many superficial people who think there is only one place to start, and that is at the top. These miscreants are not the only transparent idiots that strive for a place on the TV screens, but it is also the alleged critics themselves – Simon Cowell being the genesis and the prime example.

Does he have any background in music whatsoever? He may work for a label, but he does not know what music is, he is certainly destroying what should be a great industry, as he strives to bring global talents such as the Tellytubbies to release a single. He and his fellow panel members only care about themselves – they do not know a smidgeon about anything musically. These shows are advertisements for the judges alone. Sharon Osborne – only there because she ‘starred’ in a show about her family – knows far less than Cowell. She isn’t even in the industry, so how the hell can she warrant to be a judge? Louis Walsh shows that he cannot stay away from the limelight as he goes on TV or radio to talk about a subject he knows nothing of and proceeds to get himself into trouble. His knowledge of music is questionable – it is certainly degrading to the music industry as two legalised paedophilic boy bands are in his CV. This goes to show that these judges, not just in this show, but in all ‘talent’ shows, especially that poke-a-pin-in-your-eye inducing ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ only strive to promote themselves and not the talent they allegedly seek. They do not give a shit about the ‘talent’ on display – it is purely self-promotional for the judge’s fame. They speak sensationalistically for ‘audience entertainment’. Do they actually have an honest opinion that is not there for ‘audience entertainment’? (Entertainment – a term I use extremely loosely). What voice do they actually have? Can they actually try not to think of money or the audience when they voice an opinion – as the clatter of coins in their pockets is the equivalent of the clattering of the two brain cells that they have. Do they have a voice that does not seek fame for themselves? It would be certainly interesting to see. In Ireland, can somebody please tell me who the hell Brendan O’Connor is, other than being a journalist, what is he doing on the panel of a ‘music’ show? It obviously appears that O’Connor feels that his journalistic skills are not getting enough airplay so needs to be on television on a type of show he knows absolutely nothing of.

But that is enough ‘celebrity’ TV judge bashing for the moment as I now turn my attention to restaurant critics who also wish to prostitute themselves as stars – in this I am especially talking about Tom Doorley and Paolo Tullio. I had no objection to them being restaurant critics until they decided that they were more important than the restaurants they review. Do they honestly think that they would be treated as equals when they venture into a restaurant? It is possible that they venture into a restaurant inebriated, maybe aware that their taste buds are not 100%, but their approach to their review the following day would blur into solipsism as they could have been stroppy in the restaurant. In fact, I would not be surprised if that actually happened. As they now have become celebrities and they certainly do not hide their status, it is impossible for them to receive a plate of food of equal stature to bourgeois restaurant goers – the chefs laud over them to do their best for the critics. It is certain that the bourgeois restaurant goer would not receive such attention and laudability. This was especially shown in ‘The Restaurant’ as Gerald Keane (albeit a ‘celebrity’ solicitor) made a blatant jibe against the ‘peons’ in the restaurant when he stated – ‘they’re not important, it’s the critics’ opinion I’m interested in.’ If a person ventures into a restaurant, they are to be treated with equal importance regardless of who they are. If a customer comes into a restaurant, they are a VIP, make sure that they want to come back. It doesn’t matter if they want to see the lunch menu – all the more reason to try to tempt them back.

It is time for Doorley and Tullio to hang up their newspaper critics’ boots as they have sought fame in ‘The Restaurant’ – (I have no jibe with this programme, in fact, I enjoy it a lot). As Doorley also has his Spar Wines campaign, it is not exactly as if they are unpaid if made redundant. Restaurant criticism should always remain a faceless art. The restaurant should never know who the critic is, when they come or where they are from. It should always remain a faceless art – as stated all customers are VIP’s. This brings me back to my point on TV judges, they should be equally anonymous – so move aside Cowell, Osborne et al – your opinions are neither expert or valid.