A Very Paddy Day

*Blows off dust. Taps blog. Hello? Testing. Is this thing on? Hello?*

So we bought the house in the end. Then I became a grandad. Anyway, moving on. 

Today it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m sure all you wee ones, you millennials and generation ZX or whatever, you think it’s just back-to-back entertainment, don’t you? Drinking your weirdly coloured beer. Wearing your big hats. Waving at Michael Flatley on his popemobile as red-haired maidens troop past, spraying the crowd with milk. Well let me tell you right now, it wasn’t always like that… 

You see, when I was a wee fella, back around the dawn of time, Saint Patrick’s Day wasn’t a thing you celebrated, but endured. It was a day off, sure. But it was also a holy day. Which meant you were going to mass, regardless of what your thoughts on the matter might be. And if you were lucky you’d have some shamrock pinned to you first. And maybe – oh the joy – a green rosette or plastic flag-type thing. 

Mass, of course, would be an immensely drab affair. It was tragic how a priest could make damnation, sin, evil and eternal torment sound so boring, when Iron Maiden took the very same subject material and made it thrilling, if a little long, but Father Priestfellow always seemed to manage it.

After mass, there might be a parade on the TV, transmitted from one of our many (five) cities, but it was always a miserable rainy affair with tractors pulling trailers containing hay and trad musicians and maybe, if you were lucky, a gaelic footballer or two. And that would be it. 

Except for one thing. A truly magical thing. You see, Paddy’s Day usually occurred during Lent. That’s when Catholics give up nice things. Like cigarettes or beer. Or chocolate. I think pancakes were also involved in some way. And ash? I don’t fucking remember, it’s been a while since I was a Catholic. Anyway, as kids, you would normally give up sweets, and Paddy’s Day was a cheat day. Lent was turned off. So the gorging on sweets could commence. Or on cigarettes, if that was what you’d given up. Or sex. Just like the great man himself would have wanted. 

It was only when I moved to Dublin in 1989, to study, that I was exposed to a Paddy’s Day that could be described as joyful. It shocked me, to be honest. Celebrating a religious day? Having fun? Those bloody Americans, always ruining our misery by taking it and sending it back to us all bright and joyful.

It’s a weird thing to do, though, isn’t it — celebrating the person who helped usher in two millenia of crushing guilt and all but eradicate Ireland’s traditional religion and rituals. On the plus side, the beardy fella did give us green beer, plastic hats and liver disease, and I think we can all agree that was probably a win.

So happy Paddy’s Day. I guess.

/ Paddy

Turning A No Into A Yes

Me and the boy just watched How I Met Your Mother, season 3, episode 13, entitled “10 sessions”.

It follows our hero Ted as he goes to a tattoo removal clinic. The doctor is female and “hot” and Ted feels a “vibe” between them. So he asks her out and she says no. She can’t date him as he’s her patient. Ted asks if she will date him after the treatment. She tells him sorry, but no.

And then THIS happens.

Ted goes to his friends (mixed male and female) to get their advice on how to convince this lady to go out with him. As they discuss it, not one of them says, “Um, Ted, she said no, dude”. Her answer is not allowed to be absolute. Ted is a “nice guy” so the lady doctor must be mistaken. Or married. Or lesbian. Or confused. Hell, there must be SOMETHING wrong with her.


So over the course of Ted’s ten removal sessions, he and his friends plot wacky and hilarious ways to get her to say “yes” to Ted. But they all fail and the bewilderment from Ted just grows. Why doesn’t she want to date him, damn it?

(I could take a very long aside here on Ted’s friend Barney, the loveable misogynist and player, who you just want to stab with an ice-pick. He’s arrogant, sexist and petty and yet they all love him anyway. Good old Barney. You massive, suit-wearing shit.)

ImageAnyway, at the last session, Ted asks the doctor out again and finds the reason she won’t date him. It’s not that she just DOESN’T FUCKING WANT TO, it’s that she is a single mom and has no free time. So Ted manufactures a quick 2-minute date where they dash around town and do some fun stuff. And finally, for Ted’s persistence, she kisses him. Conquest is ON.

This right fucking here, THIS, is the problem with the view of women in culture, media, television, all of it. A woman simply can’t say “no” to a man and mean it. She must be wrong. She must be “convinced”. And this aggressive, objectifying and shitty behaviour slides right by in a “normal” sitcom. It’s everyday stuff. Nothing out of the way. Even the women in the sitcom agree it’s fine to do it.

What sort of a generation of men are we making, feeding them this behaviour as normal? Jesus Christ.

In order to avoid a stroke, I shall now sign out. But first, here’s the closing line of the episode. Hang on to your hats. Ted says to camera, in a voiceover: “And that, kids, is how you turn a no into a yes.”

No further comment required.

/ p

Your Inner Geek

So I just watched that episode of Big Bang Theory about the One Ring. While it was fun, the description of the male characters’ behaviour as “geeky” came up several times. And it made me realise that this whole “I’m proud to be a geek” movement is really starting to annoy the tits off me. I’ll now tell you why.

A geek is basically a fan of things that aren’t cool. And who decides what is cool? Cool people do and always have done. By calling yourself a geek to somehow “reclaim” that word you are just adding to the idea that there are different kinds of interests – cool ones and geeky ones. And some are more important than others.


When I was in school I got shoved around for liking “stupid” things like fantasy and science fiction. Whereas my thuggish peers who liked football had no such problems. They knew piles of stats, they collected sticker albums, they treated football like it mattered. They even dressed up as the players, cosplay if ever I saw it. For some reason that was all okay. But making a joke about Star Wars was grounds for a thumpin’. Which was odd, as discussing in massive depth some men kicking a sphere around a field was fine.

Football isn’t the only thing. There’s music. Sport. Cars. Soap operas. Movies. Classical Music. Wine. Very rarely if ever do you hear fans of these activities described as “geeks”. Most usually they are “fans” or sometimes “experts” or even “connoisseurs” even when the level of pointless trivia involved is mind-blowing.

ImageA geek is simply a person with a burning interest and unreasonable level of knowledge in some area. That makes you a “something” geek, whatever the thing in question is. You cannot be just “a geek” in the same way that you cannot be “a fan” without first saying what you are a fan of. By buying into this current usage, you are essentially saying – “yes I agree with you that my interest is of less worth than yours but I’m anyway still okay with that, if it’s alright with you and the cool people, sir.”

Well fuck that shit. All interests are just as valid, be they tattoos, curling or Pokemon. If you want to show “pride” then stand up for yourself instead and demand that all interests are taken just as seriously. They are, when it comes down to it, all equally disposable and useless.

From now on, I will call every geek a geek. Sports geeks, wine geeks, opera geeks. Geekery, all of it, and nobody should be offended by it. And if they are, well, tough. I think it’s also time to remove that desperately proud and apologetic “I’m a geek and proud of it!” from your various online profiles. It says precisely nothing. Because we’re all geeks, every one.

(Except for, you know, the poor and hungry. Although they might still like football.)

/ paddy

Erotic Refugees Are Go!

Hurrah! After an unspecified volume of blood, sweat, tears, semen and coffee, my dick-lit novel Erotic Refugees is finally on the kindle ebook store!


Writing the bloody book was a walk in the park compared to working out how to publish on the damn kindle store. At some points it was like magic. I mean, who designed this rancid, stinking system? It was insanely hard to use and hid vital information at every turn.

Anyway, now it’s done. So welcome to the humorous and sexually invigorating adventures of Eoin Kelliher and Rob Maher, two love-hungry expats in Stockholm who decide to make a dating website with a nasty twist. With lots of expat jokes thrown in. And shagging, naturally. And Guinness.

So go on, my precious readers. Do the decent thing and give something back for the years of cutting commentary I’ve been handing out for nothing.

If you have a kindle, you can buy it directly from the device. If you don’t you can still read it using the kindle reader app on smartphone or iPad or Tab or whatever you have. However, you’ll have to first buy the book on the amazon website, and when you start up the app, it’ll download it for you.

And hey, some glowing reviews would be very nice too. Assuming you like it. Which you will.

(Here’s the link, if you missed the two up there: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJ2ZC3O)

/ paddy

Tintin And The Massive Tit

Occasionally an article in a newspaper makes me so mad I just … just want to … dammit.

And here it is. And here tooAnd here in English. (Warning – it’s from The Local.)

This enormous cockwallop is the “artistic leader” at Stockholm’s culture centre (big building, middle of town, can’t miss it). And he has decided, in his beardy wisom, to remove all books that have “racist or homophobic” bits. Starting with Tintin.


Well, regardless of your view of Tintin and colonial literature, here’s some news for the sideways-cap wearing wonder. Which, as a “culture leader”, he damn well ought to know. You can’t ban books. I repeat. YOU CAN’T FUCKING BAN BOOKS. This is the one golden rule that we may never forget. You ban books, you’re a fucking dictator, or a fanatic.

However, this dopey-eyed git thinks he can, because it’s all in a “good cause”. He’s doing “the right thing”. Yeah right, like nobody has ever thought that before. And now he’s got his staff running around like his little minions and scouring the shelves for books that don’t fit his fucking defintion of “okay”.

ImageSure there are racist bits in old books. But surely they have to be written with racist intent in mind to be really racist? And perhaps instead of banning them, we could use these books to start a discussion? Explain to kids: “here’s how things were back then but now we see it like this. What do YOU think?”

But God forbid that people would be asked to decide for themselves. Instead this little hispster emperor will fix it so that no children or parents without money can make up their minds for themselves. Nice one, your majesty.

I have a serious plan to get a bunch of people together, buy all these “forbidden books” and sneak them back onto the shelves, one by one. Because we DON’T FUCKING BAN BOOKS to protect the poor innocent woman and children from their evil ideas. We just fucking don’t. Not now, and not ever.

And, let me add, none of this has anything at all to do with this cock getting exposure for his “music career”. He is a “rap artist” apparently. And I bet he’s just excellent. Really, I do.

/ paddy

The Lady And The Gadget

I just learned a fascinating fact which is definitely worthy of a blog post, or of a whole film. And luckily, there is actually such a film.

In Victorian Britain, ladies were sent to doctors suffering from “hysteria” – chronic anxiety, irritability and abdominal heaviness. (I’m quoting as well as borrowing from this article in the Guardian). A very common treatment was for the doctor to administer a “pelvic massage”, performed manually with the fingers, until the patient reached a “hysterical paroxysm”. The doctors found this boring and so put their Victorian minds to the task of inventing a range of machines to do the job for them. And in the 1880s the first electromechanical vibrator was created, years before the electric vacuum cleaner or even the electric iron.

It became a huge hit and was advertised freely with ads like this one, from a 1906 issue of Woman’s Own magazine:

“It can be applied more rapidly, uniformly and deeply than by hand and for as long a period as may be desired.”

The vibrator remained in doctor’s offices (and the doctors were rather busy) until the 1920s when it became obvious what was going on. The vibrator went underground, then emerged again in the 60s. But, as the article points out, even in the 60s:

“… only 1% of women had ever used one. This was perhaps unsurprising, given that most vibrators by then were modelled on a very male notion of what a woman would want – a supersized phallus – replicating, in other words, the very anatomy whose shortcomings had precipitated the invention in the first place”

This is brilliant stuff. The most interesting things being that:

  1. The past is full of unexpected surprises.
  2. The past is very rude.
  3. The Victorians were nuts.

What a filthy and excellent world.

/ paddy

Women Holding Big Swords

I do like a bit of science fiction, and I do like a bit of fantasy too. And thanks to these interests I am exposed to a lot of cover art featuring women in far too few clothes for the job at hand.

This is a bit odd as science fiction is actually an excellent genre for showing females as strong characters and not just dumb stereotypes. From Kaylee and Zoe from Firefly to Janeway from Voyager. Not to mention Uhuru in the original Star Trek, the first black actress to play a major TV character that wasn’t a servant.

Fantasy, though, is worse. And fantasy cover and game art is the most tragic. Although Game Of Thrones has given us a slew of strong interesting females, the average female on the cover of a fantasy novel always looks cold and uncomfortable, and liable to be killed by the first badly aimed arrow shot in her direction.

So it’s a refreshing change to see this collection of female fighters dressed in a reasonable and very arse-kicking way. (Click on the button at the bottom of the page to see the other pages, 13 of them in total.)

It confuses me greatly why people would think the usual simpering twits on offer (example up there at the top of this page) are hotter than these no-nonsense sword-thrusting ladies with a brain in their heads and a fucking fire in their hearts.

Or maybe that’s just me.

/ paddy

All Kinds Of Awesome

What, is it that time of the month already? Okay then, hang on. (Checks pockets and under bed.) Oh yeah, here’s something! The most happiness-inducing thing I’ve seen in years. (Click here if embedding is disabled.)

Isn’t that just the best? Aren’t you grinning like an idiot? These people are the true individuals, the ones who really dare to be themselves, and have a whole world of fun doing it. Glasses raised to them, and to Pink who made this excellent song.

In fact, glasses raised to all true nerds everywhere. The future is ours, people.

/ paddy

Harry Potter and the Snobs of Culture

Today I read what was possibly the most pretentious, culture-snob hackery I have ever come across. It was a “review” (in Swedish) of the latest Harry Potter movie, a movie I am very much looking forward to. But also a review made by a mental midget who should have his title as “culture reporter” revoked, rolled up tightly and inserted into his bottom.

Culture snobs? Where?

This guy is clearly from the snob school of culture. These are people who only regard some things as culture, fine things that they themselves once did a fucking paper on in culture-wank academy. You see these people everywhere, and they are almost always being snide about “lesser” cultural things. Things like science fiction, fantasy, or anything they don’t see as “clever” and can’t be bothered to look into because it might somehow demean them to read a book without a pompous “The” at the beginning of its self-important fucking title.

These people irritate the crap out of me. Well let me inform them – culture isn’t what a group of MacBook-owning (and come on, of course they all have MacBooks) and big black glasses-wearing idiots deem it to be. Culture, my snobby mate, is what people actually consume. I would even go as far to say that ballet and opera aren’t culture. They are museum pieces with very limited appeal, only kept alive by huge chunks of tax-payer’s money. Football is more culture than opera (and I don’t even like football). And Star Trek (despite being rather crap) is hugely more culturally relevant than some Nobel prize-winning tosser with his angsty shite that people will only buy because the slab-head won a Nobel prize with it.

Where does this reviewer get off saying that it isn’t important that he’s not seen the other movies? In what other movie review would this be okay? Perhaps reviewing the Kieślowski movies while only having seen the Red one? Or slashing “The Godfather” based on part 3? My arse it would be okay. And so why is it just fine with Harry Potter?

And then he belittles the book’s plot with his “Oh you all know how it goes” bullshit. Because he couldn’t be arsed to read the books or even see the other movies, it’s fine for us to be just as ignorant as he is. And his other point seems to be that you put enough ack-thors in a movie and throw a swanky enough director at it, then even mediocre second-rate shite like, oh, Harry fucking POTTER can look like a “real” movie.

Screw this guy, and the rest of the pretentious self-satisfied culture snobs who decide it’s okay to look down on things because they happen not to know anything about them. And a tip – next time, if you’re going to review a movie then put the fucking work in. If you don’t, then at least don’t bloody tell us in a “I didn’t bother and that’s okay because I don’t need to” kind of way.

And keep in mind that nobody gives a shit who you stood beside at some football game. Yeah?

/ paddy

That Friday Song

The web has been in a frenzy the last couple of weeks over a song from a wee girlie. Rebecca Black (aged 13 3/4) sings some other people’s song and gets engulfed in an amazing tsunami of rage and ire. It’s a bit hard to understand why. She didn’t bomb another person’s country, she just let some guys record her singing a tune. Sure, the song is shite, and auto-tuned to hell and back, but it’s catchy and not as shite as a few other songs I could name. She could have skipped the rap in the middle, though…

Now it’s easy to go online and say things like “U sukc” or “omg i hat u” and so on. And about a billion people did, helping to remind a 13 year old girl just how crap she is. (And on a side note, you would think that today’s kids would have better spelling, since they essentially live in a word-based medium, with spell-checkers on everything?)

But you know what’s best about this whole thing? Not the negative stuff, but the positive stuff. What people actually did with that half-assed song – used it to create some great things.

Like this one, made by slowing the thing down by 5 times and making it sound like something edgy from 1990s Iceland.

There was this one, where the whole thing was, shall we say, given a bit more oomph.

And this one, where the rather brilliant Matt Mulholland makes it sound like a real song, an amazing achievement it must be said. Go Matt!

And finally, here is the best version I have found. It’s a bit edgy, and was removed from YouTube pretty fast. But I managed to salvage it from my cache and pop it up somewhere for you to enjoy. So, yeah, enjoy, while you can, and forgive me if it’s a bit… too much.

So there you go. And just to remind you all, today it is Thursday, yeah? Which means tomorrow is… well, I’m sure you can work it out. Or maybe I’ll sing it for you.

/ paddy

No Goths No Glory

Last night I paid a visit (in fine company) to Vampire Lounge in Stockholm. The reason was to get our hands on some of their fine ice-cream cocktails. And to admire the trying-slightly-too-hard interior. As we sat there a thought occurred to us. “This would be a fine bar for goths,” we mused. Looking round we realised that there was not a single person there who wasn’t dead normal.

It occurred to me then that I hadn’t seen an actual goth for ages. So what the hell happened? Did they go extinct in the wild? Did they all move to Berlin? Or did they all, in protest at Andrew Eldritch not stopping while he was ahead, get jobs in banks and bury their long leather coats in shame?

Crusties, indie kids and synthers are still around. The goth’s furrier and cosier cousins the Gothic Lolitas still show up from time to time in their frilly umbrellas and teeny tiny little hats. But good old-fashioned goths just aren’t seen any more. It’s like they were ethnically cleansed, and removed from reality.

As sub-cultures go, I’ve always liked the goths. They look damn fine in their corsets and top hats, and definitely seem to represent the more cerebral side of rock. Also I knew a lot of goths in Dublin in the 90s and they were all very nice people. Unlike some of the rockers who’d nick your pint as soon as look at you.

So what happened to the goths? Is this a Swedish thing, or are they still seen in other cities? Has anybody seen one lately? Have they gone to a much cooler place that the rest of us just don’t know about?

In order to straighten this out I proclaim this goth-spotting week. Keep your eyes open people, and report all sightings to me. And if we can’t find any, perhaps a captive breeding program must be established. And for this I wholeheartedly offer my services.

/ paddy noir

SciFi Things That Shouldn’t Be

I do like my science fiction. I also don’t see a problem calling it “SciFi” unlike a great many anal people out there. Call it SciFi, call it SF, or whatever you like. Just as long as you don’t call it “SyFy“, because that’s plainly fucking stupid.

But yes, the point. I am prepared to give SciFi a wide latitude when it comes to ideas, and rules, and breaking those rules. I will accept most things, as long as the consequences of those things are logically extrapolated. Books are good at this, and even if the premise is wild it is generally followed through logically. But there are four things in SciFi movies that I find to be unforgivable.

And they are:

1) The Borg Queen – The Borg were a fantastic creation. A completely zombie-like race who shared a common mind and didn’t give a shit about you as long as you weren’t a threat. And all they wanted was your gadgets. Which they took. Plus those fantastic cube ships, showing a complete lack of imagination. Wonderful. Then what do the writers do? They thrash the idea by introducing, for dramatic effect, a fucking queen Borg, a move that destroys the best thing about them – their coldness and pure socialist ethic. And as much as I enjoy seeing Alice Krige in latex, the idea of a Borg leader is just fucking dumb. Goodnight, the Borg.

2) The second Star Wars trilogy – Oh don’t even go there. It never fucking happened, alright? Midi-chlorians my dangly hairy balls. Jesus. They should have done a trilogy of wookie coming-of-age movies instead. Or just six hours of backstage footage of Carrie Fisher squeezing into that gold bikini. Now that I’d watch!

3) The Independence Day virus upload – I love this one. Let’s fly to the Alien spaceship, hook up to their extraterrestrial WiFi (with a fucking iBook!) and upload a virus, to a system we have never before seen and don’t understand. It takes me half a day to set up my network at home, and that’s when all the parts have been produced on Earth. Nope, I don’t buy it.

4) And then we have the Matrix battery, the single biggest missed opportunity in SciFi movie history. Why did the machines keep the humans in slavery in those pods? To use them as the universe’s least efficient batteries? No, of course fucking not! They used their brains as the processing power for the Matrix itself! The Matrix hardware WAS in fact their brains, all of them, running that massive MMO, making them the slaves of their own minds. How the fucking hell was this plot point missed by the scriptwriter? I still shiver with anger when I see that scene, and it’s a black mark on an otherwise excellent movie.

Yeah, well, that’s it. And that’s the last thing I’ll ever feel the need to rant about, ever. From now on it’s all flowers, sunsets and  butterflies. And skipping through the tall grass while humming a happy song. Tra-la-la-la-fucking-laaaah.

/ paddy (who loves you all very VERY much)