Ireland’s hatred of tall buildings

There’s a reason why churches have tall spires.  Spiritually, psychologically, they’re deeply aspirational. The building soars.  Our spirits soar with it.  You never hear of a “low-rise cathedral”.  Back in the last century, when Ireland was poor, I was embarrassed by Ireland’s lack of skyscrapers, and consoled myself with the expectation that, as soon asContinue reading “Ireland’s hatred of tall buildings”

A modern attitude to Bloody Sunday

Standard-issue Loyalist (British) community graffiti in Belfast – a “Taig” is a racist term for an Irish nationalist, or Irish Catholic. “RA” is just short for “IRA“.. Obviously, the blokes who spray this stuff on to public property are small fry, not overly-endowed with grey matter. Interestingly though, in Unherd (an English online political journal),Continue reading “A modern attitude to Bloody Sunday”


I’ve always loved trash-punk. (I always resist terms like “grindcore”, given the tendecy too many of that genre have towards bombast.) Very few records or bands measure up to the requisite blend of speed, brevity, chaos and silliness. For much of my life, in that genre, one song reigned supreme, for me; namely 1985’s Wipe-out”Continue reading “Melt-Banana”