Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kate Pullinger Wins...

Kate Pullinger, winner of the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language fiction and general all round generous good Gurl. Kate was co-course leader for the M.A. in creative writing and New media in DMU, a really generous Fiction tutor, highly talented and ultra aware in the area of Digital Literature. Anyone who has the pleasure of knowing Kate will be utterly delighted that her talents have received the due recognition she deserves, I know I am. So off you go now and buy her award wining print book the mistress of nothing Its available at the incredulously cheap price of £6.00 from Amazon.

The above image was found online at The Montreal Gazette

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

sometimes..... you need a laugh

"About a month before he died, my grandmother covered my grandfather's back with lard. After that, he went downhill very quickly."

--Comic Milton Jones

Friday, November 6, 2009

Explicit Lyrics Warning - Real X Factor

This video contains a single performance from Jinx Lennon, a Dundalk man prepared to sing and say what others, who too claim to be punk poets, will only think. Certainly in this performance he uses a word not heard very often in mainstream media.

I spent many many hours sitting beside Jinx at the same secondary school desk. He was always interested in both music and social justice / commentary even back then - approaching thirty years ago. I wish him every success he wishes for himself, I say that because, while Jinx has enjoyed national radio play with some of his songs, has even had documentaries made about him, I don't believe the flame of fame attracts Jinx - for him it's about his music and what he wants to say with it. In his own X (factor) you, way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Original Man Up

The live event was outstanding in terms of spectacle - 80K of supporters cheering the brutal intensity that is our unique national sport - more sedate media theorist's can enjoy the illuminating MCLUHAN media embed levels operating

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love it when one of my sons points me to stuff like this

Sort of a cross between Bobby Mc Ferron and KT Tunstall ( but improved in terms of an edge methinks) by very talented Ozzy Gezer. ( Hey Give him at least one minute of your time - to impress you ) Observe as he quickly and smoothly covers a minor mis-timing error.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Digital Ethnography Maybe

Some of you ( i.e. at least 1 million ) may have seen his 'the machine is using us' youtube video, which brought him to public prominence, so here is Michael Wesch's latest take on aspects of 'Digital ethnography':

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time Out to Think

The above photo is from and may be copyrighted so can't be used for commercial purposes without prior permission.

Tims photo shows the place (Donegal) where I'll spend the next couple of days off-line recharging.

Monday, May 11, 2009

over to my own site for a while

Although I've set up the new email a post feature on stolentelling it's actually been over a month since I posted here on Blogger - I'm over at my own (hosted) site : fixing it up and playing around with stuff, I plan to post up some of my work there - and thus retain my own copyright.

I've temporarily stopped using blogger.... it got a bit buggy on me.

You can check out my twitter, linked in, friendfeed and other stuff here too...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Changing (Faces of) Uni-Comedy (Formulas)

At various times last night I caught bits and pieces, snippets really, of the BBC's Comic Relief broadcast. As someone who has written comedy, satire, parody and other supposedly funny stuff, I often prove hard to please. Like many others and their individual taste in art, I know what I like, I know what makes me laugh, I know who are the masters of comedy and why. Below is Ken Dodd - One of the my Heroes of British Comedy: He knows all the rules and formulas but specifically knows how to use or break each one or all for maximum titterlarious effect. The man is a legend and a hard working life-time comedy connoisseur.

( image found on the daily mail site @ )

When lesser (much lesser then Ken) comedians and their comedy becomes formulaic, I'm mentally beyond the upcoming punchline usually figuring the mnemonic linkages while most of these standard comics are still exposing a set up to Joe Public. Its a game I play, Guess where the joker is going after the punchline.

In Ireland we have a comedian called Jason (Burn him, Burn him) Byrne as maybe living proof that determination and ambition can triumph over (utter lack of) talent, quite simply one of thee most unfunny people on the planet, even if he tries his best to 'look funny, say stupid things that might be funny if actually thought out, He also acts outrageously, over and over and over again - he laughs and laughs and guffaws and laughs and seems to believe being silly can be like a forest fire, drilling that friction of his unfunny laughter into audiences heads, over and over and over again, will somehow eventually catch a spark of laughter in one clone - like thicko Audience head, thereafter sparking a wider reaction in Burn's audience. His attempts to do this are beyond any cringe comedy ever offered by the office or the superbad crew, particlularly when it it actually works for him.

Found again at the telegraph but we easily tire of Burn's flat comedy

While there is a place for burn him burn him's (lack of) style of unsophisticated humor, his cringing ginger simpleton perosna tries to be funny without recourse to any other formulas, superficially cajoling his audience with his repetitiously rebellious analytical antipathy, all of which is terrific if you are an inherently funny person with a natural ability to make people laugh, which he isn't and he hasn't.

But many naturally gifted people do eventually end up investigating the cause / theory behind their own humor successes, particularly if their 'stage character' impinges upon their off-stage personality in some regard. Some invariably end up back at the classics, P.G. Woodhouse, Aristophanes, Groucho, Vaudville, Music Hall, etc, where they can discover century and millenial old comedic tricks. Pity Burn didn't take the time to try to figure out another strategy to be funny, like in his particular case, maybe just pay someone to write some funny material for him.

Little Britain of course is held in high regard in the UK, as is Catherine Tate, you would need to be very high indeed to find last night's intersecting character comedy funny. As stated and repeated above, while repetition is a recognized comedic device and Jason (Burn Him Burn Him) is a blatant example of singular overuse due in part to his (to quote George Bush) misunderestimation of the power of repetition and Unicomedy to also irritate as well as entertain.

Williams and Tate were the archetypal 'comedy stars' last night, but overly formulaic and ultimately equally as flat and unfunny as Burn Him Burn Him. Burn Him Burn Him is certainly No Dylan Moran, Dara O Brien, Eddie Izzard or the very talented Mr. Jimmy Carr - those guys simply don't do unicomedy - while working hard at it all daily, they also meticulously research and learn the various aspects of their trade. So Burn Him Burn Him may end up traveling that Jim Eoin Unicomedy route of 'fooking no where talentless twat' pioneered by the once funny Roy(ston) Chubby Brown. ( FYI: That once was on tuesday april 15th 1986, 4 33pm for approximately fifteen seconds)

Tate and Williams reside at the opposite side of the scale from Burn Him Burn Him & his unfunny Co, instinct once central to their success, has been usurped by over reliance on a previously proved array of formula. Faced with the last nights reality of a national requirement to perform and be funny, they should have forgetten about doing a Hancock, and take the same advice I've given Burn Him, Burn Him, above - Yes they too should just get some freshly talented writers in, give your comedy some legs Lurvy, spread that lurve, and the paydays too folks. Old puns about greedy Bankers have already entered reality.

All of which brings me to the reality of Comedy actually Traveling, three Cheers for the American office, south park, Frazier, Curb, Seinfeld, even, Jackie Glesson, Bilko, but more recently 'the big bang theory, Scrubs, Boston Legal, Etc, Which is truly great but I'm still expecting to see Simon Cowell turn up as head panelist on an American version of Dead Donkeys Dancing on Millionaire Ice or something, I'm wondering what happens when they eventually take British TV format formulas and cross fertilize them with formulaic American comedy - and then I came upon this image of this lady....

That's Iliza Shlesinger's above and her slightly sultry and very different take on the Ken Dodd or the Burn Him Burn Him comedy look, and I must say it's somewhat reminiscent of a one time Tea Leoni pose I can't seem to find to hand, ( i.e. she one time wife of an X-files sex addict called DD ??) Oh Okay this, legs in air reversed, one will just have to do you for now:

Tea (Leoni) for two Mr Woodhouse ?

Iliza does remind me, in terms of her actual delivery, of one Sarah Silverman, she who, despite her USA success (with a little help from Matt Damon) so miserably failed as a comedian in Britain, Her choice of material was so wrong, so... her attitude was wrong... just too 'American' for the British really. It will be interesting to see where Shlesinger goes with her career, whether her ego will do a Burn Him Burn Him or she travels the true route of comedy connoisseur.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The purpose of a baldy chicken's cutting edge.

I'm always genuinely surprised when I hear talented and gifted people bemoan the proliferation of innovation, as if there could somehow be such a thing as too much innovation in any area of the arts ?

Here in Ireland business is being induced to develop an innovation culture, the state has even created its own dodgey financial instrument the 'innovation voucher'.

Technology literally touted as a trouble proof tarpaulin, or tonic has seen us asked to innovate our way out of the recession or depression or whatever the end of the material greed machine is being called this economic weather. Apparently it's part of our personal civic duty to innovate, surely no one would or should reject this national rallying call to innovate ?

Last evening I listened to a very eminent theater practitioner do just that, to the applause of fifty intelligent people - the newly appointed professor espoused it's rejection. I knew better than assume myself befuddled and begrudged among a bunch of learning Luddites. The thing was, the gentleman in question wasn't exactly complaining about innovation itself, he was acutely observing the overuse of the 'innovation vernacular', the dullard use of innovation as element of a revitalized marketing mix within the commodity centric culture in which we myopically lost ourselves in recent years. The vanish oxyaction of clinical 'innovation application' threatening to obliterate the relevance of Beckett's stain on the silence.

The very idea that such a high percentage of productions lay claim to being 'cutting edge' is more a line of lament regarding the state of theatrical imagination and cultural conformity than any rejection of innovation.

I wholeheartedly agree that innovation for innovation's sake is as apt as being armed with a bag of baldy chickens in a pillow fighting contest - while there may well be some conceptually obtuse connection, and as a tool the bag will no doubt be effective to some degree, the whole idea is fundamentally wrong, essentially devoid of any understanding, spirit or connotation of the word 'Play'

By all means do new things, even do old things in new ways, but only when these are required, only when they serve a purpose. Purposelessness simply shouldn't enter into it ? should it ?

Which conveniently brings me to some recent work of the very talented game artist friend of mine Mr Kevin Martin. Kevin has worked on some of the top selling UK console games in recent years, This example is some of his private work and is of itself a case for some innovation to occur at Youtube in respect of improved resolutions and file size accommodations, enjoy and as ever draw your own conclusions as to the purpose of my including it here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A PhD in April, Should I show them this clip before or after I start, LOL:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1.7 Billion Euro Worth of Irish Imagination - My Hole

I was recently fascinated by the clever and humorous work of artist Christoph Niemann showcased over on the New York Times website. Basically images of various lego bricks, with superimposed text added, created using a lot of his imagination. The image below is just one of them, you should check out the rest.

Lego was in someway responsible for my own fascinations with creativity, the image above reminded me that it was the one toy that I continually played with. Well it was my only toy really, apart from the environment as a whole, (or should that be spelled hole ?) which when you are an imaginative kid is almost the equivalent of all the toyshops in the world rolled into one big one that stings, bites and hurts as it teaches you things.

The cheese and the green and NYC ESB in the image above reminded me of the annual exodus from Ireland of every level of public representative that can grab a seat on an air fungus flight, usually splitting under the guise of ambassadorial role or cultural smackhead or some such bald ox that conveniently gets classified as expenses, any excuse to get out of the cold and as far away from the metaphorical heat for a while.

There has been literally no imagination shown on behalf of the government in relation to the Irish Bank systems difficulties in the credit crunch, credit crisis and now recession.

Apparently the best we can come up with is to throw another 7 Billion Euro into those holes in an effort to fill them up, the trouble of course is; none of the banks have stipulated exactly how deep their own individual holes are, and indeed when the government decides to use taxpayers money to fill the hole, it actually their hole actually becomes my hole. How can these people in all conscience call this a remedy, what ever happened to the idea of creative problem solving ?

Proud to be Irish ? absolutely, Proud to be in anyway associated with the horde of dullards soon to be flying all over the world, allegedly on my behalf - Hell No.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A little bit of complex creativity

I recently finished reading M.Mitchell Waldrop's 'Complexity - the emerging science at the edge of order and chaos' which obviously isn't a book that I'd try to condense into a short and somewhat impulsive blog post like this.

Yet just as, for many years now, Physicists have been fascinated by James Joyce's Ulysses, particularly quantum physicists, other writers, digital writers and creative individuals, like myself, have been drawn towards string theory and complexity theory.

Concepts of emergence and intelligent design now inhabit traditionally humanistic realms, multi-modal and interdisciplinary research fields merge and encourage a curiously productive cross pollination of ideas. Which all sounds terribly waffly I know, tell you what why don't I just show you this video I only recently discovered from Oisin Prendiville and Michael Higgins

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Twitter: A Bubble of Insignificance ?

The text below is quoted from another more personal blog I write hopefully and humorously entitled:
'Mick's Plan for world Domination':

"For a while I thought it might be the Douglas Adams like spaceship of hairdressers scenario (substitute INTERNET marketers or even awkward Internet writers/wafflers like me) where everyone jabbers away incessantly about our collective common stuff of no importance to anyone else outside our bubble of insignificance"

Found Here it is a Video frame by J. Johnson, courtesy of Ka`Io Productions
Lava bubble burst on March 17, 1999

I'm suffering an internet/social media marketing headache right now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

History of the internet - nicely techy & visually crisp

Found via twitter & I like this because it actually has a nice tech info level.

Melih Bilgil, a German Visual Artist from Mainz, created it using 'Picol icons. (available here)

Pretty cool story of how the net evolved.

Sir Tim Berners Lee fans might have something to say about it though.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes, I am very very safe..... but these guys

While rooting around at the bottom of my twitter account, I encountered the independent (the Irish newspaper - not the adjective) journalist Ronan Price under his username 'yallingup' and found his tweet about this video posted on Vimeo (I seem to be there quite a lot lately)

This video has had 1.6 million views and after adding one more to that number, I can understand why.... it's awe inspiring. Watching these guys, boy I'm just a big ole scaredy cat

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Digital Homage or Theft ? Blu's original and innovative work a sign of the times ?

I found the image above on richard pettingers blog via google. It's funny but it might also be a visual metaphor for the advertising journey taken by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe - well all except the bit in the bottom right hand box.

After seeing their advert/insert on my telly, I was more than slightly reminded of an earlier post of mine here before I remembered that I'm not actually a British tv license payer, I got an urge to fire an email or snail mail off to the BBC.

I wanted to offload a diatribe about ownership of ideas, the unattributed regurgitation and repositioning of someone else's work, the blatant theft of craft, all those utterly repugnant additional activities that a genuinely creative individual finds utterly repulsive; weird worming around the potential theft using semi-complex language, justifying by deflection, the usual mechanisms of evasion such as denial by omission - If I don't say it up front, then it might be missed and I might get the kudos for this iinovation.

I'm interested in such things, I did explore that very idea in one of my own digital fiction works called : Bob Casio's Dead Cameraman - a hopefully obvious reference to Boccaccio 's seminal work. (it looks old, it looks badly designed and its meant to for perhaps not immediately obvious reasons.) I even set up a blog back in June of last year where I might further explore those ideas about theft or homage... occasionaly I post to it.

Now the thing is this, I happen to become aware that Chris Reed and Gerel Orgil have both written excellent blogs on this very same subject so let me just direct you towards their posts which explore this question in a perhaps less emotive (& therefore less potentially actionable way).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Unseen Stolen tellings

I lifted the following video link from Deanna's tweet
- her (writing) website is here:

Starwars by someone who hasn't seen it.
Sounds like some of the pitches I've done at MIPTV LOL

BTW I'm changing my twitter profile icon in protest at the arts council of Ireland's recent decision to cut all funding at the Irish Writers Center
from my lovable happy head to this:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mechanical Mindfook

Stolen From Paddy Donnelly, who borrowed it from Youtube:

Summer Glau in the Sarah Connor Chronicles, now this mechanical German Lady at the end, Should I be worried about the evolution of my affinity to female metal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Believing my twittering was simply inappropriate.

I haven’t posted here since Jan 7th and my last two tweets were separated by five whole days – during that five day period, my father in law passed away and was laid to rest

The above photo is copyright Bart Verstockt from Belgium who kindly sent it to me via email.

Since the afternoon of Jan 7th, my full attention has been with my wife and children, my extended family, close friends and those kind and generous people who shared their time, sympathy and support with my wife’s family. At such times of loss and grief, twitter, technology, PCs and pretty much everything except family and friends, become superfluous and totally fade from view. Now that those sad events have passed, should it simply be back to business as usual for me?

I’ve become a big twitter fan and have been very fortunate in terms of followers and consequent networks of their followers and friends, I tend to use twitter a bit like an occasional asynchronous delicious but with added humanity + pretty much instant interaction – my twitter stream is a tremendous way to explore common interests and I’m fortunate to be offered daily insights, advice and direction into various areas that interest me. (Which I may get to list in my next post)

My own use of twitter, is entirely and totally non-commercial, I haven’t anything to sell anyone and yet I can see my (clevercelt on-line persona ) non standard sorta smart arse identity starting to conform to various marketing models of ‘personality brands’ which kinda scares me a bit.

Let me be 100% honest, as a writer and digital creative, I’m sure I may eventually get around to producing something of value to others at some point that may need to be externally funded, financed or in other ways have creation costs paid. The easiest way to do that is to maybe ask people to buy some kind of end product or invest in a business plan. Yet there is more than likely an even better way. If and when the time comes I’ll ask my twitter friends and followers about all that.

Twitter is just riddled with advice about how to sell stuff, whether through social media marketing, affiliate programs or whatever, for me that’s irrelevant or so far into the future as to not be a consideration. Yet that knowledge, experience and wisdom (Can you be wise about marketing Mick?, yup course you can) feeds my twitter stream with intelligence, insight, cleverness and so many generous people, sharing links, advice, across so many areas, these generous folk are my own personal pile of polymaths.

I follow a lot of people who are writers, creators, editors, designers who are transitioning from traditional to new media, I follow experienced social media users, those versed and proficient in traditional and digital literacy, I follow people who make stuff, people who dream and I follow a lot of people who ‘believe’. What exactly they believe differs from one to the next but all have some kinda faith in common, even those that believe that traditional beliefs have no attraction, these I follow for their conviction and honesty.

I follow funny tweeple, clued in tweeple, buzzed and vibed tweeple and sometimes just sitting back and observing the collective creativity of these tweeple fills me with belief in People.

I’m just not a volume tweeter, I have shed loads of stuff to do daily, I do tend to offer answers to people in DMs and also try to help out where I can without actually broadcasting that fact, I’m delighted that despite my enforced absence, my own followers have stayed with me, I think only ten or so of my 1400 plus followers actually stopped following in the last five days.

My experience of the last five days will stay with me and I’m possibly more aware of my own mortality than usual, I’m also more acutely aware today that I believe in people but also believe in Tweeple.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nicked from Shannon Paul

As a result of a quick reading of Shannon Paul's Blog, which I enjoyed, I did indeed steal and enjoy this this, maybe you will too?

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goodbye to all that

Thank God for George W Bush,

He has been the standard bearer of stupidity, cheerleader of the criminally incompetent, Icon of Idiocracy, it took eight years of pain and suffering on a global scale, but he eventually proved that dumbing down doesn’t work, and with his demise the value of stupidity and ignorance has once again declined. Bad Simple ideas are no longer in vogue, Let’s all take the time to celebrate, understand and maybe consider complexity again.

The end of 2008 saw greed and money join stupidity and avarice in going out of fashion, the obsolete hoarding empires and empirical reasoning are failing to function. In the coming Obama era, a European and Asian economic depression, new leaps of faith must be made, trust rebuilt, changes to how things are done, changes to how things are thought about, its all about change again and somehow seeing and doing beyond economics and fiscal rascality, Captain Picard like on a mission to boldly…