Ireland, the 6 Nations, success and failure

I have come to a realisation as we say good bye to the 6 Nations championship of 2017. That realisation is, I cannot emotionally handle being an Ireland rugby supporter.

It feels better to have said that out loud.

Going into the final match against England, there was no title at steak. There was only pride. The points spread ranged from 3 all the way up to certain pundits trolling on twitter saying there was 7 tries in between the teams. The nation had begun to slowly turn their back on the coach, demanding changes and thinking that they knew more about coaching than a multiple tournament winning King Joe.

I was in a taxi headed towards the designated meeting point for the top notch pundits of Ireland, and I was listening to the end of the Wales v France match. It was a hilarious calamity involving our favourite unfavourite referee Wayne Barnes. He was incapable of giving a penalty try after multiple infractions from the Welsh that the match went longer than the last FA cup final. France winning took some more pressure off Ireland. The 4th seeding for the world cup was cemented with a Welsh defeat.

Immediately I thought this was a positive for Ireland. My coach always said, be wary of the fighter with nothing to lose, and Ireland went in with nothing to lose. Upon arriving at the venue the news that Jamie Heaslip was out with an injury from the warm up meant that O’Mahony started. This was a call I was hoping for, but for Sean O’Brien and not iron man. But needs must. It was a big day for POM along with Kieran Marmion. The player who was kept on the side-lines the previous week while Murray had no feeling in his left arm.

The team started like they hadn’t been fed in a month. They tore into the English with such ferocity that it made the team chasing the world record look like an under 10’s side. It was amazing to see, this was what we wanted from minute 1 of the competition. The far bigger England team where sent back time and time again. They tried gamely to get back into the game early, but they just couldn’t. Their game plan was easily read; aim at J10, aim at KM9 and that would shut down the entire team. This is not a bad game plan, but they underestimated both players. J10 was everywhere, it looked like there where 6 people wearing the 10 jersey at some points. It got to the stage where he was hitting rucks needlessly and you could see the English back row where lining him up for an over the top clean out. When this didn’t work, some late hits came in. It was targeting, fair targeting for the most part. But it got to the point where captain Best had to have a word with the referee, so some of it was over the line.

The aggression was there and it was backed up with technique and belief against a much larger, albeit one dimensional English side.

It took some time, but J10 put Ireland 3 up with a penalty as a result of pressure.  Quickly replied to by Farrell at 18 minutes. The addition of POM meant that Ireland had more options in the lineout which helped with Captain Best and his darts. He didn’t miss one all day, Ireland didn’t lose one all day and there were a few steals too. The lineout set up the only try of the game. The baby faced assassin Iain Henderson scored after a perfectly executed move. It was a throw to the middle won by O’Mahony and that Irish maul trucked over for the try. A strong confident start.

Ireland then began the strangulation rugby. England where contained, looked amateur and Ireland played some creative rugby. Was this because there was nothing at steak or was it because of new orders mixed with new personnel? England where delighted to be at half time only 7 points behind and for the duration of the game they never looked like scoring a try. The teams could still be playing today and England would be depending on the Adidas Predators (other boots are available) of Owen Farrell to win them the game. Ireland where impotent against Wales, this week, England where downright droopy!

The Irish scrum was concrete all day and gave a massive platform for the backs. Ringrose had a huge game and was able to make breaks and tackles that he had no right to make.

Again, England where holding on. They had nothing to offer past being big. We expected a patch where England would come back; they did nothing past a couple of turnovers in the second half. They elected to take the points over trusting their set piece which was a sure sign that they were not up for the scrap on this day.

Ireland played like a team that are world beaters, England played like a team scared of history.

The frustration is that this is not a regular thing from Ireland. This was a performance that no team in the world would want to face, if this performance was up against the All Blacks, I dare say that there would be new world champions. To a man the team played to near peak performance. It really was a fantastic way to finish the tournament……..

But….

Was it a successful tournament? Did we get what we deserve? Well in sport you usually get what you deserve. Based on 40 minutes against Scotland and 80 minutes against Wales Ireland got what they deserved. It is all about what happens next. It is all about the newly capped players (20+ in total since Joe took over) taking forward steps in the big jersey to challenge for the big competitions.

A lot of people are saying it was a failure, they are wrong. A lot of people say that Heaslip is finished, they are also wrong.

What I say is that there is no longer such a thing as a first team for Ireland. There will be days where a certain selection is warranted based on the competition (and of course fitness). So when someone is dropped, they are not dropped. This will bring confidence to the entire panel, everyone will be in with a shout of making the match day squad and this will be hugely beneficial going forward into the world cup and 6 Nations campaigns where injuries could take their toll.

The 6 Nations 2017 is over, and Ireland got what they deserved. But more importantly, no one above them in the world rankings wants to play them.

 

As usual @nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram

America from the outside, Ireland from the inside – Episode 3

Welcome to episode 3 of America from the outside, Ireland from the inside.  Coming to you from a sunny Dublin in the middle of St Patrick’s week, the mood is good.

Starting on the other side of the world, it has been another topsy turvy week in America. We have El Presidente’s spokespeople talking about microwaves that can turn into cameras, we have a political pundit click baiting the country as if she was TMZ and we have President Trump being uncharacteristically quiet.

Starting with the microwaves spying on us. My favourite cartoon, Kelly Anne Conway went on the news channels asking questions about Trump towers being bugged. Again, there is no proof and the narrative has changed a bit from phone tapping to general surveillance. While she was chasing her tail on nationwide TV, she mentioned that microwaves can be turned into tools for surveillance. Pardon my stupidity but I thought microwaves where for making super noodles. She is of course talking nonsense again because she is in a role she is under qualified for. In fairness, she is grilled on this which is hugely important when interviewing anyone political.

https://youtu.be/RodRV9pxAL0 is the clip mentioned above.

We then move from red to blue. Rachel Maddow, a political presenter on MSNBC spent all of Tuesday 15th March talking about the mythical tax return of Trump and how she was going to talk about it on her show. Total click bait that wouldn’t be out of place on a sleazy celebrity news site. All the build-up, what for? Well it was a 2005 tax return that showed Trump paid $38 million tax on $158million income, yes there were some dodgy looking write offs but that wasn’t mentioned nearly enough. Not exactly the treasure she was hoping for and a total let down for anyone who tuned in. It was quite sad to see. A massive error made and it brings her trust factor right down. It is exactly the same thing that news channels from the other side do. It was wrong, it was childish and it played right into the hands of Trump who for a long time has said he has paid tax, the click bait TV show showed he did.  Stunts like this and the blue side in disarray is meaning that Trump is becoming even more of a Teflon don.

It is unreal that intelligent people are allowing trump to get the upper hand in nearly everything related to him. Trump is a pro wrestling ring master, and he is out smarting people his mental superior.

All Trump did was release a statement saying the usual, that it was illegal and terrible that his tax return was released. You could hear him cackling while he wrote it; I mean his spokesperson wrote it.

As sad as it is to say, Trump is winning.

As a finish to our trip to America I have a questions. When did the ‘greatest country in the world’ change the word opportunity to choice? Especially when it comes to healthcare. Choice assumes that you have enough money to make one; it doesn’t mean that everyone has the same choice. Whether it is discrimination, sexism, pay gaps or any kind of inequality, it is all about everyone (this is not just in America, for Ireland too) having the same OPPORTUNITY to succeed. At the moment and for a lot of my life time, not everyone has that opportunity.

I was hoping that a trip back to the homeland would help me feel a bit cleaner after being immersed in American politics, but it is just a sick here. We have a Taoiseach who is getting his last few air miles out of the Irish Government jet, we have partners in government not working together and we have local politicians more worried about photo ops than doing their job.

Enda Kenny is currently in America shaking hands and doing the annual Irish thing. He says he will mention the travel ban as it pertains to Irish people, but he won’t get more than a few minutes with El Prez. He is a photo op, and he doesn’t care because he is leaving office with his ministerial pension along with his teaching pension. Normally I would say good riddance, but when you look at the possible successors it leaves me more worried. Endas other business this week was to put forward a plans for a referendum to allow Irish citizens abroad to vote in elections for president and general elections.

This in itself doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that there was a march in Dublin City last week in relation to repealing the 8th amendment. No one has mentioned anything about Irish abroad and their voting rights, outside of the rich Irish people living abroad who came up with the idea while sitting around the brunch table in the country club. Most of the Irish abroad are more interested in paying their bills, living a life and providing for loved ones than who is President.

Another nonsense distraction tactic from a lame duck.

The last part of this week’s episode may have annoyed me the most.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/minister-sought-good-pr-in-local-papers-after-rural-criticism-35524450.html

 

The minister for jobs (a role she has no business being in) Mary Mitchell O’Connor instructed her advisors to get as many pictures of her at the ploughing championships to as many news outlets as possible. This was due to her not getting on well in rural areas. So instead of going to these areas and instigating conversation with the people, getting in front of them at a meeting and having them air their problems and showing an ability to solve them. She wants pictures taken.

This is a minister who is paid real money. She is paid by the tax payer. And her big idea is to get pictures taken. This annoyed me more than click bait, than devious microwaves or lame ducks. This was the news that had me scratching my head.

With people like this in government s (all of the above mentioned), is it any wonder that 1 – Ireland has a drinking problem and 2-america has an obesity problem. These are both activities done to find comfort when life gets uncomfortable.

 

Until next time, feel free to share this with anyone mentioned above via social media and you can find me @nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram.

Ireland v Wales, England and Rugby Psychology

Week 4 of the 6 Nations in the books and a feeling of calm numbness washes over me.

This won’t be an in-depth blog about game plans, spacing and field position. There are people far more qualified for the jargon. This will be about psychology. The psychology of the match on Saturday was fantastic to watch for the neutral, not so much if you had a green jersey on.

Coming in, Ireland where on a high. A strong win against France while not getting out of 3rd gear left a lot in the tank, but replenished the reserves of confidence and belief. Wales on the other hand, collapsed like me after 12 Guinness (other stouts are available). They were up at halftime, well within themselves and looked to put Scotland to the sword. But it didn’t happen. The big players didn’t perform; Scotland consistently out fought and out worked them and deserved the victory. So both teams came in at opposite ends of the happiness scale.

Ireland started well, much like they finished against the French. Pressure led to an early penalty from Sexton and they looked to be off to the races. Then a knock to J10 and a cold Paddy Jackson came on, resulting in an error (he didn’t get a chance to warm up) and George North scored a try. The same George North who looked frightened of a tackle the week previous. He was back to his frightening JCB best. This lifted the Welsh. North is usually their talisman. If he is playing well, they will all play well and he put a marker down early. Especially when the game plan from Ireland was to kick the ball at him (not to him) at every available opportunity. The Welsh weathered an early storm from Ireland and came back with 5 points. Jackson kicked another penalty which came from more pressure while Sexton was still under HIA. At 28 minutes Sexton was back and the momentum shifted again towards the green side. But 10 minutes later he was binned for not rolling away. It was a tough call, while technically correct. I would suggest that If you had 3 17 stone men on top of you, you would struggle to get out from under them, but rules are rules.

Wales took advantage and scored unanswered points while Sexton was in the bin and Conor Murray suffered a stinger. He was kept on the field while being in obvious discomfort. His left arm was useless. He should have been taken off but it appeared that the coach didn’t trust Marmion to play without senior guidance.

The players saw this. The players felt this and they sank. Subconsciously everything that they had said in the media evaporated. The talk of squad depth disappeared. Marmion was well capable of playing, but instead they chose to keep Murray on the pitch. He was brave beyond measure. Hitting rucks with 1 arm, but he took 2 massive hits while being unable to defend himself. Player safety etc. etc.

Half time arrives and a reset was needed, the team knew it, the coaching staff knew it and every Ireland supporter knew it. Sexton had a few minutes left to serve in the bin so Murray was left on, with a stinger!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinger_(medicine)    (please read this before continuing!)

Again, the players saw this. It sent a message. Even with a stinger, Marmion was left on the side-lines. Mentally that plays with a team. They know how good the backup is, he has performed consistently well for Connacht but he was left on the side-lines until Murray made the call, maybe it was the medical staff, but it was left too late. Wales where bossing the game.

The reset occurred with the substitutes. Healy, O’Mahony and Henderson came on over the space of 15 minutes and changed the game. Ireland came back. And should have gone in front if not for a midfielder charging into a maul. Again, not his fault, he was just trying to help, but rules are rules.

This dented Ireland’s confidence. They looked to believe that if they exerted pressure wales would crack. Wales where cracking but Ireland came away with nothing. The psychological shift yo-yo’d in that second half. If Ireland score 1 try from a malfunctioning lineout in the welsh 5 metre zone and the Rory best maul results in a try the entire game changes. The Irish lineout was easier to read than the Da Vinci code, just with an even more annoying ending. Bad throws? Not enough options or a mixture of the two.

The plays didn’t come off and a slight miscue from J10 while trying to exit the Ireland redzone resulted in a Jamie Roberts try that hurts the scoreboard.

Going back a couple of paragraphs. If Ireland scores 2 tries then the narrative is completely different. Ireland win, while still not playing well and you all think it is winning ugly and a positive thing. The likes of the great Tony Ward would not be asking for the changes he is asking for, but sport being sport, sometimes it goes against you. If you look at most player ratings in various sporting media, players didn’t play badly. The stats would back this up. But stats don’t win games, people do.

We should have strangled that Welsh team, the players on both teams felt that at the opening whistle. Wales where able to psychologically manage the game much better, take advantage of the mental state of the opposition and grew in confidence because of it and deserved the win.

Wales played well, Ireland played at 50%. That is what happened.

As for the backlash, a lot of people are turning into football pundits with the rash decisions and turning on the coach. Firstly, every single rugby playing team on this planet from under 8s to golden oldies would sell their grandmother to have Joe as a coach. He is brilliant. Anyone talking about Joe out is a fan and not a supporter. The best thing about a fan is that the IRFU get their money. The worst part is the post-match conversation.

The second being that Jamie Heaslip should be dropped for O’Mahony. While I agree O’Mahony should start, it should not be at the expense of one of the team’s top performers. Look at the work load. It is only Stander who compares when it comes to tackles, yards etc. This is reactionary nonsense to sell papers. Do not fall for the hype.

With that out of the way, we welcome the old enemy to Dublin. I would dare say they have never been as tough as they are now. It will be an absolute dog fight on Saturday. McFadden has been drafted in to replace Tommy Bowe. Again people losing their mind over this. But he has big match experience, knows the calls etc. and has performed at the highest level. Gilroy has not. I would have brought Adam Byrne in, which goes against my previous 40 words, but he is worthy of a shot. He is big enough, bold enough and brave enough to battle England.

This will be a dogfight. I would start O’Mahony in place of O’Brien, Payne instead of Kearney and Scannell instead of Best. Massive calls to make, not made with any disrespect and very easy from the couch, but if Ireland want to be in with a shot of winning, last weekend’s mistakes cannot happen again.

I will make a bet with everyone reading this. Paddy Jackson scores the final kick for an Ireland win by 3.

As usual, @nkeegan and @kdubdd on instagram for discussion.

Ireland V Wales, Pride and Aggression

Now it gets exciting, 2 games left in the championship, an away trip to Cardiff and then the old enemy comes to Dublin.

As all people should, let’s take this 1 game at a time.

Ireland arrives in Cardiff with confidence. After a slow start and a loss against a decent Scotland team, Ireland have turned the screw from minute 41 in that match all the way through to the end of the French match. The thing I took from the last match against France was the ability to strangle the opposition. Not a huge amount of flashy rugby, but anytime a hole was spotted, Ireland went through it. It was the rugby equivalent of a Boa constrictor slowly killing a deer. I am not sure if I have my species right there, but you get my point. It was another facet to the game plan for Ireland which will serve well against Wales.

Wales on the other hand are having a rollercoaster championship.  Starting with a fairly easy win against Italy, after being held for a long time. They then should have beaten England, that was their massive moment of the year so far. They were massive and stepped up hugely against a bully England team. The English where rattled for the first time in a year at that stage and it was all down to Wales being more up for the fight. It was great to see, but I think losing that match in the last minutes has affected the Welsh. They then moved to Edinburgh to take on a semi-resurgent Scottish side. Wales started well, started strong and looked to be rolling forward to a win. And then they collapsed quicker than me trying to run more than 3 miles. It looked as if they felt it was over and they could just coast through for the win. The plays they set up didn’t come off, they missed many tackles and Scotland remained Scotland. They deserved their win and put another nail into Wales.

So will Wales rebound? Will that Welsh pride make an appearance? They are looking around the changing room at players who haven’t performed; players who backed each other have not been doing that. The plays they want to use during a game aren’t coming off. Pride won’t win this game.

Look, let’s be honest. Ireland should strangle this team. If you compare the teams, the 2nd row and back row are as close to even as can be. The front row is all Ireland. The midfield would be leaning towards Ireland based on form, this is a game made for Ringrose to work off the bulldozing Henshaw. The back 3 would cancel each other out too, but Wales do not have a Zebo. Someone who can make a bit of magic. I know George North is playing, but he is off the pace and a few games away from being his best. And remember, he is coming off numerous concussions. It must be getting to him at this stage, he knows he is susceptible.

The Irish bench is slightly stronger too. Most of the players in the match day squad have seen game time. At 55 minutes there is a chance we can see Healy, O’Mahony and Henderson make appearances, which is the aggression Ireland will need to close out the game.

I think confidence is what wins this game. A big, aggressive and violent start from Ireland and the Welsh adrenaline will disappear, the crowd will turn on their team and the Irish anaconda (my ironic stripper name) will strangle the Welsh to a 7 point win. It will not be easy, but the green machine will roll home with a Welsh scalp and a parking space for the chariot.

@nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram for more

America from the outside, Ireland from the inside – Episode 2

Welcome to episode 2 of ‘America from the outside, Ireland from the inside’. I call them episodes because there is more scandal and nonsensical behavior from people than an episode of Coronation Street.

Starting off on the other side of the ocean, in America this week, the president has accused a former president of tapping his phones during the election of last year, he has signed a brand new executive order making it difficult for certain people to enter the country and he has commented on Arnold Schwarzenegger being fired from the apprentice.

Starting with the first issue. El Prez began tweeting on Saturday about his phones being tapped. He didn’t offer any proof, he didn’t have anyone to blame, it was just something to say on a Saturday morning. His spokespeople then came out and said that they believed it too. When asked for proof, they would reply with the fact that the president has more information than the rest of us. This information has yet to hit the twitter-verse or the real world. I currently have a €10 bet with Trump that an investigation does not take place. The offer of the bet took place on twitter so you know he read it!

By the way @nkeegan is where you can find me.

In relation to social media, I think the reasoning behind him using it is sound. It is a direct line to the people. It is a platform to make sure the message is sent out the exact way you want it to. It would be a great tool for a rational thinking president. Unfortunately it appears that he isn’t the former while being the latter. But this is a 70+year old man. They rarely are.

The second piece of action from President Trump this week, which follows on from an executive order decreed in January 2017. This was an order suspending entry into the country for 90 days for people from Iran, Iraq, Libia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This was released to the media as If it was a press release that they didn’t want people to read. It was put out on a Friday evening. Which is what slimy publicists do when their clients are caught doing something they shouldn’t. They assume people won’t bother with it after office hours before a weekend. So Airports around the world had zero idea of who they should vet why they should vet them and how. Not to mention the fact that the Trump administration had put an ally on the list, while leaving out the country that supplied most of the people involved in 9/11 (Saudi Arabia). But let’s not be rational about this. This was questioned and held up by judges which caused another twitter storm from President Trump.

The Donald had to come up with a new plan.

2 months later, on my birthday (6th March, one for the diaries) a new order is unleashed. The difference? Well Iraq is off the list. It remains in the introduction of the order on the white house wbsite(https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states), but is taken out of the remainder.  As an aside, if my attention to detail was this bad, I would be fired. And I definitely do not work for a president.

This updated order begins on St Patrick’s weekend and does not affect anyone with a visa before that point. So what is this? Basically it is targeting a certain group of people without actually saying it out loud. They call it ‘extreme vetting’, but that is like ‘enhanced interrogation’. It is another title for the same thing. Enhanced interrogation was torture, extreme vetting is religious targeting. I thought there was something written in a fairly important American document about freedom of religion? Instead of inclusion, President Trump wants to exclude. Instead of attempting to understand, he prefers to stay on a high horse.

But again, he is 70+ years old, what do you expect?

His final top hit of twitter this week reeked of childishness. His old show, The Apprentice, sacked Arnold Schwarzenegger this week due to bad ratings. It had nothing to do with it being an old show with an outdated format of course. He took to twitter to stick the needle into Arnold. Such childishness and pettiness wouldn’t be out of place in a teenagers twitter account but this is the president. Surely there is something more important for him to do?

But again, he is a 70+year old, what do you expect?

A quick 7 hour plane journey brings us back to Ireland where there is only one story. The discovery of 800 children remains in a tank in Tuam, County Galway on the grounds of a Mother and baby home run by a Catholic order of nuns (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Secours_Mother_and_Baby_Home). The nation was outraged and it showed how in 2017 a country is still afraid of the church. This has been talked about since the 1920’s but no one prosecuted or investigated up until very recently.  In 1975 child’s remains were found on the site, nothing happened.  In 2012 Catherine Corless surmised that there were hundreds buried on the site. She was lambasted in all quarters of the media. Vilified. This was in 2012! People were still that afraid. That was just after our then Taoiseach Bertie Aherne signed an agreement with the church that the state would cover half of any pay-outs made as a result of child sex abuse. This is the country we live in! Horrific!

The only positive of this is that in 2017 there is social media; there are ways of pressuring government into investigations. We see it with the Garda corruptions and now with the other and baby homes run by the church.

My thoughts on religion are that it is yours. If it gives you comfort and strength when you need it, if it helps you in any way then it is a good thing. If you blindly follow it and are willing to look past things like the above or the rampant and horrific child sex abuse that was/is happening in the church then religion has ruined you as a human being. I am not anti religion; I am anti burying children in a pit or abusing people in any kind of way.

In closing, this story has me absolutely heartbroken. I can’t believe that a human being came up with burying children in a tank as a way of dealing with an issue; I can’t believe someone actually carried out those orders and I can’t believe we live in a country where government is too scared to chase and prosecute the scum who did this.

As usual @nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram.

And let’s be a little bit nicer to each other this week, let’s just try it.

 

America from the outside, Ireland from the inside – part 1

Welcome to episode 1 of ‘America from the outside, Ireland from the inside’. This first post will be an introduction of what the aims are of the series, views from my computer screen and an ability to contact me for further discussion and challenging of opinions.

Situated on Dublin’s Southside, I am looking at the world through various computer screens that frighten me, and this will be where I write down what I usually end up shouting at the screens that are ruining my life.

Firstly why America? Well it is fairly simple. I grew up wanting to go to America and be American. They had the best food, the best sport, the best TV, they got the films 6 months before us and everyone was so happy. Whereas here in Ireland everyone was always milliseconds from getting annoyed, in America they said ‘have a nice day’ just for buying chewing gum in the shop.

But I was also very young in a relatively safe world. During the cold war (I arrived towards the end of it) no one was going to pull the trigger, self-preservation meant that status quo (while angry) remained. There was no Vietnam War like my parents had, or WW2 like my grandparents had. This may have been the America I wanted to live in. Along with that, I had zero interaction with anything political. That is the key.

In my lifetime I have seen 2 bushes, a Clinton and Obama and now a Trump. I don’t remember a thing about Bush sr. Clinton appeared to take care of business in his office, while making some mistakes along the way. Not diminishing these mistakes, but they were none of my business. Private life is private. This was the first time politics entered my life from America. I wondered why older men were interested in the private life of a younger man. Was it criminal jealousy on their part? Was it because no one wanted to travel south of their equator? Or was it to score points?

Through the next line of presidents the country began being strangled. Laws were brought in to tap phones, to screen passengers (mostly of a certain colour let’s be honest) and to invade the private lives of Americans. People reacted with ‘I have nothing to hide so I don’t care if they listen to my calls’. This is like saying I don’t care about free speech because I have nothing to say. Reactions became simply yes or no. Nuance disappeared. The eye for an eye mentality that came from western films was now a legitimate reaction.

The world changed. The economies crashed, the Kardsashians and obesity arrived and we fast forward further to 2017. An America with a reality TV star and business ‘mogul’ as president. The people got so annoyed with the system that the change they chose was someone who made money by licensing his image to buildings, fighting legal action and showing an inability to live in the real world.

In America, you are either left or right even though both main parties are now so similar you would struggle to find a difference. You pick your side and you are there forever. That is not healthy. Sometimes the more conservative approach works and sometimes a more liberal way works it depends on the issue at hand. It is never one or the other.

America is the epicentre of the social justice warrior movement. A group who chase offence with self-importance and who appear to have an inability to stand on their own beliefs and challenge those who disagree, Ireland has this too (https://www.facebook.com/peopleb4profit/ there is a video from 3 Trinity College students getting someone they disagree with banned from the college). Instead they depend on violence to stop people expressing themselves, sounds familiar from the history books doesn’t it? Recently an unedited video surfaced from a lecture where an SJW did not believe in biology or scientific proof of gender. This is a problem. It is equal parts frightening and comedic. The police treat kids in bikinis like they are smuggling bombs and celebrities  are treated like leaders in debate. Meryl Streep gets up and talks about understanding and tolerance, while wearing a 20 grand dress in front of other actors who haven’t been stuck on a train at rush hour in a long time. The gap between the ‘them’ and ‘us’ has never been bigger and that leads to their current presidential predicament.

It may appear that I am on my high horse, but there is a saying. ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’. In Ireland there is an insane political system populated by careerists. But we also have a population that continues to vote the same people in. We have a ‘you scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours’ way of business which leads to the Healy Rae family getting up and talking about the war on flowers in a public park. Never mind the homeless people, they don’t vote! The pensioners who walk in the park will vote for me if I get the park cleared.

This is where we live. This is how our island works. Our police force have been accused on multiple occasions of smearing innocent people with varying crimes, because they reported wrong doings by the force. If I get accused of anything at work that needs an investigation, I would be sent home pending the outcome. In Ireland, in the Garda Siochana, the commissioner is allowed stay in place. It is insane. Either she has something on the people in government or they know we will forget about this if they spring another story. We have horrific stories coming out about abuse against children under state care since the smearing thing came out and it is slowly disappearing from the headlines.

I think that bring the introduction to an end. Basically I am a frustrated man struggling to make sense of people who use important constructs of the world for their own gains while promising to look out for those less well off.  For any American readers, there is no malice intended and  I expect debate and abuse on my observations from thousands of miles away, but I am always open to enlightenment and correction from all.

For my Irish readers, I think we need a beer!

This will be weekly observations on a world filled with beautiful people, run by people who couldn’t run a bath.

 

@nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram