Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weary, Woeful Wheatley

Reading wise I had to give up Dennis Wheatley's "The Haunting of Toby Jugg". With an interest in the horror genre I feel it is incumbent on me to try out such writers, but there's only so much I can take. A right-wing polemic full on nauseating jingoism and anti-semitism. Bear in mind that this book is set during the Second World War in Britain; the only Jewish character is an amoral Communist spy working for Russia and trying to marry an British Labour party member in order to infiltrate Government. On top of this the story is dull, predictable and, considering it is supposedly a horror novel, distinctly lacking in scares. Indeed the strapping airman at the centre of the story (an heir to a multimillion pound empire no less), a man used to facing death a hundred times over in the air, spends the book in mortal fear of a shadow! The villain of the piece is just short of twirling his moustache. All in all a dreadful piece of claptrap. I stopped halfway through and have now started a novel by Norman Mailer.
Just to show I was trying to give Wheatley a chance, I also watched a little known Hammer film adapted from another of his novels, "The Lost Continent". Borrowing from Hodgson, Haggard, Doyle and a host of other turn of the century fantasists, it is the worst mishmash of seafaring junk I've ever had the misfortune not to throw up over. Avoid!

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The Elephant's Graveyard

I was visiting my sick grandfather in Vincent's Hospital tonight. Buying a few things for him in the nearby supermarket brought back a lot of unhappy memories of similar visits to similarly sick relatives, gone now. I dread that place. Shopping for ivory on the way to the graveyard.

Tools for Change

Eamonn Gilmore gave a rousing speech on how technology is revolutionising politics. Social media, multimedia, mobile media and the wealth of new communication methods make it essential for a modern Government to conduct its business with a fresh attitude and an open engagement with its tech savvy citizens. No longer can we depend on the basics; a minister must be innovative! During the question and answers session he was asked what technologies his office used. "Email and um, text."

Democracy in Action

I was at a conference on International Affairs last Friday. As the Tanaiste, Eamonn Gilmore, got up to give the opening speech, a student raised a paper placard protesting about student fees. He was escorted quietly to the door by a garda and then forcibly evicted from the building. The theme of the conference was Democracy in the modern world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ken Russell RIP

The film director, Ken Russell, has died aged 84. A lot of people will talk about the bad he's done, some about the good, but he was always his own director and one of the wild ones. I believe the world is a far poorer place for his passing.

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Friday, November 18, 2011


Really sorry for not recognising this sooner, but I just saw I have 'followers'! That's incredible! Anyway Annabelle, Peter and Petra, thanks!