Worth – Viking Theatre

Worth
Written by Ger Gallagher
The Viking theatre
worth
Worth is a play set in Dublin’s Celtic tiger days. as the bubble was about to burst it is a mirror on a certain aspect of society that chased the money. A cohort of people who mixed with developers and believed that property was the solution to all our ills How ironic that is 10 years later when homelessness is at an all time high.
Geraldine Plunkett does a great job as Jenny Lavelle, a woman aging but not too happy with the way her sons world is turning. He has moved to Kildare “only a 40 minute drive, when the traffic is good” and has a life where time is at a premium for him and his family.
Jenn Mcguirk is Paula Harte, Jenny’s newly moved in neighbour, with the ideal house but not necessarily a home complete with swimming pool. Jenn organises coffee mornings for hospice but seems a slave to her home for fear of upsetting her husband.
Marcus Lamb is Des, the son of Jenny. Accountant with hectic lifestyle viewing his mothers home as an asset and along with his chauffeur has a lifestyle so different from the world inhabited by his parents.
Worth is a well acted story of a recent time in our history that some are intent on returning to. It captures the moment remarkably well and with dialogue that has you smiling, crying and reflecting it is well worth your time
niallhope

Hope Show 115 – the lowdown

Hope Show 115 – the lowdown

connolly

 

Hope Show 115
1. Black Bank Folk w/ Damien Dempsey – Aunt Jenny
2. The Clash – White Riot
3. Paranoid Visions – From Dublin With Love
4. Against Me – Pints of guinness makes you strong
5. The Three Johns – The World of the workers is wild
6. Half Man Half Biscuit – National Shite Day
7. The Redskins – Lev Bronstein
8. The Neurotics – Take Strike Action
9. Hard Skin – The Kids Are Innocent
10. The Ex – Walt’s Dizzyland
11. The Evens – All These Governors
12. Fugazi – Merchandise

Starting off tonight with local Dublin folksters who have just released an album celebrating the events of Easter Week in 1916 in Ireland. Damien Dempsey has a song on the record celebrating the joint effort put in by women that somehow has been erased from that fight. The invisible ink is reappearing and thanks to songs like this (and the events themselves) they are getting noticed once more.
As the Rebellion was pretty much a riot why not get the Clash to celebrate it. Actually tonights show whilst coinciding with 100 Easter festivals since the Rising in 1916 is more of a ode to a list of favourite albums that i was asked to compile. I found it almost impossible to limit to double digits never mind fourteen. I tried but in vain. The Clash were top of that list though, no question.
Top Irish band is Paranoid Visions, hands down. Steadily releasing on the button songs reflecting the thoughts of a generation, a generation being ignored. From Dublin with love is from their 1983 demo.

Against Me made my list – their Reinventn’ axl rose album really is a class record. When I first heard it I was ready to follow their revolution but really you need to make your own. ‘Pints of Guinness makes you strong’ is not really encouraging you to drink guinness, sure it’s not even vegetarian.

One thing that has really struck me this week is how quick people are to dismiss a group of workers on strike if it means inconveniencing them. Our Luas (tram) drivers are on strike for better pay and conditions. The latest offer recommended by mediators was dismissed 99% by the workers. That shows a committed and united workforce. So they won’t go to work on Easter Sunday, they will stay home, eat easter eggs and not get paid. Many people will wish to get into the city to see the Easter Parade, celebrating the work of James Connolly and other Volunteers who gave up their life to create a republic. Some of these people would have travelled by luas and now they can’t. Is that reason not to support workers in their struggle?

The Redskins would have always supported strike action, as would have the Newtown Neurotics. These bands, along with the three Johns and Billy Bragg gave me a musical introduction into trade unions. I then moved on to Woody Guthries and other
traditional songs but these bands took the music I listened to and said, workers whould be in unions and picket lines should always be respected.

Hard Skin were near to my list of albums, didn’t quite get there but i thought you’d like to hear the kids are innocent.

The Ex did make it and could have been in there a few times. A more recent, if 2001 can be classed as recent, release made the list. Dizzy Spells is 12 classics mixed into an overall great. Walts Dizzyland is top of my mix when dj’ing too.

The recorded output of Dischord records could have made up my top 10, it certainly is one of the seminal labels. I’ve taken 2 with an Ian McKaye mix but there’s a lot more that could have been in here.

I’ve left it short as I need to start walking to town 🙂

niallhope

This weeks news March 25

The Middle Ages + Easy Tide, Thomas House – April 1

The Middle Ages, that’d be Anthony and ChrisD who are thumped regulars with Carroll and Greg, will play a rare live gig this April 1st. This is the band that was formed by Anthony Mackey to play his solo rock music but he lacked the ego required to play as a solo artist so the band became known as The Middle Ages. The album that Mackey released, Still Metal, was rebranded as a TMA album. No sooner had the band learned those songs Anthony had written another album. The Middle Ages will record those as a band next.
Also playing are a band called Easy Tide. They are a three piece rock band that look about 12. They spent a few months recording their debut album and released it at the end of February 2016.

jeff

this weeks gigs

March 26 – At The Drive In + Le Butcherettes, Vicar Street

March 26 – Blood or Whiskey + trouble pilgrims, Workmans Club

March 27 – The Ramonas + The Craic, Fibber Magees

March 27 – Jeff Rosenstock + Great Cynics + Chewing on Tinfoli + Empty Lungs, Whelans

March 28 – CRAIG GALLAGHER +FIACH MORIARTY + KILA + LISA O’NEILL + MICK FLANNERY + ORLA GARTLAND + THE SPOOK OF THE 13TH LOCK, Lower Fitzwilliam Street open air gig

March 31 – Protomartyr, The Workmans Club

March 31 – Riot Tapes + Chris Haze, Whelans

April 1 – The Middle Ages + easy Tide – The Thomas House

April 1 – Freedom doesn’t fall from the sky, Theo Dorgan + Lynched + Liam Ó Maonlaí + Declan O’ Rourke + Niall & Caoimhín Vallely + Karan Casey + Aoife Ní Bhriain + Kate Ellis + Cora Venus Lunny + Lisa Dowdall + Louis De Paor + Mick O’ Brien + Aoife Scott , Liberty Hall

April 2 – Peter Hook and the Light perform New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood, with
opening Joy Division Set, The Academy

April 2 – The Meatboides, The Workmans Club

April 2 – The Winter Passing + Stairwells + Over being UNder + January, Tenterhooks

April 2 – Colonel Mustard + The Shades + Mannequin Sex Drive, Wehlans

April 5 – ExMagician, Whekans

April 8 – THE Defects + SFU +The Nils + Spaz Attack, One The Rox

April 8- Toby Kaar, The Workmans Club

April 8 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cosmic Dead + Twinkranes + Woven Skull + Wild Rocket + I Heart The Monster Hero, Grand Social

April 9 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cult Of Dom Keller + The Black Tambourines + Beach + Fabric + Sun Mahshene

April 9 – Overhead, The Albatross, Workmans Club

April 13 – Giant Sand + Jason Lytle, Whelans

April 14 – Lynched, Traditional Music Archive

April 15 – Rews, Whelans

April 15 – September Girls + Fierce Mild + Spines, Whelans

April 17 – Basia Bulat, The Workmans Club

April 18 – Mission of Burma + Opium Rooms, Whelans

April 19 – Flamin Groovies + Female Hercules, Whelans

April 19 – Kimya Dawson + Little Wings, Workmans Club

April 21 – King Khan and BBQ Show, Workmans Club

April 23 – Red Alert + Takers and Users, the Kluster fux + Suckin’ Diesel, On The Rox

April 23 – Slow Readers Club, Workmans Club

April 24 – Ought + Fierce Mils, Whelans

April 27 – The Gories, Whelans

April 28 – Lake Street Dive, Whelans

April 29 – Hookworms, Whelans

April 30 – Dublin Ska Festival , The Grand Social

April 30 – frau + Sissy, Tenterhooks

April 30 – Duncan Reid and the Big heads + the Lee harveys + The Divils + Steven VX

April 30 – Shonen Knife, Whelans

April 30 – Jeffrey Lews and Los Bolts, Whelans

May 1 – Grant Lee Phillips, Whelans

May 2 – Ryley Walker, Whelans

May 7 – frank and Walters, Whelans

May 8 – Long Ryders, Whelans

May 13 – Pretty Beast, Grand Social

May 13 – The Mighty Stef, Button Factory
May 16 – Day Wave, The Workmans Club

May 21 – God Is an Astronaut, Whelans

May 28 – Robert Forster, Whelans

May 29 – High Cornwell, Whelans

May 27 – Bollock Brothers + Hooligan – On the rox

Book of the week – The Devil and Mr Casement

The devil and mr casement
Jordan Goldman
Verso books

casement

Previously i reviewed King Leopold’s ghost, a book loaned to me by a union activist. On return of that I was given a different but similar missive, the devil and mr casement. While King Leopold’s was about the Congo and the suffering imposed on its population the devil moves continent. To South America and Peru.

With one thread between the two, Roger casement. After all it is the centenary of the Easter Rising so why not celebrate one of Ireland’s heroic gun runners by reading of his exploits prior to dealing with the Germans during the First World War in an effort to get arms from them for this countries own war effort.

Casement is a colourful character, one out of kilter in an Ireland of stereotypes. Christened twice under two different religions and gay made him NOT the poster boy for the rebellion, that’s for sure, but through all the torment growing up he knew knew the difference between what he felt was right and wrong.

The devil in this book is the Peruvian Amazon company, listed in the British Stock Exchange, through it’s owner – Julio Cesar Arana, dealing with rubber and about to exploit anyone it can. Geography helped it get a stronghold in an area where few people travelled. An emerging market looking for rubber as car tires, bike tires and many other uses for rubber was being found. There are stories of brutality and torture as the British empire became aware of the plight of people in Peru.

We get used to the language of today and phrases like living wage as being of their time. I have been at many conferences when forced labour and it’s horrendous effects on human beings, prisoners in their own skin, have lights shine on them. It’s certainly not a 21st century phenomena and since slavery has been abolished in some areas over one and a half centuries ago it is something that has continually been part of the global radar. We like to think that the settled western world has no place for such things but we do. As my “no to human trafficking bookmark” constantly reminds me. However it was very much prevalent amongst “respectable” rubber producing companies, most notably the previously mentioned Peruvian Amazon company.

It’s also easy to forget that different times to today were lived under extremely different circumstances. Now I have the potential to communicate with over 50% of the worlds population instantaneously. I can pretty much see where any island is in the world. Many countries secret services can try and get cameras into any of the worlds nooks and crannies. They aren’t quite there yet but it’s getting closer. Whereas a century ago maps were being drawn and vast areas of countries were either unexplored or untraversable. Except for indigenous people and local gangs. Which is where much of the worlds rubber stock came from but always with some man (pretty much always a man) ready to exploit it for profit. And ready to do whatever it takes to hang on and increase it.

So it took a while for word to get around the world on events good or bad. The Peruvian Amazon Company were getting away with indiscretions in the name of business as their product was very much in demand and that demand was being met. However they had some forced labour issues and due to the expansion of the British empire it became the business of the British state when stories of its citizens (from Barbados) being tortured came to light. They set up a committee to investigate. And who better to lead the investigation? Future traitor and leading humanitarian Roger Casement.

Casements work in compiling his report for the foreign office made him almost like an investigative journalist. He hunted people down? Sourced interpreters and spoke to as many as he could whilst hearing tales of decapitation. Casement disgust was mixed with amazement when a domestic murder held so much more credence that this tales of inhumanity it helped shape his belief in justice for downtrodden and lp doubt played a part in his wish to assist Irish Rebels in their future fight against the British empire.

He published a paper on the situation that garnered huge press coverage. How could it not when it stated that the native Indian population nosedived from 50,000 to 11,000 in the years between 1908 and 1911.

This book tells the story in chronological order through extensive research of letter, newspaper article and published journals. I was struck when reading the details of a select committee set up by the House of Commons to investigate the company as it had British directors. Some of the transcripts are mind boggling in their evasiveness but that brought me a century ahead and this small island, formerly fully part of the British empire. We have had our share of select committees and tribunals investigating wrongdoing and corruption. Many answers to these were misleading and quite frankly bizarre. So what has really changed?

Slavery is abolished but we still have forced labour.
Labour laws are in place but we still have people being paid below minimum wage
Health and safety standards are published but we still have negligent workplaces.

We are forever evolving and still have a way to go but thanks to people like Roger Casement change came quicker to some countries.

niallhope

Hope Show 114 – the lowdown

Hope Show 114 – the lowdown

Hope Show 114
1. The Catenary Wires – Intravenous
2. The Middle Ones – Young Explorer
3. Bis – Minimum Wage
4. Hooligan – No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs
5. Leatherface – Broken
6. The tickturds – Revolution
7. Wonk Unit – Wood Pigeon
8. Slaves – Sockets
9. Fights and Fires – You Don’t Always reap what you sow
10. Jeff Rosenstock – Eastern Coast
11. Bomb the music industry – Campaign for a better next weekend
12. No Monster Club – Arms across America
13. Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack
14. Mike and the Melvins – Limited Teeth
15. Joanna Gruesome – Lemonade Grrl
16. The Pukes – Jet Boy Jet Girl
17. Sissy – Sail and Rail
18. Southport – The Plasterers Song
19. Hard Left – Imagination
20. Don Dilego – Drive Like Pirates

Starting off tonights show with a niod to C86 indie pop and the sweet sounds of Sarah Records. Amelia Fletcher has had an illustrous career singing in pop bands, bands like Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. The Catenary Wires is her latest project, dreamy vocals and guitar

The Middle Ones have also got that sound, delicate pop vocals with a joyous energy. No need for drum and bass just an explosion of excitement

BIS came to Dublin soon after Heavenly in the 1990’s Their gig with Bikini Kill was one of those seminal moments in Dublin’s Underground history. They’ve a new album out and it harks back to that times.

Hooligan are form Dublin and their No Blacks, no dogs, no irish speaks of a time when Irish people were discriminated after leaving this country for a (better) future. it reminds me of the treatment many immigrants are getting now, people whose homes have been bombed, they have no home to leave or go back to. These people need our support and comfort, not our words of anger

Leatherface are just brilliant, can’t say fairer than that.

THe tickturds are from Colchester, they have a new cd out, chaotic to the max, this is from their 2014 release, Tickturdius Maximus.

Everywhere I look these days Wonk Unit are being mentioned, or maybe just appearing. Their latest cd, Nervous Racehorse, is on the excellent TNS records so I will forgive some of their unfunny jokes.

Wonk UNit are touring with Slaves in the UK, For every diy publication mentioning wonk unit there is some established music organ looking to praise Slaves, hard to believe they are a two piece, such is the power of their sound

Fights and Fires are a hardcore band from the UK, some great angry power songs

Jeff Rosenstock is a DIY music scene stalwart. He is coming to Dublin at the end of the month for what should be a great show. He has featured on many releases including this and Bomb the music industry. It is on Easter Sunday if you can drag yourself away from Easter Eggs

No Monster Club have a new record out, I have yet to get my hands on a physical copy but hope to have that rectified soon. Arms Across America is from their People are wierd album.

Known by many as stoner rock Black Mountain are from Vancouver, they have just released their fourth album. I don’t know what stoner rock means but I like this song

16 years ago Mike and the Melvins were supposed to release an albhum. The melivins got distracted as did godHead Silo’s bass player, Mike Kunka. Was it worth the wait? is anything worth waiting that long for?

The pUKEs ukelele punk is a perfect antidote from the rock testosterone that preceded it. Sometimes 20 members onstage at their chaotic gigs, mental but great fun

Sissy from Dublin sing about a subject that has taken a back seat since the recent general election but no doubt will gain traction, the 8th amendment of irelands constitution as the song takes Enya’s sail away on a different journey for a frightened girl leaving Ireland to the vast island of the UK for a medical procedure that is illegal in their home country

When Southport brought out their Southern Soul album I was blown away. it is such a good record but ignored by many. I travelled over to Bolton to see them and Stay Clean Jolene in a memorable gig. i wanted to say that new album you’ve just released is one of your best. Please keep playing. Spread the word. I tried, they listened but life has got in the way since. It is still a great album

Hard left are regulars on this show, singalong punk rock with a strong message

I decided to finish off todays show with a feel good song. Don Dilego plays alternative country but with a postive spirit. Just what we need in these challenging times

Be the change you want

niallhope

This Weeks News March 18

eileenGogan_holding_bigEileen Gogan is launching her debut album this week after spending years fronting and guesting for many Dublin pop bands. – The launch is Thursday March 24 in the Grand Social

Her powerful, unaffected singing style has been compared with Sandy Denny and Kirsty McColl but her sound – a blend of glistening guitar and vintage keyboards – draws on a range of influences such as Richard and Linda Thompson, Neil Young, Can, Patti Smith and Yo La Tengo.

Her song writing blends astute observations with razor sharp lyrics and a highly attuned pop sensibility. This collection is an enthralling and winningly confident debut from a songwriter who is in full control of her craft, Eileen has sung for some of Irelands finest bands, (The Would Be’s, The Revenants, The Drays).

The Spirit of Oberlin is the first ever collection of songs penned by Eileen herself.

Upcoming gigs

March 18 – The Mariannes, Workmans Club

March 19 – International Day Against Racism – Anti War Zone, an anti war cultural night – Joyce and the sonic gypsies + Evelyn Campbell + Sisterix, Workmans Club

March 22 – Battles, Button factory

March 23 – Benefit for Peter McVerry Trust – Grassroots project + Oisin Furlong + Joey Gavin, Whelans

March 24 – Skinny Living, Whelans

March 24 – Eileen Gogan and The Instructions, Grand Social

March 26 – At The Drive In +Le Butcherettes, Vicar Street

March 26 – Blood or Whiskey + trouble pilgrims, Workmans Club

March 27 – The Ramonas + The Craic, Fibber Magees

March 27 – Jeff Rosenstock + Great Cynics + Chewing on Tinfoli + Empty Lungs, Whelans

March 28 – CRAIG GALLAGHER +FIACH MORIARTY + KILA + LISA O’NEILL + MICK FLANNERY + ORLA GARTLAND + THE SPOOK OF THE 13TH LOCK, Lower Fitzwilliam Street open air gig

March 31 – Protomartyr, The Workmans Club

March 31 – Riot Tapes + Chris Haze, Whelans

April 1 – Freedom doesn’t fall from the sky, Theo Dorgan + Lynched + Liam Ó Maonlaí + Declan O’ Rourke + Niall & Caoimhín Vallely + Karan Casey + Aoife Ní Bhriain + Kate Ellis + Cora Venus Lunny + Lisa Dowdall + Louis De Paor + Mick O’ Brien + Aoife Scott , Liberty Hall

April 2 – Peter Hook and the Light perform New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood, with
opening Joy Division Set, The Academy

April 2 – The Meatboides, The Workmans Club

April 2 – The Winter Passing + Stairwells + Over being UNder + January, Tenterhooks

April 2 – Colonel Mustard + The Shades + Mannequin Sex Drive, Wehlans

April 5 – ExMagician, Whekans

April 8 – THE Defects + SFU +The Nils + Spaz Attack, One The Rox

April 8- Toby Kaar, The Workmans Club

April 8 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cosmic Dead + Twinkranes + Woven Skull + Wild Rocket + I Heart The Monster Hero, Grand Social

April 9 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cult Of Dom Keller + The Black Tambourines + Beach + Fabric + Sun Mahshene

April 9 – Overhead, The Albatross, Workmans Club

April 13 – Giant Sand + Jason Lytle, Whelans

April 14 – Lynched, Traditional Music Archive

April 15 – Rews, Whelans

April 15 – September Girls + Fierce Mild + Spines, Whelans

April 17 – Basia Bulat, The Workmans Club

April 18 – Mission of Burma + Opium Rooms, Whelans

April 19 – Flamin Groovies + Female Hercules, Whelans

April 19 – Kimya Dawson + Little Wings, Workmans Club

April 21 – King Khan and BBQ Show, Workmans Club

April 23 – Red Alert + Takers and Users, the Kluster fux + Suckin’ Diesel, On The Rox

April 23 – Slow Readers Club, Workmans Club

April 24 – Ought + Fierce Mils, Whelans

April 27 – The Gories, Whelans

April 28 – Lake Street Dive, Whelans

April 29 – Hookworms, Whelans

April 30 – Dublin Ska Festival , The Grand Social

April 30 – frau + Sissy, Tenterhooks

April 30 – Duncan Reid and the Big heads + the Lee harveys + The Divils + Steven VX

April 30 – Shonen Knife, Whelans

April 30 – Jeffrey Lews and Los Bolts, Whelans

May 1 – Grant Lee Phillips, Whelans

May 2 – Ryley Walker, Whelans

May 7 – frank and Walters, Whelans

May 8 – Long Ryders, Whelans

May 13 – Pretty Beast, Grand Social

May 13 – The Mighty Stef, Button Factory
May 16 – Day Wave, The Workmans Club

May 21 – God Is an Astronaut, Whelans

May 28 – Robert Forster, Whelans

May 29 – High Cornwell, Whelans

May 27 – Bollock Brothers + Hooligan – On the rox

Book of the week Pele – the autobiography

pele – the autobiography

pocket books sport

 

Where i live in Dublin there is a certain footballer who was lauded when Dublin won the all-ireland last year.  This player had taken the championship by storm/ and won player of the year by the seasons end.  We often see him in the local park, walking his dog.  He always has time to say hello to the kids and encourages all he sees to play sport.

i often wonder what really goes on in Brian Fentons head, how hard isit to stay grounded when youve played such a pivotal role in your counties success,.  How do you  keep those feet on the ground when most people you see have already spotted you and either congratulate you on your performances or want to, and you know it.  Im sure you practice outting up a facade and try and remain humble.

now magnify that by one million and you are Pele.  My guess is that many years ago Pele gave in to the temptation to remain humble and one day had an epiphany.  “Im the best footballer in the world, there can be no doubt”  And then you have to write a book….

 

Well this is the book.  Really it should be told King but it is the story of a man better at football than at business who is treated like a king everywhere he goes.  This was published in the 90s but no doubt the focus is more relenting.

Just like a king there are stories of women, not as many enry the 8th but on the way, plenty of children too but with an obvious llove for them.

I read this as my son asked me, never really would have stretched out for it but am glad that i did.  He is some footballer after all.

niallhope

This weeks news March 11

mountaintoseaDun Laoire Mountain to Sea festival

During Greece’s recent turbulent times te best source of unbiased news came from Channel 4 news and specifically Paul mason.  It is great to see Paul coming over to Ireland and being part of the Dun Laoire Mountian to Sea Festival – here’s what they have to say about it
“David Aaronovitch and Paul Mason are among the UK’s most incisive political journalists. They are also veteran leftist activists and in their new books they explore what socialism once was and what it may yet become in the new age of global markets and digital innovation.

In Party Animals, a memoir of early life among communists, Aaronovitch traces his memories of belief and action and the fate that lay in store for these ever hopeful, defiant and historically doomed people? He found himself studying the old secret service files, uncovering the unspoken shame and fears surrounding his own existence as a party animal and only then beginning to understand what had come before, both the obstinate heroism and the monstrous cowardice.

In Postcapitalism, Paul Mason asks whether today we are on the brink of a change so profound, that capitalism, the immensely complex system by which entire societies function, has reached its limits and is changing into something wholly new. At the heart of this change is information technology: a revolution that has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership and to usher in a new kind socialism for our turbulent times.

Join Hugh Linehan, Culture Editor at The Irish Times for a wide ranging discussion with both authors.”

Upcoming Events
March 11 – IN Conversation with David Aaronovitch and Paul Mason, Pavillion Theatre – 6.30

March 11 – SCHNELLERTOLLERMEIER + REDIVIDER, Grand Social

March 11 – State Faces of March with Beach + Slow Motion + Heroes + Tuath, Whelans Late

March 12 – The Flex + Obstruct + Strong Boys + New Gods, Tenterhooks

March 12 – Wizards Of Firetop Mountain + the objectorZ + Slouch & Nervvs, Sweeneys Bar

March 13 – Cradle of Filth, The Academy

March 15 – Holy Wave + The Urges + This Other Kingdom, Grand Social

March 18 – The Mariannes, Workmans Club

March 19 – International Day Against Racism – Anti War Zone, an anti war cultural night – Joyce and the sonic gypsies + Evelyn Campbell + Sisterix, Workmans Club

March 22 – Battles, Button factory

March 23 – Benefir for Peter McVerry Trust – Grassroots project + Oisin Furlong + Joey Gavin, Whelans

March 24 – Skinny Living, Whelans

March 24 – Eileen Gogan and The Instructions, Grand Social

March 26 – At The Drive In +Le Butcherettes, Vicar Street

March 26 – Blood or Whiskey + trouble pilgrims, Workmans Club

March 27 – The Ramonas + The Craic, Fibber Magees

March 27 – Jeff Rosenstock + Great Cynics + Chewing on Tinfoli + Empty Lungs, Whelans

March 28 – CRAIG GALLAGHER +FIACH MORIARTY + KILA + LISA O’NEILL + MICK FLANNERY + ORLA GARTLAND + THE SPOOK OF THE 13TH LOCK, Lower Fitzwilliam Street open air gig

March 31 – Protomartyr, The Workmans Club

March 31 – Riot Tapes + Chris Haze, Whelans

April 1 – Freedom doesn’t fall from the sky, Theo Dorgan + Lynched + Liam Ó Maonlaí + Declan O’ Rourke + Niall & Caoimhín Vallely + Karan Casey + Aoife Ní Bhriain + Kate Ellis + Cora Venus Lunny + Lisa Dowdall + Louis De Paor + Mick O’ Brien + Aoife Scott , Liberty Hall

April 2 – Peter Hook and the Light perform New Order’s Low-Life and Brotherhood, with
opening Joy Division Set, The Academy

April 2 – The Meatboides, The Workmans Club

April 2 – The Winter Passing + Stairwells + Over being UNder + January, Tenterhooks

April 2 – Colonel Mustard + The Shades + Mannequin Sex Drive, Wehlans

April 5 – ExMagician, Whekans

April 8 – THE Defects + SFU +The Nils + Spaz Attack, One The Rox

April 8- Toby Kaar, The Workmans Club

April 8 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cosmic Dead + Twinkranes + Woven Skull + Wild Rocket + I Heart The Monster Hero, Grand Social

April 9 – Reverberation Festival featuring The Cult Of Dom Keller + The Black Tambourines + Beach + Fabric + Sun Mahshene

April 9 – Overhead, The Albatross, Workmans Club

April 13 – Giant Sand + Jason Lytle, Whelans

April 14 – Lynched, Traditional Music Archive

April 15 – Rews, Whelans

April 15 – September Girls + Fierce Mild + Spines, Whelans

April 17 – Basia Bulat, The Workmans Club

April 18 – Mission of Burma + Opium Rooms, Whelans

April 19 – Flamin Groovies + Female Hercules, Whelans

April 19 – Kimya Dawson + Little Wings, Workmans Club

April 21 – King Khan and BBQ Show, Workmans Club

April 23 – Red Alert + Takers and Users, the Kluster fux + Suckin’ Diesel, On The Rox

April 23 – Slow Readers Club, Workmans Club

April 24 – Ought + Fierce Mils, Whelans

April 27 – The Gories, Whelans

April 28 – Lake Street Dive, Whelans

April 29 – Hookworms, Whelans

April 30 – Dublin Ska Festival , The Grand Social

April 30 – frau + Sissy, Tenterhooks

April 30 – Duncan Reid and the Big heads + the Lee harveys + The Divils + Steven VX

April 30 – Shonen Knife, Whelans

April 30 – Jeffrey Lews and Los Bolts, Whelans

May 1 – Grant Lee Phillips, Whelans

May 2 – Ryley Walker, Whelans

May 7 – frank and Walters, Whelans

May 8 – Long Ryders, Whelans

May 13 – Pretty Beast, Grand Social

May 13 – The Mighty Stef, Button Factory
May 16 – Day Wave, The Workmans Club

May 21 – God Is an Astronaut, Whelans

May 28 – Robert Forster, Whelans

May 29 – High Cornwell, Whelans

May 27 – Bollock Brothers + Hooligan – On the rox

Chasing The Scream

Chasing The Scream

Johann Hari

Bloomsbury Press

Home

chasing-the-scream-3

As a starting point to this review I have one question.  According to the lancet, What is the most harmful drug?
Coincidentally shortly in the week where two people were shot and murdered in separate instances on Dublin’s streets I started reading ‘Chasing the scream’, courtesy of El presidente. Ironically enough this book was given to me as a present by one of the very few adults I know that doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs. When I look in the mirror I see another one. I have never participated and found it ironic ( and still do to a certain extent) that I know people who wish to “smash the system” and will boycott nestle or other companies over dubious business practices but seem to think it’s ok to assist in the profits of alcohol companies or drug lords. Just because I don’t take them though doesn’t mean I can’t see the merit in decriminalisation and the case is made constantly throughout these pages. Just as people who drink alcohol have a 90% chance of becoming alcoholic the figures are similar for drug users. Imagine how different the world would look like if the money was taken from fighting drug crime to treatment centres and awareness
This weeks killings in Dublin were acted out in open spaces with many people acting as bystanders, dragged into events by virtue of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time”. The perpetrators and victims, if media are to be believed, were involved or linked by blood relation to Dublins criminal underworld. Much of this underworld are involved in the sale and distribution of drugs.
And that’s where Chasing the scream comes in. It charts the beginning of the drug war and how just over a century ago department stores were selling heroin nets. We begin with three individuals born into a time when the war on drugs had not yet started but was about to play a huge part in their lives
Harry Anslinger was an FBI agent assigned to what was become the war on drugs. Whether it was a war on drugs or on minorities using them is up to question as much of Anslingers language would not be tolerated today
Billie holidays story is a real tale of wrong place wrong te. Orphaned and destitute
Of course every war has victims. Victims of circumstances and in some cases geography. Soldiers don’t always have a historical reason or a sense of belonging. Sometimes they just fall into it. Chino is one. Destined for a life of destitution, it seems that Chino was always going to end on the streets in a spiral of drug abuse and violence. The war on drugs creates many casualties and drug dealers in many instances are casualties “..exploded and discarded shells, left behind on a global battlefield”. People in their radar can be casualties but the majority of violence isn’t around the action of taking drugs, it’s around the fight for power. Hari explains that in great detail and looking at the recent killings in Dublin only copper fastens that. A fight over territory so that more money can be made. He also speaks to people on all sides, including  those responsible for enforcing the law, however it is noticeable that increasing arrests haven’t led to decreasing number of drug deals
There are other victims written about here. New York, Mexico, Texas. All places with people struggling through life and somehow with a vision for a better world, a world that if it arrives is only temporary. Take Mexico and its 70,000 dead (that’s SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE murdered in a country). What hope is there?  We need hope but with the drug war continuing it is hard to find it.
There is a fascinating chapter on the people who fall into addiction. There is a a theory that says addiction is not about usage it’s more akin to easing pain. The 10% of drug users who become addicts do so for a reason and maybe it’s not down to repetitive use.  Why do addicts keep doing it? we are asked  “because it makes them feel good, and the rest of their life doesn’t make them feel good”. Hari asks why isn’t more time spent looking at the people and their environment rather than biochemistry and the brain. Of course it is a valid point even if you’re sceptical of the underlying reasons. The way we view addicts is another aspect for consideration if someone is being treated for alcohol addiction there is almost sympathy, how different is that viewpoint for a drug addict. Portugese authorities are starting to view their addicts with sympathy. As drug use is no longer criminalised on lisbons streets there is a feeling “we all want to protect our children from drugs, we all want to keep people dying as a result of drug use. We all want to reduce addiction. And the evidence suggests that when we move beyond the drug war, we will be able to achieve these goals with shared success.
Another interesting aspect and a potential solution to assisting addicts and society at large is the idea of a social recovery. We are all in a rush to be consumers. Working more and buying more. This is have devastating effects on our environment but yet we continue. Why not pursue this? Cities like Licerpool, Vancouver and Geneva have all, to varying effects, set up injection clinics where heroin is provided in a controlled environment. This has reduced drug crime and deaths. Why not spend money in this rather than in crime prevention and detention?
Former Swiss president, Ruth dreifuss, is asked what she would say to David Cameron and Barack Obama should they be stuck in a lift together. “You are responsible for all of your citizens, and being responsible means protecting them and giving them the means to protect themselves. There is no group that you can abandon”. Yet it seems those involved in drugs are being abandoned.
As someone who walked the streets to first stop animal experiments in March 1983 and whose feelings haven’t wavered since I’m disappointed to read of tests with rats around the use of opiates. These tests are given ink but I can’t point to their validity. It sidetracked the issue for me and would be far more comfortable if it wasn’t raised.
I finished this book as we entered our general election frenzy and smiled wryly as hari observes “in a true democracy, nobody gets written off. Nobody gets abandoned. The revolution lives”. Some day maybe. To a country near you.
Oh an the answer is alcohol
niallhope

ictu women’s conference – day 2

ictu womens conference
Day 2
march 4 2016
We start the second day with Motion 10 detailing changes to sick leave entitlement, seeking that any pregnancy related sick leave will not be counted against entitlements under current Public Service Sick Leave provisions, as austerity cuts were not just pay and pensions but also changes to terms and conditions.

Motion on Austerity and the impact of Women
Calling for a fight against Austerity and for equality. Organise women’s lobbies to highlight disproportionate impact of the cuts on women, develop a women led political campaign based around key industrial demands, provide political education courses including training on how government works

Motion on Child Poverty – set goals to end child poverty by 2025 by investing in education and working with relevant agencies, including food. 1 in 5 children go to school hungry, some startling figures for a modern “recovering economy:

Motion 15 on reproductive health and justice calling for support of repeal the eighth campaign, harrowing personal story was told. Hugely emotional hearing about how more than 10 people who travel daily to the uk for abortion. The motion called on ICTU to continue to support Trade union campaign to repeal the 8th amendment, lobby political parties to commit to a referendum and support a vote on the issue and encourage the mobilisation of trade union members on the issue.

Motion 16 calling on ICTU to lobby Government to address gender pensions gap of 39% leaving many women living in poverty. Gender Pay gap results in lower pensions for women, austerity has worsened this as pensions were postponed in return for putting food on the table.

Motion 17 – Violence against women and girls calling on ICTU to campaign to introduce legislation similar to Violence against women and girls act in Wales and to work with affiliates and employers to develop workplace policies on domestic violence. There was an all island survey over 10 years ago on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace where one third of people said they had experienced cases and this had an impact on their work. Legislation in Wales places a duty on Ministers and Public Bodies to introduce, monitor and evaluate strategies to tackle violence against women and girls, a more pressing requirement is to have active policies in the workplace, ensuring these places take a stand against this horror. Narrative needs to move from why does she stay with him to why doesn’t he stop

Motion 18 – Equal Marriage calling on ICTU to fully support Civil Marriage Equality campaign in Northern Ireland as it is the only part of the UK and Ireland where gay and lesbian couples can’t marry. After the success of the Marriage Equality referendum down south it has helped highlight the absence in this in Northern Ireland.

Motion 19 supporting the work of Women’s Committee endorsing the programme of work that was produced prior to conference. The programme has three parts – women Organising for decent work – women in society – Women in trade unions. as this co-ordinates with other congress campaigns. There is a notable absence of women negotiators

Motion 20 was about the new Workers College which is in the process of being set up. It called on ICTU to ensure that gender balance is part of teaching, participation and relevant training.

Motion 21 was similar but went a step further calling on a specific training and mentoring training programme for Women Trade Unionists. This will help empower women activists to be confident in pursuing a career through the trade union movement which should help achieve an acceptable gender balance which is missing

Guest speaker Montserrat Mir Roca, ETUC confederal Secretary spoke about Breaking the Glass Walls, paying tribute to the mothers and grandmothers have done to help with todays situation, though there’s a lot of work left to do. Austerity policies effect vulnerable people more. Not acceptable that companies are paying below minimum wage. Poverty and exclusion exists all throughout Europe, not just the poorer countries. There is a European Commissioner on gender and ETUC are looking for European Gender equality strategy. ETUC priorities include looking at gender pay gap is still a big problem, sometimes you can have good legislation but it doesn’t always get implemented. Also the representation of women at higher level positions in union and other organisations. There is still a need to advance work life balance arrangements, including implementation of parental leave directives. This year will see a push to highlight violence against women through a “safe at work, safe at home” programme. €370 million lost in gender pay gap throughout Europe per annum, this is not just a trade union demand it is economic.

And that was that – 21 motions and not one speaker against but a very inclusive conference. There was a strong feeling of solidarity for all speakers to motions, encouraging people to speak

niallhope