Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Not So Good Friday

It is almost time for Christian celebration of Easter, but it is celebrated very differently in Ireland compared to many other European countries. The Good Friday is not considered as a bank holiday, but the following Monday is. Ireland has this funny custom to have, almost regardless of the case, a bank holiday on the following monday. St. Patrick's day, Christmas, and New Year's day are the only exceptions to this magnificent rule. The reasoning might have something to do with mixing festivities with alcohol.

For is this not the country which economy is basically run by alcohol. One of the economical meters that this country uses is the amount of Guinness brewed, and consumed per day, per month, and per pub, etc. And when it comes to public drunkenness, the attitudes reflect to those of Great Britain, and Nordic Countries. When it comes to consumption, according to some trusthworthy studies, Ireland beats every European country except those of Austria, and countries east from there (Hungary, Montenegro, etc.). So it came to me as a surprise when there is actually a day when selling of alcohol is prohibited by law.

Well, almost. National Newspaper Publin has brought a list of how to get alcohol (with food in hotels, take a cheap 20 euro flight and go to the airport, check the link), and they do this annually. Thing to notice would also be that if you don't want to get killed by thirsty scavengers of alcohol on Thursday, you should stockpile for this special event already on Wednesday. The couple of years I've spent in the country has proven that there are two days when people go on spending spree. The day before Christmas to buy presents, and more so the day before the Good Friday, which is an absolute mess.

There has only been once a day since 1927 that Irish (well Limerickians) have been able to do their normal alcohol businesses on the Good Friday, and that was in 2010 (Good Friday Disagreement). Personally this offends my Atheism, and my goodwill towards all the Public Houses around the whole country. Our only hope is in the politicians like Frances Fitzgerald, but as long as the reasoning is some Gaelic sports like Rugby, we might only see relaxed regulations during major sports events.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The tiger is about to touch your pint

It seems that the Irish government is planning to set a minimum price for alcohol reports the Irish Independent. Paper usually uses a lot of pages to slur Sinn Féin, but this time they left out the part that the party was opposing the governments plan, not because of raising alcohol prizes, but that they are not promoting a bill to ban alcohol commercials.

My favorite country for comparing Ireland is Finland, and they officially have both of these bills in affect. High taxation on alcohol, and starting from this year, they have also banned alcohol commercials in spite that there is no evidence that alcohol commercials would affect drinking habits. Though there are some credible sources (citation needed) claiming that the commercials have an affect on which brands people pick up as their drug of the evening. So far the price changes in Finland hasn't affected so much in the usage, as it has more affected on the types of alcohol sold (beer, wine, vodka).

Leo Varadkar seems to believe that higher alcohol prizes will put a hold on domestic violence, sexual violence, and all kinds of other violence. At least if we are interpreting his Independent quote correctly when he stated that "[alcohol is] associated with many suicides and instances of sexual violence, domestic violence and child harm. The time for debate is over, we have had four years of it now. It is over and we need to put those measures into place."

I could make a working theory if I would assume that Varadkar's view of correct social policy by stating that it could be measured. In the future, only the people, who can afford drinking, would be the number one suspects when it comes to domestic violence.

Alcohol prizes might go up to somewhere between 1.70 and 2.20 per beer can. It is not a horrible prize, but it is definitely something to be concerned about. With wines the price range seems to be in par with mine. The minimum prize of wine might go somewhere between 7.20 and 8.80.

On the other hand I would suspect that people might still be drinking, and those who already use all their money to alcohol products will be the ones who will only get poorer at much faster rate.

What I truly believe is that alcohol consumption has many effects on society. Alcohol might break families, but it also creates new ones. Alcohol might be the cause of problematic gambling, but some winnings might only be due to the correct amount of alcohol usage. Anyways, this political process is definitely something to follow up on. It might also give a very good insight on how the mainstream politicians truly feel about alcohol.

Finland's neighbor, Sweden, has their own interpretation of Finnish alcohol politics. Robert Gustafsson shows the five stages of Finnish drinking (in Swedish):

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"New" "anti-terrorism" "laws" - just to quote

It seems that Ireland is preparing to fight terrorism on it's own soil again. Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan's speaks kind mildly on quotes published in Journal.ie: “We need strong partnership between Member States as well as cooperation between the EU and third countries and organisations in the Middle East and elsewhere. The recent appalling terrorist attacks in France and Nigeria remind us that terrorism does not respect borders.”

Or, there is a very slim possibility that Garda needs more resources to fight against Jaywalking as we can see from this video below showing upstanding directing of traffic which happened to happen at the same time as some odd protest against water charges in Ireland:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rhittimossimos de la goons

They were so gloom
the endings of ashtray said boom
rivers da mountain veremissimos de la goon
le cat said spoon soon

(note to yourself: add a tag for bad poetry)

Friday, August 22, 2014

A something, and a poem

If we all behind.
It is not nice when people die, or if their little funny ones die.
It is not nice.

I will bring out everything with just one poem:


I will start now


This might be nice, and here it goes:

I don't know what it is called
It gives me scars
Ruby, saphire, the blood diamond

It ends here
so cool, and so cold
I feel attention
because I'm so old

It shows a light
killed people, killed souls
we are for shining gold

Kill the mother, kill the son
It's not someone you know
loose a tie, loose a soul
academies are going low

diamonds, emeralds lying low
good to be let it show
one good thing for you to know
I'm gonna stand with ladies sewer low

Know its good, know its bad
there is no sunshine underneath the ban
this is the fallocalipse
this is it, this not now, laughing chips

you are young
you will learn all the crips
all the things
you will be
the important feminist

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do you believe in Theological Atheism?

Author of the blog writes about how he ended up to be a Theological Atheist. Scene's middle act is about growing up, and most of those are made-up for those with literal conscience. The ending is about why Stephen Hawking might have been up to something, and the Author agrees smiling.

I was raised as a Christian, and I had Jesus (or Jaysus) in my mind when going to sleep, and waking up. But I wasn't born Christian, and I did not end one - as far as I can tell. I can't point out the actual moment, when I stopped being a Christian. I probably was never a good Christian either. I did say my prayers. I even tried to haggle with God, which I think plenty of Christians still do, like trading favours of doing good deeds, and expecting in return fame, wealth, love, and excellent On The Ball skills of Champion's League level.  It was roundabouts twelve when I realised that I wasn't connected to the almighty and throwing rocks at people who disappoint me -god.

I must admit that the following teenage angst phase wasn't any easier without the almighty watchful eye above me. Maybe I would have become a better person with a lot of goodness in my heart to share if Eastern Bunny and Santa Claus would have been there for me. Probably I would have used half of my life feeding the poor, and striving for peace if I would have taken the Burning Bush inside my heart instead of my lungs. Instead I became the beloved and feared champion of The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. I was so full of the God thing that the only thing worst then people preaching and subjugating to Christianity was the holocaust.

Teenage years and early adulthood was spent either studying other religions, history, and philosophy, or promoting free-mindedness and Atheism. But not without a cost. I have been almost always ready to take the challenge of battling out in the philosophical battlefield of beliefs, mostly advocating against God, or by going to the laughable degrees of demanding evidence of the forces unseen. Some could argue that I have taken the scientific road, the liberal biased view, or even the ugly and godless reality based world view, which to my own defend isn't all that I got.

Maybe arts in all of it's forms is a god to someone, or at least a something that is opposed to reality as being more than just physics. Philosophy of ideas that are not bound to any physical form although manifests itself in the space-time continuum of atoms.

During that miserable, and almost unbearable time, I found out about Stephen Hawking by accident mostly. He had written this nice little book about The History of Time. Which is a good book, if you are not too much into that shit about physics undergraduate level, nor to that the History Is Always Accurate kind of nonsense.

He threw this quick explanation about the expanding universe. The idea was that by following the red shift, a color affecting stars' colors, scientist could explain the idea how the stars in our galaxy are going away from each other, and in the middle there is a huge black hole which tries to capture all the runaway stars. And they could also use the idea to somehow explain the age of the universe. Current estimate is about 13,4 - 13,8 billion years. It's funny how astronomical measures can be like measured to very close to, approximately, take or leave, here and now, about few hundred millions of years. But this is my opinion only

But as a true scientist, he also wrote in his book, that it could be possible that God wanted us to see the universe that way, hence making a compromise between the Creationist's believes of Earth being around 5000-7000 years old, and the other explanation where you could include the few hundreds of millions of years, take or leave a few billions.

This is where I am.

I am an Atheist, who believes that there is no God. Still I would like to make compromises even though mother taught me not to do any, cause then you will have to do those for the rest of your life.

Maybe God intended me to be an Atheist. I want to believe in that. And here I pronounce the faith of the Theological Atheism born. Join me. God wants you to be an Atheist.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sequel of Critics

First of all, Jean-Claude Van Damme is a star, and a lot better of an actor than Steven Seagull. Fortunately he has not made politically motivated movies filled with a social consciousness agenda as the mentioned Seagull, or Sylvester Stallone, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. I still usually enjoy Van Damme's movies. Yesterday when I saw Universal Soldier: The Return, I was not missing words, I had a hard time figuring out how to put them on paper.

The first of the movies, the original Universal Soldier, included Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren (guy who played also the infamous The He-Man, and The Punisher). They both play soldiers who die in the line of duty, and are resurrected with this amazing technology which puts them back on the playing field. They are enhanced in many ways, but it comes with a trait that they have to be cooled down all the time, or they will malfunction. The original movie had a storyline which took a while to play out.

These dead soldiers are like game pawns in the great game of generals, and instead of building bigger bombs they want to build this perfect soldier which costs like millions of dollars, and are hard to deploy, and maintain. Almost like Hornets except they cannot fly, and they are not equipped with anything good, except a great speed, strength, and other superhuman abilities like eating lots of food.

There was something wrong with this sequel, and it might affect every other sequel in the fransiche, franciche, franscheer, whatever fransische (looking for the term of describing some continuum of products based on a brand [self note: correct this when you get the word, or publish it, nobody cares]).

I'll start with the title. Say it out loud, say Universal Soldier: The Return. I think the only reason why the came out with that title, is because it's cool. It's better than Universal Soldier: The Sequel. When searching through IMDB I can find 7 titles of Universal Soldier, and six of them are probably a part of this continuum.

The Return was made 1999. There are also two movies starring Jean-Claude Van Damme after that. And one movie didn't star Van Damme, but that one got made during the same year starring Burt Reynolds. The movies starring Mr. Van Damme are named Regeneration (2009), and The Day of Reckoning (2012). All of them are rated bad by the baseline of IMDB.

Why do they make these movies? I think Van Damme and Universal Soldier are like a bad pizza. Even when it's horrible, it's still kind of good. I will not give you any spoilers. Return's main plot is a Skynet kind of a computer which becomes self conscious, and this is bad because it is a part of a thing called "Matrix" which interlocks with every Universal Soldier. It's called Seth. Not like Hal, in the Space Odyssey 2001, but it has a rounded ball as a face, and it has a picture of unchanging Rubik's cube inside the ball. Maybe somebody unconsciousnessly thought about Stanley Kubrick.

Movie is cut abruptly. Everytime somebody says something dramatic, and there is supposed to happen something even more dramatic, the film keeps rolling just like it's trying to be an hour plus something movie in length. Sometimes the action happening around of actors, and actors saying their lines seem to be from other movies. In Jean-Claude Van Damme's case I don't know what is happening. In the story he is shown to have a daughter, and when everything goes wrong, his motivation seems to be that of her daughter, but for some reason it seems like he keeps forgetting his daughter.

"Isn't your daughter in there?" comes out in one scene. Then Van Damme is smiling to the person asking the question. Then he looks out in the soul of human kind (which is one Van Damme's right side, which is probably the reason why it took so long for him to react), and after a pause which feels like a minute, he says "I hope she is alright". And then nothingness. Sometimes it seems like nobody really cares if the movie comes out wrong or right.

The movie sucked, and I probably have to see those newer sequels.