05 October 2006

A well timed rant from a cousin of mine...

I thought I would share this snip of an email I received from my cousin. I can't tell you how great it is to know that I have like-minded lefties in my family.

I can not believe the insanity of our President and other high ranking officials. That they could even think of attempting yet another war, and this time with nuclear missiles pointed ready to launch at Iran. What do they think this could accomplish? I'm absolutely sick thinking of all the lives and blood that could, and probably will be taken from these innocent men, women, and children of Iran. How does it make any sense to force a country to stop the production of nuclear weapons by pointing our own at them? It's completely nuts. If this complete idiot of a human being represents the country in which i live, then i can't stand living here. Why are there not more politicians taking a stand and trying to impeach this asshole. Our last President was almost kicked out for having "relations with another woman", but this guy gets away with killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. I guess in Washington adultery is a far worse crime than murder. I am for the first time in 3 years glad that my own father is no longer alive to witness this absolute bull-shit. I can only imagine what he would have to say about this. He always said "Wars are fought for flags and gods." and that was for the most part true until now, but this is not war, this is fucking genocide, and why not kill a few thousand of our own troops in the process. I apologize for the vulgar language but I am just so angry right now. We can't just sit aside and do nothing anymore, it's not going to get any better unless we do something.Thank You.


27 September 2006

Representations of Irish Women

An idea that I have been kicking around recently is one of the representations of Irish women. All over our fair city (no pun intended) we have the magnificent statues as a testament to the great men who fought for our nation (well not really my nation), or to those who symbolised the creative genius.

And what of the representations of women? I can count the number of those on one hand... Anna Livia (who has been temporarily removed but will be relocated soon?), busty Molly Malone, cute Countess Markievicz (the statue with the dog!), The Women Shoppers (I don't know their real names but affectionately called the hags with the bags), and let us not forget the chaste and holy Sister Catherine McAuley.

A connection that I made recently that I find so interesting is that Michael Smurfit commissioned Anna Livia in memory of his father. Strangely enough, another member of the Smurfit family, Norma was instrumental in securing funding for the ground-breaking exhibition in the McMullen Art Museum in Boston in 1997 'Re/Dressing Cathleen'. It was put on as part of the Faminine Sesquicentennial Committee to mark "Black '47" - the pivotal year of the Great Famine (1845-50).

So I suppose my question to you is who decides what imagery is an authentic or accurate depicition of Irish women? Certainly one artists interpretation can't pretend to be representative of the whole of Irish society.

25 September 2006

Equality Means One Law for ALL!

On the 3rd October, the Dr. Katherine Zappone and Dr. Ann-Louise Gilligan case goes to the High Court! As you may or may not know this case will be a landmark case for same sex couples and if won, will be the first recognised same sex marriage in Ireland. It is totally crazy to think in this day and age that we have individuals residing in our society that are being treated as second class citizens. I hate hearing conservatives yammer on about how marriage is for procreation.

So let me just put it out there. Are you saying that a same sex couple cannot have children? Are you saying that an older couple that wants to marry but is beyond childbearing age shouldn't be allowed to? What about a couple that chooses not to have kids, or can't? And why should the laws draw on religious views when we are supposed to have a separation of church and state. What about the aetheists out there who don't give a crap about any of this religious stuff?

If anyone is interested in showing their support, I know there will be supporters outside the Four Courts on all days and the more the merrier!I am wishing them the best of luck and will hopefully be there too.

Here is the link to their website if you would like to learn more or make a donation towards their legal costs:


21 September 2006

Wow this looks AWESOME

Anarchism & Sexuality: ethics, relationships and power
4 November 2006 University of Leeds

Sponsored by the SGSA

Anarchism offers a tremendous body of
knowledge and practice challenging the legitimacy
of coercion, domination and rigid social
hierarchies. Sexuality is a realm of social life
all too frequently characterised by (or produced
through) hierarchy. Both in terms of theoretical
writing and other forms of social action,
anarchist traditions are rarely acknowledged for
their potential in addressing issues of
sexuality. Likewise, in much anarchist writing
and action, sexuality has been and continues to
be all too frequently marginalised. However,
while underacknowledged, marginalised efforts
have had great impacts. The aim of this
conference is to explore the potentially very
productive intersections of anarchism and
sexuality: past, present and future.

In the best anarchist tradition, the event
will be defined by people who participate. What
would you like to see happen? What kind of
discussions do you think are important? Would you
like to present a paper, facilitate a discussion,
organise a workshop or contribute in other ways?

We imagine papers, discussions & workshops about things like:

diy women's health
autonomous queer spaces
inter-linked hierarchies of race, class, gender, sexuality and authority
the sexual politics of various anarchisms
queer theory & poststructuralism
sexual harassment & the capitalist workplace
sexual practice as anarchy in action
erotic democracy
direct action sexual politics
the sexual politics of hierarchy
sex education and sexual health
rape and abuse
anarcha feminism
free love
sexual citizenship
intergenerational sex
gay marriage debates
sex work & organisation
addressing sexuality in anarchist collectives/networks/movement(s)
the erotics of capitalism and its alternatives
the sexual State
anarchist sexualities: theories and practices


Wow I would love to attend this!

08 September 2006

Art versus Craft

I have just started embroidering. So far I don't have anything to write home about, but it is coming along nicely. I am just thinking about how artists such like Judy Chicago and Faith Ringgold ( to name a few) challenged the divide between art and craft through their subversive techniques and imagery. Now I realise that over the years there has been much criticism aimed toward Chicago surrounding The Dinner Party and how actually it wasn't really subverting the "solitary, male genius tradition" in artmaking because Chicago was actually telling other what images to create. But let us forget that brouhaha for a moment and marvel at the amazing skills of these women.

take a look at this image:


and this:



30 August 2006

The Walker

There is a woman that I commonly come across as I take the bus into work in the morning. I call her the Walker.

***Note: The name 'the Walker' struck me as appropriate when I remembered the story of the lady that used to attend my mother's church known as 'the Crawler'. She was call this because apparently every mass she would start at the back of the church and crawl on her knees whilst praying until she reached the altar of the church. My mom always got a kick out of the Crawler. She would even make special appearances at christenings or marriages.***

So, the Walker and I have a strained relationship at best. First off, this woman always wears runners and sweats (she really dresses the part). She is obviously commuting into work, and changes when she gets there. I don't understand the point of that, it is not like she is cycling. I usually sit on the top of the bus, and I assume that she sits on the bottom because she always manages to get off before me. She always has a free newspaper (I think it is the Herald AM) rolled up, clenched in her meaty fist.Sometimes I think that she has it there in case she needs to hit people, she definitely holds it like a weapon. I say our relationship is strained because nearly every day I find that we are competing with each other as to who walks faster. I definitely take the lead at the beginning of the walk. Usually I catch up to her about a 1/4 of the way through our walk. Depending on what other pedestrians we are weaving in and out of, I manage to get just a couple steps in front of and maintain this pace until we cross over the Liffey. Despite her size, the Walker is quite agile and manages to overtake me at this point, nearly everyday. By this time I haven't yet broken a sweat but my traitorous legs are starting to get shin splints. She leaves me behind in the dust and as my body breaks down, the gap in between us widens to half a block.

Well today the Walker didn't count on Bad Religion! See I have certain songs that pep me up, and 21st Century Digital Boy just happens to be one of those songs. It looked like things were running their usual course today when I decided that I would use my secret weapon. While I didn't necessarily out-pace her by much, I did manage to hold the lead.

Arty Fem 1 Walker 0

29 August 2006

Oh what would YD say about this???


might be worth a look, generously donated by ***a friend***

Arty Fem receives an answer... Unfortunately not the right answer...

Well, you will be pleased to know I received my first response to my good ol fashioned grassroots letter writing.

Disappointingly, the letter does not appear to address any of my concerns.

Dear Ms. So and So,

Thank you for your letter. I have noted your views on the Youth Defence Advertising Campaign. Clear Channel does not represent any of the many companies that place advertisements with us. We provide a facility that allow different people/organisations to communicate messages to the public. We always try to ensure that the posters are not offensive to the public. We are an active supporter of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland.

Yours Sincerely,

Head So and So.

Oh wait! so Clear Channel doesn't represent any of the companies that advertise with you. Um, excuse me but isn't that a contradiction. You represent by allowing them to advertise with you. This response is so half-assed. It is not even the standard 'The opinions expressed by advertisers do not represent the official views of Clear Channel.' Blah blah blah.

Maybe you have heard of something called 'Business with a Conscience'. That means not promoting an advertiser whose organisation has been known to beat people up with hurlies because someone might choose to express differing opinions.

So you provide a facility to allow people to communicate messages to the public. Well what if I paid you €150,000 (that is reportedly what Youth Defence paid) to plaster posters around the city that said F*CK Youth Defence and their neo-conservative small minds. Would you take me on as a client? And trust me, that message would be of great benefit to the public.

28 August 2006

Feminist Meeting of the Minds

So I am very excited! My registration for the following conference was confirmed today!

Difference Reframed
Reflections on the Legacies of Feminist Art History & Visual Culture

One-day conference hosted by the Department of Art History, University of Sussex
Saturday, 16 September 2006
Invited Speaker: Professor Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds
This one-day conference interrogates traditions of feminist art history, theory, and practice from contemporary feminist and other critical perspectives, by asking questions including but not limited to: What is the place of feminism in art history and the study of visual culture today? Is feminist analysis possible without theory? Why (still) write on women artists? Whither feminism and psychoanalysis? Whither gender in and beyond postmodernity? Is there (and/or should there be) an extant or emergent feminist canon? How has the content and deployment of key theoretical concepts changed since the 1970s? How do we address the fact that theory has its own history?

I am super hyped because Griselda Pollock is going to be the 'key note speaker'. GRISELDA POLLOCK. She is like my feminist art critic goddess. (Oh yeah guess I should mention that I am an atheist so technically I don't have a god but if I did it would totally be her or Amelia Jones.)

Plus the fact that despite my proximity to the UK I have not travelled over there EVER. I hear that Brighton is a very delightfully laid back city and that there is a superb veggie restaurant. Although tell me if this sounds dependent...I have never actually dined in a nice restaurant by myself before. I think I might feel weird knocking back a bottle of wine by myself. Or maybe after the bottle I won't care what people think!

24 August 2006

Dublin is being brainwashed!

Today, I met A for lunch, or more like a big greasy feed in Eddie Rockets (I think he has an american cousin named Johnny?). As we rounded the corner after stuffing ourselves with onion rings and other various deep fried goodies, we happened across something quite disturbing. It was a huge anti-stem cell research poster glaring us in the face on a Dublin Bus adshel. Needless to say, this caused some stomach upset! It is a picture of a smiling baby with the words 'Don't use me for spare parts!' and it lists the contact details of Youth Defence.

Youth Defence where had I heard that name before?

Harking back to the beginning of last year... I seem to remember some anti-abortion rally being held with poster pasted up outside UCD. Ah yes, I said to myself weren't they that anti-choice neo-conservative group?

What struck me was the blatant insinuation that stem cell research involved chopping up live smiling babies and harvesting their parts.

Well never one to stand by and let the grass grow under foot (so to say), I decided their must be someone to complain about this to!

So I checked out the Dublin Bus website. The adshels are managed by a company named Clear Channel. They refused to speak with me, saying that any complaint must be made to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland. Well they wouldn't take the complaint either because technically it is not an advertisement because Youth Defence doesn't sell goods or services. I then drafted a letter to Clear Channel's MD, cc'ing both the CEO of Dublin Bus and my local T.D.s.

You see I am all for free speech. But it just seems to me that an adshel technically owned by a non-partisan government transport system does not seem to be the appropriate place to let a neo-conservative group advertise their views. Why then the assumption would be that Dublin Bus supported them. Debates about stem cell research should be carried out in the proper forum, with the necessary facts and figures. The other thing that gets me is that why would a company like Clear Channel think that even running an 'ad' by a group that is known to be anti-women and anti-gay?

Oh I do hope that I receive a response from them soon!