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!