Tag Archives: Arts and Entertainment

The Name of The Rose, and Other Stories.

The Name of The Rose, starring Sean Connery

I was looking through the weekend’s TV listings before heading into work last Saturday, just to make sure I wasn’t missing out on any nuggets. My DVR was preprogrammed to record my current favourites: Merlin on the BBC, Downton Abbey on ITV. Usually a movie appears from out of left field, showing at some ungodly hour of the night or morning.

I whooped with joy when I saw that RTE Two had Sean Connery’s movie, The Name of the Rose, showing at ten after midnight Sunday night, Monday morning. It’s been a long time since I’d this little-seen gem: a medieval murder mystery, based on the novel by Umberto Eco.

Connery and Slater as William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk

Now, I’ve tried reading Eco’s philosophical detective novel. I picked it up after first seeing the movie. I put it down after only getting through fifty or so pages of it. Last year I picked up a different copy and I got further. A bookmark nestles at page 102. I’ll finish it some day. I promise.

But it’s a classic Connery movie. To most, he is James Bond. To me, he is 007 and much, much more. An Oscar winner for The Untouchables, Connery brings his distinctive voice to all types of characters, usually without diluting his Scottish accent. He’s played Spanish, Irish, Russian and English – all in Scottish. That’s why we love him.

Anyway, back to The Name of the Rose. I preset my DVR and away to work I went. I mentioned to some customers that it was on later and I was really looking forward to seeing it again.

Needless to say, when I came back home, I found that my DVR failed to pick it up. It was on the TV all right, but it didn’t record. Damn you, UPC! Everything else recorded except the one thing that wasn’t going to be repeated later on in the week. I don’t pay my bill on time for service like this.

Sir Alec Guinness as George Smiley in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy".

I made it my Monday mission to hunt down a copy – but to no avail. HMV didn’t stock it, Tower Records never heard of it, and my local Xtravision proved equally fruitless. There was nothing else to do but go online. Hello Amazon.co.uk! I ordered a copy, along with two other gems from TV times gone by.

The BBC adapted two of John Le Carre’s novels in the late 70s and early 80s: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People, with the late Sir Alec Guinness as spymaster George Smiley. I remember being gripped by their complexity when I was a wee nipper. Unlike Eco, I read both novels after viewing the TV adaptations. Le Carre is a better writer of spy thrillers that Ian Fleming, but that’s my opinion.

So why did I rush out and order a copy of a movie my machine couldn’t record? The answer is, like me, simple. I have no patience. It will be a long time before TNOTR comes on TV again. I want to see it – and I want to see it now.

But I have to wait two weeks.

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Drink Talk: Conversations with a Bartender.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Bartender: How are you doing? What can I get you?

Clueless Customer: Hey, you haven’t got Kopparberg Berry?

YFNB: Yes.

CC: Great. Can I have two please?

YFNB: We don’t have any, sorry.

CC: But you just told me you did?

We don't have it.

YFNB: No I didn’t.

CC: Yes, you did.

YFNB: You asked me if I didn’t sell it. I said yes, we don’t sell it.

CC: I don’t get you.

YFNB: Ever hear of the song “Yes, We Have No Bananas”?

CC: Years ago.

YFNB: Well then, it’s a case of “Yes, We Have No Kopparberg.”

CC: *ponders* Two Corona, then.

YFNB: Right you be. *serves CC two Corona*

CC: I still don’t get you.

YFNB: *sigh* And sadly you never will.

Lindsay Lohan – Who Gives A S**T!

Lindsay back in Porridge (Image: theglobeandmail.com)

So Lindsay Lohan finds herself back behind bars again this evening. Am I surprised? Not a jot.

I’ve just watched an interview with her father outside the courthouse, care of Sky News, and I’m as appalled as he is; though not for the same reasons. Without giving Ms. Lohan more publicity than she deserves, I want to make a few things clear.

First, Ms. Lohan is privileged and talented. With time and space, she can make something good come out of all this. Her father is not helping. He blames her friends, the media and the bad choices his daughter continues to make. But he does not blame Ms. Lohan.

Second, whether you agree with me or not, addicts have a choice: to use or not to use. This is not a Shakespearean tragedy unfolding here. Ms. Lohan chooses to use drugs for whatever reason she deems fit, even at the expense of her own freedom. You read that correctly: Ms. Lohan chooses to abuse drugs. Where her father blames those choices, he fails to accuse the person who made them.

Third, people get tired of the same old shit. Most folk want others to recover from whatever addiction inflicts them. I know this because I’m a recovering addict. I couldn’t have got to where I am without the support of others. But that support only goes so far. If an addict keeps falling off the wagon and continues to use or drink, they will be left behind by those that once cared.

Ms. Lohan, like George Michael and other “celebrity” addicts, are in the Last Chance Saloon. Clean up – or use. Your choice. It has always been your choice.

I’ll say no more.

Rebel Yell: Cork Take Home Sam.

Man of the Match, Daniel Goulding (Cork) has a ball. Image c/o RTE.ie

In a pulsating match, in front of a packed-out Croke Park, Cork became the All-Ireland Senior Football Champions for 2010. They beat a dogged and determined Down team by a single point. The final score was Cork 0-16, Down 0-15.

Cork could and perhaps should have been up a goal in the first minute but Down goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh had to produce a brilliant save to deny Ciaran Sheehan. This lost chance had an unsettling effect on the Cork team and they scored just two points from play in the entire first half.

Down took advantage of a misfiring Cork side and played with purpose and style, with Mark Poland and Martin Clarke providing the clever passes and inside duo John Clarke and Paul McComiskey the finishing power. Down went into the second half leading by 0-8 to 0-5.

Cork’s main man, Graham Canty – their injured captain – was withdrawn from the starting 15 due to a hamstring scare, but came on in the second half and immediately brought the lack-lustre Leesiders to life. Alongside another seasoned campaigner, Nicholas Murphy, Canty guided Cork into their best spell of the game, and with man of the match Daniel Goulding scoring nine points (including four frees and three 45s), Cork took the lead for the second time in the 56th minute – and never let it slip.

Down refused to give up, and late scores from Benny Coulter and Hughes narrowed the gap to a single point, but Cork held on to win the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time since 1990, much to the jubilation of their travelling supporters.

So Cork, very much the nearly men of the last few seasons, made up for last year’s loss to Kerry with a second-half performance that put paid to their critics. The Mourne Men will rue their defeat over the next few days but they can hold their heads up high. They played the best football over the whole season and there can be no doubt that their day will come again.

Cork: A Quirke, E Cadogan, M Shields, R Carey, J Miskella, N O’Leary, P Kissane,A O’Connor, A Walsh, C Sheehan (0-1), P O’Neill, P Kelly, D Goulding (0-9, 4f, 3 ’45), D O’Connor (0-5, 2f), P Kerrigan (0-1).
Subs: N Murphy for A O’Connor, G Canty for Kissane, C O’Neill for P O’Neill, J Hayes for Kerrigan

Down: B McVeigh, D McCartan, D Gordon, D Rafferty, D Rooney, K McKernan (0-1), C Garvey, P Fitzpatrick (0-1), K King, D Hughes (0-3), M Poland (0-1), B Coulter (0-1), P McComiskey (0-3), J Clarke (0-1), M Clarke (0-3, 3f).
Subs: C Maginn for J Clarke, R Murtagh (0-1) for McComiskey, B McArdle for Rafferty, C Laverty for Poland

Additional reporting from RTE.ie

On This Day…19 September

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Today is the biggest day of the Irish sporting calender: All-Ireland Senior Football Final day in Croke Park. The Rebels of Cork take on the Mourne Men of Down in what should be a cracker of a match at GAA headquarters. Grannies will be sold for a ticket!

My head says Cork will win; my heart says Down will shade it. We’ll see who’s right tomorrow. I shall report then.

But for now, on this day in…

1870 – Having invaded the Papal States a week earlier, the Italian Army lays siege to Rome, entering the city the next day, after which the Pope described himself as a Prisoner in the Vatican. He only recently escaped and was last seen in Birmingham.

Image c/o knowledgerush.com

1881 – President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. He hung around for while, didn’t he?

1900 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid commit their first robbery together, while raindrops kept falling on their heads.

1945 – Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) is sentenced to death in London. I bet he wasn’t laughing then.

1970 – The first Glastonbury Festival is held at Michael Eavis’s farm in Glastonbury, United Kingdom.

1985 – Tipper Gore and other political wives form the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testify at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

Happy birthday to:

Oscar-winner and Irish resident, Jeremy Irons (image: smh.com.au)

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor and star of The Man from UNCLE, Sapphire and Steel, and N.C.I.S., 77.

1948 – Jeremy Irons, English actor and Oscar-winner for Reversal of Fortune, 62.

1963 – Jarvis Cocker, English musician and singer with British band Pulp, 47.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Social Commentator.

Skangers love their Burberry

I’m on the bus, right? The 123 heading to Dawson Street. The usual muppets are on board. The blue-rince brigade with their shopping trollies, getting full value from their bleedin’ bus-passes. Free travel for the over 65s. Who’s poxy idea was that? Oh yeah, Charlie Haughey. Tax cheat he was, and he led our country. Told us to tighten our belts while he wore Van Heuson. Wanker. He’s dead now, thanks be to God. Got a state funeral, too. And these old biddies adore the bastard because he gave them a bus-pass. Bought their votes, if you ask me.

Anyway, the oul ones give you such a look when they want your seat. They’re not having mine. I work for a living and pay my taxes so they can get to travel for bleedin’ nothing. They want a seat? Get a bleedin’ taxi. Sorry, I forgot. You have to pay for a taxi. No discounts for OAPs, thank Jaysus.

I’ll only give my seat up for a pregnant woman, but only if they’re over 18. Anyone under that can stand. It’s not my fault they didn’t use a johnny and find themselves up the spout. You’ve got to take responsibity for your actions in this world, if you ask me. Spongers, that’s what they are. Taking their ‘mickey-money’ first Tuesday of every month and blowing it in the boozer on vodkas and coke and 20 John Player Blue. Slappers!

There’s this bloke behind, giving it loads to his missus on his mobile. He’s calling her every toe-rag name he can think of. He’s not much better himself. He’s drinking from a can of cider, and the smell off him is something fierce. Hey bud, take a bleedin’ shower once in a while. Can’t do you any harm. He’s off the phone to his “beloved’ and is now talking to his supplier, giving out about the last lump he got. Pure shite, he says. Couldn’t make a decent roll-up from it. His mates were banging on about getting a new supplier, he says. Doesn’t matter that there’s not a lot of it around. Where there’s a will, there’s a bleedin’ way. Hash is hash, at the end of the day. I leave him to it, difficult to do when his voice is louder than his football shirt.

I look out the window and see ‘pyjama city’. Young ones and oul ones walking around in broad daylight wearing poxy pyjamas. I dream I’m a sniper, perched on the roof of the GPO, taking every one of these lazy fuckers out. They’re a blot on society. At least the homeless have the good sense to dress for the outdoors. Scumbags.

Right, here’s my stop. I’m off. This is Dublin. My Dublin. Like it or not, I live here. Like it or not, I love it.

(c) James McShane