Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


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The top 5 funniest things people said to me when my father died

snowdon
The recent death of my father was undoubtedly the least funny event of my entire life. It came as a savage shock to me, like a stranger approaching me on the street and punching me in the face. Read the rest of this article here.

December 10th, 2011. 15 Comments »

Published: Irish Times, November 23 2011

“There are about a hundred of them and they keep wobbling around on the chopping board…”

one salmon
“Explain it to me like I’m six years old” is Denzel Washington’s mantra in the film Philadelphia. It could just as easily serve as my motto in the kitchen. On a good day, I’m capable of boiling a potato. But that’s about as Jamie Oliver as it gets around here. Ciara O’Hagen claims her healthy dinner recipes are idiot-proof. Lady, we’re about to put that to the test. Read the rest of this entry »

November 23rd, 2011. 4 Comments »

How to get the girl

Paris kiss Robert Doineau
THE POLISH GIRL with the tea trolley is trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. A tall, athletic young man in a tight-fitting black T-shirt is standing in the centre of Room 202. His hair is meticulously tousled and a tacky necklace pendant bobbles on his chest. He is a rising inter-county hurling star, but that wouldn’t ring any bells. She’s more likely to have noticed that he’s holding the hand of another (identically kitted-out) young man and leading him in a graceful twirl around on the spot.

On the far side of the room, a third boyband clone is filming the pair on a digital camcorder.

I couldn’t tell you exactly what this hotel worker is thinking. But I’d be very surprised if the words “gay porn” aren’t high up there in the mix. Read the rest of this article here.

November 15th, 2011. Comment now »

“I’m loving these numbers”

MRBI Poll: Magazine Posts Major Readership Gains

larry460
New figures published this week show this magazine’s circulation holding steady at 36,898, down slightly on 36,938 last quarter. But when seasonal and other miscellaneous factors are allowed for, that amounts to an impressive 5,924,094 readers per month – an exceptionally strong performance in a country of just over four million people. (The balance is thought to be made up by immigrants and undercover al-Qaida operatives entering this jurisdiction illegally in order to read the trendy magazine.) Read the rest of this entry »

November 14th, 2011. 3 Comments »

Published: Irish Times, November 1 2011

The art and science of feeling foolish

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In the cavernous saloon of the Waldorf Barbershop, Liam Finnegan is leafing through a book entitled The Art and Science of Barbering. It is basically a retro Argos catalogue of facial hair. And he’s pitching me ideas. “The Divided Handlebar?” he offers. “The Modified Handlebar? The Painter’s Brush? The Nightshade?”

The Nightshade looks dangerously close to The Hitler, I suggest. “Oh no, no,” he furrows his brow and flicks forward a few pages until he finds what he is looking for. “That would be The Adolph.” Christ. How old is the book? He shrugs his shoulders. “Old.” Read the rest of this entry »

November 2nd, 2011. 2 Comments »

Published: Irish Times, September 13 2008

“Salted porridge. Dried meat. Leeks. Goats milk…”

monty-python_grail
“Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration, basically. Chuck it all in a pot and then boil it up…” It’s hard to say quite which element of historical military re-enactment least appeals to me. It could be the drafty costumes. It could be the public scorn. Then there’s the very real possibility of having my eye taken out by some hyperactive fund manager with a lance. But a new contender has just crept up along the outside rail: the horrific-sounding lunchtimes.

“Oh no, that’s not just your lunch,” laughs John Looney, the founder of re-enactment website LivingHistory.ie. “That has to last you two days – that’s your breakfast dinner and tea!” Read the rest of this entry »

October 19th, 2011. Comment now »

Your unsolicited late night Elvis Costello double bill


There’s A Story In Your Voice
Both of these tracks are relatively obscure Costello collaborations; the first with Burt Bachrach from the Painted From Memory album (1998), the second with Lucinda Williams from The Delivery Man (2004.) They’re very different songs and, yet, they’re both (to borrow another Costello line) “either side of the same town.”

October 6th, 2011. Comment now »

Published: A Century of Flann, Irish Times, October 1 2011

Humour down to a science

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IN 1927, an Irishman named JW Dunne published an eccentric philosophical tome entitled An Experiment With Time. The author was an engineer, best remembered today (if at all) as a pioneer of British military aviation. But in his book he expounded theories that went far beyond matters aeronautical.

Dunne described “precognitive dreams” he had experienced, in which he claimed to have foreseen major world events. This led him (with somewhat reckless abandon) to conclude that time is not linear, and that human beings are capable of existing simultaneously in the past, present and future.

“The kindest that could be said about Dunne’s ideas is that they were a little off the wall,” says Dr Mark O’Connell, a postdoctoral fellow in the school of English at Trinity College. “A harsher verdict might be that they were completely insane.” Read the rest of this entry »

October 4th, 2011. 7 Comments »

“You do realise this will be on Reeling in the Years 2011 with, like, Justin Bieber playing in the background?”

fish
The fish are nibbling away at the dead skin on your feet. They’re scavengers, so they’ll latch onto anything they find in the water… Read the rest of this interview here.

September 26th, 2011. 8 Comments »

Published: Irish Times, May 1 2009

Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before…

morrissey“It’s like a cross between going back to university and joining a religious cult,” reckons Steve Berry from Hertfordshire, as he surveys the scene. I’d have said a “rockabilly Star Trek convention” myself, but we won’t split hairs. Read the rest of this article here.

September 25th, 2011. Comment now »