Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night!

Find myself mooching around the supermarket again tonight. I swear to God, I never know what I want to eat. I’m pretty sure I hate microwave lasagne. But if I do another lap of the aisles, maybe I’ll like microwave lasagne. It’s weird how it works.

The Adrian Kennedy Phone Show is being piped in. He’s talking to the publisher of a new Irish pornographic magazine. As usual, the city’s emptiest vessels will be invited to air their imbecilic thoughts once the phone lines open. But first the host gets the ball rolling. “Some people would argue,” Kennedy hypothesises (using, what Jon Stewart would call, the old ‘I’m not saying your mother is a whore…’ voice.) “That what you’re doing, basically, is pandering to the lowest common denominator?”

Ha… Now that particlar barb, I think, would carry more venom if it were coming from someone other than the host of the fucking Adrian Kennedy Phone Show. The lowest common denominator? Hell, that’s who Adrian Kennedy has to pay to call into his stupid show when the tone needs to be elevated a little. Besides, his take on pornography is all wrong.

The desire to watch strangers getting naked and/or have sex is hardly the noblest of human urges. But it is a predilection that crosses all demographic boundaries. A nuclear physicist is as likely to get off on it as, oh say, the presenter of a moronic nightly radio show. It’s left to one of Kennedy’s callers to ask the much more pertinent question.

She’s an old lady and, no doubt, the producers are hoping she’ll tell the porno guy he’s going to burn in hell for his sins. But she doesn’t. Instead she asks why, in a saturated market, he thinks punters will shell out for specifically Irish pornography when there’s so much free international porn on the internet? The publisher ducks the question, accusing the lady of implying that Irish women are unattractive. This forces her onto the defensive and she eventually hangs up.

Her point, however, was a completely valid one. We live in a global economy. And pornography is a global commodity. We read Irish newspapers and watch television programmes – but only because they offer an Irish perspective on current affairs. However, unless Larry O’Flynt persuades the red haired colleen from those John Hinde postcards to get her kit off, there’s really no Irish angle on upskirts or doggy style.* The guy’s magazine will, therefore, most likely fail and fail miserably.

Which gets me to thinking… There are parallels here, I think, with the Irish music industry. It is a truism rarely questioned that we each have a duty to support it. But to be honest, I’ve never entirely understood why. Don’t get me wrong, I love Irish music. There are songs like, say, The Lakes of Pontchartrain or The Broad Majestic Shannon that resonate with me in ways I would find difficult to put into words.

There are also many Irish artists (Van Morrison being the only one who springs to mind right now), whose music easily compares with the best of what you will hear anywhere else in the world. Where I part company with many of my friends is in not automatically giving preference to a generic rock/pop/alternative band from Dublin over a band from Dallas, or a band from Galway over a band from Glasgow.

It sounds quaint now, but back in the day when people actually bought CDs, my only priority was to get the best possible value for my money that I could. I didn’t give a shit where the band came from. The Arcade Fire album cost the same as Bell XI. Jay-Z cost the same as Mic Christopher. To me, that was like saying Athlone Town are playing here and Barcelona are playing across the road. Oh, and the tickets are the same price. As a consumer, it’s no contest.

I’m sure people will say, well it’s not a case of having to choose one over the other. But when you’re a student with fuck all money – it is. When you have a full time job and little time to yourself – it is. When you’re a music lover who only has only X number of years on this earth – and there is all this brilliant, joyful, life-affirming music bursting out of everywhere from Tokyo to Trenchtown and Montreal to the Mississippi Delta – who really gives as shit if Dry Country have changed their name to Alias Empire.

You could call them Hank Halfhead and the Rambling Turkey’s… they’d still be shit.

Hmmm…. Turkey. Ham. Cabbage. Mashed potatoes. Dodgy looking gravy. Straight out of the microwave in four and a half minutes. Yip, I think we have a result.

* Actually, according to urban legend at least, there does exist an Irish snuff movie in which the female lead exhorts her male co-star to “horse it into me there, boss.” I don’t know anyone who’s actually seen it though.

February 24th, 2010.

34 Responses to “What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night!”

  1. Seán Says:

    If it weren’t for locals keeping their ear to the ground you’d never have heard of the Arcade Fire. You’re no better than a recycling free-rider, or a torrenter who doesnt seed! *spit*

  2. Eoin Says:

    Yeah, and if someone else didn’t milk a cow, I wouldn’t have milk for my cereal. So what?

  3. Seán Says:

    Farmer gets cash, music fan gets paid in the diligence of other music fans. Me, I try to make it to two shite local bands per week

  4. Eoin Says:

    Really? Well, I’ll admit a mediocre musician is not quite as terrifying a proposition as a mediocre comedian or, heaven forbid, a mediocre poet.

    But don’t you ever think, man, I could be at home listening to the Velvet Underground or Television or Pavement or Stevie Wonder of fucking Miles Davis if I wanted to??

  5. Seán Says:

    No I am joking, local music is to be ignored for the most part.

    (Although I am happy with stumbling onto a pertinent point about you being a musical freeloader)

  6. Paddy Says:

    If we lived in Cuba Butler you’d have to “volunteer” to go for a month every year and milk cows in the country.

    That’d fuckin toughen you up boy!!

  7. Eoin Says:

    @ Sean – hey, I seed. Not always deliberately, but I do nonetheless.

    @ Paddy – if we lived in Cuba I’d be on the first raft to Miami.

  8. Paddy Says:

    Don’t be too surprised when the Feds kick down your door at three in the morning. I’m bringing you back Elian Gonzales style. One way or the other, you’re milking that cow..

  9. Colin Says:

    An Irish pornography magazine just seems wrong. Only point of added interest would be guessing what part of Eastern Europe the woman is actually from.

    All mute anyway cause the guy in charge seems to be naive about it all, they dont have a publisher and the working title is “Peter”.

    As for music, I’d happily settle for an album where the band hasn’t put all their efforts into two songs leaving the rest of the album sound like an afterthought. Crystal Swing’s third has promise.

  10. Colin Says:

    *moot (DAMN IT!)

  11. Eoin Says:

    Damn you just got there before me… Haha…

    What was the name of that porno you got years ago with the really hairy European women in it??

  12. Colin Says:

    @Eoin: Buschige Frauen der Donau or the Mayo Echo. And they were never mine. Might look more towards River Inn for yer contacts.

    Late 90’s student life was tough, we didnt have the kind of internet access kids today have.

  13. Eoin Says:

    No I’m talking about the one you bought in the shop in Bethnal Green. The purhase of which you announced walking up the high street in shorts, sandals and knee length grey socks (we tried to tell you!), shouting “I got a porno, lads, I got a porno…”

    Man, I was never as proud to know you!

  14. Colin Says:

    Hmm, well done on the memory lane moment.
    Few corrections for posterity though.

    1) I was the only one of the group at the time who had the balls to go buy a porno from the shop with middle aged woman behind the counter.

    2)Our friend was the one with the shorts and sandals in the high st. I didnt wear the shorts past where we were staying, but I did wear the long socks with them in a pair of shoes, as we drank beers in the car park. Not my proudest fashion moment.

    3)The mag was from the netherlands and yeah, the quality was baaad. The Daily Sport with British models and tales of men with dolphin fetishes was far more entertaining.

    4)I’ll find those prceless cassettes of Beatles: Blue Album, Radiohead: The Bends
    and the Misc Mix yet. They saved our sanity.

    5)The Smiths vs U2 debate rages on.

  15. Steven Says:

    Hey fuck supporting your peers. Give your money to international superstars. Makes sense to me. Cheers for the support Eoin.

  16. Eoin Says:

    Is that even a serious comment? Get fucked.

  17. albinicus Says:

    i’d agree re irish music but in the last few years i’ve found myself buying more & more irish, especially on vinyl e.g si schroeder, rednecks, adebisi shank, so cow, katie kim, cap pas cap

  18. Eoin Says:

    @ Colin – Oh, shorts, shoes and socks. Right, cos that’s not nearly as embarrassing!

    Re: the magazine. If those women had wanted long term careers in the pornography business, the invention of the Special K diet and Philips Ladyshave could not have come quickly enough.

    I still say the Smiths are better than U2. Ask me in another 15 years and I doubt I’ll have changed my mind.

    @ Albinicus – you’re a one-man stimulus package!

  19. gueuleton Says:


  20. Eoin Says:


  21. Colin Says:

    Well the debate was “Greatest Band of the 80s”. It had started between Eoin and a friend of ours, Ciaran. Came down to The Smiths in the blue corner with Eoin and U2 in the red backed by Ciaran. There were a few spectators who changed their backing throughout the fight, at times even throwing in a few punches of their own.

    The problem was the abiguity of “greatest”. We covered everything from sales, influence, longevity to lyrics, respectability and fashion. It was a bloody bareknuckled affair with plenty of cursing and after 50 rounds neither fighter conceded. It was entertaining though. Both still maintain their stance.

    (It was 1997, the possibility brought up in the debate that U2 could easily break up in a few years didn’t pan out, seemed a lot more likely then than it does now).

  22. Eoin Says:

    Colin, I don’t want to call you a massive stinking liar whose pants are so engulfed in flames extra fire trucks may have to be called in from Northern Ireland to help douse them. BUT you’re leaving me precious little room for manoeuvre.

    First, I never argued about any of those things. All I said was that the Smiths rule and U2 are embarrassing mullet-headed idiots. I stand by that.

    Second, you’re saying it was Me V Ciaran and everyone else was neutral?? Come on… You all sided with him! You all laughed in my face!

    Well, thirteen years later the smile has very much been wiped…. Christ, this is kinda turning into my Golden Cleric moment, isn’t it?

  23. massey Says:

    Sorry Butler but facts speak for themselves. U2 are rock LEGENDS while Morrisey is literally just a big girls blouse. Face facts.

  24. Colin Says:

    @Eoin: Think yer pants are smoking too.

    “All I said was that the Smiths rule and U2 are embarrassing mullet-headed idiots.” – that covers political influence and fashion alone. And come on, it was discussed deeper than that over the Summer. You won’t give U2 in the 80s more credit? They didnt entertain you with their music at all?

    Yeah, we weren’t neutral, never said we were. Agreed with some things you said but we did think that U2 fit the title of “Greatest Band of the 80s” more aptly.

    I’ll debate that wiped smile too. Good times in Claredale.

    (Hard discussing this in comments, feels like a conversation).

  25. Lisa Says:

    There is a fight and it never goes out…

  26. Eoin Says:

    The boy with the porn in his side…

  27. Pete Says:

    RE “But don’t you ever think, man, I could be at home listening to the Velvet Underground or Television or fucking Miles Davis??”

    Miles Davis been dead twenty years dude you definitely don’t want to fuck him trust me on that lol

  28. Lisa Says:

    …This position I’ve held/It pays my way/And it corrodes my soul.

  29. Eoin Says:

    I didn’t realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry!

  30. Lisa Says:

    I was going to respond in kind with a self-deprecating Smiths lyric. But there are just too many to choose from.

  31. I Know It’s Over (1986) | Tripping Along The Ledge Says:

    […] filler turned live tour de force. Very specially for Colin! February 26th, […]

  32. albinicus Says:

    @eoin..i know and i’m always broke..forgot to add the inimitable hoovers & sledghammers to that list

  33. Eoin Says:

    Haha… almost forgot about them. I reviewed one of their albums years ago. From the liner notes:

    “‘I’ll fucken stab ye you cunt’ is a very vicious song the lyrics are aggressive with the narrator having no hope no future and no feelings towards anyone not even his mother who he also stabbed.”

    Now that I think of it, I wonder if they’re the same twisted geniuses behind this?

  34. albinicus Says:

    @eoin not sure about that but one of em’s behind this


    an insight into their strange but beautiful minds

    also ‘sex offenders in your medicine cabinet’ has to rank as the greatest album title of all time

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