Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oddments No. 4

Weekly bric a brac from Padraig O'Morain



In remembrance of things to come
I read in Rory Sutherland's Wiki Man column in The Spectator that in 1911 Marcel Proust (above) "found another excuse not to get out of bed by subscribing to Paris’s Th√©√Ętrophone service. This allowed him to enjoy live Paris plays, concerts and news broadcasts via headphones in the comfort of his own cork-lined home." Sutherland was writing in the context of developments in the US and UK which allow cinemas to broadcast simultaneous "livecasts" of concerts and sporting events. ".....chains in Tennessee and New Jersey now sell $25 tickets to La Scala operas, while there are cinema simulcasts not only of the New York Mets but of the Met: live cinema audiences for the Metropolitan Opera reached 300,000 in the first year, and should reach a million in 2008."

Christmas in New York
"I'm never asking them to mind the children again," a Dublin woman at a table in the dining room of a fancy hotel in Manhattan on Christmas Day says to another woman. "They" are husbands who had left the table for the bar and who, she says, had declared that "We didn't come to New York to mind effing children."

"I was stuck with them yesterday and the day before," the woman, who had a washed-out face and dabbed at her eyes with a table napkin, complains. I had noticed that the two guys had looked tense throughout the meal. A third woman, who had left for the bar with the men, had looked ready to explode.

The second woman says something I can't catch about "not doing it again." "Me too," the first woman says, "You can bet on that."

Then they get up and follow the others to the bar. What are they not doing again?

Poetry too as You've been great wins a Poetry Business Award
My first collection, You've been great, will be published this May by Smith/Doorstop which publishes the poetry magazine The North as well as books and pamphlets. The collection of 20 poems was one of four winners of the 2007 competition run by The Poetry Business which is associated with Smith/Doorstop. Also winning and having their collections published are Julia Deakin, Yvonne Green and Ann Pilling.

Anyway, here's the title poem from the collection:

A bronzed man pirouettes
on the TV in the corner
for his afternoon audience
in the nation's dayrooms.
They ignore his antics,
they are viewing re-runs
of home movies in their heads.
He spins faster and faster,
still no-one one takes an interest.
He cracks a joke, he titters,
he says you've been great and winks
to what he thinks is his audience
of frustrated housewives.
Someone says see you soon.
A medicine trolley rattles.

More poems here.

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