The Null Device


A good piece looking behind the mask of the Irish economic miracle:

The Celtic Tiger was essentially created not by the Irish but by American hi-tech multinationals, eager to find a convenient launch-pad into Europe and attracted to Ireland by its educated and moderately rewarded workforce, Euro-friendly orientation, and crucially, by its rock-bottom 10 per cent rate of corporate tax
Overall, the dynamic is not unlike the one that has colonised downtown Dublin with fake Oirish pubs, whose emeraldy, signposty, plastic ambience proved such a huge hit in Helsinki and Manhattan that it was then re-imported back into Ireland, widely supplanting the authentic item that inspired them.
Ireland is given to illusory, indulgent images of itself. With the latest Celtic Tiger variant, all it has managed to do is modernise its self-delusion.


I just returned from seeing Art of Fighting at the Empress. They were pretty good, though the vocalist/guitarist said they're usually better and that he didn't expect people to buy CDs (as I did) based on their performance. They're a bit like Mogwai, only with more vocals. One thing I noticed about their EP: they (not the company) own the copyright, which is a nice touch to see. The label is Half A Cow (which, it seems, has severed its links with Universal/Polydor, and is independently distributed). Good to see things get decentralised for once.


Please tell me this isn't real: Rapper Dentist Daddy:

Gold crowns can be made as part of your permanent smile, or in some cases a removable appliance can be made to cover your natural teeth when you want that "Hip Hop" look. We use a special 22kt. dental alloy that is a rich deep yellow color, and high quality diamonds. The cost runs from $1,000 to $1,500 per tooth which includes the gemstones.