Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How To Get Over FA Cup Disappointment

1.Watch Matt Damon get his brains blown out in the new Scorsese film

2. Get drunk watching The Nightingales play like never before

3. Go on a tour round Timperley with a celebrity guide.

4. Have a Sunday Lock-in. In a pet shop.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Sign of the Times

The annual Culchie Festival this year takes place within the Greater Dublin Area.

Makes sense, I suppose. That's where all the culchies are these days.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Says Christopher Reeve Faked Disability, Death

Not quite. But he has accused Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his symptoms of Parkinson's Disease for political gain.

You just can't trust these actors, can you?

Everyone Join In!!

Isn't it catchy?

hat tip: ennui

God Is Not Drunk

Paul McGrath remembers the bad old days.

Stop the Carnage on Ireland's Roads: Legalize Cannabis

Young lads with fuck all else to do, driving like idiots around the country roads, fueled up on testosterone and boredom, are going to get into trouble one way or another. The Darwinist in me says, "Let 'em; natural selection will pick off the stupid and leave more food and air for the rest of us." The libertarian in me says, "Who are you to interfere? They knew it was dangerous when they got behind the steering wheel. If they want to risk killing themselves, mind your own business." But the lily-livered weak-kneed liberal in me says, "Drug 'em so they can't even crawl to their cars. Far better to have a nation of placid young boys giggling on the sofa and all the driving done by Domino's than to have a bunch of naive kids bombing round the laneways scaring the cattle, smashing into trees, and holding up the traffic while some poor fecker has to scrape their charred bodies off the tarmac."

I'm just being practical is all. Coughs not coffins, munchies not mayhem. You know it makes sense.

hat tip: Mrs. Sweary.

*update*: An afterthought. Ministers and policymakers could do worse than read Norbert Elias's Technization and Civilization (unavailable online but abstracted here and reviewed here), paying particular attention to the statistics on road accidents in first and third world societies. One could argue that the sort of barbarity we are seeing on the roads might have been predicted with some accuracy, given the "civilizing" advances that have taken place in some areas of Irish life, such as increased wealth and greater access to private transport, while other technical and cultural factors, such as bad infrastructure, macho adolescent posing, and the requisite sophisticated circumspection and self-control needed to drive on newly busy roads, have not yet caught up. This is Elias's argument, as I understand it, and is to be expected wherever new "technologies" appear on the scene and are taken up en masse by a society or by one particular sector of it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I just learned from reading Normblog that one of my contemporaries at the LSE, indeed, someone I remember quite well, is now an OBE and writes a column for the Times.

I'd feel like a right underachiever but for the fact that the honours system stands for everything I despise. Not to mention the contempt I would be held in by my dad if I ever had anything to do with a Murdoch product. He won't even have Sky in the house.

But How Will They Ever Make Owen Wilson as Handsome as David Ervine?

Vince Vaughn practices his best West Belfast accent on seasoned thesp Gerry Adams during shooting at the weekend for the U.S. version of Give My Head Peace.

pic from the Beeb.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Anthrax Finds a New Drummer

Artist and woodworker Christopher Niall “Pascal” Norris recently died of anthrax poisoning at the age of 50. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Norris was the son of a skilled cabinetmaker who showed early talent in woodworking and music and studied violin under Leonard Friedman, director of the Scottish Baroque Ensemble. A graduate of Edinburgh Art College, he subsequently began making musical instruments and other items, which he kept in his workshop in Hawick in the Scottish borders. It has been suggested that Norris may have contracted anthrax from a dead badger that he found at the side of the road and which he skinned to make two drums.

A Failure of Imagination

Don't take this as a lapse in discipline on the part of a committed atheist, merely a snort of frustration at the inability of self-appointed spokespeople to present our case with anything like the required subtlety. Terry Eagleton, who may or may not share my views on the nonexistence of a transcendent being, eviscerates Richard Dawkins's latest publication in a review in the London Review of Books. For a respected "thinker" (I hesitate to use the word "intellectual" not because of my contempt for the term but for Dawkins's apparent unwillingness to do the work required to qualify as one) Dawkins lacks any sense of nuance. At least Eagleton understands, thanks perhaps to his Marxist training as much as his Catholic childhood, how much good can come from religion, whether intentional or not.

"Jesus, who pace Dawkins did indeed ‘derive his ethics from the Scriptures’ (he was a devout Jew, not the founder of a fancy new set-up), was a joke of a Messiah. He was a carnivalesque parody of a leader who understood, so it would appear, that any regime not founded on solidarity with frailty and failure is bound to collapse under its own hubris. The symbol of that failure was his crucifixion. In this faith, he was true to the source of life he enigmatically called his Father, who in the guise of the Old Testament Yahweh tells the Hebrews that he hates their burnt offerings and that their incense stinks in his nostrils. They will know him for what he is, he reminds them, when they see the hungry being filled with good things and the rich being sent empty away. You are not allowed to make a fetish or graven image of this God, since the only image of him is human flesh and blood. Salvation for Christianity has to do with caring for the sick and welcoming the immigrant, protecting the poor from the violence of the rich. It is not a ‘religious’ affair at all, and demands no special clothing, ritual behaviour or fussiness about diet. (The Catholic prohibition on meat on Fridays is an unscriptural church regulation.)

Jesus hung out with whores and social outcasts, was remarkably casual about sex, disapproved of the family (the suburban Dawkins is a trifle queasy about this), urged us to be laid-back about property and possessions, warned his followers that they too would die violently, and insisted that the truth kills and divides as well as liberates. He also cursed self-righteous prigs and deeply alarmed the ruling class.

The Christian faith holds that those who are able to look on the crucifixion and live, to accept that the traumatic truth of human history is a tortured body, might just have a chance of new life – but only by virtue of an unimaginable transformation in our currently dire condition. This is known as the resurrection. Those who don’t see this dreadful image of a mutilated innocent as the truth of history are likely to be devotees of that bright-eyed superstition known as infinite human progress, for which Dawkins is a full-blooded apologist. Or they might be well-intentioned reformers or social democrats, which from a Christian standpoint simply isn’t radical enough."

Far simpler and more faithful (forgive the pun) to history to recognize, I think, that it is organized religion that is responsible for many of the crimes that Dawkins finds faith guilty of, and, were he willing to delve into sociological texts as well, he might be even more disposed to identify the culprit NOT specifically as religious faith but the institutionalization of (often but not necessarily hierarchical) relations between human beings (I suspect Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason might be beyond Dawkins for now, but even an elementary study of state formation and tribal dynamics might teach him how relations of interdependency and ritual declarations of kinship can atrophy to the point that they become exploitative). Dynamics that outlive their usefulness or their organic place in a society degrade and dissolve or else need to be sustained by the re-creation of the conditions that gave rise to their necessity (a climate of fear, for instance) or else by the demand for obedience and faith to tradition. This isn't a phenomenon exclusive to religion: It applies to all situations in which human beings forge agreements with one another and co-operate towards a collective end. That Dawkins fails to see the essentially social nature of religion in order to focus upon its "irrationality" is precisely what makes atheists appear to be patronising dogmatists no better than the fundamentalists they claim to condemn.

Okay. Off the high horse. Here's some nonreligious awe to provide some inspiration, empathy, and food for the imaginations of dogmatic materialists.

"One of the most astonishing discoveries of the last decades, revealed by exploration of space, nearby celestial objects, and especially meteorites that fell to Earth, is that many of the chemical building blocks of life form spontaneously throughout the universe. Organic chemistry, so named because it was believed to be a prerogative of living organisms, has turned out to be the most widespread and banal chemistry: the chemistry of carbon."

With thanks to the guys at D2W and the Trots.

Update: Gary Wolf has an article in Wired Online about the "New Atheists" (individuals such as Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris), with some reflections and astute comments on the rigidity of their thinking. Worth a look at.

Not The Hardest Decision Ever

Having won first prize in Frank's Fantastic Raffle I was given a choice of

1) A DVD (which I'd already got) or

2) Frank's new Single "Free Download" which I'd downloaded for free on Friday or

3) little mark e. smith's body

Nuff said

Friday, October 20, 2006

Anything You Can Do (Except Give Birth)

A nice spoof site here for the MacInnes and Porritt Institute, purportedly conducting research into Cyclical Non-Uterine Dysmenorrhea (CNUD), or male menstrual cramps. There's a very amusing film about CNUD and its role in history, with chapter titles such as "The Bowels of History" and "The Artist Formerly Known as Cramps."

At least, I hope it's a spoof.

Lost in Translation

I recall that when Jimmy Carter visited Poland, his interpreter translated Carter's "great love for" the Polish people as "great lust," as well as using the wrong version of the verb "to leave," so that his guests understood him to have left the United States for good, so I DO realize that mistakes can be made.

But what could Vladimir Putin have possibly said about rape that was funny?

Irony Reaches Hollywood

Gang of Four song included in soundtrack for Marie Antoinette.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Boys in the (Robin) Hood

When I was at school in Solihull, it was fags behind the bike sheds.

Maybe I should rephrase that.

Oh Blimey, it's Beckett. Brilliant!

Frank Sidebottom and friend take on the oeuvre of Samuel Beckett (scroll down).

The World of the Workers is Wild

Particularly in Florida.

Next on the List

Having successfully acquired a reasonably priced copy of Crossroads in the Labyrinth, the next book I want to get hold of is this one.

It's described here as "the weirdest book in the world." I was hoping to get it for Martin for Christmas, but at these prices I suspect he'll have to make do with Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 6.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Shame He Couldn't Sing Like Her, Too

Bono says he looked like Nana Mouskouri before U2 employed stylist Lola Cashman.

Just look at the state of him outside court. If I was Nana Mouskouri, I'd sue the pair of them.

Of Course They're Out of Stock!

Who WOULDN'T want one?

It's the Cock's Bollocks

More from our Far East correspondent:

I never realized chickens were such strong swimmers!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You lucky, lucky bastards

From the Three Johns MySpace page:

Due to the overwhelming response to the recent short tour, The Three Johns will be returning to play at The Windmill, Brixton, London, on Saturday, 18th November!

All those people who didn't get to see them at The Windmill last time, now have another chance to enjoy watching the original lineup of The Three Johns in all their glory!

As an extra special treat, Jon Langford and Sally Timms of The Mekons will also be playing on the same night, as will the excellent Striplight.

Now if that's not a gig and a half, I don't know what is!

It's only a month away, so get those tickets booked early, if you don't want to be disappointed!

God was Drunk Part 2

And on Sunday I saw Brothers of the Head, a technically excellent film which didn't really fulfil its potential. Clive Langer's music and the live gigs are very convincing as possible pub rock/punk re-enactments and the verite style of the supposed documentary is only spoilt by one or two actors who play it like a TV drama. There are a few good laughs in it but the ending didn't have the impact they probably thought it would, not on a cold-hearted cynic like me at least.

Now if only they'd got Dowd and White to play the leads.

God was Drunk Part1

Last night I went to see Johnny Dowd and Jim White perform as Hellwood, not expecting too much as the new CD is a bit restrained and Mr. Dowd has always been a bit of a misery when I've seen him before, but blimey were they good. The life they put into the new songs and the fun they had whilst playing them was a joy to experience. Mr. Dowd had a permanent grin ("I've not been this happy since a hog ate my baby brother!"), and the band treated us to some funky instrumentals and even a Thelonius Monk cover. And how on earth was the drummer playing bass? I thought £12.50 was a bit steep, but it turned out to be a bargain (what with the Metrolink breaking down and not having to pay any fare).

See them live if you can but be wary of the CD: one for fans only.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Arrived in the post today, a copy of Cornelius Castoriadis's Crossroads in the Labyrinth, a book I'd almost given up on locating at an affordable price. In the end it cost me about £30, still a lot of money for a paperback but in reasonable condition, and it seems like there may still be one or two copies still out there, if anyone else is looking.

Yeah, right.

Also in the post today, this. Which book do you think will get read first?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Sublime and The Ridiculous

Hotel Florida, Havana, March 2005.

I know there were those of you out there who were sceptical about this rather surreal event, despite previous proof of my credibility. Well, I finally managed to dig out photographic evidence. This was an otherwise deserted hotel restaurant in the centre of the city the night before we were due to fly back to Ireland.

Discretion forbids me to tell the full story behind this photo right now.

Discretion and lack of legal experience.

Oh yes, resist, if you can, comments along the lines of "you could be brothers" or "tuck your shirt in!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Could THIS Be Galloway's Blueprint?

Just finished reading Tariq Ali's 1990 roman-a-clef Redemption, reviewed here by former Trot Louis Proyect.

At the heart of the novel is an extraordinary congress at which all the Trot sects around the world come together to plan their response to the collapse of "actually existing socialism." In the keynote speech, Ezra Einstein, the book's central character (based on Ernest Mandel), says,

"What then is to be done? The answer is obvious. We must move into the churches, the mosques, the synagogues, the temples, and provide leadership. Our training is impeccable. Within ten years I can predict we would have at least three or four cardinals, two ayatollahs, dozens of rabbis, and some of the smaller Churches like the Methodists in parts of Britain could be totally under our control."

Ali may not be a great writer, but he knows his arse from his entryist.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What Have the Brits Ever Done for Us?

spotted at Jimmny

Sorrow Is Nothing But Worn-Out Joy

Trailer for Kelly Reichardt's new film, Old Joy, starring Will Oldham and Daniel London.

And Where Was McManus While All This Was Happening?

Two armed members of the Garda Siochana got pissed in the pub while they were meant to be providing security outside the U.S. embassy, then got into a scrap over whose round it was, before returning to work, where the scrap was resumed.

"Abandoning a post, drinking on duty and brawling in public are all serious offences in the garda discipline code."

You couldn't make this shit up!!!

Born Again in Birmingham

Monday, October 09, 2006

Easy on the Eye

Or, why it's beautiful to be average.

Sound and Fury

I went to the Cornerhouse with Kev last night to see Zidane:A 21st Century Portrait and came away thinking that either the close camerawork and editing can't do a player justice or that Zizou is even lazier and one-footed than I imagined. The choice of subject is odd, as Zidane is probably one of the quietest and unanimated professionals in the game today; if the sound track is to be believed he limits himself to a few shouts for the ball and the occasional smile (when Bobby Carlos cracks a funny, probably something about using his left foot more often), until he finally gives full rein to his emotions and runs twenty yards to twat an opponent. If anything the film highlights how detatched he is from his team mates and his frustration at not being involved, which is his own fault for not getting stuck in. In one of the rare subtitled comments from the man himself (I thought there would be more of his philosophy and possibly in voiceover), he refers to the pitch as "the green square"! Well, Zou, it'd be a rectangle if you bothered to tackle back!

I must say I did enjoy watching a footy match from these new angles, but I wouldn't want to watch a live game in this way; the only problem I had with the film was the sound design (which Kev thought was excellent, fool), because they seemed to have dubbed the thwack of boot on ball to every pass and shot whether it was a gently rolled free-kick or mindless hump upfield, and they could pick up the noise of footfall of every player, apparently.

Still, it's worth seeing if just to piss off Mark Kermode by keeping it in his cinema for a few weeks.

You Know You're in Trouble When Even the Lettuces Are Worried

Just don't tell the broccoli, you know how nervous they get.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

White & Nerdy

Any irony in adding this to a blog, I wonder?

Hat tip: Ennui

Short Book Shorts

Haven't given you the benefit of my dubious judgement on books for a while. That doesn't mean I haven't been reading, mind you. The trains are still late, slow, and busy. Here, then, is a quick review of my most recent reads:

Holidays on Ice, by David Sedaris: Generally, I like Sedaris's stuff (God knows I've bought enough of them) but this slight book of just six articles felt like he was reaching. Okay, they're all around the theme of holidays, so I guess the book is cobbled together, meaning works of varying quality, but I can't help wondering if this book was brought out just to milk the cash cow a little bit more. That said, the piece in which he reviews school nativity plays in the style of the NYT drama critic is very funny indeed.

The Magic Christian, by Terry Southern: Every now and then I check my Amazon wish list to see if any of the books on it have dropped in price to under a quid. This had, so I bought it. Now I know why it was so cheap.

The movie is much better. As is Southern's book Blue Movie, which I had read before this one. Will I read any more? Hmm.

Where Did It All Go Right?: Growing Up Normal in the 70s, by Andrew Collins: I liked Collins's book about his college years, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, because he arrived in London only a couple of years after me, so I recognized the zeitgeist. This book deals with his childhood in Northampton in the 70s. As such, it consists mostly of namedropping TV shows, sweets, comics, and toys from that era. In addition, a good proportion of the book is composed of extracts from his diaries as a teenager. I could have written that. I mean, literally, genuinely, I could have written it. If only I could have found idiots to publish it and pay me too.

Class, by Stephen Edgell: I studied Class, Status, Veblen and Bourdieu under Stephen Edgell at Salford, so I'd always promised myself I'd buy this one day; I had to wait 14 years before it became affordable. Despite being one of those Routledge Key Concepts books, it's a proper sociological text, in that it examines problems in operationalizing terms, conducting research into class and status and so on. Not as outdated as one might expect.

Merleau-Ponty: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Eric Matthews: Even though I read The Phenomenology of Perception years ago, I flatter myself by saying I got a good deal out of it, but I read this for more autobiographical information than to confirm my suspicions aboiut what I'd read before. It's increasingly clear to me that Merleau-Ponty is a better philosopher than Sartre in the same way that Camus is a better existentialist. But then, how does one define better? I just mean, I guess, that I empathize with them rather more on account of their arguments. Seeing through their eyes makes more sense to me than seeing the world through Sartre's (cue bad taste joke about Sartre's eyes).

Psychogeography, by Merlin Coverley: One of those Pocket Essentials books, giving an outline of the history of the term, including its precursors. Bored the shit out of me, yet many of the recommended Web sites at the back of the book are also to be found on our blogroll. What does that say about us?

The Pope's Children, by David McWilliams: Interesting pop sociology about demographic and cultural changes in Ireland over the last 20 or so years. Contains some surprising statistical information in its early pages then deteriorates into one of those cutesy roman a clef-type comments on contemporary society, reminiscent of The Sloane Ranger Handbook. How McWilliams stretched this idea out into 300-plus pages is beyond me. All the good stuff can be found in the early chapters.

I Only Say This Because I Love You, by Deborah Tannen: I've become addicted to sociolinguist Deborah Tannen's books. Even though they tend to overlap, each one covering some ground that features in one of the others, I defy you not to find yourself somewhere in her pages. Conversations between partners, mothers and daughters, men and women, brothers and sisters, they're all here. Informative and amusing.

The Politics of Illusion, by Henry Patterson: Traces the history of the republican movement's attempts to reconcile nationalism and socialism and explains not only why they failed but why such a reconciliation is in any practical sense impossible. A rather dry and worthy read but enlightening nonetheless.

Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid, edited by Robert J. Sternberg: Could it be because intelligence isn't the same as wisdom or experience? (cf: Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman) That's pretty much the conclusion arrived at in the articles by eminent psychologists collected here. Well, blow me.

Of course, Flaubert said it so much better in Bouvard and Pecuchet.

Bouvard and Pecuchet, by Gustave Flaubert: Two clerks come into an inheritance and decide to spend it on educating themselves about the world. Manage to blunder their way through their fortune, failing to recognize the importance of "organic" knowledge, or, if you will, knowledge of the world acquired through praxis. I immediately thought of the wonderful sculptures of racehorses made in his retirement by my father, who has spent his entire working life as a factory toolmaker. He was able to turn the garage at home into a foundry when he retired, and his phenomenal ability to turn three-dimensional casts and moulds over in his mind then make them real was a skill only available to someone who'd undergone years of hard graft doing the same sort of thing in the workplace with car parts and gas cookers.

At one point in the book, Bouvard and Pecuchet are attempting to cultivate an orchard, while referring to the best available books on the subject. Failing miserably, they lament that there appear to be different rules for each individual tree. Just so. Only experience can teach you what they are.

Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs: Funny, but with a touch of the poor man's David Sedaris about it. About to be made into a movie, I believe. A tad excessive in kind of a James Frey way. I say that without wanting to cast aspersions on its accuracy, of course. Judge for yourself.

There now, that's a dozen to keep you going. And there'll be more, if Iarnrod Eireann doesn't get its act together, I warn you.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


While the mighty Villa were securing a point at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, I was here, watching my nephew get married.

Still, not a bad day out, all things considered!

Class: The Other "Other"

" . . . lower-class students are defined as "other" not by those cultural hegemonies of race, gender, and sexuality that the academy prides itself on deconstructing, but by the norms of the academy itself. Embedded in its assumptions about the educational process is a panoply of middle-class ideas and ideals, including the systematic consideration of the un(der)educated, especially in the United States, as a subaltern group. Working-class pride would seem to have no place in academia, which by its very existence encodes class superiority, and where students are being prepared explicitly for white-collar jobs."

The rest is here.

Dublin-Drogheda: It's the new Tokyo-Yokohama

"Reports this morning say the European Environment Agency has identified Dublin's urban sprawl as a "worst-case scenario" in city planning."

Breaking news.

Advocate 971

Two articles of interest in the September 26 issue of GLBT magazine The Advocate:

"Wasting Away," by David Luc Nguyen, examines the extent of eating disorders among gay men in the United States.

"Targeted by Death Squads," by Doug Ireland, examines the targeting of gay men in Iraq by the Badr Corps (the military wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic revolution in Iraq), which has marshaled death squads to engage in a campaign of "sexual cleansing."


Links to pdf copies of Figurations, the newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation, can be found here.

Elias is, to my mind (but then what the fuck do I know?), one of the most important sociologists of the 20th century, alongside Pierre Bourdieu (have a look at Deborah Reed-Hanaway's Locating Bourdieu for an examination of Elias's influence on Bourdieu's work). His figurational or process sociology manages to combine vertical and horizonal (or synchronic and diachronic) analyses of society in a manner that Marxists would perhaps recognize as dialectical, but without any of the mumbo-jumbo Hegelianism and with plenty of empirically-based research (rather than sitting in a library all day cherry-picking the research of others). Eliasians offer a dynamic, insightful sociology of the emotions, of literature, of philosophy, of power, of gender (and of sport, curiously enough) that I would recommend to anyone willing to entertain genuine doubts about their own worldview.

Elias's wiki page is here, but it doesn't do his work justice.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Out of True

New Nightingales album, available as of yesterday. Track list here.

I'm particularly looking forward to hearing "UK Randy Mom Epidemic."

DPS: Report #3

Being the third and final part of a dérive through Dublin with a map of Paris.

Place Pigalle: Vibrant, albeit a little rundown, Pigalle tends to attract large groups of Americans, and, as a result, there is a great deal of anti-American feeling among the residents and artists. Much of the artwork was, frankly, disappointing: Most of it was impressionistic and amateurish, some artists being reduced to scrawling phrases such as "We Are All Hezbollah Now" on their canvases and waving them over the heads of their rivals in order to attract buyers. Many of the paintings looked identical, as though mass-produced by some cynical, exploitative organization intent on cowing visitors into submission by turgid repetition. It may work with the young, gullible, and ideologically naive, but for this aesthete it left a decided taste of melancholia on the palate.

Les Invalides: Very cramped, and I couldn't for the life of me locate Napoleon's tomb. He must have been a very small man for them to bury him in here. What's more, the atmosphere has actually deteriorated since the smoking ban. Many of the war veterans still resident seemed rather churlish and begrudging, unable to smoke and undoubtedly annoyed at having their meals disrupted by my incessant requests for stories about torture in Algeria and my perhaps overenthusiastic demands to see their wounds. I was asked to leave when, as a demonstration of my good faith, I showed the collected diners a few wounds of my own.

Le Chabanais: Quite by chance, my dérive came to an end at Paris's most famous temple of love, one of the famous "Huis Clos" that Sartre wrote about so eloquently. Le Chabanais was supposedly shut down after the war, but the police clearly turn a blind eye to goings-on here or else partake of the delights on offer, because activity was constant during my visit, the corridors lined with rooms behind the doors of which god alone knows what goes on. I looked in vain for the famous "Fellatio Seat" that was constructed for the future Edward VII. The concierge denied all knowledge of its existence, even after being offered big notes: Discretion is everything here.

It is said that, once upon a time, fully one-third of all men visiting Le Chabanais were "juicers," which is to say men who derived their pleasure from sucking the semen of the previous client from the whore's vagina. I confess that this is not a pleasure that I share, but as I wandered the corridors in the last throes of my journey and inspected the demeanour of the respectable gentlemen disporting themselves there, I could not help but wonder which of them had only minutes earlier had their mouths full of another man's come. Generally I find it's the ones you least expect.

News of further activities of the Dublin Psychogeographical Society to follow.