Twenty years ago, while travelling across the deep south of the US I happened into the town of Waycross, Georgia, close to the Okefenokee swamplands. I was sitting outside a diner, jawing with the local good ol' boys. One of them struck a matchhead off the heels of his boots, lit his cigarette and started mouthing off. He turned out to be an elected sheriff from a nearby town and he was running – or so he said – on a segregationist ticket.
From The Late Late Show to The Panel, RTÉ's bank holiday viewing was a major disappointment
Bertie Ahern will top the poll in Dublin Central in the next election. Rachel English spent time with him for her new programme, The Constituency (Saturdays, 6.02pm, RTÉ Radio 1), and you could see why he will get more votes than anyone else. They went at breakneck speed through the constituency, starting off at the opening of the crèche in Portland Place (pictured) and went on to Tolka Valley training centre, where Bertie presented beauticians with certificates, and on and on.
Meejit travels into the murky world of PR.
'Seventy-two years of Communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman," wrote PJ O'Rourke at the end of the Cold War. It was O'Rourke's contention that a whole totalitarian system was brought tumbling down because nobody wanted to wear Bulgarian shoes. O'Rourke said that Levi's 501 jeans, video players and a million other objects of consumer desire had helped to bring down the Stalinist statues. Desire won out and the hammer was sickled.
On Saturday 28 October, some 250 people travelled to Shannon Airport to protest against its continuing use by the US military and the CIA. Their numbers were bolstered by three US military veterans, all of whom were once interrogators at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, but have since become anti-war activists. The state deployed some 150 gardaí, complete with surveillance cameras and a helicopter, to keep the protestors away from the airport. All of this happened without a mention in any national newspaper.
Michael Albert, founder of leftist Z magazine and ZNet website, tells Colin Murphy about spreading the message in the modern age and 'Parecon', his alternative to capitalism
Last week, according to the Irish Times, the High Court "rejected a claim by a father of four that neither the state nor courts are entitled to play any role – whether through family law or judicial separation proceedings – in regulating his Roman Catholic marriage". Judge Roderick Murphy, considering an application by the man's wife, found the man's claim "disclosed no reasonable cause of action" and was "untenable".