3/14/2006

Irish Blogs, Awards and Brigades

Irish blogs...are few and far between at the rising of the moon according to Shel Israel and Robert Scoble in naked conversations in Chapter 8, Blogs and National Cultures where they stated that, in contrast to the English, the Irish just weren't business blogging, even if they are craic blogging. In the authors view:

Culture Shaping Blogs (p.130)
Blogging has taken off in England [with business] and with the general public, but in Ireland it has not. The English are generally regarded as reserved. On the other hand, through literature and taverns, the Irish are generally regarded as a great story-telling people. So why don't the Irish blog?

And here is the one answer given on pages 130-131: We asked Tom Raftery, whose IT Views is the only Irish blog we follow. Raftery noted that the Irish are also noted for being quite guarded when it comes to personal and emotional issues. On one hand, we are still quite parochial. On the other, some would say that because of our oral storytelling tradition we don't need a blog to tell the world what we are thinking -- just some friends, acquaintances, co-workers, passers by, or complete strangers, a pint of Guinness, or a dram of whiskey, and we have no problem communicating.

Leaving aside the Homer Simpson-like sophistication of the analysis (as in the St. Patrick's Day parade cartoon where Kent O'Brockman talks about drunkeness, fighting and damage to property as qualities he questions whether we should associate with the Irish while everyone is fighting and drinking and tearing up property in the stands and on the parade floats) here is another possible answer on page 131: More seriously, he explained the most likely reason for Irelands dearth of bloggers is not cultural; it is that Ireland lags behind other countries in broadband adoption in the home, with about 3.4 subscribers for every 100 households. 'Now if the price of broadband were cheap enough that bars would provide free wi-fi'...he speculated.
Well...the Irish have enough blogs to have an Irish Blog Award with a short list and a long list. What this means to me is that either Shel and Robert got it very wrong or that the Irish have since taken to blogging with enthusiasm...in just a few short months from the time the book was researched and written until the first Irish Blog Award. Here is a listing of Irish Blogs that were considered for awards.

Best Blog/Blogger - Sponsored by Blacknight.ie

The El Paso Times
Fustar

Letter to America
Sinead Gleeson
Twenty Major
Best Blog Post - Sponsored by Nooked.com
Lebanon an Irish Experience through the bottom of a glass - Mistaken identity or accurate stereotype
JL Pagano - thosaímid an tine
Rymus - Fecking Driving Test
Sinéad Gleeson - Anatomy is Destiny
Twenty Major - New York Diary
Most Humorous Post - Sponsored by BEECHER.NET
Gizmo’s (Non)sense - Don’t turn it off!!!
Lunchtime, Poetry and Pain. - Buff the Wand, Lara!
Sarah Carey - Councillors don’t eat rice
Twenty Major - New York Diary
Twenty Major - My First Pint
Best Photo Blog - Sponsored by Imagefile Ireland
Caitriona.net
Gingerpixel
Iced Coffee
Letter to America
In Photos
North Atlantic Skyline
Rymus.net
Best Fictional Piece in a Blog - Sponsored by IrishBlogs.ie
Dermod Moore - faithache
Old Rotten Hat - The Ballade Of Findus of the Crispypancakes
Pretty Cunning - Rain
Thinking Out Loud - 47 hours
Twenty Major - Small Story
Best Arts and Culture Blog - Sponsored by Wiki Ireland
Fústar
Letter to America
Sinéad Gleeson
Social Dublin
Stunned

Best Political Blog - Sponsored by Politics.ie
Balrog
Disillusioned Lefty
El Paso Times
Slugger O’Toole
United Irelander
Best Group Blog - Sponsored by Boards.ie
Balrog
Blather
In Fact, ah.
Slugger O’Toole
The Community At Large
Best Comment/Commenter - Sponsored by Spark Ireland
Kevin Breathnach
Sarah Carey
Copernicus commenting on Risk Equalisation
Chris Gaskin - Balrog
That Girl -Thinking Out Loud
Best Personal Blog - Sponsored by Hosting365
MacDara - Lebanon an Irish Experience
Redmum
Rick O’Shea’s Blog
Sarah Carey - Gubu
Thinking Out Loud
Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog - Sponsored by SSI-Developer.net
Arm Rúnda na Gaeilge
Hilary NY
An tImeall
Muddle-Headed Memes and Musings
An Spailpín Fánac
Best Contribution to the Irish Bloggersphere - Sponsored by Firstpartners.net
John Breslin - PlanetOfTheBlogs
Roger Galligan - IrishBlogs.ie
Bernard Goldbach - Irish Eyes
Donncha O’Caoimh - Wordpress
Michele Neylon - IrishBlogs.info
Best Technology Blog/Blogger - Sponsored by Bitbuzz
Dave’s Rants
Eirepreneur
Irish Eyes
Michele Neylon
Tom Raftery
Irish Blog Award Photos
Here are photos from the Irish Blog Award. They are worth viewing...it looks like good craic. Something is going on there, something big, and unique, and Irish. It's in their faces. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to them all, and an especially good feast day to my beautiful 9-year old, Eamon Patrick Curley. Here is a poem I wrote to him when he was in the womb, which was first published in Au Courant Magazine, 2000, Paris, France p.6

Eamon Patrick’s Poem

Kicking your mother
from inside the liquid
universe of the womb

I feel so crippled
and broken
when considering
I have so much to teach you
and only the remaining
lifetime to do so.

It is hopeless, really,
except these two gems
that came down from a long, long,
line of men and women who survived
centuries of Viking invasions
whose barbarity was only surpassed
by the neighbor invader
who considered genocide
by the rule of law
such a jolly good adventure
and stole all the food
in the very middle
of the famine of all famines.

Through it all,
your ancestors survived
tenaciously creative
and green as moss
on the back of a stone
on the gentle Shannon river
and these two gems skip across
that great river to the Delaware
where once, when wondering
of ancestral roots I asked my father,
“Dad, what is it to be American?”

“Work!” “What?” I asked.
“Work!” he repeated.
“Your grandfather worked.
I worked. You’ll work.”
“That’s all?” “That’s all.” he answered.

“Then what is it to be Irish?”
“Hilarity!” He didn’t miss a beat again.
“Hilarity! You gotta make ‘em laugh.”
So there it is Eamon Patrick.

If God takes me
before I get to teach you
all you need to know,
let these two words suffice:
work and hilarity.

Work and hilarity
saved your people
over centuries of warfare, pestilence,
invasion, slavery, defeat, and famine
and eventually defeated
the greatest power on earth
so that I could write you this poem.

Work and hilarity
can carry you to the universe
and to the other planets
and when you find a particularly hard planet,
name it “Work,”
and when you findan especially funny planet,
name it “Hilarity.”
No matter what the planet or year,
work and hilarity are in your genes
as am I, and all of my dreams.
The Irish Brigade
Irish warriors throughout history have died abandoned and alone. Few have been honored. One group that has been honored on one of the fields where they fought is the Irish Brigade, under General Thomas Francis Meagher, at Antietam. The Irish Brigade which fought so fiercely at Antietam and Fredericksburg and in so many other American Civil War battles gave their full measure to the point where they were killed, wounded and ill in such great numbers they ceased to exist in 1864...only to be reborn as the Fighting 69th and in other reincarnations.




The Irish Brigade, under Meagher, always fought with an eye toward gaining the skills necessary to go back to liberate Ireland. Get the full story at Antietam at The Wild


1 comment:

Tom Raftery said...

Bruce - those quotes from the Book Naked Conversations were quote taken from me but they were in reference to the dearth of Irish business blogs - not blogs in general.

There is still a huge lack of business blogs in Ireland unfortunately - still, that can only improve.