Tag Archives: obama

Zero waste shopping – saving the planet or wasting your time?

Our shopping habits are changing. Or changing back.

In the past you could put in an order and a butcher’s boy would turn up with sausages in the basket of his delivery bike. Then that died out and we all had to go to the shop. Now we can order online and get it delivered once again. Full circle.

Not all the “progress” has been for the better. Just ask Grandad in the picture. (Click on the photo to make the text bigger.)

Packaging is another one. It galls me to see bananas wrapped in plastic – or any fruit which already comes in its own natural wrapper.

But we’re lazy and squeamish and alienated from the reality of food. The very thought of having to wash mud off a potato… or the idea that a pig had to die to make that sausage… puh-lease! Let’s not dwell on the seamy side of life.

Some places – like Ireland – have made significant progress in reducing pointless packaging – plastic bags in particular. Environmental legislation and charges made the difference there. But it’s more fashionable these days to nudge people towards different behaviour, rather than compel them… to provide attractive alternatives.

So what about a shop encourages you to bring your own reusable packaging/containers/boxes/bags/jars? Could it catch on?

And guess what? It’s not launching in Vermont or California – but Continue reading

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Filed under life

The Fake Prince of Gelled Hair *

While I was off being transformed into a godfather (to the most handsome young Arthur),  a couple of things happened which might have taken your mind off the year’s biggest event Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under In the village

O’Bama the new BIFFO?

He's not arrived already, has he? Ah dear, the place is a mess, I haven't had time to tidy up yet, fix my hair, sort out the economic mess or anything.

O’Bama’s coming. I know you’ll miss him over there. But he’s returning to his roots over here shortly.

No, not Kenya. Obviously.

Ireland.

But the big question? Is O’Bama the new BIFFO? Continue reading

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Filed under politics

Things you don’t expect to see in Harlem

So I was wandering through Harlem (New York) when I saw this sign. I did a double take. Checked my surroundings. Re-checked. Yup, still in Harlem.

No – the letters on the sign haven’t been mischievously rearranged Continue reading

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Filed under art, politics

Is this racist?

Is this racist? Or sectarian? Or more simply – just bullying?

Or perhaps it’s somewhere on the spectrum between fair comment and edgy political satire?

That’s one side of a lantern at what some call the world’s biggest moving outdoor art display – the Basel Fasnacht. The other side – the more offensive side is Continue reading

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Filed under art, life, politics

How to come back from being burned at the stake

This isn’t about the furious row, nor the racism (real or imagined) that preceded it, nor the burning at the stake that followed it. It’s about the unexpected good thing that happened next. Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under language, politics

To see ourselves as others do…

You will join the Tea Party. Ah go on. Ah go on go on go on go on....

To see ourselves as others do is a concept that can be overrated. You’ll get nowhere if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, worrying about what other people think. Why give head space to the knee jerk doubters who oppose anything new almost as a matter of principle. Or as the Irish saying goes – “F**k the begrudgers”. (It’s not one you find on decorative tea towels. Nor does it include the Fr Teddishfeck“. But I find it comes in handier more often than the road rising to meet you and being in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.)

Then again…

Seen from Europe the Tea Party phenomenon seems to be fizzing with crazies, bigots, racists, ex witches, anti masturbators, science deniers, the deluded and opportunists.  But Continue reading

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Filed under politics