Slugger: writers wanted…

The last year has seen major increases in Slugger’s readership, from 7-800 hundred visitors a day to something approaching 3000. Whilst in the next year we expect to see that growth curve continue, we also need to consider various ways to maintain Slugger as more of a self sustaining online magazine as well as a generally civil space for online dialogue.

To that end we are looking to expand the both the blogging team and the number of one off articles we publish here on Slugger. In the case of the latter we are interested in any aspect of culture and politics in Northern Ireland. Or indeed reports on issues elsewhere in the world that have an important bearing on particular situations at home. All submissions will looked at on their merits.

In the case of bloggers, we’d like to introduce good new writers on the basis of a three month stint on Slugger, perhaps with an invitation to continue or return after another period. Emphasis will be on quality of writing and developing multiplicity of views.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to blog on Slugger, whether it’s on politics, fishing, economics, Irish League Soccer, or the detailed challenges of environmental protection, send us three or four short blog pieces on your preferred choice, and we’ll let you know!

Finally. In recent days I’ve spoken to a number of people who’s opinions I value highly about the comments section. This is clearly one of the most valuable aspects of the site, and one I am loathe to see us lose. Currently we lack the resources to ensure that it remains one of the most productive discussion zones on Northern Ireland – ie, I’m the only moderator for threads that can number 600+ posts.

So I’m asking for four or five volunteers to moderate the comments. That number should mean we can cover the site for most of the time. If you are interested just drop me a line at mick |at| mickfealty |dot | com.

And don’t forget, you can always help us keep our costs in check by hitting the donate button on the left hand side and send us whatever you can.

Archived Comments (117)

Make Howard a mod, otherwise he’ll get knocked down by spending too much time in the middle of the road ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by: Donnie Fiasco at March 30, 2004 01:54 PM


ine quare n’ gud at writin so I am, i cud send ya a few artikels ๐Ÿ˜‰

Agreed, Howard for mod.!

Posted by: maca at March 30, 2004 02:41 PM


I thought he already was.

Posted by: Andrew at March 30, 2004 02:48 PM


I’m a regular reader and a never-commenter.

Most of the gang who contribute are smart and funny, but a lot of the comments threads degenerate off-topic very, very rapidly and frankly I think that’s a negative on this fantastic site and worth looking at. I often log in, read the posts and avoid the comments threads. I’d imagine lots of people (especially your American/European readership) probably do too.

Just my tuppence ha’penny worth.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: daithi mac mhaolmhuaidh at March 30, 2004 02:50 PM


Daith

Good point…

Mick, i’ve been a dialy contributor (and in some cases moderator) on forums for a few years, mainly design/programming forums but one thing many of them have in common is how strict they are regarding ‘sticking to the topic’.
As a mod I would frequently delete posts that strayed off point, it really helped to keep the forum quality at a high level.

Of course in most forums members could just start a new thread based on the “off-point-subject” while on Slugger they cannot.

Still, it’s something you could look at…considering the slide in quality recently ;-/

Posted by: maca at March 30, 2004 03:00 PM


Excellent point maca. I think there should be an on-topic rule. That leads to focus on the point at hand.

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 03:04 PM


ban ‘loyalist’ and you will see the problem of off-topic wandering and bad quality go

Posted by: p at March 30, 2004 03:04 PM


actually i’ve been looking at some of the old comment threads and there doesn’t eem to be a lot of differance – more nationalists commenting then perhaps(don’t they just hate to be confronted!)
Anyway back on topic – ip ban maca.

Posted by: loyalist at March 30, 2004 03:07 PM


…and swift closing of threads which are getting out of hand.

Loyalist
we’ll make you senior moderator so.

BUT you ban my IP you ban a few thousand people who connect through the same ISP.

Posted by: maca at March 30, 2004 03:13 PM


I would go for writer only in my infinite logic it would make every arguement redundant.

Posted by: Alan Anderson at March 30, 2004 03:18 PM


Just a small point, but how do you decide at what point something goes ‘off topic’?

Surely some threads evolve onto secondary topics and that doesnt necessarily make it a poor thread.

The problem isnt when something strays away from exactly what the initial post was getting at, but when it descends into personal abuse/general slanging match.

Macca,
Not a computer expert but as far as i know your IP address is computer specific. Banning one would not ban everyone from the same ISP.

Posted by: yerman at March 30, 2004 03:25 PM


maca

geek
just ban you then
given the legendary technical skill of the ulsterman, i’m sure it can be done.

Posted by: loyalist at March 30, 2004 03:26 PM


yerman

Not necessarily the case. Some users share the same ISP address, like university terminals.

Posted by: Gonzo at March 30, 2004 03:28 PM


tHe quickest way to stop threads getting off-topic is to limit them to, say, 100 posts. In my experience by that time the thread is usually going AWOL.

Of course that would stop some quite creative discussion, but maybe Mick or other moderators could respond more quickly by setting up new threads to allow promising discussions to have a space of their own.

Posted by: Stephen Copeland at March 30, 2004 03:31 PM


The problem, yerman, is that whilst some topics do naturally evolve, most are completely yanked off-topic, illogically and deliberately, to fit the particular bigotries of the protagonist on that day.

Posted by: Nigel at March 30, 2004 03:34 PM


Setup a registration system (maybe through something like eZboard – although you have to pay through the nose to keep eZboard sites ad free!) and that way Mick has the option of removing persistent offenders from the user list.

Or maybe operate a fine where you get charged a quid everytime you use the word ‘separatist’ or the phrase ‘corner-boy’.

Posted by: Donnie Fiasco at March 30, 2004 03:37 PM


yerman
IP’s are complicated things.
But the basics for this situation is that people often connect through “proxy servers” so for example one million people could connect through an AOL proxy server and therefore could (in theory) all use 1 IP. You ban this IP it means you ban that 1 million users.

This is an exaggerated case but a real example is that the 200 or so pc’s at work here all use the same IP address.

Posted by: maca at March 30, 2004 03:39 PM


Mick, How much bandwidth would you get through a month?

Posted by: Nigel at March 30, 2004 03:41 PM


Thirty-five years ago, the second-class Catholic citizens of British Northern Ireland watched the second-class black citizens of America demand their full rights as American citizens and thought, If they can do it, so can we.รญโ€œโ€ So they demanded their right to be full and equal British citizens of Northern Ireland.

They punctuated their demands with demonstrations and protests. The Protestants of Northern Ireland, recognizing instinctively that there is only a finite amount of slices in any given pie and any more pie given to the Catholics would, of necessity, have to be taken out of their portion, objected. Vehemently. They took particular exception to the slobberingly grateful rapidity with which the British government sought to give the Catholics the full British suffrage they demanded.

And the Protestants, surprisingly for people supposedly loyal to the Queen and the British way of life, had more illegal-under-British-law guns than you could shake a stick at. They began to attack the Catholics.

The IRA, seven old unreconstructed commies with a few rusty rifles, quickly got some dosh skimmed from the till by an old Irish politician in the Republic whose name I cant mention because of forum rules relating to saying unproveable and therefore libellously actionable things about actual august personages, and bought some new hardware and rallied to the defence of the Catholics.

*But* — and here comes the point of this rambling post, so pay close attention — but the IRA couldnt go to war rallying round a flag demanding to be British. No, they told the Catholics of British Northern Ireland, you dont want to be British. What you want is to be Irish.

Posted by: Charlotte O’Neil at March 30, 2004 04:06 PM


Plus, most dial-up ISPs have a pool of IP addresses – you get randomly allocated one each time you dial up to connect. Banning the IP that (say) guggler was using on any particular day is pointless, as the next day he dials in through his ISP he will get a different IP address and some other poor mug with the same ISP who happens to get allocated the banned IP address will find himself banned from Slugger!

Some, but not all, broadband accounts come with a “permanent” fixed IP address.

Between corporate proxies and dynamically-allocated dial-up accounts, the effectiveness of banning IP addresses is limited.

Posted by: Ciarn Irvine at March 30, 2004 04:08 PM


Fine, said the Catholics, we want to be Irish, not British, and the fight began. It lasted for 35 years, and has ended with the now cast-in-stone Good Friday Agreement. And what did the Catholics of British Northern Ireland get for their struggle? The right to be Irish? No, the right to be full and equal citizens of British Northern Ireland. It took them 35 years of fighting, and claiming to be fighting for one thing when they wanted another, but the Catholics have finally got what they demanded 35 years ago: the right to be British.

And the Protestants know it.

——————–
(Should be appended to previous post, moderator please concatenate, if possible.)

Posted by: Charlotte O’Neil at March 30, 2004 04:09 PM


I now feel much more educated on the subject of IP addresses….. Thanks

Posted by: yerman at March 30, 2004 04:10 PM


Charlotte: did you intend that contribution for the “nationalism in crisis” thread? Perh. you should repost?

Very many thanks.

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 04:11 PM


I’d like to thank Charlotte O’Neil. She has managed to (1) be completly off-topic (2) have swallowed some nationalist propoganda that even nationalists would be embarrassed readit it. (3) Proving why we need moderators.

Charlotte, for you information universal suffrage was introduced for UK elections, BEFORE southern Ireland left the UK. This makes the rest of your post irrelevant.

Posted by: Keith M at March 30, 2004 04:15 PM


And the Protestants know it.

No.

The IRA fought a sectarian war against “the protestants” until military action against them made this unpalatable to them and their supporters.
It is only the threat of punishment meted to them and their community that prevents them from continuing this action today.

Posted by: loyalist at March 30, 2004 04:17 PM


This thread has gone off-topic.

Posted by: David Gough at March 30, 2004 04:20 PM


Keith,
sorry to go off topic but universal suffrage was not introduced in Britain until 1928, seven years after Ireland won independence.

Ireland introduced universal suffrage for all adults over 21 in the 1922 elections to the 3rd Dail, the one after the one the IRA only recognises.

On topic,
is it not possible that each contributor has to have a username and password validated by an administrator? Then if you want to ban someone just delete their username?

Posted by: George at March 30, 2004 04:46 PM


Mick:

It looks like the bitch goddess of success gobbled up your life. Congratulations!!

Charlotte:

Best damned thread lateral arabesque I’ve ever seen. Party on, lady.

People in general:

Thread drift is a commonplace phenomenon which should be obvious to anyone who is experienced with newsgroups.

There is always some highwire artist that says something inflammatory which prompts the rest of the group to jump on him.

The biggest problem is when a real entertainer with multiple personalities makes it on the scene. Any of you who have been on sci for any length of time are only too familiar with this.

I have only seen any of the problems related with thread drift and trolling adequately handled on sites which require a password to post, like Egroups.

The good news there is that software is available. The bad news is that Mick still needs moderators.

Posted by: James at March 30, 2004 05:11 PM


James what is sci?

Posted by: Mark at March 30, 2004 05:58 PM


It’s a usenet group – soc.culture.irish if memory serves – close companions of ni.politics and uk.currentevents.n-ireland – where a lot of the ‘bottomfeeders’ that have recently downgraded this site hang out for a living – the tone of the debate on Slugger has been falling towards that on SCI/NP/UCNI for a while, since the extra publicity it got.

Posted by: Nigel at March 30, 2004 06:09 PM


Howard should DEFINITELY be a moderator.He is a champion for the little guy.
You the man,Howard!

Posted by: Young Irelander at March 30, 2004 06:44 PM


George, sorry to remain off thread but women over 30 have been allowed to stand for election and vote in the UK (including southern Ireland) since 1918, predating the separation of the Irish Free State. Equal voting rights (as distinct from universal suffrage) came in 1928.

Posted by: Keith M at March 30, 2004 07:28 PM


The recent entries by David Brewster and Alex Kane were an absolute pleasure to read and peruse. The links provided within their entries lead to content which nicely complimented their own writings. Looking forward to a seamless blend of writing which will no doubt lend a high quality air within the Halls of Slugger. Bring it on!

Posted by: Nathan at March 30, 2004 08:31 PM


Howard howard howard!!!! Fuck if everyone else is doing it so can i!!!

Posted by: matt at March 30, 2004 08:54 PM


I think any conversation can drift from topic to topic and let’s face it the topics don’t vary that much do they.

Is it really such a big deal if somebody starts talking about the flag over Belfast City Hall when the topic is supposed to be about the proper name for Derry.

I think the only reason to ban sombody is if they use unacceptable language. Some of the abusive posts are quite witty. It surprises me that so many people take the bait. Some posters are clearly plants from the “other” side.

I’d be happy to have Howard as a moderator too.

Posted by: Henry94 at March 30, 2004 09:01 PM


To be fair I think Alex Kanes stuff is written for the Newsletter.

I liked the piece by David Brewster, it led on to a good discussion about whether unionism is naturally right wing.

I don’t know about being a moderator, people start complaining about bias, don’t they?

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 09:23 PM


Howard EVERYONE has bias on certain ideals, and no-one can totally sit on the fence. However, it is really only the political/religious arguments that get out of hand and you seem to be the most balanced in your opinions.

Posted by: Donnie Fiasco at March 30, 2004 09:30 PM


Thanks Donnie, I will take that as a compliment.

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 09:45 PM


“Howard should DEFINITELY be a moderator.He is a champion for the little guy.”

Thanks YI. I like that description, not one I have had before.

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 09:53 PM


I’d be happy with Howard as a moderator but due to the potential for allegations of bias that he sees himself should moderators be afforded the cloak of anonymity?

Posted by: Mark McGregor at March 30, 2004 09:57 PM


“I think the only reason to ban sombody is if they use unacceptable language. Some of the abusive posts are quite witty. It surprises me that so many people take the bait. Some posters are clearly plants from the “other” side.”

Quite right Henry94. Although I am rather surprised that I should agree with YOU.

Posted by: David Gough at March 30, 2004 10:58 PM


“Some posters are clearly plants from the “other” side.”

I hadn’t noticed this.

Posted by: Howard at March 30, 2004 11:06 PM


There were not only Landlords way back , there was also Lake LORDS and River Lords . The Water LORDS Still are. The LAND Lords were mostly made sell THE LAND back to the Irish Tenant Farmers . The Ancient Food Producers of Irelands Waters, the Local Indigenous Iscaireacht had all their Irish Rights DELETED [ What a word ] by The Royal War Prize Charters . Have you an Opinion as to Whether the 102,790 acres LOUGH NEAGH and the Northern Bann River should be returned to the Irish People or that The Present Absentee English Elements be allowed to keep these Waters

Posted by: Brian F. Hannon at March 30, 2004 11:44 PM


Have a go at being a moderator,Howard.Most of us are too willing to resort to petty insults now and again but you seem to be able to rise above all that.

Posted by: Young Irelander at March 30, 2004 11:51 PM


Young Irelander,

“Most of us are too willing to resort to petty insults now and again but you seem to be able to rise above all that.”

Agreed, and I must include myself in that category of petty insulters.

Howard,

You would get my vote too.

Mick,

Whatever you do, I hope this thread continues for a long, long time. Depite some of the distasteful posts, it is really a good vehicle for expression and trading of viewpoints. Slugger has certainly opened my mind to a lot of the various ideas and thoughts that exist about NI.

Posted by: Rick at March 31, 2004 01:08 AM


You need more than one moderator, probably nearer 5, and Howard et alia should be aware of what a poisoned chalice such a role is.

Otherwise you’ll see a study in how ‘middle of the road’ becomes far right or left by attrition.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Posted by: Stephen at March 31, 2004 01:37 AM


Stephen hit on the obvious point, you need at least 5 mods. So when a post goes missing we all don’t blame Howard ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by: maca at March 31, 2004 06:35 AM


Seems like a lot of people auditioning for the role of moderator.

Don’t give up yer day jobs !

Posted by: DaithiO at March 31, 2004 09:08 AM


I think you should ban someone if their name was Andrew McCannn

Posted by: yohoOno at March 31, 2004 09:11 AM


maca should be a mod.

Posted by: Howard at March 31, 2004 09:12 AM


YohoOno
Andrew makes a valuable contribution to Slugger…usually.

Howard
I’m too biased and hot headed and likely to get banned myself at some stage ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by: maca at March 31, 2004 09:15 AM


It has to be voluntary. I don’t think the moderators needed to be named in public. I suspect that we’ll use the catch all term moderator if an individual needs to intervene publicly. That way regulars can continue to post under their own names.

I’d only say to potential moderators, it needs to be a very light touch on the tiller. So far, we’ve only issued 3 red cards, two of whom have returned to post here again on a regular basis. I don’t want anyone excluded on a permenent basis; if we can help it!

Any appeals should be sent to me, but I hope it is obvious that the intention is simply to keep the space civil, not to censor people on the basis of their politics – with they be left right or centre.

Posted by: Mick at March 31, 2004 10:03 AM


*Obvious Joke alert*

I’m more of a teddy boy, me!

*It’s now safe to read further*

It seems obvious there are plants. I suggest also, that threads should be allowed to drift, because drift they always will.

Outright abuse, “pig carrier, pox jax (or something like that referring to a national flag”, should be deleted. But an extreme view in one-persons eyes is completely rational in the head of another. The key here is that people will have widely disparaging views, and it is how they express themselves is the important factor in whether they should be banned.

For me the most irritating posts I’ve seen here were those that were anally pedantic, nitpicking the grammar and Americanisation of the language.

My 2 eurocent worth!

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 10:05 AM


smcgiff,
“Americanisation (sic) of the language.”
I beg to differ. The people of the British Isles would do well to adopt as much ‘Americanization’ as possible. Why? Consider the following:
America:
1) The greatest nation ever.
2) We are the bastion of democracy and morality.
3) Our armed forces are the most powerful in the world.
4) Our universities are the best in the world.
5) Our scientists are not only the best, but the most productive, the world over.
6) No other country can boast of such companies as, Intel, Microsoft, G.E. Dell, Oracle, Cisco, 3M etc. etc. etc.
7) Our culture is the most progressive, plural and enlightened in the world.
8) Our financial system and currency is the most advanced and stable in the world.
Therefore, as Americans, we are appalled at those who choose to resist the inevitable ‘Americanization’ of their cultures.
For example:
It is rude, unenlightened and un-American to spell;
Color as ‘colour’
or
Program as ‘programme’
Additionally, it is equally irritating and un-American to write:
Liam went to hospital.
The American way (the correct way) is to write:
Liam went to THE hospital.
All non-American contributors to Slugger please take note.

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 01:26 PM


…excuse me while I vomit … … barf!

Posted by: maca at March 31, 2004 01:40 PM


Not feeling well today, maca?

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 01:52 PM


LastGreenField,

The USA is the European mistake second only to the Song Contest.

(The country is not called America. That’s the continent.)

Posted by: Dualta at March 31, 2004 02:26 PM


Dualta:
‘America’ is a common colloquialism; equally interchangeable with the U.S.รกโ€˜โ€™, USA, the States, etc.
If I’m not mistaken, there are two continents with the word ‘America’ appended:
1. North America
and
2. South America

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 02:38 PM


Okay,

At least this is fresh and not the usual Cat/Prod infighting.

LGF,

I know there has been sometime for the English language to have degraded since the colonials first adopted it, but try reading my sentence again.

For every multi-national company you could name I could name a genius artist/writer/poet. I know who I think has been for the greater good of the world. Now, tell us about Nike out in the far-east and the pay they dole out to their employees per month. To the nearest cent will do.

As for being the bastion of democracy. Who got the most votes in the last presidential election?

Your first and second arguments are contradictory in my opinion. Might does not equate to right.

As for your scientists, don’t you mean your Russian and German imports?

Point 7. Janet Jackson was beeped on the TV when she said the word, ‘Jesus’. Pluralist? More like Neolithic Conservative!
Point 4. Says who? Ever hear the expression, self praise is no praise (spelt with an s)

Now, jokes over. Tell us you taking the piss!

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 03:02 PM


“‘America’ is a common colloquialism; equally interchangeable with the U.S., USA, the States, etc.”

I’m sure Canada would beg to differ!

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 03:06 PM


Not sure how serious lastgreenfield is. Certainly his comments about correct spelling and grammer must be tongue in cheek.

Reminds me of the American girl I was talking to in Hyde Park’s speakers corner who told me of her difficulties in communication when travelling around Europe, and how she enjoyed being in Britain as we shared a common language.

Then in all seriousness she asked why we in Britain “don’t have your own language”!!!

Posted by: colm at March 31, 2004 03:47 PM


Reminds me of what the American tourist said when she past Bunratty.

Lovely castle, but why did they have to build it so close to the motorway!

Probably not true, but still funny! :0)

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 03:52 PM


The dofference is, my experience was true. This American girl has simply assumed that the language she spoke was an American creation . Obviously she knew it was called English , but the fact that she was speaking a language created in a foreign land had just not registered with her.

I don’t make this point to be anti-American. It’s just an observation I found amusing.

Posted by: colm at March 31, 2004 03:57 PM


In defence of American tourists (I can do this ’cause I just took the piss out of them).

They’re often wrongly accused of being inward because so few of them have passports. Well, lets face it, how many of us have been outside Europe? I’ve travelled extensively around Europe, but not outside. An American has got pretty much the same excuse for not travelling outside of the 50 states. When you look at it that way, Americans do travel quite a lot. Some would say to much! (Sorry, couldnt resist!)

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 04:03 PM


Nice rebuttal smcgiff, however,

For every multi-national company you could name I could name a genius artist/writer/poet.
America has contributed its fair share of artists, writers and poets, to the world. In fact, America dominates these professions.
Secondly, artists, writers and poets do not create wealth (other than for themselves) or value-added, high-tech employment (the backbone of every great nation). If they did, the ROI would be the wealthiest nation on earth!

Now, tell us about Nike
Good point. However, keep in mind that Nike, and others you could mention, are AMERICAN companies. Nikes off-shoring of jobs, and subsequent exploitation of workers in sub-American countries, is a result of globalization; hardly an American phenomenon.

Who got the most votes in the last presidential election?
Agreed. Florida was a fiasco. However, if the same scenario happened in say, Bolivia or Northern Ireland, would the ensuing chaos have been as non-violent as it was here in the Greatest Nation Ever? I can only imagine the body count in N.I. if the same scenario occurred there.

Might does not equate to right.
True. However, could you imagine a world without the U.S.? The world would descend into chaos in a matter of months without the armed forces of the U.S. keeping the unenlightened nations from butchering each other. U.S. armed forces are simply a tool of democracy.

As for your scientists, don’t you mean your Russian and German imports?
True. I read recently that China now graduates more PhDs in the hard sciences (math, physics, engineering etc.) than the U.S. does. Even more revealing is the fact that the majority of engineering PhDs the U.S. produces every year, are foreigners; many from China.

Point 7. Janet Jackson was beeped on the TV when she said the word, ‘Jesus’. Pluralist? More like Neolithic Conservative!
I cant agree with you on this one. Actually, I believe the U.S. has a nice balance of Conservatives and Liberals; it all depends on whether the Congress is controlled by Democrats or Republicans. Everyone has a home in the U.S.

Point 4. Says who?
1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. Stanford
4. The University of Chicago
5. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
6. The University of California at Berkley
7. Cal Tech
The list is virtually endless. No other nation can boast of such renowned research universities.
The only other Universities on par with the above are:
1. Cambridge
2. Oxford
3. The University of Tokyo
4. Maybe one or two others across the globe.
If you want to obtain the best education in the world, you come to America.

Tell us you taking the piss!
Huh? My best guess is that this means Im drinking alcohol? Is that correct? Dont touch the stuff. Im an American, remember? Strictly non-GMO tofu and bottled spring water.

My comments were not meant as a wind-up. They were strictly in response to your ungrateful and disrespectful comments towards the U.S. Please consider all it has done for both the British (think WWII) and the ROI (think 44 million Irish/Americans). You sleep soundly in your bed at night because the U.S. keeps watch over you. Please remember that!

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 04:08 PM


Reminds me of the time a young American lady woke me up at two o’clock in the morning to scream her apartment was flooded.
She’d hung up her clothes to dry.
Or how about the three Amercian ladies who complained their radiator did not work, I plugged it in for them.
We could start a new trend here. Stupid American jokes.
To be fair I rather like Americans. Much more interesting to talk to than your average English Brit.

Posted by: David Gough at March 31, 2004 04:14 PM


LGF,

I’ve utmost respect for the USA. However, I’m equally entitled to dispute any country’s assertion to be the greatest.

Now, to get back to what started this.

If you read my sentence without the red mist descending you might notice there was no coma after the word grammar. This means I was defending someone for writing something that was taken as being too American. Ahhhh! ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S. your apology is accepted! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 04:18 PM


smcgiff,
>I’m sure Canada would beg to differ!
To be certain, Canada is but an insignificant vassal state of the U.S. In our view, Canada is the red-headed step-child of North America. Nice people, quaint and such, but nothing more than a de facto (51st) state of the U.S.

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 04:19 PM


At one time I would have thought Last Green Field was a troll. Then I moved to the middle of London’s cheap hotel land and started to meet American tourists every day…

Posted by: Society Made Me Do It at March 31, 2004 04:21 PM


smcgiff,
>If you read my sentence without the red mist descending you might notice there was no coma after the word grammar. This means I was defending someone for writing something that was taken as being too American. Ahhhh! ๐Ÿ˜‰

>P.S. your apology is accepted! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ah, you are correct. Upon further review, I noticed my misinterpretation of your post; my apologies. However, my point still stands. The U.S. has done many great things for the world and the U.K. and ROI in particular. In gratitude, the least the people of the British Isles (no thank-you necessary) could do is speak proper English. In other words, drop the silly accent, use the same dictionary etc.

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 04:40 PM


Previously, the two men sat on either side of the paint-flecked interior of the police van. The shrinking space due to the gentle lapping of the rising water had brought them close together. The dimming light behind its metal cage was also a bad omen.
Jaysus, to think Im going to die because of some buck stupid Peeler. He looked just old enough to piss standing up, Martin Fitzgerald said as water dripped down from his sodden hair onto his soaked shirt.
Do ya have to? Terence Gibbons said, equally soaked from his futile efforts at pushing open the reinforced back door.
What?
Talk!
Ya, I suppose youd like it if I stayed quite. Like it, if we ALL stayed quite. Thatd suit nicely. Well the time for staying quiet has long since past!
Even now youre going to come the victim?

The above is the rough start of a short story Ive just started to write for a competition (this thread seems the most appropriate). I found out about this competition today. It has an April 8th closing. What Ive read on Slugger in the last few days (especially something Nigel said yesterday) is the catalyst for my idea. Basically, Im going to try and attempt a discussion between two die-hard traditionalists. One Catholic, the other Protestant. Theyre trapped inside a police van that has been driven into a river (Ill work that bit out later) and the water is slowly rising. The two are going to realise as death approaches that what theyve both spent their life arguing about doesnt matter a flying #)*& at the end of the day.

Couple of questions. Is the word peeler the correct slang for a police officer? Is Buck Stupid a caricature expression?

Not casting any dispersions, but has anyone, you know, looked into the back of one of these police vans while the door was, ya know, open? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ive never been in one (have I mentioned Im an accountant?) Any description would be of help.

Expect the comments on Slugger to liberally plagiarised.

Thanks

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 04:41 PM


This is off topic again.

Posted by: Howard at March 31, 2004 04:47 PM


The best of luck in your writing, smcgiff.

If I might suggest, ther’s a fine artificial lake near loughbrickland you might set the story! Halfway between Belfast and the border!!

Oh, and what fun could be had with the title!

“The Nice Man Cometh”

Posted by: Nigel at March 31, 2004 04:48 PM


Howard, you seem edgy today. Is everything all right?

Posted by: Nigel at March 31, 2004 04:55 PM


>This is off topic again.
It is my fault. I guess this is a good example of how easily a thread can go ‘off-topic.’ However, it did not degenerate into the typical sectarian mud slinging, so typical of most threads. Everyone was good-natured about my comments. No harm, no foul.
I’ll do my best to remain ‘on-topic’ in the future.

Posted by: LastGreenfield at March 31, 2004 04:57 PM


LGF
…indeed the US is a great country…but no country is the greatest, to suggest so is silly.

And as much as I loved each of my visits to the US I equally loved each of my visits to China, Japan, Holland, France, Germany, England, Wales, Hong Kong, Thailand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland and Northern Ireland…that’s all so far.

Each country has some magic to offer, no country is better than any other, even the US.

As for what the US has given Ireland…don’t forget Ireland has given you 44 million Irish/Americans and helped make America what it is today.

As for the world being safer because of the US military, there’s no doubt about events such as WW2 but in the recent years they seem to be creating more problems that they solve.

And we continue WAY off topic…

Posted by: maca at March 31, 2004 05:00 PM


LGF,

I’d like to think the benefit was mutual. Europe has been a great importer of Americanism and products in general. But enough, how dull would the world be if we were all the same and dinner consisted of a choice between MacDonalds and Burger King?

Maybe Americans are the victims of believing their own propaganda. Who won World War 2? The answer is of course the Russians. Who won the cold war? The Americans, but lets not think the Americans are invincible. There has been two very painful reminders of how vulnerable the west is in the last few years.

How can we in Ireland and the UK not speak proper English? It was invented over here (Ever hear the expression, England gave Ireland it’s language and Ireland gave England its literature?)

Now, you may be correct that we dont speak proper American. We dont and give it two hundred years and the language most common in the US could possibly Spanish (or the then American).

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 05:01 PM


Haven’t even thought of a title yet! Thanks Nigel. I’ll look loughbrickland up in Yahoo.

Thanks for not mentioning the spelling howler! ‘Quite’

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 05:09 PM


Howard,

Mick has asked people that want to be moderators to volunteer and those that want to be writers to submit samples. Both volunteers need to send their submissions to him directly. That thread seems to be quite (see, I know how to use this word ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) finished.

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 05:12 PM


there was no coma after the word grammar

Good job, otherwise we’d never wake up.

Posted by: Chewie at March 31, 2004 05:14 PM


‘Good job, otherwise we’d never wake up.’

Doh!! lol

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 05:17 PM


Nigel I am bravely.

Thank you for asking.

Posted by: Howard at March 31, 2004 05:22 PM


>How can we in Ireland and the UK not speak proper English? It was invented over here (Ever hear the expression, England gave Ireland it’s language and Ireland gave England its literature?)
Just a good-natured jibe, smcgiff. Ive never heard that expression.. nice

>We dont and give it two hundred years and the language most common in the US could possibly Spanish (or the then American).
Quite possibly. I look forward to learning the language. Our attitude towards foreign languages is yet another example of our tolerance and respect for so-called minority cultures. This is why we are astonished that a majority of unionists would actually vote for a party headed by a man who called the beautiful Gaelic language, the language of leprechauns. Any politician in America who made a comment like that would be thrown out of office immediately. Unionists, on the other hand, lionized the Big Man. I guess we have different standards of decency over here.
Sorry Howard, off topic again.

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 05:28 PM


Sorry, LGF, the batteries in my humour detector are running low.

Thanks for re-posting my comments. I just noticed I’ve trouble with my its and it’s!

Did ya like my Doh! comment above? No, no, I haven’t been taking classes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted by: smcgiff at March 31, 2004 05:34 PM


Dear LastGreenField

“Our attitude towards foreign languages is yet another example of our tolerance and respect for so-called minority cultures”

Not all Americans agree on the Spanish issue.

Posted by: Howard at March 31, 2004 05:37 PM


WARNING, WARNING OFF TOPIC

Howard,
You are correct. I may have generalized a bit. First, the Spanish language issue is only an issue in states near (or adjacent to) Mexico; such as California, Texas and Arizona. The issue is not about the language per se. The use of the Spanish language only becomes contentious when mentioned in the same breath as early-childhood education; in other words, bi-lingual education. Even academics cannot agree to the merits of bi-lingual education for youngsters; some assert that it is beneficial; others say it is detrimental to the learning process. In my personal opinion, I think bi-lingual education is a great idea. Moreover, few would argue against the ides that it is much easier to learn a non-official language as a wee one than it is to try and learn a foreign language as an adult.
Secondly, from my experience, I have noticed that those with a university education are much more tolerant of other peoples culture and language. I was a blue-collar worker for 15 years before returning to THE university (Note to all non-Americans: NOTICE THE THE IN THE PRECEDING SENTENCE). From my experience, my blue-collar co-workers were quite intolerant of Spanish speaking people. Generally, all Spanish speaking people were described as wet-backs. So too, I heard, all too frequently, the refrain; If they want to live in America, they should learn how to speak the language. Now, I happen to agree with that sentiment, but all too often my co-workers would fly off into a rage upon hearing any language other than American (as we call it here in the U.S.) Unlike my blue-collar friends, I happen to feel a bit embarrassed and ignorant that, at my age, I still have not learned to speak a language, other than American.
Again,from my perspective, I believe the vast majority of U.S. citizens are not the slightest bit offended or threatened by those who prefer to speak a foreign language with those who actually understand it.
Can the people of Northern Ireland say the same? Sadly, every time there is a thread on Slugger, pertaining to the Irish language, there is no end to the disparaging remarks (e.g. Irish is a bunch of gibberish etc.).

Posted by: LastGreenField at March 31, 2004 06:31 PM


LastGreenField

When I was employed at a world class US institution in Cambridge MA, a wee while ago, I used to listen to Jay Severin on 96.9 Talk. He is ultra right wing and very smooth talking.

Boy did he hate Spanish speaking, and the whole issue of the Spanish language! It made anything an Ulsterman might say look bland!

Posted by: Howard at March 31, 2004 06:38 PM


Cool yank bash.

“I’m sure Canada would beg to differ!”

That’s a surefire way to get your ass in a sling in Saskatoon. Canadians, with the exception of the Quebecois, sound like yanks and spell like brits but they are very sensitive to being lumped in with the lower 48.

“enjoyed being in Britain as we shared a common language.”

BS, it’s a curse: We understand each other’s insults.

As to the scant humorless part of the bash, well, I’ve been where you live. I’m living in a Mediterranean climate where people grow pomegranates as ornamental hedges across from the old Fairchild Semiconductor plant out by IBM where the hard and floppy disks were invented. Connect the dots kiddies…………

We are still working on the Bush problem. With luck it will not last as long as Thatcheritis but Dubya has 200 million to spend and sometimes the dragon wins.

Party on.

Posted by: James at March 31, 2004 07:11 PM


I’m tempted to write a rebuttal to LGF’s assertations of the dominance of the USA (and insignificance of my country), but I suspect he may be like many people who say outrageous and incorrect things to simply get a rise out of people, and I don’t want to provide that satisfaction.

Moderators on Slugger sound like a great idea, and I agree with Mick that they will have to be anonymous, so we can’t all complain and yell bias at every step they make.

Posted by: trish at March 31, 2004 07:19 PM


Trish,
>I’m tempted to write a rebuttal to LGF’s assertations of the dominance of the USA (and insignificance of my country)

Go for it Trish! Rebut away! Remember, I gave MY OPINION. Lets be real though. Canada is utterly insignificant in comparison to the U.S.A in nearly every conceivable category (global economic and military influence, technology, entrepreneurship, athletics, wealth creation, Wall Street etc.). I dont blame you for feeling the way you do. It is your country after all; naturally you are going to defend it, if warranted. I was COMPARING the U.S. to Canada; not taking a swipe at it. Theres simply no comparison. Yes, o.k. you have more trees and your national anthem is, IN MY OPINION, a most beautiful melody. Trish, be honest, if someone took a representative survey of American citizens, how many would know who the Prime Minister is? 10%? I honestly dont know who Canadas PM is. (but I could name 20 N.I. politicians in 20 seconds). I remember some guy named Chretin (sp?) -some French guy. The only reason I (vaguely) remember his name is because he made some nasty remark about something (or was he the P.M. that punched somebody? I cant remember) and it made the news down here. I also know that you have a Maple leaf on your flag. Thats about it. However, if one was to take a survey and ask Canadians, who is the President, -were talking 90% at least.

In many ways, comparing Canada to the U.S. is similar to comparing the U.K. to the ROI; its just silly. As much as I love Ireland, IN MY OPINION, the U.K. is vastly superior in most measurable ways. Yes the ROI has a high standard of living, but much of that is a result of large multi-national corporations moving in to take advantage of tax incentives; it has LITTLE to do with Irish entrepreneurs or ROI universities turning research into wealth (jobs). Like Canada, the ROI is a bit player on the global stage. That doesnt mean the ROI (or Canada) is bad, or not worthy of respect .. it just means it is insignificant and dependent on other, more powerful, nations for its survival. (e.g. Who is Canadas largest trading partner? How bout the ROIs?; In the aftermath of 9/11 who did Eire call upon to fly sorties over its territory? Why? Because, for all-intents and purposes, the ROI has no air force!) The ROI relies on the Brits more than they will ever care to admit, so too with Canada and its relationship with the U.S. No outrageousness intended, Trish.

Posted by: LastGreenfield at March 31, 2004 08:40 PM


LGF,

As much as Id like to argue the toss with you on the substantive issues, I’ll just take the simple pleasure in pointing out your mistake on THE University. It’d only be the, ‘definitive article,’ if you named a University. There is more than one in the US of A, right?
You can extrapolate from this simple error what I think of your other points, many of which are patently wrong. With that said, I believe in your right to live in Wonderland. Seen Alice lately or has the Mad Hatter being taking up too much of your time? ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by: smcgiff at April 1, 2004 12:28 AM


As far as writers are concerned Mick, I’d be glad to provide stories on the GAA during the championshiup season or even as soon as you’d like. It’s one of the few topics on which i can try to call myself an expert!

Posted by: PS at April 1, 2004 11:51 AM


Send him a few sample articles, PS. Especially something involving one of the six NI counties.

Posted by: smcgiff at April 1, 2004 12:02 PM


LGF, The current Canadian Prime Minister is Liberal leader Paul Martin. We are expecting an election to be called soon.

Posted by: trish at April 1, 2004 07:32 PM


Trish,
LGF, The current Canadian Prime Minister is Liberal leader Paul Martin. We are expecting an election to be called soon.
Thanks for the info Trish. When I get time, Ill have to do a Google search on Canada, to see whats going on up there ya hay dare Trish. Ive been to Canada twice: once to Thunder Bay and Quebec City and another time to the Canadian side of Niagara and then up to Toronto. I was impressed with how modern and clean Toronto was. So whats the story on Quebec? Last time I heard it was 51% to 49%. Is there a referendum coming up in the near future? Care to give any reasons why the Quebec question never turned violent, like N.I. did for thirty years? Thanks.

Posted by: LastGreenField at April 1, 2004 08:43 PM


LGF,

I think the entire world would fall of it’s stool if the Canadians turned violent.

Pity ye have to put up with the neighbours, Trish? And I don’t mean the Inuit! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by: smcgiff at April 1, 2004 09:02 PM


it’s its god damn it!

Posted by: smcgiff at April 1, 2004 09:03 PM


LGF,

Yes, as you suggested yesterday, Canada certainly is an insignificant bit-player on the world stage and it ill behoves Canadians to criticize Uncle Sam, as very many of them do, since Canada is almost entirely dependent on the U.S. for its national defence. I dont believe I can stand to hear even one more time the sanctimonious and self-satisfied Canada is the worlds peacemaker or Oh, we Canadians are just sooooo nice one would really think that people should know better than to make such self-congratulatory statements (not even true, either Ive met just as many obnoxious, impatient (not to say rude) Canadians as I have those of any other nationality).

Yes, the ex-PM (Jean Chretien) was indeed involved in a scuffle/fracas with a reporter a few years back in which he (Chretien) gubbed the offending journalist quite nicely (I do have to admit that, as a former football player, Chretien could certainly handle himself). The current PM is a grey, boring non-entity called Paul Martin a fellow with about as much persona in him as yesterdays limp