Slugger fieldtrips?

My previous idea to have a group of people from varying perspectives attend as much of the RIR parade and associated protests as possible and then give report back on their perceptions as a starting point for discussions here didn’t really work out. That was mainly due to the last minute nature and associated bad planning. However, it’s an idea I’d be interested in pursuing in the future and I understand Mick will soon be raising something similar.

For me the first attempt didn’t work out as I’d have liked as it ended up more like bog average citizen journalism not a starting point for a discussion on how differing people perceived the same event but I did get to experience some elements of the day that’d I’d never normally have been within a mile of.

Is anyone interested in signing up to this kind of thing or feeding in to developing it?

I’d be interested in seeing groups of Slugger bloggers/readers going along to political, cultural, sporting etc. events of the type that often generate contentious debate on the site, but mainly rely on MSM pieces, as the starting point for discussion below the fold. I’m not interested in doing it like a blog One Small Step campaign or as some sort of bridge building initiative but people coming along with any prejudice they may hold, being open to either reinforcing or reducing it and only committing to honestly relating what they saw and how they felt.

It might generate some decent discussions, it might not. Anyone interested? The floor is open….

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  • Ri Na Deise

    Sounds like a brilliant idea Mark.

  • RepublicanStones

    Sounds good on paper….

  • The Raven

    Sounds good. Can I throw an idea in (obviously with the pin still in) and suggest that we get a few Prods along to a GAA match?

    As (probably) one of the few people from that community who attends/follows the odd match, and thoroughly enjoys it, I’d love to see more coming along.

  • Gerard

    Can you count me in Mark?

  • Mark McGregor


    That’s the kind of thing: trips to see Paisley preach, a Stormont session, loyal order parades, Macker’s book launch would have been good if we had this up and running, commemorations on both sides, bonfires, protests, cemetary sunday, some nutter could even suggest going to see ‘On Eagle’s Wing’.

    It would just need a range of people and honest feedback.

  • Driftwood

    You can ask for a tour of the firing ranges at Ballykinlar. Hey you might even be allowed to try them out! You will need a British passport to get in however.
    At least you wont bump in to Jckie McDonald

  • Not cemetary Sunday in Carnmoney though I take it Mark.

  • pith

    Ikea maybe?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Hey you might even be allowed to try them out!’

    Couldn’t be bothered trying to clear all the IA’s once the SA80 stops.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Good one Driftwood. It’s well seen the Irish government are interested in McDonald, as they originated from terrorism themselves. Democracy is a new thing to them too.

  • Dave

    Maybe some folks should just try 😉

  • NP

    “suggest that we get a few Prods along to a GAA match”

    Im an atheist im happy to attend a GAA event if you pay me in.

  • UMH,

    Who threatened London with rebellion by an army equipped with German weapons in order to get their own way and frustrate a law passed by Parliament?

  • Gonzo

    For a while (donkeys, if I’m honest) I’ve been toying with the idea of asking the IFA for a few free tickets for a Slugger crew to visit Windsor Park for a NI international.

    Should I finally follow through?

  • Driftwood

    If Slugger can get tickets for the Ireland v New Zealand match at Croker on Saturday, I’m game.

    In return I can promise to get a group to the North Down v Waringstown NCU cricket game next season.


  • latcheeco

    How about a field trip to an electrical engineering and Basque cookery camp up in Buncana?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Democracy is a new thing to them too.’

    Maybe, because…… remind me again who it was who denied them democracy?

  • The Devil

    Dear Mark,

    I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful opportunity to socially interact physically spiritually and mentally with a randomly invited group of Neanderthal fuckwits whose only criteria for inclusion in an experimental inter-community political debate for people with opposing viewpoints was the fact that they had the bus fare in their pocket and time on their hands.

    Brilliant ideas such as you field trip cause a tingling sensation deep in my loins which I normally only experience after four stiff whiskies, three even stiffer Viagra, two lines of coke and five hours with Brazilian hooker, or a hooker with a Brazilian I’ve a fondness for either. I would like to point out for the record that a Ravenhill moron with no neck and a number 2 on his back doesn’t count, just in case any of you were wondering.

    Perhaps next year Mark you could try a few other ideas, here’s a few just off the top of my head.

    We could invite some bulls to a bullfight to get their assessment on the event.

    A group of Nazis and a group of Jews for a tour of Belsen to get their take

    What about the American pilot who whooped “Yeah baby burn baby burn” when he dropped a fuel-air bomb on a group of women and children in Fallujah, we could re-united him with the charred remains and the surviving relatives to see if they had a view on it.

    We could get the Hutu’s and the Tutsi’s gathered at the scene of a mass butchery to discuss tribal view points.

    We could even stretch out to our animal friends and ask seal pups their view point on having their head stoved in with a bloodied cudgel, they could tell us if they’d prefer whether it was or wasn’t televised or with they wanted a lovely snowy background to their slaughter or just a close-up.
    We could ask whales do they really mine if some heartless bastard with an explosive harpoon explodes their mummies lungs all over the ocean or slits their father from mouth to tail before packing him in ice so Japanese diners can eat him raw.

    Just a few thoughts Mark or you could just as easily accept the fact that for most of us the real view is those bastards are in the wrong!