POTD – Bar Stool Republican

One of the “events” at Flatlake Literary Festival was a Gonzo Zoo which had actors playing various caricatures of the Irish. From the unemployed builder, to the Irishman abroad and as pictured the Bar Stool Republican. There was also a liberal left winger, an angsty singer song writer and a pair of boy racers, complete with a souped up car revving away whilst pumping out a heavy drum and bass tune.It was funny to walk past the various characters and a tirade of voices as they all competed (it seemed) to be heard. Despite the weather on Sunday, which was atrocious to say the least, the festival is in my diary for next year. Bloody great birthday weekend.

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  • carl marks

    i live out in the sticks and you are starting to piss me of , i keep seeing your pic of the day with events that look like a bit of craic but they are over how about a post telling us rednecks whn these things are onso we might get to them.
    liked the pic by the way

  • qwerty12345

    Jeez Moochin this event looks like it was good. If they have Fisk again next year I’ll go for sure.

  • andnowwhat

    I heard a man talking to Gerry Anderson about this. My ears pricked up when I heard Fisk’s name. Sadly, Anderson was too busy being smart arsed to let the caller get the details across.

    I would have loved to have been there.

    If I may venture slightly off topioc; I find the lack of Fisk on British MSM very odd. He pops up on Al Jazeera and Russia Today but I’m hard pushed to think of the last time I saw him on the BBC for example.

    There are few, if any correspondants, including Jeremy Bowen et al, that have the understanding of the historical, current and cultural perspectives in the Middle East and North Africa that Fisk has. Why is he not “used” more often? Because he would not use the “our boys” narrative in regards to Afghanistan nor would he let slip the British (and the west’s in general) part in the politics of the region slip buy?

  • qwerty12345

    Agree wholeheartedly “andnowwhat” – the man wipes the floor (easily) with the lot of them. I’ve read he has a library and notebooks to rival Tony Benn.

    As for BBC coverage, dear oh dear, some of their reports from Afghanistan sound like MOD recruitment drives.

    Russia Today and Press TV both put on interesting stuff but both of course cant be trusted to report what goes on in their own countries. I love when RT has a fortnightly pop at the Baltic states for example.

    Al Jazeera – I read that their mission statement was the reversal of information flow so that the developing / 3rd world might be heard. I cant speak highly enough about that channel. Pity more people dont know how good it is – and pity it cant generally get onto the cable networks in the US.

  • pippakin

    I agree about Robert Fisk but I think he is now doing some stuff for Sky News again.
    Al Jaz is a good station but I find it leans toward its own ‘side’ a bit like the tame western news but from the other side. Btw it should be good it has some of what were the better western journalists on it.

    The BBC lost its testicles a long time ago, its no good looking for news there.

    I’m sorry I missed the Festival but must confess that even had I known about it the weather was too much for me.

    I think carl marks idea about the events post or column is excellent.

  • Greenflag

    Good man Fisk -one of the few journalists left in the MSM who has any balls .

    The Flatlake Festival sounded like fun . To get more visitors and to attract tourists they need to braoden that Gonzo stereotype Zoo to include not just the various Irish but Americans , Germans , British (Scots & Welsh inclus) and even some current day archtypical villains like bankers , priests , IMF & ECB faceless tyrants even our new Irish ‘immigrants’ 😉 . And of course they’re not too far from probably one of the greatest caricatures still extant on this island the ‘orangeman ‘ in all his contradictory finery and bombast .

    Did’nt they have that Kilkenny comic festival featuring the latest laughs from the world’s most renowned professional jokers about a year ago – i.e economists ?

  • andnowwhat

    But the great thing is that on al-Jazeera English, you can say what you want, tell the truth in other words – and thank God nothing much actually happens in Qatar, home of al-Jazeera, because I somehow doubt that the Emir, who funds this extraordinary shooting match, would be subjected to quite the same serious interrogation by its titans of journalism. But then again, both the English and the Arabic versions of al-Jazeera are, in their less than odd way, a state project, part of the nation’s diplomacy, an extension of Qatar’s foreign policy, an institution that helps Qatar (I hate these British clichés because they remind me of William Hague) to “punch above its weight”.

    Robert Fisk from..


    I like where he says that on AJ you can say what you want. He does tend to be very scathing of the Arabic AJ though.

  • Greenflag


    ‘thank God nothing much actually happens in Qatar’

    Not yet . And should that have been thank Allah . When the various marketing salesmen /swordsmen /crusaders etc were carving up ‘converts’ for Islam and or Christianity the territory now known as Qatar was designated as one of Allah’s patches .

    Robert Fisk had a’ predecessor’ back in the time of the Nigerian /Biafran war ( oil again ) well known novelist and author of ‘Day of the Jackal/Dogs of War/ The Fourth Protocol and was considered a persona non grata by the British Government over his investgative journalism which was published as his first book ‘The Biafran War’ . Both the British Labour Government of the time under Harold Wilson and BP all supporters of the Nigerian Government and safe oil contracts took umbrage at Forsythe’s support for the Biafrans .

    Forsythe also spent several years in Co Wicklow near Ashford as a ‘tax exile’ benefitting from CJ Haughey’s scheme for ‘artists’ .

  • qwerty12345

    Pip I dont see much imbalance on Al Jazeera English at all really – nothing comparable to the western media anyway. You are as likely to run into Mark Regev as Fisk on there.

    I watched a show the other night on it about Bin laden – it was absolutely scathing – at the end suggesting that he was an irrelevance. So different to how AJ is portrayed in some parts. An American friend with very different political views to mine has started watching it and said ” I cant believe AJ, their documentaries about ordinary Americans are better than anything we have on tv in the US” ! no faint praise.

    Its noteworthy also that Qatar is the only Arab nation in the “alliance” against Qadaffi.

  • qwerty12345

    PS call me a sexist but Ghida Fakhry is hot.

  • pippakin


    LOL I hadn’t noticed!

    I agree that Al Jaz is better in many ways but imo they do still serve their master so of course Bin Laden would be condemned, if anything he was a more a threat to the current leadership in most Arab countries than he was to the US and her allies. I believe the truth is Bin Laden had very little control left and the only ongoing influence with terrorists was whatever his name gave him. The world had moved on.

    Friends and relatives of mine have complained that they can’t get Al Jazeera it seems odd in America of all countries.

  • andnowwhat

    Ahh qwerty12345, perhaps you suffer the same fate as I, an admiration for apna and middle eastern women.

    Is AJ still banned in the US?

    Greenflag, now you mention it, I remember that stuff about Forsythe. So little changes but was forever thus

  • qwerty12345

    Not exactly banned….but theres this wall of innuendo against it – ironic since there was a time when people like Colin Powell spoke very highly of it…until AJ started telling it like it was regarding US adventures.

    So AJ gets it very hard to get onto cable systems in the US – I seem to remember a very funny video in which a Jewish rep of AJ would go around various places in the US trying to calm people down about the channel telling them that amongst other things it was one of the most popular news channels in Israel.

  • Fisk thinks AJ is one of the more honest broadcasters though recently he said in a column that Arabic AJ’s failure to comment on what was happening in Bahrain was a “dollop of shit” on their reputation.
    Once i get a bit more time i will post a 20 min video i took of McCann and Fisk talking, it would have been more but …er… the battery ran out!
    As for a whats on event posting thats food for thought though experience tells me that some relationships are better kept on-line 🙂

  • pippakin


    Posting a list of forthcoming events is hardly an invitation! Are you worried Sluggerites will mob the first man they see with a camera??

  • andnowwhat

    Lord above Moochin, I’m raging.

    Could have been much worse though/ It could have been Fisk and Chomsky

  • carl marks

    Moochin Photoman

    As for a whats on event posting thats food for thought though experience tells me that some relationships are better kept on-line :-)”
    i promise i wont introduce myself or stalk you would just like to miss less’

  • carl marks

    would not have the time to stalk you anyway as im committed to the lovely Cheryl Cole