The best and worst of the last ten years
Decadend December 2009
A note from the editors By Connor Moloney, Suzanne Byrne, Wiebke Begere & Rossa Mullally
Contents 3 Media The rise of reality TV, social network websites
4 Politics 9/11 remembered, key moments in Irish politics
5 Environment Climate change, the extinction of the Bee
he first decade of the new millennium is coming to an end. And what a decade its been - from bust to boom, from boom to bust, from Bertie to Brian, from broke to broker and from Bush to Barack. 2010 is now fast approaching and we’ve probably seen more than we needed to… More than any other event the horrific terror attack of 9/11 casts a shadow over the decade, resulting in two wars that are still being fought. We’ve also witnessed calamitous disasters such as the Tsunami in South East Asia and Hurricane Katrina. These last disasters highlighted growing concerns about climate change as for the first people began to feel the impact of human interference with our environment. The same way our environment has changed, we’ve seen this change reflected in the political landscape and nowhere more than in this country, which leaves the decade among the worst affected by the recent global financial meltdown. But cheer up: it’s not all bad! We’ve also seen positive changes such as the banning of size zero models, rents falling at double-double digit rates and unforgettable moments in music, politics and sports. It is impossible to distill all these moments into one publication, but we’ve been reeling in the years and have captured the essence of the decade. So this way for the noughties in all its glory, from reality TV to virtual reality. Enjoy…
6-7 Fashion Sex and the city, fashion returns to the White House
8 Economy The credit crunch, the rental market
9 Society One hundred thousand Irish welcomes?
10 Film The decade of the remake
11 Sports Ireland’s most memorable sporting events
This publication was produced by Griffith College Students 2009
Editors Connor Moloney, Suzanne Byrne, Wiebke Begere, Rossa Mullally Sub-Editors Connor Moloney, Suzanne Byrne, Wiebke Begere, Breffni O’Dwyer, Ruth Ní Eidhin, Lisa Counihan, Anne Marie Dolan Design and Layout Connor Moloney, Suzanne Byrne, Wiebke Begere, Fiona Burke, Breffni O’Dwyer, Ania Majewska, Carys Sanders Contributors Connor Moloney, Suzanne Byrne, Wiebke Begere, Rossa Mullally, Fiona Burke, Breffni O’Dwyer, Ruth Ní Eidhin, Lisa Counihan, Ania Majewska, Carys Sanders With Special Thanks To Ryan Brennan and Gary Gill
Decadend December 2009
Keeping it real The Decade that brought us Reality By Lisa Counihan
e call ourselves t h e “X Factorettes.” Embarrassing, but true! Every Saturday night a group of normally intelligent women turn into gibbering simpletons as we share a bottle of wine, and become sucked into the intellectual void that is reality TV. It is almost a decade since our first experience of this
genre. Big Brother exploded onto our screens in 2000 and changed the viewing habits of a generation. The initial series was our first ever opportunity to become voyeurs in the lives of eleven strangers, 24/7. And we were hooked. In 2002 more British people registered their votes on the series (14.2 million votes) than placed a ballot for the Labour Party at the 2005 general election (9.5 million votes). Ten years on, the first Big Brother contestants appear naïve and somewhat ‘normal.’ Programme makers have tried to draw us in with an increasingly bizarre range of characters, which seem prepared to go to any lengths for
their fifteen minutes of fame. The plethora of reality TV shows that now dominate media schedules would seem to indicate that there are thousands upon thousands of ‘real’ people happy to put themselves forward as sacrificial lambs on the altar of reality TV in their quest for fame and fortune. Whether it’s watching shows in the company of others, or generating debate at the lunch table, it has almost become socially limiting to be unaware of who was voted off the X Factor, or to be devoid of an opinion on who should have been fired from The Apprentice. So what is the likely future of reality TV? In the growing ethos
Big Brother is watching you...
It has almost become socially limiting to be unaware who was voted off the X Factor
of cost curtailment, media moguls will be more than happy to continue with this cheap entertainment, which generates not only advertising revenue but incremental coffers from premium voting lines. They will undoubtedly receive the support of the print media, who thrive on selling papers on the back of exposés of people we
were neither aware of nor cared about a year ago. And we look likely to stay interested too - X Factor 2009 gets over 14 million viewers weekly. There is no doubt that for years to come volumes of research will be devoted to the phenomenon. As Cheryl Cole said “I’m off to indulge my guilty pleasure
Facebook: the global pandemic of the decade By Fiona Burke
acebook has been one of the major social developments of this decade. The social networking site has 350 million active users with 50% logging in to the site
on any given day. It is one of the fastestgrowing and bestknown sites on the internet. The company was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The development of the site nearly resulted in Zuckerberg being
expelled from Harvard University but the charges were dropped. Facebook then began to spread through schools and colleges in America. It is now a global phenomenon for people of all ages. In May 2007, Facebook unveiled
an initiative called Facebook Platform, inviting third-party software developers to create programs for the site.
There are two aims to the game: the lying down should be as public as possible and involve as many people as possible.
a page where couples that met through the site can write their “success stories” and post photos of their loved-up selves!
This lead to the creation of hundreds of social applications on Facebook, from games to photo sharing tools. This resulted in further explosion of activity on the site.
Pictures have been published of members lying down on ironing boards, cars, inside a jet engine and even on top of a life-size sculpture of a bear.
Facebook is the newest virus that has taken hold of the world, infecting citizens in every country along the way. There are more than 70 translations available on the site.
The Lying Down Game has been one of the most unusual crazes to sweep across Facebook. It’s current membership is nearly 80,000 and it describes itself as ‘Parkour... for those who cant be arsed’.
Participant of the Lying Down Game
The aim of the game is for its users to post photos of themselves in a variety of odd places lying down.
Facebook also has a number of groups to help single people find that special someone. These groups range from normal to completely outrageous; Dating in the City, Bringing Sexy Back, and Booty Call to name a few. The most popular of these sites at the moment, Are You Interested? has a whopping 13million users. There is even
The average user has 130 friends and spends almost an hour per day perusing the website. Not only has it infiltrated computers worldwide but it is now quite literally in people’s pockets, with more than 65 million users now accessing the website through their mobile phones… there is no end to the power of Facebook.
Decadend December 2009
One morning in September
The 9/11 attacks were a devastating moment in history that sent shockwaves to every corner of the Earth.
By Rossa Mullally
t was a glorious morning, the type that promised endless possibilities for the day ahead. On this morning the brilliant blue sky and perfect weather conditions served only as a surreal backdrop to the events that
changed the world and affected the lives of millions ever since. The images of the American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 as they hit the towers of the World Trade Centre, were made even more spectacular by the serene blue sky that served as their backdrop. On that fateful day
Key dates in a decade of Irish current affairs By Ruth Ni Eidhin
08.11.08 After two decades at the heart of Irish politics, the Progressive Democrats gave up the fight at the end of 2008, after disastrous general election campaign the previous year saw the party lose six of its eight seats in the Dail. 02.04.08 “The decision I am announcing today… is solely motivated by what is best for the
people”- Bertie Ahern announcing his imminent departure from the office of Taoiseach after 11 years in the office. Reflections on his time in office were overshadowed by his ongoing entanglement with the Mahon Tribunal. 14.03.08 The ESRI predicts that growth in Ireland for 2008 would be at the lowest level since 1988 and that no new jobs would be added to the Irish economy for the first time since 1991.
almost 3000 people from 51 different countries lost their lives and over 6000 were injured. This was a truly global tragedy, but it was only the beginning. Riding the wave of patriotism in the United States following the attacks, the US military invaded first Afghanistan and
then Iraq in 2003. Today both countries are two of the most violent and lawless places on earth. As a result of these operations more than 4,000 Americans are now dead, along with approximately 800 soldiers from over 30 countries. The civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are unknown, but are
comissioning, confirmed that the IRA had completed its decommissioning. The report was welcomed by both the Irish and British governments and acknowledged as a significant step towards lasting peace on this island.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern takes an early trip to Áras an Uachtarán on a Sunday morning to dissolve the 29th Dáil. Despite being perceived as a bad move by a government on the back foot, Fianna Fáil and their coalition partners were returned yet again to form the 30th Dáil on June 14th 2007. 26.09.05 “The day the gun was taken out of Irish politics”. With these words, General John de Chastalain, chair of the Independent Commission on De-
11.06.04 The 2004 citizenship referendum changed the conditions for automatic Irish citizenship to specify that at least one of a child’s parents had to be an Irish citizen or entitled to Irish citizenship. The referendum was opposed by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and was seen
likely to run into the hundreds of thousands. Increasingly, it looks likely that both the US and UK will end up pulling out of Iraq in the near future. They are over extended and have ultimately failed in their stated mission of installing a peaceful democracy in Iraq. The likely outcome of this will be a civil war within Iraq as each ethnic group scramble to fill the power vacuum created by a withdrawal. The situation in Afghanistan looks even bleaker. After an initial early victory, the Taliban has made a slow and steady comeback and now controls many areas of the countryside. Even in areas where the Taliban are not strong, there are local Warlords who are intent on running the show and who are willing and capable to fight anyone who stands in their way. It is slowly becoming apparent that this is by many as a move against the increasing level of immigration into Ireland. 26.09.02 The publication of the second interim report into the “The Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters and Payment” found former TD Ray Burke guilty of having made corrupt payments. Burke was subsequently jailed, and later developments also contributed to Bertie Ahern’s resignation as Taoiseach five years later. 07.06.01 The first Nice Treaty presented to the peo-
an un-winnable war. In fact the situation in Afghanistan is now so bad that the Chief US military commander in
On that fateful day almost 3000 people from 51 different countries lost their lives Afghanistan, General Stanley Mc Chrystal stated in September that more troops are needed immediately or the war will be lost. Even those who believe that the war can be won recognise that it could take up to 20 years to do so. All of this misery and suffering is a direct result of the events that took place on that glorious morning in September. It was the moment that defined the decade. ple of Ireland was rejected by 53.9% of voters, only to be passed after a second vote. The Lisbon Treaty superseded the Nice agreement in 2009 after a similar second referendum was successful.
Decadend December 2009
Environmental disaster? By Carys Sanders
o, this decade it was finally confirmed that yes, we are in fact DOOMED! And naturally it is largely down to mankind, so we can’t really grumble about it either. Forget the recession, what use is an economic boom when half of the country is several feet under seawater and the other half is slowly roasting on the shores of Athlone-on-Sea?? The dreaded words ‘climate change’ have crept into common parlance, particularly in the last few years, and now exist to instil guilt and fear into our very hearts whenever we do something as simple as switch on a light, or try to enjoy eating steak (because do you have any idea how much fuel and energy go into the meat industry??!). Climate science has been evaluating the evidence that suggests that the surface temperature of the earth is rising, and the likelihood that this is a result of a build-
up of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, trapping infrared rays from the sun that would normally be reflected back into space, and instead sending them back down to earth. The most significant greenhouse gas that seems to be contributing to this phenomenon is carbon dioxide, or CO2, a gas produced through fossil fuel burning. B a s i c a l l y, We s t e r n society has been churning out a hefty amount of CO2 pretty much since the Industrial Revolution began over 200 years ago. The fact that CO2 takes hundreds of years to break down from the earth’s atmosphere makes it an even greater concern for scientists. Simple necessities taken for granted such as driving to the shops on a rainy afternoon all play their part in contributing to CO2 emissions, and thus the phrase ‘carbon footprint’ was invented to represent the amount of CO2 emissions each individual produces in their daily lives. So, for instance, the more
energy and fossil fuel that you use in your daily life, the higher your carbon footprint. The predicted consequences of this are that the earth’s surface temperature will continue to rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow as they have been doing. Science also predicts that even a slight increase in the earth’s surface temperature could have noticeable and devastating effects on the planet. Whilst on paper, the idea of warming sounds quite good (after all,
Ireland might end up with a Mediterranean climate), the results on a worldwide scale don’t sound so good.
The dreaded words ‘climate change’ have crept into common parlance
One major concern is that sea levels will rise significantly as sea ice in Arctic and Antarctic regions warms up and
begins to melt. Given vast populations all over the world are concentrated in coastal areas, major cities may no longer exist and people could be forced to retreat towards higher land. More intense storms and increased desertification of land are other predicted side effects of the earth’s temperature rising. The issue of ‘climate change’ has moved from being a concern of relatively few to a main political preoccupation in recent years. Al
Gore’s presentation on climate change in the film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ brought the science and predictions to a mass audience. Natural disasters such as the 2004 Tsunami, and the devastation caused by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina brought the images of the death, chaos and desperation that natural disasters can cause into our homes and our minds. The message is that this is the kind of devastation we might eventually have to get used to in the future.
Isle Bee Damned By Carys Sanders In recent years, bee populations have been rather mysteriously diminishing both in Ireland and many other countries.Whilst the Honey Bee is now believed to be under attack from the Varroa mite, several bumble bee species are also under threat of extinction. One believed cause of this is the widespread cutting down of hedgerows in recent years as Ireland’s countryside has undergone urban development. Other causes to population losses include bad weather, and a lack
of bee friendly flowers and plants in gardens and wild.Scientists are working to isolate the parasite that is wiping out honey bee colonies, and in the UK breeding programmes are being considered to reduce further losses, and encourage the native Black Honey Bee which is generally hardier than other subspecies.The work is crucial. The importance of Bees should not be underestimated as thye play an important role in pollinating crops and plants. Even Albert Einstein is alleged to have said; “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left”.
Decadend December 2009
The Decade in Fashion
Sex and The City... Not t
A look at some of the wardrobe w Patricia Field
By Breffni O’Dwyer
Fashion returns to the Whitehouse
While for some Obama’s Presidential victory was the highlight of 2008,
and it certainly was a momentous occasion, I however harboured a secret joy at the return of fashion to the White House! With simple shifts appearing to be her wardrobe staple and her ability to wear bold prints and colours in the most unassuming manner, Michele Obama is setting herself in good
stead to become the most fashionable first lady since the enigmatic Jackie O.
The Highstreet/Designer Collaboration The rise of designer/highstreet collaborations took flight during the noughties. A product of Sex and the City? Perhaps, with women everywhere lusting after the designer packed wardrobes of the fabulous foursome, it seems a natural progression to offer a more affordable range.
From Kate Moss for Topshop to Patricia Fields’s range for
M&S, by far the most successful retailer is the unstoppable H&M. They boast collaborations with Mathew Williamson, Comme Des Garcon and most recently, Jimmy Choo. So if you fancy a splash of designer gear but can’t afford the pricetag hit the highstreet quick!
They said it would never happen ... Never say never folks! We thought the Dynasty days of disproportionately large shoulder pads were dead and gone, never to be resurrected, but alas the fashion wheels have truned and the look resurfaces with a twist. At first this throw back to
the 80s was met with trepidation however the futuristic shoulders seen on the Balmain runways have now been embraced with open arms. With great h i g h s t r e e t recreations, anyone can step back two decades, and look great while doing so.
s Vogue was to Carrie Bradshaw, so too has Sex and the City been to women everywhere for the last decade; the fashion bible! The stylish quartet not only changed the way a generation talk about sex, they became the cornerstone for fashionistas around the world while doing so. The mastermind behind each individual look was the
wonderful Patricia Field. The adventurous stylist never failed to impress with each episodes wardrobe. From the block colour power dressing of Samantha, the fashion forward, adventurous style seen on Carrie, the conservative “girl next door” attire of Charlotte, to the tailored corporate look donned by Miranda. Every style and taste was catered for. I could give a running commentary, beginning right back at the pilot, of all the wonderful looks created by Field. I will admit to reading through
the wardrob the official w than once! H the purpose I’ll keep to t of the six ser Where to sta first look m simple, whi seen on Carr opening title tulle skirt and both in the so pastel shade the effortless of the show. In saying wild side definitely do a back seat show, the sl esque cat su unwavering by Samantha jumps to mi all the sex there, a hea of lingerie throughout also.
Decadend December 2009
to mention “The Field”!
Vintage is back in Vogue
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Another noughties fashion craze is the rise in popularity of vintage clothing. I’ll tip my hat once again to Patricia Field and say she definitely influenced the trend. Her clever mix of
high end designer pieces with quirky one offs makes vintage clothing even more alluring. Vintage and second hand clothing stores are popping up all over Dublin with Oxfam getting
Phoenix from the flames The decade for Kate Moss fashion scene to the sensationalised exposé of her cocaine habit, the noughties have proved challenging for the supermodel.
A nod to the wedding gowns sent from Heaven; Charlotte’s Vera Wang dream which she walked down the aisle in for her first wedding. And who could forget the dress that left every girl seeing green in Sex and The City the Movie; the Vivienne W e s t w o o d masterpiece donned by Carrie when she was stood up on her wedding day. Vintage clothing came into its own on the show too, with Carrie acting as master of the field by mixing high end designer gear with little gems from vintage stores. The full length fur worn from
the first series right through to the movie was a really classic piece. Along with her simple little wedding suit which she teamed with the now icon blue satin jewel encrusted Manolos. Patricia Field, we salute you!
Perhaps Kate Moss would like to forget some of the last decade. With challenges to her position as top of the UK
However, it seems Moss has resumed her position on her pedestal, boasting a hugely successful clothes line for Topshop, being the face of Hérmes and warding off the threat to her throne in the shape of new modelling sensations; Lily Cole and Agyness Deyn.
a vintage drop every Friday morning. There are bargins to be had and little gems waiting to be found around the city so get going, who knows what you’ll find.
Boho Chic Boho chic was the look of the early noughties. With flowy peasant skirts and sandals the vibe was laid back cool. We saw Sienna Miller come into her own with the style.
The look was seen stateside with stylist Rachel Zoe u n l e a s h i n g an army of A list celebs in freeflowing dresses, blonde tresses, folk jewelery and the all important over sized sunnies. H o w e v e r , Londoners stayed true to the Camden market mantra and opted for a less styled version of the famous look.
Decadend December 2009 Daft Economist Ronan Lyons on Rent...
During the boom years nothing seemed too expensive, nothing seemed beyond reach- but then the market crashed
From boom to bust Ireland leaves the decade among the worst of the worst and is now facing ruin By Connor Moloney
few years ago a friend of mine was telling me he had just bought a brand new apartment in northeast Dublin as an investment property. The friend was in his mid-twenties, and working a fairly low income job. I asked how he could afford it. No worries, he said, his mortgage, was one of the new “100%” ones banks were
offering, and he could rent it out to cover the high interest monthly repayments. All he had to do was wait a year or two for the value to go up before selling at a tidy profit. Then, bust. The sudden collapse was really not that sudden at all. The “credit crunch” as it was called before it became the “economic crisis”, started being bandied about as a term in late 2007, and some financial service companies here had started laying staff off
Rents falling at double-digit rates By Wiebke Begere The end of the first decade of the new millennium is nearing and there is great news not only for new and returning students, but for all tenants around the country- rents are falling at doubledigit rates around the country in Ireland.
The latest Daft.ie analysis found that the typical student renting a double-room in Dublin city-centre can expect to save about €1000 over the course of the coming academic year, compared to last year. From the late 1990s to the summer of 2002, rents were on the constant up. Then the
long before scenes of despairing stock brokers became the
If I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor
order of the day on sky news. We had a government to tell us, for popularities sake,
that everything would be fine and a credit system that wanted, for desperation’s sake, to milk the golden cow dry. At an economic debate last year, MEP Joe Higgins recalled his upbringing “At feeding time for the pigs, we would have to take a stick to the greediest snouts,” he noted, before adding pointedly, “there was certainly no stick in evidence over the last ten years.” Everything we wanted,
unthinkable happened: Rental values had been increasing since the end of 2004, though it wasn’t until the middle of 2005 that the pace of growth really picked up.
growth rate since the index started tracking rents back at the beginning of 2002.
From 2005 onwards analysis of the rental market showed rental values continuing to increase steadily right across the country, with the annual rate of growth reaching 10.5 per cent in February 2007 - the fastest
The primary reason rents are falling is due to increased supply. The total number of properties available to rent has risen steadily over the last two years, suggesting much more competition among landlords.
But once again in only a decade, the rental market went from boom to bust.
everything we thought was ours but never really was, was only a loan, a credit card or an overdraft away. The banks, buoyed by such modern goals as “competing” and “market share”, offered something for everyone. Incredibly, the idea that we shouldn’t really be able to afford this never occurred to them either. As the song goes, “If I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor.”
Rents peaked in early 2008 and based on July figures, the largest falls in rents in Dublin since then have been in Dublin city centre and South County Dublin. The north city area has seen the smallest fall in the capital, although even there the fall has been over 20%. Dublin is a more liquid market, so expect Dublin to turn first, whenever it happens. It would be my expectation that rents in Munster and Connacht face a different 5-year trajectory to Dublin. After all, rents in those areas also increased by far less during the boom years too. At the moment, the sheer number of properties available to rent means that there is competition is among landlords, pushing rents down. This competition is likely to persist in the capital at least for the next six months and in some parts of the country a good deal longer. Or at least that’s what things look like now - no doubt the market has more surprises in store! Interview conducted by Wiebke Begere
One hundred thousand Irish welcomes? By Ania Majewska
foreign man asked another man in Dublin pub while they were drinking Guinness at the bar: “Where are you from?” “Where am I from? I’m Irish!” No Irish person would have been asked a similar question even fifteen years ago in Ireland. At that time the country was ethically, culturally and religiously, one of the most homogeneous in the whole of the EU. Things have changed. Ireland has a very long emigration history. There are around 80 million Irish people across the world, whilst in Ireland there are only around 4 million. From 1996 on-
An injection of new blood has led to massive changes in Irish society wards however, a significant transformation took place and immigration began to occur on a massive scale.
Two magic words: Celtic Tiger. Ireland’s employment rate increased by almost 30 per cent in the five years between 1996 and 2001.
Two magic words: Celtic Tiger At that time the Irish economy became one of the most opulent in Europe. This brought attention from citizens not only of Europe, but countries around the world. Ireland, with a population of
The sudden economic boom brought about a huge demand for new workers just four million, saw 50,000 immigrants arriving annually. Due to the sudden economic boom in 2003 and 2004, Ireland experienced a huge demand for workers. There were plenty ofjobs - but not enough people. Incoming migrant
workers have helped to fill the job vacancies indigeous workers did not want. Despite the fact they were receiving the minimum wage, they were happy to hold on to these positions as these wages were still much higher than
in their home countries. Despite fears, the newcomers did not displace Irish workers and there was no rise in unemployment.
The effects of immigration changed Ireland socially, demographically and even culturally. Some
A religious conversion The sins of the fathers still dominate the faith landscape
Anger at the church reached breaking point By Suzanne Byrne
In May of this year the Ryan Commission report into sex abuse within religious institutions was published to a tidal wave of raw emotion and anger in Irish society. And in November came the Murphy report. The two documents,which made headlines around the world, contained unflinching accounts of unfathomable savageries perpetrated by men and women who had begun their adult
lives with a pledge to follow the path of Christ. In the years before its publication, abuse within the Catholic Church had on and off monopolised national conversation, to the extent that talking about it had almost become a cliché. Media coverage of the issue ebbed and flowed as new cases emerged, but it was as if we had accommodated ourselves to the horrors as part of what we were. But when these reports came out, it was almost as if we were
hearing about it for the first time. Hearing Christine Buckley, her voice shaking and finger jabbing with fresh anger over the wounds that had never fully closed. So when one thinks of religion in Ireland this is what tends to still immediately spring to mind.
The apocalyptic fall from grace of the great Irish Catholic tradition over the last 30 years had ended in a crash land. But this grim and all too familiar picture does not tell the whole story of religion in Ireland in the last ten years. As Ireland was faced with the phenomenon not of emigration but immigration, the religious/faith landscape of Irish society was, for the first time in its
history, beginning to visibly change. The 2006 census showed that Islam had become the third most
Islam had become the third most populous religion populous religion in the country revealing a 70 % increase to 32,500 compared to the previous census in 2001, which counted 19,147. When the figures were published in 2007 the phenomenon of the growing Islamic population was duly noted in the media and a number of features followed. However, it
still barely figures in the narrative of religion in Ireland, which continues to be dominated by our truly peculiar brand of Catholic worship.
The fact that the recent row over withdrawal of subsidies to Protestant schools garnered so many column inches clearly reveals we’re still have trouble seeing Protestants as one of our own, never mind Muslims. With the decade ending with the reemergence, at a time of recession, of the phenomenon of religious visions many had thought was consigned to history, we still have quite a way to go in re-imagining ourselves as a modern multicultural society.
people say that Ireland now looks better and has had new life injected into it.
However, some herepeople maintain that Ireland lost its spirit, tradition and culture and some may argue: was it worth it?
Saints for a Recession
1.St. Matthew. Patron saint of bankers, financial managers, stockbrokers and the Recession. 2. St Joseph: Patron saint of workers, home-sales and those in arrears on their mortgages. 3. St Elizabeth of Hungary: The homeless, responsibilities include those with in-law problems; those ridiculed for their piety and falsely accused people. 4. St Cajetan: Patron saint of the unemployed. 5. St Monica: Alcoholics. Pious Monica was not an alcoholic herself – her pagan husband was. 6. Fiacre is patron of cab drivers: the men and women who know exactly why the recession happened and how to get out of it...
Decadend December 2009
I know what films you made last summer
A look back at a decade when directors finally threw in the towel, lodged their creativity in the bank, picked up the pieces and repeated themselves over and over and over and... By Ruth Ní Eidhin
n a country where we still go to the cinema to watch films, the M word has never captured the public imagination in the way it has on the far side of the Atlantic. Add it to the end of a film title, however, and our enthusiasm seems to match theirs. Scary Movie, released in September 2000, was a watershed for the modern film industry.
Based on the 1996 film ‘Scream’, Scary Movie brought satire, of a sort, to a new generation whose interest in low-level humour was about to cause a major cultural shift in cinematic tastes. Nearly a decade on, it’s easy to forget the most significant feature of the original
Scary Movie. It may not have been very clever, but it was certainly funny. The film worked because of the extremes it went to to parody Scream’s postmodern take on the horror genre. The clichés highlighted by the Scream films themselves were taken to new and ever more ridiculous levels, with the inevitable and no doubt desired effect - as of 2009 there have been four sequels with a fifth on the way. Spin-offs to other genres followed, with Date, Epic, Disaster and even Dance Movie filling our screens with increasingly banal jokes over the coming years. The most self-referential title in the history of film, ‘Shriek If You Know What I
Did Last Friday the Thirtieeth’ (2000) may not have reached the commercial heights of scary movie, but you have to credit them with a very obvious sense of humour about
Into this void of originality, stepped in one last sinner their
Scream itself has spawned two further sequels to complete the trilogy. This year, the grapevine reports that Scream 4 is in the works, illustrating the decade’s great moviemaking maxim, “If
Saw VI can get a cinema release, surely we can make at least one more too?” In the decade that is about to pass us by, filmmakers didn’t restrict themselves to satirising the work of others in a range of ever more ridiculous sequels - they satirised themselves. Anyone who didn’t groan at the very idea of Saw II must have given up at the point of Saw V. The reality is that these films continued to draw in crowds admittedly the ‘new spenders’ of the decade, Saturday night teenagers with €20 to spend on a single ticket - so the quality and originality of releases ceased to register. Into this void of originality stepped one last sinner. The Classic Remake. Staying
with the horror genre, we’ve had remakes of Haloween, we await a series of Friday the 13th remakes, and somewhere in between we were subjected to the majesty of “Freddie vs Jason”, a film so unneccessary that it may tip “Alien vs Predator” off the leaderboard for the sheer stupidity of the setup. Who will win out in the end? Film executives everywhere. Whatever about remaking the films that gave you nightmares the first time around, this decade’s habit of interfering with perfectly good originals would leave any film buff’s mind utterly boggled.
What possessed any producer to think Terminator needed to be salvaged?
Batman’s rejuvenator may have been forgiven thus far but really that lenience depends on how many more sequels they try to drag out of the franchise. It wasn’t all bad - after all, what woman (or man) could blame the man who cast George Clooney in the role of Frank Sinatra in the new Ocean’s Eleven? The point being, re-
makes are not a new thing, and not necessarily the worst thing in the world, but carbon copies are. Which brings us back to the horror genre and the utter waste that was The Omen (2006) - a film so unaware of its own heathenism that it simply reshot almost every scene from the original.
The sad fact is that the the list of nominees for “Best Original Screenplay” must be dwindling, while truly great and original films have spent the last decade being drowned out by unnecessary, unmemorable tripe. The biggest films of this decade have been remakes, sequels or at a minimum based on books that have already sold hundreds of millions of copies. If there is a light at the end of this dreary tunnel, it is in the originality and variety creeping into new forms of animation, the reliable ‘big actors’ who are still willing to make small films, and the resurgence of small cinemas as ‘cultural centres’ that may yet see 21st century cinema being redeemed over the coming decades. We can but hope.
Decadend December 2009
The Good, The Bad and The Bubbly By Connor Moloney
We kicked every ball, felt every tackle, shared every triumph and felt the pain of each loss. For sport in this country, this decade has seen as many highs and lows as ever. From tantrums to tries, trophys to tragedies, here of some of the best, and the worst, moments that have helped define Irish sport in the past ten years...
The Saipan Incident 2002
Roy Keane expected Ireland to win the 2002 World Cup. By the time it began, he had left the squad, very publicly deriding the FAI, his teammates, and manager Mick McCarthy. Public opinion on Saipan remains divided even now, and the resulting fall-out has become Irish football’s version of the Beatles breaking up, with Roy playing the acerbic Lennon to Mick’s bland McCartney. Bertie Ahern offered himself as a mediator in the dispute, it spawned a sellout stage play; bloody hell, Jason McAteer even had a newspaper column at the height of it. An Altamont for the Italia ’90 generation.
The Death of George Best
Undoubtedly these isles finest ever footballer, George Best finally succumbed to long-term health problems midway through the decade. His talent ultimately faded early under the weight of his personal demons, but the winger still enjoyed 10 seasons at Manchester United, winning two league titles, and a European cup along the way. While years of alcohol abuse overshadowed his foootballing achievements, 25,000 mourners still gathered at his funeral in Stormont, determined to remember the best of the man. The final message of Best himself was cautionary: at his request pictures from his deathbed were published baring the headline: “Don’t Die Like Me”.
2006, 2008 & 2009
Leinster’s Heineken Cup Success Nowhere has Irish Rugby’s acesendecny been more evident than in Europe’s premier club competition. Munster provided the first victory, beating Biarritz 23-19 in The Millennium Stadium. They won it again in 2008, in the process setting the gold standard for provincial rugby, a fact that long irked their often underachieving rivals in Dublin 4. However, in 2009 Leinster finally struck back, defeating Leicester Tigers 19-16 at Murrayfield to finally claim the trophy for themselves. As they continue to dominate, their annual derbies fast becoming the sport‘s Classico, it’s no wonder everyone in Ireland seems to be a rugby fan now.
Padraig Harrington’s First Open win 2007
The first Irishman since 1947 to win the coveted Claret Jug, besting Sergio Garcia in a truly gripping play-off, Padraig Harrington’s success was perhaps surprising at the time. His career prior to that day at Carnoustie had been very much that of the perennial nearly man: undoubtedly talented, but never quite seizing his moment. Two further major titles later, he is seen as possibly the one golfer in today’s game who can rival Tiger Woods. Harrington’s place as one of Ireland’s greatest individual sportsmen is now assured. If he can tame Tiger, he may yet go down as the best.
The Grand Slam 2009
It almost didn’t happen. After following a disastrous World Cup with a dismal showing in the 2008 championship, arguably the most gifted generation of rugby players this country had ever seen looked as though their time might be up. A new coach in Declan Kidney, however, together with exciting young talents such as Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney, seemed to give the likes of O’Connell and O’Driscoll renewed purpose. Finally fulfilling their promise, a heartstopping 17-15 win over Wales in the final game delivered Ireland’s first Grand Slam since 1948. A thoroughly deserved triumph befitting a truly great team.