Tag Archives: Rant

Robyn R
Apr. 29.

Waffle Wednesday: I see the posters & Despair for Humanity

Robyn RYes, I will say it right now. This is a political post. It is about the Marriage Equality Referendum, and if that’s not your thing, please come back soon. Normal service will resume shortly. There is now less than a month to go until the May 22 Referendum, and I’ll be honest. It can’t come soon enough.

As it typical with all elections and referenda, it comes with posters. Tons of them. Millions of them. Every (other) lamp post is festooned with one or more of them, and sometimes with multiples of the same one (cover every angle). I try to ignore them. I am not a fan of them, but some of them are hard to ignore (but to make it easier, there are no poster images in this post).

My issue isn’t with the Yes campaign posters. they are hardly emotive ( I personally find the Fianna Fail ones to be very banal). The AAA ones skirt a bit close to not being suitable (Vote yes to Equality in 2015, no to Austerity in 2016), but generally they are okay. My issue is with the No campaign. There are a wide range of posters out there, all dealing with highly emotive topics, which aren’t relevant to this referendum. They are issued by and paid for by a group called Mothers & Fathers Matter. Now, I completely agree with the group name. Mothers matter. Fathers matter. But it does not mean that the mother and father have to be in a single group, a single unit. To say that someone who raises a child without a mother, or without a father (why is the evil couple ALWAYS two men?) you are automatically failing the child. Have Mothers & Fathers Matter actually stopped and thought about what they are doing there. They are insulting, and delivering a slap in the face to every single parent in Ireland, and indeed the world. To say that a mother, who threw an abusive partner out, and did the very best she could to raise a child, protect them and care for them in not at all easy circumstances, is a failure as a parent, as they didn’t raise the child with a father, is degrading, inhuman and wrong. Likewise, if fate happened to conspire to leave a father to raise a child without a mother, the father is a failure? There is something seriously messed up there.

And yet, as I said above. The issue of children is not the topic of the referendum. It is about marriage. Very simple. As the proposed wording states:

‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’

Nowhere does it mention children, or mother, or father. Though, as the constitution will, and has, inevitably been brought up, let’s do some simple word finding exercises:

  • There are 6 mentions of mother in the constitution. Most are as part of the word “mothers” (twice in relation to abortion & four times in relation to work)
  • One mention of father, in this passage (Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,)
  • Nine mentions of parents  (in relation to Article 42 – education)
  • No mentions of female or male

I have seen the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child quoted the same way. The figures are just as bad, and prove the argument wrong just as easily there.

It is unfortunate that psychology says someone will be swayed by the No posters, and that is unfortunate. It is one thing if you choose to vote no, for the right reason in your mind. I don’t agree with you, but I respect your opinion. To decide to vote no, as the result of an argument that is completely irrelevant, though, is wrong. Completely wrong, and as a result I need to advise everyone of this: Find out what the referendum is about. Look at the logical arguments from BOTH sides, discount the ones that you can see are crazy or irrelevant, mull things over, and then make up your mind. You have until May 22.

I must also add, please, do your civic duty. If it is at all possible, check you are on the voter register (you have until May 5th to get yourself on there), and on May 22, get out and vote!


Tagged: , , ,

Sep. 24.

Waffle Wednesday: Yet Another Hospital Rant

ww-hospitalthWell, it’s time for another one of those posts where I talk about hospitals (I’m making a habit of it). As you may know I was in hospital for 5 weeks before Christmas, than again for a couple of days at the end of March, and since then I have been waiting. Well I am going to rant a little about still waiting.

I was told at the start of April that I have an issue affecting one of my kidneys. It’s minor, and they wanted to look at it again before deciding what to do about it. So they gave me an appointment to repeat some tests in July. July came and went. All I got was a letter to say it had been rescheduled until the start of September. I later found out that it was because my consultant had been called away for a time. It happens. I wasn’t entirely happy but I persevered.

The start of September came. I got a phone call going through the standard 101 questions that would be asked time and time again, was told that it was going ahead and all was good. Then I got another phone call saying that the theatre wasn’t available for when I was scheduled and it was postponed again. I couldn’t really give out to the admissions secretary, as it was not her fault, but I was quite annoyed. I think that is understandable for me to be unhappy. Having it cancelled once is unfortunate. Having it cancelled twice is a pain.

Well, let’s figure out what is about to be said. It’s the 24th, and I’m writing this about an appointment for the 22nd. You can guess that it was cancelled yet again. This is just getting ridiculous. Again after being told it was all good and it was going ahead, I got a phone call. About 12 hours before I was due in the hospital I got a call from the on call registrar calling it off. He told me that he would have called me sooner but there was difficulty finding my contact details, and that because of a number of cases arriving in over the weekend mine was cancelled.

The trouble I have isn’t solely with it being cancelled again. It’s with what it is doing to my head. I am sick of waiting for this. I am sick of getting myself ready, being told that it is going ahead, only to have it called off. I am sick of what feels like being fobbed off with excuses.

Is it too much to ask for to actually get things done? To know that there is further work required or that it is something that can be left as is? I want to be able to get myself sorted out, back doing something, and not just waiting around waiting to do something.

All I know at the moment is that the appointment has been rescheduled for early October, yet still another 2 weeks away. Again I have been told that it is not going to be cancelled, but bitter experience has taught me that until I’m actually there, that being told it’s not going to be cancelled means nothing.


Tagged: , , ,

Image credit: Reuters via FT.com
Apr. 23.

Waffle Wednesday: So It Begins…

ww-posters-thThere is one sight that fills me with absolute dread. A sight that I saw yesterday as I left the train station on my way home. A sight of many smiling, supposedly trustworthy faces looking at me from the lamp posts. So it begins… Election Poster season.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like elections, and this one will be particularly interesting. I absolutely despise election posters and leaflets though. The sight of so many posters from so many people trying to convince me that they are worth the coveted Vote 1, that they work for the community all the time, makes me want to not go outside until it’s time to vote.

Image credit: Reuters via FT.com

Image credit: Reuters via FT.com

There is one particular candidate, a sitting councillor, who in a recent leaflet drop through the door, and ad campaign in our local newsletter magazine, claimed that she works for the community all the time, not just at elections. The funny thing is, the last time I saw her, it was roughly 5 years ago, smiling at me from a poster no less. Then we have other candidates, who believe that the best way to make a name for themselves is to be disruptive, to jump on every single bandwagon going, in the hopes that one of them will end up doing something.

Driving during election poster season quite literally drives me insane. Driving in Dublin or its suburbs, or indeed any city can be tricky enough at times without the added distraction of election posters. Was that the turn that I was meant to take? You know, the one that was hidden by the poster. Or is that a road sign among the election posters there? Did I just crash into the back of someone while looking at a poster of someone I’m not going to vote for? It is absolute madness at times, where rules regarding their placement are loosely interpreted, or simply disregarded.

Image Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive via thejournal.ie

Image Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive via thejournal.ie

Maybe we should look at following the lead of some councils in Scotland, and a handful of towns in Ireland, who have banned the erection of election posters on public property. Hopefully that would then make the people who want our votes actually work for it, visiting the electorate, and face to face proving that they are the right people for the job, that they have done, and will continue to support the communities that they claim to represent. It’s on that basis that I’ll be voting, and not on the basis of oh I remember that name from the many hundred election posters I’ve seen of them.

What are your views on election posters? Are they a nuisance, or a necessary part of the democratic process? Are candidates in your area making extraordinary claims that they can’t back up? Let me know in the comments below.


Tagged: , , , ,

Apr. 16.

Waffle Wednesday: Pick A Blogger, Attitude and Potential Clients

pickablogger-thA couple of weeks ago I was approached by a new blog listing and promotion service, Pick A Blogger, asking me to take a 1 month free trial of their service. I had some concerns about it and asked if I could think about it for a while. That wasn’t a problem. So far so good. I then took to Google and Facebook to do a couple of checks and ask for advice. A simple Google search for the name of the site, and they weren’t even top for it. This rang some alarm bells, and the general advice from Facebook was to not do it, as having links from questionable sites could potentially harm my own search ranking.

pickablogger1I left it sit a while, and actually forgot to reply until Saturday night, where I could see an argument brewing between Pick A Blogger and another blogger I follow on Twitter. At that time I decided to reply to the DM, saying that thank you, but I don’t feel it is a good move to have my site listed, and I would be declining the offer of the 1 month trial. There was one problem though. In between being told I could think about it, and my replying, they had unfollowed me, so I couldn’t send them a DM. I could only reply publicly, to their twitter to say that I wouldn’t be taking up their offer.


It was then that I received a reply, not from the account I replied to, but from the personal account of the owner, telling me that unfollowing was nothing personal, but didn’t address that I was declining the offer.  I felt obliged to voice my reasons for declining, as it may have helped in improving the service for those that did want to sign up. That’s where things took a turn for the… Surreal.

pickablogger3Okay, he’s not a miracle worker. There are very few people who actually are, but I would have thought one of the most basic things you can do in SEO is to get your own website title to the top of Google, never mind get individual pages up there. I also found it strange that a Record Label would be looking to branch out into something so different. Unfortunately, that’s where the attitude started. Equating twitter followers to SEO skills is one thing. It was calling me “luv” that really got to me. Where, when dealing with someone in a professional context is a) using text speak, and b) calling someone “luv” or even “love” appropriate. At this point the gloves were off.


I didn’t see this subtweet at the time, but did in reading it back. I wonder if he has the same attitude to everyone who rebuffs him?


I also had to call him out on calling me luv. It really bothered me, and I did get a bit aggressive at that point, culminating with my telling him to shove his attitude and site up his arse. I’m proud of myself for not putting up with him, and at the same time, thinking back on it, I’m not sure if I myself went a little too far. I’m normally quite laid back, but his attitude just pushed me a bit over the edge.

Now, I have a question for you. Have you ever been put off using a business or service, either as a potential customer or an existing one, by the attitude of the business? What was it that did it for you? And do you think my response was justified, or a little extreme? Please do discuss it with me in the comments.


Update: After 20 hours the top Google result for “Pick A Blogger” is me. Take that SEO 😉


Tagged: , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: