Wednesday, 26 August 2009


The Higher Education Authority (HEA) are under increasing pressure to bring about the introduction of aptitude tests for more third level courses. This aptitude test is already in play for entry into medecine but now the Hea want to create a similar arrangement for pharmacy, veterinary medecine, law and even teaching. This means that students who recieved the points necessary for the above courses could lose out on their placement if they score badly on the aptitude test. Soccer moms nation wide are up in arms that their precious, brow beaten and soul crushed youngsters wont be able to enter the pharmaceutical profession after all their hard work starving their children of fun, fresh air and friends.

Tony Donoghue head of education with IBEC described the leaving cert as having important strenghts but that examination papers tended to be predictable and the unexpected was never welcome. So, if the aptitude test idea is thrown out whats not to say that the med heads wont try and abolish their test....imagine this scene....after 2 years of being locked in the basement with only his biology books for company young joe gets 600 points in his leaving cert and enters the miraculous and now aptitude free world of medecine....couple of years down the line, everything is going swimmingly- an apendectomy here, a broken arm there- perfect. Until one day (enter man with unexplainable symptoms) Dr. Joe doesnt have a bulls notion what to do and decides to grunt meaningfully whilst perusing charts and thinking this wouldnt happen in the leaving cert. Who would you prefer to be treated by - a Dr. Joe like man who can spiel off the periodic table to you as you rasp your last breath or a Dr. Cox like progeny who can sniff out symptoms like a stalker sniffs out knicker drawers. The choice is yours.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 25 you are what is classed as a celtic cub. Oh, we had it all, the J1 Visas, tickets to every music festival known to man and the Brown Thomas loyalty card. Other characteristics of the celtic cub include a penchant for Ugg boots (Ugg stands for Uggaly by the by) and velour Aber crombie and fitsch tracksuits. That only applies to females I hear you say...oh no, you see, along with the celtic cub came the metrosexual, a she male, he woman whatever. But alas, the Burberry balloon has burst. Ma and Pa no longer see fit to send their youngsters to San Diego for a 6 week tour of Beer Pong Alley to watch tequila sunrises in Tijuana. We now have to fork out our own tuition fees so the option of staying in third level education for the better part of a century has gone kaput. Now our only options are hard minimum wage labour, Macdonalds- where you will be the only staff member with the ability to speak english and you know before ever meeting him that your boss is a clown, or immigration. Now out of all the above options immigration is by far the most attractive - however as a nation we have used it for far too long and now all the english speaking countries of the world are jaded by our 'gaelic charm', they are sick to death of our 'craic' pedalling and shudder at the sound of "ah sure twill all be grand in the morning". So how now Brown Cow (metaphor for Brian Cowen, although he wont be too brown this year as he is 'staycationing' in co.cork to show his support to the people in times of being economically fecked) whatever shall we do?


As I waited anxiously for the film to start - teeth on edge, check, nerves in tatters, check, shaking hands, check (although I must admit this probably had more to do with the large coke, family bag of maltesers and the 100% chocolate haagen das ice cream I had consumed not long before rather than the movie itself). I prayed for the critics to be wrong, I truly did. I had been looking forward to seeing Tarantino's newest flick with unrestrained glee, then all of a sudden I was hit by this unexpected wave of bad reviews. The last ray of hope in the never ending cycle of films so sickly sweet they could rot the teeth right out of your head in 10 seconds flat had been well and truly quenched. So last weekend with a heavy heart I went to see the so-called 'plotless' INGLORIOUS BASTERDS.

After three hours viewing I left the cinema on a high. Magnificent. The repeated criticism was 'the thin plot' and the confusion created by the chopping and changing between languages and landscapes. (Throughout the course of the film 4 languages are used - English, German, French and Italian). Firstly I will deal with the thin plot critique.......ehem.....hello?!?! ground control to major tom???!! did we go to see the same movie?!?! The plot was thicker than my mothers three day old ox-tail soup and you could build houses with that stuff!!! As a matter of fact I think thats how my father got involved in the construction industry. The plot is your basic Good vs Evil but with such an imaginative outcome that you dont feel bored to tears as you would with your run of the mill war story where Mr. Good sends Mr. Evil running for the hills with his saint like qualities. Mr. Good (or not so good is Aldo and his angry Jews) and Mr. Evil is Hitler and his Nazi cronies. This film is all about grey matter, theres no black and white, just alot of appreciation for the grey stuff (especially with the beautiful Shosanna). Furthermore, the twist in the tale of Tarantino's film is the free pass it gives the Jews into last laugh lane as they bring about Hitler's demise and win their own personal victory as well as saving the world from the Nazi spectre.

Secondly, The language issue, I dont really understand the protests against this.....Hans Landa is the culprit of the majority of the linguistic changes. He speaks french in France to a french man, german in Germany to germans and Italian to peole he is told are Italian!!! This adds to the authenticity of the movie, lends itself to the idea of the multi national reach of Hitler's power and heightens the realism and drama of the work. This film is full of gore, anger, fear, secrecy and best of all hilarity. Only a master such as Tarantino could combine all of the above on a topic as controversial as Nazi Germany. The final scene where Aldo the Apache etches his final swastika into Landa's forehead and declares - Ithink this is my masterpiece- is epic. You know Tarantino, I think your right, you glorious basterd you.