Monday 19 August 2019

My cultural life: Colm O'Regan, writer

Colm O'Regan
Colm O'Regan
Nick Cave
Underworld
Beer Lane/Gin

Colm O'Regan had a good job but gave it all up to try and be a comedian. He is also a columnist, broadcaster and anything else that will keep the wolf from the door. He heard there was fierce money in books so he has written four - the three bestselling books of Irish Mammies and also Bolloxology, a title which, he says, neatly sums up his skillset. His new book, Ann Devine: Ready for Her Close-Up, has Ann finding herself at a loose end until that is she is put forward for the Kilsudgeon Tidy Towns Committee. From Dripsey in Co Cork, Colm now lives in Dublin but he's up and down that road a good bit - especially since they put in the motorway.

Art: Beer Street and Gin Lane

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Beer Lane/Gin

Beer Street and Gin Lane by William Hogarth (above), when taken together, are like an 18th Century "Know the One That's One Too Many" ad. In short, beer: good and gin: bad. Beer is patriotic, gin means you neglect your children and will die. This was during the Gin Craze in London when the upper classes worried the poor were drinking too much.

Film: Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God. When I was a teenager and my brother Eoghan was going to UCC, he told me about the magical video library in the Boole Library where you could watch any video you wanted. On my first Friday in college, hungover from the Freshers' Ball, I curled up in a booth on the third floor of the library and watched one man's descent into madness. I'll never forget the moment I officially became a student.

Song: Red Right Hand by Nick Cave

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Nick Cave
 

It's practically on repeat at home because my three-year-old keeps demanding it. She loves 'spooky things'. She asks what it's about and seems content with the explanation it's about 'a spooky man who has a red right hand'.

Design: Mitsubishi Uni-ball 'Eye' pen

For those of you who no longer use pens, the Uni-ball is sort of the Volvo of pens. They don't do ads but if they did, it would feature a man who looks a bit like Dick Moran from Glenroe, leaning on a mantelpiece at a party holding a fine or a micro width pen. A woman goes up to him and traces her finger down the arm of his jacket to his hand and purrs "Uni-ball - the mark of a man".

Book: Underworld

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Underworld
 

Don DeLillo's book is probably the most atmospheric reading I've ever done. It takes 24 hours to cross Texas on a train. I spent about 18 of those reading it and gazing meaningfully out the window.

Ann Devine: Ready For Her Close-Up is published by Transworld Ireland, €15.

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