Thursday 17 October 2019

Bill Linnane

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Life lesson: The science behind making alcohol is worth knowing

Taking my daughter to booze factories is all in the name of science 

The time has come for me to choose a career for my eldest child. Like most humans, I realise that each life we bring into the world is really just another chapter in the eternal Groundhog Day of our DNA - we just keep repeating a life until we get it right, and then when we do we presumably ascend to some sort of 2001: A Space Odyssey-style monochromatic Versaille in the sky. Part of this endless loop is ensuring that your kids follow all those paths you didn't explore, the dreams you never chased, to see if that would have led to the perfect life - that singularity of knowing that your...

Bill Linnane

Bill Linnane: 'Even Brexit seems a doddle compared to Irish divorce' 

Can a shed ever be too big? According to Irish planning law, yes, it can. This is one of the facts I discovered when I went completely mad and bought myself one of those fancy, steel-built sheds, the hyper modern kind that look like Frank Gehry-designed visions of the future. This effect is enhanced by my other, dilapidated, Unabomber-style shacks - because I don't just have one shed, I have two; one is a small one that could just about hold a lawnmower, but with no room for me to tinker with said lawnmower, thus making that shed almost completely useless. Sheds need to be at least big...

Bill Linnane

Bill Linnane: 'God be with the days when the closest we came to the internet was the mysterious portal that was Bosco's Magic Door' 

God be with the days when the closest we came to the internet was the mysterious portal that was Bosco's Magic Door. I can still remember the excitement as Frank or Jonathan or Mary or whoever recited their dark incantation about seeing what's on the other side, only for the plywood door to wobble open into the lion enclosure in Dublin Zoo, a biscuit factory, or some other location that...

Dawn of the Dead: would you like a loyalty card?

Bill Linnane: 'I think of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ every time I find myself at an out-of-town retail centre' 

In 1974, the film-maker George A Romero was invited by an acquaintance to see a shopping centre he ran in Monroeville. Romero was fascinated by the mall — the way people ambled around the halls, staring blankly into windows, buying things they most likely didn’t need. He was bemused by the strange blissful state that people were reduced to, shuffling along white-tiled, glass-roofed...

Stock photo

Bill Linnane: 'Fellow parents, I bring grim tidings from the frontlines of teenage sexuality - it is as bad as we feared' 

Fellow parents, I bring grim tidings from the frontlines of teenage sexuality - it is as bad as we feared. My daughter has been going to the odd teen disco for some years now. First there were the local GAA club discos, sweaty awkward affairs that were mostly for the 12-14 bracket. There was no great debate between us about whether or not she should be allowed go to these - it's the GAA,...

Little Samson: Kid from Mad Max 2

The seven ages of man's hair 

Flogging beauty products to men is a hard sell. We pay so little attention to our physical and mental well-being that you have to feel sorry for Gerard Butler attempting to convince us that moisturiser is actually 'face protector' or for those Lynx ads that try to make us believe that smelling like a bordello will make people want to be around us. One physical attribute that we do care about, however, is our hair. It is inextricably linked to our notions of masculinity and as a result, it gets more attention than our skin, eyes, emotions, relationships, kids, and entire digestive system...

It’s a wrap: Your gift had better be Irish-made, while tinsel on your tree is a no-no

How middle class is your Christmas? 

There are few events in the annual calendar more middle class than Christmas, save perhaps the Grand National, Irish Open or Ideal Homes Exhibition. It is a time of year to gather round the Rangemaster in the back kitchen, earnestly discussing your fear of the hard left with neighbours you don't really like, sipping some M&S mulled wine out of Waterford Crystal glasses wrapped in artisanal kitchen roll. No need to turn on the heating, as your own smugness keeps you nice and toasty. But wait - what if you aren't having the most middle class Christmas possible?

'Considering the number of liberated rotisserie chickens waddling the streets, it is clear that huge numbers of us have no idea how dangerous the sun actually is, or how quickly it can ruin the skin'

Our great country would be even better with a roof over it 

Our traditional Leaving Cert weather finally arrived at the weekend as a reminder that we do not belong in the sun. The tan was once seen as the sign of the peasant, until Coco Chanel accidentally came home from holidays with a golden brown hue. She did not, however, walk around a shopping centre with straps down and shoulders that looked like two smoked hams, nor did she go 'tops off' at the first sign of sun, showing off tattoos and a Pointillist canopy of future melanomas.