Pursued by a Bear »

  • What would Don Draper do?

    March 31, 2010 @ 12:28 pm | by Fiona McCann

    When Kotex launched its new ad for lady products tampons and sanitary towels, some of America’s television networks were unhappy. Kotex’s strategy was to combat the trend in feminine care advertising which has become so sterilised that the products have been almost entirely removed from their purported function and the reality of having a period. But three broadcast networks refused to screen the new ad because it used the word vagina. Yep, vagina. You know, the place where the tampon goes? Because though vagina is not a four-letter word, it’s still somehow unsavoury and unmentionable. Because apparently there are body parts that still should not be named, even when they are the body parts directly affected by periods and the products being sold. Kotex compromised, and reshot the ad using the euphemism “down there”. That wasn’t good enough for two of the three objectors, however, who clearly wanted to no reference at all to the location of all the business that sanitary products are being sold to help with. The upshot was that the final advertisement contains no direct reference to where a tampon or sanitary towel is used. It’s still funny. But it’s also a disgrace that such a compromise ever had to be reached. Where’s Roger Sterling when you need him?

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  • Nice one, bloggers!

    March 29, 2010 @ 10:58 am | by Fiona McCann

    Big congratulations to all the winners at the weekend’s Irish Blog Awards. Course I’m particularly pleased to see my esteemed colleague Jim Carroll get the nod for Best Blog from a Journalist. Kudos also to Panti, for this excellent call to arms.  Not to mention the fabliss beaut.ie winning the Grand Prix! Huzzah!  Alas, I could not attend festivities this year due to work commitments, but by all accounts it was a right old shindig and I’m gutted to have missed out. (more…)

  • With this Cultural Ambassador you are really spoiling us

    March 24, 2010 @ 1:03 pm | by Fiona McCann

    So Gabriel Byrne is the new cultural ambassador. And we at Pursued by a Bear do love culture. Mr Byrne will be helping to raise the profile of Irish cultural exports on the international stage, and there’s no doubt the man knows people in places that most people don’t get to. But what do you think? Do we need a Cultural Ambassador? Should we celebrate his appointment, and if we do, what are we hoping it will achieve? At a time when the Government is cutting spending on the arts, does this mark a change in attitude and a new willingness to recognise our cultural currency? And no sooner was Mr Byrne in place than we found out Minister Mary Hanaffin will be taking over the renamed Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Your thoughts, culturatti?

  • Sodome, My Love

    March 18, 2010 @ 6:45 pm | by Fiona McCann

    There is something powerful at work in Rough Magic’s Sodome, My Love, a kind of theatricality that makes the most of stage and sound to communicate what works best when interpreted as a simple narrative. Olwen Fouéré is magnetic as the last daughter of Sodom, rising from her salty grave to recast her city as a lost civilisation of pleasure and beauty, rather than a place of perversion and sin. She bears witness to the events that brought about her city’s downfall, a city destroyed by trust and temptation: It is in welcoming an emissary from their enemies who carries with him the seeds of contagion that the citizens of Sodom seal their own downfall. Their story is told in Fouéré’s own translation from the Laurent Gaudé original, and the result is a language that is lyrical and haunting. “I was killing you whilst I greeted you,” the emissary tells those he has come to destroy. Fouéré commands the space and the story with physical force under Lynne Parker’s direction, though something falls away in an ending which draws an unconvincing line between the fate of Sodom and a highly sexualised modern Ireland. Still, Fouéré’s performance and the haunting urban visuals that flicker against a sparse and stunning set retain a resonance that transcends these final moments. For a second opinion, have a look at what Peter Crawley had to say. Sodome, My Love runs at the Project Arts Centre until March 27.

  • Before Granny O’Grimm, there was St Patrick

    March 16, 2010 @ 6:04 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Many of you may not have known about the meanness that was done on St Patrick, nor about his stint minding lambs and sheep and cows, back in the time when there was no guards, no papers, no speakers or anything. Before Granny O’Grimm came the story of St Patrick, as part of Brown Bag’s Oscar-nominated gem, Give Up Your Aul Sins. For the day that’s in it . . .


  • Brand Ireland

    March 15, 2010 @ 10:10 am | by Fiona McCann

    For the week that’s in it, we asked four advertising and design agencies to create a poster to promote Ireland. Below  you’ll find what they came up with. So what works? What doesn’t? Who’s bang on the money and who’s way off the mark? Have a look, and have your say.


  • Ok, go make more music videos

    March 5, 2010 @ 6:51 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Remember the guys on the treadmills? You may not remember the name of the band (OK Go). You may not even remember the name of the song (Here It Goes Again), but chances are you remember this music video. But turns out the big reward they got for such a creative endeavor, in terms of name recognition, record sales and a fanbase fostered from that video alone, is one they may have difficulty repeating. Damian Kulash Junior, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, explained why in a recent New York Times opinion piece.  “The fans and bloggers who helped spread “Here It Goes Again” across the Internet can no longer do what they did before, because our record company has blocked them from embedding our video on their sites. Believe it or not, in the four years since our treadmill dance got such attention, YouTube and EMI have actually made it harder to share our videos.” He does go on to explain why signing a deal with EMI was of such benefit to the band. But he has a lot to say to record companies about adapting to the brave new world of the internet and how it applies to music. If his final paragraph depresses you, be cheered by the fact that it hasn’t stopped the band making more cracking videos. See below.YouTube Preview Image

  • International Women’s Ticket

    @ 1:29 am | by Fiona McCann

    It’s (almost) International Women’s Day and to celebrate, this weeks’ Ticket is a tribute to the female of the species, with the top twenty female artists, the ten best albums by women, the ten best singles by women, a piece on why female critics make for better films, girls who love gaming and plenty more. Once you’ve had a flick through, do send us your thoughts. And a happy almost IWD to you.

  • If books could kill

    March 3, 2010 @ 12:09 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Plenty afoot these days for literary lovers, what with the World Book Day book share kicking off tomorrow. In case you missed it, this involves Irish authors leaving signed copies of their books in public places all over the country for people to pick up, peruse and pass on. On top of which, those with a book surfeit are encouraged to leave some of their own treasured tomes in public places for others to pick up and pass on. As a book horder, it’s the passing on bit I’d have a bit of trouble with, but the size of my house means a book cull is well on the way, so those of you in the Dublin 7 area may find all sorts of goodies about the place in the coming days, if I can bear to part with a few to make space for food and people and the like. And if that weren’t enough to get your literary pulses racing, how about the Literary Death Match, this Friday, where  Colm Liddy and Nuala Ní Chonchúir go head to head with Marty Mulligan and our own Brian O’Connell in what the organisers describe as “a marriage of the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare…”. Right so. Judges Cowell, Cole et al will be played on the night by journalist and radio presenter Nadine O’Regan, playwright Philly McMahon and journalist and TV presenter Una Mullally. The Death Match kicks off at 9.15 sharp (allegedly), but if you get there early, you’ll catch a Stinging Fly launch at 7.30 p.m. My money’s on O’Connell . . . .

  • Irish Times Theatre Awards

    March 1, 2010 @ 11:03 am | by Fiona McCann

    It was one big drama-filled party last night at the Irish Times Theatre Awards, with the new venue – a dimly-lit but packed out Vicar street – pronounced a roaring success. The winners were gracious and glamorous, some taking the opportunity to speak with admirable pasison about their profession and their anger at the threat to its survival presented by the severe cuts in arts funding. For today’s print coverage of the winners, click here. I’m also printing the full list of winners below. There’ll be plenty more in the Irish Times pages tomorrow, but in the meantime, bualadh bos to all the winners and thank you all for some wonderful shows last year.


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