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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 31, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend – test out your chat-up lines

    Laurence Mackin

    Read: It’s not many books that manage to mix a fairly astonishing literary prowess with a satisfying bolt of dark humour – the latest author to swagger into town with this particular pair of six shooters is David Bezmozgis, and in his saddlebags are copies of his debut novel, The Free World.

    It tells the story of the Krasnanskys, a family of Soviet Jews who flee the Motherland and find themselves stranded in a mean-spirited Rome – yes we can already see the comparisons with Gary Shteyngart starting to pile up. However, this is a different animal, and a superb read. It also contains in its first few pages a contender for the best chat-up line ever when Alex and his brother Karl approach Polina on the Soviet factory floor as work is closing for the day:

    - My brother and I are going out to seek adventure. We require the company of a responsible person to make sure that we do not go to excesses.
    - What does that have to do with me?
    - You have a kind and responsible face.
    - So does Lenin.
    - True. But Lenin is unavailable. And, at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I am sure we would prefer your company.

    Who says romance is dead, eh?

    Be moved: The Dublin Dance Festival is rolling around in May, but this week there is a burst of dance activity. To whet your appetite for the festival, the Light House Cinema is screening Moon Water: Dance on Film on Sunday at 3pm. This features the spectacular Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Company of Taiwan, which will be performing here in May with Songs Of The Wanderers. Meanwhile, in southern climes, there is a double bill from the National Dance Company of Wales, featuring two commissions inspired by Don Quixote and the poetry of Dylan Thomas, with NYC choreographer Stephen Petronio calling the body shots. The show is at Siamsa Tíre in Tralee on Friday and Cork Opera House on Sunday.


    Betty was admittedly not a cat person but she took it to extreme degrees

    See: Artisit? is currently making a home for itself in various venues around Dublin, including Vicar Street, the Lab on Foley Street, Workmans Club, the Grand Social, and a box-load more. The idea is to exhibit work from recent graduates, local and international, and intertwine the shows with social events, discussions, concerts and screenings. The artists taking part are Ida Arentoft, Lydia Costello, Jesse Darling, James Greenway, Gitte Hoetbjerg Hansen, Jess Littlewood, Oscar Odershaw, Hilary O’Mahony, Rafael Prez Evans, Samantha Ratanarat, (whose work is pictured above, Philippe Senouci and Michael Taborda. For more information, click here.

    Print: It’s an exciting time up at Imma in Dublin’s Kilmainham as it prepares for the opening of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition, but this Saturday you can get up close and personal with printmaking techniques in a workshop with Debora Ando. For inspiration, you can pop into the exhibition of Old Masters Prints from the Madden Arnholz Collection, curated by Janet and John Banville. It features works from Pieter Brueghel, Jacques Callot, Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, William Hogarth and Rembrandt van Rijn – no pressure there then at all. The workshop is for 15- to 18-year-olds and takes place from 11am to 2pm – booking is preferred, so email edcommbooking@imma.ie or tel: 01-6129956.

    That’s our selection for the weekend. On Paddy’s Day there was quite the flutter of emails and tweets linking to a version of Danny Boy by the Muppets, but we reckon that ain’t within an ass’s roar of this beauty. There is no television show in history that treats art and music with the respect and affection it deserves like The Muppet Show, and nowhere will you find such a charming lack of distinction between high and low art. “Forgive me Charlie Parker, wherever you are” – genius.

    YouTube Preview Image
    • a.commenter says:

      For clarity – this post refers to comments that have now being deleted, not to the original blog post

      Those sound more like sexual harassment/abuse than chat up lines…quite revolting and not funny…I wonder if it would be quite so amusing is some big GAY predator treated you like that…Hmmm?

    • Laurence Mackin says:

      It’s a family blog folks, try and keep it classy please.

    • Laurence Mackin says:

      Actually on second thoughts, I’m not comfortable with some of these comments (along with a few fellow commenters) so I am deleting them.

    • Dave McG says:

      I wholeheartedly support your decision to delete those comments as, in retrospect, i do not believe this website to be the venue for them either! If i could i would have deleted them too.
      Thank you, Laurence. From here on, keepin’ it classy

      However, i will note that i DiD state they were only for someone with a particular sense of humour- to show that they were not meant as general chat-up lines/ abuse/ harassment and that the conjecture that “what if some [size] [orientation which i presume you thought would be unwelcome] predator (that part would be very unwelcome) treated me like that” is slightly irrelevant as they were intended as jokes- Not as a genuine approach which is acceptable under any out-of-context circumstances. Because, they are not acceptable… though, i would argue, that no pick-up line is acceptable, though i will admit that my view is tainted since i’m rarely the recipient of said pick-up lines.
      The context under which they might be (questionably) acceptable?
      When some loutish, unwelcome and very persistant person is mackin’ on a friend of mine when we’re out i frequently interrupt conversation with a terrible pick-up line towards my friend, that person says ‘yes’ and we leave with the lout left wondering what he just watched.
      Revolting, yes. But an effective means of losing an unwanted tail.

      Again, this isn’t the place for those lines, or that story of mine- i was just pointing it out for clarity before ‘abuse’ was used. But, in essence, i do wholehearedly agree with you too “a.commenter” and i will never repeat the likes of them here again!

      So…. moving swiftly on to the next topic…………

    • sonykopines says:

      I would like you please to clarify to the readers that I requested my comments removal as I did not wish them to be associated in any way with the sinister and creepy comments made by a later poster, whose comments you also removed subsequently. Thank you. Please make that clarification now.

    • sonykopines says:

      Mine were at worst vulgar but amusing. The other poster’s comments were sinister, threatening, and creepy and not amusing at all. The way you present it puts mine with theirs all in the one basket. I will not be writing on this blog again.

    • Laurence Mackin says:

      sonykopines – “The way you present it puts mine with theirs all in the one basket”. I didn’t present anything – comments appear chronologically. Also, I think anyone who has half a brain knows that just because comments appear close to each other, that doesn’t mean they share the same viewpoint.

    • sonykopines says:

      I mustn’t have half a brain so. Indeed back in those long ago days of drunken teenage tomfoolery very few of us had, or seemed to. Appreciate your printing my later clarification. But it did look to me as if they were all being deleted as being bad as each other. So now as I’ve written to you again I may’s well keep at it. Like I said. I very much like your blog. Would have missed wwriting here. :)

    • a.commenter says:

      These are the standard responses of abusers…denial justification blame counter accusation and of course the no sense of humour defense…And sonykopines you write elsewhere about your daughter…we are all somebody’s daughter…! Treat us with respect…!

    • bellx says:

      I agree with LM’s decision (to remove offensive comments) and his considered reproach is indicative of a non-judgemental character – which, à mon avis, is très agréable. Disconcerting, however, is the lack of capacity to forgive and a tendency to cast judgement, which is something that is becoming increasingly evident in the attitude of your nowadays common or garden liberal fundamentalist.
      Anyhoo, here’s a tune for yiz – Dave McG and sonykopines
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAhZZc_Bwps&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    • s/kpines says:

      Cmon. A KNIFE? In a CHAT-UP line? (Can’t download yer link rite now belix haven’t the bandwidth).

    • sonykopines says:

      Sorry a.commenter. Don’t be mixing me up with the poster whose remarks were removed because of the unacceptable nature of the offensive content. I ASKED for my comments to be removed because I didn’t want them juxtaposed with such offensive matter as Dave McGs’. And I agree. In fact I said to Laurance that if someone said something like that, mentioning a knife in context of a chatup line, to my daughter or sister well….let’s just say they would PHYSCALLY regret it in every cell of their being.

    • sonykopines says:

      Jesus belix that was amazing. Just watched Sungha Jung. No relation to Carl Gustav I presume tho’ you’d wonder how one small head could carry all he knew same same. Thanks for that. Never heard of that kid before. Will listen to much more. Imagine if it wasn’t for the internet maybe the world would never have heard of him. Wrote earlier in spiked posts about how we need to make a techological leap to make evolutionary leaps now we don’t evolve physcially much ourselves since we started outsourcing our evolution to tool and weapon use. Or words to similar effect. Imagine now the Human Network’s wired at the speed of light what leaps we next will make. Took us 6000 years to jump from flint tools to bronze. It’ll take sixty years (at most) to jump from silicon to whatever currently unimaginable magic/teknos comes next. And culture. And art. And everything. Including the personal gills we’ll all be needing presently. No hard feelings Dave McG I’ve said as bad and worse on here in different contexts. We all run away with our mouths. It’s when we run away with other parts of our anatomy that trouble starts.

    • a.commenter says:

      Guess those Garda in the squad car in Mayo were ‘only jokin’… ‘havin’ the craic’…’ messin’ too…sure what’s wrong with that one…no sense of humour…mar dhea!…same old same old…!

    • Briege Lennon says:

      Hello Laurence –

      You mentioned the Cloud Gate Dance Thatre Company of Taiwan and Songs of the Wanderers back in March and it looked interesting so I booked tickets for it. Went to see it last night – it was stunningly beautiful from beginning to end. Everything about it was perfect – from the performance to the lighting to the costumes to the effect it had on the audience.
      I just want to say thank you so very much for recommending it.
      I hope you enjoy the jazz festival.


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