Being Bono in Dublin, one imagines, must be a unique sort of experience. All the more credit to him for sticking around. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty

The band’s awareness of their own ridiculousness has long been part of their appeal

Johann Hari. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty

Hugh Linehan: The disgraced journalist’s book Stolen Focus is light on scientific rigour

 Jeremy Strong: Michael Schulman’s New Yorker article paints him as a humourless, slightly ludicrous figure whose behaviour on set can be infuriating for fellow actors. Photograph: Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty

A scornful profile of Succession’s Jeremy Strong reminds personality is built on flaws

Spotify Wrapped: modern marketing tool of a juggernaut. Photograph: Spotify via The New York Times

Streaming opens up new worlds to us but it’s hard not to feel something has been lost

Haughey fancied himself a political leader in the mould of De Gaulle or Mitterrand. Photograph: Colman Doyle

Writers and artists were keen to pay court when the politician was in his pomp

Action comedy Red Notice is the most watched English-language film on Netflix at the moment.

Streaming service’s new top 10 lists offer some insight but should we really care?

Dublin Corporation’s housing architect Herbert Simms,  whose internationalist legacy is still visible across Dublin

Why has the capital been so ill-served by its officials? A reprinted book may hold a clue

Tony Soprano driving around his kingdom of New Jersey in The Sopranos’ opening credits. Image: HBO

From The Sopranos to Succession, good title sequences set the TV tone in a way little else can

Squid Game: It’s the one in which 456 debt-enslaved contestants risk their lives in a series of children’s playground games in order to win a cash prize

Netflix’s dystopian drama series shows originality can still trump franchise power

Noam Chomsky: ‘Are we so innocent? No, we’re not. In fact, the United States is one of those rare countries – maybe the only country – that’s been at war, almost always aggressive war, from the first moment of its founding.’ Photograph: Heuler Andrey/AFP/via Getty Images

The 92-year-old author on US foreign policy and Ireland’s immoral tax regime

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

National Campaign for the Arts has a long Budget 2022 wishlist - it will be disappointed

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Photograph: A24/Apple TV+

With two major new stage productions, and a Joel Coen film, it’s the Bard’s biggest hit

In 1937, the Constitution established the name of this country as Éire in Irish and Ireland in English. Photograph: Niall Carroll

The Constitution is clear: the country’s name is Éire in Irish or Ireland in English

Fiddler c.1860-1883. Photograph: National Library of Ireland. From Old Ireland in Colour 2

People like colourised photos but experts worry about tampering with history

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Arts Catherine Martin at the unveiling of  the night-time economy taskforce’s report. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Catherine Martin should take note on why attempts to change licensing laws failed before

Fake news: the idea has become accepted that civil society is being damaged by a flood of deliberately misleading information, but is it? Photograph: Getty

Perhaps you shouldn't believe everything you've heard about disinformation

The World Trade Center burns in a scene from the 1998 film Armageddon

It’s not hard to draw a line from Armageddon to al-Qaeda to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Billie Eilish. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Musicians to return to the stage for the first time in 18 months as Ireland’s venues reopen

Limerick fans celebrates at the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Photograph: Tom Honan

More people can mix in a pub than are permitted to sit distanced in large venues

The 8th is an independently-produced documentary feature intended for cinema release  and subsequent sale to broadcasters.

Regulations on balance in current affairs can't reflect complexity of documentaries and dramas

Dublin Theatre Festival director Willie White: We were cautious with the number of international projects and couldn’t really invite anything large-scale. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Festival director Willie White emphasises the positives as audiences return to theatres

ANU and Landmark Productions will stage The Book of Names as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Photograph: Pablo Cassinoni

Numbers in venues restricted to 50 pending Government decisions on Covid-19 measures

Most professional publishers conform to a set of common rules of grammar and accepted usage. Punctuation and sentence structure are expected to follow these conventions. In their absence, clarity is lost and confusion is inevitable. Photograph: Getty Images

There’s a rich choice of creative writing courses, but precious few places to learn the basics

The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, Imma: 30 Years of the Global Contemporary runs until the end of the year at the museum’s home base in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Photograph: Tom Honan

Ideological narrowness of 30th anniversary line-up emphasises contradictions of museum

Stevie Wonder performs at the Harlem Cultural Festival in the summer of  1969

Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969 featured a line-up of hugely influential black artists

The main entrance at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland. Photograph: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Hugh Linehan: There may be times when the lessons of the genocidal past are worth recalling, but not this time Mattie McGrath

‘Green Party leader Eamon Ryan had to execute an inelegant swerve after telling RTÉ that vaccine passes were a bad idea for reasons of social cohesion.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Hugh Linehan: Our conservative approach to pandemic challenges may increasingly cause issues

US president Joe Biden. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist on why Biden can succeed where Obama did not

James Vincent McMorrow on stage at the Iveagh Gardens on June 10th. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

A recent Iveagh Gardens gig looked nice but gave no data for returning to normality

Writer Maureen Dowd speaks onstage during Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in 2017. Photograph: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Grande Dame of DC Dowd to give insight to Biden’s America and the politics-obsessed town

Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

If the producer is Irish, does that make it an Irish film?

Niall Ferguson in Mumbai, 2011. The British historian is critical of what he calls the ‘Davos syndrome’ of focusing on the threat of climate change to the exclusion of everything else. Photograph Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The perception that 2020 was unprecedented is inaccurate, says Niall Ferguson

The argument that garish colours make safer vehicles seems to be at the heart of why buses look the way they do these days.

Hugh Linehan: Watch out for Dublin Bus and its wince-making new colour scheme

Alan Parker with the cast of The Commitments in 1991

A British director, an Irish cast and an African-American soundtrack – but it worked

A newspaper vendor in Dublin, June 1955. Photograph:  Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty

Print editions are still part of the industry’s survival – but who knows for how long

Electric Picnic in 2018: Confidence is growing that a return to such live events  is imminent. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Hugh Linehan: Pilot events in UK are promising but will Government underwrite the risk?

Stephen Rea and (reflected) Judith Roddy in The Visiting Hour by Frank McGuinness, ‘streaming from the Gate auditorium’. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Does it matter whether online performances are recorded or live?

Unaligned speculation: ITV’s political editor Robert Peston. Photograph: ITV

Hugh Linehan: ITV’s political editor inadvertently raised a meaningful question about the North

The former City Arts Centre on Dublin’s City Quay is priced at €35 million by its current American owners. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Hugh Linehan: The City Arts Centre was once a reservoir for the quirky, the creative, the insurgent

 Denise Brueckl, Saoirse Daly and Aisling and Ciara O’Riordan at the launch of the reimagined Cork International Choral Festival. Will the Irish Times Irish Examiner Choir win the Workplace Choir of the Year competition with their rendition of It Must Be Love? Photograph: Claire Keogh

It seems like madness, but being in a Zoom choir with my work colleagues is quite uplifting

The last Irish film censor, John Kelleher, who was instrumental in seeing through legislative reform in 2008. Photograph: Eric Luke

Hugh Linehan: Why should we classify DVDs and cinema releases but not Netflix?

The Gate Theatre in Dublin.

Hugh Linehan: Pandemic has helped highlight existing shifts in cultural production

John Charles McQuaid, papal nuncio Paschal Robinson and Éamon de Valera in 1932

Perhaps the sacred and the secular are not as diametrically opposed as is often assumed

The level of data now available to newspapers means they have the capability to nip, tuck, adjust and reframe all their editorial choices based on the analytics their loyal users provide. Photograph: iStock

Linking performance of articles to journalists’ salaries seems unfair, but it is not a new idea

Pepe Le Pew: Something definitely smells a bit off

Time to bid adieu, not au revoir, to the Looney Tunes character

This country’s weak regulations on media monopolies were exposed when Denis O’Brien added control of Ireland’s biggest newspaper company to his ownership of Ireland’s largest private radio company. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Hugh Linehan: The era of moguls has run its course; European conglomerates have arrived

The late Saudi journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi: His murder is the subject of The Dissident.

Bryan Fogel discusses his ‘true-crime documentary’ The Dissident about the journalist

The Lone Ranger and Tonto in happier times

Who is the ‘we’ that is invoked in lifestyle, entertainment and opinion pieces?

Facebook slapped a blanket ban on links to all Australian news sites in response to the government’s plans to charge for links. Photograph: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Hugh Linehan: Suddenly, 2021 feels a lot like 2012 all over again

Independent TD Michael McNamara: Who’s doing the witch-burning? Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Hugh Linehan: Outlets have been accused of excessive coverage and parroting the official line

Tribes of Europa lands on Netflix on February 19th

Films, books and television often get the future right, writes Hugh Linehan

Over the years Brendan O’Connor has dialled down the sardonic sneer [...] and he’s now an empathetic interviewer who wears his knowledge of books, culture and history lightly. Photograph: Kinlan Photography

The new presenters’ life experiences are more in tune with those of listeners

The self-indulgent incoherence of David Fincher’s Mank, with Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz, Arliss Howard as Louis B Mayer and Tom Pelphrey as Joe Mankiewicz. Photograph: Netflix

Streaming giant Netflix has spent gazillions making movies, with little of quality to show for it

Waterford Whispers News sketch. Screengrab: RTE

Hugh Linehan: The New Year’s Eve rape joke was less satire than a failure of imagination

Owen Roe pictured  after winning Best Supporting Actor Award at the The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Nominations for each categories in annual awards usually announced in early January

Melania Trump: Dramatic interest in her has been sporadic and usually confined to parsing the semiotics of her wardrobe. Photograph: Carlos Barria

It's all over bar the kicking and screaming, but who's going to make the spin-off?

Cool viewing: Netflix releases In the Midnight Sky, George Clooney’s post-apocalyptic thriller set in the Arctic, on December 25th

George Clooney’s In the Midnight Sky and Jamie Foxx’s turn in Soul will have us curling up together on the couch again

Pillow Queens: playing the Other Voices virtual event

The continual threat of lockdown makes planning very difficult for the arts

Claire Duignan, chairperson of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce, and Minister for Culture and Arts Catherine Martin at the launch of the taskforce’s report last Tuesday. Photograph: Fennell Photography.

A report from the taskforce for the arts has a Christmas wish-list of recommendations

The Den gang have returned for new episodes. Photograph: RTÉ

The broadcaster tends towards mediocrity and self-satisfaction, not humour

Some critics see The Wizard of Oz as an allegory for the political issues that consumed the US. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

America at the Crossroads: The two presidential candidates have a combined age of 151

Cardi B: Blame it on the boogie - and the Armenian estate agent. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

This week, Cardi B annoyed Azerbaijan, and Jon Bon Jovi irked the Orange Order

DruidGregory at Coole Park marks Druid’s return with a Galway  tour until October 17th. Coronavirus leaves all art hanging in the balance. Photograph: Matthew Thompson

That is a nightmare for anyone trying to put on an event such as a festival

Brendan Gleeson delivers ‘a mediocre impression and possibly a great performance’ as Donald Trump, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Photograph: Showtime/CBS

Critics expect US president to hate actor’s take in The Comey Rule. But he did it anyway

Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe: both the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) and the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group (Epic) have published their pre-budget submissions. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Next budget needs to include huge supports for a sector brought to its knees by Covid-19

Former Irish swimming coach George Gibney, the subject of a new BBC Sounds podcast. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Everyone is listening to podcasts but their viability is threatened by lack of listener data

The urban theorist Richard Florida argued for new forms of urban living. Photograph: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

The notion of a re-set world is thought-provoking. Change, good and bad, is coming

Minister for Media,  Arts, Culture and Sport Catherine Martin: Did she sanity-check Government decisions or was she even consulted? Photograph: Daniel MacDonald

Yet she appears not to have been fully involved in agreeing new restrictions on gatherings

Simon Harris’s ‘honest conversation’ suggestion may be a reference to the news media brushfires that keep cropping up around issues such as foreign travel. Photograph: Alan Betson

The phased timetable has outlived its usefulness, but the new approach has hazards

DruidGregory: Marie Mullen will play Augusta, Lady Gregory

DruidGregory begins a 15-venue tour at Coole Park, the writer’s Galway estate, next month

 Nigel Farage: his  Brexit Party in the UK is a populist movement built around a strong leader  which uses  the organisational techniques of the internet.  Photograph: Getty Images

Does weak UK regulation allow influential think tanks to peddle the interests of anonymous donors?

 Presenter Laura Whitmore, who is from Wicklow and lives in London, received vile abuse on social media after posting about  being as a guest on The Locker, a British Army-backed podcast, Photograph: ITV

We should support Laura Whitmore’s freedom to appear on whatever podcast she pleases

There was no Galway International Arts Festival this summer, but there will be an autumn version for arts enthusiasts. The festival opens on September 3rd with John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion, above. See for details

Despite Covid-19, key elements from the summer line-up are ready for an autumn showing

One of the four statues removed by the Shelbourne Hotel. Photograph: Wiki Commons

It would be regrettable if we found new reasons in the 21st century to destroy what’s left of old Dublin

A trip  to Dublin Airport this week was a stark reminder   that below the apparent normality, strangeness remains everywhere. Photograph:  Kate Geraghty

Right now, someone, somewhere is surely working on the first great work of Covid art

Guardian says its revenues will be down by more than £25 million this financial year

It has often seemed as if company wanted to accelerate demise of print so it could become purely digital as soon as possible

Lisa Hannigan and Loah performing with Kevin Murphy, left, in the Shaw Room at the National Gallery of Ireland as part of the Other Voices Courage series. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In the midst of a vast social, political and cultural experiment, we need all the data we can get

Masha Gessen: Vladimir Putin’s assault on LGBT+ rights forced the writer and their family to leave Russia for the United States. Photograph: Naima Green/New York Times

The writer Masha Gessen sees parallels between the US and Russia under Putin

Director Lenny Abrahamson contributed to report published by the Arts Council’s Expert Advisory Group. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The recovery of the sector may take until 2025 if nothing is done to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19

Galway International Arts Festival: Covid-19 stopped the event going ahead as planned for the first time in its 43-year-history. Photograph :Andrew Downes/xposure

Expert advisory group urges Government to act immediately to avoid slow, four-year recovery

From left, Megan McDonnell, Hazel Clifford, Michael Shea, Aoibheann McCann and Holly Hannaway in the Lyric Theatre and Dublin Theatre Festival co-production of The Playboy of the Western World which had been due to be part of the festival. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Wexford Opera Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival also announce alternative events

Work on a Falls Road mural of George Floyd who was murdered by police in Minneapolis. Protests took place across the world, including in Belfast and Dublin. Photograph: Pacemaker Press

Issues around race and social justice are increasingly important in Ireland too

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.  There is a legitimate fear that when it comes to crunch time in political negotiations and budgetary discussions, high-flown words about the importance of the arts are swiftly forgotten. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

As the country reopens, cultural events will be last to come back – if they come back at all

Out of the ordinary: Daisy Edgar Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell in Normal People. Photograph: Enda Bowe

Inevitably and rightly, the TV series is softer in tone than Sally Rooney’s novel

Author Philip Roth in 1968: The literary lechery of Roth and his ilk was thought to be progressive, but now seems seedy. Photograph: Bob Peterson/The Life Images Collection via Getty Images

A story about Philip Roth leering at ‘colleens’ in Dublin exposes a Neanderthal attitude

Electric Picnic 2019. This year almost 70,000 people were expected to attend. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Refunds now available but ticket holders advised they can be retained for use in 2021

Kraftwerk on stage in 2004, with Florian Schneider on the right. File photograph: Juerg Mueller/Keystone via AP

Florian Schneider’s death is a reminder of how influential – and emotional – their music was

The title of Normal People seems a little more archly ironic than it did previously.

The Abbey’s Dear Ireland shows how artists can bring a valuable insight to current events

Nazi governor Otto von Wächter with his wife Charlotte, daughter Traute and son Horst at Zell-am-See train station, Salzburg, Austria, in 1944. Photograph: courtesy of Horst Wächter

Philippe Sands tells the tale of a leading Nazi whose son denies his father’s criminality

There is a wildflower park off Collins Avenue, Dublin 9. Photograph: Tom Honan

The French term for an urban wanderer has new relevance under Covid-19 restrictions

Dear Ireland: Edna O’Brien and Brendan Gleeson have been announced as among the artists taking part in the Abbey Theatre project. Photographs: Alan Betson and Rich Polk/Getty

Theatre asks writers to create monologues for 50 performers, to premiere online this month

Fianna Fáil’s  Niamh Smyth: “While I do not expect us to be matching funding set by the German or English governments, the sums involved show they clearly value their arts community more than the outgoing Government here”

The Covid-19 crisis has put millions of independent artists and small companies around the world under existential threat

‘As we all educate ourselves about this, expect a surge in sales of tripods and lenses, as well as Instagram-style beautification apps’. Kathy Bates in Misery. Photograph: Columbia Pictures

Isolation has opened our eyes to how easy it now is to communicate in sound and vision with distant workmates, family and friends

Macnas, whose parades are a core part of their work, receive this year’s special tribute award. Photograph: Brian Arthur

Celebrating drama in a crisis: awards reflect remarkable work produced by Irish theatre and opera companies

 It was only 17 days ago that Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn    said that Electric Picnic would go ahead in early September. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

So many festivals and gigs have been cancelled, while the future for theatres, music venues, galleries and cinemas is uncertain

Owen Roe winning Best Supporting Actor Award at last year’s awards in the NCH. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Irish Times managing director expresses hope event might be held at later date

A woman plays the saxophone from her balcony during home confinement due to the novel coronavirus in Valencia. Photograph: Jose Jordan/STR/AFP via Getty

Coronavirus will profoundly damage the arts but new creative spaces will also open

 Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Pritzker Architecture Prize-winners: Architecture has a deeper impact on our daily life than most other forms of culture which get more coverage. Photograph: Alice Clancy

Irish triumph in Pritzker prize should draw attention to a neglected, crucial artform

All Together Now headliner  Iggy Pop: the septuagenarian  is making a living as the Andre Rieu of the moshpit generation. Photograph: Bjorn Tagemose

The hollowing out of the youth-oriented music industry is a harbinger of things to come

Artists Jesse Jones and Emmet Kirwan at the launch of Paying the Artist. Photograph: Maxwell’s

The key issues driving the vote for change are in lockstep with the problems facing artists

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