On freelancing

I try my best to avoid the word “freelance”.

Something about the combination of “free” and “lance”. From the out, you’ve got a lack of value, some type of worthless, unsatisfying giveaway. Then, something — bad or septic, I’m sure — being sliced open, gored, or excised. That action happening free of charge, or without a thought. Nope.

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App idea #1

GAZE is an app designed for two groups of people: those who work from home, those whose work takes them away from home. It pairs an at-home worker (a) with a nomadic worker (b) in need of a break in the vicinity of (a).

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Visiting Cuba

The string of police checkpoints outside Havana was punctuated by hitchhikers hopefully extending folded peso notes to passing cars. Our 1954 Pontiac was – for four residents of New York City, at least – at capacity, a state interpreted by waiting Cubans as having adequate space for two or three more passengers. 

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On "Tonight with Vincent Browne"

Little of what we read, view, or listen to in 2017 is not studiously concocted and refined. These are banner days for copy approval and the provision of questions ahead of time. Publicists and PR handlers are multiplying in number. “Content creation” is a dispiritingly profitable business. TV sets are futuristic, clinical, and politicians and others in public life are coached like Olympic gymnasts before release into these arenas. 

How truly refreshing, then, to be able to turn to a show in which a green screen glitch might shave off a piece of a jaw or the tip of a nose. How satisfying to know there exists a programme that can’t really be trained for, so rough and disorderly it can be, so engulfed by crosstalk.

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Notes on an inauguration

Rally writ large.

The address, commentators agreed, was a stump speech. An amped-up, textbook rework of the kind delivered ad nauseam for the past 18 months. Familiar were the words, the pledges, and the two-mode index fingers. 

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Nicholas Pell and the times we live in

I thought the piece was a crock. But, whatever.

However. If the Irish Times is as serious about "free speech" and the alleged facilitation of constructive debate as it has purported to be, it ought to have printed the piece, unchanged, in the days after its online debut (as planned).

The failure to print is the only evidence that there was anything other than consensus at the paper as to the merit of Pell's piece and the soundness of the editorial judgment that led to its publication. Which is interesting! To me.

Instagram "best nine"

Summer me, winter me, mother, magazine, dinner party, roof party, Pomeranian, Quay Street, watercolor of a musician and an advertising maven on a bike. Of course, the best nine are grainy, stupid, and hardly "liked". 


Altered states

At the Pret a Manger beside my office in Manhattan last Wednesday afternoon, a soulless place, I removed a factory line burrito from a heated case and absentmindedly joined one of five short queues. 

Hillary Clinton’s valiant concession speech had just been aired to a small and deflated congregation of my co-workers in a boardroom. Her self-command was on my mind. 

Overnight, Donald Trump had been elected president. 

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