Where do you see yourself in the future, regarding family, employment, and life in general?
hopefully i'll have moved out of my parents in the next few years. I am an accountant so i intend to stay working as an accountant for the future unless my numbers come up in the lotto, of course i'm not a person that plays the lotto until it;s actually finally worth while to do so which means a jackpot of 12 million euro (risks equal return. there is a 1 in 8 million chance of winning the lotto. a lotto ticket is €1.50). my philosophy on life is que sera sera though i think another DAer has copyrighted that name!
How did you first discover Discuss Anything?
this goes back to 2002. well actually 2001 but i only joined DA in 2002. I was a part of the old Rage Against The Machine forum. There was a user there, Rob From Philly (no longer posting. He wasn't a fan of board that openly let more then 1 point of view discuss things i thought.) The ratm had been closed previously in September 2001 (2 days after 9/11 at around 8:50pm GMT. i was online at the time) who started a mailing list for Mumia Abu Jamal (that being his cause) so i asked to be on the list and in one of his updates, he included a link to DA as at the time i think it had it's own Mumia forum so that's how i found out about DA.
What impact has DA had on your life, if any? What impact do you feel you have had on DA?
That's a tough question. I have got some advice at times off DA, i've given advice (even when i had no idea what the person was talking about. just the type of guy i am). I've certainly felt enriched by my presense at the DA and hopefully i've given insight which people have found enlightening or atleast entertained.
What sports do you play and watch?
Do you count cycling as a sport to play. I like cycling. Sorry, correction. I love cycling. this is my passion. I love to watch it and i love to get out on the bike and just suffer on the hills around where i live. I can't go very far 20 kilometers or 30. I'm not very good but i just like the feeling of going on the bike. I could watch cycling all day long if only eurosport were so kind to have it on all day long. Paris-Roubaix being my favourite race. there is usually 50Km of Cobblestones. It's known as the hell of the north. I'd love to be in the crowd in the race, particularly at the Arenberg Forest section.
I did play soccer when i was a boy at lunchtime in school and the sort. I also played gaelige football for a while. In soccer, it was very informal, would play goals, defender or striker. whereever i was put basically. i was crap. another reason i like going cycling. If you do badly, you're not letting down anyone depending on you. It's just me against myself. Gaelige football i played full forward. this is were the coaches at underage level put a player not very good. to emphasise how bad i was, once 14 players turned up for a game and as it was 13 a side the coach asked to make it 14 a side so i could play. I do have a few medals from gaelige football. these are fillable under two categories 1) where i was on the bench 2) where i was overage
Other sports i like to watch are ice hockey, baseball and especially american football. I am a fan of the teams from Philadelphia. The reason behing, and this is a bad reason possibly but hey, my name is Phil so that's why i went for the eagles.
Also i'll add here that i do enjoy participating in Yahoo fantasy leagues. We did 2 baseball and 2 football leagues on DA in 2003 and 2004. In 2003 baseball, i was 5th out of 14 (i think TwntyCent won it with his team HomeBoys). Football in 2003, i was 8th out of 12. (won by i think Mike75). I was 3rd in baseball 2004 behind Kobe 20-to-life (can't find out who) won by half a point from Homeboys. In the 2004 football, i was 8th again. The winner being Patrician with Boston United.
I'd like to see us return to fantasy sports soon. i think there's not been an interest or a sufficient interest for them recently. maybe baseball 2008 or hey there's a week left before basketball starts, why not?
Briefly give us the back story on your disastrous attempt at reviewing the greatest sportsperson of all time.
DA was going through a quiet period and it was influenced by a cycling magazine which listred the top 10 sports people of all time (Lance Armstrong was 4th) so i felt, why not? get some participation, interest, some good discussion on what make a great sportsperson. It was a good idea. there sadly just wasn't alot of interest to make it what i had hoped it would be.
You're known as one of the music lovers of the DA community. What sort of music do you enjoy the most?
Music is what cannot be put into words but is too powerful to be left unsaid. I hate to try to pin myself into sort of music. A couple of stories illustrate this. Outside english class, a guy in the class came up to me and said "Hey Phil, i heard you're the guy to go to for a lend of a roots manuva album" It's true, i am. Later when the guy had returned the cd, that day i was at my locker with a friend and he saw me put the cd back in my locker and asked "what's the cd" "ohh roots manuva. he's british hip hop". "ohh, i thought you were joking when you said you liked british hip hop"
The friend in question describes my music tastes as "anything except pop" though that's not wholly accurate, some non-commerical pop is good (non commericial pop --> oxymoron).
I;ve been pigeonholed as being a metal fan for liking Rage against the machine (20 at the time. i still like them but not anyway near as much as i did). Punk rock fan for liking Blink 182, indie rock fan, a fan of singer songrwriters for liking damien rice. I really love alot of music. Different sorts. Currently listening to Michael Franti & Spearhead who are good reggae tinged and hip hop tinged pop, previous to that i listened to Aliens which is indie rock from scotland and after this i will listen to RSAG which is electro music from Ireland. Michael Franti is actually an obsession of mine. He just makes good music. I only got an album of his 2 years ago but i did see him live in 2004 i think it was at a music festival. I had taken a picture of him performing. At which point, a crowd "safety" person told me "Don't take anymore photo's). At the end of the song, Michael Franti was performing he said "I don't care about video recorders, photos, or mp3 recorders". That made me happy. Did he see the safety guy warn me against photo's. Definately not, but it was special.
Other favourites is the anti-folk Hamell On Trial. This guy is a musical legend. I saw him live in Dundalk (a venue of about 30 people) in August. Brought the house down. I had brought my brother Colin and he just loved the show. Didn't know Hamell's music at all. Before it was wondering why i was dragging him to it. He loved it. I personally didn;t know you could make acoustic guitars that loud as he did.
And a third great musician is Real Tuesday Weld. A bit of a puzzle. Does he make current music sound like from the 1930s or does he make 1930's music sound current? A sheer musical genius
OPM is another favourite. Reggae Rock with some rap and pop. I had done a review for their website (at the request of the guitarist Geoff Turney. I was a member of their internet forum so i would know Geoff from there) although as has been recently pointed out that link no longer exists, sadly. Other great acts include Fiery Furnaces, DJ Shadow, Tilly and the Wall (includes members who perform tap dancing on their cd's), Del tha funkee homosapien, Mars Volta, Belle & Sebastian, Beta Band, British Sea Power, Hidden Cameras (who describe themselves as Gay folk church music!!!! Liking them is not a choice) and Gonzales (a prize should go to anyone who could describe gonzales music in 5 words or less) among plenty more. My cd collection is big. I've given up on counting them I can't count beyond 300. Good thing counting is not in my job description (Update 1 January 2009 - 406 cds give or take one or two. 6 LP's and 14 single vinyls -10" 7" etc)
I've also recently started buying some lp's and they are fantastic sound out of them. A joy to behold.
In your DA profile, you identify yourself as a songwriter amongst other things. Do you also sing or play an instrument? What do the songs you write tend to be about?
God, how long ago did i write that. I have written songs but basically more as a release. there was no scheme, no reason, just words on page to let out feelings.
I have also done some writing stories lately and some satirical articles which i posted in the creative arts forum. It's a form of therapy writing and much cheaper then other forms of therapy like seeing some lady and paying them money.
Are you religious or spiritual? If so, what are your beliefs? Were your raised religious? If not, what sort of secular philosophy do you find yourself identifying with the most?
I'm a christian. Now when i say christian, i don't mean "to hell with abortionists and homosexuals" which is the image people get when someone describes themselves as a christian. It's been misappropriated of late. I like the teachings of Jesus Christ. His teaching of love & peace, love thy neighbour, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. It's valuable teaching and i would hope that everybody could live by them, regardless of religious affiliation. I cannot endorse what is said at the altar by priests. They do not speak for me but I think love, respect, and peace are the guides to happiness. I think my own philosophy has some Buddhism in it. It's a boiling pot of differing philosophies. As michael franti says in one song "god is too big for just one religion"
I'm also somewhat Agnostic. So what is that a Christian Agnostic Buddhist (CAB for short). Basically, how can anyone be sure whether god exists or not? No one can be. The existence of god can neither be proven nor disproven.
I did go to catholic schools for primary and secondary level but that's no surprise. most people in ireland go to a catholic school, there is little choice otherwise but my parents have emphasised that it's more important to live a good life then to call oneself a catholic. I hope i am doing so.
As a European DA member, do you find all of the threads on DA about American politics tiresome or interesting?
I am very much interested in american politics. Indeed every night i watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (i videotape the Colbert Report and watch it at the weekends as it's not on at suitable times. This will confuse people as in the US they are both on Comedy Central. Let me clarify. The Daily Show is on More4 at 8:30pm while the Colbert Report is on FX at 11pm). I just find American politics and news interesting. As was illustrated in my response on sport, i like those sport that are associated with the US.
I like Barack Obama for the presidency. I think John McCain is a good man, probably make a good president but Barack Obama will make a better president i feel. I do however feel it's a real shame that third party candidates are ignored. I really like both McKinney and Nader. You guys really need proportional representation in the us like we have here, for example how i voted in the european elections in 2004
my first preference went to Eoin Dubsky (left independent candidate running on a platform of peace. polled.43%). when dubsky was eliminated in round 2 after coming 12th out of 13 candidates, my preference would have gone to Seanin Costin but alas he was also eliminated in round 2 after polling 0.69% and coming 11th in first preferences. this meant my vote went to the third preference, mary white of the green party (essentially i am a green party supporter but eoin dubsky really came across well to me) who polled 5.64% and was 7th in first preferences. when she was eliminated in the fourth round (the \"stop the paedophiles" candidate and "stop the foreigners" candidate were both eliminated in the 3rd round. the "stop the women" candidate was eliminated in the 2nd round) my vote would have gone to my fourth pickj, Joe Neal but he polled lower then Dubsky and was eliminated in the 2nd round, this meant my 5th pick went to Peter Cassells of Labout who was 4th after the first round who went on to not be elected in the final round
so after all that, my vote was irrelevant
this is the system you need in the US. It's not confusing in the least
Why have you abstained from alcohol since 2003?
Because i didn't like alcohol. i didn't like the taste and i didn't like the headaches in the morning. I personally have great respect for advertisers of alcohol. In order to get people to drink alcohol, they've done a fine job. Well done, guys and gals.
A friend once tried to explain the taste of guinness and started with the sentence "Have you ever drank the contents of a ashtray?"
Could you tell us a little about how it is you came to no longer identify as an "Irish Freedom Fighter? What are your thoughts on patriotism/nationalism in general?"
I think patriotism is really over rated. Nationality is an accident of birth. Why should i be patriotic when i cannot answer the question of "What makes me Irish?". "Err, i was born here." that is a lame answer to such a question. I love the world too much to love any one country in the world. In a song, Michael Franti sings "Tell me the reasons behind the colours that you fly?". Apart from being born there, there is no reason and as i said above birth is not a good reason. I don't see myself as being anymore entitled to calling myself Irish as anyone else here and in 2004, the irish people in a move that was racially motivated took away the right of citizenship for children that are born here so even now being born here is not even a good excuse for patriotism because 80% of people took away the right of that.
A society has to be judged on how they treat the most vulnerable in society. I cannot stand with the irish people and say "right on" when they talk about caring for children rights when i know most of those are the one who took away the rights of kids. Another referendum is being talked about for protecting children. This is on different lines of the referendum that stole citizenship from children and proposed by the same people. I just wonder how any person could take that nonsense seriously but needless to say, it'll be passed by another 80% at least and people will not think of the irony of their actions of 4 years ago.
What exactly do you mean when you describe yourself as asexual? Have you simply given up on ever finding a life partner or are you no longer even attracted to members of either sex?
No, you're pretty far off. Firstly, asexuals have no interest in having sex. It really depends on the person themselves. There's no really set for asexuals. Personally i consider myself a Hetero-romantic asexual. This means i am attracted to females in a romantic way but i have no interest to have sex with them. According to the AVEN (Asexual Visibility Education Network) Census Forum, heteroromantics make up 33% of the forum while a-romantics make up 20%. I do believe i will find a life partner when the time is right
What misconceptions, if any, do you feel most foreigners have about the Irish?
well you know there is one thing that annoys me. The perception of irish accents. Often when a US or English tv programme decide to go for a stereotypical irish accent, i need to be pressing the subtitles button to understand what the characther is saying/.
Getting back to DA, do you see yourself as more of a lurker or a poster?
Probably more of a lurker. In my 6, nearly 7 years of DA membership, i've an average of 1.5 posts
In closing, is there anything else that you would like the world to know about you?
the world already knows too much about me and then some.