The Monkey's Typewriter

Shane Barry lives in Dublin and works as a technical writer for an international software company. Between 2004 and 2008 Shane blogged regularly for TMO under the title of The Monkey's Typewriter. Shane also conducted a number of interviews for TMO, which are also collected here.

Giles Coren’s Winkler

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

I have only myself to blame. After I read the e-mail rant heard around the world, my curiosity got the better of me when I spotted a copy of Giles Coren’s first novel, Winkler, on the shelves of my local library. When I say “novel”, I should point out that Coren’s book is not really […]

Macaronic McCarthy

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Or a fragmentary synopsis of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West derived from some of the English and Spanish words I had to look up:bistre; chine; tang; jornada; jacal; pritchel; frizzen; bungstarter; vadose; vernier sight; lobo; sotol; tapadero; felloe; duledge; monocline; kerf; rebozo; almagre; carreta; escopeta; legbail; pauldron; ocotillo; squail; […]

Don’t Try This At Home

Friday, January 25th, 2008

When untrained amateurs try to do it, we call it “pulling a face.” But when executed by professionals, it’s simply…acting, dear boy.

Bloggers and Journos

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Apparently, the Irish Times‘s house seer John Waters believes the Intertube and bloggers are contributing factors in the Decline of West. Perhaps that explains why www.johnwaters.ie (featuring a fetching pic of Mr Waters in full-bearded “Iron John” mode) will forever be “coming soon”. But pace Waters’s opinion of the emptiness of bloggers’ “discourse,” can I […]

The Voice of his Generation

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

No, not Heath Ledger. Rather “Doug Krantz, 27, a New York University student and Iraq war veteran,” who turned up outside the actor’s Manhattan home upon hearing of his death. His reason?”I have a sick fascination with morbid stuff.”

Decoupled from Reality

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

As plunging stock markets expose the fallacies of the widely flogged “decoupling theory” (Google returns almost 65,000 hits for the query “decoupling + United States + economy”), it seems hard to disagree with the arguments of President George W. Bush (as channeled by The Onion): While speaking to a group of White House reporters, President […]

The $100 Million Round of Golf

Monday, January 21st, 2008

RTE’s website coverage of today’s turmoil in the world’s financial markets kicks off with the following, interest-deflating headline: “US economy already in recession – consultant.”Alas, the subheading “Oh no it isn’t! – another consultant” is nowhere to be seen.On a tangential note, Louis XVI famously wrote “rien” (“nothing”) as a journal entry for July 14, […]

Pat on the Head from the NYT

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

“Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Ireland” is the title of an upbeat New York Times‘ article on the go-get-‘em business moxie that is supposedly rampant in the “new” Ireland.The piece kicks off with a bold–some begrudging inhabitants of the “old” Ireland might prefer the word “ridiculous”–assertion:”Ireland is now alive with enthusiasm for entrepreneurs, who seemingly rank […]

Statistics or Damn Lies?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Given the near-daily reports about crises in the Irish health service, the country’s position on this chart seems surprising.Then again, the murder rate in Baghdad has also declined impressively in recent months, but I still wouldn’t be in a rush to visit.

From the Sublime…

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

For a mid-week post, I was girding myself to produce an elevating squib on Alex Ross’s much-lauded history of 20th-century music, The Rest is Noise. However, having reached only page 90 so far, even I am reluctant to offer a nugget-sized synopsis of Ross’s argument. For more, stay tuned–unless you’re a follower of the Second […]

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