Friday, February 03, 2006

Mind Numbing Muppets: Grainne Kenny

Presenting the fourth in series of Mind Numbing Muppets - a Soundtracksforthem response from the underbelly of the keyboard to the kaleidoscope of dazzlingly silly cahnts who impose themselves on us via their very existence.

Number 4:
Grainne Kenny

Few have pointed this out but Grainne Kenny is the hysterical wench behind EURAD (Europe Against Drugs), and the woman who recently led the charge against the over-counter selling of magic mushrooms in Ireland. She is the sort of woman who thinks Irvine Welsh glamourises drug addiction, and as such manages to worm her way onto virtually every radio that finds itself clumsily stumbling onto the topic. Like an overdrawn character rejected from South Park, when faced with opposition of the caliber of Luke Flanagan on Newstalk one day, she bales in with accusations of "evil" that have yet to be matched since the witch trials. A figure of hilarity, her organisations is dangerous - opposing the use of needle exhange programmes as they promote drug addiction and other such nonesensical toxic policies.

Like some fucking Sherlock Holmes paranoid with lucid visions of hordes of Aphex Twin headed kiddies running riot fucked on psilocybin, she headed off on a brave one woman undercover mission to expose the selling of mushrooms in Dublin head shops. Has the woman never heard of green fields in the Irish countryside? Not only this but she discovered that shops like Asha were selling paraphernalia to hordes of Goth kids, who probably have nowt more than dried banana skins to smoke up in their over priced skins with Bob Marleys face festooned across the front. Then some bloke fell off his balcony to a sad death on Halloween night, so with all the charm of Nosferatu she leapt on his barely buried corpse to ride it all the way to media attention for her party pooper agenda.

Forget that wagon Mary Harney, the real fucker in this whole affair is Kenny - this could very well be one of those lurid moments when I have to extend sympathy to Harney for the fucking midnight badgerings she was probably subjected to by this trout in order to get mushies banne
d So, its back to dirty pills and double vodkas n red bulls for the rest of us then, and over to seeking a ban on drug paraphernalia like ten cent bags of penny sweets for her. The Streets got this drugs thing so right - someone do the world a favour send a tonne of grass to her gaff and call the pigs.

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Some discussion of the ban over here ( Really - its just a classic prohibition/anti-prohibition argument...

I knew that internet blogs had replaced Joe Duffy as the go-to site for excessive home-grown gasbaggery but still. I mean, it's clear you have something to say; ditch the talk-radio bloviations and first-year-in-college self-righteousness and the substance of your post might shine through. 'Cause as it is, you seem to be singing the song of a five-year-old whose favourite toy is taken away.

Maybe I am a five year old whose favourite toy has been taken away. Anyway - who the hell are you?
You know, there's plenty of blogging blowhards that are best met with some heavy eye-rolling; I was responding because you didn't seem to be one. But calling Mary Harney a "wagon"? Grainne Kenny a "hysterical wench"? Using The Streets lyrics as a pithy summation? That's not just bad rhethoric; that's bad internet writing.
Arousing sympathy for Harney? Come off it, man. It's no more than she deserves.
Thanks for coming back - you blow rather hard yourself and seem just as prone to acerbic typings. But that's fine. To be honest, I was trying to do exactly what you are complaining about.

I like the idea of doing regular reoccuring features lately, one of these being the sixty second film reviews and the other the mind-numbing muppets. Honestly, I don't find the title the most appealing myself, but I've a tendency to go back and correct these things as time progresses.

The idea for some short scathing profiles of popular figures remains. Wheter or not I achieve the desired effect is something you can hold a critical judgement on and do.

So if you have any good ideas for a title for such a series suggest it. Something that would reflect accomodation of people deserving of a hero status would be good. A hero/zero dichotomy is what I may be getting at.

Anyway, whatever about calling Grainne Kenny a "hysterical wench" - well to be honest it is a fitting description of someone who mangages to remain so ignorant of her chosen lobby issue. Especially as she uses her dangerous levels of access to the media to spread fear and ignorance. As for the shorthand cliched trick of dropping in a pop-cultural reference to make a swift summation, well so be it - this blog is full of it.

Can you think of anything that captures the drug hysteria better than "The Irony of It All?"

Thanks for dropping back in, good to know the blog has a readership, even if it's just you and me. Cosy.
> Arousing sympathy for Harney? Come off it, man. It's no more than she deserves.

If I made you feel a pang of pity for Harney, that's incidental; I was questioning the relevance of bringing her weight into a debate on drugs. Harney's size is between her mouth and her diet; I fail to see what it has to do with actions as a legislator.

> you blow rather hard yourself and seem just as prone to acerbic typings.

> The idea for some short scathing profiles of popular figures remains.

I don't mind barbed writing but I think it's important to make the distinction between the fair type and the unfair type. If one believes something is true because you have, carefully and lucidly, considered the facts, then why not, when you're stating your opinion, relay those carefully and lucidly considered facts back? Why resort to a verbal tar-and-feathering?

> As for the shorthand cliched trick of dropping in a pop-cultural reference to make a swift summation, well so be it - this blog is full of it.

> Can you think of anything that captures the drug hysteria better than "The Irony of It All?"

I didn't mean to say that your use of The Streets stuff was trite; I meant to say that the argument Skinner advances loads the deck. The issue of the abuse of alcohol is seperate from the issue of the use of drugs is seperate from the opinions mainstream society has of smokers is seperate from the opinions smokers have of violent drunks. Is it hypocritical of a lager lout to abuse one drug and pontificate about the use of another? Yes, I think so. But it doesn't necessarily follow that their pontification is incorrect.

If one thinks the situation with alcohol is damaging, then one should try and help remedy the situation or sit at home and frown about it or whatever. I don't see why ill feelings towards alcoholics and hypocrites should encourage further drug use for the sake of consistency.

> Thanks for dropping back in, good to know the blog has a readership, even if it's just you and me. Cosy.

Thank you. You could have easily not published my responses. Thanks for letting me have my say.

Hi again.

There's little change of me refusing to clear critical commentry on the site. Its sort of one of the risks of writing on the net. Sorry your posts don't register straight away on the site, you would not believe the amount of junk posts that I found when wading back through older postings, so it was only reasonable to start moderating the things.

I intentionally set out to use a barbed style of writing when putting together this piece. Sometime it can work well, and sometimes not - maybe this is one of those occasions where it doesn't work out the best. Its a style that has been employed on this blog on a variety of occasions as well, honestly I think such a style if it works well can be very effective. I had considered months ago writing something on the subculture that may have been developing around the use of mushrooms sold legally in Dublin headshops, something incorporating interviews with people regularly using them, and some sort of fun poking at the awfulness of the psy-trance and psyhedelic mind expansions trite that you come across over on Erowid. But unforntunately, I was obviously too slow off the mark. So as the mushroom thing is closed, I figured why not deliver a barbed riposte on the very woman responsible for the hysteria on them?

On the Mike Skinner lyrics, it really is obvious and readily observable that different drugs bring on different reactions in people. That society can hysterical react against people smoking dope/taking mushies in the safety of their own home and merely display a knowing wink wink/turn the other eye condemnation of aclohal abuse strikes me as absurd, not merely absurd but a carelfully articulated defence of one set of moral and cultural values against another, the hegemony of one entertainment industry over another. Skinner captured that well. And it is an attitude that Grainne Kenny exemplifies in my opinion, hence her targetting. The "wagon" tag directed at Harney is not an insult delivered due to weight, in fact were we to subject it to a brief de-construction, it would be read as a more sexualised term, as in the wagon people ride on, as in the "town bike." I'm not using it in any of these veins, just as a generic Irish term of abuse.

So..did anyone see the football?

Regarding anonymous, class act there anonymous, whining like a bitch while afraid to say who you are. It's obvious from your post that you need a bit of the old slimfast though.

As for you Antophone: "A hero/zero dichotomy is what I may be getting at.", puhlease give your face a wipe, you're talking shite.
I just had the misfortune to being subjected to the hysterical rantings and ravings of Grainne Kelly on the Last Word radio show on Today FM.
In this she managed to dismiss expert testimony that stated that cannabis only leads to mental problems if the drug is taken from your mid-teens and for heavy users.
She also insulted cannabis users as "waste of space".
I would argue that you could classify someone who blindly and without an open mind to other points of view ploughs ahead with their own agenda as a waste of space.
Simply shouting "Drugs are Bad!" repeatedly does not an anti drugs policy make.
Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and will continue to do so, so I would advise her to stop charging at windmills, take a step back and think about how young people could be educated about the (undeniable) dangers of drugs (illegal AND legal).
Of course it's much sexier to stand on your hind legs, beat your chest and shout "death to the dope fiends!"
Reason, intelligence and diplomacy are of course the enemy of any self-respecting anti anything group, but she will only win the support of the staunchest right wing nutters in today's society, where people have grown beyond scary American 60's government educational films.
Her argument that cannabis users are mostly "shady drug types, going round shooting people" is not only overly simplistic, but so absurd as to be extremely funny. It wouldn't make it's way into even the most clicheed Hollywood movie.
Most people who enjoy the occasional spliff are professionals who work for a living and mightn't like Government enforced, so called "legal drugs", but enjoy something a bit different.
It's not their fault the drug is illegal (simply to enforce the tax monopoly of cigarette and alcohol companies) and if the situation where rectified (which blind hysteria currently prevents), no-one would have to waste their time making complete fools of themselves on radio and television.
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Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to

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