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It is the moment for which football fans all over the globe have been waiting; the big kick off for Season 2 of SockerClub.
One recent evening Insider watched the 1967 Jean-Luc Godard film La Chinoise in which a small group of French students sit around their apartment, located in what is described as a “workers’ district”, and engage in theatrical discussions about how they must overthrow the bourgeoise and, in particular, the hierarchal French university system which saw students as passive receivers of knowledge handed down by their god-like professors, rather than participants in a dialectical exchange in which both students and teachers learn from each other and grow as a result. No one, with the exception of chairman Mao, is radical enough for most of these students. The French Communist Party which, to draw an Irish parallel, would have been more or less the political equivalent of present day Sinn Féin, is condemned as hopelessly “revisionist”. The Soviet Union, in particular its then president, the now largely forgotten Mr Kosygin, is convicted by the students at their kitchen table discussions of failing to do enough to support the Vietnamese in their war against Lyndon Johnson. And the French working class, with whom said kitchen table debaters absolutely sympathise, are seen as hopelessly passive. In a mix of desperation, madness, and idealism, the students decide to mount a campaign of terrorism, which will involve them doing something they have singularly failed to do for most of the film; getting up from that kitchen table and going outside. They plan to kill the visiting Soviet minister for culture who has been invited by President de Gaulle’s own culture minister, the novelist and decayed Stalinist intellectual Andre Malraux, to open a new wing of the university. After that, they hope to bomb the Sorbonne in the belief that this will spark a revolution. Insider is against blowing up universities. Partly because he knows such actions more often provoke backlash than revolution. But also because Insider happens to teach at a university and coming out in favour of blowing up universities might lead to an awkward email from one’s department head.
Patrick Kavanagh never spoke about poetry or literature to his friends. The Monaghan born poet and novelist, who grew up on a small farm, was more inclined to talk about everyday news, politics, Marilyn Monroe, horse racing, and goodlooking, rich women or medical students who caught his eye. And there were quite a few of these!
In only a matter of days, the first of 86 weary, desperate, human beings will arrive in Mayo as refugees from war ravaged Syria. That figure is made up of 20 families, of which sadly, more than 40 are young children forced to live a life that no child should ever know. They are escaping a complex war being fought by President Bashar al-Assad's government, Syrian rebel groups, ISIL, and foreign allies on both sides. That Mayo is one of only eight counties taking part in this resettlement programme should come as no surprise. Our county's history of reaching out to and accommodating suffering populations is a trait of which we can be proud.
Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, will give a public lecture on Germans and Jews Today: Living with the Holocaust? on Wednesday, 27 January to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.
THESE RECENT winter nights have been grey and gloomy indeed, but all that should be dispelled by Ballet Ireland when the company comes to the Town Hall Theatre with its sparkling new version of much-loved comic ballet Coppélia.