If you watch rape or murder on Facebook Live, you’re guilty

In that sense, every click and every share is an act of depravity. “We’ll do all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Zuckerberg continued in the same stilted fashion, before jumping off to a topic with which he clearly felt a lot more comfortable: augmented reality. Performance What is perhaps most shocking about all of these incidents is how detached from reality they all seem, even to those actually taking part – as though it is in fact a performance. At the time of writing, Google’s YouTube was continuing to give it a platform – multiple copies of the video could be viewed there, prefaced by warnings of “potentially inappropriate” content. The videos stayed up for nearly three hours before they were removed, raising questions – yet again – about Facebook’s ability to moderate content, particularly active crimes. Ain’t nobody watching my shit.” Last month, teenage boys in Chicago live-streamed the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl, as more than 40 people watched. In one incident in January, four young people in Chicago broadcast a 30-minute assault on a disabled 18 year old. Humanity’s instinct But Facebook did not create humanity’s instinct for depravity: it merely gave it a platform. The prosecutor said she began recording to force the rapist to stop, but “she got taken up with all the likes that her live-stream was getting, and therefore… Photograph: The New York Times Clearly, this isn’t just a Facebook problem. We should hardly be surprised that streaming tools have ended up being used to turn violence into a spectator sport, the grisliest kind of performance art. Last week, Ryan A Godwin – grandson of Robert – tweeted in apparent disgust: “Please please please stop retweeting that video and report anyone who has posted it! At one point, she berates her followers, “You all ain’t even commenting on my shit. did nothing to aid the victim”. The 24-year-old woman filming the assault blithely checks her hair. As a species, we’re a depraved bunch, with a deeply rooted fascination with gore and violence. Not one called 911. Photograph: Greg Wohlford Ultimately, viewing a live video of a crime and choosing not to report it may become a crime itself, in line with sending or receiving images of child pornography. And now, instead of taking steps to improve moderation, it is clinging to its increasingly utopian-sounding narrative about connecting people. …

Molly McCloskey’s love letter to Ireland in the summer of 1989

Her luminous new novel, When Light Is Like Water, has just been published. “Ireland is not a porous society, it doesn’t open itself easily,” McCloskey says. She is an incredibly good sport. Whereas, for all my years in Ireland, I really felt like an observer. There are vast amounts of the book that are completely made up,” she says firmly. “I came here in 1989 for a couple of months. That’s partly what I wanted to write about in the book: the character’s loss of innocence, and also, what was happening in Irish society at that time, which was a loss of innocence.” Moving home After living for 10 years in Sligo, from 1989 to 1999, McCloskey moved to Dublin. She’s also the author of two collections of short stories and a striking memoir about her schizophrenic brother titled Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. “I felt like many American people who were feeling devastated by the result of the election. I was fully engaged. It’s the third time in the interview that McCloskey has unselfconsciously misplaced herself. I have a really fierce nostalgia for the summer of 1989 McCloskey, an American, came to Ireland in the summer of 1989. But with the election, I felt: his problem belongs to me. “I told her about the character when I was working on the novel. It’s about the different ways we make our home, whether it’s in a marriage, or in a place, or in our childhood. This latest book is a novel, although one of the blurbs on the cover, from Anne Enright, describes it as “gripping as a memoir.” Alice, the main character in the novel, is an American, who arrives in Ireland in the summer of 1989, and ends up living in Sligo for several years. “That preoccupation has been with me for years and years,” she admits. Witnessing that and watching what happened as Irish people were collectively going through that time was really interesting. In so many novels, there are composites of people one knows.” We’re told on page three of the novel that Alice’s mother, a character who is central to Alice’s story, has recently died. It had an emotional impact. I felt the impact of it in a way like I had never felt about anything in Ireland. “I certainly don’t feel that DC is my home, but I feel …

I’m slightly proud that I don’t get Ed Sheeran

“I can’t tell the difference between Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road. You wouldn’t catch them boasting about not knowing the capital of Honduras. It would have required hypnosis or the application of a javelin to frontal lobes to pass through mid-1990s Ireland without taking Wannabe on board. I feel no pride at having to admit that I looked it up.) Here’s the nub. “Oh, the completely awesome Rule the World and Patience are by four-man Take That. I don’t think it’s funny to call Beyoncé’s husband “Jay-Zed”. I feel slightly proud of this fact. I have never read a book by JK Rowling. It’s the sense of superiority such people adopt that grinds my gears. Earlier this year, all 16 songs from his new album occupied places in the top 20 singles listings, while each of his three LPs sat in the top five albums chart. Yes, it can be difficult keeping up with the never-ending flow of culture. Look, I don’t know how this happened. It is scarcely possible to access any medium without catching a glimpse of Ed’s ginger head. The guy has sold out Wembley Stadium three times. They cannot tell you who this “One Direction” is. People who do this are awful. I hear it when queuing up to buy a unicorn latte in Starbucks. Don’t you just hate people who seem proud of their ignorance as regards popular culture? This is an unusual thing. A bit of The A Team, his first hit, only causes me to yearn for the infinitely more entertaining chords of the theme to the similarly titled TV show. But no Sheeran chord has registered as such in my brain. I can’t deny it. Give me a Nobel Prize for Smug, Ignorant Blowhardery. They will raise a curious eyebrow when you mention Star Wars and allow a smug smile to spread across the lips as they explain that they’ve seen none of the films. They will get the names of superheroes wrong. Not knowing this stuff is fine. I know what he looks like, of course. But, after lurking over my chosen streaming service for an hour, I still feel as if I’ve never heard a single one of these Sheeran songs. This didn’t happen with The Spice Girls. Now I get it.” That sort of thing. Thinking Out Loud, the first ever tune to spend an entire year in the top …

‘We are the last generation who can leave a planet worth having’

There is a better “have-it-all” alternative, he says. “The whole idea of feeding vast amounts of edible crops to animals is now a serious discussion point. “The good news is that we can all help to chose another way, and we can do that three times a day through our food choices, using pasture-fed free range or organic meat, milk or eggs.” Doesn’t that mean forcing people who can’t afford it to pay more for food? What kind of society are we in where we expect people on low incomes to have to feed their children on poor quality factory farmed food? Now we produce enough food for 16 billion people. Vast feedlot farms are necessary to feed a growing world population, they say. As chief executive of the English charity Compassion in World Farming he has spent decades calling out cruelty in farming practices like the destruction of newly hatched male chicks by dropping them into mincers in the egg industry. “I see clear signs in the time before Farmageddon was published to now the narrative has begun to change,” Lymbery says. Although Lymbery was horrified he also felt “massively vindicated” looking down on the sea of soya. “To see that massive amount of countryside devoted to one thing – soya – where it had previously been forest, was breathtakingly devastating.” When the view was blotted out momentarily as the plane flew into cloud, “it was like the interval in a particularly intense and quite harrowing play”. “So where’s all the money going? But with his first book Farmageddon and now Dead Zone, he explores what he calls “green deserts” or plantations of single crops drenched in chemicals in cleared rain forest or jungle cultivated at a frightening cost to the planet and its wildlife. And we, as consumers, can influence that through our food choices. They’ve organised themselves into a new organisation, the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, and their pledge is to rear their animals without feeding them a single grain.” The working title for the last book in the trilogy is Sixty Harvests Left. “I wasn’t a writer and I learned a lot working with Isabel, the value of colour, of not using so many facts, of story-telling and all those sorts of things. and thought this is an entire landscape that has gone purely to feed factory-farmed animals.” Most of the food value of the crops …

How past humiliation acts as a motivator in China

As Qianlong pointed out in a letter for George III, China didn’t need to trade, as it had everything it needs. Treaty ports Bickers has written widely about how China has experienced the West – The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 and Empire Made Me – and he loves to dig out vivid tales of Western excess and corruption in China in the foreign-run treaty ports and concessions. “Despite that kick, the sign lived on. Java was subjugated and Vietnam effectively conquered. In Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Shapes China’s Push for Global Power, former New York Times foreign correspondent Howard French examines China’s interaction with the outside world, and how its emergence from a period of devastating humiliation by the West will change the world order. Digging deep into history, French shows how China’s belief in its authority over tian xia or “everything under the heavens” informs its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, which have brought it into conflict with nearly all of its neighbours, many of whom have historically been tribute states to dynastic China. A bit of trade out of Canton was allowed, but only because Europe needed tea, silk and porcelain. You certainly know that you have the ability to change something, the course of a life not least, your own, somebody else’s.” Bickers is sceptical of how successive rulers, including the current Communist government, have sought to control the story of Chinese humiliation, and believes that the story of the foreign presence in China in the 20th century, and previous centuries, is too important to be left to the approved script. Mere barbarians This idea has long resonated with French, an African-American raised in Washington DC. But because the sign is a myth, it is also vulnerable to those who would seek to belittle the importance of that past, writing it all off as fabrication,” Bickers writes. The End of Europe by James Kirchick review: Heading towards the 1930s? To understand China’s foreign policy, it is necessary to understand how deeply feelings of “inside” and “outside” run in the political thinking of successive dynasties and governments. Malacca, in present-day Malaysia, was brought to heel. “Modern China’s history is not a history made by foreigners; but its domestic history was an internationalised one, at times very heavily spiced with them,” writes Bickers. Sri Lanka (Ceylon) came under …

Crime thrillers stray into realm of the dead

As its title suggests, the 17th novel in Connolly’s Charlie Parker series is more directly engaged with the supernatural than some of his more recent offerings: before he went missing, we discover, Eklund was investigating the Brethren, an ancient family that preys on the unwary from beyond the grave. And if Rosa were still alive, as Jarleth has always believed, why would the former Cambridge student have faked her death? John le Carré and Len Deighton are referenced throughout, but Find Me, though an entertaining page-turner, falls well short of such standards. Jarleth frequently experiences bereavement hallucinations, but this time Rosa’s appearance coincides with his being watched and followed. Vampire Jo Nesbo’s The Thirst (Harvill Secker, €14.99) is the 11th novel to feature Oslo police detective Harry Hole, although Harry is no longer a detective, instead lecturing at Oslo’s police academy. I have memories of hell and fears of the world ending”) until the story flashes back to 1980, when we discover that Filippo, then six years old, was shot dead when caught in the crossfire of a gangsters’ shootout as his father Matteo brought him to school. Hell’s Gate is the revenge thriller reimagined as an existential meditation, and one that owes a considerable debt to Dante and Homer, as the bereaved Matteo descends among the shades of the Underworld and harrows hell in a self-sacrificing bid to restore his son to life. Black humour Sabine Durrant’s fifth novel, Lie With Me (Mulholland Books, €17.99), is a comi-tragedy centring on Paul Morris, a one-time bestselling author now reduced to mooching off friends and family. JS Monroe’s Find Me (Head of Zeus, €18.45) opens with Jarleth Costello seeing his ex-girlfriend Rosa at a Tube station, even though Rosa – officially, at least – took her own life five years previously. A slow-burning tale, Lie With Me is a blackly humorous and surprisingly affecting psychological thriller. Filippo seems prone to grandiose pronouncements (“I’ve come back from the dead. How past humiliation acts as a motivator in China Dear Friend by Yiyun Li review: An intense and intimate appeal JS Monroe has previously published five spy novels as Jon Stock, but Find Me is a conspiracy thriller in which amateur sleuth Jarleth is plunged into a world of spooks and covert black-ops as he pursues the truth of Rosa’s disappearance. The tale proceeds via the parallel narratives of Jarleth’s investigation and diary …

John Gerrard on sculpting smoke, false flags and how it all comes down to petroleum

Gerrard describes oil as a “dynamic that allowed for a very particular change in society, allowed for hyper-mobility, changes in food and agriculture. The flag in this piece is an anxious object. Gerrard has a profound ability to make work that connects directly to current concerns without being glib or opportunistic. The role of the artist is to seed, not so much solutions, but anxieties, more strangeness. Of course not, but as we speak I start to get a sense of the complexity he’s dealing with. “Western Flag is the legacy of oil. Gerrard describes Spindletop as the birthplace of the modern oil industry. Installed on a massive outdoor LED wall, the scene could appear to be footage of the hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The scene rotates to give a full 360-degree panorama, but instead of bearing a nationalistic emblem, the flag is pure black smoke. He shows me a picture of the Lucas Gusher, a Spindletop strike that in 1901 produced more oil per day than the rest of the world’s oilfields combined. You suspect that biscuit crumbs and teabags dripping in the sink might pain him, but he’s also brilliant fun, one of those charismatic people who draw you along into devilment in their wake – and it’s quite a wake, as his career has become stratospheric. Farm (2015), which showed at his London gallery, Thomas Dane, was another real-time simulation, this time of a Google data farm in Oklahoma. (“Many drone pilots came from the gaming industry,” he says as an aside.) This type of work calls for a meticulousness and precision that is either informed by, or bleeds into the rest of his life. I’m interested to underline that the great ‘waste’ material of 20th century expansionism is carbon dioxide. At some point in the 1980s the game engine became commercially popular, but even something like Pong is a version of a flight simulator,” Gerrard says, warming to the technological details that add their own layers of meaning. In 2003, after his younger brother died, his work began to be concerned with holding time. Much of what we think of as ‘real’ is a petroleum reality. His works are now in the permanent collections of the Tate, the museums of modern art in both San Francisco and New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma). Installation view, Lincoln Center, New …

Warren Beatty: ‘I’ve had 16 books written about me. All baloney’

It’s always tough. We would have a jocular argument every time we got together. “But I would hear the stories about him – and everybody had stories about him – and they would make me laugh. But ridiculous worked. Their employer is the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes (played by Beatty). The New York Times’s Bosley Crowther dismissed the picture as “a cheap piece of bald-faced slapstick”. Once you start me on politics, you’ll be sorry that you did.” Beatty for president Norman Mailer once lamented: “If only Warren Beatty had been president.” It’s not such a far-fetched idea. Warren Beatty and Alden Ehrenreich in Rules Don’t Apply, a film about Howard Hughes. That’s unfortunate. But not right away. He has already stated that he is done talking about the envelope mix-up that led to the actor and Faye Dunaway announcing La La Land as Best Picture winner, when the real winner was Moonlight. In it, Nancy Reagan is beaming like a star-struck teenager. Everybody had to get the joke on Friday night. “We live in an era of sequels and tent poles and water slides and theme parks. He hasn’t given interviews in many years. (Any subsequent inquiries into the matter have, as per a recent episode of the Graham Norton Show, been politely batted away by Beatty, who dismisses the incident as “chaotic”.) Smart, well-preserved and witty, he has lost none of the charm he used in that Nancy Reagan photo When we meet, he’s London on the promotional trail for Rules Don’t Apply, the first film he has written, directed and starred in almost two decades. He recites their ages, proudly: “Seventeen, 20, 22, 25. Everybody says Jaws was the first wide release. There are one-liners that I suspect are tried-and-tested standards (opening gambit: “We have to stop meeting like this”) and off-the-cuff quips that would make any stand-up comedian proud. And then I see quotes taken from these books. Pauline Kael responded to the brickbats, initially, as a lone American voice in the wilderness: “How do you make a good movie in this country without being jumped on?” “I started putting Bonnie and Clyde together in 1964,” recalls Beatty. “I think we are maybe looking at a last gasp. Nobody says that a book has to be 120 pages long. It’s like what’s happening with the news: sensation takes precedent over truth and gravity.” Rules Don’t Apply …

Portrait of a Century: the changing face of Ireland

They dream that he will be safe and that the Ireland he grows up in will be a more tolerant, integrated and accepting place for everyone who lives in it. Her birth into a prominent political family in Dublin coincided with the birth of the Irish Free State. This followed a national incident that became known as Pantigate. 1953 Rowan Gillespie is a bronze-casting sculptor. In 2015 he moved to London to become the first senior Irish male dancer in 30 years to join the Royal Ballet School at Covent Garden. His proposals for free-trade policies over protectionism were adopted by the government and transformed the economy. He was born on Rotuma Island, spent his early years in Fiji and Australia before moving to Ireland. She was born in Boston to Irish parents and is the 2014 winner of The Rose of Tralee. In 1988 he joined Na Piarsaigh GAA club. She loves debating and playing tennis. She was named best female artist at the Irish Music Awards in 2009 for her eclectic sound, which fuses rockabilly, blues and jazz. 2000 Gearóid Solan is a ballet dancer. Farmer and carpenter Patrick Donoghue, who was born in 1946, features, as does Eunice Adeyle, born in 2007 and photographed in a stubble field, her black skin in strong contrast to her white Communion dress. 1974 Imelda May is a songwriter and musician from Dublin. As a diplomat she served in France, Spain and at the United Nations in New York. 1994 Saoirse Ronan is a New York-born Irish film actor. He directed plays at the Project Theatre in Dublin before moving to New York where he studied film and became director at the Irish Arts Center. 2002 Maryiam Ahsan was born in Drogheda before moving to Dublin, where she goes to secondary school. 1945 Susan Gageby Denham is the Chief Justice of Ireland. His 1981 film Excalibur, filmed in Ireland using local actors, launched the careers of many in the Irish film industry. Her poetry depicted female experiences of love at a time when women’s voices were rare in Irish society. Not all her subjects are famous. He was born in Co Meath and joined the Irish National Youth Ballet aged nine. He was born in New York and served in the US Navy before moving to Ireland to study at Trinity College. 1949 Jim Sheridan is a film director, writer and …

Gate Theatre needs to take risks – and so does its audience

“Oscar Wilde saved my skin several times,” he admitted a couple of years ago. It wilts if it does not challenge. (An older audience, without rejuvenation, is a dying audience.) Audience appeasement So, in 2016, the theatre began a process of audience appeasement, staging fewer productions and more revivals over longer runs. It was not an exaggeration. But theatre, like all art, should be a risky business. It details a turbulent recent period for the 89-year-old institution of dwindling State subsidy, falling audience numbers and declining box office, together with a risk-averse strategy for a quick recovery. This puts the Gate in an immensely difficult position, because by pandering to the box office, it jeopardises its next most significant source of income: its State subsidy. Given that the Gate has staged new plays so infrequently – none at all since 2014, and before that only one roughly every two years – it’s hard to say if the audience lost its appetite for adventure or was simply starved of it. In the report, published in January and obtained by journalist Fiona Gartland for The Irish Times, you can intimate what the Gate’s audience – not quite as loyal as conventional wisdom had it – showed up for, and what they roundly rejected. The report anticipates “risks associated with a new style of direction” and suggests increased Arts Council support as the Gate undergoes this change. It may be the only way. Photograph: Eric Luke The Gate, which changed management this month, has long been reliant on its box office, operating on at least 75 per cent attendance to break even. But under its outgoing artistic director Michael Colgan, who retired after 33 years at its helm, “the Gate audience” was carefully cultivated through years of prestige programming. Photograph: Agata Stoinska This leaves the Gate’s new artistic director, Selina Cartmell, in a clearly challenging position, due to announce her first programme next month, while advancing a careful balance of “consistency and change” that is attractive to newcomers but not alienating to regulars. The Gate’s new artistic director Selina Cartmell is due to announce her first programme next month. One of the Arts Council’s misgivings towards the Gate, after concerns for its governance and executive remuneration (now redressed), is its commitment to artistic development, which is to say, staging new works and supporting national talent. While Colgan shared some of the tastes of …

Poetry: Out of the abyss

Gabriel Fitzmaurice is a bilingual poet whose collections include The Space Between: New and Selected Poems 1984-1992 (Cló lar-Chonnachta, 1993) and A Wrenboy’s Carnival: Poems 1980-2000 (Wolfhound Press, 2000) My demons drugged, I lived the life of one Faithless in all I did and said, Betrayed my love, and then, when love was gone, Abandoned hope and fell in with the dead. The years I wasted lost in hurt and doubt! I trusted none, to none I gave my all, Dwelled upon myself, with flesh and stout I drugged my demons and ignored Your call. You came to me out of the abyss, I needed help but feared that there was none, In the dark night of the sense I felt Your kiss And knew at last that I had found the One On Whom I count, in Whom I live anew: When I learned to trust myself, I trusted You.

Painter (88) to lose €17,000 as Aosdána changes membership rules

They include his experience of Catalan Romanesque when, after graduating from the National College of Art and Design, he visited Spain on a Mainie Jellett scholarship. The vast majority are paid €17,180 per year “to assist them in concentrating their time and energies in the full-time pursuit of their art”. Born in Winchester, England in 1929, Pye attended the National College of Art and Design in the early 1950s and went on to study stained glass in Maastricht. He converted to Catholicism when he was in his 30s. In standing apart from transient fashion, Pye’s own work has never looked more fresh and contemporary. An Aosdána source indicated it was unique to bursary payments that somebody seeking a Cnuas would have to give up their day job in order to secure it. Current recipients include the poet Theo Dorgan, The Butcher Boy author Patrick McCabe, film-maker Pat Murphy and writer Ulick O’Connor. In fact, he features prominently in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s current exhibition, As Above, So Below, a survey of spirituality in the visual arts over the last 100 years. – Aidan Dunne Artists are required to have produced work of merit in the last five years to be eligible. He has also written thoughtfully on art. His Christian faith has been at the heart of his art as painter and printmaker. Rules stipulate that members can apply at any time with an outline of the work they intend to pursue and provided other earnings are no more than 1½ times the amount of the Cnuas (€25,770 in the case of the full stipend). Who is Patrick Pye? He also has a long-term admiration for one of the giants of the Spanish Renaissance, El Greco. The Arts Council pays out about €2.6 million every year in Cnuas grants. Payments are made quarterly and automatically for three quarters of the year. Patrick Pye, an 88-year-old artist with fading sight and restricted mobility, was told by the Arts Council at the end of last month that his €17,180 Aosdána stipend would no longer be continued. “The April payment will only be paid when the council receives a written report confirming that the artist continues to comply with the conditions of the Cnuas,” the rules state. There are 145 active recipients, all members of Aosdána. In his formalised compositions and stylised figuration, Pye found his own personal stylistic equivalent to …