In a Word . . . Golf

A report from the Economic and Social Research Institution, Golf in Ireland: A Statistical Analysis of Participation, found the game has become less popular among young adults. While in principle “everyone” could join the club, in fact it was the preserve of the priest, the doctor, the lawyer, and allied sycophants. He grew to despise those who played it locally. They were probably the sort of people who, too, would sell off part of their country to hold onto their jobs. Highest participation rates nowadays, for both men and women in Ireland, are among those in their 60s and 70s. The report highlighted in particular a fall-off by those under 55. Golf from the 15th century Scots Gaelic gouf, an alteration of Dutch colf, colve “stick, club, bat”, and German kolben, “club”). This, of course, was never so coarse as to be overt. Membership was by nomination of those in the club and there was a fee. On Wednesdays. In his view local golfers were also probably Fine Gael supporters, there being no lower rung in his vision of things. Such “terms and conditions” ensured undesirables possessed of little more than a vaulting ambition remained in their place – outside! It was a statement. It was my father laughing from his grave at news that golf in Ireland appears to be in decline and has become an old person’s game. But, it was worse. It was also political. Associated women had their place too. My father never saw golf as a game. inaword@irishtimes.com So golf, it seems, is headed the way of all flesh, of newspaper readers, and church attendance in Ireland. That peculiar sound you may have heard wafting from the West last week? Is nothing sacred anymore? My late father’s passion about golf (it was never for golf) was rooted in a skint youth where such as those of his social standing in Roscommon were excluded from membership of the local golf club. Yes, it seems clubs of glory, too, lead but to the grave. It is first mentioned (along with fut- bol) in a 1457 Scottish statute on forbidden games. They, he felt, lacked all conviction and were merely social climbers with a craving, for the respect of those they deemed their betters, where a backbone ought to be. But, only “big shots” played the game locally.

From bacon rolls to Wok N’ Roll: how far Irish festivals have come

What you’ll drink in 2017: A rum cocktail filled to the top with crushed ice and dreams from the secret bar that evades time and space. You get eight warm beers and a food voucher for a hot dog. But there’s positives too, I guess Compared to the UK, the use of drug testing kits at Irish festivals has been slow to take off. Like a fabulous algae, boutique camping areas with fully stocked, pre-pitched tents, are taking over our festivals, leaving genral population campsites in the shadows. Safer drug use Festivals are a time of indulgence, whether your vice is booze, UV paint, Pieminister or drugs. I met Jenny Lewis backstage at an Irish festival before and asked her why she looked sad and she said something like: ‘Em. What you’ll wear in 2017: Under your layers of Gore-Tex rainwear, your sequin jacket and feathered boa are waiting for their moment. Reason #437 why you need to get along with your band mates,” she says.  “These same festivals just book whatever big-name bands they can book, and put little to no thought into programming and clashes. But our sccchhhtyle tends to be whatever we find in Penneys, paired with the just-eat.ie branded rain poncho. Go green People are becoming more aware of the waste we create at festivals, with some people treating their tents with the same respect as disposable cups, but Body & Soul commits itself to being as eco-friendly as possible. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons Irish festivals a decade apart What you drank in 2007: Cans of Heineken that were gently fermented by the eco-climate that developed in your tent. Be sound to bands “For the most part, festivals are magic,” says Other Voices host and Le Galaxie regular MayKay, whose first festival appearance was in 2007 with Fight Like Apes at Electric Picnic, so she has seen it all. Drug use at festivals happens, and even if users drink the right amount of water or measure their doses carefully, there’s no predicting what way a high can go. The younger generation are seemingly a lot more tuned in to these concerns and actively want to be part of this mindset and our leave-no-waste policy,” says Body & Soul creator and director Avril Stanley. And you can feel that from when you get to the front gate.  “You arrive at the stage to a pissed-off crew. Instead, we …

‘Acting is just being a man’ and 19 other memorable quotes from Irish actors

The world should thank me for not marrying you. Big mistake. Peter O’Toole I believe some people in this business suffer from fame because they behave in a famous fashion. I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it’s no problem for me to believe that I’m somebody else. John Kavanagh My old manager of the Irish National Theatre said “Don’t worry about being a star, just worry about being a working actor. The Irish Actors’ Quotation Book, compiled by Andrew Russell, is chock full of memorable quotes by Irish actors. Anyone can do that. Some make it their entire life. Being human. I want to keep myself guessing and keep the fear element alive, so that I don’t get too comfortable. Michael Fassbender When I’m lying drunk at an airport the press call me Irish…But when I win an Oscar, I’m classified as British. Here are some of our favourite lines … Geraldine Fitzgerald I want to be certain that when I arrive at death, I’m totally exhausted. Maureen O’Hara Acting is just being a man. Just keep working.” I think that’s really good advice. Daniel Day-Lewis I am proud of my rebellious moments, but I wish I’d handled them with more wit. Cillian Murphy You don’t come to see a Greek play and not want blood and gore and depth of feeling from your boots up. Chris O’Dowd So often I’ll feel I haven’t got the tools. I haven’t got the equipment, I haven’t got the understanding. It’s like you’re at base camp at Mount Everest looking up, thinking, ‘I won’t be able to scale that.” But you trudge on. Because it’s easy to be camp or queen. Saoirse Ronan I often sit back and think, I wish I’d done that, and find out later that I already have. I’ll never be able to do it. People aren’t born bad, no matter how harsh the circumstances. Stephen Rea Acting is one of these things that I can’t really describe. Brenda Fricker I think being Irish I possibly find a connection with American writers and indeed Russian writers more easily than I do with English writers because Ireland and England are so close geographically, one is very aware of the differences. Daniel Day-Lewis Don’t they say acting is the shy man’s revenge? You know, you just do. Ruth Negga I grew up among strong women so …

Jack Antonoff: Fun guy on a serious pop mission

Political landscape Dunham’s influence is felt elsewhere too, though Let’s Get Married is as much about Antonoff’s reaction to the political landscape as their bond (sample lyric: “I know it’s bad when we look out/But bad bad people don’t live in our house”). So, as the man responsible for injecting a dose of personality into modern melodies, I wonder, what does he make of the charts? Beyond Democrats and Republicans, I thought that good would conquer evil. For me, a lot of that involves working locally. It’s all about putting our efforts into what we believe in, until we’re there. “The last eight years with Obama were this progressive, wonderful time when a lot of the hateful parts were backed into corners, but it’s all come out now. I had a hard time believing it would go that far. “Pop is an incredible and wonderful thing: with just a few chords you can turn something very complicated into [something] very accessible to the whole world. And just because it works, it doesn’t mean it’s beautiful and important. “It’s a terrifying time, it’s unbelievable to imagine how it’s going to land or how we’ll move on, but I guess we will,” he says. Asked if they might continue this creative partnership, he explains he would, “when it makes sense to” (the same reply to the question of when Fun might reunite, incidentally). I think about who is getting the worse end of the deal here, especially LGBT, non-white people, and figure out how they can be supported.” Antonoff has worked with Taylor Swift, Sia, Sara Bareilles, Grimes, Banks and Pink. But people were sold a bad deal and now we have to work out how to repair it. “That’s the first place my head went after the election,” he explains. I keep my head down and believe people are brilliant and they want meaningful things, and they’ll search for that.” Here’s hoping. Gone Now is out now So I think the charts and radio get a lot of material that isn’t as good as people deserve. “But there’s also a lot of money there, so there’s also a lot of people trying to do things that work. “But I don’t think about it too much, and I don’t get too cynical. “If they sounded sad, you wouldn’t be able to. There’s nowhere else to go. That’s something that I want to …

London 40 years on: in search of my musical youth

A sign high up on a wall says: “THE ROXY. I’m disoriented, so I ask a man who is flying a small drone above his head, “do you know where the Vortex is?” “The vortex is everywhere,” he replies. Onwards. If anybody asks, I’ll pretend to be German. Maybe I’ll catch a performance by one of the few remaining punk bands: The Buzzcocks, The UK Subs or The Exploited. 1976 -1978” but the shop underneath is now an outlet for Speedo swimming trunks and I am embarrassed to be seen taking a picture of the place. This is, arguably, the place where the whole thing started. And if I stand in this spot long enough, it just might wind back 40 years. Not only gone; replaced by an unholy trinity: a health store, a juice bar and an organic pharmacy. The airport security guard holds the blade up to a plastic measuring device. It’s not yet 11 in the morning and I wonder if Ward’s Irish House will be open. Off to New York with the iPaddies Fifty minutes after I take my seat on the plane, I’m in London Heathrow. I take the train to Paddington and the tube to Piccadilly. It had once been a public toilet connected to the Underground and the counter was always lined with hard men and rent boys. The Man in the Moon pub, where I once saw Vivienne Westwood in torn black robes looking like Lady Macbeth after a motorcycle accident? I catch a train to Islington; I checked on the web and The Hope And Anchor still exists and music is still played on the premises. The foam letters that spelled out “SEX” are gone but the big clock that spins backwards is still there Never mind. The establishment that gave the Sex Pistols their name and where Sid Vicious was a highly unlikely shop assistant. It was inevitable, I suppose. I hop a tube to the Oval and discover that the wrecking ball of progress got there before me. How about Chelsea? I stop a passer-by and ask him to take a picture with my phone. Lambeth Council demolished the entire street. American Classics where I bought my mohair jackets and shirts made out of parachute silk? Let’s forget the music scene and concentrate on other stuff. My first trip to London was 40 years ago and back then, nobody …

Irish actors in 20 memorable quotations

Fiona Shaw I’m always interested in trying to investigate different personalities. Being human. Stephen Rea Acting is one of these things that I can’t really describe. What’s difficult is to play feminine. Sorcha Cusack Everything’s borne out of human experience, of course – rejection, humiliation, poverty, whatever. Brenda Fricker I think being Irish I possibly find a connection with American writers and indeed Russian writers more easily than I do with English writers because Ireland and England are so close geographically, one is very aware of the differences. Aidan Gillen If you have a certain wildness of spirit, a cabinet maker’s workshop is not the place to express it. Saoirse Ronan I often sit back and think, I wish I’d done that, and find out later that I already have. Maureen O’Hara Acting is just being a man. I haven’t got the equipment, I haven’t got the understanding. Richard Harris The Irish Actors’ Quotation Book, compiled by Andrew Russell, is published by Somerville Press, at €4.99 Geraldine Fitzgerald I want to be certain that when I arrive at death, I’m totally exhausted. Cillian Murphy You don’t come to see a Greek play and not want blood and gore and depth of feeling from your boots up. It’s like you’re at base camp at Mount Everest looking up, thinking, ‘I won’t be able to scale that.” But you trudge on. John Kavanagh My old manager of the Irish National Theatre said “Don’t worry about being a star, just worry about being a working actor. Sinéad Cusack How could you have had such a wonderful life as me if there wasn’t a God directing? The world should thank me for not marrying you. Chris O’Dowd So often I’ll feel I haven’t got the tools. Not forcing it. I’ll never be able to do it. I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it’s no problem for me to believe that I’m somebody else. I want to keep myself guessing and keep the fear element alive, so that I don’t get too comfortable. Daniel Day-Lewis Don’t they say acting is the shy man’s revenge? Because it’s easy to be camp or queen. Some make it their entire life. It’s just like, why do you love your mum and dad? Michael Fassbender When I’m lying drunk at an airport the press call me Irish…But when I win an Oscar, I’m classified …

Fewer VIPs, less Elbow, more fun: our guide to better festivals

But there’s positives too, I guess Compared to the UK, the use of drug testing kits at Irish festivals has been slow to take off. But SSDP and Help Not Harm – which, at last year’s Electric Picnic, implemented the first drug welfare services at an Irish festival – want to see a more hands-on approach.  “I think distributing test kits is a good start, but we have to follow in the footsteps of Portugal and services like The Loop [a non-profit organisation that conducts forensic testing of drugs at clubs and festivals in the UK], where testing is carried out by officials, working with the police and medics to ensure people are taking drugs as safely as possible,” says Fergal Eccles, director of festival welfare for Help Not Harm. Safer drug use Festivals are a time of indulgence, whether your vice is booze, UV paint, Pieminister or drugs. “But the vape tents seem to be to be only a half step away from a Shell Oil Arena to me, so I’d like to see at least a little discernment in these areas.” Less VIP nonsense Music photographer Ruth Medjber agrees that while larger festivals have lost their shine – with VIP areas filled with anyone verified on Twitter – we have other options. I met Jenny Lewis backstage at an Irish festival before and asked her why she looked sad and she said something like: ‘Em. What you’ll drink in 2017: A rum cocktail filled to the top with crushed ice and dreams from the secret bar that evades time and space. Like a fabulous algae, boutique camping areas with fully stocked, pre-pitched tents, are taking over our festivals, leaving genral population campsites in the shadows. You get eight warm beers and a food voucher for a hot dog. So, for example, a festival user can test if their MDMA is contaminated with harmful substances such as PMMA: it can be toxic at lower doses and its effect take much longer to kick in those for MDMA. So festivals should consider onsite drug testing kits or providing safe spaces. Options now include bell tents, silk tents, tipis, festihuts, yurts, squrts and PodPads, all for the price of one month’s rent. I’m on the same time as Beyoncé. As it stands, testing kits do not test purity: they simply rule out the presence of certain substances. You get rolled on …