Friday, October 12, 2007

Euro 2004 - Top ten goals

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The Group stages for Euro 2008 are all but over, here's a reminder of what we're in store for next year...the top 10 from Portugal 2004 where Greece caused the upset of the century winning the tournament!

Telling the time in Italy......

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Ah, those long hot days of an Italian summer - thanks to Global warming we have them here in Ohio & in Ireland too!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cruyff

Another journey down memory lane.

This is the move that Johan Cruyff is famous for. Not only was he one of the World's greats...in a team of World greats, he did this on 4 packs of cigs a day!

He was a fairly handy manager too when he retired from playing the game.

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Anyway enjoy the "Cruyff turn".

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Confessor

The Shoah revisited.

The methodical extermination of Europe's Jews by the Nazis is well documented. Such documentation is crucial to show the depraved depths to which humankind can sink to.What is not so well known is the methodical killing of 1.5 million men, women & children in the Ukraine during WW2. The Ukraine has an unsavoury role in this part of World history supplying whole regiments of soldiers and prison guards, both men & women to the "Final Solution".

A remarkable French priest, Fr. Patrick Desbois (pictured left*) records the details from those Ukrainians who as children & teens witnessed horrors that should never have been seen by such young eyes let alone have been allowed to have happen in the first place by supposed "Human Beings". Fr. Desbois is profiled in this weekend's New York Times, It is an amazing work of journalism. The link is here,

Ukraine is predominantly Orthodox but has a substantial Uniate Catholic population. This faith submits to Rome though sharing some traditions with the Byzantine Rite. The role therefore of Fr. Debois is understandable and remarkable.

Desbois' role of confessor (& critically) not of that as an accuser allows souls to confess some 60 years after their participation, willing or unwilling in crimes so heinous - they defy description. These confessions, I am sure may aid the penitent in the process of seeking some type of absolution if not peace before they leave this world and face the next. This in turn allows Desbois to chronicle past, forgotten crimes against humanity in an up to now hidden part of history.
Desbois states in the article of his role, "I have to use simple words and listen to these horrors — without any judgment. I cannot react to the horrors that pour out. If I react, the stories will stop."
The cry from all regarding the Shoah or the Holocaust is "Never Forget!".

The images in years past from Bosnia, Rwanda and nowadays Darfur however seem to suggest regrettably that we have.
* pic courtesy of Antoine Antoniol for The New York Times

Famous Sons

Jim Fitzpatrick is one of Ireland’s foremost graphic artists. Forty years ago this week, he presented to the world his portrayal of Che Guevara, the revolutionary Argentinean who was one of the Leaders of The Cuban guerillas along with Fidel Castro.

I recall many years ago, Fitzpatrick being interviewed by Gay Byrne on “The Late, Late Show”. He told the audience of how as a young bartender in a Limerick bar, he met Guevara with some of his minders who were on a stopover in Shannon. Apparently the purpose of his visit to Ireland for Guevara was visiting his ancestral (Lynch) homestead in Cork. Guevara gave him some Cuban currency as a memento.

Guevara was killed in Bolivia in 1967 by Government troops, I understand Fitzpatrick then produced his masterwork…he never received a penny then or since for his work, he never intended to.

He tells the BBC of that time & that work…
Birth of an icon
Jim Fitzpatrick, who produced the ubiquitous high-contrast drawing in the late 1960s as a young graphic artist, told the BBC News website he actively wanted his art to be disseminated.

"I deliberately designed it to breed like rabbits," he says of his image, which removes the original photograph's shadows and volume to create a stark and emblematic graphic portrait.

"The way they killed him, there was to be no memorial, no place of pilgrimage, nothing. I was determined that the image should receive the broadest possible circulation," he adds.
"His image will never die, his name will never die."
Links to Jim's websites are on the right! (no pun intended).
Fitzpatrick's art is simply incredible....teaching the ancient legends of Ireland through the medium of his highly visual art, one could argue he was the latest incarnation of Yeats & the Golden Circle such is the impact he has made.
The Last Battle (1977)
Fitpatrick was also commissioned by various Rock Groups to create Artwork for various projects among them Phil Lynott & Thin Lizzy.....

Do yourself a favour and look at his work, you'll be richer for it!