Haggling over the Price

Over the weekend an Australian film maker went stratospheric when the culmination of an online auction of two virgins raised almost a million euros. Actually, it was only the girl who attracted the large bidding, with more than $700,000 pledged by a Japanese business man. The male virgin had to settle for a mere $3000. The auction and the proposed documentary has excited a lot of people, not least of which are law makers and the director may yet end up with a visit to his local penitentiary. Justin Sisely, director of Thomas Williams Productions, appears to have been limited to filming weddings prior to his big break. In what he claims is a search for the change that happens when virginity is sold, he advertised across campuses in his native Australia for virgins to enter the experiment and his documentary. The creative urge was to explore human sexuality and our views on virginity, but the posters looking for participants said they would be paid $20,000 and win fame and fortune; a somewhat incongruous and conflicting message. Initially he was seeking local virgins but the campaign went viral and global. The female virgin, Catarini Migliorini from Brazil was set to […]

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I don’t need my toilet rolls any more…

No, I haven’t dispensed with my bottom, given up eating for good or undergone radical colonic surgery – it’s the empty ones I don’t need. I looked at the collection of empty toilet rolls loitering sadly beside the bin in my bathroom and waiting patiently to be moved into the recycling bin, when it suddenly hit me. I don’t need them any more. Time was I collected them faithfully for activities which involved my children. I don’t believe there was ever a ‘make-and-do’ slot on Blue Peter that did not call for the obligatory brown cardboard roll, never a crafty evening in Girls Friendly Society that did not insist on empty toilet rolls, or a school’s art day that didn’t need the cylinders, especially for making doll people in the naivety scenes or fat sausage dogs on leads. Over the years I got used to hoarding the empty rolls, sometimes adding an elongated tube or two from kitchen-film or tin-foil dispensers, and they travelled into school or were used in playtime at home. We never had stick-thin people; no our cardboard people were always lovely and fat, chubby as Santa Claus himself, even baby Jesus was a roly-poly in the crib. So, when […]

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Cindy Gallop – if she ran the world…

Aspire Magazine ran my article on Cindy Gallop on the cover of September magazine.   It was probably the hand action that secured the success of the micro talk at TED2009, that or the fact that Cindy Gallop had broken TED’s porn cherry with the description of her own sex life, the merits of hardcore porn and a personal preference not to watch sex films that resembled open heart surgery. In just ten minutes, a global sensation was born and a Cindy Gallop’s fame washed out of advertising circles and into mainstream social consciousness. Her diminutive frame and well-articulated vocabulary were at direct odds with her subject matter: the creeping ubiquity of porn and its damaging effect on society. However, Gallop is not anti porn, on the contrary she is a discerning consumer of it, but she worries about the effect that male dominated porn has on an impressionable younger generation, both male and female. Gallop explained her problem and how she encountered at first hand the direct impact of porn on Generation Y, or GenY. In short, she dates GenY men and has sex with them. This point is only of interest as Gallop would be considered a cougar, and […]

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Credit Cards have a way with Words

Credit cards have a way with words. Some of the best lines have centred round their use. From the ‘No charge’ slogan in the 80s, to the Not the Nine O’clock News sketch with Pamela Stephenson where she invited her credit card customer to stroke her boob (ok, it was a location joke, a vintage location joke playing on the fact that America Express took an exalted view of its own brand of commerce) to the most recent Mastercard line, There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s Mastercard. Of course, the ultimate irony with credit cards is that while they are selling you a way of life, in reality they are just helping you spend money more easily and costing everyone a percentage into the bargain. Credit cards take their cut, like Shylock’s pound of flesh, and usury is a dirty business after all. Being a credit card is a bit like being a parent. Or is that being a parent is just like being a credit card. It’s all spend, spend, spend on one’s progeny. Unlike credit cards, however, there is not a fixed expiry date. It just keeps bobbing along until the parent expires. […]

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Censorship – Write Like your Parents are Dead!

Censorship is alive and well and living inside every writer’s head. It comes to fore when the topics get tough and every word matters. A clever observer once said the key to finding your true voice was to write as if your parents were dead. As writers, we have to grow up, to mature, to throw off our exhibitions, ignore the urge to self censor and just write (as if our parents were dead). My first act of rebellion was to include bad language. Somehow writing the f word seems much stronger than saying it. For one thing, it remains on the page in full view long after it is written. There is no denying its presence. A spoken curse on the other hand can be an accident or an ephemeral explosion of sound. It may not even be heard. My next was to discover that a central character, the mother, was as horrible as you might even have the misfortune to meet. My third was to include sex, lots of it. In desperation my sister suggested I publish this terrible book under my ex husband’s name; and bring shame on my in-laws instead! My mother politely suggested I write […]

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Argument in Favour of Fifty Shades

(this article first appeared in www.TheDailyShift.com on Saturday 4, August 2012)   Guest contributor Jillian Godsil reveals why she believes E.L. James’s infamous novel Fifty Shades of Grey has had a positive impact on modern society and is liberating women around the world…   Yes, that ubiquitous book again. It’s the name on everyone’s lips and it’s still flying off the shelves at an amazing rate. Everyone is calling it ‘mummy porn’ and the idea is that eBooks have liberated women and they can read erotica without anyone knowing. There are some very funny jokes about the Fifty Shades face on the Luas. The trick is to look at women reading Kindles on public transport and guess if they are reading erotica. It’s called the Fifty Shades face and it’s a public version of a woman’s orgasm face. Actually, we’ve leapfrogged past the part where women are reading erotica discretely; we’ve already gone well past that little hurdle. Women are openly talking about it, women of all ages, and the sales of the physical paper back are through the roof. So it’s not as though women are reading it on the sly. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, what has happened is […]

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I was built for comfort not for speed

I was built for comfort, not for speed. I knew this as a child. Although taller by a full foot than most of my contemporaries, I never won races. Looking at me it was a surprise: long and leggy, I should have been fast, but my abiding memory was of running my hardest and yet still seeing titchy things overtake me on the track and win. My school sports were hockey and tennis, neither of which I excelled at. A brief spell in goal seemed to suit me and I even made the senior team and went on tour to Wales aged 13. Too young really to enjoy this freedom as I did not drink and was very much the baby of the team. But my niece was born while away which was wonderful and John Lennon was shot and killed which was not. The Wales of my memory will never be the same again. After a few close misses with hockey balls flying past my face, I opted to return to the field again and finished my school sports career in my final year as captain of the Thirds: the captaincy of which came as result of my age […]

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Death By Sex?

The irish Book of the Dead by Jillian Godsil What is it about the Irish and their fascination with death? From wakes to accidents, to death by sex, by misadventure, by time, this new collection of short stories traces a personal approach to death in all its froms. At times funny, stark and poignant, the nine stories will leave the reader wanting more. Buy this book now on Amazon Most Helpful Customer Reviews  Illuminating July 10, 2012 By Shamhorse From a woman who knows how to make a word pack 20 punches this is surely a knock out blow. I think any short story gets its greatest compliment when its read twice just to make sure you missed nothing first time round.

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The day I lost my Bosoms!

The day I lost my bosoms To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune: to lose both looks like carelessness, so intoned Lady Bracknell in Wildes’ Importance of being Earnest. So, too it was that I lost both my bosoms to a severe allergic reaction while on a brief break in the sun last week. Well, to be strictly honest, I did not lose my bosoms so much as I could no longer see them without the assistance of a mirror. My eyes had so swollen up as to render me half blind, fully oriental and scared silly my face would never return to my normal occidental self.   Under a hot sun, misfortunes may sometimes look harsher than under a cloudy Irish sky, with all its 50 shades of grey. In the searing heat my skin puckered and grew angry. First a tell tale itchy rash across the top of my arms and then my face began to creak and redden. On day two of a short five day break I knew I was in trouble. That evening, my right eye was puffy as if I had overslept. I kept on touching the skin under my eye, […]

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Friday June 15 – Speaking at the Dotconf

What a conference. This is the third annual dotconf run by the National College of Ireland. It’s all about the web, people in it, doing stuff with it, making stuff for it or simply using it. I can honestly say I have never sat through a more interesting day packed to the brim with interesting people and speakers and thoughts and ideas. The MC was Karlin Lillington from the Irish Times and she was super, enthused and delightful. She told us there were more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world. Some fact huh? We had Mark Congiusta, and no I still can’t pronounce his name either, from Cisco on the User Experience. That was funny. He mentioned toothbrushes too I think. Then Randall Snare from iQ Content who has apparently read the Pilgrims Progress, she was pretty much on her own in that regard. Curly Dena, or Dena Walker from Irish International was very funny too. She pointed out that if people tell you digital is complex, it’s not. It’s just stuff, more stuff that we hadn’t had before. Then Kirstie McDermott from Beaut.ie who told us about Badgers, hot ones. Another theme for the day, even Eamonn Carey […]

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