Friday, September 28, 2007

A Plea

This is Sully.

Sully is just twenty-one years old, and already he must endure the kind of suffering our lives know nothing of.

Sully, unlike children in most developed countries, is living a life without regular internet access.

His daily struggle to survive involves getting up each morning as early as 8am to trek one half of a quarter mile to the only source of pure, safe internet access. This daily journey takes him through treacherous terrain, as he traverses over leaf covered footpaths, superficially-cracked pavements, and even along the brink of a fountain!

Children like Sully live a life with no hope of escape.

But you can stop this great injustice by donating just €54.99 a month to provide Sully with the nourishment he needs on a daily basis!

Other charities just send over software, music and pornographic material as needed, but at NetGrant, we help people help themselves.

Sign up today, and you will receive monthly updates on how the lives of Sully and his people are improving!

But please.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Teetotaller's Tiff

The guy I talked about in last week’s post succeeded in explaining his abstinence from alcohol whilst not not condescending to those who choose to avail of the solution to (and cause of) all of life’s problems. Here is an article from one such little lady who doesn’t have such lofty aims, as published in my University's newspaper.

Fanta Fuelled
Catríona McGrattan
Unlike most students, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been drunk in my three years in college…NONE!

I haven’t had a drink at all in those three years and no before you ask it’s not because I’m playing a match tomorrow, or on anti-biotics or driving; I just don’t want to!
I made the decision on coming into college back in September 2004 (when we had three pubs, I mean clubs, on campus) not to drink during my college years. I’ve managed to stick to it, but to be honest I have never really found it difficult, although that could be because I’ve been accused on several occasions of being the inspiration for Tommy Tiernan’s ‘Fanta fuelled F*ckers sketch.

The usual reaction from people when they find out I don’t drink is “Fair play to you!” I don’t think of it like that, it’s my decision not to drink as much as it is anyone’s decision to drink. College life is so diverse, in your next four, five, six years in college you will get to meet some truly unique people, each with their own quirky habits, best get used to it!

With a doubt I have had some amazing nights out in the Stables, at balls and in the Lodge (contrary to popular belief you don not have to be drunk to get in!) all of which without a drop of drink in me.

Alcohol isn’t for me. Some people like it a little, some people a lot, some more than they probably should but each to their own. I will never take issue with some else’s drinking habits so long as they don’t do so with mine.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that yes you can have a brilliant time with drink, but you can have an equally good time without it! So don’t be afraid to order a blackcurrant and vodka, hold the vodka anytime soon.

Apologies to those unfamiliar with the shitty nightclub or the comedian this girl mentions, but rest assured, knowledge of these matters make her inanity all the more infurating. Anyway, being the 'Sully' type of guy that I am, I felt I had to react in some way that would strike this woman's faux-pas from the record, for fear the integrity of a component of my personal philosphy be tarnished forever! I decided a letter to the editor would make my concerns heard;

Dear Sir,

I wish to issue a formal apology on behalf of the teetotalling community for the article 'Fanta Fuelled' that appeared in An Focal on September 4th.

I am ashamed to be a teetotaller in modern Ireland. This is largely to do with people of Ms. McGrattan's ilk colouring us as a self-righteous group of smug gits who offer up diplomatic phrases like 'drink isn't for me', whist in the same breath pushing their own philosophy upon peers.

Adding insult to injury is the uncertainty McGrattan casts over the veracity of her own statements, stating “with a doubt I have had some amazing nights out in the Stables”. Ironically, one might wonder if she was under the influence whilst at the keyboard were it not for the subject matter, given the number of disjointed sentences she stumbles through whilst eschewing any traditional grammatical structures (let alone paying heed to whether her words are typed in their entirety).

Her ill-conceived evangelicism would have been much more effective had she mentioned any points of merit, such as the money one saves on a night out only buying a drink when thirsty. She also missed out on the valid aspect of not impairing one's ability to drive home after a piss up. And how did she fail to report the boon of not waking up with a hangover after an embarrassing night of alcohol-induced-erectile-dysfunction?

Shame on Ms. McGrattan for attempting to pass off her decision not to indulge in the odd pint as a 'quirk'. Such inane statements are not only a poor reflection on the author's desperation to stand out from the crowd, but also misrepresent the far from vocal few of us who decide to spend our lifetimes without mood altering drugs.

I wish to stress that not all those who abstain from alcohol are bursting with the same sense of self-congratulation and condescension that Catríona McGrattan imposes upon her readers. I offer my deepest sympathies to those who suffered through the stale-sense of unjustified enthusiasm she ejaculated onto page fourteen. In doing so, I am hoping to wipe the slate clean. Upon finding out that the tall, dark and handsome man (or woman) you have been chatting up for the past forty-five minutes is of the dry disposition, don't respond with “Fair play” or “You plonker”. A simple “Meh” will suffice.

Your designated driver for life,
Seán O'Sullivan

To be fair to this woman, she probably wasn't thinking much about what she was writing at the time, and the stupid errors could well be poor editing, but that's not the point. My argument is firstly that anyone willing to submit a piece of writing for public consumption should be willing to defend their intellectual integrity (which I have been willing to do over the past year of blogging), and the student paper needs to publish articles of actual merit.

So what do you think? Bad form? Did I get too personal? Will people read as far as the word 'teetotalling' and just give up? Is my Fanta Fuelled Fury itself worthy of print? Am I allowed to blatantly rip off entire articles from the school paper? You tell me!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Precipitation? Preposterous!

I'm sitting at a computer in the library of my University, and I can feel little flecks of water hitting my head, hands and computer every few seconds. People wearing hoodies are putting their hoods to good use.

Yep, it's raining indoors.

Welcome to the University of Limerick.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bad University! Bad!


I am a student at the University of Limerick. A school that sends its students to scrub shit from toilets. A school that forgets that it sent students on exchange programmes to other universities, then informs them that they have failed for not showing up to exams they were never signed up to take .

Of course, after this happened to me, then assured me that the 'clerical error' was a temporary glitch and it won't be a burden anymore.

Whoever told me that was full of shit.

If you couldn't be bothered clicking, I'll spell it out; my student account was deleted from the system. Grrrrrr.

After sending a far-more-polite-than-it-should-have-been e-mail, I decided to finally print out my timetable, given that I start tomorrow morning at 9am. This is what greeted me on the website;

For the love of fuck! Can these people do anything right? It seems that the server responsible for hosting the timetables is as reliable as UL's administrative staff.

This makes for a double dilemma;

When are where the hell are my classes tomorrow?
Am I even entitled to be there?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sobriety = Sully more Badass than you

It happens all the time. In the midst of some good ol' fashioned drunken revelry, a dear friend or even borderline acquaintance will catch my perma-sober-grimace contrasting with the present company, and ask me, nay - pester me with the question; "Sully, why don't you drink?".

Generally, I deflate their interest by saying 'it's a long story' or 'I have many reasons', before deflecting their attention onto a carelessly unattended receptacle of alcohol, but I do, on occasion address the question head-on, depending on the level of coherence the querier exhibits.

Just now, I stumbled across this interesting video featuring James Randi; debunker of paranormal claims, in which he reflects on his teetotalling antics with the kind of eloquence I wouldn't get away with in a roomful of sauced-up peers.

"I want to be as sure of the world - the real world around me as is possible. Now - you can only attain that to a certain degree, but I want the greatest degree of control. I've never involved myself in narcotics of any kind, I don't smoke, I don't drink, because that can easily just fuzz the edges of my rationality,- fuzz the edges of my reasoning powers, and I want to be aware as I possibly can..."

Given that I have yet to meet a person in my existence who shares even the slightest bit of my personal philosophy, it means a lot to me to stumble across such utterances from respected men.

So there you have it; another insight into the life of Sully. And much like those dear, drunken yobs that I happily call my friends, I expect this to have slipped from your mind in less time than it took me to type this entry.

Regardless of whether you're completely superstitious or a total sceptic, this video will interest and entertain you.