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WastefellowWonder

Here’s what you may need to know…

1. Diolmhain Ingram Roche is the name and face behind Wastefellow, an experimental electronic project that draws from a wide array of Ingram Roche’s influences, from Tim Hecker to Sunn O))).

2. Another from the Little L Records stable, debut EP Amazed A-Maze is available for free download from the label’s Bandcamp. It’s a conceptual piece, drawing on deja vu and ennui, equating real life’s loops with his own sonic ones.

3. The label also has a frankly ridiculous sale on, with its entire discography to date (over a hundred releases) in a digital bundle for a little over six quid.

4.
 The video for lead-off single Wonder comes from 21-year-old director Conor Donoghue, who’s taken the whole glitch/digital artefacting phenomenon to the streets of Dublin.

5. Wastefellow’s next appearance is at LIFE Festival, with a DJ set as part of Dublin promoters Welcome’s contribution to proceedings. 27-29 May, for those what wants it.

6. Our top newshounds were, as of press time, unable to confirm if this was the inspiration for Ingram Roche’s nom-de-guerre.

Verdict: Glitchy, blissed-out, yet somewhat unsettling visuals accompany glitchy, blissed-out yet somewhat unsettling electronics.

Wastefellow

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From top” Ryan Tubridy; Dr Julien Mercille

Ryan Tubridy and the other RTÉ stars are paid enormous salaries to defend the establishment and quell dissent.

Dr Julien Mercille writes:

Gemma O’Doherty, the investigative journalist fired by the Irish Independent for being too investigative, gave a recent speech about the state of journalism in Ireland.

She emphasised how the media has become numb and unwilling to challenge the establishment, declaring [ that “press freedom and the ability of the media to hold power to account is more compromised today than at any other time in the history of the state”.

We have just had yet another example of how the media represses voices of dissent and glorifies those who police the airwaves.

Indeed, comedian Oliver Callan was on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy  when he shook the comfy Irish establishment by daring to mention the “elephant in the room”, Denis O’Brien. He was referring to the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal and Siteserv among other things.

It is not so important what Oliver Callan said exactly. The crucial point is that as soon as he challenged politicians and powerful figures (he also criticised the Healy-Raes and Michael Lowry), Ryan Tubridy started interrupting him.

Tubridy said that Denis O’Brien was not there to defend himself, so that no mention should be made of him. He underlined how all what those individuals did was apparently “legitimate”, “very legitimate”, “just legitimate”, etc.

This is very revealing of the mindset in the media: we cannot talk critically on any news programme about anybody who is not also physically present on the same programme. This is precisely the type of convention that results in a media that challenges virtually nothing.

The event shows why Ryan Tubridy is paid so handsomely, half a million euros in 2014 and three-quarters of a million euros in 2012, when austerity was biting the rest of us.

It is to defend the establishment and provide them with a sympathetic public tribune on the radio and television to voice their ideas and interests.

Here is the latest list of salaries of RTÉ’s “top talent”:

rté

But the media machine doesn’t stop there. Not only does it exclude dissenting voices, it also presents endless rosy accounts of those who police what may and may not be said.

For example, a few days after Tubridy interrupted Oliver Callan on his show, the weekend edition of the Irish Times featured, front page, a long piece about Tubridy and the Late Late Show.

Patrick Freyne, who wrote the article, followed the Late Late show team for a full week as they prepared the show on which Oliver Callan would appear.

What does the piece reveal? The subtitle states:

“We went behind the scenes at one of the world’s longest-running chatshows to see how they choose guests, plan interviews, and squeeze celebrity, tragedy and line-dancing into a single two-hour programme”.

Cutting-edge investigative stuff indeed.

The piece is very long, 5,200 words. In it, we learn a lot of small details, such as the fact that Tubridy likes to choose his ties, what he eats for dinner, how long he sleeps before a show, etc.

There’s only one small paragraph about Oliver Callan mentioning Denis O’Brien on the show. It states that as Callan started talking about O’Brien and media timidity,

“Tubridy trie[d] to intervene for the sake of balance”.

Conclusion: thank God we have people like Tubridy to rectify the balance on television, i.e., to make sure no one talks about Denis O’Brien.

But what should be done to counter this state of affairs in the media? It’s very simple: build an alternative media. By that I mean a quality media that tells the truth and provides good stories about what matters.

The problem in Ireland is that there is virtually no alternative media. Many people don’t even know what the concept refers to.

Instead, we’ve adopted the “headless chicken” strategy. This consists in a few scattered people blogging here and there, but with no coordination whatsoever. Some of those blogs are excellent, but they’re isolated and it often takes time to learn they even exist.

Many people are also busy writing furiously on Facebook and Twitter and actually believe that this is what an “alternative media” is.

But it’s not. It’s very easy to tweet a million things and argue on Facebook and feel good about ourselves, but we’re not going to get very far with that. In fact, it distracts from the real work that must be done, whether it is to establish a good progressive quality news outlet or doing some activist projects or actually investigating something.

I would therefore argue that the more pressing task ahead is not so much to criticise the mainstream media, but to build alternative outlets.

Julien Mercille is a lecturer at University College Dublin. Follow him on Twitter: @JulienMercille

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