Archive for November, 2009

14
Nov
09

Saturday is not Thursday

No matter how infuriating this might be, it’s still quite hilarious. Well done, Mr Stewart.

And while we’re discussing Glenn Beck, here’s what he used to think about American healthcare, back in the CNN days.

Now? Well…

13
Nov
09

Another rat abandoning this sinking ship

So, I’m off. Long-time readers of this blog might recall a post on Brian Lenihan that I ended by threatening to leave the country. Well, I’m following through on that threat. I’ve been offered a job abroad and I’ve decided to accept it.

A couple of months ago I posted about being offered a job and being told later I wasn’t getting it. It’s this job I’m for which I’m headed. I’ve avoided posting further on this as I didn’t want to jinx it, but I guess I’m safe enough at this stage. The explanation I received on why I was briefly told I’m not getting the job was, frankly, weird, something about mistaking me for English and not wanting to hire an English person. One can be forgiven for thinking something fishy is going on. However, I’ve checked things as much as it is possible to check these things. I’ve talked to embassy people and the agent with whom I arranged the job, and I’ve comfirmed separately that the company exists. I can be certain that the offer is legit and there is an actual job waiting for me.

And so I’m off. The visa is sorted and the plane-ticket is bought, and I’m leaving this weekend. I’m pretty much going as far as I can without resorting to the Australia option (which is good as I can’t imagine a fate worse than living in Australia). I’m leaving behind Ireland and unemployment, and probably this blog. It’s not that I’m abandoning blogging, I’ve really enjoyed it and I have a couple of ideas for new blogs I’d like to try out, but I don’t see myself updating The Unemployed Blog much longer. I suppose I could do an ex-pat Irishman’s blog, but it’s not likely. In all honesty, I’ve become quite bored of personal blogging in the last few months.

I’ll be fleshing out a few concepts due course, and there’ll be a few more updates here, just to let regular readers know what’s happening. In the meantime, if anyone’s passing through South Korea you can stay in my house.

09
Nov
09

To whoever’s Googling my email address

In the last week this blog has received a number of hits from web-searches of my email address. This post is a direct appeal to the person or persons typing my address into a search-engine and getting directed to my site as a result. Please stop. It’s freaking me out. Whatever the reason you’re doing this is, I find it impossible to believe it’s one I’d approve of.

Maybe there is a reasonable and above-board explanation for searching my address, but if it’s a case that you need information on me that I don’t mind imparting you can always just contact me and ask. For fuck sake, you have my address.

08
Nov
09

Rand and the Recession

I have been reading two truly hilarious novels lately. One of these, PG Wodehouse’s Thank You, Jeeves, deserves credit for being intentionally funny. The other, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, not so much.

I bring this up because it’s been well reported that sales of Atlas Shrugged have jumped considerably in light of the recession. So much so that there’s a recent rash of books coming out discussing Rand’s books and the philosophy she professed. Last week’s Economist magazine had an article on her, and there have apparently been rumours in Hollywood that an adaptation is being fast-tracked. Her new popularity is being credited to the recession as the book prophesises an economy grinding to a halt, and a government scramble to fix it which instead makes the whole thing far worse. It is this view that leads me to believe the rest of the world has read a different Atlas Shrugged from the one I have, as the philosophy espoused in my version has been rendered provably wrong by the recession.

Continue reading ‘Rand and the Recession’

06
Nov
09

Mary’s problems

There was a story on the RTE News lunchtime bulletin regarding Mary Harney’s pride in the rollout of the swine flu vaccination. Will Goodbody reported it, and I’m sure the 6:01 bulletin with carry the piece again.

It’s worth seeing, if only because it betrays this government’s attitude to their unpopularity and the country’s current woes. Reporters took the opportunity to quiz her on a number of issues with the HSE, including Brendan Drumm’s 2007 bonus and more especially the report today that a Letterkenny consultant is claiming healthcare cutbacks are leaving him with nothing to do. On the bonus she simply said the matter is dealt with and she’s not discussing it any further. Regarding idle consultants she suggested people should be finding solutions rather than “identifying problems”.

It’s a familiar theme. We’ve been regularly told by Ministers and government TDs that for the good of the country we should focusing on the positive rather than complaining about the negatives. It’s a global phenomenon for incumbent parties in bad times to confuse the good of the country with the good of the government. Still, Mary’s comments are particularly inane. How exactly do we find solutions to anything without identifying the problems first?

02
Nov
09

Gifted Web Writers

Has anyone heard of this outfit? I’m wondering if they contacted anyone else. They emailed me yesterday to tell me that this blog and my writing style meets with their “quality guidelines”, and therefore want to include me in their program and pay me for my posts.

Now if it were simply spam I wouldn’t take any notice, but it’s not. These guys went through some of my recent posts and told me which ones they liked. And it’s not some randomly acquired trickery with bots either; they were able to distinguish between posts that are lengthy rants rather that pointless Youtube links or whatever. This is not the usual $1,000,000 deal from the Nigerian Department of Finance or notice that my email address has won a global lottery. Somebody has taken the time to research me personally and offer me money. They haven’t asked for bank details, but I’m sure that will be the primary request following any follow-up emails.

There is, of course, the possibility that I’m being paranoid, and that this is a legit offer, but I’m not convinced. The email directed me to their website for more information, but all it contains is an “under construction” homepage and a postal address in Israel. Also, this may be unconnected, but at least one person has found this blog through a websearch of my email address.

So, has the Gifted Web Writers program contacted anyone else? Does anybody have any more information on this? Obviously I’m not going to be availing of the offer. If it is legit then they’re going about it in a very dubious manner.

EDIT: ‘Cause I was asked for it.

Dear Damien,

As part of expanding our “Gifted Web Writers” program, we search the net for high quality blogs and gifted web writers. I’ve visited your website and read some of your recent posts, including “The poor farmer”.

Damien, you definitely have a unique and interesting writing style and an intriguing high quality blog. Since you and your blog meet our quality guidelines, we would like to offer you to join our unique and highly rewarding program.

About the program –

The program links our customers with gifted writers like you and pays them for writing short articles. You already do that, so I’m sure you will be happy to be rewarded for your talent. Our program pays at least 15 USD for each article you write, with options for additional payments. We do not ask nor expect you to write ads; rather, we give you complete writing freedom and appreciate your creativity and imagination.

I hope that you find the concept of our program interesting, and would be happy to provide you more information about it. Please email me back and in the mean time feel free to visit our website http://www.giftedwebwriters.com.

If this email does not interest you, I apologize and I will not contact you again.

Sincerely,