This week’s round up of the blogging week can be found on the Bel Tel website here. Have also pasted it up below too…
This was a week defined by volcanoes, political satire and by the multi-media skills of local bloggers.
First up to politics, where traditional election campaign tools (like billboard posters and Party Election Broadcasts) are being gobbled up by irreverent and/or partisan bloggers – who then re-edit, re-design and re-issue the material with mocking disdain.
In many cases, thousands of pounds worth of election material which may have taken weeks to prepare is being undermined online within hours of its debut.
For example, consider this week’s ‘poster wars’. The DUP launched a billboard poster (which contained istock photography) on Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, an accomplished spoof JPEG designed by UCUNF emerged which was covered (at some length) by blogs and MSM. The istock company waded in to investigate correct usage of their photography on Thursday, while the launch of a second DUP billboard received a mixed response on Friday. The week ended with two US models used in the photographs giving interviews to the Sunday Life in a piece headlined: ‘The DUP used me’.
Five days of comment and it all stemmed from a simple, low-cost JPEG spoof. That debate, driven largely by blogs, has inspired numerous send ups of other leaflets and posters. There is now a flood of this stuff out there. As A Pint of Unionist Lite commented: ‘Party management must now be dreading their own [posters] hitting streets because, as sure as night follows day, there will be a spoof along before the paste is even dry.’
There are also now several spoof PEBs doing the rounds, most of which have been posted up at Slugger O’Toole. Amid some serious drek, the satirical site 1690 and all that has produced one of the more humourous takes on the PEB. Professor Billy McWilliams also cheekily predicts that ‘unless Peter Rabinson raches oot tae the Ulster Scot he’s in fur a quare drubbin come May 6th’. Time will tell Billy.
This week also saw broadcast of the First Leaders Debate. Everyone knows that Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg was the outright winner of the debate, right? Wrong. For Lord Belmont, there was only ever one winner… step forward Margaret Thatcher.
‘Why, on earth, can’t they (Clegg, Brown, Cameron) simply stand up for themselves and convince the electorate of their merits, without all this “PR” nonsense? Lady Thatcher had supreme faith in her own convictions and could, without doubt, “run rings” round the lot of them,’ he said.
And just in case you missed that debate, A Tangled Web has the 15-second long version. It contains everything you need to know. No doubt Cameron is still feeling blue about it all.
But from Cameron’s blues onto the birthplace of Northern Ireland blues – this week a plaque was placed on a wall outside RBAI, near the site of the old Maritime Hotel. It was there on April 17th 1964 that legendary band Them made their debut at the hotel.
According to Stuart Baillie: ‘Witnesses talk about maracas and even shoes flying through the air as Them made their case for native rhythm and blues… Van said that the band lived and died at this joint and I’ve not heard anyone who has contradicted this notion.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if the band died, what with all those maracas and shoes flying around.
Elsewhere at Well Done Fillet, Manuel the Waiter reflects on the implications of that other major story of the week – the Icelandic volcano eruption. With flights now grounded for some time, Manuel has noticed the mood beginning to change among stranded tourists.
‘I do hope all the angry tourists get home soon and we get some fresh excited to be here tourists. The other lot are running out of tipping cash and have taken to sitting at their tables for hours upon hours just for something to do. And that’s not a win situation for Manuel, not at all.’
What these tourists need is some lively entertainment. Why not some flying maracas to replace non-flying planes? I wonder what Them are up to nowadays..