This week’s blog column from Bel Tel…

8 06 2010

My round up of the blogging week (plus gigantic cranium) can be found on the Bel Tel website here. Have pasted it up below as well…

Caution: these blogs contain exploding rock bands and Flying Spaghetti Monsters

Keith Belfast has got some dramatic footage of the moment a local band had a near miss with an exploding lorry while touring Europe. Check it out here.

The band in question are the excellent ‘And So I Watch You From Afar’ – which (for the purposes of Keith’s blog post) get re-named ‘And So I Watch You Explode From My Car’. Ouch.

It’s pretty hairy stuff – the lads so nearly suffered the same fate as most of Spinal Tap’s drummers. But having narrowly avoided disaster, the foursome happily move on to the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam for the final leg of their tour. Break a leg chaps! (And, erm, do try not to get blown up.)

Onto another inflammatory situation this week, and bloggers were getting animated over the Gaza blockade and Stormont’s decision to debate it.

For Ian Parsley, the whole episode has caused collateral damage to the public image of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Convening the Chamber for a special sitting was a flawed decision, says Ian.

“A debate on Gaza is utterly meaningless and deliberately divisive. This kind of thing makes a mockery of devolution and the very generous salaries and expenses MLAs are paid to work it.”

Eye on the Hill is similarly unimpressed. International affairs is not a devolved matter – taxpayers would no doubt expect MLAs to discuss matters than are, according to the blog.

“Everyone hopes and prays for a resolution to the current crisis in the Middle East and peaceful resolution in the long term for the residents of Gaza and their Israeli neighbours. But our MLAs will not make a button of difference.”

To happier topics and the Snow Patrol gig in Ward Park drew widespread acclaim. Blogger Ailin reckoned it was “an excellent day out…great music and company”. But some people were overcome and incapable of forming complete sentences. Over at Snow Patrol’s facebook page, one fan simply posted: “05.06.10 BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!”

The Radio Ulster ATL team seemed to like it as well. According to @Rigsy: “cashier, snow patrol, lisa h…everyone sounding just amazing on t’radio tonight. seriously like, what a day out that was.”

Snow Patrol might be making some great music, but Simon at A Lifeform in Northern Ireland is producing some great writing. His walk through the old Limestone quarry Cavehill country park is creates in the most wonderfully evocative and idyllic imagery.

“A lovely place to take a walk. A tight and uneven path meanders through an almost wilderness of flowering bushes. The quarry sides were a patchwork of plants. Bees and song birds combined with the tranquil sound of running water provided by a small brook to provide a natural soundtrack to the walk.”

Someone needs to hand Simon a job writing advertising for the NITB. But thanks to Simon we know that ramblers on the northside of the lough shore are in for a treat. But what about the opposite shoreline?

Mairtin at From the Balcony has some vivid language for the local tourist board.

In his view, the shoreline between Holywood and Bangor is being neglected and it’s up to the NITB sort it out. During a walk along the trail, he noted that:

“… it’s impassable in parts, a disgrace in others; in short it’s not a tourist product. My heart went out to a pair of hardy tourists who took their bikes onto the pathway, pressing further along towards Bangor in the hope that the rock and gravel beneath their feet would give way to a, well, to a coastal pathway. Not a chance, the further you go, the worse it gets.”

His advice to the NITB is to spend more on the ground fixing problems and less time at awards ceremonies “gorging themselves on free dinners”.

From tourism to culture, arts and leisure, and DCAL Minister Nelson McCausland’s desire to see “alternative views of creation” in the Ulster Museum prompts alot of comment in media and blogs alike. Late to the debate is QUB academic Dr David Timson. He writes a satirical open letter to the Ulster Museum similarly asking for another “alternative view” on creation to be displayed at the Museum (republished courtesy of Jeff Peel’s Diary).

According to Dr Timson: “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has grown from humble origins in rural Kansas to a global movement with tens of thousands of followers. Its adherents, known as pastafarians, believe that the Universe and life on earth were created by a giant spaghetti monster. While science teaches that the earth is billions of years old, pastafarians hold that the Flying Spaghetti Monster can alter scientific measurements with a single touch of His Noodly Appendage.”

In the name of diversity, Dr Timson adds, “I look forward to you giving equal space to pastafarian and creationist theories”.

Me too – I’d pay top dollar to see the Flying Spaghetti Monster and His Noodly Appendage. Seriously Ulster Museum, get all that boring history into storage and find a mobile number for the pastafarians of rural Kansas. Delicious.

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