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Friday, October 1, 2010

Where to start?

I meant to post this a couple of days ago, but I got distracted. Blame the Irish Times. Or the EU.

Actually, that's not fair. Maybe. I'll let you decide.

It all started, you see, when the Irish Times reported on, um, a report to the European Parliament on the future of e-commerce in this happy bloc of ours. I was, I confess, a trifle sceptical about some of the figures, and went off in search of the report. That took a while. Then I read the first half of the report. That took two minutes, plus scrolling time. Then I got to the human-readable part, which took another while. Then, er, I forgot to write this.

Anyway, enough of this circuitous prattle. I'm here to give out, and you're here to read my giving out. Unless you're my mother, in which case you're just here because you feel it's your duty. It isn't really, ma. Besides, I may well be saying 'fuck' later, so feel free to stop now, before I disappoint you again.

But I digress.

My raison de chialer1 on reading the Irish Times piece was related to their lack of links (more anon), but a few other thing cropped up, so I might as well unburden myself as completely as possible in one post.

First of all, there's the contribution by our beloved MEP, Seán Kelly. What the fuck do All-Ireland tickets have to do with this? Nothing. It's just another Fine Gael politician prattling on an irrelevant subject without anything substantial to add to the debate. The same thing we hear every time one of those vacuous fools decides to bless us with some words of wisdom. It'll be something that sounds vaguely reasonable until you think about it for a quarter of a second, at which point you realise that it's full of sound and fury, but signifying fuck all. The one bright side of those dipshits gaining power after the next election will be that they'll have to come up with new way of inflicting their petty cavils on the nation.

My second and third points are related, so I'll cover them together.

As I said, I wanted to read the report. As has happened so many times in the past weeks, I decided to look at a source mentioned in an Irish Times article. Sometimes it's a survey, sometimes it's a press release, this time it's an EU report. Every time, I have to go looking for it. Is it so bloody difficult to provide a link? The Irish Times is particularly bad in this regard; they seem to just take the text of the paper and dump it on the web. Often, there aren't even links to related stories in the same day's paper. It's a pain in the hole. I have to wander off to the relevant web site and find it myself; sometimes it's easy, sometimes it isn't.

Which brings me to the point 2(b); I wandered over to to read the report. Couldn't find it. There were, it seemed, no reports by Pablo Arias Echeverria. Eventually, I had to go to the home page of the EPP, the party to which the author belongs. Thence, back to the European Parliament web site, where I finally got my digital hands on the report (it's here, by the way).

Yeah, it may be my fault. It may just be that I'm not fully conversant with EU terminology, and that with practice I could readily find whatever I'm looking for. But I like to think of myself as being above average in terms of internet nous, so if I couldn't find it without resorting to external web sites, neither will half of Europe.

So there you have it. A pox on Seán Kelly. And on the Irish Times. And on


1. My original intention was to use "raison d'être" here, but it didn't really suit, so I asked a Quebecois Pixie for help. If you Francophones object, it's either because you're not in Canada or because I didn't fully explain what I was looking for. Either way, it's your own fault for expecting perfect French from an insular Irishman.

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