Monday, March 7, 2011

Gotta be startin' Somethin' Part 2: The First Week

This is the story of everything i got up to on the Hustings with Dylan Haskins Campaign.

As for what exactly the definition of Hustings is, i haven't a fucking clue, but it first appeared in my collective lexicon in the past month after reading it in many a caption about potential TD's Canvassing and flyering and meeting Joe Public.

So how, may i asked did i get involved in the campaign.

Well as the previously blog mentioned i Saw this video the day it was posted. A few hours later after eyeing parts of multiple times i thought, why the fuck not.

I had had growing interest in the up coming election and had dreamed of the possibility of working on someone's campaign. Spurred on by recently watching Seasons 3 and 4 of The West Wing for the first time, i was eager to  do something political.

Thomas Clare
Thomas Clare (Ind) County Louth.

An Independent candidate, Thomas Clare weeks before the calling of the election had Stopped by my doorstep and talked to me for a few minutes. I was impressed, and for the most part thankful that someone had turned up at all. Seeing as I live in the arsehole of nowhere, and hadn't left the house more than a few occasions in a month. In my more "ON" moments my brain fantasized about what i could offer a political campaign, my youth, my active imagination, my familiarity with social media etc etc

I followed Mr Clare's spartan twitter account and checked out his website, it was also little to be desired. Obviously not much of a Social Media Candidate.

When Dylan's Video arrived i was inspired. His website was also rather impressive. Built for him by Blogger Nialler9 and within hours taken down by the traffic it received.

Ireland's twitter Trends showed Dylan Haskins Trending that night. People were similarly inspired.

So I plucked up the Courage, and Sent an email saying i wanted to Join the Campaign.

Here is some if not the main chunk of what i said:

I am interested in volunteering my time and idea's to help in this election campaign. 

I am not a resident of Dublin South East, My Constituency is in Louth, but i know Dylan from Trinity College and have volunteered some time with Exchange Dublin in the Past.

As a young adult currently unemployed and relying on Changes to the Fee structure for 3rd level education or job creation in this country i feel i must do something to be apart of this political campaign.

I have experience with Political discourse, Volunteering and I am a large "Social Media Native", or plugged in Internet addict, however you want to put it. I am also a former Student Nurse and feel Greatly for The representation of College Students and General reform of Our political process and the future of this country.

I briefly spent time in Australia trying to find work, but with no experience on my CV I couldn't find work, and had to come home. Now that i am home, i don't want to leave. I've had low paying job's, but nothing full time. I feel that i do not want to leave this country again. I want to make a difference and voice my opinions. 

I have a course reserved in a College next year, but because i have done 2 years (free fee payed years) of college already i have to foot the bill myself. 3rd Level education reform is very important to me and my future, as well as the future of all young people in this country.

I may not be a Resident or Constituent of Dublin South East, but i believe in Similar issue's and would like to help out where-ever i can.

Thank you for you time.

Following that i received an email from Fionn Kidney, campaign manager extraordinaire. I was invited to coffee to talk and to be informed about how i can help out etc.

Unfortunately i was not available that Tuesday, which was effectively the same day, as this email was sent in the early morning. But i had slight plans for the Cinema with DS that Wednesday so i said i would be around then.

Dylan's Campaign HQ was infact, his apparent. And it was in the Most Central of Central Locations, The Corner of D'Olier Street, Westmoreland Street and O'Connell Bridge. Yes, that white building that is the wedge shape smack dab in the middle of the Wide Street Commissions large Streets that Transect Dublin's City Center.

When Entered the Outer Sanctum for the first time there was a bit of buzz in the room. Optimism. Things had a true air of people starting to get things done. People were looking over the constituency map and sizing up the task. I couldn't be there long as i was meeting DS at the cinema. So my first task was a Stationary run.

Highlighters, a stapler, rubber bands for leaflets and other assorted things. I was told to retain the receipt as Dylan had already pledged to keep track of all his expenses. So showing some initiative i added a Small ledger with tracing paper to the shopping trip and went back to HQ and on to the cinema.

I returned after seeing The Fighter with DS, and told him all i was up to and even mulled over the possibility of  getting in contact with my old Seconday school which is in the relevant constituency. I had had idea's of what to do already, but for the most part i never got around to mentioning any of it.

When i got back that evening my first task was a "cheque run" where i was asked to deposit something before closing. However i was confused over the directions, and first went into the wrong bank, then filled out the form incorrectly in the correct bank. Upon returning i finally got the whole thing sorted out and dashed back to the correct bank, but missed the gate's closing by minutes. Didn't feel to good to have fucked up like that, but it happens. Most of the time i was more nervous about not loosing the cheque, then if i was doing a good job. Thankfully it returned safely to the money box.

The next thing that evening was a worry that there was not enough Cable ties for the posters. So i used Yelp on my Phone to phone a Hardware store on Camden Street to ask them for a price estimate. This was a whole heap of confusion but i was handed money from the petty cash and sent to check the situation out in person.

I phoned home on my way and explained what i was doing to my parents, and asked about any possibility of a spare lap top anywhere that my dad might know about, but to no avail.

Arriving at the hardware store, the price turned out to be insanely more than what we thought we could get them for so i returned with nothing. I had first texted the image of the cable tie comparrisons to Fionn, and then rang him. To expensive and we could get the ties for free from the Poster Printers in Poppintree on the northside, just a question of how. Since i was coming into Dublin that way, i offered to get them the next morning.

On the left our free tie, on the right the expensive super tie.

When I got back the team was short of Volunteers and cars and ladders that evening so i was sent out again, this time to join a Music teacher friend of one of the team who had been roped in on Twitter to help out.

We were off to hit The Ballsbridge and Sandymount area with around 26 posters.

As we slowly figured out the ladder we hit the Street beside Herbert Park First. The wind was strong but we got loads up. Ballsbridge, literally around the Bridge over the Dodder was more difficult. The wind caught our 2nd poster and almost hit a pedestrian, then we both had to run after it as it almost flew into the Cycle path, at rush hour...

Saved and strapped up we moved on. But we already knew that those posters were, "pushing it" as all of the competitors had laid claim to the era pretty strongly. Same could be said for Sandymount and the Triangle park there. Sneakily we Shoved one under a Gormly poster and then started pushing it up as high as we could until Gormly's face was up in a tree, and we had the clearer line of sight. A Tough battleground, but at least we weren't ripping it down, or anything nefarious like that.

On to Simonscourt road and we "OWNED" the whole avenue with 6 or 7 Dylan Haskins Posters and then made our way back into town. We got the last two up before Baggot Street Bridge and it was all done for the night.

I popped back into HQ for a couple of minutes and was off home.

Thursday the 4th I started the day walking from Finglas to Poppintree.

But it was 8am, and the printing specialists was not open yet. I had been given a number to call so i texted the person and was told to ask for another persons name when i got there, and that they would be there at 9.10 am or so.

So I walked even further and walked over scrub land to and past Ikea, into a petrol station on the Ballymun slip road to the M50, then through the redevelopment and back up through Ballymun to Poppintree.

I eventually got the ties, and with now slightly sore feet walked to the 19/19a Terminus and was on my way into town. A quick Text to Fionn and i was told i was a "legend". I tweeted and listened to the radio at the same time and missed Dylan speaking on Today fm and Newstalk that morning on my way in, but did catch a Mention of the campaign and Dylan on A piece about twitter and the election on Pat Kenny.

I got off the bus on D'Olier Street, with 400 Cable Ties in hand and was in HQ.

Things were only starting for the day so i stepped into the corridor where all the Posters were and got through close to 100 before the whole Inner-circle of Fionn, Una and Lisa were on their way out to Deal with a photo Call infront of Andrews Lane Theatre to "officially" Show the luanch of the Campaign.

Lisa also handed me the instructions to get the Forms for Candidacy from the local Sheriffs office once that was done.

The Campaign Slogan in Stencil.

In the busy lane way we met up with Street artist Will St Leger and a photographer. Within a few minutes Dylan had arrived from his Busy morning and more Photographers showed up, plus a 98fm journalist and a woman from the Irish Times who was taking a small comment about the event and a digital interview intended as a possible inclusion on the Campaign part of their Online Material.

Dylan, Will St Leger and the media Micro-scrum, plus one of the many car's that disrupted the shoot.

Briefly Fionn sent me away to collect a portable hard drive from his work. I entered the place and received it and while leaving I realised that this was the Fade Street production office. I'd never watched the show, and possibly just passed the part-actors part socialites and other such things with no clue who they were... but really i wasn't interested.

Back in the Laneway the photo's continued and as it wrapped up I went off to the sheriff's office and collected the relevant documents in a large brown envelope. Oh how important it all felt.

I then returned to the laneway, but by then the Inner-circle had moved off and what was left was just the Media guy who i stayed with for a minute as i checked 98fm news to see if the recording had made it there in time, but the woman had gone on her lunch, and the recording didn't pop up till 2 hours later, which i missed.

I met up with Fionn in the Bank of Ireland on College Green, and he checked the forms in the Envelope. I then waited in the Foyer and read twitter as tweets about Dylan were still coming in thick and fast surrounding the campaign, and it's trending high on Monday. After a good 20 minutes I followed Fionn over to the AIB branch on Westmoreland street where Dylan was also sorting out more banking details.

For the 2nd time that day, following the team around it felt like being inside the walk and talks of the West Wing, although, i was more like a bodyguard in the background, as i was barely contributing much, with the exception of clutching the candidacy papers very close.

After i ate my lunch I was asked, that since i don't have a laptop, to go off to an internet café to work on the twitter trends which i had been watching. This took me all the way to Townsend street to a café i knew was 1 euro an hour and i stayed there collating tweets and articles for around 2 hours before i finished up and headed back to Andrews Lane Theatre for Dylans campaign launch/electorate drive/ volunteer meeting.

I was there earlier than the main team or familiar face's so i just hung out. I met a guy from Mayo who had taken a 4 hour train just to see this event and he showed me the rather interesting things he had showed Fionn about An algorithm for Pinging Dylan and opposition candidate websites to see how many friends and followers they had, automatically and then turning the info into charts. I was pretty impressed. The dedication and inspiration that had reached out to this guy was exactly the kind of buzz that had brought people there that evening.

I'm not too good at judging the size of a crowd but it looked like 40 to 60 people and it was impressive.

Here's the independent video that a friend of the campaign made of Dylan's speech. You can see me checking my phone at the front.

After that I hung out for a while, helped packed up and got the late bus back to Louth.

I then finished up my twitter trend watching and went to bed...

Taking Friday off for some rest, mainly on my hurt feat and screaming in agony wallet, as i was funding my way via my birthday money.

As this coverage is taking long than i thought... wait for part's 3 and 4 coming in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gotta be startin' Somethin' Part 1: My Story.

So you may have asked yourselves what I may have been up to recently.

And if you follow any of my other Internet Presence's then you will know that to some extent.

I have been Volunteering for the Political Campaign of a Candidate in the Irish General Election.

A Stock photo to Illustrate an election...

To describe how i got to this Point i will blitz through some of the history of this blog and provide some links here and there.And after that i will talk about the campaign itself and what inspired me, my involvement and some of my closing thoughts, and what next...

Considering the Length i will make this all kind on you dear reader and split the whole story into part's.
This being the first obviously.

So where may you ask did my interest in politics emerge from?

Well back in September 2008 my life took an unplanned course exactly at the same time the Country's economy was hitting it's first rough patches.

In fact exactly on the Monday morning that Fianna Fáil were announcing that the government had given a Guarantee to the Banks on their bad debt, money and so on, to keep the banks running. I was setting out on this new Twist to my life story. I had just failed my Supplemental exams for 2nd year of General Nursing. So in a panicked and confused state i accepted my parents suggestions and applied for a repeat year.

Now i won't go into mass detail, but Seeing i had a new Chance, path and opportunity in life i decided i would spend more time on Campus in Trinity college. To do this i committed to Joining The Society, which to past readers it was obvious which society this was, but i might as well name it, The Hist. Through my long time Friend Gammaman who was the Recruitment type person for that year I started hanging out in The conversation room, reading newspapers, absorbing Campus Society and the issue's of the day. From time to time i debated but i never really was very good.

Obama's Plagerrised Can Do attitude slogan!

By the morning of November 5th Barrack Obama Was Elected the first American-African President. To say i was skeptical of The American System was an understatement, but i Admired the man and was caught up in the Zeitgeist of the Politic's students, fan's, nerds and Anorak's around me. I also took part in what was an epic way to celebrate the President's Success. A Lecturer in Trinity was kind enough to take a bunch of us to a Hotel penthouse that night where we drank Champaign and had breakfast at sunrise.It was a rather impressive night.

That Winter i Jetted off to Australia with my Family for my sisters wedding and spent about a month there. A different world completely. I Adored several Aspects of Melbourne but i was pretty alone with all the Wedding prep and even a wonderful Tram System, trips to the cinema or a 3 day spot trip to Sydney could console me.

My time with the Society was also good socially, but my college work was slipping. My heart wasn't in it. And Spending time in The Hist was a more a distraction than a Social experience. I learned of the wider world Passively without my own opinions and the same i gained friends and admired people i saw as Impressive future movers and Shakers.

The one person that had caught my attention was the rather impressive Dylan Haskins. Who i have referred to as DJ in the past on this blog.

(Pictured a much younger Dylan in his Gig space in his House)

First I had seen him around as any other young debater.But i sat up and payed attention when i learned that he was the Manager of The Heathers. Who only month's before i had found on myspace and fell in love. While in Australia i had the Margie in Irish stuck in my head.

I first learned of Hide-Away records, his Label in an Irish Times List of up and coming Irish artists which featured the Heather's. The Conversation room table switched to talking about them and Dylan and I was impressed to say the least. He also ran gigs out of his Own House, Hide Away House.

As the Internal Committee elections for the next year approached I ran into him further as We were both Candidate's. We had a interesting conversation one day about Social Networking and the Emerging demise of Bebo and Myspace at the time. I could tell at that time, that not only from what i knew about him, but from that conversation that this guy had a more impressive head on him than a lot of the others i had met in my time in the Society and i was certain he could go far.

The Strange thing about Hist Elections is that you are not allowed Canvas. And i adhered to this. A female friend tried to Insinuate that we might have a pact with each other, to support each others vote, but being a stickler for the loftiness of tradition i was now entering to, I didn't really discuss it with anyone, and didn't go through with it. Just brushed it off. The same Person was subject to a rather odd Facebook Canvassing Troll of some kind that upset the election a bit, but remained a mystery.

Come the Day off the election I, in stupidity didn't put myself as my 1st preference for MC (member of committee), big mistake. As far as i recall, i also put 1st preference for Dylan on the ballot for deputy Correspondence secretary. However he didn't get it, and neither did he get elected MC.

He came second with 27 of 85 votes for Deputy Corr-Sec.
He also received 6 of 89 1st prefs for MC.

I received 3 first preference's, none of which were my own vote, as i didn't give number 1 to myself.

That summer I was still in a massive funk and Failed further a 2nd exam that year, leaving 2 I had the whole summer to prepare for, and a Paper i never submitted to do for the first time in its entirety. This process wasn't exactly very productive, but somehow i pulled off the exams... but the Paper was a disaster of laziness.

In contrast to my Self-Uncertainty, and downward spiral, Dylan had just established Exchange Dublin a collective arts space in Dublin's Old Town in Temple Bar. I wanted to help out, but amongst weak studying and depression i had not searched for a job, so was unable to commit any time.

Due to the poor Quality of paper i turned in, despite passing my exams. I failed my supplemental year. So in Turn i was left Unemployed and at home. I made little effort to help my situation, and eventually it was Decided that i was to go off to Australia and live with my sister for a year and try and find work there.

Parts of this journey were chronicled in my other blog:

That however didn't pan out.

One of the day's i did venture up to Dublin to see my college friends I hung out again in the Hist for a while and Dylan was in the Corner Panicked over an Essay. Using the TCD wi-fi and talking to someone about the Trinity Arts festival which he was helping organise that year. He noticed me and said he was sorry he couldn't talk to me, which at the time i thought was strange as i had barely known him in the past. But the idea was nice. As well as a late essay he was late for RTÉ as he was also working for Rté 2's Young Adult evening period at the time.

In the weeks after that i spent some time Looking for work, but not much. I even Volunteered for Exchange Dublin a few days. But eventually i couldn't afford it. While there i met young people just as impressive as in the Hist but from creative and not entirely intellectual backgrounds. Some of their diverse stories were impressive and i would have loved to have been more of a part of that experience but Living in Louth, and still without a job it was not possible.

I had applied for the CAO again on my return home and Even attempted to Sign up for the Dole, but i had hit a stumbling block. Thanks to a momentous clerical Error, i was down as Off-Books with TCD. Somehow my appeal was miss-marked and when entered into the computer i was given a 2nd Repeat year at Nursing if i could pay for it. Which i couldn't.

During the summer i got a part time job and things were on the up.

However the money was not exactly much, and i wasn't paying tax. And as it was cash in hand, i just spent spent spent. By the time my CAO results came through I was not in the position to attend college financially. So sort of Hap-Hazardly i accepted my Place in Arts in Galway and sent off to post-pone enrollment till the next year.

I continued to work right up to christmas but still not saving anything really. And with the snow driving down business it was a bad time for the Bar that i worked in. I also didn't try and get a shift during the week of melt just before exams. And then took the time off. The week after Christmas I tried repeatedly to get work but to no Avail. I aimed to get New Years eve but it never happened. It turned out i WAS needed back on St Stephens day but by the time this under-staffing was realised it was to late.

However for the next 3 to for weeks in January I kept trying to get shifts but to no Avail.

I wasted my Christmas money and other gift money on DVD's, such as 2 box sets of The West Wing.

I was inspired by this Show and slowly started to turn towards possibly including Politics in my Reserved Art's course in Galway.

In Late January i Applied for a Fás course to help boost my CV and started to apply for the Dole again. I had  given up on my Work as i was no longer able to contact my Boss and he seemed to not care about my call's when i tried.

On Febuary 1st my CAO application was due. I completely forgot about this. By not applying, i forfitted my place in Galway. My mind was else where. Seriously unemployed and Sad about my Isolation and birthday alone i wasn't in a good place. And neither was Ireland.

An election looming i had switched to watching more Irish news.

And when Dylan Haskins Announced his Campaign with the video below. I was Certain what my next step would be:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Apathy and the loss of time.

Sorry for the absence

As this post will try and chronicle, I've sort of been in a rut. Mainly blogging, creativity, personal issues, money, prospects and other things.

I seem to have lost track of time and the length of everything in this rut. It may be the currently f'd up sleep patern of mine talking but I really am hazzy about where days and weeks have gone.

Some were regularly paced, more events, memories etc but when days bleed into one another it all sort of becomes a blur.

Apart from work at the weekends I've done almost nothing over the past few months. Friendships have slipped away, missed oportunities, new friendships not what I want them to be or could be, money wasted, bad decisions, choices squandered. For the most part I have given up and let this state of apathy and haze self perpetuate itself.

I guess I started to slip when I stopped going to therapy at the start of Autumn while my counselor was away on holiday. Now I made some social inroads and Hung around with friends when college started back for them, but I had work and distance and quickly I listened to those excuses.

Then when my parentals were away one of a couple of small holidays during this time I got into an even lazier weekly routine. I also used the slim excuse of a screw up with a girl I bonded with as yet another stupid thing to avoid or keep me away from Dublin, my friends or even my own thoughts.

The weeks rollef on and on and eventually even new friendships at wotk weren't turning out the way I would have hoped. Although truthfully i was putting no affitional effort into anything in my life, but a pretty weak Halloween left me with more hang UPS and things to avoid thinking about.

I saw that i wasn't exactly one of the guys, while at the same time seemingly over-compensating for how out of place I felt. I won't go into detail, but I switched from letchery to morality by the end of the night and I doubted that neither myself or my new friends really knew who I was that night.

Sort of a crux of my whole doldrums. Not knowing who I am, or what I want to become.

I have a place reserved for college in Galway next academic year, but I don't have the money. Nor the job or enough skills to get anything paying enough with what time i have left.

Nor do i have a sense of self, or self esteem.

It all takes baby steps, but I have so heavily scuttled my own personal growth in recent months that i really am in a haze.

I sometimes forget my tablets for my skin condition.

I spend whst hours I get on the computer flooding my mind with the pop-culture drivel and regurgitated pulp of senseless distraction that is Tumblr. A micro-blogging platform that is a crack-cocaine rainbow of frivolity and wasted modern youthful endeavor and bandwidth. To say I'm addicted is an understatement.

The constant distraction of images, sound and mildly literate word keeps my mind off dealing with life itself. It is the Hauxillian Brave New World of the internet, and it has sucked me in.

It's so easy to do Fuck all selfishly than it is to act self-fullfillingly.

Baby steps.

In the standard view of reality and human behavior I don't really have an addiction or a problem but I do. It is behaviorly ingrained idleness. It is an unwillingness to engage with reality or to seek advancement and resolution of emotional states.

I am the unemployed directionless slob. I am squandered potential in a neurological, psychological, physical, spiritual and philosophical mountain of societies and humanities short comings.

By having it easy, by having basic needs met I have become a leech of resources and not a contributor.

What I want to do with my squandered potential is still tenuous and theoretical.

I want to write and create most of all.

I see teaching or leadership as a means to making a difference.

But i also feel that if i can whet the ebs and flows of my imagination I could be free to give back to the world.

I see charity, politics, or teaching as part in parcel with creating and sharing the worlds and realities in my imagination with everyone i possibly can. From family and friends, to compatriots, neighbours, and descendants.

I want to make a mark and a difference.

And what to experience a lit in doing so.

So far i've experience the misdirected, abused and nonuniversal guidance of education. The mind numbing monotony of chores and loneliness. But not humanity, or all life may have to offer.

Someone get me off my self aware high horse and give me that kick towards the series of steps i need to take to get there....
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5