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Ev, talking about everything. Or most things. OK, some things. The Ev part is true, at least. Ev is me, an Irishman in Scotland. I'm here to talk about current affairs (politics, not infidelity), culture (society, not yeast), and whatever else is always on my mind (Pet Shop Boys, not Elvis). So if you like your podcasts thought provoking, informative, and understated, this show is for you. If you don't, listen anyway. I'm told it counts towards your community service order.
 
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People really did try to kidnap, try and execute a sitting governor of an American state. And they didn't do it out of the blue, they weren't outliers, nor were they following a politics or a creed foreign to the other militias for where they came. Militias are pseudo paramilitary organisations, and they are based around extreme readings of the US …
 
It won't shock anyone to hear that Donald Trump has not been truthful about his taxes, and the millions he has claimed to have paid have turned out to be hundreds instead. But what is shocking, to those still able to be shocked by him, are the hundreds of millions in personal debt, money that he owes himself and that he cannot write off against his…
 
Kier Starmer is a name you might not know, if you aren't living in the UK. The new Labour Leader would have been seen as a perfectly safe pair of hands only a few years ago. That was up until the sitting Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was shown to have orally violated a dead pig's head with his penis, and didn't resign. That almost unfathomab…
 
Ireland had an election recently, though it seems impossibly long ago, before the current, Covid reality took hold. Then, for many months, nothing happened. No government was formed, and the previous government continued in power. In fact, not only did that government continue in power, it was the second time it had failed to win a majority, and co…
 
We're losing bees to pesticides, agricultural practises, and to them just straight up vanishing. And we're doing little or nothing to help, while doing a lot to hinder them. We're destroying meadows, impressing them into agricultural work, and malnourishing them too. And all they do all day is toil away, making honey, making flowers, giving us almo…
 
London, and to a lesser extent Glasgow have both been hit by football violence, somehow, even though football isn't restarting in the UK until later this week. The excuse used by the thugs attacking police is that they're turning out to protect statues against marauding protesters who might damage or deface them. The reality is they're looking for …
 
We're discussing pulling down a statue of an anti-Abolitionist here in Scotland, and a straight up slavery advocate in Derry. And sure enough, people are terrified of enacting change, as if the statues we have in our streets are immutable fixed points in history, unchangeable forever. Gone With The Wind was of its time, and needs a virtual plaque t…
 
The situation in American policing has very clearly become completely untenable. It doesn't appear to be in a place from which it can move forward, in any way. A clean break with the past will be necessary to restore the confidence and belief of black people, the wider community of people of colour, and America in general in their police forces. Ev…
 
Zooropa was an experiment in character, irony, style, and substance for U2. The strangest thing had happened. Bono was singing things that might mean more than they seemed to. They were ambiguous, insincere, and maybe, perhaps, they might not even be true. This was refreshing, and cast the band in a new light. They were now interesting, intriguing,…
 
So Dominic Cummings, special advisor to the Prime Minister, broke his own lockdown rules. He traversed the country, heading to the ancestral pile to winter out the ravages of Covid-19. The only thing is, while he was doing that he was telling people over and over to stay put, in their own home, and not travel anywhere. He went to work when he shoul…
 
Yes, I did a show wholly and entirely about the way I find it very strange that there are so few kinds of music that don't involve cymbals in some way, be it big climactic symphony moments, smooth ride patterns in jazz, or grabbing crashes in metal. They're in religious ceremonies, they're in indie rock hits, and they're in every drum set on planet…
 
Donald Trump probably does like some people of colour. But he probably likes them in roles and contexts in which he can understand them, namely the role of being paid to entertain him. And he does like plastering his name on things that aren't really his, in an effort to gain publicity by associating himself with anything that will draw a crowd, be…
 
The Lost Words is a gorgeous object, a wonderful thing to hold and behold, and it is a trove of wordplay and artistry. It reminds me of the times I've been closest to nature, and to the natural world, the headline moments that stand out in my memory, like beacons. So I tell the story of an encounter with an eagle, as close as I ever want to be to o…
 
Back in the political prehistory of 2015, a strange new development took over the Tory party here in the UK. It wasn't a policy, or a manifesto, nor was it some divisive issue that drew new battle lines inside the party. It was a strategy. A simple, powerful, effective strategy that would, in short order, sweep away the existing leadership, and wit…
 
If you've listened to popular music since the seventies, you've very likely listened to Florian Schneider, if not in his own work then in the work of others he was a great influence on. But unlike some acts who are influential, it's hard to imagine anyone else stepping into the Kraftwerk void. There's no Kraftwerk "B" to provide the direction into …
 
The calm streets and quiet life of lockdown feels good. The stress of city living is relieved a little, and some of the rough edges have been smoothed out, ones we maybe thought were an inevitable part of city living. A lot of things we thought couldn't be done have been done, thanks to our concerted effort to save lives. We now find ourselves need…
 
Would you be shocked to learn that a few square feet of solar panels can't run an entire rock concert? Jeff Gibbs thinks you're going to have your world turned upside down by this fact, and others like it. It turns out that they don't find silicon for semiconductors on the beach, they actually mine it out of the ground. Billionaires are investing i…
 
So some people don't believe Boris Johnson was ever sick, thinking the Prime Minister would just take a few weeks of a sickie at the height of a national crisis to get a pity vote. It's hard to believe people believe that, but then, they believe in drinking bleach and swimming in sewage, at least according to their elected representatives they do. …
 
Newcastle United Football Club is on the block (Auction, not chopping. Though the Saudis doing the buying are familiar with both.) and will almost certainly be sold in the coming days. That raises very serious questions about the kind of people the Premier League want owning their clubs. Sadly, those questions related entirely to matters financial,…
 
It used to be if you were in the market for a chunk of Planet Earth to exploit, you could get your literal chequebook out, and some Napoleon or other would sort you with a prime slice of somebody else's homeland. After all, that's how half of the USA was claimed, and if you were after Ireland, you didn't even need the cheque, someone might just giv…
 
Yes, this isn't a review, it's more of a discussion, and you don't need to have seen either film to enjoy the show. When Studio Ghibli released The Wind Rises in 2013, the response was universal praise, except from people who thought that Japanese weapons manufacturers aren't a good topic of a positive, glowing biography. Some people thought that m…
 
So, in a zoo in Hong Kong, two pandas finally found themselves in the mood after a 10 year dry spell. It's unclear what we can learn from this, but assuming it has something to do with the zoo being closed to the public for an extended period for the first time in these bears' lives, we can indulge in a little well directed speculation. What if we …
 
Yes, it seems clear that the only horse in this particular race to the bottom has to be the one in the silk pyjamas of Donald J Trump, but petty selfishness isn't the only way to monumentally screw up a Covid-19 response. It's just one of the stupider ones. In the running of course are the United Kingdom and its herd immunity, and a special mention…
 
So various companies are responding differently to the lockdown. Some are resistant to the idea of basic social responsibility, others are finally seeing a little disruption of their own after disrupting perfectly good industries themselves. Airbnb, for instance. People staying in might take some strength from the common thought that perhaps meanin…
 
Now you can go to gigs from the comfort of your own couch, and not feel like you're missing out! Support artists directly over Bandcamp, listen to live coded music in a marathon session at Euler Room, buy from bricks and mortar stores, like Monorail, or any number of ways that musicians have found to keep reaching audiences. This could genuinely bi…
 
They're cancelling gigs across the world, and some of the cancellations are mandatory, some are out of the good civic conscience of the artists. The former are insurable, the latter are very much not. The Government of Italy is nationalising an airline, and the government of America is trying to buy a vaccine and the exclusive rights to it, while t…
 
Coronavirus is now touching every part of our global society, and we are obliged to act. Can we keep randomly hooking up on Tinder? (Yes, or we probably won't stop, anyway.) Is it more important to go to a football match, or a racing meet than it is to work in the same offices as our bosses? Can we keep treating sick employees as shirkers who need …
 
It's tragedy and farce all at once for the political classes over the Coronavirus outbreak, with Donald Trump talking in the past tense about a crisis that has het to even approach the high watermark of its death toll, and with Boris Johnson's government Borising its way around scheduling emergency meetings for the future when it's good and ready t…
 
So a man who isn't married has had a child. It's not news, except Boris has managed to make it news, because he's a man who has a history of denigrating single mothers, and who has refused to confirm the number of children he already has. A man who had the police called to his address over a serious concern about domestic violence, and who still us…
 
Why is Trump pardoning Rod Blagojevic? Why is he listening to Kim Kardashian about how should go free from prison? Why does he care at all about Conrad Black? At least those are non violent crimes. What about Arson? Murder? Would he pardon someone for those offences? (Yes, yes he would, and has.) Why stick his political neck out over sometimes deca…
 
SARS was a very, very scary outbreak. It came out of nowhere, and did most of its damage before we were ready to deal with it. And then it went away, as quickly as it came. MERS followed a decade later and it was even more dangerous, by some measures. And it resolutely didn't g anywhere at all. It's still with us. So what now, for our latest novel …
 
It seems hard to believe now, but there was a time when Brexiteers claimed with a straight face that the United Kingdom was shackled to the corpse of the EU, dragged down by it, slowed by it, and hobbled. Of course, this was never true, not now or ever. But they said it anyway. How strange then, that the UK should choose of its own volition to corp…
 
We all have a fundamental, built in idea of fairness. A sense of what is right and wrong in terms of equal competition and a notion of what we often call fair play. We know unfairness when we see it, even if it's unclear how something is unfair, or what the details are. The details of Saracen's cheating are not clear. But he fact of it, and the sen…
 
So there is this thing here in the UK, called Prevent. It sounds like a good thing, on the face of it. It's all about heading off extremist ideologies in individuals before they become a problem, or even dangerous. Having members of their community monitor their language for issues. Their community, monitoring their language. Wait... doesn't that s…
 
How did a ballistic missile attack on a US airbase, something that just a week ago would have started a war, become something that probably counts as a deescalation? And if that's what it is, can it be trusted, coming from Iran, and will America accept it and follow suit? Or does Donald Trump have more to say about this, and could there be a Boeing…
 
Kata'ib Hezbollah isn't a name widely known outside circles interested in Middle Eastern politics and military matters, but they have been thrust into the light by America's killing of both their leader and more than twenty of their rank and file members, as part of its recent efforts to hit Iranian linked military assets and people in Iraq. Fighte…
 
If there wasn't enough to be appalled and scared about in America assassinating an Iranian leader, the prospect of further war crimes, and the threat to attack Iranian culture and engage in purely symbolic air strikes has laid to rest any potential hope that this crisis might see wisdom and common sense prevail. The president of America threatened …
 
Today the hashtag WWIII is trending on twitter. Is it with good reason? Do we need to worry that the killing of an Iranian General, someone steeped in blood and definitely no civilian, may lead to all out, world spanning conflict? Is this a Franz Ferdinand moment? It could be, Iran certainly has the wherewithal to make it that, and the dominoes are…
 
After a quick reminder that Australia is still on fire, it's time to tackle the age old challenge faced by every tippling sipping enthusiast: Dry January. Instead of talking up the merit that I'm sure exists in taking month off the sauce, I take this opportunity to share a few thoughts on the place of alcohol in my life, and my culture, and some of…
 
Still in Dublin, I'm staring up at the stars without Lupo, and talking about the festival of Hanukkah and where it came from, sadly so I can explain why people committed hate crimes to coincide with it. I've wondered in the past why it is that so many people are antisemitic, when so few people are directly affected by Jews or the actions of Jews. W…
 
Today I'm walking through Dublin city, initially with some very intrusive traffic but soon in the quiet of university courtyards. I'm out to see my family for Christmas drinks, and it's a great time to talk about where Christmas has ended up, about two centuries since it began to coalesce into the modern holiday we know, with secular trappings. The…
 
It's nearing Christmas, and I haven't stopped putting out shows yet. Even without Lupo, late at night, in Dublin, I decided to go for it and throw one up. Scott Morrison is trying to pretend he believes in Climate Change while doing nothing about it, and trying to say he cares about the victims of fires in New South Wales while prioritising his hol…
 
Today we talk about Australia, it's fire season and how bad it is, and how unique. Some fires are good for the ecology, and help nurture new growth and regeneration. This isn't that. this is scorched earth in the real sense, with everything dead and things burning that have never burned before. Climate Change denial feeds into this, as it prevents …
 
Why is it entirely likely that Donald Trump's trial in the US Senate will be delayed, for up to a year? Isn't this open and shut case time, even allowing for the Republican Party lining up foursquare behind him? Well, in the distant past of 2016, before the world went crazy, a precedent was set for just refusing outright to engage with a normal pol…
 
I had a terrible cold recording this episode, so in it I'm cooped indoors in a toasty warm room, with all the effects on audio quality of losing the lovely outdoors ambience, edits for Lupo interruptions, and my cold. Boris is already going full Trump, Labour are licking their wounds, and the Lib Dems are yet to emerge from their defensive foetal p…
 
So the parties that won yesterday were those with a simple, clear message, and the parties that lost were the ones with a muddied, badly articulated message. Voters left Labour over racism, and went to a party with a major racism issue itself and voted in a leader with a history of using racist language and stereotypes. The SNP dominated Scotland s…
 
I love voting, the physical act of it. I go to the polling place and cast the ballot into the box, and it feels great! I recommend it to everyone. And in this episode, I talk about why you should do it too and feel great like I do. How your vote will resonate, and why you can feel like you did your part through the whole next parliament. Go out and…
 
Yes, the PM ran away from a journalist on live TV, managed to squeeze in a characteristic lie in the few seconds he was on air, and hid in a fridge. Why is he like this? Well, the party he represents has a strange approach to manifestoes: they wrote one the electorate would hate, and simply hoped never to have it scrutinised. Then they packed their…
 
In a clear effort to distract from his blanket bad press over his inability to empathise with a sick child, the Prime Minister tried to draw attention away with a knee jerk BBC Licence Fee trial balloon. Was it that simple? Why the BBC, and why is it so often targeted? Talk about the reason the licence fee can't be replaced by a subscription fee, i…
 
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