Browsing articles tagged with "Connolly Books Archives - I Love Saturday"
Oct 30, 2012

Nothing To Prove – Seamus Bradley

Last Thursday afternoon was spent mooching about Temple Bar – a fave pastime of your whimsical reporter. First stop was Siopaella, my current top fashion hunting ground. Watch out for their charity sale on Sunday 4th November in aid of A Dog’s Life. Next up was a book launch at Connolly Books on East Essex Street, Seamus Bradley’s debut tome “Nothing To Prove”. Welcome refuge from the cold.

Connolly Books is best known as a peddler of radical literature, a treasure trove for lefty readers. It’s also the lobby for the totally alternative New Theatre and I’ve always found it a very creative space to be in. Vino, salty snacks and oatmeal cookies were on hand to celebrate Seamus Bradley’s opus on capitalist culture. In “Nothing To Prove” he explores our wants and needs in a world dominated by profit.

Questioning society’s obsession with material wealth, Bradley goes back to basics by looking at our simple needs – food and shelter, as the bedrock of happiness. Already examining his own relationship with status and career, it was an overheard conversation in the pub that inspired Bradley. “Nothing To Prove” was born of the frustration that many of us feel in the wake of the global economic meltdown.

A sort of “what’s it all about?” Bradley breaks down societal norms, like giant supermarket chains and food exporting. How did such changes in attitude grow from our traditional ideals? He explained how consumer competition has damaged community and on a worldwide level how it has divided nations. Bradley says this has led to an unbalanced world where the natural order of living is consistently defied.

The new order encourages a lack of independence and the adoption of a herd mentality. This was evident in the Celtic Tiger property bubble that brought Ireland to dire financial crisis. Common sense and a responsibility for ourselves was forgotten about in the trample to be upwardly mobile. Now in the aftermath, Bradley says we have an opportunity to redress the situation and explore new possibilities.

I’ve only begun reading “Nothing To Prove” and I’m struck by Bradley’s positivity. He is minus the scaremongering and lamenting of high profile tomes by well known pundits, as he’s not just talking money. But spirit, pride and the freedom to enjoy life. One of the biggest modern killers is stress so it really is in our personal interest to reject lifestyle aspirations, and the mad rush to the so called top.

As far as my own two pence in concerned, I think we’re on the brink of the Age of Aquarius. Upcoming generations are not buying into marketing hype as we did, and the implosion of organised religion in the western world has seen people looking to their inner strengths for sustenance. Bradley joked that he might be preaching to the converted in Connolly’s but “Nothing To Prove” has something to say to all.

Nothing To Prove – Seamus Bradley. Connolly Books, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 1

Sep 24, 2011

Culture Night – Dublin Opens it’s Doors

Friday 23rd was Culture Night – when the city’s artists, performers and cultural mavens open their doors to the public for free. An excellent worldwide venture that works well in Dublin, this lovely vibrant town we call home! Temple Bar is full of surprises for those who think it’s only a Hen party hotbed – there’s a whole world of creativity here. First stop, the Black Church Print Studio where we were given a guided tour of their various processes and a demonstration of fabric printing.

We popped next door to the Monster Truck Gallery, then into Connolly Books for a browse and to the Gallery of Photography where we checked out Noel Bowler’s latest exhibition. Time for a sit down, so we parked on a giant beanbag at Filmbase for some fantastic Irish movie shorts. Laugh out loud we certainly did – Irish film talent at it’s best. City Hall was next on the agenda and what an impressive space! The domed building onDame Street features a beautiful high ceiling lobby, where we caught an Irish writers history display and a theatrical performance of their works.

Underfoot, amazing vaults house a history of Dublin from Viking times right up to today. There are fascinating artefacts, maps and video guides. The Lord Mayors costumes were my favourite! Culture Night packed in so many venues all over the city, it was a good idea to pick one stamping ground and go for it. Temple Bar was thirsty work so we were glad to be fed and watered in Salamanca on St Andrews Street, a slick Spanish tapas bar. Pinchos, chorizo and vino went down a treat. Finally, a nightcap in The Morgan was the only tonic for a happy carb coma and tired feet.