Saturday 30 June 2012

Good to be back where this colyoom started!

From next Friday, July 8th, Double Vision will return to its original print home, in the pages of the Galway City Tribune.

Over the decades I’ve been lucky enough to scribble for editors of all manner of publications, in several different countries. I’ve published pieces in everything from glued-together student fanzines to national newspapers of record, and without fear of brown-nosing at all, I have to say that the team at the Tribune are the most liberal of the lot.

No offence to them, but a regional newspaper house in the West of Ireland is the last place I expected such freedom of expression, yet as long as they’re in context, the editors at the Tribune are more willing to let go of the odd cuss or twenty, inappropriate sexual references and druggie reminiscences than so-called modern national newspapers, who refuse the use of the word ‘shit’, even when used in verbatim quotation.

Of course all this freedom is tempered severely by draconian Irish libel laws, which leave any colyoomist toothless. As a freelance writer I understand that I can’t go slagging off companies that spend a fortune advertising in whichever publication I’m writing for, but in Ireland I can rarely ever mention anyone, any organisation or even a place by name, if there's a possibility that somebody somewhere might take offence. Whenever I stray over this blurry and omnipresent border, the lads in the newsroom remind me once more of the North Connacht farmer, to whom they referred in a news story only as ‘a North Connacht farmer’ who proceeded to sue the newspaper for unfairly identifying him and won.

That’s why you read so much about me in this colyoom. It’s not that I think I’m the most fascinating being ever created in the Pooliverse, but simply because I’m extremely unlikely to want to sue myself.  Also, as long as I’m the most frequent recipient of my own slagging, I feel more justified in having a go others when necessary.

Anyway, yes, it’ll be great to be back in print, 20 years after this colyoom first appeared in the Tribune. Those of you lucky to live close enough to Galway, please buy the City Tribune every Friday. It’s a lively paper, and unlike some of the local free sheets, it’s written by professional journalists intent on reporting, rather than just reprinting press releases.

More to the point, Double Vision is in it once more, so read it there first. Online colyoomistas will have to wait until the following and each subsequent Monday, when you will find it here and through the Facebook portal.