Evolution Of Hurling
by jamie o' connell
In this article I will be outlining the key changes in hurling throughout the game’s history.
The first ever game of hurling under the GAA rules was played in Boston in June of 1886. It is played with a piece of ash wood cut to the shape of a similar hockey stick shape. The shape of the hurley has changed throughout the decades and is now much thicker, stronger and very different from what the hurley began as. The sliotar (ball) used has also changed a lot. There have been many variations of the sliotar like rope, animal hair, wood and even hollow bronze. The constant changing of the sliotars and shape of the hurleys has slowly but surely changed the game of hurling.
Pace of the game
The pace of hurling has changed a lot throughout the decades. From watching the All Ireland Hurling Final from 1936, I realized the game of hurling was a lot slower. The ball didn't move as quick as it moves these days. This is partly due to the players hitting the sliotar on the ground more so than hitting it out of their hands. This meant the ball didn’t move as quick or go as far. The shape of the hurleys also constricted the players from getting the maximum distance when pucking the sliotar.
Player fitness and match preparations
Players years ago didn’t realize how important their health was. This led players to do things that are seem absurd to us now but were the norm back in the 1900s. This included smoking cigarettes at half time and before the match. Players also had pints before matches and often played while intoxicated. This was thought to help the players perform.
Rules and regulations
The biggest Rule change throughout the years is most definitely the rule that directed that all players must wear hurling helmets while playing. This rule was first brought in for underage hurling. It was proven that wearing helmets prevent 40% facial and eye injuries. The rule was only introduced in 2010 to all levels of the sport. The rule of 15 players per team hasn’t been changed since the foundation of the GAA. Here is an overview of some rules that have only been changed recently. When players are taking penalties they cannot pass the 20 meter line. They can place the ball up to 7 metres back from the 20 metre line to assure they don’t pass it. When penalties are been taken only one player, (the keeper) can be on the goal line.
All Ireland speeches
The tradition for the county that wins the All Ireland Final is the captain to give a speech in Irish to everyone there. During the 1980 All Ireland Hurling Final the Galway captain Joe Connolly spoke in Irish for nearly all of the speech. Since the decline of the Irish language in the 1990s and 2000s All Ireland final speeches are mostly spoken in English. Many speeches have only one or two sentences of Irish at most. This is a great pity and I think many would celebrate if more captains delivered their victorious speeches as Gaeilge.
Kanye West: Profile
BY fionn MCKEOGH
Kanye West was born Kanye Omari West on June 8th, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He moved to Chicago with his mother Donda West at the age of 3 after the divorce of his parents. His father Ray West was one of the first black photo-journalists at ‘The Atlanta Journal-Constitution' before becoming a Christian counsellor. His mother Donda was a professor of English and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University. Kanye moved to China with his mother at the age of 10, where she was teaching at Nanjing University as part of an exchange program. After graduating from high school, as the most unlikely to succeed according to his yearbook, West received a scholarship and attended Chicago’s American Academy of Arts in 1997 before transferring to Chicago State University to study English. He disliked his schedule as it slowed down his musical career. At the age of 20 he dropped out to pursue his full-time career in music.
The College Series
On the 23rd of October 2002 Kanye was involved in a car crash on his way home from the studio. This left him with a shattered jaw which was wired shut in reconstructive surgery. Two weeks after this incident Kanye recorded his first song ‘Through the Wire’. This was the first single off his debut project ‘The College Dropout’. This project was released on the 10th of February 2004 and including the hit song ‘Jesus Walks’. ‘The College Dropout’ (cover art pictured) accumulated over 441,000 copies in its first week of sales. The album is now sitting at 3 times platinum and received 2 grammies for ‘best rap album’ and ‘album of the year’. Next up for Kanye was ‘Late Registration’. West would invest over 2 million dollars into this next project. These funds came from the success of his first album and enabled him to hire a string orchestra. This album was heavily jazz inspired as most of the songs sample classic instruments. This album was released in fall of 2005 and would contain songs like ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘Heard ‘Em Say’. Late Registration sold over 2.3 million copies by the end of the year. The final piece to Kanye’s College puzzle was ‘Graduation’. An album that would enjoy major mainstream success and even defeat 50 Cent’s ‘Curtis’ in a sales battle between the two artists. ‘Graduation’ took a more electronic approach with the production and amazed fans with the mainstream hits such as ‘Stronger’ and ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’. ‘Graduation’ would go onto sell 957,000 copies first week cementing himself as one of the most talented acts in music.
Heartbreak and Dark Fantasies
In November of 2007 Kanye’s world would take a dark turn with the sudden loss of his mother Donda West, who tragically died on the surgery table aged 58. This impacted Kanye heavily and things didn’t get better when his long-term engagement was ended with fiancée Alexis Phifer months later. These tragic events would consume Kanye in a deep depression which prompted him to create a clean album about loss and heartbreak. 808’s and Heartbreaks would become West’s most influential piece of work of his career at that point as he introduced the legendary 808 into rap music. Ye sings using autotune on the project recreating his sound entirely. He got help from Kid Cudi when creating the hooks and melodies for this album. This work contains themes of love, loneliness and heartache and was released on Thanksgiving weekend of 2008. The following year, controversy was on hand when Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Awards. West received severe backlash from this event and took himself to Italy for a short while before travelling to Hawaii where he would begin to record his next album. Here Ye would invite his favourite producers and artists to help him create one of the greatest works of art in music history. Kanye got everyone into the mood by spending every day with them before writing and recording in the studio. West often made other artists rewrite verses as he wanted them to exceed their full potential. This project would contain ‘Power’, one of West’s most mainstream and well produced songs of his career. He called his 5th album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and released it in late 2010.
Yeezus, Saint Pablo and Jesus Is King
Every great artist must experiment in their career and Kanye is no different. Yeezus’’ would open a new chapter to Ye’s discography with more aggressive and energetic flows and deliveries. Yeezus caused some controversy over song titles and topics, but this is nothing new to Kanye. Kanye handled the pressure of living up to MBDTF by releasing yet another #1 album, selling 327,000 copies first week. Kanye took the opposite approach with his next project ‘The Life Of Pablo’, laying more gospel style foundations. Although this album was delayed by up to 531 days, it was released on the 14th of February 2016 and included songs such as ‘Wolves’ and ‘Father Stretch My Hands pt1’. ‘Famous’ came with its own problems after Kanye namedropped Taylor, 7 years after their first altercation. Kanye hired a Taylor Swift lookalike for a music video that would gain over 40 million views on YouTube. Kanye featured 13 artists on this project and sold up to 94,000 copies first week.
Joker: We Live In A Society
By Jacub Szczerbaty
We live in a society. And that’s what Joker is about: society. The 2019 film starring Joaquin Phoenix is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. The performance by Joaquin is terrifying yet relatable as he perfectly balances the line of being someone you should feel sorry for and someone who you find repulsive and grotesque. When you watch the movie you don’t see him, you see the character of Arthur Fleck slowly becoming the Joker. He gives the character so many idiosyncrasies, his most noticeable being the iconic Joker laugh. When Arthur laughs in this movie its incredibly painful to watch, it's almost as if it hurts him as after each laugh, he coughs and chokes. Joaquin transformed the laugh into something more, something that shows this character's pain and suffering. He adds a whole new layer to a character that can often be simplified into just “a crazy person”.
Apart from the great performances the cinematography is excellent. There are some very impressive wide shots in the movie that are begging to be framed and be put on a wall. But there are also close ups that are more personal and allow us to see how the characters are feeling. The lighting set design and colour pallet all complement each other and are used to portray this grimy, dirty, disgusting city. From the rubbish that’s everywhere, piled on the street, to the blue fluorescent light in the toilet that Joker dances in. The locations in this movie feel real and look dreadful yet also weirdly beautiful.
The music is also brilliant, and that includes both the original soundtrack and the licensed songs. There are some great licensed songs that weren't picked based on popularity, like in a lot of movies nowadays, but on how well they fit the movie. This includes the song Smile by Jimmy Durante, which is about smiling and being positive even in the worst times in your life. The use of the song is morbidly ironic as in the movie Arthur smiles through killing people and doing other horrible things, that he thinks are hilarious. It also shows how that advice isn't always helpful as sometimes being positive just isn't possible and “smiling through the pain” might do more harm than good. The OST was composed by Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir who also composed the score for Chernobyl, the HBO miniseries, and the movie Sicario: Day of soldado. Her score for Joker can only be described as haunting. She mixes classical instruments, mostly violin, with electronic sounds that create an atmosphere that is tense and sombre. It gives the whole movie a feeling of wrongness, like something is off but you can't quite tell why as the mix of the two styles of music feels unnatural and wrong, like the things that Arthur does in the film.
All these things make Joker a fantastic movie. But what I think really elevates its, is its themes and the subjects it tackles. Most prominently the subject of mental health and how responsible are we, as a society, for creating people like the Joker. It's an uncomfortable thought that we could influence such people by simply not paying enough attention to them, not giving them the help, they so clearly need or by just being mean to them.
Mental health is a big theme of this movie and the movie shows how cutting funding for institutions that help mentally ill people can have devastating consequences. Mental health still isn't taken seriously enough and is often ignored or even laughed at. We need to change our view of mental illness and mentally ill people and if we don’t then things like murder, shootings and abuse will keep rising exponentially. There were 340 mass shootings in 2018 in the U. S alone. Compare that to 1999 when there were only 5. While there are more factors to these rising numbers, I think mental health not being taken seriously is a big one.
It's ironic how the media are outraged at the Joker for existing, spreading mass panic that it will inspire mass shootings in cinemas worldwide. I say it's ironic because the media talking about shootings, especially school shootings, constantly and sensationalising the idea, in fact may inspire more shootings. By constantly talking about the shootings, trying to figure out the shooters' motives and “backstory” they're playing into the endless cycle of violence by giving the such people attention. What the media have missed is that this film is more than a film about gun violence - it is about bad decisions, parenting, mental health, and society at large.
In conclusion Joker is a very original and unique story with great writing, characters and performances. On top of that it has amazing cinematography and music that will take your breath away. Most importantly Joker is a movie that has something to say. A message that it will unapologetically preach no matter the backlash, because the people telling the story know its important. It's a risk that payed off not only financially but critically and it’s a movie I will return to many, many times.
Created with images by Nathan Dumlao - "untitled image" • Susan Yin - "untitled image" • Plush Design Studio - "untitled image"