Blue Ireland – The Saga Continues

Remember those solicitations I got from  Blue Ireland  magazine?   Well, after my first post and a rather puzzling comment on it, I got an even more puzzling and self-contradictory message from another, different  Blue Ireland  magazine staff member.

In that last email on 9 March,  Blue Ireland  protested their for sure genuine sincere respectful 100% guaranteed inclusive interested intentions.   And yet  Blue Ireland‘s  Bebo profile dated only six weeks later clearly advertises their target readership as men only, and also advertises their intention to feature nudity of the womanly variety only.

Furthermore,  Blue Ireland‘s  press releases published around their first publication date of 24 May just say more of the same.

    Although hardly surprising, this is most definitely disappointing.

Since I last wrote to  Blue Ireland  on 10 March 2010, I’ve heard nothing whatsoever back from them.   I’ve even checked my spam folder.   So much for their alleged interest in my input which they so enthusiastically solicited.  

Oh well.

Based on my contact with  Blue Ireland‘s  writers, the  Blue Ireland  website and  Blue Ireland‘s  press releases, apparently the staff at  Blue Ireland  use a different form of English language than the one I’m familiar with.   Aside from their idiosyncratic and arbitrarily variable spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage, they also apparently define terms and phrases according to sources I can’t find.   This might partly explain why their messages seem so puzzling to me.

Word Usage

As supported by reputable and accredited lexicons such as the Oxford English Dictionary, this is how I normally understand the following terms and phrases:

  • inclusive  –  considerate of and representing a wide range of different diversities
  • delighted for your input  –  highly motivated to consider solicited contributions
  • sophisticated  –  well-informed, knowledgeable and stylish
  • open minded  –  actively interested in accepting many diverse and conflicting perspectives as equally valid

On the other hand, according to the way  Blue Ireland‘s  writers have represented themselves to me, and according to  Blue Ireland‘s  subsequent and completely contradictory self-representation in their public profiles and press releases, their usage of these terms and phrases conveyed these rather different meanings to me:

  • inclusive  –  we provide images of nude young women to service a market comprised exclusively of cisgendered heterosexual men  –  and nobody else
  • delighted for your input  –  we  asked  for an interview, but we  meant  we only want sexy photographs
  • sophisticated  –  we like to regard ourselves as ‘sophisticated’, we like to apply this term to ourselves and anybody who shares our limited viewpoint, and we like to ignore the inconvenient but unfortunately accurate definition which says otherwise
  • open minded  –  our perspective roolz ok,  yo!


More Word Usage

Now, aside from that particular wordy weirdness, I’ve got another problem with  Blue Ireland‘s  –  well, let’s just call it extremely creative defining.   My problem is in trying to reconcile their vigorous allegations of inclusivity from 9 March, with their publicly advertised press releases and editor Ami O’Brien’s television appearance within the past few days.   In particular, I’m struggling with  Blue Ireland‘s  publicly claimed ambitions to be Ireland’s answer to  Playboy  magazine.

Will somebody please tell me this, because I really want to know.   How can I believe in  Blue Ireland‘s  claimed ideals of inclusion, if  Blue Ireland  are basing those ideals solely on the example set by  Playboy  magazine?   In all the excitement of name-dropping  Playboy  as if the two magazines were bestest ever bosom pals  (so to speak),  did  Blue Ireland‘s  writers  really  in all innocence just forget to mention that  Playboy‘s  special  There-Is-Only-One  approach to sexual diversity was the inclusivity standard they were adopting?!

Because no matter how hard I try  (and ok, I’m not actually trying that hard),  I just can’t budge that idea out of my  “This Is Bullshit”  category.

Some Ridiculousness

Ok, let me get this straight  –  Playboy magazine:

  • is published by a huge international company
  • has the largest circulation of any men’s magazine in the world
  • consistently publishes the work of award-winning photographers
  • consistently publishes award-winning images of nude women
  • is published in many languages including braille
  • consistently publishes award-winning authors
  • consistently publishes extensive interviews with well-known public figures
  • makes no claims whatsoever about including sexual diversity
  • has been in publication since 1953

Now let me be sure I have this straight  –  Ami O’Brien:

  • has a job as an editor
  • edits the generic sex industry magazine  Blue Ireland
  • has yet to demonstrate appropriate word usage, spelling, punctuation, grammar, or proofreading skills
  • claims in numerous press releases and reiterates on national Irish television that  Blue Ireland‘s  articles are ‘in depth’

And if I understand the data correctly  –  Blue Ireland magazine:

  • offers only the briefest glimpses into topics featured in their articles
  • has claimed to have much interest in diverse inclusion
  • includes  only  vanilla heterosexual men, and excludes every other sexual diversity on the planet
  • has been published for a grand total of one (1) issue

In short, aside from being magazines and publishing images of nude women,  Blue Ireland  and  Playboy  are about as similar as chalk and cheese.

I suppose in a way it makes sense to me  –  if Ami O’Brien is an editor who struggles so much with appropriate word usage, spelling, punctuation, grammar and proofreading, then she may also be an editor who struggles a lot with detecting the vast scope of difference between  Blue Ireland  and  Playboy

At the 6:42 mark of the TV3 television appearance, Marie Louise O’Donnell from Dublin City University talks about her opinions of pornography in general, and at the 7:54 mark she introduces her thoughts on  Blue Ireland‘s  use of language.   However much I may disagree with her personal views in general, I think Marie Louise O’Donnell was completely on target when she spotted  Blue Ireland‘s  and in particular Ami O’Brien’s attempts to use language to disguise one thing as another.

No matter how much anybody tries to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, the end result can only ever be a weird-looking sow’s ear.   So why not just let the sow’s ear celebrate its sow’s earness?   Why try to dress up a generic Irish porn mag as some kind of highfalutin porn version of the Rose of Tralee?   Why faff around adopting ill-fitting airs and graces?   Just embrace what you are and be done with it.   You’re a generic porn mag, so just go ahead and be a generic porn mag already.

Personally, I suspect that some delusions of grandeur might be going on here.

Blue Ireland  –  TV3 Appearance And A Poll

I know that the web page with the TV3 programme featuring discussion of  Blue Ireland  with Ami O’Brien may be inaccessible to some of you from outside Ireland, so here is the 11 minute clip of TV3’s Ireland AM with Mark Cagney.

Blue Ireland appearance on TV3’s Ireland AM – 26 May 2010

© tv3 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Now, I know that you people have functional brain cells.   Therefore I also know that you are much too smart to accept that an innocent language difference or accidental misunderstanding in good faith is the only thing going on here with  Blue Ireland  and Ami O’Brien and her writing staff.   So here are a few possibilities to consider.   Honestly now, which do you think is more likely?


Okayness And Badness

Just in case I haven’t been absolutely perfectly shiny crystal clear, I wanted to ensure that you all know exactly what it is that I’m objecting to here.

I’ll start with some stuff I’m absolutely fine with:

  • writers and commercial publications in general
  • journalists, journalism and journalistic practices in general
  • pornography in general
  • very explicit pornography in general
  • generic vanilla heterosexual male-targeted porn in general
  • products targeting specific and limited populations
  • limited inclusion/exclusion of diversity in general
  • selective exclusion for an explicitly stated purpose
  • spelling, grammar and punctuation errors in general
  • nudity in general
  • nude women in general

So that’s all stuff I’m perfectly fine with.
And here’s some stuff I’m absolutely opposed to and think is crap:

  • manipulation to achieve unspecified objectives
  • journalists transgressing standard codes of practice
  • deception, misrepresentation and lying in general
  • deceptive and misleading self-representation in general
  • inappropriate and inaccurate word usage
  • saying one thing and doing another
  • setting a bad example
  • pretentions to ill-fitting airs and graces
  • attempts to make silk purses out of sows’ ears
  • commercial publications using poor standards of language
  • inappropriately and inaccurately contriving flattering comparisons

So my objections to  Blue Ireland,  the  Blue Ireland  writers and Ami O’Brien are nothing to do with that first list  –  my objections are based entirely on stuff included in the second list.

Stats And Web Traffic And Other Stuff

On 25 May  (which apparently was the day after Blue Ireland magazine was published for the first time)  I noticed a spike in my blog stats.   I saw that my Blue Ireland blog posts were being viewed a lot more than usual, and I also saw a large number of referrers from web searches for ‘Blue Ireland magazine’.   When I did my own web search for ‘Blue Ireland magazine’ to check this out, I found a few press releases announcing publication of  Blue Ireland‘s  first issue.   Ok.   What was much more interesting to me was that the top two results on Google’s page one of that search are both links to my blog.

I further noted from my stats on 25 May that a large number of outclicks was to the  Blue Ireland  website.   Based on the results of my web searches, I’m guessing that my blog may well have been the  Blue Ireland  website’s single largest referrer of traffic on 25 May.  

As I indicated above, I dislike and disagree with  Blue Ireland‘s  attempts to use empty words of inclusion to disguise their embracement of exclusion.   I also dislike and disagree with  Blue Ireland‘s  attempts in general to use language to make silk purses from sow’s ears, and I think it’s ridiculous for  Blue Ireland  to name-drop  Playboy  magazine in an attempt to big themselves up by association.  (as if!)  Also for me personally, generic bog-standard vanilla sex industry publications demonstrating only basic literacy and clumps of pages stuck together really aren’t my thing, you know?

But aside from all that,  Blue Ireland‘s  writers and  Blue Ireland‘s  editor Ami O’Brien produce a commercial magazine which represents poor, poor  poor  writing standards.

I mean,  Blue Ireland‘s  writing on their website and uncorrected as it is in some of their press releases would not only fail the Leaving Cert for 16-19 year-olds, but would also certainly fail the 11+ examination for 10-12 year-olds.

The point I’m getting to is that I have a big ethical problem with referring large numbers of visitors to  Blue Ireland‘s  website, because I would rather not support them by sending them visitors when I find so much about them distasteful.   I decline to support such poor standards of writing and business practices I think are questionable.   So without obstructing them in any way at all, I’m certainly not going to help them either.

To that end, I have removed all my existing hyperlinks to the  Blue Ireland  website and added notes on the relevant posts to that effect.

I’m just glad to see that so very many of my visitors seeking  Blue Ireland  have viewed both of my previous posts on this topic.   I hope that the women who read my posts will be exercising some caution in any dealings they may have with staff members from this publication.

About Lady Lubyanka

I am a 45 year old musician, and also a multisexual, polyamourous, Jewish, socially dominant woman within my romantic BDSM relationships.
This entry was posted in Dublin, exclusion, fuckwits, fuckwittedness, Hypocrism, Silly. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Blue Ireland – The Saga Continues

  1. Paula says:

    Can’t help but notice that your link is to a truncated version of the press release rather than the actual press release:

    Doesn’t seem to have the problems you’ve commented on.

    Hope that helps!

    • You are correct, I’ve linked to a screenshot of the press release. The web address is visible at the top of the screenshot.

      In my screenshot, in the online press release you linked to, and also in the previous version of the Blue Ireland website, the plural of “photo” has an incorrect apostrophe, which Business World edited out.

    • That press release is now no longer available online. The possibility of it being taken down was a big part of why I posted a screenshot here.

  2. Tom Allen says:

    I can’t believe that a new magazine has such an amateurish web page.

    Also, now it’s not so ridiculous for me to say that I used to read Playboy for the articles, is it?

    • Blue Ireland’s current web page isn’t a whole lot better than their original one, and they kept that original one for a good 2-3 months since I first saw it. And then after watching that TV3 clip, I found myself wondering if Ami O’Brien is having her strings pulled by somebody. In my experience, that extreme level of cluelessness is fairly unusual for the actual editor of a publication, so who’s the puppeteer? And why bother pretending with all that inclusivity stuff if that was never their intention?

      Actually I’m also wondering, why bother having any text at all when that is so clearly outside the scope of their talents? Why not just be a picture magazine? But then again, why all the pretentions of Playboyness? Why not just be that generic porn mag? I think the decision-making here uses logic I’m not familiar with. Maybe they got the logic from the same place they got their English usage.

      And heh, I already knew about the reknowned qualities of the Playboy articles. I’m sure that’s the only reason you got the magazine. :p Anyhow, if the term ‘ridiculous’ is applicable to anything you say Tom, then that’s news to me. :)

  3. suzie says:

    Inclusive does not mean all emcompassing.

  4. I’ve still been getting web search referrals from people looking for Blue Ireland magazine, many of them looking for ‘blue ireland issue 2’.

    I see that the is now offline, apparently it folded after one issue. I’m wondering whether the Blue Ireland staff member treatment of their models has anything to do with that.

    I found this blog post by one of the journalists they contacted about the launch, and I think it makes interesting reading.

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