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  • 165. Unifying Events, Sensible Ripples, and What If Trump Had Been Taken Out?

    In this episode Dara is looking at two significant news stories from the big nations to Ireland's east and west. At the weekend just gone, Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate and bete noire of liberals and humane humans everywhere, survived an assassination attempt. In Germany not long afterwards, England's national football team contested the final of the EURO 2024 tournament, and lost. The US and England in recent years have become more and more troubled states with huge social unrest and unconvincing politics and leadership, leaving their respective citizenry highly agitated and discontented. Dara wonders if both countries would have benefited measurably more if the outcomes of both news stories had gone the other way. Would Trump's removal and England's triumph become unifying events for their embattled nations?Exploring both alternate realities, different things are considered: how can an Irish person be okay with their old oppressor enjoying sporting glory? Why does the England team's uncertain identity reflect that of the country it represents? What dark spell would be broken if Trump was no more? In what way would his supporters awaken and greet the new dawn? Wouldn't people rather get on with their neighbours? Or never hear them?Further to that last question Dara knows he would much prefer if the US and England were quietly and boringly going about their business.Also in this episode, doing your best, the ripple effect, the sensitive human race, and the ugly egos of powerful men.Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:

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  • 164. The Existential Toolkit to Approaching the Unknown

    In this episode, Dara is wondering about what comes next. We can never truly know what lies in the future so how do we cope with that uncertainty? Are we willing to step into the unknown without the security of a plan? Do we trust we have the resources to deal with what we find?Contextualising this dilemma in a world that seems to be spiralling out of control, and acknowledging the philosophical belief that the human experience is endlessly and exhaustingly repeated, Dara comes back to elemental grounding and deep listening as key components of the existential toolkit.Part of this approach includes knowing what to let go of and knowing what to let pass through us. Holding onto things for too long can define us in ways that leave us trapped and unable to grow. We have to step out of suffering and give ourselves permission to be free. If the keys to our liberation are placed in the hands of others, we might be waiting a long time.Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:
  • 163. Scene from a Garden - Tall Trees, High Kicks, and Low, Low Wages

    In this episode, Dara is taking time to express thanks to a place that has served him well over the last few years, and he's so determined to do so in a special way that he moves the podcast to the location he's honouring! At the end, when a certain flying creature appears, it's time to bring things to a close. No, it's not a dragon...Dara sets up to record in his garden and he explains why it has been such a special place for him over the last three and a half years. That said, it hasn't all been plain sailing. Just ask his chickens! It makes him wonder about the duration of a moment. Can a moment really last a lifetime?Once the natural world part of the pod is over, Dara discusses a couple of shows he watched in relation to the radically different iterations of femininity they present and prioritise. One of them, a sports documentary about the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, is troubling in the version of womanhood it valorises. The other, True Detective Season 4, has at its heart two ferociously tough and uncompromising female cops who don't care who they offend. They're remarkably unapologetic characters who make clear how seldom women on screen are written like that. Written like what? Like men!Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:
  • 162. You're a Man - Do You Care About Women?

    In this episode, Dara looks at the Natasha O'Brien case which saw a young woman beaten unconscious in the street by a young man who wasn't known to her, and that same young man been given a suspended sentence so as not to jeopardise his career as an Irish soldier. There is nothing that isn't problematic about these events, but as ever, there are larger social questions to be asked beyond the ugly specifics of the case in question.Dara considers the messages that are sent by the outcome of the case. Why isn't a higher price put on women's suffering? Why are violent men rewarded by the courts with their careers being prioritised over their abhorrent, life-ruining behaviour? Is the law a male-centric instrument, designed to protect male interests? Is the average man in any way benefiting from this adjudication?Dara argues that both men and women are done a huge disservice by the ruling. A victimised woman is cast aside by the law, and all men are implicated in a decision that normalises male violence by giving it a pass. It prompts the question - if you're a man, do you care about women? Do you care about those who historically hold less power in society? Do you care about the assumption of male violence? How do you demonstrate that care?Also covered in the episode - the relationship between fear and hate, the need for positive rites of passage, the importance of men doing deep work on themselves and more.Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:
  • 161. If You've Nothing Good to Say, Maybe Think About Shutting Up!

    In this hot and bothered episode, Dara tries to address the issue of racism in Ireland in the wake of the hate and racist abuse directed at Rhadisat Adeleke last week after her triumphant performances at the European Athletics Championships. A topic covered on the show before around the Emer O'Neill/Tommy Tiernan story, it seems to need speaking about again.As part of his anti-racism strategy, Dara advocates a very simple policy before going online. It is a rule that would serve everyone well in all areas of their lives, and one that is antithetical to everything the internet wants us to do. If you put this rule front and centre before jumping into the online cess-pit, a lot of harm could be prevented.Thinking less reactively to the situation, Dara considers issues of anger and the sense of being owed something and how they might feed into the hatred of others. If a wellness lens is to be applied to the expression of hate, it surely connects to personal suffering of some kind, and possibly the unwillingness to take responsibility for it. Also in this episode, the magic of Irish summer green, hate for hipsters (again), and exhausted puppies!Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:
  • 160. Character Identification and a New Short Story: David Has Been Great

    In this episode, Dara reads a short story that is new to the listener but not to him. The story has a female protagonist and when he shared it with a female friend a few years ago, he was told that not all women felt the same way as the character he'd written. In reply he said he'd never thought that would be the case.In yet another example of the way assumptions and conflations are all too easily made, Dara pushes back against the idea of identifying creators too directly with their creations. He argues that other things are more readily identifiable, such as themes, trends, and tropes.He hopes that his story, 'David Has Been Great', can be enjoyed without anyone thinking that the character's thoughts, feelings and prejudices are his own.Guardian article on sigma masculinity (2024): The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon:
  • 159. What Is a Man, Anyway? Part 5

    In this final part of his series on masculinity, Dara tries to bring things to a reasonable end. He talks about his lifelong attempt to embody a particular type of masculinity that was a direct response to sexist and reductive attitudes to men that he was exposed to in youth and early adulthood.In the context of the current trends in public discourse, Dara once again pushes against the idea of a single person being representative of their designated identifying group. He argues for personal responsibility, self-reflection, and understanding oneself as a social animal. To that end, he examines the connection between a social and moral imperative and the implications for men.Related ideas include the burden of responsibility, the expectations of others, the question of approval, and the need for greater consideration of the complexity of masculinity. Dara attempts to lay out a definitive description of ideal masculinity that could appeal to everyone. Amongst other things, this ideal includes an admission of uncertainty and the presence of vulnerability, as well as comfort with others, especially women and children.Website: The ClearOut PodcastEmail: Patreon: