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doll.jpg“Impressive, eh? To have so much… and do so little with it.”

As quotes go this is a short one. Not so strange though, it being from a comic novel, Doll, a Manga by Mitsukazu Mihara. After my trip to Japan, back in October, I’ve picked up a book or two, mostly Samurai stuff, but Doll is not your standard comic book fare, even though the ingredients look very familiar.

It is set in the near future when technological advances have created androids (the titular Dolls) that are incredibly life-like. They work as personal assistants, housekeepers and lovers.

doll2.jpgNormally in these type of stories, the androids begin to develop thoughts or emotions and make the humans question where life begins and man’s authority over machines ends. See AI or The Matrix for versions of this. In Doll there is no doubt as to the artificiality of the android and that makes it all the more interesting and ultimately tragic. The dolls become vessels for people’s desires, hopes and obessions. In one of the stories, a husband creates a doll in the image of his late wife, but is then tormented by her presence: the woman he loved now a machine that obeys his every command.

Mihara asks some fundamental questions. What if we could give in to our obsessions? What if we could postpone our sorrow and hurt indefinitely with artificial recreations of life? A bittersweet world it would be…


Her work has also had a lasting influence on Japanese fashion, being responsible for ‘Goth Loli‘, a truly bizarre style that tries to recreate the look of Victorian porcelain dolls.

‘I pray they find a place in this world to call home!’


It was nice and sunny out in Dublin today. Great weather for a stroll, so I went outside with my camera and came across this dog happily japping at the surf. Put a smile on my face :-)

I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco over the past week, where the weather was glorious, the food copious and the blogging unfortunately non-existant. So to make up for it – and since I’m back in dreary Dublin with nothing to do – here are some pictures.

When in San francisco:

You take the Bart…

…to Dublin

Your office cafeteria is an outdoor barbecue

You can earn good money doing medical research

Even your dog will get nutritional advice

You can promote pretty much anything with low-calories

Even though your hamburger seems big enough to eat you instead

You will see mariachi bands in the streets

You will drink enlightening beverages in the sun

You can go shopping at any time of the day

And if you’re really lucky, you can celebrate St Paddy’s with the SFPD

From Nonchalant Pictures

Trafalgar Terrace is quiet. It is late. Outside, the Mercedeses – the SLK-convertibles, the A-class – await the start of a new working day. The battered Fiat Punto, poison green, cheapest car on the block, is picked out mercilessly by a street lantern. On the side walk, at the bottom of a short staircase, a mobility scooter hides under an impermeable cover. A little further down, a bright red Alfa Romeo Spider protects its delicate fender with a taped-up traffic cone.

Bright lights emanate from the basement apartments: The nursery filled with stuffed animals, a pink carpet on the polished wooden floorboards. The adolescent’s room, Audioslave poster on the back wall, a drum set by the window, weight bench taking up the center. The small Indian family’s empty living, working father, working mother, two children, every Sunday packed into an aging Renault Espace, off to visit relatives.

My downstairs neighbour Jack walks past outside. Jacket buttoned up, square glasses with tufts of white eyebrows rising above the thick frame, returning slightly befuddled from his evening constitutional. Almost time for bed now.

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