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Blindboy Brings Laughter, Tears, and Brilliance to UCD with ‘The Blindboy Podcast’

Blindboy Boatclub, one half of the iconic Rubberbandits, started his podcast in 2017. Since then, the Limerick-native has garnered an almost cult-like following. He’s amongst the most listened podcasters in the world, and his views on politics, culture, music, and life are massively respected.

Blindboy took his live podcast tour to the Astra hall in UCD, courtesy of UCD Students’ Union, bringing along the two moderators of Facebook meme page ‘Irish Simpsons Fans’ to speak about the logistics of running a meme pagew, politics, and the frightening reality of working in big tech.

Blindboy began in typical style, strutting out with a can of Heineken light in one hand, claiming he had to switch to the light beer in order to stop going on drunken rants during the podcast, and a vape in the other hand. After a warm welcome, Blindboy began by reading us a story from his new book that will be hitting shelves very soon.

The story was a mix of comedy and poignancy. I don’t want to give too much away, but he spoke of how there is a generation of men now in their 50’s, who were hit by the recession 10 years ago, who suffer massively with depression due to a lack of purpose in life. He spoke of how they channelled their suffering into craft beers and cheeses. The concept is hilarious, but the reality was damning. That’s what you get when you listen to Blindboy – you can be falling around laughing and wiping away tears upon hearing the same sentence.

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Photo credit: UCDSU

Blindboy then brought out the two moderators for the ‘Irish Simpsons Fans’ meme Facebook page, Jack Leahy and Sarah Gilleece. They began by speaking about the logistics of working a meme page. They told us of the rules of posting within the group, what kind of posts would get you banned, and how they veto every post that comes through. One topic they touched on was the concept of ‘Southern privilege’ within meme posts. Blindboy had a lot to say on this, explaining how making fun of ‘The RA’ in the Republic of Ireland is impossible to do from a Northern Irish or British perspective.

The pair then went on to speak about the political party formed by the meme page. They told us they were always being told to make use of the platform with over 100,000 members. Jack went on to explain how the ISF political party is most definitely real, but it is going to take time to fully get up and running.

After the interval, Blindboy then went on to talk of the frightening reality of being a content moderator for Facebook. He told the audience of the high rates of suicide, mental illness, and drug abuse within the company.

Throughout the podcast, Blindboy shone a harsh light on mental illness in different social groups in Ireland. He was able to put across a show that was both hilarious, but a complete reality check in terms of the pitfalls of social media and life in Ireland.

 

Luke Murphy – Arts & Lifestyle Writer

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