Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brian Laws has been fired from Burnley

It is true. In a move that was in the "We all saw this coming" section of the news the - now former - Clarets manager was asked to step down from the role. A statment will be made by the club tomorrow.

Some people will point to his record of 10 wins in 40 games, one away win all season, no back to back wins and the fact that he was hired to keep Burnley in the Premiership but didn't as just cause. Some people will point out the fact that we won most points after falling behind, meaning we always conceeded the first goal. Others, will point to the fact that he never really got the fans onside. Few will point out that he made mind boggling subsitutions and was never sure of his best team. Or that he paid over a million for a defender and then never played him and then loaned him out to Preston. One or two kind minded individuals will point out that he does seem like an awfully nice bloke. And, his daughter is a page three model who is going to the States to try her hand at muscular women modelling. Apparently.

I believe that he was given the footballing equilivant of Mission Impossible. He had to follow one of the most popular (up until he fucked off any road) managers of the last twenty years, the entire back room staff buggered off, the team spirit had evaporated and no one believed we could stay up.

When Coyle took us up in 2008-2009 we were an average Championship side. A few clever signings and a team belief later we went up. We looked to be doing all right in the Premiership but Bolton Wanders wanted our manager and he wanted them. So we appointed Laws.

The fans never liked him, the players mustn't have believed in him and now he is gone. A new era and a whole load of me getting upset on a Saturday awaits.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And the Video for below

Why won't it Snow

JJ72 once sung that, but I bet if he looked outside now he wouldn't. I am snowed in and it does not look like it will cease. It is the most snow I have seen ever and the novelty has worn off.

Oh, and apologies for the absence (did ya miss me? did ya? why not?) this is due to house moves, Laptop Aids - which had nothing to do with my downloading habits - and laziness. But like something that was once in remission and now isn't or a double dip recession. I am back.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Terry Jones

Is a wanker.

One protester has died because of his vain and idiotic plan to burn The Koran. How many more lives need to be lost until this "Pastor" has enough publicity and attention.

He is dangerous and blinkered. He is also another example of how "Religion Poisons Everything" (Christopher Hitchens,'God is Not Great')

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Post

Standing at an ATM
Card in hand,
Machine accepts it
With a automated sigh
As coked up rich cunts
Canter by, laughing,
Smoking, high five

Fag hanging from
Acrylic nails,
They go from bar to bar
Bathroom stalls.
I type in the PIN –
Four digits
To deny me.

If, a big if, a massive
Fucking improbable if,
I can get cash
Then I can crash
On the lash
Off the leash
Drunken British
Baring darkened,
Crooked teeth.

I type in a sum
Something small
Hopefully enough.
A pregnant pause –
An aborted cause,
A secret clause
Is you have to wait –
The machine spits out
Pictures of the Queen.

The missus and me
Hit the street
Another bar
Where the rich cunts meet,
I get our drinks;
She finds some seats:
Is this seat free?
Is this seat free?
For me fella and me?

The difference between
Them and us,
The missus and me, is
Those rich gets
In their
Suits and boots
With their expensive
Hair and clothes,
And drugs, and
Plastic tits
Is simple.

Me and my proletarian
Ideals hanging onto
Poetry like it’s a
Nursing mother
Dancing to the low level
Corporate drum is simple.

They are rich and I am not.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion

New blog at the amazing: http://www.poetryinstasis.wordpress.com/

Using one blog site to advertise another, I think the internet might implode if you don't click on it. Then how will people get poorly streamed football and porn? It is a responsibility I don't think you should take lightly. Or avoid.

In other news, the new season has started. Burnley are undefeated (one win and a draw).

In the Premiership one round of matches has been played and from it we can garner some facts:

  1. Chelsea will walk the title, they beat West Brom six-nil
  2. West Brom will go down, they lost six-nil
  3. Wigan are awful
  4. Blackpool might surprise everyone, but most likely will do what my beloved Burnley did.
  5. Bolton Wanders will be mediocre but safe
  6. Blackburn Rovers will be exposed as being owned by Satan and funding a secret Alien Invasion and will then be disbanded with all their players and supporters imprisoned for Treason

I wonder how many will come true - my guess all of them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tram's, Theft and Moral Obligation

On my way home from employment today I boarded the Luas from Abbey Street, it was - as is to be expected at rush hour - crammed. I feel, at this juncture it is necessary for me to digress somewhat. I am paranoid, and I mean not "they are after me" paranoid more "that man wants to rob me" paranoid. I suppose, cautious to the nth degree would be a better description. I suspect the worst because the worst will normally happen.

Anyway, back on the tram - to the immediate right of me sat on the disabled chairs (chairs for use of disabled people and not chairs with some physical handicap) sat a man. He had obviously expensive headphones on, following the wires downwards I could see that they were attached to an iPod. Again, an expensive luxery item.

Within the crowd two men, roughly mid twenties, were walking down the crowded aisle. Thin men with tattoos and short hair.

At Smithfield a couple pushing a pram embarked. They stood near the entrance doors effectively blocking it off. The Luas started up again.

The man with the iPod sat watching a video, the two tattooed were walking further down the aisle. The new parents cooed at the child. My eyes flitted from person to person and from my feet to my hands. Sometimes they shake. My own iPod was playing something non-descript. My mind began to wander when the entire tram burst in to noise and bustling, awkward violence.

The two lads had grabbed the man's iPod as soon as the tram stopped. He was clinging on the one of their coats screaming "give me my phone, give me my phone". The one who had grabbed it was desperately trying to break free and flee through the slowly closing doors. His mate stood as a barrier between the man and the thief. As they were running for the doors the clattered into the pram, the man still shouting and trying to hold on. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful and the two lads got away - ironically, running towards the courts in a bid to escape. About four minutes after the robbed man got off the tram the inspectors came and asked for my ticket. A woman started to describe what happened and I briefly added some supplementary detail. Such as they were young, one had distinctive tattoos. Bullets on his hands. But I got off at my stop and left for home.

This has gotten me thinking. Is there anything else I should or, indeed, could have done? I don't think I could have made it across the people to stop the men - nor could I have done anything of any great value if I did. I could have called Garda Confidential and gave a description but they will not recover the phone nor would they be able to get the men. The phone is probably covered by insurance on the contract. One could argue that by displaying such an expensive item so brazenly is asking for trouble. That is a controversial and dispassionate point, but a point none-the-less. I have mine close to my body and difficult to steal. Also, they do have frequent warnings about pickpockets on the tram system. But that evades the point that someone just minding his own business was violated and stole from. And I, along with others, didn't and to an extent - couldn't - do anything. I wish I could have stopped them but that would only have preceded with me getting a sound beating. Not something that I am particularly keen on getting.
Am I under a moral obligation to say or do something? What, realistically, could I have done?

This just reminds me of the lines by Martin Niemoeller - who was a Catholic priest during Nazi regime:

"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thoughts of the Day

When writing these things a lot of ideas pass through my mind. What do I want to say? Is there a form of poetry that I want to tell the reader about? Just how drunk am I really, honestly? The last few posts were me trying to be all clever and thoughtful. Now this, dear reader, is not. This is just me giving out. I wish it was more, I really do – but it isn’t.

My amazing ability to grow hair had reached a point where strangers would confuse me for Cousin It (picture on the internet somewhere). However, I decided to get a haircut. Yes, this is really a post about a haircut. So, with this intention I went to the hairdressers, well Barbers – the one in Stephen’s Green with the suit of armour in the doorway.

The following conversation took place:
“What can I do for you?” asked the Barber, we’ll call him Barney.
“Just a trim, please. I want some of the length and weight taken away but I want some length. But not as much length. But still some length. And some weight but not as much weight. If I had to but it as a percentage then I would say, 25% less weight and length.” I said.
“Ok” said the affable Barney (I don’t know if he is affable, but I cannot remember the last time I used that word).

So he started to snip, comb, spray, and ruffle. He said “this much?” indicating about an inch. This was fine and I indicated as much by saying so. He then proceeded to take far more off. Like a fuck, load more. Like nearly all of it. And for some reason hairdressers never talk to me, they never engage in that ‘hairdresser client’ banter that everyone talks about. Actually, one hairdresser in Ormskirk once called me a “boring get”. Who the hell other than me gets insulted by hairdressers? It is not like you can have a witty retort as the bastards have sharp scissors in their pampered, effeminate hands. And hairdresser scissors are sharper than most scissors. They are second only to surgeon’s scissors in scissor sharpness (that is not fact checked but I am sure it might be right, it does sound right). So I am sat in the chair with the horrific plastic green wrapping around my shoulders and this man – who I thought was affable but is not at all affable – performing a Slash and Burn policy on my head, his hairdressing style is similar to the Zippo raids carried out in the Vietnam War (again, not actually fact checked). Apart from the hacking going on around my ears, I have Key 102 on the radio playing Westlife and I swear to Jebus that this guy starts singing along. I know that they are stereotypes but you don’t have to play up to them.

Hack, hack, you raise me uuup so I can stand on mountains... hack, hack.

All the other barbers were sitting around doing nothing. I don’t think it is because they are shit at being a barber. Just that they had probably finished all their days barbering and was having a break. But anyway.

Hack, hack, stronger than I can be...

So he shows me the back of my head with that little mirror that they use. That is probably the single most pointless thing to do. If you don’t like it or they have hacked far too much off what are they going to do? Glue it back on? Wankers.

Walking home I kept seeing my own reflection and the hideous mess of a hair cut mocking me. Met up with the missus who started almost laughing when she saw me.

She said, “I suppose it’ll take some getting used to”
Yeah like a degenerative disease or AIDS takes some getting used to!

Bastard hairdresser.

And whilst I am here, they are some other things pissing me off:

1. That guy from Pineapple Dance Studios; it not the campness or the desperation to dance all the time. I’m grand with that. It’s the lisp.
2. The Clagon ads; who lets their kettle get that dirty. Sort it out, or you’d be drinking shit tea.
3. Fat Families; the TV show... and the families.
4. The Sex Education Show; it is a good idea but I don’t like how the presenter lady sounds so very forced when she says: “some people are gay, some are straight, and that’s normal” yes, yes it is but don’t sound so disingenuous.
5. Crap pornography.
6. The morbidly obese woman on the same show as point number 4 who claimed to be having sex five times a week. I just don’t believe her. She seemed like she was lying.
7. My fucking Internet connection; never works.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Specific Blog

Since I couldn't figure out how to change the name of the site, from this rather long winded title. To a nice and cogent "Poetry in Stasis" and also to have something thematically linked. I have created a new blog.

www.poetryinstasis.wordpress.com and a specific email poetryinstasis@hotmail.com the aim, simply is to have online poetry magazine. Featuring articles, reviews and what have you. I want it to be full of other people's opinions and beliefs. So send in an email about something you have seen, read or heard. And it will more than likely be put up.

Articles should be once or twice a week.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha


First thing to praise about this book, and the first thing that is truly striking about it, is the sheer depth of research that Golden partook in order to write this novel. The level of detail is staggering and totally immerses the reader in the world of the Geisha; the slightest details such as Sayuri’s make-up and hairstyle are described with such assuredness and skill.

A Geisha is an artist with expertise in music and dance, they would attend parties thrown by businessmen and pour drinks and generally entertain them. The closest Western equivalent would be Escorts, but they were not prostitutes. They are, fundamentally, a symbol of the old world in Imperial Japan. For the men, they were ostentatious displays of wealth.

The novel is written in the bildungsroman narrative structure, which follows the protagonist throughout their early life and development. Jayne Eyre being a classic example. Memoirs of a Geisha is another classic example as she starts of in poverty and ends in wealth. It is in the first person narrative and addresses the reader personally (“I am sure you understand” etc). This can lend a certain degree of informality to the narrative voice, which at all times is strong and engaging. There is no “and dear reader, I married him” style moments which is a, frankly, a relief. However, this form of narrative can only ever be from a singular perspective so does lack the depth of characterisation that using the third person narrative can sometimes deliver. This is over come by having a strong and interesting central protagonist.

One of the themes of the novel is the clash between the old and the new worlds. This is shown most brutally during the course of World War 2 – steel American bombers destroying towns made of wood. With this, there is the death of the old, traditional ways of doing things. The Geisha are shown as reluctant and resistant to change. Change is literally dropped on them at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. One gets the feeling that change, and the effects of the Great Depression, are happening to others in Japan and not the Geisha. This is a point that Golden makes frequently, the Geisha are closeted ornaments of men. The entire life is geared towards entertaining and pleasing them. They are taught traditional dances and instruments. Always with one goal in mind, to secure a wealthy “Danna” – that is to become a rich man’s mistress.

Another of the major themes is water. The sea and rivers are depicted in various ways, when she is a child it is depicted as violent, slate grey and restrictive. This symbolises how people in her small fishing village are trapped by this fundamental link to the natural world. This link is best shown through her father who is a fisherman. Her first idealised male is Mr Tanaka, who works for a fishing company and becomes her way out of poverty. Another recurring motif regarding water is that Sayuri’s personality is mainly made from the water element. This element means that she is adaptable and artistic – factors that help her in her life as a Geisha. During her time away from Gion during the War, she says that her personality turned to ice. This is symbolic of not only her own, but her nations struggle for survival. She has to become cold and hard in order to survive, it is only when she has the chance of return does she start to melt. Water is also embroidered on the Kimono that they wear and the jewels that adorn their hair. This is a visual link between nature and the women’s sexuality.

Another interesting theme to note is the relationships the Geisha, with Sayuri in particular, and the women in the novel have with the men. The men, her father aside, all have vested interests in the women. If the men in the novel are not making money from them – such as the dresser, the wig maker and the artist then they are professional men who are entertained by them or desire them for sexual gratification. The only non-professional man in the novel is Sayuri’s father. The men she entertains are either shown as idealised demi-God’s such as the Chairman, Mr Tanaka and to a lesser extent Nobu or as one-dimensional drunks and sexual predators, such as Dr Crab (who wins the bidding war for her mizuage, or virginity), the Baron, and the Minister of Finance. This is one criticism that one could level at the book; the men are sparsely drawn and at rather secondary. However, it can easily be argued that this is because the female narrative voice is surrounded by women so how would she know men to any real depth.
The women’s ambition, as previously mentioned, is to get a rich Danna. This role would give the men soul sexual access to the Geisha however, he would be expected to pay her Okiya and all her expenses. Throughout the novel Sayuri idealises the Chairman – the head of a powerful and successful electrics company – and he becomes her rason d’ĂȘtre. Everything action she takes through the majority of the book are geared towards having the Chairman as her Danna. One does ask would a woman really be obsessed with the same man for nearly twenty or so years. This does lead to one of the most disappointing aspects of the book, and that is the final two or three chapters. They are unsatisfying in the broader context of the book. If one thinks of “Great Expectations” by Dickens then this would explain why. These lead to a sense of anti-climax and a sense of Golden not so much rushing but desperately trying to tie up the loose ends. Maybe the ending is meant to in

However, this is still an engrossing and at times beautifully written book, some of the phrases are pure poetry. The pacing of the novel never really drags and that is some achievement for a work of fiction that runs to 420 odd pages. Any complaints about this book and the bildungsroman narrative structure are really rather secondary to a very good book.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The below post

For some reason the below post would not format properly. Now this could be a mixture of my own ineptitude or some other factor *cough, piece of shit, cough*. I am unsure. It is meant to be in five line stanzas and with a simple a-a-b-b-b scheme. So imagine it is and all will be well.

The poem was based on a friend's status update on Facebook. Her family are the bravest people possible and seem to take every set back with such grace. That is a rare quality and is so very admirable. I hope that I could take this one "weak" moment of looking at a healthy family and feeling envious to show that there is no such thing as perfect and the love that binds them is more real than any facade of the ideal.

The Perfect Family

I watch people, not in a crazy way,
That is to say – in the bushes, hiding away -
No, quietly, when I have a moment to spare
And I wonder about their worries and their care.
Most of the time, I think, they don't know I am there.

I wonder about them and keeps them going,
Whether they are hiding more than they're showing.
Things like that, nothing much, nothing much.
I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms, so to keep touch
With the world, I do, this. Kinda like a rabbit in a hutch.
I remember one family, quite clearly,
In Wetherspoons sitting opposite me.
They looked so perfect, like an advert on the Telly
Beautiful kids with no wires, no tubes in their belly.
Both looking happy, both looking healthy.
They laughed, they joked and they said it was great
The way that little Timmy pushed peas around his plate.
Then they’d leave, get in their new car, new mobile phone,
And drive to their clean and expensive home,
As I still sit here alone.

I sit here thinking about the lot I was given,
The many miles that I have driven
To get to hospital wards, clean sanitised hands,
Yet everyone acts like they understand
But they’re just grateful their kids are grand.

While my girl lies awake in pain
As I clumsily fumble with another chest drain.
And I wait and weep as she goes under the knife
And think to myself: “so this is her life?”
I struggle to be a mother, woman and wife.

Some nights I feel so broken
I crumble before a word is spoken.
To me it seems so unfair,
A pained angel, lying prostrate there
Sometimes I wonder if God could care.

But I snap out of this self pity
To count the blessing bestowed on me.
There is no such thing as the perfect family
But I have this hope and love to surround me
In this realisation we are safe, and, we are happy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup 2010


So it has started, I missed the opening ceremony due to work but made most of the matches. And apart from an absolute stinker of the French-Uruguay game, most of them have been good so far. As I type Algeria v Slovenia are determined to bore me into a football based coma. But it did get me thinking.

Every four years I go into a state of near delirium because of the feast of football, the amazing players on display, the irrational and unbridled optimism of being English, the wall charts, the BBC and ITV opening credits, Eamon Dunphy hating a certain player for reasons that defy logical explanation, the controversy and the inevitable blunders (thanks a million Robert Green). For me, this is brilliant - if I could I would take four weeks of work and watch every minute of it. Plus the analysis and the highlights. Then in September the qualifying for the European Championships start and two years later the tournament itself. I am spoilt by all this football, it makes me forget the torrid season I have just endured and the worries I have over the managerial choices made by the board of my team.
However, for some. This is not a good time. For those that dislike football then every channel, every newspaper and every conversation is about the thing they dislike. Football saturates everything as they are easy ratings to be made, easy units to shift and easy money to be made. The average non-football fan must endure this, and they have my sympathies. Honestly, they do. I may not agree with your opinion but I'll fight to the death for you right to express (to paraphrase someone). I can find a similar case, well two at least.
These are the programmes that I dislike and do not understand but the whole god damn world seems to love. I am talking about 'The X Factor' and 'Britain's Got Talent' (and 'Glee' but more of that in a later post). These shows exist to make Simon Cowell richer than God and to make the music industry more tedious and to make stars of desperate nobodies. When they are on everything becomes about them, and I feel alienated and bored of it all. Just like, I imagine, the
non-football fan.
The problem I have with both these shows is that they are always the same. Every series, every episode. They sing the same songs, do the same key change three quarters through and have the same sob stories. The fact that the judges on these shows include totally ridiculous choices as Danni Minouge - she is only interesting as she has bigger breasts than her much more famous, talented and prettier sister. Plus Kylie is a trooper. She has not had a really good pop career so what the feck does she know? About anything? At all. Her best song was 'Put the Needle on it' and that's only because it is a rubbish innuendo.

In BGT as it is known in text speak or by the retarded they have that other one, Amanda Holden, I mean she, again, is a mind boggling choice. Her only talent was lying underneath Niel Morrissey enough times to send Les Dennis mental on Celebrity Big Brother.

Since I live near Lucan I cannot go too far without seeing something related to Jedward. I have never seen them sing, but they are almost everywhere. I resent the fact that I know who they are when I have tried my best to avoid anything X Factor related. I once said that they would be pretty high up on my list of people I would like to see pulled apart with Horses and Chains . And I stand by it, I would even volunteer to drive the horses.

So even though I do love the World Cup I understand if you do not and I can sympathise with your boredom. Now, if you don't like the World Cup or X Factor/ BGT then you are boned!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Updates ya ya ya

Hi, I know it's been a whole lotta time since we last spoke. That is due to me being consumed with exams, and then failing them. Meh.

With the World Cup fast approaching there will be some more posts, some football related but the most not. So, if you have missed these posts relax and fear ye not.

Alternatively, for shits and gigs, if you can think of anything you would like to see on here (up to and including a new author) then post a comment and I will do my best. Or bathe in the light of mediocrity that is life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Question of Fundamentals


In the news the other day, well more specifically ‘The Freethinker’ website, was a small story about a man being given a two year suspended sentence for a religiously motivated “crime”. ‘The Freethinker’ and ‘Atheist Ireland’ jumped on this and labelled it as “Britain’s Blasphemy Laws”.

What had happened is Harry Taylor, who describes themselves as a “militant atheist”, placed religious cartoons in the prayer room of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. These were seen by the vicar who administers that particular room and offended them. The cartoons themselves were from ‘Private Eye’ and one depicted Jesus on the Crucifix next to the adhesive No More Nails. Quite funny, I suppose.

The National Secular Society claimed that these laws were dangerous and allowed for “every extremist” to “persecute and prosecute” those that disagree with them and there interpretations of some old books.

‘The Freethinker’ is an atheist journal; the ‘National Secular Society’ is obviously anti-religious as is ‘Atheist Ireland’. They all come to this story from a rather obvious vested interest. And one can argue that Harry Taylor’s right to Free Speech are being hindered as is his Right to Religious Belief (or lack of) but what of the people who use this room for Prayer? What of their right to Religious Belief and there right not to be offended or targeted? I have spent many hours – many, many hours – in John Lennon Airport and never noticed there was a prayer room, nor have I ever been forced to go inside and have a little pray.

Harry Taylor justified his actions by saying that John Lennon was an atheist so that he would not approve of a prayer room inside a building baring his name, and image, to which the motto is “above us only sky”. How can a building be invested with the beliefs and ideals of a dead man? The room serves a functional purpose in a multi-faith society. The freedom to enter it if that is your inclination or to avoid it is something Lennon may have agreed with.

What Harry Taylor has done is force his own convictions and beliefs on to people. That is something that I dislike about some religious types. He has decided that everyone should follow his lead and think like he does. The comments on ‘The Freethinker’ website all go along with the “that’ll show the fundies” type of attitude. This is, I find, ironic.

My own atheism does not stem from an ardent hatred of the Church, or Islam or any religion. It comes from my own reasoning and is something I thought, and read about. My own atheism does not mean that I want to convert the world or that I see people with faith as moronic.

The irony is that the “militant atheist” is attacking Religion with all the fervour of someone who is a fundamentalist believer. Both try and bend the world to their own perceptions. Both believe their vision of the universe and of life is correct. To me some Atheists have replaced ‘The Bible’ with ‘On the Origin of The Species’ and replaced Christ with Richard Dawkins.

I dislike people forcing their opinions on me be they believers or not.

Some atheist commentators have used what is happening to the Catholic Church here in Ireland, and elsewhere, as an excuse for cheap publicity – Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens saying that they would arrest the Pope, as he is not the head of an internationally recognised State he therefore does not have diplomatic immunity. Or as an excuse for saying “I told you so” to all who will listen. Priest’s abusing children and it is abhorrent but then again Parents have abused kids. Both destroyed the trust that was placed in them. Thousands of years ago it was acceptable, Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was twelve. Abuse in any form, by anyone is wrong.

A lot of noise was made about the proposed Blasphemy Laws about to be enacted in Ireland. Where if one was sufficiently blasphemous then one would be hit with a €5,000 fine. It is more a symbolic law than one that would ever be prosecuted. But the idea of the law is to stop people criticising the established State Church in open. This is another form of ideas and beliefs being forced upon you. Granted we live in a predominately Catholic country but xenophobia and religious intolerance should not be made law.

Harry Taylor’s “Militant Atheism” could be the first step on a road strewn with pain and recrimination. Will we allow lack of belief to become as fractured and violent as belief?

It does seem that they are too few voices talking rationally and too many people talking utter nonsense. Atheists pride themselves on rational thinking, of saying “I have reviewed the information available and I choose not to agree”. Something that Harry Taylor doesn’t appear to have done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Dog Days

Last week, Tuesday I think. The sky was sunny, my work computer was switched to the "on" position and I was quietly slapping the keyboard in the manner to which I was trained. All was calm and admin based. My spreadsheets were balanced, my tidy desk was woefully ignored. I was lost in a momentary bliss. As happy as one can be at work, unless you really love your job. Which I don't. I like my job, sure, but I do not know whether I am ready to declare my love for it. Unless, of course, it is time for a promotion then I am all about the spreadsheets and balance enquiries.
This silence, the perfect stillness, was shattered by my work phone ringing. I checked the number and recognised it to be the better half. She cannot ring my mobile as I have lost it, or, given it away to a Latvian stripper at my brothers stag do. I unhesitatingly answered.

"Hi babe" was my rather out moded call signature.
"Hi, I have found a friend" was a rather chirpy opening gambit from the future Mrs Me. I should, perhaps, explain. She had gone out to lunch with a friend to gossip, talk, drink some wine and generally unwind.
"You found a what?" confusion hit me like a light breeze.
"A friend. We went to the Hilton and this Boxer dog has come up to us and we're now friends"
"Is it a stray?"
"No, it looks quite well looked after. Won't leave us alone. I cannot leave it" which she couldn't do. As sure as Eggs come from Chickens it would have been run over and ruined a perfectly good car. She asked what to do. I suggested the Gardi, the vet and the park. She suggested bringing it home. I explicitly forbade this course of action. After all the evil cat would not like it. She may be evil but she is still scared of dogs. This information I shall use at a later date if she is still evil. I returned to my work thinking that that was that. About half an hour later my work phone rang. I answered, as per my telephone training. As it turns out it was a client. After I hung up the phone rang again. This time it was home. This time I was sure that it was just to say 'I found the owner and they were grateful and bought me a pint'. This self-delusion came crashing down as soon as I answered.

"I brought the dog home and need you to finish early to come home and help me" she sounded adamant. I could hear the dog slobbering in the back ground. I rushed home as per my instructions to find this:

It was massive. I never realised how big these dogs are. To put a comparable size to it, in the literary style of a metaphor. It was as big as a big Boxer dog. It jumped up on me and was all rather friendly. The cat, by the way, was locked in the bedroom hiding. We decided that we should take it to the vets. It was only round the corner and the vet is a nice man. Using a cardigan as a make shift lead we walked, or more accurately, was dragged to the vets. The vet looked him over, told us he was four or five years old, was in good condition and was not tagged. You should really tag pets, especially expensive pedigree ones. The vets do not keep dogs in over night as they whine and sometimes the owners don't bother picking them up at all. So bereft of any ideas, and with the DSPCA not answering the phones, we left the vets.

In my masculine decision making mode we went to the Guards. They, to put it frankly, did not want to know and more or less told us and the dog where to go. But, not actually where to go as the best they could offer was "118-50 it?". I mean seriously. So, we put the dog in the car and drive through the rush hour traffic to the DSPCA in Rathfarnham. I love my Sat-Nav. But it took about 45 minutes to get there. Once we got there it was shut. The only numbers advertised were the ones we were trying. So back to the vets. Here we meet a woman we a Boxer but with no space to hold it, she thought the Dog could be called Rocky but I don't think it was. It looked, if anything, like a Bob. She gave us a leash and suggested we go to the War Memorial Park as that is where Dog walkers go to walk dogs. A joke about Dogging fell on death ears. Shame, as I rather liked it. So we went to the park. And no one there. Here we met up with the woman again. The time was about 7:30 and it was dark. We met up with the woman again who gave us some dog food, and even though I was hinting rather unsubtly that the woman take the dog in, she explained that she couldn't. An 85 year old mother and a small garden prevented this.

Tat the dog would have to stay over with us was becoming very real. It loomed over us like a malting shadow. A malting, slobbering, bouncy, heavy breathing shadow.

We re-tried the numbers. Nothing. We decided to go door to door. Now, this would be OK if it wasn't for my near pathological fear or knocking on people's door and then having to talk to them. I don't even like ringing take aways. Five doors in and nothing. Some one saw it earlier but not an owner. We left our number at the pub. They made a sign: "BOXER DOG FOUND CALL etc".

We went to a house where a young man answered the door. He looked at me, looked at the dog, looked at me and then scratched his arm. He revealed one of those Celtic band tattoo's around his right upper arm. We explained the situation and thankfully, if I had religion I would be praising the appropriate Deity. He took our number and took the dog. I was worried that we had left the dog with a random man, the episode of Father Ted where the eponymous Ted had to get rid of a shed load of Rabbits and goes and sees that mental one with the "I shot JR" T shirt that wants to put them into a Vice. But my fears we assuaged once I had a pint. And then back home. We had the dog for a total of 4 hours. Wasted a load of credit and load fuel. The back seat of the car is covered in hair.

I went to work the following day and the missus spent three or four hours on the phone. The owner had rang the DSPCA who had rang us, then the owner rang us and picked the dog up. Apparently it had gotten free in the morining and ran down the Old Kylemore Road and accross several main roads. And what did we get? Nothing. What did we give the nice lady who helped us out from the goodness of her heart. Nothing. So a moral? If there is one, is simple. Don't let a dog die on the roads. But don't take it in. Chip your pets and don't do anything for anyone as you won't get anything.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Death Poems

In Japanese culture it is customary for some Zen Monks, and other people, to write a poem before the moment of death. It was part of the ritual suicide, or Seppuku, where an aristocrat would write a small poem, a waka or haiku.

The idea behind a Death Poem is to reflect on life, death and the transition between the two states. Especially if you are writing it just before suffering execution. In away it is similar to the last statement that some prisoners get before the chemicals are pumped or the bullets splits the air.

According to this site: http://www.quietspaces.com/deathpoems.html they would be left as present to loved ones and students.

From the above site here are a couple of examples:

"Senryu, died September 23, 1790, at 73:

Bitter winds of winter --
but later, river willow,
open up your buds.

Hosshin, 13th century wrote:

Coming, all is clear, no
doubt about it. Going, all is
clear, without a doubt.
What, then, is all?

Kozan Ichikyo, died February 12, 1360, at 77. A few days before his death, he called his pupils together, ordered them to bury him without ceremony, forbidding them to hold services in his memory. After writing this poem on the morning of his death, he lay down his brush and died sitting upright.

Empty-handed I entered
the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going --
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
Senryu, died June 2, 1827
Like dew drops
on a lotus leaf
I vanish."

The waka form of poetry, specifically the Tanka consists of a series of lines with restricted "sound phrases", if this is Anglicised then the sound phrases become syllables. The syllables are then arranged as: 5-7-5-7-7 in its most rudimentary form. So, you could change the numbers of syllables around I am sure. But like a haiku, or a Shakespearean/ Italian Sonnet I think the technique is the interesting barometer. As much as I love blank verse poetry which allows the author to throw anything at the page, I think the constraints can be interesting. I will endevour to get some of my own on here in due course.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I hate my Cat

Yeah, she is cute, some would say that she is a very nice cat. But she isn't. She is pure evil. Pure unadulterated evil. How? I hear you all spontaneously ask. Well here is how:
  1. She always attacks me - not the missus - just me. At random. Fucking thing.
  2. She meows to go out and then immediately meows to be let back in, as soon as I sit down. Fucking thing.
  3. She broke MY FUCKING SPITFIRE CUP! I am British and as a result I like the Spitfire plane, "never has so much..." and so forth and she broke it. It was a big cup which could fit about a cup and a half of tea in it. I like tea, now I have to drink a normal amount of tea like a Pleb.
  4. She knocked my Nigella Lawson (beautiful, beautiful Nigella) on the floor which lead up to her BREAKING MY FUCKING SPITFIRE CUP.
  5. She fucks with the blinds, that is just annoying. Fucking thing.
  6. She opens the doors, normally when I am half asleep. Which is annoying.
  7. She tries to escape and then returns straight away. Make your mind up you damn thing.
  8. SHE BROKE MY SPITFIRE CUP I LIKED THAT CUP, REALLY LIKED THAT CUP.
  9. She has no alligence to any football team
  10. She contributes literally NOTHING to the household budget, she is a drain on resources more than anything.

She is evil but if she falls asleep on you then you do end up forgiving her. Until she bites you inexplicably. Which happens quite a bit. I am a victim. That is the real tragedy in all of this, I am the victim. Never would have happened if we would have got a dog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Horror, The Horror

I was innocently watching Eastenders with the Missus last night when my eyes were bombarded by Natalie Cassidy. I dislike her intently. She looks like someone skull fucked a kipper.



Also I dislike Kerry Katona and her yo-yo weight gain and loss, she must have a fuck load of cardboard cut outs of her looking fat and miserable. And then buy a fuck load of pies in order to put it back on again. I also dislike her. She is the human equivalent of that fluff that gathers down the back of the sofa, it serves no purpose and reminds you of absolutely nothing good.



I would put a picture of them up but I don't want to.



Ok here it is:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Romantic Limerick

Since it is nearly Valentines day, here is a romantic limerick. I love ye baby.

I met a girl who was Scouse
She let me put my hand under her blouse.
We went on a date
It all went great,
Now she won't fuck off out my house.

Vampire books etc

As a present my newly married older brother bought me the complete Stookie Stackhouse novels. They have recently been turned into the excellent TV show "True Blood" - which was written by the quite frankly fantastic Alan Ball (not the dead ginger footballer, someone else) he also wrote one of the best shows to come from America in the last ten years "Six Feet Under".

And since she was in it, and I appreciate her aesthetics qualities, here is a picture of Lauren Ambrose who was in "Six Feet Under".
Any way, back to the books. Written by Charline Harris, who looks like this:

Don't know why but I didn't think she would look like this. But she looks happy and she is at a signing and she is signing a book so I would imagine more than one person turned up. So she is popular.

I have just finished the first book, "Dead until Dark", all the titles have the word dead in them. As Vampires are dead. So they are based on a firm grasp of logic. I have to admit that I was sceptical about whether or not I would like these books. As I thought they were targeted firmly towards women. Like Twilight. But I have read it, as previously hinted, and it is really good. The characterisation is immersing, especially given the fact that it is a first person narrative. However, rather cleverly, Harris has given her protagonist - Sookie - mind reading abilities which allows the reader to temporarily to hijack their internal monologues. Which usually run as an italicised stream of consciousness.

The plot basically revolves around the romance between Sookie and a Vampire named Bill. Vampires came "out of the coffin" two years ago when the Japanese invented a synthetic blood which Vampires find as nutritious as human blood. And there is a killer on the loose. Not saying who it is, unless you have seen the show then you'll already know. So after Jason has killed three of four waitresses Bill fights him in a really exciting finale.

But this got me thinking of the comparisons between this series and the other famous Vampire love story. Namely that piece of shite that is Twilight. Both feature lonely marginalised women in love with dangerous romantic type outsiders. But if Twilight is aimed at the teen market and is a way of making teenager stay celebate before marriage. You could argue that the Twilight series is such a success because it captured the Vampire zeitgeist and the lovers are, due to ones mortality, ultimately doomed. Like Romeo and Juliet they are meant to be opposites, like Peter and Katie they are divided by culture, but like these two they must be doomed. Now I have not read them so they may end up living forever together in a semi-detached in a suburb of a major town. Probably not.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Regeneration

Like the Doctor or a football manager changing teams, this site has changed. It is all jazzy and sleek. More posts soon, but lets all bask in the blogs "glowing warming glow" (Simpson, Homer)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Blasph for me, Blash for you, Blasph for everybody"

The new anti-Blasphemy law came into effect yesterday. A person can be fined €25,000 if it is proven that they were Blasphemous with intent to cause offense. Even though Freedom of Speech is constitutional it must be imperative to protect outdated and dangerous beliefs. It's depressing, though the Atheist Ireland website has published 25 atheist quotes, though for some reason the website isn't working for me. I cannot be the only one who finds that in the second decade of the second millennium people are still doing things such as this?

"The death of Dogma is the birth of Morality" Immanuel Kant

"Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of mankind is man" Alexander Pope