Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The X-mas factor

Christmas! Hurrah! Huzzah! And we SHALL have one... but of course it's not all about conspicuous consumption and boozing... what we are constantly reminded at the traditional annual church attendance is that we should take time and examine the true message of Christmas.

And what message is that? Well it's the nicer end of the whole story isn't it? The donkey and what have you... the 'star'... the bit of the bible that's for kids.

We have Angels and Shepherds and Stables and Stars in the Sky and expensive presents from people we never normally hear from.
Sounds like Christmas to me...these are all elements of the story we recognise and understand as proper yuletide, and what's a nativity play without them? And what's Christmas without a nativity play? Why it's nothing more than an updated pagan festival of gluttony designed to give us something to look forward to in the depths of winter, isn't it? ; we cant be having that.

So let's take our cue from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and be all about 'the message'.

Jesus's biography comes to us via the four books of the good news/gospel(good shpeil?) of Matthew, Mark Luke and John. (Yes I'm getting a bit theological on your ass but BEAR WITH ME PEOPLE) It's estimated that these books were written a while after Christ's "death" about the time that early Christians figured out that the Judgement day wouldn't be happening any time soon:

Mark says that Jesus said to his disciples:
"Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power,"
- so you can see where they might've got the impression that the kingdom of heaven was only 'round the corner.

Of course, after a while, the early Christians copped it that maybe they weren't lucky witnesses on the fast-track to salvation after all, but instead they might be guardians of a message that had to be written down and passed on and spread.

'He won't be along for a while Lads, so out with the foolscap'.

Because it's Christmas, we'll only bother with Luke and Matthew because the other two have nothing to say on the subject (Mark only starts when Jesus is baptised by John the Bap and John has him flame into being with the beginning of the universe). We don't know for certain, but most Biblical scholars agree that the books of Matthew and Luke were written sometime between AD60 and AD90. We're not talking about eye-witness accounts anyway.

Neither Matthew nor Luke suggest sources either, so we don't know if these stories of the nativity are attributed to Joseph or Mary or Jesus himself. If you consider the stories as 'gospel', then essentially it doesn't matter, but if you consider them as stories or even historical accounts then it does become relevant where all this information about the circumstances of Jesus's birth came from, why? Well because they contradict each other:

Matthew says Joseph and Mary were residents of Bethlehem who had to flee to Egypt because Evil Herod had ordered the destruction of every boy child living there (in a chilling echo of 'Passover'). Joseph and Mary were able to avoid the infanticide because an angel appeared unto them and gave them a 'heads up' (it's all about 'who you know' isn't it?) to quit town pronto .

Luke, on the other hand, says Joseph and Mary were residents of Nazareth, but the Emperor of Rome decreed a Census. This Census demanded the return of Jews to their ancestral homes so they could be counted there instead of where they happened to be living. Which is why the tourist industry in Bethlehem enjoyed a brief bonanza and there wasn't a bed and breakfast to be had for love nor money by the time they made it.

To me,these seem like pretty big events. They seem like big events in terms of Jewish/Roman history, and they seem like big events in the life of a special baby destined to be the saviour of mankind. Is it just me, or is it not a bit mad that they both differ so much? And is it not a bit mad that neither account refers any of the amazing and unprecedented elements of the other? What can be the possible reason for it?

I think there are four options:

possible reason 1. Matthew is lying and Luke is telling the truth.
possible reason 2. Luke is lying and Matthew is telling the truth.
possible reason 3. they're both telling the truth.
possible reason 4. they're both lying.

Now for a believer who takes the Gospel, well.. 'as Gospel' reason number 3 is the only option and a person who honestly believes 3 might as well stop reading now, But; if you're a faithless fecker, such as meself,who's had their doubts ever since they found about Santy, then number 3 simply wont wash.

The traditional response has been to marry the two into one story. They are both 'Gospels' and, in christian orthodoxy, both represent unassailable truths so therefore all the things that both guys said happened, happened.

This, to me, is crazy talk.
To really believe it you'd have to believe that Matthew's bits: the flight to Egypt, the star, the magi and the massacre of the innocents, were all elements that Luke was aware of, when he wrote his version, and decided to leave out.

You'd also have to believe that the strange Roman census and the subsequent 'no-room at the inn' birth and the visitation to the shepherds by angels-with-trumpets were all elements that Matthew was also aware of but decided to leave out of his version.


Whaddya up to Luke?

Oh y'know... Stuff.

Gospel Stuff?

Yeah Gospel Stuff,

What kinda Gospel stuff?

Oh same old, same old, Gospel stuff, -Y'know yourself...


Yeah, I thought I'd do the early days, y'know with the angels and the flight to egypt and all that... some great material...

You bastard!


I was going to do the early days!


So? So it's already ridiculous, there's you, me, Mark and John and we're all basically writing the same story! I was planning on my Gospel covering the whole early days thing!I mean, look if we just have the same thing four time's in a row who's gonna bother finishing the second one?

I 'spose you have a point... They are all a bit 'samey'...

My point exactly. And the early days is the best stuff! Nazareth and Bethlehem and the flight to Egypt...

Fairly action-packed alright.


Tell you what; there's plenty of stuff there, why don't we split it?

Split it?

Yeah, I'll take the Shepherds and the Inn and the Census of Rome bit, and you can do the magi and the flight into Egypt and the massacre of the infants...

The massacre, you mean it? Because I always thought the Census was a bit boring...

I don't mind, I kinda like it.

So it's a deal?


And you wont even mention..

What did I just say?

You're a saint.

Go way out of that and just get writing, it's almost AD90 y'know...

I better get started.

Yeah :And Matt..


You cant use any of my bits either now, Not a mention, is that understood?

Janey, who'd you think I am?

Just so long as we're clear
PAUSE (They're writing).


Oh what is it now?

I was thinkin; If I just write my bits and leave out your bits and you just write your bits and leave out my bits,-wont that seem weird?
I mean people might not believe it.

You don't have to worry about anyone who doesn't believe it.

I don't?

Nah, anyone who doesn't believe it is going to hell.




If you believe both then you'd have to believe that something like this happened:
Either you believe that they made a pact together to tell different parts of the story or else you believe that somehow Matthew knew all of these significant details while at the same time being completely unaware of the details Luke was privy to, and vice-versa.

A faithless fecker has got to go for number 4.

How dare you! you faithless fecker!- Explain to me now, what possible reason two faithful holy men would have for lying about something as important as the circumstances of our Lord and Saviour's birth!

Well okay, seeing as you ask.

Both of these stories solve a prophetical stumbling block that must have been real thorn in the side of the early church and that's geography.
It wasn't enough that the message of Jesus was ethically superior to anything we'd heard before in the Old testament, the man was simply not palatable as the messiah mentioned in the prophecies of Isiah if he wasn't born in Bethlehem. The 'of Nazareth' element of 'Jesus of Nazareth' was a deal-breaker.
And, to my mind, Matthew and Luke represent two equally convoluted and equally fictitious solutions.

Luke can't be telling the truth (solution 1) because the Emperor of Rome simply didn't decree a Census. There was a lot of paperwork involved in such an action and there's no record of it. Also it's simply bizarre to imagine that the Roman state gave a flying continental what house of David its' citizens were from for the purpose of Census taking. It puts the baby where he needs to be for the purposes of Isiah's prophecy and provides a nice counterbalance between the powerful earthly ruler and the defenceless child at the beginning of our story, but well-told fiction is still fiction.

Matthew can't be telling the truth( solution 2) because, well because Herod, even though he was a vicious and cruel ruler, wasn't alive at the purported birth of Christ. And all over the world, not least of all Rome itself, people were staring at the heavens and trying to make sense of it. All over the world people kept records and nobody noticed a new star (if it's supposed to be Halley's Comet then he's out by at least twelve years). The massacre of the innocents is a nice literal echo from the passover and the flight from Egypt, but because something works so well in terms of a story is no reason to believe it; In fact, it's a good reason to believe the opposite.

All a bit glib I know, but I feel glib about it. I mean : I don't believe it. A word of it. I'm not sure that the people who take it seriously pay that much attention, most of 'em. If you think I'm smug then just imagine how smug a person with an invisible best friend who can make them live forever seems to me.
Anyway, I imagine this is one of those posts that those who agree with me won't bother finishing and those that don't agree with me wont bother finishing either. But still, surrounded, as I am annually, by all this usual Christmas crap, it was a real pleasure to get this off my chest.


In ancient Greek, the word 'heresy' means 'choice' and so I will say, in defence of this heretical text, that I respect the 'heresy' of others; to think otherwise , and to approach these questions from a different angle, even if that is the obedient 'bet-into-you' unthinking uncritical slavish angle.  In other words, please don't burn down my house or stone me in the street just because we see things differently.  
If you wanna be Christian about things: forgive me. Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tom Collins is dead, Long live Tom Collins's

[EDIT: Since this post Toms has re-opened]

Tom's is shut and set to re-open Friday(hopefully) under new management.

New Nancy's management.

I suppose that everyone feels, of their own local,- that there is nowhere else quite like it in the world but certainly Tom's has got to be the last of a dying breed.

For a start, there's the paintings.
Now I know Tom's isn't the first pub in the world to have art on the walls but Micheal Collins's lovingly rendered Irish breakfasts, Spanish sunsets and Limerick 'heads' gathered all around you as you drank,-most definitely contributed to the place's unique atmos. As well as regulars and proprietors past and present there was celebrated vagrant 'Sammy Joyce'  with his empty pockets and Iconic mayor Jim Kemmy ( floating in the air over the the space where a bridge named after him was and then wasn't).
The characters on the walls echoed the history of the bar as much as the authentic decor.

With enough squeamish inside you, you'd think you were in the teachers lounge in Hogwarts. 

There was the music, or rather it's absence. Daytime, the pub was almost silent in comparison to other watering holes, (lyric FM was piped apologetically quietly) and the Monday/Wednesday seshoon was only ever really acoustic, making it fairly easy to avoid if you preferred conversation to entertainment (in other words if your man with the beard and glasses was singing).

Our new Nancy's overlords subscribe to the policy of music piped in all night getting increasingly louder until one is slowly deafened by closing time.  This seems to be be par for the course in bars, particularly ones aimed at 'the young people'. I believe it's a subtle way of bringing peoples heads closer at the same time as lightening the burden of making conversation so 'copping off' becomes more likely. Doesn't work for me, I hates it.

But decor and music aside, what maketh a pub a pub anyway? 

I believe that it's all in the televisual arrangements. A pub without large screens for people to enjoy sporting events on is probably losing money from somewhere. Thank god I don't have the worry or responsibility of keeping people employed and a business solvent and it's coming from this position of distant powerlessness that I say:' NO to any improvement whatsoever ever.'

Especially of the televisual arrangements.

Telly isn't pub and pub isn't telly.
The real feeling I have about Tom's at the moment is the feeling that I'm taking part in one of those home-improvement-makeover programmes,  where your neighbour or parent or some 'designer' kick you out of your home for a few days so they can destroy it and point a camera in your face when you have to say things like: 'that's very interesting use of space,-I never would have thought of that'.

So far they seem to have fixed wiring and plumbing and done up the smoking section. Which is all good and necessary.

Latest news is they have painted the name as was before, so that bodes well...

Any way, it re-opens sometime soon (latest estimate is Friday) and when I re-enter it will be with extreme trepidation. And, of course, I'm going to hate it:  unless the work going on for the past week was just skilled artisans removing everything from the place only to replace each object with an exact replica.

Well I'll try and I'll try, and I'll do what I can do.

It's the march of time, living in these troubled times...

see 'Toms II..the re-opening..' in December of this blog] 

Photos stolen without so much as a 'by-your-leave' from Darwin, Bock and others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beyond the Cathedral

Teenagers film project in Limerick
'Today Saint Mary's Park isn't getting that much good publicity...So we'd thought: we'd thought we'd show all the good things,- like all the small things,- like all the things that hardly no-one sees if they're not from Saint Mary's Park...'

Thanks very much to 'Shampster' from boards.ie for linking to this, the 'music video' intro alone is worth the click.

Alan Moore,(author of V for Vendetta and the Watchmen) said of, the destruction of his childhood home: "They called it SLUM CLEARANCE, I don't know why... there was no SLUM and there was no CLEARANCE...It was just the removal of unprofitable people from a profitable area."

You might think about that while you're watching it. You might also think about how Limerick Regenerations' Brendan Kenny has called St. Mary's Park: 'The Jewel of the Crown'.

Or, if you like, don't bother thinking about anything and cheer yourself up with this great and entertaining document... not the highest production values in the world (made by the kids project with 900€) but completely genuine and full of heart. 

900€ well spent!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Here is the news:

I live in Limerick.

Here is a year-old article about something going on in Limerick that was in the Village magazine. I haven't seen it covered anywhere else and I think it's of interest. It's followed by something more recent I read in the Phoenix, both articles illustrate the way things seem to work around here:

Village Magazine - Issue 8, December 2009 - January 2010:

Nepotism in Limerick

Closer to home, Villager was amused to see John Fitzgerald, former City Manager in Dublin getting himself and the Limerick Regeneration Agency, headed by former Dublin City Housing Manager, Brendan Kenny, in hot water for indulging nepotism to the serious displeasure of Limerick City Manager, Tom Mackey.

Kenny employed his daughter on a large salary without bothering with anything as tedious as an inter- view process.

Claire Feeney, girlfriend of Southside Director, Brendan Hayden, was recruited on a salary of 90,000 without competitive interview. she had no third- level or other relevant qualification.

And Brian McElligott, son of Regeneration Agency Director, Liam McGelligott was recruited in Autumn 2007 without competitive interview. He had no third-level or other relevant qualification, thought the agency is now paying his way through a University of Limerick project-management course.

Fitzgerald noted that the Limerick Regeneration Agency didn't have to comply with normal public-sector norms.

Funny then that this is the same John Fitzgerald who so rigorously - including with the benefit of a fat legal opinion -hounded residents' representatives on the Grangegorman Development Agency (which he also chairs) to comply with normal company law. They were not to report back to the communities that chose them but to observe the niceties of company law - i.e. silence.

Fitzgerald reckons the Limerick agencies' boards are "not boards of governance". ..."
Mad isn't it? Even madder that nobody said squat about it apart from the Village, but at least Tom Mackey is here to point out corruption... But wait a minute, just while we're still in Limerick and having a look at what people get away with, check this out,(from Phoenix magazine, Nov 5 2010 p.16 beyond the pale by 'Goldhawk'):

" Rosemary's Limerick Garden.

The Limerick post got on to an intriguing story recently about leafy Hillcrest Drive,off the Ennis Rd where residents complained that a house built in the back garden of a residence there had not complied with planning permission. But this simple planning story had more than one twist in it.

Angry residents complained that while none of them could get planning permission for minor alterations down the years, the owner of 24 Hillcrest Drive had built a new house in the back garden in a substantial alteration of the planning permission recieved. The residents also complained that their entreaties to local councillors had not resulted in any serious attention. However following complaints to Limerick City Council, the planning control office sent a warning letter to the owners of the property and this prompted an application for retention of the alterations. Which is where it got really interesting.
At a meeting of the council last March, Labour councillor Tom Shortt drew attention to the fact that the applicant was an employee of the council. Shortt also complained that the retention application was not listed on the council meeting agenda he had recieved and that the relevant documentation was missing. The Post described how the relevant pages were also missing from the agenda it supplied to its journalist covering the council meeting.

Then it emerged, as the local Post sleuths discovered, that the application had been made by Mary Fitzgerald, an employee in the rates department and before that the planning department.

More recently the Post returned to the story and reported that despite the dramatic new precedent set for the estate by the back garden edifice, An Bord Pleanala had upheld what the newspaper described as a contentious application. The board stated that the building would not seriously injure the local amentities and was not contrary to popular planning and sustainable development in the area.

This was despite the recommendation of the board's inspector, Conor McGrath, who had stated the opposite, namely that the proposed development would be out of character with the surrounding pattern of development, would result in over-development and was detrimental to the residential amenities of future residents.

Enraged residents complained to such authorities as Environmental Minister John Gormley, who replied that the issue was outside his remit, while there are plans for further protests.

Howeverwhile poor Rosemary was forced to respond to the Post's enquiries - she said that "the proper channels" had been used - the newspaper did not name the other resident of the property. Goldhawk can reveal that this is Pat Dowling, one of the council's three directors of services and deputy to the City manager, Tom Mackey. Dowling is married to Rosemary and lives with her at Hillcrest Drive. However, Ms Fitzgerald/Dowling was the sole applicant. Dowling just lives there with his spouse, Rosemary."

I don't normally do that much politics, ( because A: I know I'm not as well informed as I should be, and B: It depresses the hell outa me) but here are two instances that are clearly intelligible instances of pretty sharp practice, so even I have to ask once in a while: What's going on? and how come they get away with it? Answers on a postcard please...

Winging it.

I dont have a telly in the gaff, and y'know what that means: I get a lot more done with my days but when I'm in company I have no idea what anybody's talking about half the time.

 Now and then I get to play 'pop-cultural catch-up' via boxed sets. In a way, boxed sets are probably a bit like cheating. These programmes are designed to be consumed with waiting period of a week between episodes and a year between seasons... There is a lot more to be gotten from the classic cliffhanger if the whole thing isn't solved instantly by FF-ing past the end credits and opening credits. Then again the boxed set method does keep ads out of the house. (Nobody should have advertising in their home, remind me to elaborate someday).

The boxed set also lends itself to the video marathon, a show (that's any good) will, of course, leave you feeling 'just one more episode...I know it's half past three in the morning but I have to know what happens'. its so engaging , so convenient, no ads just story and all you need to do is press 'PLAY' 

Theirin lieth the probellum- for Boxed sets can eat your soul and destroy your will to live.

Case in point, I have just recently been liberated from the burden of The West Wing, (all seven seasons in a dox beluxe version that came in a bogs dollocks).

Released you say? Burden? Yes. Yes, That's what I say and that's what I think.

It was a welcome burden and by the time my release date came I was well into an advanced stage of Stockholm Syndrome  but still I was 'released' and it was a 'burden', and I shall never be able to fully explain what happened to me back there.


Now I do get to witness telly occasionally, and some time over the past ten years I must have been somewhere where the West Wing was on, but all I ever seemed to see was people hastily walking around corridors and talking too fast about things I didn't understand so... y'know... why bother trying to play catch-up?

The boxed set is an entirely different proposition. No reason to miss a single part. Watch it and know it and be part of it in its entirety, be the Wing! Well no not quite. Fact is I never got the West Wing first time 'round: I wasn't there, it was just another shared cultural experience I missed out on, (like Italia 90') but this was at least as near to 'being the wing' as a snotty nosed come-lately such as meself could expect.

And what shall I say of the wing?

1. Nobody told me it was a soap. It is y'know, it's a soap opera. A very good soap mind you but a soap nonetheless.

2. I can see why it won awards, it's a very good bit of telly and it does explain things at the same time. It explains things in a very simplistic way but that's what's best for the target audience: myself included.

3. The characters are all ridiculously naive and idealistic, but thank god. You couldn't be looking at disillusioned political hacks week in and week out.

4. It runs for so many episodes that it feels more real than a real presidency. I now have a real and clear concept of the Bartlet administration; one that's far more concrete than my idea of the Reagan era or Bush or any of them. 

5. I bet it helped Obama get in.

6. The bombastic title music does not lend itself to boxed set consumption. Snuffy you annoy me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Somethin' from a long time ago : Part Four

they all huddle in a circle with a pack of cards ... simultaneously Bedboy begins to masturbate

David Thewlis;
Oh go on then

Micheal Caine:
Okay , what’ve we got? What’ve we got?

They all fan out enormous hands of cards wich they study carefully.

James Stuart;
Well ..uh lemme see here uh ...there’s that foreign girl, in the newsagents.

David Thewlis;
Filthy little minx

Robert Shaw;
Eyes you could swim in, and an arse as round and as tight as a drum...

Micheal Caine:
Okay, anyone else?

David Thewlis;
That red-haired one.

Micheal Caine:
What's her name?

David Thewlis;
I dunno but you remember her, she stopped in the street and clasped two books between her thighs while she took off her jumper.

(enthusiastic murmurs of assent)

Robert Shaw;
Tara O’Neill ! (all pause. shocked)

James Stuart;
Tara O’Neill? She must be like sixteen if she’s a day
Robert Shaw;
No-one will ever know

Micheal Caine:
Well just for age balance then, Ciaras’ mum.

James Stuart;
Oh yeah it’s always the mother though- never the daughter I mean he went out with the daughter.

David Thewlis;
Okay then both!

Robert Shaw;
shagging each other with a strap on!(they all look at him)

Micheal Caine:
I like it!

They now play a game like ‘snap’ in tandem with the masturbatory act which takes place in ‘the bed’ with increasing momentum .When the last card is slapped down- Bedboy climaxes They all freeze, and then breath a sigh of relief.

Micheal Caine:
(noticing the last card)Wait a minute , what’s this? (he holds it up)
James Stuart
; what exactly have you got there friend?

David Thewlis;
That’s the fucking dream girl!
Robert Shaw;
so she slipped through the net did she?

They all adopt poses of extreme disconsolation
James Stuart;
Slipped through but I don’t understand, I mean we saw the cards ... I mean how could’ve..

David Thewlis;
The fucking subconscious that’s how.
Robert Shaw;
The blind leviathan of the bottomless deep that shadows our vessel ..and waits.
Micheal Caine:
I think,
we are all in agreement
we have a serious problem here.
A serious problem
That requires serious action ,now
I suggest
We ring a bird
Okay with everyone?

David Thewlis;
I don’t give a fuck what he does - it wont make a fucking difference will it?- that is what we are in the act of discovering is it not?.
Nothing makes a fucking difference!

James Stuart
; Who’re you gonna ring?

Micheal Caine:
I don’t know, I thought we’d have a little look in the phone book.
(Bedboy picks up his mobile and starts scrolling through the menu)

Now let’s see..
there’s Andrea

David Thewlis;
Going out with someone...not attractive
Micheal Caine:
James Stuart;
She’s uh.. well y’know she’s uh..expecting a visit from the stork any day now..
Micheal Caine:
Robert Shaw;
Empty waters
Micheal Caine:
and..Oh look! He still has the dream girl’s number..
He watches the others furtively for a moment-and then shouts
( All together )
James Stuart
; Turn it off!-Stop it!

Robert Shaw;
The damage is done! ... she’ll see his number and know he tried to- you bastard Jonah what’ve you done?
A cacophony ensues as they all shout incoherently until the phone is answered then immediate silence.

oh hi, yeah ...it’s me..
Dreamgirl ;
Yeah I saw your number ... whassup
Bedboy ;
Nothing much y’know em I just wondering you know, when I’ll be hearing from the solicitors office.
Dreamgirl ;
Oh..This week it should be
Bedboy ;
David Thewlis;
Put it down! Put it down! Say goodbye and put it down!
So how’s things with you anyway ... any news?
No not really- Oh Gerry and Charlene are splitting up
I guess that seems to be the story these days ... every one splitting up

(light-heartedly ...trying to make a joke of the situation)
At least they had more sense than to get fucking married.
(react to this with wild silent writhing spasms of agony)

(humourlessly) I guess so- I’ll see you
Yeah bye
(Bedboy puts down phone)

David Thewlis is hitting
Micheal Caine
David Thewlis;
You stupid fucking prick!, you stupid fucking cunting fucking bastard cunt. Shitearse! Fuck!

James Stuart;
What’ll we do now..
David Thewlis;
Shut up! Just fucking...just shutup, shut up everybody not a fucking sound out of you (points at micheal) now we’re just gonna lie here and not think allright?
Not think.
Maybe he can fall asleep again....Maybe I can escape this fucking hell for a few hours because I’m not
I cant
I think I’m getting’ a bit
I just
If you could just
Quiet! Quiet allright?

Silence.They breathe in unison for a minute and slowly the lights go down to absolute blackness. They rise slowly on the bed where Dreamgirl&Bedboy are together. Bedboy wakes up with a start.


Are you okay hun?

Oh yeah I just .....(incredulous) fuck! ... What a fucking ... ... ....fuck!

You’re not thinking about leaving me are you?
What can I say?- I need you”
She smiles

It’s good that you’re here “
She smiles
I can only relax when you're here“

She smiles
Bedboy yawns a long and loud yawn all lights go down slowly to total black.

As the last chorus of lilac wine plays.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Something from a long time ago: Pt 3

Micheal Caine;

What's’ it like being you?

David Thwelis;

Fuck off!

Micheal Caine;

A bit hectic.

David Thwelis;

You are me.

Robert Shaw;

Were in stagnant water then.

(long pause)

James Stuart;

Does anybody wanna tell me why loving someone is such a bad thing?


(snorts of derision)

James Stuart;

Now I just want you all to think about it one second. Why is loving some one so bad.
I mean let’s be clear here that’s what this dream says isn’t it? That our man here still has feelings that he’s not a stone. Is that such a bad thing? I mean let’s just say like for arguments sake whatsay if this same girl was dead huh? I mean if that was it, what if she’d just died I mean people do everyday..what if she was one of them and she died and that was why we didn’t see her any more? Would you all get so excited then?
If she showed up in a dream?
No you wouldn’t.
I don’t think you would, I mean sure you might feel sad to wake up and find she’s gone or whatever but there wouldn’t be the same broo haw ... and d’you know why?
Because that’s what at the bottom of this at the bottom of this whole damn thing that’s what really has you goin’ and nobody’s talking about it.
She left.
She’s somewhere else now with that other fella ...the guy who won-and you don’t like it-and that’s all there is to it.

Micheal Caine:

You mean to say that it’s not this bird at all.
It’s the rejection or summik.

Robert Shaw

; May you both die roaring for a priest

David Thewlis;

Well I’m glad you both feel that way. I really am. I think our man is growing. I think his odyssey of self discovery is coming on nicely and I’m glad you’re both here to read the map for uz. I’m even happier that you have the honestly and wherewithal to realise where it leads us.’Ipso Facto’ a dead end.

James Stuart

; I don’t know that you are reading us right see..

David Thewlis;

Oh but I am reading you right ... I’m reading you loud and clear. ”Broadsword calling Danny Boy” and you’re both right- It’s loverly to hear you admit it old bean. It’s not the girl, it was never the girl,- it’s the rejection, it’s an internalised reaction. To nobody in particular but all rejections. An endless series of rejections- which when taken under examination may ,each of them , be the result of; none other than our mans’ expectation of; rejection. So it’s all stems from him .It’s an endless unbreakable cycle of pain, until sickness and misery and death take over.

James Stuart;

You annoy me (to the others) I thought we weren’t going to listen to this guy anymore ? I thought we all decided that together?
I think we can all remember what happens when he is in charge, Don’t we? Dotcha remember that? Dontcha remember what he did to us? It’s his type of thinking that had our man drop a toaster into the bath. Dontcha remember that?

Robert Shaw;

Now you’d be advised to take it easy. There no skipper on this vessel. We rule as brothers and by consent. This man bears no more responsibility than you do for what happened that day. The charter for this man allows each shipmate an equal voice ,and no-one had you gagged that day....

Micheal Caine:

Well are we gonna call this bird then? Or what?



Micheal Caine:

Well what about some other bird?

David Thewlis;

(half I-amused)I don’t believe this, I mean I just don’t- fucking believe it! I mean , where are you going with this one Sherlock? I’d love to know. I mean one minute, we have all decided to ignore that girl for her humanity herself and who she is, one minute the ‘bird’ isn’t a bird at all but rather the focus of our mans subconscious desire for rejection in the form of a visiting dreamtime succubus.-predetermining the outcome of any future possible relationships with any one-(suitable ...or-otherwise.).And now it’s ‘Ring another bird’ what for ?revenge? To feel more pain is it?.Once again we are drawn inexorably towards the vortex of pain, which dominates the ever-repeating cycle of hope and rejection going nowhere? I mean, I’m sorry but that’s all you have to offer then we are better off dropping a toaster into the bath!

Micheal Caine:

You’ve made your point.
But what you forget is
We all enjoy a bit of the other.

James Stuart;

I think what our friend is saying here is that simple physical enjoyment...Well I don’t think there’s a man here who doesn’t realise our man needs it, and that’s something that should please us..

David Thewlis;

Oh I am deeeelighted

James Stuart;

You’re going to tell me that the smell of a woman..
..I’ll even say it yes ... any woman...the, the touch, .........the closeness the uniquely feminine voice.. which turns even breathing into I dunno ..some kind of music I guess ... Oh you’re immune to all this huh? To know..by sight ,sound and touch every blessed curve of her.

I guess you don’t think anything of that huh? What are you saying ? that it’s too dangerous ,that it’s not spiritual enough for you? That feeling of a woman’s breasts as they press against your...
(ships’ bell rings-or a foghorn sounds)

Robert Shaw;

Horn ahoy!

Micheal Caine:

There’s no denying enthusiasm then.

Robert Shaw;

Blue steel!-She’s rock solid me hearties!


(except David)Hurrah!

Micheal Caine:

I think
We shall have a wank.

they all huddle in a circle with a pack of cards ... simultaneously Bedboy begins to masturbate


Monday, November 15, 2010

Somethin' from a long time ago: Part Deux


‘the bed’ Bedboy lights a fag



Micheal Caine;

Now all I said,
It’s a bit sad.- I still think it is mind you
But that. Is all.
A sad left-over thought,
You’ll have them.
And thinking about it? Well
There’s a waste of time for you if you like.

I vote,
We get up and do something
Hows about a cup of tea? We got ‘Barry’s’ in the kitchen ...
Handsome tea that is

David Thewlis ;

What the fuck for?

Robert Shaw :


(they all look at him)

Now see here shipmates, we aint goin’ any where nor doing any god ...damn thing unless we knows for damn certain our vessel is worthy.
Now he’s taken us through many a storm but our hull is weak and I say we don’t leave port to make tea, nor any other thing ‘till this thing is straight. Am I clear on this one Boys?
Now I aint one for ‘rationalising’. I tell each man here straight that I don’t know what this dream means and like enough it could be as you say, a sad, left-over thought like the squall made when a clipper goes down to davy jones.
Men that jump to safety too late get sucked down from that particular ‘after effect’.
We don’t wanna take chances.
Not with this lady.

Jimmy Stuart :

‘So that’s it! ... We had an uncomfortable dream and now we’re gonna give up moving and... I dunno ,maybe sit here forever ‘till we get SORES or something. Well that’s just ...Y’know I gotta say I thought you guys had a little more guts than that...gumption....

David Thewlis ;

(cutting him off) I admire your ingenuity I do.

Jimmy Stuart:


David Thewlis ;

How is ignoring it brave ,eh?
How did you work that one out ,eh? Something BIG happens and what do you do? When you know it’s a big deal, but you don’t want to talk about it..you don’t want to deal with it or try and work it out....you want to go make a cup of tea?
Fuckin’ hell ...the answers in the fucking tea leaves?

Jimmy Stuart :

Well y’know who’s to say that making a cup of tea gee I mean it might help with this sort of thing.I mean I dunno maybe it’s just me but I don’t see why we all have to sit down and wallow in it . Where does that get us?, You know I’ve been right here in this head for as long as you have and I got some...and that’s another thing..say where do you get off with this whole...

Micheal Caine;

Hang on a minute,
lads, I've got an idea...

Maybe we should call her



Robert Shaw:

Have you been drinking Seawater?

Micheal Caine

; Ring her up,have a chat ...I mean, there’s still no sign of those solicitors letters, is there? That’s a legitimate inquiry right there.
Few minutes chitchat.
What’s the harm?

Jimmy Stuart ;

I , I don’t think...


Fuckin’ hell ... Thought I was the suicidal one around here mate.

Micheal Caine;

Why not?

David Thewlis;

Why not? Because it’s the thing we have learned not to do. Because it’s not a ‘legitimate inquiry’ ... It’s the desperate neurotic act of a man who can’t stop thinking about her and I guarantee you it will be read as such.

Think about it.
She’s gone nearly four years now. Four years. Four interesting,- bizarre,painfull pointless loveless years, and if we make that phone call we might get a moments respite, from our dilemma here, we might get the stark contrast between the dream girl and the actual banality. That might free us from this nocturnal mania and put a spring in our step once more. We might.
We might just as easily be rewarded with nothing other than more fuel for this unending mind-splitting moping neurosis!
If she’s cold and matter-of-fact, as she always is .That , will, hurt. As it always does.
If-on the other hand- she’s all warm and friendly and speaks with any feeling at all then were gonna get a repeat presentation of the disgraceful and worrying performance we’ve seen here tonight so no we are not ringing her.

Micheal Caine;

What’it like being you?

David Thwelis;

Fuck off!

Micheal Caine;

A bit hectic.

David Thwelis;

You are me.

Robert Shaw;

We're in stagnant water then...


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Somethin' from a long time ago: Part One

Blogs aint for this: this aint what blogs is for,
Reposting work that was intended for an entirely different medium and method for consumption as purely text, well.... That's not fair on anybody is it?

On the other hand, here on th'interweb, nobody reads past what they feel like reading and so I say to myself: 'Why not?-there's always the possibility that nobody reads the damn thing anyway'.

So here it is, an innappropriately long post, in segments, of a short play like as what I wrote many moons ago. T'was performed alongside Ciarda Toibins 'Duet' in the unFringed(sic) festival.

To start us off there is something we can do with th'interweb that you cant do with a normal script and that's include the references; Youtube links for:

David Thewlis Playing 'Johnny' in Naked.


Jimmy Stuart as George Bailey in 'It's a wonderful life'.


Micheal Caine as 'Alfie'.


and Robert Shaw as 'Quint' in Jaws.


This last clip is of a Robert Shaw impersonater... which is more accurate than actually Robert Shaw for this script.

Now: All these clips are worth watching in their own right, but they're included here to give anyone who's lost a better idea of what I was trying to do. ...

The lead in music was 'Lilac Wine' as sung by Jeff Buckley played only as far as the end of the first verse. The stage is in total blackout:

One man in a ‘Bed’ Bedboy. Behind him ‘Dreamgirl’, around him 4 figures in black:
Micheal Caine-- Jimmy Stuart--,David Thewlis and Robert Shaw (as ‘flint’ in Jaws) or at least actors/directors interpretations of them .In the central area of the bed, under red lighting Bedboy and Dream girl snuggle.


”What can I say?- I need you”
She smiles


It’s good that you’re here “
She smiles


” I only relax when you're here“
She smiles

Bedboy yawns a long and loud yawn all lights go down slowly to total black.
Then they come on as suddenly as technically possible in both areas. Bedboy is in bed , he stares at the ceiling. The crew of the boat adopt various casual poses.

Micheal Caine;

Now that is pretty sad, I think.
Jimmy Stuart,

Now,now,now I don’t know that I’d say ‘sad’ exactly right away there, I mean y’see let’s just take a moment maybe and see what it is that just happened here. Now the way I look at it ,well this Boy just had a dream here ,right ... am I right?
Robert Shaw

Jimmy Stuart


Robert Shaw;

“Listen, I’m glad to hear you speak up for the lad ... Truly , but only a dream ..It wasn’t only a dream, a day trip or a Sunday regatta. That was herself. And memory serving me right ways it was herself who nearly scuppered all of us.
(murmurs of aItalicssent)

Jimmy Stuart ;

“No it wasn’t, it wasn’t her at all.
All it was ... leastaways that I can see ... was a dream about her, and a dream about her and her herself are two different things- dontcha see that?

David Thewlis ;

Yes we see that we all see that but what you seem to be labouring under
Is the misapprehension that it matters.
It -does ...not-fucking-matter.
You don’t matter I don’t matter and this conversation doesn’t matter ‘ cos it’s NOT FUCKING REAL.But the whole point, kernel, crunch of the crispies and the rock you perish on is IT HAPPENED. And no it didn’t happened in the shops or at a disco or any other arena that qualifies as reality no it happened somewhere more important than that it happened HERE in this very mind. This very mind that is our home , our source , our universe , our mother and if you’ll allow me to paraphrase (adopts1930’s Brooklyn accent)’It’s a reevoltin’ development’”

Jimmy Stuart
“ Well just hang on there buddy what it is I mean what I say it is is..
David Thewlis ;

” I DON’T CARE WHAT IT FUCKING IS !We are in shit!

Micheal Caine

Alright ,alright,...
now: what we don’t want to do..
is lose our focus here.
So what I suggest..
Is first of all..
We’re gonna have ourselves a fag ... I do believe we left two fags by the bed last night?

(murmurs of assent)

Okay let’s have one then .

In ‘the bed’ Bedboy lights a fag .



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something to do with Toast

Sweet fillet of bread,
We love you the most,
Virgin White,
Ravished Brown,
And turned into some toast.

Too long have we struggled,
Too long have we toiled,
against those
who would have our bread
Basted or Boiled.

I dream of a future,
That daily comes closer,
Where each,
single person,
Recieves their own toaster.

I know that such right
-minded toaster dispersal,
Can only contribute,
to peace Universal,

How great for a people,
To live in a land-which,
Saves all from the shame of
the untoasted sandwhich.

I say to bread-fryers:
"You People are damned!"
(Some perverts just eat it
straight from the sliced pan)

But Steamed, Blanched or Fricaseed,
There's only one way to eat bread
and that's toasted.!