The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

it's grim up t'east midlands

Coffee with Throg.
Around us the cafe effervesces with life.
My phone rings.
I answer.
The call is expected.
I converse briefly and insincerely with someone who seems on the verge of offering me a job.
The conversation ends.
"What was that about?" wonders Throg.
"Job interview!"
"For what?"
"For a position of office administrator with a charity calling themselves the Saint Stephens Green Trust."
"What do they do?"
"Advocacy for prisoners."
"But Heelers you don't believe in prisoners rights."
"I most assuredly do believe in prisoners rights. I believe prisoners have the right not to be afraid of other prisoners. I believe prisoners have a right to repent of their crimes. I believe prisoners have a right to confess. I believe prisoners have a right to hang their heads in shame. I believe we should smash the power of the IRA and gangland in prisons so that no prisoner's right to live without fear and intimidation can be tainted by the mafia. I believe no Rah man should be able to humiliate, terrorise or recruit in prison. I believe prisoners have the right to live in drug free prisons. I believe prisoners have a right to a chance to reform themselves in harsh but fair prisons without being terrorised by IRA Sinn Fein psychos in G Block."
"Heelers those are unlikely to be the sort of prisoners rights that the charity is advocating."
"What do you know about them?"
"Well who interviewed you?"
"Somebody called X X."
"She's Sinn Fein."
"Is she really? No way. I thought she might be actually. There were three sixes in the phone number. That's always a clue. Is she a sister of the pole dancer that's standing as a candidate in the elections? That pole dancer is a honey. Hard little face. But there' something about her."
"James your conspiracy theories about the number of the beast notwithstanding, I don't know if she's related to the other woman. But I know she's Sinn Fein. You should have nothing to do with them."
"Are you seriously suggesting that the Stephens Green Trust will turn out to be a front for Sinn Fein?"
"I've no doubt that's what it'll turn out to be."
"Wow. Imagine me administering that office."
"Just tell them you're not interested."
"Maybe I am interested."
"You wouldn't last a week."
"I might. I've grown a lot. I'm more mellow. I can accomodate different points of view. My northie accent is improving. Listen to this. There'll be no more killing."
"Uff. Just say no."
"There'll be no more killing. There you go. That's more like it. They haven't offered me the job yet."
"Where did you see their ad?"
"On Trapman's website. Bloody Trapman! Hey. Maybe he's sticking it to me again. Trying to get me working for  the Rah."
There is an awkward silence. Throg has wearied of my levity. He leaves.
Presently I start to laugh, a rueful tinkly one.
I am thinking that the IRA now have a copy of that tissue of lies I pass around as a curriculum vitae.
I suppose they'll probably be as impressed by it as everyone else has been.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

syriana


1.Almost from the beginning of hostilities in 2011, Al Qaeda Islamists hijacked the Syrian rebellion against the government of Bashar Al Assad and made it their own.

2. President Barack Obama of the United States has supported various Islamist factions in Syria with massive amounts of cash, arms, and materiel. President Obama has in pursuing this incompetent intervention claimed to be supplying only moderate factions in the Syrian civil war. My analysis is that there are no moderate factions in the Syrian civil war.

3. The supposedly moderate factions supported by President Obama have used the aid they received to establish a buffer zone protecting the more blatantly Al Qaeda factions from the Syrian army.

4. Several years into the conflict, the Isis brand of Al Qaeda's terror franchise, emerged and declared a caliphate, ie an Islamic state.

5. Isis emerged overnight as a fully trained army capable of offensive action across Syria and Iraq.

6. Isis unleashed a reign of terror across both countries involving torture, head hacking, immolations, child sex slavery, dismemberment and sundry other horrors. Within a short period Isis also began mounting international terror strikes in Western and other countries.

7. Somebody trained, provisioned and succoured Isis.

8. That somebody was the Islamist government of Turkey.

9. The United Nations has been involved in Syria since the war began in a supposedly humanitarian role. The problem with United Nations style humanitarianism, is that by aiding and succouring the Muslim terror groups who have so often caused the conflicts that have led to various humanitarian crises in the first place, groups that are certainly prime movers in their continuance, the United Nations extends such conflicts indefinitely, viz Somalia (24 years and counting) and Palestine (66 years and counting.)

10. The preponderance of recent United Nations actions in Syria, has involved negotiating escape deals for Isis terror units trapped in cities they have laid waste. What Isis has done to the people in those cities is obscene. But what the United Nations has done in negotiating deals allowing Isis to escape the consequences of its actions, is beyond obscene. The United Nations negotiates these deals routinely on the pretext that by evacuating Isis, the United Nations can then feed any starving survivors among the civilian population in the cities that Isis has laid waste. I am suggesting that as part of this essentially invidious process, a substantial coterie of United Nations officials are colluding with Isis to provision its terror armies in the field.

11. Remember. The United Nations excuse for negotiating escape deals for Isis and Al Qaeda terror armies besieged in Syrian cities, is that the negotiations and evacuations, give the United Nations a chance to feed civilians in areas up to this point controlled by Isis and Al Qaeda, Of course Isis and Al Qaeda seize substantial portions of the food aid. In effect the United Nations is feeding Isis and Al Qaeda terror armies in the field, enabling them to elude the sieges that have trapped them, and thereby extending the Syrian conflict indefinitely.

12. In January this year, following a United Nations negotiated escape for an Isis field army from the suburbs of Damascus, the United Nations shipped the Isis army in a convoy back to Raqaa, the de facto capital of the Isis Caliphate. Within days Isis used its freed army to attack other cities in Syria, to murder hundreds of elderly people in residences far from the front lines, and to kidnap at least 400 men, women and children.

13. I am suggesting that Isis military capacity has been preserved for three years by the United Nations, by aid from President Obama of the United States, and by Turkey's full scale assistance. You couldn't make this up.

14. The rebellion against the Assad government may have had legitimacy to begin with. It has no legitimacy now. It is an Al Qaeda rebellion.

15. When former American President George Bush liberated Iraq from the Saddam Hussein murderocracy, Turkey, a member of the Nato alliance, refused to allow basing and staging in Turkish territory for the invasion. Turkey abandoned its feigned loyalty to Nato for the duration of the liberation of Iraq.

16. Turkey is now suggesting that anyone going to war with Turkey over Syria is in fact going to war with Nato. Turkey has shot down a Russian fighter jet in the region and rightly fears a strong Russian response.

17. Nato and indeed the rest of us, should make clear to the Islamist government of Turkey, that we are not going to war on their behalf, now or ever with Russia or anyone else.

18. The Russian government of Vladimir Putin has intervened decisively in Syria in the past six months, preventing the fall of the Assad government to Al Qaeda, Isis and the other Islamist factions backed by President Obama of the United States.

19. President Putin is in my view a very dangerous, very great, very bad man, most likenable to Stalin.

20. Just as we accepted Stalin's actions when he finally turned against Hitler, we should accept Putin's actions in Syria at the moment. We should at no time countenance a war with Putin on behalf of Isis or Al Qaeda or Turkey or President Obama's reputation.

21. Al Qaeda and Isis were able to establish themselves in Syria and Iraq solely because President Obama, in seeking to criminalise the actions of his predecssor President Bush, withdrew American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Those forces should have been left in place as garrisons for fifty years, as was done after World War Two in countries liberated from Nazi Germany, to prevent the Russian Soviet communists from simply walking off with Europe.

22. It is too late to prevent the Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Syria.

23/ That incursion is in any case in our strategic interest just as the Russian communist attrition of Nazi Germany was in our interest on the Eastern Front during World War Two. The Communists, like Mr Putin, were always villains. But the Russian people were not. We need the Russian people in the present conflict. President Obama would have handed Syria over to Al Qaeda by now if the Russians had not called a halt.

24. It makes no sense to allow Muslims to shoot their own countries to pieces and then allow the same Muslims to in-migrate into Europe.

25, Allowing United Nations notions of entitlement for refugees to apply in these scenarios will immerse Europe in a new Islamist Dark Ages.

26. In Europe we should end immigration from Islamic dominated regions, re-establish our borders and expel all Jihadis.

27. In Syria, we should let the Russians finish the job.

protestants and catholics

The division between Protestant and Catholic Christians became apparent about five hundred years ago.
It seems to me that what unites us is greater than what divides us.
The Catholic Church has defended the sanctity of life through two thousand years.
But in recent times I can't help feeling it was the Protestants of America who showed us how to have the courage of our convictions in defending the unborn child and all who are vulnerable against the culture of death implicit in abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The Catholic reverence for the word of God is a treasure of humanity and has led to the foundation of Western education, the university system and the availability of schooling for all.
But it is often Protestants who really know the Bible and can speak of it most readily with wisdom, insight and holiness.
I hold with the English writer CS Lewis in his considerations of the divisions between Catholics and Protestants.
His simple comment was something along the lines of: "What wonderful opportunities our differences give us to show charity towards each other."

a short monograph on prison reform


1. No prisoner should have to live in fear of any other prisoner.

2. Irish prisons are ruled by the IRA and associated mafias.

3. The single necessary step to improve prison conditions for all prisoners in Irish prisons is to break the power of gangland within prisons.

4. Prisoners should not be able to associate with other prisoners.

5. No visitors should be allowed for IRA and associated mafia members.

6. Mafia members should be dispersed, preferably to prisons overseas (I would suggest the maximum security prisons in Russia or America.) This can be done more cost effectively than the present system.

7. The rulership of gangs over Irish prisons is the cause of above 90 percent of inhumanity, cruelty, torture and murder in Irish prisons.

8. Gang culture in prisons is the single greatest inhibitor preventing prisoners from healing or reforming.

9. By isolating gang members we can prevent them recruiting for their gangs. We can stop them terrorising other inmates. We can end their use of prison as a training ground for their nefarious activities.

10. The false humanitarianism of allowing gangs to control the prisons has left Ireland with the cruellest prison regimes in Europe.

la grande illusion

The bankrupt Irish Times newspaper has endorsed the government policy of giving names to storms, as a key strategy in spreading awareness of climate change.
In fact Ireland's Fine Gael Labour combo government have more or less taken to naming every gust of wind these days.
What next?
Naming individual raindrops maybe.
I can see a public information film featuring Prime Minister Enda Kenny in a nun's habit dancing on the Wicklow Mountains while singing: "Climb every rain drop."
(On a bicycle wearing a cowboy hat, singing Raindrops keep falling on my head, surely? - Ed note)
Meanwhile our bankrupt State controlled television stations recycle footage of flooded fields with no overall data presented as to how many people have been affected and whether or not there is any increase in the numbers affected over previous years.
The flood plains of Irish rivers flood all the time.
Only recently have the climate change promoters begun claiming that a flooded flood plain is a sign of anything other than a flood plain flooding.
Thus the climate change fiction gathers momentum.
I wonder what our new Muslim overlords will make of it all.

Friday, January 29, 2016

trump v fox

Is Fox News fair to Donald Trump? Was his decision to withdraw from the latest Fox News debate for Republican Party Presidential nominee candidates, justified? Trump had expressed repeated reservations about the selection of Fox host Megyn Kelly as a moderator at the debate. His decision not to attend the proceedings apparently came after Fox issued a mocking press release directed solely at him, that contained the following: "We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet him if he becomes President - a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings."

1. Fox News is a brash slightly tabloidish network which those of us of a principled disposition tend to look to for a fairer hearing than is available on the bankrupt liberal atheistic abortionist left wing Muslim appeaser broadcasters CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the BBC and Sky, et al. Particularly Al. I hate him.

2. Fox is not really a conservative or principled station. It is a commercial enterprise whose business model is to be fairer to Americans of principle than other networks are. Although its reputation is as a right wing entity, it is owned and controlled by the Australian media baron Rupert Murdock who also controls the left wing British and European news network Sky, In addition Murdock and his family own the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London newspaper and sundry other media entities. The wheel is rigged and it's the only game in town. I have suggested that the Murdock's News International company should be broken up under anti trust legislation following the discovery that News Corp in Britain was routinely bribing police officers, subverting politicians (again through bribery) and hacking the phones of private citizens. I believe the threat implicit in the Murdocks owning so many news outlets far exceeds the threat which had arisen the last time anti trust legislation was invoked to smash an international monopoly, ie when the Hunt ramily tried to corner the market in silver a hundred years ago.

3. Fox has many presenters of insight and ability though its dress style for its women employees, with short skirts, high heels and thunder thighs waving in the camera, is unseemly.

4. Presenter Sean Hannity, whose hall mark is a certain gruff gregarious decency, is an enthusiast for Donald Trump's campaign for the Republican Party Presidential nomination. Hannity seems to appreciate the ideas, vitality, honest discourse, drama and sheer chutzpah which Mr Trump has injected into the race. He also seems to enjoy the classically American quality of Trump's emergence as a candidate and sudden surge in popularity across the nation. Fox has extended to Hannity a significant measure of editorial control over what he says on air about Mr Trump, ie he's been left free to say whatever he likes.

5. Presenter Bret Baier is in my view, partisan in his opposition to Mr Trump.

6. The three man panel routinely featured on Bret Baier's programme is consistently partisan in opposition to Mr Trump. One of these regular panel members Charles Krauthammer, a very capable commentator, seems to be nursing a grudge against Trump. He has an excuse having been mildly mauled by Trump after an early criticism in the campaign.

7. The flagship programme styled The Five features one clear Trump fan, Eric Bolling, among its five regular presenters. Kimberly Guilfoyle is fair to Trump. Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams are partisanly hostile to Trump.

8. Megyn Kelly is partisan against Trump. Her guests and panels are almost uniformly hostile to Trump. Like Krauthammer she has an excuse. Trump's criticism of her line of questioning at a previous debate may have been excessive. However her leaked comments about Trump in a forthcoming magazine interview seem mischievous, irresponsible and unmerited. Mr Trump has a wife and family, Loose talk without any substance about him trying to woo her seems unacceptable to me. It was unacceptable to Trump too. She was his initial excuse for floating a possible withdrawal from the latest Fox News Presidential debate. The above cited press release from Fox seems to have been the last straw.

9. Bill O'Reilly's programme is fair enough to Trump.

10. Greta Van Susteren who eschews the Fox dress code compelling women to wave their thighs in the camera, and is one of the more professional broadcasters at the station, is scrupulously fair to Trump.

11. Fox Contributor Laura Ingraham, another broadcaster of merit who eschews the thunder thighs school of journalism, has some respect for Trump's courage and individuality. She is generally fair to him on those much too few occasions when she's on air.

12. Presenter Neil Cavuto is fair to Trump.

13. Regarding their internet coverage, I believe management at Fox News has deliberately downplayed the popularity of Trump in online reporting for several months. I would suggest there has been a policy, dating from his first spat with Megyn Kelly, to selectively deny him publicity.

14, Fox News on air television presentation of commentary re Trump remains fairly diverse. Megyn Kelly and Greg Baier do him no favours. But their partisan hostility is balanced somewhat by Hannity's enthusiasms and Greta Van Susteren's professionalism.

15. With Fox likely to turn more decisively against him, it's hard to see how Trump as a Presidential candidate will function with NO friends among the broadcasting pseudo elites.

16. It is exciting though.

17. Dramatic.

18. Vital and vitalising for democracy.

19. Pure Americana.

20. We have nothing like this in Ireland, Britain or Europe.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

okla bleu

Sitting in the cheap seats at the Theatre Des Grands Fesses in Montmartre.
An oddly surrealistic student production of the famous American musical Oklahoma is playing.
How on earth did I end up at this thing?
It's nothing if not avant garde.
The money song "The Farmer And The Cowman Should Be Friends" has been improbably rejigged to reflect news reports of a meeting between Pope Francis (of whom I would be quite criticial and whose papacy I consider may be an ouster of the previous Pope) and President Ayatollah Rouhani of Iran.
The song has some witty insights and the visual performance of it, featuring burka clad hotties dancing with cowboy Padres is certainly striking.
It goes:

"The Ayatollah and the Pope should be friends
The Ayatollah and the Pope should be friends
One man wants Jihad war
The other is a crushing bore
But that don't mean that they cannot be friends
I'd like to say a word for the Jihadi
He thinks he's an apocalyptic Mahdi
He's building nuclear war heads
While Europe sleeps  abed
But that doesn't necessarily ma-a-ake him a baddie
Oh the Pope and the Ayatollah should be friends
The Pope and the Ayatollah should be friends
One man wants the Jews all dead
The other wants the Catholic Church red
But that don't mean that they cannot be friends
I'd like to say a word for Pope Francis
He ousted Pope Benedict through a set up involving his amanuensis
He believes in climate change
And Muslim immigrants being allowed free range
For Christianity he's something of an insider nemesis
Oh the Ayatollah and the Pope should be friends
The Ayatollah and the Pope should be friends
One wants Israel off the map
The other drowns ancient faith in leftist crap
But that don't mean that they can not be friends"

I'm starting to like this version of Oklahoma.
There's something about it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

considerations of donald trump


Having been somewhat aware of Mr Trump for about thirty years, I have to admit that during all that time I nearly never liked him.
He first appeared in my universe in the dulcet early days of satelite television in Ireland, probably around 1991, when he was a guest on an American chat show hosted by a left wing liberal atheist called Phil Donohue.
Donohue just loved Trump.
To me Trump's inherited wealth and wealth based on bank borrowings was not particularly admirable.
In the 1990's at least four companies owned or controlled by the billionaire would go through selective bankruptcies.
This type of bankruptcy seemed to me like a convenient way to steal money from gangster banks.
The pervasive presence of the mafia in the real estate world of New York and in banking generally in Europe and America, did not edify me in assessing these matters.
I did like Mr Trump's self referentially humorous cameo appearance in one of the John Hughes Home Alone films.
Otherwise I found him consistently unadmirable over the whole of the past three decades.
A television programme in recent years in which he achieved a broader fame by firing an employee every week drawn from members of the public who had agreed to compete for the role of Mr Trump's apprentice, was beneath my contempt.
Then he announced his candidacy for the American Presidency.
I wondered was it just an ego thing.
A sort of hubris which would see him blow a few hundred million dollars to realise that he's not as likeable as his employees tell him he is and that the Presidency is not there to be purchased.
Then Trump said he would put a stop to illegal immigration.
Ah, I thought, the media will now label him as racist and finish him off.
The media did indeed try to label him racist.
But something strange happened.
People begin to think for themselves.
And most of us in the Free World, ie America, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, most of us want immigration stopped and we're getting mighty tired of left wing bankrupt media groups suiciding our cultures and our freedoms in the interests of giving Jihadis a new Caliphate on our doorsteps.
The media failed to label Trump a racist.
His ratings among the general public began to climb.
The media next tried to discredit him with a contrived insult during an interview when pollster Frank Luntz informed Trump that former Presidential candidate John McCain had referred to Trump's supporters as crazies.
Luntz' precise words were: "John McCain says your supporters are crazies and John McCain is a war hero."
The war hero tag was meant to silence Trump.
It didn't work.
Trump answered robustly: "He's not a war hero. What! He's a hero because he got captured? I prefer my heroes not to get captured."
I first heard of this exchange when presenters on the left wing bankrupt mysteriously funded CNN mentioned it as a sure sign that Trump would shortly withdraw from the race.
I thought they were miscalling the situtation.
Trump's remarks about McCain struck me as refreshing and spontaneous and a decisive repudiation of Luntz' trap.
They struck a lot of American voters the same way.
It strikes me that people are sick of having our political discourse defined by left wing bankrupt media groups who are accountable to no one except their unnamed foreign donors.
To this day, the exchange with Luntz is routinely misreported in America and Europe without mentioning Luntz' opening insult and the use of the war hero tag by Luntz in an attempt to prevent Trump responding to it.
A similar misreporting is used regarding Trump's statement that a debate host called Megyn Kelly had been unfair to him
"She was bleeding out her eyes, she was bleeding out her, whatever," Mr Trump had said after the debate.
This is routinely and falsely misreported (most recently in Ireland by the Irish Independent's David Quinn) to wit that Mr Trump had said Megyn Kelly was "menstruating."
He said no such thing.
He does say things I disagree with, usually in criticising fellow candidates Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.
I also disagree with his criticisms of former President Bush's decision to end Saddam Hussein's murderocracy in Iraq.
But most of Trump's bon mots show good judgement and a high degree of insight.
An obscure question about vaccines for Mumps, Measles and Rubella possibly causing autism, was intended to stump him at one debate. Trump answered it thoughtfully and clearly, and showed an ability to probe beyond conventional establishment medical "wisdom" in doing so.
A question about North Korea was answered with a superb insight, whereby Mr Trump stated baldly that China controls North Korea.
It does.
No one else in the political sphere has had the guts or the ability or the will, to say it.
The next media trap set for Trump was a standard feminist in the wood pile routine featuring an unknown lady lawyer who decades earlier had interrupted a meeting with Trump (which he had afforded her in his office) to use a breast pump on her mammaries supposedly to extend her lactation period for a suckling child who was not present at the time.
With Trump climbing in the polls the lady lawyer emerged from obscurity to say that twenty years ago Trump had called her proposed use of a breast pump in his office "disgusting."
This sort of manipulative feminist toshology could have eliminated a candidate in days of not so yore.
Now it made no impression whatsoever.
Then on foot of the latest sea of Muslim Jihad murders all over the world, slaughters unleashed in California, Paris, Africa and Asia without let or hindrance, came Trump's statement that he would temporarily ban Muslims from entering America and that if elected he would send the Syrian immigrants currently flooding the country back to Syria.
The left wing media exploded in outrage.
CNN, NBC, ABC and all the rest struggled manfully to tear him down.
Support for Trump from the people went up.
Way up.
And at last the liberal left wing media which has so dominated political life in the United States of America, at last, these hijackers and manipulators of our freedoms, these collapsers of our borders, these betrayers of our sovereignty, these facilitators of immigrant mafiosi Jihadis, at last these pious incompetents who have all but erased our countries from the map in favour of Islamic barbarism, at last these concatinated crews of conformist pseuds, these Anderson Coopers, these Wolf Blitzers, these Michael Moores, these Noam Chomkys, these John Pilgers, these Bill Mahers, these cravens, these blocks, these stones, these worse than useless things, at last I say, they each of them, severally and together, suddenly realised they were in a ball game.
Trump would not lie down.
And those of us who never liked him...
We began to think we might just like him as our President.

Monday, January 25, 2016

hartigan's stallion

animal from birth
the fire within
drove to the hill tops
creature of the wind
sinew spirit storm
smitten into form
with half begotten dreams
the mountains the forests and the streams
your temple your refuge your domain

Monday, January 18, 2016

obitcheries


Melia Paddy: Deceased January 2016. Irish theatre director, wit and impressario. In the 1960's he became well known for his productions of John B Keane dramas. During the 1970's he established Impact Films to distribute movies in Ireland. In search of a box office success, he gambled at the Cannes Film Festival purchasing the distribution rights to a film no one else wanted, a French weepie atrociously dubbed into English, called The Last Snows Of Spring. It became the surprise smash hit of the season with audiences queuing down O'Connell street in Dublin to see it. He also brought a series of blaxploitation movies to Ireland including the eponymous Cleopatra Jones which certainly created something of a cultural splash in a country largely unused to such fare. With profits rolling in, he built a magnificent house on a promontory above the sea in the fastness of rural Ireland, and decorated it in various shades of green. This uniquely Hollywood building in the heart of old Ireland was eventually lost in a fire. From the early 1990's he became an integral part in the revitalisation of drama (on and off stage) in County Kildare with a series of rollickingly comic productions that put moribund theatres in the towns of Kilcullen and Newbridge back in profit for the first time in decades. He once told me: "I started out poor. I became rich. Now I'm poor again." I was pleased he was my friend. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dhilis.

Gruber Hans: Deceased January 2016. British actor best known for playing Alan Rickman in the Bruce Willis movie Die Hard. The movie is objectionably violent but still about the best terrorists-get-their-come-uppance film ever made. It is somewhat marred by the conventional formulaic fight to the death between Hans and Bruce at the end. But this is a quibble. Another nearly good movie that Hans made was when he appeared as himself in the Kevin Costner vehicle Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves. This was a classic nearly good film. Not nearly as good as Die Hard, you understand, but nearly good nonetheless. It fails for several reasons. There isn't enough wit in the script. The character played by Hans, the Sheriff of Rickmaningham, is brilliantly done though not as brilliantly as the conformist, taste challenged, pseud media critics are now suggesting. There is a misplaced evocation of supernatural evil in the Hans of the Robin Hood film. The movie's depictions of Hans' character's involvement with witchcraft are grotty and out of keeping with the discursive mood of the film. In any case Kevin Costner the co star, never matches Hans in the acting stakes. Not all Costner's fault. He is blown away by a lack of good lines rather than just a failure to assert himself opposite Hans. A Robin Hood with a Californian accent was always going to be a stretcher. The script was never solid enough. It did not have the verve or vitality of a truly well written film. The legend goes that many of the scenes involving Hans Gruber' Sheriff of Rickmaningham were actually cut because he was overshadowing Costner so much. This is not a fault in Hans' playing either. Bruce Willis had no problem with it in Die Hard. The weakness of the script, the limitations of the director and the insecurity of Costner (if the legend is true) probably debawled Robin Hood of it best moments. They should have tried giving Costner a few good lines rather than sabotaging their own product by concealing the treasures Hans had given them. Hans also did a turn in the Harry Potter movies but I could never accept him there as I kept waiting for him to snarl at Harry Potter: "Get me those detonators."

Bowie David: Deceased January 2016. English singer who had five good songs. The rest were fillers. Best known for Space Oddity and its follow up a decade later called Ashes To Ashes which I find just as eerily magnificent as the original hit. Now receiving slavish plaudits (apparently merely for dying) from the aforementioned conformist, taste challenged, pseud media. They should honour the man by taking a critical look at the louche destructive mores he often advocated to the detriment of humanity, vis a vis drugs and promiscuity. He's a big enough star to stand a good insightful opinionated scrutiny rather than the sad worshipful atheistic dross the newspapers are exuding over his memory. There should also be some assessment of the meaning of his occasional flirtations with fascistic imagery. In his early career he had a song called The Jean Genie which still works. In the eighties there was Let's Dance. His best work, in spite of its shamblingly amoral depiction of drug use, was a moment of pure poetry called This Is Not America, produced in collaboration with a combo called the Pat Metheny Group.

Craven Wes: Deceased 2015, American film director. Famous for a horror film in the 1980's that had a resonance in its evocation of evil that one liberal atheist described to me at the time as "a little bit too close to the bone." I would be concerned that Wes Craven knew more about those things than he should. I thought his film was very damaging.