The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Many years ago a friend rang me to ask what I thought of the Mel Gibson film Braveheart.
"It's a very well made film," I mused cautiously. "But I can't help wondering does it amount to incitement to violence. You know with some Mel Gibson films the violence is often a little too persuasive. I think suggestible people are going to interpret this one as an anti British tract and they might be inclined to accept its view of history. It's a terribly powerful film. I genuinely think it may have unforeseen ramifications for the way Scots see themselves and consequently for the stability of the United Kingdom. You know, I even think it could contribute to a more violent culture elsewhere too because the violence is so entertaining. But the immediate danger, I think, is that it may contribute to the break up of the UK."
"Yes," said my friend. "Isn't it brilliant!"
The years have passed as they always do.
Tonight I watched Braveheart with Serafina, a quite different friend.
I was a little less critical this time.
There was a great scene where Mel Gibson as me was getting ready to lead his army into battle against the English King Edward, known to history as Longshanks.
The Scottish nobles were parlaying with the English nobles in the middle of the battle field while both armies watched on the sidelines.
Mel Gibson rode up.
Longshanks, played by newcomer John Fry, looked startled.
"We are discussing terms," Longshanks said mildly.
"Here are my terms," snarled Gibson.
There was stupefied silence.
"You will go back to England," snarled Gibson again. "And tell the Johnston Press that Ireland's newspapers are her's to take no more."
Longshanks started to laugh.
A hollow soulless but somehow dangerous laugh.
"You are ridiculous," he said.
Mel Gibson's lip curled.
"I'm not finished," he spat. "Then you will ring every single journalist, printer, salesman, advertising executive, girl on the phones, cleaning lady, window washer, every single person the Johnston Press has ever fired from an Irish newspaper, and you will apologise profusely to each one for your arrogance, malevolence, and crass porcine incompetence."
Longshanks was still laughing.
"Do you really believe..." he began.
Mel Gibson's face contorted with animal fury.
"I'm... not... finished..." he enunciated with demonic contempt. "You will then offer each one of those people you fired, ten million pounds cash in compensation. Each one. Ten million each."
Longshanks had stopped laughing.
"You impudent fool," he mouthed.
Mel Gibson's eyes shone with pure hate.
"I'm..... not..... finished....." he managed to enunciate but the rage had nearly mastered him now. "Having done these things, you will surrender control of every Irish newspaper ye presumed to buy with your borrowed money loaned to you by banks that can't seem to keep their mickeys in their pocket. Ye will surrender control of those newspapers to the people who actually work there. And then ye'll go back to Derbyshire with your tails between your legs to lick your wounds and wonder how ye ever had the gall to mess with your betters. And try running your own newspapers for a change if there's any in all England that'll have ye. Do this and you shall live. Do it not and ye shall die."
I gotta tell you gentle readers of the internet.
Incitement it may have been.
But it was powerful stuff.


Post a Comment

<< Home