The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Friday, September 25, 2009

evenings in picardy

The starship Enterprise had come to a halt in uncharted space.
Captain Picard felt uneasy.
Something wasn't right.
"Scan ahead Mr Data," he barked.
Mr Data's scanning would be unnecessary.
Ahead of them a huge oblong vessel bristling with odd pseudo pod excruscences and improbably twisted metal gantryways, hove into view.
"What is that thing?" breathed Will Ryker.
"What's holding it together?" wondered Lieutenant Whorf.
Picard stared.
Every instinct he had cried danger.
The incongruously huge object exuded threat.
A hand touched his sleeve.
It was Guinan.
Guinan, the alien who has lived many human lifetimes and who looks just like Whoopy Goldberg.
She's seen a lot.
Many life times.
It feels like an episode of Star Trek lasts a thousand years when she's one of the featured characters.
"Guinan do you know what that thing is?" wondered Picard.
Whoopy nodded.
Her regal features were drawn and tense.
"Captain," she said. "That is a Johnston Press ship. They're scavengers. They roam the galaxy buying up newspapers they know nothing about with money they've borrowed from idiot banks. Where they pass nothing is left alive, or indeed trading at a profit. Some believe they can not be stopped.They pay more than the newspapers are worth and then fire established members of the workforce in order to try and claw back their investment. They did the same thing in the 1980's and thought they were tremendously clever fellows. Downsizing they called it. Firing people who'd worked for decades to build up companies the Johnston Press had paid too much to take over and had only owned for weeks. Downsizing. There are other names for it. And it's not as clever as the atheistic parvenu scruff who do it think it is. The fellows doing the firing often end up getting fired themselves. You should see the blood on the floors and in the corridors at the Leinster Leader. Hoo boy. Because in the land of the downsized there are no longer any rules. The Johnston Press are best understood as sort of cosmic clowns. Only the joke is on them. They're as bust as the banks which loaned them the money for all their magnificent takeovers. They're not intelligent beings as we understand intelligence. They know how to buy newspapers with borrowed money. But not how to run them. I mean have any of you read The Scotsman or the Blackpool And Stockport Advertiser or the Leinster Leader lately? Exactly. Nobody has. It's all very sad. Anybody here got a violin?"


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