The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the master in repose

Ireland's greatest living poet as drawn by his feminist cousin Pauline.

ego tripping in the key of life

"Why do you hang out with so many people that are so different from you?"
Afternoon in the Cafe Aroma on Abbey Street.
The words belonged to Big Hair.
I pondered them.
"Okay," I mused. "Before I met you seven years ago, I was terribly alone. I was terrified I might stay that way. So I talked to God about it. It seemed God was saying to me that I would have to make an extra effort to meet people. For some people it just happens. It wasn't going to just happen for me. Then I met you. And of course very quickly I was terrified you might be my only friend. So that gave me the incentive to look harder. And grow more. And to be even more open. And then when a few more friends came along I didn't like to lose them because I remembered what it was like to be alone. And I remembered what it was like to have just you as a friend. Brrrrrr. Now I understood that there is a special gift from God reserved for those who are alone. The gift reserved for people who are alone is that they will have a particular appreciation and acceptance of other people and of friendship. A savour of friendship they could not have known if friendship had come easy to them in the first place. Look. God wasn't telling me to continue with friendships long after me and someone else had become insufferable to each other. But he'd taught me to be more patient. He'd shown me the gift. And he'd let me see that getting into a rage about little things didn't really help with anything. And so here we are. I have friends who are very different from me. I suspect some mystical purpose. We complete each other. By the grace of God. And I've come to realise something else. I never was alone. There were people around me I was turning away because they didn't fit the profile I had for friends. Uncle Scutch lived next door. Uncle Jim lived up the lane. Value friends wherever you find them in whatever country, age group or background. You will receive the most unexpected gifts from those to whom you are open. My faith would have been nothing if Uncle Scutch hadn't subjected it to the most horrendous rationalist scrutiny. Equally my faith might never have had its sweetness if Uncle Jim hadn't told me he'd seen Jesus as communion bread at Medjugorje. My rejection of communism would never have been true if I'd never met communists I love like the Henshaws. My defiance of Islamic terror would never have meant anything if I hadn't been open to the friendship of Muslims like Semra and the Sheikh. And so on."
Big Hair's eyes went wide and round.
"You're really full of yourself," quoth she.
"I know," sez I agreeably.

the music of the spheres

The Dolly Parton concert with Serafina.
I'm not in the ideal mood.
I cannot contemplate the facial surgeries and altered boobs without feeling a bit sad.
Women shouldn't do this to themselves.
The doctors who facilitate them in doing it are barbarians trading on human flesh.
If this is what women feel they have to do themselves in the Free World, just to get by in our society, maybe we deserve to lose to the Jihadis.
Serafina doesn't encourage these speculations while she's trying to enjoy a concert.
But so run my thoughts.
Then Dolly Parton starts to sing her best hit and I am veritably transported.
The song is called Jolene.
Dolly Parton sings:

"Johnston Press, Johnston Press, Johnston Pressssssss,
Don't fire me from my job because you can.
You own 314 newspapers in England,
I hope that you can understand.
Oh please don't fire me now Johnston Press.
Johnston Press.
Johnston Press, Johnston Press, Johnston Presssssss,
Don't fire me from my job just because you can.
You own hundreds of newspapers, it must be fun,
But I have only got the one.
Oh please don't fire me from it Johnston Press.
You think downsizing is the way,
To make the newspapers you buy, pay,
But that way only leads to a communist revolution Johnston Press.
Johnston Press.
Johnston Press, Johnston Press, Johnston Presssss.
Why should any of us tolerate the likes of you buying our newspapers because you can?
You think that money makes you kings.
I think you all are dingalings.
And I wouldn't bet you'll be around much longer,
Johnton Press.
Johnton Pressssssssss.
Johnston Press, Johnston Press, Johnston Pressssss.
Don't fire me from my job just because you can.
You've fired many people before.
You probably think what the hell, what's one more.
But firing me is different Johnston Press.
I know you've been booed.
I know you've been sued.
But you ain't never been satire-ood.
And that's what's happenin to you now Johnston Press.
Johnston Press.
Johnston Presssssssssss."

You gotta hear Dolly sing it folks.
I'm telling you it's only brilliant.

judith beheading holofernes

Dedicated to Miss Jean.

Friday, February 20, 2009

apologia pro epics mea

The Braveheart movie again.
Mel Gibson playing me, is hacking his way through a field of English warriors during the battle of Sterling Moss.
In the middle of the field he meets a newspaper boy who says: "Ere Guv, read this."
The newspaper boy gives Mel a clipping containing an article from the financial section of the Irish Independent.
The article was written last weekend by Laura Noonan.
Mel puts down his sword and reads:
"Troubled Uk media giant Johnston Press has put its 14 Irish newspapers on the market, the Irish Independent has learned. The titles for sale include The Leinster Leader, The Kilkenny People, The Nationalist, The Limerick Leader, The Tipperary Star, and The Tallaght Echo. The group's printing presses in Limerick and Kilkenny are also understood to be covered by the sale, which is being carried out by Dublin based Raglan Capital. The total package is expected to fetch upwards of 70 million Euro, leaving Johnston Press with a hefty writedown on the estimated 250 million Euro it spent compiling its Irish portfolio."
Mel skims the rest of the article.
The details blur past his consciousness.
In addition to what Braveheart's just read, Laura Noonan notes that in Britain the Johnston Press owns 18 daily newspapers along with 300 weekly newspapers. She refers to the Johnston Press as Britain's second largest newspaper group. She recalls a Malaysian tycoon's purchase last Summer of 20 percent of the Johnston Press. She notes that the Johnston Press has net debt of 460 million pounds sterling. She fails to note that since firing me a year ago, the Johnston Press share price has fallen from about four quid a share to a few pennies a share. Meaning that the entire Johnston Press company is now worth less than it paid for the Leinster Leader.
Let us leave Mel on the battlefield at Sterling Moss scratching his head and grinning ruefully.

Ah yes.
Independent Newspapers reportage of the Johnston Press.
Where to begin.
I remember the Indo reporting the Malaysian billionaire's investment last Summer. I remember the Indo suggesting that the Malaysian billionaire might buy the whole company. I postulated that Tony O'Reilly's minions at the Indo had suggested this just to p-ss me off. One thing I know about Malaysian billionaires, is that they don't become billionaires or stay billionaires, by throwing good money after bad. I considered a Malaysian billionaire buyout of the Johnston Press unlikely in the extreme. Although I didn't rule out the possibility that Tony O'Reilly's Independent Newspapers might be interested in an alliance with the Johnston Press themselves since their coverage of the Johnston Press seemed, shall we say, sympathetic.
So the Johnston Press owns a whole host of British newspapers.
Let's be clear folks. We could all own 300 weekly newspapers and 18 daily newpapers, if the idiot banks lent us hundreds of millions of pounds to buy em.
There's no achievement in it.
I mean, I fail to see the achievement in getting idiot bankers who are about to collapse the entire world banking system, to divvy up limitless sums of money so that you can buy newpapers which have nothing whatsoever to do with you, and whose workforces never agreed to work for you, and which have traded for over a hundred years without you, and whose balance sheets almost immediately go into meltdown once you've taken them over.
Now that's what I call voodoo economics.
I mean what's so great about that?
And the Indo estimates that the Johnston Press spent just 250 million buying Irish newspapers.
Ha, ha, ha.
I estimate they spent a little bit more.
And the Indo thinks the Johnston Press will get 70 million for the lot now that it's put them back on the market.
Ho, ho, ho.
I doubt there'll even be a buyer.
But we'll see.

My prediction for the Johnston Press is that because they fired me from the Leinster Leader in November of 2007, the entire group will go bust and all their titles be lost.
I believe God will smite them.
Smite them good.
Smite them right in the balls.
Perhaps I'm not an objective judge.

Well, well, well bold readers.
The Johnston Press.
Leaving Ireland with their tails between their legs.
As us Braveheart scholars always say: "We sent them home to think again."

And Heelers looked on the borders of his empire and wept.
For there were no more worlds to conquer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

a hundred million dollars worth of journalism

The recent collision between a British nuclear submarine carrying atomic weapons and a French nuclear submarine carrying atomic weapons, occurred because the British and French submariners were playing chicken.

in the dark and distant dawn of years

people of the book
you are mine to the harrow
your dying will make the desert bloom
where is your god now

these words
mark them well
as the stars fell

Monday, February 16, 2009


Quotes of the Day.

British government minister David Millipede commenting on the decision to expel from Britain a Dutch member of parliament who had made a film which suggested links between the peaceloving religion of Islam and mindless psychotic terrorist violence: "There is no right to shout fire in a crowded theatre."

James Healy, commenting on David Millipede: "There is of course a right to shout fire in a crowded theatre. There is a right to shout fire in a crowded theatre if the theatre is in fact on fire. Not only is there a right to shout fire in such circumstances Mr Millipede. There is a duty."

The Sunday Express: "Investigators are probing possible links between the Australian forest fires and Al Qaeda."

James Healy: "The Sunday Express is owned by a porn baron. So I am reluctant to praise it. Nonetheless, it's the only newspaper which has so far troubled to bring the possible Al Qaeda element in the setting of the Australian forest fires and the subequent deaths of hundreds of people into the public domain. Perhaps the other newspapers, taking their lead from David Millipede, are under the impression that there's no right to shout fire in a crowded forest."

Great Coincidences of our Time(s).On Thursday 12th Feb 2009, The Heelers Diaries published a poem entitled The Poetic Manifesto. On Friday 13th Feb, The Times of London published a poem by its own poet in residence, entitled Manifesto. Well folks, looks like it's finally happened. After years being ripped off by the low rent scruff of Independent Newspapers... I'm finally attracting a better class of rip off.

Nearer my God to thee.
There are two classes of people I never make fun of. The Mafia. And people who have at any time been involved in what they euphemistically call "armed struggle" in Northern Ireland. Today we shall make an honoured exception. I have just read that an Irish terrorist leader currently facing trial for his stewardship of an organisation styling itself The Real IRA, has a home address in a town called Hackballscross. Now that's a salubrious address. Hoo boy. Not since 1970's comedian Mr Mike Yarwood revealed that Rev Ian Paisley is an anagram for Vile IRA Pansey, have I been so struck by the quaint synchronicities of this modern life.

Journalist Of The Year.
The Irish Times boldly proclaims one of its contributors Kathy Sheridan as Journalist Of The Year and reprints the epithet with her byline in case of any of us aren't paying attention. This contributor appeared on Irish televison some days ago. She commented on an Anglo Irish Bank manager who had loaned himself 129 million quid and concealed this loan from the auditors and from the public through a series of clandestine money transfers involving another bank. The Irish Times Journalist Of The Year said it was unfortunate that this bank manager should suffer during the present economic crisis as she knew him and believed him to be a decent man. It has now emerged that this bank manager's 129 million quids' worth of loans to himself are the thin end of the wedge at Anglo Irish Bank. During the past year among the transactions we know about, Anglo Irish Bank also received a temporary lodgement of four thousand million quid, that's four billion, from another financial institution. This transaction was intended to create the impression that Anglo Irish Bank was in a healthier position with its deposits than was the case. I wonder in view of the Irish Times Journalist of the Year's unique take on this particular bank manager, I wonder truly, will the Irish Times reconsider its generous application of the epithet Journalist Of The Year. I must write to the editor of the Irish Times about this matter. I know how much the editor of the Irish Times values my input from the amount of stuff (s)he snaffles off this blog.

Out takes from a life less ordinary.
My feminist cousin Pauline: "James I was reading Jenny Diski in The Guardian at the weekend."
Me: "Jenny Diski? And The Guardian? In one sentence? Why do you torture me woman?"

The Ones That Got Away.(Another from our occasional series on sublime photos I just missed capturing.)
Driving up Thomas Street in Dublin. There was a hoarding with graffiti on it. The graffiti read in large white letters: "No One Is Illegal." Beside the hoarding, leaning on a little wooden rail, was a young Chinese man with a poignantly weary expression on his face.

From The Heelers Emails.
Yankee Joe to Heelers: "Are you aware that Saturday Night Live used the music from your song Not The Theme Tune To Casino Royale for one of their comedy sketches?"
Heelers to Joe: "I was not aware of that. But my impulse to sue is lessened somewhat by virtue of the fact that I myself stole the music from a 1960's movie. Well I didn't really steal it. We call it sampling in the music industry. But Judge Liberal is notoriously iffy about it so I reckon Saturday Night Live are going to get off scott free."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

eileen said

every time it snows i remember
and the snows of america
a young woman then
mad to be free
an ocean from home
this was me
stood in the road
while the world turned white
alone in my kingdom
in love with it
for the fall of sky
and the rise of earth
all colour one colour
all last one first
in remembered beauty
but only because
every time it snows
i see the girl i was
bedraggled and desolate
ecstatic and scared
wild in the blizzard
at the dawn of years

four arguments and a buneral

Morning rendezvous with the Gringa in the Muse Cafe above Easons bookshop, for quick argument about drugs.
She said: "It's only a little weed."
I said: "It's nothing. It's useless. It's the absolute opposite of real living. It's not even a sensation. It's the opposite of sensation. The opposite of feeling. You don't need it. You're too good for it. It's a useless lie. You're better than that."

Afternoon rendezvous with the Perfect Fit in the Cafe Aroma on Abbey Street, for quick argument about pornography.
The Perfect Fit once managed a book shop in Madrid which included such wares among its interesting and varied produce.
She said: "Oh come on. It's just a business. Like any other. Like prostitution."
I said: "Yes it's exactly like prostitution. No. Actually it's more like drug use. You might as well be selling drugs as selling this rubbish."
Afterwards we wandered into the Easons next door, and I dragged her over to the pornography section.
"Look," I said reaching for some filth. "Which would you like? A little marijuana perhaps? Or how about some cocaine? Or why not try a little heroin just to really ruin your life? Could you imagine anybody's son or daughter appearing in this? Or could you imagine your own niece or nephews reading this to feel alive? Wouldn't it be the ultimate thievery of their existence?"
The perfect fit looked at me keenly.
Then she enquired sweetly: "Why do you feel so strongly about pornography? How do you know so much about it?"

Evening argument with Giovanna about euthanasia.
The Italians have just done away with a girl called Eluana who was in a coma.
I asked: "Aren't you even a little bit frightened that this is a step towards what the Netherlanders have done? In the Netherlands people are afraid to go into hospital now in case the doctor deems their life not to be worth living and murders them with a lethal injection."
Giovanna said: "If I was in a coma, I'd want you to shoot me."
I said: "And when I sit by your bed praying you back to life, are you going to look at me accusingly after you wake up and say: Why didn't you kill me?"
Giovanna said: "I wouldn't want to be kept alive. I'd want you to kill me."
I said: "And if I killed you, what then? You might go to heaven. Jesus would know that you didn't believe in him and that you weren't responsible for the idiotic decision to end your life. So you could really go to heaven. But I would go straight to hell. Because I do believe in Jesus. And I know your life is sacred. Even if you are in a coma. So if I killed you, I would go to hell. My soul would be lost for eternity. Would that make you happy?"

Quick dash to Naas hospital for an argument in the cafe with Glockers.
Glockers is a panelist on a nationally televised programme.
I have no idea what we argued about.
Something to do with the pay scale for television presenters.
I did not have the best of it.

Back to the Chateau de Healy for night time phone call from Hoddlebun.
Not really an argument.
I was too tired.
She had spent the afternoon praying before the relics of Saint Valentine who is reputed to buried in the altar of a Dublin church on White Friar Street.
She said: "I visited Saint Valentine today and brought him flowers."
I allowed myself a wry chuckle.
"It's no use Hodders," I told her. "He's never going to go out with you. He's dead."

nihil de mortui bollockum

Duelling Obituaries.
(For Recently Deceased Irish Heroes.)

Hugh Leonard, Playwright.
The Sunday Independent refers to the playwright Hugh Leonard as "a raconteur, wit and great man of letters."
James Healy notes: "Hugh Leonard spent his life sneering at the Catholic Church. As a columnist for the Sunday Independent he also spent decades advancing in a most supine and conformist manner the interests of the O'Reilly family. Never once did he speak out about the danger that the O'Reillys were devolving inappropriate, nay feudal, power to themselves as they took over virtually every newspaper in the Republic of Ireland along with the Waterford Crystal factory and the ephin phone company. Hugh Leonard's death when it came was a blessed release. For all of us."

Conor Cruise O'Brien. Journalist, editor, and politician.
The Irish Times refers to Conor Cruise O'Brien as "brilliant."
James Healy notes: "Conor Cruise O'Brien spent most of his life sneering at the Catholic Church and attempting to convince the Irish people that killing unborn children is the mark of a great civilisation. This is the beginning middle and end of his character. A pissant little atheistic abortionist conforming with all his heart throughout the abortion era to the abortionist credos of his atheistic paymasters. I mean, I don't want to go casting no aspersions. He never said or did a courageous thing. (My family believe he was courageous in opposing the IRA.) His early career in politics was established by a clownish decision to commit Irish troops to battle in the Congo during the 1960's. The Irish troops were sent in to fight the secession of Katanga from the Congo. They were sent in to fight without being assured proper logistical and weapons capabilities for the enemies they faced. And they were sent in to fight without any of us being sure we were fighting on the right side. To this day we have no idea whether Katanga was entitled to secede or not. It's secession was opposed by the idiot UN. That's all we know. A whole passel of our soldiers died without having a clue what the hell they were doing there. Conor Cruise O'Brien's decision as UN ops chief on the ground in the Congo made him look decisive to the sort of idiots who believe Irish troops haven't been wasted for thirty years in Lebanon, and aren't being risked wastefully, misguidedly and uselessly at present in Kosovo and Darfur. Irish pseudo adventurists anxious for a career in politics will often strike a big pose in some conflict zone. Look at UN Viceroy John Ging swaggering around the Gaza strip provisioning Jihadis for all he's worth while accusing Israel of war crimes. Ging has ensured that the Palestinians are the fattest deprived people on the planet. And they never seem to run out of baseball caps. Hoo yeah. Hate America. But love dem baseball caps. Does anyone doubt John Ging will be inflicted on us through Irish media and television and what passes for our parliamentary system for the next thirty years? He has made his career. The liberal atheists always see to it that those of their stripe are amply rewarded. It matters not one whit if Ging has put Ireland on the wrong side of history. But I digress. Conor Cruise O'Brien made his career in the Congo during the 1960's. A lot of soldiers died to help make his career. I never quite forgave him for it.

Bob Doyle, the last surviving Irishman to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
Artist Robert Ballagh commented this week: "Bob Doyle and all those who joined the International Brigades were amazing men, giving up their lives in the fight for democracy."
James Healy notes: "Bob Doyle and all those who joined the International Brigades were fighting for communist dictatorship. Bob Doyle was assisting the venerable Joe Stalin of Soviet Russia in attempting to turn Spain into a communist country. He was fighting for communism. Nothing else. He and his comrades had no interest in democracy. Their sole concern was something they called the dictatorship of the proletariat. Which really meant putting Joe Stalin in charge of the world. Bob Doyle was a communist even while Joe Stalin was murdering millions of Russians to enforce communist rule in that country. Bob Doyle remained a committed communist until the end of his life. Bob Doyle never wavered from his commitment to communism even when it became clear that Joe Stalin and Joe Stalin's communist successors had killed more than fifty million people in Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, East Asia and South America. (And Ireland of course. My sources tell me that from the 1970's the IRA was formally taking orders from the communist secret police the KGB. But we're not going to quibble over a few thousand dead and maimed in Ireland, when these warmhearted Commies with their love of democracy were murdering whole populaces elsewhere.) Bob Doyle never wavered from his commitment to communism as Chairman Mao murdered at least 70 million people in China. In fact, Bob Doyle's life was defined by a slavish love of that same barbaric communism, a pathetic devotion to the class conflict maunderings of Karl Marx, and a thoughtlessly crude espousal of Charlie Darwin's saddest atheisms. The people who marched in Dublin this week to honour Bob Doyle should be ashamed of themselves. Ballagh you're a tit. Bob Doyle himself now knows for sure whether there's a God or not. He also knows for sure whether it's a crime to murder 50 million Russians and 70 million Chinese and hundreds of millions of unborn children. The rest of us will find out presently.