The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

ordinary people

There is a destiny which shapes our ends, rough hew it as we will.
Well you know.
Parking my car this morning in Naas multi storey car park.
A woman in a Mercedes is trying to park her car just ahead of me.
She is trying to squeeze her car into a space that does not exist.
That is to say, there is a space there.
But it is not big enough to fit a Mercedes.
She has pressed her car against the front left hand side of an already parked black Toyota, and is using hers in an attempt to push the smaller car out of the way.
Her engine revs.
I can't quite believe what I am seeing.
For a moment these thoughts come to me: She's in distress; She didn't realise there wasn't a full space there; She doesn't know what to do; I'll help her.
Then I see her face.
She is about forty years old, blonde, and with an arrogant leer that would discourage the bravest of Irish poets from initiating his Last Knight Of Europe routine.
She reverses her car from the entanglement and gets out to survey the situation.
She is tall, bespectacled, wearing a white trouser suit.
She contemplates the lack of space where she's been trying to park.
She jumps back into her Mercedes and revs the engine again.
What in tarnation.
She's about to have another go.
The Mercedes scrapes along the side of the Toyota shunting it physically to the left.
I can see the car she's pushing, rocking on its axles.
I look around at other people queueing behind me to park.
There is a little log jam of us.
No one cares to meet my gaze.
You can hear the sound of metal upon metal.
It's not nice.
The Mercedes is virtually in the space now.
There is a pause.
Apparently the blonde woman thinks again.
She reverses out.
More scraping metal.
And drives away.
I follow her.
Her number plate is obscured by mud.
I get close enough to read it and note it.
She parks on another level of the centre.
I look around for car park staff, and finding none, head for a coffee.
Always with the coffee folks.
I'm telling you if the world was ending.
Er you know.
Seek for me in the last cafes of Ireland.
Now here's the rough hewn destiny bit.
As I quaff a coffee, the thought comes to me that I should leave details of the incident I've witnessed at Naas Garda station.
Ye same olde worlde Garda statione where yesterday I eyeballed and shouted at the protesting staff: "Get back to work you overpaid bar stewards."
The more I thought about going in there to make a report, the more the situation seemed touched by a gentle, nay perverse, irony.
Ah.
We all have need of each other.
So I betook myself to Naas Garda Station.
With mild feelings of trepidation I entered and made my tittle tattling report.
Still wondering could Mercedes woman have simply been a bit upset. Still thinking maybe I should have approached her and tried to help.
The office in the police station buzzed with a mid afternoon hum of efficiency.
No feeling of threat here.
A polite professional police officer took the details I offered.
Presumably not one of the ones who beat people to death in the cells.
Or terrorise motorists into having heart attacks at the side of the road a few days before Christmas.
Or see their fellow officers assaulting a member of the public and look the other way because of their twisted code of silence better known as The Code Of Cover Ups.
Or ask prostitutes to procure five year old children for them for the purposes of sex.
Or take drink and drugs while on the job.
Or assault a woman in Galway while attempting to force her to let them use her taxi.
Or brawl in the streets of Dublin while they're supposed to be guarding the American embassy.
Or.
Well you know.
Presumably not Garda Testos or Garda Murderous or Garda Psycho.
Presumably I got one of the decent ones.
Although there's no way of knowing for sure.
Because Garda Honorable, Garda Hero, and Garda Courageous refuse to testify against Garda Testos, Garda Murderous and Garda Psycho.
Which effectively makes them all the same.
My business dealt with, I departed.
Back at the Chateau de Healy, I discussed the morning's shenanigans with the Mammy.
"There's a quote going round in my head," I told her. "It might be from Shakespeare. Something about destiny being rough hewn. Do you know it?"
A far away look came into the Mammy's eye.
"There is a destiny which shapes our ends, rough hew it as we will," quoted she. "Of course I know it. When I was a nurse at Saint Vincent's, there was a surgeon who always used to say it just before he'd start a haemorrhoid operation. He'd have the patient anaesthetised on the operating table. He'd be just about to start rummaging around the bum. Then he'd come out with that. He thought he was being very funny."

Friday, February 27, 2009

heelers defies the swastika

Driving into Naas.
A knot of striking office workers are marching up and down outside Naas police station.
They are carrying signs with slogans about the hardship they face from government cutbacks.
"Tax the fatcats Minister," advises one of their more poignant signs.
Ah yes.
Everyone thinks someone else is going to pay.
The present bunch seem a happy well fed crew.
There are no visible signs of hardship beyond the signs they are carrying which make claims to hardship that would seem embarrassing to a 1930s Rhonda valley miner.
These present day Irish office workers receive over a thousand quid a week.
They don't earn it.
They receive it just for showing up.
They also receive undisclosed bonuses which the Irish government does not publish.
Ah, it's tough down t' mines.
In fact no one outside of official circles knows the exact total which Irish government office workers are paid.
Let me put it this way.
Today's protestors and their fellows in the State Sector are responsible for running up a national debt that will impoverish our children.
Our corrupt thieving incompetent criminal mafiosi Irish banks did not run up the national debt.
Our currupt thieving incompetent criminal mafiosi Irish banks are just petty criminals compared to today's striking office workers.
These nice middle class people who have allowed conflict theory Marxists to be their trade union representatives because, well, conflict theory Marxists get results don't they.
Ireland is dying before our very eyes.
But they get results.
And here come the wooooooorkers.
On strike.
With their little signs proclaiming: "We Won't Pay."
That famous vein on my temple which some of you know and love so well, gives a little throb.
I mulled the options.
A man would want to be some kind of an idiot to start challenging police station employees at the doorway of a police station.
I bring my car to a halt.
Wind down the window.
The strikers approach me and form a semi circle around the driver's side of my car.
About twenty of them.
They have expectant pleasant relaxed well fed faces.
I haven't seen such comfortable relaxed well fed faces since the last CNN footage of poor impoverished Arab protestors in the Gaza Strip demanding the right to bomb Israel with impunity while being fed by the United Nations.
But I digress.
Today's protestors at the police station are certain I am about to impart some anodyne message of support.
I shout.
Good and loud.
But every word distinct.
"Get... back... to... work... you... overpaid... bastards!"
There is a moment's stunned silence.
Two of the strikers.
Just two.
Raise a ragged cheer.
It is very ragged.
They're all still a little shocked.
"Yaaaaayyyyy," the two manage.
The others just stare.
I drive away.
This is getting to be quite a habit.
I wonder did they sing Cwym Rhonda after I left.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

destiny and the dark

Churchill stood on the roof of the Admiralty building watching the bombs fall.
All along the mall, buildings were aflame.
London was burning.
A hard man, Churchill had hardened further if such were possible, since the war began.
An almost mystical change in him had become apparent after his order to sink the French navy at Oran.
To his close friends and aides he was no longer knowable.
He stood apart.
Unlike them in the appurtenances of common humanity.
He seemed if not a creature of darkness, then certainly a creature who knew darkness well.
Churchill had without hesitation ordered the mauling of French ships and crews which up until days earlier had been his allies.
The supposedly neutral French warships would never fall into Nazi hands.
They would line the bottom of the ocean.
And for the first time far away in Berlin, some of the more insightful members of the German High Command began to realise they were in a ball game.
Some of them, a very few, suspected that they were up against an enemy more dreadful than they had ever known.
And now London was burning.
Churchill turned to Macmillan who was standing with him on the parapet.
"Sink the Johnston Press," he snarled.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the cloak

mid the grey desolation
of a rainswept dublin street
colour tore my vision
from dreariness and fret
a cloak of ebon silk
lay crumpled in the mud
meshed with silver hues
and ochre tainted gold
a spiders web of threads
sent blood among the sheen
woven so by fingers
with a knowledge that is gone
and knowing came upon me
in a drumroll of heart beats
the lost cloak of poetry
the mantle of john keats
and hunger came upon me
i snatched at it in greed
but it fluttered and it melted
into concrete into clay

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

miscellaneous

Sparkling Dialogue
Me: I've got a bald patch.
The Mammy: Of course you do.
Me: Arghhhhhhh.
Her: You knew you had a bald patch.
Me: No I didn't.
Her: Yes you did. You've been going on about it for years.
Me: I thought I was joking.

Idea For A Charity Music Video
The singer sings:
"Twenty nine years waiting for a chance,
To tell her how I love her and maybe get a second chance.
Now I've got get used to not living next door to Alice."
At that moment the famous British golf commentator Peter Alliss sticks his head around the door and says in his incomparably plummy accent:
"Alliss? Allliss? Who the f--- is Alliss."

Fortunes Of War
Irish Times Journalist Of The Year Kathy Sheridan said on the Irish National television station RTE recently that it would be "unfortunate" if the head of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean Fitzpatrick, got into trouble during the present economic crisis as she knew him and she believed he was a decent man. Her comments were made during a programme called Questions And Answers. The bank official to whom she was referring, Sean Fitzpatrick, approved loans to himself of 129 million Euro. These loans were concealed by Sean Fitzpatrick through a process involving periodically transferring them to another bank. In addition, while Sean Fitzpatrick was head of Anglo Irish Bank, ten Anglo Irish Bank account holders were given loans of thirty million Euro each to buy shares in Anglo Irish Bank. These loans were designed to create an artificial demand for Anglo Irish Bank shares. The Irish government, led by a party called Fianna Fail, is now corruptly refusing to reveal the identities of the ten account holders who received loans of 30 million Euro each. Interestingly enough Anglo Irish Bank also received temporary deposits of several billion Euro from a financial institution called Irish Life allowing Anglo Irish Bank to present a false balance sheet with regard to its deposit accounts. The Fianna Fail government has now taken over Anglo Irish Bank. The Fianna Fail government has been deluded by false balance sheets and by its loyalty to an unidentified golden circle of super rich criminals. This week Fintan O'Toole, another Irish Times journalist, was a guest on Questions And Answers. Fintan O'Toole is a typical Irish Times champagne socialist. He did some honorable enough sniping at the banks. He did not once mention Kathy Sheridan.

Coffee House Chatter
Sunday afternoon at the old Kylemore Cafe in the Stephens Green Centre.
Famed for its all-milk no-coffee caffe lattes served up by smiling Muslim assassins called Privya.
Ah Privya. Dearest Privya. Thou art indeed a honey.
I'd convert to the peaceloving religion of Islam for you in a second.
No in half a second.
But today I was there with Roman Viviana.
Viviana was telling me about her family.
"My brother is 35," she said. "He's really old."
It was a Kodak moment.
I endeavoured to look as if butter wouldn't melt in my mouth.
I think I caught the look nicely.

Belling The Quinn
A journalist called David Quinn in one of his articles last week called President Bush "a brutal unilateralist." Mr Quinn is an employee of Tony O'Reilly's horrendously anti Catholic organisation Independent Newspapers. Interestingly enough, Mr Quinn poses Catholic. I believe Independent Newspapers hired him because of references in my humour column some years ago exposing Independent Newspapers as an anti Catholic organisation. Around the same time as Quinn was hired at the Indo, the Irish Times hired a certain Miss Breda O'Brien. Another bleeding heart who cannot tell us often enough how Catholic she is. I think she was hired by the Irish Times for similar reasons to those which caused the Indo to hire Mr Quinn. That is to say, I think I played a similar role in the Irish Times decision to hire her. Much good may it do any of them. But I digress. Quinn's remarks about President Bush. Utterly untrue of course. Worthless conformist pseudery. But when has that ever mattered to the Irish Independent? President Bush is not hostage to their ill considered sneers. I wonder has David Quinn ever expressed a single courageous opinion in his life. Aside from when Tony O'Reilly is paying him to mawkishly attach himself to an ancient and beautiful and true religion. And here he is now, sneering to order, at the only world leader to take down two dictatorships in the last fifty years. The leaders of murder regimes in Zimbabwe, Sudan and North Korea, the Mugabes, the Kim Jong Ils, the Omar Ahmed Hassan Al Bashirs, slept uneasily in their beds, knowing President Bush was on the job. With the present shower of world leaders there is no longer any real threat to the most psychotic governments in all Africa, Asia and Arabia. They can murder and starve their subject peoples with gay abandon. Hoo boy. The Mugabes, the Kim Jong Ils, the Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashirs, sleep sweetly tonight knowing that brave non brutish multilateralists like the valiant David Quinn are keeping an eye on them, and will never, under any circumstances do anything to stop them. Bah humbug.

Heelers Recommends
Here they are folks. My five favourite music videos. You should find them on Mr Youtube's quirky little website. These are the ones I guarantee to put a smile on your face.
1. 60 Miles An Hour, by New Order. Should be studied at film school. Effortless storytelling, sublime wit and tremendously appealing totally unknown actors.
2. America, by The KLF. Catchiest studio engineered song ever, fitted to perfect self parodying imagery.
3. Spaceman, by Babylon Zoo. Originally came to prominence as the theme from a Levis ad. They should have used the ad version for the whole song but they chickened out. You'll see what I mean. The beginning and end are the bits that were in the ad. The rest is padding. Brilliant padding though.
4. Ya Mama, by Fatboy Slim. This has never been bettered. A group called The Chemical Brothers did a passable rip off version of the video for one of their own songs called Do It Again. But see this. The cast of this video are my favourite actors of all time.
5. The New Pollution, by Beck. It's not funny. But it is art.

A Train To The West
A bored voice comes over the intercom.
"Due to a fire at Ballinasloe the train may be delayed for some time."
Ah yes.
For some time.
In Irish train company jargon that phrase means: "For the rest of your lives."

Insufferable Self Righteousness
A decade ago, a lady called Millie Fielding asked me did I seriously think there was any real difference between Ireland's political parties.
I replied thusly: "I can endorse no political party in Ireland because they are all abortion parties. All of them. But I will say this. It is my profoundest conviction that our main party of government Fianna Fail is a deeply diseased political party, corrupt and corrupting. This is a party that will first diminish and then destroy all probity in governance. There is no evil of which they are not capable. And I fear there is no limit to the wrongdoing they will do in pursuit, or in possession, of power. You people are still going to vote for them though. You're going to vote for your pay rises. Because you know they'll give you free money. Fianna Fail are kleptocrats and they will recreate the nation in their own image. In the end we'll all be thieves blaming each other for our thievery. All you nice middle class teachers and nursies and cops and bus drivers, all of you are going to be responsible for what Fianna Fail do to this country."
I have waited a decade for Millie Fielding to come back to me and apologise for refusing to listen to my warning. Now the teachers, the nursies, the cops and the bus drivers are protesting in the streets because they don't want to have to pay for the mess we're in. Someone else should pay. The corrupt bankrupt banks maybe. Or our corrupt bankrupt government. Here is the news. The heads of Ireland's banks should be in jail. But the rest of us need to find a way out of this mess. That means teachers, nursies, cops, bus drivers and everyone else in the freebooting State Sector, as well as the thieves in the Irish utility phone and electricity monopolies, voluntarily taking a forty percent pay cut. The forty percent might be enough. We're in a heap of trouble anyway. But a general pay cut of forty percent for State Sector employees just might stave off a total currency collapse and attendant civil war and starvation. It might stave off currency collapse, civil war and starvation. It just might. I wouldn't bother mentioning this, only my warnings in the past have tended to be spot on, and I have a certain responsibility. Your children's college fund isn't going to be much good if the streets are running red with blood. I am not going to make this appeal a second time.

Here's One I Wrote Earlier
More fake Gospels showing up day by day. Something called the Gospel of Judas currently doing the rounds. This has been newly reconstructed from fragmentary sources. Very fragmentary from what I've read. Wherever a sentence was incomplete, those doing the reconstructing appear to have reconstructed it themselves in such a way as to refute some aspect of traditional Catholic doctrine. Hilarious stuff. You couldn't make it up. Although in this case, the reconstructors apparently did make it up. Well most of it. Gnostic Gospels, supposedly based on hidden or previously suppressed sources, have been coming to light for centuries. The word gnosis refers to the concept of hidden knowledge. The Da Vinci Code book and film have produced a new vogue for such items. Some of the more interesting Gnostic Gospels include the Gospel of Barnabas, which is considered a Muslim forgery. In Barnabas we are introduced to a Jesus who comes out with the classic lines: "I'm not God. The real prophet of God will come in a few hundred years. He will be called Muhammed." I'm joking, but this is very close to what it says. There is no historical evidence for the Gospel Of Barnabas having existed before the 15th century. Another more recent Gnostic Gospel is the Secret Gospel Of Mark. Known to scholars as Secret Mark, it is said to date from the 20th century and to have been written by a fellow called Morton Smith who wished to use Jesus to propagandise in favour of homosexual lifestyles. Some of the Gnostic Gospels are much more ancient though all seem to have been written long after the four Gospels accredited by Christian believers as being true Gospels. There is an Arab Infancy Gospel which is possibly well over a thousand years old. It features an account of Jesus' childhood which reads to me like a bad flashback episode of Superman. But it is written reverently enough. For the Arabs have ancient souls. And that's the interesting thing. It seems even people who were faking stories about Jesus, or producing false Gospels to promote particular agendas, or producing Gospels which were effectively novels featuring a character everyone had heard of, well even the worst of these lying scribes, or manipulators, or entertainers, or whatever they were, even the worst of em, can't quite bring themselves to deliberately diminish the person of Jesus. Almost in spite of themselves they write of the Messiah with awe and respect.

Monday, February 23, 2009

from our sports desk

The price of a share in the Johnston Press on the British stock exchange this morning is 6p.
The shares were priced around the £4 mark when the company fired me from the Leinster Leader in November of 2007.
I wonder could the wrong people have been getting fired.
Seriously though, they're doing a brilliant job.

meditations in time of war.

Evening at the Chateau de Healy.
I have been banished to the outer darkness.
That is to say, I'm stuck in the television room.
Paddy Pup is at my feet and MC Hamster is up my sleeve sleeping off her madeira cake.
Why am I here?
The Mammy has just returned from a two week holiday at Naas hospital and has commandeered the house for a celebratory Bridge night she's holding with some of her pals.
Apparently their Bridge game requires the use of the entire house except for the room I'm now wedged in.
I'm sitting flicking somewhat wearily through the documentary channels on the TV.
You know folks, at this stage I could nearly teach a university course on the lesser known battles of World War Two.
My eye alights on a programme entitled Sink The Bismarck.
I perk up.
Here's larks, thinks I, sitting back to enjoy yet another hour of derring do.
The hour passes.
I flick the channels again.
And lo!
A programme entitled Sink The Graf Spee.
I kid you not.
I sit back and watch.
No surprises at the end.
The Brits sink it.
I flick the channels again.
Now this is beyond the beyonds.
A programme entitled Sink The Tirpitz.
What the hell...
Are the documentary channels running a tad short on ideas?
Did Churchill really go about defeating the Nazis one warship at a time?
Is that why World War Two lasted six years?
The Tirpitz documentary features the rummest thing I've seen in a war programme.
The Brits accomplished the most remarkable feat of courage in infiltrating a group of four mini submarines across the arctic ocean, each with a crew of underwater commandos trained to mine the German battleship Tirpitz which was sheltering in a Norwegian fjord.
(For any of my readers from the Johnston Press, a fjord is a type of sheltered coastal inlet. - Heelers note.)
One of the subs sank in transit with the loss of its crew.
The others tricked their way past German anti submarine nets by following a small boat through a security gate.
The commando crews managed to set a string of high explosive mines below the hull of the Tirpitz.
Then the whole bunch of remaining commandos were captured.
The Germans brought em on board the Tirpitz.
They were sitting there waiting for the thing to go sky high.
A surviving commando, now in old age, recalled for the cameras: "We told some of the German sailors what was about to happen. The ship was our target. Not the crew. It was a very British thing to do."
Well bold readers.
I don't think it was a very British thing to do.
I think the commandos just decided they wanted to live.
Let anyone with one hundredth of their courage presume to judge them.
I'd say if Churchill had got his hands on them though, he'd have hacked their bawls off.
The Germans managed to move the Tirpitz a few degrees to the left as the mines went off.
The ship was not destroyed.
Until very late in the war.
After forty more attacks.
Then she finally she went to the bottom.
During another remarkable Brit feat of arms.
A precision air raid which blew the Tirpitz to smithereens.
Memo to the Jihadis.
The Brits only ever win one battle.
The last one.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

overture

Faint fluting notes of birdsong carried on the firstlings of morning. The birds are preparing to sing the universe into being as they have done every morning since the dawn of time. Shadows unfurl in the garden of my father. Living light wanders where it will. The branches shiver in a gospel dance. Warm wind ruffles my hair. Paddy Pup rummages in the hedge.
The ghost of Charlie Darwin appears at my shoulder.
"The birds are singing to mark their territory," he grins.
"I think you're wrong," I tell him softly.