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, May 09, 2009

apropos of nothing at all

Sitting quaffing a coffee in the Costa Cafe near Trinity College. Meditating on the vicissitudes of life. A rather fetching Spanish girl at the table near the door is smiling at me while crossing and uncrossing her sinewy silken clad legs. "Cor blimey guv," I muse sincerely, "those are some vicissitudes." Presently my mind turns to weightier issues. I am wondering if I have put distance between myself and the God of the Hebrews by harbouring resentments in my heart towards those I hate. Or by hating those I resent. Well, you know what I mean. For instance, did I, in seeking to honorably oppose Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism, did I come to hate Arabs and Muslims generally? And how about my former employers? I surely hate them. I know full well that if God gave me the authority right this moment, I would immediately call down fire and destruction upon the Johnston Press and all who sail in her. Where does my lack of forgiveness towards that shower of incompetent parvenu spivs sit with any aspiration to be a Christian. But fire and destruction it would be. If I had authority. I would call the angels of heaven to crush their citadels of glass to a powder and to scatter their rancid incompetent corpses to the four winds. Ah. If we could have our druthers. As I ponder my lack of forgiveness, the ghost of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins appears at my table. "Heelers," sez he. "You don't really want to do away with the Johnston Press." With some asperity, I assure him that I do. GM Hopkins shakes his head. "You said yourself you needed them as cartoon villains for your blog," he recalls fondly. He then addresses me thusly in verse:
"What would the world be once bereft,
Of spivs and of parvenus,
Oh let them be left.
Let them be left
At the Johnston Press
Long live the dillwads
And the dirtbags yet."
You know what gentle travellers of the internet? GM Hopkins is an impossible ghost to argue with. We let the matter rest and instead passed the next half hour agreeably meditating on the strange high mystic appeal of Spanish girls.

Friday, May 08, 2009

midnight memories

in the clammy stillness
of a calm monsoon
you came to me
pointed to the window
and a spanish galleon moon
sail with me sayeth thou
the tide is turning soon

i woke to find i slept
i wept

Thursday, May 07, 2009

blithering in the key of life

Sitting watching a film version of Pride And Prejudice. Keira Knightly looks fetching enough. At least she doesn't look half starved in this one. In fact, there are very attractive stars and costars all round. Nice casting of Donald Sutherland as Mr Bennet. Camera work nearly good. Maybe just a little bit arid. No heart to make us care about the nice colours. This is the problem. And the storyline itself utterly betrayed. Utterly betrayed, I mean, in its tone. For the modern reader Jane Austen's original novel and characters still glisten with wit and defiance and zest for living after centuries. It's nearly impossible to transfer them to the screen without capturing something of the author's own joy at living. But this film has all but accomplished the impossible. The thing is inert. Almost joyless. Because it's a depiction of Jane Austen through the lens of early 21st century atheistic liberalism. It's as though the film makers in their anxiety to make a point about the status of women, have decided to jettison the joyful celebration of life which Jane Austen has crafted into her story. Joy doesn't quite fit with Marxist dialectic apparently. The most famous scene where the bumbling clergyman Mr Collins asks Keira Knightly to marry him was played like an episode of Eastenders. Socialist realism writ large. When Donald Sutherland stepped up to deliver the most life affirming line in literature, to wit: "Lizzie, from this day you must forever be a stranger to one of your parents, for your mother will never speak to you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never speak to you again if you do," there was hope that here at least the film would have to retain some of the zest of the original, but no, the line was delivered with grim vindictive wearisome hackneyed menace. Not even a smidgen of roguish humour. I recall a previous adaptation of Pride And Prejudice was carried out by the famous feminist Fay Weldon back in the 1980's. Fay Weldon was herself enough of an authoress to insist on respecting the vision of Jane Austen. Fay Weldon, as clapped out a feminist as ever lived, delivered a work of art, something that shone with the spirit of the original. Yes, even she opted to retain the joy. Bloody hell. This bunch have run the thing through an ideological ringer. The end result is a bunch of sexy communists trahaising a work of art. Here is the news. Janes Austen is more realistic than anything in Eastenders or Coronation Street or The Communist Manifesto. Jane Austen knew about people, life and real courage, namely the courage to cheerfully say things that no one else is saying and to keep living no matter how tough things get, and to live with joy, dammit all. In this film Jane Austen's life's work has been sacrificed on the altar of flash over substance. Jane Austen has been raped by atheistic liberals. Ah it makes me mad.

(Tony Clayton Lea in The Irish Times notes: "Bringing Jane Austen's movie to the big screen, director Joe Wright perfectly pitches the balance between glamour and squalor, wit and wisdom.")

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

the overture for sophie

The burgeoning blush of life through the hedgerows. Blackbirds dancing on the lawn at dawn. Lissom light tugging at the trees in the garden of my father. The belling of bullocks from the fields. Lambs skittering in the ditches. Ancient newness returned again to the heartland. Blossoms beckoning like jewels. Warm wind's ruffle. Children swimming in the river where their grandfathers swam. Paddy Pup barking in rejoice. Emma's cats stalking my robins. Gold finches on the back window. My cousin Jennifer bringing her baby Sophie home from hospital. Glory. Glory to God.


The Aroma cafe on Abbey Street.
I'm giving an English lesson in the corner to one of the Miss Koreas.
I ask her: "Do you notice anything different about me today?"
The question is intended to demonstrate the use of the phrase "do you notice," and provide a broad avenue for possible answers thereto.
Miss Korea peers at me closely.
She is a tad radiant as per usual.
Presently she replies.
She says: "Your skin is a bit better than last time."

here's one i drew myself

Arab girls wearing Baobabs.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

our television listings

(The Irish national broadcaster.)
3.00 The Afternoon Show. Unwatchable RTE hags sit around for an hour and a half, talking about waxing their legs.
4.25 Murder She Wrote. Jessica is sued for plagiarism by Agatha Christie.
5.20 Nuacht. What the hell is this?
5.30 The Bill. Outdated British satire on the liberal ethic in modern policing.
6.01 News. Liberal atheistic anti American view of the day's events.
7.00 Living The Wildlife. Emmy Award winning wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford Johnson blah, blah, blah.
7.30 Eastenders. Dreadful British licence fee financed fervourless joyless tosh set in London.
8.00 Fair City. Dreadful Irish licence fee financed fervourless joyless tosh set in Dublin.
8.30 Corrigan's City Farm. No one cares what this is.
9.00 News. Those lovable lefties are back.
9.30 Prime Time. Current affairs show devised and presented by people who believe Karl Marx, Chairman Mao and Joe Stalin were heroes, and that the hundreds of millions of human beings murdered by atheistic communism on one hand and atheistic medicine on the other are not relevant in any political discussion. According to the geniuses of Prime Time, the Catholic church is and always has been the sole threat to the human race. It is such a privilege to finance these atheistic cruddlers through a compulsory television licence fee. Presenter John Bowman has absolutely no insight at all into the nature of truth. He perceives the contours of reality as little as a spoon perceives the taste of food. But I am the master now. I Darth Vader. Oops. Sorry. Lost it there for a moment.
10.10 Secret Billionaire: The Chuck Feeney Story. Odious piece of bootlicking directed towards an American who has donated 1.2 billion smackeroos to Ireland. The Irish government used it to give 50 percent payrises to nurses, teachers, police officers, bus drivers and civil servants. That is to say, with Chuck's millions sloshing around the country, it was easier for our government to present a veneer of prosperity to international banks in order to justify borrowing billions more from those same international banks to pay nurses, teachers, police officers, bus drivers and civil servants for jobs they were already excessively remunerated to do and which they were already failing dismally to do well. Happily enough, future generations of Irish people will be saddled with the debt run up against the country by our kleptocratic Fianna Fail government in order to buy votes from nurses, teachers, police officers, bus drivers and civil servants. The present generation may whine about a recession but it's the next generation who will grow up in a third world country. Seriously though nursies, teachers, police officers, bus drivers and civil servants, don't you think it's time you took some responsibilty for what you've done? How about giving a little back? Just what you can afford... I wonder will the presenters of this programme ask Chuck how careful he was to ensure none of his money was going to organisations involved in terrorist activities on the island of Ireland.
11.15 The View. I don't know what this is.
11.55 News. Here is the news. RTE is a rubbish channel. There. You need never broadcast a news programme again. Let alone ten of them in the one day.
12.00 Medium. Unwatchable paranormal drama with that Arquette bird in it. Bring back Mannix.

(The Irish government's sop to those of us who've been seeking deregulation of the broadcasting industry. This is the only independent television station in Ireland and is run without financing from the national television licence fee. Ironically enough, TV3 is the only television station on the planet earth which is genuinely worse than RTE.)
4.00 Coronation Street. Depressing British soporific soap opera.
4.30 Judge Judy. I quite like Judge Judy.
5.30 News. See RTE.
6.00 Xpose. Celebrity gossip show.
6.30 Friends. I quite like Friends.
7.00 Emmerdale. Depressing British soporific soap opera.
7.30 Nothing To Declare. Documentary about Australian customs officers. The most intellectual thing on TV3 today.
8.00 The World's Strictest Parents. Bet they're not Canadians.
9.00 Addicted To Shoplifting. My brain hurts.
10.00 The Tudors. Depressing British soporific soap opera with sex in it, pornography for the middle classes.
11.05 Nightly News with Vincent Browne. An old Marxist atheist abortion advocate (Browne) recreates the world in his own image. Browne is indistinguishable from RTE's Bowman except that he's marginally more hideous. A thoroughly worthless celebration of verbiage. Palpably malign.
12.00 Kingdom. There is chaos in the office. Gloria hasn't shown up for work. Beatrice is plotting to win Alan back by using Lyle, and there's a squirrel in the attic. I think I'm going to cry.
1.00 The X Factor. I am going to cry. It's hopeless. Humanity is finished.

Monday, May 04, 2009

the happiest half hours of life

Afternoon in the Kylemore cafe at the Stephens Green Centre food court.
The Muslim waitress Privya is scowling prettily at me from across the room.
She is astonishingly beautiful.
Alright, alright, she is moderately good looking.
But that qualifies in my book.
Ah I'd convert to the peaceloving religion of Islam for her in a second.
No, a half second.
Oh right.
You know.
Presently one of the managers strolls between the tables and starts clattering around near my shoulder.
He is a Pakistani Muslim.
A close ally of Privya's.
He is a tremendously dedicated man.
Engaged in an endless battle to sell coffee to the Irish and then make sure they don't enjoy it.
This particular manager is also an associate of Dublin's favourite Muslim street gang, known as the Black Jackets.
Are the black jackets a subsidiary of Al Qaeda, I hear you ask.
Is the Supreme Moderator of the Presbyterian Church vaguely uncomfortable with Papal authority!
I normally refer to this particular manager as Mohammed Travolta on account of the incongruous leather jacket he wears when harassing members of the public on Grafton Street with his friends.
The Kylemore could do better.
I sit at my table meditating on the vicissitudes of life.
Mohammed Travolta tries to catch my eye.
The resentment flows out of him in waves.
I am thinking to myself about some of my foreign national friends and what they have told me about life in Ireland.
About the racism and resentment they experience.
Have I been guilty of this in my dealings with Arabs and Muslims?
I try to put myself in the mind of this abysmally rude manager at the Kylemore.
What can he be thinking?
Perhaps his thoughts go something like this:

"Who does Heelers think he is? Walking around his own country like he owns it? Where does he get off, respecting our women like that, and being civil to our sons as if they don't have to live a life of enforced Islamic psychosis. Nyah ha ha Gee Force. Just who the hell does he think he is..."

You know folks, I'd say we're not too far from the truth there.
I'd say that's exactly what he's thinking.
This calls for wisdom.
The evil that is racism doesn't just stem from whiteys and Irish.
Africans and Arabs are often guilty of it too.
Sometimes profoundly guilty of it.
The only people I've ever seen shoulder jostling Irish cops on the streets of Dublin, were fat Nigerians.
The cops walked away.
As for the Arabs.
I was writing lovey dovey articles about Dublin being the city of tribes until I encountered the black jackets.
A few bits of modest intimidation from those low life, and I more or less had to rethink my world view.
They reached the parts Nine Eleven seemed to miss.

Presently I weary of the Kylemore floor show.
Privya and Mohammed Travolta have outlasted me.
I get up to leave.
They will probably be working there still long after I'm dead.
Al Qaeda may have gotten its arse kicked by the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But in the Kylemore Food Court it has at least gained one victory.

I wander outside and take a stroll around Stephens Green.
The city is disporting in the sun.
Some yobs on a park bunch set up a hue and cry.
They are shouting.
Well here's larks.
They appear to be shouting at me.
They are making a veritable cacophony of sound.
Their cries ring out in thick Dublin accents.
What are they saying?
The accent is difficult.
I frown.
Some insight into the nature of existence perhaps.
A new postulation on the origins of the universe to go with Creationism, The Big Bang, and Steady States.
I listen intently.
The shouting shows no sign of abating.
After a moment I can decipher their strange high mystic message.
They are saying: "Dildo, dildo, dildo, dildo, diiiiillllllddddddooooo."
Over and over.
Their chant reminds me of nothing so much as the chorus from Spaceman, the classic Jas Mann song that was used to advertise Levis jeans a few years ago.
Remember the manic tremolo pitch at the finish.
"Spaceman, Spaceman, Spaceman, Spaaaaaaaaacemannnnnn."
This is just like that.
The new refrain is very catchy.
Why, I'd almost record a charity record version of it.
We could donate the proceeds to a Fund in aid of buying a ticket home for Privya and Mohammed Travolta.
A ticket to their own home.
Whatever rat infested hole they crawled out of.
I've grown weary of worrying whether I'm a racist every time they're rude to me.
"Dildo, Dildo, I've always wanted you to go into Dildo. Intergalactic craft."
I think it could work.
And it's a worthy cause.
Unusual to be accosted in the centre of the city in broad daylight by native Irish thugs.
I find the experience extraordinarily refreshing.

Outside the park, Grafton street is thronged.
There is a pulse in the universe.
Two luminously pretty girls stroll towards me.
They are Arabs.
I recognise them.
We've bumped into each other around here for years without ever talking.
They are wearing traditional Baobabs.
Very exotic.
They look like supermodels with souls.
Today they give me the usual cheeky smiles.
One of them gets her courage up.
"Hello Daddy," she grins as they drift by.
I am not as flattered by this appellation as you might expect.
But yes, they are astonishingly beautiful both of them.
Astonishingly beautiful.
A surge of optimism takes me.
The kids are great.
The kids will save the world.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

sergeant heelers lonely hearts club english lessons

Cafe Aroma on Abbey Street.
"Why do the Irish hate the Japanese?" enquires Miss South Korea poignantly.
I eye her.
"What's happened?" I counter.
Her eyes are shining with what could be tears.
"People on the bus keep glaring at me and telling me to go back to Japan," she answers, still heavy on the poignancy.
She is very beautiful when she's poignant.
I sigh.
"I think you get people like that everywhere," I explain cautiously. "Sometimes it might be racism. Sometimes it might be ignorance. Always it's a sort of dissatisfaction with themselves. Unhappy people sometimes spend their time looking for ways to spread unhappiness. I hope it's not really racism but it's still very unpleasant for whoever is on the receiving end. Anyone who glares at another person, and makes a remark like that, is doing so because of a deep seated unhappiness, a profound insecurity, with who they themselves are. You may be sure when you get off the bus they immediately start glaring at someone else. They've nothing better to do with themselves. It's never really about you."
Miss Korea looked at me reproachfully but said nothing.
"Anyway," I said brightening. "You don't mean to tell me that if I walked down Main Street South Korea, there wouldn't be tough young South Korean men jeering: Hey Whitey, go back to Caucasia you starey blue eyed pale faced b-st-rd."
Miss Korea grinned.
"There wouldn't," she said. "Everyone in Korea is nice."