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, August 29, 2009

lessons in life with the lady known as LIL

Me and the Mammy in the Cafe Des Beaux Parvenus at Newbridge Silverware.
Quaffing lattes in the key of life.
The place is thronged.
The Mammy casts a gaze of some asperity around the hallowed hall.
"Look at all the ould dears," she sniffs.
I am somewhat nonplussed.
"Mother," sez I, "Shush."
She leans forward.
"The cafe we used to go to in the Whitewater Centre was always full of young sexors," she imparts conspiratorially.
"I remember," sez I.
"This place is probably better for you though," quoth she.
"In what way?" wondereth I.
The Mammy grins.
"It'll teach you," quoth she in her most sagacious air. "It'll teach you that young sexors all turn into ould dears eventually."

valhalla

a feasting hall of the dead
the place is thronged
with anonymous provincial poets
the walls ring with their sings
and far down sit the few
who won great fame whilst yet alive

and in this place
where triumph and pretension are ripped bare
and fame and fancy torn to dust
yeats and shakespeare
dog the heels of one such
Ciaran Smith
vying for his favour
pleading for his attention
he in turn
is kind to them

action heroes to sue studios

An unprecedented joint legal action began today in the United States Circuit Court of Appeal when a group of fictional cinematic action heroes filed a formal law suit against the Hollywood studios and writers responsible for the plots of their films.
The group consists of established fictional characters, who accuse the studios of failing to develop topical story lines for the sequels to their most successful films.
Fictional Green Beret John Rambo told reporters that he and the other characters felt they had no choice but to take legal action.
"Like, yo, like our characters have been completely destroyed by the lack of courage and imagination in the sequels," Mr Rambo commented. "Take my own experience. The studios have completely chickened out with the most recent Rambo film. Here we are in the middle of a Muslim Jihad against the free world. Who do the film makers send me up against in the new film? Those dangerous world threatening commie Buddhists of Burmah."
"I gotta tell you this came as something of a surprise to me and my family and my legions of fans. It was like: Hey! Why isn't Rambo fighting Muslim terror? I was speechless. I mean not just speechless because I'm illiterate. I mean speechless because the situation, like yo, appalled me."
"There's no excuse. I'm not fighting Muslim terror because the studios are afraid to let me fight Muslim terror. I think I and other action heroes deserve monetary compensation for the studios' failure to send us into action against the real villains of the modern era."
"The Muslims drew first blood. In fact they drew first blood three thousand times on Nine Eleven. And they've been drawing first blood ever since. Yo, all I'm saying is that I really do believe the latest Rambo film is a flop because, like yo, those behind it ducked their responsibilities to my character and to the cinema going audience and to the traditions of freedom bequeathed to us by our forefathers. Yo."
He is receiving support from John McCain the fictional hero of the Die Hard films who told reporters he agreed strongly with Mr Rambo's analysis.
"The studios are wussies," Mr McCain muttered grimly. "They've got me fighting computer hackers in the latest Die Hard film. Well it sank without trace of course. But I suppose the studio chiefs slept more soundly in their beds knowing they'd taken the cowards' option in ignoring the biggest threat to western civilisation in a thousand years. I'm looking forward to seeing them in open court and saying: Yipikayay Motherf---ers."
His sentiments were echoed by Mr Snake Plisskan from the classic Escape From New York film who was even angrier about the situation. Mr Plisskan is much celebrated among action heroes because he does not have John as a first or last name.
"They took twenty years to come up with a sequel for Escape From New York," snarled Plisskan. "And who do I end up fighting? Director John Carpenter sends me into battle against evil Christians. Rambo's fighting Buddhists and I'm fighting Christians. Carpenter has lost it. Too many drugs. Not enough films. He was the only original voice in the past fifty years of American cinema. Now look at him. A sell out conformist. It's a tragedy. The worst type of conformist. A conformist radical. A conformist radical pseud trying to get his name into Time magazine. I dread to think what he'd have me saying in any new Snake Plisskan film. He'd probably have me endorsing Barack Obama for President. President of what, I hear you cry. We'll sort that out later. Let's face it. The chances of me actually getting to shoot a few Jihadis are slim. Carpenter's afraid the Jihadis might come looking for him. He's right. They might. And that's just it. If we're afraid the Jihadis might come after us, that's precisely the time when we should be defying them. They don't rule us. And they never will. It's the future of the human race. Something Barack Obama doesn't give a sh-t about."
Another named hero, who is joint party to the law suit, is fictional British secret agent James Bond.
Even though the original author of the Bond series, Ian Fleming, is deceased, Mr Bond continues to appear in a series of anodyne novels written by contemporary authors who are specially commissioned by Penquin publishers to produce new books in the Fleming style.
Penquin have published 14 new Bond books to date.
The last one sold just 5000 copies.
I kid you not.
As with the other action heroes, the cinematic Bond is disappointed that he has yet to face off against the Muslim terrorists who are threatening humanity.
In fact he has yet to face Muslim terror in either the new books or the ongoing series of films in which he is the main character.
"It does leave one a bit disillusioned," 007 informed reporters with the urbane drawl from his Roger Moore incarnation. "I've lent my name to the lawsuit because I think it's time people in the west woke up and realised their way of life is under threat."
"If we're not free to write books or make films about Muslim villains, at a time when there is a surfeit of Muslim villains to choose from, if we're not free or if we're too afraid, what does that say about who's winning the war on terror? We're getting defeatist films from Tom Hanks blaming America for the emergence of the cult of the Jihadis. We're getting similar anti American drivel from a non entity called Steve Cuban who has made a flop film alleging American atrocities in Iraq. These fellows are churning out pro Jihadi propaganda films all of which sink without trace at the box office. But the damage is being done."
"Nobody's making any films where the Muslim terrorists get their comeuppance. Just who exactly does Hollywood, (and the publishing companies and media groups of the west who benefit so much from our not being ruled by Muslims), just who exactly do they, (and CNN, and the BBC, and the Associated Press, and NBC, and CBS, and Skybollah, and the Irish Times, and the Times of London, and the Guardian, and the Washington Compost, and all their ilk), tell me truly, just who exactly are any of these bast--ds rooting for in the war on terror?"
"During the Cold War, Ian Fleming wrote books in which my character faced off against the Russians every day of the week. Imagine if he'd been writing in the style currently advocated by my publishers. I would have been a secret agent with nothing to do. We'd all have been in denial about Soviet Russia. Pretending it wasn't there. Thankfully that didn't happen. The Russians had a nasty habit during the Cold War of absorbing countries that pretended they weren't there."
"I'm telling you that the present generation, including our pissant dilletante publishers and film makers, you mark my words, the present generation are now going to have to defend freedom as their fathers and mothers did or else lose it. They're going to have to defeat Arab terror or surrender to it. Frankly I'm not sure which they'll choose. Certainly the Arabs have much to hope for when they read Michael Moore's latest, or Robert Fisk's, or Noam Chomsky's or John Pilger's. The Lord Haw Haws of the modern era. I assure you they've been bought and paid for."
"As for the books in which I appear, I dread to think what's coming next. They'll probably ask Al Gore to write one. And that useless quisling git will have me out fighting to save the environment or the whales or the bloody rainforests. The Jihadis aren't going away you know. Russian communists and even German Nazis were less of a threat than Muslim terror. Because the Russians are and were an ancient cultured people. The Germans also have a tradition of learning and accomplishment. What are the accomplishments of Islam?"
(A tumbleweed blew by after Mr Bond asked this question.)
"Exactly," he continued. "All I'm seeking from my publishers is a chance to engage with a topical enemy. Ian Fleming gave me a licence to kill. Why on earth won't the politically correct conformist pseuds who've hijacked my character and insist on publishing new books without any style, substance, wit, or valour, books which totally cheapen and demean my legacy and reputation, why oh why, won't they let me use that licence to kill against some of the Muslim terrorist scum who really deserve it? I mean, I don't want to go casting no aspersions..."

Friday, August 28, 2009

orchestrale















****************************************
(Original title: "Bum shaped clouds over kilcullen.")

the empire strikes back

Dzherzhinsky looked at my computer.
"Heelers my old apple crumble," he mused in his distinct Russian accent, "you've been hacked."
My jaw dropped.
"No way."
"Way."
"How bad is it?"
"Very bad."
"Like a virus?"
"Like someone wanted to bomb you off the planet."
When he had gone I had time to reflect on the vicissitudes of existence.
I'd thrown a few punches lately.
There are a few suspects we might reasonably consider in any serious hacking incident.
The cops, the mob, the broads, the banks, the Jihadis, Ireland's corrupt kleptocratic Fianna Fail government, devil worshippers on the island of Jersey, Tony O'Reilly, Independent Newspapers, the free masons, the Johnston Press, Judge Liberal...
They're all out to get Heelers.
And Dzherzhinsky swears it's not an accident or a casual bit of nuisance hacking.
Hilarious.
I suddenly feel terribly important.
So the empire struck back alright.
The only question is.
Which empire?

The Jungle Boob (by Rudyard Gillard and James Kipling)



"Think Heelers, think. What would Gandhi do in this situation?"

adventures in babysitting

Some of you have been asking for more details regarding my dealings with British newspaper publisher The Johnston Press who fired me from the Leinster Leader in November of 2007. Below is an extract from some correspondence which may shed light on the issue.


***

Date: 16th August 2007.
From: John Whelan john.whelan@leinsterleader.ie

Copy to: Derry Quinn derry@leinsterexpress.ie

Subject: Unacceptable Misconduct

James,
It is with no small degree of dismay that I cannot believe you have yet to contact me, despite numerous attempts to get in touch with you. Efforts to get you to respond in order to arrange a meeting appear futile and I wish to caution you that it will not be allowed to continue. This gross misconduct is set against an ongoing deterioration of your work performance, work practices and declining productivity.
Quite frankly what you have offered as a proposed newslist from your area this week is pathetic and does not constitute a days work, much less the expected and required contribution of a full time staff member.
I must advise you that your behaviour is having a seriously negative impact on the performance, reputation and credibility of the Leinster Leader newspaper. As Editor it would be remiss of me to allow this to continue. Therefore, I must formally caution you that any further failure by you to contact me directly and to take normal direction and instruction from me will be addressed and may have serious implications for your continued employment with this newspaper.
I am trying to be fair to you but also clear with you that it is impossible to properly operate a newspaper with your carry on and blatant refusal to respond to simple requests and basic instructions.
Sincerely
John Whelan, Editor Leinster Leader


***


I replied thusly.



Date: 16 August 2007
From: James Healy
To: John Whelan
Subject: Re: Unacceptable Misconduct


Mr Whelan.
I don't know you.
If you are the editor of the Leinster Leader, you should speak to Mr Derry Quinn about certain serious matters I have raised with him and which he has undertaken to investigate.
James Healy

***
I also forwarded the following email of response directly to the then Managing Director of the Leinster Leader, an individual styling himself Derry Quinn.



A LETTER TO LORD QUINN

From: James Healy
To: Derry Quinn, Managing Director of the Leinster Leader.


Quinn.
I've had some sort of misunderstanding with the new boy.
This John Whelkan or Wheelpan or whatever you call him.
He's sent me an email.
Rather rude actually.
He definitely seems to be labouring under a profound misapprehension.
He seems to think you have appointed him ruler of the universe and not just editor of the Leinster Leader.
He seems to be under the impression that such an appointment entitles him to dispense with basic notions of courtesy and politeness.
Ah Quinn.
I must admit I was a bit annoyed when I first saw the email in question.
For he adopted a very familiar tone.
Addressed me as James, by Gad.
It was almost as if he knew me.
Yet I am quite sure I've never met or spoken to any John Wheelbrace or Johnny Wankenstain or whatever his name is.
You must have a word with him Quinn.
You and I are men of the world.
But this new fellow clearly is not.
You must explain to him Quinn.
Be gentle now.
He may not be a bad fellow.
A little over zealous perhaps.
Don't frighten him.
Adopt a fatherly tone.
Yes.
Fatherly is the mot juste.
Be fatherly with him.
Explain to him quietly that I am a respected member of staff who has single handedly kept the newspaper going for nine years, and that I must not be disrespected in any way.
Explain to him who I am.
Make sure he understands you.
Use small words.
I cannot believe Quinn that you were aware this young Wheelygig was sending out such an email as I received today.
In any case you must remember that I am abjuring you not to be too harsh with him.
Don't shout.
Don't hit him.
Just speak softly but very firmly.
Now there are one or two points in this John Whippersnapper's letter which beg an answer.
He uses the phrase "unacceptable misconduct" as a heading and later ups it a bit by accusing me of "gross misconduct."
Dear oh dear.
This calls for caution Quinn.
You must tread lightly.
A man who uses such terminology to someone with whom he has had absolutely no prior acquaintance or contact, is not behaving as you or I would behave.
Could he be on drugs?
It seems the only logical explanation.
Again Quinn I must insist when you are confronting him about this matter that you exercise the utmost caution.
If anything happened to you I would never forgive myself.
Some of these crack heads, or coke heads, or heroin heads, or whatever you call them, well some of them are quite dangerous when challenged.
Delicatesse Quinn.
That's what's called for.
Delicatesse is the mot juste.
Along with fatherly.
But I digress.
Your new editor, for such he proclaims himself to be, rather improbably suggests that my proposed list of news stories for the current week has led him to undertake the present email contact.
It is unfortunate that my newslist should fall so far short of what this Randolph Hearst of provincial journalism believes a newslist should be.
It will be for you to educate him Quinn.
You know he actually had the temerity to claim that in the three days (Three weeks? Three months?) that he has worked for our august paper, he has noticed a deterioration in my work.
The poor fellow.
He must be very observant.
Then he goes on to make a rather serious allegation.
He suggests I have had a negative impact on the performance, reputation, and credibility of the Leinster Leader.
Tut, tut.
No Quinn.
I see you rise from your chair in anger.
But no.
Do not be angry on my account.
The man is clearly out of his head.
We must be patient with this poor booby.
I have no doubt that a little wise correction from your good self will steer him back onto the right road.
I suggest you give him a little lecture on those factors which can genuinely damage the performance, reputation and credibility of a newspaper.
Give him two examples.
When the printer Ron Baines showed up for work recently (having worked at the Leinster Leader loyally for fifty years) and was told he would be finishing forever the same day... this did seriously and indeed grievously damage the performance, reputation and credibility of our newspaper.
Mr Baines enjoys high standing in the town of Naas and environs. He is immensely respected in theatre circles all over Ireland. And for God's sake Quinn, he's a human being.
The decision to ditch him will assuredly cost the company dear in terms of esteem, regard, public image, and those other shibboleths beloved of John Whimperton, performance, reputation, and credibility, for years to come. (It'll cost us money too Quinn.)
Even if the decision didn't cost us anything in those terms, even so Quinn, I say it again, Ron Baines is a human being and is entitled to be treated with a modicum of human dignity.
No really Quinn.
Really he is.
Now had you fired that piece of shit Philip Higgins, I could have had no complaints.
But that's another story.
Our second parable on damaging a newspaper's performance, reputation and credibility should unfold as follows.
Some weeks ago a plane crashed at Kilrush. I forwarded an article to the office which detailed the crash. It was a succinctly worded piece, not flashy or tabloidish, but written to satisfy the fundamental requirement of not exposing us to legal action.
This is a basic requirement of both traditional and modern journalism Quinn, I think you will agree.
Johnny Whoppermellencamp shelved the article.
Then he got a lesser journalist (cheaper Quinn?) to write an article on the same story, and splashed the article by the lesser (cheaper) journalist across the cover of the Leinster Leader.
Of course a week later he had to print a full retraction and apology about the glaring inaccuracies in the article he had published.
Something about a fatality at Kilrush that never took place.
Now this really did damage the performance, reputation and credibility of the Leinster Leader.
Oh really it did.
No really.
Really, really, really.
Quinn in this manner you may speak to young Warpyman.
Give him these pointers as to what is meant by the terms he misused in his email to me.
And having done that, send him on his way with a blessing.
It does not do to be too harsh.
John Weepyman is new and, who knows, may yet turn out to be a quite adequate editor.
(The omens are not good Quinn. But we must hope. We must be strong.)
On to other matters.
I understand that there has been some breakdown in communications regarding your appointment of the aforementioned and soon to be chastised young pup.
I was never told.
Never told about the appointment of a new editor.
I'm absolutely convinced this cannot have been your fault.
No doubt, you told your staff to inform me, and obviously some of your more scatterbrained underlings (in Sector 7-G?) omitted to do so.
We both know it's impossible to get good help these days.
Yes, I'm quite sure that you Quinn did not deliberately omit to tell me about the new editor's appointment.
For to have done so would have been shabby indeed, and I know you are a man of integrity.
When an individual who shall be nameless (it was Baldy Mongan the tame trade unionist) suggested to me that you were the same Derry Quinn who had been responsible for provoking the confrontation and dismissal of a journalist at another newspaper (a newspaper in Peru or Portlaoise or some such God forsaken place) by shortchanging that journalist ten quid in his travelling expenses, I cried out: "No by God! That's not our Derry Quinn. Our Derry Quinn is a friend to the widow and a saviour of orphans. He would never behave in such a cheap manner."
I know you Quinn.
When the poor hath cried, Quinn hath wept.
I know that when you received my list of minor grievances last April, you immediately and conscientiously went to work to resolve them.
Six weeks later towards the end of May, you even deigned to stoop down from Mount Olympus to send me a letter confirming you had received my modest complaints and had indeed with all due haste begun the process of investigating them.
I know that in the three months since then, you have been beavering away diligently Quinn.
I know you have addressed the matters I brought to your attention with honesty and perhaps even a hint of nobility.
I know that you have not colluded in a shabby manoeuvre to dismiss me.
I know you're better than that Quinn.
No timewaster you.
No shirker.
No gross misconducter.
I am quite sure of this Quinn.
I reject what other lesser, balder, men have said of you.
You are not a toe rag.
You are not a spiv.
You are not Quinn, if you will forgive the phrase, a d***less c***.
I hope it stays fine for you.
James Healy

Appointment With Death

The morning meeting with the Head Idiot and the Scottish Managing Director had been scheduled for 10am.
I woke at 10am.
Slowly I climbed out of bed.
Resisted the urge to blame my guardian angel.
The bad workman always blames his guardian angel.
Maybe I was meant to be twenty minutes late.
Drove to Naas.
Resisted the urge to rant and rave at slow moving cars in front of me.
Better to arrive twenty minutes late at the meeting with the snurds than forty years early for my meeting with the Almighty.
Stayed calm all the way.
I was realising that the people waiting for me in the office didn't actually have anything I want.
Walked into Braveheart's office at twenty past ten. Didn't knock. Just walked in. He was talking to a minion.
I stood there.
The Managing Director dismissed his minion.
I sat down without being asked.
The Managing Director looked at me.
I looked back.
"What do you want to do?" he demanded.
I shrugged and said nothing.
"The meeting was for 10 o'clock," he pointed out.
I nodded grimly.
"Yes," said I and left it at that. Not a word of apology.
The Managing Director leaned back in his chair.
"James," he said, "it's only 9.20 now."
For the first time my composure slipped.
The Managing Director, with the only vestige of humanity I would ever see from him, now asked: "Would you like to get yourself a cup of coffee?"
I stood up.
"I would," sez I.
And left him.

**************
(Originally published 2nd March 2006.)

the monica leech laugh in

This inner city man goes into the doctor.
The doctor notices blood on his shirt.
The doctor asks: Where are you bleeding from?"
The man replies: "I'm from bleedin Ballymun."
Later that same day a frightfully proper Dublin matron goes into the same doctor.
Again the doctor notices blood on her shirt.
The doctor asks: "Where are you haemorrhaging from Madam?"
The woman replies: "I'm from haemhorraging Ballsbridge."



Return of the badly drawn Italians...

(Dedicated to all you dentists out there)

ireland 1989

clanking machinery
calls across the land
a new age vespers
what have we become
driven by the oil
the toil
and the drug
ora pro nobis
our grave is dug

a fairy story

Once upon a time there was a newspaper.
We will call it the Lootheramawn.
It was owned by some little old ladies.
Hello, little old ladies, hello.
The little old ladies were very old.
So they called in a pig to run the newspaper for them.
The pig was a gutty Dublin lawyer.
He ran things for a while.
One day he thought to himself: It would be a lot more fun owning a newspaper than working for it.
He devised a plan.
He went to the little old ladies and said he needed to hire a few more experts to help him run the newspaper.
He hired another pig who although formally unqualified to do anything beyond rolling in the mud, was still a practitioner of a very old profession, known officially in Ireland as that of receiver.
It is not as old as prostitution but it is far less honorable.
A receiver is someone whose speciality is selling companies over the heads of their workforces.
A receiver's qualifications are indistinguishable from those of a riverboat gambler.
He produces nothing.
He makes money out of what other people have worked to produce.
He is simply a cardsharp.
The gutty lawyer and the cardsharp ran the company for a while.
Then the lawyer went to the little old ladies again.
He told them he needed to hire someone else to help run the newspaper.
He hired another pig.
This pig was a pissant little accountant.
The three little pigs ran the company for a little while.
Then they went to the little old ladies together.
"We are so important to this company," they said in unison, "that you are now going to have to pay us in company shares as well as our weekly wages."
The little old ladies were fairly innocent.
They could have said: "Gutty lawyers, lowlife cardsharps and pissant accountants are two a penny. Your services are no longer required. You can go and work for somebody else. We shall hire another gutty lawyer, another pissant accountant and another lowlife cardsharp. Thank you for your time."
The little old ladies could then indeed have hired another gutty lawyer, another lowlife cardsharp, and another pissant accountant.
Such people are not hard to find.
But they weren't clever enough little old ladies to do that.
Instead they said: "Ooh that would be lovely dears. How many shares in the newspaper would you like?"
For ten years the three little pigs gave themselves free shares in the company as well as paying themselves a weekly wage.
Sure enough they found it more fun being owners than working for a living.
It is difficult indeed to ascertain if they did any work, aside from chairing shareholders meetings and voting themselves more shares.
They did though gamble against the future of the company by borrowing huge sums of money from the banks and using that money to buy more newspapers.
The money was borrowed against the Lootheramawn and against the future of its employees.
The three little pigs incurred no direct risk themselves.
If the company could not repay their loans, the company would go bust. But the three little pigs would walk away.
Yes, this went on for ten years.
During all this time the journalists at the Lootheramawn were busy stabbing each other in the back for pennies.
At the end of the ten years the three little pigs sold the newspaper to a British company.
The three little pigs now owned one third of the company.
Each pig got ten million quid for himself and trotted off into the sunset oinking merrily.
If you listen sometimes of an evening when the air is cool and warm, it is said you can hear them oinking still across the golf courses of South Kildare.
The journalists got five thousand quid each.
Two months after the takeover, the new owners announced that they were pulling out of the journalists pension fund.
No one was surprised.
The moral of the story is this: There are no prizes for letting pigs turn you into farm animals.

*****************
(First published 30th August 2006.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

alchimic dawn on the isle of oleron

Photographed by Eva Boudard

touches

The touches continue.
The graces proliferate.
All week since the Mammy's gold necklace unravelled in my hands while I knelt in front of the image of our lady of Guadalupe.
All week I've been conscious of glory in ordinary things.
The swallows hovering over me in the garden singing praise to their creator.
The moth flying free from the jaws of Paddy Pup, then landing on my arm, and looking up at me.
Cousin Rowena deciding to baptise her baby.
Uncle Scutch breezing in and saying to the Mammy: "Are you giving up walking," and then next day and throughout the week the Mammy getting her strength back and returning to the cafes.
Me making a mental note to say to Uncle Scutch: "You are going about your father's business."
Karen getting accepted into Princeton.
Crissie coming back safe.
My feminist cousin Pauline saying: "A lot of parents aren't praying with their children. It's hard to see what the kids will have to take its place."
Ah.
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
But I should have known.
For Pauline's saved the world entire.
Valeria meeting me again and again by chance in Dublin and saying each time: "Pray for me," and I replying: "I do Valeria, every night," and me knowing full well Valeria is bringing the Lord's liberation to my life.
The touches.
Oh the touches.
On Thursday I had coffee with Jinwoo from Korea.
She told me: "I believe in God but at the moment my faith is weak."
I grinned.
In present circumstance this was right up my alley.
"CS Lewis has written that if you step towards Jesus you will begin to see glory everywhere," I mused. "You'll see glory in every object, every creature, every person. I think I'm seeing it this week. I look at the hamster and I see how well crafted she is. The delicate whiskers. The paper thin ears. The perfect russet sheen on her fur. The little hands. Because God made her, I see glory in her."
Jinwoo gave me a searching look.
"God made the smelly rat as well," she offered.
It was a good answer.
I didn't rush to try and refute it.
Eventually I just said: "You're right God made the smelly rat. I feel in my heart that the rat will be somehow glorious too. It's just we can't really see it at the moment. But in some way I'm sure the rat is glorious."
We left it there.
Back home this evening I was watching the Arab television channel Al Jazeera.
They had a news item about rats being trained to sniff out land mines in Mozambique.
The country was riddled with mines during its fifty year communist dictatorship.
Al Jazeera showed one of the rats and his handler.
The rat was on a leash like a dog.
When the rat found a mine, the handler gave her a banana, which she ate from her own little hands.
At that moment I think I saw another hint of glory.
The touches.
Oh the touches.
The touches are everywhere.

the monica leech laugh in

Two oranges were rolling down a hill.
One of them stopped because it ran out of juice.
Then Judge Liberal stepped out of the shadows and ordered them both to divvy up 1.87 million quid for implying Monica Leech had been having an affair with a government minister.

the rose of tralee

South Kildare girl Charmaine Kenny who was named Rose of Tralee tonight at Ireland's most prestigious beauty contest.
Pictured with a child while she was working at an orphanage in India a few years ago.

an autumn storm at kilcullen

the evening concerto has begun
sweeping through twilight from the fields
a masterwork of music at random
rain drums on window sill and eves
its off note lyric rhapsody in grey
as squalls lust gustily in sprays
a bullock bells forlorn out of sight
light sound shadow harmonise
at once a dreary monotone of night
at once a heady gloriole of praise
that says it all about this place
it's torn me in my love and hate for it
village prison earthly paradise
small town insensate to my spirit
oh universe in me and i in it

the highest rating article ever published on the heelers diaries

John Fry Chief Executive Officer of the Johnston Press walked up the gang plank of the shining passenger jet.
It was a Primera Air passenger jet scheduled to fly from Dublin to London.
John Fry squeezed his way among the other passengers.
He found his seat where he always likes it, right next to the aisle.
He glanced sideways.
And lo!
He was sitting beside a woman whom I might describe as attractive but I won't, in case Judge Eamon De Valera tells me to give her 1.87 million quid for implying she's having an affair with a government minister.
Actually she's not that attractive.
I don't know what Independent Newspapers were thinking of when they called her pretty.
The woman was of course Monica Leech.
If you have to pay 1.87 million for saying she's good looking, I wonder what's the toll for saying you don't like the look of her at all?
Two point eight seven million?
John Fry and Monica Leech weren't exactly beside each other.
Monica Leech's seat was at the window.
A vacant seat remained between them.
There was no hanky panky.
There was no accidental touching.
There was no surreptitious contact whatsoever.
Because clearly this article is a fantasy for which I should not be compelled to pay 1.87 million lids to anyone.
Anyhoo.
John Fry scanned the other passengers.
He saw my Uncle Scutch and the soprano singing sensation known as The Brezzer sitting adjacent to each other chatting aimiably.
Both were clutching candles.
The Brezzer was saying: "Maybe the next time we perform Poets In Paradise, we could get a candle to play WB Yeats instead of James."
The plane gave a little jolt.
"Well the candle would probably shed more light on the character of Yeats than James does," replied Uncle Scutch thoughtfully.
John Fry had no idea what they were talking about.
Across the aisle a group of Jihadi's sat cradling their clocks and cackling evilly about the latest football results.
"Allah U akbar," said one conversationally when he caught John Fry's eye.
The Johnston Press man looked away hurriedly.
He's not in the least bit interested in soccer results or clocks.
Right at the front of the plane he could make out a group of police officers travelling first class.
John Fry didn't know it but they were the officers handling the investigation into four recent stabbings in Ireland.
Ten days after the stabbings, the cops still haven't taken statements from the two survivors of the incident.
Ten days and counting.
Sure what's the rush.
Seated around them in first class were senior executives from Ireland's corrupt banks, AIB, Bank Of Ireland, TSB, Anglo Irish, and all the rest, chattering happily about the free money the government has given them to help pay for their gambling addictions.
Just behind the bankers were Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowan and former Prime Minister Bertie Aherne, along with other members of the corrupt kleptocratic Fianna Fail party, all clutching black brief cases stuffed with cash looted from the treasury.
Briefly John Fry felt sick.
He looked at the ground and then towards the back of the plane.
Down at the back he espied a group comprising the annual reunion of the Little Boys Who Attempted To Project Their Homosexual Fears About Themselves Onto James Healy At Newbridge College Secondary School Society.
Squeezed into the back seats fingering each other were Conor Bowman, Garret O'Reilly, and Patrick Duignan.
The ghost of Elvis sat on Bowman's knee.
The Johnston Press man faced forward again.
His eyes widened.
A few seats ahead of him sat Irish Times contributor Doctor William Reville deep in conversation with American political commentator Mark Steyn.
Steyn's books aren't available in Easons, Waterstones, Hodges Figgis or that nifty nooky nichey Dubray bookshop where sexy little Punky Brewster works on Grafton Street.
The great Paddy Whacks think Steyn is a monster.
So they don't have his books.
O tempera o morons.
John Fry could just about hear Doctor Reville and Steyn discussing the latest theories about the death of Michael Jackson.
"Heelers tried to find exculpatory material for Jackson during his legal troubles," observed Steyn drily.
The plane began to taxi down the runway.
"Yes," said Reville. "He maintained someone had dosed Jackson with female growth hormones during the singer's childhood to preserve the tremulous quality in his voice which at the time was worth the equivalent of a billion dollars a month to the record company. Heelers suggested dosing human beings with femal hormones might be expected to have a deranging effect on the mind. Particularly the formative mind of a young boy. An interesting theory. Heelers is always rooting for the underdog. Always cheering for the hopeless cause. You know you're really in trouble if he starts trying to defend you on his blog."
"Heaven forbid," murmured Steyn shuddering.
The plane was almost full.
Suddenly John Fry froze.
James Healy himself was walking down the aisle.
Without a word Ireland's greatest living poet took the one remaining free seat between John Fry and Monica Leech.
The plane took off.
Everyone sat back in their seats.
It levelled out at 38,000 feet.
Then the pilot suddenly dived to 20,000 feet.
After that he set out bald headed for Rome, Paris, New York and anywhere else he thought he might get to meet Barack Obama.
The Jihadis in Row Seven looked petrified out of their wits.
They are accustomed to causing terror on aeroplanes not being the victims of it.
The rest of the passengers were quite blase.
We're past worrying about these things.
For long moments no one spoke.
Then Healy that incomparable magnificent basterd, started singing.
He was singing a song from an objectionable pornographically violent Taranatino film.
(You'll have to be more specific. - Paedophile Ian O'Doherty note.)
The song went:

"It's Monday and I don't know what to do.
There's a certain malaise in the zoo.
There's scruff leaking out of the walls.
They all need a good kick in the bawls.
Clowns to the left of me
Jihadis to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you.
We're on a plane and the time's getting late.
I've tried but I can't find my plate.
I'm tired of kicking sand off my shoes.
That's why I'm sitting here singing the blues.
Al Qaeda to the left of me.
Johnston Press to the right.
Here I am stuck in the middle with you."

I gotta tell you folks.
It was simply hilarious.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i love the smell of pizza in the morning


Chaffie Chaffinch chews on her Chorizo.

hartigan's stallion

animal from birth
the fire within
drove to the hill tops
creature of the wind
sinew spirit storm
smitten into form
with half begotten dreams
the mountains the forests and the streams
your temple
your refuge
your domain

chessnutz

(our weekly chess puzzle)
***********************
Harvey Bintlebaum versus Walter Cronkite
Malta 1987
**********
White appears to have the black king stuck in a corner with a twin pronged rook and bishop attacking forward. Can you see how Black turned the tables?
**********
Solution: Cronkite crossed his legs, deliberately kicking over the table and forcing a draw.

surrealism for the sake of surrealism

Evening watching Tommy a film billed as a Rock opera.
It's a typical piece of 1970's surrealism from director Ken Russell with music provided by British group The Who.
The music is not generally speaking the Who at their best.
And the film itself is just a little too surreal for my taste.
That's always the problem when Ken Russell is directing.
None of it means anything.
Ah.
Ken.
The artist must show relevancy.
Still I've always had the suspicion that Ken Russell was just a Catholic conversion away from creating a genuine work of art.
Perhaps I'm wrong in this.
Now I'm watching the one good scene in the film.
It's when John Fry of the Johnston Press has an epic pinball play off against Hammy Hamster.
The scene's as incomprehensible as anything else in the film but the music at least is undeniably, unrequitedly, incontrovertibly brilliant.
Sounding very much like Elton John, John Fry sings:

"Every since I was a young chief executive
I've played the silver ball
Taking over newspapers
Buying out them all
And then we fire the staff
With a certain priapic gall
That deaf dumb and blind hamster
Sure plays a mean pinball.
She's a pinball wizard.
Part of the machine
A pinball wizard
But hey
What's it to me
I'm just obscene.
My name is John Fry
I'm head of the Johnston Press
We take over newspapers
And leave em quite a mess
No one's getting pensions
Except us top execs
We really love firing people
My god it's better than sex
I'm a parvenu wizard
Part of the machine
A parvenu wizard
But does anyone know
What any
Of this means?
Yes my name is John Fry
I run the Johnston Press
We take over newspapers
You should see the lives we mess
We buy em up with money
We borrow from idiot banks
You can call us lots of names but
We're really just a bunch of Brit skanks.
We're pinball wizards
We own the machine
Pinball wizards
But does anybody know
What exactly
That means?
Ever since I was a young boy
I've played the silver ball
You don't want to cross my path
In any amusement hall
Ordinary folks get fired
But we don't get fired at all
That deaf dumb and blind hamster
Sure plays a mean pinball."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

across the river and into the trees


In the mountains of northern Italy.
Photographed by Luisella Avaro.

our television listings

RTE1
(Ireland's national fraudcaster. A television station of the liberal atheists, for the liberal atheists, by the liberal atheists. But financed through compulsory taxation on the Christian people of Ireland.)
10.25 Mad About You. I quite like Mad About You.
10.55 Doctor Phil. Agony Uncle on the morning schedule to teach children the important life skill of emoting insincerely to camera.
11.45 Shortland Street. Doesn't even have any redeeming sex scenes to make it worth watching while disapproving of it.
12.15 Doctors. Yawn.
12.45 Telly Bingo. The most intellectual programme on RTE.
1.00 News. With the Fembo Commie Pinkos.
1.20 Home And Away. Australian coastal porn intended to derange children while they're eating their dinners.
1.50 Neighbours. More Australian porn. This time of the inland variety, featuring similar subtle derangements as conveyed by Neighbours.
2.15 Eastenders. Brit porn. Nothing subtle here.
2.55 The Restaurant. I have a bad feeling this is a food programme.
3.25 Grand Designs. I have a bad feeling this is a home improvement programme.
4.25 Murder She Wrote. At last. Some real entertainment. Jessica is called in by the FBI to investigate the hijacking of a Russian cargo ship. She quickly concludes that the hijack was merely a cover operation to allow the resovietising Putin government in Russia to pass on atomic weapons to Al Qaeda. This discovery quite puts Jessica off her tea.
5.20 The Bill. Miffley goes on the run after Hawkins accuses him of GBH. Farquahr gets banged up to rights over the jewel heist. Milcheson can't figure out which end is up.
5.45 Achoo. I mean Nuacht.
6.00 The Angelus. The bells. The bells.
6.01 News followed by News For The Deaf (Hint: They shout it), and then followed by News For The Anally Retentive.
6.30 Reeling In The Years. A wry look back on the Ireland of yesteryear with music of the period and images chosen by the people most responsible for destroying that Ireland. The programme is presented by RTE's in house Department For The Promotion Of Contraception, Cosmetic Surgery, Sexualised Children, Abortions, Divorce, Stabbings In The Streets, Drug Dealing In Every Irish School, A Population Prevented From Thinking For Itself And Sated With Anti Depressants, Daily Shootings, Corrupt Banks Robbing Generations Yet Unborn, Murders In Old Folks Homes, Murders In Irish Hospitals, Michael Neary Violating Women On The Operating Table At Drogheda Memorial Hospital, Nurse Mulholland Murdering People In Naas Hospital, Police Officers Saying If You Don't Give Us A Pay Rise We'll Take Bribes From Drug Dealers, A Corrupt Kleptocratic Fianna Fail Government Refusing To Name The Corrupt Kleptocratic Fianna Fail Supporters Who Corruptly And Kleptocratically Collapsed Angle Irish Bank, A Corrupt Kleptocratic Fianna Fail Government Accepting Al Qaeda Members From Guantanamo Bay Prison As Irish Citizens, A Corrupt Kleptocratic Fianna Fail Government Minister Called Lenihan Announcing On Radio That The Scots Were Right To Release The Lockerbie Mass Murder Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, A Corrupt Kleptocratic Fianna Fail Government That Has Gifted Ireland With An Arab Pakistani Muslim Immigrant Population Of 250,000 Along With The Rulership Of Our Cities By Crime Gangs. Hmmm. I wonder has RTE made a mistake with this particular social vision. They've destroyed the church and look what they've given us instead. They've remade the world in their own image. The question is, are any of us willing to hold them accountable for it?
7.00 A Little Bit Showband. Featuring loathsome musicians who met RTE producers down the boozer and ended up with their own television shows.
7.30 Eastenders. Zeinab is angry with James for refusing to have sex with her. James is afraid that one night of passion may lead to him becoming a target for murderous revenge violence by Zeinab's father, uncles, brothers, cousins, grand parents, great grand parents, and infant baby brother Ahmed.
8.00 The Rose Of Tweelee. Beauty pageant presented by Cannabis Darcy.
9.00 News. Here is the news. RTE is shite and I object to financing its agendas through compulsory taxation.
9.35 The Rose Of Tweelee. Second part of the most insufferable beauty contest ever devised. I bet the cracking Athy bird Charmaine Kenny wins though.
11.20 The Lives Of Mike. More from RTE's self worship season. This is the nearest thing to a genuinely religious programme on RTE today. My God, but they love themselves. It's a biography of RTE presenter Mike Murphy, a dreadful jeering liberal atheist, famous for his "hur hur" laugh and negligible intellect. The Irish Times television critic refers to Mike Murphy as "one of RTE's most popular arts broadcasters." So you know he's almost universally despised.
12.15 News. Barackkkkk gooddddd. Muslimsss niccccceeeeee. Do not adjust your television set. We are controlling ittttttttttttt.
12.20 Boston Legal. Show me the way to the vomitorium.
1.15 The Night Listener. Unwatchable Robin Williams film shown at an hour too late for anyone to watch it.

the monica leech laugh in

Question: Where do you weigh a pie?
Answer: At libel trials conducted by Judge Eamon De Valera.

letter to a lady

much folly
becomes a man
to make account of it
this place is capital
the sun shines
and there is pleasure
as men may know it
i sleep ill
at a whim
i'll walk or write
in the fleeting stillness of the vapoured night
god gave mind to man
to measure with
man saw the breadth and brook
of want and will
he hitched both to a maths book
they rest there still
i might wish you
much laughter
many joys
for your name day
i wish you none
my gift to you is an image
couched in gold
only one
of a dog barking at the head of the road
and a traveller coming home

an open letter to quincy jones producer of the thriller album

Dear Quincy Jones.
Were you at any time responsible for, party to, or aware of, a decision to inject Michael Jackson with female growth hormones during his adult life in order to preserve the tremulous note in his voice which was worth billions of dollars to your record company?
James Healy

hannibal crosses the alps

Those lovable Libyans are at it again.
Fresh from their rescue of mass murdering psychotic Muslim assassain Abdel "Bertie" Basset Al Megrahi from his holiday camp in Scotland, the Libyan government has sought and obtained an apology from the President of Switzerland for the arrest last year in Geneva of a certain Hannibal Gadaffy.
Hannibal is the son of Libyan Lector, I mean Dictator, Muammur Gadaffy.
He was arrested in Geneva after assaulting two maids at his hotel.
Hannibal has previous.
Previous crimes of violence against women to his name, that is.
In fact during a a long stay in France he was a regular on the assault and maul playboy circuit.
The French accorded him diplomatic immunity so he never answered for any of his crimes on French soil.
But for one brief shining moment, a few honorable people in Switzerland, members of the police force and senior hotel staff, sought to hold him accountable to the very basic standards of conduct we expect from the rest of humanity.
Too much to expect from this poor little rich Muslim.
The Swiss police arrested his sorry ass and let him cool his heels for one night with his half witted pregnant wife in a jail cell.
I say half witted because she is in a liaison with a member of the Gadaffy family.
This is my definition of half witted.
If you're in bed with the Gadaffy's you haven't got a brain.
And remember girls, when dating a Gadaffy if they ask you to bring any clocks onto a plane for God's sake tell them to carry their own f****** clocks.
Oh lawsy me.
The Libyan government responded with typical thuggery to the arrest of the low life guilty as sin Hannibal by arresting innocent Swiss nationals in Libya.
Now unfortunately the Swiss President has shown he's made of similar stuff to the quislings running Scotland and Formerly Great Britain.
The Swiss Prez is no different to the kowtowing Mandelsons, and Gordon Browns, and those nameless Scottish nationalist toe rags who connived this week to release mass murderer Bertie Bassett Al Boom Boom.
I will wonder will the peaceloveing murderers of Islam thank them for it.

an open letter to berry gordy

Dear Berry Gordy.
Were you, while head of Tamla Motown records, responsible for, party to, or aware of, a decision in the 1960's or 1970's to inject the then child Michael Jackson with female growth hormones in order to delay the onset of puberty and preserve the tremulous note in his voice which was worth a billion dollars a month to your record company at that time?
James Healy

Monday, August 24, 2009

facile insolence towards the famous

i was reading WH Auden writing about the death of WB Yeats
not bad said i with a weary smile
for i was in the mood to disparage the dead greats
it hurts them not but it helps to pass the time
not bad said i with a short laugh
and it seemed a strange and fitting epitaph
for two considered king of the road
when knickerbockers were considered
a la mode
perhaps i should temper this vain exultancy
with some dull reference to their immortality
but i don't think that applies
the great poet strives and self promotes and dies
his flesh his verse his bones
consign to ground
i'm not a great poet
but i'm still around

the monica leech laugh in

Knock knock.
Who's there.
Irish stew.
Irish stew who?
Irish stew in the name of the law.

an open letter to vladimir putin president of russia

Dear Mr Putin.
If you have decided to hand over atomic weapons to Al Qaeda there is nothing I can do to deter you.
I was disquieted by the fake hijacking last week of a Russian ship in the Baltic sea and the sailing of that ship to Africa.
We both know it wasn't a Maltese ship or any other sort of ship.
We both know it was Russian.
Just as we both know you are the President of Russia not Mr Medvedev the puppet you allow to wear the sash.
I have noted your attempts to prepare Russians for war with the west.
I have noted that in the aftermath of recent Al Qaeda attacks in Ingushetia you permitted the Moscow appointed Muslim leader of Ingushetia to claim the murders of twenty people there had been carried out by America, Britain and Israel. (This quote was in Western Newspapers. If it is inaccurate I apologise.)
I have noted that elements of your security apparatus the FSB were responsible for several assassinations outside Russia, including the savage polonium poisoning of Mr Lugevoy in London, the attempted poisoning of the Ukrainian President, and the murder of a Georgian politician.
I have noted that you permitted the assassin who carried out the murder of Mr Lugevoy in London to take a seat in the Russian parliament.
I have noted that you invaded Georgia on the eve of the Olympics in an act that was as crass as it was piratical, and that you have detached two regions from that country by force.
I have noted your instruction to the heavy bombers of the Russian airforce to resume incursions into Western European airspace.
I have noted your alliances with South American tin pot dictators such as Chavez in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia and the Castros in Cuba.
I have noted your sad attempts to convince the Russian people that Stalin was good for them.
I have noted your ongoing attempts to destroy the independent media in Russia.
I have noted your foolish alliance with Iran and Syria and Al Qaeda.
I have noted all these things.
Even so.
You are not a leader without courage or ability.
It is not too late for you to adopt a more enlightened policy.
It is not too late for you to recognise that Russians and Russia were not born to be the enslavers and ultimate destroyers of the human race.
It is not too late for you to change from the course of apocalypse.
Russia and Russians were not born to be hated and despised by every other free country on the planet.
Russia and Russians were not made for barbarity Mr Putin.
The people of Russia want and deserve something better than the blatent resovietisation of their society which you have been engineering.
Even for Hitler there was a time when he might have chosen other than he did.
One of his secretaries claims that on the eve of the conflagration which was World War Two, Hitler stood at an open air balcony in his mountain lodge looking down the valleys where all of nature seemed to be in ferment. A magnificent and terrible tempest, a storm of light and shadow, was howling through the bleak fastnesses.
The secretary claims she told him that the coming war would mean limitless destruction.
Hitler is said to have replied: "So be it."
Mr Putin, I don't always believe women when they make these sort of claims.
I have my doubts that there were many underlings on Hitler's general staff telling the Fuhrer to his face the truth he needed to hear.
Nonetheless.
I think probably you are in a similar situation to the situation he was in on that night.
No one among your staff is brave enough to tell you the truth.
Not to your face.
Mr Putin you are standing on the balcony looking down upon a storm of limitless satanic evil that has not yet been unleashed.
This is the last time I shall attempt to counsel you not to unleash it.
James Healy

music of the spheroids

The Depeche Mode concert with Serafina.
I'm finding the whole thing a bit sad and atheistic and wearisome.
Then they start to sing their cross over hit.
The blasphemous thing.
Personal Johnston Press.
It was a huge hit for them in America more than a decade ago.
It's oddly objectionable.
But still.
It has something.
A black girly girl singer has just done a cover of it which is in the charts.
She's taken out the blasphemy and played it as a sex song.
Sort of like Rhianna did with Tainted Scuzz, which ironically enough was also about the Johnston Press.
The new girl is no Rhianna but she's hit gold with this song.
And tonight we're listening to the original.
The dessicated bloke from Depeche Mode is singing.
He sings.

"I'll be your own personal...
Johnston Press.
Someone to take over your newspaper.
Someone to rape her.
Your own personal...
Johnston Press.
Someone to always be there,
To wipe out your shares,
In the space of a year.
Dickity dick de dick dick.
Dickity dick de dick dick.
Dern, dern, dern.
Dern, dern, dern.
Your own personal Johnston Press.
Someone to be there at your side.
You know you can't hide.
No saints can abide.
Dern, dern, dern.
We're your own personal Johnston Press,
We make quite a mess.
Of people's lives when we fire them.
Cos we don't want to pay them.
Dern, dern, dern.
Pick up the receiver,
I'll make you a believer.
Dickity dick de dick dick, ho, ho.
Dickity dick de dick dick, ho, ho.
You were sitting there just bored to tears.
In a newspaper that had independently traded for 150 years.
I don't mean to grieve ya.
We'll appoint you a receiver.
Dern, dern, dern.
You know we won't harm you
Cos we are charmless parvenus.
Dern, dern, dernerrrrr.
You know we're froless rastards.
Because we are soul less bastards.
Dern, dern, dern.
Dern, dern, dern.
Reach out and touch scum.
Dern, dern, dern.
Reach out and touch scum.
You own personal...
Johnston Press.
Someone to assuage your fears.
To fire you after ten or twenty or thirty or forty years.
You gotta learn your declensions.
We don't like paying pensions.
Dern, dern, dern.
Reach out and touch scum.
Dern, dern, dern.
Dern, dern, dern.
Reach out and touch scum."

You know folks, at that moment I realised.
Depeche Mode have been very much maligned and misunderstood.
Mainly by me.

clint hamster


Hey Johnston Press.
APOLOGISE to the hamster.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

throwing out the babies with the bath water

The State Pathologist Marie Cassidy and her Assistant State Pathologist Abdul Abul Bull Ameer have as expected failed to come up with conclusive findings into the death of yet another baby in the Republic of Ireland.
They're fine humanitarians both of them.
At least when it comes to giving murderers the benefit of the doubt.
The parents of the baby attended the baby's funeral yesterday.
At the funeral a priest said awful hypocritical things about sympathising with the parents in their time of loss.
I feel sorry for the priest.
I wonder is it time for priests to consider refusing to officiate at funerals of victims attended by the victims' murderers.
Just a thought.
The Pathologists office says tests will continue into the cause of death.
They shouldn't bother.
There will be no justice for this baby.
Except on judgement day.
On judgement day the murderers and those who gave them get out of jail free cards and those who left the murderers' other children in custody with the murderers, will indeed receive justice.
They will repent in hell fire.