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, September 26, 2009


and so we talked
in shadow and in firelight

and i had forgotten
how walls built of granite can crumble to a touch

this night of a thousand nights you will soon forget
it will haunt my dreams forever

the unnecessary recession

None of this was necessary.
Not in America.
Not in Europe.
Not anywhere.
Recession indeed.
In America most of the population was going to want to buy another car at some stage within the next five years.
All the car companies had to do was hunker down, wait and be ready for when the buying started again.
By "hunker down" I mean they had to stop spending money they didn't have, on people who hadn't earned it, ie their management and their workforces.
All the car companies had to do was stop giving their Chief Executives a hundred million dollars a year.
All the car companies had to do was stop giving their management free jet aeroplanes.
All the car companies had to do was stop paying their Autoworkers Union staff 75 dollars an hour.
Nobody had to get fired, downsized or thrown out on the side of the road.
All that was necessary was for people to begin living in the real world again.
That would have been it.
No recession.
The recession is cancelled folks because wiser counsels have prevailed.
Didn't happen.
Instead President Barack Obama has given the three main American car companies limitless sums of money to continue living in the fine style to which they had become accustomed.
He has done the same thing with America's corrupt bankers and stock exchange companies.
He has thrown good money after bad.
He has given billions of dollars to corrupt bankers who have simply squandered it on ridiculous bonuses for themselves.
Yes, I admit that the Bushwhacker, a President I esteemed, showed a similar predilection for bailing out the banks.
But every small businessman will tell you, if the company isn't making money, the Chief Executive doesn't draw a salary.
That's how it's done.
The guys Barack gave the billions to are mafiosi.
There is no economic success story based on government propping up idiots who like having their own personal aeroplanes and don't know how to sell cars or run banks or administer stock exchanges with even a modicum of integrity.
This one is gonna crash and crash big.
Hey Barack.
Favour the small tough honourable business people and the sturdy independent minded self reliant farmers and anyone else with a genuine desire to serve the country.
Stop favouring the super rich incompetents, the free booting trade unions, and the oleaginous environmentalist victim culture wannabees.
The small business people will beat the recession for all of us.
They've got the values.
Hard work.
Love of country.
Love for one another.
Faith in God.
They can win this thing.
If you let them.
Just a thought.
Do with it what you will.
Meanwhile in the Republic of Ireland our most corrupt and incompetent political leaders and economists remain keen to blame America for our own corruption and incompetence.
Our corrupt kleptocratic Fianna Fail government has similarly entangled the general public in an unnecessary recession.
Boy howdy.
Gotta love those corrupt kleptocratic Fianna Failers.
The Irish people are being forced to finance our corrupt collapsing financial services companies.
The Irish people are being forced to finance ridiculous pay deals for State sector employees.
The Irish people are being forced to watch our politicians paying themselves telephone number wages for doing no work.
The Irish banking system has collapsed.
The general public are being compelled to bankroll the banks.
Limitless sums of money are being borrowed against future generations of Irish people, simply to allow incompetent corrupt bankers to continue to be incompetent corrupt bankers.
Up to now Irish banks had spent twenty years declaring astronomical profits through accountancy tricks.
During this time the Chief Executives paid themselves a lifetimes wages for each year of work they claimed to do.
They paid themselves millions.
Overnight the banks went broke.
The twenty years of billion dollar profits were illusory to say the least.
They were fiction.
Fianna Fail should have fired every single board member of every single bank in the Republic of Ireland.
Fianna Fail should have identified the property developers responsible for crashing the banking system.
Fianna Fail should have ensured that every single board member of every single bank in Ireland went to jail, went directly to jail, did not pass go, and did not collect multi million dollar pensions at the expense of the Irish citizenry.
Instead Fianna Fail has once more sold Ireland into debts we can never repay, in order to protect its corrupt high finance cronies.
Fianna Fail has bailed out the main banks who had lately been engaged in a corrupt attempt to corner the property market through an alliance with corrupt Fianna Fail supporting property developers.
Those corrupt incompetent banks are still run by the same corrupt incompetent people who ran em before the Irish reality check kicked in which most economists here now call a recession.
Throwing money at criminals is an interesting solution to the problems Ireland faces.
But Fianna Fail had been throwing money everywhere.
By giving ridiculous unearned pay rises to teachers, nurses, health board workers, bus drivers, police officers, soldiers, and the Civil Service, Fianna Fail have effectively corrupted Ireland.
Our commercial sector, our small businesses, the bedrock of our democracy, are ceasing to exist because the whole economy is geared to servicing the State Sector's uncivil servants who produce nothing, do no work and generally specialise in foully and egregiously mistreating the public any time they can get their hands on us.
And the money Fianna Fail used for pay rises to buy elections from teachers, nurses, bussies, cops, soldiers and pen pushers, that money was all borrowed.
It wasn't money that Fianna Fail actually had in the State coffers.
It was money they got by running up a limitless tab on the national debt.
The nonsense talk in Independent Newspapers, RTE television, and The Irish Times about Ireland being a Celtic Tiger was a lie.
In the end it is not the low life bankers who have broken us.
It is the amoral middle classes.
The State sector employees.
The ones so ready to sit in judgement on previous generations of Irish people.
Where will it end.
Look at little Iceland.
That tiny Viking principality surrounded by stormy seas.
That little known frozen nation way up north.
Little Iceland never joined any military alliance.
It remained aloof throughout the Cold War and the War On Terror.
For decades it resisted all invitations to join the European Union.
It's economy collapsed last year.
Now it's looking for friends.
The people of Iceland, dessicated by abortion culture, (they were the first European country to legalise abortion back in the 1930's) initially like the Irish blamed America for the corruption and incompetence of their own society, the corruption of their own mercantilists and the corruption of their own politicians.
That was the first reaction of the people of Iceland.
Blaming America didn't stop the economic collapse.
Then they went running to the Russians.
The people of Iceland still thought communist Russia would buy them off as an ally.
Twenty years too late.
President Putin just didn't have the cash to make that purchase.
So Iceland is under some sort of international receivership.
I don't who's propping up the economy.
But the nation has all but ceased to exist.
Icelanders believed that by choosing to be a free nation they were somehow doing the rest of the world a favour. They had no deep philosophical or spiritual commitment to preserving their own country.
It's gone.
What a sorry reflection on a once proud and indomitable people.
Okay folks.
I've delighted you enough for one day.
Some day we shall laugh again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

badinage is still my middle name

Coffee with Giovanna in the Aroma Cafe on Abbey Street.
Dublin all Septemberish.
Place full of sexalacious babes trying on their feminity for size.
This year's girls.
They've just started college.
And they're anxious to give the equipment a few test runs.
Giovanna is not in good form.
Me checking out the studenty talent might not be helping matters.
The young sexors are not really of interest to me.
As a social diarest I have a duty to keep an eye on such things.
I am merely collecting information.
For my files, you understand.
Giovanna is complaining as is her wont about the service in Irish cafes.
"I don't understand it," she tells me. "Why don't they have a waiter who comes to your table and serves you?"
Well bold readers.
No one insults the cafes of my country without at least getting the benefit of some Aristotelian Platonic neo Heelarian retort.
Nemo me impune lacessit, as the ancient Romans used to say when anyone complained about the service.
The mighty Heelers sat back in his chair.
"At least it's better than Italian cafes," I proffered forthrightly. "In Italian cafes the waiters come to the table just in order to treat you like dirt."
Giovanna tossed her fiery locks.
Her hair I mean.
It has a reddish hue.
Not actually on fire though.
"That wouldn't happen to you," she charged, "if you didn't insist on going only to touristy places. If you'd go to a proper Italian cafe you'd get real service."
"I can't go to proper Italian cafes," I rallied. "They're all full of Mafiosi."
Giovanna tossed her locks again.
I ducked.
One of em nearly nicked my ear and pinged the wall right behind me.
"That's prejudice," she pronounced. "If you go everywhere with that sort of prejudice you're never going to be happy."
"I'm not prejudiced against the Mafia," shot back Ireland's greatest living poet. "I'm just scared of them."
Giovanna eyes shone with deep emotion but she remained silent.
I knew that at this moment she was savouring my friendship as never before.

a day of ten graces

1. Email from Anissa.

2. Running late for an appointment. Instead of driving off in a hurry, I stopped in the garden to praise God. A squirrel emerged from the hedge. He moved like a wave of the sea across the lawn. His motion was beautiful. I stood stock still. He paused once or twice to look at me. He reached the gable edge of the house and retrieved a small fallen apple from the grass. He held it in his hands and nibbled. Then he clutched it in his mouth and moved back the way he'd come. Still in wave motion. Apple and all. He was within ten feet of me. He exited onto the avenue by the front gate.

3. Coffee with Giovanna at the Cafe Aroma.

4. Aljona in Lucan.

5. Grand Duchess Anastasia in Costa Cafe, Dawson Street.

6. Phone call to Doctor Barn. I said: "Anything to talk about?" He said: "Sweet feck all." I found his answer immensely cheering.

7. Text from Medbh Gillard to say she'd tracked down some cartoons that had gone missing in the post.

8. Nearly drove into the back of a car near Lucan. Braked just in time. Any day when the accident doesn't happen is a good day.

9. My little nephew Tom arrived at the house exclaiming: "Oh good, James is here."

10. Pork chops for supper which I shared with Paddy Pup and MC Hamster.

the monica leech laugh in

tony o'reilly is in slavery
to a habit obscene and unsavoury
with maniacal howls
he deflowers young owls
which he keeps in an underground aviary

A Russkie In Dublin


By Irina Kuksova

An Irish woman's relationship with her body size is still a mystery to me. I remember the shock of the first encounter with a couple of definitely on the "plus" size girls in a night club. These two divas were dancing the right way: "as if no one is watching". To me it was like seeing a ghost. But then I saw more and more similar ghosts. By the end of the night I had to admit – in Ireland they exist. Big but confident girls that is.

Not that all girls in Russia are equally slender, we come in all shapes as sizes. Yet, only girls of a certain shape and size go to night clubs. Let alone do wild dancing. A couple of pounds over, and we hide behind our PC screens browsing diet sites, do sit-ups instead of going to a friend's birthday and wear tents instead of clothes. If we are skinny enough, we browse the same forums – to give advice to the less fortunate ones. We all know that the only excuse to be anywhere above the "underweight" Body Mass Index of 19 is having your grandchild born. Only nannies have the moral right to choose a freshly baked croissant instead of an apple pure and skinnichino for breakfast.

In Ireland though, the only visible difference between a skinny girl and a not so skinny one is…that one is slim and the other one is not. In vain would you spend time trying to spot any difference at all in their make-up, dress sense or self-confidence. It's "Liberté et égalité".

When it comes to "fraternité", the plot thickens. Some Irish girls seem to group according to their size. Not all of them would be thrilled to have their photo taken next to a skinnier girl. Where did the above mentioned confidence go..?

This sudden twist tells me that I still don't really get the Irish contemporary girl culture. I suspect I won't get it in the nearest future either – no Irish girl is willing to enlighten me. Am I now too skinny to be trusted?

evenings in picardy

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the septembrists

a night of shooting stars
whirling galaxies

a memory of tomorrow
oh great house
sunlit lilac trees

from the reporters notebook

Irish street protests often have a faintly surrealistic quality. Inflammatory posters. Sheepish demonstrators who can't quite believe they're holding the signs they're holding. And the most adorable children you could ever imagine. I took this photo in the South Kildare town of Monasterevin in June 2004. I still find it oddly cheering.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

this little life

The mighty Heelers strolling down Grafton Street.
Outside the Laura Ashley store he nearly walks into a man who is standing stock still at that location.
Heelers goes to apologise then stops.
The man's clothing and demeanour gives me pause.
He is somewhat strangely dressed.
Even for Grafton Street.
He is wearing shorts and lederhosen and a multi hued shirt.
It is a garb which Heelers' innate cultural expertise immediately identifies as being generally redolent of Mittel Europa, mountains and muesli and Alpine horns and fields and Heidi and goat Peter and all that sort of thing.
The man's hat has a little red feather in it.
He holds a hand drawn sign which reads: I am the Joke King of Grafton Street. If you pay me I will tell you a joke.
The noble Heelers pauses amid the hurley burley of a Dublin evening.
"How much for a joke?" sez I.
"Twenty cents," the man replies.
"I'll take one joke," I volunteer generously.
For I am nothing if not kind hearted.
I fold my arms as he begins.
The joke went something like the following...

This guy goes into a pub. There's a king wearing a crown and full regalia sitting at the bar. The king is surrounded by thousands of mice who are buying him drinks.
"What's going on?" the man asks the manager of the pub.
"Oh that guy is the king of the mice," explains the bar manager. "His father owned a cheese factory so the mice made him their king."
"But doesn't it upset you having him in here with all these mice?" wonders the guy.
"It could have been worse," answers the bar manager. "His father could have owned a peanut factory and the elephants might have made him king."

... The man told the joke better than I do. I've massacred it. I laughed out loud when he told it. He informed me it was one he had written today.
I asked him for permission to print the joke and his name on my website.
He readily concurred and told me his name.
It is Jens Stroing. There should be too little dots over the "o" in Stroing but I don't know how to make them on my computer.
He told me he had been born in Westphalia, kidnapped by Bavarians as a child, escaped the Bavarians, and now always wore Bavarian costume because it is the last thing the Bavarians looking for him would expect.
I have no way of being certain if this was the truth or a second joke he threw in for free after I paid him the twenty cents.
He asked me was I making money from my blog.
"It's a struggle," I said portentously preening and getting ready to launch into my much loved discourse on the life of the artist.
"There's an internet expert I could refer you to, who recommends loads of ways to make money blogging," he advised.
"It's not what I'm about," I proclaimed grandly.
"This expert has made a fortune on the internet and he thinks the secret is always providing something of added value in what you do," persisted he.
I drew a deep breath.
"Okay," I said. "But what's important to me is to be doing it. To be searching for art as I live. The money is fine if it happens. Really what I want is to speak the truth, or write a great poem, or say something genuinely beautiful. That's my struggle. As long as I can survive, as long as I'm not starving, the money isn't really an issue."
"But if you're not making money then you're just a sort of bum," asserted the Joke King of Grafton Street frankly.
My handsome preraphaelite features took on a poignant pallor.
"Well I'm not sure if that's true Jens," I murmured. "You know there are great artists who never made a penny. Van Gogh supposedly never sold a painting while he was alive. If I knew I was going to create a single poem and that people would read it for hundreds of years, then the other concerns wouldn't count for anything. And I don't even know. I don't have to know. All I need to know is that I am trying. I am living my art. It's all God asks. I love my life. I love the adventure of it. I love the boring bits. I love the struggle. I love when my life touches someone else's. I love knowing God is real."
"You're mad," intoned my new friend.
I shrugged.
He wasn't finished.
"Van Gogh is one example," he said. "But think. Wouldn't it be great to be an artist who made money and was successful? Then you could be an example, an inspiration, to all those other struggling artists out there."
I bid him a fond farewell at this point.
There was an answer to the point he had made.
Modesty prevented me from imparting it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Yes folks they're here at last.
The sort of obituaries you won't see anywhere else.
Ones that tell the truth.
So to begin.
A lot of scum have been dying lately.
Let's have a look at one of them.

Major Tom McDowell: Tom McDowell took over the Irish Times around half a century ago. His chairmanship of the newspaper coincided with a most mysterious nay cosmic shift to the far left in its coverage and commentary on political events. Scholars have yet to map exactly what went on in the Irish Times during the period of his tenure at the top. I would suggest that the newspaper became nothing less than a propaganda organ for pan Sovietism and communist party movements everywhere. At the same time it made open war with the Catholic church in order to promote abortion culture, condom culture, contraceptive pill culture and any other social agenda which it perceived to be contrary to Christian tradition. In fact the only religious belief system which has had a favourable hearing in the Irish Times during this time is the peaceloving psychoticised murderously malign religion of Islam. The Irish Times loves Islam. From their point of view, what's not to love! More of that anon. Tom McDowell's present day apologists in the media are pretending that he was merely a businessman who had no real input on the slanted anti American pro IRA extreme feminist atheistic creeping Islamist tosh that has characterised Irish Times output over the past fifty years. My own assessment of Tom McDowell is that he was the lynch pin through which this leftist hijacking of the Irish Times took place. A key figure in this hijacking was the also dead Douglas Gageby. Douglas Gageby was the first editor appointed by McDowell. Let's be clear. Douglas Gageby answered to Tom McDowell. Not the other way round. Gageby's left wing sympathies again remain largely uncategorised by commentators and critics in the Republic of Ireland. Aside from myself that is. Douglas Gageby, the McDowell appointee as editor, was an off the boards howling at the moon left winger. His sympathies for the IRA and for the Soviet Union were blatent. His recruitment of journalists never failed to match the ultra left agenda. Together Tom McDowell and Douglas Gageby remade the Irish Times in their own image. There were no Christians, no conservatives, no patriots, no pro lifers on the staff of the Irish Times. It was wall to wall fembo commie pinkos against the bomb. Against the Americans and British having the bomb that is. Their attitude to Soviet power was more nuanced. In the face of the Soviet threat the Irish Times advocated that we should all disarm and hope for the best. An interesting strategy. So blatent was Douglas Gageby's left wing bias that Tom McDowell felt at one stage he had to distance himself from it publically. To this end it was deliberately leaked that Tom McDowell vehemently disagreed with the attitudes of his editor. The leak was disinformation but phrased in the strongest possible terms. Disinformation designed to allow the hijacking of the Irish Times as a Soviet propaganda instrument to procede in plain view. The leak specifically alleged that Tom McDowell had referred to Douglas Gageby as a "white nigger," a term intended to imply strong disdain and even revulsion for Gageby's views. It was the sort of comment that would have been expected from a putative pseud member of the British Upper Class like McDowell. The comment was also urgently deniable. McDowell need never admit to having made it since the bigoted element in the phraseology was something no one of his pseudo class could ever admit too. Yet the very crassness of it, gave it crediblity. The comment served its purpose in establishing credible distance between McDowell and the leftists he himself was installing at the Irish Times. Apologists for Douglas Gageby on the current Irish Times staff claim that Gageby was critical of the mainstream government party Fianna Fail. This analysis flies in the face of the facts. While Fianna Fail was being led by the IRA gun runner Charles Haughey, Gageby's coverage of Fianna Fail was hugely favourable to that party. On his retirement Gageby openly remarked that he considered Charles Haughey "the greatest Statesman in Irish history." It cannot be accepted that the Irish Times has ever subjected Fianna Fail to due scrutiny. It simply never happened. Before Tom McDowell took up the Chairmanship of the Irish Times and before he appointed Douglas Gageby as its editor, the Irish Times had occupied an oddly honourable though marginalised position in Irish public life. The paper tended to be pro British and pro the Unionist tradition in Northern Ireland. It did contain an inordinate amount of anti Catholic sneering. But there was an innocence to this. And my countrymen tended to let the miserable damned curs away with it. Catholic Ireland was always far more accepting of criticism than its crassly dishonourable Marxist critics pretend. McDowell's apparatchik Gageby moved the paper from occasional anti Catholic sneering into a mode where the destruction of the ancient church was the number one item on the agenda. During the years when McDowell's protege Gageby ran the Irish Times, the paper pursued an alliance with shadowy leftist figures within the Irish political, legal and judicial professions. This alliance enabled the Irish Times to continually challenge laws banning abortion, divorce and contraceptives. Under McDowell and Gageby the paper hadn't just shifted a gear into the modern world. It had embraced Sovietism, anti Americanism, Feminism and all the debilitating liberal relativisms which have so dessicated the rule of law in Ireland. And the Irish Times coverage of sex abuse was as slanted as its coverage of everything else. Cases involving clerical people were recycled hundreds of times. The 99.99 percent of child abuse cases that do not involve Christians of any hue, were effectively ignored. Sex abuse victims were important. But some victims were more important than others in the pages of the Irish Times. Not the victims who had suffered the most. Oh no. The Irish Times was only interested in sex abuse victims that could help it discredit the Catholic church. The Irish Times committed the worst crimes of which it ever accused Bishops. It concealed sex abuse. It concealed the true nature and extent of sex abuse in Irish society. It did so solely in an attempt to create a false image in the public mind, that most sex abuse cases involve priests. The Irish Times did not have to tell a single lie to land this propaganda coup. It only had to ignore 99.99 percent of the truth. This egregious practice has been perpetrated in the Irish Times to the present day. All these scurrilous activities of the Irish Times in the modern era have come about because Tom McDowell wanted them to. Douglas Gageby and his successors did not fart without Tom McDowell's permission. Nor did any other of his senior staff appointees. The strange collection of atheists, feminists and Stalinist communists who make up the staff of the Irish Times (and whose sons and daughters are currently inheriting their Mammy's and Daddy's jobs there) this shower of faux radicals were always dancing to the puppet master's tune. Ground control to Major Tom. Long live Karl Marx. Death to the Catholic church. Ignition's on. I call them faux radicals because in truth there's nothing too radical about everyone in the room saying exactly the same thing at exactly the same time about exactly the same subjects. Was Tom McDowell a Soviet agent? Was Tom McDowell a servant of atheistic communism? Was Tom McDowell a foul traitor to the Republic of Ireland? His Chairmanship came about at precisely the time when Stalin and friends were murdering 50 million human beings in Russia, Mao was killing 70 million in China, Pol Pot was wiping out one quarter of the population of Cambodia, and Soviet armies were transforming Africa into a veritable charnel house of death. If McDowell was a Soviet agent during this period, the crime and the incompetence and the malignancy is almost beyond measure. I say this. If it walks like a commie, talks like a commie, and infiltrates the Irish Times with commies like a commie, then it's a commie. And what has the death of communism meant for the clapped out old commies who survive McDowell? Did they ever admit their wrong doing? An occasional one maybe. But mostly they just kept their heads down and looked around for new subversions to support. The peaceloving whackjob religion of Islam filled the bill admirably. The subversion of choice now for Irish Times journalists is Al Qaeda and the Muslims. Of course from the business point of view the Irish Times' favourable reportage of Muslim terror has no possible upside. But making money was never the Irish Times' main mission. The political project was always more important. The money they made happened almost by accident. As the paper subsumed power to itself, money flowed with it. And incompetent Board members have squandered most of that money now anyway. Frittered away on a voodoo wind. The great Ozymandiasses of the Irish Times are unlikely to draw a pension. Any of them. And soon they're going to come looking for the Irish government to bail them out. They're going to ask our corrupt kleptocratic Fianna Fail government to preserve the Irish Times as an icon of Irish public life by compelling the Irish people to finance its existence and agendas. I don't want the Irish government to bail out the Irish Times. The Irish Times has moved seamlessly from pro Soviet anti Americanism to pro Al Qaeda anti Americanism. I think they should be let stand or fall on their own merits. If they have any merits. Why are they doing it? Why are they presenting terrorist propaganda masquerading as news in the guise of Robert Fisk and Michael Jansen's Islamist drivellings. Why did they ever do it? No. It wasn't for the money. This advocacy of nihilistic doctrines seeking the overthrow of our free society. It couldn't have been for the money. First the commies. Now the Mussies. Perhaps the Irish Times and its decrepit staff so hate Christian Ireland that they would support any malign excresence from the seventh ring of hell in its place. Perhaps they hate life so much, that what they really want is an end to it all. For all of us. Once it was Stalinist communism. Now it's Shariah law. The ideologues have changed. But the song remains the same. Hey Tom McDowell. Burn in hell.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

break of day

leafen wood enwintered
by a soft ice surplice
fallen forth on timbers
in a fronded fretwork charabanc
that neath a network braided
steaming cattle breathed
earthen kingdoms frothed
into dying into life

on with the motley

A Russkie In Tudor England

By Irina Kuksova

Was I ever surprised to get a call this week and be asked to show up on The Tudors set in Ardmore studios in Bray. Now normally, I'm a happy Buddhist TV watcher. I only watch TV when it's 'Off'. I know nothing about The Tudors series. The only time I read about TV and actors is at the hairdresser's: just making sure no one spots me with a gossip magazine in my hand. What caught me is that this call spelled M-E-D-I-E-V-A-L C-O-S-T-U-M-E-S. Am I available? Yes, I'm VERY available. Don't care I'm just an extra aka the blur in the background. Just let me play Renaissance Fair for a day!

Watching a movie being made is something akin to watching a guild of alchemists at work. What never fails to surprise me is the amount of patience the crew demonstrate while finding the exact ingredients and the right amounts for the spell (the scene) to work. Move the camera an inch – and a brigade of elves appears to adjust the innumerable lights and screens to the new position. Not mentioning half a hundred of candles that has to be extinguished once the camera is off and lit up again for every of the umpteen takes of the same scene fragment.

What does such striving for perfection translate into? Approximately 15 hours of work to film a 3 minute scene. Or at least it is that much for the payroll lady. After all, we DID get our lunch – AND afternoon snack – and had time to relax on the local patch of green. There is nothing like a few medieval ladies and gents getting a nap in on the grass.

Back home, I still feel like I've been to a different world, inaccessible to my friends and relatives. I hope the memories will soon fade. Because if they don't and the desire to come back to the studios persists – I'll be lost, like hundreds of thousands of 'wannabe in movies' people.

And in case you're wondering what Jonathan Rhys Meyers is like, let me share my impressions. He most definitely DOES demonstrate a certain star quality in front of the general public but he's actually totally unpretentious when he's alone with the familiar set crew and cast members.

Irina on the set of The Tudors